America: Home of the Brave; But Land of the Free?

November 30, 2010 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Am I the only person who sees our liberties being eroded one by one?  Obviously this question is rhetorical, especially given the results of the last election.  There is the “full body scan or pat down” option at the airport, the warrantless wire tapping by the DHS under the PATRIOT Act, and the reading of our e-mails by the FBI just to name a few.  But let’s be honest, these are obvious.  What about the more subtle ones that you may not even have thought of; these are FAR more dangerous, in my opinion, because they show just how far we are from truly being a free nation and an independent populace, as we were intended to be.  And the following are all in the name of “protecting us,” (as though we really need protection from ourselves).  I have an idea, Mr. Big Government.  Why don’t you protect me from Al Qaeda, not from myself!

Let me preface this by saying that our Founders gave us a nation void of nitpicking regulations, based on personal freedoms and societal liberty.  Our government “derives their just powers from the consent of the governed,” which is US; you and me!  I preface this because I know I will lose a lot of people as they read the first few examples, as they start to justify the regulations/laws/liberty infringements with excuses such as “it’s for public good,” etc.  NO, IT IS NOT! 

Let’s say that I have sensitive eyes, so I like my windows tinted dark.  Where does the state have any right whatsoever to tell me that my tint is too dark?  What right do they have to see in my car?  And how is it that the police can have the very same dark window tint that is a crime for me to own?!  Our government was created on the premise that I (the individual) have unrestricted privacy, and the government is transparent; so how is it that now the government (the policeman) can be hidden in his car, but I must be seen openly?  I am not required by law to own a car, it’s a choice.  I can choose what car I want, the color, and where I want to drive.  Don’t you dare give me the crap about “driving is a privilege; not a right.”  Those of you who think that; thank you, you proved my point.  The only reason that thought exists is because the right to own and drive a car was taken from you “to protect the public good,” and you bought the excuse that it’s a “privilege.”  Nonsense!  To further the example, what if I want to remove the windows and install wood or metal panels instead?  It’s my car.  Sure, I would need to open my door to see who is coming from the right or the left before I pull into traffic, but is that not my right?  Is it not my car?  How many of you, when reading this simple, silly, minor example have justified in your own mind with something along the lines of “well, it’s safer if you can see,” or “that’s impractical to have to step out of the car and look for traffic,” or “it will slow down the guy behind you,” or “it’s for the cop’s safety for your windows not to be too dark.”  What does any of that have to do with liberty?

If you did try to justify that simple example, then I do not believe that you fully understand the freedoms that our Founders desired and established.  And it’s not that they gave us “freedoms,” rather the freedoms were given by God, and they gave us a government which would protect them, and not take them.  We were established as a nation where we the people have the power and liberty, and the government is a means of protection; whose power is perfectly centered between the two extremes; tyranny and anarchy.  Our governments; local, state, and federal, were never intended to rule our lives. They were intended simply to protect us (and NOT from ourselves)

These are intrusions on liberty, plain and simple, and only a couple of them are really open for debate.  If you do not believe me, or if you don’t understand the concept, then I implore you, please pick up a book that will teach you some basics about America (The Federalist Papers, The 5000 Year Leap, Constitutional Chaos, etc.), then we can talk.  Until then, understand that the following are (as I call them) abortions of liberty, plain and simple.

Let’s start with the rolling road block.  Assuming you don’t appreciate individual liberty, free from government intrusion, inherently built into the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution; have you bothered to read the 4th Amendment to the Constitution?  Explain to me the constitutionality of a policeman pulling over every car on one particular road, for no justified reason, to investigating everyone for a crime that may or may not have even been committed.  Given the circumstances, there is obviously no warrant.

How about this; in late October I rake all my leaves, put them on the curb, dump some gas on them, and light them on fire.  This is OK….as long as I’ve gotten a BURNING PERMIT!  Man, that one really breathes the spirit of freedom.  And while we’re at it, on the 4thof July, Independence Day, try lighting off some fireworks to celebrate “freedom” in almost any city in America with a population of at least 25,000 people.

What about ridiculously and intentionally low speed limits, set specifically to generate revenue for state and local governments?  In the same regard; HOV lanes, requiring me to wear a seatbelt (a good idea, but my choice), helmet requirements for motorcyclists (the most ridiculous justification I ever heard for this, and I swear someone told me this once, was “well, if someone driving a car hits a motorcyclist, and they die because they weren’t wearing a helmet, it could be traumatic for the driver.” So now, it’s my responsibility, by law, to guard another’s feelings), child car seats, child booster seats when they’re out of the car seat, automobile registration and emissions testing (because I’m not free to simply buy a car and drive it, I must test the exhaust and/or OBD readings and pay the state for a piece of aluminum to go on my required bumper before I can gas it up and drive).  While we’re at it, let’s not forget the government required airbags.  And even though I usually listen to talk radio, occasionally I like listening to some music.  Let’s say I wanted a Cerwin-Vega 15-inch subwoofer pushed by a Rockford Fosgate 400 Watt amp to bump some Metallica “Enter Sandman.”  That would be nice, but I can’t listen too loud, or I could be fined for “noise pollution” or “disturbing the peace.”  (Seriously?)  And God forbid I drive without insurance, regardless of my financial worth.  NO…the state will not allow such behavior, as that is not my choice, but theirs to make for me!  And I know this one will really get to some people, but I don’t care.  I already stated that I want a nation where I am free to live my life as I see fit.  So, I submit that DUI restrictions another intrusion.  If I want to go out to a bar (which, for the record, I don’t do, and haven’t been out drinking  in a bar in well over a decade) and have a few beers with my friends, is it not up to me to determine whether or not I can get myself home?  If I crash and kill someone, then try me and convict me; but don’t steal my ability to make my own choices!  If I cause harm to another person, I pay the consequences, up to and including death.  That is real liberty!

Now, let’s say I send my 17 year old son to local Walmart to buy me a box of .22 long rifle shells, some paint balls for his paint ball gun, some BBs and pellets (so I can get rid of some pesky birds and squirrels), a can of spray paint to finish my latest home project, and some Benadril and cough syrup (because my allergies are acting up and giving me a sore throat).  Well, what do you know, he comes home empty handed!  Why?  Because the State of Tennessee has taken upon itself the responsibility parent my children, knowing better than their mother or myself how best to protect them.

This post is already long, so I’m going to try to limit the commentary, and simply list the liberty abortions.  So, here goes… the federal government stopping the manufacturing and sale of incandescent light bulbs and mandating dangerous, expensive, and awkward florescent lights bulbs (when in reality, LED’s are likely to surpass the incandescent anyway with free market demand); ever tried throwing a TV in the garbage…good luck; federal background check to purchase a gun, and age limitations as to what age you can carry a pistol to protect yourself (funny, to a liberal a 13 year old girl is “protected” by the constitution to murder an unborn child, yet you can’t exercise your clearly stated 2nd Amendment right to purchase a handgun in most states until 21); regulations requiring nutritional info on food; cities, counties, and states banning transfats; cities, counties, and states banning smoking in restaurants (shouldn’t the owner decide whether or not they want their patrons smoking?); required fuel efficiency standards that add thousands of dollars to the price of cars (how about this; if I want a car that gets 9 MPG, it’s my choice…I just pay more in gas!); cities and sometimes counties requiring building permits build a house, to add a deck onto your house, to put a pool in the back yard…hell, to build a storage shed in your backyard!; some cities require a permit to cut down a tree; recent legislation at the federal level actually mandates a maximum level of noise in TV commercials; regulations on growing a garden/selling your own produce (and this one just got MUCH worse with the passing of S.B. 510!); you need a permit from the state to cut hair or to get paid for giving a massage; most (if not all) states require you to have a business and/or auctioneers license to sell on eBay for other people; if you want to sell hot dogs from a cart on the side of the road, you must be regulated by the state health department; the Equal Employment Opportunity ~ sure, it’s a political “third rail” and is really touchy-feely, but is it constitutional…or does the constitution already guarantee “equal rights?”; intrusive and prohibitive state (and in some regards federal) restrictions on firing bad employees.

That’s a LOT of examples, right?  Well I’m just getting started!  The FDA is now going to ban the mixing of alcohol and caffeine; governments are taking private citizen’s money to waste on public transportation; limitations on number of pets one can own; restrictions on possession and purchasing of certain firearms (for example automatic weapons, “mean looking” weapons, etc.); some cities now have restrictions on yard sales; OSHA standards that handcuff businesses; federal minimum wage requirements, which often force employers to cut or fail to hire low-wage possible employment opportunities;  anti-capitalist “price gouging” or “scalping” legislation (how is someone giving me an inflated price for something they badly need at that time any different than getting the same price in an eBay auction???); the fact that carrying $10,000+ in cash can you questioned by the police, and you could get your money confiscated; banning prayer in school (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof); local/state restrictions on flying the American flag; local, state, and federal limitations on maximum interest rates; regulating what a bank can charge for overdraft charges (yet, ironically, unwilling to audit the Federal Reserve, or limit their printing of fiat money!); banning inter-state health insurance sales, thereby driving the costs artificially high (I won’t even get into Medicare and Medicaid here; we’ll just leave it right there); prohibiting insurance companies from selling flood insurance; regulations on grill gas cylinders; the mandating of low flush toilets, or how many gallons can be used per flush; regulations on the amount of water my shower can distribute per minute; try building your own hand-made coffin, and leaving in your will your desire to be buried in it; if your dog gets run over and is in pain, try killing him yourself…without a vet; in most cities, there are limitations on the height of your grass, in your yard; there are actually “endangered” flowers you cannot legally pick; you and your family are starving, and a deer is standing in your back yard…what do you do? You could be fined or go to jail for killing it; want a big TV? Good luck, there are places where you are restricted on the allowable size of your T.V.; don’t get caught drinking while fishing, if you’re the one operating the boat; are you a millionaire and you want to give me $100,000? Thanks! But, there are limits on the gifts one can give/receive without paying gift/income taxes; regulations exist mandating frequency of eye appointments between contact purchases; requirements on smoke detectors in a home (I got an idea; if you want them, buy them…if you don’t, don’t! I think it’s stupid not to, but that is your choice!); dozens of regulations on a mattress for a bed (including the fact that it is illegal to sell a used mattress in some states); do you want to have a bonfire in Davidson Co., TN?  You will need a burn permit; state required minimum smoking and drinking age (how about if I, the parent, make that decision); new requirements for the States to provide health insurance; RED LIGHT CAMERAS (enough said!); and last but not least, there are restrictions on daycare services in Tennessee, where you must have one adult for every three kids!  (And, in Michigan, there was recently a story of a woman who was being investigated for babysitting three kids for a friend!)

These are by no means the only restrictions; there are literally thousands, probably millions when you consider local, state, and federal regulations, I just got tired of listing them.  According to regulations.gov, there are 24,345 new regulations in just the last 365 days!  Go find a product on the shelf at Walmart.  I promise you, there is a state or federal regulation tied to the manufacturing and/or sale of that product!  (Hell, the product likely arrived on an Eighteen Wheeler, and they are one of the most heavily regulated operations in the country.)

As previously stated, we were intended to be a nation free from limitations an restrictions, other than immoral behavior, or that which intentionally harms another human being.  We were never intended to have every aspect of our lives regulated by the government.  Our founders fought for, thought of, deliberated, debated; organized and finalized a government that protected those basic, God-given rights.  We have squandered it to the constant and subtle pecking of immoral and illogical legislators who seek to control us for their own personal reasons and their own collective gains.  Power is an ugly thing when it is abused.  We are the victims of this abuse on a massive scale.  It is time that we quit disrespecting our Founders, stand up to the tyranny we are facing, and reclaim the Republic we were handed.  It is not only in our best personal interest, it is simple respect towards those who gave it to us to cherish and protect.

Still trying to justify this crap?  Well here is one final question for you (admittedly, you will need at least a basic understanding of freedom and the overall views of our Founders to understand/answer this question).  If we could reincarnate, right now, John Adams, Samuel Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and John Jay just to name a few; what do you think THEY would say when they gathered together at the local park (without a permit to assemble), lit a bonfire (without a permit), killed a deer to barbeque and celebrate (without a hunting license), poured a glass of wine (drinking in public), drank too much (sure, they likely wouldn’t, but it makes the point; public intoxication), and played their music too loud (disturbing the peace); and on their ride home got caught in a “rolling road block” and wound up in jail for having a pistol without a carry permit, and having consumed alcohol……do you think they’d feel we squandered what they fought for, or would they accept it as “honoring the public good???”

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