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Monthly Archives: April 2008

With Dole Comes Control (Issue 46)

During the entire year of 2007, we kept hearing predictions that 2008 would be a year of recession. Well dear hearts and gentle people, it’s here.

Yesterday I heard on the news that Alan Greenspan had declared we are in a recession.  That’s not idle chatter or hearsay. He is a very smart economist. If he says it, in my opinion, that confirms it.
 
Now predictions are surfacing that in 2009 we will be in a depression. Having lived through the Great Depression, I can report first hand, that’s when the rubber really does hit the road.

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Rights And Privileges (Issue 45)

The United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence are documents that confirm man’s unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, along with one’s right to own property.  The inalienable rights described are given by our creator and not by any form of manmade political government.
 
These rights and laws apply to every citizen in the United States. Beyond the United States, the United Nations have adopted a UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights based upon the recognition, “of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” This adoption of a declaration of human rights in no way alters anything in our founding father laws, but is further support of those laws on a universal level.
 
One of the inalienable rights, we as individuals and citizens in the United States posses, is the right to travel freely. There are no restrictions on the borders we cross from city to city, county to county and state to state. We do not have border crossings, or any requirement to freely travel wherever we choose here in the United States. We have a right to travel, unimpeded. It’s one of those inalienable rights.
 
For the collection of revenue, individual states have passed dozens of laws to collect monies. Sales tax added to the cost of a vehicle, tag tax, gasoline tax, driver’s license tax, among other tax payment requirements in order to drive and travel freely.
 
The issuance of a driver’s license is claimed by the state to be a “privilege,” given by the state in order to travel and drive freely. So what’s a privilege and the difference in a “right” and a privilege? According to Black’s Law dictionary, a privilege is “a particular and peculiar benefit or advantage enjoyed by a person, company, or class beyond the advantages of other citizens. An exceptional or extraordinary power or exemption, a peculiar right, advantage, exemption power, franchise or immunity held by a person or class, not generally possessed by others.”
 
Further defining a privilege, Black’s Law dictionary states “In tort law, the ability to act contrary to another’s legal right without that individual having redress for the consequences of that act, usually raised by the actor as a defense.”
 
The fundamental principle of the Constitution of the United States establishes the fact that ours is a country of laws and individual freedom, with certain inalienable rights. The right to travel being one of those.
 
The cancellation of my driver’s license, the so-called “privilege,” as a result of no wrongdoing by me, cancels my right to travel freely, violates my Constitutional right, and is nothing less than a tortuous intervention into my rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
 
For almost 2 years now, I have been dealing with the state of Georgia and the DDS (Georgia Department of Drivers Services), in an effort to have the license reinstated, to no avail.

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Era Of White Lightning (Issue 44)

Just this past year, I heard on the news that President Bush pardoned a man imprisoned for many years for the conviction of making and selling white lightning (moonshine) liquor.
 
In the Appalachian Mountains during the thirties and forties, around the areas of Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia, the business of operating liquor was flourishing.  It was a hard time for many and operating liquor was a way to make a living and survive. Nevertheless, a risky business because federal agents were constantly on the prowl to catch, arrest and destroy the stills, usually hidden in some remote backwoods area.
 
Liquor is made with a combination of sugar, yeast, a carbohydrate and water. In the days of white lightning, the carbohydrate was corn, commonly known as corn liquor. I recall growing up in the 1930s—a jar of white lightning was always kept in a kitchen cabinet, and if we were sick with anything, we were given a teaspoon of the liquor with sugar in it to help whatever ailed us as kids. It had a wonderful taste to it.
 
My parents did not drink, but some others in the country community did, and I recall how funny and amusing they were if they stopped by our house for a visit. To me as a young child, I thought they were very entertaining.
 
Today, in the Northeast Georgia town of Dawsonville, there is a liquor still museum. An interesting reminder of an era when making corn liquor was a way of life for many folks of that time period. Several movies and documentaries have been made romanticizing that era—when it was a way of life for many—dodging the federal agents (“the feds”) out to destroy the stills and arrest the operators.
 
The major problem was due to some of the copper used in the liquor stills. If not properly used, the copper could be poisonous, resulting in sickness and death. Yet those operating stills as a business had to make a living in hard times and felt the government should not have the exclusive right to make and sell liquor. During the Great Depression, when there were no jobs and money, many living in backwood communities did what they had to do to survive and feed their families. And did so by doing the one thing they knew how to do…and that was making corn liquor.
 
After making the liquor, there was the problem of marketing the product, which spawned another industry of whiskey runners who delivered the liquor to towns and communities. Gallon jugs were filled and loaded up in cars suped up to outrun the law. I heard tales of how they would select times of heavy traffic to avoid notice when the backs of their cars were so low down, loaded with the heavy bottles. The law would be on the lookout for such vehicles, therefore the runners would select times of heavy traffic to make deliveries in order to avoid suspicion and flow with the traffic.

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Boiled Watermelon (Issue 43)

Today is the Pennsylvania primary with the two top democratic contenders duking it out over the airways to see which will be the nominee to face off with republican nominee John McCain.
 
McCain is traveling around making speeches waiting to see who his opponent will be. His speeches are boring and he would probably be better off saying very little, saving his energy to face off with Hillary or Obama. 

Today I heard on the news that he said, “cutting taxes was more important than balancing the budget.” Also on the news was that the national debt was nine trillion, in addition to daily reports of the staggering cost of the Iraqi war mounting daily.

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