By Glenn BeckHost, "Glenn Beck"

Hello, America. I wanted to start off this column by saying that, mostly to remind myself that I amstill in America. More and more ... each and every day... it seems that those who've been elected into power have forgotten the very fundamentals of our freedom as Americans. They act like they're hell-bent on imposing restrictions rather than guaranteeing rights, and I'm sick and tired of it. This week I found out some shocking news coming out of Chicago. Wait a minute -- isn't some big-time celebrity from Chicago? Oh yeah, President Obama is! (Talk about a coincidence, right?) Maybe I shouldn't be so shocked after all ...

Before I give you the details, let's start with what you need to know as true and inalienable: You have a right to privacy. Period. End of story. The First, Third, Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to our Constitution all include specific provisions pertaining to your right to privacy. Of course, remember -- I'm talking about news out of Chicago, and it seems that they have an, um ... uniqueapproach to governing, and the Constitution doesn't always appear to be anyone's favorite point of reference. Ok, so brace yourself, because here it is: In Cook County, Illinois, you have to give over your fingerprint if you want to sell your house. No, I'm not kidding.

There are all kindsof people you'd think we want to fingerprint before they become an American homeowner (you know ... like maybe non-citizens coming into our country?), but no -- the legal eagles over there in Cook County have started with regular hard-working, home-owning Americans just like you. This is yet another example of the government getting bigger in the process of making your rights smaller.

This law goes into effect on June 1, and was passed very quietly last October by ... wait for it ... wait for it -- former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Chicago politics -- don't you just love 'em! So the deal is that under this new law, every time a real estate transaction takes place in Cook County, Illinois, a notary is required to take a fingerprint and keep it on file for seven years. So why is Cook County doing this, you might ask? Lawmakers say it's to cut down on the occurrence of fraud. (Call me cynical, but in Chicago it might be easier for them to keep track of the times fraud doesn'tenter into the legal and political systems. I'm just sayin'...)

Look, I understand the need to help keep homeowners safe -- the last thing you need today is one more person trying to screw you when it comes to your biggest investment. So this week I spoke to a Cook County homeowner and asked why a law aimed at preventing fraud didn't have at least some merit. His name is Gerald Cain, and here's what he had to say:

"The way the law is written, there would be so many ways around it. Certainly, someone would just have to cross a state border and have the deed notarized in another state. So aside from being just an invasion of privacy and treating the good citizens of Cook County like they're criminals, it's unenforceable."
and not

We have got to stop ceding control of our lives to the government, and this kind of invasive law is another terrifyingly dangerous step in the wrong direction. Remember, it may look like just a little ink-smudged blotch on a piece of paper, but your fingerprint is part of your identity ... a piece of you. No one in government should be able to compel you to hand it over unless under very specific circumstances, and selling your house ain't one of them.

If the government takes away a right and we do nothing to stop them, we're as much to blame as they are. The old saying goes that people get the government they deserve. I personally think no one deserves the government we have now (and it's getting worse with each passing day), but "we the people" have to protect ourselves because the empty suits running the show have a very different agenda.

You've got to draw a line in the sand and never sit back and let somebody in Washington or Cook County take what was granted to you by a much higher power. And if it can happen in Cook County, how long before it happens where you live?