A Few Thoughts On Freedom

A Few Thoughts On Freedom

A Story by Carol Cashes
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**THIS POST IS SOLELY THE OPINION OF THIS AUTHOR AND IS NOT MEANT TO BE INFLAMMATORY OR DISRESPECTFUL.**

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I have stayed out of the political rhetoric posted on this site as I agree, disagree and sometimes just don’t understand some of them.  However, on this Independence Day, I’m gonna let Freedom Ring, and speak my piece.


The United States of America is first, and foremost, a republic.  This means that each and every individual has the same rights as the person next to them.  While it has democratic characteristics, the difference is wide and far reaching:  democracy is too many times nothing more than mob rule.  Our Founding Fathers never meant for a majority to decide what is best for all.  Understand that your constitutional rights have only been infringed when there is physical or civil damage.  This does not include your feelings.  Being offended is not a loss of rights.  I detest and abhor the KKK and neo-nazis and others too numerous to name, however, if they obtain a legal permit, they can march.  If they hurt me or blow up my car, they have violated the Constitution and are subject to any and all penalties that apply. 


It is hard to swallow the hate that too many groups and organizations spout.  It is difficult to accept vile and distasteful words.  But if they do not trespass or damage my property, or trip me when I walk by, they are free to do so


In the light of today’s growing unrest and dissatisfaction with leadership and rampant abuse of power, it becomes difficult to separate rights from offense.  Sadly, our public schools do not teach our children to think for themselves, but in these last years, have become forums for promoting their personal agendas.  Example:  “Separation of Church and State!!” is shouted at many town halls and protests.  Too many do not understand the concept and the intent of the Founding Fathers.  It means that the government will not advocate any one religion and all are welcome.  This was an easy premise to apply in earlier years when Christianity was the predominant belief system in this young country,  but with the influx and growing numbers of alternate religions, it has become more difficult to distinguish between true separation and exclusion.   These two ideas are separate and distinct, and it has become increasingly difficult to interpret and apply laws accordingly.


Distribution of wealth has been touted as the only “fair” and “socially responsible” avenue of eliminating poverty and hunger.  I vehemently disagree.  Yes, I acknowledge that there are corporate pirates who are without moral compasses and who twist laws and regulations to pursue greed and power.  Yes, I acknowledge that morally corrupt individuals prey on the innocent.  Yes, I acknowledge that social and economic factors and trends keep some demographic groups in a viscous circle of hopelessness.  What I do not agree with is being told that my success must be shared.  It is the morally right thing to do:  care for those less fortunate, give to charity or help someone in need.  But you cannot write a law that says I have to.  You cannot legislate morality.  You can regulate ethical business procedures and policies.  You can write administrative law to oversee and penalize those whose ethical behavior is corrupt.  But morals are not ethics.  I can be morally corrupt, guilty of infidelity or greed, but my business or professional ethics can meet or exceed standards.  There are many who will have a hard time grasping the difference.  In this convoluted world of today, the lines have become blurred.   One example are laws that force me into contract (i.e.:  car insurance).  While it is the morally correct and financially responsible thing to do, and it protects all parties, to require that I obtain insurance for my vehicle is a direct violation of my Constitutional right not to enter into a contract.  Again, this is another example of blurred lines between intent and application.  


My right to bear arms is inviable.  *sigh*  Yes, there are stone-zip crazy people out there.  Yes, there are zealots and fanatics.  Yes, guns are too easily obtainable by children and criminals.  But these factors do not outweigh my Constitutional right to protect my life.  Period.  A lot of the issues that would lend credence to any argument against gun ownership can be traced directly to failure to consistently enforce existing law.  This topic also stands as another issue where the lines have become blurred and almost invisible, and there are valid points on each side.  I feel that regarding this matter, emotions run high and reason can be misplaced. 


I contemplated whether or not I would respond to any “reviews” of this post.  Probably not.  I fully expect disagreement and appalled reactions.  But, this is America, free speech is still my Constitutional right, just as it is yours to disagree.  It is these very disagreements that shaped the final draft of the Constitution (i.e.:   the Federalist Papers).   


May you all celebrate (or not!) this day of Freedom.  Many cannot express themselves freely or even disagree with the leadership they live under.  We are blessed by who or whatever you think is the higher power, and even if you don’t believe there is one, it is your perfect right to.


© 2017 Carol Cashes



Author's Note

Carol Cashes
My opinions on freedoms as defined by the Constitution

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Featured Review

I agree with some of what you wrote, such as there's no right to not be offended. But other things, not so much:

“democracy is too many times nothing more than mob rule.” No, “mob rule” implies a disregard for the law, whereas it is often said that we are a “nation of laws, not of men”. Pure democracy is impractical with the large population of the US, but seems to work very well in, for example, New England town meetings. 

“Our Founding Fathers never meant for a majority to decide what is best for all.” True; at that time senators were selected by state legislatures, and only white males who owned sufficient property were allowed to vote. But we’ve evolved past that, based on the finding that rich, powerful people are not necessarily smarter or more moral than non-rich, non-powerful people. Also the idea that the people who fight and die in wars should have some say in whether or not to start one.

“Distribution of wealth has been touted as the only “fair” and “socially responsible” avenue of eliminating poverty and hunger.” I don’t recall anyone ever claiming that. But any system of taxation is a “distribution of wealth”.

Successful businesses in this country are successful because of the hard work, skill, intelligence, luck, etc of their owners and employees, AND because of this country’s infrastructure: its schools, roads, police, judicial system, etc. (If you think not, and think your company’s success, the Acme Widget Company, is due solely to your efforts, then try to start up a widget-making company in, say, a dirt-poor country in the middle of Africa and see how many widgets you sell, or how many skilled, literate employees you can find to hire to make them.) And taxes are what pay for that infrastructure that, combined with your ability, allows your company to succeed.

“…to require that I obtain insurance for my vehicle is a direct violation of my Constitutional right not to enter into a contract.” I wasn’t aware of any such right not to enter into a contract, although I could be wrong about this. And you’re perfectly free not to enter into a contract to insure your vehicle. But there is no Constitutional right to drive a car; so, no insurance, no driving on the roads and the streets that the government built for all of us insurance-buying drivers.

“My right to bear arms is inviable.” No it’s not. You can’t own a bazooka; you can’t own a tank; you can’t own a nuclear bomb. The original intent of the 2nd amendment was all about militias being able to be formed and be armed. So, from this intent, you can own an arm if and only if you’re in a milita.

“But these factors do not outweigh my Constitutional right to protect my life.” A lot of people think that the best way to protect your life and of everyone else is to not have so many armed people. And to support this view all you have to do is to look at a country like England, (or almost ANY country that don’t have a 2nd amendment but does have strict gun laws) and compare the number of people killed by guns here with the number killed in those other countries. It’s at least an order of magnitude difference.

And as to the “failure to consistently enforce existing law”, the NRA and its lapdogs in Congress work overtime in gutting any and all of these “existing laws”.



Posted 5 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Jerome Malenfant

5 Months Ago

“Misunderstanding the difference between a right and a privilege has been the source of a lot conf.. read more
Carol Cashes

5 Months Ago

Every time that I cited a specific Amendment, my explanation is based on a decision of the Highest C.. read more
Jerome Malenfant

5 Months Ago

Ok, and thanks for your response.



Reviews

You've done a good job of presenting your case in terms of the "facts" as you interpret them. I like that you don't state your ideas in terms of one side or another, but as a more generalized viewpoint, free from the overly exaggerated "left" and "right" politics of our times. Living in a state of "freedom" can be messy & you've showed us how this mess can appear to you & your sensibilities. It's good to know how others see this, as it helps me sort it out in my own mind. The thing that seems to be missing these days is having such discussions where we can express ourselves instead of being lumped into some detested group of "others" . . . good job commemorating my birthday! *wink! wink!* Fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Week Ago


It is so nice and refreshingly pleasant to read your thoughts. It amazes me how so many just don't get it.

I am glad you do and are not afraid or intimidated to speak your mind. And I am also glad that what you said is so evident to those that take the time to research and understand our constitution and realize this is NOT A DEMOCRACY. Which we hear all too often.

Stay strong.
Enjoyed your letter.

Trace

Posted 5 Months Ago


Trace

5 Months Ago

One more figure on guns
More than a third of Americans say they or someone in their household.. read more
Trace

5 Months Ago

Point in fact... 49% is a minority. Lol
Carol Cashes

5 Months Ago

Interesting, as well, a commentary on those who would decry our "gun culture." Should the courts at.. read more
A few points to start Carol.
The Voltaire quote about defending your right to say what you want even if I disagree is a mainstay of anyone I think of with a moral compass.
Speaking as a citizen of a country with no written constitution, (unless you count the Magna Carta). I have always felt that the American Constitution is one of the finest pieces of writing, nay poetry in the history of mankind. That does not stop me from disagreeing with parts of it however. Or rather to be more accurate interpretations of parts. For instance the Second Ammendment, The right to bear arms. You say it is the right to defend oneself and that is an inalienable right. I cannot see that for several reasons. I come from a country with very strict gun laws and a lot less gun crime than the States. Hand guns are designed for one purpose and one purpose only. To kill humans. That in my view is and can never be right. How does that gel with your religious beliefs? You shalt not kill for instance.The NRA of course and I suspect you agree, say that it is not the tool, it is the human that uses it. How does that fit with the difference in gun laws between my and virtually every other economically viable country in the world and yours? We don't have guns there is far less gun crime. That seems a logical extension of freedom. My right not to be killed even by accident. Yes guns are necessary but not desirable by any code I can dream of.
Preachers of hate are usually lacking in some kind of education whereby they say forceably that I am inherently better than you. All men are created equal says your mostly religious country. Rightly so. All men remain equal unless they fail to believe what I believe is what the hate preacher says. Then they are not. I think it was an American student ,(don't know his name) who said in an answer once that all religions state that if you don't believe what I believe you will go to some kind of hell, (Certainly the big three do). Ergo everybody will go to hell. Hate preachers forment civil unrest and damage other beliefs than theirs. Therefore they should be regulated according to a defined morality. For the benefit of all. Would you say that a man who radicalises a youth has the right to do so? Then that youth commits an act of terrorism. And kills. Isn't that dead set against your fundamental right to life? (Pun intended)
Yes, free speech is inalienable and rightly so. I refer you again to the famous quote by Voltaire. But there are caveats. Someone who spreads hate in an evangelical and political way is in fact supressing your fundamental freedom of speech.
Much of what you say I have no issue with. I am an aetheist and I DO have a moral compass.Although some that you mention would have an issue with that. Whose freedom is better then? And that moral compass states quite unequivocally that every man has the right to the pursuit of life, liberty happiness; but not at the expense of the majority. Anything less is anarchy. And anarchy is anything but freedom to the pursuit of all the above.
No set of rules for life has ever turned out in the whole history of mankind to be perfect. And none will. It does not and should not stop us from trying to seek them. for the good of all. Not just the rich or the well educated or the politically savvy. Yes that world is a utopia but it is a dream worth pursuing.

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I agree with some of what you wrote, such as there's no right to not be offended. But other things, not so much:

“democracy is too many times nothing more than mob rule.” No, “mob rule” implies a disregard for the law, whereas it is often said that we are a “nation of laws, not of men”. Pure democracy is impractical with the large population of the US, but seems to work very well in, for example, New England town meetings. 

“Our Founding Fathers never meant for a majority to decide what is best for all.” True; at that time senators were selected by state legislatures, and only white males who owned sufficient property were allowed to vote. But we’ve evolved past that, based on the finding that rich, powerful people are not necessarily smarter or more moral than non-rich, non-powerful people. Also the idea that the people who fight and die in wars should have some say in whether or not to start one.

“Distribution of wealth has been touted as the only “fair” and “socially responsible” avenue of eliminating poverty and hunger.” I don’t recall anyone ever claiming that. But any system of taxation is a “distribution of wealth”.

Successful businesses in this country are successful because of the hard work, skill, intelligence, luck, etc of their owners and employees, AND because of this country’s infrastructure: its schools, roads, police, judicial system, etc. (If you think not, and think your company’s success, the Acme Widget Company, is due solely to your efforts, then try to start up a widget-making company in, say, a dirt-poor country in the middle of Africa and see how many widgets you sell, or how many skilled, literate employees you can find to hire to make them.) And taxes are what pay for that infrastructure that, combined with your ability, allows your company to succeed.

“…to require that I obtain insurance for my vehicle is a direct violation of my Constitutional right not to enter into a contract.” I wasn’t aware of any such right not to enter into a contract, although I could be wrong about this. And you’re perfectly free not to enter into a contract to insure your vehicle. But there is no Constitutional right to drive a car; so, no insurance, no driving on the roads and the streets that the government built for all of us insurance-buying drivers.

“My right to bear arms is inviable.” No it’s not. You can’t own a bazooka; you can’t own a tank; you can’t own a nuclear bomb. The original intent of the 2nd amendment was all about militias being able to be formed and be armed. So, from this intent, you can own an arm if and only if you’re in a milita.

“But these factors do not outweigh my Constitutional right to protect my life.” A lot of people think that the best way to protect your life and of everyone else is to not have so many armed people. And to support this view all you have to do is to look at a country like England, (or almost ANY country that don’t have a 2nd amendment but does have strict gun laws) and compare the number of people killed by guns here with the number killed in those other countries. It’s at least an order of magnitude difference.

And as to the “failure to consistently enforce existing law”, the NRA and its lapdogs in Congress work overtime in gutting any and all of these “existing laws”.



Posted 5 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Jerome Malenfant

5 Months Ago

“Misunderstanding the difference between a right and a privilege has been the source of a lot conf.. read more
Carol Cashes

5 Months Ago

Every time that I cited a specific Amendment, my explanation is based on a decision of the Highest C.. read more
Jerome Malenfant

5 Months Ago

Ok, and thanks for your response.
As far as I'm concerned, there is little, here, with which to take issue.
We were founded as a nation of laws not men.
Those who believe "democracy" is synonymous with "freedom," apparently, cannot discern the difference between sanctioned mob-rule and lack of governmental duress.
Kudos, Carol!--you are an exceptionally well-informed American.

Posted 5 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

5 Months Ago

Thank you for reading this editorial. Many, sadly, do not understand the difference, and are not be.. read more
When I first read Grimm's Fairy Tales I concluded these things can't possibly be for children, but, at least ostensibly, they were. Perhaps children were tougher in the Grimms day.

The same held true for the constitution. Appalling almost, but then perhaps patriots were tougher in the days of post revolutionary America. I don't want to meddle with it, or change it, mostly because we are fresh out of Washingtons, Frankilins, Jeffersons and down to damn few remaining Hamiltons. So I am content to muddle along as is and cut my neighbor's grass while he is away in the hospital. It is hard for him, being only three fifths of a person even before resorting to Medicare.

Posted 5 Months Ago


USA is far from perfect. I believe best place to live and succeed. The Constitution is needed. I enjoyed and I liked your thoughts. I believe we must ensure we keep the basic rights of freedom alive and well. Thank you Carol for sharing your words and thoughts.
Coyote

Posted 5 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

5 Months Ago

Thank you for reading. The Constitution is actually a marvel - its principles, if properly interpre.. read more
Coyote Poetry

5 Months Ago

You are right. New leaders want to change something that worked and still can.
Well written/said... I agree with all except the auto liability Insurance part...


JAZZY

Posted 5 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

5 Months Ago

I agree that the penalties are too steep, but Click It! or Ticket! the one thing I don't mind...just.. read more
J. J.  Nightingale

5 Months Ago

HA.........................:)..............
J. J.  Nightingale

5 Months Ago

I always click it... but don't think it's right to fine someone who doesn't..they might as well fine.. read more

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Added on July 4, 2017
Last Updated on July 4, 2017
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Author

Carol Cashes
Carol Cashes

Biloxi, MS



About
I'm very cynical, jaded, just this side of bitter and the only reason I haven't crossed that line is a good man loves me. I am extremely empathetic, but seldom sympathetic. I can be a ferociously lo.. more..

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