Very simple question, right? Most folks park in their driveways, a carport, on the street in front of their home or in a garage. Perfectly normal and rather safe, at least from government intruding and snooping. Not so much anymore. That is , if you live in the geographic area encompassing California and 8 other western states. For this potentially snoopervision ( thank you Paul Harvey) you may thank the U S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
Yes indeed, this bastion of liberal thought and action has handed down a ruling that must be quite a shock to the court’s usual fans. What this decision does at its basic level can be described a bit like this. Government agents, probably some of the three-letter boys, can sneak into your driveway, plant a GPS device on your vehicle and monitor said device, all without obtaining a search warrant or violating the 4th amendment right to privacy.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, 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 searched.
So says the 4th amendment. Let us see how the court manged to pull of this feat. The ruling stems from a 2007 case involving a suspected marijuana grower whom the DEA was after. And they did just what we described in paragraph two above. Why was the driveway open to the DEA ? Listen closely. The driveway is open to strangers such as delivery people or neighborhood children who can wander across uninvited. Huh!
Here is a funny part of the ruling, not ha-ha funny. A strong dissent was rendered by Reagan appointee Alex Kozinski, the Court’s chief judge who opined that the ruling was Orwellian and a herald of 1984. Fortunately, the U S Court of Appeals for the D C circuit took a unanimous pro-privacy stand. Never forget, the 9th Circuit Court is quite influential so this ruling could be a harbinger of things to come.
Meanwhile, just to be safe, try parking your car indoors.
” Otherwise, how are things, was an oft used phrase by the late, legendary Paul Harvey. Incidentally, he seems to be one of those folks that cannot be adequately replaced. I often wonder what his take would be on this or that major news event.
But today I am using the phrase as an intro to a BP update. No, quite unfortunately the oil spill has not been contained, although a few small good things have occurred and more could have occurred with a bit more co-operation/communication?
BP CEO Tony Heyward, their point man in dealing with the crisis on site, appeared before members of Congress and the questioning was anything but friendly. He did not help himself either by some of his comments which appeared at times to be a bit insensitive. Given the nature of the Congressional beast, hearings and questioning were inevitable. I’m just not certain what worthwhile purpose the hearings have at this point. Maybe a little extra face time on C-Span or the major networks. Or a few good headlines like senators grill BP executive or something like that. Obama even weighed in again saying he wishes he could fire Heyward. Real productive move.
I would rather the president work more closely with Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal who really seems to be working hard on this thing as he should. But, yet one of his major efforts was actually stopped for a time the other day by whom? Why, none other than the U S Coast Guard, from whence came Admiral Thad Allen. Certainly the Admiral or his boss ( hint Barack H …..) had nothing to do with stopping the oil removing barges from their task. As recently as Tuesday, they were hard at work. On Wednesday, they sat idle and remained so for over a day. Why? Jindal isn’t sure. He said that every time he talked to a Coast Guard representative, he got a different answer. And Coast Guard spokesman, Lt Cmdr Dan Lauer said they were all in this together since the real enemy was the oil. Chew on this, the Coast Guard had to confirm there were fire extinguishes and life vests on board and then were having trouble reaching the people who built the barges. ( Not sure the relevance there, but what ever.) Jindal cannot overrule the Coast Guard although he attempted to reach the White House with his concerns. Finally after what have seemed like an eternity to the Governor the barges were back at work.
Does this seem at all similar with the feds refusal of international help for weeks before finally accepting the proffered Dutch assistance this week? Sure does to me. Do you see the spectre of politics at work anywhere? Just wondering. Han g in there Governor Jindal and keep the pressure on!
Just another week in the Gulf.
Peter King is a writer for Sports Illustrated who specializes in covering professional football. He has a short column near the back of each issue of the magazine which is entitled, “Things I Think I Think.” I like his musings but, better yet, I like the title, indeed, I am a bit envious of the title. At least, I thing that’s what it is. I would like to have some sort of regular thoughts, nothing profound, just a bit thought-provoking; about something. Obviously, I am not expert enough on any subject to be as specific as Mr King.
He is not the first member of the media to have a regular feature with a catchy title. Paul Harvey had more than one. I well remember, over my shoulder a backward glance and partly personal. There was Charles Kuralt and over the road. And there was President Roosevelt with his fireside chats which was the first great presidential use of the media.
Reagan was known as “The Great Communicator” in some circles and in many instances President Obama has excelled in that area as well . But, alas, I know my sights need to aim more in the Shetland pony than the Palomino or Clydesdale.
From my category list, politics would seem a good area on which to focus, or sports or the media. Withing those areas, there are any number of popular tags that reappear often- Democrats, the media, Israel, among others. Better yet, there are others who desperately seek to provide fodder- Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden,Madame Secretary,etc.
What I shall seek is to provide a wry but not sharp look at folks and things from time to time, not quite like the quotes section of The Limbaugh Letter, but perhaps down a similar path. So, we shall consider this as the first installment of the Grounds from the Percolator and see where the aroma takes us.
Sort of an open ended question, is it not? I want to begin big and then move downward from famous people to not so famous ones. The late ABC newsman Paul Harvey was always one of most favorite newspeople . It seemed to me that he was almost in a class by himself; at once reporter, commentator and yet never too full of himself. Since he died earlier this year he just has not been replaced. Don’t know what ABC has done to fill he void, doubtful they even could.
On the other hand, Charles Kuralt, North Carolina native and Tarheel alum was host for years of Sunday Morning on CBS as well as other segments here and there. He died in 1997 after hosting the program for 15 years. He may not have been replaced in the strictest sense but he was succeeded by CBS’ own Charles Osgood. And Osgood has put his own stamp on the show while for this viewer retaining the same “feel”. One was replaced, one not.
Our own presidency provides for me the greatest example of replacement or succession,if you will. Potentially, every 4 yeras we replace our chief executive. We have been doing so for over 200 years. Through war( Roosevelt to Truman ) assasination- Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy; death, Roosevelt, Harrison, Harding ; the office changes hands. Often it is controversial. Try the 1876 contest between Tilden and Hayes before you leap to any conclusions.
The system has worked, not always to our liking, but it has worked. Our head of state can be replaced so perhaps we should be careful not to toot, toot our own horn so loudly.
One small personal example, actually one example that was repeated. Way back in 1979, my company prepared to transfer to a somewhat distant locale. Mrs THT and I were quite active in our church and that made our departure more difficult. I will confess to feeling a bit smug about the positions I held and thought how will they do without me. I somehow forgot that the church was 100 years old and, just maybe would carry on. It did.
Fast forward some 13 years. Same church, a bit greater position of leadership and another job transfer. Imagine my feeling when I jokingly told someone in a meeting how easy I wold be to replace. Another person responded, I don’t know about that and actually was not kidding. Proud was I, oh yeah. Again was I replaceable,see previous lesson. Seemed almost as if I were being taught a spiritual lesson to not be overly enamored with myself. Still working on it some, not so much as before.
Not nearly as proud of my humility, either. Ha!
If possible and I doubted that it was, the media is moving to a new level of Obamaitis or whatever term you might choose to conjure up. Try these examples. Newsweek has a cover article, with photo, entitled Obama on Obama . Now who wouldn’t like a title like that. I was gonna read the whole article and actually did read excerpts. But after one of the first sentences, maybe the first, spoke of how the President was coming around to loving power, I decided I had had enough. By the way, one can compliment Jon Meacham if one is enamored with the article.
Example #2 would be Time who certainly could not be outdone. Their cover article, accompanied by an extremely close, closeup; was entitled,The Meaning of Michele. This of course refers to the first lady For this article we thank Nancy Gibbs and Michael Scherer . As Paul Harvey might have said, one more?, Alright. U.S. News and World Report devotes their entire issue to the Obama Revolution. Based on the cover, it presumes to tell us how the President is changing everything. Whether that is true or good or bad, remains to be seen.
Can we describe the overall coverage as fawning, to a degree yes. Oh wait, one comment about where the media has erred. Where is the cover article about Bo, probably the greatest First Family pet ever? Remember, he is the same breed as Ted Kennedy’s dogs. Okay, Dog World and Dog Fancy, what is wrong with you guys? Bo must have equal treatment!
Do you sometimes wonder though if there is a disconnect between Obama policies and Obama the individual ? I suppose that has been true with many presidents, although not all. I think that #44 probably ranks#1 or maybe #2 as far as the media goes.But it is still early, only four months into the term. Perhaps TOTUS can conjure up some words of wisdom to further burnish the image. Stay tuned.
After all, he has nominated for the Supreme Court a judge who might just have saved baseball a decade or so ago. More on Ms. Sotomayor later.
Yesterday, the country lost a great man, a worthy recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a radio legend for 57 years ,an Okie transplanted to Chicago. At the age of 90, Paul Harvey passed away in Arizona, his family at his side. It was just over nine months ago that his wife of 68 years, who was his faithful collaborator and producer; passed away. Fittingly, both were in the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
I well remember hearing him as a child and his voice and style were a constant to me over the years. I cannot write about him but from afar but he always seemed to be a gentleman’s gentleman. I will always remember, ” a potpourri of the news, guesstimate, trendency and some much more. I would be remiss if I did not mention the well chosen, ” Ahh” that so well punctuated a news story. To be certain, if he endorsed a product, one could count on it as one could count on him.
He will be missed. Godspeed and Shalom.
I sorta borrowed the title from all time favorite newsman, Paul Harvey , a person who can genuinely be called a living legend . Anyway , here in our little town of Elizabeth City, I have been observing a kinds, sorta phenomenon of late . That would be a veritable explosion of church expansions . I can think of at least five church building projects that are either ongoing or ( in one case ) just completed . At least three of these when completed will dramatically alter the size, shape etc of the existing facilities . I believe I am correct in observing that none of the aforementioned churches are from traditional denominations . What this means, I do not know. Should I be excited about this- I think yes but I dont know why for certain; knowing that as clothes dont necessarily make the man neither do buildings necessarily make the church . Let us hope that this building boom that started with brick and mortar extends to God at work in the lives of people .
As Paul Harvey says from time to time , this is partly personal . On Sunday , one of the worlds two greatest grandchildren turns eight years old . As a proud ” Papa ” , I would like to say happy birthday buddy and have a great day . Are you really sure you are already eight years old ? It is most fitting that you are eight since your favorite driver used to be number eight and is now number eighty eight, whoever he is . And before I go, an official tarheeltalker happy anniversary wish to El Rushbo himself on the 20th anniversary of his radio program. Give em 20 more , Rush !!
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