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ACLU Creates Map of US "Constitution-Free Zone" 979

Posted by kdawson
from the stay-well-inland dept.
trackpick points out a recent ACLU initiative to publicize a recent expansion of authority claimed by the Border Patrol to stop and search individuals up to 100 miles from any US border. They have created a map of what they call the US Constitution-Free Zone. "Using data provided by the US Census Bureau, the ACLU has determined that nearly 2/3 of the entire US population (197.4 million people) live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders. The government is assuming extraordinary powers to stop and search individuals within this zone. This is not just about the border: This 'Constitution-Free Zone' includes most of the nation's largest metropolitan areas.'"
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ACLU Creates Map of US "Constitution-Free Zone"

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:43PM (#25502025)
    Wouldn't it be easier to make a "Constitution Applies" zone?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:46PM (#25502079)

    ...the "Constitution-Lite Zone"

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:50PM (#25502125) Journal

    No.

    There is no "Constitution Applies Zone" anywhere. Most of the US Constitution has been voided without protest by those that support the various way's it has been voided.

    You want to support the Constitution? Start with supporting 2nd Ammendment. If we have right to "lawyers" (nowhere in the Constitution) then why aren't we supporting giving arms to everyone who can't afford them?

    That is the last thing the government wants, and armed (and getting angry populace). Imagine the response we'd get from congress if a million ARMED people showed up in DC demanding that they STOP funding the bailout.

    I know I'd go, if there were 999,9999 others willing to do the same thing.

    However doubtful that is, Congress remains in office with a sub 10% approval rating, thinking that they're awesome.

  • We must do this! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:51PM (#25502149) Homepage

    It's the only way to make Real America (TM) safe from the liberal terrorists inhabiting the border regions!

  • Jurisdiction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Detritus (11846) on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:57PM (#25502223) Homepage
    What happens if I'm 50 miles away from the border and I tell some nosy Border Patrol agent to get stuffed, I'm under no obligation to answer his questions. If he was stupid enough to make an issue of it, what could he charge me with? I legally don't have to talk to my state and local police, other than to identify myself.
  • by Harin_Teb (1005123) on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:57PM (#25502231)

    The right to a defense attorney in a CRIMINAL trial is implicit in the right to due process of law. I'm sure why you used that as your analogy for the right to bear arms. Due process of law (the garunteed right) is impossible if a party does not have the opportunity to have competent counsel.

    Yes we do have the right to bear arms. That right however is not abridged when the government does not give everyone a gun. Just like you don't get a lawyer for civil trials, or misdemeanors.

    The difference: Bering arms is a proactive right (ie you have the right to do X). The right to due process however is a reactive right (you have the right for the government not to do Y to you). The government does not abridge your rights by failing to help you do X, they do abridge your rights by doing Y to you.

    Make sense?

  • Re:What about... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:58PM (#25502235) Homepage
    Also, areas close to party conventions.
  • by LearnToSpell (694184) on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:59PM (#25502251) Homepage
    I know I'd go, if there were 999,9999 others willing to do the same thing.

    And there you have modern America in a nutshell, folks.
  • Re:I like that... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zenaku (821866) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:00PM (#25502259)

    The ACLU is making their point very effectively, but I think they drew up this map of theirs rather indiscriminately. I agree with their stance, but. . . their reasoning is sloppy.

    I question the total coverage of Michigan, as they appear to be treating the shores of all the great lakes, including Lake Michigan, as a "costal border," even though Lake Michigan lies entirely within the United State. And they are including much more of Minnesota and Wisconsin than they should as well, again by treating the lake shores as a border. Pop over to google maps and see where the actual border going through Lake Superior is. . . it's nowhere near the US shore.

  • by eln (21727) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:03PM (#25502295) Homepage

    I grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and have been through border patrol checkpoints literally hundreds of times. Since I'm white, they always just look in my car (looking for anyone that "looks" illegal, meaning brown people), and wave me on. However, I often see cars pulled over to the side being searched, presumably for drugs.

    The ACLU claims that the Border Patrol regularly exceeds its authority in these checkpoints to look for things other than illegal immigrants or contraband from across the border, and they are absolutely right. It is interesting to note that occasionally one of these border patrol stations will have a sign up telling you what they've accomplished lately. It's never about how many illegal aliens they've captured, but rather how many pounds of narcotics they've confiscated. They claim the right to search your car because you are near the border, and any contraband they find is assumed to have been smuggled across the border, whether it actually was or not.

    To people that have grown up around the Mexican border, it's no surprise that the border patrol can do pretty much whatever they want in these zones. They will pull you aside at these checkpoints for anything that looks suspicious, whether it's related to border security or not, especially if you are Hispanic.

    These checkpoints have always been unsettling to me. While I understand that the Border Patrol needs to be able to operate at least to some degree within our borders in order to protect the border, it is ridiculous that I have to pass through checkpoints just to get from one city in America to another city in America, and that American citizens who happen to be of Hispanic descent are treated as criminals while traveling entirely within the United States just because of their skin color.

    The checkpoint I've been through the most is just north of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and a good 60 miles away from the border. In order to go from Las Cruces (the second largest city in New Mexico) to points north (including Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico), you have to pass through this checkpoint. This means that thousands of people every day, most of whom are residents of the state of New Mexico and were not in Mexico at any point in the recent past, get to be harassed by the Border Patrol just because they want to travel within their own state.

  • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pichu0102 (916292) <pichu0102@gmail.com> on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:04PM (#25502335) Homepage Journal

    If he was stupid enough to make an issue of it, what could he charge me with?

    Everyone has committed a number a crimes throughout their lifetime, even if they don't know it, due to the large number of laws on the books.

    It's just a matter of combing through your life and finding which of those laws you've broken.

  • by Pichu0102 (916292) <pichu0102@gmail.com> on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:06PM (#25502367) Homepage Journal

    Where are we going to go? How many countries can you name that are not worse than the US, or aren't following the US' lead in these matters?

  • by Altus (1034) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:08PM (#25502383) Homepage

    we have no idea when this will stop.

    It wont

  • by dragoncortez (603226) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:08PM (#25502393) Journal
    I'm not real worried about fleeing the country. I'm sure we'll take the rest of the world down with us.
  • Stupid Guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fm6 (162816) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:11PM (#25502423) Homepage Journal

    You want to support the Constitution? Start with supporting 2nd Ammendment.

    Oh please. I'll acknowledge that you have the right to own guns for self protection and for hunting. But I'm tired of hearing the claim that private guns somehow safeguard our civil rights. Quite the opposite. As any Iraqi will tell you, rights that are enforced by private thuggery only deliver rights to those with the most thugs.

    Especially absurd is the recurring theory that private guns prevent the national government from becoming dictatorship. Unless you're one of those fringe idiots who advocates private ownership of nukes and other WMDs, the idea of a some plucky band of guerillas restoring democracy is pure fantasy.

  • by nightsweat (604367) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:12PM (#25502429)
    Lake Michigan is entirely within the bounds of the US. Chicago is nowhere near the border.
  • by Cyberax (705495) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:13PM (#25502453)

    Why such fixation on handguns?

    Can you remember the last time a constitution violation has been protested by a violent mob carrying guns, shooting police officers and lynching everyone in Capitol?

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:17PM (#25502517) Homepage Journal

    If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:19PM (#25502545)

    when they start defending my other Constitutional rights. What's the ACLU's position on the 2nd Amendment or the 10th Amendment, for example? Yeah, I thought so. Face it, they're a far left-wing organization with no concern for the Constitution except when it suits their purposes.

    Roger Baldwin and Crystal Eastman founded the ACLU in 1920 along with three other organizations dedicated to the most leftist of causes. The histories of these two individuals belie their claims of patriotism and respect for the Constitution.

    Baldwin openly sought the utter destruction of American society. Fifteen years after the founding of the ACLU, Baldwin wrote: "I am for Socialism, disarmament and ultimately, for the abolishing of the State itself ... I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."

    Earl Browder, the general secretary of the Communist Party of the United States, admitted that the ACLU served as a "transmission belt" for the party. Baldwin agreed, claiming, "I don't regret being a part of the communist tactic which increased the effectiveness of a good cause."

  • Re:What about... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:19PM (#25502551)

    ...or areas that infringe on other amendments [wikipedia.org] of the U. S. constitution...ie, the entire states of Hawaii, California, New York, New Jersey, and in fact to a large extent, the entire country since 1934 [wikipedia.org]. (oops...ACLU doesn't like [aclu.org] that one!)

  • Re:D.C. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:20PM (#25502557)

    Nah, the Supreme Court finally told the D.C. government that at least part of the Constitution [wikipedia.org] actually does apply there.

    Unfortunately for the ACLU it is the part of the Constitution that they most loathe.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:22PM (#25502587)
    Follow on question: What percentage of the original thirteen colonies is currently considered "Real America"?
  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Relic of the Future (118669) <dales@nOSPAM.digitalfreaks.org> on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:25PM (#25502613)
    I love it; you mention Iraq, and then claim that a few dedicated persons with nothing but small arms couldn't possible stand in the way of the US Government. Would you like to try for the other foot?
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:26PM (#25502637) Homepage

    Claiming that something is "implicit" is the way that Supreme Court usually rules that a right is not a right, even though the COTUS says that it is a right. For example, it was considered "implicit" in the Kelo v. New London ruling that simply generating more tax revenue was a public use of land, and thus any seizure of land that could generate more revenue in someone else's hands was a public use of that land that allowed eminent domain.

    I happen to think that it's a great idea to guarantee legal counsel. However, the fact of the matter remains that it is not objectively required in order to provide due process of law. The main reason it's required today is that we have an overly complex legal code that sometimes Windows' source code look lightweight and elegant, and juries that often uncritically accept whatever bullshit a prosecutor tries to feed them. Ain't much use for a public defender when you have juries that believe stuff like the argument one prosecutor made in a case I read where he said that an auto mechanic booked a flight from one end of the state to the other, shot his ex-wife and snuck back home to have dinner with his girlfriend. Oh, and he had no flight record either to prove his "theory."

    We're often much better off when the judiciary **advices** that something is implicit, than when the judiciary actually acts on that. Too often that's just the judges legislating from the bench.

  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grassy_knoll (412409) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:26PM (#25502639) Homepage

    "I'll acknowledge that you have the right to own guns for self protection and for hunting. But I'm tired of hearing the claim that private guns somehow safeguard our civil rights."

    Well, do you acknowledge the right of self defense against agents of an oppressive state?

    If nothing else, having a significant percentage of the population armed and trained gives pause to an oppressive regime which would use force against it's citizens.

  • Re:Just trying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grey_14 (570901) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:28PM (#25502665) Homepage

    This has everything to do with getting people used to being searched illegally.

    Wrong, It has to do with getting people used to being searched LEGALLY, for no particular reason, and whenever the authorities feel like it.

    Because if it's legal, It must be right.

  • by xant (99438) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:28PM (#25502671) Homepage

    Most of the Canadian population is also within 100 miles of the US border. Apparently we get to search you guys, too.

  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:31PM (#25502703)

    I wouldn't consider armed militias a functioning government. These militias are causing trouble, but they are a far cry from providing an alternative to the government sanctioned by the US military.

    What you would get is the same thing as in Iraq: some "restless" areas that occasionally get "pacified" via massive military incursions. Peace might only be temporary and tenuous, but Iraq is still a single country.

  • by plasticsquirrel (637166) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:33PM (#25502717)

    Dear Ralph:

    There's four borders in this country. Pick one and head out. We don't need whiners like you in a small mess like this. Real Americans can take a look around, and say "I've seen worse." and rebuild. If you're not interested in that, move.

    signed:

    Real American.

    Translation: "People who complain or criticize the current state of affairs are whiners. 'Real Americans' are people who agree with me that things aren't so bad. And if you criticize the country or think that things are bad here, then you should leave."

    Anyone care to explain how this got modded +5 insightful?

  • by b96miata (620163) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:35PM (#25502755)

    While it's phrased somewhat trollishly, parent has an excellent point. The ACLU tends to defend only those portions of the constitution they find convenient. (like nearly everyone else in the country)

    Imagine the fits they'd have if the same sort of restrictions and red tape placed on gun ownership were applied to say....exercising religions other than Christianity.

    There's probably a good argument to be made about the 2nd amendment being the beachhead for the erosion of the bill of rights - it was certainly being smacked around long before the gov't. had the convenient bogeyman of terrorism in its arsenal. Once they took that out in the name of public safety, it became more palatable for assembly, speech, etc. to go by the wayside.

    While I'm glad to have the ACLU around to defend 95% of the constitution, unless they take a big change of course, there's always going to be a need for another org. to be there to defend that pesky 2nd amendment they wish would just go away.

  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Utini420 (444935) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:35PM (#25502767)

    This argument always goes in circles like this, doesn't it?

    I don't contend for one second that me and my 'bitty cannon (or assault rifle, whatever you like) are really going to stop the US Army, BlackWater, or even local SWAT. If they REALLY want me, they can just fly over with drones and bombs, right? I mean, lets assume we repeal all weapons control laws of any kind, and the only barrier is your pocket book. Buy an Apache chopper for all I care. Well, unless your personal budget is in the billions, the US Army is gonna win that arms race. In the end, they have the bomb, right?

    I say we make 'em use it. Sure, they could nuke my house. But I don't think they want to, and I don't think they have the stones for it. Can me, two buddies, and 3 AKs make SWAT go runnin' for bigger help? Sure, doesn't really even sound hard. Could we withstand a seige or greater fire power? Of course not.

    But just because Big Brother can blow your house down, don't just roll over on the assumption that he will. Make him do it, and live with the consequences.

  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hyppy (74366) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:36PM (#25502781)

    Especially absurd is the recurring theory that private guns prevent the national government from becoming dictatorship. Unless you're one of those fringe idiots who advocates private ownership of nukes and other WMDs, the idea of a some plucky band of guerillas restoring democracy is pure fantasy.

    In order for America to turn into a dictatorship, civil unrest must be quashed by those in power. The obvious agent to perform that would be the military. It would be quite easy for the military to corral an unarmed populace with tear gas and riot gear. It would be nearly impossible, though, to convince many service members to start shooting at armed citizens that look and speak just like them, in their own country. Soldiers/etc have a hard enough time dealing with killing dehumanized enemies in foreign countries. Orders to kill Joe the Plumber would result in a quick mutiny.

  • Re:D.C. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grassy_knoll (412409) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:37PM (#25502789) Homepage

    Which is exactly why some of us can't bring ourselves to support the ACLU, even if we agree with some of their other goals.

    How, exactly, is being against the right of self preservation somehow supporting civil rights?

  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maxume (22995) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:38PM (#25502799)

    The U.S. military in Iraq is trying pretty hard not to kill people. If they weren't doing that, the few dedicated persons with nothing but small arms would be nothing but small pieces of corpses.

  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jabithew (1340853) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:40PM (#25502827)

    But Americans can't ever remember that their freedom was handed to them by the French. That would be...unpatriotic. Like remembering the fiasco that was the war of 1812.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:41PM (#25502845)

    Because the 2nd A is the cornerstone of everything. It's not that I am contemptuous of the other 9, it's just that I realize what protects the other 9 from dissappearing (hint: it's not the legal system)

  • Re:I like that... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JLDohm (741501) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:41PM (#25502847) Homepage

    I like that Michigan is one of the few elite states that is entirely within the constitution free zone. WOOO go us!

    As a fellow Michigan resident, I'm not so thrilled.

    Oh come on. That pesky constitution was just slowing us down. Now we can spend more time thinking about the children

  • by R2.0 (532027) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:43PM (#25502869)

    My mental definition of "border" means where the US abuts another country. While I agree with the ACLU's idea, shading in all three coasts seems like gilding the lily, or do the new Border Patrol rules apply to coastlines as well? If not, the numbers quoted are SUBSTANTIALLY lower.

  • by hargrand (1301911) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:48PM (#25502929)

    Well, I support the 2nd ammendment. I also support the 9th and 10th as well, which in case you forget state:

    Amendment 9 - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment 10 - The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    So which of the emumerated powers in the U.S. Constitution give Federal Government the power to redistribute individual wealth, provide for individual education, provide for individual welfare and security?

    Oh, and what about the 5th?

    Amendment 5 - No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Why is it that the unborn are deprived of life without due process?

    Nope, ACLU didn't go far enough... the whole country is a Constitution Free Zone.

  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:48PM (#25502951)

    The U.S. military in Iraq is trying pretty hard not to kill people. If they weren't doing that, the few dedicated persons with nothing but small arms would be nothing but small pieces of corpses.

    It is absurd to believe that would not apply even moreso to an internal conflict. It is a heck of a lot easier for otherwise reasonable men to kill people who do not look like them, do not speak their same language and do not share the same culture. Such a policy as you propose turned on american citizens by american troops would result in massive demoralization, mutiny and desertion.

  • by KevinKnSC (744603) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:58PM (#25503097)

    Do you really want to live in a place where there's such a thing as "a perfectly legal stop to verify documentation"? That's not the America I grew up in.

  • Re:I like that... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Qzukk (229616) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:00PM (#25503117) Journal

    All the lakes DO however have international shipping lanes in them which is how they could justify it

    I suspect that if the Border Patrol is responsible for international ports on that lake's shore, then the Border Patrol will justify it in the exact same way.

  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JWSmythe (446288) * <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:02PM (#25503139) Homepage Journal

        If there was a revolution in the United States, it would be much different.

        The government army is obviously better armed. It is also staffed entirely by volunteers. Those volunteers have friends and family in the civilian sector of the United States. That would make most of them less than willing to conduct military missions against civilians of the United States. A percentage would in turn join the people's army.

        The people's army would be not so well armed, but have a vast experience base. How many veterans are there from just WWII, Korea, and Vietnam? How many are sitting on at least a few weapons? How many would lend their skills and training to protect the people of the United States of America, exactly what they intended to do when they joined the military originally?

        An army of thousands, who would be quickly split, versus an army of millions. The 2005 US Census showed that there were 24.5 million US veterans, only 9.5 million are 65 or older. There are 1.4 million active duty US military.

        If it were to come down to it, and I had a seasoned 66 year old veteran standing at my side, I'd have a lot of faith that he would do what he was suppose to. Defend the people of the United States. At very least, I'd rather be on the side of 25 million seasoned vets and their families, AND the available knowledge and equipment provided by dissenting military.

        I agree completely, a revolution now is nothing like the American Revolution against England, nor the American Civil War. This will be a new type of war. If things aren't resolved soon, it will unfortunately be one for the history books, assuming anyone survives to write them.

  • Re:I like that... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rm999 (775449) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:06PM (#25503179)

    Maryland shouldn't be that covered. I used to live there and know a huge chunk of the state is not within 100 miles of the ocean. I think this map is incorrectly including bays (Delaware and Chesapeake Bays in this case) in their calculations. That big bulge near MD/DE is not accurate.

    I would also point out the same thing with the Great Lakes. For example, lake Michigan is US property, so the beach on the US side is not considered an international border.

  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:08PM (#25503203)
    It always amazes me how many people completely miss the point of the 2nd Amendment. The idea that it had anything to do with hunting is absolution absurd. Given that hunting was a common way for people to get their food at the time, putting an amendment into the national constitution makes as much sense as it would be for congress to make an amendment to the constitution today that acknowledges your right to go to the grocery store.

    While the self protection bit makes a LITTLE more sense, I'm pretty sure that in 1791 it was still the norm for a man to kill another man if a bloody axe wielding maniac busts through your door in the middle of the night instead of calling for help and waiting 45 minutes for 'authorized' protection to arrive. So, it is unlikely that self protection from non-government entities was a factor.

    The point of the 2nd amendment was clearly intended to make sure that private citizens had arms for protection from GOVERNMENT employees. Or, better yet, to make government entities think twice before getting too far out of hand. You may agree with the founding fathers, or you may disagree, but it is clear what the point of the 2nd amendment was.
  • Re:Here's a list: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Estanislao Martínez (203477) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:08PM (#25503209) Homepage

    The constitution applies in the following zones:

    You seem to have hit "Submit" before you entered the list of pro-America areas of the USA...

  • by rkanodia (211354) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:10PM (#25503229)

    It's crazy. The police walking up to you on the street and asking, "Papers, please" used to be a ham-fisted technique for scriptwriters to illustrate precisely the difference between the Good Free Capitalist Peoples and the Evil Menace That Oppresses The World.

  • by pugugly (152978) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:11PM (#25503263)

    Honestly, from my point of view?

    Because the Second Amendment partisans don't ascribe the the same theory of protection that the ACLU ascribes to the other amendments.

    They see, and are quite vocal about, considering *any* legally mandated responsibility to balance out the right to bear arms as 'infringement'.

    If the other rights were 'protected' with the same vapid reflexiveness the 2nd amendment is 'protected' by the NRA, then it would be perfectly legal to lie about someone publicly (Hard to enforce, but illegal), shout fire in a public theater, take illegal drugs for anything in any way related to religious activities, or any of the other thousands of 'infringements' on the other rights that are actually simply saying that you are still responsible for the consequences to your actions.

    Now - maybe the problem is that the ACLU is not nearly aggressive enough and should be defending libel and slander instead of merely relying on the 'Truth as a defense' theory, or saying that human sacrifice should be fine as long as it's in a religious cause rather than agreeing "Non-religious restrictions still apply to religious activity".

    But they don't.

    So when someone says "gun owners should have a responsibility to register their weapons and not sell them to complete strangers at unregulated gun shows", and the 2nd amendment aficionados have screaming fits about how "If the ACLU cared about *all* the bill of rights instead of just nine of them they would be defending my right to automatic weaponry!", it rings kinda hollow.

    We won't even go into the fact that the same people that reflexively consider gun ownership an 'absolute' right so often vilify the ACLU for the far more moderate stance it carries on the Bill of Rights. How many times has Gitmo been defended by fine upstanding members of the NRA?
    Pug

  • by nschubach (922175) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:15PM (#25503313) Journal

    Why is it that the unborn are deprived of life without due process?

    Now you're just trying to get into a debate on when something is considered life.

    I guess if you wanted to debate it, you have to first be born to become a US Citizen, so any unborn child is therefore not a citizen.

    Then we could get into the definition/interpretation of the word "born" to mean either created or released into another medium (delivered) and debates on the meaning of the 14th.

  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:18PM (#25503349) Homepage Journal
    To reply to you as well as your comment's parent Moryath, I understand that there's a lot of border-related crime going on, but I am mostly concerned with the checkpoints' effects on the common law-abiding American citizen.

    For example, I'm an obviously caucasian male driving a small car and I come to one of these checkpoints where they ask me a few questions and run the dogs around my car. I'm usually alone when I go through, so that rules out me smuggling aliens or being an alien myself. Okay, so I could have a kilo of cocaine hidden under my floorboard, but don't they also CHECK FOR THIS STUFF AT THE BORDER? The real-life checkpoint in question is 40 miles north of the border, up in the mountains. If they need checkpoints up to 100 miles inland, then it strongly implies that (a) they aren't doing their job right the first time, or(b) it's just an excuse for the county to earn a few bucks at the expense of recreational drug users, DUI's, and other low-hanging fruit.

    There was a story in last week's reader about common law-abiding suburban guy who happened to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU who refused one of those searches and they made him get the hell out of his vehicle and sit at the side of the highway while they tore his car apart. Is that what national security is all about?
  • by StalinsNotDead (764374) <umbaga@@@gmail...com> on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:19PM (#25503373) Journal

    That's not the America I grew up in

    Sadly, it looks like the America you're probably going to die in though.

  • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:21PM (#25503403)

    What do YOU propose law enforcement officials do if they conduct a perfectly legal stop to verify documentation, and there is reasonable cause during the stop to suspect that other laws are being broken?

    I have a solution; eliminate these immoral and impractical drug laws and arrest the people responsible for the harm caused by these laws (that is make them criminally and civilly responsible for the damage and hardship they have caused people). Punish the bad guys.

  • by Yaztromo (655250) <`yaztromo' `at' `mac.com'> on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:21PM (#25503415) Homepage Journal

    Why is it that the unborn are deprived of life without due process?

    Because the Amendment in question begins with No person . And a small clump of cells which merely has the potential of eventually becoming human is no more a person than my toenail clippings are.

    Yaz.

  • by wilder_card (774631) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:23PM (#25503443)

    "So which of the emumerated powers in the U.S. Constitution give Federal Government the power to redistribute individual wealth,"

    Amendment 16, (1913), "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

    Read it and weep.

  • by Darby (84953) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:25PM (#25503475)

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around a description of Obama as "Centrist."

    Well, your difficulty is due to the fact that you don't have any sort of a reasonable reference.

    The Republican party is essentially the far right extreme, or corporate fascist. They are out there on the fringe.
    The Democratic party is essentially moderate right wing with a few centrist/ moderate left elements.

    So if you hear somebody described on the media in the US as "extremely liberal", what they mean is something between centrist and moderate right.
    What they'll describe as "centrist" is hard right and what they call "right" is the far right fringe of the right wing.

    So Obama is pretty much centrist, although leans a bit far to the right. It's just that since WW2, after defeating the fascists (which the US industrialists at the time were rabidly opposed to. They loved fascism and wanted it here badly.) the US took a hard right turn and has continued down that path until now we're living under the system we fought WW2 against.

    So, it's really easy to wrap your head around the idea that Obama is a centrist, but you have to actually understand what that means, what the left and right are and how America was designed explicitly to be neither, meaning both left and right are anti-American.

    It's this deeply gross level of ignorance over basic, simple concepts which you demonstrate which is endemic in America these days and why so many weak willed fools let themselves be so easily manipulated to work against their own best interests.

    If you knew anything at all about history, politics, or damn near any other related field you wouldn't have a hard time wrapping your head around a basic simple fact.

    Please for everyone's sake try and learn a little bit about reality or don't vote.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:28PM (#25503533)

    "There are specific checkpoints in place along the routes, where the border patrol makes a stop of these buses, and they run citizenship checks. About once every 30-50 stops, they make an arrest - a SINGLE arrest."

    "In short - the only people really being stopped by the border patrol are buses that they know cater to illegal immigrants. Ordinary citizens, as the ACLU claims, are not being stopped and harassed by border patrol agents - its simply not happening."

    That has to be the best example of XOR I've seen an a while

  • by amRadioHed (463061) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:36PM (#25503639)

    That is ridiculous anti-ACLU bullshit. Please back up your retarded comment or GTFO.

  • by profplump (309017) <zach-slashjunk@kotlarek.com> on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:38PM (#25503677)

    It *is* a perfectly valid Sunday activity, unless there's evidence that you're planning to hurt people. Having a car is not evidence that you're going to commit a crime. Sending someone a letter threatening to run them down with your car is.

    Your cell phone is an electrical timing device. So is your kitchen timer.

    And while we do regulate explosives, there are all sorts of valid reasons to have them or their components in your home or business -- maybe you blow things up for a living, or maybe you grow plants (ammonium nitrate) and heat your home (fuel oil) or run a combustion-powered equipment (diesel).

    I'm sorry you're too scared of life to let anyone else enjoy it. It's sad, but I really must insist that you stop trying to terrorize the rest of the world just because you're afraid.

  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:45PM (#25503729) Homepage

    The Ohio National Guard had no trouble gunning down students. Of course, the students didn't look and and speak just like them--they were "hippies." You know, them.

  • by halber_mensch (851834) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:58PM (#25503887)

    Why is it that the unborn are deprived of life without due process?

    I assume you're referring to clinical abortion with your little quip there. Abortions are medical procedures, not criminal proceedings. The 5th amendment has nothing to say about that.

    But in answer to why the 5th amendment might not apply to the unborn, perhaps it's the same reason you can't claim the unborn as dependents on your taxes or put them on welfare. They are not yet born. Hence the un in unborn. Not that this clears anything up though, because if you were to kill a pregnant mother in a car wreck while drinking you can be charged for two counts of homicide. So the legal status of the fetus is really up in the air.

    I don't think the law is prepared to tackle this dilemma either. At what point do you consider a pregnancy to be composed of two people? I mean, the fetus is connected to the mother, shares her blood, and is inside her very body, growing from her own cells. When does she no longer have authority over that part of her body? Four weeks? Three weeks? Two? When the bastula has split for the first time? When the egg drops? Well there's sperm too, so don't go spanking your monkey unless you're prepared to stand tall before the man. And since this is now a legal life that a mother is responsible for, should we have funerals for fertilized eggs that don't attach to the uterus? Should a bastula be registered with social security as soon as the pregnancy test comes back positive? Shouldn't someone claim it as a dependent on their taxes? And get more welfare for it? And now lets say the pregnancy fails, should there be an autopsy and criminal hearings to see if the pregnant mother was criminally negligent with her diet and exercise routine? And if the mother terminates the pregnancy because of health risk, should she be put on trial?

    Pro-life supporters honestly have an honorable goal, to protect life. I understand that and admire it. But the depth of pandora's box can't be ignored when we open it up and start trying to legally redefine when life starts based on the physiology of a pregnancy. The law has it about as close as it can, in my opinion. When the child leaves the womb and breathes on its own and pumps its own blood, a birth certificate is made out declaring the date and time of birth. This is when the child is legally identified as a solitary living person under the protection of a guardian. The distinction between the mother and fetus prior to that point is contentious on morality, and it should remain that way. The law of a secular society has to end at some point and let morality hold its own turf. This is one of those points.

  • by winwar (114053) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:09PM (#25503999)

    "Much of the time, the border check is circumvented - drug mules or human smugglers "walk" their cargo across the border a few miles and then meet up with a car or truck further into the country, past the on-the-border checkpoint. How would YOU respond to that? The second simplest way is a secondary, redundant checkpoint."

    Easy. Secure the fucking border. If that requires a fence and a minefield so be it. A secure border means it is difficult to smuggle things across it.

    People don't like it because it doesn't follow the border. In many cases there would be US citizens living SOUTH of the fence. Homeland security intelligence at its best....

  • by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:10PM (#25504013) Homepage

    ... I thought the US *was* the evil menace that oppresses the world?

  • by pluther (647209) <pluther@@@usa...net> on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:10PM (#25504017) Homepage

    People who complain or criticize the current state of affairs are whiners. 'Real Americans' are people who agree with me that things aren't so bad.

    Exactly!

    Or, to quote one of my former co-workers in St. Louis: "Where would we be today if the founding fathers had had such disrespect for their leaders?"

  • Re:Here's a list: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:14PM (#25504067)

    I've driven between Phoenix and San Diego numerous times over the last 5 years, and never been asked anything. I roll down my window, turn on the dome light and turn off the headlights if it's night, smile and say 'Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening' to the nice man or woman, and have always been waved on my way.

    Nice to be white.

  • by Richard W.M. Jones (591125) <rich@NoSpAm.annexia.org> on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:15PM (#25504107) Homepage

    Checking cars/people at the border helps a bit, but the good operations have a tunnel under the border.

    So what? Just because you've got prohibition in your country doesn't make it right.

  • by keytoe (91531) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:16PM (#25504119) Homepage

    The actual simplest way would be a good solid fence, but there are people who hate that idea with a passion bordering on insanity for some reason (such as, they don't actually WANT the law enforced).

    No, it's because that's a fucking ridiculous idea. Unless you have someone actually watching the entire length of that fence 24/7, it may as well not be there. If you've got someone watching the fence 24/7, why do you need the fence?

    If they need checkpoints up to 100 miles inland, then it strongly implies that (a) they aren't doing their job right the first time, or(b) it's just an excuse for the county to earn a few bucks at the expense of recreational drug users, DUI's, and other low-hanging fruit.

    No, it's a reaction to the smugglers who are trying to circumvent the at-the-border searches.

    And what's to stop them from walking around that one? Maybe another checkpoint further up the road? Perhaps we should just install checkpoints every 50 miles on every major road just in case.

    Link Please. If he was really a "card-carrying member of the ACLU" I'm willing to bet he was trying to provoke a "story" and did something else, like start physically pushing the officers at the stop, to give police probable cause to detain him while they got a search warrant.

    Yeah - people like this jackass, that tool Martin Luther King, Jr. and that Rosa Parks bitch should just shut up, sit down and be nice, quiet law abiding citizens.

    You seem to be surprisingly accepting of genuinely gestapo methodologies.

  • by Xiroth (917768) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:22PM (#25504181)

    It's crazy. The police walking up to you on the street and asking, "Papers, please" used to be a ham-fisted technique for scriptwriters to illustrate precisely the difference between the Good Free Capitalist Peoples and the Evil Menace That Oppresses The World.

    Then again, so was the use of torture.

  • by mctk (840035) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:45PM (#25504401) Homepage
    Ahhh, yes. He must have pushed an officer just so he could get some publicity! Genius! I'm sure the ACLU didn't look into any of the police reports!

    But really, how would I respond to your drug-mule issue? First, I would recognize that we will never cut off the supply of drugs. And the more we do, the more rewarded individual suppliers are. Every drug bust only entices more into the trade. It's an issue of demand, not supply. No one would sell if Americans didn't buy.

    Illegal immigration? Again, they come to the US because they get jobs here. Find the American companies illegally hiring these immigrants and punish them. Again, it's a demand problem.

    Personally, I don't want a fence on the border, but, you're right, I'm probably insane. I just sort of figure that since an integral part of the free market is freedom of movement, then because of NAFTA, we should not only allow the freedom to move Mexican goods across the borders, but also people. It really seems unethical to me to push for a free-marketish system that restricts one of the fundamentals of the free market in such a way to almost unilaterally benefit the United States.
  • by keytoe (91531) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:48PM (#25504439) Homepage

    You seem to be surprisingly accepting of genuinely gestapo methodologies.

    You have yet to provide any evidence of "gestapo methodologies."

    You've advocated fences around the country, roaming checkpoints and adopting an attitude of complacence in front of the police at all times. That sounds a lot like the definition of gestapo. In fact, that sounds an awful lot like East Germany.

    You and I may agree that the police have a job to do in terms of upholding the laws of our country. I do not, however, condone the unwarranted harassment of innocent citizens in the pursuit of that goal. I'm not alone in this position, either, since the founding fathers explicitly wrote that bit into the constitution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:54PM (#25504495)

    dude did you completely miss the Russians losing to the afghans in the 80's? very comparable to today, and how many of you mechanized unit would be willing to fire on crowds with AMERICANS, even possible family members

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:54PM (#25504511)

    To be a US citizen, you must have been born in the US or follow the standard processes of naturalization.

    The unborn clearly have not been born yet (by definition). The fact that they are illiterate, do not have knowledge about US history/government, and have not resided in the country for at least 5 years means they haven't qualified for the naturalization process.

    Furthermore, they possess no sort of identification nor have they obtained any permit to reside within US territory. One can only conclude that the unborn are therefore illegal aliens and should be taken into custody and deported per our laws.

    If you wish to treat them as living humans, they should be subject to the same laws as any other human. Being that they likely do not qualify for citizenship under any nation's laws - I would suggest deporting them to unclaimed territory such as the region of Antarctica between 90W and 150W.

    YOMV. (Your Opinion May Vary)

  • by DG (989) on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:08PM (#25504639) Homepage Journal

    Young? I think I'm probably older than you are. 21 years in the Army, and still going, thanks.

    Those lessons you are talking about with regards to asymmetrical warfare don't apply in the case of the second amendment, because it is safe to assume that the US Army would be free to smash any home-grown insurgants flat, without regard to collateral damage, because the battle-front and the home-front would be one and the same.

    This is unlike every example you cited, including your own American Revolution, because in every one of those examples, the "pro" army was fighting on foreign soil and could afford to quit.

    As soon as you know the enemy *can* quit, then yes, you can keep plugging away with raids and ambushes, inflicting what casulties you can, and refusing to give open battle to a superior force - until the day when they finally cross whatever threshold triggers the decision to give up and go home.

    Sometimes that threshold is high - Soviets in Afghanistan, US in Vietnam. Sometimes it is much lower - US in Somalia.

    But none of this applies in a "US vs US" conflict. The American government would pull no punches in an armed insurrection on American soil. That has already been demonstrated, in the American Civil War.

    If you have American rebels attempting to overthrow the US government, then the government cannot afford to quit. Where can it go? It has to fight to win, and clean up the mess afterwards. That group of rebels would be facing the raw, unadulterated might of the American military machine, and it would not survive the encounter.

    That being the case, the Second Amendment is toothless. Your right to own an M16 varient will do you no good whatsever against a single tank, never mind an amroured division.

    DG

  • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao.hotmail@com> on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:17PM (#25504733) Homepage

    Much of the time, the border check is circumvented - drug mules or human smugglers "walk" their cargo across the border a few miles and then meet up with a car or truck further into the country, past the on-the-border checkpoint. How would YOU respond to that?

    Legalizing drugs? Making legal immigration easier?

  • by DG (989) on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:20PM (#25504761) Homepage Journal

    You overestimate the vulnerability of equipment to EMP.

    And you underestimate the ability of armed force to intimidate a population, especially when that armed force wears the uniform of legitimate (if not necessarily moral) authority.

    Let's say you form a citzen millitia. Let's say you get as much as a battalion's worth of fighters. Let's say you occupy a rural town, and declare it free of the evil influence of the federal and state governments.

    When the National Guard (who, poor cousins to the real army that they may be, are still far better equipped than your rebel force can ever dream) move to retake the town, who do you think the rest of the country will be cheering for?

    Will Fox News be rooting for the defeat of the National Guard?

    We're not talking about the Army firing into a crowd of peaceful protesters here; we're talking about an armed insurrection on US soil. How are you going to mobilize the masses when you are the bad guys?

    DG

  • by theLOUDroom (556455) on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:36PM (#25504915)
    I am posting from Kandahar City, Afghanistan, where I am stationed for the next little while.

    And you apparently don't seem to get that if what you were saying was true YOU WOULD NOT BE IN AFGHANISTAN.

    If taking out these guys is such a cakewalk, why aren't you home already?
    Or is the real problem at lot more difficult than you let on?

    Being an occupying army in a country that just doesn't want you is a losing proposition.
    You're stuck with pretty much two choices:
    1. Kill everyone
    2. Go home

    Every one of those people you kill has a cousin or brother or an uncle who is going to be pissed. Either you're going to commit genocide (which has been successful in the past), or they will continue to fight you for roughly a thousand years. (Think Ireland.)

    That is no longer the case. No militia is capable of withstanding the kind of destructive force a modern combat team (a company of mechanized infantry, a troop of tanks, and two artillery pieces) is capable of putting out.

    You're thinking like a grunt, not as a person with an understanding of history.
    A rebel force with inferior weapons does not go head to head with a superior force. They wear you down with unexpected sudden engagements and then disappear back into the general population of the country.

    Try reading about Cuba during the 1950's. The guy with the biggest and most guns doesn't automatically win.
    I can just imagine someone like you lecturing how a leaky boat with 82 people on it had zero chance of overthrowing the US-backed ruler of Cuba.

    Just to be clear, I'm not rooting for us to "loose" in Afghanistan, and underestimating your enemy is an easy way to ensure defeat.

  • by mctk (840035) on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:53PM (#25505067) Homepage
    I think the current events confirm my belief that, for all our song and dance about the free market, we only implement it insofar as it benefits us.
  • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:55PM (#25505079)

    He's a passive aggressive jerk,...

    Hmmm, I'm not seeing it. Passive agressive is about avoiding confrontation. Passive aggressive would be be if he avoided having to state his citizenship by using an entirely different road (never passing through the checkpoint at all).

    As to being a "jerk", I don't personally have either the courage or the discipline to do what he does but I consider him to be the truest of American heroes. He is defending my freedom and it would be my honor to be stuck in traffic behind him at a checkpoint.

  • by Seraphim_72 (622457) on Friday October 24, 2008 @09:25PM (#25505853)
    I think that you over estimate the willingness of US soldiers to fire on "friendly" units (i.e. civilians). The officers that I know would resign their commissions before ever doing such a thing. We cant control spin about collateral damage in Iraq, how in the world do you think it would play if it was Boston?

    Sera
  • by Original Replica (908688) on Friday October 24, 2008 @09:25PM (#25505859) Journal
    This is hardly an erosion of rights. You have a choice--you don't have to use the subway or go to the baseball game or when you do go, don't carry bags. An inconvenience, yes, but not a loss of rights.

    I live in NYC, and to say "don't use the subway" is tantamount to saying "don't drive on public roads". The use of the subways is economically unavoidable for most non-rich NYC residents. Daily use of cabs or having a car (and a place to park it) in the city require a fair amount of wealth. The subways are partly funded with tax money, the ball parks are partly funded with government money. They are public spaces. They should not be Constitution Free Zones. I don't object to bomb sniffing dogs hanging out near the subway turnstyles, I appreciate that the NYPD makes a real effort to protect such a likely bomb target. But the bag searches turning up small amounts of pot, or previously open alcohol bottles or other non-terrorism causes for arrest is inevitable. Sure, anyone getting caught for a non-terrorist offense was still breaking a law in the first place, but then the same logic would extend to allow search checkpoints everywhere across America. A significant number of terrorist attacks have been made by driving a car full of explosives into a crowded environment. How would you feel about having your car searched when you went to the grocery store or the mall or to pick up you kids from school? This is definitely an erosion of Rights, one with a justification but an erosion none the less.
  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @09:47PM (#25506005)

    They aren't using small arms. They're using bombs.

    Well... the ones with long lifespans are, at least.

  • by Alsee (515537) on Friday October 24, 2008 @10:03PM (#25506113) Homepage

    - Do you think the government has a real, and appropriate, interest in knowing who and what is coming in and out of the country?

    We are not talking about people crossing the border.
    We are talking about ordinary innocent US citizens being detained and harassed within our country.

    - If so, why is it inappropriate to check at the borders (or at the nearest available transit points) that those crossing have their citizenship documentation or passport and visa documentation, as they are required to carry by law for all cross-border travel?

    We are not talking about people crossing the border.
    We are talking about ordinary innocent US citizens being detained and harassed within our country.

    Yes, I want to live in a country where the laws are enforced.

    Swell. Go move to East Germany or the Soviet Union.
    Ooops, I'm sorry, they are both gone. Well I'm sure you can go find yourself some other police state to go live in.

    Me, I love my country and I hold dear the rights and freedoms so many have given their blood and their lives to defend. I love the Constitution an our Liberties. I want police to pursue criminals, but only within the bounds of the Constitution and with deferrence to our Rights and Liberties, presumptively innocent citizens of a free nation. Yes, sometimes the Constitution is inconvenient to catching and prosecuting criminals. Yes, sometimes our Rights and Liberties are inconvenient to catching and prosecuting criminals. Yes, police often have a difficult job to do. Oh well, it's a difficult job. I expect them to do their job as best they can within the bounds of a free society respecting broad rights and liberties. Yes, I would rather a few more criminals go un-caught than to live in a goddamn police state.

    Being "randomly" stopped on the street in the middle of the day to check that I have ID papers on me? That is inappropriate.

    That is exactly what we are discussing here. Ordinary innocent American being stopped on the street without any cause whatsoever, being detained, intimidated, and threatened by gun-toting gestapo coercively demanding answers to questions that they have no right to coercively demand answers to, and coercively demanding 'voluntary' consent to searches and seizures that they have no coercively preform.

    Being checked for my papers when I am doing something for which papers are required, such as traveling between two countries, is not.

    We are not talking about people crossing the border.
    We are talking about ordinary innocent US citizens being detained and harassed within our country.

    You are required by law in every state to carry your drivers' license, automobile registration and proof of insurance papers, if you are driving a vehicle (car, truck, minivan, etc).

    True. And police officers can temporarily order a limited stop for cause, subject to a great many restrictions, and demand to see your license registration and insurance. To somewhat simplify, they then pretty much have to arrest you or let you go on your way. Immigration and customs agents do NOT get to tromp around INSIDE the country seizing and searching innocent citizens in Nazi-style 'papers please' police state arbitrary intimidation and harassment.

    When such vehicles are crossing the border, the US government has a real and important interest in doublechecking that the driver is not either (a) entering or (b) leaving the country with a STOLEN vehicle.

    We are not talking about people crossing the border.
    We are talking about ordinary innocent US citizens being detained and harassed within our country.

    -

  • by camperdave (969942) on Friday October 24, 2008 @10:12PM (#25506171) Journal
    So why does your fruit need to be picked by illegal immigrants? Why not just have it picked by immigrants on a temporary work visa?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @10:12PM (#25506177)

    What the hell? A "US vs. US conflict"?

    Almost every American soldier would have a crisis of conscience if given the order to fire on their own citizenry.

    How long will they continue to get volunteers, or even draftees, if they start using tanks against the populace?

    The American Army isn't a single-minded unit, despite all the training. It's composed of AMERICANS. Open martial law would cause all hell to break lose in the ranks. Also, remember that there is no reason to hold a territory that is in constant conflict. If your enemy is the citizenry, they to hold the territory you must eliminate the citizenry. This isn't an option with a coup - you must have enough support from the citizenry to keep unrest reasonably, otherwise all you end up holding is a hornet's nest. You seem to skip by the Russian occupation of the country that you are now stationed. It was not military defeat, it was a total lack of an economic, political, or military BENEFIT of holding that country.

    You can't throw million dollar bombs at ten dollar soldiers to conquer a one dollar land. Rome suffered this fate, and America will do if it doesn't stop being the tough guy and wasting all its resources.

  • by Python (1141) on Friday October 24, 2008 @11:30PM (#25506577)
    You totally missed the point. What if the US govt. were the bad guys.
  • Re:Stupid Guns (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mjec (666932) <slashdot@mPOLLOCKjec.net minus painter> on Saturday October 25, 2008 @12:17AM (#25506817) Homepage Journal

    I wouldn't consider armed militias a functioning government. These militias are causing trouble, but they are a far cry from providing an alternative to the government sanctioned by the US military.

    I think that's the whole point. By causing sufficient trouble they prevent the government from governing (and thus oppressing). The idea is that no government at all is better than an oppressive government.

    That's the argument anyway. I'm still not sure which side of it I'm on.

  • by TheGeneration (228855) on Saturday October 25, 2008 @01:36AM (#25507239) Journal

    The Supreme Court made two seperate rulings that created the constitutional hole that is wide enough to drive a border patrol truck through.

    United States v. Martinez-Fuerte is what the border patrol uses to create the 100 mile zone in which they can stop anybody -without- cause.

    Illinois v. Caballes [cornell.edu] is a seperate case in which the supreme court ruled that an alert from a drug dog, even when the dog is used without cause, provides probable cause for a search.

    If you read Souter's dissenting opinion it becomes pretty obvious how monumental a screw up Illinois v. Caballes is. It basically does away with the fourth amendment entirely. According to Souter drug dogs have been shown to falsely alert up to 60% of the time. Souter also stated that drug dogs are known to alert to cocaine on cash which may have passed through the hands of several people since it last touched cocaine.

    Now the border patrol took both of these rulings (the power to stop anybody within 100 miles of the border, and the power to conduct warntless searches based on an animals fallable alert) and have turned them into the precedence they need to disregard the constitutional rights of any American in the 100 mile zone. Which, as the article states, 2/3's of all Americans live within that zone.

  • Re:Anti ACLU (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LaskoVortex (1153471) on Saturday October 25, 2008 @02:23AM (#25507503)

    Now they're fighting for the "right" for people to scream "allahu akbar" in their garage while constructing an electrical timing device in a location where C4 is found - you know, your perfectly normal sunday activity.

    That is ridiculous anti-ACLU bullshit.

    His post may have been, but your hysterical defense of them was almost as bad.

    If the post is ridiculous, I don't see how his defense can be hysterical. You completely avoided justifying the retarded comment about C4. Until anyone does, its really hard to call his defense hysterical. I anticipate some idiot responding to my post and never defending the original retarded claims about C4.

  • by ari_j (90255) on Saturday October 25, 2008 @04:47AM (#25508027)
    If you're truly free, you don't have to be aware of your rights for them to be protected from infringement.

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.

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