They Hate Us Because of Our Freedom

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Eric_Boyer, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    by Alfred A. Hambidge, Jr.

    Whenever I hear “they hate us because of our freedom” or "because they hate our way of life" or some other such drivel, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. If real people didn’t suffer the consequences of it, such ignorance would be amusing. But another annoying thing about statements like these is that they perpetuate the myth that we live in a land of freedom. The sad fact is, we are not free, and haven't been for a long, long time.

    In They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45, Milton Mayer wrote about how the German people kept believing they were still free while the Nazis were tightening their control and extending their power over every facet of life. At first people refused to see the obvious, because the infringements on their freedom were coming in small steps. Each of those small steps, on its own, seemed to be no big deal, nothing to rebel against. But by the time you could no longer ignore the big picture, it was too late. “Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven't done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing) . . . You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.” Remember, all the people had to do for all that to happen was--nothing. The same phenomenon is happening right here, right now, in the U.S. of A. It had been proceeding at a slower rate than 70 years ago in Germany , but now the pace quickens.

    I know there are some who will say, “Wait a minute, fella. You’re going too far. The U.S. of A. is still a free country.” O.K., then. If you’re free, you should have no trouble doing something that people have done for time immemorial. Buy a cow, shelter and feed and care for it, milk it, and sell the milk. Go ahead, try it and see what happens. Come back and let us know how free you are to do such a simple thing, which has been done since the dawn of civilization.

    Freedom is a state of being where an individual does not have to get permission in order to do something that harms no one else’s person or property. How many things can you do without getting some form of government permission? Can you build your house on your own property without obtaining government approval? Can you put a new room on your house? Or a new porch? Put in a new toilet? Or even put a shed in your backyard? If you are not free to make your home on your own property, you are not free.

    Once you have that home, can you refuse to sell it to the government if they want to use your land for some other purpose? Can you make them go away simply by telling them, “I will not sell you my property, at any price!” If you are not free to choose if, when, how, to whom, and for how much you will sell your property, you are not free.

    Can you drive a motor vehicle across this “free” country without someone in government approving of you as a driver? Or without getting government permission to use that vehicle on the roads? If you are not free to travel without permission, you are not free.

    Can you buy a pistol without government permission? Can you drive across the country with it on your person, even if you have permission to drive a properly permitted vehicle? There’s a man, a good man from what I’ve heard, who got in trouble in Ohio for doing just that. And I’ll bet there are many more good people that I haven’t heard of who wound up in similar trouble. Let’s remind them how free they are. Could anyone even ride a horse cross-country, with an old Winchester rifle in a scabbard, without being hassled? If you are not free to have a firearm at hand for self-defense, no matter where you go, you are not free.

    Are you free to say to the government, “I don’t like your retirement plan; therefore, I will no longer pay for it?” Can you, without penalty, tell the government that you will no longer pay for subsidies, for regulations, for wars, for empire, or for any activities that you disapprove? If you are not free to refuse to pay for things that you do not want, you are not free.

    If the government decides it needs more troops to build and maintain its empire, can you refuse to go if it calls for you? Will they leave you alone if you tell them you won’t kill and die for them? Can you simply ignore the draft, without consequence? Can you refuse to be a conscripted slave? If you are not free to tell the government “Hell no, I won’t go!” you are not free.

    Can you open a business, like a simple barbershop, without government permission? Or how about a bakery? A diner? A hot dog stand? A gun shop? It’s been said that before we invaded Iraq , there were more gun shops in Baghdad than in Washington D.C. Can you wire or plumb or fix TVs or cars without a government license? If you’re not free to make a living without getting permission, you are not free.

    And once you have government approval to open a restaurant or bar, are you free to decide what people may do within your business? Can you choose whether or not they may smoke on the premises? Are you free to invite them to light up and enjoy a cigarette, a cigar, or a pipe with their drink, or after their meal? If you are not free to decide what people may or may not do on your property or within your business, you are not free.

    Are you free to smoke a joint? Are you free to hire someone to help you satisfy a physical urge? You can do both in the same afternoon in Amsterdam . I haven’t heard of anybody attacking the Dutch because of their freedom. If you are not free to entertain your mind and body in any way that does not harm another, with anyone who is willing, you are not free.

    Can you undergo any medical treatment you think is in your best interest? Can you use whatever drug you deem appropriate for your condition? Can you even get some marijuana to help you avoid nausea so you can keep your meds from coming back up? Can you get it just to feel a little better for a little while? If you are not free to pursue any treatment or use any substance you think might help you obtain, regain, or retain your health, you are not free.

    Are you able to criticize political candidates by name? A week before the next election or primary, place a newspaper or TV or magazine or radio ad criticizing a candidate. Let us know how you fare. The Supreme Court says it’s okay to make that a crime. If you are not free to talk about politicians at any time, at any place, by any means, in any form, you are not free.

    Can you take your children out of a government or conventional private school setting, without explaining to some bureaucrat how you plan to educate them? Can you homeschool them without getting government approval of your lesson plans? Can you tell everyone to buzz off, that it’s none of their business how or if you educate your kids? If you are not free to teach your children what you want, where you want, when you want, and how you want, you are not free.

    So, let’s reiterate. You need government permission to make your home, travel, earn a living, defend yourself, obtain medical treatment, and educate your children. You will never get government approval for many of those things in many places. You will never get government permission to entertain your mind and body in unapproved ways. At certain times, you cannot criticize those who decide who and what gets approved. You must sell your property to the government if they want it, and you must kill and die for them if they tell you to. And you have no choice but to pay for it all anyway, whether you like it or not.

    And still, we think we are free.
  2. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Hunka Hunka Burning BP Staff Member

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    I would like to tell the writer of that article that in some counries...he would not be able to write that article and have it printed or put on a world wide stage like the internet.

    In some countries if he wrote that article he would wind up in a prison and or tortured.

    In some countries if he wrote that article he would suddenly become missing and if lucky his body would be found years later in an unmarked grave.

    In some countries if he wrote that article not only would he be punished, but his family could as well.

    In some countries he would not have the education to read or write an article like that.

    In some countries he would not have the job of writing.

    So although he could very well say it may be silly for people say they hate us because of our freedom....he sounds like he is smart enough to know that the very thing he writes on about in his article...he is only allowed to, able to, has a right to do is because of the very freedom that many men and women have fought and died for in the past and later in the future.

    I suggest the people who whine and cry about such stuff visit a few other countries and see what happens to people that do NOT have freedom.....but then again it is much easier to sit back and write about such stuff.

    One last thing....

    You do not need the permission of the government to do the following....

    Make your home, Travel, Earn a living, Defend yourself, obtain medical treatment, educate your children, entertain your mind, criticize others.....

    You are also not forced by the government to do the following....

    Sell your property, kill or die for them, or pay for it all anyway.

    You as a human being have a choice in matter what the situation is, you will always have a choice in the each choice may lead to extreme measures or ending...but you still have a choice.
  3. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    I'm not following you here. It seems you are saying that as long as some countries have it worse we should just shut up and deal with it? Is that really your point?

    Ever tried to do major home improvement without the proper paperwork? Where do you get the proper paperwork?

    How do you board a plane or drive a car without a license? Who controls that?

    Do I need permission to use a gun to defend myself? Where do I get this permission?

    You are completely wrong on each and every example here BP.

    Wrong again. The government can certainly force you to sell them your property. Heck, they don't even need to buy it if they don't want to.

    Now technically you aren't forced to die for them or pay for services. The alternative is to be locked up in jail.

    We aren't talking about free will, we are talking about freedom.
  4. Jammer

    Jammer Retired Air Force Guy

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    In Florida they were working to take that right away.
  5. SweCowboy

    SweCowboy Member

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    Are the US of A a free country. Depends on how strict your definition of free is. If you define free in the strictest of terms then nothing short of anarcho capitalism will do. In more relative terms US citizens enjoy greater freedom in general than citizens of any eurpean country (The netherlands and some other countrys are more free in some sense but not on economic issues, with the possible exception of Switzerland).

    I a general sense yes the US is a free country, can the US improve, yes certainly a lot of the issues mentioned in the article can be improved, but then again I certainly recognize a lot of them and I can't think of a single issue where Sweden is better.

    And "they hate us because we are free". Thats BS they hate you because you are rich,successful and influencial and they're not. Simple as that.
  6. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Hunka Hunka Burning BP Staff Member

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    Point I was making is that too many people complain when they do not realize how good they have it....but at the same time it is a catch 22.

    Because if our Founding Fathers just sat back and took what England did to us we would still be under their rule.

    I can see both sides of the argument...but at the same time, being a person that have seen other countries, I am also very thankful for what we DO have and sometimes when reading those types of articles it comes across as some hoser that is just whining like he has NO freedom.

    No I am completely right about all that I is you who did not read my last few lines.
    We as humans have a choice in every situation.....I also said that choice may lead to extreme measures.

    If I do not wish to file paperwork I do not HAVE to...I have made a if I get in trouble with the law then because of my choice then that is part of an extreme measure my choice has resulted in.

    If I wish to drive without liscence I can....a piece of plastic does not prevent me from knowing how to drive a car. However once again if I make the choice to drive without the liscence then I must also beware of the measures that may be taken if I get caught.

    If I want to find and buy a gun bad enough I can buy it off an individual who is selling one...I do not have to buy it from a store.

    The government can TRY and force me to sell my property...does not mean I do not have a choice in the matter.

    Freedom and Free will can be the same...if you want it bad enough.

    You have a choice in every situation....however bad the alternative may be.

    Once again if the government says you have to go to jail for breaking one of the still have a choice NOT to goto jail.
    I will let you figure out the choices of Not going to jail....but there ARE choices.
  7. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Hunka Hunka Burning BP Staff Member

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    Very good post.

    Funny thing about people that generally want a land/country with no government is that deep down they realize it will not work and it just makes them madder.

    Because sooner or later a country or society without a body of government...will in the end either self destruct or wind up forming a government of some sort.
  8. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    Actually Brain, it is you that did not read or understand my last few lines.

    You are confusing free will with freedom.

    Just because I may choose to kill you and your family doesn't mean I am free to do so. Apparently you don't see the difference.

    Based on your explanation Iraq was already just as free as us. People could choose to say bad things about Saddam. It would lead to extreme measures but they could still do it.

    The difference between freedom and free will is obvious. Nobody can take free will away no matter how much they wish to do so. Which, BTW, is why the drug war will never be won.
  9. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    Although some of the government policies discussed in this article are ridiculous and overly restricting, it seems that the only way the writer would be happy is if there was no government and no law at all, so that the individual had the "right" to do whatever the hell he wanted.

    A bit extreme, hmm?

    Besides, there are no natural rights. The only rights given to individuals are those stated and upheld by law, and by government. You can't have one without the other.
  10. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    Good points. And I think there's a lot of truth in your last line.

    You need to post more often, SweCowboy. We can always use a fresh perspective (whether on politics or the Cowboys).
  11. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Hunka Hunka Burning BP Staff Member

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    Thank you.

    In my absurd (which believe it or not I was doing for a point) went into one of the reasons I dislike those types of articles.

    There is a difference in freedoms and those people that write such articles do not know what it is like to be without such freedoms yet they are the ones that will write and write and write to tell us how we are NOT free.

    I know the difference between free will and freedom from any reprecussions.

    I think we have even had such conversations before about the topic where you said we did not have freedom of choice or free will...something along those lines.

    However it brings me back to my point that too many people complain about what they see as us not having freedom..while at the same time if they were in other countries they would realize (as someone from a different country posted in this thread) we are one of the countries that do have a great deal of freedom compared to other countries.

    I also see some that basically want the government to stay out of all of our business...some that seem to want a land without government...but in all societies there are rules and all societies there are forms of government.

    We are one of the few that actually give some creedence to what the people say...we are lucky in many ways that WAY too many people take for granted.

    If we did not have the government and rules set up to address some of the issues I talked about from the article then there would be a break down in many social areas.

    If we could just build on to our house without the proper paper work then when does it become we can build on any land without the proper paperwork?

    If we do not have to file the paper work for guns then (and I think we have touched on this before) we would have no accountablility at all for any guns and it would make it even harder for these weapons or the weapons owners to be identified for certain reasons.

    If we did not have to file the proper paperwork for being able to travel then we would have more morons (for lack of a better word) on the road, driving buses, flying planes.

    The government has many flaws...but at the same time many of the things that the article touched on are in place for good reasons...just because the guy wants to make a point of how he thinks we are not free does not mean those rules are not in place for good reasons.

    Sorry to say but as many flaws as the government may have, there are many good things about the laws they have created to TRY and create a good society....without many of those laws and the government to govern the people then the society would fall into chaos...and sooner or later out of that chaos the people would rise up, or a person, and create another form of govenment (even if it is a dictatorship) in order to give some source of managment to the society.

    Americans writing that type of stuff to try and make a point about another topic is just silly IMO.
    He could have wrote the article and made it short and sweet with the main idea that SweCowboy put forward and I would have no problem...because I do not believe they hate us because of our freedom....they hate us for many different reasons but not because of our freedom IMO...if anything some people love us because of that...that is why we are considered the melting pot and so many from different countries move here each and every year.

    That is why there are decent percentage of women and families of these women who wil go so far as to pay US Soldiers to marry them so they can come to the USA...that is why some people are so willing to get on a terrible old trashy raft and brave the seas to get to the shores of america...that is why many people will cram into the smallest space of a vehicle for long periods of time to get to america, that is why people will be willing to live in a dark overcrowded room without sunlight for extended periods of time while standing in their own urine and feces to get to america.

    Ok...I am rambling way too much now.
  12. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    An individual should be able to do anything he wants as long as it doesn't interfere with the rights of another individual.

    Now I find this to be extreme. IMO, There are most certainly natural rights, they happen to be an extension of the golden rule. Many people refer to them as "god given rights". Now I understand what you are trying to say. We could go on for 100 pages arguing if rights are natural or artificial but I don't think either of us want that.

    Here is my take. Like it or not, it always comes down to the individual. Even if you are going to strip rights away from me, somebody is going to have to apply the law and ultimately it is an individual that does it. That is a pretty deep concept. Please think about that for a while and let it set in before you reply. Most people live a lifetime without seeing the brilliant simplicity of this concept. So when I speak of natural rights, I am talking about how it is most natural for me to determine what is best for myself then for another individual to do this for me.

    Any choice that affects me and only me lies purely with me. It is a natural right.
  13. StanleySpadowski

    StanleySpadowski Active Member

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    Using the cow example is something of a red herring. The only thing the "government" would stop someone from doing is keeping the cow wherever one would won't and selling the milk. Both on grounds of hygiene/food safety.

    While I do agree that the government oversteps its bounds on a regular basis, the protection of the safety of our food and water supply is mandatory.

    The original author also noted the licensing requirement for drivers. One may operate a vehicle on one's own property, but once one enters the public domain i.e. the road system, licensing is neccessary to again provide for safety, lest my blind grandmother gets behind the wheel.
  14. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Hunka Hunka Burning BP Staff Member

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    The problem is that many times is when someone beleives what he does, does not effect another...when many times it will.

    I like the part that I put in bold...that is a very interesting idea.
    All it takes is one voice to say I do not like this or that...then it grows. It only takes one person to write something down....sooner or later the one person writing that down can have it turned into law.

    Once again....there are few choices that affects me and only me....there are many more that even though I think only affect me, can affect others....sometimes guidelines are put in place even for well meaning folks.
  15. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    It really isn't the red herring you think it is.

    We can still have things like the FDA. The difference is that as a free man you can choose to only buy goods that were inspected and I can choose to not undergo inspections and potentially lose business because of it. Simple, huh?

    I agree. The difference is I see the government as the least efficient mechanism for accomplishing this goal.

    It is clearly a violation of natural rights when the blind grandmother gets behind the wheel. Also, have you noticed how inefficient our government is at keeping unsafe drivers off the road?
  16. gbrittain

    gbrittain Well-Known Member

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    Our government if far from perfect, but on the whole goverment does what is best for the majority and not an individual.

    As long as imperfect people run the goverment there will be an imperfect goverment.

    As for me I will take our goverment, our country, and our way of living over any other.
  17. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    I completely agree.

    However, you cannot focus solely on individuals - there are public or societal costs and benefits to consider, too, that ultimately affect every individual. For example, an individual has the right to purchase and drive any car/truck/lawnmower he can afford. But driving a lawnmower on an interstate highway, at a top speed of 15 mph, poses a danger to every other driver on the road.

    Likewise, every car, no matter how good of a condition it's in, pollutes the air to a certain degree. If a car is in Phoenix and I'm in Dallas - big deal, since whatever comes out of its exhaust pipe is not directly bothering me. But when you add up millions upon millions of vehicles every day, all over the country, day after day, it adds up. And although the individual addition may be slight, collectively it costs society - just ask anyone from L.A. or Houston.

    In either case, the society cannot rely on the individual to police himself - hence, government regulations.

    As far as barber licenses and taxi licenses, yeah there are some confusing regulations that could use reform. But a lot of regulation is quite necessary for the good of the whole.

    Again, I agree - to a point.

    I'll skip over the "natural rights" topic, for obvious reasons - we could go on forever and never reach a consensus.

    However, I will say that rights and laws originated to create order in a society. Otherwise, why should I care if I affect someone else by the actions I take?

    My disagreement with the article, and the writer's position, is that sometimes an individual's actions affect others in ways that aren't always obvious, therefore violating the natural right you profess: "Any choice that affects me and only me lies purely with me."

    Also, I believe that society's interests ultimately trump those of the individual. Like the natural rights debate, we can argue back and forth on that forever, and it is my opinion. But as I said, if society deserves no consideration in regards to the rights of an individual, then there would be no reason to consider the rights of others (society).
  18. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    You're basing this all on two assumptions:

    (1) All consumers are rational and have complete knowledge of the products they buy and the companies that make them.

    (2) All individuals are capable of policing themselves.

    Unfortunately, neither case is true.

    And there is no incentive for a private watchdog or police - they don't make any money, unless someone with bottomless pockets and the money to fill them has a heart of gold.

    Personally, in situations like that, I'd rather have an inefficient government agency presiding over it than nothing at all.

    However, that doesn't mean government should control everything. For example, I don't believe we should have 'universal health care' (health care for the poor, maybe), but that doesn't mean government shouldn't regulate medical practices (make sure doctors are trained and capable, cases handled correctly, etc.).

    Government does have an obligation to protect its own citizens - from themselves, if necessary.
  19. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    1) It shouldn't matter how rational people are as long as individual responsibility is valued foremost.

    2) You assume the individual that ultimately gets to override my decision is more rational then I am. It's unnatural to allow this when the only person affected is me.

    What incentive exists today to perform these things? That desire doesn't go away. I'm not arguing for anarchy here. A government is a necessary thing. People just forget that it's chief purpose is to protect people from others, not from ourselves.
  20. Ben_n_austin111

    Ben_n_austin111 Benched

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    Eric, I couldn't agree with your punk *** anymore than this.

    Remember my last avatar on

    I just got that tatto on my shoulder.

    Everyday-little by little-we are losing our freedoms and a lot of people aren't getting it or even noticing what's happening.

    The VA Cowboy's of the world are imposing their morals beliefs on everyone. There is no seperation of church and state anymore and it's only going to get worse as long as we sit around and let fear control us. It's fine to have your religion, but don't push it on people who don't wish to practice it. Howard Stern is not knocking on doors trying to get listeners.

    The Patriot act makes me want to puke.

    The FCC is out of control.

    There's a war going on that was about WMD and now there is no WMD, so it's become just a war that we can't pull out of because the last time we did that "it was wrong".

    This is not "The Land of the Free".

    Not even close.

    There are many things in the works to make it even worse.

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