Keeping Track

by Barry Denton

Recently I attended a public meeting with a local tax assessor. One of the primary tenets of the assessor’s speech was for the public to report any suspicious activity that they might see their neighbors doing.

For instance if you saw your neighbor adding a window to their house, you are supposed to report it. If your neighbor replaces clapboards with aluminum siding you are supposed to report it. Heaven forbid if your neighbor added a tool shed out back.

First of all, why would you ever care what your neighbors do? Secondly, as long as it’s not hurting you, why bother? I thought we had government officials and airplanes taking aerial photos to keep track of country folks on a regular basis?

To me, it is hard to believe that we are in America. I know of some towns where you have to approach a board before you can change the color of your house. It just baffles me how apathy sets in and people forget all about the freedom they once had.

Folks are very willing to give up freedom in exchange for government protection. Protection from what?

Whether or not your neighbor is taxed for adding his tool shed in the back yard should not concern you in the least. American citizens spying on each other is truly a crime in itself.

Where I was raised there were many refugees from Nazi Germany working on farms and ranches. These folks were displaced from their homes, abused in concentration camps, and were lucky enough to escape those conditions. Their stories were disgusting, heart breaking, hard to imagine, and fantastic.

I will never forget the horror on their faces when they related some of these tales of being ripped out of their homes and forced to exist in squalor. Some refugees never knew they were being watched and others did. The ones that did went into hiding.

However, the common thread in all these stories is that all had been reported to the authorities by their neighbors. Let’s think about this. Government authorities create hysteria about a topic that advances their agenda. The folks get scared and report their neighbors before their neighbors report them.

We have seen this before and fought wars over it. Why are we letting it creep into America; the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Perhaps you will not be thrown into a concentration camp if your tool shed is not on the assessor’s map, but this is one way of diminishing your freedom a little at a time. The fact that they fly over your property taking photos is creepy enough. Why do we have a government that spies on normal citizens?

A few years ago the Department of Agriculture wanted you to volunteer for a government chipping program of livestock. Under the guise of safety once again, the gist was that they could help contain diseased livestock this way.

I am not certain how many of you volunteered for this, but it cannot be a good thing. First of all, why does the government need to know where all your cattle are and when you move them? If you haul your horse to a roping, then not only do they know where the horse is via the chip, but also where you are as well.

In other words this is a preliminary step toward more control. The last time I visited Scotland I stayed with some folks that owned a dairy farm. It was incredible to me that they had to keep track and record every shot they gave their cattle. There was a record that was sent to the government of what happened to each and every cow throughout its lifetime.

The farmer milked about 60 head and probably had 40 or so dry cows and calves. At that time he spent about one full day a week just keeping records. He had no choice if he wanted to be a farmer in Scotland.

Can you imagine the amount of paperwork you would have with a thousand head? What is the point of all this control? I will bet you that the government guys that had to read these records do not have a clue about what they are reading. I would guess that they are taught that the records should follow a certain pattern and if they vary from that then they check it out further.

Just think of the added government employees you would have to have to read the blasted things. I realize most of this is done with computers, but it is still time consuming. If more and more rules and regulations are heaped on you then that diminishes your freedom as well.

Finally, I am certain you all have seen the recent events concerning the Nevada ranching family, the Bundy’s. It is a sad tale in America no matter whose side you are on. What I would like to know is who are the cowboys that were hired by the government to round up cattle on the Bundy Ranch when this all started? My point is what decent cowboy would agree to be involved in that travesty? Why would you ride against your own kind for a few dollars? Who shot the cattle and what was the point of that?

Lastly, it looks to me like our country is pretty divided after the last eight years and I am certain that was the goal. I can remember a time when the government used to help its ranchers. Now there seems to be a concerted movement to get rid of us. I think it is a shame that the only effective weapon we have against bad politicians is being able to vote them out. They can do so much damage while they are in office and are very seldom held accountable.

It is not the hard working person that is the problem in this country. This is an election year. Read up on what’s going on and try to vote for someone that endorses freedom!