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21st Century Bill Of Rights


TexasFreethinker
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I think it's time to add a new bill of rights to the US constitution to clarify ambiguities in existing freedoms and firmly establish others that are missing from the current set. Here are some I'd like to see:

 

- Clarification of Freedom of Religion to make it clear that federal, state and local governments cannot financially support religious activities such as congressional and military chaplains and faith-based charities. Mentions of gods (either affirmative or negative) should be removed from official products such as coins and paper money. Make a clear distinction between secular and religious marriage. Churches should be taxed in the same way other non-profits are, and if they enter into politics they should be taxed and regulated like PACs.

 

- Clarification of the Right to Bear Arms. Let's discuss this and come to an agreement on exactly what this means. I don't know anyone who thinks there should be no limits on "arms" (well, maybe Nivek!). Most of us don't want our looney neighbor building a nuclear weapon or stockpiling rocket launchers, cruise missiles and matter disrupters. On the other hand, I think most Americans are ok with the concept of personal ownership of small firearms for hunting and personal protection. Let's sort this out and hopefully put an end to the constant bickering about what the founding fathers meant.

 

- Add explict right to privacy and control over your own body. Put an end to puritanical laws prohibiting sex between consenting adults, allow adults to decide when their lives should end, finalize women's control of their reproductive systems, allow adults to decide what substances to put in their own bodies. It will be messy and people will die - the audacity of true freedom.

 

- Extend equal rights to women and people with different sexual orientations. Strike down bans on homosexual marriage.

 

What do you guys think? Are there others you would add? I'm not saying this would be easy - it wasn't easy to pass the first Bill of Rights in what many consider to have been a more enlightened time than ours. Something has to be done to get us out of the current set of impasses.

 

-------------------

 

If you're not a US citizen, what updates are needed to the constitution or freedom laws in your country?

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- Add explict right to privacy and control over your own body. Put an end to puritanical laws prohibiting sex between consenting adults, allow adults to decide when their lives should end, finalize women's control of their reproductive systems, allow adults to decide what substances to put in their own bodies. The audacity of true freedom.
I strongly agree with all of your points. I'd like to add to what you've written above about our rights to privacy some very strenuous and stringent enforcement against warrantless searches, hidden searches, cyber searches and so on.

 

I'm with our old friend Ben: Any one willing to give up essential liberties in exchange for security deserves neither.

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TfT and all,

 

First before anything else, define "Rights".

 

kL

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TfT and all,

 

First before anything else, define "Rights".

 

kL

Hi nivek - for this discussion I'm thinking "rights" means acts for which you cannot be punished by a government (on the negative side), or which the government must allow/uphold/permit (on the positive side).

 

TF

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I'd like to add to what you've written above about our rights to privacy some very strenuous and stringent enforcement against warrantless searches, hidden searches, cyber searches and so on.

I agree Loren - those need to be spelled out in a way that can't be misunderstood even by a president from Texas!

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Guest QuidEstCaritas?

I agree with this Tex but I seriously think we are in deep shit at the moment. You and anyone else won't get any of this implemented without overthrowing the government.

 

Point blank.

 

 

 

 

 

More people need to be thinking about doing just that. And encouraging their friends to think about it too. Not in some Tea Party context backed by the GOP that got us here, but in a context that is not backed by any political party and doesn't ride "Libertarian" either. The end of the world didn't happen as corruption continued to enslave people right before the French Revolution happened either. The end of the world won't come by either if we just sit around and keep allowing our rights to be taken away. More people need to realize that the War on Terror is a hoodwink and more people need to realize that it's time to overthrow the government and take back what's ours.

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A lot of people are afraid their second amendment rights are going to be taken away with the assault weapons ban, when that is simply not the case. What they are trying to ban is weapons that are highly impractical for hunting and were designed to kill humans--imagine trying to kill a deer with an ak47 and then trying to harvest as much meat as you could with it. But I would love to see every sane person owning a hand gun for defense, which will not be banned.

 

As far as I know, consenting adults can have whatever kind of sex they want before marriage, provided it is between consenting adults and not a minor.

 

And I don't think there is a single person here, except for maybe the strong Christians, that wouldn't like to see equal rights for all.

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Roland's Constitution dot org

 

Folks been working on similar thoughts for some time.. May find a decent depth of information there.

 

About "assalt wippins banz!!!!".. Either a Right is total and unchangeable, or it is a privilege changeable at some whim or will.

 

2A is a Right. Founders spoke nothing of "what kind(s) of arms", as crew served weapons, cannon, powder shot, and all forms of small arms, along with ships of all sizes, were weapons commonly used by the People and Militia.

 

Know TfT is pulling my leg a bit on the weapons of mass HolyShit!Whatdowedowiththishugebastard!!?.

 

Big However is that if the Feral Goobers can have it, so can the People.

 

Be my preference that we would write out of existence those large Nation built and served tools of warfare.

 

kL

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Know TfT is pulling my leg a bit on the weapons of mass HolyShit!Whatdowedowiththishugebastard!!?.

 

:wicked:

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Guest QuidEstCaritas?
A lot of people are afraid their second amendment rights are going to be taken away with the assault weapons ban, when that is simply not the case. What they are trying to ban is weapons that are highly impractical for hunting and were designed to kill humans--imagine trying to kill a deer with an ak47 and then trying to harvest as much meat as you could with it. But I would love to see every sane person owning a hand gun for defense, which will not be banned.

 

As far as I know, consenting adults can have whatever kind of sex they want before marriage, provided it is between consenting adults and not a minor.

 

And I don't think there is a single person here, except for maybe the strong Christians, that wouldn't like to see equal rights for all.

 

 

Lol, Obama won't be passing any assault weapons ban as far as I know or can tell. Lmao.

 

I will say this much about some strands of "liberal" thought:

 

I was listening to my psychology teacher and she said "That's why we need Gun Control" when I mentioned in class a story of how a guy in my unit got drunk one night and killed himself with his shotgun. It was totally out of the ordinary that he did that too, he wasn't depressed or anything. He just got in a rage when he was drunk and blew his brains out. He was also an NRA member. The teacher was like "That's why we need Gun Control", lol. It was pretty funny I have to admit. Just because that guy earned himself a Darwin Award doesn't mean Gun Control will solve the problem. My feeling is that a lot of people who are commonly accused of being "liberal" (As if that is a bad thing cause it's not), have this idea about gun control that means they have to take away guns from people so that people don't hurt themselves. It's humorous really.

 

 

Also, one can have all the guns in the world and still live under totalitarianism. As Vigile pointed out, after the fall of the Iron Curtain in the Soviet Union people were coming out of their homes with their guns and stuff.

 

Finally, I would like to point out that I could kill a deer with an M16A4 on semi-automatic too. As well I could with an M4 Carbine. And both those weapons were designed from the ground up to kill Humans, so it's not as black and white as you make it out to be.

 

The English had private/ family owned guns at one point too in history too I would guess to say.

 

 

EDIT:

Also, I looked up the assault weapons ban you were saying he is "proposing". He is merely going to install the ban that Clinton had in place, which I am not sure if I agree or disagree with. Mexican drug cartels will certainly be a lot less able to arm up as a result, and that's one very good result.

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A lot of people are afraid their second amendment rights are going to be taken away with the assault weapons ban, when that is simply not the case. What they are trying to ban is weapons that are highly impractical for hunting and were designed to kill humans--imagine trying to kill a deer with an ak47 and then trying to harvest as much meat as you could with it. But I would love to see every sane person owning a hand gun for defense, which will not be banned.

 

As far as I know, consenting adults can have whatever kind of sex they want before marriage, provided it is between consenting adults and not a minor.

 

And I don't think there is a single person here, except for maybe the strong Christians, that wouldn't like to see equal rights for all.

A good marksmen still kills the deer with one shot even if it is a AK-47. Only people unfamiliar with weapons/hunting think that a hunter would go full auto and unload every round at a deer. The round itself is a useful size for deer hunting and actually smaller than what some deer hunters use. So no problem there, though where I grew up you would be laughed at for dragging such a odd weapon into the woods.

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I say if you start to fuck with the Constitution/Bill of Rights to "clarify" your points then get ready to have others fuck with it to "clarify" their own. You may not like the final draft once everything has been made crystal clear.

 

mwc

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I say if you start to fuck with the Constitution/Bill of Rights to "clarify" your points then get ready to have others fuck with it to "clarify" their own. You may not like the final draft once everything has been made crystal clear.

 

mwc

They're already trying with attempts to pass amendments to prohibit same sex marriage, ban flag burning, and allow teacher-led prayers in school. I think we need to raise our voices in the other direction.

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Also, I looked up the assault weapons ban you were saying he is "proposing". He is merely going to install the ban that Clinton had in place, which I am not sure if I agree or disagree with. Mexican drug cartels will certainly be a lot less able to arm up as a result, and that's one very good result.

 

IMO, the 1994 assault weapons ban was entirely symbolic. It banned the import of high capacity magazines and certain guns based on certain (often cosmetic) features. It had very little practical effect on what guns you could or couldn't buy.

 

People had already stockpiled several lifetimes' worth of wholesale supply of the banned magazines- and these were perfectly legal to sell. AK's, SK's, and pretty much any scary-looking gun you can name was still routinely imported during the ban- all it took was a few minor modifications to make them perfectly legal (no bayonet lug, smaller clip, thumb-hole stock). Now, it WAS technically illegal to snap that pre-ban 30-round clip into a post-ban AK... but it fit and functioned perfectly... and it's safe to assume that anybody with any sort of criminal intent would be unaware of or unconcerned with this legal technicality.

 

People have already seen this Assault Weapons Ban II coming- and are stocking up. Gun prices are through the roof lately- especially for anything that would've been affected by the 1994 ban- and you can bet your ass that truckloads of these guns and magazines will be imported in anticipation of the ban- probably already have been.

 

Unless they make real changes to that law next time they pass it (and I fully expect that they WILL pass it), then it'll do absolutely nothing to slow the flow of arms to drug cartels. The only net effect of the "assault weapons ban" was to drive up prices and create new obscure legal technicalities used by the BATF to harass otherwise peaceful and law-abiding people whose politiks were unpopular at the time. It'll have the same effect this time around.

 

That may be fine with some folks on the left (using the government to harass political opponents IS a time-honored Amerikan Tradition for whomever happens to be in power)... but remember that we ass-backwards middle-americans can and do vote. The second amendment issue is a HUGE motivator for the Republican base (which included me in 2000)- and look at who we voted in. Look at how well that worked out for all of us. So I guess what I'm saying is that that assault weapons ban will have ZERO practical effect for its intended purpose, but WILL be a highly effective tool for electing President Palin 2012. Gawd help us.

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A lot of people are afraid their second amendment rights are going to be taken away with the assault weapons ban, when that is simply not the case. What they are trying to ban is weapons that are highly impractical for hunting and were designed to kill humans--imagine trying to kill a deer with an ak47 and then trying to harvest as much meat as you could with it. But I would love to see every sane person owning a hand gun for defense, which will not be banned.

 

What's wrong with owning a firearm designed for killing humans? I mean, c'mon....

 

As for killing a deer with an AK-47 (the civilian version of the Kalishnikov)... blehhhh... it's entirely possible but I wouldn't want to rely on the 7.62x39mm round. I'd recommend the civilian version of the M-14, which is the M1A. But if you had an M-14, I would recommend that you keep the selector on single shot! The M1A makes for a fine sharpshooting rifle if you put a scope and a match-grade barrel on it.

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If there is one amendment severely need, IMO, it's to limit lobbyist access. There is no way that the US can responsibly call itself a democracy when there are groups of monied individuals who have vastly more say in how the country is run than the rest of us.

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Any specific proposals as to how you'd do that? 'Cause we all know that our latest "Campaign Finance Reform" is a joke.

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Any specific proposals as to how you'd do that? 'Cause we all know that our latest "Campaign Finance Reform" is a joke.

 

I agree it's a joke. I don't know how you would plug all leaks, but I would ban lobby access across the board. Then, I'd go a step further. I don't know what exists in the UK today, but when I studied comparative politics we were told that politicians over there were limited to 2,000 pounds campaign spending each. Each pol was given equal access to free ad time in the media. If pols were no longer forced to sell themselves to the highest bidder they wouldn't need to prostitute themselves the way they need to in the US where campaigns require hundreds of millions of dollars. Finally, I would ban all PACs who pay for advertising and other campaigning to smear opposing candidates.

 

All of these things I think would go a long way toward creating a truer form of democracy. I don't believe it would make a perfect system, but it would fix many things that are broken in the current system. Self interested voters in control is preferable to self interested corporations and wealthy groups I think.

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I'd like to add to what you've written above about our rights to privacy some very strenuous and stringent enforcement against warrantless searches, hidden searches, cyber searches and so on.

I agree Loren - those need to be spelled out in a way that can't be misunderstood even by a president from Texas!

 

Agreed. Unfortunately I doubt that with our current system of government, this is going to happen.

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They're already trying with attempts to pass amendments to prohibit same sex marriage, ban flag burning, and allow teacher-led prayers in school. I think we need to raise our voices in the other direction.

If anything I think you've "clarified" my point.

 

Rather than altering the original documents why don't you "alter" the elected officials? "They" can't change anything if "they" aren't in office.

 

mwc

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If there is one amendment severely need, IMO, it's to limit lobbyist access. There is no way that the US can responsibly call itself a democracy when there are groups of monied individuals who have vastly more say in how the country is run than the rest of us.

We're not a democracy.

 

But I agree with you on lobbyist reform. Unfortunately, I think this is a rather tricky subject. Lobbyists can serve a truly useful and necessary purpose but it is so easy to abuse. To go in and say "These lobbyists are good and these aren't" is discriminatory and that is an issue. So get rid of them all or keep the good with the bad? We're a "keep the good with the bad" kind of country (in principal...or so we tend to think) so that appears to be where we'll go with this. Maybe there's a way to further break things down so as to weed out some of the more egregious problems but I don't have any answers.

 

mwc

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Rather than altering the original documents why don't you "alter" the elected officials? "They" can't change anything if "they" aren't in office.

If it were that simple we wouldn't need the original Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, we can't count on there always being appropriate elected officials. That's the purpose of a constitution - it provides the boundaries within which elected officials can make changes. So, when we get a bad batch of elected officials (which history has shown is inevitable), the citizens have the ability via the courts to overturn unconstitutional acts.

 

Clarifying the constitution where it has been repeatedly been shown to be vague (such as "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"), by adding more explicit clauses such as "Federal, State and Local governments shall provide no public funds to religious organizations, nor sponsor religious activities, nor include religious or anti-religious speech or symbols on government property or documents." would help curtail the attempts of anti-church/state separationists to turn the US into a theocracy.

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We're not a democracy.

 

We're not a republic either. We are corporate run. I don't think the majority agreed to that or that this is what the country was designed to be.

 

"These lobbyists are good and these aren't" is discriminatory and that is an issue. So get rid of them all or keep the good with the bad?

 

If the pols don't require their support during election times, perhaps it wouldn't really matter one way or the other.

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I think Congressional term limits might not be a bad idea.

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Guest QuidEstCaritas?
I think Congressional term limits might not be a bad idea.

 

 

I think we need to overthrow our Corporate Fascist government and reinstate the US Constitution and the Democratic Republic of the United States of America that has been missing since the US Patriot Act in combination with further travesties annihilated it. I think more people need to be thinking about this and encouraging other people to talk and think about it too, outside of any Two Party, or even Independent context. It needs to be talked about in a context of travesties against the US Constitution that civil libertarians of any stripe can relate to.

 

The America that existed Pre-Patriot Act-that was followed by many more things that eroded our Country to the point it was no longer the Democratic Republic it once was- and the America that existed at a certain point a few years after the enactment of the US Patriot Act and that exists now are two fundamentally different USA's. People need to realize this, they need to get with it, and they need to fucking overthrow the government as efficiently and non-destructively as possible-we need to do this folks. At least 60% of the adult population in this country must be willing to do this, and wanting this before anything will happen that could be considered lawful. Start talking about it people, while you still can. Don't give in to fear, don't give in to Terror. Fight this, or the precedents that we established for others will eventually naturally progress to a point where they cynically reach unto all of us.

 

The Japanese in Imperial Japan were cynically resigned to their "Fate" as well. We need not have that attitude, that's precisely what the elites want us to have, that attitude.

 

 

 

 

P.S.

 

I know the GOP is funding the TEA Party garbage, ignore that shit folks, that is being sponsored by the same people that got us to where we are now. Start talking to your friends about Revolution and encourage them to talk to their friends about it, and stress that the context of the discussion is civil liberties and that the conversation will not allow resigned cynicism to take hold at any point. Also, do not allow the discussion to devolve into left vs right, or independent vs all-or any other combination like South vs North, Obama vs McCain, Hope vs, No Hope. No matter what party you are in, everyone believes in civil liberties to one extent or another. Encourage them to encourage their friends, and so forth. We need to take this country back folks, it's our country, it doesn't belong to bankers and corporations and it doesn't belong to Wall Street. It's OUR country, it belongs to all of us and not just some of us.

 

Get with it People.

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