By Bill Ward Rushville Republican
---- — How much freedom are you and I willing to give away for the sake of “supposed safety” from terrorism? When we go to the bank, retail store, grocery, gas station, federal and state offices and even on the street, we are on camera. And that camera manages to take and keep for a time our images and just exactly what we do. For the present, we seem to be willing to allow that to occur more or less willingly. Yes, some things have been found out by use of those cameras and many things are found out after the fact by those cameras. But is it actually worth the loss of freedom of privacy for the results of the act?
Now we find that the government has managed to get our phone records; not what we said, yet, and I would guess not only with Verizon, but with all the phone companies land line and cell. They have now managed to also target individuals for closer inspection of their emails, calls and any other thing they can get their hands on. To me, it seems for no reason at all. I heard today we are also having our conversations at times monitored as well as I suspect emails and other electronic supposedly private conversations. If you have a camera on your home computer or any other electronic device in your possession the government or others can and I would guess do cut in and watch what you are doing. Are you willing to allow this?
I read the Constitution recently and also the Declaration of Independence and found that many of the problems that brought about our Revolutionary War to gain freedom are today now pressed upon us by our own government. If not actually pressed upon us, it is in the works to press on us (like it or not). I noticed no where in either document did it mention that Congress and the Executive branch could exempt themselves from any of their acts, so why do we allow them to do it? No where do they say we must assimilate into our lives the ways of others. They say we want freedom from government, not more of it. Yet today our government has their hands into almost everything we do.
George Orwell was way too correct with his book “1984” only it took it a tad longer to come about than he had anticipated. Now we are at a cross roads. Are we, the electorate and tax payer, willing to forgo all our freedoms, those freedoms our forefathers fought and died for? Some of those items the government has pressed on us are good, many others not so much so. Many are now items people feel are their right, they depend on them. They are something that indeed makes life better, but at what cost? Do we have to allow the governments to poke their noses into our private life? Personally, I do not care for that at all.
Just where does the line start between privacy and needed intrusion on that privacy? The thing that really worries me is that our government happens to be the ones doing that intrusion. This is the same people who run the IRS who have blatantly targeted those the administration classify as their enemies, Tea party, Freedom, and other like words in their name. The possibility of this being used by political aspirants rather than intelligence people to me is the biggest question. Is it worth the loss of privacy to allow this or should we take another look at what is being done , how it is being done and see if some restraint and safety plans could be implemented. And probably most important, just how much are you and I willing to allow those bureaucrats to intrude on our private lives? Also, just how much is needed for the intelligence people to do their job, which is to protect us all.
How much of what is remaining of the Constitution are we wiling to set aside for the safety we like and have had in the past? The Constitution has been so eviscerated by the courts in recent years and so much has been misintrepertated I think we need to go back and take a good long look at what we are now looking at. So many judicial interpretations of the Constitution and so much judicial tinkering with what is meant in the Constitution has been done we seem to be run by the courts, not our Constitution. Rather than looking at the political leanings of those who are to be appointed to the Supreme Court we need to look at how they understand and interpret the Constitution. We need strict interpretation of the Constitution, not liberal or conservative interpretation by those Justices of the Supreme Court. We also need less tinkering with the court by the political people and feelings of those people in our government. It seems it is now much more important to being appointed to the court just what your political thoughts are not how you interpret the Constitution.
The Supreme Court is a life long appointment, no way other than something really bad are you taken off the court. Usually, either you die or resign. I can think of no time any Justice has been taken off the court for any reason. The President has, at times, attempted to pack the court to be sure they are of the same political feeling as the President. Franklin Roosevelt was the one that comes to mind first, but he was not the only President to try this, Lincoln did too. The interesting part of this is usually, if not always, that attempt to pack the court fails. That, to me, says something for the people of our country to not allow court packing to occur. The idea of life-long appointment was to keep the Justice’s out of the political ring we now find them in today. Maybe it is time to rethink how the Justice’s serve on the Supreme Court, maybe not.
The present day situation scares me a lot. Not necessarily that it is being done, but how it is being done and how easy it is for that information to be used for purposes other than what the program was set up to maintain. The use of the IRS by whom ever who did it for political purposes shows me just how fragile this program actually is for us all. It shows just how easily it could be used to tear us down, not save us from terrorism. It depends on those of the elected administration, seemingly without judicial oversight, to mine the information they might want to perpetuate themselves in power, and that is truly a very scary possibility. We must be vigilant, very vigilant, to be sure some one does not gain this information for uses other than intended. In other words, do you trust the present administration, or for that matter any future ones? I, for one, do not and am concerned about how this administration has acted and may act in the future.