Even the most scholarly of scholars needs a refresher course every now and then, and as I am a scholarly scholar’s scholar, I have assigned myself the duty of offering a refresher course on the Bill of Rights.
Because the Founding Yo-yos were so sloppy in their writing, it’s almost impossible to tell what they meant … hell, they didn’t even know an “s” from an “f.” Thus, it takes years — no decades — of studying and reading between the lines to find out what they really meant. That’s why you need me to help you cut through all the epidermis, and get down through the meat of the matter … down to the bone, under which lies the marrow of truth, which we will gnaw on together.
So, let’s begin a deep-dive into the Bill of Rights.
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.
What does this vague nonsense mean? It’s so obvious to me!
*** Putting up the 10 Commandments in a courthouse or saying a prayer before school starts is the establishment of a national religion, and will no doubt cause the fall of the Republic. It is offensive for children to hear Judeo/ Christian teachings like, “Be nice to people who aren’t like you,” and downright evil if their specific religion teaches other stuff like, “Kill people who don’t believe what you believe.”
*** We the people and the press can say whatever we want, provided it agrees with the prevailing narrative, to be established by Congress, the President, corporate interests, the Deep State, the mainstream media, and a couple dozen mega-billionaires. If any of the entities above believe you are speaking on an issue that questions science, you will be censored—because questioning science isn’t how you do science. Same for if what you say offends someone, like calling half the people in America “deplorables,” or referring to conservatives as “evil.” No free speech for you.
*** We can petition the Government for a redress of grievances by burning buildings to the ground, looting, murdering, and assaulting police for months at a time, provided it’s peaceful. Just because a protest involves burning businesses, police stations, and federal courthouses doesn’t mean it’s not peaceful, plus who said protests were supposed to be peaceful anyway?
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.
Pfft … a child could figure this out, based on the fact the United States just defeated the world’s best army using almost entirely civilians who grabbed their personal firearms and joined the fight. What they meant was:
*** Having just vanquished England using privately owned guns, we want you to take all your guns and turn them into an armory a day’s ride from your farm, where you will report if we need to form a well-regulated militia. You may also check your muskets out if you are being attacked by a bear, mountain lion, or American Indian, but muskets are overkill for hunting game, so you can use a bow and arrow if you must, but you should be a vegan anyway, you oaf.
*** The fact you now have only bow and arrows and the government has muskets is of no concern to you. Unlike the King of England, and, well, every government on the planet, the US Federal Government will always be benign… like a big Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. The government would never oppress you, especially if they know you have no way to effectively defend yourself. Defense should be left to the police, who, of course, should be defunded.
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.
*** This right was included to ensure no future generations would think the Founding Fathers were in any way influenced by the tyranny they witnessed fighting the British Crown, when the Brits quartered their soldiers in Colonists homes. Given that it puts a check on their own power, Jefferson (et al.) clearly thought the American government would never ever abuse its power, as only the King of England would do that.
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.
*** This right is quite clear: The police can’t come search and arrest you unless a Judge is convinced there is probable cause, and the police provide the Judge a specific list of the places and things they want to search. Oh, one caveat: If the warrant is based on an entire dossier of unverified lies, and provided by an FBI Director who submits a FISA Court application promising they’re all verified then … well, it’s an honest mistake. Move along, people … no one bats a thousand.
V. Allow me to compress the fifth right: We will have a grand jury system; we won’t allow double-jeopardy; you can’t be made to talk by the police of the courts; the government can’t seize your land without paying you a fair price.
This means what it means, except for a few very obvious details they accidentally left out.
*** First, grand juries can spend ten seconds on each case, utterly ignore the evidence, and rubber-stamp whatever the police and district attorney say.
*** Second, double jeopardy will not be allowed, unless the crime is a violation of state and federal law. In this case, double jeopardy is fine, and whoever tries the defendant the second time should take careful notes on weak spots in the initial prosecution.
*** Third, you can’t be made to talk and incriminate yourself, and if you don’t we’ll … what’s the word … ah! We’ll contempt you and throw your ass in jail for not talking.
*** Finally, the government cannot take your land, unless they kinda need and are willing to give you a low-ball offer, unlike when elected officials themselves find out a road is going somewhere, buy the property through a shell corporation, wink at their colleagues, then receive a price ten times it’s actual value.
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.
*** This right is pretty straightforward: If you have enough money to hire the best criminal lawyer within 100 miles and have connections with the rich and powerful, you can decide how long you want to wait before the actual trial. Most criminal defense lawyers have criminally-close relationships with the prosecutors, and thus can horse-trade favors, using other people’s lives as the currency. If you’re slam dunk innocent, they’ll get you to trial quickly so you can get on with your life. If you’re guilty, they’ll delay the trial for months or years… while maybe a few witnesses will move on to their great reward.
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.
*** This ensures you right to a jury trial if you’ve got a civil suit in Federal Court… you know, a jury of your peers. If, say, you’re a rocket scientist and you’re being sued because the rocket you built had a fusion connection snap, and that resulted in the flux-capacitor triggering a non-binary fuse, which in turn redlined the inversion thermostat, and the whole thing blew the pinkie finger off the guy who caused the fusion connection snap… you get to be judged by people who understand these kinds of things… which is anyone with a voter registration card. Literate? Meh.
Education? Whatevs. That guy who lives in shack just outside county landfill has an “innate sense of justice, firm moral grounding, saw Apollo 13 (starring Tom Hanks), and binge-watched Better Call Saul.”
VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
So transparent. It’s there, written legibly in quill and ink. With a couple quirks.
*** First, not only is excessive bail okay, but no bail is—provided the desperados are Mega-Maga selfie-seekers who entered the Capitol after police held open the barriers.
*** Second, Wall Street Traders who literally collapsed the world economy deserve excessive empathy and no need for bail because there is no need for charges. They deserve to be bailed out with a trillion or so free tax dollars, and a corresponding fine of zero.
*** Human feces who kidnap, rape, torture, dismember, and hide the remains of their victims should not be put quietly and painlessly to permanent sleep, as that’s cruel and unusual. But their crime? Well, in some circles, kidnapping, raping, torturing, dismembering, and hiding the remains of their victim is usual.
IX. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
*** Translated, this means the Ninth Amendment is used mainly to stop the government from expanding its power, rather than just limiting their power. The Ninth Amendment is also known as the “non-existent amendment,” the “LMAO amendment,” and in Congress as the “Let’s pretend this amendment doesn’t exist 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.
*** As the Constitution is exasperatingly explicit about what powers are assigned to the Federal government, and here is laser-focused 10th right about pulling in on the reins of that power, why is the Federal government the continental-size parasite that rules every aspect of our lives, takes our money, and spends it on wars and programs that don’t work?
Ha! It’s because the Founding Fathers were screwing with us!
You see, in the Constitution, it says the Federal government retains the power to regulate interstate commerce. And they obviously snuck “regulate interstate commerce” into the Constitution — knowing that at some time in the future — some judges would drop acid and peer through Alice’s looking glass and squint really hard — and they’d see that every single aspect of every American’s life involves “interstate commerce,” and thereby grant the Feds 30 trillion wishes!
In truth, I’m sure few readers are surprised by my accurate analysis. After all, the whole mess was scribbled out by professionally-accomplished, wealthy, land-owning, highly-educated, white cis-gender men, all of whom were cloaked in White privilege. Dolts, in other words … so warped in their worldview that they could never create a document that included checks and balances on power, that could also be amended if the nation needed it to be.
We both know you’d have never screwed things up like they did. You’d have known in the late 1700s that slavery was wrong. You’d have known that women should have equal rights. You’d have bought as much land as you could, and given it all back to the American Indians. You’d have foreseen that expansion westward was going to involve the persecution of Red and Brown people, and you’d have formed an army to fight against it. Hell, I’ll bet once you were old enough to realize you were even in America, you’d have stolen a boat and sailed to Africa to educate the various tribes on the evils of selling men and women from warring tribes to the White slave traders.
But … there’s good news for you, oh wiser than your ancestors. There are more chattel slaves and sex slaves in Africa, the Middle East, and in the Eastern Block than were ever owned in the United States. And you don’t have to steal a boat … you can fly!
So wrap yourself in a rainbow flag, and a BLM hat, and a Che t-shirt, and an Antifa hoodie, and do what those brave boys in blue did — throw yourself into violent, bloody, lethal combat to free those slaves. Maybe keep a diary on your feelings, and post it on Instagram. You’ll do more for humanity than those professionally-accomplished, wealthy, land-owning, highly-educated, white cis-gender Founding Fathers. All it takes is strength of your convictions.
By the way, how strong are those convictions?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Prioleau Alexander is a freelance writer, focusing mostly on politics and non-fiction humor. He is the author of two books: ‘You Want Fries With That?’ and ‘Dispatches Along the Way.’ Both are available on Amazon. He hopes to have another title published soon, but that would require his agent actually doing his job, so it may be awhile.
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