"By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil, which no honest government should decline."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Jefferson letter to Mr. A. Donald, on February 7th 1788
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- prof.kshameed, kuala lumpur     
    At this point in history I think it's safe to say that the US Govt. and many others have not only declined all of these stipulations but are actively engaged in manipulating them to the purposes of fascism and a police state.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    I'm with J Carlton on this one.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    Our greatest President.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    We hold this truth to be self evident. That I could rate this innumerable times with an incalculable number of stars. By way of extremely terse and limited example: "stipulate freedom of religion"; marriage, a sacrament of religion, now regulated to the point that it is illegal with out government privilege; "freedom of the press", terrorist and other causes being attributed to reporters for doing their job; "freedom of commerce against monopolies', try starting a business that delivers mail door to door; "trial by juries in all cases", a non practice in all States, "no suspensions of the habeas corpus", not only does this occur by government edict BUT !, by practice - I had an acquaintance that was continually moved in the back of a van from jail to jail just so we could not address his incarceration by habeas corpus; "no standing armies" from armed local policing platoons to national offensive malefactors (doing the will of the control freaks, war mongers and otherwise anti-freedom, liberty and law liberals, progressives, neocons, democrats, republicans, etc.). These are fetters against doing evil, which no honest government should decline. The occupying statist theocracy infesting this land is not honest or lawful. Only recognition and defense of 'We The People's' individual and inalienable rights are in decline (declined to the individual sovereign) - nothing is declined to the unlawful, unconstitutional and immoral government.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Sure would be nice if these rights were protected today. As Mike points out, hypocrisy abounds in today's American government.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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