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New first amendment

Revised and updated to incorporate the contemporary understanding of the Bill of Rights:

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 of the right to own pets, with the payment of a reasonable security Deposit; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, and to drive motor vehicles, with optional use of the directional Signal.  Most important, Congress shall see to it that all opinions shall be protected from Criticism, because Criticism just totally violates their rights under this Amendment. 

Posted by on 03/03 at 09:13 AM
  1. Wasn’t Redressing Grievances a Lifetime movie starring Meredith Baxter-Birney and Mike Farrell?

    Posted by norbizness  on  03/03  at  10:29 AM
  2. Great call, norbizness!  Constitutional scholars often forget that one.  Though as I recall, Baxter-Birney’s performance turned out not to be protected from Criticism.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  10:35 AM
  3. Isn’t all of this covered in the 1994 Simpsons amendment? Wasn’t there an “Eat my shorts!” clause to the protection from Criticism?

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  10:47 AM
  4. Damn, SneakySnu, I’m blogging on the fly in the “Business Center” of my new apartment building, and don’t have time to look up all the relevant case law.  But thanks.

    Also, I forgot to add:  please feel free to suggest new clauses, everyone.  You know, like something about how seventh-grade science students should be exposed to “both sides” of the controversy over evolutionary theory.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  10:54 AM
  5. I believe that the Law of Least Common Denominators affords all to pursue the self-chosen path toward stupidity.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  10:58 AM
  6. this is a public service announcement

    ...

    WITH GUITARS!

    sorry, I had to.

    I once lived in a building with a “business center,” Michael. I will bet you infinity billion dollars that you also have a ‘fitness center.”

    The right to be loved, surely?

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  11:01 AM
  7. Do they have you warehoused in Durham or Raleigh? I forget where the Center for Liberal Conspiracies keeps their conscripts these days.

    Posted by Tyler Curtain  on  03/03  at  11:11 AM
  8. ...or, like, whatever.

    Posted by saltydog  on  03/03  at  11:23 AM
  9. How about the freedom to make baseless accusations? Which is, of course, directly related to the freedom to blame low-level staffers for mistakes.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  11:37 AM
  10. Don’t worry.  There’s a Lisa Simpson in every family to remind her family members that the right to free speech, religious exercise, etc. are contained in the First Amendment.

    Plus, even Homer knows there is a right to free speech and worship of one’s religion.  He just doesn’t know where to look up that law.  Again, enter Lisa.

    Woo-woo!  The word “union” appeared on my screen as the “password” for me to comment!  Yowza, yowza, yowza!  Um, sorry. Off to work…

    Posted by Mitchell Freedman  on  03/03  at  11:40 AM
  11. That “protected from criticism” is wonderfully ironic, especially considering what was meant by the “press” at the time of the First Amendment.

    Not only was the press of the time little more than an extension of political debate (there was no distinct “fourth estate"), but that debate was NASTY!

    Thomas Paine’s reputation STILL hasn’t recovered from the beatings he took at the hands of the press.

    Posted by Aaron Barlow  on  03/03  at  11:43 AM
  12. No one has yet mentioned the Rove/Cheney clause that certain assigned members of the administration can do wahtever they want including the right to slander and to shoot friends or aquaintances in the face.  D’oh, this is all a part of the Criticism clause.  Remembering these laws are really hard and sometimes the levees break even when Jimmy Page and Robert Plant know in advance.
    The word below is bill.  now, they know what we are writing about.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  11:54 AM
  13. Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the Criticized to retort, “It’s a free country.”

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  12:13 PM
  14. Oh, come on, it’s right in there: “A well regulated Standard Poodle being necessary to the protection of the people,” etc.

    Posted by rootlesscosmo  on  03/03  at  12:43 PM
  15. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws unless it is God’s will, or just really, really, convenient.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  01:10 PM
  16. Doesn’t anyone remember the IOKIYAR Amendment?  It got started in 1981 and finally passed in 1994.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  01:21 PM
  17. "The Executive may suspend any right hereby enumerated, provided that they represent to the media that they have filled out the paperwork allowing them to do so.”

    From: Turdblossom
    To: George II
    Re: Fuckup in our Katrina strategy
    Shit, just heard from Brit that Kerry says that après means ‘after’ not ‘bring it on’.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  01:25 PM
  18. The right of the Executive to invade any country, any time, for any reason, factual or factlike, to save the American People from Evil-doers or to make the said Executive a War-time President.

    Of course, any subsequent opposition is treason.

    captcha word, interesting enough, is soviet!

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  02:01 PM
  19. Addendum:

    The President (executive branch) shall be required to use the words; “Terrorists”, and “Killers” in every speech, domestic or abroad.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  03:03 PM
  20. Mr. Freedman, I find your Lisa theory oddly comforting. But, I have to ask, who is the Lisa in the GW Bush family, and why isn’t she doing her job? Captcha is “enough,” which is what I have had.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  03:12 PM
  21. I will bet you infinity billion dollars that you also have a ‘fitness center.”

    You win infinity billion dollars, mathpants!  (I joined a gym anyway.)

    But I have to say that the rest of you are way, way off.  Let’s start with rootlesscosmo:

    Oh, come on, it’s right in there: “A well regulated Standard Poodle being necessary to the protection of the people,” etc.

    That’s not relevant to the First, and everyone thinks it’s the Second.  But, of course, it’s part of the New Third Amendment, dealing with the quartering of soldiers and their poodles in people’s homes.

    Next, Njorl:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws unless it is God’s will, or just really, really, convenient.

    New Fourteenth.  Next, Lefty:

    The right of the Executive to invade any country, any time, for any reason, factual or factlike, to save the American People from Evil-doers or to make the said Executive a War-time President.

    That’s Article II, section 2.  It’s in there—just ask Alberto.  Next, james:

    The President (executive branch) shall be required to use the words; “Terrorists”, and “Killers” in every speech, domestic or abroad.

    That’s Article II, mysteriously missing section 5.  Again, go ask Alberto.  I think he’ll know.  Next, JP Stormcrow:

    The Executive may suspend any right hereby enumerated, provided that they represent to the media that they have filled out the paperwork allowing them to do so.

    Nope, that’s the New Ninth Amendment.  Next, the Venerable Ed:

    How about the freedom to make baseless accusations? Which is, of course, directly related to the freedom to blame low-level staffers for mistakes.

    That’s actually not in the U.S. Constitution at all.  Rather, it’s from the founding document of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

    Whew!  No wonder the country is so confused.

    Amanda, however, is spot on.  After I disburse the infinity billion dollars to mathpants, Amanda, you can have whatever is left over.

    And Mitchell, Rachel’s right—there is no Department of Lisa in this administration.

    Posted by Michael  on  03/03  at  03:39 PM
  22. I was watching the Daily Show the other night and my roommate walked in during a Dubya joke and said, “I don’t like this show.  They always make fun of the president.”
    Having had many of these conversations with him before ("No one who is against the war supports the troops” and other ridiculous wingnut generalizations), I simply said, “It’s satire.  They’d make fun of Kerry if he were in office.  It’s what they do.”
    He then said, “I don’t care.  We need to support the president whether or not we like him.”

    My “password” is “possible”, as in: is it possible for me to kill my roommate and get away with it on the grounds that he’s an idiot?

    Also, shouldn’t there be a clause for the removal of the Most Dangerous Professors in America as compiled by David Horowitz?

    Posted by jon mcgee  on  03/03  at  03:56 PM
  23. Jon, that’s covered under the Freedom from Education clause.

    Posted by Aaron Barlow  on  03/03  at  04:01 PM
  24. Apparently you have edited out the parts of the first and fourteenth amendments that say, “unless, of course, you are a woman or are gay.”

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  04:11 PM
  25. As my capthca word is “central” and mathpants added the guitars, i am left only with suggesting a clause following the word (and meaningless term) Congress: “and excepting in all the cases the Central Scrutinizer”

    Article 2 shall henceforth add Section 4: “This is the Central Scrutinizer.. it is my responsibility to enforce all the laws that haven’t been passed as yet.  It is also my responsibility to alert each and every one of you to the potential consequences of various ordinary activities you might be performing which could eventually lead to the Death Penalty.”

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  04:43 PM
  26. Wendy
    Gays and women are now covered by the Dept. of Manly Manliness, run by Sec. Michael Savage.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  05:07 PM
  27. I’m glad I won the bet, Michael. Winning is important for progress in education. In lieu of infinity billion dollars, please send nothing.

    On the subject of numbers which exist, can we add the clause “this dial goes to eleven” into each of the first ten amendments?

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  05:12 PM
  28. Maybe we can just change the eleventh amendment to “all previous amendments go to eleven”

    Posted by jon mcgee  on  03/03  at  05:18 PM
  29. jon,

    that’s brilliant. i yield.

    “All your amendments are belong to eleven,” is what I hear you saying. It’s a bold idea, forceful even.

    We should totally collaborate, interdisciplinary-wise, on this idea.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  05:27 PM
  30. Lefty,

    Of course, how silly (i.e., girly) of me to have missed that.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  05:29 PM
  31. I’ve come to the conclusion that, in spite of all the fine & noble words from Federalists advocating the Constitution and so-called Bill of Rights, the First Amendment wasn’t actually supposed to mean much of anything. It was (IMNSHO) essentially a rhetorical fig leaf intended to win support for the Constitution. After all, in 1798 the Federalist-controlled Congress passed the Sedition Act and the Federalist President (John Adams) signed it. The Sedition Act was quite incompatible with the First Amendment (unless you want to get *really* inventive with what it “means").

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  05:36 PM
  32. I hear that there is a new amendment being written up by harriet and alberto, superseding all previous amendments.

    Called the 43rd amendment-
    Because of the Terrorists and Killers, the current executive has the power to stay in power; the privilege and right to do and say whatever he deems necessary,
    Criticism will not be permitted.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  05:54 PM
  33. Re:  the turn signal statement...you’ve been driving around RTP, haven’t you?  grin

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  06:01 PM
  34. Speaking of made up civil liberties…

    Looks like DHo has some competition at Fox(FairandBalancedButNotAtAllAccurate)News.
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,186528,00.html

    King at SCSUScholars trots out the DHo Defense of McElroy, “Our Facts Were Wrong; Our Point Was Right” (ummmm, not it’s not)

    http://haloscan.com/tb/scsuscholars/114135448864437326

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  06:14 PM
  35. Actually, about Larry Summers, McElroy was right.  Summers’ job is explicitly protected by the “freedom from criticism” clause of the New First Amendment.

    Which goes to eleven.  With guitars.  Unless, of course, you are a woman or are gay.

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  07:56 PM
  36. Maybe we can just change the eleventh amendment to “all previous amendments go to eleven”

    And then the twelfth is:
    “No one can use this amendment. No, don’t touch it. Don’t point. It can’t be used. No. No. That’s it, you’ve seen enough of this one.”

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  07:56 PM
  37. The Lisas of the Bush II administration have long been banished.  The Bush II administration is the Simpsons Halloween episode in an endless loop.

    I bow therefore to Rachel and Michael and say most, but not all, families continue to have a “Department of Lisa.”

    Posted by Mitchell Freedman  on  03/03  at  11:17 PM
  38. How could you forget the right to chicken done right?

    Posted by  on  03/04  at  12:09 AM
  39. The New Bill of Rights:

    #1 - The first rule of the Bill of Rights is, you do not talk about the Bill of Rights.

    #2 - The second rule of the Bill of Rights is, you DO NOT talk about the Bill of Rights.

    #3 - If someone says stop, goes limp, taps out, it’s not torture.

    #4 - Two nations to an alliance.

    #5 - One fight at a time (unless we have troops for more).

    #6 - No body armor, no shoes.

    #7 - Fights will go on as long as they have to.

    #8 - If this is your first time in office, you have to be in charge of something important.

    Posted by  on  03/04  at  12:15 AM
  40. "The people shall have freedom from divisiveness, and the right to ‘agree to disagree.’ Further: the people shall have the right to pleasant dinner conversations and calm debate, and those rights shall not be violated by bombast or vociferousness, even if the unpleasant subject of basic human rights should rear its ugly head.”

    ...inspired by Michael Olivas’ column in Inside Higher Ed, in which he defends his friendship with Alberto Gonzalez and wonders why so many mean people criticized him for that friendship after his comments were published in the New York Times.  The column is followed by comments paying tribute to the importance of friendship, tolerance for diversity, with pats on the back all around for keeping it “civilized.”

    http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/03/02/olivas

    Posted by  on  03/04  at  12:34 PM
  41. Apologies if I’m bringing up something that’s been mentioned already, but… W3C on CAPTCHAs and accessibility (especially in regards to their use with weblogs):

    A common method of limiting access to services made available over the Web is visual verification of a bitmapped image. This presents a major problem to users who are blind, have low vision, or have a learning disability such as dyslexia.

    ...

    Sites with attractive resources and millions of users will always have a need for access control systems that limit widespread abuse. At that level, it is reasonable to employ many concurrent approaches, including audio and visual CAPTCHA, to do so. However, it must be noted that human users will fall through the cracks in these systems, and it will be necessary for sites like these to ensure that users with disabilities will have some human-operated means of interacting with a given resource in a reasonable amount of time.

    The widespread use of CAPTCHA in low-volume, low-resource sites, on the other hand, is unnecessarily damaging to the experience of users with disabilities. An explicitly inaccessible access control mechanism should not be promoted as a solution, especially when other systems exist that are not only more accessible, but may be more effective, as well. It is strongly recommended that smaller sites adopt spam filtering and/or heuristic checks in place of CAPTCHA.

    (My CAPTCHA word below, btw: “freedom")

    Posted by Dan  on  03/04  at  01:12 PM
  42. The Bush II administration is the Simpsons Halloween episode in an endless loop.

    Does that mean that Rove and Cheney are Kang and Kodos?

    Posted by Marita  on  03/04  at  01:26 PM
  43. Hey, Dan, good point.  I’ll turn captcha off again (though it’s generated so many great meta-comments) and see whether I’m overrun with bots.  I turned it on only because I got tired of deleting the “you have a nice website—check this out” spam from the casinos and drug merchants.

    Posted by Michael  on  03/04  at  01:38 PM
  44. Speaking of the First Amendment (sans snark or witticism), are readers here aware of the latest outrage being ginned up by The Right over that Colorado high school teacher’s dissing of Great Leader?

    For a nice bit of answering outrage go to: http://momentoftriumph.blogspot.com/2006/03/follow-up-on-bennish-kerfuffle.html

    There’s also a poll asking: Should teacher Jay Bennish be fired for comments he made about President Bush? http://cbs4denver.com/local/polls_poll_061105430

    At the time of this post, the “no” vote is at 72%—which seems to me a somewhat comforting sign in an “Old” First Amendment sort of way.  (provided, of course, that honest people of good intent are voting only one time each).

    sw

    (sorry, I attempted to format nice text links, but my limited html skills apparently are not up to the standards required here.)

    Posted by  on  03/04  at  04:30 PM
  45. From Media Matters:

    On MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, right-wing activist David Horowitz claimed that “[t]here are 50,000 professors” who are “anti-American” and “identify with the terrorists.” There are just over 400,000 tenured and tenure-track full-time university professors in the United States. If Horowitz’s numbers are accurate, that means approximately one out of every eight tenured or tenure-track college and university professors is a terrorist sympathizer.

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200603030013

    Jesus, 1 in 8?!!.  Michael, what do you guys really talk about at those “faculty meetings”?

    Posted by  on  03/04  at  06:25 PM
  46. Godwin’s Law.

    Posted by  on  03/04  at  06:30 PM
  47. And how we can brainwash the other 350,000!

    Posted by Michael  on  03/04  at  07:58 PM
  48. Okay, got it now.  Thanks, Michael.  Yours in Allah!

    Posted by  on  03/04  at  09:06 PM
  49. If you folks would just look in the mirror, you’d see that what you’re really talking about is the Bill of Lefts. (That’s right, I’m calling sedition on the lot of you.)

    Incidentally, I’m astonished not to have seen mention of the Freedom from Executive Competency clause: Execution being the sole defining activity of the Executive, Congress shall entertain no expectation of any goal, express or implied, being realized therefrom.

    Or, paraphrasing Teddy Roosevelt: “Walk loudly enough, and no one will notice you can’t chew gum at the same time.”

    Posted by  on  03/05  at  01:19 AM
  50. That’s not a “Bill of Lefts”! This is a “Bill of Lefts”!

    Posted by  on  03/05  at  11:42 AM

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