Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

The 4th Amendment VS. National Healthcare

Working nights is always odd for the personal biosystem.  I woke up at 2330 this evening, refreshed and ready to begin my day. Which of course, is my neighbors’ night, and being that I have many friends and family back at GMT -3 and GMT -5 and at least one in GMT 10, its sometime somewhere I guess.  

As I was laying in bed, staring at my pillow, I had a sudden realization of a situation analogous to nationalized healthcare.  

The Fourth Ammendment of the US Constitution reads as follows:

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.

Basically, this means that the clothes you are wearing, your body fluids, your bag, purse or briefcase, your hardcopy and digital files, etc, are free from physical inspection or electronic inspection (bugs etc.) unless the lawful group investigating you has a warrant.

Most people however, are blissfully unaware that the the Constitution does not guarantee their rights.  It enumerates them.  Only hard work guarantees your rights.  The early civil rights movement was based on this.  Blacks insisting they could go to colleges or ride where they wished on busses was an example of working to guarantee rights. Those rights were listed on paper, they were the law of the land, but until blacks demanded the system follow its own rules, the old abuses continued.

Sadly, the Fourth Amendment, “The right of the people…against unreasonable searches…” is completely ignored in regards to certain groups of people.  

The first, and most obvious group is prisoners.  No one is going to raise any objection to a prisoners room being searched without a warrant, and they regularly are.

The next group is children in public schools.  This one is a little odder.  If  child is walking to school a police officer requires a warrant to take his bag away and search it. However, if the officer follows the child into school, he may now search the child’s bag without a warrant. Since the Constitution requires probable cause, this is to say that every child in school is a potential criminal. 

The next group is service members.  That’s right. If you are in the US military you have no fourth amendment rights.  All of your phone calls can be monitored, all your emails monitored, and all your property searched.  This does not refer to when you are one base, but when you are off base, or in your home.  

The next group government workers, who’s offices may be searched at anytime for any reason without warrant.

The final group is people who live in Section 8 housing. The police need only 2 warrants for a Section 8 housing complex to search the entire housing complex. For reasons I will explain in a moment, this one is the most disturbing.

By putting all the cases together, we can establish some trends.  If you live in government housing, be it a prison or a base, you have no 4th Amendment rights.  If you work in, or attend something in (like school) a government building, you have no 4th Amendment rights.  And finally, with Section 8, if you own property in the same building as people who own property but take a check from the government, you have no 4th Amendment rights.

Section 8, aka the projects, are not universally government owned buildings.  Many privately held apartments accept Section 8 payments from some residents.  So, a privately owned building, sub-sectioned and leased by law abiding citizens, my be searched in its entirety because 2 residents take money from the government.   That doesn’t make sense.  Law abiding citizens may have their 4th Amendment rights suspended for living in the same building as accused (not proven) criminals.

In other words, if receive money from the government in any form besides tax rebates and social security, your phone may be bugged at anytime, your house searched at any time, your computer searched at anytime.  

So, I ask you to consider in this pre-existing environment, is the socialization of American health care likely to result in greater freedom of the citizen from unreasonable searches, or greater freedom of the government to search?

This is not to say that socialization of healthcare is per say bad.  It’s just to spot a trend, and suggest where that trend is headed. I further say that absolutely no one will do anything about this.

Any attempt to uphold any rights whatsoever of criminals will be seen as “soft on crime”. Any attempt to uphold the rights of those on Section 8 will be seen as “Pro lazy welfare mom and anti cop, anti American”.   Any attempt to uphold the rights of children would be perhaps the most politically suicidal “Endangered our Children!”.  That leaves US service members and Government employees. City and State governments rarely take on the Federal Government.  There are federal funds that they need too badly to rock the boat over what amounts to employee rights. 

This will get worse, not better.

November 12, 2008 - Posted by | Government, Politics, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

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