The Bill of Rights, Translated and Updated.
Written in 1789, year of the French Revolution that beheaded the king and queen of France, the American Bill of Rights was accepted as law of the new land called the United States on December 15, 1791. Much has happened since then. Both the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence were inspired by Oliver Cromwell’s Glorious Revolution and the Magna Carta. In 1215, the Magna Carta was issued by King John and established the precedent that no monarch was above the law. The rule of law has been a core concept of Anglo-Saxon civilization ever since. Colonists born in British America felt entitled to the same rights as Englishmen in England.
The Bill of Rights consists of the first ten amendments to the constitution. The constitution is like a playbook or a guide spelling out the rules of engagement that everyone has to abide by.
The aim of the Bill of Rights is to curb government and protect ordinary citizens from politicians and their enforcers such as the police and military. Amendments are the specific rules and as new rules are added the number of amendments increases. For example, the 13th amendment (1865) and the 14th amendment (1868) were new, game-changing rules making slavery illegal and turning former slaves into full American citizens in theory. From this point forward those first ten essential rules of the road called the Bill of Rights applied to them in every state if the union. The decisive 14th amendement from 1868 is still relevant today because in practice it is not fully enforced, even with Obama in the White House. Look no further than Stop and Frisk.
James Madison was the primary author of the Bill of Rights. Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, was also a large influence. Both men were Deists. Deism is a philosophy holding that while a higher being, e.g. the Christian God, exists, man must rely on logic and reason, not religion. Deists do not believe that the creation of the universe happened because of a spontaneous event like The Creation. They reject supernatural events such as miracles and believe that God created natural laws, e.g. Newtonian physics and does not interfere with the outcome of events on Earth. Deists believe that holy books such as the Bible and Quran were written by men, not God. Most importantly, Madison and Jefferson did not believe in the Divine Right of Kings. Today, Washington exercises power much as British royalty did in days of old. Prosecution and execution of people without due process is an example.
American revolutionaries did not accept the British Empire’s Mercantilism, usurious taxation and restrictions on civic life. The American colonists suffered under an primitive police state that was restrained only by the limits of technology at that time.
When the colonists were fed up with being silenced, censored, searched, frisked, threatened, arrested and taxed without represention in parliament, they revolted against the tyrant King George the Third. The Bill of Rights was written with recent abuses of the British Empire freshly in mind and was designed to prevent a repetition of these same abuses in the new country called the United States.
The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776 by 56 influential and powerful men. Labeled as conspirators and traitors (terrorists in today’s lingo), they were charged with treason, a capital offense. Of the 56 signers, 9 died during the Revolution, 5 were captured by British soldiers, 18 had their homes looted and burnt, 2 were wounded in battle and 2 lost their sons during the Revolutionary War.
Today, few Americans know what the Bill of Rights is and citizens who concern themselves with it are viewed with suspicion by agencies in Washington that Washington, Madison and Jefferson could not have envisioned.
During the 20th century, it was of paramount importance to the 1% that America distinguish itself from totalitarian systems by upholding the rule of law and the rights of man as contemplated by the 18th century authors of the American constitution.
The 1% was terrified of the Soviet Union and its electrifying ideology called Marxism-Leninism. They feared that Marxism-Leninism would win over the hearts and minds of men and women everywhere and then, take over the whole world. As a matter of survival, the West had to be on its best behavior, resolve the Negro problem, pay good wages and show all its people that they were far more free and better off than people behind the Iron Curtain.
It worked. Today, the Soviet Union is long gone but now the 1% see the Bill of Rights as an obstacle to their ambitions. The president of the United States himself, supposedly a constitutional scholar from Harvard, violates the constitution every day and deprives children of their right to life without any due process of law, in violation of the fifth rule (amendment).
In a cruel and unusual act of pre-meditated violence, an American boy was rubbed out by an American missile from on high. Did the president say it was a tragic mistake and beg for forgiveness? Hah. His Press Secretary Gibbs said that the child was whacked for being the son of a scary Muslim preacher born in New Mexico who was a very, very bad influence on the Internet.
Fact is, the preacher Awlaki did not actually commit a crime and was therefore never actually charged or wanted for anything. In fact, he was a special guest at the Pentagon immediately after September 11, 2001…was this American Muslim cleric, born in New Mexico, secretly working for the deep state? At any rate, what does that have to do with his 16 year old, Colorado born son? When did the USA start taking Americans out for something their parents said? The boy’s dad was bumped off without any due process in a drone strike a few weeks prior to his own death by drone. No court, no trial, no due process. Where in the constitution does the government have the authority to smoke American citizens for what they said, who they are related to or what they might do in the future? When the bereaved grandfather of the boy, a naturalized American citizen, sought justice in the courts, his case was dismissed under the pretext of national security.
Where in the constitution does the president derive the authority to muzzle courts and stifle due process? To justify this double homicide, the Obama/Holder Justice (sic) Department cites legal precedent in…the State of Israel…a settler colony founded on a nationalist ideology in 1948 with NO BILL OF RIGHTS AND NO CONSTITUTION. True, the United States was also a settler colony. But it eschewed religion and evolved into a pluralistic society based on notional equality before the law and peace at home.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, TRANSLATED
Red is the original text.
Blue is the proposed translation to modern times.
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.
Translation and update:
The United States is founded on the principle of separation between religion and the state. The United States has no religion nor does it favor any government, movement or ideology that has a religious or nationalist identity. Religion is a personal matter and has no place in American politics and statecraft. All persons may speak, blog, paint, photograph,video ,write or publish as they please so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others. The United States government will not punish journalists and whistle-blowers, will not mislead people via newspapers,radio,television,movies, social media,the Internet or any future technology.
The people are free to participate in civil disobedience,boycotts,demonstrations,marches,protests,rallies,recalls, sit-ins and strikes targeting corporations, politicians and the government itself. The government will not outsource any activity that the Bill of Rights prohibits, nor will it establish constitution free zones at airports, border crossings,ports of entry or border regions.
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.
Translation and update to 2015:
Individuals are ultimately responsible for defending themselves and their property. No amount of policing can bring the crime rate to zero and gun control only serves to disarm law abiding people. Deterrence requires that people have the right to arm themselves and the right to properly use those arms without fear of the criminal justice system. Therefore, the government (federal,state and local) will not arrest,intimidate,hinder, kill, penalize, taser or spy on people who buy,sell,carry,conceal,import,export,market,store,swap or transport ammunition,handguns, pistols,rifles,revolvers,shotguns or any other civilian weapon. However, to help protect the public from abuse,the government may enforce minimal age, criminal history, mental health and competency standards.
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.
Translation and update:
Recognizing that drug abuse is a mental health crisis that does not have a military solution, no government agent,detective,inspector,police officer,sheriff,deputy,investigator,private contractor,security guard, special agent, SWAT team or soldier will invade or occupy the business,cabin,condominium, dwelling,home,office, property,ranch, residence, self-storage unit, motor vehicle, mobile-home, airplane,helicopter or computer of any citizen without due process of law or hot pursuit of a real crime in progress or a warrant signed by a judge.
Decrees, administrative subpoenas and National Security Letters are not sufficient. In no case will any home, business or vehicle invasion be authorized to search for alcohol,crystal meth,tobacco,marijuana,cocaine, heroine, prescription drugs or any other mood altering substance.
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.
The government, its agents, contractors, peace officers and military will not confiscate, copy,disrupt,monitor,record,spy on, surveill, search,seize, track or video the archives,art,banking records,books,briefcases,cables, cassettes,cell phones,cell phone towers,cloud storage,computer drives,credit card receipts,crypto currency wallets,deliveries,desk tops,diaries, drawings,electric consumption,employment records,Facebook pages,financial records,files,folders,hard discs, health records,journals,hand written letters, Internet activity,kindles,laptops,library records, license plates,luggage,magazine subscriptions,medical records,packages,papers, pockets,political activity,private conversations,purses,religious texts,social media,spread sheets,tapes,telegrams,telephone records, television usage,texts,thumb drives,travel histories,Twitter accounts,wifi,word documents, automobile,home,office,business,private property,rental space…without just probable cause that spells out the specific reason and specific person or thing to be exempted from this rule. The reason must be clearly stated to the accused and no fishing expeditions are permitted. This rule will apply equally regardless of race,color,appearance,dress or form of speech.
The government will not detain, stop,frisk,interrogate,delay,strip search,scan,fingerprint,iris scan or palm scan any person without specific probable cause. Government will not, without probable cause, impede the movement of people, create black-lists, no-fly lists and watch lists.
The Fourth Amendment prohibits government agents from touching you or placing you under surveillance or entering your property without probable cause and even then, only with a court-sanctioned warrant. Unfortunately, the Fourth Amendment has been all but eviscerated in recent years by court rulings and government programs that sanction all manner of intrusions, including giving police carte blanche authority to break into homes or apartments without a warrant, conduct roadside strip searches, and generally manhandle any person in manner they see fit. Moreover, in the so-called name of national security, intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency now have the ability to conduct mass unwarranted electronic intrusions into the personal and private transactions of all Americans, including phone, mail, computer and medical records.
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.
If you are accused of committing a felony, especially if it is punishable by spending the rest of your days in prison or by ending your life altogether, you have the right to have a grand jury decide first if there really is enough evidence to put you on trial to begin with. However, this rule does not apply if you are in the military during wartime.
If you are tried but found not guilty, you can’t be tried again for the same crime.
You can’t be pressured into confessing or incriminating others to save your own skin. You cannot be forced to plea bargain or pressured and tricked by the police and prosecutors. The government can’t take your house, business, car, bank account, laptop or anything that is yours, without good reason and without compensating you.
Of major importance in the year 2015, the Fifth Amendment is supposed to ensure that you are innocent until proven guilty, and government authorities cannot deprive you of your life, your liberty or your property without following strict legal guidelines. Unfortunately, those protections have been largely extinguished in recent years, especially in the wake of Congress’ passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows the president and the military to arrest and detain Americans indefinitely without due process.
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.
If you are arrested by the police:
You have the right to a trial and sentencing within ten business days and all proceedings must be open to the public and journalists. Secret evidence and secret witnesses are not allowed. The case has to be heard by a judge and jury consisting of people similar to yourself demographically. You have the right to know, at the time of your arrest, what you are accused of doing wrong and to see and hear and cross-examine anyone who testifies against you; You have the right to represent yourself and have a competent lawyer represent you regardless of your ability to pay.
“…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…”
Somebody who is going on trial for a crime has the right to know why they are being accused of a crime and to ask questions to any witnesses who testify, or say in court, that the person committed the crime. A person that is going on trial has the right to have witnesses to the trial who say that the person did not commit the crime.
“…and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”
A person going on trial for a crime has the right to be defended by a lawyer because without one, you will lose.
The Sixth Amendment was intended to not only ensure a “speedy and public trial,” but it was supposed to prevent the government from keeping someone in jail for unspecified offenses. That too has been a casualty of the so-called war on terror. Between the NDAA’s indefinite detention clause and the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) legislation, which has been used as justification for using drones to kill American citizens in the absence of a court trial, the Sixth Amendment’s guarantees become meaningless.
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.
In the event of a dispute over property worth at least $1000, people have the right to take someone to court in a civil trial and seek a judgement. Examples include back wages, embezzled funds, fraud and failure to deliver. The defendant has a right to a trial by jury. The decision of the jury is final, although in some rare cases, the judge can throw out the jury’s decision and bring in a new jury if the judge thinks that the jury’s decision is wrong.
The Seventh Amendment guarantees citizens the right to a jury trial. However, when the populace has no idea of what’s in the Constitution—civic education has virtually disappeared from most school curriculi—that inevitably translates to an ignorant jury incapable of distinguishing justice and the law from their own preconceived notions and fears.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
You are innocent until proven guilty. The criminal justice system can not make it difficult for you to regain your freedom, property and prior status just because you have been arrested. You have a right to defend your interests and if you are found guilty by a jury of your peers, the punishment has to fit the crime. Decades behind bars, solitary confinement, slave labor, denial of voting rights, separation from family and torture are not permissible. Nor is capital punishment because it is impossible to apply in an equitable way.
Of major relevance in the year 2015, the Eighth Amendment is similar to the Sixth in that it is supposed to protect the rights of the accused and forbid the use of cruel and unusual punishment. However, the Supreme Court’s determination that what constitutes “cruel and unusual” should be dependent on the “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society” leaves us with little protection in the face of a society lacking in morals altogether. America’s continued reliance on the death penalty, which has been shown to be flawed in its application and execution, is a perfect example of this.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Just because these are the only rights given to you under this Constitution doesn’t mean that you don’t have other rights not mentioned in this document..
The 9th Amendment provides that other rights not enumerated in the Constitution are nonetheless retained by the people. Popular sovereignty—the belief that the power to govern flows upward from the people rather than downward from the rulers—is clearly evident in this amendment. However, it has since been turned on its head by a centralized federal government that sees itself as supreme and which continues to pass more and more laws that restrict our freedoms under the pretext that it has an “important government interest” in doing so. Thus, once the government began violating the non-enumerated rights granted in the Ninth Amendment, it was only a matter of time before it began to trample the enumerated rights of the people, as explicitly spelled out in the Bill of Rights.
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.
Anything that the Constitution doesn’t say that Congress can do, is left up to the states and to the people.
As for the Tenth Amendment’s reminder that the people and the states retain every authority that is not otherwise mentioned in the Constitution, that assurance of a system of government in which power is divided among local, state and national entities has long since been rendered moot by the centralized Washington, DC power elite—the president, Congress and the courts. Indeed, the federal governmental bureaucracy has grown so large that it has made local and state legislatures relatively irrelevant. Through its many agencies, the federal government has stripped states of the right to regulate countless issues that were originally governed at the local level.
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