Our Liberty is Vanishing Exponentially

Surprise, surprise, this morning I started on my daily walk and about ten minutes out a very sharp and mysterious pain began in my right leg. It felt like I pulled a muscle or tendon. It took me twenty minutes to return. Old age is not something for the weak. I massaged the muscle and applied some Salonpas to get some relief. It didn’t really work. Then it occurred to me that this is probably a blood clot and I’m in for a new life. I applied an ice pack and sat down to read the news. The news didn’t make me feel any better. It merely re-enforced my belief that I should be living as a hermit in the deep woods far away from people. Ever since I quit writing rants about politics my life has been much better, but now this pain is making me think again.

I keep thinking that maybe I should move to one of the countries that people are leaving to get into the USA. The population is dwindling in those countries and there should be some real estate available now that the owners are headed here. The problem is that I like it here, and in fact I like my life here. Another country, no matter how civilized or developed it is would probably not suite me since I am too old to change and accept a new culture of what ever country I decide to escape to. My friends often ask me why I stay in Illinois, specifically, so close to Chicago. I don’t have a good answer except all my friends are here, but even my family is split about the country. So, it doesn’t really matter where I live.

I prefer a warm climate to a cold one so I’d probably head to Arizona and not Alaska. Except that Arizona is a hot bed for border crossers, and I am partial to the color green. In order to live in Arizona one must love the color brown. As the United States populates, the frontiers are becoming more sparse. I remember my first cross country trip in 1962 when the space between towns seemed endless and the towns were just that, towns, more like tiny villages. The same trip today is much different in that the towns are often cities and the space between them is populated with suburbia. Only the miles remain the same. Shopping centers are found in every population center and the names of the stores are all the same giving them all the look of home. With all the similarities across the country why would anyone want to leave the comfort of their native town. TAXES are one reason for leaving. At my age and with my bank account, and inflation raising prices beyond affordability I am looking for ways to stretch my dollars. I am one who abhors paying government money for things I can do for myself and better too. With so many towns across the country they all want the same life style. They all want fire protection, police protection, great roads, street signs, street lights, garbage pick up, clean water libraries, schools, internet, and malls with stores. In order to get all that the tiny governments raise taxes to pay for them. Then what happens is the government keeps hiring more people to work on these goodies. Little towns soon have a police force with thirty cops and full time fire department. The neighboring town buys an armored vehicle for thier police force so all their neighbors want one too. Schools all have to have air conditioning and gymnasiums, football fields, and buses. Many towns remain small in population but their budgets climb and keep climbing as the population keeps getting their pockets picked. The village government which ran out of a small three bedroom house now needs to be expanded and before we know it there is a Taj Ma Village Hall built to house the Mayor’s office.

As the population of the small town grows our liberties begin to vanish. For instance, I want to put a picket fence around my yard, but I can’t without a building permit. I want to raise chickens but can’t because there is an ordnance against it. I want to rent my house through AIrBNB but can’t because there is a new ordnance against it. I want to put a sign in my front yard advertising my home based business but learn that I can’t because there is a ten page ordnance against signs of any kind. My men’s club wants to hold a raffle to raise money for a cause, but I need to get a raffle permit and buy a bond to insure the winner will get the prize. The Church Ladies Club wants to hold a regular bingo game to raise money for the missions, and they are required to get a permit to operate a gambling parlor. Worse yet the Ladies have to pay a percentage of the take on their bingo game. The list of freedoms lost is seemingly endless and we are losing more and more freedom exponentially. The problem is these freedoms are seemingly tiny, and don’t really matter, but they add up and sneak into our lives making life more and more regulated. What happened to the days when we could do all these things freely and without concern that the local police will come and shut us down. Now I understand why reality TV programs that revolve around people who live off the grid in remote areas are so popular.

Telluride, Colorado small town with aerial high angle bird’s eye view of city cityscape from free gondola to mountain village in summer

City Farm


    I want this post to bring nostalgia to old timers, and to serve as a primer for young people. The current recession is not letting up. There are signs of economic recovery, but the news from Europe is not very good. The result may be another recession even deeper than the one we have now. The story below is from my childhood. My parents lived through the Great Depression. They knew how to survive. I was born at the end of the depression. My parents lived as though tomorrow would bring another depression. It took seventy-one years to happen, but it has finally arrived. We are on the edge of another Great Depression.

     We lived in a small two-story frame house situated on a 25 ft. wide lot in Chicago.  The house had a porch with steps leading to the city sidewalk.  Between the porch and the side walk there was room for a strip of flowers and a patch of grass.  The parkway had grass and occasionally a tree

     The space between our house and the neighbor’s was a gangway just wide enough to walk through. The back yard is what I want to describe in detail because it saved my family from starving. Immediately behind the house, dad had a postage stamp size lawn bordered on two sides by a flowerbed.  The third side was the sidewalk leading back to the alley; and the fourth side was the house. 

            At the end of the lot, dad built a one-car garage built directly on the ground.  He added a chicken coop to the side with a fenced open space for the birds.

            The plot of ground in between the garage-chicken-coop complex and the flowers along the edge of the lawn was mom’s veggie garden.  The lot was 120 feet long.  In that precious space, mom and dad managed to have a front lawn and flowerbed, a three-bedroom house, a back lawn and flowerbed, a vegetable garden, a chicken ranch and a garage.

            Mom had most of what she needed to feed the family growing right in the backyard.   She planted tomatoes, onions, kohlrabi, cabbage, corn, carrots, parsley, beans, peas, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini and more.  What we could not use immediately, she preserved by canning (no freezers).  The chickens provided us with eggs and meat for Sunday dinners. When we did not have chickens, she switched to raising pigeons, and even rabbits.

    When mom could not grow enough in our backyard, she found an empty lot a block away and started another garden.

     Are you ready to begin farming the backyard to feed your family, or are you going to line up to get food stamps?