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The Government is NOT Your Friend

May 5, 2012

“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” -Frederick Douglass


I’ve never been the one to promote crazy theories, but when evidence is produced, I take things very seriously. Now, if you’re up on my Facebook, Twitter or writings here, you would know that I’m a supporter of President Barack Obama. But there are some things I can’t agree with the President on. One of those things is the limiting of our freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. When the Constitution was created, the people needed their own protections from the government. They needed something in place to prevent the same oppression they ran away from. The Bill of Rights was that protection.

Since the creation of the Bill of Rights, the government has enacted laws or made court decisions that make some of the provisions in it meaningless. An example of this would be the Fourth Amendment. It states that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” If we look at the climate of how the police operates, they’ll frisk you or check your trunk without probable cause. If you refuse, you’re going to have a bad time.

That bad time consists of harassment. You can be taken to the station for the police to get clearance to search you and your stuff. You can even be searched at a random time far removed from when they first stopped you. Most of the time, people will just accept the unreasonable search out of convenience. They accept it as a way of life. Accepting this as a way of life makes the Fourth Amendment null and void. Some of the other Amendments that are always be threaten are the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Tenth.

The biggest infringement is upon the First Amendment, which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This is infringement has been aided by many Presidents including Bush (Patriot Act) and Obama. Last year, President Obama extended the spying on Americans portion in the Patriot Act for another four years, which also violates the Fourth Amendment. Recently, both sides of the aisle in Congress passed three acts that can crush any dissent. President Obama signed them into law. Those three laws are the National Defense Authorization Act,

Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011

and FAA Reauthorization Act.

As explained above, the National Defense Authorization Act allows the imprisonment of Americans without due process. This violates the part of the Fifth Amendment that states no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” In his signing statement, the President says,

The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists…I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.

While the President promises not to enforce this provision to lock up Americans forever without a trail, it doesn’t stop future Presidents from doing so, and this statement doesn’t stop him from changing his mind. How can you interpret this section of the law as it complies with the Constitution when it makes the Constitution invalid? The laws of war make the Constitution invalid as well.

The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 makes it illegal to protest near sensitive areas such as events and buildings protected by the Secret Service. This means people can be arrested for protesting in front of the White House or at the United Nations General Assembly. This act can make President Obama enforce the National Defense Authorization Act for protesting his policies or the policies of countries the government is allied with. The FAA Reauthorization Act allows the government and law enforcement to spy on Americans from the sky using drones. This can possibly lead to drone strikes in the same fashion as it occurs in the Middle East.

So our phones can be tapped, our personal records can be looked without us knowing, we can be spied on the ground level and the sky, we can be arrested for speaking out and thrown in jail for the rest of our lives as if we were terrorists. Considering all this, I find it funny that May 1st was deemed as “Loyalty Day.” In his Presidential Proclamation, President Obama says, “On Loyalty Day, we rededicate ourselves to the common good, to the cornerstones of liberty, equality, and justice, and to the unending pursuit of a more perfect Union…On this day, let us reaffirm our allegiance to the United States of America, our Constitution, and our founding values.” How can he say this when the founding values are being taken away? When I hear Loyalty Day, I think what better way to show our loyalty than standing up for our rights? Loyalty is not conforming to an oppressive system.

Besides these acts, local governments limit our speech as well by using the same words in the First Amendment. An example of this would be our right to practice religion. A lot of people still think like Jon Stewart in thinking our right to practice religion is safe. We aren’t made aware of the infringement of this right. The local government uses the clause that says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” as an excuse to stop someone from praying, preaching or passing out Bibles in a public forum/place. What ends up happening is that the government violates what comes after the clause they use which says the government can’t prohibit the free exercise of religion. Individuals practicing their religion is different than the government enforcing religious views. The government has the power to imprison, not people.

Little by little and sometimes in big stages, we are losing our freedoms. We are becoming no better than the oppression we defeated in 1781. We are becoming no better than the same Middle Eastern leaders we condemned for oppressing their own people’s freedoms. I never thought that I would be writing a piece like this. I never thought that a piece like this can get me in “trouble.” I wrote this piece because I still care for and believe in America. I wrote it because I had enough of the masking tape over my mouth. The question I put forth is when will you have enough? Stand up before you get nailed down!

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3 comments

  1. I want to comment on the National Defense Act signed by the president just by simply saying that the president signed off on the Act with its already existing provisions, (which you express your concerns) implemented by George W. Bush, but also Obama signed off on a bill created by the opposite party of his own whom would not allow the diminishing of the provisions. I know it’s a hassel sometimes when people comment on what you’ve said but I wanted to at least make sure you understood and maybe help others understand fully the way the action went down.


  2. Even if it did came from the Bush era and the opposite party didn’t allow for the diminishing of the provisions, the buck stops at the President. He even extended the spying on Americans portion of the Patriot Act.


  3. […] who know me have seen my support for the President on my Facebook and Twitter. Some might have seen my article on here criticizing him. I’m with the President on everything but his record on Free Speech. To me, Mitt Romney […]



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