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Are our rights under the Constitution being protected?
The rights we have under the Constitution are to be cherished and protected but the environment of big government in some cases may be hindering those rights we have and hold dear. One of the critical rights we have is the right of freedom of speech. We as a country have the right to our own opinion about what and how the government is performing to address issues of the day. Freedom of speech along with freedom of the press does have some limitations concerning libel and slander. We cannot print or say falsehoods about other individuals or organizations and those that have committed such actions have found themselves in court being sued for damages.
The rights we have under the Bill of Rights are important aspects of our Constitution and what we are as a country. Actions by individuals and sometimes the government appear to be an attack on these rights in some cases and whether the appearance is factual will sometimes be tested in our judicial system. Our rights as an individual also includes state rights though some may not understand this connection.
States have responsibilities and authority as identified under the Constitution and when they address their responsibilities through their legislature court cases have sometimes been initiated by the federal government calling the action a violation of some law. Whether this is again factual will be tested in our judicial system. The federal government does have some responsibility to ensure individual rights are not restricted or denied.
Another right we have is freedom of religion and it is an important fabric of our economy. Freedom of religion is not being protected in the world of today. Examples of lawsuits through actions of individuals/organizations saying exhibiting certain religious information or statutes are a violation of their individual rights. Court cases involving the display of the Ten Commandments are just one example. The decisions associated with this example are not consistent throughout our judicial system. Our courts are full of cases involving the rights we have under the Constitution and many times our rights are upheld with decisions which are made. This is not always the case and if we do not agree with the outcome, if we are involved we should appeal the decision. If we are not involved we need to voice our opinion through whatever means we have available to us today and there are many with the technology of today. Things can change only if we take action in enough numbers to cause change to occur.
Our right against unreasonable search and seizure has been in the news associated with the NSA. I do feel that the purpose of the program as it has been presented was created to protect us against those who want to do us hare but there needs to be some boundaries. Words on paper which are not followed are worthless. The issue with the NSA is not likely to go away anytime soon given the nature of the issues identified. Our privacy is important and should be protected. While there have been some violations as presented in media sources some statements which have been made if individuals are not doing anything wrong why they should be upset. It is not whether any individual is doing anything wrong but that our privacy is important. Requirements in documents such as laws and regulations are again worthless if they are not being followed.
Another point to make is that words in laws and regulations must also protect our right to privacy. The language of the laws generated by Congress must make sure that privacy issues are clearly address as to what is acceptable and what is not. Regulations which are extension of our laws need to be reviewed by either Congress or a non-partisan organization which is respected to determine if the language addresses the requirements of the laws to which they are associated. Today no such body or organization exists outside of the department or agency which generates them. I am not taking aim at those in any department or agency who perform this review, but it sometimes takes an outsider to properly point our either discrepancies or issues not caught when the documents were first written. Granted there are sometimes executive orders generated by the President to which a department or agency must comply and this makes it difficult for individuals who work for these departments and agencies.
I have made several statements regarding Congress and departments and agencies and I want to clear up one point. There are good individuals in every profession and this does not exclude the federal government. The opinion of how government is working or not working has nothing to do with all the individuals who work for it whether it is a local, state or federal government. I firmly believe there are good individuals who truly care about what they do for the people they represent.
Public opinion of a government entity whether favorable or unfavorable does not represent every individual within it. Opinions of elected and non-elected government officials should be based on the individual not the organization for which they work. We need to base our opinion of what individuals do and how they accomplish their responsibilities. I firmly believe there are individuals of good character working for government entities. We all have experience with government officials of one source or another and it is human nature to some extent to generate an opinion of the organization based on our experience. In connecting the need for our rights under the Constitution being protected the job that every individual working for any level of government can affect whether our rights are protected. It is a matter of how they interact with the public either directly or through documents and decisions they make. We must demand of all government officials that our rights be protected.