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The 1st 10 Amendments updated for our time


Nearly everything has changed in the United States since the Bill of
Rights was written and adopted. We still see the original words when
we read those first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, yet the meaning
is vastly different now.

And no wonder. We've gone from a country of a few million to a few
hundred million. The nation's desire to band together was replaced by
revulsion of togetherness. We exchanged a birthright of justice for a
magic bullet, and replaced the Pioneer Spirit with the Pioneer Stereo.

We're not the people who founded this country and our Bill of Rights
should reflect this.

As we approach the 21st Century, it's time to bring the wording up to
date showing what we are and who we are.


Congress shall make no law establishing religion, but shall act as if
it did; and shall make no laws abridging the freedom of speech, unless
such speech can be construed as "commercial speech" or "irresponsible
speech" or "offensive speech;" or shall abridge the right of the
people to peaceably assemble where and when permitted; or shall
abridge the right to petition the government for a redress of
grievances, under proper procedures.

It shall be unlawful to cry "Fire!" in a theatre occupied by three or
more persons, unless such persons shall belong to a class declared
Protected by one or more divisions of Federal, State or Local
government, in which case the number of persons shall be one or more.


A well-regulated military force shall be maintained under control of
the President, and no political entity within the United States shall
maintain a military force beyond Presidential control. The right of
the people to keep and bear arms shall be determined by the Congress
and the States and the Cities and the Counties and the Towns (and
someone named Fred.)


No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without
the consent of the owner, unless such house is believed to have been
used, or believed may be used, for some purpose contrary to law or
public policy.


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures may not be
suspended except to protect public welfare. Any place or conveyance
shall be subject to search by law enforcement forces of any political
entity, and any such places or conveyances, or any property within
them, may be confiscated without judicial proceeding if believed to be
used in a manner contrary to law.


Any person may be held to answer for a crime of any kind upon any
suspicion whatever; and may be put in jeopardy of life or liberty by
the state courts, by the federal judiciary, and while incarcerated;
and may be compelled to be a witness against himself by the forced
submission of his body or any portion thereof, and by testimony in
proceedings excluding actual trial. Private property forfeited under
judicial process shall become the exclusive property of the judicial
authority and shall be immune from seizure by injured parties.


In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to
avoid prosecution by exhausting the legal process and its
practitioners. Failure to succeed shall result in speedy
plea-bargaining resulting in lesser charges. Convicted persons shall
be entitled to appeal until sentence is completed. It shall be
unlawful to bar or deter an incompetent person from service on a jury.


In civil suits, where a contesting party is a person whose private
life may interest the public, the right of trial in the Press shall
not be abridged.


Sufficient bail may be required to ensure that dangerous persons
remain in custody pending trial. There shall be no right of the public
to be afforded protection from dangerous persons, and such protection
shall be dependent upon incarceration facilities available.


The enumeration in The Constitution of certain rights shall be
construed to deny or discourage others which may from time to time be
extended by the branches of Federal, State or Local government, unless
such rights shall themselves become enacted by Amendment.


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution
shall be deemed to be powers residing in persons holding appointment
therein through the Civil Service, and may be delegated to the States
and local Governments as determined by the public interest. The
public interest shall be determined by the Civil Service.

The Pen is mightier than the Sword.
The Court is mightier than the Pen.
The Sword is mightier than the Court.
- Rey Barry -
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