You Think You’re Free?

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You think you’re free? I know we in the United States are far and away the most free of any citizens of the world. Yeah, yeah… I know there is this freedom index and that freedom index that place us second or fifth or thirteenth. Bull! I don’t buy those for a minute because freedom cannot be quantified by stats and averages.

Have a look at the big picture. Human nature is to seek freedom. In other words, the heart of every human wants to be free. Governments create a much different perspective as to ‘free from what?’. For example, women in the Middle East might desire to be free to drive a car or remove a mask. Us Americans may desire to be free from our 9-5 or free from our commitment to mow the grass at church. There’s a big difference, but we want what we know is out there… don’t we.

As far as ‘freedom index’, these indices are simply propaganda. If Denmark or wherever is more free, why are people not sneaking in there? Why are immigrants not flocking there? The frank truth is that people want to be here – right here in the United States. We have the only true civil society and celebrate the most personal freedom of any country. This freedom exists today despite the efforts of Progressives to exchange our freedoms for safety, the safety of a centralized State.

Something Mark Levin (whom I feel provides very intelligent commentary and analysis, despite his abrasive personality) said a couple weeks ago has been burned into my thoughts. He asked, “You think you’re free? Just try to build something innocuous in your own damn yard like a playground or something… ”

He is exactly right. Even our own personal property is not ours to do as we please. We’ve got neighborhood associations, local ordinances, this rule, that rule… Can’t do this, can’t do that. Nope, can’t plant a tree. Nope, can’t build a fence. Nope, can’t put up a tall sign for your business. We are merely free to play within the guidelines created for us over the decades. Though still mostly free, this creates some perspective.

Progressives have succeeded in building an over-legislated society over the last hundred years. Do we really need hundreds of laws passed every year, from both a federal Congress and State Assemblies? Why don’t we spend a decade or so repealing and reducing the legislative monstrosity of regulation already in place? Maybe every law written and passed should have a sunset of 50 years… Let the next generation decide if it worked out or is still necessary. What do you think?

Enjoy your weekend!

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Memorial Day

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Memorial Day 2011

It occurred to me yesterday that a story about my Grandfather may never have been written. In honor and memory of him and other family members that served the country, I’ll share the short stories as I remember them being passed on.

Chris Schlensker, my maternal Grandfather, served during World War II in the Army Air Force (USAAF). He operated the main turret of a B-17 Flying Fortress, protecting the aircraft against enemy fighters during bombing missions. His bomber completed all it’s assigned missions across Europe, dropping bombs on Axis power military targets.

The most memorable story he shared was of a ‘close call’ during one mission. While flying through anti aircraft fire, Grandpa left his turret to get a replacement oxygen tank. Upon his return to the turret, he discovered a large piece of shrapnel embedded in his seat. It had exploded and broken through the turret bubble during the few minutes he wasn’t there… Turns out, had timing been different – I may not have existed!

There are a number of fond memories about Grandpa Schlensker from my childhood. He passed away when I was ten or eleven, suffering a fatal heart attack. While a young boy, he taught me how to hold and fire a rifle. We would shoot crows and targets at his small vegetable garden. He would also pass out loose change from his pockets during family parties, always a hit with my siblings and I.

Grandmother, Doris Schlensker, also did her part during the war. Upon cleaning her house after moving her into a nursing home, we discovered a cache of hand written correspondence with a number of military men. She wrote as a ‘pen pal’, reminding them of the things they are fighting for.

Thanks to all that serve the country, fighting and doing their part to preserve the freedom we enjoy every day here in the United States of America.