by Darrell Arnold
For 232 years, America has stood for freedom above all other principles, and, by doing so, it has become the greatest, wealthiest, most powerful, most envied, most influential nation the world has ever known. Freedom is the foundation of our democracy. It is freedom that has made us all that we are.
And it has been in the interest of protecting our freedoms that millions of Americans have enlisted in our armed forces, and hundreds of thousands of them have given up their lives.
If one looks at America, today, however, it is easy to see that freedom is slowly but steadily being eroded away by wave after wave of "nanny-state" rules and regulations. In today’s world, special-interest minorities are able to limit the freedoms of other Americans simply by whining louder and insisting on their narrow agendas.
In agriculture, we see it in recent government proposals that would require livestock producers to place implants in all their cattle so the origins of all animals can be traced. In addition, we see it in the recent government-ordered closings of slaughterhouses that deal in horse meat. And, of course, in the West, there are the regulators of public lands who restrict or even eliminate historically established grazing rights. In addition, excessive protections of desert tortoises, wild horses, wolves, fish, owls, and other critters, along with a variety of plants, have helped diminish the abilities of many family operations to stay in business.
At every turn, in all aspects of American life, citizens are being forced to give up the freedom of choice. In many states, people are not free to choose whether or where they can smoke (even in their own homes) or whether or not they can eat food made tasty by cooking in certain kinds of oils. One town is thinking of banning foul language in bars. People living in neighborhoods with covenants are not free to have yard grass over three inches high or to have an old car parked on the street in front of their house, or to have a clothesline in the backyard. In another year or so, all Americans will be required to toss out the old cathode-ray tube televisions they now enjoy and purchase high-definition televisions, or they’ll have to do without television service.
Coming soon will be limits on what kinds of cars we will be allowed to drive. SUVs may be outlawed, and we all may have to drive hybrids. States are mandating what kind of fuels we can power our vehicles with. In California, the legislature is looking into the possibility of requiring new homes and businesses to have radio-controlled thermostats that the state and/or utility company can control remotely in case of "energy emergencies." In other words, Californians may lose the freedom to control the temperature in their own homes.
There are also national plans to require that everyone quit using incandescent light bulbs and that everyone in America be required by law to have health insurance. The government may garnish your wages to pay for health insurance if you don’t have it. Further, some people have trouble buying health insurance if they are overweight.
to be continued next week