Monday, November 30, 2009

The Bob of Rights

In 1789 the U.S. Congress wrote the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. These amendments, for those of you who were out with the Chicken pox during this 5th grade class, are known as the Bill of Rights and were adopted in 1791. I don't know exactly who "Bill" was but there were a number of "Williams" who were involved in the Revolution. I assume that someone (probably that jokester, Franklin) slapped some poor William's nickname on the legislation and it just slipped through.

These 10 Rights were added to the Constitution to satisfy those members of Congress who were concerned that without them that the Federal Government could become tyrannical, much like the central governments of Europe at the time and similar to today's DMV offices. These amendments were vaguely written in one or two areas, e.g. armed militias, gun ownership rights, privacy issues, the government's relationship to religion, liberty and such. Many folks these days believe that they know exactly what each of these amendments means because they can divine the writers' specific intent, i.e. "I can own a rocket propelled grenade launcher if I want to, the Second Amendment guarantees it."

I'm a bit more guarded in my interpretation given that the 1789 framers were unfamiliar with grenade launchers. "To bear arms" does suggest that the writers had in mind personal firearms and not more advanced weapons of war. Citizens, for instance, were not guaranteed the right to "bear howitzers" or "naval gunboats". I'm sure that there are some out there in reader land who disagree and plan to build their own naval gunboat for back yard defense, local ordinances and lack of water be damned. Go right ahead. The construction and maintenance activity will likely preclude you from positioning yourself for a Supreme Court slot or starting your own talk show.

In any case, the Bill of Rights has been and will likely continue to be, at the heart of contentious issues. People of intellect on both sides of the divide will disagree and the pendulum of legal interpretation will swing left and then right as the makeup of the Supreme Court evolves. Currently, Antonin "Batman" Scalia and Clarence "The Quiet Robin" Thomas bat from the right side along with Roberts and Alito with Kennedy as the switch hitter whose stats are a little weaker from the left side, if you get my drift.

But I take keyboard in hand today to talk about the "Bob of Rights" not the Bill of Rights. The Bob of Rights, named after fellow Georgian Billy Bob (he asked that his last name not be revealed) are founded on his observations of fellow Americans as they go about their daily routines. These Rights are based on many citizens' sense of entitlement regarding a number of issues and activities and they exercise these Rights with abandon.

And so, with no further to do, here they are.


The Bob of Rights (2009)

Be it knowneth hencefortheth and forevermoreth, not including Federal and State holidays, weekends and regular work days, by all who are in the literate to non-literate continuum and who are bona fide legal residents of the United States of America plus Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the American Virgin Islands and Canada (just a joke, you overly-sensitive Canadian readers) that the following are apparently guaranteed Rights of Individuals in spite of the fact that they do not appear anywhere in the U.S. Constitution but have been observed time and again by Billy Bob (and others). To whit: An Individual, because he or she is very special, has the Right to:

1. Ignore the line of cars patiently waiting in the exit lane and speed down the adjoining lane and force someone to let you into the front of the line because you drive a (BMW, Escalade, Mercedes, Lexus, etc. etc.).

2. Forward unsubstantiated, unattributed and scurrilous e-mail postings to everyone on your distribution list and insist that they do the same "for the good of the country".

3. Bang your over sized carry-on luggage against the heads and shoulders of fellow passengers unlucky enough to have an aisle seat.

4. Hoodwink the hosts and authorities, crash an important state event, get your picture taken with all the pooh-bahs and then demand $500,000 to tell your story to some faux news outlet.

5. Take a multi-million dollar bonus based on profits that were either (1) not profits after all or (2) profits made because the rest of the American public provided money to keep your business afloat for another year and because that's the way it has always been done on the south end of Manhattan Island.

6. Drive 80 MPH on the bumper of the schmuck ahead of you, another very special person who is already going 25 MPH over the posted limit and who has cars on either side, thus precluding a lane change.

7. Bring your five-year-old poorly parented child onto public transportation and let said five-year-old run the show for the duration because "that's the way (he or she) acts at home" (apologetic smile).

8. Loudly share your cell phone conversation with all around you, those who understand that you are very special and so therefore just can't wait to hear the details of when you got on, how long you will be on or when you will be getting off the friggin (train, plane, elevator, escalator, bus, what have you).

9. Ignore the "Don't Walk" light and enter the crosswalk while the "Left Turn" arrow is illuminated thus freezing left turn traffic and glare menacingly at anyone who dares blow their horn at your-own-special-self.

10. Strongly and loudly state your opinions on topics about which you have very little factual knowledge and no expertise.

Thus sweareth, stateth, avereth, orateth, sayeth and proclaimeth Billy Bob (Anon) this December 1, 2009.


My thanks to Billy Bob for sharing this vital information. For the good of the Republic, please forward this to all of the people on your e-mail distribution list. If you don't, someday you will have bad luck and/or die.


Observoid of the Day: If you have a bunch of clowns, you're going to have a circus.

No comments:

Post a Comment