Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Fourth Amendment

In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed to law the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which thankfully sunsetted in 2004. This Bill was so Unconstitutional that memberships in the National Rifle Association skyrocketed to over four million members and the Gun Owners of America (of which yours truly is a Life Member) passed half a million.

Because of gun control, the Democrats got destroyed in the 2000s. At first, I celebrated. Good riddance I thought. As it turned out, as much as Democrats hated the 2nd Amendment, the neo-Cons hate the 4th Amendment.

I thought the War on Drugs was bad enough an assault on the 4th. Now we have a War on Terrorism that has given us things like the PATRIOT Act, which is anything but patriotic. In fact, it's downright communistic.

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about, right? That's what they tell you. You know who else used to say that? Nazis and Communists. They loved that line. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.

Well, I have plenty to hide. There's a lot about my life that I'd rather not share with the world. I value my privacy, and so did the Founding Fathers. That's why they wrote the Fourth Amendment. Here it is for you, unedited, uncut:

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.

Beautiful, isn't it? That means that your body, your homes, your records, and everything else about you is safe from the prying eyes of a "for your own good" government. Franklin, Madison, and the other Founding Fathers were sick of the English King's thugs watching every move they made. That's why they wrote it, so that you and I won't have to worry about our government doing the same thing. Thank you Founding Fathers.

Now, I'm not going to go off on the PATRIOT Act and why it's so evil. Instead, I'll lazily quote Representative Bartlett. In the meantime, let's work together on letting the PATRIOT Act sunset.

"The presumption of our innocence until the government first proves we are guilty is a bedrock principle of our nation. This inaccurately named bill reverses this fundamental concept. I refuse to eradicate the constitutional protections that safeguard all of our rights as individuals. These are the rights that have made us a free society for more than 200 years. Under this so-called PATRIOT Act, each of us faces the prospect that the government could treat us as guilty with very little evidence. It could investigate us in secret based upon unproven complaints against us. That puts all of us as individuals at risk and at the mercy of any disgruntled neighbor or coworker who alleges we are involved in terrorist activity. It could be me today, or a neighbor or member of a labor union or church group tomorrow. No one can say where it would end. In fact, there is no end in this bill."


And especially...

"Supporters argue Americans should have no 'sanctuaries' of privacy. The government should be allowed to investigate us and search for evidence against us anywhere with as few limitations as possible. With this permanent expansion of government powers, we will no longer have areas, such as our homes, that deserve greater privacy protections. That is not the America that I know and love."


-Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)

30 Comments:

Blogger Bhakti said...

I agree 100% with Bartlett.

Then, there are those who say, "But things are different now, we've been attacked on our own land!!".

I KNOW that! My apartment was less than a mile away from the towers on Sept. 11th. But I ask, what liberties are we fighting for when fighting the 'War on Terror' if we're already having them taken away with the Patriot Act??

Fear (that is, taking advantage of the public's fear in order to further his agenda) is what runs this administration. Bush is banking on the public being so afraid of the enemy that we won't realize what he's doing is so unconstitutional.

Thank you for this post, Zombie Slayer. And, as a teacher who teaches about freedom and liberty, I'll just thank you again: Thanks!

11/20/2005 7:13 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Bravo for Mr. Bartlett!
I have disliked the "Patriot" act since it was first mentioned. Hopefully it will go the way of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Tossed in a dust bin to be brought out periodicaly and mocked as an example of things we don't do.
(PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!)

11/20/2005 7:33 PM  
Blogger MPD said...

Yep sad isn't it ??? Canada isn't much better either. Anymore you need a permit to buy a squirtgun

11/20/2005 8:46 PM  
Blogger The Zombie Lama said...

And people worry about zombies when there are such things as the "Patriot" act out there???

11/20/2005 9:37 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Bhakti - Wow, so this one hit home for you. Ouch. I had no idea.

Yeah, that's one huge problem I have with this current administration, is that it seems like none of them really understand our Constitution.

But I ask, what liberties are we fighting for when fighting the 'War on Terror' if we're already having them taken away with the Patriot Act??

Wish I was a reporter. I'd ask our President this.

Exmi - I have disliked the "Patriot" act since it was first mentioned. Hopefully it will go the way of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Tossed in a dust bin to be brought out periodicaly and mocked as an example of things we don't do.

I sure hope so. I hope this will be an example of bad laws that students study in college.

Mpd - Anymore you need a permit to buy a squirtgun

Heh. Sad thing is Canada wasn't that way until the last few decades. Canada used to have a lot of hard people.

ZL - Always trying to diminish the danger of your people, huh? ;)

11/20/2005 11:06 PM  
Blogger Truman said...

Man, I'd never really read the 4th amendment before. It kind of rules. I can't understand how anyone of position would NOT want something like this upheld. I guess fear does some horrible things to the cowardly.

11/21/2005 12:13 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

"The Widow" The rest of the album's really different. I think you were right when you said it might be their ballad.

If you want, I can burn it for you? I'm not a big fan of burning CD's for bands I think deserve the credit, BUT, I know that alot of people have had a hard time, per se, with that CD.

On the pro-side, you are a music lover. And plus, well, it's you. Lemme know.

11/21/2005 12:22 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

"The Widow" The rest of the album's really different. I think you were right when you said it might be their ballad.

If you want, I can burn it for you? I'm not a big fan of burning CD's for bands I think deserve the credit, BUT, I know that alot of people have had a hard time, per se, with that CD, including me.

On the pro-side, you are a music lover. And plus, well, it's you. Lemme know

11/21/2005 12:23 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I never saw the Patriot act in that light. Especially coming from a neighborhood in California where neighbors hate for almost no reason, I can see where this act could be employed as a weapon against innocent people.

11/21/2005 7:56 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Truman - I guess fear does some horrible things to the cowardly.

It's either fear or ignorance. I think a lot of people haven't bothered to see what the PATRIOT Act really stands for.

Jenn - I'll buy this one. Probably download it from the iTunes store. Thanks, really appreciate it. You, Dave, and Levi, and a few other bloggers have been introducing me to new music.

Scott - Especially coming from a neighborhood in California where neighbors hate for almost no reason

One thing I don't like about California is that a lot of it lacks community. We're lucky in Chico, but in SoCal, neighbors are too cowardly to confront anyone. This is where I see the PATRIOT Act being used against the innocent.

11/21/2005 8:29 AM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

Imagine the damage J. Edgar Hoover could have REALLY done if the Patriot Act were around when he was the head of the FBI!!

Get someone paranoid like that with their hands on the Patriot Act (or a puppet, like our current president) and no telling what damage they could do. Not to mention the control over our lives. (Just look at the McCarthy Witch Trials...the "Red Scare", as it were. The only 'scare' that was really taking place was a closeted FBI leader and a drunk politician getting their paranoid rocks off by feeding on people's fears.)

11/21/2005 8:41 AM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

On a lighter note, I've mentioned you in my latest post!

p.s. With regard to my previous post--my name might be 'Bhakti', but I'm 100% English and 100% Irish and 100% born in NJ. (Hhhmm...'really need to work on my understanding of percentages...)

11/21/2005 8:45 AM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

I agree w/ you 100%!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't have said it any better.

11/21/2005 9:06 AM  
Blogger lime said...

I was a bit horrified by the patriot act when it was first passed. when i started taking classes in library science and learned how it specifically applied to those institutions i was further stunned. libraries provide uncensored access to information in order to promote a well-informed populace. they do so under strict ethical codes of maintainng the privacy of patrons. unfortunately they are not afforded the same legal status of doctors, lawyers or priests in terms of being permitted to maintain such privacy when searches are conducted under the patriot act. it is a wretched example of governmental power unbridled and a stripping away of rights and safeguards in the USA. bravo, zombie. thanks for this post.

11/21/2005 11:53 AM  
Blogger bsoholic said...

That's it, I am moving to Mexico to become a farmer! Oh wait. Crap!

11/21/2005 2:17 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

I'm with you in this one. BTW, thought of you this morning when someone let me get in line in front of him because I "looked like I was in a hurry". I love PA.

11/21/2005 3:51 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.

and

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!

(both by Ben Franklin)

11/21/2005 7:06 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Bhakti - Imagine the damage J. Edgar Hoover could have REALLY done if the Patriot Act were around when he was the head of the FBI!!

That's the thing is that it gives too much power to the gov't. Humor me here and let's just pretend the current Administration are saints. That's fine and dandy, but when the next guy appoints someone like Hoover, we're in trouble. That's what the Patriot Act sets up.

Saurkraut - Thanks.

Lime - libraries provide uncensored access to information in order to promote a well-informed populace. they do so under strict ethical codes of maintainng the privacy of patrons.

Yup, and now those privacies are gone.

Bsoholic - Lol!

PC - I'm with you in this one. BTW, thought of you this morning when someone let me get in line in front of him because I "looked like I was in a hurry". I love PA.

Dang, I sometimes wish I lived there. Then I remember how cold everywhere else is but here. :p

Bridget - Heard the first one, but never the 2nd:
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!

Awesome Franklin quote.

11/21/2005 7:39 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Yeah, I don't buy the "if you have nothing to hide.." line. If they're convening in secret to determine what constitutes a crime or acts of terror then you very well could have something to hide and just not know it.

The problem with the original text is that pesky word - "unreasonable". That can be interpreted in many different ways. :/

11/22/2005 5:36 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Laura - The thing is a lot of us have something to hide. With that attitude, they might come after us for terrorism and uncover some other aspect of our private lives that we'd rather keep private. Those words "if you have nothing to hide" really piss me off.

If they're convening in secret to determine what constitutes a crime or acts of terror then you very well could have something to hide and just not know it.

Yeah, if the gov't defines what terrorism is, that's scary. What is terrorism? Planned violence, or organizing to get the current party thrown out of office? Getting more and more like a police state.

11/22/2005 8:50 AM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

Oops...didn't know you loved the current administratiion. I'll humor you...heck, that's the beautiful thing about our constitution (country)--WE CAN HOLD DIFFERENT VIEWS AND STILL BE FRIENDS! Yahoo for the constitution! Amen. Nuf Said.

I won't do any more Bush-bashin on the site, but...uh...correct me if I'm wrong...but how can I consider them saints (i.e. Bush) when he's the one that passed the Patriot Act. I'm trying really hard to humor you on this one...so help me out!! :)

11/22/2005 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Michele said...

Good post, Zombie. I wander through my little house never thinking about these things, so I like when you write about them.
Just wanted to say, I can't get into the comments section to see your reply to my "problem with p#*n" and how I believe it has affected the America you love. My nanny won't let me in, because of the "P" word. Ironic, huh? My own comment kept me off. My sister Melanie told me you didn't agree, which I expected. It's OK, we're cool. Although, I think you may think a little differently when young ZS Jr. gets his hormones. And, I KNOW you would if you had a Little Mrs. ZS. You're still my Zombie-Pal, though, and we're all good.

11/22/2005 9:54 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

What is most interesting to me about the Patriot Act is to see the diversity of people from both sides of the aisle who have spoken out against it. Rightly so.

11/22/2005 2:20 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Jessica - What is most interesting to me about the Patriot Act is to see the diversity of people from both sides of the aisle who have spoken out against it.

Yeah. That's what's funny is you have both the Right and the Left rallying against this beast.

Michele - Don't worry, I'll always have the utmost respect for you, and not just because you're Levi's mother.

We can disagree on some issues. Half the people on this blog aren't gun nuts. I'm sure most people don't like my music. And Shawn's probably the only other rabid Packers fan. But this blog has been very civil, and I'm thankful for that.

Bhakti - Oops...didn't know you loved the current administratiion.

Actually I don't at all. I'm very disappointed with them. I voted third party the last three elections, because I'm disgusted with both the Republicans and Democrats. So bash all you want. :)

There are a few things I do like about Bush, just like there were a few things I liked about Clinton. Both though I consider mediocre Presidents.

11/22/2005 6:01 PM  
Blogger Liquidplastic said...

Wow I am back just in time! What an eye opening post. I am so glad the young folks are getting it, because a lot rest in thier hands.

This is not only thought provoking, it kick ass truth!

11/26/2005 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Michele said...

Hi Zombie. I have to comment on this post because of my screener.
Thanks for showing your edited comment to me. Of course we can agree to disagree, but I just want you to think about a couple of things before we leave this subject.
I'll admit, there's people who are more affected by P#%n than others. Not everyone goes out and hurts children or becomes Ted Bundy after using it. But, it does corrupt the person who views it to some extent, a little more each time. Everytime we look at humans in that manner without loving them, it skews our idea as to what real love is. S#x is supposed to be about love and pleasure, otherwise it becomes something ugly and wrong. It also is a form of unfaithfulness to the one we really do love and should be devoted to.
If you really think P#%n is a medium that is OK for consenting adults to use, be honest, and ask yourself this: Would you want your adult son or daughter to be a P#$n star? If not, why not?
Also, consider the very nature of P#$n. We're entering into intimacy that doesn't belong to us, (nor the people partaking in it.) If you caught someone peeping in someone's windows, you'd call him a p%rvert. But, because it's on film, we say it's OK.
Did you know that in countries where P#$n is very available, couples have a higher rate of s#xual problems? Doesn't it make sense that the paradigm and fantasy P#$n creates in our hearts and minds is only going to set us up for disappointment and insecurity in the real s#x act? It reminds me of the rampant eating-disorders now. When we're bombarded with unnaturally thin, starving women as the desirable image, it creates disdain for our normal bodies. P$^n does this with our marriages.
And, ZS, even if a person uses it casually, it is still progressive, and dangerous. After watching "Saving Private Ryan", John Wayne movies seemed way too tame for me. The same thing happens with P%^n. I remember the stuff I could sneak a look at as a child. Very basic naughty images. Now, think about the horrible stuff that's out there, that people need to get turned on by. Even the tame stuff has become totally raunchy. A person never turns away from a P#%n magazine, or the internet, and says, "I'm satisfied." He always has to return, and if honest, the stuff he returns to gets worse and worse over the years.

11/27/2005 6:28 PM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

mmm. I hope Zombie replies to this, Michele. You pose some interesting questions. I especially agree with your reasoning that porn is a form of unfaithfulness. I think that is the number one reason why porn comes to destroy some marriages.

11/28/2005 12:00 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

LP - Glad you liked this one. My writer's block is finally gone. :)

Michele and Sadie - My response will be in the Harry Potter post...

11/28/2005 8:54 PM  
Blogger neal said...

The Patriot act is dangerous and reminds me of the situation with child abuse complaints. Your kid could be playing in the yard and get a bruise and a school nurse could see it and make an unfounded accusation of child abuse and destroy your life.

Our right to be considered innocent until proven guilty is a right that our country was founded upon. Big government is just using the Patriot Act to whittle away at our rights.

I am all with you Zombieslayer... Let's keep the governments prying eyes out of our lives.

12/04/2005 8:10 AM  
Blogger neal said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/04/2005 8:23 AM  

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