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Thursday, August 30, 2007



The US Constitution supposes to afford us many freedoms, many of which we take for granted. Recently, I have been concerned about the freedoms we do NOT have:

1. The freedom to live anywhere in the world without some government telling us they own us or, at least, our income for 10 years after we leave; Even, if an individual gives up this citizenship, the government dictates that they have control over his income for 10 years. Many other countries who supposedly do not have the so-called freedoms we have do not have such restrictions. I know this to be true for, at least, Great Britain and Canada.

1.a A corollary to this is a concept which may establish one’s freedom to be a Citizen Of the World. Why can a person not be beholding to a particular country. In the US we recognize the freedom of a person from another country we do not like to request and be granted Political Asylum in the US. But, if you feel oppressed in and by the US, is there any country in the world which will grant you political asylum? Most other countries would not even think of it lest they be negatively affected by the Long Arm of Uncle Sam.

2. The freedom to conduct legitimate and legal commerce without government intervention.
a. Today there was published the story of a gas station owner in New Jersey who was giving discounts on gas sales to senior citizens. The State of new Jersey told the owner that he had to stop the practice because there was a state law requiring that gas must be sold, at least, 40% above cost. In this instance the State is preventing competition and interfering with commerce.
b. Also Marathon Oil announced that they were being indited by the US government because they were selling oil below market prices, which we know are established by market speculators and have nothing to do with the cost of getting oil out of the ground and refining it. Again, here the government is interfering with commerce. We talk about leaving so-called Market Forces rule the day. But, we know that under certain circumstance this is not true because the Government does and will not allow it. The government might establish its right to license you to start a business, but why do they not leave afterwards and allow you the freedom to run it yourself? The government of the US is run by a lot of career politician lawyers who never had the experience of running a business. When the government does get into a business-like venture they dismally fail at it.

3. True freedom of speech is not allowed. Understandably, it is reasonable to understand why certain hate speech is banned. But try to say anything negative against certain protected groups and the long arm of the law comes down against you. It is OK in the US to speak negatively against Catholics and other Christian groups, but say something negative about African Americans, Moslems, and Gays and law suits and persecution result.

3.a. A corollary to this is the unequal application to some of our freedoms, such as the one I just described where Christians, Moslem, and Gays are treated differently under the Freedom of Speech freedom. Nativity scenes are forbidden, but foot baths are allowed, both expressions of one’s religion.

4. If you live in most any municipal Historic District, you do not have the freedom to remodel your home such as changing the outer siding of your home. I have heard ad nauseam the arguments of those self appointed members of Historic Commissions. These individuals care less about the financial plights of the owner. These individuals try to preserve the historical nature of a home, but not making any attempt to preserve the freedoms enjoyed by those who may have built the house 200 years before. I have attended many of these meetings in my day in my hometown and I found it sometimes disgusting to see poor home owners badgered by those self appointed commission members.
It is so well recognized that people have dubbed these groups the “Hysterical Commission!” But laugh we may but it is NOT a laughing matter to those immediately affected by the antics of these goons. One thing our local commission cannot do is dictate colors of signs. But, if one member of the Hysterical Commission doesn’t like a particular color you selected, they will remind you that they cannot dictate color as they find another insignificant rule which apparently has been broached as they continue to say that it is not the color. Change the color and the insignificant rule disappears. But reasonable people can assume reasonable conclusions as I did on many occasions when I sat in on these ridiculous people making ridiculous rules...

People telling others what to do is not my idea of freedom.

5. Another pet peeve of mine is sort of a reverse freedom: the freedom of a person not to be insulted and verbally attacked by a person from the news media who insists that he has the freedom of the press to do so. These press people even come onto your property still insisting they have the right to do so. Fox News is particularly offensive when O’REILLY sics one of his goons upon you under the guise of protecting the public’s right to know. Oh, give me a break, Bill.

A corollary to this is the freedom the paparazzi claim they have to shove a camera in your face. Where are the rights of an individual to walk down a street and enjoy the freedom of assembly without being attacked. It seems to me that when someone is enjoying a freedom the other side of the coin is that someone else loses theirs. How should these freedoms be balanced?

My answer is quite simple: if in the process of enjoying your freedom, you encroach the freedom of another, then you abrogate your freedom. But what appears simple to me is not simple to someone who graduated from law school. The ACLU champions the freedom of others. But should the freedom of the Neo Nazis in Skokie, IL, overrule the freedom of the neighborhood Jews not to be subject to such abuse? The ACLU believes the Neo Nazis enjoy the freedom, the Jews do not.

Well, these are only a few freedoms we do not have. If you know of others, please write me. I will publish them.

I remain, FREE in Panama, at least for now!!!

nicola michael Tauraso, M.D.


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