Getting Free, Post-911
By Sunni Maravillosa
Exclusive to The Sierra Times
Published 07. 27. 02 at 20:19 Sierra Time
Every day, the news here and at other freedom-respecting web sites is much the same, in these post-911 security-above-all times of anxiety -- "the times that try men's souls" indeed. Although some progress is being made, most notably on 2nd amendment issues, the rest is depressing, scary, wearying ... but not insurmountable. And that's what I want to focus on. While the Thought Police try to monitor our every move, via illegal wiretaps and internet intercepts, while the TIPS program moves this country closer to the can't-trust-anyone drabness of the Soviet Union and Eastern Germany, they cannot take all our freedoms. Not unless we allow it, that is.
So, how do we "get free"? In reality, it isn't so much about getting freedom as it is about creating it. For those of us who want to live freer lives, there are ways to accomplish that, even as the busybodies try all the harder to prevent it. Here are some ideas, all fairly quick and easy starters.
1. Stop giving out your SSN. With the talk of NIDs and TIPS still going strong, it just plain makes sense not to add information that's linked to that number. When given a form, simply don't fill in a number. Many times, it won't be noticed. If it is, and you're asked about it, an answer I've found effective is, "I don't use it any more." Usually that ends the conversation; if not, a brief explanation should suffice. If the person persists in asking for it, take your business elsewhere, if possible.
2. Vote with your feet. If at all possible, move to a lower-tax area in your state, or even better, a state with no income tax. Tell the tyrants why you're moving, too. Do as much as you can to lower your tax burden -- without money, the Thought Police can't function. Telecommuting is becoming more accepted as an employment option; check into it as a means to help facilitate this.
3. Decrease your reliance on society's infrastructure. Garden. Grow your own herbs. Hunt to supply your own meat. Compost your kitchen waste. Invest in alternative energy, water, and waste disposal sources as much as you're able. In the event of a serious, prolonged emergency, learning to do these things now could well mean the difference between life and death.
4. Assume responsibility for your safety. Lots of people have written on this, including me [link to previous ST articles on buying/using a gun], but it goes beyond firearms. Take martial arts or some other self-defense training course. Develop an attitude that makes becoming a victim much less likely.
5. Do not accept any form of government assistance. No unemployment. No Social Security. No college aid. No Medicare or Medicaid. Yes, this can be very difficult, but the more we support Leviathan, the more justified their claims to "help" and "protect" us are.
6. Use barter as much as possible. Take your economic transactions outside the realm of fiat money, and exchange value for value with other like-minded souls. You'll be decreasing your tax burden, too.
7. Support other pro-freedom individuals. The more we help each other, the stronger our markets become while the weaker the state's mixed market becomes. Oftentimes, without regulation, taxation, and other costs associated with doing business with a state-sanctioned entity, you're getting a double benefit: lower prices and supporting a like-minded individual.
8. Avoid institutions supported heavily by tax dollars. Send your children to private schools, or better yet, homeschool or unschool them. Don't support the local symphony, museum, major league sports, courts, library, parks, etc. Yes, this is another toughie, but private alternatives do exist. (The internet is a great resource for educational opportunities; used bookstores make buying lots of books easy and inexpensive; etc.)
9. Get yourself out of debt. Debt is a form of slavery. While it may not be slavery to the state, it certainly limits your freedom to explore possibilities.
10. Pay your bills online. By doing this, you don't support the U.S. Post Office, a quasi-government agency that sucks up lots of tax dollars every year. The internet is killing them; let's hasten that death. If you do need to send something, use a private competitor, like FedEx, UPS, or a local business.
These ideas are just a few of the many ways we can create more freedom in our lives, without being confrontational with the Thought Police or busybodies. Some of these are easier to do than others. They're all worth working toward. If we're serious about getting the state out of our lives it means making principled decisions, and taking tough actions. By doing so, we'll be creating more freedom for ourselves, serving as a great role model to our children, and an example to others.
Sunni Maravillosa is a psychologist, web mistress, and writer. Her writing is scattered across many web sites, but you can find much of it at Doing Freedom! and the Liberty Round Table. If you have a question on how to "do freedom" for Sunni, send it to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Replies will be addressed here and the Doing Freedom! web site.
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