Saturday, November 7, 2009

What is "Freedom"?

Freedom is a word that people throw about an awful lot, especially in the United States of America. Yet few people seem to have any real idea what freedom actually is. Without knowing what it is, how can one proclaim that they are free, as so many seem to do? To do so under such conditions is meaningless. To this, many people will cite relativist doctrine in an attempt to justify the assertion that any notion of "freedom" and "liberty" is a matter of opinion, and is therefore a fluid thing. In a strict, pedantically metaphysical sense, which some often disingenuously employ to nefarious ends, such people may have arguable points.  I am not, however, interested in such practically unproductive pursuits. In my opinion they have, at best, zero value in terms of everyday living and are often very damaging to real lives in the real world. Freedom as it exists or could exist in the everyday lives of people is what is of interest here. Freedom for you and for everyone. 

Thomas Jefferson described it with an admirably elegant succinctness:

       "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."

I have spent a lot of time thinking about and discussing the common, yet commonly misunderstood concept of what it means to be “free”. During those years I have worked diligently on coming to what I believe is a sound and correct understanding of  personal liberty. The works of many people, in writing and in deed, have influenced the development of my opinions about liberty. I have made what I believe to be a judicious use of the various examples that history and personal works provide us in judging the merits of differing political philosophies, each engendering differing notions and degrees of what it means to be "free". I have made my best and most honest effort to consider widely varying philosophies and the manifold historical events that have embodied those ideas in practice with an open mind.

The works of authors such as Ayn Rand, Adolph Hitler, Spinoza, Lao Tzu, Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Kant, Goethe, and John Uri Lloyd, as well as the anonymous works of ancient Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, and many others have all contributed to my understanding of humanity and its politics. So, too, has my study of the history of humanity in its many dimensions from art to religion, politics, and sex, with just about everything in between.

Given the generally unfavorable results of world politics with a special emphasis on those of the United States throughout the past several decades, it seems clear to me that something different from the status quo is needed if freedom is to survive the attacks placed upon it and which grow in intensity, viciousness, and brazenness on what now seems a daily basis. Those holding power throughout the world, well intentioned and otherwise, have not demonstrated themselves as friends of freedom. At least not for the "little people". Their ignorance or malice is of such a timbre and degree that everything they do appears only to diminish freedom, which necessarily diminishes welfare.

In coming to this opinion, I have assiduously disregarded the things they say in favor of closely observing the things that they do and how well the walk tracks with the talk - another habit I would advise people to adopt with strong discipline and vigor. Every day those in power or those seeking it treat us to an endless torrent of frenetic hyperbole. If one consults memory, we find that the same things are repeated ceaselessly, usually in the form of promises for "change", something for nothing, or ironically, greater freedom. When we compare all those noises with what actually occurs, even the less astute among us take pause to wonder what, precisely, is going on.

Recall the old definition of insanity: doing the same things repeatedly and expecting different results. This is precisely what the world has been doing - the same old political tricks yielding the same rotten results. Can you recall a single year in your entire lifetime when politicians on the campaign trail have not promised "change", or something for nothing? I cannot. Do you remember the campaign slogan that stated: "ask yourself this, are you better off now than you were four years ago?" Well, ask yourself that very question, only go back at least 30 years or more in your memories or your research. I will bet that most of you would have to answer "no".

If people want better lives, – free lives - they have to make it that way. While this may be only narrowly possible in many nations, the people of the United States have no excuse for not wholly engaging those in power with an informed and unbending will that forces the politicians to conform with their rightful claims, rather than public servants acting as masters over chattel. Politicians as a class have amply demonstrated their proclivities for corrupt self-service at the grave expense of those the rest every day over the past several thousands of years. Most of the time their personal and political interests do not coincide with those of liberty for all. It seems to me that a lot of people are discouraged and strongly pessimistic because of this. To those people I bid you despair not. There is hope, but only if we as a people work on it smartly, coherently, tirelessly, and with no tolerance or mercy for those who would endeavor to trespass upon our liberty.

Consider how well sitting idly by has worked out for us, expecting our better interests to be served by  largely unknown third parties whose fealty to the citizens is questionable at best. Also consider how well the political activism of most citizens has worked out for us. Overall, I would rate it all as a dismal failure where freedom and prosperity are considered. Therefore, we must do something different. Just getting involved is not enough. We must do so in a new way - in a smarter way - in an effective way that delivers on the promises - a way that actually produces the results that we want. I submit to you that the solutions are all staring us squarely in our faces and that the way is eminently simple. Putting them into practice will probably not be easy, but in my opinion, we can call off the endlessly frenetic search for complicated and elusive solutions because they have a long history of universal failure. Recall that definition of insanity.

If people want to restore to themselves their freedom and prosperity, they must come together as like-minded citizens. What, however, does that mean? It does not mean that we all think the exact same way on all the issues. It does not imply a forced collectivist hive mentality where all march in stern lockstep according to the dictates of the Fearless Leader or some ill- or arbitrarily-defined body of moral or political mandates. What it does mean is that we think precisely alike on a very small set of basic propositions that comprises the fundamental skeletal structure of our common stream of political thought. These principles set the context within which all people go about their daily lives. Please read that again. The context defines the metes and bounds of our choices and I assert unequivocally that those limits are expansively broad; the restrictions vanishingly few, and that all derive from a strictly rational and well-reasoned basis.

What we need in order to reestablish the United States as the great and free nation that was once the envy of the world, for example, is for people to come to agreement on a very small handful of principles and then to plan and act in accordance with them, leaving all other considerations aside. We do not have to agree on all details of how to live, which is one of the great advantages of life in a truly free nation. People may come and go as they choose and not feel hindered by the oppressive compulsion to correct the ways of others who have committed no crimes, nor be equally oppressed by their fellows. Live. Let live. Learn the basics of what freedom and liberty are and strive for a nation that is based on that and absolutely nothing else.

That is my hope for America. While still a great nation, we have far separated ourselves from what we once were and what I believe we could and should be. Take heart in knowing that these things are not broken beyond repair, yet. Take heed, however, that they are rapidly approaching that point of no return. We are still fully capable of recovering that which those in power have taken from us through the faulty reasoning of misguided good intentions and malice. Recovery cannot and will not happen without widespread, vigorous, and smart participation by individual people.

We must excise the apathy and ignorance that has grown in our nation like a cancer if the restoration of personal freedom and prosperity be the goals. It will require the guts to face the failings of ourselves as individuals, as communities, as businesses, and as a nation. It will require the willingness to learn new ways of seeing old things - ways that were once common but have now become rare and often distorted such that our forebears would scarcely recognize them. It will require the determination to hold steady to a course of action and allow neither trivial issues nor promises of token fortunes to divert our will or lull us into further complacency by the paid representatives of those who wish us to remain quiescent on our couches, consuming their product and not rocking the boat.

To this end, let us now embark upon the journey at the beginning. I hope you will find it interesting enough and of sufficient value to at least get you reading and talking about these ideas. With some small luck and determination, perhaps you will be inspired enough to set a course for your political life, embark upon it, and stay actively with it for many decades to come. I cannot overstate how important this is if liberty is not to be stamped out in the foreseeable future.  I also cannot overstate how regretful people will be if the day comes their freedoms become extinct, failing to miss it until it is gone.  Please do not let this happen to yourself.  Do not let this happen to the people you love and for whom you care.

Remedial Freedom Lesson #1

In order to discuss freedom, that is to say personal freedom, as opposed to other senses of the word, it is important to begin at the beginning and define our terms. Few people appear to be in the habit of taking this simple step before engaging in exchanges of a non-trivial nature. This failing has lead to many problems in our world and it is my intention not to follow suit. So, let us start by putting a definite meaning to the terms "freedom" and "liberty, which I use interchangeably here.
Consulting the dictionary, or in this case, we come to several definitions of "freedom" as appropriate to our purposes including the following:
Freedom - noun
  1. Personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery
  1. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
  1. Civil liberty, as opposed to subjection to an arbitrary or despotic government.
  1. The right to frequent, enjoy, or use at will.
  1. The power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without; autonomy; self-determination.

    All these definitions share the common notion that a state of personal freedom is characterized by the absence of unwanted forces applied so as to thwart or in any way diminish an individual's choice of action. These definitions carry with them a considerable body of implications that may not be immediately obvious to anyone who has not given these ideas a lot of thought. I will therefore elucidate upon these implications in order to make clear what freedom is and equally importantly, what it is not. Let us begin with the latter.

    What Freedom Is Not

    The first thing I would like to make clear about personal freedom is what it is not. It is not the liberty or right to do anything you please at any time, to or with anyone or anything. In other words, freedom is bounded, meaning there is a limitation on our prerogatives as individuals and as groups for taking action. The limitation to which I refer is that nobody is entitled to impose their beliefs, desires, or demands upon others without consent. We will look at this more closely in short order because there is more to it, but for now let that bit sink in without arguing against it just yet if you are so inclined.

    A common response to the assertion that freedom is in some ways bounded is the claim that if one is not free to do anything one wishes at any time, then one is not actually free. Such theoretical nonsense holds little to no value for practical living. It in fact may prove highly deleterious when foolishly misguided people attempt to set into practice laws and policies that are based on such a flawed belief. It has been something of amazing for me to witness the volume of people who mistakenly believe that the definition of freedom means the prerogative to do absolutely anything one wants. Because there are laws against acts such as murder and robbery, laws that proscribe such behavior and with which most such people agree, many will assert that we are therefore not entitled to be free - that the right does not exist.

    In other words they assert that acceptance of any boundary conditions on freedom is inherently arbitrary and therefore implies that they may be arbitrarily altered at any time as deemed "necessary". Wow. The problem here, if I may repeat that which bears repetition, lies in a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be “free”, not to mention a serious need for remedial lessons in logic and reason.

    The truth runs more like this: we live in what we call, for lack of a better term, the "real world", which is full of other human beings. Therefore, freedom is bounded because if we are each and all free to live in accordance with the dictates of our consciences, it strictly follows that it is improper for one person to impose his choices upon those who do not welcome them because it interferes with those persons' freedoms. In short, to be free is nevertheless to be bounded by this single axiomatic corollary whose basis lies in the equal claims of all people to be at liberty.

    This seemingly paradoxical aspect of freedom, therefore, places certain practical restrictions not upon one's own freedom per sé, but rather upon one’s right to step beyond the boundaries that equal claims draw around us, prohibiting each from violating the freedom of others. In other words, the prerogative to violate the freedom of another lays beyond the metes and bounds of individual freedom by the very definition of the term itself when taken in the context of life amongst one's fellows. If we are each free to live without the unwelcome interferences of others, it follows we are not free to act against the freedom of others in such unwelcome manners.  This is a fundamental and centrally important concept to the idea of living freely, so read it several thousands of times over if you have to. Without a full and clear apprehension of this single principle, there is little hope of properly understanding what is required for securing, enjoying, and maintaining a state of personal freedom.  It is, in fact, the Golden Rule.

    Acts that deny, diminish, abridge, disparage, or in any way infringe upon the liberty of others non-consensually lie beyond the moral prerogatives of the individual, groups thereof, and perhaps most importantly, so-called "government". Such acts are, therefore, what we commonly call crimes. Crimes are prohibited behaviors, usually punishable by laws or otherwise sanctioned through institutionalized systems of ethics.

    Thus far, we see that personal freedom is characterized by this fundamental contradiction - to be free is to be bounded by an axiomatic moral prohibition on violating the equal rights of others. That we are bounded in this manner is not up for much discussion as it is the self-evident consequence of the very definition of freedom as it equally applies to all people. What is up for discussion and which shall prove most critical to the practical applications for living as free people, is the question of what are the properly reasoned metes and bounds?

    This argument turns on a single point: that of "equality".  In this case, we refer to the equal rights shared by all people - the equal claim to live freely that is born into us by virtue of our very fabric as living creatures.  This assumption of equal claims may seem pretty bold to some, who may ask, "what is your proof that we are equal in this respect?"  After all, we are so very obviously not equal in virtually every other way.  We do not look the same, sound the same, smell the same, think entirely the same.  We often do not like the same things, nor do we hold the same opinions on many diverse issues.  We are not all of the same physical strength or size or shape or character.  We are not of the same intelligence.  To look at us all it becomes very clear that we are not all equal in any respect that presents itself to us in obvious fashion.

    Why, then, should anyone accept that we are each perfectly equal in our freedoms?  The answer to that is actually rather simple, though we need to step down yet another philosophical level in order to see why.  Our claims to freedom stem from a more fundamental claim that is born into each individual human being: the claim to life.  Other words for "claim" include "title" and "right".  Restated, our equal claims to life becomes our equal rights to life.  Sounds more familiar?  So the presumption here is that each individual human being is endowed by virtue of his very existence with a claim to life. This is born into us.  The claim is not, however, a guarantee of life.  It only says you are within your rights to do whatever lies within your personal power to best ensure that your life continues onward at any given moment.

    Now consider the only possible alternative to the presumption of equal claims to life, that of unequal claims.  What does that mean?  It means that some people hold claims to life that are superior to those of others.  If we accept this as true, we must do so according to some standard of judgment.  What could that standard be?  Where did it come from?  Why is that the standard and not something else?  Who put it there as the standard?  How were they authorized to make it the standard?  By what standard were such people made the authorities to put this standard into place and to which all people must kowtow?  By what virtue can any of these standards be demonstrated as non-arbitrary?

    If we look at these two approaches side by side we may readily observe that the presumption of equality stands rather elegantly on its own.  It seems intuitively obvious that at some level we are the same, each of us.  We are each alive.  In this we are quite obviously equal, the differences then lying only in the ways in which we exist as living beings.  Some have brown skin, some pale.  Some tall, others short.  Some fast and others relatively slow, and so on down the line of physical and other attributes, all of which are mere outward manifestations of the life within.

    Compare now that to the presumption of non-equality.  What do we find?  We find a broad vista of gnarly, thorny questions opened before us addressing the issues of whose rights are superior and by what virtue they are so.  The list above is just the beginning of a path that expands endlessly toward the horizon and to each side.  It is literally infinite precisely because none of the questions that arise have complete and satisfactory answers.  No matter how one might answer any given question such as, "what is the standard by which we judge one person to hold superior claims to live over another?", such an answer will always lead to more questions.  If you doubt this, try it.  But be so very careful in thinking that you have reached the end of the line at any given point because I can assure you that you have not.  Just because you may not be able to cough up yet another question, it does not follow that more do not follow from whatever answer you have just obtained, if any.

    So let us reiterate again because this is a truly monumental point on one's understanding of such things.  The presumption of equality pretty well stands alone in its elegant simplicity, raising no difficult questions by simply telling us that all people hold equal claims to life.  The opposite presumption of unequal claims raises in infinite litany of questions that cannot be answered in ways that are not hopelessly obvious in the arbitrariness of their nature.  Which do you feel in your heart of hearts is closer to truth, a simple, elegant, and intuitively compelling assertion that stands perfectly on its own, or one that explodes into an endless cascade of rather disturbing questions about the assertion of the inherent and absolute superiority of one human being over another and the standards by which this is determined?

    Please give this issue its due consideration because, believe it or not, it affects your life every moment of every day.

    The answers to the question of what the metes and bounds should be are mainly rather simple and intuitively obvious when operating under the assumption of equal liberty for all people, which stems from the presumption of equal claims to life. Living by them, however, is not necessarily always easy. Never confuse simple with easy. Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to do.

    So What, Then, Is Freedom?

    Now that we have an idea of what freedom is not, all that remains is to determine what it is. Simply put, freedom is the prerogative to choose any action one wishes, within their rightful means, as long as it does not constitute a violation of the freedom of others. By "means" here I refer to material means. For example, if one wishes to carry a gun for a lawful purpose, they are entitled to do so provided they may also lawfully provide for themselves the means, which is to say the gun and, presumably, the ammunition. The right to carry a gun does not imply the entitlement of being provided with one at the expense of another. This is a common logical error upon which much of the philosophy of the welfare mentality is based. It is a horrific flaw that has wreaked incalculable damage upon billions of people worldwide.

    While people are generally quite fond of proclaiming the virtues of freedom, their private definitions of what it means to be free appear to suffer greatly from the universally fatal character of hypocrisy. Fatal, that is, to their credibility as honest and intelligent beings. For example, so-called “social liberals” and "progressives" speak of freedom, albeit infrequently as they appear to prefer the vile term "democracy", yet they are more than willing to apply whatever manner and degree of force they deem necessary to impose their political views upon each and every one of us regardless of consent. They do so quite paradoxically, nonsensically, irrationally, and non-credibly, asserting that such applications of force make us all “more free” or otherwise better off for any one of a number of trite, tired, and wholly fallacious reasons.

    In case anyone of a liberal bent is feeling picked upon, banish the thought, for there is plenty of blame to go around. Another example might come from the cadres of ultra-fundamentalist conservative Christians who similarly proclaim the virtues of freedom so long as it carries the Christian imprimatur deeply engraved upon on its forehead. One specific case could be the question of “decency”. In general, what some liberals may consider wholly acceptable in terms of decency, those of the Christian right often find abominable and would impose by force their political views upon even those who do not give their consent.  Hypocrisy abounds and we are drowning in it.

    Who is right and who is wrong? They both are. They are each right in holding their personal opinions on the question, to which each is entitled by virtue of the very freedom they claim, yet seek to deny in others, often "for their own good". They are both wrong for attempting to force those opinions down the throats of those who neither share in, nor welcome them. That, my dear readers, sums up the core problem of humanity as it has existed since our earliest written history.

    The litany of such issues includes abortion, birth control, sexual orientation, gay marriage, pornography, drug use, prostitution, smoking, liquor, gambling, and a whole host of others of which we are all, no doubt, well familiar.

    This leads directly to the question of what may and what may not be proscribed behaviors, either by law or through personal interactions. Once again, the answer is quite simple: any act that denies, abridges, disparages, diminishes, or otherwise infringes upon the rights of others is proscribed behavior. Sadly, in the real world things are rarely this black and white. Therefore, we find certain areas of murkiness even in the actinic light of this radiant principle. While the principle holds strongly in most cases, a few gray areas can be troublesome. We must therefore address them, at least initially.

    Direct Vs. Indirect Means of Violating Individual Freedom

    The violation of a freedom is always a direct consequence of some action. The methods used to violate individual liberty is not, however, always direct and obvious. If I take a stick and bang you over the head with it, I have used a direct, which is to say an immediately obvious method to violate your autonomy – your freedom – your rights. If, however, I give 25 cents to Joey over there who then at my behest and payment takes a stick and bangs you over the head, I have still violated your freedom, this time using an indirect method or an agent. We now know the two main avenues by which one person or group violates the rights of others. You no longer have any excuse to allow those who claim, “I never laid a hand on him” or "this new law does nothing to limit free speech" to fool you. If you have trouble remembering this, just bear in mind the old line by George Carlin: “If you can’t beat them, arrange to have them beaten.” It is all the same.

    Imagine next, if you will, that The US Congress enacts a bill that retroactively taxes all ammunition for all firearms at $1 trillion per round. You may pay the tax or surrender the ammunition to the “authorities”. Each violation of this new law will earn the guilty party 20 years to life in a federal penitentiary, and the law is vigorously enforced in the most draconian fashion imaginable, making for strong motivation to comply. Does such a law violate the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, assuming people are free to keep and carry their pistols, rifles, and shotguns anywhere and everywhere they please, public or private? The answer is yes, though through indirect means.

    In such a case the Second Amendment right has been violated through the agency of exorbitant taxation placed upon ammunition, making it effectively unobtainable on a legal basis by anyone, save trillionaires. For those who may find this example absurd in its fabric, recall that one Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan introduced and danced for all he was worth to gain passage of just such a bill. The only difference was that the tax would have started at $130 per box for handgun ammunition, which was a tidy sum in 1979 and would in fact have placed ammunition out of reach for many millions of Americans, some of whom may have needed it most.

    Use of the indirect method to violate the freedoms of people is perhaps the most common and insidious means by which mobs of people commonly called "government" perpetrate such crimes against others. There are literally tens of thousands of laws on the books that make end runs around the freedoms protected by the Constitution in such oblique and obtuse fashions as that demonstrated in the above example. One of the most egregious examples of this is Congress’ use of the so-called “Commerce Clause” of the Constitution to arrogate powers to itself and abridge the rights of the people.

    One reasonably concise and accurate way of considering the concept of freedom that may help one maintain a proper perspective is the good old Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, live and let live. Free people are free to live by the dictates of their consciences up to the point that their choices interfere with the freedom of others.

    Direct methods of infringements upon freedom are usually far more readily identifiable and therefore fought against.  Indirect attacks can be very oblique, their grotesquely twisted logic often holding an emotional appeal for some of those upon whom the violations have been foisted or who otherwise stand to benefit.  Most often indirect attacks very effectively conceal the violations they carry, much as rats carried bubonic plague to the cities of Europe.  Where even the indirect attack is unable to adequately conceal the outright violation of the rights of people, those seeking the imposition will provide false, yet emotionally compelling reasons to justify it.

    Likewise, laws based on such hopelessly but subtly flawed reasoning will often pass muster with judges of lesser intellectual or moral caliber because they fail to recognize the flaws and fallacies. Irrational appeal and subtly fallacious twists of logic notwithstanding, such laws still constitute violations of our civil rights – of our inborn freedoms.  As such we should not tolerate them in any form or in any measure, however slight or insignificant they may seem, for these were the precise means by which our freedoms have thus far been whittled away by usurpers.

    That particular method used to be referred to as “salami politics”, whereby freedoms were removed a thin and seemingly insignificant slice at a time. Bear also in mind that my use of “usurper” does not necessarily mean cadres of evil, crazy-eyed sociopaths. More often than not our freedom has been abridged by those well intended persons and groups who are convinced they know what is best for each and every one of us, regardless whether we want it. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and such intentions most often bear the mask of hopelessly misguided benevolence.
    That thought leads us to the notion of tolerance. Many sources, the mass media in particular, ceaselessly rail on about the virtues of tolerance.  While I agree with it in certain, specific principle and in much of practice, even tolerance has its limits. Not everything is tolerable. For example, would you tolerate your neighbor having sex with your 3-year-old son? Didn’t think so. That example alone demonstrates beyond doubt that not all things are rightly amenable to our tolerance.

    Why, then, are so many people willing to tolerate violations of their rights? Ignorance, complacency, and a lack of proper attitudes and skills for detecting and defeating those who would trample on our rights are the main reasons. Are violations of one’s freedoms, either singly or collectively, ever tolerable? The only correct answer to that is a resounding NO! Under no circumstance whatsoever is anyone justified in violating the freedom of another, not even in “emergencies”, national or otherwise. That we have tolerated the piecemeal obliteration of so much of our freedom is a profound shame on all the people of the world, especially those of the United States who are as a matter of course supposed to know better.

    Finally, allow me to mention an important aspect of the concept of freedom, and in fact of many of life's issues in general. Freedom must always be considered within a context. What, you may ask, is that context? Nothing more and nothing less than human life. The context of free human life, which is the basis of the Golden Rule, sets an objective standard of behavior for all people, which is the practical product resulting from the metes and bounds that arise naturally in the philosophical discussion, above. Yes, true freedom, through the context of humans living amongst humans, imposes a standard of action upon each one of us: live as you wish, but afford the same opportunity to others. It is that plain and it is that simple.

    You are entitled to freedom from being murdered, raped, robbed, beaten, or violated in any manner. Likewise, onus rests with you to refrain from so acting upon others by virtue of the same entitlement bearing upon them. In the end, those who understand what freedom really is know that courtesy, respect, and mindfulness of the rights of others lie at its very core. In practice, it is the courtesy and respect to allow others to live their lives and to hold their personal opinions as they see fit without fear of retribution. Mindfulness rests in never forgetting that everyone enjoys the same freedoms as you.

    Even if all people were to live by this central pillar of liberty, there would still be conflicts of interest. That cannot be denied because people are people. However, consider how many fewer such conflicts there would be, how much less friction between people when the burden of having to impose one person's or group's sets of beliefs and "values" is absent. I can barely overstate the significance of this notion. It would change everything, and for the better in virtually every case. As far as I have ever been able to ascertain in all my musings and conversations with hundreds of smart people over the years, the possible downside byproducts of living truly free lives are so few and generally so uncommonly realized, as to be essentially nonexistent.

    I contend that the answers to such problems as we face today will be best arrived upon when we are all empowered through the prerogatives that fully realized inborn freedom allows. Within the metes and bounds and in compliance with the universal standard of behavior, more freedom is never a bad thing.
    As we continue down this path, we will explore the ways in which our freedoms are violated on a daily basis by others, expose the rotten reasoning used to justify it, and will consider how life might be were such unwanted interferences no longer tolerated. In addition we will look at how we may change our current political realities such that life for everyone would be better overall. Far better.

    Until then, please accept my best wishes.