Fire Pit Constitution

Yesterday the new members of the 112th Congress of the United States of America were sworn into office. I was there in Washington DC to witness New Hampshire's newest Senator, Kelly Ayotte, take the hallowed oath of office.

Today, their first day of real work, the members of the House of Representatives read the US Constitution out loud. You can see a video on CNN of many of the members taking turns reading the document. At, they have a story with a video about the same event. I wish I could have been there in the chamber to hear and see that.

Many people are unaware that our US Constitution was written and signed more than a decade after we declared our independence from Britain. Yes, the Declaration of Independence happened in 1776 and the US Constitution's final draft was signed in Philadelphia in September of 1787. So it took time to assemble the way in which our country would operate.

Our Constitution is the framework by which our government gets its power from the people. In my opinion, when you consider it in its most basic form, our Constitution is our playbook, our rulebook that's not too much different from written rules you get when you open up a new board game.

The Founding Fathers were very smart and anticipated that things or conditions might change. New rules would have to be made or mistakes corrected. That's what amendments are all about. We have the 21st amendment because later on it was decided the 18th amendment was not the best of ideas. Remember that chapter in our history, that one about Prohibition?

I started this Fire Pit website in the fall of 2009 and here it is 2011 already. This community has operated without a written set of rules for that length of time. It's a community because it's an open blog where I allow you to comment if you so desire.

I've decided that it's now time to author and publish a Fire Pit Constitution. I'm going to mimic the US Constitution as much as I can, because it's such a brilliant document.

There's no way I could ever improve on it.

Tim Carter's Fire Pit Constitution


I, the Benevolent Dictator, in an effort to create a more perfect political blog, establish the exchange of ideas, encourage robust but respectful debate, insure tranquility among participants, and secure the blessings of open, honest and civil discussion of various topics, do ordain and establish this Constitution of Tim Carter's Fire Pit.


Section 1:

All legislative powers are hereby granted solely to Tim Carter, as he is the one who created this blog and pays said expenses. These powers will stay vested in him until such time of his death or he grants and passes the powers, in writing, to a successor.

Section 2:

Tim Carter, or his successor, will entertain suggestions to adopt, modify, or repeal articles, amendments, and/or laws from people who visit and read the blog. However, he is under no obligation to act upon such suggestions. Tim Carter, or his successor, will decide what, if anything, is to change.

Section 3:

Tim Carter is the sole adjudicator of any dispute on this blog. His decisions are final.


Section 1:

All participants of this blog, in the form of their comments, shall conduct themselves with the highest level of honor at all times in their discourse with Tim Carter and other participants. Tim Carter is also to be held to this standard of conduct.

Section 2:

All participants shall tell the truth at all times. If they are found to be guilty of making any false statements, providing false names or email addresses, etc., they face permanent expulsion from this blog. Because of their treachery, any and all comments they may have written will be deleted from this blog.

Section 3:

There is no unalienable right to freedom of speech on this blog. Respectful and intelligent dialog is encouraged, whereas hate or mean-spirited speech is deeply frowned upon.

Section 4:

All participants on this blog are expected to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, at all times. An intentional half-truth shall be considered a whole lie.


Section 1:

Any participant that makes frequent comments or unduly long comments is encouraged to invest that passion and time in their own blog. Participants can create their own free blog at

These purveyors can publish their profound and prolonged pronouncements and/or diatribe at their own blog and simply write a short comment at Tim Carter's Fire Pit that contains a link from Tim Carter's Fire Pit to their own post.



The reading of the Constitution was a good idea, but they left out 2 amendments one of which was the 18th on Prohibition and the other was the 13th ammendment about slavery. Why did these not get read?

Donald on January 7, 2011 9:13 AM

I don't know "Skippy" or anyone else on here, but it seems to me, as a member blogger, that what goes on your blog is up to you, and you alone. P.S. Thanks Tim for keeping the fires of freedom, without PC, burning!

David I. Guinn on January 7, 2011 9:14 AM

Dear Skippy,

Since this blog site belngs to Tim, he has a say in what is said on it. He is the Dictator. Since Tim is benevolent, he allows free speech, but without vindictiveness, profanity, or lies. Sounds pretty fair to me. Now, knit-picking like you are doing wasn't covered in the constitution, but it is annoying.

Connie M. on January 7, 2011 9:20 AM

Hey Skippy: Did you even READ this blogs constitution? It's his, he can do whatever he wants! You don't like it? LEAVE!

Jeff on January 7, 2011 9:51 AM

Skippy (Stephen R.), why don't you establish your own blog, like Tim suggests, so you can dominate the conversation there? You don't sound respectful at all and it gets in the way of those enjoying the comments others leave here. I don't believe Tim deletes comments he doesn't agree with. He welcomes everyone's point of view, as long as it is said with respect for others, and if citing facts, that you back them up. I have read a lot of comments from people Tim doesn't agree with, but they are not deleted.

Sharon on January 7, 2011 10:35 AM

If you think property rights are an important right with respect to the individuals right of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness --and so on, then you must support Tim's 'Constitution'.

Now it seems to me that Tim's "Constitution' is really just a cute way of stating a 'Terms of Use' for his blog.

It is his blog, after all.

I doubt he would bother to have it at all unless he wanted to have his say and hopefully find some like minded people --not much point otherwise (yelling in an empty field is not going to accomplish much).

So to Tim I say "All Hail Tim Carter, Benevolent Dictator for life, of THIS blog".

He's shown the only part of "Benevolent" that matters in a free society -> he's not restricted your right to go elsewhere, or to start your own blog.

So enjoy your time here --I will.

Just my 2 cents.

Don on January 7, 2011 10:41 AM

Excellent work Tim - it appears the only thing left is to deport skippy.

T on January 7, 2011 10:44 AM

Two pages were overlooked at the initial reading of the Constitution. These have now been read to our Congress.

Ed Cook on January 7, 2011 12:04 PM

It's great we can share whatever opinion we may have regarding the events around us. This blog-spot is one of SO many opportunities to do this. Even what seems to be "harsh" or "brash" by some, is still a wonderfull opportunity to shape or direct our community (in a strange way)! Just inviting comments and opinions ,(to me), seems to be one of the finest ways for our voices to be heard, ideas to be shared, and opportunities to "release" pent-up frustrations.
"Kudos", to Tim for his bold step to provide an outlet for many of us!
May we ALL enjoy the freedeom of expression while we have it!!
Thanks Tim!

Will on January 7, 2011 12:27 PM

Like T, I take exception to your characterization of the US Constitution as a "living, breathing document." That is precisely what the Constitution is NOT, and what makes it such a powerful basis for our system of government. A living breathing constitution is no constitution at all, and that's why amendments to the US Costitution are so rare and so difficult to approve. What you have proposed, Tim, is a set of bylaws by which your Fire Pit will operate and which may be changed whenever you wish. I might also take this opportunity to point out that you seem to have missed the most important purpose of the US Constitution, and that is to limit the powers of the federal government.

Len on January 7, 2011 12:31 PM

Sorry, I left the e off of worthwhile.....I should have reviewed it first, then I could have made my corrections......

Mona Greer on January 7, 2011 1:20 PM

Restriction of free speech in any form is a slippery slope. I agree that lies and profanity and even perhaps rudeness,should be cause for deletion of the specific item containing the offending text, but not of anyones ongoing access. As you have posted specific rules for your blog, all users should read the conditions before they choose to participate. I for one have already decided that this blog is not for me, as a result without any offence intended. It appears to me however that what it has become, is a forum for Tim to promote his own ideological beliefs and to encourage only like minded people that will swell his own community of "believers". That is hardly a debating forum which is after all the original purpose of any blog that allows unrestricted comment?

james M. Convey on January 7, 2011 1:28 PM

In the spirit of Tims constitution I meant to add that you will find no such restrictions on subject matter at my sites comments section., although I do frown on bad language, rudeness and "disingenuous facts" (lies).

james M. Convey on January 7, 2011 1:35 PM

A little off the subject but, you asked for predictions on the new congress. Here's mine:
The republicans will start off full or fire and brimstone, but the Washington cocktail circle will soon tame them down. They will soon start saying things like "Well, to solve our deposit maybe we'll have to raise a few taxes." Then they will screw the voters and not cut one damn thing. least of all their blotted paychecks. Does anyone think that while ramming a minimal health care system on us they will drop out of their personal gold plated system or demand that if it's good enough for the majority them it's good for the unions too...... Cynical yes, realist yes. disgusted with our greedy congress yes.....

Jon Anderson on January 7, 2011 7:05 PM

I grew up thinking that the Constitution was a “Living Document” until I read an article similar to this.

John C on January 7, 2011 9:55 PM

Nice Constitution, Tim!! but, I knew Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson was a friend of mine...and you, Tim Carter are no Thomas Jefferson. Great Work, Mate!!!

Joel Suggs on January 12, 2011 10:52 AM

Tim, I read The Fire Pit Constitution and I agree with the terms set in The Fire Pit Constitution.

Martha Staton on August 6, 2011 1:28 PM

November 2012 is just around the corner!!

Cheryl on October 8, 2011 1:26 PM

Hi Tim,

Your article is right on! We must get the people to take responsibility for there actions or inactions. Free markets is the best way to reduce costs-competition has always provided the least expensive product.

Unfortunately, our great leaders have made it too easy for the lazy to live off of the rest of us. Let them and our elected officials, feel the pain and you will see the change in their actions!!

Vincent Merola on November 23, 2013 9:45 AM

Good forum to address the absurdity that gets reignited every time there is a shooting in the US. And an opportunity to review the data where this problem has its only chance to find patterns and trends that may contribute to the formation of reasonable and data-driven policies.

I have grown so tired of the cable news outlets: MSNBC, CNN, Fox, etc. They wring their hands and talk about the experience of one or two victims of the shootings.

Then they say how terrible it is, without proposing even some simple steps that might be useful. They make meaningless comparisons between the U.S and Graeat Britain and Australia.

Guns are banned in NY, yet they get smuggled in all the time. If there was a nationwide ban on certain types of firearms, they woud flood in from Mexico.

The cable news and local news spent most time wanting to know the names of the victims so they can get an exclusive interview with the families and they wring their hands saying England doesn't have same problem. In effect,the online discussions are about providing ratings.

Another interesting site is I was just thinking today about the need to have the brilliant minds. The media could spend their resourses examining the multifaceted issue and educating them to the realities of firearm possession. Instead of handwringing and political obstruction. jk


Jim Kahles on October 3, 2015 12:22 PM
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