Error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -- Thomas Jefferson
As long as man's beliefs, or any part of them, are based on error, he is not completely free, for the chains of error bind his mind. -- Bruce R. McConkie
You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. -- Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Through divine guidance, this nation's founders created a constitution which was designed to not only define the structure of our government, but, more importantly, to control its power. Our constitution was based on the belief that rights are God-given, intrinsic in man, and retained by the people -- not gifts retained by the government to be doled out, even rationed, by its officials. Naturally, this concept places great individual responsibility on the people and, especially, on our political leaders to use those rights wisely and to respect the rights of others. That is what made this nation great. Our political leaders, like all members of our military, all take a sacred oath to protect and defend those rights -- not just selected rights, but all of them.
But, it seems that many of our politicians no longer believe the people have the intellect and judgment to make such decisions and therefore, they must make our decisions for us or at least restrict the options in our decision-making. Consequently, over the past few decades, our government has steadily usurped and restricted our rights and liberties. The attitude of many people seems to be that if this results in the erosion of some rights and freedoms, so be it -- as long as the economy is doing well.
I am very concerned about this steady erosion of essential personal rights in this nation:
If a person attempts to use his constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech to peacefully express his "politically incorrect" opinion on certain subjects, he is liable to be jailed under federal antiracketeering laws.
Under the guise of controlling crime (particularly drug crimes) countless innocent citizens have been deprived of property without due process. This confiscation of private property is even taken for public use without just compensation!
Today, we have over 20,000 laws in this nation restricting the constitutionally protected right of ownership and use of firearms. None of these gun-control laws has done anything to control the behavior of criminals. In fact, violent crime is highest where guns are most tightly restricted. The only true result of gun-control laws is to degrade the constitutionally guaranteed right of law-abiding individuals to own firearms. And many in politics, the news media, and show business want even more anti-second-amendment laws!
We are steadily reaching a point where the only rights and freedoms we'll retain will be those which offer no threat to an ever-expanding government. These ever increasing restrictions on our freedoms are nothing less than big-government style responses to emotional reactions to the symptoms of societal decay rather than carefully reasoned solutions to the underlying causes.
If politicians who seek to restrict our freedoms were to have any courage at all, they would introduce constitutional amendments to do so. Instead, they use the courts, executive orders, and "pass the buck" to bureaucratic agencies to modify our rights and freedoms.
Which of our freedoms is next? Which parts of the Bill of Rights do we really want to keep?
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." -- H.L. Mencken (In Defense of Women, 1920)
"Those who would place security over liberty shall deserve, nor receive either." -- Benjamin Franklin
"What diminishes a liberty you despise will inevitably diminish a liberty you cherish." -- Tom Gresham
by State Representative Mitchell Kaye from Cobb County, Georgia, USA
We, the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid anymore riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt-ridden, delusional and other liberals.
We hold these truths to be self-evident that a whole lot of people were confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim that they require a Bill of No Rights.
ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.
ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone - not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.
ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.
ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in health care.
ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.
ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big-screen color TV or a life of leisure.
ARTICLE VIII: You don't have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight if you'd like. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.
ARTICLE IX: You don't have the right to a job. All of us sure want all of you to have one, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.
ARTICLE X: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to pursue happiness - which, by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an overabundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.
ARTICLE XI: This is an English speaking country. We don't care where you are from. We welcome you here. English is our language and like the one you left behind, we also have a culture. Learn it or go back to the country and the living conditions you were fleeing.
ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase, "In God we trust," is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, tough!
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
Eleven were merchants.
Nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to leave his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.
Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.
Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't just fight the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government! Some of us take these liberties so much for granted. We shouldn't.
So, take a couple of minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.
You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.
So an Australian dentist wrote the following to let everyone know what an American is, so they would know when they found one:
An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans. An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.
An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God. An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person the pursuit of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.
Americans welcome the best, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes. But they also welcome the least. The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. I've been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 other countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists. So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
The following commentary was written by Ted Nugent, the rock singer and hunter / naturalist, upon hearing that California Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein denounced him for being a "gun owner" and a "rock star." This was his response after telling the senators about his past contributions to children's charities and scholarship foundations which have totaled more than $13.7 million in the last 5 years.
I'm a Bad American - this pretty much sums it up for me. I like big trucks, big boats, big houses, and naturally, pretty women.
I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some mid level governmental functionary with a bad comb over who wants to give it away to crack addicts squirting out babies.
I don't care about appearing compassionate.
I think playing with toy guns doesn't make you a killer. I believe ignoring your kids and giving them Prozac might.
I think I'm doing better than the homeless.
I don't think being a minority makes you noble or victimized. I have the right not to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird or make me mad. This is my life to live, and not necessarily up to others expectations.
I know what sex is and there are not varying degrees of it.
I don't celebrate Kwanzaa. But if you want to that's fine; I just don't feel like everyone else should have to.
I believe that if you are selling me a Dairy Queen shake, a pack of cigarettes, or hotel room you do it in English. As of matter of fact, if you are an American citizen you should speak English. My uncles and forefathers shouldn't have had to die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come disrespect ours, and make us bend to your will. Get over it.
I think the cops have every right to shoot your sorry butt if you're running from them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word "freeze" or "stop" in English, see the previous line.
I don't use the excuse "it's for the children" as a shield for unpopular opinions or actions.
I know how to count votes and I feel much safer letting a machine with no political affiliation do a recount when needed.
I know what the definition of lying is, and it isn't based on the word "is" -- ever.
I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you qualify for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans, etc., so you can open a hotel, 7-Eleven, trinket shop, or any thing else, while the indigenous peoples can't get past a high school education because they can't afford it.
I didn't take the initiative in inventing the Internet.
I thought the Taco Bell dog was funny.
I want them to bring back safe and sane fireworks.
I believe no one ever died because of something Ozzy Osbourne, Ice-T or Marilyn Manson sang, but that doesn't mean I want to listen to that crap from someone else's car when I'm stopped at a red light.
But I respect your right to.
I think that being a student doesn't give you any more enlightenment than working at Blockbuster or Jack In The Box.
I don't want to eat or drink anything with the words light, lite or fat free on the package.
Our soldiers did not go to some foreign country and risk their lives in vain and defend our Constitution so that decades later you can tell me it's a living document ever changing and is open to interpretation.
The guys who wrote it were light years ahead of anyone today, and they meant what they said - now leave the document alone, or there's going to be trouble.
I don't hate the rich. I help the poor.
I know wrestling is fake.
I've never owned, or was a slave, and a large percentage of our forefathers weren't wealthy enough to own one either. Please stop blaming me because some prior white people were idiots -- and remember, tons of white, Indian, Chinese, and other races have been enslaved too -- it was wrong for every one of them.
I believe a self righteous liberal Democrat with a cause is more dangerous than a Hell's Angel with an attitude.
I want to know exactly which church is it where the "Reverend" Jessie Jackson preaches; and, what exactly is his job function.
I own a gun, you can own a gun, and any red blooded American should be allowed to own a gun, but if you use it in a crime, then you will serve the time.
I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it makes you mad, then invent the next operating system that's better and put your name on the building. Ask your buddy that invented the Internet to help you.
I don't believe in hate crime legislation. Even suggesting it makes me mad. You're telling me that someone who is a minority, gay, disabled, another nationality, or otherwise different from the mainstream of this country has more value as a human being that I do as a white male. If someone kills anyone, I'd say that it's a hate crime. We don't need more laws! Let's enforce the ones we already have.
I think turkey bacon, turkey beef, turkey fake anything sucks.
I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child-it takes a parent with the guts to stand up to the kid and spank his butt and say "NO!" when it's necessary to do so.
I'll admit that the only movie that ever made me cry was Ole Yeller.
I didn't realize Dr. Seuss was a genius until I had a kid.
I will not be frowned upon or be looked down upon or be made to keep silent because I have these beliefs and opinions. I thought this country allowed me that right. I will not conform or compromise just to keep from hurting somebody's feelings. I'm neither angry nor disenfranchised, no matter how desperately the mainstream media would like the world to believe otherwise.
Yes, I guess by some people's definition, I may be a bad American.