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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Paradise Lost

As of January 1st, 2008, it is now against the law to smoke cigarettes in public places here in Illinois. Mind you, it's not illegal to purchase cigarettes, only to smoke them. I am not a smoker, never have been and never will be, but I do enjoy my God-given freedoms that are so carefully spelled out in the Constitution of the United States of America. We all know that the state of Illinois is not worried about our health and safety. If they were, they would outlaw automobiles, for they pump more noxious and harmful chemicals to humans into the air than any amount of burning tobacco products could ever hope to match. Did you know that the United States government gives out grants to states like Illinois just to fund extra enforcement of the seatbelt laws? I can get a ticket if I'm not buckled up, and have gotten tickets for that. It seems to me, though, that if you would go after the drunk drivers and all the other hazardous drivers that are on our roadways, you'd save a lot more lives. If I don't wear my seatbelt, I am not jeopardizing anybody's life, not even my own! The state of Illinois is aware of this, but yet, they continue to pass law after law that take away a little bit more of our freedom and rights to choose. And we all know who is telling them to do this, don't we?
It is also mandantory here in Illinois to have insurance on your car, so that if you are involved in an accident, you're covered. All I know is that since that law became enacted, my insurance rates have skyrocketed through the roof. It now costs me $328 per year, just to have liability insurance on my one car that I drive regularly. Before this happened, I paid only $294 per year to have liability coverage on 3 cars! Where is this all leading? Just wait and see.
I want to leave you with this one little extra before I go. It is a paraphrasing of something that Pastor Martin Niemöller said when the Nazi Party took control of Germany in the 1930's, before World War II. You remember, "In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist, etc.?" Well, that same thing applies to this world we live in today. Only it goes like this:

In America, they came first for the Christmas displays on government property,
and I didn’t speak up because it didn’t apply to me.
And then they came for the people not wearing seat belts,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t one of them.
And then they came for the people who didn’t have car insurance,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t one of them.
And then they came for the smokers,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a smoker.
And then.... they came for me....
but by that time there was no one left to speak up.

Now, think about just how free you really are.

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