There are a lot of morons out there who believe the U.S. Constitution gives them privileges and protections that simply don’t belong to them. Here, I will examine the Bill of Rights in brief.
First, the first amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Little do most morons know that this amendment is barely worth the paper it’s printed on. Even the third amendment is more important than this piece of crap.
Notice that is says Congress SHALL MAKE NO LAW abridging the freedom of speech. It does not say that you have freedom of speech, because more often than not, you don’t.
For example, you have no freedom of speech on the Internet because every website you visit is owned by other people… except your own website. Even then, your hosting provider or ISP has the right to censor you. You have no freedom of speech in businesses or residences because those are not public places. The owner has the right to kick you out.
When you make a comment on my blog, you forfeit all your rights. I have the right to delete your comment or edit it however I want. I also gain key information about you such as your email address, website, location, ISP, and IP address. This is my space and my rights trump yours.
You don’t have the right to hand out fliers or demonstrate at Wal-Mart, even in the parking lot. Unless you live in California, whose state government affords you additional rights.
The government has the right to regulate the “time, place, and manner” of your speech through the use of free speech zones which may be far away from where you would like to demonstrate. This is often done at political rallies and has been authorized by federal courts.
If you are soliciting, all your free speech rights go out the window. Commercial advertisements can be banned even in public places.
Just because you have the right to free speech does not give you the right to slander or libel people. Many types of obscene, offensive, and defamatory are not allowed based on local or state laws.
If you write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, does your “free speech” give you the right to have it published? Of course not. Whenever you are contributing to a venue that is not your own, be it a newspaper, magazine, book, T.V. show, or website, you waive all your rights.
Also note that the first amendment didn’t really kick in until 1925, when the Supreme Court ruled it applies to state houses. Before that, states and local governments were free to abridge whatever they wanted.
Moving on… The second amendment upholds your right to possess firearms even if you are not in a militia, although gun-grabbing nuts will tell you otherwise. The last half says “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This was affirmed in the 2008 Supreme Court case “District of Columbia v. Heller.”
The fourth amendment protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures, but only when you are under duress. Policemen are free to knock on your door and “ask” to look around, even when they are armed with pistols and clubs. They call it “knock and talk.”
The fifth amendment protects you against self-incrimination, except when it comes to the IRS. If you steal a car, you’re guilty of grand theft auto AND not telling the IRS. Also, the “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” part is called eminent domain, and “just compensation” is usually 50% below market value.
The sixth amendment guarantees your right to an impartial jury, but since juries have no power, what good is it? If they convict you and recommend a sentence of 1 year, the judge is free to sentence you to 10. Juries do have power, but jurors don’t know it, so they’re useless.
In cases involving more than $20, the seventh amendment gives you the right to a jury. Yeah. Good luck with that.
The eighth amendment protects you from cruel and unusual punishment. That’s why we use the electric chair. Nothing cruel or unusual about that.
The ninth amendment protects rights not mentioned in the Constitution. Oh really?
The tenth amendment gives all other powers to the states or the people. Another useless amendment.
Don’t even get me started on the rest of the Constitution…