There's been a ton of talk about "rights" of late. Liberals, progressives, socialists and statists (Lord forgive us our redundancies) seem to pull all sorts of rights out of thin air (or perhaps less mentionable regions, ahem) that seem to boil down to "I have a right to anything I want and someone else has to pay for it."
Now the Bill of No Rights has been floating around the internet pretty much since there's been an internet, but I think it's important, in the wake of the Democrat debates in which another plethora of "rights" were pulled from the ether that didn't any more connection to reality than the last set they came up with, to perhaps bring the Bill of No Rights up again, since apparently the original was confusing.
• ARTICLE I — You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any form of wealth.
More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.
• ARTICLE II — You do not have the right to never be offended.
This country is based on freedom, and that means the freedom for everyone, not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the world is full of idiots and probably always will be.
• ARTICLE III — You do not have the right to be free from harm.
If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful. Do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
• ARTICLE IV — You do not have the right to free food and housing.
Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generations of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.
• ARTICLE V — You do not have the right to free health care.
That would be nice but, from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in government run health care.
• ARTICLE VI — You do not have the right to physically harm other people.
If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.
• ARTICLE VII — You do not have the right to the possessions of others.
If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen TV or a life of leisure.
• ARTICLE VIII — You don't have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience.
We hate oppressive governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight, if you'd like. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.
• ARTICLE IX — You don't have the right to a job.
All of us sure want all of you to have one, and will gladly help you in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.
• ARTICLE X — You do not have the right to happiness.
Being an American means that you have the right to pursue happiness — which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.
All IMHO, of course.
— Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @PittEditor.