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The Rock and the River: Freedom's Slow Erosion

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posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 12:16 AM

The Rock and the River: Freedom's Slow Erosion

Hello again ATS.

A few weeks back I posted a meme onto my Facebook page. Being that I am subscribed to quite a number of political feeds, it is a fact that most of the things I tend to share are political in nature. This particular meme asserted that Americans have lost rights over the past several decades and that it is time for We The People to take them back.

It also happens that many of my Facebook friends are also ATS members. One of these particular dual site friends, who works for the Government, got rather incensed that I posted this particular meme and insisted that Americans have not lost any freedoms at all – and went on to further her argument.

Though I disagreed with what she said, I refrained from replying. This particular person is a good friend and I had no desire to fight and lose that friendship.

But the whole event did get me thinking and started a bit of a fire in my soul because the truth of the matter is that we have lost rights over the years. In fact just in the past two years I lost one of my rights without even knowing it happened. To be specific, I lost my Second Amendment rights because I had a diagnosis of Bipolar type 1. The fact that I am nearly fifty and have no criminal record is not even a consideration in this matter. I am simply not allowed to own a handgun in many states. The state I happen to live in is a bit more generous, they only prohibit me from owning a weapon for five years – provided I were to stop treatment and live in denial – sucking it all up and pretending to be NOT Bipolar.

But it goes much deeper than that and I began to think about the things that my parents, Grandparent ( Sadly I was born with only one living Grandparent – the other three had died long before my birth ), and Aunts and Uncles had told me about the “good old days”. Things I had written off, as a youthful person because... Well because all youthful people write off the “back in the day” stories that our elders subject us to. When we are young we tend to be overly idealistic and stupendously lost in the notion that we know it all and that our generation is the only one that gets anything...

As an older man now, with my own kids telling me how out of it and uneducated they think I am – and how they are above it all – those voices from my past have come back to haunt me and to educate me as well.

Not too many years back I worked for a company that did an annual audit and found a moderate hole in the amount of cash that should have been there. The auditor wrote it off, saying “This happens every year, it's nothing new and has been going on for as long as I've been working here – and I've been here quite awhile”. Fortunately ( for the company ) a new CFO had come on-board and he didn't at all want to accept the “business as usual” mind set over the missing funds. So he went digging.

It turns out that a low level accountant had, for years and years, been siphoning off a little bit here and a little bit there into a company that did nothing and that, as it turns out, she owned. She never got greedy. She never went for a big hit. Just a few hundred or a couple of grand here and there. Drops in a bucket, compared to the amount of money my previous employer was making – drops that eventually added up to a small fortune in losses.

She used the concept of erosion to hide her theft. Like river water running past a rock – she simply scraped off a layer every so often, small enough that the people in charge of watching said rock never noticed a physical difference.

I put if forth that the same is being done with our rights, our culture, and our society. I put it forth that the old folks who tell us about how it was back in the day are sincerely warning us and lamenting the changes that they, with their own eyes, have seen. Living testimonials to the change. Witnesses who will die off unsung and unheard.

How many generations has this river of slight change been flowing past the rock we call Freedom? How many little layers have been stripped away so slowly that it takes a lifetime just to begin to recognize what is happening?

This concept led me to take time trying to remember if any news stories, over the course of my life, lent any credence to my theory. Several examples jumped straight to mind:

I can remember when gardening in ones yard was legal.

I can remember when police roadblocks only occurred when some extreme event led to an area having to be sealed off.

I can remember going to the pharmacy and filling prescriptions without ninety levels of scrutiny being placed upon me.

I can remember the PTA being the driving force of local schools and them not being the private fiefdoms of Superintendents and Principles who seem oblivious to all things reality based.

I can remember a society that had zero tolerance for zero tolerance policies

More and more come flooding to mind, but I think the few above are a fair representation of the proposition I am making here.

We are less free than were our parents and our children shall be less free than we are today. No generation will really feel the change because each generation is only shouldering or experiencing a small percentage of the change during their own lifespans. Sure, there are spasms that cause a particular generation to experience a larger hit than others. Our current “War on ______” ( everything? ) policies are an example. I was born before we became a society that declared war on things and ideas – but my children were not. For them it is normal. For them it makes sense.

Similarly if my Grandfather were to have been told that he could not own any variety of gun, period – he would have gone ballistic. And so would have his peers ( Before anyone interjects dates – my Grandfather was born in the 1880's – long before Elliot Ness and company outlawed “Tommy guns” ).

Exactly how much of this gradual change can occur before what is has nothing at all to do, any longer, with what was. When do the drops in the bucket become so extreme and profound that they redefine the original concept?

Have we already crossed that line? Are we living in the America that the Framers dreamed of? Are we even in the same neighborhood as what was originally intended?

At what point do we cross the Rubicon and cease to be what we believe ourselves to be?

It is my hope that this OP might initiate a conversation that avoids the perils and pitfalls of partisanship and the typical back and forth that comes with such. Red, Blue, Green, or simply along for the ride, the fact of the matter is that we are all on the same ship – and I believe that ship to be fast sinking and taking on water far too rapidly for us to waste time arguing on deck about who caused the leak. It's time we all grabbed a bucket and started bailing, lest we all drown together.

Do we give ourselves to the current, still clinging at each others throats seeking to assign blame – drowning for lack of an ability to overcome our pride and our programming - or do we help one another to the shoreline to seek out that rock that we call Freedom and work together to restore it to it's rightful and original state?

What say you ATS? Am I still just a dreamer and liberal idealist, or is there a chance?

As always, thanks for reading.

edit on 10/29/14 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 01:28 AM
As usual great post and great thoughts. I agree simply because I am old enough to be your grandfather and yet my mind (on a good day) still remembers how myself and friends grew up.. Rifle team at school... fights which were fought until your opponent said "I give up or uncle".. I supposed besides some of the things you said which bother me the most is the unscrupulous ways the IRS can steal hard earned money from citizens. How cops can falsify police reports ( there was a video that proves they were lying) and nothing is done to stop the lies.. Or the ones who steal cash because... You have cash and must be up to no good...

I don't care what excuses or what war is on what... A thief is a thief is a thief.... so like when my daddy was a young kid, they hung horse thieves from the nearest tree. Only happened once when he was young but there was no more horse thieves in that county because they left the thief hanging from the tree..... until the body rotted away and the birds ate their fill..

All over the world some entities proclaim they can do something because it is the law.. Wrong is wrong whether it is some government saying this is good to steal from you or some religion saying off with your head...

Again I am old and to me I saw the writing on the wall or the direction things seemed to be heading back in around 2000.. When I saw 265,000 USD hospital bill for a three day stay in a hospital that basically killed my wife I decided then I don't like what the country has become...... I got my stuff together and went for a simpler life ... I had to move out of country but that is one decision I am very happy I was able to make..

I got stopped by the cops last month ..... the speed limit was 90 K and myself and about 4 other cars were doing over 120k. The cops were hidden in the woods with a radar device that clocks your speed.. The radar guys call ahead to a place about 2 or 3 kilometers down the road where a road block or check point is.. All of us were pulled over... The cops were nice and said I was going to fast... I asked how fast (which I knew I had been on cruise control for 120k... The cop said 120 and I smiled and told him their radar was very good and my car was very fast today... sorry I will slow down... The ticket was paid right there (about $6 USD) and I was on my way in less than 4 minutes... If that would have been the states... the last I heard was anything over 100mph is automatic booking and jail time... I could be wrong on that but I would bet 30 over the speed limit would have been much more than $6 USD

So back to your op and the water and the stone... Some say slow boiling of the frog.... it really does not matter we will be dead and the new generation will believe this is the way it has always been... Especially with the government run institutions they call schools these days..

Maybe something will happen and the silent majority will just say enough ... But man I just don't see it in the cards unless the stock market crashes and the government can not afford to pay everyone without a job quite money..... or a gallon of milk hits over $20 and people really get third world hungry.. S^F for your thoughts and well written op.

edit on 29-10-2014 by 727Sky because: ...

posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 01:45 AM
a reply to: Hefficide

Interesting thoughts, Heff.

At 53, I too, am old enough to remember...

It took me to age 40 to even begin to notice the slow erosion of our rights.

I first became aware of the trend in the late 90's and while 9 11 amped it up significantly, the process certainly does seem to have accelerated even more within the last several years.

At the current pace, I fear that the rock of freedom will shortly be worn to a pebble.

I'm 53, my son is 16. He turned 2 the day before 911, he knows nothing but the post 9 11 mindset, except what his Mom and I have tried to share with him on the subject. His perception of freedom is necessarily very different from ours.

With people like your friend in government, it's very difficult not to fear for the republic and all of its citizens.


posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 01:46 AM
a reply to: 727Sky

You missed a PM from me.


My iPad is glitching hard today. Two posts well worth reading.

Personal to John's question at the end: In this moment there's no reason to care about ideology. The future is where every possibility can come true. It all comes down to which path you want under your feet.

Personal to Sky: I don't envy you, but I admire your choice. I think you already know that, but I've never made it public.

posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 01:51 AM
a reply to: 727Sky

Hey 727,

I gotta know where you are living that you get six dollar speeding ticket and didn't fear for your life at the hands of a traffic cop. May have to head your way. Please, pray tell.

PS Favorite avatar of all

edit on 29-10-2014 by jihadoflove because: to add

posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 10:36 AM
a reply to: 727Sky

You touched one one I missed. School and fighting!

When I was in high school, in the early eighties, kids fought ( just as they do now ). Our punishment for fighting might be as light as a few days of detention and at worse a five day suspension.

These days? One of my nephews got into a fight at school a few years back - not even really a fight. He and another student were playing a bit rough with book bags and one happened to brush the teacher... THREE felony assault charges and expulsion from all public schools.

The world has changed a LOT in that regard thanks to this particular zero tolerance policy in schools.

"Boys will be boys" is now "boys will be felons".

posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 08:43 PM
a reply to: Hefficide

The world has changed a LOT in that regard thanks to this particular zero tolerance policy in schools.

Zero tolerance policies are for dumb bureaucrats who can't evaluate the facts for a given situation. Might look good on paper for the sheeple but in a real world it is stupid for stupid people.

The bell rang and all the students stood up. One of the eighth grade kids who was known for being a bully and part of the bully boys group ran down the Isle purposely knocking school books out of everyone's hands.. Elaine was sitting next to me and I was at the very last seat of the row. (this was an auditorium with auditorium seating) I had turned enough so his well placed hand slap missed my stack of school books but he still tried and laughed as he ran off. I helped Elaine pick up her books and headed for English class where bully boy also had class.

I placed my books on my regular desk and approached bully boy and basically told him if he ever tried that again I would put a knot on his head and he should apologize to Elaine and the others that he had knocked their books out of their hands..

He started shadow boxing at me throwing punches reinforced by some rather creative language.. I just slapped him once on the side of the face (I was trying to get his ear also but alas I was off just a tad due to his movement).. Big red whelp on his face and I hit him so hard it knocked the tears from his eyes... He left the English class room without a word to hide his unmanly tears..

I was called to the Principle's office.. I told the Principle what had happened and I was sent back to my class... End of story except for the number one bully boy wanting to fight me on the next Friday (he wanted to fight that day after school but I was able to delay the event until Friday).. It helped that I was carrying good grades and had never had a problem at school.. Conversely bully boy and his group probably had daily standing appointments with the Principle.

I checked out of school on Thursday for we as a family were moving to a different town.. Bully Boy #1 would have beat/killed me for he was one of those who had failed a school year (or two ?) and was a couple of years older than most of us.. His rep was he was big into martial arts.. He did wear boots with chrome toes for executing well placed kicks but I never actually saw him fight just the stories that followed him around....

In today's system both of us would have been expelled and no telling what else because of a zero tolerance policy; facts or circumstances be damned..

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