Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wake Me Up From This Bad Dream

Saturday morning I attended some classes to comply with the “Regs, Rules & Records” which govern those who make a living as locksmiths here in the once great state of Texas. I must satisfy the arbitrarily derived compulsory continuing education provisions to maintain my occupational license which permits me to provide locksmith services to the public by completing a certain number of mandated hours of training, at least one hour of which is Ethics, taught by an authorized State instructor.

I signed up for the Ethics class, along with the “Regs, Rules and Records” class, to have a better understanding of the those folks who are a part of the Department of Public Safety called the Private Security Bureau (DPS/PSB) who hold all the strings to my livelihood, strings which did not exist until a couple of short years ago. I've linked (via the title bar) to an article I wrote and posted last year, "Business Licenses - Jump for Joy".

The instructor, Bonnie Brown Morse, was a pleasant person with hands on knowledge of both the locksmith industry, being a co-owner of a locksmith business, and the workings of the ever expanding bureaucracy which I have identified as the DPS/PSB. I might add that any anger which might seem to be generated here is not intended as an indication of her ability to explain the material in a professional manner; for the information presented I extend my thanks for a job well done. There were fourteen licensed locksmiths in attendance. While listening I noticed that we were given a revised history of how the DPS/PSB evolved; I say revised history because some information had been altered ever so slightly in order to give the impression that locksmiths welcomed the introduction of the legislation which now governs each and every facet of business.

I felt my blood pressure reach the boiling point when I was told that I should be glad to learn how the “Regs, Rules and Records” affected my business, that I was part of a group which had asked the State of Texas to become involved in the licensing of locksmiths, as if the law, as written, was the same piece of legislation that had been worked on and agreed upon. by the locksmith industry here in Texas. I know, I should have kept quiet, remained seated and bit my lip just once more; that’s just not my style, sorry.

I had remained silent as the scriptural account of “going the extra mile” was given, a chance for locksmiths to not only accept the shackles of servitude which had been placed on them by the State of Texas and the DPS/PSB; but to find ways to get along better, make life easier for everyone, be a happy family. Maybe that sticking point had something to do with my blood filling the veins in my neck. The hot button that was engaged is tied to the analogy, for the first mile, we are reminded that we have lost our agency, we are no longer equal citizens; but instead are no better than conquered subjects.

In case you’re not familiar with the biblical story; Roman soldiers had the power to enlist anyone to carry their pack as they marched through an occupied territory; crucial to understanding what has happened. Those enlisted would have to comply by carrying the soldier’s pack for the distance of one mile regardless of the inconvenience or disruption to his daily strivings to obtain a living. According to the scriptures a person who desired to have the proper spiritual attitude, a change of heart toward their enemies, as instructed by the Lord Himself; volunteered his servitude for an extra mile, even though such was not mandated. Where was I; oh yes, I was supposed to be glad that the State of Texas was now in control of each and every aspect of running my business.

It is true that many locksmiths, particularly in the Texas Locksmith Association, of which I was a member many years ago, had a committee which worked out a detailed piece of legislation addressing several important issues which would protect the locksmith industry and promote a more professional image to the public by dealing with unscrupulous “fly by night operators” who prey on an unsuspecting public. In order to do so it was agreed that some form of licensing would be necessary, a borderline insult to those locksmiths, the fierce individuals who operate independently within the free market system..

We were told by the Texas Locksmith Association legislative committee that it was an “acceptable” compromise of individual liberties and measures which would limit the public's exposure to criminals passing themselves off as locksmiths. That agreed upon piece of legislation was thrown in the trash at the “11th hour” in favor of a corrupted version put together by the Alarm and Security industry’s powerful political group, a tyrannical manipulation of words and intentions we now are shackled with. I refer to the Texas Occupation Code or, as it has come to be called, “1702”.

I went back and read the scriptural reference, not just the line about going the extra mile; but the next several lines. Quoting from the Bible, Book of Matthew, chapter 5 and starting with verse 39:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Maybe I’m a bit twisted; but the gist of that scripture along with the course instructor’s admonition to “go the extra mile” leads credence to my notion that I am dealing with the enemy, not some organization with friendly intentions. I have two issues to deal with now; the first would be on the temporal plain, of being able to continue in my locksmith business, to comply with whatever Lilliputian bureaucratic “Regs, Rules and Records” that the DPS/PSB decides to saddle me with. I am, after all, the bread winner of my family with the responsibility to obtain a satisfactory income, one that will provide for those necessary debts, items of indulgence and security that will last through our life here on earth.

The second issue is a little more complicated, one of those spiritual requirements found in that same grouping of thoughts provided in the scripture I quoted. If you read the last few lines I think you will see what I mean.

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

I know that the DPS/PSB are not my friends, they are in fact the enemy. I am aware that I have not entered into any arrangement with them voluntarily; having been forced into subservience through the actions of corruption in government by those seeking power. In case you haven’t been paying attention; we went from being citizens to subjects without one shot being fired. We have lost yet another small portion of those liberties which were granted to every citizen by the Founding Fathers of our nation when they declared to the world our inalienable rights, given to us by our Creator. Those who fought so long ago to obtain for their posterity a country which valued the grand concepts of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness never considered that freemen would yield to tyranny without a fight.

My mother had a saying that she’d use on us. It was reserved for those times when we were behaving at a level that did not meet with her approval. She’d make sure she had our attention, our faces within close proximity, “I’m smiling; but I’m not happy. . .”, letting her voice trail off to emphasize that in only a few short moments she was capable of lashing out with untold anger, anger that was currently under control.

To those playing with the strings which control my business, strings which rightfully belong to me and me alone, the folks who are the DPS/PSB, I will continue to comply, to jump when you say, “frog”, to balance myself upon the wire and last but not least, may we be clear on this one thought, “ I may be smiling; but I’m not happy.”

I intend to use this article in the next Carnival of Liberty published through the blog association of Life, Liberty and Property. It is my hope my words ignites a spark of anger sufficient to be regarded by those who would trample on God given individual rights with impunity.

No comments: