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Today Is National Bill Of Rights Day. Now, More Than Ever, We Need To Remember.

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“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.”

 

In 1941, Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. In the present climate of political repression in which we find ourselves, the importance of the first ten amendments to our constitution deserves to be recognized.

During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, opponents repeatedly charged that as drafted the Constitution would open the way to tyranny by the central government.

Remembering the violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution, the Founding Fathers demanded a “bill of rights” that would spell out protections for individual citizens. Several state conventions in their ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.

James Madison originally introduced the amendments to the first United States Congress as a series of legislative articles. Prior to his proposing the amendments, Madison acknowledged there was discontent with the Constitution as written:

“I believe that the great mass of the people who opposed disliked it because it did not contain effectual provision against encroachments on particular rights, and those safeguards which they have been long accustomed to have interposed between them and the magistrate who exercised the sovereign power: nor ought we to consider them safe, while a great number of our fellow citizens think these securities necessary.”

The Bill of Rights was adopted by the House of Representatives on August 21, 1789, formally proposed by joint resolution of Congress on September 25, 1789, and upon ratification by three quarters of the States, came into effect as Constitutional Amendments on December 15, 1791. While twelve
amendments were passed by Congress, only the ten we call The Bill of Rights, were originally passed by the states. Of the remaining two, one was adopted as the Twenty-seventh Amendment and the other still technically remains pending before the states.

The Bill of Rights originally only included legal protection for land-owning white men; it excluded African Americans and women. It took additional Amendments and decisions by the Supreme Court to extend the same rights to all U.S. citizens.

UC Davis police officer pepper spraying unarmed, non-violent students at campus Occupy Movement protest, November, 2011

The First Amendment is especially referenced these days; most often because of recent attempts to bring religion into the political discussion or to curb freedom of speech and the press and peaceable assembly. As we observe the sometimes successful attempts to insert religious belief into school curricula and the excesses of police brutality; pepper-spraying, tear-gassing and arrests of peaceful protestors and the prevention of the press from photographing the incidents, the importance of The First Amendment is especially apparent.

 

Congress OF THE United States
begun and
held at the City of New York, on Wednesday
the Fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of
the States having at the time of their 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; viz.:

ARTICLES in addition to, and
Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by
Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to
the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Article 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.

Article
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.

Article 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.

Article 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.

Article 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 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.

Article 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.

Article 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 re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the
rules of the common law.

Article VIII

Excessive
bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual
punishments inflicted.

Article
IX

The
enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to
deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article 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.

Upon ratification by three quarters of the States, these ten articles came into
effect as Constitutional Amendments on December 15, 1791 and are known as The Bill of Rights.

 

Stuart Wilber. Photo by Mathew Ryan Williams

 

Stuart Wilber believes that living life openly as a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or
Allied person is the most powerful kind of activism. Shortly after meeting his partner in Chicago in 1977, he opened a gallery named In a Plain Brown Wrapper, where he exhibited cutting edge work by leading artists; art that dealt with sexuality and gender identification. In the late 1980’s when they moved to San Clemente,
CA in Orange County, life as an openly gay couple became a political act. They moved to Seattle 16 years ago and married in Canada a few weeks after British Columbia legalized same-​sex marriage. Although legally married in some countries, they are only considered domestic partners in Washington State. Equality continues to elude him.

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News

In Angry Letter McCarthy Warns Thompson J6 Docs ‘Do Not Belong to You’ – After Defending Trump Taking Classified Info

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House Minority Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in an angry letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) warned the Chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack that his role will end on January 3 and it is “imperative that all information collected be preserved.” The California Republican congressman had a dramatically different position on Donald Trump‘s unlawful retention of well over ten thousand items from the White House, including at least 300 documents with classified markings, including some classified at the highest levels.

McCarthy, who is running to be Speaker of the House but is facing strong opposition from some of the GOP caucus, nevertheless is acting as if he will wield the gavel.

His letter, angry and accusatory in tone, also strongly suggests Republicans will hold their own hearings on the January 6 attack on the Capitol and on democracy, but with a vastly different focus.

“The American people chose Republicans to lead the 118th Congress,” McCarthy’s letter begins. “On January 3, 2023, your work as Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will come to an end,” McCarthy told Thompson in his letter, which was reported on by CBS News.

READ MORE: Trump Allies So Shaken by His White Supremacist Dinner a Top Campaign Aide Will Now ‘Be Present With Him at All Times’

“For those reasons, I remind you and your staff on the Committee to preserve all records collected and transcripts of testimony taken during your investigation in accordance with House Rule VII. As the Chairman, regardless of who may be directing the work of the Committee, you are responsible for the work done by its members and staff.”

Some have suggested that Thompson could transfer some or all of the Committee’s work product – all transcripts and other evidence – to the Senate.

McCarthy continued with his angry attack.

“It is clear based on recent news reports that even your own members and staff of the Committee have no visibility into the totality of the investigation. Some reports suggest that entire swaths of findings will be left out of the Committee’s final report. You have spent a year and a half and millions of taxpayers’ dollars conducting this investigation.”

House Republicans, including McCarthy, spent million dollars on six Benghazi investigations, the last one of which McCarthy admitted was designed to harm former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping,” McCarthy bragged in 2015.

Unlike his defense of ex-president Donald Trump unlawfully removing and retaining at Mar-a-Lago approximately 13,000 items belonging to the National Archives from the White House, McCarthy warned Thompson the Committee’s work does not belong to the Chairman.

“It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people,” McCarthy wrote. “The official Congressional Records do not belong to you or any member, but to the American people, and they are owed all of the information you gathered – not merely the information that comports with your political agenda.”

That’s actually false.

READ MORE: Charlie Kirk, Purveyor of ‘Rigged’ Election Lie, Complains GOP Lost ‘Because a Lot of People Do Not Trust the System’

The Committee has undoubtedly uncovered government secrets, including national security information, classified information, and information, for example, the Secret Service needs to keep secret to allow it to continue to secure its protectees. It also has entered into agreements with witnesses that prevent it from releasing those documents, transcripts, and other evidence to the public.

Politico’s senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney says, “Kevin McCarthy’s letter demanding that the Jan. 6 committee preserve its records is mostly nonsense because the committee is planning to release all but a few of its transcripts.”

McCarthy continued, warning: “Although your Committee’s public hearings did not focus on why the Capitol complex was not secure on January 6, 2021, the Republican majority in the 118th Congress will hold hearings that do so.”

He then served up what some might say is a threat.

“The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts and to be able to view the transcripts with an eye toward encouraged enforcement of 18 USC 1001.”

18 U.S. Code § 1001 is the federal statute that makes it a crime to knowingly make false statements.

McCarthy had a very different take when the U.S. Dept. of Justice executed a legal search warrant of Donald Trump’s Florida residence and resort, Mar-a-Lago, to retrieve government-owned materials, including classified documents.

“Joe Biden and the politicized Dept. of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump,” McCarthy said on Sept. 1. “That is an assault on democracy.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Treasury Dept. Finally Hands Over Six Years of Trump’s Tax Returns to Powerful House Committee

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The U.S. Dept. of the Treasury has finally handed over six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns, after the U.S, Supreme Court denied the ex-president’s request to block the document transfer. The powerful House Ways and Means Committee is now in receipt of all six years, according to a Wednesday afternoon report from CNN.

The returns are primarily from Trump’s time as president.

The Committee will need to work quickly, as Republicans will take over the House majority early next year, and the current Chairman, Richard Neal, will no longer serve in that role.

Republicans are expected to end any investigations into Donald Trump, including his tax returns, as they begin investigations into top GOP priorities: Hunter Biden’s laptop, the origin of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

READ MORE: Trump Allies So Shaken by His White Supremacist Dinner a Top Campaign Aide Will Now ‘Be Present With Him at All Times’

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

Image via Shutterstock

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News

Trump Allies So Shaken by His White Supremacist Dinner a Top Campaign Aide Will Now ‘Be Present With Him at All Times’

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Top allies of Donald Trump were so disturbed by his decision to have dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes last week that the ex-president and 2024 GOP candidate will now have a handler with him around the clock.

The Associated Press also reports the campaign has also changed the protocols for visitors and will start to vet guests who come to see Trump, after the few procedures in place allowed antisemite Kanye West to bring along three guests.

“In an acknowledgment of the severity of the backlash and an effort to prevent a repeat, Trump’s campaign is putting new protocols in place to ensure that those who meet with him are approved and fully vetted, according to people familiar with the plans who requested anonymity to share internal strategy,” the AP adds, revealing the campaign apparently does not trust the 76-year old ex-president to make decisions about who he should or should not spend time with.

The AP does not define “fully vetted,” but importantly the Trump White House had such a horrific track record of vetting nominees even GOP Senators were frustrated.

“The changes will include expediting a system, borrowed from Trump’s White House, in which a senior campaign official will be present with him at all times, according to one of the people,” the AP adds, revealing what appears to be a previously unknown fact.

READ MORE: RNC Taps Right Wing Extremists to Head Group Designed to Expand GOP Appeal in Wake of Midterm Losses

The lax security at Mar-a-Lago was in place when Trump was storing 300 documents with various classified markings, including documents with top secret information and a set with the highest level of classification.

In yet another stunning revelation the AP reports that the antisemitic Holocaust “denier” and white supremacist Fuentes “arrived by car with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and was waved into the club by security, even though only Ye had been on the security list, according to one of the people present and others briefed on the events.”

The AP also reports that “Fuentes apparently did not show his ID and the car’s driver, a frequent guest at the club, got in using a credit card after misplacing her license.”

READ MORE: Charlie Kirk, Purveyor of ‘Rigged’ Election Lie, Complains GOP Lost ‘Because a Lot of People Do Not Trust the System’xn

The report does not mention the other two guests Trump dined with, reportedly far right wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who has supported adult men having sex with young teens, and Karen Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno, who was reportedly involved in a pay-for-pardon scheme.

 

 

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