09/13/2005 04:10 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Founding Footnotes

To our friends in Iraq:

We understand that you are having some trouble reaching agreement on a constitution. Of course, you are more than welcome to model your national charter on ours. But seeing as how far behind schedule you are, here are a few items from our Bill of Rights you could probably save yourself the time and omit.

1. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

Make your lives easier, just go ahead and establish one official faith. We realize you're kind of attached to the whole "Islam" thing, but -- just a thought -- if you really want to get things done, may we recommend Mormonism?

2. "The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Obviously you don't need any help exercising this one vigorously. In fact, given the current state of your country, you might want to even pare it one down a little. May we suggest making it less of a right and more of a "perk?"

6. "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial."

With this one, just lose the "speedy" -- the decapitative method already fits that bill. Besides, you want to focus more on the "public." Find a questionable celebrity who's committed a crime, stretch out that trial as long as possible, and invite Al-Jazeera back in the country. The proceeds from juror-book sales alone will have you asking, "What's oil?"

13. "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude...shall exist within the United States."

Waste of ink. Come on, owning another human being as a beast of burden? What kind of democracy would actually need to have that spelled out for them as a no-no?

28. "Congress shall not permit the American flag to be burned."

Even though we haven't officially ratified this ourselves (wait until right before our midterm elections), don't even bother. Why take away your people's favored leisuretime activity between morning unemployment and afternoon unemployment? That may turn out to be the one thing your divided nation can agree on.