Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

For two days my message has been about thankfulness. I’m going for the trifecta.

This may disappoint Sheldon, a commenter at ThisisCommonsense.com, who pooh-poohed my earlier expression of gratitude. “It sounds as though one of the guests invited to your Thanksgiving table will be your very distant relative Pollyanna,” he teased.

Countering my view that “the abundance on our Thanksgiving tables” comes from “the freedom to work and produce and trade with each other,” he argued that this abundance “decreases yearly as government-produced inflation eats away at our purchasing power. Every single aspect of our ‘freedom to work and produce and trade’ and even to eat, drink, travel and enjoy life is surveilled, controlled, obstructed and regulated by ‘our’ government.”

Though I certainly didn’t notice any diminution of the “abundance” at yesterday’s feast, Sheldon nonetheless has a point. Heck, it sounds like he’s been reading these commentaries word-for-word!

There is, indeed, a lot that’s wrong in this world — and the power and arrogance of government is right there in the middle of most of it.

But in necessarily focusing on the problem, on our eroding freedom and lack of control over our lives, let’s not lose hope. Instead, let’s be thankful for what we do have: the ability to do something about it.

There are solutions. Even with all the political corruption and rules rigged to favor the insiders, we still have meaningful freedom to stand up, to speak out, to help create and organize and agitate for desperately needed change.

I’m thankful for that much freedom. Let’s use it to make more.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

6 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    I guess what I don’t get is that we often say things about our blessings here, come from “the freedom to work and produce and trade with each other,” but that same freedom is also existent in many countries throughout the world.

    Yet people seem to say it without thinking and as if we’re the only country in the world with these “special privileges.”

    We’re not. Far from it in fact. People in many countries aren’t burdened by the enormous amount of governmental regulations required to simply start or operate a business. The fact that those controls are increasing almost weekly now due to the money grabs by the governments at all levels here aside.

    What’s very interesting is that people that have their own businesses have a very different view of this “Thanks” than those with jobs provided by huge corporations and particularly of government do.

  2. Sheldon says:

    “But in necessarily focusing on the problem, on our eroding freedom and lack of control over our lives, let’s not lose hope. Instead, let’s be thankful for what we do have: the ability to do something about it.”

    It appears that Pollyanna actually is spending time with you; or maybe it’s Dr. Pangloss. The above quotation is what a slave/prisoner would say about his incarceration. “My years chained in this cell are hell but things could be worse: My master could be whipping me daily instead of once a week, so I should be thankful. Of course, he used to whip me every two weeks. But I have hope. I probably have the ability to do something about it. I’ve tried everything, but nothing has worked as things have gotten worse for me over the years. But still I’m thankful that my master allows me to eat.”

    You’re thankful for our freedom. We used to be way up on the list of countries with freedom, but now have dropped way down and continue to fall. You talk about solutions. We’ve had decades (if not two centuries) for solutions to take hold, but our freedoms began eroding almost from the very birth of our nation with the Alien and Sedition Laws and the Whiskey Rebellion when the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation.

    “Though I certainly didn’t notice any diminution of the “abundance” at yesterday’s feast. . .”

    Perhaps you didn’t notice a diminution, but tell that to the 48 million people on food stamps: “Deep cuts to the US food stamps programme, designed to keep low-income Americans out of hunger in the aftermath of the economic recession, have forced increasing numbers of families such as theirs to rely on food banks and community organisations to stave off hunger.” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/24/food-stamps-programmes-cuts-working-americans-texas

    There is so much more I could write, but the internet is replete with news and is available to us all (at least for now) with so much information contradicting what I can only characterize as your purposeful blindness to what is happening to our country.

    How can you be thankful for what doesn’t exist? I repeat: What freedom? What abundance?

    I’d like to hear what you have to say some day in the future when the Amerikan Gestapo smashes your door down in the middle of the night demanding your gun which you were forced to register.

    Yeah, let us be thankful for tyranny.

  3. Rick says:

    “…with so much information contradicting what I can only characterize as your purposeful blindness to what is happening to our country.”

    Now, now Sheldon. You’re attacking a guy who is actually trying to make a difference. What you seem to want is a guy who will lead an armed rebellion. Obviously this is not his calling. But there are probably those out there who might fit more closely with your views.

    I would say most readers here share your view on our loss of freedom and focus on it. But i would also say that most of us are not ready to take up arms yet. Will it come to that? Maybe. But a bit of history tells us that the time is not right for that to be successful even if we had the proper pieces of the puzzle to make it work at this time. I will choose to stay focused on the Libertarian ideals and try to teach them to those i encounter to build a base for what would be a real successful alternative to the runaway government that we endure.

    I would characterize us as in the early phase of developing an alternative with much work needed to groom candidates and voters with similar focus and ideals. Are we “losing” in this role against big government? Maybe. But if you’ve ever traveled internationally, even you would conclude that there is sufficient freedom here to develop this ideal as opposed to many, many other places where your political view would land you in jail with the first blog post.

  4. Sheldon says:

    Rick,
    I made no suggestion nor gave the slightest hint that I want to take up arms. My comments concern Mr. Jacobs’ need to find a reason for thankfulness where no aware person could possibly find it. I am perfectly mindful that there are few people more aware of the lack of freedom in this country than Mr. Jacobs; his daily commentaries decrying our growing tyranny underline his concerns. For that reason his sudden thankfulness on Thanksgiving Day for our freedoms where few if any exist strikes me as a bewildering hypocrisy. It reminds me of a very religious person thanking God for His blessings at the moment that tragedy has struck.

    I can understand a person expressing his thanks for the love of his family and friends. I cannot fathom a slave thanking his master for not increasing the weight of the chains that bind him and expecting that those around him will understand and concur.

    And concerning the lack of freedom in other countries, are you saying that a person should be happy to live in China because it’s much worse in Myanmar? Certainly there are worse places to live than in the U.S.A., but there are countries with more freedom as well, and the freedoms we do have are disappearing rapidly. On one list I just perused we are now 12 in the world. Not a ranking to be proud of.

    But, as I said, my comments concerned Mr. Jacobs’ purposeful finding on Thanksgiving Day reason to be thankful for freedom where none exists.

  5. Rick says:

    Grinch arrived early!

  6. Sheldon says:

    Rick,

    What we look for in a comment is meaningful intelligence.

    But when the commenter lacks the intelligence what we usually see is a meaningless ad hominem attack. You did not disappoint in that respect.

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