A Fool and His Liberty Are Soon Parted

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October 12, 2007

I spend a lot of time wondering how our nation has become lazy, stupid and completely dependent on the talking heads of government and their toadies in the press to navigate life. As is my nature, I've been searching for a practical solution to this problem.

My teenaged daughter, bless her, is always holding my feet to the fire and demanding explanations for how we went from the Boston Tea Party, which was thrown in protest of a miniscule tax, to today's insane surveillance-police-state, warfare/welfare empire in which we find ourselves. Her latest request in our rather liquid home school was a discussion about the Bill of Rights. It was a pretty short discussion. Sis had read the document and understood the words but wanted more. So do I! I wish I had answers for her. I only have questions of my own.

The one thing I could explain to her was that, in the beginning, the founding documents were composed to specify and limit the things that government could do to people. Like the manipulative power shift in Orwell's Animal Farm, over the years it has subtly and magically morphed from a constitutionally limited republic, limiting what government can do to you, to fascism. Limitations on the size and scope of government? Uh, not so much.

Modern government leans more towards the inception and growth of 'appointed public servants.' It's like telling your watchdog to 'sit' while you run errands. Sooner or later some taxpayer in heat will wander past that nose with a sense of smell 10,000 times stronger than yours or mine. The natural impulse of the lust to possess takes over and your commands are damned. In this way, big government colludes with big business to consume the wealth of the nation. As a mere formality, new laws are written which state that it is legal for them to do to you what they intended to do anyway, to put you out of your misery and into theirs. These big dogs are bad to the bone.

This is sold to the people by calling it, all hail now, 'democracy.' We the people are led to believe that we have a say in how we are to be devoured, it's just that the devouring is not up for debate. Even if it were fair to allow 51% of the people to take away the rights of the other 49%, in practice 'democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.' This slight of hand was no small feat. It is the very nature of government to promote itself this way. The fact that 'government' isn't actually anyone or anything is part of the slight of hand.

What is government? It is not a man that you can challenge openly. If you do challenge a bureaucrat and live to tell about it, there is an endless stream of others like him. Government is layers, shadows, complicated verbiage in legal tomes, implication and shifting sands. It is the darkest, most depraved and sinister aspects of greed and lust and yet it is nothing at all. The puppet masters pulling the strings and calling the shots are invisible. Even though some people give him a lot of credit for extensive collateral damage, I'm convinced that even the president is merely a wooden headed marionette, a figurehead to distract the audience. Bureaucracy is like fighting a ghost ' there is no defense. How clever!

Should you object to being fleeced, ambiguity comes to an end. You'll see the guns come out, the guns of government. The power behind the 'throne' will never be exposed, and even the enforcers are becoming more obscured, but you will know where you stand. The beauty of this system is that it is all paid for by the victim himself, the taxpayer.

This sounds eerily familiar, no? It's like something out of a Mario Puzo tale. However, there is a big difference between the mob and the government. Even though they are both in the protection racket, the differences are clear: the mob does have a code of ethics and justice and they won't murder you in front of your family.

Part of the problem was sown in the very fabric of our nation. The Founding Fathers began with the assumption that some type of government was necessary. They had experienced tyranny first hand as subjects of the British Empire and so decided that limitations on such tyranny would do the job. They didn't even know that they were attempting to found a nation on a false premise. Hierarchy is so much a working part of the mind of man that they were unaware of its existence as a questionable concept. There was no questioning something that has become as common as breathing, eating or sleeping.

In the old days salesmen used to say 'because you seem like such a nice guy, I'll tell you what I'm going to do . . . .' Similarly, government falls on the sword for you by volunteering to be responsible for securing your freedom. Just let them hold your gold for you in Fort Knox where it will be safe too, America ! When was the last time anyone mentioned that?

For one low, low down payment and more payments over time, they can make your dreams come true! You just sit back in your easy chair and enjoy another cold one. They'll raise your children, they'll see to your elderly, they'll put a chicken in every pot and plan for your golden years too. Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme, really! Ponzi schemes are fraudulent and illegal. They'll protect your freedom and your way of life for you by declaring war on drugs, poverty and terror (more invisible windmills at which to tilt!). There's also a bridge for sale. It's a boondoggle bridge to nowhere and it's not just in Alaska.

If you really care, turn the guns of government on a loved one today.

I do not typically point a gun at someone I really want to help. To show you what I mean, here is a slice of Americana . Recently I accompanied a friend to consult a surgeon for a hernia operation. We signed in and were seated in the waiting room. We had plenty of time to observe the other patients who were also waiting. It occurred to me that no one there was paying cash for their consultation. Some third party was paying for everything that occurred, including my friend, who is employed with health benefits. Some people might be more generous, but I would describe the other patients this way.

To our immediate left was the best prospect for being self-responsible. He was a youngish man, maybe 40. He didn't look terribly ill, so was obviously capable of working for a living. His slight build and appearance and somewhat blank stare suggested he might do some kind of unskilled labor such as building maintenance. Directly across from us sat an older gentleman, obviously on Medicare. Next to us on the other side sat an elderly lady, also retired and collecting her monthly stipend from Uncle Sam.

Continuing around the room, there was an obviously handicapped woman who struggled to walk with a cane. She was likely there for some kind of surgery to improve her situation. As I said, there were no homeless people present. The woman was probably not working and in all likelihood on some kind of disability payments.

Next to her, seated on a 'bench' of a seat against one wall was an obese woman. I would estimate her weight at 300 pounds. Her hair and clothing were badly unkept. She was in her forties with two small, unsatisfied children. Later we realized she was their grandmother, attending them while her obese daughter consulted the surgeon. It seemed unlikely to me that she was employed or employable, her daughter obviously less so. Again, none looked hungry, so they all appeared to be on someone else's dime. It's possible that they had their own private disability insurance, but unlikely. Even then, as I said, someone else was paying for this dance.

I've set the stage for what happened next. When the door opened, in walked a 400 hundred pound woman. She was probably in her twenties and nearly bald. Please don't write to me and tell me I'm insensitive because this unfortunate young woman must have a thyroid condition. I have a thyroid condition myself and I take a little pill every day to make it all better. It costs me about $10 a month. I also watch what I eat and exercise regularly, even though it is usually the last thing I'd like to do. I'm no M.D., but if what she had was a thyroid problem, I think she'd be visiting an internist instead of a surgeon.

The 400-pound girl staggered up to the desk, signed in, and seeing as how she was not going to squeeze into a seat, moved to an open space to stand and wait. I watched the 300-pound grandmother also observing the situation. After a few moments, she subtly raised herself from the only 'bench' seat and moved herself and her grandchildren nearer the door to the examining rooms, as if she expected to be called any moment. I watched her squeeze herself into a regular chair, knowing full well that the younger woman would never be able to do so. The 400-pound girl pretended to 'notice' the open bench and, after waiting what seemed a reasonable amount of time so as not to seem desperate to secure it for herself, she seized upon it.

As in a dream, it all seemed as if there was an unspoken agreement: It's OK if you are not at all responsible for yourself, everyone else will take care of you. Does such 'help' encourage a person to be more responsible in the future, or less? To take better care of themselves, or worse? Could this create less 'need' for health care?

My companion nudged me back from my pondering. He was irritated about the hour-long wait. 'Boy, if this is bad, imagine what socialized medicine will be like.' (We both know it is inevitable.) I responded that this is hardly private medical care. 'Two of these people are on Social Security, four are on disability or some other kind of welfare handout. Janitorman over there probably earns less than poverty level wages, so he's not subsidizing any of them. You are carrying all these people around on your shoulders with the guns of government at your back, my friend. No wonder you got a hernia.'

You get the government you deserve

Americans have gotten fat and lazy, there's just no question about it. The Constitution was a contract for a Cadillac, but delivered a lemon. We fell hook, line and sinker for the oldest pigeon drop in the world. We've traded a little liberty for the empty promise of some security and just look where we're at now. Besides being bogged down in yet another in an endless stream of military conflicts that cannot be won and which are bankrupting us, we are less secure than ever. We've looked away for a moment and now we're in shackles. Two for flinching, America !

Modern man is guilty of depraved indifference when it comes to the vigilance required for liberty. He's fallen for the get-rich-quick scheme of the hucksters in Washington with their snake oil promises of freedom in the homeland (if they can just spy on us enough), equality (if we all sacrifice enough), democracy (you simply get The Man to tell your neighbor how to live), immigration (The Man decides who gets invited to the party), justice (Big Pharma and the DEA choose your medicine and your punishment) and security (torture Muslims and rape and kill their women and children too). This is considered a solid basis for the procurement of liberty?

Most people can't admit they've been had because it's too humiliating and painful, especially if you've lost a limb or a loved one to the war machine. It's too much work to try to extricate one's self from the machine of government now. It reminds me of a woman I once knew who had supported Jim Bakker and his Praise The Lord house of cards. She kept sending in her payments even after he was arrested for fraud! Her reasoning was that if she stopped 'donating,' she wouldn't get her free stay at the PTL Hotel, which I doubt she got anyway and had already more than paid for. They had sold far more 'free stays' than they could accommodate anyway. They must have taken a leaf out of the government Social Security playbook. Just keep paying, cross you fingers and maybe you'll get yours.

The U.S. Government is so far in debt it can never dig itself out even if it wanted to, which it doesn't because 'deficits don't matter.' It has inflated away 95% of the value of its currency by manipulation of the money supply and in so doing has created one fragile economic bubble after another. It has overextended its empire into nearly every corner of the globe and made mortal enemies every step of the way.

Here in metro Detroit , real estate is in the toilet ' houses are cheaper than cars. Auto industry jobs are disappearing by the tens of thousands and the evaporation of livelihood goes out in waves in supporting industries. I have lived here all my life and I've never seen so many empty houses; some don't even have 'for sale' signs. Economically we are heading for ground zero without a shot fired, due totally to the 'something for nothing' world improvers and the dupes who fell for their song and dance. Anyone half awake is wondering if they can't just 'get theirs and get out' unscathed like in a deal going sour. It doesn't work that way. My Dad always said that if you dance to the music you have to pay the piper, and boy, oh boy, have we racked up a tab!

No piece of paper protects my liberty, just as no piece of paper kept me faithful to my husband or protective of my children. If something greater isn't fueling my living, then what I am is not free nor worthy. That something greater is sadly uncommon in modern America . Government is basically made up of thieving, morally decrepit whores who come in the night to steal, kill and destroy. Like Snow White, humanity, en masse, has been put into a poisonous slumber of dependency on government. Contrary to popular belief in the second coming of the Clintons , there is no princely wake up kiss coming in the 2008 election. There is a kiss coming, but it's more like the one the doomed guy gets from the Godfather. The average politician, as my Dad would say, has the 'morals of an alley cat,' and I'm not talking about their sex lives.

Anything valuable is worth fighting for, and freedom is valuable indeed. Without it, there is really nothing else worth having. Freedom won't come to you in the mail like a cheap life insurance policy, and it won't protect you from inside a frame under glass in the halls of Congress or from the sworn statement of politicians no matter what you believe. It won't ride up on a white steed. It is paid for in blood and its cost is dear. Many have died to obtain it. You may have to die trying to retrieve and protect it. This is not an appealing idea, but many people die under the heel of tyranny too.

If liberty is valuable enough for thieves in government to come after, isn't it worth another look, America ?

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Retta Fontana's picture
Columns on STR: 53

Retta Fontana is an atheist, anarchist, baker, potter and parenting teacher.  Children are her favorite people.