Archive for the ‘constitution’ Category

After Eight Disastrous Years, Hope!

January 21, 2009
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Bush’s Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part VII, The Government Denies ‘Due Process of Law’

April 27, 2008

Call Out the Instigator; There’s Something in the Air!

March 5, 2008

With Bush in their pocket, the Carlyle Group buys the "Birth Certificate of Democracy" –the Magna Carta

December 19, 2007

Freedom’s most valuable document, the Magna Carta, has been sold at auction to David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, a web of Bush supporters if not co-conspirators. This sale of the very origins of our democratic heritage to the Carlyle Group is symbolic of the GOP sell out to the Military Industrial Complex, the merchants of war and death. [ See: Bush Advisers Cashed in on Saudi Gravy Train; Meet The Carlyle Group, Former World Leaders and Washington Insiders Making Billions in the War on Terrorism; The Bush-Carlyle Connection]

Something akin to this occurred March 28th, 193 AD when the Praetorian guards, literally, sold the Roman empire to the wealthy senator Didius Julianus for the bargain price of 6250 drachmas. Our modern day “Didius” has fared better than Julianus, who didn’t live out the year. Unless he is brought to trial for capital and war crimes, our own “Crawford Caligula”, looks forward to a peaceful retirement where he can exorcise his aggressive demons with a chainsaw and mesquite trees.

The 1297 copy of the Magna Carta is more than an English royal document; it is considerably more than a mere symbol of freedom. It brought a King “to book” for his abuses and established the principle of habeas corpus. Habeas Corpus, as you may recall, was recently abrogated upon a decree by George W. Bush, likewise owned by the Carlyle Group. He was, until now, their trophy. The sale price for Magna Carta was $21.3 million including commission at Sotheby’s in New York. We haven’t yet determined what price Bush commanded.

Before penning the Declaration of Independence–the first of the American Charters of Freedom–in 1776, the Founding Fathers searched for a historical precedent for asserting their rightful liberties from King George III and the English Parliament. They found it in a gathering that took place 561 years earlier on the plains of Runnymede, not far from where Windsor Castle stands today. There, on June 15, 1215, an assembly of barons confronted a despotic and cash-strapped King John and demanded that traditional rights be recognized, written down, confirmed with the royal seal, and sent to each of the counties to be read to all freemen. The result was Magna Carta–a momentous achievement for the English barons and, nearly six centuries later, an inspiration for angry American colonists.

Magna Carta and Its American Legacy

I find it tragically ironic that the sale of this venerable document should have gone to the Carlyle Group, a cabal of right wing militarists, neo-fascists, and elitists who have little regard for the principles it established at Runnymede. George W. Bush himself typifies a medieval approach to government. His regime is a subversive throwback to an pre-Magna Carta era characterized by arbitrary, tyrannical rule. In King John’s day, the rights of common people cannot be said to have been abused; they didn’t even exist. Like King John who was forced to sign the great charter, Bush assumes the power to rule by caprice, by whim, by prejudice. He is, by any definition, a tyrant.

Sotheby’s chairman David Redden called the Magna Carta “the birth certificate of freedom”. Perhaps! But it is in any case a dramatic reminder of what has been lost to Bush’s assault on the rule of law. English nobles literally forced King John I to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215. It is, therefore, a document “of unprecedented value to Western civilization”. In it there is a line in Latin which reads: “No one is above the law.”

If the Magna Carta is not the birth certificate of Democracy, it is the death certificate of despotism. It spells out for the first time the fundamental principle that the law is not simply the whim of the king. The law is an independent power unto itself. And the King could be brought to book for violating it!”

�Simon Schama, History of Britain

Magna Carta is among the most influential developments in the history of constitutional law and may be found throughout the extensive body of common law, English law, and various US documents including, most notably, the US Constitution. Let’s put this in the vernacular and in perspective. I have almost 1000 years of settled law on my side. Bush has jack shit!

It is impossible to over-emphasize the significance of Magna Carta whose principles appear throughout the histories of democracies since the English Petition of Right, the Mayflower Compact, The Virginia Declaration of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, The Nuremberg Principles, and every US Supreme Court decision that has upheld the right of persons to be free of arbitrary rule, to be secure in their homes, to be free of unreasonable arrest in the absence of probable cause.

By contrast, totalitarian states have their philosophical roots in Hegelianism, a straight road to both Nazism and Stalinism. You will find GOP die hards on this dark side of the road. Because the Bush administration is aligned with medievalist and state absolutist ideologues, CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden cannot be sufficiently condemned or excoriated for having denied that “probable cause” was the demonstrable standard that must be met before the state may proceed, in any way, against an individual. Clearly, Hayden had not bothered to read the Fourth Amendment. He was not merely wrong. He was pig-headed, testy, arrogant, imperious. He’s also an idiot.

Two words –probable cause –stand between you and a tyrant! I simply cannot and will not recognize the legitimacy of any Bush decree, lie, or obfuscation to the contrary. Bush is an outlaw who has our every law and tradition aligned against him.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006, for example, is, of course, unconstitutional. But worse –it is seditious and revolutionary, abrogating habeas corpus, the presumption of innocence and the rule of law itself.

With a bill as pernicious as this one, it is difficult to settle on a single worst provision. The restrictions on the right of habeas corpus probably qualify, but the bill’s over broad definition of “unlawful enemy combatant” runs a close second. …The bill’s different treatment of citizens and aliens reflects political calculations, not legal ones. As the UK House of Lords found in 2004 in ruling against indefinite detention, such a distinction cannot be justified under international law.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006: A Short Primer, Joanne Mariner, Findlaw

Bush has simply declared himself free to ignore those laws he doesn’t like, free to enforce only those laws he does like. By his own admission, he may simply ignore the McCain amendment outlawing cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees. He should have been impeached at that very moment. Sadly, Congress was already complicit or, at the very least, compromised. In the meantime, despite the unconstitutional machinations of this criminal regime, the US is still bound to Geneva. Violations thereof which result in death are capital crimes. Bush is in a heap o’ trouble.

Bush will ignore such laws because he wishes to continue to preside over “procedures” which satisfy his various perversities. He authorizes procedures that are cruel, inhuman, and degrading. Bush has a personal problem not unlike that of Larry Craig and numerous others in this sorry party. Bush is a pervert; he cannot escape his history –the glee with which he described a mass summary execution, the delight he found in ramming firecrackers up toads so that he could watch them explode in mid-air. Bush is a latter-day Richard Topcliffe, a monster who presumes to occupy the our oval office. His delight in aggressive war, mass destruction and sadistic torture practices has nothing to do with national security. We are less safe! The world is a more dangerous place for as long as Bush has power.

Bush, thus, provides potential “terrorists” a cause celebre. Certainly, terrorism is always worse under GOP regimes. Not content to have thumbed his nose at our laws, traditions, and country, Bush is hell-bent on making it the object of hate and derision. Bush is a lawless menace to civilization, a cretin, a throwback, a liar. It must be shouted from the rooftops. Bush’s “administration” is nothing less than rule by decree, a tyranny, inconsistent with the rule of law itself. It is subversive and treasonous. Every American –especially those in government –should simply ignore him, his orders, his illegal decrees. Render this squatter irrelevant.

There is, by contrast, another road that runs straight from Magna Carta to our own Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, the principle of Habeas Corpus.

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

Magna Carta

Bush claims that he may simply dismiss every US law and the mountainous body of US case law inspired by that principle. He need only declare anyone with whom he disagrees an “enemy combatant”. US actions following this heinous absurdity fly in the face of every principle mentioned and linked to in this article. At least 1,000 years of law, heritage, English Common Law and US Case Law affirming the very rule of law say that Bush is dead wrong!

The history of the Magna Carta is the history of a would-be tyrant who had presumed to rule arbitrarily and absolutely. English barons were having none of it. The barons reserved for themselves sweeping powers of appointment, clearly, a check on what might have been the absolute power of the King.

We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or other officials, only men that know the law of the realm and are minded to keep it well.

Magna Carta

It is tempting to find in that clause the birth of the separation of powers. By appointing justices, the barons took the powers of a judiciary away from King John. Bush has all but reversed this historical trend. He has assumed for himself a judicial power to decree who is and who is not a “terrorist”.

In the meantime, Democrats debate how many angels may dance on the head of a pin, failing to challenge the biggest red herring in US history: terrorism. Democrats bought into the paradigm and lost by doing so. Hilary, for example, supported both the phony war on terrorism and the failed war against a phantom menace in Iraq. She has no moral authority, no moral high ground from which to launch the counter-attack against Bush. Democrats, America’s last hope, have betrayed the nation and shot themselves in the foot. To whom will the people turn when power has abandoned them?

By doing nothing, Democrats conferred legitimacy upon an illegitimate usurper. Sen. Joseph Biden, though he now says has no confidence in “this President”, attacked only Bush’s lack of a plan –not the fraudulent nature of the war itself. As far as I know, no Democrat has dared call Bush’s regime “illegitimate” though it most certainly is. Voters are left no other choice but to support a Democratic nomination. Slim hopes beat none at all, I suppose. Is it too much to ask that our “leaders” at least give lip service to the legitimate concerns of a disaffected people?

Political rhetoric is just more of the same when, in fact, nothing is the same. How could Democrats have missed the sea change that has taken place, the fundamental challenges to Constitutional government? Where is the outrage? Where is courage? What are the implications? Simply, the Bush junta has subverted the US Constitution and some 1,000 years of progress. Are we to expect a nation of some 300 millions to just walk willingly into a tyrannical dark age?


Habeas Corpus

An update:

A 1950 Plan: Arrest 12,000, Suspend Due Process

A newly declassified document shows that J. Edgar Hoover, the long-time director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans that he suspected of disloyalty.

Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, 12 days after the Korean War began. It envisioned putting suspect Americans in military prisons.

Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to �protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage.� The F.B.I would �apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous� to national security, Hoover�s proposal said. The arrests would be carried out under �a master warrant attached to a list of names� provided by the bureau.

The names were part of an index that Hoover had been compiling for years. �The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of which approximately ninety-seven per cent are citizens of the United States,� he wrote.

�In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends the Writ of Habeas Corpus,� it said.

Habeas corpus, the right to seek relief from illegal detention, has been a fundamental principle of law for seven centuries. The Bush administration�s decision to hold suspects for years at Guant�namo Bay, Cuba, has made habeas corpus a contentious issue for Congress and the Supreme Court today.

Additional resources:

Magna Carta: "No one is above the law"

December 17, 2007

‘The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down’ or The Origins of a Culture War

September 26, 2007

Of church and state – by the writer of the Constitution

September 15, 2007

I would also add to this:

“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense
founded on the Christian Religion�as it has in itself no character of
enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims, and as the
said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against
any Muslim nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising
from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony
existing between the two countries.”

http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2006/02/the_11th_articl.html

Here’s a JPEG of a document that records the treaty:
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llac2&fileName=009/llac009.db&recNum=341

_________________________________________________________

James Madison spent 8 years writing the Constitution by himself. The convention modified it some, and added the Bill of Rights (Praise be to Rhode Island for holding out and FORCING the adoption of the BOR!!!) I’m sure Madison, Washington and Adams, at a minimum, are spinning in their graves at what we’ve let happen to our country. My guess is that they are now revolving about about 3,600 rpm. 😉

Of the quotes below, I selected a couple to highlight here, at the top.

The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries. [James Madison, 1803? Origin questionable]

Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects. [James Madison, letter to William Bradford, Jr., Jauary 1774]

The list of Madison’s quotes (I’m sure that this is far from the full list; he felt very strongly about this subject, as did most of the Founders).
Keep in mind that NOT ONE of the first 7 Presidents was a ‘true’ Christian; they were Deists or Agnostics or Unitarians.

  1. Nothwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Gov’ & Religion neither can be duly supported: Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst.. And in a Gov’ of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Gov will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together; [James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt]

  2. An alliance or coalition between Government and religion cannot be too carefully guarded against..….Every new and successful example therefore of a PERFECT SEPARATION between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance……..religion and government will exist in greater purity, without (rather) than with the aid of government. [James Madison in a letter to Livingston, 1822, from Leonard W. Levy- The Establishment Clause, Religion and the First Amendment,pg 124]

  3. That diabolical, hell-conceived principle of persecution rages among some; and to their eternal infamy, the clergy can furnish their quota of impas for such business…” [James Madison, letter to William Bradford, Jr., Jauary 1774]

  4. It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law, was right & necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects, dissenting from the established sect, was safe & even useful. The example of the Colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all Sects might be safely & advantageously put on a footing of equal & entire freedom…. We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Gov. [James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt]

  5. [I]t may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Gov’t from interfence in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespasses on its legal rights by others. [James Madison, in a letter to Rev Jasper Adams spring 1832, from James Madison on Religious Liberty, edited by Robert S. Alley, pp. 237-238]

  6. Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects. [James Madison, letter to William Bradford, Jr., Jauary 1774]

  7. What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not. [Pres. James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785]

  8. Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. [James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785]

  9. …Freedom arises from the multiplicity of sects, which prevades America and which is the best and only security for religious liberty in any society. For where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest. [James Madison, spoken at the Virginia convention on ratifying the Constitution, June 1778]

  10. It was the Universal opinion of the Century preceding the last, that Civil Government could not stand without the prop of a religious establishment; and that the Christian religion itself, would perish if not supported by the legal provision for its clergy. The experience of Virginia conspiciously corroboates the disproof of both opinions. The Civil Government, tho’ bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success; whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the TOTAL SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH FROM THE STATE. [James Madison, as quoted in Robert L. Maddox: Separation of Church and State; Guarantor of Religious Freeedom]

  11. Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offense against God, not against man:To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered. [James Madison, according to Leonard W. Levy, Treason Against God: A History of the Offense of Blasphemy, New York: Schocken Books, 1981, p. xii.]

  12. The number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state. [James Madison, 1819, in Boston, Why The Religious Right is Wrong about the Separation of Church and State]

  13. The Civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, posesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state. [James Madison in a letter to Robert Walsh, March 2, 1819]

  14. Strongly guarded… is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States.

  15. Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history [ttempts where religious bodies had already tried to encroach on the government]. [James Madison, Detached Memoranda, 1820]

  16. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?

  17. (15) Because finally, the equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his religion according to the dictates of conscience is held by the same tenure with all our other rights. If we recur to its origin, it is equally the gift of nature; if we weigh its importance, it cannot be less dear to us; if we consult the Declaration of Rights which pertain to the good people of Virginia, as the basic and foundation of government, it is enumerated with equal solemnity, or rather studied emphasis. [James Madison, Section 15 of A Memorial and Remonstrance, June 20, 1785, frequently misquoted to imply religion as the basis of gov’t]

  18. We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth that religion, or the duty which we owe our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion, then, of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man: and that it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. [James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance to the Assemby of Virginia]

  19. …several of the first presidents, including Jefferson and Madison, generally refused to issue public prayers, despite importunings to do so. Under pressure, Madison relented in the War Of 1812, but held to his belief that chaplains shouldn’t be appointed to the military or be allowed to open Congress. [Richard Shenkman, I Love Paul Revere, Whether He Rode Or Not]

  20. Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize [sic], every expanded prospect. [James Madison, in a letter to William Bradford, April 1,1774, as quoted by Edwin S. Gaustad, Faith of Our Fathers: Religion and the New Nation, San Francisco:Harper & Row, 1987, p. 37]

  21. No distinction seems to be more obvious than that between spiritual and temporal matters. Yet whenever they have been made objects of Legislation, they have clashed and contended with each other, till one or the other has gained the supremacy. [James Madison in a letter to Thomas Jefferson Oct-Nov 1787]

  22. To the Baptist Churches on Neal’s Greek on Black Creek, North Carolina I have received, fellow-citizens, your address, approving my objection to the Bill containing a grant of public land to the Baptist Church at Salem Meeting House, Mississippi Territory. Having always regarded the practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government as essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, I could not have otherwise discharged my duty on the occasion which presented itself [James Madison, Letter to Baptist Churches in North Carolina, June 3, 1811]

  23. The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries. [James Madison, 1803? Origin questionable]

  24. The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity. [James Madison, Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821]

  25. Chaplainships of both Congress and the armed services were established sixteen years before the First Amendment was adopted. It would have been fatuous folly for anybody to stir a major controversy over a minor matter before the meaning of the amendment had been threshed out in weightier matters. But Madison did foresee the danger that minor deviations from the constitutional path would deepen into dangerous precedents. He took care of one of them by his veto [in 1811] of the appropriation for a Baptist church. Others he dealt with in his “Essay on Monopolies,” unpublished until 1946. Here is what he wrote: “Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them, and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does this not involve the principle of a national establishment … ?” The appointments, he said, were also a palpable violation of equal rights. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain? “To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the veil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers, or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor.” The problem, said the author of the First Amendment, was how to prevent “this step beyond the landmarks of power [from having] the effect of a legitimate precedent.” Rather than let that happen, it would “be better to apply to it the legal aphorism de minimis non curat lex [the law takes no account of trifles].” Or, he said (likewise in Latin), class it with faults that result from carelessness or that human nature could scarcely avoid.” “Better also,” he went on, “to disarm in the same way, the precedent of Chaplainships for the army and navy, than erect them into a political authority in matters of religion.” … The deviations from constitutional principles went further: “Religious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts are shoots from the same root with the legislative acts reviewed. Altho’ recommendations only, they imply a religious agency, making no part of the trust delegated to political rulers.” (Irving Brant, The Bill of Rights: Its Origin and Meaning, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1965, pp. 423-424. Brant gives the source of “Essay on Monopolies” as Elizabeth Fleet, “Madison’s Detatched Memoranda,” William & Mary Quarterly, Third series: Vol. III, No. 4 [October, 1946], pp. 554-562.)

George Washington, Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli.
Washington wrote it and signed it, Congress ratified it during Adams’ term, and then Adams signed it.
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/barbary/bar1796t.htm#art11

ARTICLE 11.

As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

************
Thomas Jefferson:

To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.

*********************************

Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. (Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 363.)

“I know,” Jefferson had written, … “that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his [George Washington’s] secrets & believed himself to be so, has often told me that Genl. Washington believed no more of that system [Christianity] than he himself did.” (Paul F. Boller, George Washington & Religion, Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963, p. 85. Jefferson’s comments were written in his journal, Anas, in February, 1800, according to Boller, p. 80.)

I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. (Thomas Jefferson, as President, in a letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 369)

But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer [Jesus] of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Samuel Kercheval, 1810; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 370)

History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Baron von Humboldt, 1813; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 370)
**** And no better example of ‘the lowest grade of ignorance than our current Prezidunce ***

The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government (*** can you say, “Faith-based initiatives”??), have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man. (Thomas Jefferson, as quoted by Saul K. Padover in Thomas Jefferson on Democracy, New York, 1946, p. 165, according to Albert Menendez and Edd Doerr, compilers, The Great Quotations on Religious Liberty, Long Beach, CA: Centerline Press, 1991, p. 48.)

In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is easier to acquire wealth and power by this combination than by deserving them, and to effect this, they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer for their purposes. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 371)

A professorship of Theology should have no place in our institution [the University of Virginia]. (Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Cooper, October 7, 1814. From Gorton Carruth and Eugene Ehrlich, eds., The Harper Book of American Quotations, New York: Harper & Row, 1988, p. 492.)

On tax-exemptions for churches:

I would call your attention to the importance of correcting an evil that, if permitted to continue, will probably lead to great trouble in our land before the close of the Nineteenth century. It is the acquisition of vast amounts of untaxed church property…. In a growing country, where real estate enhances so rapidly with time as in the United States, there is scarcely a limit to the wealth that may be acquired by corporations, religious or otherwise, if allowed to retain real estate without taxation. The contemplation of so vast a property as here alluded to, without taxation, may lead to sequestration without constitutional authority, and through blood. I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church or corporation. (Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. President [1869-1877], Message to Congress, December 7, 1875; Congressional Record, Vol. 4, part 7, page 175; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 288)

Oh, there is SO much more.

I’m not against religion; I’m against religion in my government, for the government is the government of ALL the people, not just Xians. Faith-based initiatives are nothing more than creeping theocracy, and the worst kind of dictatorship; God makes a very despotic ruler.

The Bill of Rights – A Public Service Announcement

September 9, 2007

Feel free to print this and put them in every state building somewhere everyone can see them, instead of the goddamn “10 Commandments”. Or staple them to telephone poles!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution

It seems some of us have forgotten the rights we have under the Constitution of the United States. It is beneficial therefore, from time to time, to revisit and recall the rights we granted ourselves as a nation, and as a people.

These are the rules we agreed to live by.

These are the rules we agreed to defend, and to die for if necessary.

These are the rights we granted to the least of us, and to the greatest of us.

And these are the ten most important limits we placed on our government, to ensure that the people have the right right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

____________________________

The Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of 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 insure 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, namely:

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.

"There is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?"

August 12, 2007

Bill for the Economy of Active Representation

July 29, 2007

You see section in red? That is in direct conflict with Directive 51 and the Military Commissions Act. Bush now assumes that he can send the troops in to put down insurrection or domestic violence without any request by the state.

We no longer have the country our Founders envisioned.

Bush is modifying the Constitution – all by his little own, asshole self.

________________________________

Hey–

I’ve just signed this petition: Bill for the Economy of Active Representation
Please read it, sign if you can, and pass along to anyone you know who may wish to ask for actual representation from our US Reps and Senators. Thanks!
Go to http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/activerepresentation to sign.

Target:
US Senate. House of Representatives, All Members
Created by:
Orion Karl Daley

We the undersigned, petition Congress ( both the Senate and the House ) to legislate law for the Economy of Active Representation as so defined herein. We see that “To be heard” is True Democracy, and “to be Represented” is the Truth of Democracy. In this petition we seek to be heard, with timely representation from you.

US Constitution: Article 4/Section 4: Republican government

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Republic is defined as follows:

A government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and is usually a president; also : a nation or other political unit having such a government 2 : a government in which supreme power is held by the citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives governing according to law; also : a nation or other political unit having such a form of government.

We the undersigned believe:

1- That any Bill to be debated on the floor should represent the people’s voice, over and above what any representative might believe is better for the people. In electing an official into office we are giving them the power to act on our behalf. This is not the same as acting for us as in the case where people are declared incapable of acting on their own behalf.

2- That it is up to the specific Senate/House Representative to make their case to the people, and that the Senate/House Representative is to bring the peoples will to the floor.

3- To provide this form of Republic to the people, that all Senate and House websites are to provide on line web based Constituent polling such that registered constituents may vote on line, and that such results are reflect for any proposed Bill, Amendment, or otherwise action intended by the specific representative in the House, or Senate.

4- That on line web form email although is a means to reach one’s Senate or House representative is not an empirical method for representing the constituents voice, and does not reflect the timeliness of it.

5- That all actions that the Senate or House Representative is involved in is clearly documented for a Yeah/Nay vote by on line constituents.

6- That only the result of this Yeah/Nay from the constituents of the specific Senate/House Representative be taken to the floor as the position of the specific Senate/House Representative .

7- That Internet technology is readily available , if not ‘free ware’ that can accomplish the majority of any website upgrade necessary for putting simple polling requirements.

8- That time frames are viewed as critical for realizing this bill into law, and compliance, and we see that there should be no worthwhile reason why the Senate and the House would not want to reach out to assure competent, honest, ethical and open representation on behalf of the American people.

9- That in compliance with the Peoples will for this petition, that Congress can save fortunes in tax payer dollars for the time specific Senate/House Representatives spend on the floors of Congress.

10- That open disclosure of earmarks can be clearly posted at the Senate and House websites, and disposition of budgets, current and project national debt.

11- That constituents may propose earmarks as a public formum, where they can be voted on by fellow constituents of the specific Senate/House Representative.

More detailed narrative for the purpose and need for the Economy of Active Representation is referenced at http://unity2008.org/Representatives.html.

We the undersigned further believe that with Congress in compliance with the Economy of Active Representation, in addition demonstrating further respect and regard for tax payer dollars by the Senate and The House, that this action will further instill trust from the people that Congress is seeking a more transparent and accountable government to serve the people.