It is easy to feel disheartened when one faces the reality of the modern American police state, from border checkpoints, to TSA nudie-scanners and gonad gropes, to the never-ending War on Drugs which erodes nearly every single liberty supposedly enshrined in the Bill of Rights, to the almost overwhelmingly horrific “Global War on Terror,” and its millions of innocent victims throughout central Asia, not to mention the tremendous emotional damage that its veterans bring home with them, a terrible legacy with which our society will be burdened for a generation. So, liberty activists and anti-statitst everywhere could easily be forgiven for asking, “what do I have to be thankful for today?” But, the truth is, we have a great deal to celebrate this year, and many people to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.
I know I am thankful for my fellow Cop Blockers, and for the opportunity this website has provided me to not only communicate my own ideas about liberty, and the injustices committed by agents of the state, but to help others do the same, and to create a place where sharing those stories is not only accepted but encouraged. And of course, we wouldn’t even be here but for our readers and fans, who continue to make all of our efforts worthwhile. I am also glad to know that Adam Mueller and Pete Eyre are out there, criss-crossing the country in MARV, unafraid to face the badge bedazzled, polyester costumed agents of state aggression, armed only with the power of truth and justice on their side. I am thankful for Meg McClain, and John Tyner, for bravely standing up for their right to travel freely within this country without being sexually assaulted or dangerously irradiated for the purpose of ogling their naked bodies. I am grateful for our “underground” media network, which often succeeds in driving the mainstream’s narrative with their consistently principled message, as George Donnelly of WeWontFly.com (among so many other projects, the man is tireless!), and Ian Freeman and Mark Edge at Free Talk Live have regularly demonstrated. Let’s not forget Carlos Miller of Photography Is Not A Crime, whose stand for photographer’s rights has come at great personal cost, but is winning photographic liberty not only for Floridians, but citizen journalists across the country. And a special thanks must go out to David Packman of Injustice Everywhere, for his exhaustive catalogue of police misconduct from coast to coast, which helps us all get a better sense of the real scope of the problem.
Finally, I must say with sadness that I am truly honored to have had the pleasure of knowing David Nolan, the founder of the Libertarian Party (and fellow desert dweller). So many of us were lucky enough to share in his passion for the ideas of personal freedom and self-government, and I know the Nolan chart will always be a useful tool in spreading those ideas to ever more people seeking their political “home.” Only a couple of months ago, he faced none other than John McCain in Arizona’s senatorial debate, and he spoke unwaveringly in favor of liberty, presenting a clear alternative to the D.C. duopoly, despite the fact he knew he would not win the election.
The point is, that kind of lifetime dedication is inspiring, because we all face a seemingly impossible task in opposing the monopolistic government. The forces of coercion and oppression and violence are massed all around us, and yet, we must have the courage to continue speaking the truth, shining its light even where people often refuse to look. And I see others in this movement rise to that challenge almost every day, gathering their courage to face the terrific odds against them with good cheer and determination. Sure, we are often angered, outraged and scandalized by the state and its machinations, but that doesn’t seem to make us bitter. The activists I have met have always been among the most friendly, warm and accepting people I’ve ever met. And for that, I am thankful, very thankful.
I know I have overlooked at least several dozen folks who deserve mention and a personal thanks for their efforts over the past year, so I ask that you all post your thanks to those I’ve neglected in the comments below. In the spirit of the season, let’s give thanks for those people whom we admire and whose efforts this year have raised our spirits and buoyed our hope in the ultimate triumph of the cause of human liberty!