The Constitution is difficult to amend

Justice John Paul Stevens explains that gun control initiatives are not necessarily contrary to the Second Amendment.

Stock Photo of the Consitution of the United States and Feather QuillNothing is more fundamental in our democracy than our right to vote. “We are witnesses today to attacks on that hard-won right… Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP… reminded us that our votes were paid for with blood.” So, of all the Supreme Court decisions in the last couple years, the one gutting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was among the most troubling. What Happened Next in These 8 States Will Not Shock You.

Therefore, I was slack-jawed when some guy wrote Continue reading “The Constitution is difficult to amend”

Yassin Aref: a matter of (in)justice

The evidence shows that as early as December 2002, the FBI thought Yassin Aref was really an Al Queda agent named Mohammed Yasin, using a pseudonym. The real Yassin, who was missing two finger, was killed in Gaza in 2010.

picture from the projectsalam.org webpage
It was local front page news, of course, back in 2006: two Muslims convicted of material support for TERRORISM, in Albany, New York! But even a casual reading of the news reports running up to the conviction of Yassin Aref, an Albany iman, and Mohammed Hossain, a pizzeria owner, didn’t add up. The clips of them with the FBI “informant” did NOT indicate the hate-filled speech I was told to expect.

Read about Yassin Aref’s arrest, conviction and incarceration in this 2011 article for New York magazine. It discusses the government’s “controversial policy of preemptive prosecution—taking down those thought to possibly become terrorists in the future.”

Now Aref’s lawyers will file papers Continue reading “Yassin Aref: a matter of (in)justice”

The One Good Thing Is That We Learn About the US Constitution

There was a truly horrific ruling by the US Ninth Circuit Court in August 2010 allowing warrantless GPS tracking by law enforcement.


Hey, kids, it’s Constitution Day again! And boy, have we learned about the application of the foundation of the United States in the past year or so, or what?

Article I, Section 8. The Congress shall have Power
[8] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

The notion of “limited” gets longer every revisiting of the Copyright law, contrary, in my opinion, to the original intent of the Founders.

Article II [5] No person except a natural born Citizen…shall be eligible to the Office of President

Yes, don’t hear as much about them lately, but the birthers, who claim President Obama is not eligible to be President, are still out there.

Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

This, of course, is at the heart of the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” debate; the usual line about this is that they have a RIGHT to build the Islamic center but that they OUGHT NOT TO. Continue reading “The One Good Thing Is That We Learn About the US Constitution”