Know your natural rights

Dear Editor,

I have been reading, with some interest, the growing debate on the bullet train and was reminded of Al Gore’s comment on The Texas Eagle. When a family wrote to ask him for help saving the line, he replied that he thought endangered birds needed saving and we ought to study the environment.

There were some good comments about rights. As far as I know, in Texas it is illegal to survey another’s land and a landowner should inform, his neighbor of his intent. How does an outfit like the bullet train get to trespass on a government and private land? Part of the problem is caused by ignorance and government largesse. A new state hire will often inform others that as a state worker he can go anywhere in the State and his shiny new title will make the private property owners part like the Red Sea. A new federal hire will often rush to advise others of his new title and his James Bond powers.

Little do they know that the government is farther restricted by the higher government. The rights of the people is what the revolution was about as was the appeal to the Creator.

We have been given the Declaration of Independence which gives us the right, “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth,the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel then to the separation.” 

The document goes on to say that there is a “Decent respect to the opinions of mankind,” and that we have the right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

To secure these rights “…Governments are instituted among Men….” This line of the Declaration is often overlooked, which is also included in the Ninth Amendment. It identifies the end of governments as securing the natural rights retained by the people.

Today, the government has a tendency to focus on “…deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The “consent of the governed” is a different idea from protecting rights. It is how to get government up and running. But it is a problematic idea in terms of rights. 

The people can only be presumed to have consented to what was actually expressed in the written constitution: conversely, absent a clear statement to the contrary, they cannot be presumed to have consented, to surrender any of their natural rights. To interpret the meaning of what must be an amorphous “popular” consent, we must know what natural rights the people have.

Ronny Foster



Edited for space