Imagine, if you would, that a dear friend, or a loved one, gives you a valuable gift. Later, someone attempts to steal that gift from you. How do you think you would react? Would you just let them have it, or would you put up a fight? What if that person, or group of people, who were trying to steal that gift were friends, or people upon whom you thought you could trust to protect it?
Your rights, your liberty, are such gifts. They are yours by your very nature of being a human being. I know that there are certain readers of mine who deny the existence of God, therefore, to avoid argument, I won’t mention that our rights are a gift from Him.
However, from Jefferson’s treatise, The Rights of British America, I quote the following, “A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.” I get the idea that some people think that the opposite is true, that their rights are something their government, in a gesture of generosity, graciously grants them. Therefore they are equally capable of taking back anytime they feel the desire.
That is just not the case, and I can prove it. Say you had been born in the wild, in a place were there was no existing form of government? Would that mean you had no rights because there was no one in a position of authority to grant them to you?
Ridiculous! Your rights cannot be taken from you by any man, or institution created by men, unless you willingly surrender them. However, if you choose to surrender your rights, you cannot ask, nor demand, that others do likewise.
That would be like me, since I do not watch any sporting event on television, asking, no, DEMANDING, that every American stop watching sports. I have no right to do deny you that right, nor does any other American, through their proxy, an elected representative, have the right to demand that any individual give up theirs.
Some people claim that to maintain order, and to protect others, certain laws can be passed which limit, or restrict our rights. Again, not so! Once again quoting Jefferson, “The idea is quite unfounded that on entering into society we give up any natural rights.” It is perfectly acceptable, under a system of criminal law, to punish those who abuse their rights, and in so doing endanger others, or prohibit them from exercising their rights. But it is not acceptable to punish everyone for the actions of a few.
Liberty is defined as basic right: any of the political, social, and economic rights that belong to the citizens of a state or to all people. Concerning liberty, this is what Jefferson had to say, “Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”
I have no more right to demand that you stop doing something just because I don’t like it than you have the right to demand that I stop doing something just because you don’t like it.
I have no more right to hire someone to force you to stop doing that thing which I dislike than you do to hire someone to force me to stop doing something you don’t like. But, by asking that our elected officials pass laws which infringe upon the rights of citizens, whose actions have harmed nobody, that is exactly what you have done.
Think back to when you were in school and a classmate did something wrong. When the teacher said that unless the guilty person came forth and confessed, the whole class would be punished. Didn’t that piss you off, that you were being punished due to the actions of someone else? That is EXACTLY how I feel when a law is passed which violates my rights because someone else was irresponsible.
James Madison once said that, “The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.” Did you get that? Madison said that government was instituted to protect our rights, not infringe upon them! It does not say that government was instituted to grant, and take away, rights at their whim. As mentioned earlier, our rights are ours from birth, it is the purpose of government to ENSURE that no one infringes upon them, not even the government itself!
Our Bill of Rights lists ten of the rights that our founders agreed were of such importance that they be individually listed. However, they are not the ONLY rights we have.
As Madison stated in a speech he gave proposing the Bill of Rights, “It has been objected also against a bill of rights, that, by enumerating particular exceptions to the grant of power, it would disparage those rights which were not placed in that enumeration, and it might follow by implication, that those rights which were not singled out, were intended to be assigned into the hands of the general government, and were consequently insecure.”
What Madison was saying is that just because a right is not listed in the Bill of Rights, it does not mean that you have surrendered it to the government. Think about it, does the Bill of Rights guarantee you the right to sit on your couch and drink beer while watching football? No, but I am pretty sure that you believe it is your right to do so.
There is a reason I am harping on rights again and it is because of a couple things I became aware of over the course of the past week.
First is a news story I read about a woman in Grand Rapids Michigan who has had a civil rights complaint filed against her for, and get this, posting an ad looking for a Christian roommate. It is claimed that she discriminated against others because she specified a “Christian” roommate.
I understand that an employer may not discriminate against someone due to their religious beliefs, sexual preferences, race, and a whole slew of other criteria. But to say that a person cannot seek someone to live with who shares the same beliefs that they do, it is taking this whole civil rights BS too far.
I wonder, how upset these same people who support this nonsense would be if they had a civil rights complaint filed against them because they would not allow a pedophile to rent a spare bedroom in their house? If you can’t discriminate, you can’t discriminate, right?
The fact of the matter is that this person never discriminated against anyone. All they did was seek out a person who shared the same beliefs as they did. It is no different than people who go to those match-making websites such as E-Harmony and Match.com and seek out people with similar interests. If you can seek out a partner based on shared beliefs, then for cryin’ out loud why can’t you seek out a roommate using the same guidelines? Or am I just unreasonable and insensitive?
Next on the list of gripes is a story about a pilot for Express Jet who refused to pass through the TSA’s new full body scanner, or be given a full body search by TSA agents prior to entering the secure area at the Memphis airport. He now possibly faces the loss of his job because he refused to admit to these searches.
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, one of those Amendments which our founders felt were important enough to be specifically listed, states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Did you notice it said “The rights of the people to be secure in their persons…against unreasonable searches…” If you are so dense that the English language often confuses you, in their persons means their bodies!
This guy is a pilot, who has been going to work at this airport for 15 years. Now, because of more stringent rules enacted by the government, is faced with either having his rights trampled upon, or losing his job, all because anyone may now be considered a terrorist threat?
If we are that fearful of terrorist threats, why don’t we demand that these devices be installed at the entrances of all government buildings? Why don’t we make cops, judges, state assembly members, governors, U.S. Congressman, and yes, even the president of the United States, pass through a full body scanner which basically is a virtual strip search?
In fact, why don’t we put them everywhere, at malls, at Wal Mart, at sports arenas and concert halls, and why not put them at our public schools as well? Why not ensure that everyone from old ladies going Christmas shopping to kindergarten students going to class are equally protected from terrorist attack? I mean, let’s be fair. Why limit these violations of our Fourth Amendment rights to air travelers alone?
I know that people are fearful of terrorism, but our founders realized that the threat of danger from others was a powerful tool to be used in infringing upon the rights of the people. In fact, James Madison CLEARLY stated, “It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.”
I understand that public safety is a concern, especially in this age when the potential threat of terrorist attacks exists, but when do we draw the line as to how far we will allow our rights to be violated? Will it be when they start doing full rectal exams of all passengers boarding airplanes? If you ask me, I think they ought to do that anyway to all our lawmakers, maybe they will find their brains.
Ben Franklin once said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” After all, we are so concerned with preventing terrorists from boarding airplanes, why aren’t we focusing on preventing them from getting into our country in the first place? Think about it, if the concern for public safety is such a big concern why haven’t they stopped granting visas to anyone from a country which harbors terrorists? Why haven’t they sealed a border that leaks like a sieve? Instead they pass more and more regulations which violate the rights of everyday citizens like you and I.
Doesn’t that make sense to you? If you lived in a high crime neighborhood, would you take your doors off the hinges and allow just anyone to come waltzing right in to your home unannounced? Why should our country be any different, especially when our government keeps reminding us of the threat these radical terrorists pose to our safety.
I don’t know about you, but that makes me question the true intent of all these infringements upon our rights? Maybe you perfectly fine with these infringements upon your basic rights, but it sure bothers me.
Last, but not least, is HR 4646, a bill which was introduced by Rep. Chaka Fattah, [D PA], named the Debt Free America Act. You are absolutely going to love this one! According to Thomas.gov, the Library of Congress’s webpage where bills can be tracked, the summary of HR 4646 “States as purposes of this Act the raising of sufficient revenue from a fee on transactions to eliminate the national debt within seven years and the phasing out of the individual income tax.”
What it boils down to is a transaction tax upon all financial transactions you make. To further quote from Thomas.gov, “Amends the Internal Revenue Code to impose a 1% fee, offset by a corresponding nonrefundable income tax credit, on transactions that use a payment instrument, including any check, cash, credit card, transfer of stock, bonds, or other financial instrument. Defines “transaction” to include retail and wholesale sales, purchases of intermediate goods, and financial and intangible transactions.”
Now that may sound all well and good on the surface, a flat tax on all financial transactions, while at the same time doing away with the phasing out of the income tax.
According to section 6 of this bill, the phasing out of the income tax will not being until 2017. HR 4646
So, in the mean time you will still be paying taxes, and this transaction tax. Sure, you will get some kind of, and I quote, “corresponding nonrefundable income tax credit…” But what the hell does that mean? How are you going to claim that tax credit when you file your taxes? Are you going to need receipts for every financial transaction you make over the course of a year? You think filing your taxes is hard now, wait and see what happens if this bill gets passed.
Does it still sound like such a great idea? Basically what they are doing, is trying to squeeze you harder for more of your money to satisfy their uncontrolled spending. There is no mention in this bill of reigning in government spending, only in reducing, or eliminating the debt.
Let me ask you, if you had a credit card you wanted to pay off, would you continue charging things on it while at the same time trying to pay off the outstanding balance? I didn’t think so. So do you honestly think our government is going to be able to reduce, or eliminate the debt while still spending way beyond their means?
And think about how quickly this fee will add up. Remember, you will be charged this 1% fee for every single transaction you make. So, whether you write a check to pay your electric bill, or if you pay online, you will be charged 1% of the amount of your bill as a tax. Pay your car insurance, another 1% of the total cost. Transfer funds from savings to checking, boom, 1% of whatever you transfer. If you swipe your ATM at Wal Mart, 1%. If your check is automatically wired into your account, 1% of your pay automatically goes to the government. Buy a car, a motorcycle, a boat…1%. Can you imagine how much it will cost if you decide to buy a house? Every mortgage check you send to the bank, WHAM… your hit with a1% fee!
So, you see how fast that 1% is going to add up? Can you imagine trying to balance your checking account when you have to try and calculate each of those fees? Better not forget to add in those trips to Burger Kind and Taco Bell, or you’ll be bouncing checks before you know it!
The reason I added this bill last is because our government is spending beyond its means to fund all these UNCONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS OF YOUR LIBERTY. If the federal government would limit itself to the powers granted it by the Constitution and get back to the business of protecting your rights, they wouldn’t be so damn strapped for cash in the first place!
We, the American people, have allowed these infringements of our rights to go on for far too long. It is pure lunacy to allow it to continue. Because we have become ignorant, and apathetic, caring more about trivialities than our rights, we have allowed our government to run roughshod over the Bill of Rights. We have lost sight of just how important these rights are. Think about it, if you are not free, what are you? You are either a slave, or a prisoner. Which do you think YOU are if you choose not to stand up for them?