Thursday, June 10, 2010

Signposts 9, 10, 12, & 13 -- Big Brother Gone Wild!!!

It is a beautiful day in Salt Lake City, and I am feeling especially grateful for many things in my life!  Among the things I am thankful for is the fact that I am self-employed -- I can work the hours I choose to work, I am free to try new things, and I answer to no-one except God, my clients, and those to whom I pay my bills!

I am free to succeed, and free to fail.  Though it hasn't been without its challenges, I have found working for myself to be worth it.  100%.

I was not trained up to be an entrepreneur.  Like most of you, I attended public schools where I had a few excellent teachers and several mediocre ones.  I spent my early adolescent years awkwardly searching for my own identity and path amongst such things as MTV, sit-coms, fast food, and pegged jeans -- things I participated in not because I liked them so much as because it was what everybody else was doing! 

I've had a lot of growing experiences through the years and the blessing to come across a number of people who have influenced my life for good, helping me find a path that is much more true to me.

I am saddened that our nation seems to be on an entirely opposite sort of path. We have gone from being a nation of immigrants determined to carve out their dream in the rugged landscape of a free country in spite of any obstacle, to collectively being fat, lazy, and weak-minded in our prosperity.

We have created a Big Brother and don't seem to mind that we now pay him upwards of 1/3 of our annual income, we look the other way as he kills and tortures people in various locations around the world, and we don't even blink that he now requests to see beneath our clothing with scanning devices pumping out radiation just a tad less toxic than microwaves, in order to make sure we aren't hiding bombs in any crevices or folds before boarding an airplane!

What will Big Brother think of next?!  Watch this real commercial that aired in the state of Pennsylvania earlier this year --

 Before you jump to say "Well, Tom deserves to have the government harass him -- he has broken the law", think again.  The government knows where you live too, as well as where you work, how your finances are, what your spending habits are, and what you are posting on your Facebook status updates.

Big Brothers just like ours throughout history have a track record of turning against the very people they promise to protect -- law-abiding citizens who naively relinquish their liberties in the name of protecting society.

In the remainder of this post, I will share a few more of the 14 Signposts to Slavery that deal with such things as our ability to travel, assemble in each others' homes, and work and live unfettered from undue government intervention.

9. Laws limiting the number of people allowed to meet in a private home.

The right to assemble with whomever we choose for whatever reason we choose both publicly and in our own homes is an essential liberty (as long as we aren't infringing on the rights of others).  Thankfully, this is one liberty that is still mostly honored in our nation.  There are some notable exceptions.  Recently seven individuals in Gilbert, AZ were prohibited from meeting together in private homes for Bible study. Some homeschooling families have reportedly suffered from similar over-reaching local homeowner's associations.

Let us be diligent to support the rights of everyone in our nation, even if we find their beliefs abhorrent, to assemble freely!

10. Any significant change in passport regulations to make passports more difficult to obtain or use.

In August 2007, U.S. passport agencies began exclusively issuing "e-passports" that contain a microchip, making it much easier to track an individual's travels (and also making it possible to disable an individual's passport with a simple keystroke).  Further, face-recognition technology is now in use at all checkpoints tightening government control over individual travel.  Can you imagine what the Nazi's could have accomplished with this type of technology in terms of cutting people off from travel?

This is yet another example of policy changes that have been made in the name of The War Against Terrorism.  Too bad our intelligence and passport regulations have proven impotent against terrorists (ie. the "Underwear Bomber").  Instead, we have innocent 5-year-old children on the "No Fly" list who could potentially have their passports disabled for no reason because they are mistaken for a terrorist.

12. Any kind of compulsory registration with the government of where individuals work.

Besides the fact that the U.S. government is the largest employer in the nation (and those numbers will only rise with the implementation of the new health care bill), and the government is surely aware where each of its several million employees work, the government also knows where every tax-paying American lives and works.

Companies report their salaries given to their employees through W-2 or 1099 forms.  Unless you are living a fugitive lifestyle off the grid, the government knows perfectly well where you work.

Further, the government now has GPS coordinates of the front door of each and every American home thanks to census employees who were sent out last year with hand-held devices to gather this extremely specific information.  I guess that's how the state of Pennsylvania really does know exactly where "Tom" lives (in the commercial above)!

13. Any attempt to restrict freedom of movement within the United States.

If it's not bad enough that the government can now prevent anyone it chooses from traveling internationally with e-passports and face recognition technology at airports, recently US Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) proposed the Vehicle Miles Traveled fee that would allow the government to install GPS tracking devices into each and every private vehicle of every American.  Not only would this allow the government to tax us for each mile we drive, but it would allow the government to know where our vehicles are at every moment of every day. 

Let us thank the heavens that Obama threw this draconian legislation out, and let us make sure nothing like this is ever implemented in the United States of America!

A wise man once said that he who would trade his liberty for security deserves neither.  It is so easy to justify many of the types of laws that have passed, particularly since 9/11, that appear important and necessary for our longevity as a nation.

But let us be diligent against potential tyranny from within lest we someday find ourselves hostage to the Big Brother we empowered to protect us from threats from without!


In summary --

9. Laws limiting the number of people allowed to meet in a private home. -- WE HAVE SEEN A LITTLE OF THIS

10. Any significant change in passport regulations to make passports more difficult to obtain or use. -- CHECK
12. Any kind of compulsory registration with the government of where individuals work. -- CHECK

13. Any attempt to restrict freedom of movement within the United States. -- NOT YET

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