29 votes

What is your last straw?

Adam Kokesh is dancing.

We are surrounded, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 360 degrees by a multitude of tiny incremental stupid rules and taxes. Not a single one of them is cause for going to the barracades, but taken together they are more oppressive than the worst dictates of the worst dictators. And our police forces enforce these tiny stupid rules with a violent relish that any tin-pot dictator would approve.

If we think that a fascist state will arrive at our doorstep wearing full riot gear and demanding our obedience, we will be wrong. It will arrive, instead, by stealth and by almost imperceptible increments. It will, almost unnoticed, filch an extra penny from our pockets or require one more line of information on our applications. We think we will see it coming and that we will confront it like free men...with force if necessary. But it is already here, and despite our determination to resist, we cannot identify a single entity to resist against. The mailman who delivers the tax bill? The TV anchor who reports on the new ID rules? The Congressman who doesn't answer mail or phone calls, and whose vote only accounted for 1/3 of 1% of the votes that established the bureaucracy that hired the employees who contracted for the consultant who wrote the regulations that were published without a name?

There is no one to resist against.

The police, better known as Law Enforcement, are 'just doing their jobs' when they see that the rules are followed. They may even sympathize with your plight, but they have mouths to feed just like you. To keep their jobs, they will do whatever they have to, including the ocasional body slam or choke hold against a person who refuses to follow the tiniest of rules. It's not their fault, they say. They are just enforcing the rules. All the rules, no matter how stupid. That's their job. If you don't like the rules, change them. In the meantime, put your hands behind your back, and give them your name, address,....

Those of us who are advocates of liberty are more sensative than most to these restrictions on human freedom. Every little new rule grates on us, but we generally act like most people and learn to adapt. We may complain, but we pay the new taxes, show our ID's when requested, and stand in line for our new permission slips. We do this because it does not seem worth the effort, indeed it seems silly, to confront The Man over another dollar, or a five second flashing of ID card, or one more line asking for gender, date of birth, or race.

But there comes a point when the last indignity is the last one you can bear. To 'normal' people, your defiance is inexplicable. Why not go through the full body scanner? It just takes a few seconds; you're worrying about nothing and inconveniencing everyone.... You are making a mountain out of a molehill, they say. But you see it differently: you see the molehill is on top of the mountain.

So you break. And you do something silly, or at least seemingly silly to others. But it is important to you because, despite all the repressions you have put up with throughout your entire life, you will not take this last one. This last stupid, stupid, stupid rule. You protest, stupidly, doing something silly and over-the-top and out of proportion and crazy.

Adam Kokesh is dancing.

I can see from my life that the line in the sand is behind me, not in front. I should have Just Said No long ago. What will the trigger be that will make me the laughing stock of the neighborhood and an embarrassment to my family? I know it's coming, but I don't know what it is.

What's yours?

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I am avoiding my line in the sand as much as possible

Homeschooling. Moving to the country. Saving in silver. Preparing for the worst. Working for the best. These are the things we are all doing, to avoid having to cross that line.

I don't know where mine is yet, and I hope to not find out. I am TRYING not to find out. It gets harder.

TSA naked scanners and pat downs

For any New Yorkers who are interested, C4L sent an email about a rally on June 10...

"In November 2010, Councilman David Greenfield proposed legislation to effectively ban whole image body scanners and pat-downs throughout NYC, including airports. We are rallying to encourage the NYC Council to introduce, debate and pass such legislation in the Council. Following the passage of the House bill in Texas' criminalizing pat-downs by TSA agents, the murder of Osama bin Laden, and Mr. Obama looking to increase his favorability with the American public, this seems like an opportune time to strike at the TSA.

If we can make a big splash in NYC where 9/11 occurred that we will not give up liberty for security, then it will receive potentially a huge national response.

As freedom lovers who live and work in NYC, we feel the time is here to speak against the TSA's security dictatorship. And with that -- we are organizing a rally at Union Square Park on June 10, 2011 @ 3/4:30 pm - 7:00 p.m. to promote the importance of the Fourth Amendment and free market alternatives to the TSA."

I will be there. Potential sign slogan - Don't grope me bro!



and the cowards who pretend they don't exist


has to be the last straw, now everyone's a terrorist and no one can opt out of proving themselves innocent. Full Fledged Police State. RP 2012

9/11 was an inside job .....time to get some answers..RP 2012

I opted out by boycotting

I opted out by boycotting American flights.

my last staw

My last straw has already been pulled. Once the system has decided for me what I can and cannot do, buy, own, sell or whatever, they have violated my rights and made themselves my enemy.


How about everybody singing the National Anthem at the TSA X-ray and/or "pat-down" (grop-down).
I think it would be a great way to protest peacefully.
Can they prohibit us singing the National Anthem?

I believe there's a verse

I believe there's a verse about rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air that could get you arrested.

Our collective last straw

I had a thought the other day. Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination. The movement takes off like never before. Paul vs. Obama begins to appear to be a no contest win for Paul. The mood of the country has shifted squarely towards Ron Paul. As November nears, and the moment has finally come, we are told Ron Paul has "passed away".

That is when we all have to make a tough decision about our future. The power structure Paul is seeking to destroy will not be voted out. Those powers will not walk away without a fight. History has shown us, that the powerful, do not fight fair, they fight to win.

If this happened, the words of JFK speak loudly to me:

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable."

Will you be a Rosa Parks?

Ladies and Gents, fellow citizens:

We are all slaves. Sure, our masters are granting us some freedoms, and keeping us distracted with bread and circuses.

I've got 5 young kids at home, I must decide carefully what my last straw will be.

I was just telling them about Rosa Parks yesterday. What she did was brave. Her last straw was decided before she got on the bus.

Indeed, what will we decide in advance? A very good question. A serious question.

I'm traveling tomorrow, going through the TSA for the first time in a while. I can tell you I'll be recording the experience. I will refuse the scanner for health reasons. And I will refuse to be groped.

I'm not sure this is my last straw, but at least it's one straw that I won't take on my back.

Any advice for me from frequent travelers? I'd like to hear what I should say, should not say/do etc.

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a rEVOLution before tomorrow morning." - Henry Ford

If it were me, I would tell

If it were me, I would tell them I will strip naked in front of them at my own accord, but I will not let their machines take my picture or their hands on my body. I am a free-American citizen with NO agenda other than that, and I will strip in front of them to verify no contraband. I am 63. It would be no treat for them, only for me.

Rosa Parks was a communist

Yes her last straw was decided before she got on that bus, decided by her communist masters in a secret meeting, it was definitely not a spontaneous event of any kind.

I'm not defending Jim Crow laws, but using a communist operative as a role model of liberty just doesn't work for me.


Most people are communists.

Most people are communists. Democrats and Republicans for starters...

Communist or not

I still admire her. What she did was the right thing to do and it was a peaceful protest that made people stop and think.
She conducted her life and her protest with much dignity, that is a rare thing that we could use more of. IMO

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.


It was a staged political event.

The communists inside our gov have knocked down our national heroes and put up their own icons in their place.

Instead of Washington,Jefferson, Franklin,and Jackson, we get
Rosa Parks, Caesar Chavez, Eldridge Cleaver, Malcom X, Angela Davis, the list goes on and on, but they are revolutionaries whos politics are the exact opposite of real, traditional Americanism.

Communism is responsible for more human death and bondage than any other form of government in history.

I didn't know this

You know, I learned about Rosa exclusively from state-run schools. So if she was part of a communist strategy, then damn, that doesn't surprise me. http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=45663

It's yet another example of misinformation out there, and I just quoted it.

Point well taken. I'd rather use another example.

Can you give me a good example of civil disobedience?

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a rEVOLution before tomorrow morning." - Henry Ford

Adam Kokesh dance party

Or if you want life or death civil disobedience, how about the guy who stood down the tanks in Tianamen square?

>$1 million per household to pay federal IOUS!

There won't be change until the public truly gets how bad US finances are. The public yawns when it hears $trillions in debt thinking "big number, but its a big country". since they have no perspective. We need to rephrase the issue:

The federal government will need >$1 million per household to pay its IOUs!
> $116 trillion ="official" debt plus money  short for future social security, medicare, etc
Even its "official debt" of $14.2 trillion  is $123,754 per household!
Details at http://StopNationalDebt.com with links to contact congress & complain.

"POLL REVEALS: Americans Are Still In Deep Denial About The Deficit" http://read.bi/h6QDGR If they realized how bad it is politicians would need to act.

Be among the first to join the Facebook "event' "Balance the Budget NOW! Stop National Debt!"
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=222165047809308 since if you don't spread the word, who will? We need to spread the word virally to educate non news-junkies. Its online&ongoing.

It's been said that,

If you try to set the world outside yourself in order, you will work endlessly and never accomplish your goal, but if you try to set the world inside yourself in order, you will eventually discover that everything is already in perfect order.

Peace begins within.

From this place, we can then go about our business trying to help the world. Getting upset does not help the situation. Get calm and centered, then act with consciousness and awareness. The root of martial arts is non-violent conscious use of force.

There is no last straw because the back of this camel cannot be broken...

"The world is a dynamic mess of jiggling things, if you look at it right." - Richard Feynman

Fear not

The madness ends when the dollar self destructs.

Their bullies (police and military) will stop enforcing their insane laws because their paychecks of funny money won't buy them anything...

Ironically, I think we lovers of REAL liberty will thrive in the coming global economic and political breakdown... I honestly don't think it'll be as mad max as others perceive... I think it's going to make life very different, but a good different. It'll wake people up in a very powerful way and enlighten them to live life in a new and freer reality...

Nice thought, but...

...I think that a new fiat (UN-based) currency will be sold to and bought by the Sheeple in America.

It will be partially back by gold, etc., but the gangsters will still control the country.

I think our last hope will be at state or perhaps local level, where the "authorities" will stand up to federal tyranny.

I'll prolly end up moving to that last bastion of freedom, and then we, the people of that "free republic" will be targeted, as Hussein and Gaddafi and Mubarak were (and their "crime" against their masters was refusing to accept The Federal Reserve Note anymore, instead choosing other currencies).

WE then will be forced to take a stand, as we will have legislated laws that say don't tread on me, JUST LIKE the Texan Legislature just did for a moment, before they caved in to the federal bluff.

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a rEVOLution before tomorrow morning." - Henry Ford

I have already hit my final

I have already hit my final straw. I will neither fight nor die for a country that willingly enslaves itself while speaking meaningless platitudes about freedoms it refuses to understand.

I have already left.

Hasta la vista, baby.

I understand that sentiment!!

Question; Where'd you go, and how is it working out?

Mexico. Working well, but I

Mexico. Working well, but I still have to get all my stuff imported from the states.

Becoming an anarchist

My last straw happened after I converted to anarcho-capitalism. It was then that I realized government needed to be abolished through disobedience. Since then I have been doing my best to live like a free human being. I drive on an expired license and work under the table whenever I can. I boycott airlines. The list goes on.

reedr3v's picture

Beautiful essay, thanks for posting.

It is the minds and hearts of many who post here that fuel my energy to keep working for peace and freedom, at least so long as Dr. Paul is able to stick with it. I agree with him that helping to educate is the most important action at this time.

But in a way the last straw flew past me some time ago, as it became clear to me that coercion/war/violence/predation is the business of government. I don't really accept the U.S. as a valid entity any more. I have no allegiance to those politicians and bureaucrats who call themselves the government. They are like weather or plague, one does what one can to safeguard against the danger and harm.

Half of my own family fled this country and no longer identify as Americans. But my youngest child is still here so I'll stay for now, try to help her be strong, trying to be strong myself. Often I feel like the proverbial deer in headlights, stunned, not knowing which way to turn. The freedom movement -- and its diverse, creative visions of living peaceably and free -- gives me hope and strength to hang in against the odds, and joy in working with you all for r3VOLution.

I think before the last straw, there will be a tipping point.

enough people will have been groped, or robbed of too much, or fined for pruning a tree, or watched someone they love die because of the rules and will just stop co-operating. It probably won't be a big event but too many small ones. A few brave souls leading the way will start it, think of a trickle of water through a crack in a dike or levy -- slowly it enlarges, then all of a sudden it is gone the water is rushing FREE! Ron Paul is that crack in the dike, we are on the verge of something big. Government is coming apart at the seams it cannot hold back the freedom loving people much longer --we are here and the time is now.

I don't know if I read it here or somewhere else but someone wrote a wonderful piece on the importance of early followers. A leader is not a leader if no one follows, so, the first follower is as important because he "allows" less courageous followers to join in. Being the first to follow a "crazy" leader can get you labeled as crazy too, but once one or two people have followed, its not so scary for the rest. A lot of those here are early followers. I voted for Ron Paul in 1988, so I am a really early follower. We have made great strides and I think we are reaching a tipping point.


I'm pretty sure the TSA was my last straw. I picketed for the first time in my life, and pulled off a pretty ballzy stunt for the one round trip I took by air this year. But now nothing is shocking me. Everything I was told about the land of the free is a lie.

I think you're refering to this YouTube

The importance of first followers:


It's one of my favorites.

Being a natural contrarian,

my last straw was being born. :)
It's very uncomfortable to be part of a tribalistic species who's tribal characteristics are no longer necessary for survival. Somehow I'm wired differently to enjoy rejecting the herd mentality. Nothing surprises me anymore. History to me is the study of cyclical tribalistic ebbs and flows of failure and even worse failure. Sort of a perverse abstract in mass self depreciation. Humorous to a large extent but pitiful overall. A great wealth of anti-wisdom with a few visionary tid bits hidden amongst the feces. There is no straw.