We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment is what the Serbs have in Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It's not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the "right" to education, the "right" to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.
As I've said before, Bird Dog, Our present parlous condition is partly due to that unknown but evil person in the bowels of the D.C. government, who decided, some years ago, to substitute the word 'entitlement' for the word 'benefits.'
They don't mean the same thing at all. Benefits, are nice stuff provided to a citizenry or to employees by a generous company during good economic times, with the unspoken but understood corollary that they might sometime be temporarily withheld if the organization gets into economic trouble. 'Entitlements' are a whole other thing, and must be supplied even if it beggars the supplier financially. The results of this invidious substitution of terms are far-reaching and long-lasting, as the more intelligent among us now know and could have predicted.