Tangled webs (was: Loose lips sink shipdates)

Russell Turpin deafbox at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 21 19:11:25 PDT 2003


Gregory Alan Bolcer:
>They aren't curtailing his freedom of speech. They are curtailing his 
>grant.

The problem with such easy dismissal is that
modern government entangles us in so many ways.
Would you be so quick to put aside the complaint
if the government required all its contractors
to apply similar criterion in deciding who to
hire? Why not? If the freedom to give money
grants the government such right, then surely
the same applies when the government contracts
work? Or purchases products from a vendor?

Or what if, instead of being denied a grant, he
were denied a professional license? Or the
opportunity to sit for a professional license?
Would that be alright? What if he were refused
a passport? Or a driver's license?

If all this seems a stretch, then you should
read up on how drug testing is being pushed,
and on how child support is collected. One of
the scarier trends to civil libertarians is the
increasing degree to which the government has
tried to enforce law and conform behavior
through its power to license, regulate, and
spend. If I were writing the Bill of Rights
today, I would include an amendment like the
following:

  Neither the federal government nor the states
  may deny any citizen a permit, license, or
  patent except on grounds directly related to
  its purpose, nor shall government grants,
  purchases, and contracts be decided except
  for their express purpose or economic
  reasons.

Yes, undoubtedly, they would find some way around
that, also. Civil libertarians engage a never-
ending battle, usually on the defensive.


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