Thursday, October 12, 2006

From Sarah McKerrigan...

I don't often stand on a soapbox, but current events have spurred me to be a little more serious than usual this month and speak my piece.
 
As a writer of medievals, I may be a little more knowledgeable about the government of the Middle Ages than the average person.  But with recent changes on Capitol Hill, soon we may ALL become chillingly familiar with the politics of the past.  There's a reason they call it the Dark Ages.  Let me give you some background...
 
In the 13th century, English barons decided the King was becoming too all-powerful, able to imprison and execute those who disagreed with him on a whim, so they drafted papers limiting his power and determining that a king was not above the law.  These documents made up the Magna Carta, which was signed in 1215.  Of particular significance is Clause 39, which states: “No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised [have property taken] or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor shall we go or send against him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.”  The Magna Carta served as the foundation for Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and due process, and is the cornerstone of our Constitution.
 
Here’s the bad news...
As incredible as it sounds, the “torture bill” (HR 6166 and S 3930) that was just approved by Congress suspends those rights!  Our President now has the authority to imprison anyone he chooses, without charges and without a right to trial, indefinitely.  I’m not kidding.  Look it up.  I don’t know about you, but as big a fan as I am of all things medieval, I have no desire to return to the oppression of the feudal system.
 
What can we do to restore our rights?  Find out how your Congressmen voted here:
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll491.xml
and here:
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00259.
If they voted to take away your rights, vote them out of office in November.  It doesn’t matter where you stand on the political spectrum.  This is a non-partisan issue.  These are our personal rights as Americans, guaranteed by our Founding Fathers, and our Congressmen are supposed to be our civil servants, not our masters.
 
There's my two pence.  I hope you find it enlightening, and I hope to be able to write something a bit more uplifting next month.  May you regain your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!
 
Sarah McKerrigan...
Stories to keep you up all night!
LADY DANGER
Riding to the rescue April 2006
CAPTIVE HEART
Coming for you October 2006

2 comments:

Diane Perkins said...

Right on, Sarah!
I saw the Magna Carta on a trip to Salsibury Cathedral - an awe-inspiring experience. Think of all the years this fundamental wisdom prevailed.

Mary C. said...

I couldn't agree more.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither
liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin