Sharing the Bill of no-rights#039;

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 26, 2000

Lots of folks can't stand prosperity.

There is a great number of people – black, white, Hispanic, et al. – who fall into that category.

Recently this information was made available to me by long-time friend Caroline Poole Ryan who is sincerely concerned that the US may erode itself into a third world nation.

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With this in mind, Caroline supplied me the "Bill of No Rights," authored by Georgia State Representative Mitchell Kaye.

It follows:

Article I: You do Not have the right to a new car, big-screen TV, or the biggest and newest computer.

This government is not in the business of guaranteeing these luxuries.

Article II: You do Not have the right to never be offended.

This country is based on freedom for everyone – not just you.

You may leave the room, change the channel, express a different opinion, and so on, but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

Article III: You do Not have the right to be free from harm.

If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful.

Do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy because of your stupidity or lack of skill.

Article IV: You do Not have the right to free food and lodging.

Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes, who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of couch potatoes.

Article V: You do Not have the right to physically harm other people.

If you kidnap, rape, maim or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you in prison or in the electric chair.

Article VI: You do Not have the right to the possessions of other.

If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of another citizen, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you up.

Article VII: You do Not have the right to a job regardless of race, creed, sexual preference, or religion.

Take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful and self-supporting.

Do not expect a free ride from the government or your community.

Article VIII: You do Not have the right to happiness.

Being American means you have the right to Pursue happiness.

Make your own happiness.

Don't sit there and wait for it to be given to you.

The End

Last week it was my duty to address the Class of 1955 of Greenville High School and being an extremely unlearned person in the oratory arts (most of my speaking is done on my typewriter in my role as a member of the print medium) I somehow bumbled through the reunion talk, closing out the evening with a recitation of Kaye's Bill of No Rights.

It was well received -I think.

Many thanks go to Caroline Ryan for furnishing the material used here.