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October 13, 2011

Let Freedom Ring! However, You’re Going To Need a Permit For The Bell. – October 2011 Edition

“Let Freedom Ring!  However, You’re Going To Need a Permit For The Bell,” is a periodic series in which we explore the new and exciting ways in which the notions of freedom and liberty are being interpreted in our modern and progressive world.

Displaying the American Flag For a Banquet Being Held at a Local Restaurant.

OUT: Patriotic.
IN: Disruptive.

When 80-year-old Marti Warren attempted to bring an American flag into an Oxford, Alabama Olive Garden for a planned Kiwanis Club banquet, alert restaurant employees moved quickly to stop her in order to:

“Avoid disrupting the dining experience for all other guests.”

But for their quick thinking, imagine the mayhem that might have ensued had Ms. Warren succeeded in displaying the American flag, what with its provocative stars and inflammatory stripes. No doubt the unfamiliar textile, which the club had planned to be the object of some kind of allegiance “pledge” would have resulted in the complete breakdown of the social order tearing at the very fabric of our cultural bonds and making it really hard to get that order for Venetian Apricot Chicken in anything like a reasonable amount of time.

Setting up a Haunted House in Your Neighborhood

OUT: A delightful treat for the local kids and a harmless way to build community spirit and help collect money for charity.
IN: Code violation.

For six years the Stelle family has spent the weeks before Halloween creating a haunted house in their Freemont, California neighborhood and together with friends and neighbors have managed to put on a frightfully good time for local children. 

That is why Freemont officials have ordered it destroyed.

Apparently, the Stelle family forgot to get a permit to build the haunted house partly because it never occurred to them they needed a permit to build a haunted house. What is the building code for a haunted house, anyway?  Does it have to be Werewolf accessible?  Provide ample broom parking?  Be nondiscriminatory towards all ghosts regardless of whether or not they’re friendly?

That is unclear, but what is clear is that the Stelles and their co-conspirators have six days to comply with Freemont haunted house ordinances and tear the terrifyingly unpermitted structure down.

It’s for the children, you know.

Aging TV Star Makes Increasingly Bizarre and Outrageous Comments in Public.

OUT: Look on in pity in hopes she gets the help she needs.
IN: Give her a new TV series.

Roseanne Barr made some news last week when she suggested that bankers who refused to turn more of their private property over to the government should be beheaded.  Some have suggested she was only joking, and come to think of it, an avowed socialist appearing on a Russian television program suggesting bringing back the Guillotine to execute the bourgeois is quite the knee slapper. In fact, so much so, that NBC has decided to pick up her new sitcom,  “Downwardly Mobile,” in which the multi-millionaire actress will play a woman living in a trailer park.

Being Told by Bureaucrats That You Have to Tear Down Your Children’s Tree House

OUT: Using the opportunity to teach your children the importance of questioning the mercurial nature of power as wielded by the state.
IN: Using the opportunity to teach your children the importance of unquestioning obedience to the mercurial nature of power as wielded by the state.

After having built an elaborate tree house in his yard, Mark Grapin was informed that he should have gotten a permit to build the tree house as it is considered an “addition,” and further, since it was technically in his “front” yard (he lives on a corner lot) he couldn’t’ get one anyway and must tear the tree house down. Having already lost one appeal, Mr. Grapin has one chance left.  Asked what he would tell his kids if he loses, the distraught dad said what many a patriot has said before when confronted with the petty tyranny of the state:

“Daddy makes mistakes. We tried our best. I made a mistake by not knowing enough.”

It’s like Thomas Paine reincarnated.


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October 13, 2011 at 05:09 PM in Let Freedom Ring! | Permalink


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Maybe Mr. Grapin could leave his treehouse up until the authorities come to tear it down, then use that as an opportunity to teach his kids to be thankful for all their government does for them.

Posted by: Marty | Oct 13, 2011 6:42:50 PM

I do so love living here in the United States of the Perpetually Offended. And people wonder why I don't believe in entrusting the State with the power over life and death.

Posted by: John | Oct 14, 2011 1:05:10 AM

"Fremont" is a stupid city no matter which way it's spelled. Just saying. Probably Haunted Houses are required to be constructed to the same high standards as Chuckie Cheeses.

Posted by: 49erDweet | Oct 19, 2011 5:17:57 PM

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