Human rights, especially the right to privacy, do not originate in Constitutions, administrative rulings or judicial decisions. Instead, rights (of any kind) are supported by a culture of rights: the simple expectation held by a majority of people that they have the right to speak, pray, and vote as they please. When government or private parties violate those rights, they also violate a cultural assumption that supports those rights; hence, public reacts and the offending party mends its ways.

And that's what worries me about the spate of recent wiretaps--whether "legally" granted or not, we are slowly eroding this culture of rights, in this case, the right to privacy.

This country has gone wiretap crazy: crooked and innocent lawmakers, and ordinary citizens, it's become so common that no one objects, let alone scrutinizes a given situation to determine if there was even a legal warrant for the tap.

Whatever your political persuasion, every reader has a dog in this fight.
Supreme Court

It is that culture which is now eroding and fast. And whatever your political persuasion, every reader has a dog in this fight. So I would encourage you to get mad--and get busy, writing to your lawmakers and asking for change.

Ellen Ratner joined Fox News Channel as a contributor in October 1997. Currently, Ratner serves as chief political correspondent and news analyst for "Talk Radio News Service" where she analyzes events, reports breaking news, and provides lively interviews with newsmakers in government and entertainment. She is founder of "Goats for the Old Goat." Over the last three years, donations have been made to acquire goats for liberated slaves who were returning to South Sudan. More than 7,000 goats have been donated to the people of South Sudan to provide sustainable sustenance for their families and a means to begin their lives again.