VIEW FROM AFAR: The right amendments would fix this country!

The good conservative folks in America are trying to amend the Constitution these days to make it more to their liking. It probably is their turn.

The old time liberals fussed enough in the 1700s to get their Bill of Rights passed. Later the progressive types hollered loud enough to pass amendments abolishing slavery and giving women the right to vote.

The governor of California wants the American Constitution amended to allow foreign-born citizens to be eligible for the presidency. President Bush wants to protect the sanctity of marriage. They should both have their chance to put this to a vote.

But amending the constitution is a difficult and complex process-requiring approval of three-quarters of the U.S. House and Senate followed by approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures.

A lot of time and energy would be saved if conservatives bunched all their demands into a single package of constitutional amendments.

The Omnibus Conservative Amendment or the Decalogue of the Righteous would let decent folks have their way with the constitution for once.

These Big Ten constitutional amendments would be a perfect way to unite them.

Amendment One: Marriage is sacred and is between a man and woman. It is permanent. Divorce and living together are illegal. So are extra- and pre-marital affairs.

Rigorous enforcement of this will require only a modest expansion of the Patriot Act to include adding government surveillance cameras in every home and hotel in America.

Amendment Two: Being born in America is no longer a requirement to be president.

In particular, this will allow Austrians to run for the presidency. Jokes about a previous expatriate Austrian who transitioned to Germany as Reich’s chancellor in the 1930s are rude and offensive. (See Free Speech.)

Amendment Three: Abortion is illegal. So is birth control.

Might as well make this a package deal to maintain the Roman Catholic position.

Amendment Four: Flag burning is illegal both in the United States and around the world.

Any country in which an American flag is desecrated will be invaded within 48 hours. This might stretch our military forces a bit but if the flag is sacred in America, it is sacred everywhere.

Amendment Five: Freedom of religion means freedom of religious expression for good Christians and sometimes for those Jews who know how to behave themselves.

Other folks are just being silly.

Amendment Six: Freedom of speech means the right to say “nice things” and not rude or controversial things.

For example, calling a Republican president an AWOL reservist is “not nice.” Calling a Democratic president a draft dodger is, however, a wonderful example of free speech.

Amendment Seven: All future elections will be held at Wal-Mart stores.

This makes elections simple and universal. Wal-Marts are everywhere, they are easy to find, have plenty of parking and we all go there anyway.

(Plus, double coupons for voting would increase turnout.)

Amendment Eight: Only those with registered firearms cards will be allowed to vote.

Persons without a firearms card can simply bring a weapon (or buy one at Wal-Mart) to demonstrate their willingness to be in a well-regulated militia.

Amendment Nine: Public schools will have lots of public prayers and religious activities. The Ten Commandments will be posted on every license plate, courthouse and public building.

(Those who object to “graven images” are nit-picking.)

Amendment Ten: Rich people have enough problems without spending hours figuring out ways to avoid paying taxes. Let poor people pay the taxes-they have nothing better to do with their time.

This Conservative Decalogue will make America a good country-at least in the eyes of some folks.

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