Do we need a new Bill of Rights?
By Dark Politricks
A recent satirical survey carried out by Mark Dice showed that people were willing to sign a petition banning Christian symbols, Christmas lights, bumper stickers and other forms of expression covered by the 1st Amendment. His bigger coup was showing up the American people for signing another petition banning the first amendment altogether.
It seems no matter what crazy things Mark says to the signers they willingly agree to remove their own freedom. He uses Obama, racism, the Tea Party and even the New World Order to persuade people to sign, not that they need much persuading.
Even when he thanks people for “helping to repeal free speech” or “repeal the first amendment” from the USA they happily nod, agree and then sign on the dotted line.
The people signing these petitions should obviously be ashamed of themselves but it goes to show the indoctrination that has been achieved by politicians and the media.
Job well done it seems! These people are almost too eager to sign their freedoms away.
Here in the UK we don’t have a written constitution and our bill of rights (1689) which was inspiration for the USA is more concerned with limiting the power of the Crown, ensuring that our parliament is regularly elected and that the people we elect to it have the right to speak freely without fear of retribution from the Crown.
Remember that this was one of the first documents of its kind in the modern world so it’s nowhere near perfect and it followed the English civil war in which we deposed and killed our monarch and then replaced him with a quasi-religious military family dictatorship or what historians call a “Protectorate”.
This was a bit like North Korea today along with a puritanical religious nature and it involved a dictatorial dynasty i.e Oliver Cromwell and then his 3rd son Richard. The Cromwells, along with the military and their “Godly Governors” ruled the country until the monarchy was restored later in the century.
However our bill of rights, the preceeding Magna Carta, the writ of habeas corpus and it’s codified version in law the Habeas Corpus Act plus the writings of many enlightened English philosophers of the time such as John Locke and Thomas Paine, helped inspire and create the US Bill of Rights.
Whilst this bill is something to be proud of and US school children are taught from an early age that the Constitution is the primary law of the land and no other law can supersede it. It seems nowadays that either the US Government doesn’t preach what it teaches in its public schools or just believes, as George W Bush famously did, that it’s just a piece of paper.
Since 9.11, laws such as the PATRIOT ACT have removed many rights enshrined in the constitution and many local courts in the USA have actually found it and the FISA court to be in blatant violation of the provision that prohibits unreasonable searches in the Fourth Amendment.
As Judge Andrew Napolitano explains about the recent NSA Prism revelations that the US/UK governments are conducting massive surveillance on millions of people without a warrant, the mass spying of Americans, whilst allowed by the PATRIOT ACT breaches the constitution which trumps it in law, or is supposed to!
With Obama now being able to act like a king with the NDAA (The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013) behind him, and the country still be ruled under emergency laws enacted after 9.11, he is now able to do such things as:
-allow for the “indefinite detention of American citizens without due process at the discretion of the President.” (Section 1021)
-to allow force (and military detention) against not only those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and countries which harbored them, but also anyone who “substantially supports” Al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces” (Section 1031)
-mandates that all accused Terrorists be indefinitely imprisoned by the military rather than in the civilian court system (section 1032)
Therefore, he can now, if he so wished, declare you a terrorist or “domestic extremist” by using NSA hovered up and illegally obtained data, and then if he so wished either detain you without due process indefinitely, or if you lived abroad, send a drone to kill you and your family in the manner he dispatched Anwar al Awlaki and his son in Yemen.
The bill also basically dispenses with Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution, which says that nobody can be punished for treason without heightened due process requirements being met. Lets wait and see what happens to Edward Snowden. Is he a traitor for exposing massive and illegal spying by the NSA or a traitor for letting the people know what the Government is doing to them?
Therefore with free speech under attack due to massive state surveillance and unwarranted search and seizure of property such as any electronical private effects e.g emails, direct message tweets or text messages. And as Mark Dice has shown, a populace all too willing to just “sign a petition” abolishing their rights without second thought I am asking you today what you think our rights should be in this modern-day and age.
Do we need extra protections from government surveillance?
Is the requirement for a well maintained militia and the bearing of arms still needed when the US military is the largest on earth and a few handguns wouldn’t last long against the local police force let alone the US military – not that you can tell the two apart lately.
What about limits on free speech? Should you have the right to be offended or can I be racist, sexist, anti-religious and homophobic to you all without fear of punishment?
Taking a well-known section of the European Convention of Human Rights – Article 3, which prohibits torture, and “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Do Americans need to incorporate this into a bill after their water boarding, Abu Ghraib and Gitmo “enhanced interrogation” escapades?
What about Article 11 that supposedly protects the right to freedom of assembly and association, including the right to form trade unions.
This seems to be trumped by local laws such as “free speech zones” in the USA or the much hated English Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 which banned people assembling to “rave” i.e party. This law also and allowed for courts to make certain inferences if a defendant remained silent in custody or for the police to take intimate body samples on arrest and keep them whether or not the accused is ever convicted in court – an act that has been found to violate European law multiple times.
It seems that in this modern day and age people on all sides of the Atlantic need a Bill of Rights that protects them from their own government. What I’d like to know is which rights are most important to you.
Some of these points cross over and in a new bill they would be sectioned together. Therefore you may want to vote for more than one but I want to know the right that you feel is most important to you in your daily life.
For example is your right to speak freely without fear of being bugged and arrested more important than a theoretical chance that you might overthrow your government with your firearms?
If something important is missing just add it in the other section and feel free to use the comment section to expand on your points if you do.