Archive for August, 2009

26
Aug
09

Constitutional Rights

When I engage in a political discussion, if someone says something about “Constitutional rights” he/she is instantly dismissed, in my mind. Sorry, but I can’t take anyone seriously who actually believes that “rights” come from some words written on a piece of parchment, by some deceased dudes who wore fake, powdered hair pieces.

There are no such things as “Constitutional rights.” Men, and their pieces of ink-stained paper, do not grant any “rights.”

Let’s be honest about the meaning of a “right.” Simply speaking, “rights” are entitlements.

I hear many people regularly state that there’s a “right” to education, healthcare and housing–and, now, I’m even hearing commercials for debt consolidation companies stating that you have a “right” to settle your credit card debt “for less than you owe.” What these people don’t seem to understand is that the use of force to get these things is completely unacceptable and has nothing to do with any kind of inherent “right.”

For example, no one should impede you in your desire to learn new things, schedule a medical procedure, or build/pay for a place in which to live (though government often gets in the way and screws things up). You cross the line when you feel someone else should be forced to pay for your books, tuition, school buildings, house/apartment, or chemotherapy–basically, socialism. You have no “right” to anything that someone else must be forced to provide.

Let’s look specifically at healthcare, for a moment.

Of course, you should be able to secure the help of a physician when you have healthcare needs, but a physician should not be forced to give you use of his time, talents, tools, hands, or knowledge that he spent years acquiring–and paying for. You do not own the doctor, so you have no “right” to his labor.

In my opinion, there are only what are sometimes referred to as “negative rights.” In other words, no one has a right to tell me how I can live, what I can say, where I can work, where I can travel, how I can use my time or talents, etc. To do so, is enslaving–and for a country that claims to love freedom so much, you would think all the talk of rights and using force would be a non-issue. Sadly, that’s not the case.

The next time someone talks of “rights” coming from an old piece of paper, written by deceased men, set them straight and remember: Free people don’t need “rights.”

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04
Aug
09

Glenn Beck Still Disappoints

A few years ago, when I was an officer in the Libertarian Party, I wrote an article about Glenn Beck’s call screener (Sarah) hanging up on me when I called his radio show to discuss his mischaracterizations of libertarians. Mr. Beck found out about my article and screamed on the air, “I want to talk to this guy!”

Hearing that, I called the show and got a very few seconds, on-air, before a top-of-the-hour break, as he attempted to make libertarians out to be heroin addicts. I remained calm and polite, so he didn’t get the satisfaction of inciting me to lose my cool and come off sounding like a crazy person.

In typical talk show host fashion, he hung up on me and threw in another mischaracterization before going to break. (Many hosts need to use the mute button or hang up on callers to win debates.)

Fast forward about four years.

Now, Mr. Beck is calling himself a libertarian. The things I warned about, on my radio show years ago, are now coming to pass and Glenn is beginning to wake up a bit and give them some coverage, but he still has a long way to go.

Today, throughout his show, he ridiculed the “birthers” (those who are still demanding to see Obama’s birth certificate) and other conspiracy theory people and suggested that they self-censor to avoid being labeled nut-jobs. He also touched on Ron Paul supporters and those who talk about “Bilderburger” meetings, making fun of them in a fake caller skit.

Marx would be proud of the character assassinations and peer pressure.

When I heard that, I immediately thought of a quote from Mark Twain:

“In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”

If you are stopped by the police at a highway checkpoint, for no reason other than you happened to be traveling down the road upon which the checkpoint was located, you are required to show proof of insurance and proof that you have jumped through all the hoops government requires in order for you to drive on the streets (driver’s license).

In order to get that license in the first place, you are required to produce your birth certificate and other forms of identification, to prove you are a citizen and who you say you are.

At border-area checkpoints, you are required to prove that you are a citizen in order to continue traveling through the area.

If having to prove we are who we common folk say we are, that we are citizens and are properly credentialed, is so very important to law enforcement and homeland security why are you a nut-job if you simply ask the President to abide by the same kind of standard?

Why hasn’t the man produced the real certificate – not the worthless “live birth” stuff – to silence critics and set the record straight? Talk about elitism – and all this coming from someone who constantly preaches equality and respect!

The President should practice what he preaches – and if it will stop him from further leading us into Communism, all the better. And Mr. Beck should get with the program.

Don’t let anyone pressure you into silencing your voices! Say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done to preserve your freedom, regardless of what Glenn Beck or anyone else has to say about it.