Why Is It Different?

There is a breaking story about a secret program (once again a leak) where several agencies conducted searches of properties for nuclear radiation in an effort to find weapons. The report comes from two people who refused to be named because it is a secret. They came forward because they are worried about the legality. The article contends that Muslims were the sole target yet the sources indicate the targets were nearly all Muslims. This would indicate that the surveillance was based on perceived threats from more than one source.

Radiation can be monitored from outside a building without the need to enter. The monitoring vehicles parked on parking lots and in driveways. The contention is that if a delivery man can access it, so can the law. A legal expert disagrees citing a ruling where the police are not allowed to use infra-red sensors to find lights used to grow marijuana indoors. I think there is a big difference. You can not monitor the light without “looking” in the building. Radiation can be detected outside the building and the air outside does not belong to the property owner. If a police officer drove by and saw marijuana lights through an open shade he would have probable cause. Sound is similar to radiation in that it can escape the house. If all the doors and windows are closed and a police officer hears what sounds like a fight he will have probable cause to investigate and, if necessary, enter.

I am curious as to why we are worried about this yet when a police officer uses a nifty gadget that sniffs the air for alcohol we do not mind. The police use a device that looks like a flashlight that sniffs the air and detects the presence of alcohol. When they stop you they poke it through the window to try and detect if there is any alcohol. The police report that the courts have upheld this practice because they are sniffing ambient air despite the fact the air is in your car and they put their device in your car.

Police also violate the Fourth Amendment when they have sobriety checkpoints yet the courts have upheld them. They stop every car, without any probable cause, to check and see if people have been drinking. I have always held that this is a violation of our rights. It is wrong to be stopped without a reason to see if you have been drinking. They claim it is for public safety but in reality it is to generate revenue.

Why is it the ACLU and the moonbats in Congress as well as all the liberal dingbats out there are so worried about us violating the rights of suspected terrorists yet they do not give a rodent’s derriere about those of us who are law abiding citizens. It is probably because they can not earn money from it and the left can not bash Bush with it.

I guess only Muslims and terrorists are protected in this country, at least as far as the left is concerned.

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8 Responses to “Why Is It Different?”

  1. Surfside says:

    I must disagree with your characterization of sobriety checkpoints. Technically, driving is a privilege — not a right — in this country. One’s car is legal considered to be in the public domain and not private property.

    On the other hand, your household is generally considered private property and afforded the “rights of privacy” thereof.

    Having said that, I believe that you cannot infringe on anyone’s rights by sampling airspace. It’s a ridiculous contention. Next, we’ll be told that a police officer cannot search a vehicle or a person when he smells marijuana. Maybe it will end the searches by trained scent hounds, also. That would be the logical progression of that thought pattern.

    I realize the “point” is that we are targetting Muslims. Excuse me, but has anyone notice that it’s only Muslims that are exploding car bombs and crashing planes into American buildings? How can anyone call it racial profiling? It’s a fact — an unfortunate one for the millions of innocent Muslims, granted. Perhaps if they (the innocent) helped us eradicate this threat, we could go back to treating everyone equally. We ignore the Muslim slant to terrorism aimed against us at our own risk.

  2. Surfside says:

    BTW, “unnamed” sources have become the rule instead of the exception in the world of journalism. The profession should be ashamed of itself. The practice allows virtually anyone to say anything about any subject with little fear of repercussions or validation.

  3. Big Dog says:

    I am afraid you have it wrong. Yes, driving is not a right but the police do not have the authority to pull you over for no reason. They must have probable cause. Generally, if they want to pull you over they make it up. They say you were weaving or crossed the line. In many cases they actually have probable cause. The point is, they need a reason to pull you over.

    At a sobriety checkpoint, there is NO reason to stop you. You did not give them an indication that you were drunk. You were not weaving and you gave them no probable cause. They pulled you over to check you without a reason and that, my friend, is something they may not do under the Fourth Amendment.

    As for airspace. The air in your car is yours. If they smell marijuana it is because it has escaped the car and THEY smelled it. They did not stick an air monitor in your car to see if there is a hint of weed in there. If they smelled alcohol then they would have a reason. To stick a device in your car without your permission is wrong. It is no different than searching your car without your permission. I thought the idea was if an officer stopped you and saw something in the open he could investigate but needed permission to search if there was nothing in plain sight. If he samples the air in your car, he is violating the space of your car without your permission. He can not see alcohol or smell alcohol so it is not in plain “sight.” The argument about dogs is flawed as well. They do not use these animals to do a regular search. You do not see police dogs used in routine stops and they certainly do not randomly pull people over and run a dog through their cars. They use them AFTER probable cause has been established because of some reasonable suspicion.

    Using the arguments presented, it would be OK for police officers to just pull you over and conduct a search for no reason. Hell, under the right to drive argument, they should have drug checkpoints where they pull everyone over and search their cars for drugs. Driving is a right but you do not abandon your rights when you drive. The police need a reason to pull you over and more often than not the over riding reason is to generate revenue.

    Ask your self if it would be OK for a cop to knock on the door to your house and stick a tube in the door to sniff around for marijuana or any other illegal substance that can be found through air monitoring. The court would say they searched your house without probable cause and without a warrant. You car belongs to you, not the state and not the police. You have a right to own as many cars as you want and can afford. Whether you can drive them or not is a different story but you can own them. So sampling the air in you car is no different than the house scenario.

  4. Surfside says:

    Point in fact, you cannot have sex in your car. It’s considered public nudity. In most states, you cannot have open alcoholic beverages in your car. It’s considered public drinking. These are important tenents because your vehicle is driven on PUBLIC roadways. Your house always remains (accept in the case of disasters) on private property. Therein lies the flaw in your argument. The officers can literally only access your house by first entering your private property (in most cases). Your car, unless in your driveway, is always on public property (or virtually always).

    BTW, I don’t believe I argued in favor of sobriety check points. Please indicate where you saw such an argument.

    The marijuana argument was in your favor concerning the radiation detection; and, the search dogs were a joke. Trust me when I say I know the difference. If I was unclear in my discussion, I apologize. In general, I agree with you about reasonable cause and unlawful search.

    However, “air” is no one’s to claim. I defy you to show one legal precedence citing such a contention. When airports and landowners discuss “airspace, they are discussing cubic area above a specific property — not the actual air contained in said space. It’s impossible to quantify, identify, assign or contain air. It is comprised of elements and compounds in gas form, as you well know. Simply by its molecular and gaseous nature, it cannot be contained in an open environment. The day anyone can actually lay claim to specific “air” is the day torte lawyers will sing from the rooftops. Imagine suing over your air being specifically polluted. Ah, the nightmare!

    Bloodhounds, BTW, can scent along a highway from a natural flow of air in and out of a car — through window cracks or venting. It’s much more difficult than tracking other modes of transportation, but it can be done. I’m just using this to illustrate my point. And, yes they do use dogs in regular searches — especially of luggage for planes, trains and cruises. (Luggage could be considered personal and private property, too. And, we all know the flaw in that argument.) They also use them extensively at border crossings. Why? Because these are all located in public areas.

  5. Surfside says:

    For clarification, I said I disagreed with the “characteriztion” of sobriety checkpoints. I was specifically refering to sampling the airspace. My bad for not being clearer. I am opposed to the practice, itself. However, it is any different than the scans and random searches in airport security checkpoints?

  6. Big Dog says:

    You may not have sex in you car because people can see you. People have sex in vans and RVs all the time because they can not be seen. Alcohol while driving, even for non-drivers, is the result of people drinking and driving but passing the container when pulled over so they can say they are not the one drinking. It is a law that was passed, like the law that says you may not have an open container on your front porch (in some jurisdictions). If you ran around naked in your house with the windows open you would have trouble as well. The roads are public roads paid for by taxpayer, in any event they must have a probable cause to search your car, that is simply the law. Your car is your property.

    I like that argument that no one can lay claim to air. I will remember that next time I feel like cutting the air off from someone giving me a hard time. I can’t have murdered them if I took something that was not theirs and we know they only died because of lack of air. :innocent1_tb:

    BTW, it is not the air that is the concern. It is where the air is contained. The airspace you talk about is claimed because it is air SPACE. it occupies the space someone is laying claim to. If you enter into that space and you are violating law. The air in your car is contained in YOUR property. When they come in to sample it, they are violating your SPACE.

  7. Big Dog says:

    BTW, while I agree that the airport and other travel checks are mostly BS, I have to contend that you are taking your belongings on a public conveyance. The rules are, if you want to use this plane/train/automobile (a little movie nostalgia) then you have to let us check your stuff. They say it is for public safety, like making the per se’ limit for DWI for truckers 0.04 when the rest of the drivers are 0.08. They say it is in the interest of public safety. You are free not to use that conveyance….

    I agree with you 100% that it is mostly a sham. I have a friend who refers to TSA as “Thousands Standing Around” and that about sums it up. There are better ways to do things and profiling is one of them. I could care less who we offend. If only blue haired old ladies are committing crimes then we need to search all of them. Unfortunately, they are getting searched while those meeting the profile of the terrorists are walking right on through. Maybe everyone should have to travel nude! :bigsurprise_ee:

  8. Rosemary says:

    I’m hollering, I’m OUTRAGED! I want these Leftist Commies executed, old fashioned style. And I want a front row seat. I am so tired of this. TERRORISTS DO NOT HAVE USA CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. It doesn’t matter whether you are a USA citizen or not. How do ya like them apples? (Check your local copy of the FISA Act.)