The curious case of the non-missing rights, or, here’s your bill, what’s your hurry

Let me be the first to admit that the nation survived the Bush administration, and we came out of those years with our rights intact, despite the Patriot Act and the shoe n’ belt ecdysiast dance at the airport, despite the fact that a lot of us feared the worst.  But our fears were small-mashed-mini potatoes compared to the doom n’ gloom Obama hating fear baiting going on right now.

Let’s play a game.  Let’s pretend it’s tomorrow morning.  You walk out of your house.  Name ONE right you don’t have as you walk out of the house that you had when Obama took office.  I’m not talking about what you THINK will happen or speculation, I want to know one right you had back in 2008, you don’t have right now.

I keep hearing about how our rights are being trampled and we are going to be lucky to get out of this with a scintilla of freedom, but we’ve made it through a civil war, people being property, women being largely chattel, apartheid in many states, and the alien and sedition act.  We ain’t got nothing to compare to that.  And yes, I’m not thinking that any sane person wants this much debt, but I don’t see how any sane person would bet against this country.  We’ve been in bigger ruts than this (ask anyone who made it through the great depression).

But, let’s review those rights:

1st amendment: Clearly you can call the current President a socialist, a nazi, a communist, a Kenyan and a racist and do that all on the public airwaves, and not be jailed, so I’m going to say that the ‘free speech’ part of the 1st amendment hasn’t been abridged.

We don’t have a government established religion, we can assemble at the church, synagogue or mosque* of our choice, or stay at home and believe in no higher power than the person who invented the TV remote control.

So..1st amendment: INTACT

2nd amendment: This is quite ironic, and I certainly would say that Obama only gets indirect credit for this, but I’d say if you believe that the right to bear arms is more than just having a militia, you have hit the jackpot in many states.  In our fair state, you can now carry your gun (with a carry permit of course) to bars and to state parks.  In Louisiana, you can carry your gun into church now**.

We have a variety of militias, some state-sanctioned, and many not.  Unless the militia members attempt to blow up a federal building or take over a state, I’d have to say that militias are free to flourish.

So..2nd amendment: INTACT

3rd Amendment: Is anyone forcing you to house any soldiers?  Didn’t think so…

4th Amendment: Last I heard, police still have to have a warrant to enter your house for search and seizure. Probable cause appears to be intact***.

5th Amendment:  Anybody forced to incriminate themselves, not have the right to a grand jury??  I will agree that eminent domain has been abused, but that was by the Supreme Court before Obama was elected, so you can’t pin that one on him.

6th Amendment: You still get a trial..you still get a jury if you wish in a criminal case, you still get to question witnesses against you..anybody wanna seriously make a case that the 6th has been derogated?

7th Amendment: If you want a jury in a civil trial, you get a jury in a civil trial ($20 bucks and above).

8th Amendment: Ask any bail bondsman..Reasonable bail is still available where bail is appropriate.  One can argue that the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment, but I don’t think you can pin that one on Obama.

9th Amendment: Once again, what rights are you missing as you walk outside your door tomorrow?

10th Amendment: One could reasonably argue that states rights have been eroded for the last 80 years.  Personally in some cases (civil rights, voting rights, environmental law), I’m grateful for the federal government.  My argument deals with personal rights and I’ll leave it to great scholars than me to argue this one.

It’s so easy to decry and proclaim, but if you look at it, we still live in a free country, riddled with imperfection.  My personal belief is that as long as mankind is involved, imperfection comes with the territory.  I firmly believe we have a great country, and it will still be a great free country tomorrow, in 2012, and in 2016.

*except in some parts of Rutherford County

** I’m pretty sure if guns had been allowed in churches in Tennessee during my youth that my personal history would have been greatly altered.  Not because people in my church would have intentionally fired their weapons, but because when people keeled over while falling asleep their guns might have fallen out of their holsters and accidentally discharged.  Believe me, I can ensure you that numerous people in my church would have at least been winged.

***Unless, of course, you are Hispanic, and State Rep Mike Turner sees you and decides you are an illegal immigrant.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100715/NEWS02/100715061/2066/NEWS03

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3 Comments

Filed under apocalypse now, politics

3 responses to “The curious case of the non-missing rights, or, here’s your bill, what’s your hurry

  1. Pingback: Morning Coffee – TNDP Edition | Speak to Power

  2. Ivy

    Beautiful, and so true. It’s funny, the same people that are screaming that our rights are being eroded (healthcare) are the same ones that want rights taken away (mosque).

  3. Pingback: On Filibusters, Politics, and Basil « Where’s the Mute Button?

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