Now would be a magnificent time to revisit a document that helped make this country the free and, in theory at least, the honorable nation it was meant to be. This pinnacle of human achievement is called the Bill of Rights. With these words, our founders gave the American citizen powers and protections never before dreamed of in history. Why would I want to reexamine such an old and, supposedly, well known document? Because it is under attack as never before in our history and, in nearly every case, the courts and government have made the Bill of Rights voided.
As Benjamin Franklin stated so persuasively, “He who is willing to sacrifice a little freedom for a little security deserves neither.” Nevertheless, we are allowing our elected representatives to subvert this wonderful body of laws to make us imagine we are acquiring some false sense of security. This is just a partial accounting of the freedoms and rights we should have always taken as our birth rights.
Naturally, we’ll start with the First Amendment. This one pretty much no longer exists in any form and, as fact, is being turned against us through the simple act of pretending it still exists as law while the law attacks everyone that attempts to exercise it.
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.
There are simply too many violations of this law to go into but a few of the more egregious.
Arizona, that bastion of 11th Century hate and divisiveness, is now forcing children to be indoctrinated in the vile superstition of religion in public schools. They’re not constructing it in a way that allows the students to learn about the thoughts and beliefs of the thousands of superstitions from around the world but only their special brand of superstition know as Xtianity. If this wasn’t enough of a violation of our laws, they will also force these children to recite the voodoo words of prayer before each class.
The Supreme Court completely violated the right to free speech by forcing upon nation the idea that money equals speech which, as we’re seeing in the 2012 election, means that the very wealthy can now simply outright purchase our government and recreate it as they see fit. For those too stupid to understand the impact of that (I’m talking to all Tea Baggers and Republicans) they won’t recreate the government in any way that will benefit the people, only the wealthy, Wall Street and Corporate America.
We have no free press. That was destroyed by that senile old fool Reagan when he allowed the very, very wealthy to buy up all of the major media and use it to lie and make the average American the idiots they have become.
There is no right to assemble now except in places and manners approved by the wealthy, er, government. The moment you try, the police send in their undercover agents to break some windows so that they can decide to put down the “riot” with whatever force the police deem “necessary”.
As for petitioning the government, there is little left of that right to even address. Petition all you want, unless your petition is written on a check you have zero chance to be heard and nearly a 100% percent chance of being labeled a terrorist.
Losing the First Amendment’s promises was the basis for the wealthy being able to so easily gut the other laws which saw the Bill of Rights voided.
The so-called “War on Drugs” is being used to remove certain protections the Bill of Rights have guaranteed us for over two centuries. The first is the Fifth Amendment.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
This, in a nation that respects the laws it was founded upon, would completely negate employees or the government from demanding urine, breath or blood tests from any American in as much as those force the American to provide substances that can be used against then in a court of law making them a witness against themselves. This would also negate the theft of private land for corporate profits in instances such as the highly illegal theft of private land to build the many oil pipelines that are and have been built that profit only the oil companies through the government “condemning” any land not voluntarily given over by its owners.
Next up is the Sixth Amendment:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
We have allowed our government to pass statutes called “No-Knock” and “No Warrant” laws which enable the police to break into our homes merely because of “suspicion” of illegal activity, completely without prior approval of the courts. All the officer has to later show is a “reasonable suspicion”, with the officer empowered to decide what is “reasonable”.
A recent occurrence in Miami demonstrates just how dangerous this new and fascist mind set can be. A plain-clothes officer shot and killed a woman in her own apartment after the patrolman kicked in the door, without verbally alerting the occupants of his identity, looking for a man who had just entered. The woman grabbed a licensed gun from a drawer and was killed when she shot at what she assumed was an armed intruder. What had aroused the officer’s suspicion about the man he was following? He was a well dressed black, driving an expensive vehicle in a poor neighborhood and was known to be carrying cash. Obviously a drug dealer? Nope, an attorney visiting his sister. Another casualty of our obsession with ignoring the rights of the people in order to enforce unenforceable laws. Was the officer in any way censored for this murder? No, in fact he was supported by both the department and his union and never charged with any crime.
Next up is the Seventh Amendment:
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
In Astoria, Oregon a few years back, a fishing boat was seized after a Fish and Game officer noticed a 1/4″ butt of a marijuana cigarette in an ashtray while inspecting the boat’s catch. No additional drugs were found aboard. The courts never attempted to determine the joint’s ownership nor did they file charges against anyone involved, they just seized the boat as a drug site, sold the boat at auction and put the proceeds in the local coffers.
Last year a man was arrested for soliciting an undercover policewoman in a prostitution sting. The car he was driving was taken and, again, sold at auction. The car, however, was his wife’s. She not only did not know of his activities on that evening but, without the vehicle, was forced to quit her job and go on Welfare to support herself and children while her husband served his sentence.
These are but a few examples of our legal system gone crazy. We have, apparently, been convinced that any action the government embraces to force compliance with laws that cannot be enforced and has no visible victims, is okay. Of course, we also believe that these injustices can never happen to us, as well. We are the good guys, aren’t we? The owner of the boat thought so, since he had not been on board but had hired the crew to run the boat and do the work. He lost his boat, though. The wife thought so, too, obviously.
Legally, if you hire someone to mow your lawn and they leave a small part of a joint beneath your bushes when they leave, which is then discovered by the local police, you can and probably will forfeit your home. If your mechanic drops a marijuana seed out of his pocket onto the floor of your car, you will be walking where ever you go. Pretty neat law, huh? You encouraged this stupidity by not fighting for your rights, you know? Enjoy the consequences!
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