Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We Hold These Truths.....

Next week, on December 15th, is the 218th anniversary of the ratification of our Bill of Rights. On the way home last night, I listened to a remarkable radio program on Sirius/XM. It was called "We Hold These Truths", and starred one of my favorite actors, Jimmy Stewart, and a cast of other well-known actors.
If you click on the link, you'll go to a website that has the audio. It's just amazing. It runs about 60 minutes, and is available as a podcast.
With all that's going on these days, like the MASSIVE government grab for power and control over our lives, rumors of using the US Military to confiscate our arms, and the calling of Conservative Americans "Right Wing Terrorists", I thought it was time to remember one of the most important documents of all time. It makes us uniquely American, at least for now. With the current "President" having stated that the Constitution is a "living" document, I think every American should take the time to re-read our Bill of Rights, and take it to heart.
These are NOT "Living Documents"! They are what they are, and were written down so we could refer to them, and use them as the LAW of our Country! If you want to change them, there's even a process spelled out in them so you can AMEND them. They are NOT open to interpretation, the are what they are! What the current administration is doing is ILLEGAL, flat and simple. Nowhere in our Founding Documents does it say the government has the power, right, or responsibility to do the things this current administration is not only proposing, but has already done.
And now, without further fanfare, I present the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. Please read it, and notice how many times it mentions "The People".

Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the "Bill of Rights."


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 offence 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 defence.


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 re-examined 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.

8 comments:

  1. drjim -excellent post.
    What a great radio program.
    What a great Constitution and Bill-Of-Rights.
    This needs to go viral!
    The nation needs to catch the liberty bug again.

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  2. Not sure what we can do to make it go viral....maybe everybody post the link to the podcast?

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  3. In retrospect, I think the Bill of Rights was a big, big mistake.

    The next time I hear some conservative say "You don't have a right to privacy! Show me where the Constitution grants you the right to privacy!", I'm liable to punch the S.O.B. right in the snot locker.

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  4. The Constitution should be etched in stone and not subject to judical change. The meanings are clear and Americans don't need men in black robes telling us what the founders intended based on current standands.

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  5. You betcha, Ron. It is what it is, in black-and-white, and means what it says.

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Keep it civil, please....