Here Thar Be Monsters!

From the other side of the argument to the other side of the planet, read in over 149 countries and 17 languages. We bring you news and opinion with an IndoTex® flavor. Be sure to check out Radio Far Side. Send thoughts and comments to luap.jkt at gmail, and tell all your friends. Sampai jumpa, y'all.

10.9.12

If I Were King Of The Forest

Any man who goes about with "constitution" on his lips should be boiled in his own pudding.  So say I.

I think constitutions are an evil plot by a secret cabal to take over the world.  After all, they are about as effectual as lashings with wet noodles.  They are, in the end, only pieces of paper that are only as good as those who purport to uphold them, and the people who are supposed to keep their governments chained to them.

Constitutions are, in fact, useless.

Here in Indonesia, you can't get two people in a room who have actually read this constitution, much less who are willing to actively hold the government to its strictures.  In fact, I am probably one of the few people who have ever read the thing, including elected office holders.

Not that it matters much, since laws in Indonesia serve only one purpose: to spark creative circumvention of the laws while profiting from it.

On the other hand, in the States, it used to be required reading in school.  In civics classes, one had to be able to enumerate the Bill of Rights on command.  Yet, there is hardly a school child in the whole country who is aware that Lincoln destroyed the constitution, and that the country has been on a downhill slide ever since.  Most kids will tell you that Lincoln was a hero, if they still know who he was.

The thing about constitutions is that none I have ever read have any hooks in them.  They rattle on in glorious prose about the limits of power and the rights of the people, but what happens if the legislative bodies violate its strictures?

Go on...tell me what punishments are written into the constitution of your favorite country to discourage the lawmakers from violating its tenets?

You...the American over there lurking in the corner...can you point out the line where it says, "Congress shall make no law abridging the right of...and if they do, they will be flogged in the public square and branded with the word 'Idiot' on their forehead, and listed on the National Constitution Offender website."

I didn't think so.

You see, laws without punishments are just pleasant suggestions, like the cashier saying, "Have a nice day," as she hands you your change.

If I were writing a constitution for my eventual island nation in the South Pacific, I would start the whole thing off with this:

"This here document is the Supreme Law of the Land.  If any law passed by Congress is found to be unconstitutional, then everyone who voted for it shall be skinned aline and salted, and if any judge is found to have mumbled and circumlocuted declaring a law unconstitutional for self-serving purposes, that judge shall be waterboarded while a car battery is wired to his/her most painful body parts.  This paragraph may not be amended, altered, abridged, or changed in any way."

What's the bet that my Congresscritters will read every single letter of every single line of every single law 17 times, and vote against any that have the slightest ambiguity in them, in terms of constitutionality?  I'd be willing to bet the little chicken turds wouldn't pass more than two laws a decade, which should be just about right.

Furthermore, I'd make it the Law of the Land that if any individual or group tried to amend my constitution to take away my God-given rights, like drinking alcohol or playing with guns, or both at that same time, then they would be hog-tied face down in horse manure for no less than one week.  No excuses.

My Bill of Rights would have 419 line items, and state clearly that it was only a partial list, and that just about anything else you can imagine is also a right, as long as it doesn't harm another's life or property, or bugger the neighbor's livestock.  And if there's even the slightest bit of doubt, then it's a right, so leave it alone.

The best part about my constitution is that there will only be one representative for every 500 registered voters.  That should take a while just to get one.  But to make sure, then anyone who registers to vote shall be put in a dingy and cast out to sea during a typhoon.  That should ensure that no Congresscritter ever gets seated and able to do any damage while still allowing me to claim my little country is a constitutional democracy, so we can get some of that yummy IMF money.

You want a passport?  Make one and I'll stamp it "offishul".  You need a driver's license?  Find a graphic artist with a laminator.  You want a birth certificate?  Write up the details and get it notarized.  You want Social Security?  Get a job, save your money, and maintain close family ties.

The best part is my little nation's space program.  Anyone who wants a cushy job with fat pension while calling themselves a 'bureaucrat' will be bolted into a rocket and sent on a one-way trip to colonize Mars.  Ain't that fun?

Now...unless you can show me a constitution that looks something like what I've outlined here, then honestly you are living a complete lie.  You have no sacred document, no lawful government, no social contract.  Just a bunch of hype and hot air.  You certainly don't have a constitutional republic, since there's nothing to make the Congresscritters adhere to the law.  Eventually, sooner than later, they'll trash the thing and go do whatever lines their pockets the deepest.

If you need examples of what I'm talking about, select any nation-state on Earth at this moment.  There you go.