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Steve Lunetta: A case of taking away freedom?

Posted: November 25, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 25, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Seemingly disconnected things. One spurious. The other more serious. Both point the same way to freedoms lost, never to be regained.

In the nutty, NorCal, leftist community of San Rafael, city officials passed a ban on smoking in buildings that share a common wall with another unit. 

The assumption, of course, is that smoke somehow seeps through sheets of drywall, 2-by-4s, and insulation and pollutes a neighbor’s living space.

An analyst from the city manager’s office referenced dubious studies that showed how second-hand smoke can travel through cracks, vents, and other wall imperfections.

Think about what just happened here. An individual may not smoke a cigarette in his or her own home because of the remote chance that a small amount of smoke may reach a neighbor and instigate an infinitely small risk of lung disease or cancer.

We have just been told that what we do in the privacy of our own homes may be legislated and banned.

Will the government reward children for turning in their smoking parents? Will smokers need to cover their windows to hide their habit from the authorities?

Is this what we are reduced to?

What if government begins to view other things as “bad” and “subversive” that we do in our homes? Reading the Bible and praying come to mind. What if these things are banned?

Scriptural aside: sounds like what happened to Daniel? If you aren’t sure, look up Daniel 6 in the Old Testament.
Mind you, I am not a smoker. I believe the research that shows that smoking can kill you. I support efforts to encourage smokers to stop.

But that is where it ends. A smoker should not be forced to stop. Smokers should be free to exercise a personal choice, and I have no right to interfere.

A small freedom lost.

The second seemingly disconnected item is a rules change in the United States Senate that stops discussion on a nominee if a simple majority of senators votes to terminate the debate.

Formerly, it took 60 votes to approve the nomination of a presidential appointment. Now, a nominee may be confirmed and the discussion ended with a simple 51-vote majority.

Why is this important? It means that theminority party (either Republican or Democrat) will be effectively silenced any time the majority says so.

Of course, we now see that the Democrats have pulled thisrules change to ram-rod the deeply flawed and ideologically tainted appointments of the greatest presidential failure of the modern era, Barack Obama, through the Senate.

We also know that the second the Democrats lose control of the Senate due to the immense outrage of the American people against the Democrats’ Obamacare, they will scream “unfair!” when President Christie places conservatives in nomination for government positions.

Or is that too much foreshadowing? (Suggestion: cut out this column and put it on your refrigerator. If it comes true, I am a prophet like Daniel. If it doesn’t, I’m just another hack opinion columnist. OK — I’m a hack either way but at least I got to reference Daniel again.)

Two small things. A government telling us what to do in our own homes. The majority telling the minority to “be silent” anytime the majority does not want to listen.

Two small freedoms that continue to speak volumes about where the last five years have taken us. Forced health care. Press actively spied upon. American diplomats abandoned while under fire. Robotic drones flying overhead. Watching.

It sounds almost like a bad dream or a chapter out of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” Being watched in our homes, being told exactly what to do, an amorphous governmental Big Brother.

Fortunately, it appears that some are beginning to wake up. Brave Democrats are crossing the aisle and siding with their Republican colleagues. These Democrats are realizing that it is better to be an American than a party loyalist.

Freedom is worth more. No more freedoms can be lost.

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita. He can be reached at


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