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Author Topic: Libertarian Issues  (Read 58146 times)
Rarick
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« Reply #250 on: May 18, 2010, 06:41:59 AM »

Crafty- you got it.   "Self made for recreational use by self only" would be more the statement of my concept.  If I make something complex while I am high and it kills me.........   If I start dealing it? wellllll..........  I would suggest some sort of minors law use and sale to? just those 2 changes, and stop the WOD.  Give it about 5 years to shake out, and then see what needs done-if anything?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #251 on: May 18, 2010, 07:36:52 AM »

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The comparison with prohibition I can follow; the comparisons to smallpox and slavery I cannot.

An attempt at subtlety as I think cops have a tough job and in fact decided not to pursue a reserve officer position as I don't think I have the self control to not slap the sh!t out of people who desperately need it. I assume there were law enforcement officials holding jurisdiction in the smallpox blanket distribution stations who went along as it was the status quo; I know there were LEOs who enforced slavery statutes and chased down escaped slaves. In view of the millions incarcerated, the thousands killed, the hundreds of billions spent, et al to no discernible benefit, I think enforcing current drug laws will some day be seen in a similar light.

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My questions remain, do you see any value in political incrementalism here such as my suggestion of decriminalizing over legalizing or distinguishing between softer recreational drugs and harder narcotics?

Sure. It can't be worse than the current, failed regimen.

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In spite of the failure and unintended consequences of the WOD, do you see any unintended consequences or potential failures of instant and full legalization?

Sure, though it's hard to imagine them being worse than the current, failed regimen.

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Do you welcome the barrage of advertising the new legalized industry would bring, especially in the context of those of us who have a teenager at home, or would then be a prohibition on that form of free speech?

No I don't, but it can't be worse than the current, failed regimen.

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Do you suggest putting full legalization front and center in the 2010 and 2012 campaigns despite polling data GM posted and the fact that parties that have already done that typically receive 1% of the vote or less?

The founders accepted slavery as the only route through which a union would be achieved. That bill came due in the 1860s. I entertain no illusions concerning the sensibilities of the electorate--they elected BHO, after all--but that don't mean that this bill won't come due, either.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 08:53:57 AM by Body-by-Guinness » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #252 on: May 26, 2010, 10:48:34 PM »

CCP,  Maybe people who hear the story of the Palins' stalker can feel a small part of the pain you have described here about having family privacy violated.  Too bad anyone would do business with such a scoundrel.
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Palin said the news of the investigative reporter renting out the house next to her has put her family on edge and has left her more concerned about the privacy of her children.  AP
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37818.html



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #253 on: July 15, 2010, 09:58:05 AM »

http://www.activistpost.com/2010/07/ten-ways-we-are-being-tracked-traced.html


Saturday, July 10, 2010
10 Ways We Are Being Tracked, Traced, and Databased
Are technological advances infringing on our right to privacy?


Activist Post


The war on terror is a worldwide endeavor that has spurred massive investment into the global surveillance industry - which now seems to be becoming a war on "liberty and privacy."  Given all of the new monitoring technology being implemented, the uproar over warrantless wiretaps now seems moot.  High-tech, first-world countries  are being tracked, traced, and databased, literally around every corner.  Governments, aided by private companies, are gathering a mountain of information on average citizens who so far seem willing to trade liberty for supposed security.  Here are just some of the ways the matrix of data is being collected:
GPS -- Global positioning chips are now appearing in everything from U.S. passports, cell phones, to cars.  More common uses include tracking employees, and for all forms of private investigation.  Apple recently announced they are collecting the precise location of iPhone users via GPS for public viewing in addition to spying on users in other ways.
Internet -- Internet browsers are recording your every move forming detailed cookies on your activities.  The NSA has been exposed as having cookies on their site that don't expire until 2035.  Major search engines know where you surfed last summer, and online purchases are databased, supposedly for advertising and customer service uses.  IP addresses are collected and even made public.  Controversial websites can be flagged internally by government sites, as well as re-routing all traffic to block sites the government wants to censor. It has now been fully admitted that social networks provide NO privacy to users, while technologies for real-time social network monitoring are already being used.  The Cybersecurity Act attempts to legalize the collection and exploitation of your personal information.  Apple's iPhone also has browsing data recorded and stored.  All of this despite the overwhelming opposition to cybersurveillance by citizens.
RFID  -- Forget your credit cards which are meticulously tracked, or the membership cards for things so insignificant as movie rentals which require your SSN.  Everyone has Costco, CVS, grocery-chain cards, and a wallet or purse full of many more.  RFID  "proximity cards" take tracking to a new level in uses ranging from loyalty cards, student ID, physical access, and computer network access.  Latest developments include an RFID powder developed by Hitachi, for which the multitude of uses are endless -- perhaps including tracking hard currency so we can't even keep cash undetected. (Also see microchips below).
Traffic cameras -- License plate recognition has been used to remotely automate duties of the traffic police in the United States, but have been proven to have dual use in England such as to mark activists under the Terrorism Act.  Perhaps the most common use will be to raise money and shore up budget deficits via traffic violations, but uses may descend to such "Big Brother" tactics as monitors telling pedestrians not to litter as talking cameras already do in the UK.
Computer cameras and microphones -- The fact that laptops -- contributed by taxpayers -- spied on public school children (at home) is outrageous.  Years ago Google began officially to use computer "audio fingerprinting" for advertising uses.  They have admitted to working with the NSA, the premier surveillance network in the world.  Private communications companies already have been exposed routing communications to the NSA.  Now, keyword tools -- typed and spoken -- link to the global security matrix.
Public sound surveillance -- This technology has come a long way from only being able to detect gunshots in public areas, to now listening in to whispers for dangerous "keywords." This technology has been launched in Europe to "monitor conversations" to detect "verbal aggression" in public places.  Sound Intelligence is the manufacturer of technology to analyze speech, and their website touts how it can easily be integrated into other systems.
Biometrics -- The most popular biometric authentication scheme employed for the last few years has been Iris Recognition. The main applications are entry control, ATMs and Government programs. Recently, network companies and governments have utilized biometric authentication including fingerprint analysis, iris recognition, voice recognition, or combinations of these for use in National identification cards.
DNA -- Blood from babies has been taken for all people under the age of 38.  In England, DNA was sent to secret databases from routine heel prick tests.  Several reports have revealed covert Pentagon databases of DNA for "terrorists" and now DNA from all American citizens is databased. Digital DNA is now being used as well to combat hackers.
Microchips -- Microsoft's HealthVault and VeriMed partnership is to create RFID implantable microchips.  Microchips for tracking our precious pets is becoming commonplace and serves to condition us to accept putting them in our children in the future.  The FDA has already approved this technology for humans and is marketing it as a medical miracle, again for our safety.
Facial recognition -- Anonymity in public is over.  Admittedly used at Obama's campaign events, sporting events, and most recently at the G8/G20 protests in Canada. This technology is also harvesting data from Facebook images and surely will be tied into the street "traffic" cameras.
All of this is leading to Predictive Behavior Technology -- It is not enough to have logged and charted where we have been; the surveillance state wants to know where we are going through psychological profiling.  It's been marketed for such uses as blocking hackers.  Things seem to have advanced to a point where a truly scientific Orwellian world is at hand.  It is estimated that computers know to a 93% accuracy where you will be, before you make your first move.   Nanotech is slated to play a big role in going even further as scientists are using nanoparticles to directly influence behavior and decision making.   


Many of us are asking:  What would someone do with all of this information to keep us tracked, traced, and databased?  It seems the designers have no regard for the right to privacy and desire to become the Controllers of us all.
Posted by Activist at 6:45 AM Labels: biometrics, databased, facial recognition, GPS tracking, Internet freedom, RFID, right to privacy, tacked, traced
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G M
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« Reply #254 on: July 15, 2010, 01:34:32 PM »

Crafty,

Can we change the title of this thread to "Unhinged paranoia" or something else more accurate?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #255 on: July 15, 2010, 01:42:19 PM »

How 'bout "Authoritarian Chew Toys?"
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G M
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« Reply #256 on: July 15, 2010, 02:07:57 PM »

http://www.i-hacked.com/content/view/208/48/

A how-to on building a RFID blocking wallet. Sorry, nothing on hats.....
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #257 on: July 15, 2010, 02:37:48 PM »

Place I work has its own police force; someone somehow got the card swipe info off an LEO room access card and began using it for nefarious purposes. Know the tech guy holding sway over the system in question; he's bright and isolated the thief, who now is sitting in jail. Folks ought to keep in mind, however, just how easy it is for a relatively untrained hacker to snag card swipe, RFID, bluetooth, and other data that they can then use for their own end.
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G M
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« Reply #258 on: July 15, 2010, 02:52:31 PM »

GPS -- Global positioning chips are now appearing in everything from U.S. passports, cell phones, to cars.

So, knowing what you know about RFID chips, is the above line from the post below accurate? Can you track a person globally using the RFID in a passport?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #259 on: July 15, 2010, 03:03:46 PM »

Eh, it'd take a really freaking large, well placed parabolic dish to do it across any sort of distance. Bet the NSA has toys that could to one degree or another, but you're not gonna do it off a Keyhole sat through a thunderstorm. Some of the antenna farms out my way might be able to do it locally, but I'd want one of those Cray supercomputers to sift the noise out of the signal. Dimes to dollars some bright boy is looking at a way to do it with a Predator-type autonomous aircraft.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 05:07:27 PM by Body-by-Guinness » Logged
G M
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« Reply #260 on: July 15, 2010, 03:09:04 PM »

What if the wallet was lined with foil?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #261 on: July 15, 2010, 03:31:24 PM »

G M: "can we change the title of this thread to "Unhinged paranoia" or something else more accurate?"

BBG; How 'bout "Authoritarian Chew Toys?"
-----

Very Funny!  Hey - both of you - this debate is healthy, and important.

I remember conservative fund raising letters of decades ago that were loaded with tin foil.  You will lose this freedom and that one, if you don't contribute now.  Government will take over everything from healthcare to auto manufacturing, from energy to housing.  Liberals will teach sex ed to kindergardners, gays will marry and men's rooms will require diaper changing stations.  Big brother will decide what you will drive, where you will live, whether you can water your lawn, and how much salt you can put on your french fries.  The government will take your house on a whim.  Tens of millions will cross our border illegally - and for it receive citizenship.  Enemy combatants will be caught just to be released back to re-join the fight against us.  Freedom isn't free - send money - based on these ridiculous, exaggerated scare tactics.

Unfortunately most of it already came true.
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G M
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« Reply #262 on: July 15, 2010, 03:37:27 PM »

The debate should be based on reality and not hype and exaggeration. The vast majority of the privacy invasions cited below were voluntary transactions with private entities.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #263 on: July 15, 2010, 04:01:08 PM »

Quote
What if the wallet was lined with foil?

Likely make it pretty freaking hard.

Of course there's already DARPA research that seeks to track people by IDing their unique biological/odor signatures:

http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/scent_of_a_terrorist/

Not much tinfoil can do for that.
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G M
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« Reply #264 on: July 15, 2010, 04:06:40 PM »

Should we outlaw any further scientific research ?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #265 on: July 15, 2010, 04:46:10 PM »

Yes. Enforced by beheadings.
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G M
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« Reply #266 on: July 15, 2010, 07:48:39 PM »

Interesting. I think the AGW advocates have the same policy endgame in mind.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #267 on: July 15, 2010, 08:39:15 PM »

If only they had my honesty and charm.

ETA: I've already heard a couple rumors that the biomarker stuff has been deployed to a sandbox or two.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 08:52:15 PM by Body-by-Guinness » Logged
Rarick
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« Reply #268 on: July 16, 2010, 05:30:04 AM »

RFID is short range stuff, it would be more like tracking credit card purchases- from the parking lot in front of the store.

There are wallets out there made with satainless steel thread- for durability.

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #269 on: August 02, 2010, 10:57:31 AM »

How Much Private Property is the Government Stealing in Your State?
by Bob Ewing

You’ve probably heard about eminent domain abuse.  That’s where the government takes your land and hands it over to another private party….one that is more politically connected.
But you may not have heard about civil forfeiture.  And yet, today, it could very well be the most egregious abuse of private property rights in America.

We all know that one of the many beautiful things about the United States is that citizens are innocent until proven guilty.  But civil forfeiture turns that fundamental principle on its head.

This sounds bizarre, but with civil forfeiture, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent.



Consider the case of Margaret Davis.

As a 77-year-old woman living alone with multiple medical problems, Margaret left her Pennsylvania home unlocked so her neighbors could regularly check on her.  One day while the police were chasing alleged drug dealers through her neighborhood, they all ran through Margaret’s house.  The dealers dropped some of their stash on Margaret’s floor, in plain sight.
Instead of apologizing to Margaret for the traumatic experience, the government seized her house.

Under civil forfeiture laws, Margaret’s property—her house—was guilty until she could prove it innocent to get it back.  And that’s not all.  As it turns out, most state and federal laws allow the government to keep the property they take through civil forfeiture.  So authorities have a big incentive to pursue property over justice.

Predictably, abuse is rampant:

In Louisiana, police were caught stealing innocent people’s property by making up crimes that never happened.  They used the proceeds to fund ski trips to Aspen.

In Texas, a government official was caught pumping forfeiture funds into his re-election campaign.

In Nebraska, officials stole over $124,000 from a resident without ever charging, let alone convicting, him of a crime.

In Missouri, authorities were caught turning forfeitures over to the federal government in order to avoid a legal requirement that proceeds go to schools.  That way, both groups could split the proceeds without having to share any with the children that were supposed to get the money.

Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents.  Civil forfeiture is now a nationwide epidemic.  A new report by the Institute for Justice found that the federal government is now holding over a billion dollars in assets seized through civil forfeiture.

And that’s not counting any of the state and local governments.

IJ’s report, available to view and download for free here, is the first to grade the civil forfeiture laws of the federal government and all 50 states.

What grade did your state get?  You can easily search the report by state here.

This is part of a new national campaign started by the Institute for Justice to end civil forfeiture.  We also filed suit in Texas, which has some of the worst forfeiture laws and practices in the country.
We are representing a small business entrepreneur from Houston whose American Dream was turned into a nightmare after his property was stolen through civil forfeiture.  He did nothing wrong and was never accused of a crime.

Our forfeiture campaign follows in the footsteps of our eminent domain work.  In courtrooms across the country, we will keep fighting the government to secure the bedrock American principle of private property rights.
Even though IJ has had tremendous success in courts, eminent domain abuse was stopped in large part by grassroots activists.  We desperately need a similar grassroots backlash against civil forfeiture.  Simply put, we need your help.

Will you work with IJ to help end civil forfeiture?

Please speak out.  Consider blogging and talking about the property being stolen in your state.  I encourage you to make use of the research included in our forfeiture report as well as our forfeiture video.
Should you write something up, please email me the link at bewing@ij.org.  And if you have any questions, or you’d like to be a part of our national coalition of property rights activists, just let me know.
Governments should protect, not plunder, our property.  Common sense and justice demand that this rampant abuse of private property rights must end.
Our fight will not be easy.  But working together, we can stamp out the injustices of civil forfeiture once and for all.

http://biggovernment.com/bewing/2010/08/02/how-much-private-property-is-the-government-stealing-in-your-state/
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ccp
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« Reply #270 on: August 02, 2010, 03:05:18 PM »

It seems Margaret's house is a thoroughfare for drug dealers on the run:

Seizing Elderly Woman’s Home in Philadelphia
Margaret Davis, a 77-year-old homeowner with multiple serious medical conditions, including end-stage renal disease, was in the habit of leaving her North Philadelphia home unlocked so her neighbors, who routinely checked up on her, could come and go.  She used paratransit to travel to dialysis treatment three times a week.[1] 
   
In August 2001, police chased several alleged drug dealers through Davis’ front door.  The suspects escaped out the back.  Davis gave the officers permission to search her home and they found drugs, left in plain view, presumably by the fleeing suspects.[2]  The matter should have ended there, but in September 2001 the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office filed a motion to seize the home even though Davis was not a party to any drug dealing.[3] 
   
Unable to afford an attorney, Davis was referred to the Civil Practice Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, which took on the case in February 2002.  In April, as the case was working its way through court, police chased another suspect into Davis’ house and caught him attempting to hide drugs.  Fortunately, Davis’ attorney was able to reach an agreement with the District Attorney’s office, which withdrew the petition in November of 2003.[4]
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[1] E-mail exchange with Louis S. Rulli, Practice Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs, University of Pennsylvania Law School, August 18-20, 2009.

[2] Amended Petition for Forfeiture at 10, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. 1365 W. Colwyn Street No. 2903 (Pa. Ct. Common Pleas filed May 16, 2002).

[3] Civil Docket Report, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Davis, Case ID: 010902903.

[4] E-mail exchange with Louis S. Rulli; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. 1365 W. Colwyn Street No. 2903 at 10. 

Return to Forfeiture main page
 
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G M
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« Reply #271 on: August 02, 2010, 05:04:55 PM »

Hmmmmmmmm.......
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G M
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« Reply #272 on: August 02, 2010, 07:17:25 PM »



As opposed to the irrational paranoia that typically gets posted here, this is something to legitimately be pissed off at.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #273 on: August 05, 2010, 09:59:18 AM »

Glad we agree!
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Rarick
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« Reply #274 on: August 06, 2010, 03:58:23 AM »

O, gosh golly gee.  Bay area california.  Sound familiar?  It is good to see some people in the area are waking up...........

That 77 year old is not maintaining the integrity of her property, what does she expect.  The US is doing the same thing on the southern border, what can we expect?


As far as illegal confiscation of property- some lawmen can still recognize the rights.

http://www.infowars.com/constitutional%C2%A0sheriff-tony-demeo/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #275 on: August 06, 2010, 11:50:03 AM »

Very interesting article, but may I suggest double checking anything from that site?  IMHO it has a poor track record for accuracy.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #276 on: August 22, 2010, 01:05:44 PM »

Coming off my fight with NYPD and what I don't know about what they do and how expensive it is to live there, which is true, may I point out that people in Washington DC have no idea about private sector work and pay across the heartland either.  Short of forced labor camps etc. they should not be concerned about what free people pay each other with legislation like minimum wage and other mandates.

GM linked a story on the Govt Spending thread that NYPD would pay $80,000 to train a police officer and then a competing department elsewhere hires them away and saves the expense.  That happens in the private sector too.  There should be no mandate that companies pay people to be trained or pay certain amounts before they are providing a positive value to the organization.  Consenting adults can work out private contracts amongst themselves.  Once the employee is of good value to the organization then seldom is there any need for protection from the government anyway.  People can vote with their feet and leave and spread the word about which companies are lousy to work for.

Employers shouldn't face minimums to pay people who make substantial tips.  At the high end we shouldn't be basing any public policies on tyrannical views like that is enough money - no one needs more money than xxx.  We shouldn't be mandating what programs people's own pay gets put into other than their paycheck.  It is a violation of their economic freedom. Unions that do that are not always doing their members a favor.  Maybe they make 3% on an investment account while they are paying 20% on a credit card or late on their mortgage.

Even with the taxes we pay the withholding should not be mandatory before a taxpayer even knows what their deductions and credits for the year will be.  It is enough for them to mandate the filing and require the payment.  They have enough power to enforce that without mandatory withholding.

Besides minimum wage laws, there are also maximum wage proposals out there, that a company for example cannot pay anyone more than 20 times what the lowest person in the organization is paid.  The concept is a violation of your economic liberties and violates common sense.  In our town and MVP like Joe Mauer might make 20 million so should there be a law that the lowest batboy make a million?  If you are in Washington and think so then you don't understand the dynamics of markets or baseball, which means you don't understand the business of any other industry either.  Yet they want caps on bank fees and anything other gripe that people want the government to intervene on.  These proposals are gaining steam with the infusion of government money into private company ownership, like the 3 CEO changes at Government Motors.  These infusions are a violation of the economic rights of the competitor to operate freely and fairly on a level playing field

Groups should not be targeted for taxation, like the top 1%, the top 2% or 'only those making over 200,000'.  Taxation to pay for public goods should be applied evenly across people and across income.  The right to keep the rest of what you earned, other than taxes at the rate  everyone is taxed at, is a basic human liberty whether you are rich or not.  When they chip away at one group and then another, they are chipping away at you.

Short of things like pouring mercury into ground water and forced labor camps, they need to start respecting people's economic liberties and allow us to run our own businesses and make our own economic decisions.  Believe it or not, we can do it better ourselves.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #277 on: November 16, 2010, 09:42:00 AM »

Libertarians on the Shrink's Couch

by Gene Healy

We libertarians tend to think of ourselves as a tiny, embattled sect, ignored when we're not reviled. Lately, though — with Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" shooting up the Amazon charts and Tea Partiers with "Don't Tread on Me" flags storming Capitol Hill — there's increasing interest in figuring out how this strange tribe thinks.

A team of social psychologists, including the University of Virginia's Jonathan Haidt, provides some of the most detailed answers yet, putting libertarians on the couch in a new study, "Understanding Libertarian Morality."

"Libertarian morality?" you say. "Isn't that an oxymoron, like 'military intelligence' or 'law school talent show'?" No, smartass, it isn't. "Libertarians are not amoral," Haidt and his colleagues report. (Whew!) We simply have "a unique moral-psychological profile." That profile helps explain both why we can be hard to get along with and why we're needed, now more than ever.

Haidt et al. aren't engaged in the sort of judgmental head-shrinking-from-afar that often mars political debate. For several years now, at YourMorals.org, they've let self-described liberals, conservatives, and libertarians speak for themselves, by voluntarily taking a battery of psychological tests measuring personality characteristics, cognitive style, and moral values. Along the way, they've compiled the "largest dataset of psychological measures ever compiled on libertarians" — with more than 10,000 respondents.

What they learned may sound familiar, if you've ever been cornered at a college kegger by a twitchy Randian who called you "anti-life" when you dutifully threw your cup in the recycling bin.

Liberals and conservatives beat us handily on "agreeableness" and "extraversion." Libertarians tend to be dispassionate and cerebral, less likely to moralize based on gut reactions like disgust (one source, the authors suggest, of our disagreement with conservatives on social issues).

"We found strong support," they write, for the proposition that libertarians "will rely upon reason more — and emotion less — than will either liberals or conservatives." Blubbery Clintonian empathy isn't our bag, baby; we don't "feel your pain." Where "liberals have the most 'feminine' cognitive style ... libertarians have the most 'masculine.' " And where others often "rely on peripheral cues, such as how attractive or credible a speaker is," when formulating opinions, libertarians are more likely to pay "close attention to relevant arguments."

Conservatives routinely outscore liberals on measures of self-reported happiness (getting to rub that in makes conservative pundits even happier). Alas, per Haidt, et al., "Libertarians appear to be less satisfied with their lives when compared to liberals and conservatives."

The authors speculate that this may be due to relatively lower social connectedness: libertarians "score high on individualism, low on collectivism, and low on all other traits that involved bonding with, loving, or feeling a sense of common identity with others."

Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency.

But I prefer the explanation offered by my friend John Hasnas in his essay, "What It Feels Like to Be a Libertarian." (First line? "I'll tell you: It feels bad.")

We're doomed, Cassandra-like, to predict the disastrous effects of government policy. It's "human nature," John writes, "to want to shoot the messenger," so we suffer "scorn and derision despite being inevitably proven correct by events." (We're not so modest, either).

Personally, I've found that a dark sense of humor makes for an effective coping mechanism. As Elvis Costello put it, "I used to be disgusted/Now I try to be amused."

Our looming fiscal crisis is no joke, however. As the bill for the party comes due, more and more Americans are looking to libertarians for answers. Sure, we're cantankerous and sarcastic — anything but huggable — and we can occasionally come off as cold. But we're firmly "reality based," and good at facing the hard truths.

Join the tribe!

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=12556&utm
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #278 on: December 01, 2010, 11:21:07 AM »

TSA: What Would Rosa Parks Do?
By Mary Theroux
Wednesday December 1, 2010 at 9:12:55 AM PST

shareNew  0share0



Today marks the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks’s refusal to move to the back of the bus. As she explained in her book, Quiet Strength:

Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it.

Institutionalized by racist laws and upheld by racist governments, especially across the American South, such humiliations were daily visited as part of riding public transit.

Rosa Parks’s dramatic refusal sparked the Montgomery bus strike and eventually led to governments having to back down across the board, from public buses, to public schools, to rescinding black codes and Jim Crow laws that constrained private commerce and voluntary relations among races.

Today, pundits from the left to neocon right argue that airline passengers give up their rights when they “choose” to travel by plane. They would no doubt have argued that Ms. Parks similarly gave up her rights when she “chose” to ride the public bus.

Ms. Parks in her simple eloquence knew such thinking was just plain wrong. Whether an individual is ordered out of her seat by a public bus driver or made to either “assume the position” or be subjected to unwanted intimate contact by command of a government agent, she is no longer sovereign; she is a subject.

Ms. Parks knew when it was time to say enough. Do we?

—–
For more on the State’s role in upholding and institutionalizing racism and injustice, see our book Race and Liberty in America
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G M
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« Reply #279 on: December 01, 2010, 11:47:59 AM »

"Today, pundits from the left to neocon right argue that airline passengers give up their rights when they “choose” to travel by plane. They would no doubt have argued that Ms. Parks similarly gave up her rights when she “chose” to ride the public bus."

**Lacking any practical alternatives, a Libertarian uses an ad hominem attack. Nothing unusual in that. "Libertarians. Providing simplistic non-answers to complex problems since 1971!**
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #280 on: December 01, 2010, 11:00:46 PM »

I'm not seeing an ad hominem there at all; it seems like an analogy to me.

""Libertarians. Providing simplistic non-answers to complex problems since 1971!**"  While no doubt there are times that this is so, sometimes simplicity is the highest level.
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G M
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« Reply #281 on: December 02, 2010, 07:58:07 AM »

Using a law to enforce a ritual humiliation based on race is very different from a aviation security system intended to keep all the passengers alive and unharmed, no matter their racial/ethnic identities. But I guess that's just too complex for some.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #282 on: December 02, 2010, 11:29:57 AM »

IMHO GM most of us here are of above average IQ.  I'm even vain enough to include myself in that. smiley
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G M
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« Reply #283 on: December 02, 2010, 11:47:35 AM »

Yes, and yet here we have the TSA compared with the Jim Crow south. We may disagree as to the value of TSA methods, or the constitutionality and need for them, however the comparison to the malevolent racial laws of the pre-civil rights south is obviously bogus. BBG is a smart guy, I'm sure he gets that this is just mud slinging.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #284 on: March 03, 2011, 11:35:09 PM »

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st268?pg=3

Ten Consequences of Economic Freedom
...
4. Economic freedom helps reduce poverty.
...
7. Economic freedom improves the lives of children.

(read it all smiley)
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #285 on: March 30, 2011, 01:53:46 PM »

An issue I mull is how to build voting blocs large enough to overcome redistributionist voter cadres. As such I find think pieces like this interesting.

What if Libertarians and Conservatives Agreed on Empirical Issues?
Ilya Somin • March 17, 2011 1:24 am

Following up my post on what might happen if liberals and libertarians agreed on empirical issues, this post addresses the question of what might happen if libertarians came to agree on empirical issues with conservatives.

Unfortunately, answering this question is a lot tougher than the previous one about liberals. Libertarianism and liberalism are fairly coherent ideological movements. By contrast, “conservatism” is a hodgepodge of different ideologies united mainly by their opposition to the political left. George Will, Pat Buchanan, Bill Kristol, and Mike Huckabee are all considered conservatives. But they differ greatly from each other on both empirical issues and values. So too with neoconservatives, religious right social conservatives, and Burkean conservatives. Moreover, some conservatives are quite close to libertarians on most issues because they have a assimilated a great many libertarian ideas.

To make the question more tractable, I’m going to focus primarily on social conservatives who generally support free market policies on “economic” issues, while also supporting a high degree of “social” regulation. I recognize that this is far from the only type of conservatism out there. But it’s probably the most common one in the United States, especially among conservative intellectuals.

As with some libertarians and liberals, some social conservatives are purely utilitarian in their values. They support conservative policies because they think that will maximize human happiness. If a utilitarian libertarian and a utilitarian conservative could agree on empirical issues, their policy differences would disappear. They would then agree on both values and the best way to implement them. But pure utilitarianism is even less common among conservatives than among liberals and libertarians, possibly because many social conservatives are strongly religious and the major religions all incorporate many non-utilitarian values. Here are some issues where non-utilitarian conservatives will continue to disagree with libertarians even if the two groups could come to a consensus on empirics:

I. Nationalism.

Many, though not all, conservatives are nationalistic. By contrast, most libertarians are hostile to nationalism, usually for the kinds of reasons I outlined here. Some of these differences are traceable to disagreements over the empirical effects of nationalism. But not all of them. At the level of fundamental values, many nationalistic conservatives are willing to impose severe costs on foreigners for the purpose of securing significantly smaller benefits for members of their own polity.

This has important implications for issues like trade and immigration. Let’s assume that greatly expanded immigration creates huge net benefits for immigrants, but inflicts much smaller net costs on native-born Americans. Most libertarians would accept that tradeoff. After all, the freedom and utility of immigrants is, in their view, no less valuable than that of natives. And the majority of libertarians see immigration restrictions as infringements on liberty, not just utilitarian harms.

Not so with nationalistic conservatives. For example, conservative Harvard economist George Borjas wants to greatly reduce immigration in order to prevent what he estimates to be fairly modest wage reductions for low-skilled Americans, even though he realizes the enormous harm that would inflict on potential migrants. In a recent book, conservative scholar Edgar Browning explicitly states that immigration policy should be determined entirely without reference to the welfare of the immigrants themselves (which he views as an uncontroversial premise). Views like Borjas’ and Browning’s are quite common among nationalistic conservatives, though admittedly not universal.

What is true for immigration also holds for trade. The only difference is that fewer conservatives believe that free trade inflicts net harms on Americans than believe the same of immigration. Those who do believe that trade inflicts net harm on Americans tend to support protectionism entirely without reference to the impact on foreigners (Pat Buchanan is a good example).

Agreement on empirical issues surrounding immigration, trade and other such issues would eliminate libertarian-conservative differences only if conservatives came to believe that fully laissez-faire policies in these fields create net benefits for current American citizens.

II. Social Regulation.

Much of the libertarian-conservative disagreement over social and “morals” regulation comes down to disagreement over the empirical effects of such regulations. Elsewhere, I have criticized conservatives such as Robert Bork for ignoring the ways in which their empirical critiques of economic regulation apply to social regulation as well.

But empirical disagreements are not the only source of the conflict. Many conservatives believe that some forms of “immoral” behavior are intrinsically wrong even if legalizing them would increase happiness on net. For example, some argue that it is intrinsically wrong to gamble, take mind-altering drugs, engage in “unnatural” sex, or consume pornography. Conservatives who believe this might still be willing to support legalization if the harms of prohibition are great enough. That accounts for William F. Buckley’s and now Pat Robertson’s opposition to the War on Drugs. But the threshold level of harm needed to persuade social conservatives to support legalization is a lot higher than for libertarians.

The flip side is that many libertarians might still oppose social regulation even in cases where they agree that it creates net utilitarian benefits. They, after all, value social freedom for its own sake, not just because they think it increases happiness. Most libertarians might be willing to support regulation if they thought the utilitarian benefits were extremely large. If banning pornography were the only way to prevent a massive epidemic of rape, I would be in favor of it. But the threshold level of benefit would, for most libertarians, have to be pretty high. Certainly much higher than for most social conservatives.

III. Retribution.

Conservatives generally favor harsher punishments for criminals than libertarians do. This difference reflects various empirical disagreements between the two groups. But there’s also a difference in values. Conservatives are, on average, much more committed to the value of retribution than libertarians are. That’s a key reason why many libertarians, but almost no conservatives, favor moving the criminal justice system towards a model based on restitution rather than punishment (see this article by co-blogger Randy Barnett). Personally, I’m much more of a retributivist than most of my fellow libertarians. But my view is definitely in the minority among libertarian intellectuals.

I have not mentioned war and foreign policy in this post, largely because the issue deeply divides libertarians among themselves. I think that the internal division among libertarians (people who mostly share the same values) suggests that the divide between dovish libertarians and hawkish conservatives on these issues is also largely about empirics rather than values. However, it’s possible that the conservative commitment to nationalism also plays a role here.

Overall, a social conservative who came to agree with libertarians on empirical issues but not values would be more supportive of free trade and immigration and more skeptical of social regulation. But she might still differ with libertarians on these issues because of the conservative commitment to nationalism and nonutilitarian justifications for social regulation. Full convergence with libertarian policy positions would only occur if the conservative came to believe that social regulation inflicts very great harm and that free migration is a net benefit to Americans. Even then, we would still have the disagreement over retribution.

A libertarian who came to agree with social conservatives on empirical issues would endorse higher levels of social regulation and lower levels of immigration. But we would only see full convergence if the libertarian came to believe that the harm caused by laissez-faire was great enough to outweigh the nonutilitarian value he assigns to freedom.

UPDATE: For readers who may be interested, here’s a post I wrote about F.A. Hayek’s classic libertarian critique of conservatism that focuses on some of the same issues as this one, though it does not try to distinguish empirical issues from differences in values.

http://volokh.com/2011/03/17/what-if-libertarians-and-conservatives-agreed-on-empirical-issues/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #286 on: April 13, 2011, 04:32:47 PM »

First note that the previous post in this thread by BBG slipped by without  discussion -how to get conservatives and libertarians more on the same page, at least on the empirical side of things.  That point deserves serious follow up...
----

Speed of vehicles costs lives in a crash, but so does the same government mandating smaller vehicles, so I stick this under libertarian issues.  (High speed rail and light rail and going out to get the mail also cost lives.)  Two complaints with the journalism here (WSJ), they include an crowded urban freeway photo with the proposal does not apply to urban freeways.  Second, it takes them until the end to admit their NY journalism from afar viewpoint and admit what the drivers there already know, have you seen how far apart things are in Texas - with flat, empty roads?

http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2011/04/12/texas-at-85-mph-would-it-cause-more-deaths/
Texas At 85 MPH: Would It Cause More Deaths?   - WSJ 4/12/2011

Texas is in the process of possibly raising its speed limit from 80 to 85 miles per hour on certain stretches of highway. The move, if approved by the state senate (it already passed the Texas House), would give the Lone Star State the highest speed limit in the U.S.

A spokeswoman with the Texas Department of Transportation said the change probably wouldn’t come quickly, in part because of an amendment in the bill that says the higher limit will apply only to new road construction. Then again, the vast state currently has about 3,000 miles of road under construction, more than 600 of which is interstate highway.

Still, it is hard to say how many miles of 85-mph driving will eventually emerge from the political process. Whatever the amount, safety groups say it will almost certainly lead to more fatal car wrecks.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says there is historical link between higher speed limits and rising highway fatality rates. The safety-research group, which is funded by the insurance industry, says its studies have shown that deaths on rural interstates increased 25-30 percent when states began increasing speed limits from 55 to 65 mph in 1987. In 1989, about two-thirds of this increase — 19 percent, or 400 deaths — was attributed to increased speed, the rest to increased travel, the Insurance Institute says.

The group says a 1999 study of the effects of the 1995 repeal of the national maximum speed limit suggests the trend continued. A 2009 study of the long-term effects of the 1995 speed-limit repeal found a 3 percent increase in road fatalities attributable to higher speed limits on all road types, with the highest increase of 9 percent on rural interstates. In all, an estimated 12,545 deaths were attributed to increased speed limits in the U.S. from 1995 to 2005.

Of course, if you have ever driven across Texas, you may be torn over this debate even if you consider yourself a stickler for safety. Driving the state’s vast expanses of arrow-straight rural highways where other cars appear only occasionally, one can quickly come to appreciate the ability to cruise along between 80 and 90 mph without much risk of a ticket.
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G M
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« Reply #287 on: April 13, 2011, 04:39:50 PM »

Just because the speed limit is 85 MPH, doesn't mean one must drive 85. The greater the speed, the greater the severity of the accident.
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G M
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« Reply #288 on: April 13, 2011, 04:44:57 PM »

"First note that the previous post in this thread by BBG slipped by without  discussion -how to get conservatives and libertarians more on the same page, at least on the empirical side of things.  That point deserves serious follow up..."

Well, exactly how much time and energy should conservatives spend to get a group that has about 225,000 registered voters in the US?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #289 on: May 12, 2011, 12:20:47 PM »

A school notice received in the email follows.  Context: only the timing is unknown; all parents and students already know this is going to happen.  Includes cars on public streets.  Comments or objections?

"Hello Parents of ## High School students,

This is [principal] with an announcement.

Today we conducted a drug search of our parking lots and student traffic/gathering areas outside of school. Three dogs were used and they alerted us to five points of interest, four of which were in our student parking lot. Upon further search no drugs were found in any of the on campus autos. As always if a student vehicle drew attention during the dog search parents were contacted and the vehicle was searched.

The dogs alerted us to one vehicle parked off campus in a parking area typically frequented by students. A further search of that vehicle turned up paraphernalia, but no drugs. Again parents were contacted.

Our searches are conducted several times during the year and focus on different areas inside and outside of the building."
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G M
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« Reply #290 on: May 12, 2011, 12:34:54 PM »

On campus searches are one thing, the off campus search another. I doubt that any evidence obtained in the off campus search would be admissable and I'd tend to think there is the serious potential for civil liability in conducting that search.

The courts have tended towards allowing school personnel greater latitude in search and seizure than LEOs. One key question is that if the LEOs that did the search would be viewed by the court as school personnel or LEOs in conducting the search. A LEO assigned as a school resource officer is one thing, a LEO just called with a K9 to conduct a search is another in some cases.
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G M
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« Reply #291 on: May 12, 2011, 12:47:05 PM »


http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec01/vol59/num04/The-Right-to-Search-Students.aspx

Reasonable Suspicion
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." Before 1985, doubt existed about whether this right applied to students in the public schools. Schools argued that administrators acted in loco parentis—in the place of the parent—while students were at school. In 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the Fourth Amendment applies to students in the public schools (New Jersey v. T.L.O., 1985). The Court concluded, however, that the school environment requires an easing of the restriction to which searches by public authorities are normally subject. School officials, therefore, do not need probable cause or a warrant to search students.

The Court articulated a standard for student searches: reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion is satisfied when two conditions exist: (1) the search is justified at its inception, meaning that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will reveal evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law or school rules, and (2) the search is reasonably related in scope to the circumstances that justified the search, meaning that the measures used to conduct the search are reasonably related to the objectives of the search and that the search is not excessively intrusive in light of the student's age and sex and the nature of the offense.

In New Jersey v. T.L.O., a teacher's report of a student smoking in the bathroom justified a search of the student's purse. Since this landmark decision, several cases have debated what constitutes reasonable suspicion:

Four students huddled together, one with money in his hand and another with his hand in his pocket, does not provide reasonable suspicion (A.S. v. State of Florida, 1997).
An anonymous phone call advising an administrator that a student will be bringing drugs to school, coupled with the student's reputation as a drug dealer, creates reasonable suspicion to search the student's pockets and book bag (State of New Hampshire v. Drake, 1995).
A report made by two students to a school official that another student possesses a gun at school constitutes reasonable suspicion to search the student and his locker (In re Commonwealth v. Carey, 1990).
An experienced drug counselor's observation of a student who appears distracted and has bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils justifies taking the student's blood pressure and pulse (Bridgman v. New Trier High School District No. 203, 1997).
The fact that the search of all but one student in a class fails to reveal allegedly stolen property gives school officials reasonable suspicion to search that student (DesRoches v. Caprio, 1998).
The odor of marijuana in the hall does not provide reasonable suspicion to search all students' book bags, purses, and pockets (Burnham v. West, 1987).

Although the legal standard for reasonable suspicion is clear, the application of it in different contexts is not always as clear. The Court has even noted that

articulating precisely what reasonable suspicion means . . . is not possible. Reasonable suspicion is a commonsense, nontechnical conception that deals with the factual and practical considerations of everyday life on which reasonable and prudent men, not legal technicians, act. (Ornelas v. United States, 1996, at 695)


Probable Cause and Student Consent
School officials need only reasonable suspicion to search students in public schools, but sworn law enforcement officials normally must have probable cause to search students. Probable cause to search exists when "known facts and circumstances are sufficient to warrant a man of reasonable prudence in the belief that contraband . . . will be found" (Ornelas v. United States, 1996, at 696). But are law enforcement officials assigned to schools to maintain safety subject to the reasonable suspicion standard or the higher probable cause standard? The answer depends on whether the court views law enforcement personnel assigned to the school as school officials or law enforcement officials.

When the police or school administrators act at one another's request, they run the risk of becoming one another's agents. Such a relationship could change the standard necessary to conduct a student search. Some courts treat police officers as school officials subject to the lower standard of reasonable suspicion when they search students at the request of school administrators (In the Interest of Angelia D.B., 1997). Other courts hold that school officials conducting a search on the basis of information from the school resource officer are acting as agents of the police and are, therefore, subject to the higher standard of probable cause (State of New Hampshire v. Heirtzler, 2000). The mere presence of a sworn law enforcement officer during a search by a school administrator does not trigger the need for probable cause (Florida v. D.S., 1996).

School officials and sworn law enforcement officers may conduct a search without reasonable suspicion or probable cause if the student voluntarily consents to the search. Voluntariness is determined on the basis of the circumstances—including the student's age, education level, and mental capacity—and the context of the search. When consent is granted, officials may conduct the search only within the boundaries of the consent. If a student consents to the search of her purse, for example, an administrator may not search her locker unless the search of the purse provides probable cause or reasonable suspicion to search the locker. School officials and law enforcement officers are not required to advise students that they have a right to refuse to give consent to search. Some school policies or state regulations, however, may require that they advise students of their rights.

Some school policies require students to provide consent to a search or risk discipline. In at least one federal circuit, the court has upheld this policy (DesRoches v. Caprio, 1998). In this case, all but one student consented to a search of their personal belongings. The search of the consenting students revealed nothing. Pursuant to school board policy, DesRoches was suspended for 10 days for failure to consent to the search. The student claimed that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated because the administrator did not have reasonable suspicion to search him. The court held that when the search of all other students in the class failed to reveal the stolen item, the administrator had reasonable, individualized suspicion to search DesRoches. Therefore, his discipline for failing to consent to a legal search was upheld.

Individual Versus Random Searches
School officials conduct individual searches when they suspect that a student or a small group of students possesses evidence of a violation of the law or school rules. Such searches are subject to the reasonable suspicion standard. Officials conduct random or blanket searches not because of individualized suspicion, but as a preventive measure. Examples of random searches include the use of metal detectors in school entrances and sweeps of parking lots and lockers. The legality of a random search depends on whether the school has a compelling interest or special need that warrants the use of a search without suspicion. The most common need articulated by schools is the prevention of drug abuse.

Perhaps the most controversial random search is the use of drug-sniffing dogs in schools. The right of school officials or police to use dogs to detect drugs in students' belongings is well established. In fact, most courts conclude that such detection is not a search because the dogs merely sniff the air around the property and that students do not have an expectation of privacy in the air around their belongings.

One federal court has recently held that the use of drug-sniffing dogs on a student's person requires individualized, reasonable suspicion. Prevention of drug abuse, according to this court, does not justify the dog sniffing the person because it intrudes on the expectation of privacy and security (B.C. v. Plumas Unified School District, 1999). This case changed practices in many school districts—those schools no longer use the dogs to sniff around students.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #292 on: May 12, 2011, 01:34:09 PM »

Interesting legal opinion/decisions on the school searches.  In our case it is deterrence, not reasonable suspicion, because I have a series of these emails without any significant find or arrest.

"...such detection is not a search because the dogs merely sniff the air around the property and that students do not have an expectation of privacy in the air around their belongings."  - Is that like having some super listening device outside of homes and saying no expectation of privacy in your home?  I would stay with the idea that these are kids in schools and we get to make the rules.

In my case, I approve of the program in the sense that I have pre-consented  when I bought the parking pass. I have the option of sending my kid elsewhere and the option of not sending my car to school.  I want the school to be drug free.

I am mostly puzzled by the 'off-campus' search.  As the legal decisions say, they do that because they can. 
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G M
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« Reply #293 on: May 12, 2011, 02:18:42 PM »


http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-10th-circuit/1166937.html

Thus, the general rule we have followed is that a dog's alert to the presence of contraband is sufficient to provide probable cause.   We decline to adopt the stricter rule urged by Mr. Parada, which would require the dog to give a final indication before probable cause is established.7  “Probable cause means that ‘there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place.’ ” Ludwig, 10 F.3d at 1527 (quoting Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 238, 103 S.Ct. 2317, 76 L.Ed.2d 527 (1983)).   A trained narcotic dog's detection of the odor of an illegal substance emanating from a vehicle creates a “fair probability” that there is contraband in that vehicle.   See id.  (“[A] dog alert usually is at least as reliable as many other sources of probable cause and is certainly reliable enough to create a ‘fair probability’ that there is contraband.”).   We hold that probable cause was satisfied by Rico's alert to the odor of an illegal substance in the vehicle and that it was not necessary for the dog to indicate the exact source of that odor.   Indeed, it might be dangerous to permit a narcotics dog to pinpoint the location of the drugs in certain circumstances, such as here, where the vehicle's occupants were still inside and the dog was trained to indicate by barking, scratching, and biting at the source of the odor.
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G M
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« Reply #294 on: May 30, 2011, 04:14:42 PM »

In honor of my Libertarian homeys  grin I drink a Four Loko in your honor!


As Ali G would say: Respect!   wink
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #295 on: May 30, 2011, 05:44:20 PM »

Uhhh , , , what is a "Four Loko"?
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G M
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« Reply #296 on: May 30, 2011, 06:05:48 PM »

It's the malt liquor with caffeine drink that some states have wanted to ban because of it's alleged dangerous propeties. I saw it for sale at a liquor store and could not resist, though normally I stick to beer and the occasional hard liquor.
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bigdog
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« Reply #297 on: May 30, 2011, 07:58:17 PM »

That is pretty college, GM!   cheesy shocked
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G M
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« Reply #298 on: May 30, 2011, 09:19:06 PM »

I gots to get mah drank on, yo!   grin
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DougMacG
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« Reply #299 on: June 03, 2011, 02:55:07 PM »

Separate from the excellent 4th amendment arguments going on elsewhere and this is already covered there, but there is quite a move going on with people voluntarily putting all there private correspondence, photos, documents and secrets out there where it is one hack or one perfectly legitimate search warrant away from giving it all to others.  From an efficiency standpoint, I like having all my most valuable documents with me in my hand in case I can't get online.  Then when smartphones or computers crash, I like having all my private information downloadable back to me from gmail or one of those backup services.

The trend is brought back to the forefront with new capabilities coming out from Apple that already exist with Google and others: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/google-apple-cloud-computer.htm

Aside from legal questions, we sure are giving away a lot of information to an awful lot of people and places - as if security breaches at their end never happen.
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