4th Amendment, DNA, and habituation


Both Rollo and I will be out of town this weekend, so I promised myself last weekend that I would have something posted by today.  I had great ideas about FEMA and another one about the FDIC.  I did all my research and was ready to have an article about one of the two topics up tonight.  Then I drove to work this morning and my plans changed.

I was listening to Philly’s Morning News hosted by Lionel and Hilarie Barsky.  The topic of the morning was the Supreme Court decision to allow DNA to be taken after an arrest, not a conviction, an arrest.  One of the features Rollo and I discussed about a year ago when we were talking about the idea of a blog was a recurring post on the slippery slope.  It hasn’t come to fruition yet, but while listening to the radio this morning, I thought now would be a great time for the first one.

Whenever you talk about the slippery slope, people typically roll their eyes and say something like, “Come on, we’re talking about assault rifles (whatever they are), you can still own a gun, and it’s not like we’re going to arrest you for having a toy.”  Unfortunately, the population becomes habituated and we continue let the people in power trample all over us.

From Dictionary.com: Habituation – reduction of psychological or behavioral response occurring when a specific stimulus occurs repeatedly.
The 4th amendment is currently under assault.  During the search for the Boston Bombers, there was little to no outrage over the illegal searches they conducted in the homes of Bostonians.  Any anger over the searches was quickly brushed aside anyway. I never  really hear complaints about DUI check points.  Cops literally search every car that drives down the road. Could you imagine Thomas Jefferson advocating that?  Didn’t our founders fight a revolution over similar circumstances? The powers that be do their best to habituate us, to make us think these searches are normal and acceptable.  We don’t even blink an eye when the TSA searches everyone who boards a plane.  After all, if you have nothing to hide, what’s the big deal?
Amendment IV: 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.
In order for them to get your DNA, you have to be arrested.  Obviously no innocent human has ever been arrested, right? Talk to any police officer who will be candid with you, they can find a way to arrest just about anybody.  They take finger prints and a mug shot, and no one has a problem with that (is this the start of the slope?). Well a finger print is nice to look at, so is a mug shot, but DNA is you! Who will have this information? With the government getting more and more involved in our health insurance through John Roberts/Obamacare, will they have access to the database?  What if you have a gene that makes you more prone to diabetes? You don’t have to actually have diabetes to get increased rates. But it’s okay, you have nothing to hide.
I have a better idea.  When a baby is born, why don’t we just swab their mouth so we have everyone’s DNA on file?  It’s not a big deal as long as the person is never around a crime scene in the future.  At least we’re getting bad guys off the streets, right? Like Lenin used to say, “You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet.”  The problem is that the eggs never seem to stop cracking.  We’re becoming a police state, and we’re all allowing it to happen.
I tried to echo Lionel’s concerns in this post.  Hilarie Barsky’s opinion that this is okay, scares the hell out of me, especially because I believe that is the same opinion of the general population.  Remember the quote often attributed to Ben Franklin, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
God Bless Freedom, Liberty, and Personal Property,
Slappy Jones II
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Just wanted to point out that getting pulled over for a traffic offense constitutes an “arrest.” So next time you California roll a stop sign be ready for the mouth swab.