Happy 216th to the Bill of Rights

If you were to stop twenty average Americans on the street and asked them what December 15th means to them I'm sure the majority would say 10 shopping days left before Christmas.  One may name someone they know born on that day.  Maybe being this close to Boston you may even find one who will mistakenly think today is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, that's actually tomorrow the 16th.  But nearly everyone in this country has forgotten the true meaning of December 15th. 

December 15th is the anniversary of the Bill of Rights.  The first ten Amendments to the US Constitution.  The very backbone of the American government.  Yet it is often ignored by Americans and more importantly it's ignored by our government.  I can say I've heard more then once Democrats refer to it as nothing more then an outdated piece of paper.  Most Republicans however are no better, they too having members refering to it as a piece of paper.  Each party eroding our rights little by little in different directions.  Maybe that's why we find this country with so many problems.

In my little way of celebrating this forgotten day of importance I am going to post the Bill of Rights here for you to all reflect upon and maybe some of you to read them for the first time.  Take the time to read and reflect and truly ponder as to the true meaning of the words before you.

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.


As an added bonus you might say I would like to share some quotes reflecting back upon our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.


"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.  Our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams October 11, 1798


"The Constitution shall be never construed to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."  Samuel Adams 1788


"The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all." George Washington September 17, 1796


"The moral and constitutional obligations of our representatives in Washington are to protect our liberty, not coddle the world, precipitating no-win wars, while bringing bankruptcy and economic turmoil to our people. " Ron Paul


"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face.  It's just a goddamned piece of paper!" George W Bush


"If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees." Bill Clinton August 12, 1993


"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.  This, in my humble opinion, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution." John Adams 


I saved this one for last as I find it to be the most relevant. 

"On every question of construction of the Constitution, let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."  Thomas Jefferson June 12, 1823