Independence Day Wish

It's Independence Day in America. I guess you could call it the original #BREXIT, but rather than leaving a union of countries, the people left Britain to have the right to the pursuit of life and liberty. It took a long time after that to get where we are today. One step forward, and two steps back. We're still a relatively young country, and we still have a long way to go to get it right. You could say we're a work in progress. So today, I wish everyone a happy holiday. I hope you're spending it with those you love, and that you remember with utmost respect, those who've sacrificed all so that we may live in a free democracy. That democracy is under constant attack from both without and within, and it is our responsibility as American citizens to remain vigilant in defense of those freedoms. Let us remember that we are a nation of immigrants, of multiculturalism. We must respect and defend not only our rights, but the rights of our friends, neighbors, and even those with whom we may not completely agree or understand. We must remember that our rights end where another person's begin. That is what equality means, and no one shall be denied those rights based on religious or moral objection. This can all be preserved if we simply remember to be kind to one another. After all, isn't that what it's all about?

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The Preamble to the Constitution

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty, to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain, and establish this constitution for the United States of America.

(This was typed from memory. THANK YOU, SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK! Everyone should have this memorized, and never forget what it means.)

The U.S. Bill of Rights

First Amendment

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
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

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.

Fourth Amendment

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

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.

Sixth Amendment

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 defence.[79]
The Sixth Amendment establishes a number of rights of the defendant in a criminal trial:

Seventh Amendment

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.[79]

Eighth Amendment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.[79]

Ninth Amendment

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.[79]

Tenth Amendment

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.[79]


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