Friday, September 23, 2011

Chapter 4 Blog Assignment

Freedom of Speech:  How important is it?  Does the freedom go "too far"?  What areas of speech should not be protected?
Freedom of speech is extremely important. Without it why did we need to declare independence in the first place.... (okay plenty of other reasons BUT this was a main one). Without our freedom of speech changes would not be made in the world we live in, their would be no voice. I am a firm believer in it only takes one to start a stampede of change and if we did not have the freedom to voice our thoughts, opinions, etc then change would never get to take place. If you think over our history, the freedom of speech has been the moving force. I think of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, the kids at the school, etc. Do I think it goes to far.... Absolutely not. I think we have the laws in place to protect people. I do not like what I see in tabloids and with gossip magazines but those people do put themselves into the public eye and know this is the product of that. In all honesty the only time I feel speech should be protected is in matters of national security and where someones life would be in danger. I am not pro abortion but I am in agreement that the abortion clinics should be protest free.

Freedom of Religion:  Is separation of church and state necessary?  Why or why not? 
Again I am of the mind this is necessary.  I am a Christian but I also do not feel I have the right to make anyone believe the way I believe, that is for the maker and that person. I do feel this right goes beyond the scope it was meant to. Our money and deceleration both mention God yet we now feel that praying at school is against that right. I do not agree with the ban on not teaching creation and yet evolution can be taught. I am also the first one to say teach about all the ways the start of life could have begun, until we have 100% undeniable proof of how we began teach all the 'theories' as that is what they are. I believe the separation is necessary in that we wanted independence in the first time to be able to choose our own way, if this was not included.... again I am going to say why did we seek independence.

Criminal Procedure:  Are defendant's rights crucial to our system of government?  Why or why not?  Many argue that defendants have too many rights - do you agree?  Why or why not?
This is maybe one of the hardest questions I have to answer thus far. I do believe a defendant's rights are crucial to our system. that is one of the biggest things that sets us apart from other countries. The rights of defendant's is what allows innocent people to walk free every day. that being said it also allows guilty people to walk without paying for their crimes. I walk a thin line with if defendants have to many rights. I think if we took rights away we would punish many more innocent people then guilty. That being said cases like the Anthony murder trial, child abuse, and rape cases make me question if in the end it is worth all their rights. Nothing is more sickening then when guilty people go free because of their 'rights'. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chapter 3 Blog Assignment

 Is a strong national government necessary or should the state governments have an equal share of power?  Why?

I am tore on this one. I feel we need a strong national government, without it we risk our nation falling a part. We risk being taken over by other countries, we risk revolt and civil war as happened when President Lincoln took office. That being said I do believe the states should have a more equal share of power. I see since the constitution took effect more and more power being taken over by the federal government and all in the name of "necessary and proper". All in all I feel there are to many laws and in many ways the constitution is skewed to fit the governments wants at that time.

National power increased during the Great Depression but then power began to shift back to the states (somewhat) during the Reagan administration.  Why did that happen and is that shift appropriate?

 The Nixon administration began a trend called the new New Federalism that began shifting the power back to the states. The shift was primarily that money given to the states from the federal government had more leeway for the states to decide how to use it. I feel the shift happened and is appropriate because during the depression, World War 2, and civil rights movements the federal government gained to much power. That being said giving the states money and deciding how to use it was not a big enough shift of power back to the states. 

Education stirs much discussion relating to the issue of federalism.  Should the national government regulate education or is it a matter best left to state and local governments?  Why?

My opinions here differ so much it is hard to put into words. I do not feel it is constitutional for one, for the national government to regulate education. I do feel there is no clear line on who controls regulates what for there to be a clear agreement on that is to happen with education. My son was in headstart last year and they could not celebrate holidays and do certain things because the federal government regulates all of that. The headstart can not teach how to color in the lines, send homework home, and basically become a glorified daycare instead of teaching. This in no way prepared my son for Kindergarten which is held to a higher standard than when we were kids. How is that constitutional or beneficial for the peoples well being?  A lot of my thinking is that if the states and local government regulated things BUT at the same time we did not have so many petty rules and laws governing us, the issues that are of much more importance would be dealt with. I see a lot of power struggle between the federal and state governments that only result in added confusion and headache for the general people.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chapter 2 Blog Assignment

We are studying the Articles of Confederation and shift to our current Constitution. I am asked to give my thoughts on three areas.

How important was the switch to the Constitution.
     The switch from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution were extremely important. As a starting free Country we had debt from war that was not getting paid and lowering out reputation. States did completely as they seen fit which kept us from being a country that looked out for the best interest of everyone combined. We were invaded and would have lost our country very fast as we had no set rules for how to respond or act, who to led a military. It was also to easy for a state to get mad or have issues and not participate/block crucial things to runt he country. If we had not switched to a Constitution we would have become the property of another country extremely fast as the blind was leading the blind, and essentially the states were still mini countries under the name of the United States of America.

How important are the bill of rights
     The bill of rights established what each citizen of this country has rightfully as their own. When I think of the powers that the government has taken over in my life alone, I shudder at the thought of being without the Bill of Rights. There is nothing that can not be construed to be for the welfare of the people. Rioting often results from free speech, so instead of making riots illegal they could simply say that it is for the peoples welfare that we will limit speech or press. Martin Luther King never would have made his famous speech. Our court proceedings would be very different. Needless to say I feel the Bill of rights was just as important as the Constitution. that being said I do feel that laws have been passed because we were not given the right spelled out int the Bill of rights. I also feel that things like prayer in school, In God we Trust on money, and One nation under God are challenged because the Bill of Rights. Those things I do not feel go against it as 'God' can be many religions and I still do not feel it was the intent of the Bill of rights. Like so many other things in this world..... everything is open for interpretation.

Comment on Capital Punishment and if it is Constitutional.
     I do not think the Constitution protects against Capital Punishment. I do think that it mandates more reform for it to be constitutional though. For it not to be cruel and unusual punishment I think that without a shadow of doubt the person has to be proved guilty; thus DNA proving it. I also think the laws on capital punishment have to be across the board so that all people are treated equal. If murder is going to constitute capital punishment I think it should have to in every state. That being said I also think that opens up so many more cans of worms. I am not for capital punishment so maybe that clouds my thinking as well. I would like it to be so hard to ever be sentenced to death that it never happens. I do not feel we can have double standard in laws. Don't kill but if you do then I can kill you......  but that is for another assignment.