March 22, 1998
by: Doug Fiedor
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Since then, Americans gave up their right to privacy.
It all started very slowly, of course. The hippies of the late 60's and early 70's caused such problems that many adults thought it would be fine for the police to stop and search them. Then it was all the drug users and dealers, especially when they started shooting at each other. Complicating everything was the federal government's "Great Society" programs, which created large urban slums and frequent urban unrest. And, heck, the police really should constantly roust all "those" people. Right?
Maybe. But today, we are all "those" people! Today, the IRS has permission to scrutinize every single monitory transaction Americans make. That's so they can insure that we came by our money legally, you see. The drug enforcement officers, Army Corps of Engineers, EPA, BATF, and a series of other government agencies feel free to trespass on our property at will. No warrant is necessary anymore. We gave up that right.
To be allowed to travel, Americans must have their "papers" in order at airports and be willing to submit to any search the nice officer feels is necessary. Liberty and privacy is even suspended on the public highways. Police regularly stop and question people at "check points" for no reason whatsoever.
And, if you own a business, all sorts of government agents feel free to come in and snoop around anytime. There is absolutely nothing government agents cannot inspect, for any reason or no reason, in an American business.
Americans are beginning to believe things are supposed to be this way. However, that is far from the truth.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution was put there precisely because the Founding Fathers had these very same problems with the agents of King George. To insure there would be no misunderstanding, they wrote the words of the Fourth Amendment clearly:
"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."
That's it. There is nothing else to understand. If the government agent does not have a warrant, signed by a judge, which states exactly their reason for being there, they are in violation of the Constitution. There is no distinction made between "civil" and "criminal" laws, or between laws, rules and regulations. And, most assuredly, the Fourth Amendment was intended to include the tax collector. We know that for a fact because one of the reasons the Founding Fathers went to war was the abuses of authority by the tax collectors. Now, unfortunately, we have the exact same problems again.
When James Madison proposed what we now call the Fourth Amendment, he added another catch all Amendment, today's Ninth Amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." The Tenth Amendment then carries this thought on to its logical end: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
So, our right to privacy is Constitutionally protected in four separate ways. The body of the Constitution gives the federal government almost no authority to violate the privacy of the people. The Fourth Amendment protects our privacy against arbitrary police action. The Ninth Amendment instructs the federal government that, even when a right or liberty is not discussed in the Constitution, the people still have it. And the Tenth Amendment instructs the federal government that all powers not mentioned in the Constitution, including our rights and liberties, belong to the States respectively, or to the people individually.
This ain't rocket science, folks! This is easy stuff to understand. Our individual right to privacy was protected by the Constitution in four different ways. Still, we're acting like we gave it up. Why? Actually, we cannot give up our right to privacy. It is an unalienable right, which means that we cannot relinquish or transfer it. In truth, we just do not protect it any longer.
The Constitution is the highest law of the land. No law may supersede the Constitution. Only a Constitutional amendment my change a Constitutional right. Any violation of the Constitution must be, therefore, a serious breach of the law -- a violation much more serious than a breach of the laws passed by Congress.
In fact, a law, executive order, rule or regulation contrary to the Constitution cannot be a legal "law." And, in The Federalist Papers No. 78, Alexander Hamilton tells us exactly that:
"There is no position which depends on clearer principles than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this would be to affirm that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid."
One sentence there sums it up nicely: "No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid." When government violates the Constitution, then, it becomes an illegal entity and relinquishes Constitutional authority. This places the burden of correction squarely on the shoulders of the people.
To start, it is time that we demand our Fourth Amendment rights -- our right to our own personal privacy -- again be respected by all agencies of government. There is no excuse for this wholesale violation of the Constitution by government agents.
This is an election year. Let's have at them. Tell them: All government agents must respect the privacy of all American citizens completely. There can be no excuse for not putting this matter on "fast track." Or -- and, this is the part the Lords and Ladies of the Hill will understand best -- we will organize to defeat their reelection to Congress.
Even if they do this, it is time we organize for some good old fashioned political action.
Right . . . fire the bums! And, that is exactly what we should do.
Well, you do own vast amounts woodland, in conjunction with the rest of the American people. All of the so called "federal land" is actually our "public" land. Much of it is under the care of the National Forest Service, but it is not private property. Any property that does not have a military base, fort or government office on it is "public" land. That means, the land is open for use by all American citizens equally. Yet, the caretakers, gardeners and tree trimmers hired to work on this "public" land want to close vast areas of it off from its rightful owners, the American people.
The Associated Press reported that they obtained a 21 page memo titled, "Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda." Among other things, the memo recommends that Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck make appearances at big forest fires this summer to push his call for forest management reforms. The memo sets up a plan, recommending that the agency should take every opportunity this summer to tie its new forest policy -- including restrictions on road building in many forests -- to Vice President Al Gore's clean water initiative. Republicans in Congress, however, are not pleased.
"It is a sad day when the Forest Service ... decides to use forest fires as a movie set for 'media events' to highlight the vice president's presidential campaign," said Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), chairman of the House Resources Committee.
"They are blatantly using this once proud agency for political purposes," said Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID), chairman of the House Resources Subcommittee on Forests.
The Forest Service strategy proposes that officials promote (read lobby) their natural resource agenda in talks with members of Congress. Republican critics say, 'hold on here!' There is a law prohibiting members of the executive branch from lobbying Congress. Never mind that the FBI, EPA, FDA, and others do it all the time. That's another story. . . . It's still illegal.
So, as per the Forest Service plan, from July 1 through Sept. 1, "we will take every opportunity to tie with the Vice President's Clean Water Initiative and indeed provide a media event for the VP to showcase the initiative on national forest lands." Which means, they will use Gore as an excuse to close land off to the public. The memo said Dombeck should emphasize the watershed protection aspects of the agenda, "especially related to wildlife suppression, water quality and watersheds. This should be highlighted by the chief traveling to fires receiving high media coverage."
Outwardly, the Forest Service planned a moratorium on new logging roads and trails across millions of acres of national forests. Secretly, bowing to pressure from Gore's friends in the far left "green" groups, the Forest Service actually plans to remove many existing roads and trails from huge tracts of public land, rendering vast areas inaccessible to the American public.
Disclosure of the memo shows that agency officials knew they would be vulnerable to complaints for that action. And, now that the true extent of their real scheme is known, perhaps there will be some changes. Already, the Forest Service extended the public comment period on the logging road proposal an additional 30 days -- to March 30.
As American citizens, our reply to these forest caretakers, gardeners and tree trimmers should be simple: Get back into the woods, do your jobs and shut up! Else, go find another job. We Americans must quit allowing the help to boss the owners around on their own property.
That's our nightly news. Every night. For family viewing, at dinner time. All this, and they haven't even started on Hillary's peccadilloes yet. When this stuff hits the Congressional Committee hearings, many weeks of TV news will be considerably racier than the afternoon soap operas. And, that's only the White House news. There'll be trials, too.
Congress noticed, but they really don't know what to do about it. They must do their job and schedule public hearings. But, that presents a very serious public relations problem.
Newt wants to soften the blow by tossing the whole deal in the lap of a grandfatherly looking figure in the person of Rep. Henry J. Hyde, (R-Ill.). However, due to the make up of Hyde's House Judiciary Committee, there's another major problem: Let's face it; many Americans would laugh too much if some of the characters on that Judiciary Committee were to question anyone about sexual matters. Many of those clowns would never, ever be taken seriously by the folks in middle America. And this really is supposed to be a serious subject, after all. . . .
Henry Hyde says that, when it comes to impeaching the president of the United States, he will wait to see the results compiled by the office of the independent counsel. On the other hand, the House Republican leadership is not against peeking to get some idea of what Starr has. Therefore, Newt and Henry Hyde agreed to send a small delegation of House members over to examine the independent council's evidence.
Meanwhile, to freeze out some of the far-left crazies on the House Judiciary Committee, the House is discussing setting up a "select" committee to review the looming impeachment problem. As it turns out, Henry Hyde is afraid of some of the junior Republicans, too -- like Bob Barr, probably -- which is a shame.
Practically speaking, we think it would be rather entertaining to watch the full Judiciary Committee at work on the impeachment matter. These people are actually allowed to vote on laws that affect all Americans equally. The hearings will be watched by millions of people. Therefore, it would be a very good exercise in Democracy for America to see some of these people in operation. A week or so of that and most of the country will realize exactly what happened to the United States government, how all those crazy laws got passed, and why our Constitution is no longer in effect.
Reports say that Henry Hyde received more than 200,000 signed petitions in support of H.R. 304 -- the bill calling for the impeachment inquiry of President Clinton. He should receive more. Rep. Hyde's address is: 2110 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515-1315. His telephone number is: (202) 225-4561.
We are told that Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, has a 24 hour telephone service at: (202) 225-0600 for voice and (202) 225-7733 for fax.
And, on the theory that one picture is worth a thousand words, the pictures at the two addresses below may describe volumes. These are pictures of Bill's excellent travel adventures: http://www.mrc.org/news/camp92.html http://www.parismatch.tm.fr/news/clinton3/1.html See if you can guess how many of these people work(ed) in the White House. At least one has been with the administration for quite some time. Hint: watch the animated picture.
The White House, of course, is federal property. Therefore, all federal laws (should) apply there. This one seems very timely, so here it is almost in its entirety. This is 18 USC 2244.
Most applicable at the present time is section "b." However, the Internet address is provided at the end because we have a feeling some of these other "sections" may also become applicable before this is all over, and the web page provides links to full explanations of the other sections.
§ 2244. Abusive sexual contact:
(a) Sexual Conduct in Circumstances Where Sexual Acts Are Punished by This Chapter. - Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a Federal prison, knowingly engages in or causes sexual contact with or by another person, if so to do would violate -
(1) section 2241 of this title had the sexual contact been a sexual act, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than ten years, or both;
(2) section 2242 of this title had the sexual contact been a sexual act, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than three years, or both;
(3) subsection (a) of section 2243 of this title had the sexual contact been a sexual act, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than two years, or both; or
(4) subsection (b) of section 2243 of this title had the sexual contact been a sexual act, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
(b) In Other Circumstances. - Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a Federal prison, knowingly engages in sexual contact with another person without that other person's permission shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
I decided to call the station News Director to
urge that they finish this story by answering those
questions for their viewers. He seemed put off by this
request and in order to get rid of me, suggested that I
write him a letter outlining my concerns. The following
is my subsequent letter.
Dear News Director:
As per our discussion on the telephone, I am writing to you to urge a follow-up on your emissions control story.
For years, your station has taken the lead in shedding light on matters of concern to your viewers. This is evidenced recently by your stories about the corruption in the offices of the building inspector and Judge Executive of Boone County, [KY] and abuses by the Cincinnati Bureau of Recreation. Now I see an opportunity to further serve the community by examining the problems surrounding emissions testing in Hamilton County, and if there are valid reasons for this testing.
As you may know, Kentucky is challenging in court the right of a federal regulatory agency to subject citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to just such testing. That is why this testing isn't taking place in Northern Kentucky and is unlikely to ever occur. This doesn't mean that Kentuckians have more rights then our neighbors in Ohio. It just means that we are demanding our rights under the U.S. Constitution. And the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that the individual states aren't branch offices of the federal government.
Three recent high court decisions, US vs. Printz, US vs. Lopez and US vs. New York, underscore the fact that federal regulations and even state laws supporting such regulations cannot override the Constitutional rights of citizens. It's the law of the land for all of us, whether we live in Kentucky or Ohio.
That is, in a thumbnail, the legal side of emissions testing. And in Kentucky, a bill has been introduced in the State Senate that will enable individuals to challenge these regulations in the local Circuit Courts for a fraction of the cost of taking such suits to the higher courts. On the "greater good" sign of the picture, the EPA has staked out for itself the moral highground. With a propaganda machine second to none, the EPA has filled the media with "studies" that have shown the most grotesque consequences awaiting us if we don't give up our way of life and go back to another age, free of all the trappings that came from the industrial revolution. When asked to support all these "studies" with scientific evidence, they become vague. They cite data that can't be revealed at this time and their consensus of 2,500 "scientists" who support these findings. On closer inspection, these "scientists" consist of gynecologists, podiatrists, bankers, social workers and less than 10 percent of their number having anything close to a knowledge of atmospheric science. On the other hand, true scientists familiar to the subject reject the global warming theory, referring to it as "junk science".
To cover the whole of EPA intrusions into our lives, you could fill news hours from here to the end of the year. A more practical approach to public service would simply educate the public to ask questions of those who would regulate our lives. One of the best questions to ask, when the EPA man comes calling, is, "where's your warrant?"
Thank you for considering this request for more information regarding emissions testing, where it came from and where it leads. I will be happy to elaborate on any aspect of this letter. If I don't have the answer, I promise to get it for you quickly.
I look forward to hearing from you on this important
Predictably, there was no reply to my letter. So I called the News Director again. After some prompting, he remembered having received the letter, but didn't know what I thought he should do about it. When I suggested that his station raise some questions as to why Ohioans but not Kentuckians should be forced into emissions testing and question whether such testing could be legally enforced under the law, he seemed tired and told me that maybe they would address it sometime in the future.
I thanked him and hung up, wondering what would happen if all of us had his driving curiosity. I suppose that here in Kentucky, we can be thankful that our media takes seriously their role as watchdogs for our freedoms. The greatest enemy of tyranny is an enlightened electorate.