Bill of Rights
How many rights do you have? You should check, because it might not be
as many today as it was a few years ago, or even a few months ago. Some
warrant without knocking or that they set up roadblocks and stop and
infringements on their rights. But when you put current events together,
concerned: The amount of the Bill of Rights that is under attack is
being pushed on or threatened. The point here is not the degree of each
attack or its rightness or wrongness, but the sheer number of rights that
are under attack.
petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Bush said “I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor
should they be considered patriots.” Bush has not retracted, commented on,
or clarified this statement, in spite of requests to do so. According to
governments also promote a particular religion (or, occasionally,
FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION: Robert Newmeyer and Glenn Braunstein were jailed
carrying Bibles. Since judges no longer carry Bibles, Braunstein says there
this religious practice, Newmeyer and Braunstein were jailed and are now
defined by the Federal Communications Commission [FCC]). The FCC is
the Mapplethorpe exhibit.
contributions to political activities. In 1985, the Michigan Chamber of
Commerce wanted to take out an advertisement supporting a candidate in the
state house of representatives. But a 1976 Michigan law prohibits a
corporation from using its general treasury funds to make independent
expenditures in a political campaign. In March, the Supreme Court upheld
urgent concern to their members.
FREE PRESS: As in speech, technology has provided another excuse for
government intrusion in the press. If you distribute a magazine
electronically and do not print copies, the government doesn’t consider you
printed news. The equipment used to publish Phrack, a worldwide electronic
Practice (BSP) 660-225-104SV Control Office Administration of Enhanced 911
of the information in this document was publicly available from Bell South
in other documents. The government has not alleged that the publisher of
Phrack, Craig Neidorf, was involved with or participated in the copying of
the document. Also, the person who copied this document from telephone
Andrews forwarded a copy to AT&T officials and cooperated with authorities
along with all the mail and data that were on it. Andrews was not charged
with any crime.
FREE PRESS: In another incident that would be comical if it were not true,
irreparably damaged property; and confiscated three computers, two laser
target of the SS operation was to seize all copies of a game of fiction
called GURPS Cyberpunk. The Cyberpunk game contains fictitious break-ins in
computers, nor is it played on computers. The SS never filed any charges
against SJG but still refused to return confiscated property.
PEACEABLE ASSEMBLY: The right to assemble peaceably is no longer free –
you have to get a permit. Even that is not enough; some officials have to
be sued before they realize their reasons for denying a permit are not
people from loitering for more than seven minutes and exchanging small
objects. Punishment is two years in jail. Consider the scene in jail:
“What’d you do?” “I was waiting at a bus stop and gave a guy a cigarette.”
This is not an impossible occurrence: In Pittsburgh, Eugene Tyler, 15, has
PETITION FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES: Rounding out the attacks on the first
amendment, there is a sword hanging over the right to petition for redress
Act, tries to “modify” the right to habeas corpus. It sets time limits on
the right of people in custody to petition for redress and also limits the
courts in which such an appeal may be heard.
“legitimate” sporting purposes. This is a perversion of the right to bear
arms for two reasons. First, the basis of freedom is not that permission to
do legitimate things is granted to the people, but rather that the
government is empowered to do a limited number of legitimate things –
everything else people are free to do; they do not need to justify their
choices. Second, should the need for defense arise, it will not be hordes
of deer that the security of a free state needs to be defended from.
Defense would be needed against humans, whether external invaders or
would be needed to defend the security of a state are guns to attack people,
not guns for sporting purposes.
Firearms regulations also empower local officials, such as police chiefs,
people in the right places are granted permits, or towns where women are
generally denied the right to carry a weapon for self-defense.
consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed
QUARTERING SOLDIERS: This amendment is fairly clean so far, but it is not
entirely safe. Recently, 200 troops in camouflage dress with M-16s and
helicopters swept through Kings Ridge National Forest in Humboldt County,
soldiers assaulted people on private land with M-16s and barred them from
their own property. This might not be a direct hit on the third amendment,
but the disregard for private property is uncomfortably close.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
persons or things to be seized.
RIGHT TO BE SECURE IN PERSONS, HOUSES, PAPERS AND EFFECTS AGAINST
right to be secure from seizure. Entire stores of books or videotapes have
been confiscated based upon the presence of some sexually explicit items.
Bars, restaurants, or houses are taken from the owners because employees or
tenants sold drugs. In Volusia County, Florida, Sheriff Robert Vogel and
his officers stop automobiles for contrived violations. If large amounts of
cash are found, the police confiscate it on the PRESUMPTION that it is drug
money — even if there is no other evidence and no charges are filed
against the car’s occupants. The victims can get their money back only if
they prove the money was obtained legally. One couple got their money back
by proving it was an insurance settlement. Two other men who tried to get
their two thousand dollars back were denied by the Florida courts.
RIGHT TO BE SECURE IN PERSONS, HOUSES, PAPERS AND EFFECTS AGAINST
UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES: A new law goes into effect in Oklahoma
citizens are required to list all their personal property for tax assessors,
watches, jewelry, and personal, private, or professional libraries. If a
citizen refuses to list their property or is suspected of not listing
something, the law directs the assessor to visit and enter the premises,
everything you own is not being secure in one’s home and effects.
accepted. This practice has been condoned by the Supreme Court.
PARTICULARLY DESCRIBING THE PLACE TO BE SEARCHED AND PERSONS OR THINGS TO
BE SEIZED: Today’s warrants do not particularly describe the things to be
seized — they list things that might be present. For example, if police
are making a drug raid, they will list weapons as things to be searched for
and seized. This is done not because the police know of any weapons and can
particularly describe them, but because they allege people with drugs often
Both of the above apply to the warrant the Hudson, New Hampshire, police
used when they broke down Bruce Lavoie’s door at 5 a.m. with guns drawn and
shot and killed him. The warrant claimed information from an anonymous
informant, and it said, among other things, that guns were to be seized.
The mention of guns in the warrant was used as reason to enter with guns
drawn. Bruce Lavoie had no guns. Bruce Lavoie was not secure from
unreasonable search and seizure — nor is anybody else.
Other infringements on the fourth amendment include roadblocks and the
Boston Police detention of people based on colors they are wearing
(supposedly indicating gang membership). And in Pittsburgh again, Eugene
shirt — police told him they heard many drug dealers at that time were
wearing sweat pants and plaid shirts.
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 to 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 shall private property be taken for public use without just
INDICTMENT OF A GRAND JURY: Kevin Bjornson has been proprietor of Hydro-
technology and cultivation. On October 26, 1989, both locations of Hydro-
Tech were raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration. National Drug
lighting and hydroponic equipment is purchased by marijuana growers, so
retailers and wholesalers of such equipment are drug profiteers and co-
conspirators. Bjornson was not charged with any crime, nor subpoenaed,
issued a warrant, or arrested. No illegal substances were found on his
premises. Federal officials were unable to convince grand juries to indict
Bjornson. By February, they had called scores of witnesses and recalled
there was reason to criminally prosecute Bjornson. In spite of that, as of
March, his bank accounts were still frozen and none of the inventories or
records had been returned. Grand juries refused to indict Bjornson, but the
government is still penalizing him.
TWICE PUT IN JEOPARDY OF LIFE OR LIMB: Members of the McMartin family in
California have been tried two or three times for child abuse. Anthony
Barnaby was tried for murder (without evidence linking him to the crime)
three times before New Hampshire let him go.
COMPELLED TO BE A WITNESS AGAINST HIMSELF: Oliver North was forced to
testify against himself. Congress granted him immunity from having anything
he said to them being used as evidence against him, and then they required
him to talk. After he did so, what he said was used to find other evidence
required to testify against yourself if you testify at all.
COMPELLED TO BE A WITNESS AGAINST HIMSELF: In the New York Central Park
assault case, three people were found guilty of assault. But there was no
physical evidence linking them to the crime; semen did not match any of the
these confessions, the police questioned a 15-year old without a parent
present — which is illegal under New York state law. Police also refused
to let the subject’s Big Brother, an attorney for the Federal government,
want to hear and cooperate or you are going to jail,” at 14-year-old Antron
McCray, according to Bobby McCray, his father. Antron McCray “confessed”
after his father told him to, so that police would release him. These
people were coerced into bearing witness against themselves, and those
confessions were used to convict them.
are required by law, with a $100 penalty for each question not answered.
But people have been evicted for giving honest Census answers. According to
the General Accounting Office, one of the most frequent ways city
governments use census information is to detect illegal two-family
dwellings. This has happened in Montgomery County, Maryland; Pullman,
Washington; and Long Island, New York. The August 8, 1989, Wall Street
Journal reports this and other ways Census answers have been used against
COMPELLED TO BE A WITNESS AGAINST HIMSELF: Drug tests are being required
from more and more people, even when there is no probable cause, no
accident, and no suspicion of drug use. Requiring people to take drug tests
compels them to provide evidence against themselves.
DEPRIVED OF LIFE, LIBERTY, OR PROPERTY WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW: This
clause is violated on each of the items life, liberty, and property.
Incidents including such violations are described elsewhere in this article.
Here are two more: On March 26, 1987, in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, Jeffrey
Miles was killed by police officer John Rucker, who was looking for a
suspected drug dealer. Rucker had been sent to the wrong house; Miles was
not wanted by police. He received no due process. In Detroit, $4,834 was
one-dollar bills in a cash register.
PRIVATE PROPERTY TAKEN FOR PUBLIC USE WITHOUT JUST COMPENSATION: RICO is
shredding this aspect of the Bill of Rights. The money confiscated by
Sheriff Vogel goes directly into Vogel’s budget; it is not regulated by the
legislature. Federal and local governments seize and auction boats,
buildings, and other property. Under RICO, the government is seizing
property without due process. The victims are required to prove not only
that they are not guilty of a crime, but that they are entitled to their
property. Otherwise, the government auctions off the property and keeps the
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy
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.
THE RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL: Surprisingly, the right to a public
trial is under attack. When Marion Barry was being tried, the prosecution
This request was based on an allegation that they would send silent and
“impermissible messages” to the jurors. The judge initially granted this
request. One might argue that the whole point of a public trial is to send
a message to all the participants: The message is that the public is
watching; the trial had better be fair.
BY AN IMPARTIAL JURY: The government does not even honor the right to trial
by an impartial jury. US District Judge Edward Rafeedie is investigating
improper influence on jurors by US marshals in the Enrique Camarena case.
US marshals apparently illegally communicated with jurors during
OF THE STATE AND DISTRICT WHEREIN THE CRIME SHALL HAVE BEEN COMMITTED: This
is incredible, but Manuel Noriega is being tried so far away from the place
invade another country and overturn a government to get him. Nor is this a
unique occurrence; in a matter separate from the Camarena case, Judge
Rafeedie was asked to dismiss charges against Mexican gynecologist Dr.
Humberto Alvarez Machain on the grounds that the doctor was illegally
abducted from his Guadalajara office in April and turned over to US
TO BE INFORMED OF THE NATURE AND CAUSE OF THE ACCUSATION: Steve Jackson
Games, nearly put out of business by the raid described previously, has
been stonewalled by the SS. “For the past month or so these guys have been
insisting the book wasn’t the target of the raid, but they don’t say what
the target was, or why they were critical of the book, or why they won’t
give it back,” Steve Jackson says. “They have repeatedly denied we’re
targets but don’t explain why we’ve been made victims.” Attorneys for SJG
tried to find out the basis for the search warrant that led to the raid on
SJG. But the application for that warrant was sealed by order of the court
property and nearly destroyed a publisher, it will not even explain the
nature and cause of the accusations that led to the raid.
TO BE CONFRONTED WITH THE WITNESSES AGAINST HIM: The courts are beginning
to play fast and loose with the right to confront witnesses. Watch out for
anonymous witnesses and videotaped testimony.
TO HAVE COMPULSORY PROCESS FOR OBTAINING WITNESSES: Ronald Reagan resisted
submitting to subpoena and answering questions about Irangate, claiming
matters of national security and executive privilege. A judge had to
dismiss some charges against Irangate participants because the government
refused to provide information subpoenaed by the defendants. And one
wonders if the government would go to the same lengths to obtain witnesses
for Manuel Noriega as it did to capture him.
TO HAVE THE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL: The right to assistance of counsel took
a hit recently. Connecticut Judge Joseph Sylvester is refusing to assign
public defenders to people ACCUSED of drug-related crimes, including drunk
TO HAVE THE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL: RICO is also affecting the right to have
the assistance of counsel. The government confiscates the money of an
accused person, which leaves them unable to hire attorneys. The IRS has
served summonses nationwide to defense attorneys, demanding the names of
clients who paid cash for fees exceeding $10,000.
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 reexamined in any Court of the United States,
than according to the rules of common law.
RIGHT OF TRIAL BY JURY IN SUITS AT COMMON LAW: This is a simple right; so
far the government has not felt threatened by it and has not made attacks
on it that I am aware of. This is our only remaining safe haven in the Bill
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor
cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
EXCESSIVE BAIL AND FINES: Tallahatchie County in Mississippi charges ten
dollars a day to each person who spends time in the jail, regardless of the
length of stay or the outcome of their trial. This means innocent people
are forced to pay. Marvin Willis was stuck in jail for 90 days trying to
raise $2,500 bail on an assault charge. But after he made that bail, he was
kept imprisoned because he could not pay the $900 rent Tallahatchie
demanded. Nine former inmates are suing the county for this practice.
here too: “… a Federal court shall not hold prison or jail crowding
unconstitutional under the eighth amendment except to the extent that an
individual plaintiff inmate proves that the crowding causes the infliction
CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS: A life sentence for selling a quarter of a
gram of cocaine for $20 — that is what Ricky Isom was sentenced to in
February in Cobb County, Georgia. It was Isom’s second conviction in two
years, and state law imposes a mandatory sentence. Even the judge
pronouncing the sentence thinks it is cruel; Judge Tom Cauthorn expressed
grave reservations before sentencing Isom and Douglas Rucks (convicted of
selling 3.5 grams of cocaine in a separate but similar case). Judge
Cauthorn called the sentences “Draconian.”
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
OTHER RIGHTS RETAINED BY THE PEOPLE: This amendment is so weak today that I
will ask not what infringements there are on it but rather what exercise of
it exists at all? What law can you appeal to a court to find you not guilty
of violating because the law denies a right retained by you?
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or
to the people.
POWERS RESERVED TO THE STATES OR THE PEOPLE: This amendment is also weak,
although it is not so nonexistent as the ninth amendment. But few states
of this country as the — singular — United States, rather than a
collection of states. This concentration of power detaches laws from the
desires of people — and even of states. House Resolution 4079 crops up
again here — it uses financial incentives to get states to set specific
penalties for certain crimes. Making their own laws certainly must be
considered a right of the states, and this right is being infringed upon.
Out of ten amendments, nine are under attack, most of them under multiple
attacks of different natures, and some of them under a barrage. If this
much of the Bill of Rights is threatened, how can you be sure your rights
are safe? A right has to be there when you need it. Like insurance, you
cannot afford to wait until you need it and then set about procuring it or
ensuring it is available. Assurance must be made in advance.
The bottom line here is that your rights are not safe. You do not know when
one of your rights will be violated. A number of rights protect accused
persons, and you may think it is not important to protect the rights of
criminals. But if a right is not there for people accused of crimes, it
will not be there when you need it. With the Bill of Rights in the sad
condition described above, nobody can be confident they will be able to
exercise the rights to which they are justly entitled. To preserve our
rights for ourselves in the future, we must defend them for everybody today.