Wednesday, April 8, 2009


In a long line of those who seek a "perfect" United States of America, I would be at the end of the line, because I realize such a thing is impossible.

Nevertheless, let's let our minds dream a little and see what a "perfect" USA might be like.

First and foremost there would be freedom.

The Online Dictionary give the first definition of "freedom" as: the condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints.

Externally imposed restraints? What does that mean?

In my mind, it means another person or entity that might try to limit our freedom, such as a burglar, who might limit our right to keep that which we worked and paid for.

Perhaps it would include a trespasser, who limits our freedom to keep unwanted people off of our property.

It might even refer to the government, which limits our freedom to live our lives as we wish, so we don't then limit the freedom of others to live their lives as they wish.

This last one gets a little sticky.

There is this thing called "the greater good," which supposes that there are some things that might limit individual freedom in order to make things more "equitable" or even more "comfortable" for the rest of society.

Our freedom to drive very fast in congested areas is limited by speed laws that "protect" us from one another on the roadways.

(Of course, there is always some jerk who decides that the limits don't apply to him, and he drives like a maniac, speeding...weaving in and out of traffic...failing to use a turn signal...running red lights and stop signs, etc.)

Our freedom to say what we want, when we want is limited by laws that tell us we cannot yell, "FIRE!" in a crowded theater, because that might incite panic among the other theater patrons and result in worse consequences than an actual fire.

Well, who gets to draw the line that tells us where individual freedoms stop for the "greater good?"

For that, we elect men and women whom we charge with the responsibilities of passing those laws.

We elect city counsel-persons, mayors, county commissioners, county managers, state legislators, governors, and our federal legislators and president to make laws for the "greater good."

Here's where the stickiness comes in.

Once elected, these people seem to take on a new that assumes they have been given the power to collectively dictate our lives.

Truth be known, they should, for the most part, have little or nothing to do.

We have enough laws to last us through the next several millennia.

For instance, we have a law against pre-meditated murder.

Why on earth do we need separate laws to define how we commit murder and why one form of murder, such as a "hate crime" is worse than another.

Murder (a legal term, by the way, and not the same as "killing"), is murder, defined as: unlawful premeditated killing of a human being by a human being.

Let's say one person is convicted of a regular old pre-meditated murder, while another is convicted of a "hate-crime" murder.

Let's further say that both are sentenced to death by lethal injection.

Is the one's punishment more dire because he committed a "hate-crime," while the other's is less dire because he did not?

But let's give the government the latitude to define one as a "hate-crime." What other latitudes can we give it?

Should the government be able to tell us how warm or how cool we can keep our homes for the "greater good?"

President BO has indicated that he favors just such legislation, to be controlled by a system that automatically reports violations to the federal government via computerized online thermostats in our homes.

If you favor that, I'll bet you don't favor the government being able to tell us what we can do in the privacy of our bedrooms, or what we can ingest, or what we can smoke.

That's the thing with freedom. There is always a difficult balancing act between the rights of individuals and the rights of the "greater good."

There has to be some way to mitigate the power of those who hold sway over the minutia of our lives.

There is.

It is called The Constitution of the United States of America.

It is designed to define the role of government in our daily lives, specifically what the government cannot do.

It begins: We the people of the United States, in order to (1) form a more perfect union, (2)establish justice, (3) insure domestic tranquility, (4) provide for the common defense, (5)promote the general welfare, and (6) secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Furthermore, it provides for us an amendment process whereby the majority may make changes to it as deemed necessary by society.

The first ten amendments are called, "The Bill of Rights," and impose some additional restrictions on government not covered in the body of the Constitution.

You can read them here:, along with the other amendments that have been added.

The Constitution of the United States of America was written and designed to PROTECT citizens from the federal government, not to tell the federal government what it must do to help the citizens.

President BO does not believe that.

From his own mouth he has stated that the Constitution is intrinsically flawed and needs to tell the government what TO do.

This illustrates that he completely misses the point, either through ignorance (which I don't believe for a nano-second), or deliberately, because he wants more control over citizens' lives.

He swore to protect and defend THIS Constitution, not to ignore or change it.

He is busy both ignoring and changing it, presumably to mold us into his image of a PERFECT USA.

But his image is diametrically opposed to mine.

So now what do I do?


The Red Head said...

This is a wonderful blog Joe, I really enjoyed reading it..Thank you and Good Luck

Joe said...

The Red Head: Thank you for coming by. Come back any time.

TAO said...

Ah Joe, our constitution is flawed and imperfect that is why we have a process to add amendments to the constitution and that is why we have added them in the past.

It might actually be a great idea if we quit fighting among ourselves and started a process to add a couple more amendments because it does not appear that our elected officials are going to do anything to limit themselves and we can begin the constitutional amendment process without them...

It might be the only way we have to gain control of the beast once again...

Joe said...

TAO: Well, of course it is flawed. The "framers" knew that; hence: the amendment process.

You and I agree that we could use a couple, or pehaps a few, of amendments. The question is, can we agree on what needs to be changed?

That is where the real struggle will come in.

Should I agree with you? Or should you agree with me?

TAO said...

Lets see, balanced budget, and a budget that includes all expenditures, no supplementary budgets and then mandate that congress takes more time off.

That is one.

How are we doing on agreeing so far? I think if we actually sat down and attempted it you would find that if we lose the extremes on both sides we all pretty much agree on the basics.

sue said...

Joe - Run for president in 2012.

Joe said...

TAO: We absolutely agree on the first paragraph. I would add term limits for law makers and a "one bill, one subject" rule, to eliminate "earmarks."

Sue: Well...I'm 67 years old, have an iffy heart and a very painful right leg.

I might not be around...but I appreciate the support.

As I am fond of saying, "If nominated I will not run and if elected I will not serve."

Susannah said...

What do you do? You type your little fingers off & get great posts like this one read far & wide.

You do what I did this afternoon in the car: explained to my children the basic difference betwn. a Republican & Democrat (w/ regard to gov't role in our lives), Republicans want gov't to leave us alone so we can live freely & Dems want the gov't be intimately involved so they can tell us how to live.

And you also stand up for what you believe, speaking out when necessary, acting out when necessary - told this to my kids too. And it's now necessary, folks.

Oh, and TERM LIMITS!!! My gosh, term limits. Term limits, term limits... (The rest of what TAO is talking about will then take care of itself.)

sue said...

Joe - My husband was always a runner until a VN war injury got the best of him. I ran for awhile, until I got ahold of a t-shirt that said:

I do not choose to run.(Coolidge)

Enough said.

sue said...

Joe - One of the things I like about you - and it's not the only thing - is that you are three years older than me. That makes me feel good. The rest of these bloggers are babies.

Tapline said...

Joe, Again you have outdone yourself. Great Post...What to do? The only alternative is to vote them out of office. The whole bunch.. I see the Black Caucus took a jaunt to Cuba doing the state departments business and will initiating laws to remove sanctions from Cuba...Great..Where is the Logan law,,,Oh it doesn't apply....they're democrats.....Nancy comes to mind....Again great post...

shoprat said...

The following amendments are needed only because we have experts who feel the government must do otherwise.

1. English the official language of this nation.

2. The express right to defend yourself, your family, your property and your community.

3. The right to raise your children according to your traditions, beliefs and values. (a few sensible limits are needed here.)

4. The right to the fruit of your labor and/or investments.

5. limiting the use of imminent domain.

6. forbidding or at least limiting taxes for the purpose of wealth redistribution.

Joe said...

Susannah: You said it!

Sue: In Scripture Timothy wrote: Let no man despise you because of your youth.

Many of these bloggers may be "babies" now, but (trust me on this), it won't last.

Tapline: Thank you again for your kindness.

Shoprat: I could easily go along with English as the official language, but I'm not convinced that it is a Constitutional issue...though it might be.

I certainly agree with you stand on imminent domain and taxes.

As to your other suggestions, if we would just respect the Constitution we have, those rights would be afforded to us.