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Government Exists to Steal Your Personal Freedom -- Wake up Before It's Too Late
Since the first settlers set foot in Massachusetts and Virginia, self-determination has been the bedrock of American civilization. No one ventured to the New World seeking a cradle-to-grave web of government programs. Personal freedom is the incubator for self-respect.
The Census Violates Your Privacy
A periodic count of the general population is constitutionally valid. The United States Constitution includes the verbiage "[An] Enumeration shall be made within
three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and
within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law
direct." Note that this phrase is in Article 1, Section 2, which is dedicated to the proper apportionment of members of the House of Representatives. The intent was to provide population counts for assigning representatives to Congress. Each state received two votes in the Senate regardless of size or population. However, the number of votes in the House of Representatives was designed to be indexed to population. Counting heads can be accomplished by a simple 1/2 page form with the easy-to-answer question "How many people live in your house?" Unfortunately the census form has bloated into a "short form" and a tediously invasive "long form" that is sent to 1/6th of the homes in America. The long form resembles a visit from a nosy Aunt; it pokes into private corners of your life and demands answers to questions that you hoped you'd never have to address. Here is question 17 from the Census Long Form distributed in the year 2000:
Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting 6 months or more, does this person have any difficulty in doing any of the following activities:
a. Learning, remembering, or concentrating?
b. Dressing, bathing, or getting around inside the home?
c. (Answer if this person is 16 YEARS OLD OR OVER.) Going outside the home alone to shop or visit a doctor’s office?
d. (Answer if this person is 16 YEARS OLD OR OVER.) Working at a job or business?
A stunning invasion of privacy.
Adding insult to invasion of privacy, the form isn't even anonymous. There's a bureaucrat in Washington who knows whether or not you filled out your form. Should a (not so private) citizen fail to return the form or improperly answer a question, a visit from a census worker may result. The government will come knocking on your door wanting to count your bedrooms (question 38).
The Government Allows You To Vote Yourself Other People's Money
Ben Franklin is credited with saying “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” The Federal Government of the United States operates at a huge deficit, borrowing money from offshore sources to finance day-to-day operations. Roughly a billion dollars a day is added to the national debt. It feels good, but someone has to foot the bill. Constitutionally, the legislative and executive branches are both at fault; the president submits a budget, which must be approved by the House and Senate. Accounting tricks that would make John Dillinger blush include the "off budget" maneuver. Huge government programs are simply omitted from the yearly budget. Since 1992, Social Security obligations no longer burden the budget. We still owe the money, but we don't have to open the bill anymore. Try that with your mortgage.
Personal Property Rights Are Vanishing
Theodore Roosevelt said, "In every civilized society, property rights must be carefully safeguarded; ordinarily and in the great majority of cases, human rights and property rights are fundamentally and in the long run, identical.” The right to own land without the fear of government interference has been a foundation of American freedom since the founding fathers convened to formalize the constitution. "Eminent Domain" laws were enacted at all levels of government to provide legal means for obtaining land for reservoirs, roads, and other applications that serve the general public good. Unfortunately, these laws have been abused to the point that persistent private developers are able to appropriate family homes for strip malls.
Ever heard of Long Branch, New Jersey or Norwood, Ohio? Not exactly hotbeds of political activism, these. However, both municipalities saw fit to award the private property of American citizens to retail developers for strip malls and luxury condos. The Norwood City government conveniently declared blocks of tidy owner-occupied homes as 'blighted' in order to exercise eminent domain and raze the entire neighborhood.
It Used to be a Swamp, Now It's a Wetland
Think about a swamp; visions of yucky places filled with alligators and mosquitoes come to mind. Well-meaning conservationists recognized the nasty cachet associated with 'swamps' and cleverly substituted the name 'wetlands'. A subtle change, but a big step in capturing the imagination of fence-sitters in the race to save the environment. Public support increases for wetlands over swamps. We all want to save the wetlands; we might vote to drain the swamps. The Everglades is no longer a dangerous swamp, it's a fragile gift-from-nature, it's a crucial wetland. It will eat you, but you'll feel better about providing lunch.
Wetlands are precious until you find yourself responsible for one in your back yard. A puddle persisting for more than a few weeks during the growing season could morph into a protected wetland that prohibits building a potting shed.
The Environmental Protection Agency (try to find that in the constitution, by the way) publishes 42 pages on different types of wetlands, including a category of "Regional Wetland Celebrities." Stay tuned for a Very Special Oprah: "Celebrity Wetlands in Peril."
Free Government Healthcare Might Make You Ill
Nothing is free. Anything the government gives you must first be confiscated from someone else. At the current rate of borrowing, that someone else may not be born until the next century. Congresspeople proudly campaign on the amount of money they have extracted from the federal budget and returned to their constituents. Watch them wave to you with their right hand; their left hand reaches into the pocket of your grandchildren.
Health care comprises about 17 per cent of the total economy. Health care is not simply a faceless nasty insurance company that refuses to finance your hair transplant. Usurping 17% of the economy cannot possibly be a good idea under any circumstances. We hardly need the same bureaucrats that 'handled' the Hurricane Katrina mission telling us when we can have an MRI. Giving over our personal health records to a computer in Washington is a chilling prospect. Without question, health insurance is expensive. What aspect of government costs less than equivalent private sector services?
Some images may be courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/