Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time to Start Thinking About Civil Disobedience ...

... before the only course is uncivil disobedience.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
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.

Private property is fundamental to the American way of life. It has two parts: property and private. Property means that I own it, possess it, and can do with it as I see fit. Private means not public. It seems obvious and clear. Why would the courts not be able to understand the plain language and intent of this Amendment?

It is a shocking experience for me to be on the same side as Ruth Bader Ginsberg — the only Supreme Court Justice to stand for the Fourth Amendment in a case from Kentucky recently decided. Police were seeking some drug offender and lost the trail in an apartment complex. They smelled marijuana, knocked on a door, heard people "moving around" in response to being told the police were present. Assuming that drugs were being flushed, the apparently telepathic police forced their way in and searched the apartment finding drugs "in plain sight". They had not even entered the "right" apartment, but people were successfully prosecuted on the basis of illegally (darn Constitution) obtained evidence. Ginsberg's minority opinion correctly sees this decision as the death of the Fourth Amendment — the end of Americans ever being "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects". We now officially live in a police state.

You won't be allowed to have your own drugs but Soma will be issued to you as needed to assure compliance and cooperation. I have always been on good terms with the police, and I once worked as a law enforcement officer. This changes things, as does the decision from the Indiana State Supreme Court that denies a person any right whatsoever to ever resist a law enforcement officer entering his or her house without a warrant.

The old "if you have nothing to hide" canard is pretty stale at this point. I have the right to resist anyone attempting to enter my house at any time. Any fool can put on a police uniform and buy a novelty badge through the mail. Police should never attempt to enter the residence of a citizen without permission or proper judicial oversight as evidenced by a warrant. If I have nothing to hide, why do you want to search my house? If I have nothing to hide, why do you want to spy on me, track my movements, my purchases and cash transactions? If I have nothing to hide, why do the police need to bother me at all? If I have nothing to hide, why do you feel it necessary to abridge my rights?

It's not about me having anything to hide, it is about the government's continuing program of intimidation and control.

The War on Drugs started this crap. The War on Terror is an extension and solidification of it.

Personally, I would rather take my chances with the druggies and the terrorists than the government.

Denninger seems to get the point. Will a people who feel that they have no Constitutional protection resort to violence? I certainly hope not.

I am not a slave. I am a citizen. A Supreme Court decision cannot change the written law of the Constitution. The only way to overturn the Fourth Amendment is by another Amendment. Until that happens — and it will not — the Fourth Amendment stands as a protection for private citizens against an intrusive government. We as citizens need to make it clear to our elected representatives that we do not appreciate and will not tolerate the violation of our God-given and inalienable rights.

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