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04/25/2005 Archived Entry: ""What are you afraid of?" by Lady Liberty"

I AWOKE AT 3:30 THIS MORNING FILLED WITH NAMELESS APPREHENSION. I have to drive about 20 miles today to look for a feral rescue dog who slipped her leash and ran in terror into the woods. My chances of finding her again are slim, which makes me sick at heart. But my dread comes from the fact that I have to make the 20 mile trek knowing that I'm no longer "legal."

I can drive as safely as I ever have. But I no longer have several of the required government permission slips that "allow" me to make an ordinary drive across town.

The more I remove myself from the permissions and "requirements" of government, the more obvious it becomes what a dangerous intruder government -- even the smallest, most harmless government -- is. Here I am, an ordinary woman, a careful driver, contemplating an ordinary errand. Yet because I've failed to pay a few bucks and allow myself to be put into yet another snoop database, these people have the power to do some fairly horrible things to me. And my neighbors -- and probably most of the readers of this blog -- would simply say, "Well, it was your own damn fault. If you'd obeyed the rules, you wouldn't have to feel so paranoid. You wouldn't be taking such a big risk over nothing."

Unable to shake off the apprehension, I opened up the laptop computer and scanned the morning mail. One of the first messages in the inbox was from Simon Jester, a link to an article by Lady Liberty called "What Are You Afraid Of?"

She begins:

I spent a good part of the day yesterday being afraid. I didn't watch a horror movie, and I wasn't on a thrill ride. I didn't read a scary book, nor did anybody try to assault me or break into my house. I didn't even experience a near-miss accident, nor was I terribly ill. I was, however, really scared. So what was it that frightened me? The short and simple answer can be conveyed in just one word: Government.

It started out as a perfectly ordinary morning for me. I had errands to run, chores to do, and plans for a little recreation. But I hadn't been out of the house for five minutes when I casually checked my rear view mirror only to discover a police car almost literally on my bumper. In a surge of adrenaline, I checked my speed. No, I was traveling right at the speed limit. My taillights had only recently been checked during some routine maintenance and were working just fine; my registration and my insurance were up to date. I have a valid and current driver's license. And there was nothing even remotely illegal in my state—or, in fact, in any state—in my vehicle. And yet my heart was pounding.

She goes on from there to a whole day of fears. And I remember that little acts of Outlaw defiance only marginally increase a person's danger. We live in a world where nobody is safe from government, and the most obedient people may be the most vulnerable of all.

Posted by Claire @ 06:49 AM CST

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