Is The Government Overreaching?

"[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse."
Thomas Jefferson December 20, 1787

While the Constitution was being written and ratified, Anti-Federalists were already insisting for a Declaration of Rights of the people. Since the new government would be more powerful than its predecessor, they worried that the absence of a list of basic freedoms would grant the federal government tyrannical power. They observed that even a government of the people required a statement of rights to which the citizens could hold it responsible.

In 1789 Virginian James Madison submitted twelve amendments to Congress. His intention was to answer the criticisms of the antifederalists. The states ratified all but two of them — one to authorize the enlargement of the House of Representatives and one to prevent members of the House from raising their own salaries until after an election had taken place. The remaining ten amendments, known as the BILL OF RIGHTS, were ratified in 1791.

Almost 225 years later, the extent to how much government is too much government continues to be debated. In more recent times, debates over free speech, the right to bear arms, the legality of searches, etc. continue. Your task is to research one of the following topics and utilize the links to gather evidence to support your argument.

As you read the links, develop a claim and collect relevant evidence for your arguments using the note catcher sheets located at the bottom of this tackk (paper copies are available).

Topic #1
Should the Government be allowed
to spy on its citizens?

On June 15th 2013, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden turned the world on its head after classified documents he provided to media organizations revealed a widespread surveillance program.

The classified documents revealed that the United States government listened in to phone conversations and read emails and texts of citizens throughout the world, including its own citizens. In response, President Obama commented, "It’s important to recognize that you can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”

What do you think? Should the United States government be able to spy on it's citizens in an effort to protect them? Using the following links, research the debate, devleop a claim, and then use a minimum of 5 articles to support your arguments.

Schneier, Bruce. "What We Don't Know About Spying on Citizens: Scarier Than What We Know." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 06 June 2013. Web. 06 June 2014.

Staff, NPR. "Debate: Does Spying Keep Us Safe?" NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 06 June 2014.

Shane, Scott. "Poll Shows Complexity of Debate on Trade-Offs in Government Spying Programs." The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 July 2013. Web. 06 June 2014.

"The Laws You Can’t See." The New York Times. The New York Times, 08 July 2013. Web. 06 June 2014.

Topic #2
Should the government be allowed to
regulate what we eat and drink?

In 2012, Mayor Bloomber of New York City planned to enact a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, to combat rising obesity. Initially the plan was supported, but eventually a unanimous four-judge panel at the appeals court agreed, finding that the board had stepped beyond its power to regulate public health and usurped the policy-making role of the legislature.

Three years later the debate continues as to whether or not the government has a right a protect the well being of its citizens.

What do you think? Should the United States government protect the well being of its citizens by establishing rules as to what citizens can consume and how much of it? Using the following links, research the debate, develop a claim, and use a minimum of 5 articles to support your arguments.

Abdukadirov, Sherzod, and Michael Marlow. "Government Intervention Will Not Solve Our Obesity Problem." US News. U.S.News & World Report, n.d. Web. 05 June 2014.

Buery, Richard. "Keeping the Oversized Soda Fight in Perspective." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 23 Oct. 2013. Web. 06 June 2014.

Baskt, Darren. "Government Control of Your Diet: Threats to." The Heritage Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 June 2014.

Brownell, Kelly D. "Should Government Tell You What to Eat?" Yale Rudder Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2014.

Lukas, Carrie. "Government Food Nannies Eat Away At Our Freedom And Prosperity." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 05 June 2012. Web. 08 June 2014.

Topic #3
Should the government be allowed
to censor the internet and information?

In 2012 Google announced that the United States government requested that over 6,000 pieces of infromation be removed from their search results. Google's omission was to highlight how the internet is increasingly becoming less and less free and unregulated.

Since then, other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have reported similar requests from the United States government .

What do you think? Should the United States government be able to censor and ine ssence, regulate the internet and the information we receive?

Peters, Jeremy W. "Latest Word On the Trail? I Take It Back." The New York Times. The New York Times, 14 July 2012. Web. 08 June 2014.

"Should the U.S. Government Censor the Internet?" Cafferty File RSS. CNN, 18 Jan. 2012. Web. 06 June 2014.

Sutter, John D. "Google Reports 'alarming' Rise in Government Censorship Requests." CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 06 June 2014.

"Twitter Scolds U.S. Government for Censoring Its Transparency Reports."Digital Trends. Digital Trends, 6 Feb. 2014. Web. 08 June 2014.

Ulevitch, David. "New Law Would Let The U.S. Government Censor The Internet: Here's Why That's A Terrible Idea." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 03 Dec. 2010. Web. 08 June 2014.

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