Sunday, October 02, 2005

Politics: A Bill of Rights for the 21st Century.

An update suggested by various truth in advertising laws:

You have the right to freedom of certain approved speech, at certain times that aren't too near elections. There is freedom of the press, as long as certain things aren't printed, and the internet is understood to not be "the press." And please understand that you are being monitored so that certain things you say or print may be gathered as evidence just in case you are ever charged with anything down the road.

You have the right to keep some arms, as long as they are a flavor the government approves of, and in some places you may not keep arms of any kind. You may bear these arms in the field and forest if you have paid money to the government. You may bear them on a licensed shooting range. You may bear them in public in some locales only if you have been photographed, fingerprinted, investigated and taxed. In many locales you may not bear arms even then.

You have the right to be secure in your person, house, papers, and effects unless a paid informant has suggested that you may have something the government doesn't want you to have, or Fluffy the Uberhund alerts on your luggage, or you fit a certain profile, or a policeman asks you.

You cannot be forced to be a witness against yourself, except with recordings of your voice, and various samples of your breath, bodily fluids, and small bits of flesh.

Your property cannot be taken for public use without just compensation, unless it'd be a swell place for a strip mall, or the cops need a new armoured car.

Cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted, unless one considers being GPS/radio-tagged like a migrating seal to be cruel and unusual.

Suggestions are being actively solicited for other amendments.


Standard Mischief said...

Amendments only? What about Double Jeopardy ?

Double Jeopardy is not allowed, but Triple Jeopardy is OK. If our hand picked, "voli dire" “how the law is applied or whether is it constitutional is irrelevant, only whether or not the law was broken” jury somehow fails to convict, we can try you again at the federal level, the local level, or the state level of government, or try you on different charges entirely that we failed to press promptly.

Tam said...

Voir Dire: From the French term for "Jury Tampering".

Standard Mischief said...

Damn, my spell checker caught it but I needed the wisdom of goggle to learn how to spell it. It was a horrendous cut 'n paste accident.

Which kinda 'round about way brings us to legalese. Lawyers are fluent, Judges are mostly lawyers, so are most of our elected critters. They are the ones who make most of judicial rules, “of, by, and for the people, right? They wouldn't deliberately obfuscate the language of justice for their own personal gain, right? No collusion going on here!

pdb said...

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... unless it's something REALLY important, then we'll find some sliver of the commerce clause to hang it on and do it anyway.

Elmo's aphasiatic twin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elmo's aphasiatic twin said...

Amendment IV needs something about if one trips a metal detector for whatever reason, he or she has the right to have a speedy body cavity search in front of 12 peers who happen to be homeland security officials. The twelve have the right to beat senseless and forcibly strip the one to be searched whether he or she resists or not.

With a metal plate in my left leg and a pacemaker, I don't want to be delayed when I want to fly or enter a government outpost such as a school or courthouse.

Alston said...

Very true.

I will now quote The Clash, who say it better than I can...

Know your rights
These are your rights
All 3 of 'em
It has been suggested in some quarters that this is not enough!

Tam said...

The Clash, eh?

When they kick in your front door,
How you gonna come?...