Mark serious note of those dates in your calendars, for they are the respective birth and death dates of the entire First Amendment to the United States Constitution. She somberly lived a beaten, battered, and abused 221 years, and she will be sorely missed. Normally, we do not report on the near-daily atrocities and affronts to civil rights unless they impact you digitally (eg. SOPA, CISPA, and so forth). However, due to her last breath drawn, we are making a special exception today to mourn the passing of our dearly departed First Amendment.
"How did she die?", you may ask yourself. Well, in order to answer this question, we must analyze the law in its entirety:
"No law respecting the establishment of religion" - The first part of the First Amendment clearly states that the United States is NOT a Christian nation, nor a nation of any religion whatsoever. This was further supported by numerouswritingsfrom the foundingfathers of the United States, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and George Washington himself. Furthermore, the international Treaty of Tripoli of 1797 codified this in law. However, during the mid-1950's in the height of tension from the Red Scare, the United States responded to communism fears by forcing the establishment of federalChristianity, not to mention recent attempts as well.
"Freedom of speech" - The second part of the First Amendment was intended to protect the rights of people to speak without fear of reprisal. We really do not need to exemplify how this has been dismantled since effectively day-one of its existence. College campuses nationwide notoriously attack free speech as a commonplace ritual, and the ACLU was created in 1920 almost exclusively to combat free speech violations.
"The right to peaceably assemble and petition the government" - The fourth and fifth parts of the First Amendment were created as likely the two most important parts of the entire Bill of Rights at the time. The British crown was attempting to reclaim the colonies as theirs, stating that the citizens were traitors and treasonous for speaking out against the royal family and parliament. The founders of the United States saw these vile acts as tyrannical and opted to ensure their country would never do such things against its citizens -- that is until Wikileaks and OccupyWallStreet pissed off the wrong people, rendering these parts of the First Amendment wholly impotent. As Voltaire put it, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."
And now we reach the final nail in the First Amendment's coffin, and the reason behind this news article ...
"Freedom of the press" - The third part of the First Amendment was designed to ensure that the press could act as those who, in effect, "watch the watchmen" without restriction or hindrance. For over 200 years, this part of the First Amendment was essentially considered sacrosanct. Normally, in the rare instances that the government felt the need to violate this, they would first inform the involved news agencies and negotiate the most minimal amount of information the government could have while protecting the anonymity of the press sources. However, as of May 10th, 2013, that is no longer the case. On that day, the Justice Department wantonly rendered obsolete 221 years of jurisprudence of free press, and even went so far as to refuse to acknowledge whether any other federal statutes or laws were honored in the process.
Woe, for on this doleful and dreary day, we mourn the loss of our dearly beloved First Amendment. You served us well for 221 years, and you will be regretfully missed.