Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on September 17, 2014


– The misconceptions Americans have related to our personal rights.

To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

The Declaration of Independence was the first of our governing documents indicating the types of “rights” Americans possess, and where they come from:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Here, the founding fathers suggest such rights are heaven sent, that they represent the fundamental rights God intended man to have.

The US Constitution goes a step further with its accompanying Bill of Rights, where our founding fathers spelled out our rights as citizens. It initially included ten amendments specifying our rights, such as freedom of speech and religion, the right to bear arms, to be free of unreasonable search, a right to a speedy and public trial, a trial by an impartial jury, a right to confront witnesses, and more. There is now a total of 27 such amendments, with the exception of the 18th prohibiting the manufacturing of alcohol (which was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment).

Interestingly, many Americans believe they have more rights, which they do not. Because of naivety, and laws enacted to support welfare, Americans believe they are entitled to such things as:

* The right to a job – Many young people today believe they are entitled to a job following completion of their education. Just because you possess a college degree does not entitle you to a job.

* The right to a promotion or raise – regardless of the time you work for a company, you are not entitled to a promotion. Normally, this depends on the work ethic you have exhibited as an employee, and available financial resources.

* The right to a second chance. In business, if you make a mistake, rarely are you allowed a “do-over.” It is therefore necessary for you to try and do a professional job as much as possible. Although some bosses may be lenient, particularly if you are a “newbie” in the company, one mistake may cost you your job. Also remember, “three strikes and you are out.”

* The right to higher education – the harsh reality is higher education is a privilege, not a right. Whereas primary and secondary education is paid for by the tax payer, higher education runs more like a business and, as such, must be paid for by the individual, not the public. In most states, you must attend school until you are 16 years of age. After that, it is optional. For those with no interest in school or disrupt the harmony of the school for others, I suggest they be discharged immediately as they are not only wasting their time, but that of the teachers and administrators, not to mention the other students. Forcing them to attend school is detrimental to education.

* The right to free stuff. The welfare system was originally designed as a safety net to help people should they fail in business or become impaired. Unfortunately, many people abuse the system as opposed to going back to work. They know all of the quirks in our system, whereby they enjoy all of the perks government is willing to provide, such as housing, food, transportation, health care, cell phones, daycare services, and more. Such people no longer are grateful for such generosity, but feel they are entitled to it. The truth is, the government provides a helping hand, but the person must endeavor not to become a ward of the state. They must become a responsible member of society, lead a meaningful and productive life, and enjoy the benefits of freedom, not slavery.

* The right to do whatever we want. We have defined a multitude of laws and regulationS for everything from minor infractions to major indiscretions. Nonetheless, there are people who believe such rules do not apply to them. As such, they feel free to rob, steal, cheat, slander, murder, intimidate, commit bodily harm, etc. These are certainly not “freedom fighters” but rather common criminals which can be found throughout our social strata.

* The right to become citizens. If you are willing to come to this country legally, follow its rules, speak the language, and willing to take the test and Naturalization Oath of Allegiance, then, Yes, you have the right to become a citizen. All others, No.

* The right to vote. If you are 18 years of age or older, have registered to vote, and can prove your identity at your voting precinct, Yes, you have the right to vote. Actually, I would like to see this expanded that the voter has passed a certification test of some kind, such as the test taken by immigrants wanting to become citizens.

We also have the right to like or dislike people, places and things; believe or reject what people say, and; enjoy or reject simple pleasures, such as the movies, music, art, food, etc.

The truth is, in America we only have a handful of rights, most are fabricated by our popular culture and the media. Entitlements are certainly not rights. Our most precious and fundamental rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness as endowed by our Creator. To deny the existence of the Creator, is to deny these fundamental rights.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

For Tim’s columns, see:

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS – Do not despair, try writing a list of the positive things in life instead.

LAST TIME:  POLITICAL STREET SIGNS  – Eyesores or useful tools for candidates?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.



  1. You might remember back in our “school days”, Tim, that the education system taught a course called “Civics”. This was the way for those born here to become more aware of those documents which brought us our “rights” and it gave us all a better understanding of the difference between right and priviledge. That course is long since gone having been flushed by an education system which is far too concerned with teaching social consciousness as opposed to citizenship. Maybe this is part of the reason so many in our country take it for granted and have no qualms in milking it for all they can get without ever being a productive member of society. It seems that the concept of “individual pride” went the way of the “Civics” course in our nation. Good write! ~ WB

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A B.H. of Boulder, Colorado wrote…

    “Rights” are granted by God, and can not be taken away by the actions of man. Privileges, on the other hand, are things granted by mankind, any and all of which can be taken away on a moment’s notice, for any reason or no reason at all.

    The media and general population think it’s alright for THEMSELVES to have these rights, but anyone disagreeing with them on a topic (and you can pick and choose your own controversy du jour) shouldn’t have that same right.

    Instead of us expressing our dislike by not patronizing, we (collectively) seek to punish the corporation for their exercise of the same rights we have. If you don’t like Chik-fil-a, go somewhere else. That’s like people trying to get a TV show off the air because they don’t like it. Watch something else, or better yet, turn the TV off and DO something else. It’s a CHOICE, not a right.”


    • Your distinction is spot on, but the terminology (i.e. legal terms) is a shade off. The Bill of Rights is actually a statement of Americans’ (and, as it turns out via court decisions, virtually anyone’s living here) LIBERTIES…as in ‘civil liberties.’ The ACLU (selective as it is in the cases it chooses to defend…not my favorite organization) focuses upon issues dealing with alleged violations of those first ten amendments. Those protections are statements of what the national government (and the states too, if a court decision has stated that the protection is subsumed under the 14th Amendment) is NOT allowed to do. That’s why they are worded in negative terms (“Congress shall not…”).

      Civil Liberties (what you term ‘rights’) do not have to be earned, have few (if any) restrictions in normal practice, and cannot normally be taken away.

      Rights, on the other hand, are (in legal terms) ‘creations of positive law’ and are what you term a privilege. The right to vote, for example, cannot exist unless and until the context in which the right is exercised (i.e. elections) is established and defined by law. It has to be ‘earned’ (voter registration, age restriction), is limited in its practice (legal jurisdictions, only voting once), and can be taken away ‘for cause’ (a felony conviction).

      Another example would be in those states that have ‘Right to Work’ laws. These don’t say that you have a right to a job, but they do establish, when you are employed, that you have a right to do so without being forced to joint a union: once again the context of an action is defined/protected, but not the basic behavior (employment) itself.


  3. Tim Bryce said

    A W.A. of the Dominican Republic wrote…

    “As always, Tim, great article. Having lived in the DR for 5 years now, I still can’t grasp the “your prejudice and trying to disenfranchise the minorities from voting if you demand a photo ID”. I think I mentioned before that 67% of the Dominicans voted in the last Presidential election a little over 2 years ago and you must have a photo ID to do so. Average income in the DR a little over $6,000 a year yet they must have this ID. Some must travel 50 or more miles to get this ID, which is free. So what’s the big deal to have minorities travel maybe a mile or 2 to get theirs. They never need to go more than that to vote. GOD BLESS AMERICA and hopefully He won’t pull out of the country permanently.”


  4. Kevin Schachter said

    Original Bill of Rights actually included 12 Amendments. Two of which were subsequently combined into a single amendment, and another which eventually became what we now know as the 27th amendment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tim Bryce said

    An R.S. of Tallahassee, Florida wrote…

    “Unfortunately the courts and our own administrative branch are in my opinion illegally modifying the way we put the documents you mention into practice. Instead of creating amendments to the Constitution they create judicial law based not on the Constitution, but rather often on judicial interpretations, of interpretations, of interpretations of what the Constitution says. In this game of telephone the real meaning and intent are often lost and ignored.

    We are becoming a society where citizens, and often even non-citizens who are here illegally may not have a Constitutional right to things like medical care, and school for their kids, but none the less are given those things as though they do have those rights.

    If someone comes here illegally and steals a few hundred dollars worth of DVD’s from the public library, we call them a criminal and if they keep doing it, MIGHT even deport them. However if they put their kids in a public school that costs taxpayers
    $10,000 a year per student, and use another $10,000 a year in medical services paid for by American taxpayers we don’t do a thing, because “they are entitled to those things”.

    Unfortunately as a country we’ve been outspending our income for quite some time, so one day we’re going to have to face the music.

    You can’t keep going further into debt forever, there is a point where even a huge country will run out of credit and the bigger they are the harder they will fall.”




  7. Well, you’ve nailed it again, Tim!

    Liberty without responsibility is merely license. I doubt that anyone has ever expressed our current dilemma vis-a-vis the issue of ‘liberty’ and the challenges of a free society better than did Friedrich Hayek: “Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions … Liberty and responsibility are inseparable.”

    Ah, there’s the rub!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.