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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Letter of the Day

Eroding freedom and intimidating citizens

Last night I watched the pilot of “TURN.” This is the story of the American Revolution against the abuses of the colonies by the king and British government. It struck me that the parallels between that historical story and what’s going on in this country are eerily similar.

The IRS targeted conservative groups because they are out of favor with the present administration. The FBI investigated the founders of the organizations, and the IRS audited the individuals. At first the president feigned outrage, but now members of his party are urging a continued campaign against conservative organizations.

Social Security began seizing tax refunds of citizens whose parents might have received overpayments years ago, while these taxpayers were children. Many of these claims are just a few hundred dollars. The average citizen can’t afford to hire an attorney and fight the feds.

The most recent outrage is the attack by armed federal agents against a Nevada rancher who is fighting the seizure of land his family has used for grazing since the 1880s. As a trial attorney, I understand what a court ruling means in the vast majority of cases, but I also understand that just because a government body makes a law doesn’t mean it is constitutional. When the Bundy family settled in Nevada in the 1880s there was no Bureau of Land Management, and I do not believe that the Constitution permits the federal government to preempt citizens’ rights. The settlement of the West was blessed by the federal government with a promise people would not have to pay to graze their cattle. Just as Jim Crow laws were the law of the land, but unjust, so is the BLM’s seizures. Sen. Harry Reid has said the citizen cannot defy the law of the land. This is the same thing he said when the Republicans wanted to delay the individual mandate of Obamacare, but then he had no problem with the president doing just that and 60 other monarch-like changes to that law.

These actions by the government are eroding our freedoms and intimidating our citizens. This is not a liberal vs. conservative issue — but a free democracy vs. government control issue. I believe the citizens of the USA are beginning to rise up against the tyranny of government and pray that citizens change the direction we are heading before hotter heads take over.

William C. Gregg III


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