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Our Optional Constitutional Rights

We spend a lot of time in school teaching kids about the history and workings of the US government. We tell them about how everything is laid out in the Constitution and explaining the many part of the Bill of Rights. Most states require high school seniors to pass a course in American Government in order to graduate.

Why do we bother?

It seems as if the people running the show change the rules whenever they don’t like them. Taking the country to war is a good example. I’m not a constitutional scholar but I know that in that document it gives Congress the power to declare war, not the president. However, the last time that happened was in 1941 and I’m pretty sure we’ve had a few wars since then.

Now we discover that, over the past few years, the current administration has chosen to ignore any number of laws and court cases, backed up by the 4th amendment, prohibiting the government from spying on US citizens without a court order.

It takes incredible chutzpah, of course, to secretly shred a variety of civil liberties in the name of "national security". But beyond that it also takes one hell of a lot of hypocrisy. American "leaders" for as long as I can remember have been scolding other countries for spying on and restricting the rights of their citizens.

So, now what are we supposed to teach in Government class?

bush, domestic spying, constitution

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1 Comment

  1. If you were really teaching Seniors about Government, then you would also have to add Executive Privledge to those things that need to be taught. It really hasn’t been challenged in court yet, so the fact that it irks people is not that big of a deal. Clinton used the same power to order the assassination of Bin Laden, something that was illegal at the time.

    I’m also pretty sure that members of Congress had knowledge of what was going on and are piling on right now to increase their own political capital.

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