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Front Page » July 7, 2009 » Opinion » Letter to the editor: Stealing from the sleeping
Published 1,882 days ago

Letter to the editor: Stealing from the sleeping


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By WILLIAM SHARP
Castle Dale

Editor,

I am writing this letter in response to Castle Dale City's proposed clean up ordinances. As well pointed out in The Emery County Progress, Castle Dale City leaders are proposing a city clean up ordinance.

Though I have not received any notification from the city demanding directly that I clean up my property, I still feel it is my duty as a patriotic American to speak out against this extreme proposed loss of freedom for the people of Castle Dale

Growing up in Utah and working for old hard working Mormon farmers, I was always impressed with their thrift and determination to never throw things away, especially things of a mechanical nature. They clearly understood the concept of using things up and not throwing something away just because you didn't use it yesterday.

It is sad to see the attitude of some in our 'throw away society' today, who are not content with throwing everything away themselves but also are intent on forcing everyone else to do the same. I suppose it goes along with those in society that have never faced a real time of need and do not understand how easily all of their convenient 'buy a new one' lifestyle could come to an end.

What is the most troubling to me is the fact that many I have talked to do not seem to even understand what property rights are and how deeply the Founding Fathers of America felt about and fought for property rights. I would like to take a few lines here and answer some common misconceptions about property rights using the Founding Fathers own rebuttals. A few quotes from the many.

An overriding respect for the sanctity of the ownership and personal use of private property, free from restrictive and invasive regulatory regulations, is firmly embedded in American colonial law, common law, and constitutional law:

To the demand that we need to be forced to clean up our properties for the common good, Alexander Hamilton, declared: "Let us therefore lay down a certain maxim: that whenever the public good happens to be the matter in question, it is not for the advantage of the public to deprive an individual of his property - or even to retrench the least part of it by a law or a political regulation."

William Blackstone, whose legal writings were considered as the final authority in American courts for a century-and-a-half after the adoption of the U. S. Constitution, declared: "So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property that it will not authorize the least violation of it - no, not even for the general good of the whole community."

To the demand that we need forced government control over our properties, John Locke, whose writings had direct impact in the framing both of the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution, succinctly declared that "the preservation of property [is] the reason for which men enter into society" and that "government . . . can never have a power to take to themselves the whole or any part of the subject's property without their own consent, for this would be in effect to leave them no property at all."

John Jay, original Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court and an author of the Federalist Papers declared that "It is the undoubted right and unalienable privilege of a [citizen] not to be divested or interrupted in the innocent use of private property. This is the Cornerstone of every free Constitution."

To those who demand that we do not need freedom on our private property, John Adams (signer of the Declaration and framer of the Bill of Rights) and William Paterson (signer of the Constitution and Justice placed on the U. S. Supreme Court by President George Washington) declared: "All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right of . . . acquiring, possessing, and protecting property"

James Madison declared that "Government is instituted to protect property. . . This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own. . . That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where arbitrary restrictions deny to part of its citizens that free use of their [own] property."

John Dickinson, a signer of the Constitution, declared: "Let these truths be indelibly impressed on our minds: (1) that we cannot be happy without being free; (2) that we cannot be free without being secure in our property; (3) that we cannot be secure in our property if without our consent others may as by right take it away." So strongly and clearly the Founders defended private property rights.

No one should mistake this letter as my endorsement of trash blowing everywhere and streets full of trash without restraint as some false rumors have it. I support common littering laws and don't want my trash going onto city property or my neighbors property. My purpose in writing is to inform the people of what precious rights are being taken away from us and why those who seek to take these rights away from us no longer deserve our trust, support or votes.

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July 7, 2009
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