Land of the Free?

I’ve noted here before that I don’t want Mining the Store to turn into a political blog.  We’re here to help you grow your business.  But you can’t run a business in American today and not be concerned with what’s happening in Washington D.C. and in your state capital.  Case in point:  the current debate over health care.

You may have seen this on your national news, but in case you haven’t, our local congressman, Russ Carnahan (D, MO), held a “town hall meeting” here in St. Louis last night.  I put “town hall meeting” in quotes because my understanding of the term is that it’s an open forum for people to discuss the issue at hand.  I also question the term because this meeting was one of the area’s best-kept secrets until news of it leaked out on conservative blogs and talk radio.

In this particular case, the congressman answered three pre-approved softball  questions then snuck out the back door with no further discussion allowed.  The event was held at a local elementary school.  My wife and I tried to go, but hundreds of people, possibly as many as one thousand, were denied admission.  Some “town hall meeting.”

Apparently these meetings are being held all over the country with similar results.  This one has made the national news because a black man distributing “Don’t Tread on Me” flags outside the school was attacked and beaten by a group of men, some of whom are alleged to be paid Carnahan supporters.  [Watch the video.  Warning:  X-rated language]

Now I don’t care what your politics are.  You can be as far to the left or to the right as you want.  It’s none of my business.  But when American citizens show up at an event called by one of our elected employees and end up in the Emergency Room after being beaten senseless by a bunch of thugs for passing out flags, then we’d all better start worrying.

What’s next?  Blacklisting?  Boycotting honest business men and women for their political views, or worse?   We’re on a slippery slope, folks, liberals and conservatives alike.

Here’s a quote from a recent post on the White House blog:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care.  These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.  Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

If this doesn’t scare the hell out of you, I don’t know what will.  The President of the United States is asking us to turn in anyone who posts something “fishy” i.e. contrary to his positions.

Here’s the video.  Make up your own mind.  And if you want to turn me in to Big Brother, be sure you spell my name right.  We’ll see if my taxes get audited.

Have a great weekend.

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