The Beginning Of The End
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The Level Of Economic Freedom In The United States Is At An All-Time Low

Photo by U.S. Senator Mike LeeAmericans have never had less economic freedom than they do right now.  The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom has just been released, and it turns out that the level of economic freedom in the United States has now fallen for seven consecutive years.  But of course none of us need a report or a survey to tell us that.  All we have to do is open our eyes and look around.  At this point our entire society is completely dominated by control freaks and bureaucrats.  Our economy is literally being suffocated to death by millions of laws, rules and regulations and each year brings a fresh tsunami of red tape.  As you will see below, the U.S. government issued more than 80,000 pages of brand new rules and regulations last year on top of what we already had.  Even if we didn’t have all of the other monumental economic problems that we are currently facing, all of this bureaucracy alone would be enough to kill our economy.

Yes, every society needs a few basic rules.  We would have total chaos if we did not have any laws at all.  But in general, when there is more economic freedom there tends to be more economic prosperity.  In fact, the greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was during a time when the federal government was much smaller, there was no Federal Reserve and there was no income tax.  Most Americans do not know this.

Those that founded this nation intended for it to be a place where freedom was maximized and government intrusion into our lives was minimized.

If they were still alive today, they would be absolutely horrified.  We are literally drowning in red tape.

The photo posted below was shared by U.S. Senator Mike Lee on his Facebook page.  Study it carefully…

Photo by U.S. Senator Mike Lee

The following is what he had to say about this photo

“Behold my display of the 2013 Federal Register. It contains over 80,000 pages of new rules, regulations, and notices all written and passed by unelected bureaucrats. The small stack of papers on top of the display are the laws passed by elected members of Congress and signed into law by the president.”

I didn’t even see the small stack of paper at the top of the cabinet until I read his explanation.  Most of the time everyone is so focused on what Congress is doing, but the truth is that the real oppression is happening behind the scenes as unelected federal bureaucrats pump out millions upon millions of useless regulations that are systematically killing our economic freedom.

On Tuesday, an article about the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom was published by the Wall Street Journal.  As I mentioned above, the United States has fallen for seven years in a row

World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.

That same article mentioned some of the reasons why the United States is falling…

It’s not hard to see why the U.S. is losing ground. Even marginal tax rates exceeding 43% cannot finance runaway government spending, which has caused the national debt to skyrocket. The Obama administration continues to shackle entire sectors of the economy with regulation, including health care, finance and energy. The intervention impedes both personal freedom and national prosperity.

And of course the results are predictable.  Our economy has been steadily declining for many years, and that decline appears to be ready to start picking up speed once again.  The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Dave in Denver

In the latest retail sales report for December, auto sales were nailed – down 1.8%. The only reason overall retail sales from November to December showed a slight “gain” that November’s number was revised lower. Electronics fell off of a cliff. The housing market is about to get crushed. Feedback I’m getting from my Seeking Alpha articles and blog posts on housing from housing market professionals all around the country tells me that the housing market hit a wall at the end of 2013, as I have been forecasting.

What he said about the housing market is definitely true.  In recent months, mortgage originations have been falling like a rock.  Just check out this chart.

And as I wrote about the other day, there has been absolutely no employment recovery since the end of the last recession.  In fact, 1,687,000 fewer Americans have jobs today compared to exactly six years ago even though the population has grown significantly since then.

Unfortunately, these are not just “cyclical problems”.  Long ago we abandoned the fundamental principles that once made our economy great, and now we are paying a tremendous price for that.

Posted below is a story that has been circulating all over the Internet for quite some time.  It is a fake story.  Once again, let me repeat that.  This is a fake story.  But I think that it does a great job of illustrating what is happening to America as we march toward full-fledged socialism…

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”.. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Could not be any simpler than that.

But of course it would be disingenuous to pin all of the blame for this just on Obama.  The truth is that our nation has continued to march toward socialism no matter who has been in the White House and no matter who has been in control of Congress.  So if you want to place some of the blame on a “Bush” or a “Clinton” or a “Boehner” or a “Pelosi” please feel free.

And the American people are getting sick and tired of this one party system that has two heads.  According to a recent Gallup survey, only 29 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be Democrats right now.  And the news was even worse for Republicans.  According to that survey, only 24 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be Republicans at this point.

A staggering 45 percent of all Americans now consider themselves to be Independents.  Deep down, most Americans know that something is seriously wrong with our nation and that they are being lied to be our politicians and the mainstream media.

Unfortunately, there is very little agreement about how to fix things because Americans do not have a set of shared values that we all agree on anymore.

So what do you think?  Do you believe that you know how to fix things?  If so, please feel free to share your plan by posting a comment below…

Can America Survive If Americans No Longer Agree On A Core Set Of Shared Values?

Can America Survive If Americans No Longer Agree On A Core Set Of Shared Values? - Photo by DrRandomFactorWhat does America stand for?  That question is a lot more complicated than you might think.  Our Founding Fathers established a Republic that was based on a set of shared values that were embodied in the text of the U.S. Constitution.  But today, many of our politicians openly disregard the Constitution whenever they want and it has become fashionable to mock the U.S. Constitution.  For example, the New York Times recently published a piece by Georgetown University Professor Louis Michael Seidman entitled “Let’s Give Up On The Constitution” in which he publicly called the Constitution “archaic” and “downright evil”.  This is a man that has been teaching constitutional law to the next generation of lawyers at one of the top universities in the nation for nearly 40 years.  Unfortunately, Seidman is not an aberration.  The truth is that law schools all over America are absolutely packed with professors that teach that we should consider the U.S. Constitution a “living, breathing document” that must “evolve” as society evolves.  They also teach that when we find something in the Constitution that does not work for us today that we should just ignore it.  In fact, in his New York Times article Seidman insisted that “constitutional disobedience” is “as old as the Republic”.  But if we can just ignore the U.S. Constitution whenever we want, where does that leave us?  Should we be able to ignore all laws when they are not convenient for us?

Personally, I strongly believe that we should follow the U.S. Constitution, and there are millions of others out there that agree with me.  If we want to amend the Constitution, there is a procedure for doing that, but it is not easy.  Our founders did that to try to ensure that any changes to our Constitution would reflect an overwhelming consensus of the American people.

But today America is more divided than ever before.  We can’t seem to agree on much of anything.  We are at a period in our history when we desperately need to come together, but instead we are constantly at each other’s throats.

Is there anything that truly unites us anymore?

In the old days, if you would have asked people to give you a one word definition of America, many people would have responded by naming important values such as “freedom” and “liberty”.

Sadly, much of the country appears not to even value those things any longer.  One poll found that 51 percent of all Americans believe that “it is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism.”  Other surveys have found similar results.

Not only that, we continue to elect control freak politicians from both political parties that appear to be obsessed with constantly eroding our freedoms and liberties.  There are literally millions of ridiculous laws, rules and regulations that govern even the smallest details of our lives, and the government is constantly inventing new ways to watch, track, register, monitor and control all of us.  If you doubt this, please see this article and this article.  If we continue down this path, we are going to end up in a very dark place as a nation.

Well, what about economics?

Aren’t we united by a common economic philosophy?

Sadly, no we are not.

In the old days, Americans overwhelmingly believed in free market capitalism and overwhelmingly rejected socialism, but now that is rapidly changing.

According to a stunning Pew Research Center survey, 49 percent of Americans in the 18 to 29 age bracket have a positive view of socialism while only 46 percent of Americans in that same age bracket have a positive view of capitalism.

So what will the future look like if we continue to see this kind of shift among our young people?

And of course we have not had anything even close to a true free market system in the United States in a very, very long time.  Our economy is dominated by a partnership between the federal government and the monolithic predator corporations that dominate our society.  Individuals and small businesses that try to compete are being absolutely suffocated.  Our Founding Fathers were very suspicious of all large concentrations of power, and they sought to greatly limit the power of both the federal government and of the big corporations.  But today we have gone totally in the other direction.

Well, is there anything else that truly unites America?

What about religion?

Of course it is true that the overwhelming majority of the early colonists were Christian, and even 50 years ago it would have been accurate to say that America was a “Christian nation”, but that is definitely no longer the case today.

The number of Americans with no religious affiliation has absolutely exploded in recent years.  It has grown by a whopping 25 percent over the past five years, and meanwhile the percentage of people that identify themselves as “Christians” in America is dropping like a rock.  In fact, one poll found that the percentage of Protestants in the United States has dropped below 50 percent for the first time ever.  For many more shocking numbers that show the precipitous decline of Christianity in America, please see this article.

So what fundamental principles do most Americans actually agree on?

And I am not talking about things like “American Idol is going downhill” or “Justin Bieber gets too much attention”.

Is there still a core set of shared values that the entire nation can agree upon?

If not, where does that leave us?

Unfortunately, I think that it leaves us in a very difficult place.  The divisiveness that we have seen in Washington D.C. in recent years is just the tip of the iceberg.  We are living in a nation today that is more divided than I can ever remember.  A whole host of opinion polls have shown that anger and frustration in America are rising to very dangerous levels, and instead of focusing on the real reasons for our problems we all tend to point the fingers at one another.

In America today, we have been trained to group ourselves together by certain “categories” and to see those on the other side as “the enemy”.  This is a very dangerous thing.  It keeps the American people from coming together to fix the very serious problems that are facing our country.

The truth is that we are being divided in dozens of different ways today.  The following are just a few of the ways we are currently being divided…

Republican vs. Democrat

Conservative vs. Liberal

Rich vs. Poor

Black vs. White (or insert any other two races or ethnic groups)

North vs. South

Urban vs. Rural

Anti-Gun vs. Pro-Gun

Male vs. Female

Young vs. Old

Traditional vs. “Modern”

Religious vs. Secular

Of course we should never compromise what we believe just for the sake of “unity”.  That is foolishness.  But you can disagree with someone without hating them.

In America today, people will find a reason to hate someone else at the drop of a hat.  Surprisingly large numbers of Americans will hate others because of where they are from, what they look like, what their ethnic background is, what their political affiliation is or what their religious beliefs are.

If America is going to have any kind of a future, we have got to start loving one another.  That does not mean that we all have to agree with one another.  But we do need to start caring about one another and hoping for the best for one another.

For example, I fundamentally disagree with almost every single thing that Barack Obama does.  But I do not hate him.  On the contrary, I pray for him and his family.  I would love to see him experience a 180 degree turnaround and start fighting for the truth.  I believe that love is stronger than hate, and I believe that there is hope for every one of us.

I know that I have had my mind changed on a lot of things throughout my life, and if I could go back there are many things I would do differently.  I am thankful for those that loved me and had patience with me when I was younger.

And that is the kind of grace that we should extend toward others.  Yes, a stand needs to be made when others are promoting evil and trampling on our rights.  But instead of responding to hate with even greater amounts of hate, perhaps it would be better if we responded with even greater amounts of love.

And I am not saying that we always have to be “meek” in our approach.  For example, if I was pushing a shopping cart around the local supermarket and I came upon a young child that was about to guzzle an entire bottle of liquid bleach, I would yell and scream at that child to stop.  Sometimes yelling and screaming is the loving thing to do.  There is nothing wrong with “tough love”.

There are preachers and radio hosts that I know that express what they believe in a very vociferous manner, but it is coming from a good place.  They love their listeners and they love their country and they are just trying to wake people up.  There is nothing wrong with that.

On the flip side, there are others that truly do hate particular categories of people.  For example, I was on a radio show earlier today, and the first half of the interview went great as I explained the problems with our economy, how our cities are degenerating and how the Federal Reserve is at the very heart of our financial problems as a nation.

But then in the second half of the interview, the radio host started blaming one particular ethnic group for all of our problems.  I had not properly researched this particular host and I was horrified.  I told her in a very clear manner that I thought that she was wrong.  I don’t think that she appreciated that very much.

But the truth is that we are never going to fix the very serious problems that are facing this country if we choose to hate one another because of what we look like or who our ancestors were.  We are never going to fix the very serious problems that are facing this country if we choose to remain trapped in the “red vs. blue” paradigm and keep pointing fingers of hatred at one another.  We are never going to fix the very serious problems that are facing this country if we would rather indulge in hatred rather than love.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t fight for what is right.  There are most certainly politicians that need to be voted out of office.  There are most certainly big corporations that need to be exposed.  There are most definitely evil agendas that are being promoted at the highest levels.  Our society is clearly headed in the wrong direction and this country needs a massive wake up call.

But I think that we will get a lot farther if love is our primary motivation.  Without love, we are nothing.  Let us start to love one another as we would like to be loved ourselves.

So what do all of you think about this?  I am sure that there are probably some very strong opinions out there.  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

Women Wearing Oakley Sunglasses Under American Flag - Photo by Michael Dorausch

The Student Loan Debt Bubble Is Creating Millions Of Modern Day Serfs

Every single year, millions of young adults head off to colleges and universities all over America full of hopes and dreams.  But what most of those fresh-faced youngsters do not realize is that by taking on student loan debt they are signing up for a life of debt slavery.  Student loan debt has become a trillion dollar bubble which has shattered the financial lives of tens of millions of young college graduates.  When you are just starting out and you are not making a lot of money, having to make payments on tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt can be absolutely crippling.  The total amount of student loan debt in the United States has now surpassed the total amount of credit card debt, and student loan debt is much harder to get rid of.  Many young people view college as a “five year party“, but when the party is over millions of those young people basically end up as modern day serfs as they struggle to pay off all of the debt that they have accumulated during their party years.  Bankruptcy laws have been changed to make it incredibly difficult to get rid of student loan debt, so once you have it you are basically faced with two choices: either you are going to pay it or you are going to die with it.

But we don’t warn kids about this before they go to school.  We just endlessly preach to them that they need a college degree in order to get a “good job”, and that after they graduate they will easily be able to pay off their student loans with the “good job” that they will certainly be able to find.

Sadly, tens of millions of young Americans have left college in recent years only to find out that they were lied to all along.

As I have written about previously, college has become a giant money making scam and the victims of the scam are our young people.

Back in 1952, a full year of tuition at Harvard was only $600.

Today, it is over $35,000.

Why does college have to cost so much?

At every turn our young people are being ripped off.

For example, the cost of college textbooks has tripled over the past decade.

Has it suddenly become a lot more expensive to print books?

Of course not.

The truth is that an entire industry saw an opportunity to gouge students and they went for it.

The amount of money being spent on higher education in this country is absolutely outrageous.  One father down in Texas says that he will end up spending about 1.5 million dollars on college expenses for his five daughters before it is all said and done.

Unfortunately, most young adults in America don’t have wealthy fathers so they have to take out large student loans to pay for their educations.

Average student loan debt at graduation is estimated to be about $28,720 right now.

That is a crazy figure and it has absolutely soared in recent years.  In fact, student loan debt in America has grown by 511 percent since 1999.

And student loan debt will follow you wherever you go.

If you do not pay your loans when you graduate, you could end up having your wages, your tax refunds and even your Social Security benefits garnished.

In addition, your account could be turned over to the debt collectors and they can be absolutely brutal.

The student loan debt bubble is the best thing to happen to debt collectors in ages.  The following is what one professional who works in the industry said in a recent article that he wrote for a debt collection industry publication….

As I wandered around the crowd of NYU students at their rally protesting student debt at the end of February, I couldn’t believe the accumulated wealth they represented – for our industry.

It was lip-smacking.

At my right, to graphically display how she was debt-burdened, was a girl wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the fine sum of $90,000, another with $65,000, a third with $20,000 and over there a really attractive $120,000 was printed on another shirt.  Guys were shouldering their share, with t-shirts of $20,000, $15,000, $27,000, $33,000 and $75,000.

There is no way that our young people can afford to take on those kinds of debt loads, and that is one reason why student loan delinquency rates continue to surge.

In fact, the student loan default rate in the United States has nearly doubled since 2005.

Today, one out of every six Americans that owes money on a student loan is in default.

One out of every six.

And it is going to get a whole lot worse.

At this point there are about 5.9 million Americans that are at least 12 months behind on their student loan payments.

So could the bursting of the student loan bubble do tremendous damage to our financial system?

Don’t worry – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is promising that the student loan debt bubble won’t cause a crisis.

And you can trust him, right?

For those living with the burden of unpaid student loan debt, life can be really tough.  Some try to avoid the debt collectors, but it is easier said than done.  The following is from a recent article in the New York Times….

Hiding from the government is not easy.

“I keep changing my phone number,” said Amanda Cordeiro, 29, from Clermont, Fla., who dropped out of college in 2010 and has fielded as many as seven calls a day from debt collectors trying to recover her $55,000 in overdue loans. “In a year, this is probably my fourth phone number.”

Unlike private lenders, the federal government has extraordinary tools for collection that it has extended to the collection firms. Ms. Cordeiro has already had two tax refunds seized, and other debtors have had their paychecks or Social Security payments garnisheed.

The biggest problem, of course, is that there are not nearly enough jobs for the hordes of college graduates that our system produces each year.

During 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

So without a good job, how are those young people supposed to service their student loans?

Once upon a time, a college degree was a guaranteed ticket to the middle class.

Sadly, those days are long gone.  Today, millions upon millions of college graduates have taken jobs that do not even require a college education.  The following is from a recent CNBC article….

In the last year, they were more likely to be employed as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians combined (100,000 versus 90,000). There were more working in office-related jobs such as receptionist or payroll clerk than in all computer professional jobs (163,000 versus 100,000). More also were employed as cashiers, retail clerks and customer representatives than engineers (125,000 versus 80,000).

You probably know young people who have experienced the “wake up call” that comes as a result of entering the “real world” in this horrible economic environment.

It is not easy out there.

And this can be extremely disappointing for parents as well.  How would you feel if your daughter got very high grades all of the way through college and ended up working as a waitress because she couldn’t find anything else?

Even those that pursue advanced degrees are having an extremely challenging time finding work in this economy.

For example, a Business Insider article from a while back profiled a law school graduate named Erin that is actually on food stamps….

She remains on food stamps so her social life suffers. She can’t afford a car, so she has to rely on the bus to get around Austin, Texas, where she lives. And currently unable to pay back her growing pile of law school debt, Gilmer says she wonders if she will ever be able to pay it back.

“That has been really hard for me,” she says. “I have absolutely no credit anymore. I haven’t been able to pay loans. It’s scary, and it’s a hard thing to think you’re a lawyer but you’re impoverished. People don’t understand that most lawyers actually aren’t making the big money.”

And the really sad thing is that the quality of the education that our young people are receiving is very poor.  I spent eight years attending U.S. universities, and most parents would be absolutely shocked at how little our college students are actually learning.

Going to college really has become a ticket to party for four or five or six years with a little bit of “education” thrown in.

But our society has put a very high value on those little pieces of paper called “diplomas” so we all continue to play along with the charade.

Some college students are finding other “creative” ways to pay for their educations other than going into tremendous amounts of debt.  For example, an increasing number of young women are seeking out “sugar daddies” who will “sponsor” their educations.  The following is from a Huffington Post article about this disturbing trend….

On a Sunday morning in late May, Taylor left her Harlem apartment and boarded a train for Greenwich, Conn. She planned on spending the day with a man she had met online, but not in person.

Taylor, a 22-year-old student at Hunter College, had confided in her roommate about the trip and they agreed to swap text messages during the day to make sure she was safe.

Once in Greenwich, a man who appeared significantly older than his advertised age of 42 greeted Taylor at the train station and then drove her to the largest house she had ever seen. He changed into his swimming trunks, she put on a skimpy bathing suit, and then, by the side of his pool, she rubbed sunscreen into the folds of his sagging back — bracing herself to endure an afternoon of sex with someone she suspected was actually about 30 years her senior.

Of course that young woman will probably deeply regret doing that later on in her life.

Once graduation comes, millions upon millions of our young people are discovering that it is really hard to be financially independent if you are drowning in student loan debt and you can’t find a good job.

So what are they doing?

They are moving back in with Mom and Dad.

One poll discovered that 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

Ouch.

So what do you think about all of this?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

18 Examples Of The Nanny State Gone Wild

America has been overrun by control freaks.  Once upon a time the United States was considered to be “the land of the free and the home of the brave”, but today there are millions of laws, rules and regulations that tightly regulate our daily lives.  Most of these laws, rules and regulations were established by people who believed that they had “good intentions”, but at this point the nanny state has become so oppressive that it is strangling the life out of us.  If you look back throughout history, the societies that have really thrived have had a very high degree of liberty and freedom.  When the bureaucrats get the upper hand, it can suck the life out of any economy.  Unfortunately, our political system seems to be a magnet for control freaks.  These control freaks truly believe that they know better than the rest of us and they are systematically moving toward taking total control of our lives.  Our rights are being stripped away a little bit more with each passing day, and we are being told that we need a “permit” or a “license” for almost everything.  Many younger Americans have been living this kind of “straight jacket existence” for so long that they don’t even remember what real liberty and freedom are.  We are steamrolling down the road toward totalitarianism, and most Americans don’t even realize what is happening.

Sadly, there are many Americans that actually agree that the state should regulate nearly every detail of our lives.  There are many Americans that actually believe that life is better when there are millions of rules that we all have to follow.  There are many Americans that actually believe that too much liberty and freedom is a bad thing.

If we are not careful the control freaks are going to destroy this nation.  They always tell us that the rules that they are imposing upon us are “for our own good”, but every time they lay another burden on our backs they just suck a little bit more life out of us all.

The following are 18 examples of the nanny state gone wild….

#1 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that he wants to ban the sale of all large sodas and sugary drinks in order to fight obesity.  Personally I don’t have any sodas in my refrigerator, but I certainly do not want the government telling me that I am banned from drinking large sodas.  Every American should have the freedom to decide if they want to drink soda or not.

#2 In North Carolina, authorities are threatening to send a blogger to prison for blogging about his battle against diabetes….

Steve Cooksey has learned that the definition, at least in the eyes of the state board, is expansive.

When he was hospitalized with diabetes in February 2009, he decided to avoid the fate of his grandmother, who eventually died of the disease. He embraced the low-carb, high-protein Paleo diet, also known as the “caveman” or “hunter-gatherer” diet. The diet, he said, made him drug- and insulin-free within 30 days. By May of that year, he had lost 45 pounds and decided to start a blog about his success.

But this past January the state diatetics and nutrition board decided Cooksey’s blog — Diabetes-Warrior.net — violated state law. The nutritional advice Cooksey provides on the site amounts to “practicing nutrition,” the board’s director says, and in North Carolina that’s something you need a license to do.

#3 In San Francisco, if you do not recycle your trash correctly you can be fined up to $500.

#4 The following are just some of the cities that have started using RFID tracking chips to monitor the recycling habits of their citizens….

*Cleveland, Ohio

*Charlotte, North Carolina

*Alexandria, Virginia

*Boise, Idaho

*Dayton, Ohio

*Flint, Michigan

#5 In Minnetonka, Minnesota you can be fined up to $2,000 for having a muddy vehicle.

#6 In Hazelwood, Missouri it is against the law for little girls to sell girl scout cookies in front of their own homes.

#7 San Francisco has implemented a ban on Happy Meal toys.

#8 Over the past couple of years there have been quite a few instances all over the country where lemonade stands run by children have been shut down by police because the children had not acquired the proper permits.

#9 State legislatures all over the country have been passing legislation making it more difficult for parents to opt out of having their children vaccinated.

#10 In many U.S. states is it now illegal to collect any rain that falls on to your own property.

#11 In San Juan Capistrano, California it is against the law to hold a home Bible study without a “conditional use permit“.

#12 In New York City, it is against the law to smoke at public parks and beaches.

#13 In California,”food confiscation teams” visit the homes of people that have been discovered to have purchased raw milk.  The following is from a recent Natural News article….

In a bombshell revelation of the depth of the food police state that now exists in LA County, California, NaturalNews has learned that the LA County health department has unleashed door-to-door raw milk confiscation teams to threaten and intimidate raw dairy customers into surrendering raw milk products they legally purchased and own.

According to Mark McAfee (see quotes below), both LA County and San Diego county have attempted to acquire customer names and addresses from Organic Pastures (www.OrganicPastures.com) for the sole purpose of sending “food confiscation teams” to customers’ homes to remove the raw milk from customers’ refrigerators. Using both phone calls and home visits, these teams intimidate customers and try to force them to give up their milk.

#14 In Hilton Head, South Carolina it is illegal to have trash in your car.

#15 In major cities all over the United States feeding the homeless has been banned due to “health reasons”.

#16 In Louisiana, one church was ordered to stop passing out water because it did not have the proper permit.

#17 At public schools all over the United States, the lunches that little children bring from home are now inspected to make sure that they meet USDA guidelines.  The following is one recent report of this phenomenon from North Carolina….

A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.

The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

#18 Today, a vast array of government agencies is constantly monitoring what all of us say and do on the Internet.  They claim that this helps makes us all more “safe” and “secure”.

In order to maintain proper “control” over our lives, the nanny state is obsessed with watching us and monitoring us.  This point was beautifully made in a recent article by Chuck Baldwin….

America is no longer “one nation under God.” Today, America is “one nation under surveillance.” Cameras monitoring our every movement, satellites taking pictures of our homes, listening devices being used to record our conversations, hi-tech computers capturing virtually every piece of correspondence, banking institutions forwarding our private financial records to Big Brother, and now armed drones flying over the neighborhoods of the American citizenry all reveal that America is anything but the “land of the free.”

Is this really how we want to live?

Do we want our children and our grandchildren to live their lives in a nation that is increasingly coming to resemble totalitarian regimes like North Korea?

Yes, every society needs laws.

But we don’t need millions of them.

Our founders intended to create a society where liberty and freedom would be maximized, and all of that liberty and freedom helped create an environment that gave birth to the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.

But now the control freaks are choking the life out of our society.  Please take a stand against them while you still can.

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