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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Click It Or

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 09:39:22 AM EST
    Tags: Grants, Seat Belts, County Commission, Michigan, Bad Law, 4th Amendment, Police Powers, Constitution (all tags)

    Maybe you get a ticket.

    One of the things I have come to realize as an elected official, is that I can actually affect, or at the very least open discussion on a range of topics that were heretofore untouched.  Even at a county commission venue, we have before us on a regular basis, a number of items that are worthy of note on a statewide level.  

    In this case, it is the seat belt legislation and roadside enforcement zones I get to body slam. Or maybe at least tickle.

    Tonight, while all of you will be watching and (hopefully) enjoying a debate with conservatives in a thoroughly liberal environment, I and eight others get to decide whether to accept a grant on behalf of the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's dept. The grant is for $12,000 and is

    "specifically geared toward safety belt enforcement and impaired driving enforcement."

    Read: "Road side check points."

    Two things.

    • 1. Jackboots
    • 2. 4th amendment

    I'm a law and order guy.  I believe most conservatives are. You'll find few others that demand an execution of our laws to the "T" as do we.  However, the application of law must be done carefully. It must have an element of common sense. And if the law is bad, it should be expunged.

    And the seat belt law is bad. ~ More Below ~

    We must have a strong policing ability.  We must have departments capable of performing the duties of upholding the laws that protect us from those who would do us harm.  Our communities need the security that is provided by those protections to grow, thrive, and promote prosperity.  To these ends we attempt to maintain a financially healthy and well trained law enforcement system of courts, police and detention. It is our duty.

    But we should not allow our desire for strong protections to come at a cost of our freedoms as guaranteed by the constitution of the United States of America.

    Police powers can be abused.  Our founders knew this. And their point with the 4th amendment:

    "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."
    was that "you better be DAMNED SURE there is an illegal act before you accost, detain, search or hold someone." Further, that you should have a warrant to do so.

    But the sheeple have allowed this to "progress" incrementally.

    I wrote in 2009:

    "when I was a teenager, my brother would find a time when my other brothers and/or I were listening to the radio and strike up a conversation.  Then every now and again when we weren't looking he would ever so slightly turn the volume up, so that after about 20 minutes we would be yelling at each other, never even realizing the volume had gotten so high.  He was through incrementalism, able to change our environment without us even realizing it was happening.  Does it sound familiar?

    Often, the true conservative is admonished by those [moderates] who claim it is a little absurd to object to minor changes in public policy, such as seat belt legislation, those seen in gun laws, or even in environmental mandates.  These are either "necessary issues," as some claim, or perhaps even those "which can't hurt to pass, as it doesn't take anything away." So, because it isn't TOO important, the conservative is sectioned off and separated from the herd to fall to the wolves.  But the conservative has always been right.

    Consider seat belt laws. In 1985, under the Blanchard administration, insurance lobbyists acting in their own best interest, wrote legislation to be passed which applied a penalty if someone was pulled over and not wearing a seat-belt.  At that time, the brother I mentioned, wrote a letter to the editor in the Lansing State Journal. He argued how this new seat belt law, while hardly an oppressive measure by most standards, was a step forward in the gradual relieving us of our rights.  He had, as a teenager, a greater understanding of the growth of government through incrementalism than most of the legislature who was supposedly voting on our behalf.  He got it, understood it, and objected.

    When the original law was passed, police could not pull someone over for the suspicion of or even witnessing someone not wearing the safety device.  Over the years, it has progressed bit by bit, to that place where police can not only use the excuse of a possible seat belt violation to pull over and detain an individual, but then to further put it in our face with commercial after commercial during your favorite Detroit sporting event, stating that they CAN and WILL violate your 4th amendment protections, and there ain't nothing you can do about it..  beep beep  beep.."

    But tonight I can do something about it.

    I can at the very least, start up a conversation that has real effect.

    I hope.

    < Tuesdays Divertere: Are You A Flake? | Wednesdays Divertere: American Showdown >

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    DUI Checkpoints (none / 0) (#1)
    by archiespeck on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 10:23:47 AM EST
    Don't forget that cash strapped cities and counties are now using DUI checkpoints as a revenue generating tool. At a few thousand per pop, DUI checkpoints are a very profitable tool to exploit.

    As Duke Nukem might tell them... (none / 0) (#7)
    by jgillmanjr on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 01:06:59 PM EST
    "Heh heh heh, blow it out your ass".

    Let's see what the statute says... oh! There is this - from MCL 257.710e:

    (6) If after December 31, 2005 the office of highway safety planning certifies that there has been less than 80% compliance with the safety belt requirements of this section during the preceding year, enforcement of this section by state or local law enforcement agencies shall be accomplished only as a secondary action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for a suspected violation of another section of this act.

    So wait a minute, this law could be kicked by non-compliance eh?

    But here's the question: How do you determine compliance rate? Clearly there are people that say "piss off" to this law, yet don't get caught. For those who do get caught, what are those numbers compared to to get a percentage of non-compliance?

    Anyone have any input on this?

    "But tonight I can do something..." (none / 0) (#10)
    by maidintheus on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 01:39:51 PM EST
    Mr G, I'm wondering how you think the discussion is going. Any updates?

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