03-08-2013 07:40 AM
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  1. Aquila's Avatar
    Original Post in Another Politics Forums:

    "The thing about rights, is that they are not granted by the Constitution. The Constitution, specifically the amendments, merely innumerate rights that are common to all mankind. The two biggest abuses of the Constitution, in my opinion, are 1. Convincing American's that the rights only apply to American Citizens, which would imply we are subjects to a right granting body and are non-sovereign, and 2. Convincing American's that some rights supersede others and/or that rights can be taken away by government, which implies that we are subjects to a right granting body and are non-sovereign and that rights are subjectively granted at a whim by the ruling powers. Rights are rights and belong to all humans unless they choose not to exercise those rights. They can be forfeited, but never taken away."

    The point? As an American, I was brought up to believe something that I now understand to be false. The general gist of social studies (elementary school version of civics) was that the Founding Fathers created the Bill of Rights, thus granting innumerated rights to the citizens of the newly formed country, posting them as Amendments to the Constitution that describes the Rule of Law. There are many issues that I find with this concept, and they are namely as follows:

    1. The Bill of Rights is, in my opinion, not a document created to give or grant rights to citizens, as the Government "of the People" clearly cannot give anything to the People that it does not already possess, without purchasing or stealing whatever it is they want to give.
    2. If the People did not already have these rights, the Government would have no ability to acquire them for gifting.
    3. The Bill of Rights also seems to rely on their core belief that these Rights were endowed by the Creator, which was clearly not the Government.
    4. If Rights are indeed endowed by the Creator, then they apply equally to all of the Created, not just to citizens of any country. These Rights would be universal.
    5. Universal Rights should extend the observation of those Rights in Civil, Criminal and Martial Law for all humans, regardless of National Identity.
    6. The distinction between a Right and a Privilege is that a Privilege is granted by someone, who is the true owner of the concept; merely allowing their subject to partake.
    7. A Right, being universal, can only be observed by a Government.
    8. It is in fact impossible for any Government to infringe on any Rights without a threat of Violence. (Violence includes imprisonment)
    9. Without the threat of Violence, any "taking" of Rights is actually the citizen voluntarily relinquishing those Rights.
    10. It is the citizen's responsibility to protect their Rights by understanding them and exercising them in every situation where coercement to voluntarily ignore those Rights abounds.
    11. The purpose of the Constitution is to define the limitations on Government power. Anything not specifically granted to any specific branch of Government, is prohibited and those powers reside with either the States or the People.
    12. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is not to grant Rights, but to describe them, being identified as part of Natural Law, as further restrictions on the scope of Government.


    These are my interpretations, and as such I believe that any reference to Rights relative to the Constitution should include the following context: The Rights are the true source of power in the Government, as they are the true source of power of the People, and the government is to be created, "of the People". The Rights described out to be recognized universally to all humans at all times, as they are not a gift as part of your submission to a Government, but granted by the Creator, and in this country, allow the Government to be submissive to the divinity of mankind.

    So three primary questions, though I welcome any challenges to any of the points listed:
    1. Do you agree the Bill of Rights and subsequent Amendments merely describe Rights that all humans possess? Or do you think the Government is granting those rights to us?
    2. Should we recognize these Rights for citizens of foreign nations? Or is there something I'm missing that implies they have more, less or different Rights?
    3. We have clearly done a poor job of defending our Rights over the past 80 years. Is it too late to recover?
    02-28-2013 10:31 PM
  2. Mooncatt's Avatar
    1) I think they are rights the citizens (and thus citizen government) choose to form parts of the government around. In a way, you could say we gave them to ourselves. I know they were originally claimed to be granted by God. Well I'm personally not religious, but I agree with them, so does that make my opinion of them invalid anyway? Same for other religions.

    2) I think by default, our constitutional rights belong only to legal citizens. Especially with something like the 2nd Amendment. I don't want random visitors or illegal aliens that we can't do proper background checks on to carry a gun. Others like the 1st I don't care if anyone can exercise it, as long as government doesn't use said opinions to make laws. They don't have any stake in the game. A person's right to free speech doesn't include a right to be heard.

    3) It's never too late if enough people want change.
    Aquila likes this.
    03-01-2013 12:24 PM
  3. Aquila's Avatar
    So the Rights of humans vary depending on their GPS position relative to movable imaginary lines (borders)? This is what concerns me about the discussion of US Citizen's Rights while abroad relative to the US Government's ability to imprison or even execute without trial. Why does location make a difference? For that matter, why is a French human different than one from The US or from Zimbabwe?

    I think I can argue that attributing the "granting of Rights" to a government, makes us subjects of the government, as opposed to the intended subjugation of government by the People that our Constitution describes. If successful in that argument, it would imply that no government grants Rights, and that's how I get to the conclusion that the Rights belong to humans as a whole.
    03-03-2013 12:18 AM
  4. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    So the Rights of humans vary depending on their GPS position relative to movable imaginary lines (borders)? This is what concerns me about the discussion of US Citizen's Rights while abroad relative to the US Government's ability to imprison or even execute without trial. Why does location make a difference? For that matter, why is a French human different than one from The US or from Zimbabwe?

    I think I can argue that attributing the "granting of Rights" to a government, makes us subjects of the government, as opposed to the intended subjugation of government by the People that our Constitution describes. If successful in that argument, it would imply that no government grants Rights, and that's how I get to the conclusion that the Rights belong to humans as a whole.
    We're just not there yet. Everyone everywhere has to agree with that for us to not need protection to exercise those rights.
    Aquila likes this.
    03-03-2013 12:44 AM
  5. Aquila's Avatar
    Perhaps it would accelerate the prominence of human's willing to stand up for their own Rights were we to use our 'great experiment' government of The People to champion the Rights of all those with whom we deal.

    For example, I have heard (not confirmed, if I was given incorrect information, in which case the hypothetical should still stand for argument) that immigrants facing legal challenge to their status and possible detention or deportation are not afforded the Right to an attorney, despite their location and participation with the US Court system. This Right seems foundational to our concept of Justice and were it applied evenly to humanity, especially in controversial, emotional cases such as this, our sense of pride and integrity may be boosted.
    03-03-2013 12:55 AM
  6. Aquila's Avatar
    I think this may be coming off as me advocating an international community (in terms of government) and loss of national sovereignty, which I am not. I am in favor of individual sovereignty and the subjugation of government to the People, not the slavery of the People to their government.
    03-03-2013 01:06 AM
  7. Mooncatt's Avatar
    I believe in the case of human rights (the basic be kind to others type stuff) should be universal. Civil rights in terms of what is used as a guideline for laws (innocent until proven guilty, right to bare arms, etc.) are up to the individual governments to decide. Or in the case of our founding fathers, for the people to tell the government what is right. Not every culture will share our beliefs of what should be a right, and we should respect that. If you go visit another country, you're expected to abide by their rules and you should. I don't think we should be trying to force our way of government on to other cultures unless they ask for it. Or in a case where the government is suppressing and abusing its citizens severely, helping the citizens liberate themselves may be in order.
    03-03-2013 11:56 AM
  8. metz65's Avatar
    Rights dwindle based on how much control a government has over its people.

    While they may be God given rights they are taken away by tyrannical governments who have citizens that are unable to stand up for those rights.

    I don't care what kind of phone you have, that's not how I judge someone's worth or intelligence.
    Aquila likes this.
    03-05-2013 02:37 AM
  9. Live2ride883's Avatar
    Rights dwindle based on how much control a government has over its people.

    While they may be God given rights they are taken away by tyrannical governments who have citizens that are unable to stand up for those rights.

    I don't care what kind of phone you have, that's not how I judge someone's worth or intelligence.
    Governments also make it easier for citizens to surrender their rights by claiming its for our own good, or for our safety. If you truly believe that the government, specifically the US government will take care of you after you give up your rights then I suggest you talk to a native american indian .
    Aquila likes this.
    03-05-2013 05:29 AM
  10. Aquila's Avatar
    Ok, so the consensus so far seems like we have two variations of Rights, one granted by the creator and one that seems to be cultural. Not sure I agree, (clearly from OP) but which rights are which? Which are human rights, and which exist by virtue of being a citizen?
    03-05-2013 06:33 AM
  11. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    If everyone was "good" we wouldn't need rights spelled out by anyone anywhere. I believe that rights have to be defined because there are those that would do harm or "bad" and then say it was their right to do what they did. Universal rights would allow anyone to infringe on yours, since taking away any right would then be seen as "wrong".

    As humans, being imperfect, we have to have guidelines and rules for things.
    03-05-2013 08:35 AM
  12. metz65's Avatar
    If everyone was "good" we wouldn't need rights spelled out by anyone anywhere. I believe that rights have to be defined because there are those that would do harm or "bad" and then say it was their right to do what they did. Universal rights would allow anyone to infringe on yours, since taking away any right would then be seen as "wrong".

    As humans, being imperfect, we have to have guidelines and rules for things.
    I have the right to kill, I have the right to rape etc, very true some people would use that defense if things were not spelled out or if laws didn't make it illegal.

    I don't care what kind of phone you have, that's not how I judge someone's worth or intelligence.
    03-05-2013 08:47 AM
  13. kilofoxtrot's Avatar
    Governments also make it easier for citizens to surrender their rights by claiming its for our own good, or for our safety. If you truly believe that the government, specifically the US government will take care of you after you give up your rights then I suggest you talk to a native american indian .


    On the other hand, the goverment, set slaves free and gave women the right to vote. Rights that were denied based on the prejudices of the people.

    It cuts both ways.
    03-05-2013 02:05 PM
  14. Aquila's Avatar
    On the other hand, the goverment, set slaves free and gave women the right to vote. Rights that were denied based on the prejudices of the people.

    It cuts both ways.
    I think if it as the government stopped their infringement on the rights of those people.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
    Live2ride883 likes this.
    03-05-2013 03:04 PM
  15. Aquila's Avatar
    It's funny, on Facebook today I got into a lengthy argument with someone trying to agree with me that rape was wrong, but also trying to tell me that sometimes it's the victim's fault. I think the concept of rights and personal sovereignty needs a lot of work.
    03-05-2013 04:29 PM
  16. Tall Mike 2145's Avatar
    Oooh, I like this thread. Yes, I like this thread a lot.

    @NothingIsTrue, you're right in a certain sense. French or Italian or North Korean or Latvian or British or Indian humans have the same inalienable rights as U.S. humans do. However, the U.S. Government has no jurisdiction in other sovereign lands, therefore it has no legitimate say in those humans' rights. It is the obligation of humans everywhere to stand up for themselves, or to face the consequences of inaction.

    The Founding Fathers took many of these ideas from Hobbes, Locke, Smith, et al. However, the human rights as set out by those philosophers was Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness, Property, Privacy, and a few others. The Founding Fathers limited the legally-recognized scope of rights to Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. You have no constitutional "right" to privacy in the U.S., per se, no matter what any federal or state law might happen to say. You have no right to property, because if you did, once obtained, it could never legally be taken from you, nor subject to annexation through eminent domain, and you could only be taxed to pay for services, not to be allowed to continue to hold property you legally bought and paid for.

    On a totally separate note and thought, if I had the power to re-do the Constitution, this is what I would do to/with it. I would model it on a Linux/UNIX-type operating system, with a central "kernal" which could not ever be modified, but which would only contain those essential basic elements that should never need to be modified in any way. I would then have separate layers of the Constitution which could, depending on their significance, be modified with a gradiated system of difficulty. That is, certain basic (but just outside of the core) things would be the hardest to modify, and the things on the outer areas of it would be the easiest to modify.

    Further, I believe that every part of the Constitution needs to carry with it code-like documentation, explaining in layman's terms who wrote it, who authorized it, why it was written at all, why it was written in the particular way that it was, what it is intended to mean by the authors, what things are capable of being considered "under its jurisdiction", and so forth. Among other things, and probably located in the "kernel" of the new Constitution, would be a rule stating all parts of the Constitution MUST carry this sort of documentation, including amendments, and also all Federal Laws and Statutes must also have this sort of documentation written into them.

    Then, I would throw out all the Federal Laws and Statutes presently existing, and replace them with Constitutionally-compliant laws, all of which would be in compliance with the documentation standard.

    Basically, the kernel would state that this is the new U.S. Constitution; it would contain various original elements of the present Constitution, the various items in the Bill of Rights, laws stating that all legal citizens are legally equal and may not be subject to segregation, ethnic-, age-, gender-, orientation-, etc. discrimination, and probably a few other odd things here and there.

    Oh, and it would DEFINITELY state that the Federal Government was not permitted to do anything at all, whatsoever, for any reason or purpose, unless it was granted to it in the Constitution or amendments thereto, in addition to stating that any rights not granted exclusively to the Federal Government were vested among the states and the people.

    I wouldn't give full and equal rights to non-citizens because I wouldn't want, for instance, anyone not a citizen to be allowed to vote, hold public office, etc. However, in there some place I'd probably have language to the effect that they cannot be discriminated against in a court of law, or in most civil and domestic matters, and then except out those specific things like voting, etc.

    What do you folks think of this?
    Justin Cardwell likes this.
    03-05-2013 07:53 PM
  17. Aquila's Avatar
    Ok, so Rights listed in the Bill of Rights are in addition to the inalienable Rights that all humans possess? And therefore, they apply only to those persons who opt-in via citizenship to participate in a system of government defined by the Constitution?
    03-05-2013 08:08 PM
  18. Mooncatt's Avatar
    I kinda like it, but sounds pretty complex. Our current one was written so the common man could understand it (changes in common language over time notwithstanding). I do seem to remember a bill introduced that would require Congress to give reasons to justify a new bill's need in said bill, but I give you one guess how well that was received.
    03-05-2013 08:12 PM
  19. Aquila's Avatar
    I kinda like it, but sounds pretty complex. Our current one was written so the common man could understand it (changes in common language over time notwithstanding). I do seem to remember a bill introduced that would require Congress to give reasons to justify a new bill's need in said bill, but I give you one guess how well that was received.
    Which week were they there doing work?
    03-05-2013 08:16 PM
  20. Aquila's Avatar
    Congress should give us weekly patch notes and do an annual system update to the US Code.
    03-05-2013 08:18 PM
  21. dmmarck's Avatar
    Congress should give us weekly patch notes and do an annual system update to the US Code.
    You can sorta get that stuff through Lexis .
    03-05-2013 08:23 PM
  22. Mooncatt's Avatar
    Which week were they there doing work?
    I think it was sometime back in 1893...
    03-05-2013 08:26 PM
  23. Aquila's Avatar
    You can sorta get that stuff through Lexis .
    Yeah, and you can read the actual bills in most cases, but usually it's, "amend line 4 of section 2A of USC 11.23.4k2kAAA, all instances of 'whilst' shall state 'while'..." Very hard to have the time to get the actual big picture from some of this.
    03-05-2013 08:27 PM
  24. dmmarck's Avatar
    Yeah, and you can read the actual bills in most cases, but usually it's, "amend line 4 of section 2A of USC 11.23.4k2kAAA, all instances of 'whilst' shall state 'while'..." Very hard to have the time to get the actual big picture from some of this.
    That's why you must do legislative histories. I'm doing one currently for a case and, while it's a massive pain in the ***, it allows a very clear picture of legislative intent to develop, where otherwise most folks just shoot in the dark.
    Aquila likes this.
    03-05-2013 08:28 PM
  25. Aquila's Avatar
    I believe two of the biggest steps we can take to start reasserting our rights are:

    1. Get money out of politics. If you think about it, in a truly democratically elected government, where the people choose the candidates, not the bankers... we never would have heard of Barrack Obama or Mitt Romney. Multiple parties would have the ability to influence the process and everyone would likely be better served. I believe this is best served by a constitutional amendment, for which there are a variety of models out there to research and choose from. The most important one, IMO is term limits in the SCOTUS. Fine with leaving it appointed, but this for life thing has got to go.
    2. Term Limits. On the SCOTUS, on the Senate, on the House, on cabinet positions; almost across the board. If it's elected or appointed, term limit. I believe this is best served by a constitutional amendment, though I haven't seen a model for this yet, though it has huge support nation wide.

    With these two steps, the People can start to take back and reform the system to reflect the values of themselves, not the 146 people who chose the president and over 80% of the congressional races in 2012.
    03-06-2013 12:49 AM
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