We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Since I started blogging about 3.5 years ago, I have often lamented the fact that so many of the readers, even some members of the blog pen, and much of the public seem to have little knowledge regarding the rights, responsibilities and significance of the Constitution of the United States. I know a large percentage of those involved with this blog are younger than I and I often wonder if perhaps changes in school curriculum have something to do with it. It seems we have a generation or two with little or no concept as to the significance of our constitution or the importance of maintaining the rights it grants us.
When I attended junior high in order to graduate from the eighth grade we had to write out the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States verbatim from memory, discuss all seven Articles, and detail what powers/rights each of the 26 Amendments granted us (yes, there were only 26 then). We also had to learn basic legal terminology and understand the significance of court cases ranging from Marbury v. Madison to Dred Scott v. Sanford and Plessy v. Ferguson, Gideon v. Wainwright, Miranda v. Arizona.
As we have discussed constitutional issues on the blog, it seems almost no one understands the significance of a district attorney out of control who flagrantly violates the constitutional rights of members of our community. Nor does there seem to be much concern as our rights are whittled away by our governmental bodies.
Since March of this year it has been disheartening to read comments and editorials written by those who have little respect for the freedoms afforded us by our constitution. In some cases it seems to be ignorance and in others it’s laziness or even vengeance with no concern as to guilt or innocence. Simply, many writers have had a “hand ‘em high” attitude toward any and all politicians.
In recent weeks we have noticed that the tide is changing on the blog. There are several reasons for that. Our readership is changing. I know we have a more sophisticated and better educated audience than in past. And with that change in audience, especially those from the legal field, I believe we have many readers now who grasp the concept that an out-of-control District Attorney can and is doing more harm to this community than many of the criminals he prosecutes.
Murder, rape and assault are all horrific crimes that destroy the lives of the victims and their families. But abuse of constitutional rights can destroy an entire community or even our nation. We all fear the gun-wielding murderer. We should not have to fear our own police force, prosecutor or other governmental agency if we are in fact law-abiding citizens. Unfortunately, many in San Bernardino County have learned there is something to fear even if one doesn’t break the law.
As a blog we are doing a better job, better than we did before and better than what the newspapers are doing, of getting the facts out to the public. There will always be those who choose to ignore the facts because they desire a certain outcome but I think most of us have a sense of fairness. Although we expect Jim to be found “factually innocent” in the near future and all or most of the charges dropped against the other defendants, even if all the courts were to rule against Jim, I know he has no fear of facing a jury of his peers. We are a fair people even if we don’t always elect leaders with the same consciousness.
Finally, we are seeing more citizens concerned about corruption in the county who are willing to take a stand. Many individuals are calling for an investigation in the District Attorney’s Office and more and more understand that the process of the past two years has been corrupted. Friend or foe of Jim, Bill and the rest, moral indignation is replacing the lackadaisical attitudes of the past.
I doubt on March 19 Mike Ramos took my “Mark your Calendars” post seriously. Today, I bet he wishes he never started his politically-motivated attack against Jim. Although many lives have been turned upside down by what our out-of-control prosecutor has done, we owe him a “Thank You.” He has helped us locate the starting point of corruption by turning the spotlight on himself. Through his own dereliction of duty he has magnified the truly corrupt in this county and he has energized many formerly apathetic citizens, causing them to become involved. Now, for the first time in a long time there is hope that we can root out the genesis of corruption and replace those who commit evil with those who have integrity. We can maybe, just maybe, elect leaders who understand and respect the Constitution of the United States by respecting the rights of the citizens who elect them to office.
There is a long cast of characters, some guilty and some innocent, who many want to face termination from the county either by voting them out of office or by Board of Supervisors removal. I putting up a new poll to see who you think will be first to go.