Sunday, September 17, 2006

Constitution Day

September 17 is Constitution Day. Today, in 1787, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention held their final meeting. Only one item of business occupied the agenda that day: to sign the Constitution of the United States of America.

219 years later, Jim Bovard ask what would be like if we celebrate Constitution Day, Dubya-style:

This is Constitution Day. The National Archives is holding a celebration in which children can stop by and sign a "faux Constitution". George [W.] Bush issued a statement earlier this week proclaiming:

America is grateful to those who have worked to defend the Constitution and promote its ideals. During this observance, we also recognize the profound impact our Constitution has on the every lives of our citizens [I am not a "citizen"; I prefer "sovereign"], and we call upon all Americans to help uphold its values of a free and just society.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 17, 2006, as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day [see above], and September 17 through September 23, 2006, as Constitution Week. I encourage Federal, State, and local officials, as well as leaders of civic, social, and educational organizations, to conduct ceremonies and programs that celebrate our Constitution and reaffirm our rights and responsibilities as citizens [see above; Dubya found it from the same trunk as he found the word "democracy"!] of our great Nation.

Bush is right (except for the "citizen" thing). The Constitution is vital. It is also vital for Americans to find important contemporary ways to celebrate its anniversary.

In the Age of Bush, here are a few ideas for properly commemorating the event:

1) Wiretap your neighbor. If he discovers it and complains, ask him whose side he is on and what does he have to hide. Send the tapes of all conversations to the local FBI.

2) Capture and torture an illegal immigrant. If he confesses, turn him in. If he doesn't confess, try new methods to extract the truth.

3) Notify your mortgage company that you appended a secret "signing statement" when you sign the mortgage. Thus, you are relieved of any duty to continue monthly payments.

What are other appropriate Bush-style ways to celebrate the anniversary of the Constitution this week?

Now, Bovard has been doing this "tongue-and-cheek". However, Jacob Hornberger posted a column two weeks ago tomorrow, and it ties perfectly with Constitution Day. It is titled, "Liberty, Power, and the Constitution". Hornberger teaches the Constitution (he is a lawyer), but from a different angle, and he ties the events of today with the Constitution. After you read the first few paragraphs, I can add to this not only does the First Amendment doesn't give people the freedom of speech, the entire Bill of Rights doesn't give people any rights at all. Read the column, and then you will know how important the Constitution is for the freedom and liberty against those who want to take our freedom and liberty away (like the 14th Amendment; i.e. "citizens"), especially our federal officials.

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