Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Constitutional Questions

In a recent Editorial Judge Andrew Nepalitano asks a series of questions, starting with "What if the Constitution no longer applied?"

All Americans should look at our government and look at the questions the good judge asks. Then also ask ourselves, after answering these questions, is this the kind of government we want?

Here are all the questions he asks:

What if the whole purpose of the Constitution was to limit the government? What if Congress' enumerated powers in the Constitution no longer limited Congress, but were actually used as justification to extend Congress' authority over every realm of human life? What if the president, meant to be an equal to Congress, has become a democratically elected, term-limited monarch? What if the president assumed everything he did was legal, just because he's the president? What if he could interrupt your regularly scheduled radio and TV programming for a special message from him? What if he could declare war on his own? What if he could read your emails and texts without a search warrant? What if he could kill you without warning?

What if the rights and principles guaranteed in the Constitution have been so distorted in the past 200 years as to be unrecognizable by the founders? What if the states were mere provinces of a totally nationalized and fully centralized government? What if the Constitution was amended stealthily, not by constitutional amendments duly passed by the states, but by the constant and persistent expansion of the federal government's role in our lives? What if the federal government decided whether its own powers were proper and constitutional?

Don't miss the judge's latest Constitution-defending book, "It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom"

What if you needed a license from the government to speak, to assemble or to protest the government? What if the right to keep and bear arms only applied to the government? What if posse comitatus – the law that prohibits our military from our streets – were no longer in effect? What if the government considered the military an adequate dispenser of domestic law enforcement? What if cops looked and acted like troops and you couldn't distinguish the military from the police? What if federal agents could write their own search warrants in defiance of the Constitution? What if the government could decide when you weren't entitled to a jury trial?

What if the government could take your property whenever it wanted it? What if the government could continue prosecuting you until it got the verdict it wanted? What if the government could force you to testify against yourself simply by labeling you a domestic terrorist? What if the government could torture you until you said what the government wanted to hear? What if people running for president actually supported torture? What if the government tortured your children to get to you? What if the government could send you to your death and your innocence meant nothing so long as the government's procedures were followed? What if America's prison population, the largest in the world, was the result of a cruel and unusual way for a country to be free? What if half the prison population never harmed anyone but themselves?

What if the people had no rights except those the government chose to let them have? What if the states had no rights except to do as the federal government commanded? What if our elected officials didn't really live among us, but all instead had their hearts and their homes in Washington, D.C.? What if the government could strip you of your rights because of where your mother was when you were born? What if the income tax was unconstitutional? What if the states were convinced to give up their representation in Congress? What if the government tried to ban you from using a substance older than the government itself? What if voting didn't mean anything anymore because both political parties stand for Big Government?

What if the government could write any law, regulate any behavior and tax any event, the Constitution be damned? What if the government was the reason we don't have a Constitution anymore? What if you could love your country but hate what the government has done to it? What if sometimes to love your country, you had to alter or abolish the government? What if Jefferson was right? What if that government is best which governs least? What if I'm right? What if the government is wrong? What if it is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong? What if it is better to perish fighting for freedom than to live as a slave? What if freedom's greatest hour of danger is now?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reality Check

by Tom Rhodes, 11/21/2011

President Obama ran and campaigned for president on a “Hope and Change” platform. He said he wanted to fundamentally change America. More recently Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner said, "We're facing a very consequential debate about some fundamental choices as a country."

Exactly what kind of change are they talking about? Obama’s and Geithner’s actions and deeds seem to indicate that the fundamental change they are trying to make is to take away the right for individuals to remain free and make their own life choices and instead have those life choices made collectively “as a country.” This basically means that they believe that a few government bureaucrats should have the authority to make decisions and impose them on hundreds of millions of people for their own good.

Thomas Sowell put it this way; “the more fundamental question is whether individuals are to remain free to make their own choices, as distinguished from having collectivized choices, "as a country" – which is to say, having choices made by government officials and imposed on the rest of us. “

Obama lamented that he cannot just dictate what he thinks should be done as the totalitarian leaders do, ignoring the chilling history of totalitarianism in the last century. History is clear, economic central planning was such a widely recognized disaster that even China and other socialist governments were abandoning it as the last century ended. Compare the standard of living in countries with economic freedom to countries without economic freedom and it is clear that all people do better when living in free markets. The decline of the US as an economic super power is self evident, and it is directly related to increased government control of markets, and the economy. From dictating the kind of light bulb we use, to what kind of grease we can use to make pie crusts, to how much salt we can put in our food, to the thousands of unfunded mandates, to the absurdity of San Francisco trying to ban circumcision, to the ultimate nanny-state micro-control of our lives ObamaCare, we are witnessing a government which once limited now believes that it has the power to dictate every nuance of how we live our lives.

Obama and the liberal leaders now in Washington have forgotten the purpose of our government. It was established to protect the unalienable rights which all men are created, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The purpose is not to provide for all the needs of every individual or to see that those who through poor life choices or bad luck have are given the wealth of those who through good life choices and hard work attain.

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner was right when he said, "We're facing a very consequential debate about some fundamental choices as a country." The choice is between liberty and totalitarianism. The TEA Party protests were to demand Liberty, the Occupy protests were for redistribution of wealth, and totalitarianism. Think about it what do you want, liberty and freedom knowing you may enjoy the fruits of your hard work but have the chance to fail, or the nanny-state where you will be equally poor as your neighbor?