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Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
North County Times
July 3, 2000


As America prepares to celebrate the 224th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it's disheartening the two presidential Candidates are prepared to trade in American sovereignty in favor of the World Trade Organization and their new world order. In every way possible America has been colonized by the corporate class. And for what, cheaper consumer goods? How sad is that.

When Declaring independence from the tyranny of George III, Benjamin Franklin and company listed 27 reasons for breaking away from English rule. All of them dealing with the lack of self governance being imposed by a distant and uncaring imperialist state. The only thing that has changed since are so called independence is our choice of dictators. There are so many parallels between America of the late 17th century and ours at the beginning of the 21st. Where once it was the monarchs now it is the market, robbing Americans of any sense of self control.

Three of grievances listed by our founding fathers ring quite familiar. Fourth on the list was, "calling together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures." Tenth on the list cites the creation of "a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance." The seventeenth grievance, one still rankling our spirit of independence, was "for imposing taxes on us without our consent."

If America is the land of the free can someone please direct me to that undiscovered country. As far as I can tell nothing's free in America. Property taxes, income taxes, and estate taxes makes sure someone is being paid off at all times. The mere act of owning property restricts the freedom of others. Trespassing laws are in direct conflict with the idea "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

At the age of 36 I have yet to see anyone who is truly independent of the rule of government intervention. Are Gays and Lesbians free in America? Are they considered equal under the law? According to the Supreme Court they are not. Free speech is a right only available to those who can afford it.

If the Christian right had their way American women would lose the the freedom to decide if and when they bring life into the world. Drugs laws currently on the books should nullify any belief that Americans are free to pursue happiness as they see fit. And if seatbelt laws are not a restriction to liberty I don't know what is. Twenty-Five dollars for not buckling up hardly qualifies as free.

There is nothing that does not come with some sort of price tag. Even the act of giving birth can put you in debt. Water is not free in America, neither is food. The clothes we are required by law to wear must be paid for. Death is a costly endeavor as is dying. Womb to tomb, someone has their hand out. Which is apropos for the capitalist state. And with the WTO working to bring about one world government, for the market and by the market, it seems choice of governments will soon be beyond us as well.

Personally I think Janis Joplin summed it up best when she asserted that "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

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