T Nation

I'm Getting Worried: The Erosion of Our Rights

adams

"Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” John Adams

I rarely start any threads on PWI, simply because it is not my lane and I don’t know a lot of things about a lot of things, but, I can smell abuse of power a mile away.

Over the last week, I have been reading some articles that are beginning to worry me about an erosion of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, especially on the local and state level. I have spent my whole professional life in military and law enforcement, so, I have an inside view on when rights are being abused.

Like you and everyone else on here, I am doing my part to follow the current guidelines on the virus. I am not some child throwing a tantrum over my gym being closed. I spent 12 years in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. I did not write that to brag, just to let you know that regardless of what you have read, civil rights are an illusion in those countries.

I have a sickening feeling that our rights are being quietly assaulted by local and state politicians just for their personal and professional gain. Does a sheriff really have the power to close guns shops and deny people the right to self-defense? Does a sheriff have the power to block you from your home/ cabin, simply because you are from another city? Does a Governor have the right to declare martial law only to keep people from NYC/ NY from traveling to her state?

Here is a good example:

Rhode Island plans to send the National Guard out to knock door-to-door in an attempt to hunt down anyone who has arrived in the tiny state from New York City during the coronavirus pandemic. State police, meanwhile, have begun pulling over cars with New York state plates.

Lets see, impose martial law on anyone with a New York state tag, but, allow any other state to have free access? What if your mother lived in Rhode Island, was in a wheel chair, home bound, and you wanted to deliver her supplies, but, you have a NY driver’s license?

Gov. Gina Raimondo said anyone traveling there from New York will be ordered to undergo a 14-day quarantine and could face fines or even jail time if they’re found to not comply.

Really?, jails are being emptied across the nation, but, you will be locked up for delivering supplies to your mother. BTW, who pays? You are going to quarantine me for 14 days, who pays for the room and food? The state of Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, Raimondo maintained she’s within her emergency powers to impose the aggressive measures and said she had consulted with state lawyers.

Consult with your state lawyers and suspend habeas corpus?

I know it’s unusual. I know it’s extreme and I know some people disagree with it,” she said.

Yes, I disagree. I have defended this country for years, both home and abroad. I have the right to care for my family and, if I had an ill mother in Rhode Island, you will have to kill me to keep me out.

If you want to seek refuge in Rhode Island, you must be quarantined.”

But only if you are from NY State, people from Montana or Alabama are fine.

While the Governor may have the power to suspend some state laws and regulations to address this medical emergency, she cannot suspend the Constitution,” said Steven Brown, the executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island, in a statement.

She has the right to declare martial law, but, she can suspend the Bill the Rights. The Constitution is a different animal.

“Under the Fourth Amendment, having a New York state license plate simply does not, and cannot, constitute ‘probable cause’ to allow police to stop a car and interrogate the driver, no matter how laudable the goal of the stop may be,” Brown added.

I agree and I am no rookie about this. I have served over 400+ felony drug and arrest warrants and each and every time, I had rock solid probable cause, because the 4th amendment is our sacred right. I don’t believe the Governor feels the same way.

Now, I may be paranoid or suffering from cabin fever, but, I have worked enough with third world militaries and police to know that rights are easily taken away, it starts with very small steps, like discriminating against New Yorkers .

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Great post. Agree 100%.

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Youre not paranoid. What’s sickening is everyone begging for it. This whole thing has proved how neutered a majority of Americans have become. I’ve had people where i work requesting “travel papers.” No one seems to even question It’s legality. They just go allow. It’s absurd what we will allow and how easily we allow it.

But don’t worry, $1200 freedom checks are on the way!

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Forgot to add to my previous post. The Bill of Rights only matters if people care about it. Otherwise it’s just a piece of paper.

“Every tin horn dictator in the world today, every president for life, has a Bill of Rights,” said Scalia, author of the 2012 book “Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts.” “That’s not what makes us free; if it did, you would rather live in Zimbabwe. But you wouldn’t want to live in most countries in the world that have a Bill of Rights. What has made us free is our Constitution. Think of the word ‘constitution;’ it means structure.”

“The genius of the American constitutional system is the dispersal of power,” he said. “Once power is centralized in one person, or one part [of government], a Bill of Rights is just words on paper.” - Antonio Scalia

This is why the progressive shift that started in the early 1900s has been so detrimental to freedom surviving. It has consolidated power in the federal goverment away from the states, in the executive away from the legislative, and ultimately in the collective away from the individual.

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Rhode Island is a state, not the federal government.

And they definitely have real value. The country is presumably producing less than usual, has a $23 trillion debt, and presumably has no savings.

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I believe she’s within her powers to order that. (Had to edit my post, as I misread what she is ordering)

I’d say that depends upon which State you’re in.

Congress will send that debt up to money heaven and it will all be okay.

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Funny, a year later, in 2013, Antonin Scalia, while speaking at Southern Methodist University, literally said “The constitution is not a living document, it is dead, dead, dead.”

This is States doing this. Not the federal government. The feds DID just suggest a targeted lockdown, but that’s not what was happening here.

The relief bill was dumb, I’ll admit that, but the Scalia quotes don’t make sense in this context.

Why is that funny?

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I watch a lot of 1st amendment auditors on youtube. They seem annoying at first and looking for trouble, but they illustrate how little the average American knows about their own rights, including government employees, and law enforcement. Also when people don’t regularly assert their rights the powers that be act like these rights don’t exist, and the rest of the population jumps into line. Unfortunately most people are lazy, scared, sheep, and do what they are told even if its unjust.
For instance second amendment, open carry laws. If you walk down the street with an AR, its legal under the constitution to bear arms(lots of state legislation will contradict this) but most people don’t need to, unless they are going hunting, or coming back from the range, so it will stand out. Technically you can do it for self defence. Many people still don’t realise this and will call the police who will come like its a worst case scenario, with lights and sirens, weapons drawn and ready to use them.

The problem lies in trying to assert your rights whilst the police are trying to arrest you, on a misconception of the laws, or rights. Also authority figures don’t like to be questioned, or shown up in public. They are used to people complying out of fear.
The Constitution is supposed to trump any State or local government laws, though so many of these laws contradict the constitution. I

So even if you are legally in the right, its not a good idea to test it with a trigger happy cop pointing a gun at you. You are better off just complying, for your own safety, and sorting it out calmly back at the station or with a lawyer$$$.

It the nature of any body in power to try and increase its power over the people by a slow creep of laws eroding your rights. In the USA at least you have the Constitution which is the best piece of legislation written in the history of mankind, which factors the creep of power into the process. Incredibly smart people those founding fathers.

The constitution simultaneously being what makes us free and being dead, that’s all. I disagree with his latter comment. The former, I agree with. <- edited to fix dumbassery

You may misunderstand him. He meant that its meaning doesn’t change with time.

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You’re correct, but I didn’t misunderstand him, I just don’t think I was being clear (probably the opposite) - a constitution that would guarantee freedom would HAVE to be alive, considering it was written and upheld during slavery, and during a whole fuckload of injustices along the way to today, and all along the way there were ‘constitutionalists’ touting the infallibility and inflexibility of the constitution. Besides, if it were really dead, we couldn’t amend it.

EDIT: I also COMPLETELY got backwards with my former/latter comments, haha. Which would further fuck up what I was trying to convey. My bad.

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It was he who wasn’t clear.

He didn’t convey what I assume he meant, clearly. It IS a living document, of course, but it’s meaning does NOT change. The words mean what they clearly mean, and amendments are needed to change them.

Lol at people alluding to the national debt and also supporting the dude who said it didn’t matter because we print our own money and if we did default he could negotiate it well. The dude who said who cares about the budget.

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Who is supporting that? Stop thinking of this as a team sport. Just because a person picks dueche over turd sandwich doesn’t mean they support everything dueche does. Be a proponent of freedom and individual liberty. Dueche is wrong too. Precisely why power should not be concentrated.

I’m thinking you mean douche? And I was pointing it out merely because complaining about it while supporting the candidate who at least verbally gives the least fuck in presidential history about it is weird to me is all.

Although I also love South Park so maybe they spell it differently on that one and I forgot?

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I think I agree with this in the sense you said but precisely what those mean and give power to is why it’s always argued about. The words themselves don’t change, but the implications certainly do and always will. We wouldn’t need people to interpret the constitution, and we wouldn’t ever question if something is unconstitutional.

I suppose I’m looking at it in a modern sense of how it’s been viewed, altered, changed in the sense of interpretation over time. If you are saying none of that should have happened that’s different. But it also started happening even while the founders were alive.

Yes.

I don’t doubt it, but can you provide examples?

I agree. 100%. Not needed, and shouldn’t happen.