Let Freedom Ring

Occasionally I allow myself to feel nostalgic over bygone days, when I felt a child’s sense of freedom. In my memory I was absolutely, infinitely and wonderously free to – let’s see now – litter, curse, smoke in public (if I so wanted), stare at good looking girls, be an obnoxious wise-mouthed moron… you know the list. I didn’t have children, but if I did, I would have felt free to “discipline” them in public (read – kick their little behinds). And it’s passing curious that I just don’t feel free to do those things anymore. No, that’s not the state constraining me; that’s just me. It’s called self-restraint.

So in these days when I cannot smoke in any restaurant in the county in which I live, when I am not free to paint my townhouse a nice shade of lavender, when I can not put a “girly” calendar on the wall of my cubicle, do I still live in the “Land of the Free” or not?

Here’s my answer: The AstroWife and I formed a small business together to maximize the economic potential of being a software consultant. Not once did we have to pay a bribe to a politician or some bureaucratic functionary to move the paperwork. Hum… Not once did some member of the executive branch of government (local, municipal or federal) come knocking on our door (or ring our phone) to collect “insurance” money. Hum!…Not once were we stopped at the border to make sure that our papers were in order. Double Hum!…And we paid less in taxes (by rate) then before, even though our income was greater. The tax man didn’t knock on the door either. In fact, the refund check came in the (tax supported) mail.

I drove to work on tax supported roads, and worked alongside people who graduated from tax supported schools.

I routinely stopped on the way home at grocery stores that are considered by the rest of the world to be amazingly gigantic, and they were stuffed with food.

When I was 18 my random number for the (Viet-nam era) draft was 003. But I was not conscripted. The military drafted no one in that last year of the Viet-nam war, and I was not forced to serve in peace time.

Long before then, my grandparents escaped the poverty of eastern Europe prior to WW I by leaving, and were free to come to this country to live, work and start their own family.

And just this week I e-mailed the city’s transportation authority to tell them my displeasure about the removal of a board member, a removal I felt was unwarrented and unjust. (Forgot to mention that they didn’t come looking for me either.)

Ok, the list goes on. But that’s for Thanksgiving.

I don’t know about you, but I have always been free to choose my own path (and even make my own mistakes) with government being barely around to keep me civil. That job was left to my parents and to the Church to which I now happily belong (and am free to leave anytime, btw). I don’t even have to vote if I don’t want to (and just try ignoring politics in countries like Cuba or Tibet). I am free to partake in the blessings of God and liberty around me whether or not I contribute to them today, and the way it’s worked out, it’s hard for me to believe that I’ve actually contributed as much as I’ve received (I merely try to do that).

Oh yeah, you can bet your sweet bippy I’m flying the flag today, the 4th of July, and I’m very glad and moved to sing the national anthem and watch fireworks celebrating our country (unlike some who seem to think that patriotism is a dirty word). I’ll consider what a Brit, Christopher Hitches, says about world opinion when it comes to the US.

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