What Is RICO?

“The American government never runs out of clever ways to separate its citizens from their money. There is a relatively new game in town that has really picked up steam and this American game is called theft by law enforcement, (aka RICO). Much of the growth of federal criminal procedures has been tied to the expanded use of RICO. RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970. RICO has succeeded in blurring the lines between state and federal law enforcement and in overturning the protections inherent in the due-process guarantees of the U.S. Constitution, namely due process. The Fifth Amendment states that government cannot deprive citizens of life, liberty and property without due process of law. As the Patriot Act negates the Fourth Amendment protections, RICO does the same with the Fifth Amendment due process rights.

RICO is essentially the seizure of goods and assets obtained as a result of ACCUSED criminal activity. At the inception of RICO in 1990, there were only three named federal criminal acts subject RICO confiscation of assets and they were treason, piracy, and counterfeiting. Now there are literally thousands of federal laws and regulations related to RICO. The mere violation of any one of them, no matter how unintentional and harmless the transgression, can lead to years of imprisonment for the convicted person and the forfeiture of all personal assets.”  learn more

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”

Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution 

Series: Enrolled Acts and Resolutions of Congress, 1789 - 2011General Records of the United States Government, 1778 - 2006

Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920 when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, the 19th Amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution. Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920.

Read more at Prologue: Pieces of History

Happy Constitution Day! The Constitution is 226 years old, and is the oldest written constitution still in use today. It is on permanent display at the National Archives in Washington, DC. You can see a high-res image and read a transcript of the Constitution here:

Top Five Facts about the Constitution!

Five: The Constitution has 4,543 words, including the signatures. It takes about 30 minutes to read.

Four: Two of the first 12 amendments submitted were rejected; the remaining ten became the Bill of Rights.

Three: The Chief Justice is mentioned in the Constitution, but the number of Justices is not specified.

Two: Only one amendment to the Constitution has been repealed: the 18th (Prohibition).

One: The Constitution does not give us our rights and liberties, but it does guarantee them.

For more Constitution myth busting, read today’s blog post:

Rules For New Pentaholics New Revised Edition

Since the original was a bit dated and this fandom is still getting bigger:

I. They are Pentatonix, the acappella group, who won the Sing Off and brought thee all together on Tumblr. Thou shalt not have any other bands before them.

II. Thou shalt not ask who is gay and who is not for it has already been made very clear.

III. Thou shalt not refer to them as “The Pentatonix” for the fandom will not take them guiltless who misname them.

IV. Remember the Superfruit Tuesday and to keep it holy. Six days thou shalt labor and make all thy gifs, but Tuesday is the day of Superfruit. In it, thou shalt not do work: thou, nor thy friend, nor thy enemy, nor thy acquaintance, nor thy stranger who is within the fandom.

V. Honor thy band members and thy band members’ friends/partners/family.

VI. Thou shalt not leak fetus pictures from Facebook for it is an invasion of their privacy.

VII. Thou shalt not forget about Kevin for he plays just as much of an important role as the other members.

VIII. Thou shalt not force ships on the band members in real life and respect their private life.

IX. Thou shalt not spell Kirstin’s name wrong for she is a princess who deserves nothing but utmost respect.

X. Thou shalt not comment on Mitch’s weight for it is his body and none of thy business.


On this day in 1791, Virginia ratified the Bill of Rights, allowing the United States Congress to add ten amendments to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights guaranteed for the first time individual rights. Among them are freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly.

The above image is part of the site for the PBS program “Liberty!” in which newspaper chronicles let you experience first-hand the excitement and uncertainty of the American Revolution as it happened. 

Test your knowledge on the American Revolution, and see if you can navigate your way to independence with the Road to Revolution game. 


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Passed by Congress February 26, 1869, and ratified February 3, 1870, the 15th Amendment granted African American men the right to vote.

Joint Resolution Proposing the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 02/26/1869


225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.

On September 9, 1789, the Senate passed a resolution that included all of the Senate revisions to the House proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The resolution was made from this document, often referred to as the Senate Mark-up of the Bill of Rights. 

This document captures the process of the Senate’s debate over the the House passed amendments to the Constitution from August 25 until September 9. The printed text represents the work done in the House as it hammered out the proposed amendments from July to August. The handwritten annotations describe the work done in the Senate. The mark-up illustrates how the Senate sharpened the language of the amendments, eliminated some articles, and combined clauses to reduce the seventeen House amendments to twelve. 

On September 25, Congress passed 12 amendments that were sent to the states for approval. Ten of the amendments were ratified by the required three-fourths of the states and became part of the Constitution in 1791. These first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.

Senate Revisions to the House Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, 9/1789, Records of the U.S. Senate (NAID 3535588)

Suspicion of committing a crime should lead to your attempted prosecution. If the evidence does not support conviction, it would be against everything we believe in and fight for in America to still allow the government to imprison you at their whim. Tonight, a blow was struck to fight back against those who would take our liberty.
—  Sen. Rand Paul • In a statement about how he managed to kill an amendment that was likely to pass by voice vote — an amendment that would have clarified the ability for the U.S. government to hold detainees indefinitely while the War on Terror continued — by merely asking for a recorded vote on the matter. This was an awkward situation many in the Senate were trying to avoid, and as a result, the amendment lost resoundingly — with a 41-59 tally. If Paul hadn’t have spoken up, the bill would’ve received a voice vote and passed under the radar. Not bad,  Rand Paul. That’s a moment to put in the ‘ol resume. source (viafollow)

September 25, 1789: The Bill of Rights is Passed

On this day in 1789, Congress approved twelve amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments were known as the Bill of Rights and were designed to protect the basic rights of all Americans.

The Bill of Rights guaranteed the freedom of speech, press, assembly and exercise of religion, the right to fair legal procedure and to bear arms, and that powers not delegated to the federal government were reserved for the states and the people.

In December 1791, Virginia became the tenth of fourteen states to approve ten of the twelve amendments. This marked the two-thirds majority of state ratification to legalize the Bill of Rights.

To read all twelve amendments approved by Congress and presented to the states, explore this Chronicles of the Revolution page.

Photo: Library of Congress


225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.

On June 8, 1789, Representative James Madison introduced a series of proposed amendments to the newly ratified U.S. Constitution. That summer the House of Representatives debated Madison’s proposal, and on August 24 the House passed 17 amendments to be added to the Constitution. Those 17 amendments were then sent to the Senate.

On September 2, the Senate began considering amendments to the Constitutions as proposed and passed in the House. The Senate compiled this document over six days. The Senate’s debate continued for another two days and resulted in additional changes to the amendments not shown on this document.

On September 25, Congress passed 12 amendments that were sent to the states for approval. Ten of the amendments were ratified by the required three-fourths of the states and became part of the Constitution in 1791. These first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.

Notes Recording Senate Consideration of House Proposed Articles of Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 9/2/1789, SEN1A-C2, Records of the U.S. Senate


Happy Bill of Rights Day! On December 15, 1791, the first ten amendments–now known as the Bill of Rights–were added to the Constitution.

During the 1787–1788 Constitutional ratification process, opponents criticized the Constitution because it lacked a bill of rights. They argued that the Constitution should include one, because without it a strong central government would trample individuals’ liberties and freedoms. In the end, enough states supported the Constitution without amendments that it was ratified without changes.

However, the effort to amend the Constitution carried over into the first Federal elections. Anti-Federalists—those who opposed the Constitution—pushed to elect pro-amendment members to the First Federal Congress.

As the “Father of the Constitution,” Madison had a vested interest in protecting the Constitution from drastic alterations. When the First Congress convened in 1789, James Madison, who originally opposed altering the Constitution, became the leading proponent of a bill of rights, thus allowing him to guide the drafting of new amendments.

That June, Madison proposed a series of amendments to the newly ratified Constitution. Most of Madison’s amendments were rights-related, and he chose to insert them directly into the Constitution’s existing text.

In the summer of 1789 the House of Representatives debated Madison’s proposals and made several changes.

During the debate, Roger Sherman of Connecticut made one notable suggestion: adding the amendments to the end of the Constitution, rather than working them into the existing text. The House agreed and made the change, resulting in the enumerated list of amendments we are familiar with today.

On August 24 the House passed 17 articles of amendment, and then the Senate took up the matter, making several alterations and consolidations of their own.

Ultimately, Congress forwarded to the states 12 articles of amendment. Ten of them—articles 3 through 12—were subsequently ratified and became the Bill of Rights in 1791.

The Bill of Rights is on permanent display at the National Archives in Washington, DC. You can read a full transcript of the all the amendments here:

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