Forgive the tinfoil-hat, conspiracy theorist title but, are we seeing the opening moves of the Progressive endgame?
The impetus for my first post of this blog was the attempt to require installation of smart-meters in my home state of Vermont (You can access that post through the Archives in the sidebar). As of this writing, the state and the utility have backed off and will allow people to keep their old dial-type analog meters, if they agree to pay a $10 monthly fee for the labor of the worker to physically read the meter. The time may come, however, when things aren't quite so reasonable.
There have been smart meter protests in several places across the country almost since their inception. Early on, when information was limited, the states, municipalities, and utilities were able to steamroll objections and go ahead with the installations. They point to the lack of active protests from those who were switched over to the new meters as proof of their harmlessness. With the "new" media, however, they have been unable to keep rumbles of discontent under wraps. In several counties in California, of all places, people have been very vocal and active in their resistance to this intrusion into their lives. Some on concerns over the radiation and EMPs, others concerned over the potential violation of privacy and the very real risk of some hacker gaining access to the information in order to determine when someone is at home or away, opening them up to possible burglary. Still others are wary of the government having too much information on people's private lives and restriction of access to energy. Authorities have sometimes been called to deal with the protests, and there have been several allegations by some citizens that authorities with the power company have engaged in a pattern of intimidation, threatening customers with illegal disconnection if they don't agree to the installations.
Most recently, two housewives in Naperville, IL were handcuffed and arrested by local police officers for refusing utility workers' access to their private property for the purpose of installing these smart-meters--which they have expressly told the utility they do not want and will not accept. The utilities response, with the full cooperation of the municipal board, was to send the local PD to assist the workers in the forced installation. Since when did our local law enforcement officers become muscle for the utility? Isn't it customary in such cases for the municipality or utility to bring charges in civil court and not use government force on the citizens until and unless they have obtained the Court's order following due process? The utility and the municipality claim that the purpose of the new meters is to better "manage" the grid and to help people by giving them more detailed information about their energy usage. The utility will "allow" people to continue to use the traditional analog meters, IF they agree to pay an initial $68.35 fee for the "non-wireless meter", as well as an additional $24.75 service fee added to their bill each month. Excuse me? Charge people a fee for the meter they already have on their home? The same one they've had for years, if not decades? And the "service fee"! I know public employees are greatly overpaid, but $25 for a task that takes appx 30-60 sec? It makes one wonder why they are so desperate to complete the installation of these meters, in the face of such opposition. It can't be a simple urge towards efficiency. Since when have power companies and governments been concerned with being efficient?
Do those of us living in areas where these meters have not yet been forced on us have to worry about similar actions being taken against those of us who don't want the new technology? Will we be arrested if we resist the violation of our Constitutional rights to be secure in our homes and to privacy? The people in Naperville who are protesting the installation of these meters have a lawsuit filed against the municipality and the utility. It has not yet been resolved.
On top of this, you have the continuing debate over the 2nd Amendment, and the media's seeming conspiracy to promote the left's agenda. Whenever there is any incident of gun violence you can count on the media to make mention of the fact. Oddly, there has been little or no mention of the incidences where the use of a gun, or even the mere presence of an armed individual has limited or prevented a tragedy similar to what happened in Connecticut:
On Thursday, an armed off duty security guard/resource officer at an Atlanta school prevented a potential massacre by disarming a student who shot a 14yr old, wounding him in the neck. The police say the actions of the guard "ensured that the incident went no further". Odd how the presence of an armed guard at a school prevented the death of at least one student and gets no press. Or, when it does get mentioned, it gets discounted. CNN's Piers Morgan dismissed the actions of the security guard, saying that he did nothing to prevent a shooting, because one student did get shot. Let's see, one wounded, no fatalities, gunman taken down and disarmed. Sounds to me like the guard (the "good guy with a gun") had a positive effect on the outcome of this situation.
As bad as that is, you have MSNBC (again) selectively editing tape to promote the Liberal objective. This time on gun control. They edited a tape of the testimony of Neil Heslin, the father of one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting to show "gun nuts heckling the grieving father". After viewing the whole, unedited recording, it is clear that Mr. Heslin was challenging the room for anyone to answer why they should not have greater restrictions on guns, and that they weren't "heckling", but simply answering his challenge.
Let me take this moment to answer the two most often asked questions by the gun control advocates:
1) "Why does any American "need" an assault rifle for self-defense and personal protection?"
Answer: Precisely because they are "scary looking". Whether you are male/female, old/young, physically fit or flabby, if you are able to intimidate your opponent with your weapon, you will be less likely to need to use it.
2) "Why do you need a "high capacity" magazine? How many bullets do you need?"
Answer: Again, the answer is the same regardless of gender: I need at least one more round than the number of people attacking me. Unless you can guarantee me that I will never face more than 2 assailants, don't presume to dictate how much defense I will be allowed to put up.
Hey, here's an idea. Since the Progressives want to have a debate on the suitability of the 2nd Amendment in modern-day America, let's have a parallel conversation about the suitability of the Voting Rights Act in light of our current financial situation. Specifically, let's consider limiting the right to vote to those who actually pay income taxes. After all, if you're not one of the one's pulling the cart, why should you be allowed to vote on how heavily the cart is loaded?
There you go, simple enough for even Piers Morgan or an American Progressive to understand.
The government (and the media) seems hell bent on preventing Americans from obtaining the tools necessary for self-defense and protection of our homes and property, saying that civilians have no need for such "assault weapons" for personal defense; yet, the Department of Homeland Security has put in an order for 7000 5.56x45mm NATO "personal defense weapons" with 30-round magazines (also known as "assault weapons" if an American citizen wants to own one), under the decision that these weapons are effective for personal defense in close quarters. The kicker? These weapons are what's known militarily as "select fire", which means that with the flick of a switch, they can go from semi-automatic, to fully automatic!
Call me paranoid, but when someone is telling me that I can't have something because I don't have a "need" for it, while granting themselves permission to do so, I have a problem.
One of the most powerful testimonials given in the government hearing on proposed gun control measures wasn't given by Wayne Lapierre of the NRA or by Gabriel Giffords. It was given by a legal immigrant by the name of Henson Ong. The Blaze recounts his testimony. In it, he reminded lawmakers that our ".... history is replete with high school rifle teams, boy scout marksmanship merit badges. You could buy rifles at hardware stores, you could order them… your country was awash in readily available firearms and ammunition, and yet in your past you did not have mass school shootings. What changed? It was not that the availability of guns suddenly exploded or increased, it actually was decreased. What changed was societal decay.” Go to TheBlaze.com and read his testimony and watch the video. It's powerful stuff.
Government monitoring. Restriction and (potentially) eventual elimination of the rights of the citizen to adequate self defense. Executive Orders aimed at circumscribing the lives of the individual, often circumventing the authority of Congress. Federal government's take over of industries and healthcare. Government control over the financial sector and energy production. Are we just riding out another changing of the political winds? Or is it something more serious, and sinister? I'm not rushing out to buy gold and silver, stockpiling weapons and 1000's of rounds of ammunition, buying months' worth of freeze dried food and becoming a "prepper" (yet). But I am becoming more concerned with the actions I see my government taking around me, and I wonder, "What is happening that I DON'T see?"