A Thousand Cuts
June 15, 1951 — The Altoona Tribune

The Mossadegh Project | October 1, 2020                           


Lead editorial in The Altoona Tribune newspaper of Altoona, Pennsylvania.

United States media archive



How Freedom Slips

ONE reason freedom is slipping from us in America is because it is being done in a very undramatic manner. Perhaps most of us do not realize we’re losing it because its loss is by degrees, inch by inch, unattended by violence or melodrama ... as prosaic and dull, for instance, as the order issued by the office of Price Stabilizer Michael DiSalle to butchers.

Here they are, some of the regulations sent to small stores, and they tell how a loin should be trimmed:

“The excess loin (lumbar) and pelvic (sacral) fat shall be trimmed from the inside of the full loin by placing the full loin upon a flat surface, with no other support to change its position, meat side down, and removing all fat which extends above a flat plane parallel with the flat surface supporting the full loin, and on a level with the full length of the protruding edge of the lumbar section of the chine bone. Then all fat shall be removed which extends above a flat plane, using the following lines as guides for each edge of the plane: An imaginary line parallel with the full length of the protruding edge of the lumbar section of the chine bone, which line extends one inch directly above such protruding edge; a line on the inside of the loin.”

After reading this over, is should be clear to most persons that a fellow is never quite sure any more whether he is breaking a federal law or regulation or not.

History has shown two methods, in general, by which man loses his liberties. One is to be subjected to servitude by force. The other is to have his liberties removed from him piecemeal, binding him so about by laws and regulations that he becomes, in fact, the slave of the state, subject to its whims and the whims of its creatures.

And this latter process is one of slow but steady development, so that the end of liberty is not a knife-like slash which any man would recognize ... but an insidious process which leaves a man or a nation befuddled, unsure, aware of nothing but the increasing intertwining of laws and regulations that take from him his earnings, restrict his movements, control his affairs, and bind him forever as a mere instrument of the state.

The process is so insidious that seldom do people realize it. Realization comes only to nations . . . and usually too late.

“This Not Who We Are” | Morality, American Style

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Related links:

Put Up or Shut Up | Dec. 14, 1951 editorial re: Tilford Dudley

Taxpayer Does Not Get Money’s Worth? (1953 letter on Socialism)

Bossism | The Wilmington Morning Star, August 1, 1952



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