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Publisher Larry Tobin's Ups n Downs column in the Oct. 14, 2008, Tomahawk Leader:
Last week’s presidential candidate debates raised a point that’s been bugging me for a long time. Barak Obama, in response to a question, stated that the American people “have a right” to affordable health care.
Excuse me, but the only things the American people have a right to, according to the U.S. Constitution, are possibilities!
The Constitution doesn’t guarantee you happiness. It guarantees you the right to pursue it. So long as it doesn’t interfere with anyone else’s rights, you may attempt to do whatever satisfies you. There are no guarantees that you may achieve your goal other than that you have the right to try.
The Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee you a gun. It merely grants you the opportunity to purchase one of your own. You don’t have the right to own a home, but you do have the opportunity, however you may provide it for yourself.
That’s the great thing about this country of ours. Nowhere else in the world do you have those opportunities. Neither does any place else in the world provide you with guaranteed physical amenities or services.
The problem is, the Democrats always seem to want to redefine the Constitution to make opportunities into government sponsoreship or government assurances of home ownership (whether we can afford it or not), good health, good education (whether we care to learn or not), a job (whether we wish to work or not), and happiness (whether we make our own effort or not).
I believe the proper way is to follow the true meaning of the Constitution. That means doing things for ourselves with as little interference from the government as possible. It’s up to us, individually, to do whatever we can to take advantage of the plentiful opportunities available to us.
First and foremost, that means take advantage of the educational opportunities at hand. LEARN, people! The schools are there. Make sure your kids respond to their chances for an education. We demand a lot from our teachers and we have a right to in many respects. But they can only do so much. If the kids refuse to participate in the learning process and the parents refuse to assist the teachers, those opportunities are lost. That pretty much puts a lot of future chances in the tank.
If we don’t take advantage of our opportunities we have no one to blame but ourselves.
But that doesn’t mean anything to the Democrats. So what if we don’t do for ourselves, their mantra is “let big government do it for you.” I’m sorry, but I can’t subscribe to that.
I’m not a big Mike Huckabee fan, but he made a statement at the Republican convention that impressed me. He said, “I’m not a Republican because I grew up rich. I’m a Republican because I didn’t want to wait for the government to make me rich.”
I have news for those who are waiting for the government to make them rich or anything else. It isn’t going to happen! What have you ever seen the government get involved with in your life that hasn’t made it worse? . . .
I wonder if you knew this: The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge covers 20-million acres. The area that people want access to drill oil in is a mere 2,000 acres. That’s an area the size of the Los Angeles International Airport. Drilling for oil there would not destroy the Arctic!
So many people are concerned that we’ll be destroying wildlife habitat if we drill for oil in the Arctic or anywhere else. Yet, I just did some traveling in Wyoming and had the opportunity to visit with the editor of the Sheridan Press.
Interestingly, while the national economy is in the tank at the moment, Wyoming is booming due to their oil, gas, and coal industries. The state has no sales tax, no income tax, and the state budget has a multi-billion dollar surplus.
If you live there and your children maintain a certain grade point in high school, they can go to any state college or university free. That’s an endowed program that doesn’t have to be supported by tax dollars every year.
But does all this mining affect wildlife? I saw more antelope than I’ve ever seen in my life there. They were like grasshoppers! A herd of 50 or more were within a few feet of a Sheridan subdivision. I saw them walking around gas and oil wells and within a short distance of men working on those wells.
I believe we are capable of doing anything we set our minds to and that includes retrieving gas, oil and coal, as well as using nuclear energy, without harming ourselves or the environment. This is not the 19th Century, people. We’ve gained the knowledge and technology enabling us to do incredible things to benefit ourselves and the world.
By the way, I also saw huge wind energy projects going up all across southern Minnesota and some in South Dakota. Yet, when people want to erect them in Wisconsin, they get blocked because they’re ugly or may harm birds.
I admit, they aren’t the most pleasurable things to look at, but we do need the energy. And I doubt they’d kill as many birds as what fly into my dining room windows every year. . . .
Finally, does anyone ever wonder just what American Indians think of the current illegal immigration issue? Think about it….
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