I was at the hospital earlier this week for a meeting with some folks in ICU regarding a new technology we are piloting. Walking back to my motorcycle after the meeting, I nodded to a black security guard in the parking lot with the expectation that he might disapprove of my self-made parking space at the end of the isle. Instead, the gentleman said hello with a distinctly foreign accent. We managed to strike up a conversation in which he shared something about his background and politics.
He grew up in small county in Africa, lived in London for about 10 years and finally settled as a legal immigrant in the U.S about 8 years ago. I asked him what he thought of the current political climate and without hesitation he expressed deep concern that America was changing for the worse. He believed that most of the people in the world look to to our country as “heaven.” It is considered as a place to escape oppression and embrace freedom. He liked America’s values while recognizing some of its faults. But those faults paled in comparison to America’s virtues. He was glad to be here, but worried that if American freedom is lost to the radical left, there would be no place left to go.
In one respect, his comments were heartwarming, but his concerns were also a little chilling. In a nutshell, his focus was about freedom and innate rights. Rights to express your own opinion. Rights to raise a family without government intervention. Rights to make your own decisions and go your own way. Rights to believe in God without being persecuted. Rights to make an honest living with the possibility of greater financial success. Rights to keep your own property. Some would call these Human Rights.
A little history….On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The U.N. Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.” Whether I agreed with the charter of the United Nations, I thought it might be interesting to review all 30 articles in this declaration and compare them with the current policies, statements and actions of the Obama administration. Not surprisingly, I found our current leadership’s vision at odds with about 25% of these declarations. Areas of contention included -
1. The UN’s prohibition on involuntary servitude vs. the US’s excessive taxation, unsustainable debt, discussion of compulsory public non-military service and unfunded government mandates.
2. The UN’s belief in personal privacy vs. Senator John Rockefellerâ€™s Internet Bill S.773, which gives the Secretary of Commerce access to all privately owned information networks.
3. The UN’s support of the family as a “natural and fundamental group unit of society” vs. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) recent actions urging his fellow lawmakers to consider a repeal of a 1996 law that defines marriage as union of one man and one woman.
4. The UN’s belief in personal property ownership vs. Obama’s advocacy of wealth redistribution.
5. The UN’s belief in freedom of opinion and expression vs. the White Houses attack on Fox News, talk radio and the US Chamber of Commerce.
6. The UN’s prohibition on forced membership in associations vs. the proposed US “Employee Free Choice Act” which can make unionization votes public and allow supervisor to join union ranks.
7. The UN’s belief that higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit vs. the US Affirmative Action legislation.
8. The UN’s belief that parents have the right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children vs. the radical left’s overwhelming influence over public schools. Case in point – Obama’s appointment of Kevin Jennings as “safe school czar who is on record as supporting Harry Hay of the North American Association for Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).
These represent some of my conclusions, but I encourage you to read all 30 articles for yourself. You may have a different interpretation that thankfully can still be expressed on the internet without fear of government retribution. That’s why my friend from Africa lives here. Let’s hope he does not have to move again.
Copyright 2009 by Craig Covello. All rights reserved. Used by Permission.