I suppose that I should be thinking about more important things, like the fact that it is Holy Week or that my coffee was a little burned this morning (differing levels of importance, of course), but I can’t stop thinking about this government health care reform fiasco, either for the monster that it actually is or for the monster it is being represented as by the right.

That’s mostly because of my Facebook feed. It’s been almost two weeks now, and still I see multiple snarky comments about it every day. And, I suppose, it deserves a good deal of snark addressed in its general direction, though the kind of snark I would address at it and most of what I have seen are completely different beasts. Most of the comments I have seen have said something to the effect of “Congress and the President have had the gall to take away orrr Got-Gibin’ freeeeeeeeeeeeeedum! Thiiiiiiiiink about tha’ SOLDIERS!”

The irony of all of this is that many of these folks decrying our socialist future and supposed loss of freedom are the same ones who, not too long ago, were adamant defenders of warrant-less wiretaps, the truly freedom-squelching PATRIOT act and the Bush administration’s executive orders that allowed the gummunt to detain people indefinitely without charges for being “suspicious.” And these are just obvious examples.

Of course the health care reform package is a dragon that needs to be slain…but so is most of our political system. Most people do not realize just how detailed, and how deep, the regulation goes.

Here’s an example: a couple of years ago, the extended family, with which we share our homesite, had a milk cow. She gave a lot of milk, so much so that three families couldn’t consume all of it. It filled our refrigerators. We froze it. Finally, we were forced to start giving it away by the gallons. We had to give it away because we could not legally sell it.

Turns out, you’ve got to have a permit to sell raw milk, even if the people buying it come to your house and watch you pasteurize it (which we did). You can give it away, but you can’t sell it.

Farmer Joel Salatin, who is kind of one of my heroes, has an example: 

I want to dress my beef and pork on the farm where I’ve coddled and raised it. But zoning laws prohibit slaughterhouses on agricultural land. For crying out loud, what makes more holistic sense than to put abattoirs where the animals are? But no, in the wisdom of Western disconnected thinking, abattoirs are massive centralized facilities visited daily by a steady stream of tractor trailers and illegal alien workers. But what about dressing a couple of animals a year in the backyard? How can that be compared to a ConAgra or Tyson facility? In the eyes of the government, the two are one and the same. Every T-bone steak has to be wrapped in a half-million dollar facility so that it can be sold to your neighbor. The fact that I can do it on my own farm more cleanly, more responsibly, more humanely, more efficiently, and in a more environmentally friendly manner doesn’t matter to the government agents who walk around with big badges on their jackets and wheelbarrow-sized regulations tucked under their arms.  

Or this:

In the disconnected mind of modem America, a farm is a production unit for commodities — nothing more and nothing less. Because our land is zoned as agricultural, we cannot charge school kids for a tour of the farm because that puts us in the category of “Theme Park.” Anyone paying for infotainment creates “Farmadisney,” a strict no-no in agricultural zones.

You can read the rest of the article, titled “Everything I want to do is Illegalhere. Or buy the book here .

I realize all of these examples are agriculture related, but that’s where my interests lie these days. The deep piles of regulations reach into every aspect of your life. And so, that’s why — even though I do oppose further encroachment by the gummunt — you’re not going to hear me ranting too much about losing freedom.

We haven’t been free for a long, long time.

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