Conservative commentary: Meaning of independence

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— Having just observed the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence this Fourth of July, we should consider the unique form of government for which our Founding Fathers chose to risk "their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor" against the militarily-superior British.

The definitive passage in the Declaration reads: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

In these 57 words, the Founders established that:

- Our rights - better understood as "freedoms" - are given to us by a power higher than government. No matter what you believe about creation or evolution, you must acknowledge that government did not give us life.

- Government's legitimate purpose is to protect the rights of the people. Just as government did not give us life, it did not give us our rights, either.

- Government's powers are limited to only those given to it by the people.

"The whole point was to show how government might arise legitimately, not to assume its existence," writes constitutional scholar Roger Pilon in "The Purpose and Limits of Government" published by the Cato Institute.

Pilon's insights are particularly useful because, as a Libertarian, he does not advance a religious conservative agenda. Yet he acknowledges the Founders' common view of "the laws of Nature and Nature's God" provide the cornerstone for all that follows:

The signers of the Declaration didn't negotiate and compromise to define truth. They agreed that certain fundamental truths were obvious. For example:

In that each of us exists because of the same creative process, the rights to which each of us are entitled are necessarily equal. Such rights are best understood as freedoms from interference, whether by government or by other people, which, of course, implies that others are entitled to be free from our interference.

Freedom encompasses not simply the opportunity to make choices but the responsibility for those choices. Freedom does not mean that because my choice seems "superior" I can bend others to my will, nor does it mean that when I make an irresponsible choice I can restrict the freedom of others to impose consequences.

Once the Founders established a broad universe of rights, they discussed government, its sole purpose to protect those rights. Again, it is imperative to understand "rights" as freedoms - not as an entitlement taken at the expense of another's rights.

When government legitimately protects our freedom, it simply does that which we have a right to do ourselves. By contrast, government does not act legitimately if it secures my rights by taking the life, liberty, or property of someone else.

Occasionally, the rights of two people may conflict; neither can fully exercise freedom without adversely affecting the other. The Founders concluded that in these circumstances, the boundaries between competing rights ought to be drawn by the people whom government serves. However, the consent doctrine does not empower majority rule to deny unalienable freedoms to the minority.

Sadly, this concept of vast individual freedoms and occasional areas of government power bears little resemblance to our federal government today, which is why it is so vitally important our young people learn about the foundation of our government before electing someone to lead it.

Mark Hillman operates a family farm near Burlington, is a former Majority Leader of the Colorado Senate, a former Colorado State Treasurer, and is an honorary member of the Conservative Leadership Council of Northwest Colorado.

Comments

dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

LCDR/RON/ID:

Oh goodness grief, here we go again.!!!!!

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id04sp 7 years, 5 months ago

Hey, Mark.

What can the state of Colorado do about judges and other employees of the state court system who simply do not obey the law? I'm talking about committing crimes, such as obstruction of justice and extortion under color of official right.

Our courts are not in any way "self policing" systems. Our attorney discipline system is a joke. Judges and attorneys who go ex-parte to conspire against the rights of individuals are bullet proof, because nobody will investigate or prosecute them.

The statistics say that Colorado has very few prosecutions for public corruption. In this case, that's just another sign of public corruption. Officers of the court routinely violate their oaths as well as state and federal laws for political or personal gain.

If a person with your resume can't figure out what to do about it, what hope do the rest of us have?

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id04sp 7 years, 5 months ago

Dundalk,

You have your imaginary complaints about Gary Wall which seem to be completely groundless. Your complaint is that he's not doing business the way YOU want it done. You want to recall him just because your witless friend lost the election.

Here's the truth, girlfriend. The previous sheriff did NOTHING to investigate corruption and econonmic crime. He allowed his deputies to think they could simply avoid becoming involved. That's a huge part of the county-wide and state-wide problem.

There must be some reason why local law enforcement agencies don't prosecute economic crimes in Colorado. I'm guessing it's a combination of cash, coke and political favors. Maybe we can't keep cops around because they find out how things work and don't want to be involved. Wouldn't you agree than an "honest cop" can't make a decent living in Routt County?

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

LCDR/RON/ID:

Gary Wall is not POST certified as is required by state law for the position he holds at this time. He has one year to complete these required courses, and according to him, "he'll get around to it". I'd say that is pretty good grounds for recall. I am also interested in how a law enforcement fellow can say that he thinks its ok to take county owned vehicles out of state, for personal errands while I pay for the fuel. The recall movement has nothing to do with whether or not Garrett Wiggins won or lost the election. It has to do with what the law standards are as set by the state of Colorado.

I would agree that many of the law officers can't survive on the meager wages by paid to them. However, that is something as is determined by other officials.

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id04sp 7 years, 5 months ago

Okay, so Gary Wall has until January to get certified.

It can't be that hard. What's the proof? Look at some of the guys who are doing it . . .

Use of the vehicle for personal business is a taxable form of income for most people. It certainly is taxable when the use includes more than going from work to home and back in order to be ready to respond if called while off duty. Call the IRS and turn in Wall and Bustros. The IRS pays rewards for tips on tax cheaters.

My little voice says that Wall and Bustros actually are out of the state on local police business, and that they are conferring with federal authorities in other states regarding some local public corruption.

What's the closest major city to Routt County other than Denver? Where else do you find federal offices, U. S. Attorneys, etc? Pretty sure you'd have to go to Ogden or SLC for first-class help.

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

Id":

Driving to Vernal, Utah to pick up a desk, and then being involved in an auto accident sounds fishy to me!

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fish 7 years, 5 months ago

Heres the thing, those involved in recalls always get as much if not more publicty than the person being recalled so I hope dundalk doesn't have a problem with any thing she might have said on this forum or somewhere else becoming public knowlege (like maybe putting a bounty out for someone). That would make it look bad for a recall effort, or the fact that she has been pushing this since day 1, regardless of his performance. Given everyhing she has said on this forum, and the fact that her husband is no longer in law enforcement, makes you think that maybe they had something in the works if the election would have went a different way.

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id04sp 7 years, 5 months ago

Dundalk,

Yes, you are 100% right. He should pay for the "personal" portion of the expense.

Hey, we all know that cops abuse the system for personal perks. Speeding is just one of them. They all do it, don't they?

It's perfectly logical to assume that Bustros was over there on business, and decided to use the opportunity to do some personal business. Par for the course.

Vernal is on US 40, on the most direct route to Salt Lake City. As I speculated above, it's entirely reasonable to assume that Bustros could have been to SLC on bona fide police business. In fact, I sure HOPE SO!

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

Id: He wasn't on business, just seizing the opportunity to use a little county owned vehicle for personal use. I have a problem with putting gas in a vehicle if it is not being used for professional business use. But hey, that's just me.

Fish: Did you know that there has been nearly a 100% turnover rate at the S.O. since Wall got elected? Don't think for one minute that I am the onlyperson who thinks Wall shouldn't be sheriff. I am just vocal about my opinions, whereas some might agree but keep mum. Freedom of speech is a great thing. But I appreciate your sincere concerns.

I have no regrets on anything I have ever said.

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id04sp 7 years, 5 months ago

Dundalk,

So, almost 100% turnover since Wall took over? This may be a good thing.

I guess it's time to go down and ask them if they intend to enforce all the laws, or just the ones that are visible and violent. Might be a welcome change.

I'll let ya know.

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fish 7 years, 5 months ago

still waiting to hear that your paperwork has been turned in. Why so slow figured you would have already had that all filled out by the time 6 months went by?

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

Fish:

On the other forum I have invited people willing to help to join the efforts of the recall. If you are interested in also helping, you may contact me at

<p>ceroaguscraic@yahoo.com>
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