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.
If you’ve never had freedom taken from you, it’s easier to take it for granted.If you have, freedom becomes more precious and vital to survival and advancement. This is of much more than a matter of personal freedoms within Unfree countries.The despots ruling them also pose major threats to other countries.
For the 4th year in a row, according to Freedom House’sinvaluable annual analyses since 1972, freedom has declined in the world.One can only hope that the Obamites are paying attention, as there is more evidence of they not giving much of a damn.
In 2009, declines for freedom were registered in 40 countries, representing 20 percent of the world’s polities…. The year also featured a drop in the number of electoral democracies from 119 to 116, the lowest figure since 1995.
By absolute historical standards, the overall state of freedom in the world has improved over the last two decades. Many more countries were in the Free category and were designated as electoral democracies in 2009 than in 1989, and the majority of countries that made major progress 20 years ago have retained those improvements….
But over the last four years, the dominant pattern has been one of growing restrictions on the fundamental freedoms of expression and association in authoritarian settings, and a failure to continue democratic progress in previously improving countries due to unchecked corruption and weaknesses in the rule of law.
Freedom House doesn’t measure promises or commentators’ perceived portents.Freedom House sticks to what actually exists. For example, 88% of the people in the MidEast and North Africa region were in Unfree countries.Check out this map: http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/fiw10/FIW_2010_Map_MENA.pdfNote the only speck of freedom is in tiny Israel.Wonder why the rulers of Islamic countries and their Unfree allies concentrate on eliminating Israel’s threat, by comparison alone, to their satrapies lack of freedoms or economic advancement.
There’s much more detail in the Freedom House reports.
My own standard for a free country includes more than elections. It includes personal liberty to form contracts, conduct business and own property. By that light, America is losing points and Western Europe has retreated greatly.
I am tired of the game that "progressives" use, offering license like sexual irresponsibility and calling it liberty, while taking away real liberty and calling it freedom from exploitation. If I want no insurance and a Big Mac for lunch, let me make those choices.
By sexual irresponsibility, incidentally, I mean sex without affection, commitment and concern. I think that people who are gay are simply like that and wish only for their happiness. Since I can't picture it for myself, I have to believe that heterosexuality just doesn't work for them. Being gay doesn't mean being irresponsible.
To suggest the decline in liberty both here and elsewhere is alarming is a huge understatement. There is not much use trying to engage the Federal government to redress this issue. There is every reason to think that the folks in our own federal government have no fundamental disagreement with the tyrants and autocrats elsewhere, provided their comfortable perches in the District of Columbia are not disturbed. Repairing this outrage is up to us..