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Constitution's Bicentennial

June 15, 1987

Gore Vidal wrote that every government dreams of controlling its citizens, and I agree, but control in our day has more to do with a new statistical reality than with dreams of power. Five billion people, going on 10 billion worldwide, is a new number that undercuts the purpose of any Constitution we can write. Thesis: As population rises, freedoms fall.

In the neighborhood where I grew up in the early '30s, one vacant lot received all our Saturday prunings and clippings and therefore produced each spring a luxuriant crop of mallow and wild oats. One year an old man from somewhere outside our ken brought a goat to the lot and tethered it in the midst of all that greenery. The tether was long and the lucky goat browsed where and when it pleased.

Later, the old man brought two more goats to the lot, but, of course, each tether had to be made shorter to prevent tangles. That incident comes often to my mind as I watch our population soar and our freedoms shrink, no matter how often we re-think our Constitution in this corner of crowded Earth, our own green vacant lot.

Numbers up; freedom down. Q.E.D.

WILLARD OLNEY

Hesperia

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