A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Deborah Venable



I suppose this piece could also be titled, Waking Up Is Hard To Do.


State houses all over the country are frantically trying to put forth referendums, resolutions, and legislation that will try to protect individual states’ rights from the federal government mandates about health insurance.  The most recent New Mexico proposal lasted about five minutes in committee, according to the guy who wrote it, before it got “tabled” – that proposal was to amend the state’s constitution to protect New Mexican citizens from the federal mandate.   


The latest article suggests 36 states that are trying or have tried to exercise their states’ rights in this matter.  You can view a map there to see where your state stands.  Virginia has already enacted their statute, and Arizona will be voting on an amendment in November. 


It’s really not funny, but I have to laugh!  States’ rights issues have been an ongoing part of living in this great country from the very beginning of our “free” and “independent” government.  Central government enthusiasts have always pushed for a more collective identity for everyone calling themselves Americans.  We even fought a war among ourselves over states’ rights, (no, not slavery) so the rush to say that this is the first time the federal government has tried to ram something down the throats of individual states and the citizens therein is comical. 


Collectivists simply do not want individual responsibility for anything – and without it, we have no individual freedom!


Anytime a collectivist, progressive idea gets mandated on the collective American citizen, the individual citizen wakes up a generation or so later and demands to know where his Constitutional rights went.  Well, let me take a stab at explaining why this happens.


We all know that Washington D. C. politics is a cesspool of corruption, but are we willing to admit the same thing about our individual states?  How about our local city and county governments?  The problem is that “the people” have continued to turn over more and more of their personal responsibilities to the politicians they elect to represent them in all governments.  We no longer govern ourselves.  We are, instead, governed by the majority rule – pure democracy if you will.  Evidently, majority rule in this country now demands that government take care of all our responsibilities.


The other side of the coin of states’ rights issues is, of course, that some states are just freer than others, thanks to their own cesspool governments.  Gun control springs instantly to mind, but there are all sorts of others.  Recent Supreme Court rulings about gun issues notwithstanding, localities do like to “control” what goes on in their own little neck of the woods.  When left to the old majority rules theories, though, “change - it is coming” becomes the mantra.  You can see how easy it is to totally disregard all that liberty protection stuff in the original “law of the land.” 


Last year when Obama indicated that he would start pushing for ratification of the CIFTA treaty, initiated in the Clinton era, my son wrote an excellent article about it.  It illustrates better than anything else I can say on the subject exactly what I’m talking about with this little excursion into states’ rights vs. individual rights vs. U.S. citizens’ rights vs. the rest of the world on any number of subjects you can come up with.     


Then there’s this article about more and more states deciding to make gun regulations off limits to federal authority – about thirty of them at this point. 


State legislators that suddenly wake up and decide that they are responsible to their constituents (the people who put them in office) to protect their individual rights sometimes are a day late and a dollar short in actually getting the job done.  Why?  Because for the most part they have been too busy raking in every dollar of advantage they could from the federal coffers at the very expense of those rights!  This is more often than not done through federal (and at local levels, through state) control of how much pork gets doled out through backdoor deals to lawmakers.  States’ rights and individual rights are bartered away for all sorts of funding and tax break packages.


In total fairness to the legislators, all too often their constituents insist on the goodies without taking into consideration the price they will be paying.


I believe it all probably started with the education system – this shirking of individual responsibility at the cost of individual freedom.  I don’t know how many more parallels I have to draw between education and healthcare to drive that point home.  The proof abounds here on this one website if you really want it.  If people refused to wake up back in the 1800s to the fact that mandated public education was destructive to society in so many ways, then why should I expect folks today to accept how very destructive mandated healthcare will become now?  Well, given the current outrage over the pending healthcare transformation, perhaps there is hope, huh? 


But it won’t do much good unless we pull all the bad apples out of the barrel at this point – and that includes the convoluted thinking caused by the better part of a century of mandated education. 


I recently found this informative narrative entitled, How the Public School System Crushes Souls, and it provides valuable insight from a very personal point of view.  In this article, the author, Steve Olsen, refers to this book, The Underground History Of American Education, by John Taylor Gatto.  This book is fascinating, and I read it in one sitting.  Mr. Gatto is an educator and his descriptions of the bureaucracy of the education system are spot on.  His insight into the purpose of compulsory education is also frighteningly accurate.


Until government at all levels stops expecting redistribution of wealth to fund its every need and/or desire, all the apples in the barrel will continue to rot.  I’d like to think that more and more people are waking up to that fact, but, waking up is hard to do until the blanket that covers you becomes too itchy to endure – or it gets too hot to sleep.


Folks, if you have kids, quit expecting your neighbors to pay for their babysitting, uh, education, their healthcare, and their future.  That’s your job as their parents.  Quit taking my rights away because guns scare you.  Quit insisting that I cover your every risk with a blanket insurance policy that absolves you of your individual responsibility, and in return, I promise you the same thing.  How about it?  Are you in the game or not?


Settling for anything less will be a day late and a dollar short of solving any of our current problems.



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