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* Making Sure the Laws Are Followed

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    J.A.I.L. News Journal Los Angeles - February 25, 2001 ____________________________________________________ Listen to HotSeat4Judges daily on Internet Radio
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 25, 2001
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      J.A.I.L. News Journal
      Los Angeles - February 25, 2001
      ____________________________________________________
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      Making Sure the Laws are Being Followed
      SCAN THIS NEWS
      2-24-2001

      When it comes to the question of police road blocks (a.k.a. license or
      sobriety check points), you most likely fall within one of three possible
      categories, you either: (a) appreciate them because the small amount of time
      a person is detained is well worth it if only one life is saved; (b) you don't really have an opinion one way or another because you're not politically inclined and besides you feel like, if a person is not doing anything wrong they should not be agitated or concerned; or, (c) you resent police road blocks at the core because you feel like, in a free country, innocent people should not be subjected to the same sort of treatment as criminals receive. I personally am a type "c".

      Last night, my wife, daughters and I were driving home from a family outing when we happened upon and were stopped at one of the now-common license check/road blocks last night. It was about ten o'clock on a remote stretch of rural Alabama highway. We waited impatiently until it was our turn to meet with our inquisitor. The officer (one of several there on the scene) asked to see my wife's license and proof of auto insurance (while he was obviously surveying the inside of the vehicle to make sure everyone was wearing a seatbelt and that no contraband was evident). As she handed over her license, I asked what was the nature of the stop. The officer responded, "Just making sure the laws are being followed."

      Although this may have been the answer I anticipated, it is not the answer
      for which I hoped. Being rather "old fashioned" in my concept of "rights and liberty," I had hoped the officer might say that they were looking for some escaped criminal or bank robber, in which case I would have accepted the inconvenience. This officer, however, on this occasion, was not looking for any specific criminal; he was looking instead for someone he could make into a criminal. Now days, everyone is a potential criminal, everyone a suspect. New recruits are taught that it is up to them to discover what laws the public is violating. Of course, they are taught that it is for the good of society.

      While I searched in the dark for the certificate, the officer circled the vehicle, checking the registration plate, looking at the tread on the tires, and making sure all the lights were working. Sure enough, it was not long before this officer discovered just what kind of criminals we were. Apparently, we did not have our current "proof of insurance" certificate on us (at least we could not find it in the dark). Now comes the part they love. Now they have complete control and you are at their mercy -- and they let you know it. They have discovered what law you are breaking -- you did not produce the certificate upon demand!

      I was doing the talking (though my wife had been driving). My daughters sat quietly and patiently in the back. I commented that I didn't appreciate
      being stopped for no specific reason other than to be investigated. I said,
      "You don't go snooping through people's houses to make sure no laws are
      being violated there do you?" I continued, "Why do you think it is alright
      to systematically stop people in their travels and investigate them on the
      roads?" The officer's impatience with my musings was becoming readily
      apparent. He answered that driving is a privilege and they are authorized to
      make sure the laws are being followed. I countered that to travel is a RIGHT but that it, like many other rights, has been perversely converted into a pseudo-privilege by way of departmental policy and practice. (I knew I was treading dangerously close to the edge. Under these conditions speech is, after all, also a privilege you know. Furthermore, not only are
      officers taught that everyone is a suspect, the are also taught that everyone is a potentially dangerous suspect and it doesn't take all that much talking to cause the guns to come out. One officer told me, on another similar occasion, that he would "screw a 9mm into my ear" if I didn't shut up). The officer said that they are "authorized" to stop people and investigate them, and that he was only doing his job. To which I responded with the obligatory reference to Germany, Hitler and the Gestapo, stating that they too were "authorized" to do what they did. (Actually, I find that law officers generally don't seem to resent this analogy, neither did this one on this occasion.)

      So here we are, late at night, far out in the country side without our requisite "proof" that we are indeed otherwise "law-abiding" citizens. We
      would like to be on our way home. The officer comments, "You know, I can give you a ticket... or not... it's largely dependant upon your attitude!"
      So now it all boils down to my attitude and his control over it! In other
      words, if I would "act" the way he intended, he would leave us alone and let us proceed. (Yes, he so much as stated this.) Finally, digging around in the dark of the glove compartment I was able to produce an insurance
      certificate -- albeit an expired one. After several reiterations about his being able to ticket us if he so desired, we were finally allowed go. ('Though I'm certain this was only because the officer had become convinced, with our assurance, that we did indeed have current insurance and the fine would probably be dropped upon our later proof.)

      Is this the America we want? An America where we are constantly compelled to prove that we are not breaking this law or that law, and constantly under investigation? Not me.

      In a supposed attempt to determine a person's overall perspective on life,
      the question is often asked whether the person views a glass as "half full"
      or "half empty". It's all a matter of perspective. Consider, however, that if at one time your glass was "full of freedom" and someone took half of it,
      you might appropriately view the glass as "half empty," with emphasis being placed upon what is missing rather than what is left. As another example, if a slave finds satisfaction in having all of his basic needs provided, and views the demands made upon him as acceptable, then he may, with perfect contentment, consider his glass "half full." Taking this a step further, since this is the only life the slave has ever known and the only
      "container" with which he can relate, he may conclude that the life of a
      slave is all there is and that his glass is completely full (i.e., "this is all there is"). Others, who understand what the slave is missing out on -- or what he could have with a little effort on his part -- may look upon him with pity.

      Some people will continue to blissfully focus on what remaining freedoms we have left in America -- right up to the end. The majority of present-day
      Americans have been conditioned to view their situation from this "half
      full" perspective. The consequence is that, as the contents (in this case
      "freedoms and rights") are gradually removed from the container America),
      we continue to attempt to cast the most positive perspective on our  situation and look at the positive side of our predicament (thankful for the
      freedoms we have left). The problem arises when the next generation comes along and this diminished point-of-reference becomes their new standard by which they gauge their freedom. Their knowledge and understanding of freedom is drawn from what we privately think of as our "half full glass". That which the former generation looked upon optimistically as "half full" now becomes to the next generation the new "whole container" (this is all there is or ever was). Now, when half is again removed from their "full glass," (leaving what would be only one-forth of the original amount) the new generation is again conditioned to view their situation from the same rosy "half full" perspective.

      The disheartening part is that the majority of Americans today want law
      enforcement to act this way -- to set up road blocks and to investigate
      everyone. The majority of Americans fall in to either class "a" or class "b"
      as described earlier. They insist on a "pro active" police force. They want
      to be protected from everything, and they want government to do it for them. In fact, they insist on it. Imagine a national emergency in today's America, Americans would demand that government act swiftly to implement whatever measures it deemed necessary to protect them and their lifestyle -- even if it means immediate institution of a totalitarian state. Absent the national emergency, it will simply take a little longer to get there.

      You ARE a suspect, make no mistake about it. And you ARE breaking SOME law. It just so happens that your caliber of "law-breaker" is much less dangerous (and much more profitable to apprehend) than real criminals. Real criminals are dangerous! They don't generally have that much money to confiscate, and they are hard to catch. You, on the other hand are not dangerous; you are ready, willing and able to pay up; and you are real easy to catch!

      When I was a kid, whenever I saw a police officer stopping someone I thought the person must have done something wrong and they were in trouble. What do kids today think about seeing a police officer detaining someone and questioning them? Do they think the officer is making the person "act right" or "behave" or "follow the law," which the kids perceive as being their job? I suspect they do. Of course, when I was the age my daughters are now (some thirty-odd years age) it was not a crime to drive without proof of insurance, there were no mandatory seatbelt laws, and my parents were never once stopped at a police road block. I suspect that kids today typically do think it is the job of government to make people act a certain way.

      Government is in the process of assimilating the tools it needs to make you
      act in ways that are most beneficial to it. In the near future you'll be
      investigated and surveiled in ways you can only imagine now.
       
      ....[Snipped]...
       
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      Once JAIL4Judges passes into law in this country, incidents such as the above will be history as many are sure to challenge this practice on Constitutional grounds, and the judges who hear these Constitutional challenges will be faced with loosing their judicial careers at the hands of We the People sitting upon the Special [Statewide] Grand Juries. In fact, the populace will be totally agasp at just how J.A.I.L. will roll back the tyrannical actions of government. The young people will not even recognize what America has transformed into, for they will have no reference to what our country used to be.
       
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      "..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." - Samuel Adams
       
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