The following is an essay originally published by Cheryl Pass of the My Tea Part Chroniicle blog on Tuesday, February 14, 2012.
FROM THE TSA TO YOUR HOUSE – RANDOM SEARCHES
What is that saying… about those who would choose security over freedom, deserve neither?
What I hoped would be a productive and somewhat sublime time in my life has turned into an age of daily shocks to my freedom loving core. Though I have watched the National and International news for years with great concern, I felt there were enough people in our country who understood the connection between security and freedom, that without freedom there is no security. And I believed that the reason to secure our nation was to preserve freedom. I have believed that the U.S. Constitution stood between me and tyrants. It did. And it should.
So what brings me to the appalling realization that #1. the U.S. Constitution is no longer guiding our leadership, and #2. I am no longer surrounded by people who believe in the same tenets in that founding document? The first one there is easy. Obviously we are subjected now to a dictator in the White House. This dictator has set up a national politburo. A Soviet model of governance has taken over our land. But even so, I have had hopes that freedom loving, Constitutional believing, Americans would not stand for such destruction of freedom.
I’ve been hoping for something that I now believe has left the planet. The Faith of Our Fathers has died with them. We have people in this nation who hold zero understanding of freedom and zero respect for the U.S. Constitution. And these people are not just in D.C. as I had hoped.
We are down to the nubs, folks. The “Code Enforcement” department in our fine small city has come up with an ordinance requiring RANDOM SEARCHES of people’s homes. In studying the ordinance, I have discovered the section on random searches comes directly from the State of North Carolina, a statute that authorizes any City Council to direct random searches upon the residences and commercial buildings in the city. Why random? To avoid discrimination lawsuits. Hmmmm….does that sound familiar? Political correctness? Heaven knows we cannot appear to be discriminating in our judgment of which areas of blight we target, so we will just subject the entire city to random searches. Oh, did I remember to say these searches are without warrants?
This is not about terrorism, though we have some in our city who want the power for that reason, too. No. This is about cleaning up blighted poor areas where criminals live. The police department here is frustrated by getting complaints for the same houses over and over. So instead of arresting and jailing the perpetrators of the disorderly conduct or crimes, the police department has gone to the City Council for help. The “help” turns out to be: a new program to teach landlords how to deal with disorderly tenants, random searches and seizures without warrants, fees placed on landlords (which are really fines, but the authors of the ordinance evidently don’t know the difference between a fee and a fine), and arbitrary judgment of City Council members to decide which areas shall be targeted.
Who in our NC State government has the audacity to write such an un-Constitutional legislative directive? I don’t know, but I continually ask myself “who are these people and where in God’s name did they come from?”
The State statute is this: § 160A‑424. Periodic inspections.
Part of it reads as follows: In conducting inspections authorized under this section, the inspection department shall not discriminate between single‑family and multifamily buildings. In exercising this power, members of the department shall have a right to enter on any premises within the jurisdiction of the department at all reasonable hours for the purposes of inspection or other enforcement action, upon presentation of proper credentials.
(b) A city may require periodic inspections as part of a targeted effort within a geographic area that has been designated by the city council. The municipality shall not discriminate in its selection of areas or housing types to be targeted and shall (i) provide notice to all owners and residents of properties in the affected area about the periodic inspections plan and information regarding a public hearing regarding the plan; (ii) hold a public hearing regarding the plan; and (iii) establish a plan to address the ability of low‑income residential property owners to comply with minimum housing code standards
It does say something about “reasonable cause” such as “violations of safety hazard codes, unsanitary conditions, substandard conditions, etc. But nowhere in the statute is the requirement for a warrant to enter someone’s privately owned property. And is anyone concerned that a City Council should be given the power to order targeting of areas for unwarranted searches? I don’t know about you, but I’ve known some City Council members who would target people for all sorts of untoward reasons, none of which have anything to do with safety hazards or blight.
So try to take a flight somewhere, you will be subjected to random searches. Stay home and you could be subjected to random searches. The State of North Carolina says that’s just fine with them. Our City Council inadvertently passed this ordinance without knowing what was in it. (Nancy Pelosi disease is evidently running rampant.) Now the problem has been brought to their attention and the ordinance will be re-visited and re-done. But were it not for some vigilant citizens bringing the problem to their attention, this would be the law of our fine city.
What’s the moral of this story? The United States Constitution is being slashed and burned. We have people in government in this country and in our State who are creating a system of government we don’t recognize and don’t want. If they can sneak it by us, they will do it. And they are. While you are working your tail off to keep up with the price of the necessities of life, there are people among us who are working just as hard to destroy the nation…and the world.
That’s my little story today….wondering what you think of it.
The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.