For decades, U.S. citizens have relied exclusively upon the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights for the definition and protection of their rights. As a result, they have retained only those "rights" which can be construed from their constitutional paperwork, and have lost all others.2
The "rights" associated with so-called due process are an excellent example of this. The U.S. Bill of Rights acknowledges due process rights only for criminal cases; U.S. citizens have those rights only in criminal cases. This limitation of rights has resulted, however, not from constitutional deficiencies (which certainly exist) but from the ignorance or inattention of the U.S. citizens themselves. That is, the failure of the U.S. Bill of Rights to acknowledge certain rights doesn't operate to destroy those rights. Indeed, such failure has, in and of itself, no effect upon the rights at all. Rights existed prior to the U.S. Bill of Rights, they can exist beyond its purview, and they might even exist after its demise. If U.S. citizens want (for example) the right to remain silent in a civil case, they can have the right by insisting, consistently and en masse, upon that right. Recourse to constitutional authority is neither necessary nor desirable.
More fundamentally however, before U.S. citizens can retrieve lost rights, they must understand the idea of rights. They must stop demanding as rights things which they cannot accomplish for themselves; those things are not rights. They must stop asking their government for permission to do things which ought to be rights; asking permission to exercise a right sacrifices the right. They must reach some consensus regarding what is and what isn't acceptable behavior. A right need not be something of which they approve, but it must at least be something that they will tolerate. And finally, they must recognize that so-called artificial persons (corporations) have powers, but not rights.
In general, so long as people rely upon their governments to define, supply, and protect their rights, they will not have rights. While they rely upon their institutions for empowerment, they will have no power. If they want to be free, they must do it for themselves; neither the acquisition nor the defense of liberty can be delegated.
by Sam Aurelius Milam III
I've been hearing suggestions advocating the routine "DNA fingerprinting" of babies at birth. Do you want your children tagged for life, before they're old enough to give informed consent? Do you know for sure what the FedMeds do with your blood after a routine blood test? Is it still possible for you to say "No"? How long can you wait to solve this problem before it's too late?
by Bob Alexander
between an individual and the United States Government
Signature _____________________________ Date __________________________
Copyright 1989 by Robert E. Alexander. May be distributed freely.
by Sam Aurelius Milam III
I spent several months pursuing 'M', who steadfastly refused my advances. Then one night when she needed to "camp out" at my house, she voluntarily vacated the bed provided for her in another room and climbed into mine instead. It was an early lesson for me: sometimes no means yes.
For over a year I propositioned 'D'. Each time, she gracefully refused. One day, quite suddenly, I decided that she wasn't ever going to cooperate, and I gave up. Within a week, she came looking for me. Later, I asked her why she had so suddenly changed her mind. She said, "I noticed that you weren't there anymore, and I came looking to see what had happened to you." Once again, no meant yes.
'LT' loudly objected when I refused to swear fidelity exclusively to her. She insisted that, lacking such a promise, she would refuse to continue the relationship. However, the affair lasted for more than another two years, and I was the one who had to end it. Without a doubt, no meant yes.
'A' was one of the ladies to whom 'LT' had objected, and made the same objection as 'LT'. The affair lasted for several months beyond the objection. No meant yes for a while at least, and certainly for long enough.
'K' was a devout Christian, and had a theological basis for refusal. Nevertheless, she eventually and voluntarily came visiting. Even a religious no can mean yes.
'LA', a born-again Christian, adamantly refused from the very beginning, but was hopelessly persuadable. Throughout the relationship, her stout refusal was a regular preliminary to agreement. The disparity between what she said and what she did was astonishing. She was the most remarkable example, in my experience, of no means yes.
Sometimes no means no, but not always, and even the woman herself can't always tell for sure. Actually, women sometimes need a lot of help making up their minds, and many a conquest has succeeded because a man was persistent. Men use persistence because generations of ancestors have proven that it works. The fact is that there's no reward like success.
Those arrogant females who strut around and shriek "No means no!" don't have anywhere near enough experience at courting women to know what they're yapping about. Many of them are not interested in courting women at all, and none of them have any sympathy for men who are. Rather, their agenda is to use their sexuality to control men. The idiotic notion that persistence is the same as "sexual harassment" is part of their agenda. To their agenda, I say "No", and in this case no definitely means no.
Law, American Style
This excerpt from The American Rifleman is reprinted with permission.
Jim Dalton, 83, of Higbee, Missouri, was afraid that three men on his front porch were going to rob him, so he locked the door. He was proven correct when one of the men picked up an ax and started to hack his way through the door. Dalton armed himself, and when the men ignored his warnings and broke through the door, Dalton fired his shotgun, wounding one and routing all three. "I wouldn't prosecute a man who was defending his home from three ax-wielding hoodlums," said the local prosecutor. (The Daily Tribune, Columbia, MO, 3/11/94)
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The rule of law is essential to a free society. We obey the law so we do not have to obey other men. Most of us assume that the Magna Carta (1215 A.D.) established the rule of law as the foundation of the British and American legal systems, but the rule of law is in reality thousands of years old. According to Nobel Laureate F. A. Hayek, the Greek concept of isonomia has gradually developed into "equality before the law," "government of law," and "the rule of law."
Unwritten codes of conduct honored by ordinary people in their daily lives have also helped secure the rule of law. For example, there is near universal understanding of the principle, "third man out." When two men are brawling, the crowd may eject a third who enters the fray. All civilized people also agree that crimes like rape, assault, and murder must be punished and that private property and civil rights must be protected.
But what is most important to remember about the rule of law is that it depends on the voluntary adherence of citizens and the separation of powers, which protects citizens from the arbitrary authority of the state.
The antithesis of the rule of law is not anarchy but a tyranny of laws. When there are state-enforced rules for every occasion, the state is omnipotent. The Roman historian Tacitus said it best: "The more corrupt the Republic, the more laws." Too many laws destroy the rule of law because individuals will not voluntarily honor them. And when they do not voluntarily honor the law, society disintegrates.