Friday, December 15, 2006

December 15: Bill Of Rights Day

According to this source,
This day was signed into practice by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on December 15, 1941, one hundred and fifty years after the actual signing of the Bill of Rights by our forefathers. Ironically, he proclaimed the holiday just one week after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor initiating the United States' involvement in World War II where freedom issues were at the core of wartime dogma....

While the U.S. Constitution was written in 1787, it wasn't until two years later that the ten Bill of Rights were incorporated into the governing document.
George Mason of Virginia, with the Virginia Declaration of Rights, helped to contribute to our Declaration of Independence and to the Bill of Rights, an essential portion of our Constitution:

A call for American independence from Britain, the Virginia Declaration of Rights was drafted by George Mason in May 1776 and amended by Thomas Ludwell Lee and the Virginia Convention. Thomas Jefferson drew heavily from this document when he drafted the Declaration of Independence one month later.

Mason wrote that "all men are born equally free and independant [sic], and have certain inherent natural rights,...among which are the Enjoyment of Life and Liberty, with the Means of acquiring and possessing Property, and pursueing [sic] and obtaining Happiness and Safety." This uniquely influential document was also used by James Madison in drawing up the Bill of Rights (1789)...
The following is the complete text of our Bill of Rights, with summarizing headers:
First Amendment – Freedom of speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, and to petition the government.
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.

Second Amendment
– Right for the people to keep and bear arms, as well as to maintain a militia.
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.

Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
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.

Fifth Amendment
– Due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, private property.
No person shall be held to answer for any 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.

Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and other rights of the accused.
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 where in 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.

Seventh Amendment – Civil trial by jury.
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.

Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment – Powers of states and people
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.
Now is also a fitting time to review some quotations from George Mason. A few samples:
June 12, 1788
Live in a frugal Style, without parade or Ostentation, avoid all unnecessary Expence, & do as much of your Business your selves, as you can...

April 17-26, 1775
We came equals into this world, and equals shall we go out of it. All men are by nature born equally free and independent. To protect the weaker from the injuries and insults of the stronger were societies first formed; … Every society, all government, and every kind of civil compact therefore, is or ought to be, calculated for the general good and safety of the community. Every power, every authority vested in particular men is, or ought to be, ultimately directed to this sole end; and whenever any power or authority whatever extends further, or is of longer duration than is in its nature necessary for these purposes, it may be called government, but it is in fact oppression.

May 20, 1787
It is easy to foresee that there will be much Difficulty in organizing a Government upon this great Scale, & at the same time reserving to the State Legislatures a sufficient Portion of Power for promoting & securing the Prosperity & Happiness of their respective Citizens.

July 5, 1792
… for at my time of Life, my only Satisfaction and Pleasure is in my Children; and all my Views are centered in their Wellfare and Happiness.

Aug. 22, 1787
...Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven on a Country. As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of caused & effects providence punishes national sins, by national calamities.
From this article about George Mason:

Mason...[called slavery] "that slow poison, which is daily contaminating the minds and morals of our people." At the Constitutional Convention, he spoke against allowing any mention of slavery to appear in the text of the Constitution. He also pressed to include a bill of rights — and when none was put in (this was before the first ten amendments were passed), he urged his home state of Virginia not to ratify our country's key founding documents.

That move cost Mason his long friendship with George Washington, and also knocked him out of the pantheon of Founding Fathers. Had he supported the Constitution, his name would be spoken in the same breath as Washington, Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Instead, he went into history as a leading Anti-Federalist.

Mason...supported freedom of religion and freedom of the press long before these ideas became institutionalized in American life. He was a lifelong champion of liberty whose influence improved the United States in its earliest days.
A Republic, If You Can Keep It is maintaining an updated list of Bill-of-Rights Day commemorations. Please notify David if you learn of a commemoration in your area: schantz627@aol.com

26 Comments:

At 12/14/2006 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the chances of having so many founders who cared so much about Democracy?
In what other part of history or location were there so many Patriots?

 
At 12/14/2006 9:02 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Crusader,
Defies all odds, doesn't it? But of course, the colonists were well grounded in the tradition of British law and British rights--the latter dating back to the Magna Carta. In many ways, the War for Independence was not a revolution at all; rather, our Founders were trying to have their God-given rights restored after the British government had been trying to take them away.

While our Founders disagreed on some matters (Federalists and anti-Federalists), they all seemed to have had one goal: a government which provided for individual rights and a government which did not recognize the divine right of monarchs.

On a recent tour of Mount Vernon, I was again reminded that George Washington did not want to be addressed as "Mr. President"; he preferred "General Washington." Very telling! Our present politicians and former Presidents could take a lesson from George Washington.

 
At 12/14/2006 9:47 AM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Outstanding, AoW, it's always good to read about men of principle who would rather take hurt than go along to get along!
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

tmw
BTW- Word of warning, apparently Iben Habin PMS has a sister or something on the loose, she showed up at Nanc's!

 
At 12/14/2006 10:43 AM, Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

George Mason is one of the forgotten founding fathers. The New York Sun recently reviewed a new book on the man. Of course, our friend and fellow blogger at 6th column has borrowed his name in his honor. In circles where the history of liberty is appreciated, Mason figures as one of the greats.

Patrick Henry is remembered for his powerful oratory, Franklin is remembered for being a polymath and contributing his two cents at every opportunity, Hamilton is remembered for his contribution the Federalist Papers and federalist cause, and those founders that became President are remembered because of their prominent position. Today few know of the federalists and anti-federalists and what the debate was about. We take the Bill Of Rights for granted but it was by no means part of the consitution from the outset. Mason should be appreciated far more than we currently do. And so should the 9th and 10th amendments … but that’s another story.

 
At 12/14/2006 11:39 AM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Hiya AOW!..and the terrorists use those rights against us!..just look at what the flippin flying ima-mmmmmms are doing!...excellent read!

 
At 12/14/2006 11:46 AM, Blogger cube said...

These principles are good & sound. The terrorists use them against us only because of the stoopid politically correct garbage which we have allowed to overwhelm our culture.

Common sense will win out eventually.

 
At 12/14/2006 11:56 AM, Blogger David Schantz said...

Excellent post AOW. In George Mason's time we were blessed with Statesmen. (From Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary) Statesmen: 1 : one versed in the principles or art of government; especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies
2 : one who exercises political leadership wisely and without narrow partisanship.

Today we are stuck with politicians. (From Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary) Politician:1 : a person experienced in the art or science of government; especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government
2 a : a person engaged in party politics as a profession b : a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually short-sighted reasons.

The Statesmen of Mason's time crafted a lock box (our Bill Of Rights) to protect us from todays politicians. The politicians have been hammering away at the lock for years.

I'd like to urge everyone that has children to take a little time to discuss AOW's post and our Bill Of Rights with them tomorrow, December 15, Bill Of Rights Day. One of the questions I'll be asking my Grand Children is. Are the First Ten Amendments to the United States Constitution as important today as they were on December 15, 1791? Some of you might know my answer.

AOW, sorry I went on and on. I hope this December 15 will be a Bill Of Rights Day to remember.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

 
At 12/14/2006 1:19 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

"Our present politicians and former Presidents could take a lesson from George Washington.

At times, I wonder how many of those sitting in government offices have actually read the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Another thing I find telling: At the start of our fledgling democracy, the founding fathers all had jobs, businesses, trades, ect. None were career politicians. It seems that when politics became a job choice, rather than a duty, America began to slip.

 
At 12/14/2006 6:12 PM, Blogger John Brown said...

How many of those great founding fathers raped their slaves?

 
At 12/14/2006 7:06 PM, Blogger nanc said...

wonder how many of the slaves' descendants are now raping the system?

 
At 12/14/2006 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many innocents were murdered by Moslems in Darfur today.

 
At 12/14/2006 10:17 PM, Blogger Storm said...

I love Libeals like John Brown forgive a serial rapist and spare his life (ie no capital punishment) and grant a wide swath of difference to jokers like Clinton, Kennedy, and insert name of any Demo in areas where a moral compass is clearly lacking, but poke at the less than noble actions of a few of our Founder Fathers. Throw aside that even in this tiny sliver into the past clearly there were those like Mason who saw the folly of Slavery 90 years before the Civil War. Incidentally John Brown ever read John Adams biography? It draws his very journals and letters and you know what the same theme appears. He adhored slavery but knew creating a country such as America was more importatn and eventually would lead to his vision. Demons are responsible for a the plight of minorities with their Welfare programs and Affirmative Action programs which basically serve to tell minorities "you can not do it let Uncle Tom help you". I also find it laughable that you liberals at once criticize men (and women) based on their actions in a society nearly 230 years ago and yet excuse your own behaviour and others in their lapses in behaviour in this time and in this culture as cultural realativism.....Simply Amazing...

I said it before and I say it again....Liberals should seek protection under the ADA for they clearly have a mental impairment.

 
At 12/14/2006 11:07 PM, Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Nice comeback, Nanc!

 
At 12/14/2006 11:31 PM, Blogger kuhnkat said...

MR Stain,

since you like to throw out unsupported intimations of unethical behavior, when did you stop raping babies??

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

You MORON!!!!

 
At 12/15/2006 6:16 AM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Thank YOU, Lord for giving us this country, our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, men and women like George Mason and John Adams! For the care, concern and discernment they displayed in the founding of this country!
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

tmw
And may we have an attitude of gratitude, not a sour, bitter spirit!

 
At 12/15/2006 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people are enslaved by Communist vermin in North Korea, Cuba and elsewhere.

How many of those children of slaves are hooked on Drugs supplied by Commies in FARC and Hezbollah and the Taliban that John Brown supports.

We can also talk about Neo slavery in Gulags.

 
At 12/15/2006 10:27 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

How about the slavery that goes on here in America everyday? Can we hear some condemnation for that?

 
At 12/15/2006 1:50 PM, Blogger Always On Watch Two said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12/15/2006 2:55 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

It is a valid question to ask if so many of the founding fathers cared about democracy then why was the Bill of Rights an afterthought.

Seems they spent more time working on the seriously defective kluge that has brought us the seriously defective two party system than they did on issues of rights.

Then we have right wingers cursing the establishment clause and left wingers going on about the second amendment and President Chucklenuts reining in habeus corpus while half the American public thinks that's cool.

Still a bit of a mess. No?

 
At 12/15/2006 6:05 PM, Blogger Always On Watch Two said...

Duck,
An afterthought? I don't think that's exactly correct. From what I've read, the Anti-Federalists objected to the Constitution without those 10 amendments and dropped their objections once the Bill of Rights were added. Of course, the biggest concerns of Anti-Federalists were that the general-welfare clause could be used to authorize practically any federal power that might be imagined (Patrick Henry, in particular) and that the power of the judicial branch could have its way with no recourse on the part of the people. Interestingly, NY did not ratify the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was added.

A mess? Well, I'll give you that. There's always been plenty of controversy in America. Perhaps it's "the American way."

As for the two-party system, our Founders were enamored of it. I'm sure you recall the original method of electing the President, a method which led to a President and Vice-President of opposing political parties.

George Washington, if I recall correctly, didn't adhere to any political party.

 
At 12/15/2006 6:07 PM, Blogger Always On Watch Two said...

Jason,
Thank you so much for your erudite comment!

Mason should be appreciated far more than we currently do.

He seems to get lost in the shuffle, doesn't he? But the textbooks I use with homeschoolers give him his due. I always recommend that my homeschoolers to to nearby Gunston Hall, the home of George Mason. Excellent tour and excellent docents, and Gunston Hall is not mobbed in the way that Mount Vernon is.

 
At 12/17/2006 2:46 AM, Blogger kuhnkat said...

Little Che Suck the Chucklenuts of the Blogs claims it is a valid question.

No it isn't. The mena crafted an excellent Constitution that would stand on its own of it weren't for tha=e fact that humanity isn't!!!

Small minded Chucklenuts like him will go to any lenghts to misinterpret, misconstrue, twist, flay, mutilate, and destroy the Constitution by any means available. The Bill of Rights was added by MEN who understood the baseness that men allow into their souls. It was more explanation to counter the lying rear ends who would attack the Constitution with lies.

Now is an excellent example of the type of attacks they were trying to combat. The News media tries to use the First Amendment to raise themselves above the rest of us as some kind of protectors of the truth even though they rarely understand FACTS, much less report them. Leftards use the First Amendment to try and tell us that the founding fathers really wanted a WALL between the Church (Religion) and the state even thoug those same fathers tell us that men can NOT rule equitably, honestly, fairly, humanely... without fearing their G-D!!!

We could go on covering most of the Constitution and Bill in the same vein. Morons like Little Che Chucklenuts and his ilk REFUSE to accept the recorded arguments and statements by those who wrote and approved these documents and ideas as to their actual meanings as they conflict with the LEFTARD world view!!!

Keep up the good work Little Che Chucklenuts!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

You MORON!!


PS: Led to the 2 party system???

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

But buddy, idiots like YOU led to the 2 party system. There is NOTHING in the Constitution or Bill of Rights talking about Political Parties, much less 2 of them!!!

Read the history. There were plenty of parties back then. They liked it that way!!!! In fact, I believe that a few of the founders warned against having parties!!!

http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/election/partysys.html

http://experts.about.com/q/Legislation-Presidential-Congressional-337/Political-Parties.htm

Oh yeah, Chucklenuts, you talk about REIGNING in Habeas Corpus, but, can you tell me which President SUSPENDED Habeas Corpus and WHY??

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

You MORON!!!!!!

http://www.laughtergenealogy.com/bin/history/politics.html

 
At 12/17/2006 6:29 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

KuhnKat,
In fact, I believe that a few of the founders warned against having parties!!!

I was trying to find the names of those particular Founders yesterday.

The Bill of Rights was added by MEN who understood the baseness that men allow into their souls.

As much as the world doesn't like to discuss the concept of original sin, our Founders certainly understood and took precautions against it. But I don't think they could have imagined our world today, where each man strives to be a law unto himself.

 
At 12/17/2006 10:58 AM, Blogger Storm said...

Ducky take a seat in the back and listen

As usual liberals like you use sweeping statements to illict emotion when reason would show the true clear path...

Take a minute you uninformed and judgemental liberals and consider there was no instant messages, no emails, no computers, no telephones, no faxes, no copiers in the late 1700's. Today we have all this and yet we have no agreement on a Federal budget.

Students of AOW consider that liberals sit in judgement of people that some how crafted legislation with a quill pen and used horses to send messages. Only by the grace of God could they have found common ground.

The mere fact that a piece of legislation took a few weeks or months (the Bill of Rights) after another piece of legislation is not an example of an afterthought but rather a reflection of the care and deliberation of a people and gives insight to a thoughtful discussion of how exactly did people back then communicate.

The bigger question is why today with all our technology do our leaders have a more difficult time finding agreement than our founding fathers who clearly had many more impediments to communication.

And Duncy do yourself a favor pick up a history book and open the pages.

 
At 12/17/2006 11:31 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Storm,
Only by the grace of God could they have found common ground.

The textbook we use emphasizes the above.

 
At 1/05/2007 4:15 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

It was anti-Federalists (those opposed to the ratification of the US Constitution) that created the party system in the first place. And like good leftists, the party that centered on a personality cult (Jefferson's) devolved into an institution dedicated to retention of power with a spoils system for the party faithful (Jackson) and disregard for Constitutional constraints to defy Supreme Court rulings in order to press ethnic cleansing upon American Indians recognized to hold sovereignty over their lands (also Jackson); turned their guns upon people of their own ethnicity when it became unbearable to them that federal law had for years curtailed the interstate importation of slavery and a man of a new party dedicated to following the wishes of right-wing Christian religious people who wanted to abolish slavery getting elected President; upon losing their sucessionist bid to form another nation dedicated to their hatred of civil discourse and human rights formed the Ku Klux Klan to sow terrorism and discord...

Need I go on?

Few things make me laugh out loud more than the ridiculous assertion that the Democratic Party is the party of freedom and civil rights.

 

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