Busted on YouTube!

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Before you head out tonight, do yourself a favor and check out the version of Busted: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters, put out by the good guys over at Flex Your Rights, the invaluable group that educates citizens to insist on constitutional rights in difficult situations.

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  1. I have been trying to get NetFlix to carry this one, but to no avail.

  2. Interesting lessons, but I find it annoying that every example shows someone with something illegal to hide, so that the video presents the exercise of civil liberties as nothing but a tool to protect criminals. Why don’t they show law-abiding civilians who simply want to keep their and others’ legal, but possibly unpopular, activities private? I’m interested in civil liberties not to shelter inebriated drivers, vandals, and drug pushers, but to protect the free expression of ideas, from which some lasting good can arise. Grrrr.

  3. M,
    I’m right with ya.

    a bit of a thread hijack: The Utne reader discusses libertarians and rights (thought ya’ll’d like to know):

    “For decades libertarian property-rights advocates have been pushing legislation that would force the government to reimburse citizens for “regulatory takings” — hypothetical losses resulting from development limits and regulations like zoning. They claim that such regulations reduce property value, thereby violating the Fifth Amendment injunction against taking private property for public use “without just compensation.” But, Ring argues, supporters of the cause don’t actually expect to be compensated for regulatory takings; they expect that given the choice between a payout and waiving regulations, the government will choose to waive, allowing land owners to develop however they see fit…
    “National libertarian groups are not just funneling big bucks into this campaign to protect a few property owners from eminent domain. They have their sights set on something much bigger ? laying waste to land-use regulations used by state and local governments to protect the landscape, the environment and neighborhoods. Their goal has received little attention, partly because of its stealth mode. But the fact that the libertarians just might pull it off makes the campaign the hottest political story in the West this year.”

    http://www.utne.com/webwatch/2006_260/news/12208-1.html

  4. I bought the video awhile ago — its great, especially for the under 30 set more likely to get flack from Jonny Law.

    Also, you are wrong ‘M’ about someone always breaking the law in the video –in the third scenario on the video the black kid is doing nothing wrong and has nothing in his possession that is illegal.

    The video is a great tool for even those with the shortest of attention spans, 30 minutes and you got the basics to flex your rights, whether you are doing something technically illegal or not…I hope the video goes viral…

  5. Also, you are wrong ‘M’ about someone always breaking the law in the video –in the third scenario on the video the black kid is doing nothing wrong and has nothing in his possession that is illegal.

    On the contrary, just ask any African American and he’ll tell you the kid was guilty of being Black In Public.

    I always feel torn on these 4th, 5th and 6th Amendment issues on grounds of federalism. Thus, while I am very happy to have the constitutional protections that derive from what amounts to judicial activism in cases such as Mapp and Miranda, the problems inherent in a “results oriented” constitutional jurisprudence are too obvious to mention.

    In any case, the video is excellent. It’s a shame this sort of stuff isn’t a required part of every high school civics or American government class.

  6. I told an officer in Utah that he could not search my van and he did anyway.

    That locking the door when you get out trick is pretty slick though…i wish i knew it back then.

  7. Actually, even the guy sitting on the bench was probably guilty of vandalism — the spray paint, drawings that match the marks on the building, and being near the scene of the crime would almost certainly be enough for an indictment.

    In any case, if they showed cases where police searched law-abiding folks, and found no evidence, they wouldn’t have been able to end the story with the person being thrown in jail, which really hammers home the point that seriously bad consequences can follow from ignorance of your rights.

  8. criminal past,

    Yeah, but it’s a little tougher when you don’t have power locks. Somehow I don’t think “it’s just a habit” is going to fly if you’re going around to each door and making sure it’s locked.

    Also, I love how the narrator tells you to use the “all-important peep hole” in the house search scene, since a lot of houses don’t have them, especially on back doors, where police often like to show up in those situations.

  9. Since physically resisting the cops is a big no-no, what do you do if they stick their foot in the door? You can repeat “Officer, unless you have a search warrant I will not let you enter, now please remove your foot” as many times as you like, and maybe you can get the evidence that they collect stricken from the record as a result. Maybe.

    But your furniture will still need new upholstery.

  10. Anyway, Ira Glasser is a former Executive Director of the ACLU. I know that there is a lot that people here don’t like about the ACLU, but the ACLU is a valuable advocate for limiting the powers of the police. The information they put out there, the cases that they take, and the precedents that they labor to set, change, or uphold, are very important for ordinary citizens, not hurting anybody, trying to live their lives and do what they like on their own private property without being hassled by the cops.

    Yes, yes, I know that there are plenty of rights that they don’t labor to defend, and some cases where they take anti-libertarian stances, but they are still effective advocates for a host of vital rights.

    I am proud to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU.

  11. I know that there are plenty of rights that they don’t labor to defend, and some cases where they take anti-libertarian stances, but they are still effective advocates for a host of vital rights.

    Too bad, they could get more members from the libertarian community if they were more consistent. I wonder how many liberal members would they lose?

  12. The kids in the first video weren’t ‘drug pushers.’ They just had a little marijuana on them for their own recreational purposes. But if anyone should have gotten arrested in that video it should have been Troy for his imbecilic ranting ‘You the man!!! Dude, that was like, like, some serious jedi mind games….you the man!!!’

  13. Too bad, they could get more members from the libertarian community if they were more consistent. I wonder how many liberal members would they lose?

    Depends on how they became more consistent. If they spent energy on every type of liberty, and defined all of those liberties in a libertarian manner, then they would lose many of their lefty members and become a small, eccentric libertarian organization. Not to mention an organization that lacks focus.

    OTOH, if they dropped their non-libertarian stances rather than reversing them, i.e. became a more tightly focused organization that is silent on non-core issues, they’d probably pick up more libertarians and lose some lefties. I don’t know which way the balance would work out.

    Of course, some libertarians would probably be upset that they pick and choose among the different aspects of liberty, and refuse to join. (To which I would reply that nobody gets upset if a gun rights organization sticks to the second amendment.) That puritan aspect among libertarians would probably limit the number who join and hence reduce the incentive for the ACLU to become more libertarian rather than left.

  14. I fucking hate cops.

    Love the video.

  15. Too bad, they could get more members from the libertarian community if they were more consistent. I wonder how many liberal members would they lose?

    The problem isn’t membership, it’s leadershit. The ACLU is staffed by leftist lawyers. While libertarian-lawyer isn’t an oxymoron, libertarians tend to share the Lawrence Garfield view. “Lawyers are like nuclear weapons.”

    The Institute for Justice is more libertarian than the ACLU. However, the IJ is focused on the law, and not law-enforcement. We still need an ACLU to protect our fourth and fith amendment rights. Although, lately they seem to be doing a crappy job of it. Perhaps if they were purer (by libertarian standards) they’d be more persuasive.

  16. D.A. Ridgely,

    The “privileges and immunities” clause of the 14th Amendment should take care of any of your concerns.

  17. The advice given to the home owner seems a bit peculiar. When she gets her second chance and does everything the “right” way, along with not consenting to a search, we see her telling guests not to smoke pot in her house, and keep the noise down. We?re also told that we need to know who everyone is, and monitor everyone’s comings and goings.

    All of this is good advice of course, but it smacks of “if you don?t want to be arrested, don?t break the law”.

  18. thoreau,

    Yes, yes, I know that there are plenty of rights that they don’t labor to defend, and some cases where they take anti-libertarian stances, but they are still effective advocates for a host of vital rights.

    Why do you bring this up? To create controversy? I think we’re all aware of the problems that your run of the mill libertarian has with the ACLU.

  19. Anyway, the video has good advice in it.

  20. Interesting lessons, but I find it annoying that every example shows someone with something illegal to hide, so that the video presents the exercise of civil liberties as nothing but a tool to protect criminals.

    The so-called “crimes” are irrelevant to the lesson.

    In the first place, civil rights pertain to everybody. Second, all of those so-called “crimes” were really victimless crimes, activities made illegal by Statist from the left and right. I do not find them annoying, nor do they distract me from the important issue which is excersizing your rights during encounters with the police.

    Actually, even the guy sitting on the bench was probably guilty of vandalism — the spray paint, drawings that match the marks on the building, and being near the scene of the crime would almost certainly be enough for an indictment.

    The kid could have stated clearly to the police officers that he does not consent to searches of his personal belongings, thus avoiding indictment. Besides, merely being near the scene of the crime is not evidence of wrong doing. To me, the police acted as if the kid was guilty for merely being there. I find the mese supposition of guilt by the officers reprehensible and dangerous.

    “National libertarian groups are not just funneling big bucks into this campaign to protect a few property owners from eminent domain. They have their sights set on something much bigger ? laying waste to land-use regulations used by state and local governments to protect the landscape, the environment and neighborhoods. Their goal has received little attention, partly because of its stealth mode. But the fact that the libertarians just might pull it off makes the campaign the hottest political story in the West this year.”

    What was that phrase that applies to this?? Ah, yes: PARANOID CONSPIRACY THEORY.

    So we are to think that government is this big protector of the environment against the destructive hands of property owners? Sheesh.

  21. Interesting. I spent most of my life in a state where possession of pot is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year, although I currently live in a state where standard punishment is continuance (meaning don’t get caught twice in 6 months). Anyway, I was harassed by the police many times, and I never had a bag dumped or my shoes removed or anything like that. Maybe I was lucky, but I never had a cop just demand to do that. They’d ask “is there anything illegal in that bag” and I’d say “no officer”. The way I see it, that’s doing them a huge favor, saving them lots of trouble.

    I’ve had the “flashlight search”, the one you don’t get to refuse consent to because he doesn’t ask.

    Never had them find anything of mine, but if they did, I would never have admitted it. I guess the way I see it, if you admit that the weed is yours, you remove any possibility that the cop will just pocket the shit and smoke it up behind the police station with the other assholes. He really can’t let you go at that point. It would make him an accessory. So really you’re doing him a huge favor by not confessing no matter what. Never had them find it in my shoes, but you know, I do believe I would deny knowledge of how it came to be there just the same. Hey, maybe somone put it there, the possibility always exists.

    Maybe I just haven’t met a sufficiently zealous cop yet.

    And I find it interesting that after I turned 25 or so, cops just stopped bothering me. I guess it’s just that young men commit most of the crime so they get all the harassment.

  22. I’m sending this to my kids.

    That comment about the video showing exercise of civil liberties as nothing but a tool to protect criminals is total crap. I know my kids are good, but I know they aren’t good enough to avoid breaking every pissant law that some overzealous cop could choose to render to some overzealous DA. If a single friend of my kid’s friend had a single joint in my borrowed car…well, you know the rest.

    For those of you who have kids of certain partying age, if you think that none of the people they hang out with have never broken a drug or underage drinking law, then please put on this tin foil hat so I can recognize you on the street and offer you shares in the Brooklyn Bridge.

  23. Also, I would never just give him my license. I always say “I’m going to have to reach into my pocket to get that”. Just so I don’t get shot. Call me paranoid, but I always mention that.

  24. Thanks for that, Nick! I think that if Jefferson and Madison could watch this fine video and its dissemination from a site dedicated to Free Minds and Free Markets, they’d be so delighted.
    Long live our Bill of Rights.

    Kudos to Flex Your Rights. And Kudos to Reason, I’m honored to comment here.

  25. Not being a film critic, I defer to my betters, but whether or not the depicted young artist was actually the suspected vandal seemed to this viewer, to the police officers depicted in the drama, and conceivably to the judge, at least ambiguous.

    The purported object of the film was not to hold a brief for the injustice of racial profiling, but to equip citizens to defend their rights, a noun related to an adjective. The right to do wrong [eg, be protected in driving stoned, defacing others’ property, inducting minors to the pleasures of addictive substances] is, and therefore should be shown as, a cost we willingly pay for the right to do right [eg, generate innovative political philosophy].

    My reference to “drug pushers,” third on my list, pertained correspondingly to the third, not the first, video. An argument by proponents of unlimited government surveillance could simply depict the very same unsupervised gathering, modifying it to bolster their case merely by showing pot supplied to persons not weeks, but, say, a decade shy of the age of majority. That’s why I fear the film undermines its own point.

    The bad consequences of tolerating enforced public inspection of legal activities can indeed include jail, for example through convictions whose wrongful nature may never come to light. An additional threat against which the Bill of Rights guards is the public humiliation that would discourage social progress that depends on individuals’ being left alone long enough to articulate and coordinate a dissent from the status quo.

    It is precisely envisioning the effect of its technically excellent instruction on a high-school-age audience that makes me lament this film’s coarse appeal to instinct, and only instinct, as the preserve of civil liberties. I don’t envy the civics teacher responsible for leading the discussion that would follow Mr. Glasser’s championing of privacy, illustrated as it is exclusively by self- and (possibly) other-defeating behavior. Such a teacher’s charge would be to show that — or at least guide students to ask whether — protecting political or cultural dissent serves, or is consistent with, ultimate community benefit. This film fails to support that view, and shows the social risk attendant when police can’t intervene. All that’s missing to make it the perfect nanny-state vehicle are follow-up scenes of the car crashing and killing someone because the driver was high, the business ruined from graffiti, the kids at the party subsequently dropping out of school and into rehab programs or worse. With friends like this, civil liberties doesn’t need J. Edgar Hoover, RFK, GWB. Is this an instance of the Law of Unintended Consequences or is the ACLU now receiving kickbacks from statists?

    How many teenagers will gain from this video a subtle appreciation of the civic value of non-conformity? Will their images of dissident creativity transcend the works of stoners and vandals? I wish the ACLU had also thrown the Boy-Scout set some motives for protecting citizens’ freedoms from state intrusion, rather than reinforcing the growing superstition that unlimited searches and seizures are the only practices that keep roads, walls, and minors safe.

  26. Left Stream Man, you magnificent troll!

    I grew up in a county that began making payments to landowners who voluntarily agreed to limit development back in the early 1970s. Making “just compensation” is an option, but it has to be budgeted for, just like any other public expenditure. The temptation to write a regulation and push the cost onto a third party is usually too great for elected officials to resist.

    Kevin

  27. I pretty much knew everything on that video but as Ira says kowing is way easier than doing. I’m over the harassment age also but they still scare the shit out of me.

  28. Btw, in certain jurisdictions possessing spray-paint cans on public property is in some circumstances illegal. (We don’t make the news, just report it.)

  29. Tom Green as cop was a great casting choice.

  30. And dont ask why I know this/watch it, but that kid driving is Coop from The Guiding Light.

  31. I am proud to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU.

    My sentiments exactly, Thoreau. The “good outweighs the anti-libertarian bad” is also why I maintain membership. Who better than libertarians to remind the ACLU of what the “CL” is about?

  32. P.L.,

    I am aware of the effect of the 14th Amendment as SCOTUS began after its passage to selectively incorporate constitutional protections and limitations on state government that had previously been assumed to apply only to the relationship between federal government and its citizens. But it is that very selective process together with the Court’s expansive “interpretations” of the meaning of, e.g., due process beyond the plain meaning of the constitutional text that trouble me and many legal scholars irrespective of whether we like the effect of the Court’s rulings.

  33. I told an officer in Utah that he could not search my van and he did anyway.

    The fact that you refuse to allow a search will help in court if you are arrested.

    While many judges will accept refusing a search as “probable cause” and issue a warrant, trial judges can revisit that and question and even suppress warrants they find questionable. Consent to a search will automatically make any evidence admissible unless you can prove the consent was under duress (an extremely high hurdle).

    A cop who goes ahead a conducts a search without consent or a warrant will get bitchslapped by the trial judge if a case goes to court. Unless of course he lies and says you consented to the search in which case it’s “your word against his”. Judges tend to believe cops in spite of the fact that it is well known that they are notorious liars.

    Either way you have nothing to lose by refusing a search or refusing to give statements.

    I am a card-carrying member of both the ACLU and the NRA. In spite of both organizations having disproportionate numbers of of shrill crackpots* and idiot activists, on balance I consider both to do a lot of good.

    I, of course, prefer to be a quiet crackpot. 🙂

  34. M,

    In six, windy paragraphs, you made one decent point, i.e., about the negative propoganda potential of this film in the pious hands of our drug warriors–the kind of people who could look that young girl in the eye and call her a drug pusher and a menace to society.

    I don’t know where the hell you grew up, but in the world I live in, kids do crazy shit. Most of those kids grow up to become perfectly good doctors, lawyers, businessmen. A few even beome President. (Insert joke here about Clinton not inhaling, or W in his frat house days).

  35. “Left Stream Man, you magnificent troll!i

    Right wing Kev, you magnificant reactionary ;~)

    I didn’t write the piece, just thought ya’ll might find it interesting to see how the issue is being portrayed in the world. You might even take the time to follow the link and read the piece. Dondero comments on the web with a compliment to the writer for a fair and balanced job discussing the issue from both sides.

  36. “What was that phrase that applies to this?? Ah, yes: PARANOID CONSPIRACY THEORY.”

    Yep. I was struck with how much this seemed a mirror image of the articles we see too often around the Reason neighborhood. Same paranoia, different target.

  37. In re: “the kind of people who could look that young girl in the eye and call her a drug pusher and a menace to society” — that would be me, though I’d use different rhetoric. It’s just that I prefer influence by means of persuasion rather than force.

    I’m sorry you don’t like my writing style; I’ll keep working to appreciate yours.

  38. “This” in the above refers to the paragraph I posted, not the piece as a whole.

  39. I think the video is very good. I was pulled over 6 or 7 times within a year’s time, but never received a ticket. Cops in some places are real assholes who get off on harassing people. I refer to it as “fishing”, meaning they pull someone over hoping to find something to bust you on. I was even pulled over walking home one night (trying to avoid a DUI). I was a smartass that night and told the cop that I guess I would be better off driving drunk than trying to keep the roads safe. Luckily he got a call of an actual crime and let me be, rather than keep messing with me and possibly making me get obnoxious enough to get a public intox. charge.

  40. “a menace to society”

    Who is a menace to society and just what is it about society that can be menaced?
    For many moons, illegal consumption of alcohol has been a rit of passage for a significant portion of society, yet society kept plugging along. Before prohibition, many drugs (which are now illicit) were easily available at a local pharmacy. First came alcohol prohibition, voila, the roaring 20’s and the spread of organized crime as government enforced an illegal monopoly. They dumped that, but politicians need a good supply of threats to society, so they started making other drugs illegal, and criminal organizations needed something else to make money on. So opium gave way to more potenet forms and gang violence still makes the news.

    So what who is the greater threat to society, drug users and suppliers, or politicians and fear mongers who ignore the workings of the market place and cost us billions of dollars every year in their rather successful endeavors to fill prisons?

  41. Well, U.S., there are a couple of perspectives.

    Economic – Let’s take a young person who is found with certain mind-altering chemicals and turn them into drags on our society. Let’s warehouse them in a prison where all they can learn is crime, then put a conviction on their records so that whatever genius they may have contributed to mankind will be lost forever.

    Moral – Let’s take a young person and tell them how bad they are for doing something we don’t want them to do or possessing something we don’t want them to have. Let’s use state power to convey this message, because if something we don’t like is legal, why, people will think it’s OK.

    Political – Let’s pander to Ma Kettle by asserting that drugs are a problem. Of course, nobody in their right minds will believe that mere possession or use of drugs is a problem, so we’ll have to craft stories about how these activities may lead to real problems, such as drunk driving, anti-social behavior, etc. And if Pa Kettle asks us why not simply punish the real problems as they occur, we can ask him “what are you, weak on crime?”

    So many ways to look at this…

  42. Uncle asks,

    “Who is a menace to society and just what is it about society that can be menaced?”

    As I said, I’d use different rhetoric. Society being an aggregate of individuals, I’d address the harm that in-toxic-ants cause the user, harm revealed in the word itself. Drug use also deprives others of gifts withheld by drug-users’ clouded consciousness.

    So I’d address drug-users pretty much the same way I’d try to dissuade a cutter [usually a young person, practicing physical self-mutilation]. I don’t think I’d like to see warrants issued to keep kids from slicing their arms, but sometimes it can be helpful to be persuaded that one is harming oneself, and that one is depriving others through one’s diminished participation in life. Seems to me that if people knew, deeply enough, that their contributions were valued, they would prefer the satisfactions of sobriety. I know, that’s not a universally held view.

    As for Uncle’s question about whether tyrants or self-defeaters are the greater threats, I’d say the first sins by commission and the second by omission. And as was pointed out, some combine the practices. Say, why not resist both temptations? Now there’s an idea!

    Supplying drugs seems to me in itself an initiation of fraud — a libertarian anathema. I know that many disagree. And it is true enough that something’s being not-worth-doing does not in itself make it worth prohibiting. My concern was that the video, targeting a young audience, suggests that all behaviors not effectively prohibited are worth preserving. If we agree that education is not the police officers’ job, whose job is it if not, say, makers of instructional videos for teenagers?

  43. “Of course, some libertarians would probably be upset that they pick and choose among the different aspects of liberty, and refuse to join. (To which I would reply that nobody gets upset if a gun rights organization sticks to the second amendment.) That puritan aspect among libertarians would probably limit the number who join and hence reduce the incentive for the ACLU to become more libertarian rather than left.”

    Thoreau, if the NRA had published that their stance on the First Amendment was a “collective” one that didn’t apply to individuals, you might have a point.

    But the ACLU states, on their own web page that they do not believe the 2nd amendment applies to you and I.

    I would have no problem with the ACLU if they were neutrally silent on a citizen’s right to bear arms, but they are not. On their website, they openly conflate nuclear warheads and rocket launchers with handguns and rifles, and then go on to (I can only assume deliberately) misrepresent the 1934 case of US vs. Miller.

    A neutral stance on guns I could deal with. But that isn’t what the ACLU has. They have the audacity to piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

  44. The ACLU’s mischaracterization

    “The 1939 case U.S. v. Miller is the only modern case in which the Supreme Court has addressed this issue. A unanimous Court ruled that the Second Amendment must be interpreted as intending to guarantee the states’ rights to maintain and train a militia. “In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a shotgun having a barrel of less than 18 inches in length at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument,” the Court said. ”

    the full text is available here:
    http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/bills/blusvmiller.htm

    You can judge for yourself whether the ACLU is mischaracterizing.

  45. I’ve a pending civil suit against the Kansas City, MO Police Dept., stemming from an incident in June 2001 in which I was arrested for advising fellow Amtrak passengers that they had a right to decline warrantless searches.

    The Obstucting an Officer count against me was dismissed when the arresting officers failed to appear for the 2nd time with trial scheduled.

    http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=/tct/2006/06/30/0606300341.php

  46. The ACLU position on the 2nd

    “The ACLU therefore believes that the Second Amendment does not confer an unlimited right upon individuals to own guns or other weapons nor does it prohibit reasonable regulation of gun ownership, such as licensing and registration.

    IN BRIEF
    The national ACLU is neutral on the issue of gun control. We believe that the Constitution contains no barriers to reasonable regulations of gun ownership. If we can license and register cars, we can license and register guns.

    Most opponents of gun control concede that the Second Amendment certainly does not guarantee an individual’s right to own bazookas, missiles or nuclear warheads. Yet these, like rifles, pistols and even submachine guns, are arms.

    The question therefore is not whether to restrict arms ownership, but how much to restrict it. If that is a question left open by the Constitution, then it is a question for Congress to decide.”

  47. Ben looks like a hero in

    http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=/tct/2006/06/30/0606300341.php

    Congratulations to us all. I want you in my civics class.

  48. Note to Mediageek

    I am just providing the ACLU argument for consideration.

    Do not accuse me of trying to take away the licensed and registered gun you keep hidden under your shirt.

  49. I hate to say it, but a cop friend of mine opines that you have to be very careful about turning it into a confrontation. Remember, the cop stopped you already. He has a couple of options:

    1) He lets you off with a warning.
    2) He takes you to the extent of the law.
    3) He agrees that he had no cause to ask you that question or stop you in the first place and opens himself up to harrassment.

    If you turn lawyer on him, the reflex is to take 1 off the table because he is automatically thinking of everything he did to cover probable cause and he is already preparing for a court visit.

    I’m not saying this is all bad advice, but I am saying that you’d better be clearly in the right.

  50. MSM:

    The counter reading of the Miller decision is that it accounted the regulation of a sawed off shotgun precisely because it was not a weapon of the sort a militia would use. It was a narrow ruling on that weapon restriction only and for reasons not at all desirable for weapon regulators.

  51. Crimethink: Yeah, but it’s a little tougher when you don’t have power locks. Somehow I don’t think “it’s just a habit” is going to fly if you’re going around to each door and making sure it’s locked.

    You drive around with all your doors unlocked? Do you leave them unlocked when you park, or go around locking?

    I do lock my car every time I get out, even to pump gas. Not because there are cops everywhere, but because there aren’t.

    Also, I love how the narrator tells you to use the “all-important peep hole” in the house search scene, since a lot of houses don’t have them, especially on back doors, where police often like to show up in those situations.

    So hit Leows, buy a couple of peepholes, and install them. Safety 101. There are people out there you want to keep out of your house a lot more than you do the police.

  52. If you turn lawyer on him, the reflex is to take [letting you off with a warning] off the table because he is automatically thinking of everything he did to cover probable cause and he is already preparing for a court visit.

    I’m not saying this is all bad advice, but I am saying that you’d better be clearly in the right.

    Well, it depends. Sure, some cops pull over cars on fishing expeditions, but most have a valid, if pretextual reason for the stop. If you know that the worst valid offense you could be charges with was, say, speeding 5 or 10 mph over the limit, it might well be in your best interests to go along with the policeman, even including waiving your rights in the process, hoping to avoid the ticket.

    However, if as you are guilty of far more serious possible charges as in the video (and let’s assume here that the kid at the bus stop really was the graffiti artist), you are more likely to harm than to help your situation by such cooperation. Assert your rights, accept the ticket politely and be thankful for the damage control.

    On the other hand (golly, three hands!), to the extent you know already that you’re guilty of the putative reason for the stop and innocent of any other charge, you might consider on, um, patriotic grounds asserting your rights precisely because (1) sure, you’ll get the ticket, but (2) you’ll be discouraging improper police behavior.

    Note I say “improper,” not “illegal.” It isn’t per se illegal to trick people into confessing or giving evidence of crimes, but it isn’t the police’s job to go around tricking people, either.

  53. Um, second paragraph of my post should be in italics, too, as part of Mr. Ligon’s comments and not mine.

  54. I fucking hate cops.

    Love the video.

    I don’t agree…if a cop was using the same sort of tricks to catch a murder or armed robber I would not mind so much.

  55. Jason-

    I understand what you’re saying. If I’m not doing anything else wrong (other than speeding), then certainly a little bit of cooperation seems like a safe course of action, and it might even pay off in a warning rather than a ticket (and the consequent increased insurance premiums).

    Leaving aside matters of principle, there are two things that concern me about consenting to a search even though I’m sure that I have no drugs or other obvious contraband:

    1) There are lots of obscure laws and technicalities out there. It’s been said that if they really want to get you for something then they’ll get you for something. Frequently that something might not be in the car, but rather on the tax return or whatever, but why give them the chance to look for it in my car?

    2) I’m sure these are rare anecdotes, but I’ve heard of innocent people having their cars basically dismantled during a lawful drug search. If that’s one of the risks of consenting to a search, then I’m reluctant to consent. And if they’re going to do it anyway, then I want to be on record as not consenting, to strengthen my position if I sue them over it.

    Of course, I realize that not playing ball may increase the odds of an irate cop doing something extreme and vindictive. It seems to me that the only way to go is to assert my rights as politely as possible. It isn’t a guarantee, but it seems to be the safest course.

  56. thoreau:

    I’m more concerned about the approach than anything. I just have visions of some of the locals getting all Jesse Jackson when they were looking at a speeding ticket and winding up much worse off.

    Agree with polite assertion of rights and I agree with DA as well.

  57. D.A.,

    The third hand is “on the gripping hand.”

    Ugh. Sometimes I want to kick sand in my own face.

  58. D.A. Ridgely,

    I am aware of the effect of the 14th Amendment as SCOTUS began after its passage to selectively incorporate constitutional protections and limitations on state government that had previously been assumed to apply only to the relationship between federal government and its citizens. But it is that very selective process together with the Court’s expansive “interpretations” of the meaning of, e.g., due process beyond the plain meaning of the constitutional text that trouble me and many legal scholars irrespective of whether we like the effect of the Court’s rulings.

    None of this addresses my point about the privileges and immunities clause of the 14th Amendment. See, there are three main clauses in the first article of the 14th amendment: the privileges and immunities clause, the equal protection clause and the due process clause. I mentioned the privileges and immunities clause for a reason; that it provides plenty of protection against state action. Indeed, it would probablyu provide broader protection (as Professor Barnett has noted) than the “Footnote Four Plus” system we have today and wouldn’t suffer this selectivity problem.

  59. Re: ACLU

    Of course, some libertarians would probably be upset that they pick and choose among the different aspects of liberty, and refuse to join. (To which I would reply that nobody gets upset if a gun rights organization sticks to the second amendment.)

    I don’t mind if a gun rights organization sticks to, well, gun rights. I distrust picking and choosing by a general civil-liberties group, especially when they try to undercut the civil liberties they ignore, like the ACLU when it comes to gun rights.

    Not that I really have much in the way of better suggestions than the ACLU.

  60. Although the NRA is the better investment for protecting our rights, I’d like to thank the ACLU for forcing my girl’s school to back off plans for gender segregated classes this year. Now, if they could only call off the uniform nazis. Then again, nothing makes me prouder than when my girl gets a uniform violation. She’s probably going to need the video pretty soon.

  61. As an alternative to the ACLU, how about the Institute for Justice? See http://www.ij.org/

  62. I mentioned the privileges and immunities clause for a reason; that it provides plenty of protection against state action.

    I think you meant the privileges or immunities clause. The P&I clause is found in article IV of the original constitution; the P or I clause (on which you’d rely) is in the 14th amendment.

    Of course, it’s not clear that either of them will carry the freight you’d load on them. After all, the meaning of neither “the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states” nor of “the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States” is intutitively obvious. I suppose you could regard them as empty vessels into which the judiciary could pour whatever their civil libertarian sensibilities finds appropriate, but that doesn’t seem to be an improvement on what they’re already doing with the Due Process Clause.

  63. Jason,
    I am aware of the possibility of reading Miller as narrow… but the language in the decision doesn’t really support that reading, from my perspective. But like all rulings, there is room for debate.

    For example:
    “The Constitution as originally adopted granted to the Congress power- ‘To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.’ U.S.C.A.Const. art. 1, 8. With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made.”

    And here is the important line…

    “It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.”

    This supports the ACLU position regarding the intent and scope of the 2nd. They didn’t make it up whole cloth.

    Later the court agrees with the ACLU position that there is ambiguity in the scope of the right.

    “Most if not all of the States have adopted provisions touching the right to keep and bear arms. Differences in the language employed in these have naturally led to somewhat variant conclusions concerning the scope of the right guaranteed. But none of them seem to afford any material support for the challenged ruling of the court below.”

    This ambiguity is why the ACLU stays neutral on gun control.

    I don’t have a problem with the NRA and others disagreeing with the ACLU position, but it is dishonest rhetoric to accuse them of being disingenuous regarding their interpretation of the issue. It is also dishonest to claim that they are misrepresenting the decision just because they disagree.

    The ACLU has made a reasoned, strategic decision on this issue, not a dishonest one.

  64. Seamus,

    Yes, thanks for the correction.

    I suppose you could regard them as empty vessels into which the judiciary could pour whatever their civil libertarian sensibilities finds appropriate, but that doesn’t seem to be an improvement on what they’re already doing with the Due Process Clause.

    Well, first the DP clause was never meant to act as the P or I clause. What has happened is that the DP clause has taken on much of the intended effect of the P or I clause. As to what those terms meant re: 1868, they were broader in scope than the current selection of “fundamental rights” and the like the Court recognizes today.

  65. “Not that I really have much in the way of better suggestions than the ACLU.”

    And it really is a shame. 🙁

  66. Society being an aggregate of individuals, I’d address the harm that in-toxic-ants cause the user, harm revealed in the word itself. Drug use also deprives others of gifts withheld by drug-users’ clouded consciousness.

    What this has to do with legal policy, I don’t know.
    The question was: WHICH IS THE GREATER HARM?

    Another question is: what do individuals owe to society? (society being a ficiton of convenience)
    If a person pulls his own wieght, I say he owes nothing more to society. The same thing could be said about any recreational activity. How does mountain climbing serve society (when occasionally mountain climbers require bailing out at great expense)? Must every activity an individual engages in be of some benefit to the great fiction of “society”?

  67. Uncle, it doesn’t have to do with legal policy; it has to do with cultural practices. My claim is that it is worth persuading people, especially young people, to avoid doing destructive things. If educational institutions don’t influence behavior through persuasion, government institutions are likely to form to influence behavior by force, to which free spirits like you and I object. Analogy: If an individual or a community does not acquire through upbringing a preference for respecting others’ property, the police will instill obedience through force; well-brought-up people don’t vandalize, hence they offer no behavior to be policed by the anti-vandal-police. T I believe the video, intended to serve as an educational tool, fails to serve its audience and those affected by their actions.

    How would you feel about an instructional video that instructed young vandals to avoid arrest while it remained tacit about the value of vandalism? If I were a wall-owner, I would call it irresponsible, as I did. Vandalism is only one example; I invite you to extend the principle to other instances of the “initiation of force or fraud.”

    I addressed your question about whether tyranny or self-destruction is worse by saying I’m glad we don?t have to choose between the two.

    We agree about the fictitious nature of the construct “society,” hence my first sentence that you quoted. (I don’t think anyone pulls his own weight, btw, but that’s another issue.)

    Mountain-climbers benefit other individuals in myriad ways, beginning with their being happier, more interesting people than if their mountain-climbing urges were gratuitously frustrated. Climb every mountain!

  68. RightWingKev

    “so I guess that HCN has to be read the same way as one would read Reason. It is a publication with a point of view.”

    I would hope you use that same critical approach to everything you read. The point of providing the link was to give you a chance at seeing what some who have a different point of view think about the subject. I never claimed to support their point of view.

    So, why do you assume that I hold the same point of view as the author’s of the HCN article, or even UTNE? It can’t be based on your knowledge of my position on the issue for a simple reason. I don’t recall stating my position on the issue at any point in any thread on H&R or otherwise.

  69. My claim is that it is worth persuading people, especially young people, to avoid doing destructive things.

    As obvious as the urge to survive. However, vandalism is a direct violation of someone else’s property. Getting high recreationally does not involve such violation.
    I have also noted that it canbe quite difficult to dissuade people from making their own mistakes.
    Perhaps attempting to prevent them from making mistakes thwarts their own growth.

    Mountain-climbers benefit other individuals in myriad ways, beginning with their being happier, more interesting people than if their mountain-climbing urges were gratuitously frustrated.

    As George Carlin pointed out in one of his comedy routines, when marijuana swept the nation in the ’60s, some of his classmates went from making zip guns to making hash pipes. Perhaps some people are able to be mellower when they have access to opium derivative or marijuana.

    I don’t think anyone pulls his own weight
    If no one does, then how is continued life possible?

  70. Uncle writes:

    vandalism is a direct violation of someone else’s property. Getting high recreationally does not involve such violation.

    If you were doing something self-destructive without full awareness of the long-term consequences (eg, reaching for a can of lighter fluid in the mistaken belief that it was a wholesome beverage), wouldn’t you appreciate it later if someone had to tried to warn you of the danger? Before and after shots of drug-users would have made a good complement to Mr. Glasser’s Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card is all I’m saying.

    I have also noted that it canbe quite difficult to dissuade people from making their own mistakes.

    Aristotle: “Beautiful things are difficult.”

    Perhaps attempting to prevent them from making mistakes thwarts their own growth.

    And neglecting to warn them about serious mistakes can contribute to terminating their growth. I say “persuade” and “inform,” and you hear “prevent.” Why is that? Additionally, we’re talking about teenagers, who depend on an adult world to offer them guidance. Do you object to Mr. Glasser’s attempt to prevent his audience from making such mistakes as consenting to police searches?

    Perhaps some people are able to be mellower when they have access to opium derivative or marijuana.

    The question is whether they are able not to be “mellower” [read: chemically compelled to be more passive] when inebriated, ie (is it really a question?) whether intoxication enables or disables autonomy. Even if a libertarian would not prohibit a person from exercising the right to become a slave, does that mean it is inadvisable to persuade another person, eg a young person, that slavery is a bad state to be in? Is that not that persuading the purpose of every libertarian forum and conversation?

    >I don’t think anyone pulls his own weight another person, eg a young person, that slavery is a bad state to be in? Is that not that persuading the purpose of every libertarian forum and conversation?

    >I don’t think anyone pulls his own weight<<br /> If no one does, then how is continued life possible?

    By people pulling one another’s weight. Ask a mountain-climber what those ropes are for.

  71. Sorry about the typos. My keyboard and I are still negotiating our agreements.

  72. Sorry about the typos. My keyboard and I are still negotiating our agreements.

  73. The question is whether they are able not to be “mellower” [read: chemically compelled to be more passive] when inebriated, ie (is it really a question?) whether intoxication enables or disables autonomy.

    Presumig that everyone is OK straight out of the bottle. It is held officially that there are many people who are more productive or less of a danger to themselves and other when they take certain medications.
    I do not think much of people who render themselves incapacitated, either chemically or by other means. Nor do I hold that other owe me their full capacity thoughout every moment of their waking hours.

    The purpose of the original video was to inform people of their legal rights vis a vis interactions with policemen. There are plenty of sources for them to learn about the mistakes people make and how to avoid them. That is the reason most people support prohibition of various drugs. But somehow that has made the problems of society worse.

    That said, I don’t see that much societal danger from occaisonal chemically enhanced recreatiion. Yes, it would be nice to live in a world where people could have fun without such enhancement, but we don’t live there.

    Many entertainments are now proscribed due to legal issues. (We used to have a lot of fun visiting a swim hole in a creek, bet that’s of limits now.)

    Government schools are boring and many kids are being medicated there to keep them from being too figity with their boredom.

  74. M wrote:

    The question is whether they are able not to be “mellower” [read: chemically compelled to be more passive] when inebriated, ie (is it really a question?) whether intoxication enables or disables autonomy.

    To which Uncle wrote:

    Presumig that everyone is OK straight out of the bottle.

    Sorry, I don’t know what that means.

    It is held officially that there are many people who are more productive or less of a danger to themselves and other when they take certain medications.

    So we seem to agree that the practice of medicine should not be prohibited.

    Nor do I hold that other owe me

    There you go again, mistranslating my recommendation into the imposition of an obligation. I don’t think I’m going to be much further use in this exchange.

    their full capacity thoughout every moment of their waking hours.

    The purpose of the original video was to inform people of their legal rights vis a vis interactions with policemen. There are plenty of sources for them to learn about the mistakes people make and how to avoid them.

    And few of them are as seductive as the omissions of a video produced by the prestigious ACLU, which seems shamefully reluctant to alienate any part of its young audience by depicting a balanced picture of the consequneces of their favorite foolish behaviors.

    Yes, it would be nice to live in a world where people could have fun without such enhancement, but we don’t live there.

    Whaddaya mean we, White Man?

    Many entertainments are now proscribed due to legal issues. (We used to have a lot of fun visiting a swim hole in a creek, bet that’s of limits now.)

    We lament together. And if you drive and drink, or jive and sink, I’ll toss you a rope. But expect a lecture when I pull you out.

    Government schools are boring and many kids are being medicated there to keep them from being too figity with their boredom.

    A damn pity, for which more drugs are not the solution. Free associations of rope-wielding mountain-climbers are.

  75. To clarify:
    Yes, it would be nice to live in a world where EVERYONE could have fun without such enhancement, but we don’t live there.

    Presuming that everyone is OK straight out of the bottle.
    Emotionally balanced.

    A damn pity, for which more drugs are not the solution.
    Of course, but we don’t get to decide how others deal with their situations.

    Help yourself
    Want me to tell you about my nephew and crack?

  76. And few of them are as seductive as the omissions of a video produced by the prestigious ACLU, which seems shamefully reluctant to alienate any part of its young audience by depicting a balanced picture of the consequneces of their favorite foolish behaviors.

    For the video to illustrate why people need to assert their rights, there must be some negative consequence for not doing so. For people who aren’t “law breakers” what is the perceived negative consequence of not asserting their rights? If they aren’t doing anything wrong, then they’ll see no reason not to cooperate with the requests of officers. Hence no need for instruction in asserting their rights.
    For those who are “law breakers”, they already know that what they are doing is illegal (in most cases) and viewed negatively by police and most “law abiding citizens”.

    So this video should expand it’s length by some amount to expound on why people shouldn’t ingest drugs? Hello, the government has spent tens of millions of dollars doing just that, (in case you haven’t seen and heard ads from the Partnership for a drug free America).

  77. Uncle writes:

    Want me to tell you about my nephew and crack?

    Just seeing those two words together makes me sad. So please cheer me up, tell me the story.

    For people who aren’t “law breakers” what is the perceived negative consequence of not asserting their rights?

    Having their private affairs involuntarily publicized to investigating officials and those with whom those officials choose to share their findings. As I already wrote above, >An additional threat against which the Bill of Rights guards is the public humiliation that would discourage social progress that depends on individuals’ being left alone long enough to articulate and coordinate a dissent from the status quo.

    So this video should expand it’s length by some amount to expound on why people shouldn’t ingest drugs?

    The film could use a slightly quicker pace anyway; I got fidgety and starting reaching for my Ritalin. Conveniently, it could dwell a little less lovingly on the glories of poisons without sacrificing the viewer’s interest in staying out of jail.

    Hello, the government has spent tens of millions of dollars doing just that, (in case you haven’t seen and heard ads from the Partnership for a drug free America).

    Hello, a minor exposed to conventional anti-smoking messages is one thing; the same minor hearing them from a lawyer who is coaching him on how to avoid arrest for illegally purchasing cigarettes is another. And having that lawyer coach him on how to avoid arrest, while depicting how much fun and how cool smoking is, is still another, and is analogous to what we see in the video. That’s why a civics teacher to whom I showed the film regrets being unable to show it to his high-school sophomores, though he would have loved to do so were it not for the appalling lack of judgment I complain about.

  78. Uncle writes:

    Want me to tell you about my nephew and crack?

    Just seeing those two words together makes me sad. So please cheer me up, tell me the story.

    For people who aren’t “law breakers” what is the perceived negative consequence of not asserting their rights?

    Having their private affairs involuntarily publicized to investigating officials and those with whom those officials choose to share their findings. As I wrote above, >An additional threat against which the Bill of Rights guards is the public humiliation that would discourage social progress that depends on individuals’ being left alone long enough to articulate and coordinate a dissent from the status quo.

    So this video should expand it’s length by some amount to expound on why people shouldn’t ingest drugs?

    The film could use a slightly quicker pace anyway; I got fidgety and starting reaching for my Ritalin. Conveniently, it could dwell a little less lovingly on the glories of injesting poisons, without sacrificing the viewer’s interest in staying out of jail.

    Hello, the government has spent tens of millions of dollars doing just that, (in case you haven’t seen and heard ads from the Partnership for a drug free America).

    Hello, a minor exposed to conventional anti-smoking messages is one thing; the same minor hearing them from a lawyer who is coaching him on how to avoid arrest for illegally purchasing cigarettes is another. And having that lawyer coach him on how to avoid arrest, while depicting how much fun and how cool smoking is, is still another, and is analogous to what we see in the video. And that’s why a civics teacher to whom I showed the film regrets being unable wisely to show it to his high-school sophomores, though he would have loved to do so were it not for the appalling lack of judgment I complain about.

  79. Whoops again for the repeat. Must be the drugs. Must be the drugs.

    May as well be complete, not to say compulsive, and address an outstanding warrant:

    I’d written:

    >A damn pity, for which more drugs are not the solution.

    To which Uncle responded:

    Of course, but we don’t get to decide how others deal with their situations.

    Not decide how, try to influence how. As Mr. Glasser, you, and I, in our several ways, try to influence how others deal with their situations.

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