Sent: Friday, January 21, 2000 11:58 AM

Subject: Shaka, when the walls fell

Frailty of the human condition. What is it that makes us so vulnerable to so much? Why is it that we are the fearful, violent, ignorant species that we have evolved into? (Yes, evolved. None of that creation MYTH here.) Why is it that when as a species, we have reached such grand heights as to explore the oceans bottoms, climb the highest peaks, even step foot upon the moon; but as a species we cannot even master the concept of crossing the street? What has happened to bring about this lackadaisical malaise that humanity seems to be stagnating in?

Now I know some people want to argue that we are at a peak and constantly rising to new heights, but we all know that is a load of tripe. Advances in technology are moot when compared to the filth and repugnance that pervades our soceity. You don't see the filth? Open your eyes. Kids are shooting kids, not for sneakers like they used to; but because they are finding themselves confused and shunned by the popular people. News Flash: adolescence SUCKS! It is not supposed to be a joy ride. That's pretty damned narcissistic to think that if life sucks for you, it is your duty to make it worse for others.

And it does not stop there. We have adults killing adults. If your turf is that darned important to you, you are a sad pathetic twit. Sometimes it is for some important reason that the violence occurs. You may lose a game of cards. You might have an arguement over a girlfriend. You might just be an asshole. All of these, and many, many more are important only to those who live the Jerry Springer show. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Springer. It is always good to know how bad it can be so that you can appreciate your own station a bit more.

You think it can't go further? Wrong! We have governments there to make sure that the status quo thrives and free thought gets trampled by those with the money and power. Drink beer, don't do drugs, vote for the candidate of their choice, support your tobbaco farmers, and quit smoking. With all of these different messages out there bombarding us from every which way, is it any wonder that we can't go in one direction for more than a minute and a half before the moral of the story changes beneath our feet? They want you to vote so that you can affect the government that RULES you, but they neglect to point out that with a very few exceptions, it is a one party system and your vote mainly determines which of the two evils gets installed into power. By the people, indeed.

But we have rights! The Bill of Rights guarantees certain freedoms and liberties that have been mangled by the people in office.

Article I: Freedom of speech, religion, press, petition and assembly. We have the right of free speech. We can say what we want, as long as it is approved by the censors, commonly known as the media. We can worship whatever we want, and as long as it is Christian, we can be accepted into the norm. We can print whatever we want, as long as the free-speaking Christians don't think it obscene. We can petition and assemble, as long as the cause is approved by Christ, and bland enough to make it into the press, and ambiguous enough to satisfy all who don't really care one way or the other.

Article II: Right to bear arms and militia. We have the right to bear arms. As long as they are on the list of approved devices to kill with. We also have the right to have our militia put under siege and executed and burned alive to prevent any members from escaping and spreading the word of freedom.

Article III: Quartering of soldiers. We also have the right to not have the military spend the night, but this only applies to private homes, hotel parties are excluded. They can spend the night on top of anyone they want in a public facility.

Article IV: Warrants and searches. We have the right to refuse unlawful search. Unfortunately, exercising your rights is a sign of guilt, therefore you are searched with even greater fervor because your implied guilt overrides the need for a warrant.

Article V: Individual debt and double jeopardy. This here is a tricky one. I don't know about the debt part, but the rest is a mess. After being tried in a criminal court, you can be tried in a civil court. You may not be on trial for the same court, but you do get punished twice for the same crime. This amendment also states that you can't be forced to testify against yourself. This falls back to Article IV and exercising your rights implies guilt. There is also a bit in here about how private property can't be taken for public use without just compensation. The government takes land and property from people every day without compensating them justly. When they force you off your land to put in a new highway, you are lucky if you can get market value. As for search and seizure laws, you can lose anything they want to take, because they have a unconstitutional law to slither under when it suits their purpose.

Article VI: Speedy trial, witnesses and accusations. A trial now takes years to get to court. It has been shown that the witnesses used are quite often are cops who make up evidence as they go. And having the assistance of counsel is a farce. The lawyers they have providing defense for those that cannot afford a good lawyer, get screwed. The public defenders are so overworked and underpaid, they don't have the inclination or time to really care that much. They try, but are overwhelmed.

Article VII: Right for a jury trial. How often is there any impartial jury of a defendant's peers? Rich old white women sitting on a jury for a poor young black man. That does not sound like peers to me.

Article VIII: Bail and fines. Excessive fines shall not be imposed. You are getting a bit subjective here. What constitutes excessive? Excessiveness is an everyday part of court in America. And the cruel and unusual punishment part? Not that I am excusing anyone for their crimes against humanity, but some of the crap they deal with in prison is cruel and unusual. Hazing prisoners, zapping them with stun guns, hosing them with fire hoses, all sound good in practice, but on paper seem a little wrong.

Article IX: Existence of other rights for the people. Others rights are denied by people every day. Gun laws impede Article II all the time. Your land can be taken away "for the good of the country" at the drop of a hat. Sound like rights being trampled for others rights.

Article X: Power reserved to the states and people. State laws fill in where the Federal laws leave gaps and local laws fill in where the states leave gaps. This is why it is legal to beat your wife in Louisiana as long as the stick you use is shorter than your arm. Too many people making too many laws. Some overlap, some leave holes. Some of these laws make no sense, or have no real bearing on anything other than status quo type crap. In my hometown, they have tacky laws. Earth-tone colors only on buildings. Sign can only be something like 10 feet tall. When the maroon pizza hut's sign is hidden by tiny shrubberies, the laws are not doing any real good.

ho hum...

I don't know how I got onto the rant I wound up on, all I wanted was to explain why the sugar bear is a bad concept in children's cereal advertising. I guess I got sidetracked. Death to stupid people, overthrow your government, and sleep late. I have spoken.

-Dave at the SSC Call Center