"Bond of Union" by M.C. Escher

"The illegal we do immediately.
The unconstitutional takes a little longer."
Henry Kissinger

Remember Checkpoint Charlie? That was the famous "gate" that separated East and West -- free and communist -- Berlin until the Berlin wall came down. It wasn't a happy place, to say the least. A person could get themselves arrested there if they did not have their papers in order. Or, if one tried to sneak through, in either direction, they could easily be shot dead.

That checkpoint was propagandized throughout the world as a prime example of a totalitarian government run amuck. So, why do we allow somewhat similar checkpoints here in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Members of Congress fly commercial aircraft a lot. They therefore have a personal interest in assuring they will not be inconvenienced in any way while traveling. A bad guy could get on one of their flights and maybe "do" something, they felt. So, they tried to fix it.

Nowadays, every commercial air passenger must submit to a search and provide government documents proving who they are. Carry a little extra cash, and the traveler is subject to arrest and the cash confiscated. Carry a personal weapon for self defense, and go directly to jail. Enter an aircraft without properly identifying yourself and men with guns come to take you away. And, if you do not leave willingly, you will be shot.

Roadblocks around the country are like that, too. Any police officer can set up a roadblock anywhere they wish. Police may now stop travelers for any reason or for no reason. Americans must stop, show their papers and answer questions. To not stop means instant arrest. Actively protest the arrest and one could be shot.

There is even a type of checkpoint for seeking employment nowadays. Employers must now act as police. That is, they are to properly question potential employees, check their government provided documents, and then contact the central government to see if the potential employee is government approved to hold a job in the United States.

That came about, of course, because of the negligence of the central government. Our country's borders have major holes in which thousands of illegal aliens walk through daily. The central government found it easier to bother all Americans with presenting documentation than to protect our borders. Conversely, instead of allowing the illegal aliens to earn a living, the central government gives them free medical treatment, education and welfare -- at the expense of all legal American citizens.

Now we are to have yet another set of official identification numbers and government issued documents for medical treatment. As with commercial Aircraft traveling and motoring down the highway, government will also set up checkpoints and impede the flow of treatment traffic. Already, the central government restricts the ability of senior citizens on Social Security to spend their own money for medical treatment. Seniors who violate this rule can have their assets "forfeited" and will probably be jailed -- and if they protest this violation of freedom too adamantly, can get themselves shot to death.

Liberty, as defined in law by Blackstone in the Commentaries On the Law, is "the power of locomotion, of changing situation, of moving one's person to whatever place one"s own inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint, unless by course of law." We find this right protected, to a limited extent, within the body of our Constitution, and further guaranteed within the Bill of Rights. Except for emergencies, government has no authority to violate liberty.

Our rights to life, liberty and property are said to be "unalienable" rights. That is, they are absolute rights and are incapable of being given up, taken away, or transferred to another. That's what the Founding Fathers intended, anyway. (For more in this, visit the first section of that text posted at: and

Yet, we Americans sit by quietly as our freedoms, rights and liberties are snatched one by one by the central government. Apparently, many Americans truly believe that the expediency of government agents really does supersede the freedom of the people. As long as the sports games are played on schedule and there's food in the refrigerator we don't seem to notice our rights evaporating.

Soon our driver's licenses, Social Security tax number, government approved medical treatment authority and identification, credit cards, and work permits will be on one central government provided internal passport. That will make it most convenient for bureaucrats. For any real or suspected violation of any law rule or regulation, they will then have the ability to instantly cancel most human functions with one change of their computer's database.

Checkpoint Charley was little more than an historical photo opportunity on the road to totalitarianism. Congress is giving modern bureaucrats in the United States potential for the real thing.

Do you have your papers in order?

Wisdom And Freedom produced by WORLD NEWSSTAND
Copyright © 1999. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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