Friday, September 29, 2006

Bill of Rights

I realize these are radical ideas, but they're worth considering. We'd have to get rid of Gitmo -- either charge those inmates and try them, or let them go. We certainly would have to toss the "detainee" bill. The one that permits torture. Or does torture cease to be cruel and unusual punishment when it's ratified 65 to 34?

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

It's too early to declare the end of the War on Terror.

Terror won this battle. But Liberty is going to win the war. I pledge my blood, tears, toil, and sweat to this. I'll write, speak, work to change this regime. If I have to go to jail, I will. Because this is not the way I want my country to behave.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

In Memoriam

Almost a year ago, I urged people to sign up as organ donors. That was the day my friend Stephanie was given new life.

Now many of us are mourning the death of poet and author Mike Ford, who got almost six extra years of life from his kidney transplant. His partner Elise has suggested something to do in memory of Mike (John M. Ford): sign your organ donor card!

I can't improve on what she's said. Not with these tears in my eyes.