I give you my Rights. The "Miranda Rights." Amendments IV and V: (copied direct from The Dept. of State's site)
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.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
If these new "regulations" don't constitute "unreasonable searches and seizures" of people's "effects," I don't know what is. If it's a reasonable seizure, then my Fresca and Cover Girl must be thought to be explosives, and therefore not simply put in a bin with hundreds of other people's explosives. If the power of a Venti Mocha is enough to bring down a plane, a 50 gallon trash bin full of like materials would be enough to destroy the entire security check-in. Also, if it's a reasonable seizure, and everyone's carry-on liquids are thought to be actual explosives, then why is not everyone being arrested for attempted terrorist conspiracy?
Some may say, "but Miranda, these new regulations are in place to ensure the safety of all who travel the unfriendly skies. Isn't giving up your coffee worth it? It's just a thing, after all." To them, I answer: No. To take such a thing from me is to say that I have done something wrong or will, at the very least, be able to do something terribly wrong with it. If I have an explosive in my possession, and I am attempting to board an airplane, then arrest me and confiscate said explosive. Give me due process, because I shall "not be deprived of ... liberty, or property" without it. I understand the need for vigilance, but this has gone much too far. When was the last time someone was robbed with nailclippers? When was the last time someone robbed a bank with coffee? Save for Marty McFly, when was the last time anyone struck fear into the heart of anyone with a portable music player?
Now, I don't fly very often. I can count the number of airline flights I've taken on my two hands. The last time I flew was in Oct and Nov 2001, just weeks after the events of 11 Sept. No one confiscated CDs, which could be broken and used as a weapon. No one took away headphones, which could be used to strangle someone. No one had their coffee taken away. I still can't understand why anyone would. What has happened to this country that we are so terrified that we won't allow mothers to bring jars of baby food on board an airplane?
I know that heart disease and cancer combined are the cause of about half of all the deaths in the US. Why then are not fried foods and cigarettes illegal? Why is exercise not mandatory? It's been shown that behaviour influences our risk of death. Tobacco use and diet/activity patterns are the two greatest underlying causes (almost 70%). These are things we can influence, but still we do not. For the most part, we have the freedom to choose what we do with and to put into our bodies. When it comes to flying, it seems to take a turn because of the possible effect on other people. Many places throughout the country have banned smoking in public places for the sake of those who don't want secondhand smoke. Still, automobile accidents count for over 40% of all accidental deaths, and we build roads faster than ever.
I'm not sure what to think. We are an illogical species in many respects. I know that I have wondered many, many times since these infringements on our freedoms began, "Where is the ACLU, defender of freedom?" So, I have taken the time to look at their website and am pleasantly suprised to see that they were victorious in ACLU v. NSA to have the court order an immediate stop to the NSA's illegal wiretapping program on the 17 of this month. I sometimes forget that legal action sometimes takes a great deal of time, and with the rate of our freedoms' abridgement ever increasing, the ACLU is hard-taxed to keep up. It sometimes takes an attack to realise we should be ready to defend ourselves. The attacks are now on our liberties by our own government, much of which, it seems has forgotten what it means to be American.
I've just joined the ACLU with a donation.
Here is their entreaty for others to join:
Over the last four years, we have seen an unrelenting assault on our civil liberties and the very values that define our democracy. Even as his presidency falters, George Bush and his administration have not backed down from their reactionary agenda. But the American people are making their voices heard as more and more people question the direction our country is taking. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to protect rights like freedom of speech, religious liberty, due process and the right to privacy.
The ACLU is standing strong in defense of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. To find out how you can get involved go to:
Join the ACLU Today! Visit http://www.aclu.org/join
I know some of my friends are already members, and I encourage those who are not to join. This post is probably the most political I've ever been on LJ, and it must be close to the longest entry, if not that. It really does take a lot to get me riled.
*mortality stats from http://www.benbest.com/lifeext/causes.html, 2002