The representatives of the French people, organized as a National Assembly, believing that the ignorance, neglect, or contempt of the rights of man are the sole cause of public calamities and of the corruption of governments, have determined to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, unalienable, and sacred rights of man, in order that this declaration, being constantly before all the members of the Social body, shall remind them continually of their rights and duties; in order that the acts of the legislative power, as well as those of the executive power, may be compared at any moment with the objects and purposes of all political institutions and may thus be more respected, and, lastly, in order that the grievances of the citizens, based hereafter upon simple and incontestable principles, shall tend to the maintenance of the constitution and redound to the happiness of all. Therefore the National Assembly recognizes and proclaims, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following rights of man and of the citizen:
- Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.
- The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.
- The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body nor individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.
- Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.
- Law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society. Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law, and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for by law.
- Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally eligible to all dignities and to all public positions and occupations, according to their abilities, and without distinction except that of their virtues and talents.
- No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to the forms prescribed by law. Any one soliciting, transmitting, executing, or causing to be executed, any arbitrary order, shall be punished. But any citizen summoned or arrested in virtue of the law shall submit without delay, as resistance constitutes an offense.
- The law shall provide for such punishments only as are strictly and obviously necessary, and no one shall suffer punishment except it be legally inflicted in virtue of a law passed and promulgated before the commission of the offense.
- As all persons are held innocent until they shall have been declared guilty, if arrest shall be deemed indispensable, all harshness not essential to the securing of the prisoner’s person shall be severely repressed by law.
- No one shall be disquieted on account of his opinions, including his religious views, provided their manifestation does not disturb the public order established by law.
- The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law.
- The security of the rights of man and of the citizen requires public military forces. These forces are, therefore, established for the good of all and not for the personal advantage of those to whom they shall be intrusted.
- A common contribution is essential for the maintenance of the public forces and for the cost of administration. This should be equitably distributed among all the citizens in proportion to their means.
- All the citizens have a right to decide, either personally or by their representatives, as to the necessity of the public contribution; to grant this freely; to know to what uses it is put; and to fix the proportion, the mode of assessment and of collection and the duration of the taxes.
- Society has the right to require of every public agent an account of his administration.
- A society in which the observance of the law is not assured, nor the separation of powers defined, has no constitution at all.
- Since property is an inviolable and sacred right, no one shall be deprived thereof except where public necessity, legally determined, shall clearly demand it, and then only on condition that the owner shall have been previously and equitably indemnified.
I just fired up Knoppix Linux this evening. Very cool. Linux on a CD-ROM boots into a RAM disk. And the amount of programs loaded onto the CD is amazing. It makes for a very interesting experiment.
I’ve been chastised thoroughly, so let me link to a useful story written by a truly wonderful woman.
A quick spin through the local news:
- Bankruptcies on the rise – No surprise there. George Butler, a local lawyer specializing in bankruptcies, predicts 2003 will be a banner year for bankruptcy filings on Guam, especially once the inevitably happens and GovGuam starts laying off employees.
- Arguments heard in bond case – The Supreme Court of Guam heard arguments for and against the government’s proposed bond bailout measure yesterday. They will render a decision in a few days.
- State funeral set for Angel Santos – Next week a state funeral will be held for former senator Angel Santos. I still can’t believe he is gone. The media reported him as having Parkinson’s, but it seems like the progress of the disease was incredibly fast. I’ve known a few people with Parkinson’s and it always seemed a gradual deterioration to me. I know the medical examiner performed an autopsy, I am curious to know the results.
- Public library reducing hours – The Agat Branch of the Guam Public Library is now only open on Tuesdays. Seems the salary reductions and budget shortfalls encouraged a number of library employees to leave Guam. The library is now too short-staffed to operate the main branch, the Dededo branch and the Agat branch every day. The poor state of the library system on island breaks my heart.
- Tire recycling takes off – On a positive note, a local recycling firm unveiled a new process to reduce the number of old tires on island. The new machine crushes up to 100 old tires into a compact 4x4x2 cube, which can be used for a number of purposes; road beds, retaining walls or erosion control. Good to hear about somebody doing something to reduce waste on island.
- South Pacific Games Update – FSM earned seven medals yesterday :: Guam men bat in the baseball gold :: Guam women’s soccer still in medal contention :: All in all, the games are a rousing success for Fiji.
Looks like that 50% tax increase didn’t result in 50% more government revenue. What a surprise.
The ride into town this morning was interesting for a couple reasons. I’ve mentioned the highway construction on my stretch of Route 4 before; 10 months into the road widening project and all they’ve done is dig ditches. Well this morning they were busy trenching again and broke the water main. It must have just happened a minute or two before I passed by. The water was shooting up like a fountain 5 feet into the air and two contractors were busy yelling at each other. It was a pretty funny scene, looked like something out of the Three Stooges.
Then I spotted the elusive illustrated man this morning too. Yes, Von was pedaling a bike up Marine Drive at 8:00 this morning, destination unknown. It’s been about four months since I’ve seen Von, I was hoping that he finally got his ducks in a row and left Guam. I guess I was wrong. I’ll give him a call next week and hook up. Anyway it was funny seeing a bald, tattooed biker in steel toe boots and bandanna wobbling up the middle of Marine Drive.