Are we really the land of the free?
I love it when political commentators lecture us about the many freedoms we enjoy in our country as compared to other nations. Having lived and traveled abroad, I can tell you with 100% certainty that this once free country exists no more.
Here is my small list of how we have become less free –if you want me to add more to this post please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Seat Belt Law- Prior to 1980 seat belts were not required to drive. In addition, prior to the law’s enactment seat belts in cars were the same as the ones in planes; they buckled over your lap. Once the law was passed the cars were modified so that the seat belt crossed over your shoulder. Was this done to protect us or to give the cops better viewing to enforce the laws and collect their fees?
- Lemonade Stands– A right of passage for many kids as they learned their first business lessons. Today the police now close lemonade stands because they don’t have a permit. (Think about this: We actually think it is OK for the police to protect us from children selling lemon juice?)
- Cigarette Laws– For years tobacco companies posted massive warning labels on their packages and told their users how dangerous the content was. This did not stop the government from shaking down an entire industry for billions of dollars and then massively taxing them to death. If you think this is a good thing, don’t complain when the government lands on your door step one day to shake you down for all of your money.
- Lawn Care– In the Northeast, it was common for homeowners to burn their leaves in the Fall. Then the government required a permit and today, in most places, it is completely banned.
- NYC Condo Laws– I lived in a condo for years with no rugs on my floors. Then the condo unit required homeowners to have rugs covering the majority of their living space. I received a complaint one day because my walking was too loud. The “condo police” actually sent someone to measure my carpets and my floor space to make sure I was in compliance.(Does this sound like freedom?)
- Bike Laws – I grew up riding a bike without a helmet; today that will get me a ticket. In addition, in NYC, if you don’t stay in the designated bike lane that too will get you a ticket. (check this hysterical video that illustrates the absurdity of this law.)
- Disciplining your child– Most of my peers were raised with a heavy hand. If you do that today, child services will show up at your door and you will lose your kids. However, if your part of the government gestapo and do that to a child there are no consequences. Don’t believe me? Look at this video where a cop tasers a child on concrete, leaves her brain dead and still has his job. If a citizen did this, they would be in jail.
- Permits and more Permits- Want to build a house? Enlarge your house? Alter your apartment? Expand your business? Build a swimming pool? We now need the approval of our local government employee to grant us this privilege. Need more proof? Many parts of the New Jersey shore still have not been rebuilt from Hurricanes Sandy in 2012, because they are waiting on permits and government approval! Try being homeless for 3 years.
- Bird Feeder– In Erie County, NY a couple was fined for having an illegal bird feeder. When did bird feeders become illegal? In Mississippi they have the same law.
- Dog Registration– In NYC, it is common practice that you are required to register your dog, so the Board can know who the pet owners are. In one building they now limit the type of dog you can own.
- Flower Laws– Certain gardens, parks and building complexes have laws against picking flowers and I get it. But human nature being what is, there are always going to be people who will pick a flower. So should we criminalize such activity? I once went to visit my mother in a building complex and my 4-year-old daughter picked a flower from one of the gardens. An enormous elderly man chased my daughter down and began to yell at her for her “crime.” Really? We now live in a society where this type of behavior passes off as normal. There is something about human nature that compels certain people to force everybody to comply that drives me totally crazy! I have such anger and contempt for this behavior because this is what causes an otherwise normal, human being to yell at a 4-year-old child. Clearly my daughter was wrong to pick a flower from a garden, but sadly his overreaction is typical of many citizens today.
I can go on and on. But the fact is that everywhere you turn we have an ever-encroaching State that tells us what we can and cannot do. This constant policing by bureaucrats, municipal workers, policeman and busybodies, I believe, can drive someone off the deep end.
Man yearns and desires to be free, and I believe the increase in drug use is attributable to this constant barrage to conform and comply with all of these nonsensical laws. The problem is that the government has become SO BIG imposing so many restrictive rules, regulations and laws, I would wager it’s almost impossible for anyone to go through a day without breaking one or more on a daily basis and, thereby, becoming a criminal.
P.S. Since I also write to this site I don’t have to email Steve. My parents lived in a Homeowner’s Association complex in Florida. When a hurricane damaged the flowers that adorned their walkway, my father spared no personal expense in having a professional landscaper replace it all. Shortly thereafter, my parents were forced to not only tear out all the new landscaping but also pay a fine. It seemed the new flowers were the wrong color and did not match the other foliage on either said of their home. Yes, Steve…it can drive a person over the edge.