Do you want More Freedom or Less?

Pocket knife

The question posed in the title of this blog seems simple, as does the answer. And yet in today’s America we are constantly relinquishing our freedoms, or being asked to do so. Our collective compliance will only lead us to a totalitarian, tyrannical world in which a very tiny segment of our society decides what’s best for us and how we should live our lives. The weak among us are less afraid of this scenario. They wish to be led. They find self-responsibility and risk, which go hand-in-hand, very uncomfortable.

The latest issue that brought this issue to mind is the TSA‘s (Transportation Safety Administration) decision to once again allow small pocket knives on airline flights. On the surface it sounds like a crazy idea. And the mass media and liberal pundits are jumping up and down screaming we’ll be less safe and planes could be taken down again like they were on 9-11. But when you look at the decision and break it down to its basic truth this represents a very rare occasion where government is returning rights to you it had previously taken. And this should be applauded.

Prior to 9-11 carrying small pocket knifes, or large ones for that matter, onto air plane flights was not illegal. In the time before 9-11 you could also travel with your own shampoo. But in the hyper-safety-conscious period following 9-11 the TSA was created and new rules and laws, like the passing of the Patriot Act, took away our individual rights in the name of security. At the time it was understandable to temporarily suspend some of our individual liberties because we didn’t know how great a danger we faced as a people, as a nation. Lincoln suspended habius-corpus and declared Marshal Law during the Civil War. So, it’s been done before, for temporary and emergency circumstances. But 9-11 was 12 years ago. There have been no major terrorist attacks on Americans since. And yet the Patriot Act was renewed by a Democratic Congress at the behest of President Obama.

And before you argue that there is no need for people to carry knifes and therefore they should be denied the right to carry them. Please keep in mind the Constitution of the United States was written and intended for the protection of the people, the individual person, from their government. Also keep in mind how hypocritical opposition to the small knives on airplanes really is. The TSA already allows screwdrivers up to 7 inches in length, and small scissors. Both these implements can do as much, and possible more damage than a 2-inch knife.

1.2 liter Super Big Gulp

Also in the news this week was the story that a New York Judge has struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s law preventing the sale of large (32-ounce) soft-drinks. Here again, what Bloomberg fails to understand is that it is every American’s right to get as fat as they want. Bloomberg says New York will appeal the judge’s decision. Apparently, he is still convinced that he knows best and therefore can and should restrict the rights of the people in his city.

English: New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

Folks, it is every American’s God-given right to do something stupid. This right should never be restricted unless a person’s stupid decisions endanger or harm another person or inhibit another person’s rights. And, to be clear, carrying a pocket knife doesn’t harm anyone; only using a pocket knife in a violent way can actually hurt someone. And there are already laws against that.

Every time you think you know best, just realize you may be wrong, what you know best may only apply to yourself, and you can’t legislate against stupid.

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Obama and the Trail of Tears

John Marshall has made his decision; let him enforce it now if he can.” ~President Andrew Jackson 1832

English: Andrew Jackson - 7 th President of th...

Andrew Jackson – 7 th President of the United States (1829–1837)

Not since President Andrew Jackson’s fight with the Cherokee Indian Tribe has a President so boldly defied the dictates of the Supreme Court. President Barrack Obama is holding himself above the Court and the Constitution of the United States in the case of Arizona vs United States, and immigration law in the United States.

English: United States Supreme Court building ...

United States Supreme Court building

Yesterday the Justices ruled unanimously that Arizona’s 2-year-old immigration law, SB 1070, allowed local law enforcement to inquire and investigate the legal residency status of an individual being held on suspicion of a crime. This is the heart of the law which the Obama Administration tried to have killed. They didn’t want local police and Sheriff’s departments picking up the phone and calling Federal officials asking them to come pick up an illegal alien they have in custody. They didn’t want to have to do what Federal law requires, deport the law breakers.

English: President Barack Obama leaves the Dip...

Like Andrew Jackson, Obama heard the Court and has figuratively given them his middle finger. Within hours of the Courts ruling the Obama Justice Department established a toll-free 800 hotline phone number and a website solely for the purpose of ferreting out any alleged racial profiling conducted by Arizona Law Enforcement. The Justice Department wants to burden our courts, our tax payers and the good people of Arizona with as much trouble as possible for having the audacity to actually enforce the law. It’s not hard, in fact its easy, to imagine Hispanics in Arizona being encouraged by Obama representatives to call the hotline and falsely report incidents of civil rights violations by Arizona police.

Also yesterday, Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano

English: Janet Napolitano is sworn in as the t...

Janet Napolitano United States Secretary of Homeland Security

announced orders that bar ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) agents from cooperating with Arizona law enforcement in their inquiries into a criminal detainees legal residence status. In essence, in 49 other states police holding a jaywalker or a murderer can type a suspects name into a Federal database to check on outstanding warrants, past criminal history, and legal immigration status of a suspect being held in connection with a crime against local, or state law. But not in Arizona. That database report will not provide Arizona officials with the suspect’s legal residency status. So despite the Supreme Court’s Monday ruling that Arizona law enforcement can ask for a criminal suspect’s legal right to be in this country the Obama Administration chooses not to enforce that law.

Not since Andrew Jackson’s forced evacuation of Cherokee Indians from Georgia and other Southern states spawned the Trail of Tears has a President so willfully failed in his Presidential oath to “faithfully enforce and protect the Constitution of the United States” and its laws. Gold was discovered on Cherokee land in Western Georgia in the 1820s and the inconvenience of having native people inhabiting the land was problematic for gold seeking Georgians, Jackson, and the United States Congress. So in 1830 Congress passed and Jackson signed the “Indian Removal Act” in order to get the Native Americans off the land whites now coveted. However, in the case of Worcester vs. Georgia (1832) the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee. The Supreme Court ruled that the Cherokee Nation was sovereign thus making the removal laws invalid.  The decision was written by Justice John Marshal. As in this current case with Obama, Jackson didn’t like the ruling and issued his now infamous challenge, “John Marshall has made his decision; let him enforce it now if he can.” 

In 1838 the removal of the Cherokee began when General Winfield Scott, along with several thousand men, forcibly removed thousands of Cherokees from their homes and their land. The trip was brutal and about 4000 Cherokees died along the way on what became known as the “Trail Where They Cried” or the “Trail of Tears.” The fact that over 16,000 Cherokee signed a petition opposing the illegal removal didn’t move the Federal Government at all. The Cherokee were relocated to land in what is now Oklahoma.

The “Trail of Tears” tail is now taught in high school history classes as a shameful moment in American History. It not only displayed a brutal treatment of an indigenous people, it showed a President willing to snub the laws of the country in favor of what he personally deemed the proper action.

President Obama’s immediate and overt demonstration of his unwillingness to honor Arizona’s right to protect its people and to subvert the determination of the unanimous ruling of our nations highest court comes less than two weeks after he did likewise to other immigration laws by issuing a Presidential Executive Order prohibiting the deportation of children of illegal immigrants here in this country illegally. It comes three weeks after Obama’s stated support of same-sex marriage in violation of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law in 1996 by Democratic President Bill Clinton. DOMA says the Federal Government and no state is required to recognize a same-sex marriage even if the marriage is licensed in another state. In 2011 the Obama Administration declared they would no longer defend the law in court.

It matters not whether an individual or a President agrees with a law. In the case of a President an oath was taken to defend our nations laws, and in at least these two instances Obama is clearly in violation of his oath. Failure for a President to enforce our laws leaves us not in a Democratic Republic as established by our Founding Fathers, but instead has us inhabiting a Dictatorship or a Monarch which leads to tyranny. Something countless Americans gave their lives to protect against.

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George Washington Knew What he was Talking About.

Painting, 1856, by Junius Brutus Stearns, Wash...

Painting, 1856, by Junius Brutus Stearns, Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, 

In November 1787 General George Washington wrote a letter to his nephew Bushrod Washington, who would later become one of the early Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. The purpose of the letter was for the Father of our Country to explain his support for the yet to be adopted U.S. Constitution. Washington had served honorably as the President of the 1787 Constitutional Convention which crafted this great document.  In the letter the Great General wrote “No man is a warmer advocate for proper restraints, and wholesome checks in every department of government than I am; but neither my reasoning, nor my experience, has yet been able to discover the propriety of preventing men from doing good, because there is a possibility of their doing evil.” In so writing few men have ever more fully and properly espoused the arguments for individual liberty. In essence Washington was saying TRUST your fellow man.

In the 223 years since the adoption of our Nations most revered document people have forgotten that it was hardily debated, and strongly opposed. The mere presence of Washington and fellow American Revolutionary hero Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin 1767

Benjamin Franklin 1767

within the Convention was perhaps the greatest argument the Constitution’s advocate’s had for its adoption. And a strong argument it was. Franklin and Washington were held in near God-like reverence by early Americans. Since Franklin and Washington supported adoption of the Constitution as it was ultimately written its adoption became far easier.

Opponents feared the Constitution produced too strong a government, and gave the office of The President too much power. Opponents were aghast at the fact that the Constitution enabled the continuing existence of slavery. Having just fought an eight year bloody Revolutionary War for liberty and freedom from the tyranny of British rule, continuing to hold fellow human beings in forced servitude was an hypocritical conflict some members of the Convention couldn’t stomach. Opponents of the Constitution also objected to the absence of a Bill of Rights. The first ten amendments to the Constitution granted, or acknowledged, the individual rights we all enjoy and fight over today. But they came after the Constitutions adoption in 1789. Ratification of 10 of the first 12 proposed Amendments (yes 12), The Bill of Rights, was finally ratified by the states more than 2 years later in December 1791.

Washington’s admonition to trust that good not evil would be the end result of a God-fearing and moral people speaks to today’s Democrats calls for increasing government regulations, laws, and controls on the American people. Democrats specifically say more control is necessary in order to prevent some from doing evil (in some form or another).

1795 - 1823

George Washington

Though Washington was responding to specific concerns about the fear he would become President and subsequently Monarch, and that slavery would continue, and more importantly to the opponents, that recognition of American citizen’s individual rights was not and would not be addressed; he said this is a good document, it should be adopted, and stopping its adoption didn’t make sense merely because some didn’t trust that what did ultimately come-to-pass would come-to-pass.

Were the Constitution not adopted and ratified the 13 original State’s would have split up to ultimately fall under the control of some more powerful and organized nation; perhaps Spain, France, and perhaps Britain again. Imagine. The Bill of Rights would never have been created and the shining light on the hill that the United States of America became for the rest of the world, would never have gotten started. And it would have failed because some didn’t trust their fellow Americans to do the right thing.

Where have we heard THAT before.

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