Regular folk living regular lives sometimes have car trouble and are called by circumstances to go visit a mechanic. This happened to me recently and I found myself in a cold and airy garage, talking to a man I'll call Gary for the sake of his privacy. As so often happens when two guys get together in the middle of a garage with the hood open on a car staring at an engine, we started to shoot the breeze.
We were both California transplants, and that led to California stories. We both had a love of dirt bikes, and that led to crash stories. Then Gary started telling me about meeting Ron Jeremy, the Porn Star, surrounded by a small harem of pretty girls, and I let him have the floor.
It seems Gary, the mechanic, had owned and operated a SMOG STATION in a small town in California near Sacramento. This meant that if he had beefs with the regulations that governed smogging vehicles and such, he could drive into Sacramento and have a direct word with the men and women who wrote these laws and regulations, and give them an ear-full.
And according to Gary, he did this often. He once walked into an office where he interrupted a State Senator tooting a line of coke He drank with the State Senators at a local drinking hole and had their ear.
When he was at the state capital one day, Ron Jeremy was there to protest the State's new proposals to demand tax from prostitutes. Imagine that? Taxing an enterprise you have already ruled was illegal.
Gary told me he got pictures of himself taken with all of Ron Jeremy's girls. His wife nodded. She too, was proud of her husband's political forays.
While my broken car sat quiet and still with the hood up in his shop, dripping the last bit of oil it contained onto the cement floor, Gary- a stout and greasy-creased man- spoke to me in surprisingly articulate detail and friendly candor about his adventures in Sacramento. I learned all about the California Legislators while Wilson was the governor. I learned about Gray Davis as he stepped into office. Gary told me that after years and years of harassing the State government, they got tired of hearing from “this guy who actually knew a thing or two about cars and smog and small businesses and all of that”. They blackballed him from the local radio talk shows. Darkly painted vehicles with dark windows started cruising the parking lot of his shop in a small California town.
Gary got scared and moved to Oregon.
This didn't seem like a man that got scared of much of anything.
Ron Jeremy stood in the Capital and protested the idea that prostitution is illegal and that it should pay taxes. I mean, the notion is ludicrous and irrational and well par for the governmental course.
That's when it hit me like a salami across the face. Talking to Gary in that shop, imagining Ron Jeremy and his entourage of pretty hookers.
The government was an institution that told you what you could NOT DO, all the while, telling you what you had to pay, in order for it to tell you WHAT YOU COULD NOT DO.
You can't be a prostitute, but give me a percentage of all the money you make being a prostitute.
Can it get any clearer than that?
I've always been a bit of a liberal. I've always believed that collectively, we can solve many problems that can't be solved when we all act alone. I've always believed that the collective arrangements we make is what we call “government”.
If we gather our funds, we can have libraries and fire stations and police for our neighborhoods.
I've always thought this was a good thing.
“We The People”= Government.
We vote. We get representation. Government acts to deal with those issues that we can't deal with as individuals.
Makes sense, right?
Watching the federal debates, and the federal government hopefuls in action made me realize something in conjunction with this conversation I had with Gary in his mechanics shop.
My problems are far too localized for anybody in the federal government to either care about or have any knowledge of. We look to these people to solve issues that they have no clue about. Not only that, we are FORCED to give them money to do this, as well. If we don't give them 1/3 of our income, they send “agents” to our houses and our banks and maybe we have to go sit in a cell and think about how bad we were for denying them their ability to do for us like they aren't even able
A light bulb didn't go off in my head. A bomb did.
As an American, I was under the thumb of people in a far-away land (and, as in the case of Bush and his busload of (edited for the sake of the kids) not getting anything in return near what I was being forced- by threat of jail- to pay).
The Federal government had done nothing for me, and taken much away.
Lately, I've been rereading the Constitution. From there, I've been looking at what has become of the “liberty” that the Constitution promises us. I started thinking back to when I had just got back from over- seas, and I discovered that my Mum and her husband (who had just had a rough financial time caused by one losing his job and my Mum shattering her leg) were both under duress because the Internal Money Scamming Service said they owed money. Bank accounts were frozen. Nasty letters were sent that upset my Mum to no end. The issue was eventually resolved with much fanfare and trauma and stress and threats and nervous nights shaking and crying and hoping that it would all turn out ok.
At the time, I gave them my money as I earned it, and didn't think too much about the process. Those people were the government. They had the power. They said so, so it was so.
I dated a girl who worked seven days a week and died of a brain aneurism from stress (I believe). When I met her, the IR expletive S were garnishing her wages, because they said they found a mistake- she had over-claimed her expenses, or some such thing. It turns out, they were wrong, after an attorney was purchased and a brief battle occurred. This didn't stop her from her sleepless nights. This didn't erase the stress they put her under.
My point is, government that was established by the people and for the people has now become something we all really don't recognize. It isn't for “us” anymore. It is a self-perpetuating monstrosity. We no longer grant the government the power to perform functions on our behalf. They assume that power. They demand it under threat and the power to ruin and/or incarcerate.
That is not “freedom”, people. That is not liberty.
Going back to Ron Jeremy, walking through the halls of Sacramento with his entourage of girls at least he got to walk the halls. At least he had a fair chance of knowing who to talk to if he had a beef with what was being done in his name, for his own good, by others on his behalf. He could walk the halls and get his girls to flash a little flesh, and things could get resolved.
My mechanic Gary, the greasy mechanic from a small American town, could drive into the Capital and have a word with some of the people who made his business such a hard-to-run enterprise. He could open doors and catch his representatives snorting coke. He could rub elbows and more in the halls with porn stars. He could still place a greasy and well-scarred hand on the levers of power, albeit with some fear and trembling. But he could see a legislator and get a bill written, just by being persistent.
The closer to your own community government resides, the more an individual has the ability to participate in government.
This whole usurpation of our communities by the federal government has become an outrageous farce.
Watch the debates. Listen to the candidates. How could they know what your community's problems are? That's insane. Each candidate gives his or her best opinion on generic grievances, while real problems in real communities persist.
And they vary by community.
Here in Oregon, we deal with the health of our forests. Who do we deal with in this regard? An administration from Texas and the East Coast. What do they know about West Coast forestry? Laughably little.
Ron Paul stands up and tells me he wants to dismantle this power structure and let the States take back power that has been gradually taken from them. This is music to my ears. It doesn't matter which way I lean on any issue, if I can drive into my State Capital and walk the halls, I am far better off than I am now.
Who knows? I might even meet Ron Jeremy's girls there.Tweet
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