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  • Rightful Liberty

    The ever changing history of the Bill of Rights.











    Written by: Andy Carney


    Thomas Jefferson wrote passionately about a philosophy called "Rightful Liberty". He said, "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."

    Jefferson was struggling under the weight of oppressive tyranny from the British empire - high taxes, soldiers being quartered in any home in town, limits on speech and the press and other useless laws aimed at no more than control of the masses in support of the furthering of the mother land.

    Rightful Liberty is a fantastically simple concept - you do your thing, I'll do my thing and as long as your thing doesn't infringe on my liberties and my thing doesn't infringe on your liberties there's no need for any government involvement in our lives. In this wild fantasy land of Rightful Liberty, there are no victimless crimes.

    So what happened? The answer to that is long and complicated. Depending on your own personal viewpoints, the erosion of the concept of Rightful Liberty began at a different point in American history. For some, it might be with Lincoln, for others, the creation of the Federal Reserve, or any other point in time between the ratification of the US Constitution to the implementation of Obamacare.

    Regardless of when exactly the erosion began, there are a few things you may have noticed that are quite close to the exact opposite of Rightful Liberty. Depending on how you look at things, the fault lies somewhere between some simple minded, but well-meaning politicians trying to "do something" to justify their existence, or a magical group of all seeing, all knowing, all controlling inner circle of bankers and billionaires. Let's explore a few of these items:

    The Right to Keep and Bear Arms - Let's start with the obvious, and one that may register with most of you immediately. If I own an AR-15, an AK-47, an MP5 or a flame thrower, and I don't shoot up, or burn down your house, how have I harmed you or infringed on your rightful liberty? I haven't. There's already laws on the books that address murder, attempted murder, arson, armed robbery, property damage, etc. Of course, some well-meaning (or evil intentioned based on your perspective) public servant decided it wasn't enough and introduced a bill to limit and control fully automatic weapons and sound suppressors. And that politician got enough support/votes to pass it into law, despite what the US Constitution says. And subsequently, we have a Supreme Court who was willing to say that this was ok.

    Welfare - Despite a plethora of politicians, pundits and TV news journalists who shout it out loud on the Sunday political shows, nowhere does it suggest that in even the slightest way the People have the right to be cared for, coddled and have their lives extended through modern medicine despite their best efforts to the contrary. Where exactly does it say that people who are out of work have the right to get paid by the rest of us until they find something they themselves deem suitable? And who was the genius who got enough people to believe that using these unemployed people to help maintain our infrastructure by rebuilding roads and bridges or even sweeping streets or cleaning up parks is somehow an assault on a person's dignity? The last I checked, there were no guarantees on any of this stuff. I bet the framers would be pissed. If you've never really seen validity to Charles Darwin's theories, perhaps looking at humanity through this lens will help you out.

    OK, so now that I've beaten on the downtrodden, let's talk a bit about the uptrodden. It appears they get welfare as well. My life is no more enriched with Chrysler, GM, GE or a bunch of banks who made bad mortgage decisions than it is without any of these business enterprises. The growth rate of the US Economy was at its peak in the second half of the 1800's, after the Civil War. The peak of the industrial revolution bringing us things like mass production, advances in farm equipment, skyscrapers and the birth of the big city (well, they can't all be great). I read recently that the combined spending of the Federal, State and local governments was less than 5% of the GDP during this time period. Now? Well we're about $16 Trillion in debt. Even back then, we financed most of the transcontinental railroad builds, with the exception of the Great Northern. The Great Northern was built exclusively with private funds and was the only one to not go bankrupt. Maybe you're wondering why, if a small federal government is such a great idea, the stock market is at record highs and continuing up, up and away? It's rigged. In some rather significant ways. Oh, sorry. It's "regulated" not rigged. Except we have HFT algorithms that electronically front run the markets based on released news in ways that make the old way of trading completely obsolete. These are the people who truly make millions on the fractional pennies like in the movie, "Office Space". Banks are too big to fail, companies like GE are propped up by the federal government because their failure would cause the rest of the house of cards to crumble. We have things like QE1, QE2, QE infinity which "increase the money supply" as a way of regulating the markets. The plain spoken version of that is "printing more money", which ultimately is used to buy government (and, unfortunately non-governmental) debt which in turn keeps the machine afloat. Barely.

    Big Government - The size of our government has grown exponentially in the last hundred years as they continue to invade every facet of our lives. From the Department of Education to Homeland Security to the Department of Political Correctness/Everybody Gets a Trophy. Hopefully, soon we have a Department of Redundancy Department. The DOE, for example, is a Federal entity managing things they have no constitutional right to control, but do so only by taking our tax money from us and then dangling it back in front of our noses. When too many of our kids opt out of the ridiculous common core testing programs, Uncle Sugar threatens to take away our precious "Federal Aid". Just to be clear, this was our money in the first place, the Federal Government takes it with the threat of force/violence against us (incarceration). Conveniently, it comes right out of our pay checks so we aren't as tempted to withhold our forced generosity. This money, as we're told, is to fund the government and their excellent programs because the government, as an entity does not generate any measurable income. But if we don't do it exactly as they tell us to (they are our elected representatives after all. Right?), we get threatened with having that same money withheld from us as unworthy, unwashed, undeserving, uneducated imbeciles we are. Thomas Edison held over 1000 patents at the time of his death. He had no college education and was only home schooled by his mother for a few years. Today, kids leave college with fancy degrees in things that don't get them any further toward a successful career. Women’s Studies anyone? Does one really need to go to college to learn about women's issues? And where does it get them career-wise?

    We have all kinds of super-helpful organizations with great acronyms like IRS, FEMA, Fannie-Mae and Freddie Mac (threesome anyone?), HHS, DEA, FBI, BATFEieio, INS, DHS, SEC, NEC, NSC, NSA, DOA (yep, that means two things), NIH, BIS, BLS, BLM, NEA, NOAA, DOD, DCMA, DCIA, NCIS (oh, wait, that's just a TV show). Wait, there's a few more letter combinations available still! What exactly do each of these groups do? Well, they're sort of similar to each other, but do things just a bit differently and crisis X caused the American people to vote to fund this office so we won't combine them. Everybody working for .gov eats and eats well. What happens as the number of people working for the FedGov approaches maximum density? What happens when we can no longer sustain it? Don't expect anyone suckling the .gov teat to do a thing about it either. Life's too good to rock the boat and risk your pension. Pretty soon we'll be seeing expose's on the 6:00 news about Federal Employees who live below the poverty line. Let's vote for raises for all of them! I'm not jealous, I'm broke from paying for all these people.

    All of these things have one common thread among them, just like back in the days of the thirteen colonies. They reduce our rightful liberty and increase the government's control over our daily lives. And of course, there are plenty more things to talk about. The "Wars" on Drugs and Terror immediately come to mind. Generally speaking, there's a few ways to manage this as a citizen. You can ignore big government - own whatever guns you want; eat, drink, smoke, shoot or snort whatever you want; marry whomever you want. Of course, doing some of these things can get you arrested. You can get active. You can organize protests, write letters to your Congressmen or write op ed pieces in your local paper. Of course doing this might get you put on a list of rabble rousers - the first to get your door kicked in, flash-banged and your dog shot when "they" start their clampdown. The last way is the preferred way of big government - you can comply with all of their directives, rules and statutes. Be a good citizen and recognize the rule of law. Of course, that also allows you to hold the military police that do the door kicking harmless as they are just doing their jobs.

    And of course, all of this is fueled by the apathy of the masses.


    • 24Pink14Stink
      #2
      24Pink14Stink commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, a bit of a rant.

    • Pissed Off Patriot
      #3
      Pissed Off Patriot commented
      Editing a comment
      Rightful Liberty sounds a lot like Libertarianism on the face of it. How is it different, or isn't it?

    • 24Pink14Stink
      #4
      24Pink14Stink commented
      Editing a comment
      It's not POP. Libertarianism is founded on the concept.

      Now get off my lawn.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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