Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy America Week! Let's Celebrate!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are blessed to live in a country where this week is a short work week. Why is it a short work week? Because AMER'CA, that's why.


This Saturday marks the day that we've decided to call the birthday of our great country, even though this is kind of an arbitrary choice considering that the first battle of the American Revolution took place on April 19th of 1775 - well over a year before the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th 1776 - and that the British didn't surrender at Yorktown until October of 1781, that the last battle was a navel engagement on March 10th 1783 and that the Constitution, which officially set up the government that we know today, wasn't ratified until June 21st 1781.

But whatever, we had to pick something right? And July 4th is it! And since it's every American's right to have a day off from work (unless you work in the food service or retail or entertainment industry) because of the Fourth, and since the Fourth is on a Saturday this year, everyone (except the food service or retail or entertainment industry) gets Friday off.

This includes me.

Most people celebrate the nation's birthday by drinking beer, grilling meats and watching things blow up in the sky. But not me, my friends. Because I take my AMER'CA seriously. That's why this year, I am inviting you all to join me as I exercise my rights by participating in the Bill of Rights Derby!

Using the Bill of Rights as a guide, exercise each and every one of those first ten rights guaranteed to you by the crusty old yellow piece of paper that is the cornerstone of our nation. (You know, the Constitution. The founding document of our nation's government. You've read it, right? Or have a copy of it? You can find it on the Internet, right? Right?)

Here is the scorecard I will be using, along with some suggestions for how to practice each Amendment.

Amendment Score Card:

First Amendment: “Free Speech/Press/Religion/Assembly.”
Exercise your right to hold a demonstration where you pass out pamphlets promoting your new religion. Be sure to use a lot of profanity and deny the existence of the holocaust while you’re at it. This is your right.

Second Amendment: “Right to Bear Arms.”
Go out and buy a weapon. This may include but is not limited to fire arms. For instance, a good old fashioned Medieval mace might do the trick. This is your right.

Third Amendment: “Protection from Quartering Troops.”
Call up a member of the Armed Forces and invite them to a sleepover party to be held at your house/apartment/hovel. Then, when they arrive carrying a copy of Sixteen Candles, deny them entry to your house/apartment/hovel. This is your right.

Fourth Amendment: “Protection from Unreasonable Search and Seizure.”
Call up a member of the local police department and invite them to an Easter Egg hunt at your house/apartment/hovel. Then, when they arrive, refuse to let them into your house/apartment/hovel, citing the requirement for a warrant to gain access. This is your right.

The next four can be done all at once.

Fifth Amendment: “Due Process/Double Jeopardy”
Sixth Amendment: “Trial by Jury”
Seventh Amendment: “Civil Trial by Jury”
Eight Amendment: “Prohibition of Cruel and Unusual Punishment”
Commit some sort of crime wherein you at least cause damage in excess of $20. Get arrested, post bail and then be tried by a jury of your peers. Then, be found innocent and get off scott free. After that, refuse to be tried again for the same crime. Also, don’t get beaten by the police. This is your right.

Ninth Amendment: “Protection of Rights Not Specified in the Bill of Rights.”
Do something that the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights specifies that you cannot do. Like walking naked down State Street while carrying a large sign extolling the virtues of classic Marxism. Or pretending to be the King of France. This is your right.

Tenth Amendment: “Powers Not Delegated by the Constitution Belong to the People.”
Celebrate this by refusing to pay income tax. This is your right.

Each right practiced gets you one point. You get a bonus two points for being tried and going to the Supreme Court with an additional point awarded for them ruling in your favor and an additional two points for them declaring something unconstitutional.

Good luck! Check in next Monday and let us know your progress!



Crump said...

This sounds a lot like the original 1st draft version of Know Your Rights by the Clash.

Chris Othic said...

Amer'ca! F'ck Ye'h!