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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Mars One, a plan for the colonization of Mars

Mars One, a Dutch group, has launched a daring attempt at the colonization of Mars, with the goal of a founding population of 40 individuals. That got me thinking: What type of skills will they need, and what will their government resemble? The first is pretty obvious. They need at least one doctor, engineers, biologists (who can be doctors at first), geologists who would become the first areologists to directly examine large swaths of the planet, and other related fields. Just as important as the physical needs, though, are their legal needs. What will their constitution look like? I am unfamiliar with the Dutch legal system or the mistakes they have made over the centuries that they would like to address. However, I am quite aware of America's constitution and its failings. With that in mind, I have a few humble suggestions.

1) All sentient beings (hereafter referenced as "people") are created equal and are endowed with the rights of free speech, free assembly, and the freedom to have or not have any religious beliefs they so choose, as long as those beliefs actively harm none.

2) The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and their modern equivalents, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

3) Cruel and unusual punishment, including, but not limited to, torture and capital punishment, is expressly forbidden. If committing an act during war would be considered a war crime, that is torture as defined by this paragraph. Also, excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed.

4) No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

5) When the population gets to a point this is a realistic possibility, acts of war, except in response to a direct attack, are forbidden.

6) All have the right to health care at no cost, as it is part and parcel of Article 7 listed below.

7) Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution is accepted in full, except where it is not relevant to Mars and/or directly contradicts any of the other paragraphs in this section.

8) The privileges of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, and no Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

9) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

10) When new exculpatory evidence becomes available, those already incarcerated have the right to an impartial review of their case.

11) All persons have the right to consume any substance they choose, as long as they harm none in the process. Addicts should be treated with compassion and with the goal of treatment and rehabilitation.

12) All persons have the right to a living wage, paid with a negative income tax if necessary.

What suggestions do you have?

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