Constitutional Scholar Single Handedly Redefines 1st Amendment Law and Stumbles Upon a Space-Time Continuum
By: Jim Byrd
Rat-a-tat-tat. Rat-a-tat-tat. The bursts of the cerebral Uzi discharging are still ringing through the halls of constitutional intelligentsia. This random, awkward firing is not the literal discharge of machine gun projectiles, but rather the suspicious preteritions scattered about between the start and the end of the amorphous sentences of the ensuing constitutional masterpiece, by means of recreational ellipses. Rat-a tat-tat. What wealth of information was strategically omitted in the void of the ellipsis? It is surely something of unquantifiable value, as this cerebral triggerman is a known quantity among the erudite as Meghan McCain has engineered the litmus test for one’s compelling relevance per Twitter or Facebook followers or friends. The author we are celebrating has 2821 friends on Facebook, multiplying rapidly; therefore, this author is relevant, knowledgeable, and a legitimate intellectualÂ force majeure.
The author, Michael Gacki, proprietor of “Thoughts by Gacki,” has sent a shock wave through the society of constitutional scholars and practitioners, causing them to question the very foundation of their scholarship with his article titled, “How free is speech in the US?”
It would be a natural assumption that the gravity of the 1st Amendment case Snyder v. Phelps, currently before the Supreme Court, was weighing heavily on the author’s mind and heart while penning his piÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance. If the court rules against the Westboro Baptist Church, and the church loses its ability to congregate around the perimeter of private military funerals and shout obscenities in the name of God at the deceased and family, then this case could be the catalyst that would drive the author into the catacombs of a dark, dark place.
Please be forewarned, due to this article’s esoteric composition, it will be necessary for me to elucidate the gaping unknowns left by the rat-a-tat-tats for the neophyte constitutionalists.
The profound penumbra within title of this avant-garde discourse is unmistakable, “How free is speech in the US?” It is obvious the author’s intentions are to knock the reader off kilter with this disorienting title, as thisÂ would give the author a measure of control over the reader’s psyche during the course of the article. Is the word “speech” in the title referring to free admission to an oratory spectacle in some concert hall? Is the author referring to US [sic], as all of us as a nation, or did he mean the United States? I must say, the suspense is very kilter knocking, as my psyche feels vulnerable, and I am reeling in my chair as I write.
The first sentence: â€œIt isn’t really that free….â€ Now there has obviously been some type of bait-and-switch with the promised free admission price to a speech; does this now mean that there will be a nominal fee for the speech?Â Rat-a-tat-tat.
The author now directs our attention to the more substantive areas of the article, and the obvious breech of the 1st Amendment is highlighted: â€œAn NFL coach flips an official the â€˜birdâ€™ and gets fined $40K??!!…..really? FREE SPEECH?â€
During the author’s understandable rage, he held the trigger a little too long, and not only did he release a rat-a-tat-tat, but two extra tat-tats for good measure. A five-dot ellipsis can only mean there were myriad thoughts swirling around inside his head regarding the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, past and current constitutional case law, the 1st Amendment and its application to private companies, and of course, the price of admission to a speech.
It is perfectly understandable that the author is outraged by the audacity of a private organization, such as the NFL, to fine a coach who violated their code of conduct on national television with a commonly accepted vulgar expression. But what the untrained eye cannot detect is that the author has done something that is so inconceivable, so valiant, no one has ever attempted it–he arranged a 5-dot ellipsis outside the parameters of double question marks and double exclamation marks. At first glance, it appears a simple case of truculent grammar usage. But what the author, and now renowned physicist, has created with those 5 little dots is a wormhole into a space-time continuum. The casual reader sees double question marks, double exclamation marks, and 5 unidentifiable dots, but actually it is a wormhole containing 272 words that would take the reader two minutes to read, digest, and understand its complexity. But with the wormhole, the reader can comprehend the 272 words in 1/1000th of a second. One serendipitous advantage this author has over Newton, Einstein, and Hawkins is the employment of untutored grammar–which explains why the afore mentioned geniuses, and proficient writers, were never able to employ the manipulation of time and space.
Here is what the author obviously had ricocheting around his head when he created the wormhole with his super-ellipsis:
- There is no 1st Amendment right of speech in the private sector, so until Barack Obama nationalizes the NFL,Â the coach’s gesture is not protected.
- The coach, who signed a very specific code of conduct with the NFL, is bound by the rules of conduct and subsequent punishment for violating the rules. The code of conduct to which the coach agreed requires him to avoid conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League. This conduct requirement applies to the following: players, coaches, other team employees, owners, game officials, and all others privileged to work in the National Football League. Discipline may take the form of fines, suspension, or banishment from the League and may include a probationary period and conditions that must be satisfied prior to or following reinstatement.
- Throughout American constitutional law, there are exceptions to free speech. The exceptions are obscenity, defamation, breach of the peace, incitement to crime, “fighting words,” and sedition.
- Bethel School District v. Fraser
- Miller v. California, which set the following standard for exceptions to freedom of speech: (a) whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
- What would the ramifications be if the first eight amendments had not been incorporated into the 14th Amendment by various knavish Supreme Courts?
Is the genius of this that obvious?
Every single piece of information stored in the wormhole would cause the assumption that the coach’s vulgar gesture was not protected by the 1st Amendment. But our author obviously subscribes to that old adage, Knowledge is the ability to accept or reject what is being presented as knowledge. Most constitutional scholars cannot see the forest for the trees. What our author has done is take a giant step back, removing himself from the trees to enhance his perspective. He then took another step. Then another. Then the forest and trees disappeared over the hill and beyond the horizon. It is the mark of genius when one can become so erudite on a subject, and yet be so far removed from the subject matter, that it is almost as if he never knew anything about the subject in the first place. It is scientifically feasible to become a genius on any subject matter using this prescribed method, as the world is abundant with this caliber of genius.
Moving on from the space-time continuum, we arrive at the quintessence of the angst, which can apparently haunt someone his entire life: â€œPeople are reprimanded or fired from jobs everyday for voicing their opinions….not really free.â€ (Side note: do not be alarmed by the 4-dot ellipsis; in this case, it is just abhorrent grammar.) What the author is beseeching this country to rectify is that each individual should be protected by the entire Bill of Rights in the workplace. Say what they want, when they want, assemble as needed, establish a religion and convert the break-room into a church if they so choose, brandish firearms in their cubicles, not be forced to quarter troops in their offices, and have their offices and desks protected from a search by their boss without a warrant. If asked by management if they did a follow-up call on a client, they should be able to plead the 5th; if being terminated or reprimanded, request a jury of their peers (co-workers). Being fired or demoted should be considered cruel and unusual punishment.
And finally, the declaratory statement that we should all heed, as our very lives depend on preparedness: â€œWe are all surrounded by assassinsâ€
Two oddities in this statement that will surely set in motion a worldwide tsunami of conspiracy theories: As bizarre as it seem, the statement does not contain an ellipsis, and the sentence does not have a stopping point. But there is one valid point to this grammatically deformed statement: the latest Gallup Poll suggests that .5% of all Americans, and 100% of all schizophrenics, believe…they…are…surrounded…by…assassins….
So in conclusion, just as Justice Potter Stewart stated in his opinion in the 1st Amendment case Jacobellis v. Ohio regarding the definition of pornography: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.” I apply it to ignorance, and I know it when I see it!!…
Jim Byrd's website is A Skewed View.