Does that seem right to you?

“It’s a free country!”

This used to be a mantra, but we don’t hear it so much anymore…because, truth be told, it just isn’t true.  We used to be a free country, but after 200 years of the evolution of our government into a massive bureaucratic state, we aren’t anymore.  We may not even be the freest nation in the world anymore.

does-that-seem-right

U.S. Bill of Rights

Amendment I

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.

  • If you yell “fire” in a crowded theater, you could be charged as a criminal.
  • Certain statements are considered to be “hate crimes.”
  • Refusing to engage in business for religious reasons can result in fines and forced re-education.
  • Peaceable assembly in large numbers requires a paid permit from the government.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  • In many states, gun ownership is prohibited to certain people based on specific, legislatively-defined criteria.
  • Certain types of arms are outright banned for private ownership.
  • In most states, legal gun owners are required to obtain costly permits in order to bear arms in public – and then, only if their arms are concealed.
  • Many states ban openly bearing arms.
  • In times of peace, as in times of war, the U.S. government maintains a standing army, rather than a ‘well regulated Militia.’

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

  • In some states, law enforcement officials are allowed to legally invade a person’s home, without the homeowners’ consent, to conduct surveillance.

Amendment IV

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.

  • For several years, the NSA used general warrants to collect data on many Americans’ phone calls.
  • The police can put up a roadblock and stop & question you at any time, as long as they say they’re trying to stop drunk driving.
  • In some states (California in particular), authorities set up roadblocks to check cars for compliance with government-mandated air pollution standards.

Amendment V

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.

  • According to the United States Supreme Court, if you exercise your 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination, but don’t actually tell anyone that you’re exercising your 5th Amendment rights, your very silence can be used as evidence against you in court.
  • In 2005, the US Supreme Court ruled that the government can transfer property from one private owner to another private owner.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

  • In major cities (and some cities not so major) across America, you can now be ticketed and cited for traffic violations by automatic cameras.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

  • We may actually be good on this one.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

  • We can’t seem to agree on the definition of “cruel and unusual punishment,” so instead of giving the most horrific criminals in our society a quick, painless death, we lock them up for decades, until they die.  How is that not cruel & unusual?

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

  • Modern government seems to think that, if it isn’t explicitly protected within the Amendments, it’s okay for them to regulate…hence the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, the Department of Transportation, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of the Interior, the FAA, the FDA, the FCC, and so on…

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  • Modern government seems to think that, if it isn’t explicitly protected within the Amendments, it’s okay for them to regulate…hence the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, the Department of Transportation, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of the Interior, the FAA, the FDA, the FCC, and so on…

 

So when it comes to the Bill of Rights, we’re 1 out of 10.  Not too shabby.

so-i-got-that-going-for-me-which-is-nice

 

a972

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