"It was not supposed to be this way."

Despite the fact that I hate repeating myself, I have complained about government health care and unconstitutional laws till I'm blue in the face. All to no avail, it often seems. Those government bastards will do what they want, no matter what I think or say.

Still, no matter how tired I get of complaining, I'm always glad when I see that there are other people who can see government tyranny for what it is -- especially when they have seen it from the inside -- as Judge Andrew Napolitano clearly has.

In "Kiss Your Freedoms Goodbye If Health Care Passes," he looks at the government and sees a monster.

Congress recognizes no limits on its power. It doesn't care about the Constitution, it doesn't care about your inalienable rights. If this health care bill becomes law, America, life as you have known it, freedom as you have exercised it, and privacy as you have enjoyed it will cease to be.
It gets better:
Government is the negation of freedom. Freedom is your power and ability to follow your own free will and your own conscience. The government wants you to follow the will of some faceless bureaucrat.

When I recently asked Congressman James Clyburn, the third ranking Democrat in the House, to tell me "Where in the Constitution the federal government is authorized to regulate everyone's healthcare," he replied that most of what Congress does is not authorized by the Constitution, but they do it anyway. There you have it. Congress recognizes no limits on its power. It doesn't care about the Constitution, it doesn't care about your inalienable rights, it doesn't care about the liberties protected by the Bill of Rights, it doesn't even read the laws it writes.

America, this is not an academic issue. If this health care bill becomes law, life as you have known it, freedom as you have exercised it, privacy as you have enjoyed it, will cease to be.

And,
It was not supposed to be this way. We elect the government. It works for us. How did it get so removed, so unbridled, so arrogant that it can tell us how to live our personal lives? Evil rarely comes upon us all at once, and liberty is rarely lost in one stroke. It happens gradually, over the years and decades and even centuries. A little stretch here, a cave in there, powers are slowly taken from the states and the people and before you know it, we have one big monster government that recognizes no restraint on its ability to tell us how to live. It claims the power to regulate any activity, tax any behavior, and demand conformity to any standard it chooses.

The Founders did not give us a government like the one we have today....

No, they certainly did not.

The one we have today was imposed on us piecemeal, one little chunk of freedom lost at a time, typically as a result of emotional reactions to events -- like the Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the battle to end segregation, the "wars" to "end" poverty or drugs, and most recently the terrorist attack of 9/11. The idealistic and well-meaning American people have always been willing accepted a restriction on freedom here, a stretching of the Constitution there, if that is necessary to win whatever war or awful event we face. The loss of freedom that results is as permanent the proverbial bridge toll that was supposed to go away once the new bridge was paid for. And so without our having had a chance to think through the longterm consequences, each time this happens, we lose freedom permanently. Not because of any one thing, but because of a series of national emotional accidents.

At this point in time, I think that if the terrorists did manage to nuke New York, it would probably spell the end of American freedom. Already, those who think the government is out of control are routinely labeled "anti-government extremists" and targeted for surveillance by those who want the government to grow ever more malignant, and ever more monstrous. In the event of a nuke (or a major domestic terror event), the only thing left to do would be to round them up.

Sometimes I worry that freedom that is lost can never be regained. What if there is only so much freedom to take away before it's all gone?

Is it a zero sum game?

posted by Eric on 11.18.09 at 06:02 PM










Comments

More like an almost-zero-always game.

Freedom is a rare and intolerable thing. It's like a tiny occasional itch the world can't reach. If it doesn't disappear on its own, the world goes after it with a stick.

It wasn't a long time, on the big world clock, between the Declaration and whatever date you could point to as the end of Constitutional rule. Whiskey Rebellion? Civil War? Federal Reserve? New Deal? Obamacare? It all happened as soon as it could.

guy on internet   ·  November 18, 2009 7:52 PM

I think you've provided a concise and accurate description of what has been occurring in our government, at an ever-increasing rate, for the past few decades. This reminds me of the story about how if you throw a frog in a pot of boiling water, he will jump out, but if you put him a pot of cold water and then slowly raise the temperature, he will remain calm right up until it's too late.

At some point, a critical mass of Americans will wake up to what is happening and revolt. It's seems impossible to predict what the outcome of that movement will be; because of the advance of technology, the high number of intelligent and freedom-loving individuals here, and that fact that there are more guns than people in the USA. We live in interesting times.

Tom   ·  November 18, 2009 9:37 PM

Try reading, or re-reading Harry Browne's "How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World".
There's nothing stopping anyone from Starting from Zero.
Do we really need health insurance at all? Did the pioneers in covered wagons have it?

For 30 years being responsible, we paid Blue Cross premiums. In the end it didn't matter.
Death takes you when your time is up. All insurance does is make you believe you can cheat it.

I believe it's now time to "Go Galt" and say a giant FUCK YOU to the bastards.

Frank   ·  November 19, 2009 12:18 AM

As columnist Thomas Frank, author of the widely-read WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU PEASANTS AND WHY CAN'T YOU JUST SHUT UP AND SUBMIT TO BEING RULED BY YOUR BETTERS? would say (and does say, in some form or other and with some variation in language, in almost column: "What's the matter with you peasants and why can't you just shut up and submit to being ruled by your betters?"

Bilwick   ·  November 19, 2009 9:53 AM

There is one possibility: These idiots are bankrupting the nation so quickly that we may hit a point where there is no more money, to print or steal. Multiple bureaucracies would then have to be defunded. Waah.

DocinPA   ·  November 19, 2009 9:39 PM

I'm not trying to be rude, but...
In this post you write
Sometimes I worry that freedom that is lost can never be regained. What if there is only so much freedom to take away before it's all gone?

And yet in the next post you decry a civil war or revolution.

Freedom is one of things worth fighting for.

We're at a cusp right now. If we don't stop the encroachment, we're screwed.
The tea parties are non-violent (no matter what Nancy et al. say) and that's the way most people prefer it because that's how America is supposed to work, but people are involved so of course violence is possible. It's what we do.

Like these things happen, if it starts it'll start small. Nobody will even realize how big it wil become. Suddenly, all hell will break loose.
That's how most revolutions happen, stuff builds up and the pressure rises, then the last straw hits the powder keg and the dam breaks.

At least this time it's hilarious. I mean, Joe Biden is VP and people act as if it's not absurd.

Veeshir   ·  November 19, 2009 9:46 PM

Veeshir: You may think it's hilarious. Lincoln was hilarious - stove pipe hat, gaunt scarecrow of a man, educated by fireplace light.
Civil War: over 500,000 dead.
In today's numbers that would equal millions.
Yeah, right - stuff happens.

I've been reading this crap all over the right wing internet for some time.
I believe it arises from the intellectual bankruptcy of the right. All they have to fall back on is religion. Take Sarah Palin (PLEASE!) for example.
For every voice in the wilderness like Victor Davis Hanson there are the emotional favorites like Palin and Huckabee, or the dolts like Romney. What do they have in common? Religion.

When all you've got is reference to scripture to base your argument, you are lost. And that includes especially abortion.
Or gay marriage. Or sin laws like the drug war.

So it makes sense that the right would dream of imposing it's beliefs by force. They won't call it that, however. It will be just resistance to socialism. Never mind that we just had a "right wing" president who passed the largest expansion of Medicare since its founding. Barely a peep from the right on that. No tea parties. No protests.

I don't believe that the right has the arguments to convince the majority. They may have a lot of guns, but that is no argument.

Frank   ·  November 19, 2009 10:52 PM

Frank, you're an idiot.

I don't believe in a god. I'm pretty sure I'm far from alone on this page in that respect.
Lambasting people here for the drug war? You really should read the blog.

Barely a peep from the right on that

Ummm, perhaps you noticed the GOP lost their hold on both Houses of Congress and the White House? How's that for a peep you idiot?

And your greatest idiocy
So it makes sense that the right would dream of imposing it's beliefs by force

The whole point of what I wrote is that if it starts, it will be because people are taking back their rights.

Idiot.

Veeshir   ·  November 20, 2009 10:27 AM

Yes, Veeshir, I am an idiot. I lumped you in with a great many others on right wing blogs who hint at a resort to armed resistance.
That you claim to be an atheist is beside the point.

Like these things happen, if it starts it'll start small. Nobody will even realize how big it wil become. Suddenly, all hell will break loose.
That's how most revolutions happen, stuff builds up and the pressure rises, then the last straw hits the powder keg and the dam breaks.

At least this time it's hilarious. I mean, Joe Biden is VP and people act as if it's not absurd.

That you would find an "explosion" - powder keg and dam breaking - as an hilarious event makes my point. Yes, it's going to be a fun time, watching the country fall apart.

Frank   ·  November 20, 2009 10:59 AM

Okay idiot, I said thet run up was hilarious, or do you think that having Joe Biden as VP is not funny?
For some background that most here probably already know, I've been calling it The Funniest End of Civilization Ever for 2-3 years now. Because it's hilarious.

I also like the way you ignored the rest of my comment that showed you were being stupid.
Lumping this site in with "right wing" sites is funny, funny, funny.
And oh so stupid.

Veeshir   ·  November 20, 2009 11:21 AM

I never lumped this site in with right wing sites. This is a libertarian site.
I lumped you in with certain right wingers, at least to the extent of relishing a build up to force of arms.
I think it's time to leave this discussion. It, and you Veeshir, have all the earmarks of agent provocateur.

Frank   ·  November 20, 2009 11:29 AM

at least to the extent of relishing a build up to force of arms
Relishing it?
Didn't you notice where I lumped myself in with tea partiers and said that it was non-violent?
Merely noting that since people are involved the possibility for violence is not "relishing it", it's noting it.

I'm an agent provocateur? You come in here attacking people stupidly and I'm the problem?

Okay, that's funny.

Veeshir   ·  November 20, 2009 12:06 PM

Veeshir,

There is no real point in debating the Franks of the world. They are always going to be there. They were there in the 1770s too. Sam Adams had the only cure: "You are no longer our countrymen." And after the Revolution, Tories had three choices: leave for Canada, preach treason and die, or have a heaping helping of STFU, and be left alone. Just like Copperheads after the Civil War. When there is only a choice between freedom and slavery, it's pointless to worry about the names you get called by the slavemasters. I guarantee that George Washington wasn't called the Father of his Country by Tories.

SDN   ·  November 20, 2009 5:16 PM

SDN, I know I'm a jerk, but that's not how I debate.

I was making fun of Frank. Just pointing and laughing.

If I'm debating, I might call what you said stupid but I try not to do even that unless what you write is really stupid. If I think "stupid", I'll usually say 'silly' at most.

I try to never attack the person, I try to just respond to what they write. I also try to never go into motivation either. I don't care.

If I'm debating.

If debate is useless, as could be seen in Frank's comment where he blatantly, rudely and obnoxiously showed that he had absolutely no idea who he was attacking but he had to attack, then I'll just make fun of it if I'm in the mood.

I've had quite enough of debating people who only attack you, thank you very much.

Veeshir   ·  November 20, 2009 8:00 PM

I'll let you know why I reacted like that to Frank.
Quoth Frank talking about how me and my righty friends were all listening to God about:
And that includes especially abortion.
Or gay marriage. Or sin laws like the drug war.

I'm in favor of legalized abortion, I don't think it's the gov't's job to decide who can marry whom and I'm against the drug war.
Frank said my motivations were from scripture when I haven't believed in any god for a long time.

That was a personal attack well steeped in ignorance and idiocy.
My response was about as polite as I thought it deserved.

Veeshir   ·  November 20, 2009 8:07 PM

Veeshir:
You really don't know who you are talking to, but I believe I know full well who and what you are.
You come to a libertarian site and post what you think are subtle references to the possibility of armed resistance but try to hide behind the "I was only finding it amusing" facade.
Listen my little friend, I spent time in the trenches at Berkeley in the 60's & 70's with the left wing versions of your type. They wore Trotsky berets and fancied themselves the vanguard of the revolution. You are small potatoes compared to the intellectual firepower they had.
You and your defender, SDN, have already accustomed yourselves to the probability of arms against the state, otherwise why would you so cavalierly find it worth mentioning?
And further, why would you find those who oppose such futile and treasonable actions worthy of disdain and ridicule?

Is is just coincidence that the owner of this site posted Taste of War? right after your post here?

I can't speak for Eric, but like him I spent time with the left wing version of your type.
And believe me, you are a midget compared to them.

Frank   ·  November 20, 2009 9:39 PM

Okay, now I have to wonder if you're a satire troll, someone who knows and maybe even likes me but is trying to rile me up.

Somehow I think not even though you're totally predictable, even to staying around after you said you were leaving. None of the regulars here have that sort of sense of humor.

Yup, I'm always here agitating for insurrection. Why, my every comment ends with 'I am Spartacus!' or 'Give me Liberty or give me Death!'.
Idiot.

By the way, did you notice how my comment was noting the apparent paradox between that post and this post? Obviously not or you wouldn't have made your snide, ignorant, stupid comment about a "coincidence".
That was why I made the comment and I made that perfectly clear.
Idiot.

You might also want to look at my comment in that thread. I'm trying to analyze and/or explain the trend he was talking about.

Of course you'll probably say I'm hiding behind that pose to really try to stir it up.
You've decided and you will then fit everything into that decision.
I love when nitwits "analyze" me. That's always good for a laugh.

I have to admire you, where a lesser man might have just shut up and gone away, as you said you would, you stayed around and doubled down on stupid.
Bravo.

Veeshir   ·  November 20, 2009 10:04 PM


Frank said my motivations were from scripture when I haven't believed in any god for a long time.

I did NOT say anything about YOUR motivations in the original response. Go back and read it.
I talked about the right wing in general. When I said "you've" it was colloquial for "one" as in: when all one's got is religion, etc.
This is indeed useless. You are obviously Borat.


Frank   ·  November 20, 2009 10:20 PM

I've been reading this crap all over the right wing internet for some time.
I believe it arises from the intellectual bankruptcy of the right. All they have to fall back on is religion.

...snip...
When all you've got is reference to scripture to base your argument, you are lost. And that includes especially abortion.
Or gay marriage. Or sin laws like the drug war.

Veeshir   ·  November 20, 2009 11:09 PM

Surely looks like you're talking about me and my right wing buddies.

Veeshir   ·  November 20, 2009 11:11 PM

Veeshir:
The following is just a small taste of what is now on right wing blogs. It's a sample from the comment section of Victor Davis Hanson's "Works and Days":

12. Gylippus: Yes, a power grab by a narrow elite is afoot...Who will step up and seige the mantle of history?

24. Mark J: The citizenry now has the benefit of a Second Amendment.

30. Pilgrim: Doc, your diagnosis is correct. We need guidance as to what comes next...Which step first?...after the first step, maybe other steps will become more obvious to all of us.

31. Proreason: It's nothing less than a coup...But the fact that the boil hasn't burst yet only increases the odds that the procedure will be explosive when the lance is finally brought out.

33. toad: ...Obama and his minions sole goal is to reduce the US to third world status...Of course if this becomes widely perceived as Obama's goal then he might not make it past 2010 let alone to 2013.

62. Bilgeman: The solution is Clausewitzean in its difficult simplicity...Gun up and stockpile ammo now, make liason with your like-minded friends and neighbors...if they wish to have a war, then let them have it.

This is just a small sample of what is out there. Your That's how most revolutions happen, stuff builds up and the pressure rises, then the last straw hits the powder keg and the dam breaks. At least this time it's hilarious. fits right in.

You can try to weasel out all you want, but the evidence is obvious.

Frank   ·  November 21, 2009 1:19 AM

Frank appears to be a concern troll.

R7   ·  November 21, 2009 3:28 AM

Okay, so even though I don't believe in a god, because some people on a website mention the Bible my only justification for my position is scripture, but you never said that about me and anyway,you really think I'm just trying to stir up revolution but I'm too dim to be any good at it.

Eh, you were funny for a while, now you're just tedious.

Next time, try not to be so predictable.
Ignorant and stupid can be funny but not when you get so predictable.

Thanks for the laughs. Now go off and tell your mom you won your "debate".

Veeshir   ·  November 21, 2009 9:58 AM

Veeshir:
You and your compatriots in red-neck drag on the right remind me of a great scene in "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert":
Bernadette (the transsexual): Stop flexing your muscles, you big pile of budgie turd. I'm sure your mates will be much more impressed if you just go back to the pub and fuck a couple of pigs on the bar.
Bob: Bernadette, please.
Frank: *Bernadette?* Well I'll be darned. The whole circus is in town. Well I suppose you wanna fuck too do you? Come on Bernadette, come and fuck me. That's it. Come on. Come and fuck me. Come on. Fuck me.
[Bernadette knees Frank in the groin]
Bernadette: There, now you're fucked!

Frank   ·  November 21, 2009 10:52 PM

So I kneed you in the groin?
No, I just pointed and laughed at you.

Or are you trying to enrage me by comparing me to a drag queen?

Eh, either way I'm done with you. You're just not funny anymore.
So here's your chance to get your totally important and unrefutable zinger in, I won't be reading it.

Veeshir   ·  November 22, 2009 8:30 AM

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