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  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

Monday, 17 December, 2018
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When is a Right — a Privilege?

Date: 12 May, 2000

By: Chief

Imagen entertaining concept is it not? The Constitution lists but one privilege — "the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus." The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus requires an act of Congress and only "when in cases of rebellion or invasion. . .." Further the Ninth Amendment states "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." One would assume that We the People have far more rights than privileges. The Constitution says so. But is that really so? Let us, then, turn the page to lightly examine rights and privileges.

If We the People do indeed have far more rights than privileges, try to:

Those are but a very few of thousands of examples. We need to sit back and think about those few 'privileges' I've just listed. When our forefathers moved west on horseback and in Conestoga wagons, did they apply for a license to 'drive' the wagon or operate the horse? Did they check to ensure Junior was in the back of the wagon, buckled in, and away from the air bags? Did they wear a helmet while riding the horse? Was there a 'waiting' period to buy a gun or ammunition? Finally, did the wagon have license plates or tags? The mere thought is completely ludicrous! Yet today, We the People think nothing of waiting in line in order to obtain a drivers license. We the People think it's a good idea, by and large, to have to wait five days or more to purchase a gun. Why, seatbelts and helmets save lives! It's a wonderful idea. Poppycock!

What We the People have done is acquiesce. We have given up our individual liberties! And for what? What have We the People received in return for surrendering our rights? Think about it. Are the towns and cities we live in any safer? This country has over two million people in jail or prison ... right now. Yet crimes are still committed. Does having a drivers license 'make' you a better driver? If so, why do vehicle wrecks still occur? Other than a method of taxation, what is the purpose of license plates and tags? How many people are killed, per year, by helmets and seatbelts? As for guns and self defense, I would much prefer having a gun in my hand than a cop on the phone. Are houses today built better than 100 years ago? No. Most houses these days won't last 50 years, let alone a century. So, I shall ask the question again, what have We the People received in return for surrendering our rights?

In answer, We the People have received — nothing! We have surrendered our liberties, our rights and received nothing in return. On the other hand, government, be it local, state or federal, has received numerous benefits from our acquiescence. The government has received (1) a larger tax base and associated revenues, (2) increased 'legal' intrusion into the lives of We the People and (3) the ability to enact, without backlash or rebellion, more laws that restrict our liberties, our freedom, our rights. "Well, they can do that." I can hear it now. The dumbing down of We the People.

To sum it up in a single word, it's called ... control. Government, any government, likes control. It feeds on control. Increased tax revenue leads to increased government size, leads to increased government control, which in turn leads to a need for more revenue, etc. It's called a circular argument. Have you not noticed the government telling We the People what is 'good' for us? It is happening all around us. Smoking, helmets, seatbelts, gun control, eating habits — basically, you name it and government is talking about doing something about it. I'll say it again: it is all about control.

I say it is past time to reverse this trend of who is controlling whom. Yes, there needs to be control. However, I believe it is government who needs to be controlled by We the People, not the other way around. Indeed, government today is similar to a rabid dog. As we all know, there is no cure for rabies. You put the animal down. Put it down before it has a chance to infect and possibly kill other animals or people. The same holds true with our government.

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