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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Regarding Invasion of Privacy
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Dreamweaver    Posted 05-20-2001 at 06:53:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
I was just reading an article in today's News and Observer Newspaper from NC, written by Staff Writer Matthew Eisley. You can view the article by typing in News and Observer and then going to Sunday archives and the title of the article is High-Tech Frisk. It talks about the new technology and it's ability to peer inside your home to see heat that is given off of stoves, human bodies, lamps, etc. Apparently, if a high heat source is detected, it could indicate suspicious activity, such as the case recently in Oregon of the man who was using high lights to grow marijuana from his home. It is a very interesting article, has many others who are commenting and giving their viewpoints on whether or not it violates our fourth amendment rights, etc. I still say that the job of a law enforcement officer is one that I would not have at any rate of pay. They risk their lives every single day to keep me and my girls safe. If they can develop technology that assists them in keeping criminals at bay, I am willing to overlook what some consider an invasion of my "privacy" by using thermal imagers, etc. The paper also states that the Supreme Court will soon address these concerns in the Oregon case that involved the thermal imager that detected the heat coming off the home of the man growing marijuana. I say HIP HIP HURRAY, and as far as the new technology is concerned, I don't believe that the police actually want nor do they care what we are doing in our homes, as long as it is legal. If you have nothing to hide, why worry? It's not like they are making 8 x 10 glossies or anything.


Charles    Posted 05-21-2001 at 07:34:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
I just have to say something here. After 22 years in Federal law enforcement, I have seen my share of garbage laws, that I've from time to time had to enforce, and while I fully believe that an individual should have the right to make their own decisions regarding such things as seat belts and helmets, I've also had to peel some of those people off of various obstructions, and send them off to the hospital, some are probably still living "Physically" but brain dead from their injuries. Now if you've paid up you insurance and can continue your perpetual care until you die, then feel free to take off your seat belt and helmet, and take any risk you like, as long as you don't endanger anyone else. But if I've got to foot the bill (along with the rest of the taxpayers) for your existance in a vegetative state, then I think you had better put on the belt and helmet, and comply with the law. On the subject of privacy, I am sure we can find some officers who can easily be labeled "Overzealous" (Or what ever term you would like to insert), but In my case I can tell you that more times than not, you don;t have to look too far to find someone who is more than happy to violate anothers rights, by using their property to grow drugs, or what ever. And being on this side of the fence has shown me that people today don't operate with a sense of right and wrong, I'm not willing to believe that they don't know, they just choose to ignore it, they go as far as they can, and dare you to stop them. Most of the folks I've dealt with in law enforcement are not looking to infringe on your rights, but they will follow the information they have until it bears out one way or the other. Many times we feel like are hand are tied behind our backs, you should see the hoops we must jump through in order to accomplish our mission, and don't get me wrong, some are needed to protect our rights, some????? I'll get off the soap box now, but remember if you haven't been in the shoes lately, things are different now, and they require different tactics to deal with them. Thanks for your time.


Chad Jacobs    Posted 04-23-2002 at 19:14:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am responding to the post where you indicated that we should wear seatbelts in part (or largely) because you don't want to be put in a position to have to pay for injuries that we might incur. The problem with this reasoning is that it allows laws to be mandated influencing almost EVERY facet of our lives. Thus, using that argument you could reasonably argue that someone who eats improperly and is overweight, smokes, doesn't exercise, or engages in scuba diving is doing much the same thing. If we one day see the day where government DOES regulate such behavior then seatbelt laws will be looked back upon as the "philisophical watershed event" that allowed them to be passed.


old guy    Posted 07-17-2002 at 16:39:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
what is your view on people who grow or use marajuana for there own personal use. I do not use it myself but did in my high school days. I have lately been plaged with slight sisures,and memory loss. I am also starting to show signs of parkinsons I belive, but am so poor that I could not afford a doctor, or the medicin to treat it. I have tried beer, and alcohol and am one of the people that hate the taste.I have been considering trying marijuana again, just from reading the help it gives to people in my condition. I have done as much reading on different drugs, and herbs, but have not found any bases for this extream fight against marajuana. I feel that since you are a police officer you can bring a side to this that I have not found in my research.


Dreamweaver    Posted 05-21-2001 at 11:56:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks for confirming what I already believed,
Charles. I don't for a minute think they care about anything except illegal activity. And if you are engaging in something illegal, then you need to be caught.


Robert in W. Mi.    Posted 05-21-2001 at 14:53:19       [Reply]  [Send Email]
What if in the future the do gooders that vote, decide we need some form of gun control. Will you think it's "OK" if they use their imageing tool to drive around and check to see who has hand guns in their home??
In Germany they drive around and check houses for TV sets. (you are taxed for each TV you own) "IF" you say you have one, and really have two, you are fined heavily!!!
I'm a long time motorcycle owner who always wore a helmet, but i think when you buy your liscense plate each year, you should have to sign a statement that you "agree", or "don't agree" to wear a helmet. If you crash while NOT wearing a helmet after saying you would, a quick puter check would tell if the tax payers would be footing the bill!!!
Every day you can see a "Cop's" type show on TV where a quick decision is made by the police on site, They all ways say the same thing to the victom?/criminial?.. Tell your story in court, the judge will sort it all out. I have NEVER been arrested or in trouble with the law, but i have been harrassed by police at least two times in my life. Yea, most are guilty, but the few that aren't guilty better have the time and money to prove other wise!!
Robert


Mike Taylor    Posted 05-20-2001 at 18:38:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'd be surprised if any judge would issue a search warrant based on such surveillance, if it was not done with court order. Looking into one's house for the purpose of gathering evidence requires a court order. If a court order was issued for such surveillance, then it would be legal. Evidence thusly gained could then be the basis for issuing a search warrant of the premises. Same as with phone surveillance.

Do I think it should be done? Yes - if the proper legal procedures are followed.


Salmoneye....uhh...sorta long but pertinent    Posted 05-21-2001 at 06:00:49       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The Supreme Court of the State Of Vermont just last week came down with a decision that allows the Troopers (State Police) to get a search warrant issued on the basis of aerial surveilance from 500 feet to search for marijuana.

I have some personal experience with this.
Last summer I had a visit from 3 of VT's Finest on an August afternoon. They informed me that someone was growing marijuana on my land. I told them that I was pretty sure that no one was and that they had better (deleted) show me where. The Trooper I was speaking with (as the other two looked on with their hands on their guns) asked me if he had my permission to search and I said to lead the way. The guy took off at a trot and rounded a copse of trees and stopped dead at what they had been looking at from 500 feet in the air from their helicopter. He was now standing face to face with my asparagus patch. The first trooper and one of the others then started mumbling quietly and then decided to punch the brush behind my wood shed for 15 minutes. I had all I could do to keep a straight face as I stood there smoking a cigarette and chatting with the 3rd officer (who still had his hand on his gun by the way). The Troopers came out of the brush, thanked me for letting them look and told me that they would take another look from the air. They did circle again a week later but I never heard from them again.
The point of this story I feel is that I had every right to refuse them entry to my land, but knew that if I had they would have returned quickly with a warrant.
Now, they have the right to get a warrant without anything other than a peek from 500 feet. Makes me wonder how many times they are correct with their ID of plant matter from that far away and how many times they are scaring innocent people with their mistakes...


buddy    Posted 05-24-2001 at 21:49:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'll agree with that ... let your kids know about drugs and not just the usual don't be doing that because I said so crap. Let them know for real.. drive them by a damn ghetto somewhere and show them some crack heads.. let them see some wino-s in the alley.. none of these people thought they would end up there..but they don't care to better themselves ..let alone work hard,or hardly work even.
let em know.. and by the way..more marajuana comes from mexico than is grown here.. goes for about 50 USD down there per pound and 600 per pound when it gets here... can you say blind eye? Thats a lot of money.
I don't have any prob with a hardworking man smoking a little every now and then if he grows his own and keeps to himself..it's all the people who make a living out of knowing where to get itand selling it to make money..that sux..
Cocaine? Legalize it and make it cheap and lot of the people doing it would be dead or make a great spectacle to keep other people OFF if it.
The street price is what it is partly to keep people from being able to afford to get enough to kill themselves with it..dead customer means no money.
Sorry for all the ranting but the us needs to rethink drug policies and stop filling up prisons with people who were only selling drugs to other drug addicts.Either do a better job keeping it from getting in the country...or let them have their way and soon enough they will be the spectacle no one wants to grow up like.


IHank    Posted 05-21-2001 at 06:55:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Salmoneye- Thanks for posting a good example of what we're talking about.

A fear I have is of that sort of activity over my 40 acres of brush and gullies. In Iowa, and thru the Midwest, during the early 1940's (ironically right after the feds passed the Marajuana Act of 1937) farmers here grew lots of acres of hemp for the war effort, so's the military could have plenty of rope.

It was, and still is, a fantastic cash crop. Just sow the stuff, get out of the way, and harvest the fiber in mid-summer! No tillage, no fertilizer, no chemicals, no irrigation- none of the cash and labor inputs required like other farm crops.

Wild birds like to eat hemp seeds and some pass thru the bird un-digested. The birds effectively re-seed a wide area. Each year we get a new crop of "ditch weed". What few people see is the same birds do the same planting out in the boonies, and that stuff is only seen by the property owner, or cops with nothing better to do and looking to stir up trouble where there is none.

A property owner's paradox is to cut the stuff or just stay away from it? If I cut it as a weed control effort, then I'm at risk of being accused of "harvesting". If I stay away, it might draw the dope cops and all sorts of accusations. Here in Iowa hemp is considered a noxious weed and property owners are required to eliminate 'em, or the county will do it and bill the property owner.

If I can find some photos I'll scan 'em and post 'em, of big Mary Warner "ditch weed" crops along the road just outside of town. To most people it just ain't worth fooling with and the only time they get cut is when they're in the way, or some govt. employee ain't got nothing better to do.

Yes, this high tech surveilance stuff makes for very scary legal situations. Especially so when in the hands of a gestapo type organization.

I don't care for this dope business and the dope crowd. It comes off as ranging from rather un-smart to totally and completely stupid activity. It also pi$$es me off greatly that it can cause what is now politely being called, "colateral damage", to innocent people.

I wish all the dope fanatics, on both sides of the issue, would get a life and get a job, and quit hasseling the rest of us! IHank


Dreamweaver    Posted 05-21-2001 at 12:02:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Salmoneye - that was unfortunate, but my point is that while it is an inconvenience and scary to be searched, you KNEW there was nothing illegal going on on your land. I image the chances of them actually busting somebody are greater than the chances of finding asparagus. I say if they can put one producer out of business, we should cooperate. As far as the hand on the gun business is concerned, I'm not how I feel about that. You were polite, cooperating, etc. But then again, look how many police officers are killed every year when they are caught "off guard." If I were a cop, I know where my hand would be!


Salmoneye    Posted 05-22-2001 at 05:43:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dreamweaver,

I have no problem with the 'Authorities' coming to my place and asking to search.
I could have told them no.

What I have trouble with is,
A: When they are wrong.
B: Now they don't need any real evidence to get a warrant so my permission is a moot point.

I really wonder how often they are mistaken. I wonder what the outcome would have been if there had been something there even though I was not the one involved.
In the late 80's/early 90's I spent 18 months on a Federal Grand Jury. I learned alot about what the 'Authorities' can and can't do. It was a scarey education into the seizure laws that came out of the Zero Tollerance mentality.
I saw a man that was growing pot in his barn with lights win the criminal case against him due to an illegal search yet he lost the whole farm without due process.
Tell me any of the losing war on drugs (Marijuana in particular) makes sense to anyone, because I just don't get it.

I wish I still had the link to the site I was looking at last year about drug addiction. I will attempt to paraphrase a piece of it:

Cocaine Addiction in 1901 when Cocaine was legal equaled appx. 1.5% of the US Population, Street Price appx 10/Gram

Cocaine Addiction in 1981 during the height of the 'Fashionable' recreational use of Cocaine equaled appx 1.5% of the US Population, Street Price appx $125/Gram

Cocaine Addiction in 2001 after more than 15 years
of the War On Drugs equals appx 1.5% of the US Population, Street Price appx $75/Gram

This is a 'War' that we have no chance of winning.
Hug your kids, spend time with them and listen to what they have to say. Educate them that drugs are not the answer. This is the only victory possible. This is not the Federal Governments problem to solve.
It is ours...


IHank    Posted 05-20-2001 at 10:41:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
All- Whoops! Suggest we move this discussion over to the people board before Kim yells at us... See 'yall over there, IHank


magpie    Posted 05-20-2001 at 07:44:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well Dreamweaver I'm pretty nervous about that. I sure dont care for the invasion of privacy business. I rank that in about the same category as gun control, seat belt laws, and helmet laws. I know that on first glance it appears as if they(big brother) is coming up with something to make society a safer place as a whole, but many of us have a deep mistrust of government, law inforcement, and the justice system. I certainly have no sympathy for the criminal, but I believe we are entitled to some degree privacy in our own homes.


Dreamweaver    Posted 05-20-2001 at 08:02:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Magpie - I see your point. I believe there could be some kind of balance. I do believe they are lookin for drug manufacturers. I am against gun control, but am for seatbelt/helmet laws. My 17 year old was involved in a go-cart accident two years ago where she was, by her own volition, at my sister's home riding their go-cart on a farm-to-market road, rounded a curve, no helmet, and it flipped and she was severely injured with facial fractures as well as a broken arm. I was raked over the coals by the doctors at the ER for that one, and I deserved it. I should have insisted she wear the helmet, and I have a lot of guilt about it. If the police had been involved, my sis would have probably been charged with a crime (I was not there). I believe certain laws are there for our protection, and I know the seatbelt thing would not be utilized by me if I didn't know that a ticket was waiting at the other end of it if I were caught without one. Do you really believe that the government is looking for something other than dope growers? If so, enlighten me. I'm not real savy about this kind of stuff.


IHank    Posted 05-20-2001 at 10:36:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dream Weaver- Careful! Want a govt. TV camera in your bedroom? Ponder the old tale about the camel getting his nose into the Bedouin's tent...

My attitude is that everybody needs to start respecting private property and stop nosing into and interfering with what people do on their property and inside their homes. The property line, or the apartment door threshold, is usually easy for all to see. So, "the line" exists and needs to be respected by everybody.

The flip side with me is that I'm inclined to crucify upside down bad behavers in public. Some time back, I think before you came on board here, we had some discussions where I advocated summary executions in the town square, at high noon, of anybody commiting a crime using a weapon, with the perp being executed with his/her weapon.

That line of thinking could be extended a bit, to include dope dealing and using in public. Let the sheriff administer a lethal dose of whatever the perp was using or dealing.

We got plenty of laws for taking care of our problems. It's a matter of enforcing them in public and not bothering people in their homes. IHank


Dreamweaver    Posted 05-20-2001 at 10:54:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well Hank, if the feds had a TV camera in my BR right now, they wouldn't see much action! hahaha - I could care less! If I were married, maybe they'd LEARN something, heehee... But I think executions in the town square, branding people with scarlet letters, etc., is extreme. This is not a black and white world. Where is your GRAY area?


IHank    Posted 05-20-2001 at 11:29:38       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dream Weaver- Your mixing things up, by throwing the Scarlet Letter into the argument. To me, that is a good example of what worries me. The original scarlet letter was about an accusation of adultery. Adultery is a private matter, between two consenting adults, happening in privacy. There's nothing there that is public business. We got plenty of laws dealing with rape and sesual abuse and minors, to deal with those issues.

Life is full of "grey area". Part of the problem is that we also need clearly defined lines that help people understand bad from good and what happens where.

My grey area is probably shrinking along with my grey matter. Big grin to 'ya, IHank


Dreamweaver    Posted 05-20-2001 at 11:32:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hold that thought. I'm in a fierce game of Yatzee with my little one right now. More later...


magpie    Posted 05-20-2001 at 10:18:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
No Dreamweaver, I dont believe the police are looking for something other than dopegrowers, but I do believe that police think we are all growing dope. As far as seatbelts and helmets are concerned, I didn't say there was anything wrong with wearing them. I just think people have to take responsibility for their own lives. I dont want government interfering with my life, nor am I going to go running to them for help when things go wrong.--------- Yeah,I know I belong in a different century.


Dreamweaver    Posted 05-20-2001 at 10:58:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Okay Magpie - I see your point about the seatbelts and helmets. Guess I've just had a bad experience with my daughter and all. But I do believe that children should be forced to be belted down and helmets too.

Now get this! Recently in NC they passed a law that says children under the age of 12 cannot ride in the back of a pickup. Now this is farm country, and I have fond memories of riding in the back of my granddad's old Dodge. Now I understand where they are coming from, what with new speed limits of 60+ and freeways, etc. But around here, there are still lots of dirt and gravel road and what we call farm-to-market roads, and I see no harm in them riding in the back if they are seated and not horsing around. My granddad always instructed us on how to behave in the back, and if he caught us disobeying, we'd get our hind ends tanned. Then again, if you tan your kids hind end today, you get thrown in the pokie. Can't win for losing!


magpie    Posted 05-20-2001 at 15:33:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes Dreamweaver I also think kids should be belted in a vehicle, or made to wear a helmet and protective gear while motorcycling or whatever. But I also believe it is the parent or guardians responsibility, not government. As far as riding in the back of a pickup, against the law here,dont matter how old ya are. Now get this, against the law for a dog to ride in the back of a pickup, unless in a proper kennel. As far as not being able to tan a misbehaving childs hind end--------no wonder some grow up to be criminals. But thats a whole nother issue.


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