Still more violations of the Constitution
If the Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act weren’t enough violations of our Fourth Amendment rights guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution, now we have the issue of drones flying in our skies. The Federal Aviation Administration just announced its plans to expand the use of surveillance drones over American airspace.
While the government loves to tout how these can be used to find missing children, track drug dealers or terrorists, they don’t mention how it violates the Constitution. Anything caught by these drones can be stored up to 90 days by the Pentagon. Within the next decade there could be up to 30,000 drones flying over American airspace. There’s no current legislation to curtail where they can go or what they can see, including your backyard and even into your own home, depending on how low they fly.
This is not permitted by the Constitution or federal law. The Defense Department cannot engage in any activity in the United States without an executive order from the president that is published. And why isn’t Congress saying anything? Where’s 3rd District Rep. Marlin Stutzman on this? He was busy passing into law the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which will provide $63.6 billion for the agency’s programs between 2012-2015. This bill orders the Federal Aviation Administration to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Why should I care? I’m a law-abiding citizen. I have nothing to hide.” Really? Should we just throw out the Constitution and run by a new set of rules then? The Third, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth amendments were all written to keep government out of our lives. Now, silently, thousands of feet above us the Defense Department is violating those amendments, all at the approval of Stutzman and Sens. Coats and Lugar.
Thanks to patients
On behalf of the employee-owners at Miller’s Merry Manor, and in honor of National Nursing Home Week, I’d like to recognize the patients — along with their families and friends — that are part of our Miller’s family. Our patients are the people who have nurtured our community, helping it flourish and grow. They’ve been educators, business owners, technicians and much more, each contributing in their own way. They come to us at Miller’s, often for just a brief time as they recover from surgery or illness, and then return to home and family, but participating in this part of their journey is a privilege for us. They’re here at the time they need help the most, and in the process of caring for them, we’re inspired by the lives they’ve lived and the wisdom they share.
National Nursing Home Week gives our community an opportunity to celebrate them. The theme for this year’s special week is “Celebrating the Journey.” It began on Mother’s Day and ended on May 19. I hope you took the opportunity to attend one of the special events held at Miller’s and paid tribute to your loved ones, friends and neighbors.
Katie Hougham, administrator, Miller’s Merry Manor of Fort Wayne