It's Just a Minor Difference In How You Define It

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"Freedom
is etched in everybody’s soul" – the kind of sentiment
he’s uttered over and over in the past year or two. But you have
to wonder what he means by it.

I think that, to him, the word freedom means, among other
things:

  • The ability
    to go anywhere you want in the world – all expenses paid
    – with an enormous security guard, worth tens of millions
    of dollars per year;

  • The opportunity
    to speak before cheering crowds that include not a single dissenter;
    and

  • The resources
    to send troops into a foreign country, devastate it, and then
    declare it liberated.

Unfortunately, for the rest of us peons the "freedom"
George Bush is proclaiming includes much more mundane things, such
as:

  • Paying
    federal, state, and local income taxes, Social Security taxes,
    sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, and import taxes
    that add up to almost
    half of what you earn
    ;

  • Standing
    in long security lines at airports, being forced to remove your
    jacket and shoes, submitting to searches that are made without
    any warrant or probable cause, in violation of the
    4th amendment to the Constitution;

  • Knowing that your email
    might be filtered and monitored – without a warrant or
    probable cause;

  • Knowing
    that your bank accounts and other personal affairs are subject
    to inspection by U.S. Treasury agents – without a warrant
    or probable cause;

  • Knowing that a mistaken
    identification could cause you to be arrested but never charged
    with a specific crime, put into prison, denied access to an
    attorney, and even denied the ability to tell your family where
    you are – in violation of the 5th
    and 6th amendments to the Constitution
    ;

  • Being forced
    to testify against yourself by revealing all your income and
    expense information to the IRS – in violation of the 5th
    amendment
    .

No wonder George Bush smirks and we cringe.

May
10, 2005

Harry Browne [send
him mail
], the author of Why
Government Doesn’t Work

and many other books, was the Libertarian presidential candidate
in 1996 and 2000. See his website.

Harry
Browne Archives

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