I’m writing this from prison.  My crime was my silence.  The long, narrow room has dirty concrete floors and once-white walls, marred with the fingerprints of many of the thousands of people who were here before me.  Seven unmatched black, shabby chairs are the only furniture.  A little television is mounted high in the corner, programmed to explain to me the State’s justification for my imprisonment.

You may say:  “You’re just waiting while your car has its emissions tested.”

I am here totally against my will.  My car has been confiscated and the teen-agers now torturing it on the other side of the glass “are not responsible” for its contents – my personal belongings.  I usually protest my sentence by going outside and sitting at the picnic table, but it’s too cold and windy for me to do that today.  So here I sit in prison.  My bail will be a $25.00 check, written to a government-owned facility for performing a government-mandated test so I can get a government-issued certificate to include with yet another check to yet another government agency for another government-mandated government certificate.

I’ve never been a fan of the brown cloud, so years ago I didn’t mind taking my car to have its emissions tested at the car-wash-bay-turned-testing- station.  I’d sit in my car and chat with the owner as he did his job.  One day he said he’d have to close down soon if some legislation that was being considered at the time passed.  He said something about the “State taking over the testing” and “Lots of money involved...” and “People could get killed over this…”

I didn’t even bother to check into what he was saying.  I was naive enough to think the State actually had my best interests in mind.  Now, he’s out of business and I’m serving yet another prison sentence.

I feel particularly oppressed as I sit here today, because I have just come from the February meeting of the Longmont Republican Women (LRW), where Tammy McMahan told us her findings about Sustainability, ICLEI, Agenda 21, and Zero Waste.  These ideas may sound good right now, but they are just more programs being pushed into law that will reduce our rights and freedom.  We have Tammy’s presentation posted on the LRW website, and I have a feeling that if you read it and do a little internet searching on your own, you will come to the same conclusion she did – we cannot allow these organizations to dictate the laws under which we must live. 

Just as my silence years ago has forced me here today, my silence today could mean actual jail time for me - or for you- in the future.

We can no longer afford to assume that someone else is looking out for our best interests.  We must do our own research, attend the meetings where legislation is being considered, and make our voices heard.

I am convinced that most American People want nothing more than to be able to work hard towards the goal of providing peaceful, prosperous lives for themselves and their families.  (Is this not the American Dream?)  I am also convinced that if we were to reduce the size and scope of the government back to within its Constitutional limits, that’s exactly what most American People would do. 

We, by our ignorance or our apathy, are the ones that have allowed our government to become the tyrannical monster that it is.  It stands to reason, then, that it is only by our educating ourselves, finding something we are passionate about, and DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT, that we will stop the monster from devouring us and our country. 

Tammy has educated herself about this threat and is warning people about it.  Peggy Knight has created the Longmont Republican Women website as a tool to help spread the information we need to start educating ourselves.  And, as soon as I get out of prison, I will be adding this note to the LRW website to try to inspire you to take action.  What will you do?