Here is a blog post from a sitting County Supervisor in California:

Freedom (Link)
By Matt Rexroad on Thursday, May 29, 2008 @ 10:59 PM
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I got an excellent e-mail from Chris Long. Long's concern is for second hand smoke in apartment buildings in Woodland. The concern is something that I recognize. I can't stand smoking. I have never smoked a cigarette or cigar in my life.

I don't like smoking but I certainly like freedom.

Here are some things that I don't agree with ---
Gun control laws
Anti-smoking ordinances
Seat belt laws
Helmet laws for motorcycles

Do I like accidental weapon discharges? No. Like smoking? Not. Injuries from care accidents? Nope. Head injuries? Nope.

I don't like any of these things but I'm willing to let people be free enough to choose to own weapons, smoke at their own risk, and drive unsafely in ways that only impact them.

When I started law school smoking was allowed in bars. My classmates and I often went to the Rubicon in Sacramento because it was smoke free. We chose to go there and spend our money there to be smoke free.

There is no doubt a demand for smoke free cars, hotel rooms, eating places. and other things.

Government continues to think it can protect us from all the risk of life. We as individuals need to be willing to choose to accept risk and the consequences that come with it.

If you smoke -- you should be able to be discriminated against for health insurance. You also should not be coming to the taxpayers for medical care when you have lung cancer.

If you ride a motorcycle without a helmet and get a brain injury it is your responsibility to take care of yourself and your family. I hope you are well insured.

When you buy a house in a neighborhood and accept CC&Rs -- live by them. You don't have to live there.

Government is not the answer to every problem.

This same equation is why I have some major problems with the Patriot Act. We have crossed the line from protecting society to such an extent that it intrudes on personal freedoms.
See there are some of us in Kalifornistan who get it. Some of us, now and then, even get elected in this State.

This is the cliff's notes version of what Freedom is. This is the type of brief response I would use to describe what Freedom is to someone from a foreign country.

If you follow the link, you can read the guys bio on his website. He has served our country honorably and is now serving a small region of this country like a patriot.