Gene’s Nickle: The 4th Amendment

Suppose your local police officer or any other government agency official carried a pad of standard forms that allowed him to search your automobile, your office, your computer, or your home. He could fill out this pre-printed form, hand it to you, and conduct his search anytime, anywhere, for anything. Your civil servant wouldn’t need evidence or even a suspicion of a crime to go through your belongings and seize your personal property.

I believe that would rightly be called government tyranny! Sadly, that happened here in America.

The American Colonies were industrious and prosperous, and soon took on the stature of “cash cow” to the British Parliament and the British Crown. At one time or another every commodity in the New World was taxed at a rate designed to discourage trade with American suppliers and encourage business with British competitors.
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Gene’s Nickle: 2nd Amendment

The American Revolution started with the battles at Lexington and Concord when the British Army left Boston to capture John Hancock and Samuel Adams in Lexington, and an arms cache in Concord.
These two tactics are time tested. If you deprive a movement of its leadership and its means of resistance, you can keep a people subjugated.

This was not the only time that the British Army had taken lead and powder away from the Colonials. It was, however, the last straw that precipitated the “shot heard ‘round the world.”*
Later, when the serious work of ratifying our Constitution took place, patriots from every colony remembered this bitter lesson, and birthed the Second Amendment.
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Gene’s Nickle: Bill of Rights

Can elected politicians or self-appointed leaders ever be fully trusted? Historically, the answer appears to be no!

Our Founders, mindful of this thought, spent four long months in 1787, proposing, debating, wrangling, arguing, threatening, and compromising until they hammered out a fix to the Articles of Confederation, a new Constitution. A constitution that limited the affects a politician could inflict on the population.

The Constitution spelled out limited “enumerated powers” the new government would have. However, it only listed a few specific, protected rights citizens would enjoy: protections of habeas corpus, from bills of attainder, and from ex post facto laws.

A serious debate surrounded the Constitution’s ratification: whether specific rights and liberties needed to be listed. Ratification proponents argued that citizen’s rights were protected by the constitutional limitations put on government. Opponents countered that governments, or at least the individuals governing, couldn’t be trusted; rights needed to be recorded.
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Gene’s Nickle: English History

11 February, 2013

I remember my high school civics teaching about the importance of the Magna Carta; for the first time, citizens, albeit the aristocracy, sought to limit the power of a monarch.

I have since learned that our concepts of trial by jury and habeas corpus were first mentioned in that charter; indicating that as early as 1215, men knew there were natural laws even kings shouldn’t violate.
The British Parliament counts its beginning from that day, but the struggle for power between the governed and their governors lasted centuries. Even during the 150 years that the colonists had been in America, Parliament was dissolved and later reinstated, war occurred between monarchs and the church, and a king was tried and executed.
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Gene’s Nickle: Sovereignty

28 January, 2013
Writing Gene’s Nickle for the past four years has been a learning experience. The most depressing lesson that recurs is that many of the fundamental concepts of our nation are no longer practiced. Either our schools have failed to teach them, or they have become inconvenient and uncomfortable, and therefore ignored or discarded.

I contend that as a nation, we need to relearn and return to those principles.

Our founders studied and practiced Aristotle’s teachings: to be engaged in politics (influencing the decisions of government) is human nature. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson et.al. expected every citizen to exercise their civic responsibility to influence and limit government.
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Gene’s Nickle: Teachers and Guns

I would like to see a cadre of lawyers go to Newtown, Connecticut, and bring charges against the school district and possibly the town manager for not protecting those treasured children.

I think a very strong argument can be made that the school district and the state of Connecticut not only failed to protect those children, but their Liberal ideas and policies ensured that children would perish.

In his book “More Guns, Less Crime; Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws third edition;” Economist Dr. John Lott Jr. studied the crime of every county in America over a period of 29 years, and demonstrated that those states with concealed carry laws experienced lower crime rates. In addition, states that recently adopted concealed carry laws, since his first edition, have seen reductions in crime.
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Gene’s Nickle: Right to Work

Friends and Family,

17 December, 2012

I was listening to a radio talk show, and the topic was about the new legislation from Michigan State making it a right-to-work state. A union supporter was railing against the “travesty” of this new law. He tried to make the point that workers didn’t have to “join” a union if they didn’t want to; they just had to “pay their dues.”
Therein is the crux of this controversy: money.
I am convinced that the best years of labor unions are behind us, moreover behind them. Unions don’t exist today to benefit workers; they exist to perpetuate the union’s existence. If we substitute “labor unions” for “bureaucracy,” then Oscar Wilde would be correct twice:
“The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.”
Since most of the issues that labor unions have fought for — shortened work weeks, work place safety, minimum wages, and child labor restrictions — have become federal or state laws, labor unions face the reality that they are outdated or possibly obsolete. In order to maintain a semblance of relevance, they have had to escalate their demands to the point of irrationality.
Organized Labor is now faced with the difficult task of convincing rational citizens that unions still have sensible goals. So, they are limited to the persuasion tactics of force and violence. One only has to look at the malicious destruction of Wisconsin’s capitol building by unionized teachers in 2010, the Longshoremen’s shameful demolition of the ports in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, in September of 2011, or more recently the malevolent conduct of union workers in Lansing, Michigan.
Unfortunately, Labor Unions have actually been encouraged to violent and disreputable behavior by the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research:
“… federal authorities are also hamstrung by the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous Enmons decision. In the 1973 ruling, the High Court held that union officials may destroy property, assault employees, and even murder them, while escaping prosecution under federal extortion laws, so long as such violence is undertaken to secure what the Supreme Court called “legitimate” objectives, such as wage increases.”(Emphasis mine)
In addition, the blatant funneling of union dues to one political party has produced an indispensible, symbiotic relationship to the Democrats. The unions provide vast sums of cash, bussed-in rally attendees, and unlimited “volunteers” to Democrat campaigns, and grateful, leveraged, elected officials propose and pass laws that protect and mandate union membership, which really means dues withholding.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
“government unions in the Badger State [Wisconsin] have “experienced a dramatic drop in membership” since [Governor] Walker and GOP lawmakers passed a package of reforms last year, including ones curbing collective-bargaining rights and ending mandatory union membership.
Labor unions are being crippled by the elimination of automatic dues withholding, a practice that had enriched the unions’ coffers. Thousands of state workers are simply refusing to contribute; others are leaving public-sector jobs.”
That sounds sweet indeed!
That’s my nickle
Gene Brown

Gene’s Nickle: Guns and Civilization

10 December, 2012

Football fans, of which I am one, have had different reactions to the murder/suicide of Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins. Unquestionably, this is a terrible tragedy; and fans, friends, and family are crying, questioning, and dealing with anger or various forms of depression.

I knew that sooner rather than later, folks with the agenda of controlling or banning guns from private citizens would seize upon this occasion to promote their selling points. They do so after every high profile shooting: like the high school in Columbine, Colorado; Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona; the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; or the Sikh Temple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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Gene’s Nickle: Fair Share

Friends and Family,

The latest catch-phrase that is getting misused and abused is “fair share.”  Your friendly Thesaurus lists the first definition of “fair” as: impartial and unprejudiced.  Then it lists 47 synonyms including:  aboveboard, equal, equitable, honest, impartial and unbiased.

If a citizen is gullible and listens to the reports of their local news sources from the president and leaders in congress, then they are probably convinced that “fair share” only pertains to Americans who have a considerable degree of wealth.  Somehow, the responsibility of an equitable portion of our federal tax burden does not apply to folks in the lower tax brackets.  That doesn’t seem fair!
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Gene’s Nickle

26 November, 2012
The American Civil Liberties Union in New Mexico is trying to change existing state law that requires, mandates, obliges, commands, dictates and directs parents or guardians to send their charges to school every day of the school year. Students who don’t attend school put their parents or guardians at risk of a fine, a jail sentence, or both.
The ACLU believes that it is unfair that teenage parents only have ten days excused absence a semester from school to take their babies to doctor’s appointments and such. They want to change the law to allow these kids to receive 14 days excused absence a semester.
My first question is: why would we not just exempt these immature grown-ups from the entire truancy law? I mean, should your local school district be able to dictate when a parent takes his child to the doctor?
I do believe that a high school diploma or a college degree is an appropriate goal. However, I am not convinced that every student enrolled in our public schools needs to be kept there, especially under the force of law.
Our society has need of plumbers, but plumbers don’t need to quote Keats or Yeats. We need auto mechanics, but mechanics don’t need to discuss String Theory. We need heavy-equipment operators, but heavy-equipment operators don’t need to apply the Socratic Method.
I am sure that by the time a student is fifteen years old, parents, grand-parents, and even teachers know whether matriculation to a university is probable or not. So, why not let these kids apprentice somewhere so they can learn a trade and become a productive member of society.
Which leads to my second question: who actually benefits from such a stringent truancy law?
It is pretty obvious that students are not benefiting from attending school; according to the Washington Post:

“The [SAT] average reading score for the 2012 graduating class was 496, down one point from the previous year and 34 points since 1972.”

Parents or guardians, under the threat of legal penalties and increased property taxes, are not beneficiaries, unless you cynically consider school attendance the same as day care.
Does the school district benefit? Well, the law ensures that the district will have returning customers; it just doesn’t ensure that those customers will receive an adequate product. When the “poor overwhelmed” school district has all of these students, they of course need ever increasing amounts of money.
Do teacher’s unions benefit? You bet they do! By mandating school attendance, you ensure that the largest number of teachers is needed. Teachers equate to dues payers, and that means more money to the union.
I think this move by the ACLU points out how foolish governments or bureaucracies can be when they run amok. The ACLU also points out the foolishness of Liberal thought: a parent taking his child to the doctor’s office for the eleventh time resulting in a grand-parent having to face a magistrate judge is egregious. However, it is okay to do so on the fifteenth time.
That’s my nickle
Gene Brown