Monday, October 19, 2009

"I'd like to go somewhere where I can be free..."

"I’d like to go somewhere where I can be free."

That’s what I said to my wife this morning at the kitchen table, after hearing the news that the New York City Council passed a law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products.

I’m much more sensitive to that kind of thing now – this willy-nilly diminishment of my freedoms - and that’s what’s really at the heart of the Tea Party movement; a last-minute, almost desperate attempt to protect what’s left of our individual liberties. I guess, in our hearts, we know this is going to be an uphill battle, because the barbarians are not only at the gates – they're inside the fortress walls.

In a sense, we owe Barack Obama and his administration a debt of gratitude. The chip, chip, chipping away of our individual liberties had been going on for quite some time - we just slept through it. Because of their ham-handedness, though, we’re awake now; maybe even in time to do something about it.

Sneak thieves in the night, camouflaged as our elected representatives, have been stealing our liberties while we slumbered, filching a little independence here, a little autonomy there – hey, after a while it adds up. But here comes the Obama administration, stumbling and bumbling and crashing around like the novices that they are, grabbing everything in sight, stuffing it into their sacks, and making no attempt to be the least bit quiet about it.

Now, the rule is if you don’t make a lot of noise, and you only take the small stuff, I’m probably gonna keep sleeping. However, when you’re clumping around like a bunch of asses wearing cement shoes, trying to stuff the baby grand into a pillowcase, or the triple-dresser into a tall kitchen can bag, I’m pretty sure I’m going to sit up and take notice. Probably even raise an alarm. Call the cops.

It’s when the cops turn out to be the thieves that you know you’re in big trouble.

So, what’s the upshot of all this? And why the big fuss over flavored tobacco products? I don’t use them, and frankly don’t know who does – though the law is ostensibly on the books to protect children. I guess, when the synapses in my brain (aided by my morning coffee) really started firing, I came to understand that the City Council had decided that I couldn’t do a proper job teaching my children about the dangers of tobacco products – at least not to their satisfaction. So they took that right away from me and assumed it for themselves.

Along the way, they trampled the rights of the smokers who might have used and enjoyed the products, the retailers who sold the products, and, in essence, they mandated lower revenues for the companies that produce the products. Additionally, it’s not too great a leap to imagine that down the line this will lead to some measure of increased unemployment. But what chance do these “rights” have when there’s social engineering to be done?

If you’re reading this I’m pretty sure you’re not sleeping anymore, though you may still be sitting up in bed rubbing your eyes – probably in disbelief. And maybe, like me, your first reaction is to want to pack up and go to that mythical place – that place where we can be really free again. But, sadly, that place doesn't exist. In a famous speech, Ronald Reagan related this story:
“Not too long ago two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are." And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are! I had someplace to escape to."
In that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.”

That speech was delivered on October 27, 1964, 45 years ago next week, on behalf of Barry Goldwater. It is perhaps the most famous of his speeches, certainly one of his most beloved. The title given to those remarks is A Time for Choosing; how much more prescient that speech could have been I cannot imagine.

It is, indeed, a time for choosing in America, because I believe that very shortly, meaningful “choice” in the manner in which we are governed might well disappear.

So we, the Tea Party movement, suffer the ridicule of our more “enlightened” friends and neighbors. We are routinely insulted, mocked, denigrated, vilified and marginalized as a fringe group. Did you ever imagine that people who believe in the Constitution of the United States, and the individual liberties it guarantees, are now a “fringe” organization?

But still we do it, and if you ask yourself why, the same great man can provide the explanation:
"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here.

We did all that could be done.”

4 comments:

Matthew said...

Frank,

The excuse for this law is that 'flavored tobacco products', like cigars, are popular with youngsters who smoke pot; they hollow them out and stuff the wrapper with marijuana. Therefore, the things need to be banned. Because, you know, our elected class believes the little buggers will be too stupid to find another way to smoke marijuana. Given the state of the public schools, they could be forgiven this attitude. But I digress.

Naturally, this is just the excuse. The real reason is that in the People's Republik of Bloombergia, all manner of tobacco use is considered a form of behavior which the self-appointed hall-monitors of society cannot abide. We peasants must be saved from ourselves by our superiors. No one should smoke a Middleton's...it gives caviar a horrible after- taste, you see.

I wonder, does this ban extend to chewing tobacco, which is also often flavored? Or was this a loophole left behind for later exploitation? I'll bet that the people who wrote the stupid law know even less about tobacco than they do the words "public servant".

In any case, instead of complaining about it here, Frank, how about you join me in walking up the steps of City Hall, asking to see the Mayor personally, and then punching him right in the nose he continues to arrogantly stick into everyone else's business?

Of course, that would get us arrested, but the penalty would probably be far less severe than if we lit up a Strawberry Blount in front of Gracie Mansion.

(that was sarcasm).

Virginia said...

You have me weeping, Frank.

Bill said...

There is no time for luxury of weeping.There are cancers eating at our nation.Cancers of deception corruption,greed and treason.These cancers have names.Look at news and you'll hear their names.This isn't a fight it's a war,a war to keep what was fought for and earned through out our short history.We will not allow our liberties and freedoms be taken away.

RJP1666 said...

Frank, this is an inspired statement that truly hits the nail on the head.

Let's commit to not wring our hands. We see the enormity of our task, and it's correct to wonder if we can truly make a difference, but I know we already have. Washington DC confirmed that for me in a very powerful way.

One goal that they are attempting to achieve is to dishearten us and make us slink away, feeling as though all of this is inevitable. Well that can only happen if we allow it to happen. I cannot and will not let it happen, and I suspect my fellow Patriots here also will not.

I am constantly engaging friends and relatives and pleading them to awaken to the truth of what's going on. One of my best conversations I've had in a long time happened this weekend with an African American friend of mine whom I'd given Alfozo Rachel's "Pen & Ink and What I Think" because she had seen all of my Facebook posts and just couldn't understand where I was coming from. After reading the book she admitted she identified with many of the Conservative themes outlined in his book. We must keep educating and shining light on what the "Change" really means.

Rock On Patriots!

Russ Paladino

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