Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Freedom's just another word

By Capt. Fogg

Somehow I've never been able to understand why preventing enormous and hugely profitable insurance corporations from dropping you because you kid was born with a heart defect or not covering your leukemia treatments because you forgot to tell them you had acne in high school makes us no longer a free country -- or perhaps only a "mostly free" country according to the Heritage Foundation.

But more confusing and more difficult to reconcile than quantum mechanics and relativity is the idea that allowing warrantless wiretaps and other unconstitutional government abuses don't have the same effect. Seems that President Ford was comfortable with giving the FBI discretion on whether or not to seek a warrant for probable cause for wiretapping on the advice of his Attorney General William B. Saxbe. That's a long time before the Patriot act that cemented the "almost free" condition into law - a law that the Democrats haven't yet repudiated. Silly of me that this might have interfered with my freedom nearly as much as an extra 2% on what I might make over a net $375,000. Freedom's just another word for profit.

Is it the threat to monopolistic and feudalistic aberrations of free-market Capitalism that make us almost free or is it things like restrictions on civil rights? I think the answer is obvious. Freedom isn't at stake when Exxon-Mobil payed less in income tax last year than a minimum wage worker did, but the minimum wage itself is a threat to freedom and a harbinger of a Communist takeover. But don't ask me to explain. Ask some other millionaire from the kind of "think-tank" funded by the oil cartel.

Because that's exactly who is telling us what freedom means. That's who would rather you didn't think of it in terms of freedom from want, fear, privation - or the FBI rummaging through your life looking for anything they like. There's little profit in privacy -- in your privacy anyway. There is big profit in usury so our freedom hasn't suffered by finance companies that can charge 200% and ask for more, but it's damn near communist tyranny to ask Exxon to pay what my gardener pays.

No, Obama is a tyrant and he's made us less free, not for the things he's done or hasn't done to force responsibility on Wall Street, not for failing to undo constitutional infractions or abuses of executive power, not for actually give most of us a tax cut, but for giving some of the protection we've been asking for against financial ruin, against having to choose between feeding our kids or dying of a curable disease.

I'm glad we have people like the Heritage Foundation around to explain things like freedom to us. We might have gone on thinking that being able to vote, to use public facilities, to be served in restaurants and hotels, to buy property wherever we can afford it, to get a job if we're not white or protestant or male or young or to send our kids to school had something to do with being free -- all those things that such grand sounding patriotic spokesmen like the Heritage foundation assure us are nothing of the sort. Without them we might have forgotten how free we were years ago when we had slavery, segregation, race laws, male suffrage, restricted housing, poll taxes and lynching parties. I'm glad they continue to keep up the good fight.

(Cross posted from Human Voices)

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