Given the changes we've seen in the country over the last couple of decades, I get really amused when I hear people talk about the rights and justice that are "guaranteed" by the Constitution.

Ask the hapless Middle Easterner who gets shot, imprisoned or tortured simply because he is mistaken for an insurgent in a battle zone about "guaranteed" rights as administered by America. Or ask the young man who simply miscalculates the age of a girlfriend and then gets lumped in with all the dangerous perverts on the government's mandated publicity sites. And how about the child living in a "compound" who's jerked away from his mother because some unidentified person made an unsubstantiated allegation.

The Constitution "guarantees" nothing. You only have "rights" if they happen to be in sync with what's in vogue. As Johnnie Cochran revealed when questioned about the O.J. Simpson trial, the color of "justice" in this country is green. The real question you have to ask yourself is, how much justice can you afford?

Joe Taylor