Boots & Sabers

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0623, 27 May 20

Liberty, but …

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday.

For over 150 years, Americans have taken a day at the end of May to pause and reflect upon the great sacrifices that have been made for the cause of liberty. Decoration Day, now Memorial Day, is a nerve that runs through our national body that aches to remind us of the tremendous price of freedom.

Over 1.1 million Americans have given their lives for the liberties protected by our Constitution and the national aspiration enshrined in our Declaration of Independence. It is a heavy price and a heavy burden that those of us who live under those principles have a responsibility to respect, honor, and defend.

While not without blemish, for no human endeavor is without marring from the weaknesses of the human condition, our nation has spent over 240 years spilling our blood for an idea — not for land, not for treasure, not for dominion – but for the idea that all people have an natural right to be free. Free in their person. Free in their thoughts. Free in their faith. Free in their property. Free.

That right to freedom is part of the spark put in us by God and is the natural right of every human. It is not subject to abridgment or restriction except by consent through a freely elected government. We institute government for the purpose of preserving our liberty. Our government protects our liberty through a well-defined system of laws that were consented to after an adversarial lawmaking process that is intentionally designed with checks and balances to ensure that broad consensus is achieved. Our rule of law is what protects our liberties from the arbitrary use of the police power of government. It is what protects us from tyranny.

Such a rudimentary summary of the concepts of liberty and self-governance should be known by any American with a high school education. They are the tenets of a free society, which over a million Americans have given their lives to preserve.

This is why it is so astonishing that we have so easily surrendered our liberties, suspended the rule of law, and abandoned self-governance over a virus.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote, “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 are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” he did not end the statement with “except if there’s a nasty virus.”

In the Wisconsin Constitution’s Declaration of Rights, it reads, “All people are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” That sentence does not end, “but those rights are void if the governor says so.”

Within days, our government stripped us of our most basic rights to freely assemble, practice our religion, use our property, operate a business, move freely, and even visit our own families. In Wisconsin, this was done on the sole authority and discretion of a single man. In other states, the same thing was done by the pen stroke of a single man or woman. And if a person dared to violate the order by simply having guests to their home or playing outside, the full police power of the state was brought to bear to force compliance. Such an arbitrary and cavalier use of police power is the stuff of totalitarian regimes. It does not belong in America.

When we have finally wrested our rights back from the tyrants, we must reform our statutes to ensure that such power may never be levied again under the color of law. Our nation has faced pandemics before and will face them again, but we must never let a health crisis be used an excuse for the wholesale abandonment of the very principles of liberty upon which our nation was founded.


0623, 27 May 2020


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Liberals still cheer the greatness and freedom of America being attacked by their awful, evil ideology.

  2. Kevin Scheunemann


    Yes, I am much better off than I was 4 years ago.

    And I enjoy the statist establishment in DC, especially liberal media establishment, in constant state of derangement with Trump being president.

    Trump has exposed how disgustingly awful the liberal thirst for control and power really is. Worse, it shows us why we should never be held hostage by that disgusting authoritarian liberal statism!

  3. Le Roi du Nord

    “disgusting authoritarian liberal statism!”  with chants of “lock her up” in the background.

  4. Pat

    “Yes, I am much better off than I was 4 years ago.“

    Just a second, let me get my pen. That’s one for better off. Got it.

    Now let’s ask the rest of the nation.

  5. Le Roi du Nord

    And now trump promotes censorship again with this from today:

    ” Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservative voices.  We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”

    1984 here we come…….

  6. Kevin Scheunemann


    Stock market close to new highs again.

    Record low unemployment achieved and heading that direction again……

    Only your derangement keeps you from winning.

  7. Owen

    I’m old enough to remember when liberals supported the government enforcement of Net Neutrality.

  8. Kevin Scheunemann

    “Net neutrality” always meant tossing conservative voices off the internet by any means.

  9. Le Roi du Nord


    No, it didn’t.  You could look it up were you curious.

  10. Pat

    You guys must be talking about Trump and his Twitter account?

  11. Pat

    Or maybe not.

  12. Pat

    If it is about a Trump and Twitter, all I have to say is, their site, their rules. If Trump doesn’t like it, he can start his own site.

  13. Mar

    “If it is about a Trump and Twitter, all I have to say is, their site, their rules. If Trump doesn’t like it, he can start his own site.”
    Well, that is actually true.

  14. Pat

    Kayleigh McEnany said today that Trump is going to sign an executive order tomorrow in regards to social media, but didn’t elaborate.

    This should be good!

  15. Randall Flagg

    Owen, I am old enough to remember when conservatives supported government staying out of the affairs of private companies.

  16. Randall Flagg

    Rather than complain about Twitter and Facebook, Republicans should start their own sites.  If Twitter and Facebook are as bad as Republicans say they are, these competing sites should be wildly successful.  There are no barriers to entry to starting a website.

    But that would require work; complaining and being jealous is easier.

  17. Mar

    The problem with your argument, Randall, is that there are millions and millions of people on Twitter and other sites.
    It is to the point where it is a public institution.
    While it is a private company, they also have a responsibility to have an open forum. If someone disagree with President Trump, they can voice their opinions in the comment section.
    And former Twitter to use CNN and the Washington Post as sources, well, Twitter shows they are a left wing company.

  18. Randall Flagg

    It’s not a public institution, it is merely successful.  They have no responsibility to have an open forum, although they do seem to.  After all they didn’t take Trump’s tweet down, did they?  They merely commented on it, exactly as you said they should.

    They are free to be as left, right, or center wing as they want.  If people don’t like twitter, they don’t have to use it.  Same with Facebook.

    I think Fox News is right wing propaganda, so I don’t watch it or go to their site.  Same with Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, Ben Shapiro, etc.  But I would not want a Democratic president to threaten them like Trump is threatening Twitter.

    If Trump was an adult, he would show his displeasure by not using it.  Instead he those tantrums like a 2 year old.

  19. Mar

    “They have no responsibility to have an open forum, although they do seem to.”
    That’s kinda my point.
    As far as Fox News and conservative media, some liberals have tried to shut them down, unsuccessfully for now.
    But I am in agreement with you that if the conservatives don’t like Twitter, Facebook and other social media, they can open their own company.

  20. dad29

    I am old enough to remember when conservatives supported government staying out of the affairs of private companies.

    You mean before FSLA?  Before Pure Food & Drug Act?

    Geez.  You are REALLY old.  Or you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  21. dad29

    They have no responsibility to have an open forum, although they do seem to.

    You took extra ignorance-pills, eh?  See Owen’s essay on the matter.  Maybe you’ll learn something.

  22. Randall Flagg

    >>>You mean before FSLA?

    You must be older than me, because I have never even heard of the FSLA.  But I am sure you will explain what you meant by it and how it applies.  That way you can prove my ignorance.

    I’ll hang up and listen.

  23. Le Roi du Nord

    Sure dud, the Pure Food and Drug Act is bad for business, right?

  24. Mar

    “Sure dud, the Pure Food and Drug Act is bad for business, right?”
    Umm, when did Dad say that?
    Just the usual more lies from Pathological Liar Le Roi.

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