2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #146
Thomas Jefferson famously said “The natural progress of things is for Liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” And that is what has been happening – for decades – with federal and state governments in too many areas. There are many areas of infringements, but here are a random few. One is civil asset forfeiture, where governments take/forfeit people’s property when their agents “have a reasonable belief” that the property was either used for or gained from illegal activity. And then it is the obligation of the person from whom the property was taken to file a law suit and prove that the property was not so used or gained – which turns our system of justice on its head. Another is to require business licenses before someone can work at such occupations as hair braiding, tree trimming or roofing (and frequently people who have been convicted of felonies are precluded even from applying). And many too many colleges today are putting limits on free speech and open discourse by enforcing so-called “trigger warnings” and free speech zones so their students can be free from being placed in “uncomfortable” circumstances.
But, fortunately, groups like the Institute for Justice, Mercatus Center and Reason are fighting back – for all of us. They are fighting by filing lawsuits that would require the government to hold hearings promptly to address and decide about people’s seized assets, educating the media and citizenry about the importance of free minds and free markets, and bringing political pressure to cut back numbers of intrusive laws and executive over-reachings. So we can also stand up for Liberty by supporting these and other similar organizations. For further information, please visit www.IJ.org, www.mercatus.org or www.reason.com .
**Here’s another of the daily posts from the gasoline station in Gauteng, South Africa: “Don’t do something permanently stupid because you’re temporarily upset.”
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President