I have been reading in the news about all the civil forfeiture events around the country, which are really troubling, and the forcing of businesses and people to violate their freedoms for political correctness, and the forcing of banks to not do business with people the government deems questionable, and it brought to my mind the following question:
Are we really free in America and following the Constitution?
I have thought about this for some time so some of my observations follow.
UNDER THE CONSTITUTION:
Article I, Section 8-3. “Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with Indian tribes.”
Violations: Controlling crops a farmer can grow for his own use. Controlling what states do within their own boundaries. Controlling what companies do with a state’s boundary.
UNDER THE BILL OF RIGHTS:
1st – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Violations: Expression of religion is prohibited in schools and government buildings. You may be sued or lose your job for non-politically correct speech or the support of Christian beliefs. Laws about hate speech, whatever that really is. Campaign laws restricting political comments and advertisements before an election by some citizens and PAC’s, since revoked. Trying to control programming on radio and internet (fairness doctrine). Arresting people for speaking up or too long at a government meeting.
2nd – “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Violations: Laws passed to restrict the type or style of firearms that can be owned. Laws that restrict the right to bear arms. Laws to restrict the caliber of arms that can be purchased and owned. Laws restricting the number of rounds in a firearm. Incorrect interpretation of what a militia is. Laws restricting the number of firearms that can be purchased. Laws requiring technology for new firearms not yet available.
4th – “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Violations: Questionable practices of listening to phone calls, reading emails without warrants, data mining. Searching of phones or computers without a warrant during a traffic stop. Taking of real estate property from one private party to be given to another private party (eminent domain, usually for a tax gain.) The seizure of houses, autos, business property and confiscation of money of suspected law violators under Civil Asset Forfeiture laws before any charges of a crime are filed (if ever), which has now expanded to be seizures while being stopped on the highway and have the police do a warrantless search and confiscate your money or property.
10th – “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, or to the people.”
Violations: Telling states what they can and cannot do within their own boundaries. Federal government controlling large areas of open land.
OTHER FREEDOMS LOST:
Public lands: More and more land listed as public lands are being restricted from use by the public.
Real estate property rights: Building codes and zoning laws, some go beyond safety concerns and tell what style of building you can build. Environmental laws, regulating the amount of dust a farmer can create while plowing his field, regulating whether you can collect rainwater on your property and many more. Restricting use of your land to protect some species of plant or insect or animal or water flow or wetlands. Property taxes (Do you really own your property?)
Being able to raise your children as you wish: Laws against spanking in some places. Schools and doctors required to report perceived abuse. Children removed from families with little investigation and/or correct information. Your choice of the medical treatment for your family can be overridden by the government or medical staff. Your choice of what foods your child eats. Some places are against home schooling.
Right to earn a living: Anti-discrimination laws can cause reverse discrimination in hiring or force a person or business to violate their religious beliefs. Banks bullied into not doing business with certain people or businesses (Operation Choke Point). Forced union membership requirements (closed shop laws.)
Right to live your life: Restrictions on where people can smoke, in public places and their dwellings. Restrictions on pet owners. Restricting restaurants on the calories or fat of foods they can serve. Laws restricting size of drinks, amount of salt, type of deep fry oil and others. Being forced to purchase health insurance and limiting the type of insurance you can purchase.
Freedom while driving your vehicle: Seatbelt laws and helmet laws.
There are more examples I could talk about but I believe I have made my point that we are not free and government is not following the Constitution.
Voltaire said, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
Jacques Barzon said, “Political correctness does not legislate tolerance, it only organizes hatred.”