Enslaved Democracy

There is an old expression, “History has a bad habit of repeating itself.” My father never talked a great deal about politics’. But I do remember one time he came in the door and I asked him what was up and he said that he had just come from voting. So curious I said to him, “Who did you vote for Dad?” and he smiled and replied, “The lesser of two evils son, the lesser of the two.”

At the time I did not quite understand, now years later, his words resound in my mind.

Having just finished two conventions, listening to the all the cliché’s and fast fixes for the country, the old tired empty platitudes, the vocal exercise of freedom. I am thoroughly convinced that what freedoms we do have left, are few, if any. We listened to speeches about the liberties bequeathed by our founders. But in all reality, we are not as free as we would like to think in this country anymore.

The Patriot Act, eight long years of the Bush Administration has fixed all that.

We can think of ourselves as free, but only relative to the rest of the world. In terms of the founders’ vision of freedom, we’re little more than serfs. Let’s face it, we all work for the government now, and there isn’t a raise in sight and relief is nothing more than a catch word. Now some of you are sitting there reading this and you are saying to yourself, “What is he talking about, I am free.”

So I suppose I should ask a question or two at this point?

Are you in charge of the amount of money you set aside for retirement and at what age you’ll retire? No, the government mandates that you join in its retirement program. If you insist on being left alone and don’t obey, you’ll go to jail or otherwise suffer at the hands of the government. What’s more, when government changes Social Security rules, unlike a private retirement plan, you can not sue for breach of contract.

It is after all, virtually impossible to sue the U.S. Government.

Suppose you want to save money. Your money and privacy is subject to a web of regulatory offices, including the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve System, and the Securities Exchange Commission. Still not convinced? Okay let us say that you make deposits or withdrawals of $5,000 or more, your friends at the bank, are required to report this to the government.

If you attempt to stop government’s prying eyes by making deposits and withdrawals just below the reporting threshold, you face fines and possible imprisonment for “structuring.”

Moving swiftly along, isn’t this fun boys & girls?

If you own land, but you don’t control it. We built a pond, but we did not own the water behind the dam. Not until we paid the Oklahoma Water Resource Board a $25 fee to “own the water behind our dam.” You might have had similar problems; you may have purchased land as an investment, only to find that when you retire and are ready to build or sell it, you can’t.

It might have been designated a wetland (swamp) by environmental authorities or declared a habitat for an endangered bird, rat or insect, whose rights the government deems more important than yours. These sort of things, unwanted, unnecessary government intrusion, happen every day in this country.

People who have tried to build or remodel a home discover quickly that they are under the thumbs of a veritable army of bureaucrats, ranging from local inspectors, who can tell them what kind of windows they can and cannot have, to the federal government which prescribes what kind of toilets and shower heads are legal and which are illegal.

Preposterous you say? The government just this year instituted a policy of what kind of light bulbs are necessary for you and I to use. Who ever gave them the power over us to “relegate light bulbs?”

You get a vote on that?

At one time, a man’s home was his castle. Today it is the bureaucrats’ plaything. Far too many of us have gotten used to being pushed around and are willing to accept it if it is washed down with pious rhetoric about safety, compassion or the environment.

How quickly we have forfeited or given up our rights on nothing but “Political Spin.”

Citizens of modern democracies are facing despotism of a different character these days, which is somewhat milder and more widespread. Today’s democracy tends to degrade men rather than to torture them. Our leaders these days tend to be less of the tyrannical nature and more akin to a school master or learned colleague. So with this kind of “leadership or herding” the citizen is more likely to be in a state of perpetual childhood” with the government in total control.

This is done by supplying the things that society needs security and necessities, assuming responsibility for societies concerns, managing societies work and more. The government assumes this paternal role gladly and works for their (societies) happiness but we pay a steep price, they are the sole agent and judge of all of it.

In the end, democracy gives an aura of legitimacy to acts that would otherwise be deemed tyranny. That is precisely why the framers gave us the constitution, a document that sought to protect us against the abuses of majorities. That is what our Bill of Rights is all about, those congressional shalt-nots.

It’s just too bad that Congress, acting on the will of the majority have abrogated those protections. We have currently in power, an administration that took those same protections and thru them out the proverbial window years ago.

Now days, there is not a nickels worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans. If you put a nickel on the table, a Democrat will steal it from you and a Republican will kill you for it. In the end, it is easy to be “Politically Correct” especially if you are living in a gated community.

No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he is free.

000

Related: A little Taste Of What is to come?

No Shoes/No Shirt/No problem.

Ordered a couple of DVD’s from Best Buy yesterday, for the convenience of not having to contend with traffic, I used the Internet. I don’t know why, just thought it would be easier than driving out to the store.

Next time, I will drive out to the store.

First thing that went wrong was the telephone number, it wanted an “additional number” and I did not have one. So I finally gave them 910-555-1212 and that ended that “mini crisis.” The telephone number came off the Rockford Files or some other TV show that I have long since forgotten.

Then I was dropped into email hell, give, give, give until it hurts.  Why do they need my email, I mean Jeeze Louise, they have the @@#@#^**! phone number.  America has gone nuts.  Why do people at the do-nut shop give me a receipt, why does Radio Shack need my name to sell me batteries.  I am tiring of folks “extorting” my email and other information in order to make the sale.  You are literally NOT allowed to make the purchase online at Best Buy until you provide them with this information.

I am sick of this garbage.

Then like I said, it got hung up on the E-mail thing, it wanted this and it wanted it that, and generally speaking it was a pain in the part of you that goes over the fence last.

“It” was not good to me yesterday.

The last thing I need is for someone to pound me with what I call “email crap” that is not related to my order and that certainly disgusts me, I don’t need even more email. I just need the DVD’s and next time I will drive to the store.  At this juncture in time I was told to please print out your receipt … Yeah, like that dog is gonna hunt?

THREE PAGES LATER it printed out my receipt.

Wednesday! Hump Day for a five day a week, minimum wage slave in Oklahoma. I find myself gleefully spending many, many hours searching the Web these days. Here is a breakdown on my time this week.

(A) Typing insanely complex web addresses and demands for even more info … 2%

(B) Waiting for what seems like three years (21 on a dog) for the page to even come up … 93%

(C) Reading snippy little messages and dialogue boxes that say there is NO such address … 2%

(D) Retyping insanely complex web addresses … 2%

(E) Actually reading a message on a web page … 1%

Most of these pages I am discovering have been non-existent since 1996 anyway.

Then the insane emails begin. This is the web administrator (which is an oxymoron if I ever heard one) It is now my duty to inform you that this is your third offense. You have repeatedly tried (in vain, much to our utter glee and enjoyment) to access this site with negative results. I am afraid, because of your persistent attempts at retrieving this information, we are now going to pronounce maximum sentence on you.”

So I gravitate to the box marked “stupid web browser and/or credit card purchaser” and I type. “No, No! Not that”, and I hit reply.

Almost instantly my reply is forthcoming (well it was about thirty minutes to tell the truth) and it is again from the website administrator, It has come to our attention that you furnished to us a bogus secondary telephone number and we are now going to force one or both of your parents to sing a Barry Manilow Song on a Karoke Machine and sing it in public. You will also be required to re-submit your original order.”

So I find myself, once more, gravitating to the box marked web-browser, credit card shopper, and I reply ….. No … No … No, send me to prison in Texas, make me download something from NASA, change my voter registration to Republican! Anything but this.

Finally got it all straightened out on the third pass.

Man, it is high time we enforce some kind of radical punishment on these mega corporations that put us thru all this insane crap for one simple transaction. Then load us up with junk emails encouraging us to buy even more and endure the same process again, and again. I am sick of them cluttering up my email box with useless information, we need to find a way to do something to the people who insist on business practices such as the above (slightly exaggerated or embellished in order to clarify).

Perhaps refuse to do business with them altogether.  That might work.

Who knows what type of residuals might occur.  Our streets might suddenly be safer, crime would go down, the adults would be in charge again … America could and would, be a much happier place. Just thinking about it makes me want to just sit back and sing a soulful melody …

“Havin’ My Baby, what a lovely way of saying how much ….. She’s having my …..”

DVD’s will be here October 4th, day before my birthday, and next time, I believe, I am gonna drive over to the store.  I don’t need the aggravation and who knows, the fresh air might do me some good.

000

Parting shot: Three things happen to you each time you order something online, and the first two are not good at all.”


Something to think about

A friend of mine in Kansas City sent me this … I’m a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight…..

* If you grow up in Hawaii , raised by your grandparents, you’re ‘exotic, different.’

* Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers,  you’re a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

* Name your kids Willow , Trig and Track, you’re a maverick.

* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

* Attend 5 different small colleges  over a 6-year period  before graduating  with a 4 year degree not in political science, history, or even math, English or education, but in journalism , you’re well grounded.

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor,  spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate’s Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of  13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran’s Affairs committees, you don’t have any real leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl  and briefly sports reporter ,  4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a ! state wi th only 650,000 people, then you’re qualified to become the country’s second highest ranking executive.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re not a real Christian.

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and leave your disfigured wife and marry the heiress the next month, you’re a Christian.

* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

* If , while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state’s school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant , you’re very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values don’t represent America ‘s.

* If you’re husband is nicknamed ‘First Dude’,  with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA , your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.  And they wonder why most of us cannot make up our minds?

000