Sunday, January 8, 2012

Indiana Republican Senator Vaneta Becker's Idea of Freedom

HARBESON: The land of the free

SOUTHERN INDIANA — It has come to my attention that some of you do not think you are free. I find this particularly horrifying considering that yesterday marked the beginning of a very special time of year — the time when politicians gather together for that wonderful annual expression of freedom known as the Indiana General Assembly. This session promises to be packed with proposals from politicians proving you are indeed free.

Take Republican State Sen. Vaneta Becker for example. When she heard that “The Star-Spangled Banner” is sometimes altered by performers, she decided to propose a law mandating standards when the song is performed at events sponsored by government schools.

Clearly, she only wants everyone to understand what freedom means and there’s no better way to help free people express that freedom than by having government place strict guidelines and rules on how to perform a song.

Her proposal makes even more sense considering it’s focused on expressing freedom properly in government schools. After all, these places are the official centers that government uses to educate the masses about the wonderful freedoms they enjoy. So it’s perfectly natural that politicians like Becker would want to tell individuals who perform inside these compulsory-funded buildings exactly how to sing a song expressing freedom.

Yes, it’s true that Francis Scott Key, the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner” lyrics, wrote that poem to suit himself as he expressed his freedom. However, the song is now the official government anthem, which means it is now used as a hymn for worshiping the nation-state, so clearly it must be performed in a government-approved manner. Surely even you freedom-loving extremists can understand that.

What should really be encouraging to freedom lovers is that if Ms. Becker succeeds in getting her law passed as written, she will be helping even more free people express their freedom properly because her proposal will extend the freedom-loving hand of government to private schools who accept vouchers.

You remember vouchers, right? They were part of one of the laws proving you are free that the Republicans moved through during last year’s annual expression of freedom. The law that the freedom-loving proponents said would provide more freedom to people, while at the same time assuring private schools who accepted the vouchers that they would remain free from increased government intrusion.

Now it’s only one session later, and already a politician is making no differentiation at all between private schools that accept vouchers and fully funded government schools. Oh, wait a minute. Forget I mentioned that. Pay no attention to that camel with his nose under the tent of those private schools. Let’s move on.

The bureaucracy needed to support enforcement of Becker’s proposal is a simple matter. The only requirement for the government schools — and the private schools who accept government vouchers — is that they must record all performances and keep them on file for two years, in case there is a problem with a performer who takes liberties with the song.

According to Becker, these requirements would be easy to fulfill due to technology like cell phones. Now, come on naysayers, you have to admit that this is a marvelous example of how free people make good use of technological advances.

Just imagine how great it will be if Ms. Becker succeeds. Indiana will be bathed in that rocket red glare and the air will be bursting with sounds and words emanating from the collective as they sing, correctly and properly, according to the specific directives set forth by the government.

“Oh, say you can see what it means to be free?”

— Clark County resident Debbie Harbeson might have more to say about the politicians as they gather together during this most special time of the year.

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