Just as I cannot morally consent to give the government the power to take your freedom of speech or travel or privacy, you cannot consent to give the government the power to take mine. This is the principle of the natural law: We all have areas of human behavior in which each of us is sovereign and for the exercise of which we do not need the government’s permission. Those areas are immune from government interference.
That is at least the theory of the Declaration of Independence, and that is the basis for our 237-year-old American experiment in limited government, and it is the system to which everyone who works for the government today pledges fidelity.
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The litany of the loss of freedom is sad and unconstitutional and irreversible. The government does whatever it can to retain its power, and it continues so long as it can get away with it. It can listen to your phone calls, read your emails, seize your DNA and challenge your silence, all in violation of the Constitution. Bitterly and ironically, the government Jefferson wrought is proving the accuracy of Jefferson’s prediction that in the long march of history, government grows and liberty shrinks. Somewhere Jefferson is weeping.
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.
The most basic of all freedoms is freedom of speech, the freedom most necessary for a healthy society. But even advocates of freedom of speech have been caving in to antibullyism because they can’t think of a good argument against it. What can possibly be wrong with anti-bullying laws? If we are against these laws, doesn’t that make us pro-bully? So we blindly support these laws, even those of us who should know better.
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Ever since the Columbine shooting, I have been warning that anti-bullying laws will outlaw humor, because humor, by its very nature, is offensive. Saying nice things about people is not going to make anyone laugh. Unless, that is, the nice things are said sarcastically—they are meant as an insult.
As George Orwell said, “The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being but to remind him that he is already degraded.”
It is understandable that school administrators, who are terrified of facing anti-bullying lawsuits, would try to deny freedom of speech to their students. Furthermore, since freedom of speech hasn’t been taught in our schools and universities for decades, school administrators have no more understanding of its importance than the average citizen.
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What a great idea! Why has it never occurred to us before the only good bully is a dead one . . . unless it’s bullies whom we hate! that the government can magically grant everyone dignity? We could have saved ourselves so much misery. It wouldn’t matter how despicable we were, everyone would still have to treat us with dignity or face the full force of the government! And how about bullies? Does the Dignity for All Act extend to them, too? Are we still allowed to use the demeaning term, ‘bully’? Or are bullies the only ones denied the protection of the law?
In actuality, The Dignity for All Act is Newspeak (ala Orwell) for ‘Repeal of Freedom of Speech Act.’
Antibullyism, Independence Day, and the Demise of Freedom of Speech (emphasis added)
For over a century, the “common school” has been hailed as the cornerstone of democracy. Where else will students learn what it means to be an American citizen but at a government school? What other institution is better suited to inculcate the civic values of our constitutional republic?
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The largest and most comprehensive of these studies, Dr. Patrick Wolf’s “Civics Exam,” found that private school students are, on average, more politically tolerant, more knowledgeable about our system of government, more likely to volunteer in their community, and more politically active than their government school peers.
Unfortunately, over the last few decades, civic education in government schools has significantly declined:
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On average, schools of choice outperform government schools at instilling the civic knowledge and values necessary to preserve a free society. The Founders’ vision depends on an educated populace, but it does not depend on the government to educate them.
Schools of Choice Promote Civic Values (emphasis added)
It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
Address at the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia, PA, by Pres. Calvin Coolidge, July 5, 1926.
Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.