"We have four boxes with which to defend our freedom: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box." - Congressman Larry McDonald M.D.
(1 April, 1935 - 1 Sept., 1983)


God Save The Republic

12 July 2010

Chipping Away At Freedom

This past Saturday I was sitting in my truck, in the parking lot of a small strip mall, when I noticed a man and woman standing outside one of the businesses, smoking. After a few minutes, a man exited the business, joining the couple, and fire up his own cigarette. And as the three talked and smoked, it slowly started to dawn on me that the business they were standing in front of was a bar.

It's been a few years but I remember bars... fine Tennessee sour mash whiskey, good conversations, loud jukebox tunes that were popular several years earlier and the smoke from an excellent 52 ring by 7.5" Arturo Fuentes cigar protruding from the corner of my pie-hole. I'd spent numerous hours (and numerous coin of the realm) in such settings in previous years. And while I reminisced about days of old, far off in my mind there were the sounds of screeching tires, metal crunching, women and children screaming and the ear splitting sound of the stereo needle being drug across a 45 rpm record, like when someone who had pounded back one too many had stumbled into the jukebox. That damned anti smoking law!!!

Full grown, adult, human beings have been reduced to temporary banishment from within local gin mills in order to light-up legally. Although I quit smoking several years ago, I can't begin to imagine the consumption of alcohol without the inhalation of burning tobacco. It's un-damn-natural!!! Leave the air conditioned comfort and your ice cold brew on the bar to go outside, in 97 degree heat, because some nanny minded (read: simple minded) excretory orifice feels it's their duty in life to protect you from you. But you just try to take that beer outside to enjoy with your cigarette and you'll likely find yourself tazed and dazed by a member of the local constabulary, for felonious imbibing of the spirits in the public purview. (Another throwback to days of old, when morality laws attempted to shield the fairer sex (or fairer sexes?) and children from seeing grown men take a discrete shot from a vest pocket flask in public)

How did we reach this lowly level of nanny underhandedness? I have a theory:

A bunch of years ago, someone pleaded there case all the way to SCOTUS and succeeded in getting the Pledge of Allegiance banned from public schools.

A few years later, someone else pleaded their case all the way to SCOTUS and succeeded in getting all mention of God banned from public schools.

A few years after that... and all reference of God and religion have been banned from public buildings.

Most recently, local / state government nannies have been taking it upon themselves to ban smoking in ever growing lists of public places.

Of course, there have been other cases over the years, and no doubt, many more to come. (Just too many to include in this simple minded essay)

Do you know what each of these cases have in common? No one of opposing view took them seriously. People of normal sensibilities assumed those causes were so frivolous, they would be laughed out of court or the legislative chambers of state governments. And therefore, with no public hue and cry of righteous indignation, or even a half-hearted rebuttal, a quick bang of the gavel and presto!!! Another Freedom Done Gone.

Folks, we are the stewards of our own liberties and it is incumbent upon no one but ourselves to be and remain aware of what others are doing in their attempts to relieve us of those liberties. Even if a particular issue may hold little or no personal interest, the mere fact that a freedom may hang in the balance should motivate us all to oppose any attempts to squash them. When it's all said and done, pitching a bitch usually doesn't get lost liberties returned.


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