The Watering Hole, Wednesday, September 30, 2015: We Hold These Truths to be Self Evident

Rights. What rights do we, as citizens of the United States have? Not a whole lot.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”–(Declaration of Independence)

The Constitution itself does not confer any rights. Any Constitutional rights are implied. They don’t get spelled out until you get to the amendments:

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.

Ok. So there’s the right to peaceably to assemble. That’s why we have “free Speech Zones” far away from anywhere the President may actually be appearing.

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.

And the right to bear arms. But not military grade hardware. So if you’re actually going to fight it out with the United States Military forces in a firefight…good luck. One drone and you’re toast.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures…

Can you say “Homeland Security”?

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,…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 defense.

Unless, of course, you are accused of being a terrorist.

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…

Do you even know the difference between a suit at common law and a suit in equity? Bottom line, in the former, you can have a jury, in the latter, a judge decides your fate.

Amendment XV
Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Finally, the Constitution mentions the right to vote. Up to now, it’s been an implied right. And, to the extent it is a right, this amendment allows men to vote, even if they were once slaves. The right to vote still doesn’t extend to women, however.

Amendment XIX
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Four amendments later and the implied right to vote finally extends to women.

Amendment XXVI
The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

In reaction to the Vietnam war, where we were drafting 18 year-olds to die ‘for their country’ the inherent unfairness of sending young men (women weren’t drafted into military service) to fight and die, without their having a voice in politics gave rise to the 26th amendment.

What’s missing here?
The right to drinkable water.
The right to breathable air.
The right to food.
The right to an education.
The right to health.

In short, a whole lot of rights guaranteed (or at least promised) to people living on other industrialized nations are not guaranteed rights in the United States of America.

Here in the U.S. of A. we have the right to life – and some people would take this to mean the right to life of a fertilized egg as being more important than that of a living, breathing human being (the impregnated female).

We have the right to liberty – if your rich. The poor can get incarcerated for petty, non-violent crimes. The rich can rob and kill without fear of incarceration.

And we have the right to the pursuit of happiness. As long as your happiness doesn’t challenge the status quo.

Water rights, on the other hand, are bought and sold. And food? Ask Monsanto.

There’s no right to clothing, but you will get arrested if you do without.

And there’s no right to shelter. And, again, you can get arrested for being homeless.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that Nature’s God abhors imbalance; and that chief among the imbalances in Nature is the disparity in wealth between the haves and the have-nots.

Balance will be restored. The only questions are how, and at what cost.

OPEN THREAD.

43 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Wednesday, September 30, 2015: We Hold These Truths to be Self Evident

  1. Two things: 1) The Ninth Amendment. It guarantees us that we have rights that are not specified, though it doesn’t specify what those rights are. Or it says the States have the right to take away those individual rights. Again, it’s not clear whose rights the Ninth protects – yours, or the state’s right to take them away from you.

    2) It is my ill-trained opinion that the 14th Amendment makes Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws unconstitutional because those laws empower someone to take away your right to life without due process of law. IOW, a private citizen can decide that you scare him enough that he has to kill you, and you don’t even get to have a judge or a jury make that decision. Just from the plain language of the 14th, I can’t see how SYG laws can pass constitutional muster. Then again, someone has to argue that point in order for it to be considered. And I’ll be dead by then.

  2. We have the right to vote for leaders hand picked by the moneyed class.
    We have the right to watch our Supreme Court Justices make assumptions like,
    ‘aw shucks, no amount of money would ever have any real impact on an election, hyuk!’
    We have the right to work for a minimum wage that won’t allow us to afford basic clothing, food and shelter.
    We’re exceptional.

    • When did Karl Rove and Dick Cheney leave the country? Also, MAnn Coulter is qualified for that list. O’Reilly and Hannity still outrank several on there I never heard of.

  3. Who the hell is doing GOP polling? That Trump is the front runner is mind-blowing enough, but Ben Carson now being only 1% behind Trump is gobsmacking/funny/scary all at once.

    Then there’s this, and I know you’ll want to brace yourself for the shock: Poll confirms nobody loves Donald Trump more than “less-educated adults”

    http://national.suntimes.com/national-world-news/7/72/1908240/poll-uneducated-republicans-love-donald-trump-the-most

  4. Anders Breivik, the guy who killed 77 people back in 2011, vows to starve himself to death in protest over prison conditions.

    That’s the joke.

  5. Must see video!

    If you find yourself asking “why don’t the Democrats fight back”? Well. They do fight back. But? will Rep. Cummings even be mentioned by the “librul media” much less get invited to appear on all the shows to elaborate on his charges? The smart money says “no”. What we will see instead is Chaffetz sitting down with the likes of Judy Woodruff so that he can lie for 7 minutes, be given the last word, and be sent on his merry way with a lame “we’ll have to eave it there”.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/09/29/1425917/-Rep-Elijah-Cummings-eviscerates-GOP-Chairman-for-Planned-Parenthood-salary-hypocrisy?detail=email

  6. Heads-up, all y’all.

    Frugal hasn’t been around because his computer up and died on him. Maddening thing!! Frugal is just fine, so no worries there.

    I’ll put up something stupid for tomorrow’s post, and is there another Critter available to do Friday’s post? *most charming smile*

  7. It’s a couple of years old, but this was CNN’s attempt to talk about race.

    The man has a point. You already have your answer.

    FTR, none of the racist terms against white people bother me in the least. Only two things bother me. First, calling me “Nazi” because my last name is German. I respond by saying “Hitler was Austrian.” The second is attributing some particular racist stereotype against me. An airman once accused me of not liking his music because I preferred that “country shit.” I pointed out that it wasn’t the music itself, it was the volume. He lived eight doors down the hall on the other side and it was shaking my walls. And I like rock and roll.

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