What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 15, 2010

Bill Of Rights Day

I am told by my good friends on the Tribune-Review Editorial Board that today is "Bill of Rights Day."

Normally I take anything coming from the collective desk of Scaife's braintrust with a grain of salt, but this time, they're actually right.

Though they can't help themselves on the spin. Here's the editorial:
Today is Bill of Rights Day -- an ideal time to refocus concepts of rights and responsibilities in keeping with the Founders'.

"We poorly understand the elementary concept of rights," writes economist, adjunct faculty member and contributing scholar Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson for Grove City College's Center for Vision & Values. "Many Americans ... further cloud the issue by asserting that responsibilities frequently eclipse rights."

Protecting God-given and inalienable rights was "government's sole legitimate purpose" to the Founders, but with time and "progressive" social engineering, "clear understanding of fundamental rights has eroded." Dr. Hendrickson cites President Franklin Roosevelt's "Economic Bill of Rights" as an egregious example -- because if one citizen has a right to, say, a home, others must be compelled to provide it.

He points out that helping others is a moral -- not legal -- responsibility: "It makes no sense to say that those who work hard, are productive and have savings have a responsibility to provide for those who shirked that very same responsibility to provide for themselves."

Thanks to Hendrickson for reminding all of the Founders' perspective so all can better uphold our precious Bill of Rights.
So, what did they leave out? What did they spin?

They left out that it was Franklin Roosevelt (the boogie man of the braintrust's editorial) who proclaimed "Bill of Rights Day." He did it in response to a request by Congress.

And his defense is much cooler than the Trib's:
Now, Therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate December 15, 1941, as Bill of Rights Day. And I call upon the officials of the Government, and upon the people of the United States, to observe the day by displaying the flag of the United States on public buildings and by meeting together for such prayers and such ceremonies as may seem to them appropriate.

The first ten amendments, the great American charter of personal liberty and human dignity, became a part of the Constitution of the United States on the fifteenth day of December, 1791.

It is fitting that the anniversary of its adoption should be remembered by the Nation which, for one hundred and fifty years, has enjoyed the immeasurable privileges which that charter guaranteed: the privileges of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the free right to petition the Government for redress of grievances.

It is especially fitting that this anniversary should be remembered and observed by those institutions of a democratic people which owe their very existence to the guarantees of the Bill of Rights: the free schools, the free churches, the labor unions, the religious and educational and civic organizations of all kinds which, without the guarantee of the Bill of Rights, could never have existed; which sicken and disappear whenever, in any country, these rights are curtailed or withdrawn.
As a reminder:Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Tomorrow's Beethoven's birthday, by the way.


Pgh_Knight said...

I am going to disagree with 1 example you present.

Freedom of religion means the government can not stop the building of the community center. But, it does not mean people who don’t like it aren’t allowed to exercise their freedom of speech by saying so.

Similarly... the freedom of speech example. I do not recall any government action preventing her from speaking.

Heir to the Throne said...

Note that according to the progressive Justices any right in the Bill of Rights can be voided/ignored if it was added to appease the states.
Breyer: Madison wrote 2nd Amendment to appease the states

BTW, I am still waiting for a picture captured from the video of showing the guy's foot on moveon moonbat's head.

Pgh_Knight said...

As to your that freedom of petition example:

the court "declared that the American Civil Liberties Union and the others who brought the case -- including academics, lawyers and journalists -- did not have the standing to sue because they could not demonstrate that they had been direct targets of the clandestine surveillance."

One has the right to petition, but must have standing to sue. I suppose there are other ways to petition... so let their voices be heard that way.

EdHeath said...

One thing that has struck me for some time now is that few if any disinterested academics have tried to analyze the Second Amendment in terms of what gun control it might allow. But I guess since commenters like HTTT want to say that Obama's America has turned into a fascist state, then we have to put up with the slaughter of police; Richard Poplawski being the canonical example.

I guess according to HTTT, Stephen Breyer should not have a first amendment right to free speech, he should not be allowed to speak his opinions. Maybe if Palin is elected President the poolice will be empowered to execute on the spot any one who speaks out against the government.

Heir to the Throne said...

Stephen Breyer should not have a first amendment right to free speech.
So you agree with Sarah Palin.
If I criticize someone, I am infringing on their right to free speech?

Palin: First Amendment Rights Threatened By Criticism

As for your example of Richard Poplawski.
I can find multiple examples of the Police killing unarmed innocent people at:
Like Oscar Grant, Kathryn Johnston and Johnny Gammage.
So we should take guns from Police?

EdHeath said...

HTTT, is there a difference between saying it is Breyer's opinion that Madison wrote the 2nd amendment to appease the state, and saying that because Breyer has this opinion, then "according to the progressive Justices any right in the Bill of Rights can be voided/ignored if it was added to appease the states."?

I have long said that I think we would all be better off if either a) no one had guns at all, or b) gun ownership was restricted to hunting rifles and shotguns for civilians (ie not police or military). I think in a modern world, a networked computer is a much better tool for resistance to a tyrannical government than a gun would be. But I also realize neither of my two suggestions above is likely to occur anytime soon.

Meanwhile, I am certainly not going to say that I support all or even any police shootings (save for obvious self defense) any more than I support what Poplawski did. I mentioned Poplawski because one of the reason he gave for attacking the police was that he thought Obama was ordering the police to take away his (Poplawski's) guns, in other words, Poplawski thought he was defending his second amendment rights. I would venture to say that whatever mental illness Poplawski might have was likely exacerbated by the out and out lies on conservative blogs or in conservative comments like the ones you like to reference - like that Obama was recruiting a secret police to round up conservatives.

When you say you are "waiting for a picture showing the guy's foot on moveon moonbat's head", don't you mean the fascist's"? Or don't you believe in being "Fair and Balanced"?

Anonymous said...

httt, Breyer's comments were simply stating what has been established precedent: The right to keep and bear arms is a collective right, not an individual right. (I first saw it explained by then Chief Justice Warren Burger.)

Turning it into some sort of attack on the Bill of Rights by "progressive Justices," is a ridiculous stretch.

If you think otherwise, provide Breyer's exact words, in support of your opinion, rather than someone else's interpretations.

As I learned it, The Constitution superceded the Articles of Confederation, and provided for a much stronger givernment. The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, were made in order to satisfy states who were reluctant to ratify the Constitution, because they worried about that stronger Federal government. How is there anything new, or provocative, in saying that the 2nd Amendment was included to appease the states?

Anonymous said...

....In other words:

"Hey, look over there!"