ethel’s words

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BILL OF RIGHTS OR BILL OF GOODS?

In some societies, such as examples “sheikdoms and monarchies”, the underlying populations--servants or laborers--have duties, but no rights. (Feudal serfs were better off in a way--they had some rights.)

In “civilizations” that we like to consider “enlightened” or, maybe “post-literate”, citizens (City-zens)--those who live in the power-center cities--have duties but also have rights. Some nations, or nation-states, maybe most, have both citizens (with rights) and subjects (no rights).

It is not easy to figure out the mishmash of United States of America possessions. It was more clear in past years, when H. Rex Lee, Utahn, the “keeper” of peoples, could rule over America’s Samoa and other subjugated populations.

We can assume certain goals of U.S. hegemony over the constellation of possessions--bits of Planet Earth here and there, no doubt equipped to deliver death and destruction when that idea’s time arrives.

Uncle Sam does not want political relationships that (under his scepter) would allow union organization and stuff like “Equality Under Law”. We should be comfortable with a guess that most possessions are of military value--outposts for maintaining Empire if anybody gets “restive”.

But most Yankee Americans never question that they have rights, guaranteed by The Bill of Rights. The rights seem to be there, until they need them. When they need them badly, they usually need the American Civil Liberties Union.

Unfortunately, our prisons are full of Americans who have been denied even enough education to tell them they have rights--if only they could read well enough to find them and study them. There were better days in education, when “Civics” classes touched on, at least, the Bill of Rights.

Is there, hidden somewhere in The Constitution, a Right to be educated about Rights?

Ethel C. Hale