Lessons about the Constitution
(cross posted on Uncommon Sense)
If you, like me, know so little really about the American constitution, then the only way you can wrap your brain around it is in reference to something. How does it apply and how does it apply today. Why has their been such a great concern by Democrats, Libertarians and Independents alike about the dismantling, or 'fidgeting' of the Constitution and Constitution law?
What? No mention of Republicans? I would like to think that those Republicans who would call themselves truly conservative (but not neoconservative) would not vote Republican anymore or either become Independents or Libertarians. Sure there might be some for Obama but I have no doubt the numbers are negligable. And for this discussion irrelevant anyway.
What discussion am I talking about then? Well, how does one learn about the Constitution? Should it be by rote like in school where you learn it, memorize the parts and have to pass a test? I would suggest to old and new comers to these 'lessons' about the Constitution which you will find on this site that it is all by exploring how it is being abused and undermined. Nothing gets a discussion fired up and going when one has to quote and interpret the Constitution and let's not forget the Amendments.
A book I highly recommend through which to indirectly learn about the Constitution and its Amendments is the latest book by Project Censored. Their 'Censored 2008'- the top 25 censored stories of 2006-07, covers materials that indirectly deal with the constitution and the basic 'mission statement' of this country. Let me give you some chapter topics and I will let you investigate, this book is found online and in the library so there's no excuse in not knowing how to get the information. Here goes;
(bummed from A Spork in the Drawer)
*No Habeus Corpus for "any person" (that's a biggie 'cause any person does not mean just terrorists but could VERY easily be interpreted to be you, who's an activist rounded up like what happened at the RNC..you're one step away from being branded)
*Bush moves towards martial law (do I need to say more?)
*Immigrant roundups to gain cheap labour for US corporate giants
*Impunity for US war criminals
*Terror Act against animal rights activists
Abuses and encroachment abound but you won't see it if you don't read the stories and have your handy dandy Constitution/Amendments reference by your side.
Media ownership is pretty monopolized and Ben Bagdikian shows that from 50 companies in 1983, only 5 big corporations own the media. Who is going to report on all these constitutional abuses? Not the media.
Yes, the lessons about the Constitution can be found here on this site (referring to Uncommon Sense), or on quite a few alternative websites for which I hope we can make a blogroll pretty soon. (As I should here on my own) Alternative media and citizen journalism through blogs with their own opinion pieces have picked up where the media left off. If you want to learn about the Constitution, these days, you're better off learning about the issues that challenge them. And courtesy of the last 8 years (although it started covertly much longer ago) , we have plenty of materials.