Good to remember and apply: The United States Bill of Rights

United States Bill of Rights
First Amendment – Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Second Amendment – Militia (United States), Sovereign state, Right to keep and bear arms.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.[5]
Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Fifth Amendment – due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, eminent domain.
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 for 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 be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and rights of the accused; Confrontation Clause, speedy trial, public trial, right to counsel
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein 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.
Seventh Amendment – Civil trial by jury.
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 re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Nugget Project ballot question petition submitted to clerk

Nugget Project ballot question petition submitted to clerk


The people behind the petition effort to force the Carson City Center aka Nugget Project on the ballot submitted 4,559 signatures to the Carson City Clerk-Recorder’s office for verification this morning.

The group needs have have 2,935 signatures verified by the clerk to qualify the petition. Day Williams, an attorney who is part of the petitioners’ group, said they did their own verification check of the signatures against the voter rolls and are confident they have more than enough to qualify.

The question asks Carson City voters if they want the Nugget Project to be approved by a vote of the people.

Once verified, the petition question would then go to the Board of Supervisors, who can choose to enact the question as an ordinance. If they don’t, then it would automatically go on the ballot in November.

Last week, the supervisors approved their own ballot question for the Nugget Project, asking voters to approve a 1/4 cent sales tax increase to fund the $28 million effort to construct a knowledge and discovery center on land behind the Carson Nugget.

Sonia Taggart, who serves on the Carson City Library Foundation Board, said they would have to wait to see how the process of this ballot question petition plays out.

“We would prefer to see one question on the ballot so the people better understand it.” Taggart said. “People might get confused seeing both of these questions on the ballot at the same time.”

Pro-Life group lauds Long victory

Pro-life group lauds Long victory
News Notebook
June 26, 2012 – Chris Morris
The statements and press releases are flowing into my email inbox. Here’s what the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund is saying about Wendy Long’s victory in the U.S. Senate primary:
“Wendy is a remarkable advocate for women and families and we are thrilled with tonight’s victory,” said Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Not only does she provide an ideal contrast to the pro-abortion leadership of Senator Gillibrand, Wendy is an accomplished leader in her own right. A mother and successful career woman who even went on to clerk for the Supreme Court, Wendy has the broad-based appeal that New York voters are looking for. “Like President Obama, Senator Gillibrand has revealed where her true loyalties lie. Since taking office in 2009, she has repeatedly abandoned women, young girls, and unborn children to stand with the abortion lobby. Leading up to November, we will continue to expose her radical record.”

Previously, the Susan B. Anthony List produced a web video exposing Senator Gillibrand’s loyalty to President Obama and the abortion lobby. In March, Wendy Long won a significant plurality of delegate votes at the New York State Republican Convention, winning 47 percent of the vote while her opponents each won 27 percent and 25 percent. Because Long also received the unanimous endorsement of the New York Conservative party, her name will appear twice on the ballot this November.

Colorado Fire Worsens–The President Should Be in Colorado

Colorado wildfires: Several fires explode across Front Range

POSTED:   06/26/2012 11:00:00 PM MDT
UPDATED:   06/27/2012 08:49:26 AM MDT

By Jeremy P. Meyer
The Denver Post

The Waldo Canyon fire roars through a neighborhood in the hills above Colorado Springs on Tuesday. An untold number of homes were destroyed. More photos of the Waldo Canyon Fire. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

A three-day-old wildfire erupted with catastrophic fury Tuesday, ripping across the foothills neighborhoods of Colorado Springs, devouring an untold number of homes and sending tens of thousands fleeing to safety in what was shaping up as one of the biggest disasters in state history. “This is a firestorm of epic proportions,” said Colorado Springs Fire Chief Richard Brown. The Waldo Canyon fire in El Paso County — which had been growing in the forested hills on the city’s west side — blew into an inferno late in the afternoon, raging over a ridge toward densely populated neighborhoods.

An apocalyptic plume of smoke covered Colorado’s second-largest city as thousands of people forced to evacuate clogged Interstate

25 at rush hour trying to get to their homes or to get out of the way. 

By nightfall, roughly 32,000 people left their homes, chased out by the flames.

“We have homes burning right now,” El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said shortly before 9 p.m.

The sheriff was among those forced from their homes by the fire.

“This is a very bad day,” said Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach.

As the fire continued to grow, all of northwest Colorado Springs was ordered evacuated, including the Air Force Academy.

“People are freaking out,” said Kathleen Tillman, who drove up I-25 from Pueblo to her house in northern Colorado Springs. “You are driving through smoke. It is completely pitch black, and there is tons of ash dropping on the road.”

At the same time the fire in Colorado Springs was erupting with a new fury, a lightning-sparked wildfire in Boulder blew up in the tinder-dry forest above the city. The Flagstaff fire grew in minutes to an estimated 228 acres and sent a smoke column over Boulder Valley. Twenty-six homes were evacuated, and residents of more than 2,000 homes in south Boulder were told to be ready to flee as the fire crept one ridge away from coming into the city.


Crews assembled at Fairview High School in case the wildfire burned into the city. 

“This is the structure-protection plan,” said Jeff Long, battalion chief for Boulder Fire Rescue. “We are staying here in case it takes a turn for the worse. As long as the city is threatened, we’ll be here.”

It is a scenario that firefighting officials have feared as the conditions continued to get worse over the past week.

Scorching temperatures have baked the Front Range for several days as thousands of firefighters on the ground and more than 100 planes and helicopters have been battling more than eight wildfires across the state.

Denver tied a record with its fifth straight day of temperatures of at least 100 degrees, and weather in the 90s is expected to continue for several days even as officials hoped that seasonal subtropical moisture would eventually creep into the region and bring much-needed rain.

While Colorado Springs and Boulder took over the headlines, crews working on the High Park fire west of Fort Collins was measured at 87,250 acres with still 55 percent containment. That fire, the most destructive in state history, has torched at least 257 homes, nine more than previously thought.

Conditions are dry throughout the state. Even a fire near Last Chance on the Eastern Plains blew up to 45,000 acres in just eight hours.

But as darkness arrived, it was clear that the biggest fight in the state was in Colorado Springs, where ghostly orange flames rose across the city’s western edge.

Gov. John Hickenlooper arrived in Colorado Springs late Tuesday.

“The bottom line is we’re just going to have to work through this — all of us,” Hickenlooper said. “We just flew over the fires. … It was like looking at a military invasion.”

Wind gusts of 65 mph and the hottest day on record for Colorado Springs — the high hit 101 degrees — proved to be an explosive combination for the Waldo Canyon fire, which until Tuesday had not touched a structure.

“I’ve seen a lot of fires, but I have never seen one move this quickly,” Sheriff Maketa said.

By early evening, the website for the Flying W Ranch, a Western-themed attraction west of Garden of the Gods, announced that it had “burned to the ground.”

“Please keep us in your thoughts and those whose homes are close to us,” an official of the Flying W Ranch said in an e-mail.

Denver Post staff writers Kurtis Lee, Tom McGhee, Erin Udell and the Boulder Daily Camera contributed to this report.

Read more:Colorado wildfires: Several fires explode across Front Range – The Denver Post
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What if We Paid Off the Debt?

What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report
Categories: Government, Debt
12:59 pm

October 20, 2011

Planet Money has obtained a secret government report outlining what once looked like a potential crisis: The possibility that the U.S. government might pay off its entire debt.

It sounds ridiculous today. But not so long ago, the prospect of a debt-free U.S. was seen as a real possibility with the potential to upset the global financial system.

We recently obtained the report through a Freedom of Information Act Request. You can read the whole thing here. (It’s a PDF.)

The report is called “Life After Debt”. It was written in the year 2000, when the U.S. was running a budget surplus, taking in more than it was spending every year. Economists were projecting that the entire national debt could be paid off by 2012.
This was seen in many ways as good thing. But it also posed risks. If the U.S. paid off its debt there would be no more U.S. Treasury bonds in the world.

“It was a huge issue … for not just the U.S. economy, but the global economy,” says Diane Lim Rogers, an economist in the Clinton administration.
The U.S. borrows money by selling bonds. So the end of debt would mean the end of Treasury bonds.

But the U.S. has been issuing bonds for so long, and the bonds are seen as so safe, that much of the world has come to depend on them. The U.S. Treasury bond is a pillar of the global economy.

Banks buy hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth, because they’re a safe place to park money.

Mortgage rates are tied to the interest rate on U.S. treasury bonds.

The Federal Reserve — our central bank — buys and sells Treasury bonds all the time, in an effort to keep the economy on track.

If Treasury bonds disappeared, would the world unravel? Would it adjust somehow?

“I probably thought about this piece easily 16 hours a day, and it took me a long time to even start writing it,” says Jason Seligman, the economist who wrote most of the report.

It was a strange, science-fictiony question.

“What would it look like to be in a United States without debt?” Seligman says. “What would life look like in those United States?”

Yes, there were ways for the world to adjust. But certain things got really tricky.

For example: What do you do with the money that comes out of people’s paychecks for Social Security? Now, a lot of that money gets invested in –- you guessed it — Treasury bonds. If there are no Treasury bonds, what do you invest it in? Stocks? Which stocks? Who picks?

In the end, Seligman concluded it was a good idea to pay down the debt — but not to pay it off entirely.

“There’s such a thing as too much debt,” he says. “But also such a thing, perhaps, as too little.”

The copy of Life After Debt we obtained reads “PRELIMINARY AND CLOSE HOLD OFFICIAL USE ONLY.”

The report was intended to be included in the official “Economic Report of the President” — the final one of the Clinton administration. But in the end, people above Jason Seligman decided it was too speculative, too politically sensitive. So it was never published.

The danger that we would pay off our debt by 2012 has clearly passed. There are plenty of Treasury bonds around these days. U.S. debt held by the public is now over $10 trillion.