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Starting off right

By J.J. Jackson
web posted October 19, 2009

Last week my wife and I, along with our daughter, welcomed into the world the newest edition to our family.  Our son was born!  Hallelujah!  And while we were celebrating, members of the left were dismayed that another child had been born to a staunch, liberty loving American and that he would no doubt be taught the truth to combat their lies.

But like good bureaucrats do, they tried to interject themselves into our lives at any opportunity.  Yes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania presented us with a nice long list of questions that they wanted us to answer, most of which were really none of their damn business and, to be honest, would violate constitutional protections on privacy of our papers and effects if they were required to be answered.

Oh, I understand the need for some of the information such as the name of our child, Magnus Wayne Jackson (a fitting name considering he was 9lb 9 oz at birth) and information about myself and my wife that would help identify us as the parents of this husky baby boy.  But, as government is apt to do, it began asking way too many questions that were frankly none of its damn business.

I know why these questions were being asked.  They were being asked to see if government hacks could justify throwing us on some welfare program or another for which they are fleecing taxpayers year in and year out to fund.  Questions asked ranged from the level of education of both myself and my wife to our household income – things which are none of the state's beeswax at this point in time and really just duplicate information that is already, I am sure, on file with them somewhere or that is provided yearly when I bang my head off the wall trying to figure out my income tax.

I pondered how to not answer these questions.  Everything from boldly writing, "None of your damn business," across the form to quoting the founding fathers on liberty and limited government in response to each.  But eventually I just did the simple thing and did not select any of the answers provided.

What annoyed me even more than being asked all of these questions however was that the Pennsylvania was trying to be really sneaky and coerce people into answering these questions by asking them in such a way that it sounded like the questions must be answered.  Which, of course, they do not have to be.  Nowhere in the provided answers for each question was there a block that was akin to, "decline to answer" proving basically that the state was trying really, really hard to get those given these questions when their children are born to think that somehow they had no choice but to answer.  The withholding of an obvious response that would allow one to know plainly that they may opt of answering these questions was deliberately designed to make it seem as though you do not have that option!

It is sinister and plays on the ignorance of many Americans who think that because someone in the government asks you a question that you must answer and divulge the most intimate details of your life.  Thank God for not being ignorant, I repeatedly thought to myself while declining to answer the State's questions and once again, I am sure, getting myself put on a watch list for daring to think for myself and not roll over.  But I am sure though that as soon as the arrangements are made and the proper people get into power while Americans sleep and go about their lives that there will be a cell waiting for me.

Well, at least I got my son started off on the right foot as an enemy of the nanny state.  If I have to ever spend a minute in the gulag for that I will gladly accept that punishment. ESR

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the lead editor contributor to American Conservative Daily and also the founder of SignalCongress.com.  He is the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.


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