Politics: 7 September 2010

I read the entire Constitution of the United States today for a regular article that I’m about to write. What I found was that there are a total of 22 references of “citizen.” And pretty much without exception, these references have to do with voting: who can be president, senator, representative, and who can vote for them. I bring this up because back a while, I heard some people talking about how only citizens have rights of Habeas Corpus. This is what the Constitution says about this in Article I Section 9: “The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” You see: no “citizen” there. Conservatives really like to say that the Bill of Rights is just about citizens. It isn’t. This goes back to the Declaration of Independence (and further), where Jefferson (well, actually Thomas Paine did the first draft) wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” That’s “all men” and not “all men who just happen to be born in a particular place.” (I don’t have time to get into the sexism and racism of these documents—but I will!)

You remember Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida who is planning an International Burn a Koran Day, right? Well, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, General Petraeus said that such a stunt would put American troops in danger. Conservative Christian bloggers are going nuts over this. They only like Petraeus when he just shuts up and kills people. The pastor is going to “pray on it.”

Obama is coming out swinging. This is long (almost an hour), but man oh man, am I proud to call him my President. If you have the time, watch it.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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