Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dwelling on the Fourth Amendment

More thoughts on the Fourth Amendment, because it is seems like it is in the news a lot lately.

I wonder if where our individual rights stop and where others rights began can ever be clearly defined. If I own my own property and I decide that I don’t want to live in the rain, so I build myself a simple shelter, what business is it of anyone else’s? What business is it of anyone if I build a greenhouse? I shouldn’t even need a permit, unless it is going to affect someone else, like a septic system that may fail onto other properties.

I can understand that my problems shouldn’t extend beyond my property lines, but if they don’t, nobody has the right to step on my property without my permission.
I really don’t believe that any of us has given our government all of this control over us, I think that they took it while they were busy picking on people that we don’t like anyway, and we didn’t feel sorry for. Now they are after us, and checking our property without permission. This is what happens when we don’t defend the rights of ALL of us.

Same as with helmet laws, who cares about bikers anyway, and we don’t want to pay for their medical expenses. Seatbelts are the same, everybody should wear their seatbelt, so we don’t feel sorry for them. Sex causes venereal disease, when they pass a condom law are we going to feel bad? How about when you can no longer cook chicken without washing your hands before and after, that should be a law, think of the lives that would be saved with that one. You cant make a u-turn on the freeway, no matter how safely you do it, can not being allowed to cross the street be far behind? Just think how many people are killed in crosswalks. I know I’m off subject!

Like my friend said when they inspected his greenhouse, it’s funny at first, then it makes you mad. I’ve often laughed myself about what would happen it they raided my house. I speculated that I would invite them in offer them a cup of coffee and admonish then to not make a mess. But after the following true story it makes me shudder to think what might have happened to me, if things were a little different.

A few years ago, my wife was going through unclaimed packages that had been returned or damage through our shipping department at the store. Most things just get tossed into the garbage, but this one package was filled with some local coffees, and some herbal teas that she especially likes. So she took them home. They sat in the cupboard for quite some time, then one night she ran out of tea, so she open one of the packages that was tightly sealed. When she got the package opened, she discovered that it was loose-leaf tea. She started to make some tea out of it, then she sniffed it. She woke me up laughing. When I asked what was up, she said that we have had a box of Marijuana in our cupboard for over a year!

The next morning I took the stuff out and sprinkled in in the berry brush, and put the box in a State Park garbage can. I shuddered at the thought of my cavalier attitude about searching my house. That night I got to thinking about the other teas and coffee that she had brought home. Sure enough, more pot. What ever kind of critters lived in that berry bush must have had a high time for awhile.

What would have happened if I had been searched? Would they have shot my dog? Would they have held my mother at gunpoint? Would they have handcuffed me in my underwear? (All stuff that I have read about lately)

How would I have claimed that I was innocent? It would certainly have entailed significant lawyer fees, even to be let off. Shouldn’t people be entitled to make a mistake in their own homes?


Fred said...

"I think that they took it while they were busy picking on people that we don’t like anyway, and we didn’t feel sorry for."

That should probably read, "while WE were busy picking on people we don't like anyway...".

Kym said...

I wonder as a society if we will ever get to the part where we don't tell people how to live their private lives.

And I know the line where private crosses to public is really fuzzy. For instance, do you have the right to build a plastic Disney house right next to a sacred natural site?

I would like to think we'll eventually get to the point we will try and talk reasonably to our neighbors and resolve disputes without having to have law enforcement at all.

Yes, "people tell me I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one." 8)

Ernie Branscomb said...

As a society, we will never totally agree, but that’s what make us a society and not an autocracy. I hope that through education that we can make people see that when we don’t protect the rights of the least of us, that we sacrifice the rights of all of us. At some point We are all vulnerable to the larger power of government, and hopefully we will be wise enough to say that they can’t pass a law against being Kym, or Fred, or Ernie, without someone saying “That is not fair”, instead of “What do I care, I’m not them”.

Many, many of laws that we have today, would not be there if we had voted on them. We live in a representative government, and our leaders choose what is “best for us”. The looming problem is that “money and media” elect our leaders, because we swallow the rhetoric that we see on TV. And as “us” becomes poorer, because our jobs were all sent offshore, “them” becomes wealthier. We need to pay attention!

spyrock said...

To digress a bit. I told y'all I had an album from my grandma Grace when she went to the old spyrock school. So, dated April 24, 1905 with love on one corner, friendship on another, and forget me not on another,
from your loving friend,
Etta Branscomb
any relation? Etta, Ernie?

spyrock said...

Other people who wrote notes in order are Eugene Vasquez, Gussie Redwine, Ethel Cook, Summer Dunham, Cora Dunham, James Dunham, Oscar Dunham, Ethel Bright, cousin Hazel Simmerly, teacher Lilian B. Streeter, Will Gilfillan, Leo Meyer from Cummings, cousin Merle Duncan, Elmer Powell and Susie Le Ferre. Anyone out there related to these people and I'll tell you what they wrote.

spyrock said...

This is from the Solitair Ranch, Redwine on 2,24,1910. They got married soon after.
To Leone (Grace)
The far horizon hazed with Lilac seems a haunting harmony where one bright vessel like a craft of dreams floats on an opal sea.
Ah sweet within mine eyes loves rapture gleams, if thou will come with me. We too will launch our golden book of dreams upon life's opal sea. Lewis Nye. Pappy

Ernie Branscomb said...

Welcome back Spyrock. Yes I am related to Etta. She was the... Oh hell... the Branscomb side of the family started in Branscomb (Town) with Benjamin, one of his sons was Ed, who was the father of Roy (my dad, Everett's, father) and laurence, the father of Ettta. That's as simple as I can make it.

The Redwines and the Nyes are also related, but it is even more complicated. We would need a road map to even get started. They say that at one time back in the fifties, that if a Branscomb had married a Bowman the whole valley would have been related.

Robin Shelley said...

A Branscomb married a Pinches (Aaron & Jessica) 10 or so years ago & that joined the two oldest families in Long Valley. Of course, there are too many other families there now for this union to create a, ah, "Deliverance"-type situation as it might have a hundred plus years ago but it's pretty darned neat just the same!