USA US Govt Secretly Collecting Data On Millions Of Verizon Users: Report

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Harry Haller

Panga Master
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Jan 31, 2011
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Harry

Perhaps we are boring you. England does not have a Bill of Rights. So you can't lose what you never had.


The English "constitution" quite different from that of the US is a collection of laws. Nor does it contain separation of legislative from executive powers, where the parliament is supposed to keep its eye peeled on executive branch. Parliament and the executive are one and the same.

Parliament can change the "constitution" by simply changing the laws.


Hence, "No Act of Parliament can be unconstitutional, for the law of the land knows not the word or the idea."

The US unlike UK does not have an Official Secrets Act. Or did not have one until Congress decided to take a nap.

fair point, I have no idea how the american government system works, or the implications, I was looking at it from a UK point of view,
 
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spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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Sorry for yet another addition. Here, laws passed by Congress and signed by the executive, can be challenged as unconstitutional in the US - if the Bill of Rights has been undermined - and some group of citizens is willing to press that notion in the courts. That is what the fuss is about.

The Bill of Rights - an aspect of constitutional governance unique to the US - cannot be nullified. Laws like FISA and the Patriot Act are tested against that standard. I hope that explains how deep the outrage is and should be.
 
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spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Nov 23, 2010
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Harry ji,
Let me point out how very wrong you are.
It is not a matter of you actually doing anything wrong. It's about what the shadow government of the U.S. might perceive as wrong. There are 89 men in a Gulag called Guantanamo that have done nothing wrong other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
You could end up there as well or on a "No fly List" for something as simple as typing Khalistan in an e-mail. It really bothers me that by writing this comment I potentially put myself at risk. I could end up on a "no fly list" or worse and have no recourse or explanation what so ever. There is no transparency.
Citizens of all countries should be up in arms over this because it effects us all.
The situation in the states has become grave. People who disagree with the Corporate America are being labeled as terrorist ,ie eco-terrorist as is the case of fracking protesters and the list goes on.
All of these actions are in the hands of a nation that is so dysfuntional that it can't pass a budget.
As I said before this effects us all.
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,192
53
Harry ji,
Let me point out how very wrong you are.
It is not a matter of you actually doing anything wrong. It's about what the shadow government of the U.S. might perceive as wrong. There are 89 men in a Gulag called Guantanamo that have done nothing wrong other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
You could end up there as well or on a "No fly List" for something as simple as typing Khalistan in an e-mail. It really bothers me that by writing this comment I potentially put myself at risk. I could end up on a "no fly list" or worse and have no recourse or explanation what so ever. There is no transparency.
Citizens of all countries should be up in arms over this because it effects us all.
The situation in the states has become grave. People who disagree with the Corporate America are being labeled as terrorist ,ie eco-terrorist as is the case of fracking protesters and the list goes on.
All of these actions are in the hands of a nation that is so dysfuntional that it can't pass a budget.
As I said before this effects us all.

Hmm ok, I can see I underestimated the point, apologies for my glib attitude.

In light of the above, I have a distant relative who actually works for the US Govt, so, Hi Gurpal!
 

Inderjeet Kaur

Writer
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Oct 13, 2011
869
1,764
Seattle, Washington, USA
Sorry for yet another addition. Here, laws passed by Congress and signed by the executive, can be challenged as unconstitutional in the US - if the Bill of Rights has been undermined - and some group of citizens is willing to press that notion in the courts. That is what the fuss is about.

The Bill of Rights - an aspect of constitutional governance unique to the US - cannot be nullified. Laws like FISA and the Patriot Act are tested against that standard. I hope that explains how deep the outrage is and should be.

Just for completeness, Canada has the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, usually just called the Charter, which is a part of the Canadian Constitution - yes, Canada does have a Constitution - analogous to the USA Bill of Rights. As with the USA, it would take a Constitutional Amendment to change anything in the Charter and, again as in the USA, the people would raise holyhell if anyone seriously tried to change anything therein.
 

Inderjeet Kaur

Writer
SPNer
Oct 13, 2011
869
1,764
Seattle, Washington, USA
Canadians are not passionate about politics as are the USAers...until you get to the Charter. Nobody dares to mess with that. :noticekudi:

The Charter legalised same sex marriage in Canada as it looks like the Bill of Rights may do very soon in the USA. :noticemunda:

I have a question about the Bill of Rights. Why was it added as amendments rather than as part of the original Constitution?:confusedkudi:
 

spnadmin

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Jun 17, 2004
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Inderjeet Kaur ji

The first 10 amendments were added when some of the state representatives refused to sign off on the Constitution. These amendments protect individual powers that in theory are guaranteed, not granted, by the government.

To answer your question - The constitution is an integral document, and the Bill of Rights consists of amendments to the constitution.

Prior to having a Constitution, the former colonies had ratified Articles of Confederation, with states for the most part acting as sovereign nations. The limitations of this arrangement led to the first Constitutional Convention, with the Constitution eventually ratified by the states in 1791 (?). The concept of "a constitution" was controversial. For various reasons not all states were willing to sign on.

I can't remember the entire story but it was a complicated moment. One of the major sticking points pertained to the balance of sovereignty between states versus the federal government. Patrick Henry was a notable opponent of having any Constitution at all. Jefferson proposed a Bill of Rights as a compromise. The 10th amendment speaks to the issue of powers: "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." It took some time and some horse-trading for the matter to be straightened out.
 
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spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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This was the most straightforward reference I could find on the Internet. Good Google books out there, but too often pages missing.

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/history-bill-of-rights.html

Added later as a point of clarification. As I compared the term "Bill of Rights" across various democratic forms of government, most bills of rights seemed to have been legislated as statutes.

The Charter in Canada and the US Bill of Rights are different. The Canadian Charter was enacted by the Canadian Government as a statute that grants rights to Canadian citizens. The US Bill of Rights is not part of any of the statutory laws of the US. Nor were rights granted to citizens by an act of Congress. The theory of rights as stated in the Bill of Rights was to limit the power of government. Acknowledging these rights as inherent was a necessary condition for ratifying the Constitution. That is why I said earlier the Bill of Rights is unique to the US.
 
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