By Michael Snyder - BLN Contributing Writer
Over the past several decades, no matter which political party has been in power the government has continued to become a larger part of our lives. These days many people are speaking of the "nanny state" that we have created, but the reality is far worse than that. The truth is that the government has become a gluttonous, out of control behemoth that is gobbling up everything in sight and that is attempting to exert full spectrum dominance over our lives. Today, the government seems to have an insatiable hunger to watch us, track us and control us. Now they even want to feel our private parts before we get on an airplane. No matter what politicians we send to Washington D.C., it just seems to get worse and worse. Anyone who still believes that we live in "the land of the free" is completely and totally delusional.
It isn't just in one particular area that all of this government intrusion into our lives is so offensive. What we are witnessing is the government slowly digging its fingers even deeper into our lives in a thousand different ways. Sadly, most Americans see the government as the one who is supposed to take care of them from the cradle to the grave, as the one who is supposed to fix all of the problems in society and as the one who is their ultimate authority.
This is in direct contradiction to the concept of a "limited government" that our Founding Fathers tried so desperately to enshrine in our founding documents. The American people need a big-time wake up call. The following are 8 examples of how the U.S. government is attempting to take even more control over our lives....
#1 Taking Total Control Of Our Food - S. 510 "The Food Safety Modernization Act"
S. 510, "The Food Safety Modernization Act", is another huge power grab by the FDA and the federal government over our food supply. The bill is written so broadly and so vaguely that nobody really knows what it means. The potential for abuse of these vague new powers would be staggering. So will the government abuse these powers? Those who are in favor of the bill say that of course the government will be reasonable, but those who are opposed to the bill point to all of the other abuses that are currently taking place as evidence that we simply cannot trust the feds with vague, undefined powers.
Fortunately, the Tester Amendment has been attached to S. 510 at least for now, but big agriculture is not happy about this, and they will be doing everything they can to get it kicked out of the final version of the law. In any event, if this food safety law does get passed, tens of millions of Americans will be left wondering what they are allowed to grow in their back yards, what seeds they are allowed to save and what can and cannot be sold at farmer's markets.
In case you think this is paranoid, just consider what is already happening. It has been documented that the feds recently raided an Amish farmer at 5 AM in the morning because they claimed that he was was engaged in the interstate sale of raw milk in violation of federal law. If the feds are willing to stoop so low as to raid Amish farmers, do you think they will have any hesitation when the time comes to raid your home?
#2 Taking Total Control Of Air Travel - The Dehumanizing Full Body Scanners And "Enhanced Pat-Downs"
Totalitarian governments throughout history have always sought to dehumanize their subjects. Sadly, that is exactly what is happening in America today. If you want to get on an airplane in the United States, you will now be forced to either let TSA agents gawk at your naked body or let TSA agents grope your entire body including your genitals.
What these TSA agents are being instructed to do to ordinary Americans is so bizarre that it is hard to believe. It is being reported that in many instances TSA agents are actually reaching down the pants of male travelers and up the skirts of female travelers. One retired special education teacher was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an "enhanced pat-down" by TSA agents. Quite a number of women that have been through these "enhanced pat-downs" have used the phrase "sexual assault" to describe the experience.
So is this what America has become? A place that is so "dangerous" that we all must be treated like prison inmates? Large numbers of Americans are swearing that they will simply not fly anymore, but what happens when these "enhanced pat-downs" start showing up at our schools, our shopping centers and our sporting events someday?
#3 Taking Total Control Of Our Health Care - The Loss Of Our Health Freedom
Once upon a time, Americans had control over their own health care decisions. That is no longer true today. Thanks to major changes in our health care laws, the health care landscape in America has been dramatically changed. Americans are now forced to participate in the officially-sanctioned health care system by purchasing health insurance. But Americans cannot just get any kind of health insurance policy that they want. Our health insurance choices are now tightly constrained by thousands of regulations.
Not only that, but doctors in America no longer have the freedom to treat patients however they see fit. Only "approved" treatments are permissible, and now the federal government is going to be telling doctors which of those "approved" treatments are "cost-effective" enough. As the new health care laws are fully implemented over the next decade, the American people are going to become truly horrified not only about how much their health insurance premiums are going up, but also about how much health freedom they have actually lost.
#4 Taking Control Of Our Money - Multiplying Taxes
Whenever one tax goes down, it seems like several other taxes either go up or get invented. The truth is that Americans are being drained by the federal government, state governments and local governments in dozens upon dozens of different ways. To our various levels of government, our primary function is to serve as a revenue source. Each year it seems like they find more ways to stick it to us. In fact, it looks like 2011 is going to be a banner year for tax increases. If you doubt this, just see my previous article entitled "2011: The Year Of The Tax Increase".
#5 Taking Control Of Our Businesses - Thousands Of Ridiculous Regulations
Why would anyone in America even attempt to be an entrepreneur today? Most small businesses are literally being strangled by hordes of red tape.
Just consider how things have changed in America. The Federal Register is the main source of regulations for U.S. government agencies. In 1936, the number of pages in the Federal Register was about 2,600. Today, the Federal Register is over 80,000 pages long.
The following is just one example of how bizarre things have gotten in this country. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is projecting that the food service industry will have to spend an additional 14 million hours every single year just to comply with new federal regulations that mandate that all vending machine operators and chain restaurants must label all products that they sell with a calorie count in a location visible to the consumer.
Do we really need to spend 14 million more hours telling Americans that if they keep eating hamburgers and fries that they are likely to get fat?
But it is not just the federal government that is the problem. One reader recently described how difficult it was to try to run a business in the state of California....
Had 10 employees, but one almost exclusively to deal with government regs, taxes, reporting etc, Received a $144 penalty for a .33 (yes, cents)error on my quarterly payroll taxes from Cal Franchise Tax Board. I called to ask if that was not a bit repressive, why level penalize someone for what was obvisouly a didminimus error? I was told “we would have penalized you if it was .03!” I said, I did not volunteer to be the income tax collector for the State and Fed government, you should be paying me to do all this work and insane paper pushing. Reply: “That is part of the PRIVILIGE of being a business owner!!!”
#6 Taking Control Of Our Environment - The Green Police
The government is using the "green movement" as an excuse to take an unprecedented amount of control over our lives. From coast to coast, communities have been given government grants to track our trash with RFID microchips. The following are just some of the communities that will now be using microchips to track what we throw away....
*Charlotte, North Carolina
Not only that, but some cities are now starting to fine citizens for not recycling properly.
In Cleveland, Ohio if an RFID tracking chip signals that a recycle bin has not been brought out to the curb within a certain period of time, a "trash supervisor" will actually sort through the trash produced by that home for recyclables.
According to Cleveland Waste Collection Commissioner Ronnie Owens, trash bins that contain over 10 percent recyclable material will be subject to a $100 fine.
Does that sound like America to you?
Now we don't even have the freedom to throw out trash the way we want to.
#7 Taking Away Our Independence - The Exploding Welfare State
You don't have much freedom if you can't take care of yourself. But in America today, tens of millions of Americans have literally become completely dependent on the government for survival. Over 42 million Americans are now on food stamps. Approximately one out of every six Americans is enrolled in a federal anti-poverty program.
The number of Americans living in poverty has increased for three consecutive years, and the 43.6 million poor Americans in 2009 was the highest number that the U.S. Census Bureau has ever recorded in 51 years of record-keeping.
The more Americans that are destitute and totally dependent on the government the easier it will be for the government to control them. Today a rapidly growing percentage of Americans fully expect the government to take care of them. But this is not what our founders intended.
#8 Taking Away Our Patriotism - We Are Even Losing The Freedom To Be Proud Of America
Do you ever think things will get so repressive in America that a group of high school students will be forbidden from singing the national anthem at the Lincoln Memorial? Well, that has already happened. Do you think that areas of our nation will ever become so anti-American that they will forbid students from riding to school with an American flag on their bikes? Well, that has already happened.
Fortunately, there was such an uproar over what happened to 13-year-old Cody Alicea that it made national headlines and he ended up being escorted to school by hundreds of other motorcycles and bicycles - most of them displaying American flags as well. The school reversed its policy and now Cody can ride his bike to school every day proudly displaying the American flag.
But what if nobody had decided to stand up?
That school would have gotten away with banning the flag if the American people had allowed them to.
Our liberties and our freedoms are under attack from a thousand different directions and they are being stripped away from us at a blinding pace.
It has gotten to the point where most of us just sit in our homes and enjoy the "freedom" of digesting the "programming" that is constantly being hurled at us through our televisions. Of course the vast majority of that programming is produced by just 6 monolithic corporations that control almost everything that we watch, hear and read.
Power and money have become more highly concentrated in America today than ever before, and yet most Americans don't even realize it.
Most Americans are so busy just trying to survive from month to month that they don't even have time to think about the deeper issues. At the end of the night most of them are so exhausted from serving the system that all they can do is collapse on the sofa and turn on some programming.
But the American people desperately need to wake up. Without liberty and freedom our country cannot work. But our freedoms and liberties are being stripped away a little bit more each and every day.
The America that so many of us grew up adoring is dying right in front of our eyes. If you plan on saying something about it, you better do so before it is too late.
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