Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ihre papieren bitte

So there's this lady in Colorado. She used to take the bus every day to get to work. The bus would go through some federal property. Some federal cops decided it was their prerogative to harrass the passengers on said bus.

When she refused to show her ID, she said, officers with the Federal Protective Service removed her from the bus, handcuffed her, put her in the back of a patrol car and took her to a federal police station within the Federal Center, where she waited while officers conferred. She was subsequently given two tickets and released.

You can click the link above to read the rest.

But there's more detail right here.

The Compliance Test
On Monday, September 26th 2005, Deb Davis headed off to work on the route 100 bus. When the bus got to the gates of the Denver Federal Center, a guard got on and asked her if she had an ID. She answered in the affirmative. He asked if he could see it. She said no.

When the guard asked why she wouldn't show her ID, Deb told him that she didn't have to do so. The guard then ordered her off the bus. Deb refused, stating she was riding a public bus and just trying to get to work.

The guard then went to call his supervisor, and returned shortly with a federal policeman. The federal cop then demanded her ID. Deb politely explained once again that she would not show her ID, and she was simply commuting to work. He left, returning shortly thereafter with a second policeman in tow.

The Second Compliance Test
This second cop asked the same question and got the same answer: no showing of ID, no getting off the bus.

The cop was also annoyed with the fact that she was on the phone with a friend and didn't feel like hanging up, even when he 'ordered' her to do so.

The second cop said everyone had to show ID any time they were asked by the police, adding that if she were in a Wal-Mart and was asked by the police for ID, that she would have to show it there, too.

She explained that she didn't have to show him or any other policeman my ID on a public bus or in a Wal-Mart. She told him she was simply trying to go to work.

The Arrest
Suddenly, the second policeman shouted "Grab her!" and he grabbed the cell phone from her and threw it to the back of the bus. With each of the policemen wrenching one of her arms behind her back, she was jerked out of her seat, the contents of her purse and book bag flying everywhere. The cops shoved her out of the bus, handcuffed her, threw her into the back seat of a police cruiser, and drove her to a police station inside the confines of the Denver Federal Center.

Once inside, she was taken down a hall and told to sit in a chair, still handcuffed, while one of the policemen went through her purse, now retrieved from the bus.

The two policemen sat in front of their computers, typing and conferring, trying to figure out what they should charge her with. Eventually, they wrote up several tickets, took her outside and removed the handcuffs, returned her belongings, and pointed her toward the bus stop. She was told that if she ever entered the Denver Federal Center again, she would go to jail.

She hasn't commuted by public bus since that day.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Anyone Remember This Guy?

Last year there was a story about a guy who lost his driver's license because he told his doctor he drank more than a six pack of beer per day.

Keith Emerich, 44, said yesterday he disclosed his drinking habit in February to doctors who were treating him for an irregular heartbeat.

"I told them it was over a six-pack a day. It wasn't good for me -- I'm not gonna lie," Emerich said in a telephone interview from his home in Lebanon, about 30 miles east of Harrisburg.

Emerich said he initially thought the license recall notice was a joke, but then hired an attorney when he said he couldn't get an explanation from the transportation agency.

"They want me to go to counseling to prove that I'm OK," Emerich said. "I tried to go to a place ... and they wanted $250 for a three-month program."

Well it turns out that after a year of legal wrangling, he can drive again if he installs a blood-alcohol measuring device in his car.

Keith Emerich, the Lebanon, Pa., man who lost his driver's license after telling his doctor he drinks 10 beers a day, is being allowed to drive again -- as long as he installs a blood-alcohol measuring device in his car, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Aug. 18.
"Just think of the stigma that's going to put on me, blowing into some tube just to start your car," said Emerich, 44. "This is how I'm being treated, like some common criminal. And all I did was go to the doctor."

Emerich had his license suspended by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot), after he went to Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon for an irregular heartbeat. When a physician inquired about his alcohol use, Emerich reported drinking six to 10 beers day. The doctor told Emerich that the alcohol was damaging his heart.

Two months later, Emerich received a letter notifying him that his license was being revoked based on the doctor's judgment that he has a drinking problem. Under Pennsylvania law, physicians are required to report drivers with medical conditions that could be potentially dangerous. Alcohol misuse is on the list of dangerous medical conditions.

Lebanon County Judge Bradford Charles supported PennDot's action and ordered Emrich to install the ignition interlock device, a breath test for alcohol that must register below 0.025 percent for the car will start.

"If Emerich's alcohol addiction had progressed to the point where he could not stop drinking even though it was killing him, how could we reasonably expect Emerich to forgo alcohol simply to ensure safe driving?" wrote Charles in his ruling.

"We're happy that it gives him a chance to drive, but the ruling doesn't answer the ultimate question: Why isn't he able to drive when he hasn't done anything wrong?" said lawyer Horace Ehrgood.

Emerich is responsible for the device's $1,000 cost. "I'm tapped out. I don't know what to do. I can't afford to keep this lawyer I have. I've already tapped into my 401(k) for all this," said Emerich. "But I guess it's do what they say or walk for a while."

So, not only can local Government take away your driver's license without a criminal conviction, or even an arrest for that matter, and not only do they require doctors to violate their patients' expectation of confidentiality, but now a citizen must pay thousands of dollars towards intrusive devices and "rehabilitaion" programs because he might someday commit a crime. Just what is that about?

Hat tip to Rowdydrunk79 on the Modern Drunkard forums.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pink License Plates For DUI Offenders

Why don't they just call it what it really is,...a scarlet letter.

CLEARWATER - -- A Bay area senator wants Floridians to think pink before they have a drink.

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, has filed a bill that would require "bright pink" license plates on vehicles driven by people with restricted driving privileges resulting from a conviction for driving under the influence.

"Maybe it will embarrass people and keep them from drinking and driving," Fasano said. "Maybe they'll think twice."

Filed Nov. 1, Senate Bill 538 calls for the first three characters on the pink license plate to read "DUI." The bill also says police "may stop any vehicle that bears a DUI plate without probable cause to check the driver."

If passed, Florida would join Ohio and Michigan as a state with a punitive license plate law for DUI offenders. Many states have considered similar legislation, including Tennessee this year, but most bills have died after debate about privacy issues.

"Pink plates would hold out individuals for punishment as well as ridicule. We are very opposed to it," said Larry Spalding, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida.

So not only will people be more afraid to have a drink (remember you don't have to be drunk to get a DUI conviction), but they want to go ahead and circumvent due process yet again. If anybody complains, the US Supreme Court can always just rule a "DUI exception" like it has for every DUI case since 1983 or so.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

MADD Has Become Intolerable

Cross-posted to The House
Mad props to the folks at the Moderd Drunkard board.

Report: 50% of Arkansas 8th Graders Have Tried Alcohol
( Air Date: 11/4/2005 )

A compelling campaign launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services features a young woman at an alcoholics anonymous meeting, talking about her own future consequences from using alcohol.

"My name is Lisa and in 9 years, I will be an alcoholic,” says the girl. "I`ll start drinking in 8th grade and I`ll do some things I don`t really want to do."

The ad’s intended to be a wake up call for parents, urging them to start talking before they start drinking. According to a new report, 50% of Arkansas 8th graders have tried alcohol. 1 in 6 Arkansas youth have tried alcohol, starting at age 11.

"The first age of alcohol consumption is getting younger, and younger, and younger,” said Teresa Belew with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "This sets up children for a lifetime of addictive issues, as well as risky behavior."

The research also finds parents underestimate the extend alcohol is used by youth, because they assume it’s inevitable.

"2/3 of students surveyed say they`re getting it from the home,” said Belew. "It`s never too early to start talking to your child."

First of all, what in the motherfucking hell does this have to do with driving? It seems that Mothers Against Drunk Driving has decided to stop pretending that they are not really a neoprohibitionist organization that wants to indoctrinate children with their propaganda and subvert parental rights. They already want to take away parental custody so I guess it fits.

One poster on the MDM board said that MADD had come to their school and coerced their two sons into signing these pledges never to drink. We're talking ages 9 and 11. The poster said that the 11 year old flat refused to sign but the 9 year old was told he couldn't go to recess if he didn't sign the form.

Secondly, you got to love the reporting here:

A compelling campaign launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services features a young woman at an alcoholics anonymous meeting, talking about her own future consequences from using alcohol.

"My name is Lisa and in 9 years, I will be an alcoholic,” says the girl. "I`ll start drinking in 8th grade and I`ll do some things I don`t really want to do."

So much for objectivity. It seems to me like the folks at KARK are trying to sell this crap. It's pretty obvious the either they or NBC are in bed with MADD and their ilk. And I like how they refer to her as a "young woman", as if she were an adult, when she's apparently not even an eighth grader yet. This means at most she's 12 or 13. Like that's even old enough to know about whether or not she's going to be a drunk. Any other situation and she'd be referred to as a "child" or a "girl" and they'd have declared her age.

These people are brainwashing children into saying "I will be an alcoholic." Words fail me.

Monday, November 07, 2005


I was pondering the possibility of riots occuring in the US on the scale in which they're occurring in France. So far, the riots in France have been going on for 11 days now, and have expanded to 300 towns.

As I was pondering the possibility, the following words echoed in my brain:
A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The primary reasons these riots have had such longevity is that the French people do not have the inherent right to self-defense. Well, actually, they do, but it's been taken away from them by their government.

Case in point, in 1992, there were riots in Los Angeles following the Rodney King verdict. Angry people rioted, destroying homes, shops, cars, etc. The places left untouched by the rioters were the ones where the owners camped out on the roofs of their homes/shops/etc. with their firearms. Places that were not similarly protected were looted, smashed, or gutted with fire.

Despite the screed of the Brady Bunch and the other bedwetting gun grabbers, the right to keep and bear arms has proven time and again to be an effective tool in defense of life and property, and firearms have proven to be the most effective tool used in exercising that right.

I doubt France will realize this any time soon.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Eminent domain looks less imminent

House passes bill that could prevent private industry from using land seizures.
November 4, 2005: 7:27 AM EST
By Shaheen Pasha, CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Legislation to put the kibosh on land developers seizing private property for private use is moving closer to enactment.

The House voted 376-38 Thursday to approve the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005 --a bill cosponsored by 98 members of Congress that would prohibit states and local communities that receive federal economic development to invoke eminent domain as a means for private industry to build private businesses. A companion measure has been introduced in the Senate.

Eminent domain, under the House bill, would only allow federal funds for economic development such as building roads and hospital, acquiring abandoned property and revitalizing a blighted area.

The House bill would also allow private property owners the right to sue the appropriate government entity if they were stripped of their land through the use of eminent domain and later found that the land was given to a private developer.
Bill could hamper big business

David Snyder, an eminent domain attorney and partner at Fox Rothschild LLP said any legislation would have a profound effect on business.

"Private developers will have to be very focused on the way they deal with development in blighted areas," he said. "If they were planning on homes, that may not be problem but if you're looking to not only increase residential properties in a community," but promote commerce by opening shopping malls and supermarkets, they may have a tough time meeting the new standards under the bill.

The controversial practice of eminent domain stoked a bipartisan fire in Congress after the Supreme Court ruled in June that local governments have the right to transfer property from homeowners to private developers to build properties such as residences or businesses that are ultimately deemed to be in the public's best interest by improving economic development.

In the landmark Supreme Court case, Kelo vs. City of New London, the Supreme Court said the City of New London was within its rights to condemn and seize the property of nine citizens and provide that land to Pfizer for a $300 million research facility, which was included in the city's new development plan.

That fanned widespread fear that retailers such as Wal-Mart (Research) or Target (Research) will convince local governments to expand the scope of public use to include commercial entities such as shopping malls or independent retail stores, making it easier for these businesses to expand into markets where there is little open space to build new stores.

Local governments have increasingly argued that the jobs creation and tax revenue generated by private industry projects are in the interest of local communities and therefore constitute public use.

Snyder said the legislation as it stands would make it impossible for another Kelo-type development in the future.
Critics see bill as overly broad

But opponents of the legislation say that the House bill is too broad in its definition of economic development and could halt important economic projects in cities and towns.

In a letter to the Senate, Hartford, Conn., Mayor Eddie Perez wrote that the definition of economic development in the bill "has been so broadly written it may ban the use of eminent domain in any project that creates jobs or improves the general economic health of our city."

He added that urban communities that are already fully built out need eminent domain for revitalization and federal funds are necessary to improve those cities.

Eminent domain supporters contend that local governments often have to partner with private entities for the ultimate benefit of the community.

And Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, director of policy and federal relations at the National League of Cities, said eminent domain as a general practice has been sparingly used by elected officials and accompanied by due process and just compensation for the seized property.

She added that the practice has been around for over 20 years without any indication of widespread abuse.

"There is no one-size-fits-all type of definition for economic development" she said. "This is a states' rights issue and the states, not the federal government, should be allowed to develop a working definition that takes into consideration the projects that are going on."

Despite protests, a change is expected to pass Congress. The House bill received the support of Bush administration Thursday, which said in a statement that "private property rights are the bedrock of the nation's economy and enjoy constitutionally protected status."

The legislation would, in essence, negate the Supreme Court's ruling on Kelo.

"Local governments may have won the battle in Kelo but they clearly are losing the war," Snyder said. "The backlash has been extreme and it's clear that once the dust settled, the pendulum has swung back in favor of property owner groups."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

First Amendment under assault - again.

Hat Tip: GayPatriot.

Here's the House roll call of Representatives who voted on the measure to exclude blogs from government regulations.

Notice that less than one-quarter of Democrats voted to uphold the concept of free speech on the internet.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"The filibuster's on the table"

After the Harriet Miers fiasco, President Bush has nominated federal appeals judge Samuel Alito as his choice to replace Justice O'Connor on the SCOTUS. Liberals and Democrats are gearing up their war machines. Let's look at why:
Republicans Enthusiastic About Alito

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 20 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The White House got the reaction it wanted out of its third Supreme Court nominee, federal appeals judge Samuel Alito: immediate acceptance from the conservatives who helped torpedo President Bush's previous pick.

But abortion rights Democrats are openly talking about trying to block the New Jersey jurist.

"The filibuster's on the table," Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record) of California said as Alito headed back to Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Alito is courting Republicans crucial to his attempt to replace retiring Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor.

But Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said, "I don't think we should assume that's going to happen at all." He said Democrats needed to learn much more about Alito's values and beliefs on topics like the right to privacy, women's rights and the environment.

"I don't think we should race to a conclusion here," Durbin said on CBS' "The Early Show." "Ordinarily it takes six to eight weeks to evaluate a Supreme Court nominee. We shouldn't rush to judgment."

Bush nominated Alito to the Supreme Court on Monday as a substitute for White House counsel Harriet Miers, who withdrew last week after conservatives refused to support her. Some other critics also said she wasn't qualified.

But Alito found steadfast support after Bush announced his selection, with GOP senators saying he deserved a Senate confirmation vote and threatening to eliminate judicial filibusters if Democrats try to block the White House's newest high court nominee.

"If someone would filibuster ... I would be prepared to vote to change the rules," said Sen. Mike DeWine (news, bio, voting record), R-Ohio.

DeWine is one of the 14 centrist senators that Democrats need to sustain a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee. Without the group's seven Republicans, Democrats would not be able to prevent Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., from abolishing judicial filibusters and confirming judges with just the Senate's 55-member Republican majority.

Under existing Senate rules, it takes up to 60 votes to end a filibuster and force a final vote.

The so-called "Gang of 14" will hold its first meeting on Alito on Thursday.

Frist said he's ready to move against judicial filibusters, using what Republicans call the "constitutional option," if Democrats force him to. "If a filibuster comes back, I'm not going to hesitate," he told "The Tony Snow Show" on Fox News.

Conservatives are much more comfortable with Alito than they were with Miers because of his conservative track record as a federal judge, prosecutor and a Reagan administration lawyer.

Miers had never been a judge.

The nomination got Bush on the good side again of conservative and anti-abortion groups, who declared Alito a winner after opposing Miers.

James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family Action, said he was "extremely pleased," and the anti-abortion Operation: Rescue declared that the country was on "the fast-track to derailing Roe v. Wade as the law of the land."

Bush, who has seen his standing eroded by the insurgency in Iraq, rising fuel prices, Hurricane Katrina mistakes, the indictment of a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney and Miers' nomination, emphasized Alito's work on "thousands of appeals" and "hundreds of opinions" when he introduced the candidate to the nation Tuesday.

"He has a deep understanding of the proper role of judges in our society," Bush said at the White House. "He understands that judges are to interpret the laws, not to impose their preferences or priorities on the people."

Alito pledged to uphold the duty of a judge to "interpret the Constitution and the laws faithfully and fairly, to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, and to do these things with care and with restraint."

Democrats, however, are deeply suspicious of Alito, with Sen. Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record) of Nevada, the party's leader, wondering aloud "why those who want to pack the court with judicial activists are so much more enthusiastic about him" than Miers.

Alito upheld a requirement for spousal notification in an abortion case more than a decade ago, although Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter — an abortion rights Republican — insisted that doesn't mean Alito would rule to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established abortion rights.

Earlier this year, with O'Connor casting the deciding vote, the high court threw out a death sentence that Alito had upheld in the case of a man who argued that his lawyer had been ineffective.

Republicans, meanwhile, returned to their insistence that all judicial nominees deserve hearings and confirmation votes.

"I expect the Judiciary Committee to conduct a fair and dignified hearing in a timely manner, followed by an up or down vote by the Senate," said Sen. Charles Grassley (news, bio, voting record), R-Iowa, and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Bush's first nominee this year, John Roberts, is now chief justice.