Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

July 5, 2013

'Searching' for freedom in wrong places

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I read a story the other day on Reason.com about a sneaky little thing they’re doing in Ohio.

They set up a sign saying that there’s a drug checkpoint ahead. However, 1) there is no drug checkpoint ahead and 2) drug checkpoints have been ruled unconstitutional.

But the “warning” of a drug checkpoint causes erratic behavior in some drivers who then make an illegal u-turn, for example. And the police use that behavior as a reason to pull over those drivers and institute a search because of the newly created suspicion of drugs.

I hope you didn’t think that by “sneaky,” I meant good in any way.

Personally I don’t understand how checkpoints are legal at all. They really do seem like the kind of thing that is done in other countries and shouldn’t be done here. I guess the Supreme Court decided that checkpoints aren’t “unreasonable.” But I’d beg to differ.

•••

The U.S. government continues to have misplaced anger in the Eric Snowden/NSA flap.

On Wednesday American allies in France, Spain and Portugal refused to allow the plane of Bolivian president Evo Morales to fly through their airspace on the suspicion that Snowden was on board. The plane was rerouted to Austria and searched.

Can you imagine Air Force One — while carrying President Obama — being “rerouted” to another country and searched under suspicion that some “bad guy” was on it? How do you think we’d react to that?

While we’re rallying our allies looking for Snowden, we’re riling the rest of the world who seem to believe — and rightly so in my opinion — that we’ve gotten too big for our proverbial britches.

The most bothersome part to me is still that I don’t look at Snowden as a traitor at all. I still see him as the hero in this fiasco and wish there were more people like him.

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