links for 2008-05-09
We are really not this brave. We’re just going to go to Canada.
The Toronto papers make fun of us for censoring a children’s book. As well they should
It’s been a tough year for Americans. We’ve endured one of the worst events in our nation’s history — the stealing of an election by a man who didn’t win the office. We’ve also had to deal with a terrible terrorist attack on our own shores… something we never imagined could happen. And since then, the liberties we’ve enjoyed as American citizens have been systematically dismantled under the guise of "Homeland Security." Now more than ever (oops, that’s a cliché, isn’t it?) celebrating our Independence Day is very important.
In celebration of the Fourth of July this year, why not do something other than just shooting off fireworks? Why not do something that truly says, "I’m a free human being living in the United States of America, and I believe in the founding principle of my country: Liberty!"
Do something (anything) to exercise one of the freedoms guaranteed to you in the most important document that belongs to our country–the Bill of Rights (reprinted here for you to peruse).
Also, Here’s something you COULD do. I’m not saying I do this, but you could do it, if you wanted…. Considering the recent hullabaloo about the unconstitutionality of the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, a number of people on both sides of the issue have pointed out that we celebrate God on our money with "In God We Trust." The religious right wants you to believe that our founding fathers were responsible for including references to God on our currency and in other government institutions, but the reality is that this happened during the red scare in the 1950’s. Prior to 1956, our national motto was "E Pluribus Unum" (Out of Many, One), not "In God We Trust."
Take any bill of currency, find the phrase "In God We Trust" and cross out the word "God." Yep, cross it right out. He’s not supposed to be here anyway. (See Amendment I below.) Then, above the word "God" write in the word "Freedom" or the word "Liberty."
Is this illegal? Is defacing money against the law? Only if you deface the money in such a way and with the intent that it can’t be recirculated. If you tear it, cut it up, make it unreadable or in some way that it cannot be used any longer. Simply crossing out the "God" on your money doesn’t make it impossible to pass on to someone else. In fact, that’s really the point, isn’t it? Passing it on to someone else so they see it and spend it, too. Writing on money is just an expression of the First Amendment.
However, there are some cases where federal officials have harassed people who defaced money and otherwise threatened or intimidated them. Which is why I personally am not defacing any money. No siree.
"Not enough" you say? This is too small to make a difference? Well here are some other suggestions for things you can do to protest the erosion of your basic freedoms.