Friday, September 17, 2010

New Constitution, v12.1

(Edit: I did not know it was Constitution Day in the US when I made this post - the timing was pure coincidence. I, despite not being an American, will be forever grateful that a group of men risked life and limb to found a country on such admirable principles, and draw much inspiration from what they achieved on this day in 1787. Thank you.)

I've completed a review of my Constitution after finding Google Sites. In due time I will make my Site dedicated to large articles on politics and economics, but for the time being it's what Google allows as a "file cabinet." Here's the URL. I'll sort out the existing commentary soon, too, and resume making new commentary when that's done. That too, will be in a separate file, which will grow over time. That means essentially that the blogposts I do here will be the individual extracts from that file.

For the record, it is version 12 because I've been writing this over the course of 15 years. Versions 1.1 to 10.5 were previously published under the IRC name "Legendre", with the last being updated in 2003. I hadn't touched it after that until I joined ObjectivismOnline. The version previously published on this blog I called v11.1, so since I did a major structural change the new version is 12.1.

Changes from v11.1 ...

Throughout there have been changes for clarity, redudancy removal, grammar, and spelling. CRGS fixes on sections: 10, 11, 16, 19, 20, 22, 24, 27, 33, 37, C3D3, 69, 74, 79, 86, 93, 102, 108, 112, 119, 122, 129, 135, 138, and 144.

Major rearrangement of structure, dividing the original Bill of Rights into three separate chapters because they have subject-matter substantially different enough to warrant this. Besides, the original chapter was enormous and took up half the Constitution. The new Bill of Rights is smaller and more focussed, law enforcement activity has its own chapter, and matters of nationality also have their own chapter. This also included some reordering of sections:
Sections 31 to 35 in the previous version are now 52 to 56
Sections 36 to 46 are now 41 to 50 with the original section 40 deleted
Sections 47 to 56 are now 31 to 40 (as well as some rearrangement of order)
Sections 57 to 139 are now 67 to 149, and
Sections 140 to 150 are now 57 to 66.
Sections 151 and 153 have been removed, section 152 is now 150, and sections 155 and 156 have been replaced by a single section 152.

From this point on, all references to section numbers are as for the new version.

Non-CRGS fixes:

Section 7 Paragraph 4 on territorial property, fixing up a mistake on vertical extents

Section 8 on freedom of movement: I was never satisfied with Paragraph 2 (it was rationalistic as well), so I fixed it.

Section 15: the distinction between the lowliest civilian police officer (who is an Officer) and the lowest-ranked military serviceman (who is not an Officer) also bugged me. I had a better think about the two and compared them, then identified what the essential difference was, along with better integration with the meaning of Officer in general (which others have noted is strangely absent from the US Constitution). It is now fixed: the decisions must involve at least some level of formulating principles, because the point of distinguishing an Officer from an employee is that any resident or citizen can be an employee while only citizens can be Officers and are held to a higher standard relating to knowledge of principles. Among other things, this allows young adults to enlist as soon as they can even prior to qualifying for citizenship.

Section 17: simplification of false and misleading information, plus express reference to authority (hence for national security some people can be denied access to certain information and even lied to). For the purposes of counterespionage, it would take some form of probable cause reasonably identified by providers to be sufficient to withhold authority to know the truth and hence be secretly made subject to misinformation, eg to see what kind of false information gets improperly passed on to whom.

Section 19 Paragraph 3: clarified the principle for contradictory laws. Also, it should not have been the case that one jurisdiction could essentially dictate the meanings of words for all other jurisdictions simply by being the first to do so.

Section 19 Paragraphs 4 onward made more principles-oriented, in wholesale changes that removed some too-concrete specifications.

Section 20 Paragraph 1 made more version-oriented. A law that specifies a standard will now hold lists of the standards all the way back to the original, reflecting both the fact that the original standards may well be the subject-matter of existing contracts which law may not rightfully alter and that people should be free to make reference to whatever standard they choose in any agreement they make.

Section 21 is made simpler, removing reference to foreign jurisdictions and just letting military law take care of that issue.

Section 24 better integrated with the needs of Section 25, including reference to the issue of general warrants for arrest and detention.

Section 25 saw deletion of the general/specific distinction, and needed to reference to non-Officer law-enforcment people (primarily forensics personnel) entering property for their work.

Section 27 had the vague term "heinous" replaced with something less vague.

Section 33 has been cut down because the subject matter is more appropriately dealt with under national border protection, and the section renamed to match the remaining focus. The quarantine part remains under general civil rights rather than being moved to national issues because it also includes quarantine by the states and not just at the national borders.

Section 37 has had the pointless first paragraph removed, and the new first paragraph visually split up.

Section 42 has had added to it two lists of priorities for Rules of Engagement, plus disavowal of culpability for harm arising from reasonable action.

Section 48 was wholly redundant.

Section 63 needed a further caveat for admission to the Commonwealth.

Section 66 was broken up and had a new paragraph added for event of a lack of professionalism in the ACT government.

Section 67 now has a paragraph originally in section 110.

Section 80 now expressly allows automated recording and announcements, but counts must still be done by hand.

Section 93 needed principles on how detailed the financial reports should be.

Section 110 Paragraph 3 was broadened to cover the whole of the Federal Government, and moved to Section 67.

Section 132 needed protection of the core Great Departments and their powers.


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