Saturday, May 9, 2009

This is Unconstitutional!

"A Louisiana driver was stopped and detained for having a "Don't Tread on Me" bumper sticker on his vehicle and warned by a police officer about the "subversive" message it sent..." Read more here.

This is utterly ridiculous. I don't know if someone is trying to make a point about warrantless wiretaps or what. We can have an honest discussion about the legal pros and cons of warrantless wiretaps, but when someone gets detained for expressing his views on a bumper sticker, then I think we have a serious problem. I hope this is an isolated incident of overzealous police work, and not a preview of what the Obama administration has in store for us.

The key difference between this and warrantless wiretaps is that warrantless wiretaps were intended to obtain time-critical information to protect US citizens from a specific enemy that has sworn to destroy us (that would be militant Islam for the PC-addled). This administration's Orwellian take on homeland security is to characterize ordinary citizens who express an opinion that might be construed as hostile to the US government as a homeland security risk. I find that patently offensive.

The founders created the first amendment specifically so we could criticize the government without fear of reprisal. The founders would have considered using the first amendment as an excuse to publish pornography, and use profanity, obscenity and vulgarity in public to be an undesirable side-effect. Worth the trade-off perhaps, but undesirable just the same, because that stuff is just fluff. But free and open discussion of political ideas and to demand redress of grievances is fundamental to our liberty.

By the way, here's where you can get those bumper stickers. I'm putting one on each of my cars.

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