Republican? Democrat? Hard to say…

If you’re just here for the engine rebuild, skip this post.  I’m ranting.  There will be one later tonight documenting some progress.

Most folks who know me would call me a Republican, or possibly a conservative.  (That’s a conversation from about two years ago).  Truthfully, I’m neither Republican nor Democrat.  Truth be told, the closest thing to me is probably libertarianism, although they can be insane (no police, no military, etc…they’re pretty much anarchists, when it comes right down to it).  Anyway, the bottom line is that I have my opinions about guns, abortion, religion, etc; as well, I suppose, as current discussions like health care and Afghanistan.  Those opinions (as they truly are, and not facts), can best be summed up by:  WHY THE HELL should the government decide for me?  I’m a big boy now, so leave me the F alone!

So, today when I read THIS article, I was LIVID.  And lividity in an electrical engineering firm is generally frowned upon.  I mean, I get it:  they thought that disarmament of the citizenry, and the police, would make them safer.  There’s an argument that it worked, although I don’t believe it.  The government says that this action (started about a month ago, I believe) is to make the citizenry safer (and by extension, since they’re working it in conjunction with airline security, making US safer).  But really?  The police can randomly stop you and search your crap?  I would assume they could also seize your crap, if they thought it was dangerous to you, and if they wanted to hold crap, cuz they’re gross.

I’m surprised it’s just the photographers that are pissed.  Can you imagine that happening on our streets today?  Riots would ensue; well deserved, I think, based upon the ire that the town halls raised last year.

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.

It’s pretty clear there, I think.  John Adams thought that the British practice of searching and seizing goods inside someone’s home was the “spark” that started the American Revolution.  How could the British not have learned their lesson in the last, oh, two hundred odd years?

UnFreakingBelievable.  Never let the Brits be an example for ANYTHING again.



2 Responses to “Republican? Democrat? Hard to say…”

  1. Kristin Says:

    I’m a limited-government conservative, having converted in rather abrupt and spectacular fashion in the middle of the last election when the Dems booted the more qualified candidate for the flavor of the moment. So I agree with you in principle re: government getting out of people’s lives.

    I occasionally have trouble balancing that with the desire for strong security and anti-terrorist policies. Look at Israel’s El Al airlines. They’ve NEVER been hijacked because they practice profiling and demographics – a policy that would be political suicide in the U.S. To them, it’s just common sense.

    Here, while I agree the searches are ill-targeted and not the best use of the government’s energy, I’m forced to wonder why the photogs don’t just shrug, let them search, see that there’s nothing there, and then go about their business. It’s not that I trust the government. It’s just that in order to be secure we all have to man up and deal with some inconveniences (security lines, etc.).

  2. I think the fear is that if the journalists are carrying something illegal–or even something sorta-not-quite illegal, then that would give the police even more reason to investigate. It could lead to home searches, arrests, and prison time. I mean, if I want to carry a flask with some rum in it down the street, that’s my business. Yes, it’s probably illegal, but if I’m not harming anyone and not flaunting it, nobody in this country would bother me. I figured it would be the same in the UK, but not so. Over there, carry pepper spray or a taser might lead the coppers to think that the person intended true harm to innocents, and then their house might get searched and their entire personal lives upended.

    And what if they find you carrying antigovernment propaganda? Or what about Islamic extremist literature? Does that give them the right to arrest you? After all, it’s just thoughts and writings–maybe you truly believe that women shouldn’t get the opportunity to be educated; does that mean you’re a terrorist, or should have your live torn asunder in full public view? (Just rereading this, I’m not directing this specifically to YOU; I’m just using this point of view. Not trying to be rude!) So long as you don’t threaten anyone or take any action to see such horrendous things occur, it’s your right, at least in this country, to carry any such thing with you wherever you want.

    Last night after writing this post, I got to thinking about how the Patriot Act plays into this. From what I understand (and it’s not that well researched, I fully admit), the government can deem you worth wiretapping or having your email sniffed. However, I THINK anything uncovered in such an investigation that isn’t directly related to intelligence gathering for antiterrorism or national security cannot be used against the person. For example, if I’m being tapped, and I admit on the phone that I robbed a bank, that admission cannot be used to prosecute me. I THINK. Please, if I’m wrong, let me know; if this is true, however, it seems that the Patriot Act would not allow an “unwarranted search” of US citizens. Yes, I’m making a distinction between citizens and non-citizens.

    Finally, I see a difference between a random, unprovoked search on a public sidewalk, and a security line at an airport. The security line, no matter how necessary, is still a choice you make. You are not given the right to travel by air unmolested. Yes, you can get in your car and drive across the country without asking permission, but when you buy a ticket on an airline, you are agreeing to certain intercessions in your private life. It’s part of the deal. There is no such agreement for stepping out onto your sidewalk.

    Yeah, here’s this dumb Texan making claims on what the Supreme Court should think. I should stick to electrons on connecting rods.

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