Immigration

America's Internal Checkpoints

Refuseniks fight back against feds demanding papers

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Border Patrol checkpoint
U.S. Government

During a routine trip from San Diego to Phoenix in 2009, Pastor Steven Anderson was stopped at an internal immigration checkpoint about 70 miles from the Mexican border. A stern-looking Border Patrol agent asked Anderson to provide proof of citizenship and requested permission to search his car.

The persistent pastor declined both, citing his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. He then asked to be allowed to go on his way. The request was denied.

After a period of dithering, agents announced that a police dog had alerted to potential contraband in the vehicle. They instructed Anderson to pull over into a secondary inspection area. The pastor repeatedly refused, at which point a Border Patrol agent and a state police officer simultaneously broke both windows of his car and shot the pastor with Tasers from each side, delivering lengthy and repeated shocks while Anderson repeatedly screamed in agony.

The brutality was captured on video. Anderson's hand-held camera recorded events until moments after he was shocked, and CCTV footage captured much of what came afterward. In recorded testimony the following day, Anderson described how one of the agents involved with the incident shoved the pastor's head into the shards of broken window glass while dragging him from the car, and forced him to the ground. Other agents joined the action, with one repeatedly beating Anderson with a baton.

Lying helplessly on the ground, the pastor was again shocked with Tasers. After several minutes, the agents finally pulled up his bloodied body and took the broken man into custody.

Anderson is a hero to the members of a growing national cause. A decentralized movement of refuseniks is increasingly fighting back against the Border Patrol's shocking internal checkpoint system. Through civil disobedience, legal challenges, and generous helpings of YouTube, these ID scofflaws may be getting bloody, but they are actively challenging the constitutionality of a system most Americans don't realize exists.

Papers, Or Else

Noncitizen permanent residents over 18 years old are required to carry green cards when they travel within the United States, according to the Immigration and Nationality Act. Those caught without one face a maximum fine up to $100 and/or imprisonment for up to 30 days for each offense. But you can't tell the difference between a citizen and green card holder without seeing some kind of government identification. Given Americans' historical antipathy toward national ID requirements, which are routine in most of the rest of the world, it comes as a surprise to many that they can be asked to provide proof of citizenship even when venturing nowhere near an international border.

More than 70 immigration checkpoints manned by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) now operate well inside U.S. territory, as far away from the Mexican frontier as Sarita, Texas-nearly 90 miles north of the nearest major border crossing. The agency has used internal traffic checkpoints since 1924. Since the 9/11 attacks, the Border Patrol's mission has increasingly emphasized preventing terrorists and illegal weapons from entering the United States. Some of the checkpoints are on roads that never intersect the border. No reasonable suspicion or probable cause or consent is required for these indiscriminate detentions. Travelers usually comply politely, not knowing-and likely not caring-that by doing so they are waiving their constitutional rights.

But not everyone plays along. As a scouring of YouTube videos, border-state news archives, and court cases can attest, hundreds of resisters, mostly males in or around their thirties, are refusing to comply, capturing the often nerve-rattling conflicts on their smartphones. They may be lone dissidents, but they have created a robust online community of checkpoint constitutionalists.

The resulting videos are never exactly the same, but they tend to follow a pattern. CBP agents, at times accompanied by area law enforcement officers, await as the motorist pulls up. Drug-sniffing dogs are often led by another CBP agent around the line of vehicles as they wait in a queue. Drivers are instructed to roll down their window if they haven't already. The CBP agent then firmly asks the driver, along with any other passengers, if they are United States citizens.

This is when the confrontation begins.

"Am I being detained, agent?" is the common refusenik reply.

"No you are not being detained, sir," the agent replies. "We need to know if you are a United States citizen."

The scene is usually tense. Drivers are visibly nervous in many of the videos. It's not easy to stand up for your rights on a lonely desert road when surrounded by German Shepherds and heavily armed men in green, military-looking uniforms.

"If I'm not being detained, then I'm free to go, correct?"

Agents are not accustomed to non-compliance. "You are not free to go until I can verify you are a United States citizen," goes the common reply.

"Well, if I'm not free to go, does that mean I am being detained?"

At this point agents will sometimes declare that the driver is indeed being detained, but only temporarily. The refusenik will then ask why he is being detained, and request to see a supervisor. The Border Patrol cop, his supervisor, and other law enforcement officials who sense an emerging situation will gather around the vehicle. Traffic builds up. Blood pressure rises.

"You are being detained temporarily for immigration purposes. We need to know if you are a United States citizen. Please answer the question."

The driver may then point out to the agent that at least some reasonable suspicion of criminal activity is required in order for any further detention to be lawful. If the refusenik is lucky, the built-up traffic or just the ongoing hassle of the exchange will pressure the agent to wave the driver on through.

If he is unlucky, the border cop may declare that he indeed has probable cause. At this point, the motorist has little choice but to comply with the demand to pull into secondary and submit to a search.

I have traveled several times through the internal immigration checkpoint on Highway 7 northbound from Brownsville, Texas. It's about 85 miles from the nearest international crossing, and hundreds of cars pass through each day without ever having taken a recent trip south of the border. Taking my cue from other refuseniks, I refuse to cooperate with CBP agents' questioning. I do not inform the agents that I am documenting the exchange.

Many of my initial conflicts were much like the generic one described above, resulting in agents eventually letting me through without me answering their questions. But after several such encounters, I experienced something different.

As I pulled into the checkpoint and refused to acknowledge my citizenship, a drug dog was led around my car. After the agent declared that the dog alerted to my vehicle, I relented and pulled into the secondary inspection area. I recorded the entire encounter with my phone. The agents led the dog throughout my car for several minutes until the search ended with no contraband discovered.

I doubted that the canine truly alerted to my vehicle so I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, seeking all video footage captured during the time and location of my seizure for evidence that the dog detected something in my vehicle. The CBP website clearly states that a dog will "alert" by sitting next to the point of interest. I wanted proof that the dog sat.

Several weeks later I received a letter from the FOIA division officer requesting clarification. After I responded with clarifications, several weeks later they sent me another letter indicating there was no video footage because the CBP deletes video after 30 days.

The Original Refusenik

The rise in anti-checkpoint activism can be traced to an Arizona man named Terry Bressi, who was forcibly removed from his vehicle and arrested at an internal checkpoint on the Tohono O'odham Reservation in southern Arizona on December 20, 2002, about 20 to 30 miles from the border. This was the first of many encounters with an internal checkpoint.

Bressi, who works at telescope installation sites as chief engineer for the University of Arizona's Planetary Sciences Department, was traveling back to Tucson after working at a remote installation in the desert. The checkpoint was a joint task force operation including local police and the CBP. When Bressi approached the cops, he was skeptical about the order to provide ID. He hadn't crossed any international border, hadn't committed any crime, and was just traveling back from an Arizona worksite to his Arizona home.

Bressi repeatedly asked why he had been stopped, and he refused to show identification. Eventually he was told to turn off his vehicle, remove the ignition key, and place his keys in the car in a visible area. He complied.

Then, according to a video Bressi made shortly after the incident occurred, "The officers opened my door, undid my seatbelt, grabbed me around my armpits, pulled me out of the vehicle, laid me down on the ground, handcuffed my hands behind my back and dragged me off to the side of the road."

Bressi was forced to lie on the side of the road in the dirt for more than half an hour. Officers removed his wallet from his pants to inspect its contents. One of them told Bressi that if he signed a citation, he could go free. If not, well, then it was off to jail. He signed, and was charged with two misdemeanors: failure to follow orders of a traffic control officer and failure to show a driver's license upon request.

The court dismissed the charges against Bressi without prejudice, based on a technicality. The Tohono O'odham Police Department (TOPD) had violated state law by failing to file a copy of the complaint with the court prior to the court date. Roughly six months later, Bressi decided to file a claim for a civil rights violation. The TOPD then re-filed the original charges against Bressi.

Several months later, all the re-filed charges against Bressi were dismissed with prejudice, due to the TOPD's inability to "deliver the citation to the Court" before that scheduled court date as well.

Bressi received considerable press coverage of his arrest and subsequent suit. He created a website, checkpointusa.org, dedicated to "exposing the police state-one checkpoint at a time." It features his videos along with dozens and dozens of pages of analyses of related Supreme Court cases and the story of his legal travails.

In the decade since his first stop, Bressi has recorded dozens of confrontations with CBP agents at internal immigration checkpoints. He has outfitted his vehicles with multiple permanent video cameras recording various angles and sounds. Among the thousands of visits to his blog have been hundreds from the domain names of the Department of Homeland Security (which oversees the Border Patrol), the U.S. Treasury, and the Justice Department.

The major issue in Bressi's civil rights lawsuit was whether the defendants illegally expanded the scope of the checkpoint to include general law enforcement. By law, a checkpoint must serve a specific purpose, such as immigration control, and not the vague possibility of more general criminality.

The Supreme Court ruled in City of Indianapolis vs. Edmond (2000) that roadblock checkpoints cannot be conducted by police if the "primary purpose is to detect evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing." That case revolved around a series of traffic checkpoints implemented by the city of Indianapolis in which the officer would ask the driver to produce license and registration as a pretext for looking for signs of impairment. The high court majority said that operators of any checkpoint must have the "usual requirement of individualized suspicion where [they] seek to employ a checkpoint."

According to Bressi, the officer on scene before his arrest informed him that the checkpoint was for drunk driving. Since when do U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents enforce sobriety laws?

After what Bressi describes on his blog as more than "eight long years, hundreds of legal documents and several court challenges (including a reversal by the 9th circuit court of appeals)," his lawsuit was finally given a court date. Before the case made it to trial, Bressi was offered a settlement of $210,000. In June 2012, he took the money.

What good came of the eight-year legal battle besides the cash? Bressi points out that the Tohono O'odham Police Department is in tribal Native American grounds and therefore have been operating under the assumption of immunity from federal civil rights laws. Bressi's victory in the 9th Circuit limits, if not prohibits, tribal police from hiding behind sovereign immunity while seizing people at internal checkpoints along state highways.

Bressi thinks the settlement and the 9th Circuit partial reversal work as an important demonstration project, showing how others who wish to fight police overreach "can be successful at doing so in both the court of public opinion and court of law." And the legal groundwork could be used for future lawsuits.

As Bressi's lawyer David Euchner stated in a brief announcement after the court's ruling: "We didn't win on every claim, but we won on the most important part-that if a tribal police department wants to run a 'sobriety checkpoint' on a state highway right-of-way, thereby expecting non-Indians to travel on it, the tribal police must first ask if the driver is Indian or non-Indian, and then non- Indians who are not obviously impaired must immediately be allowed to go on their way. What the tribal police did with Terry was unconstitutional, and now it's a senior jurist who literally wrote the book on Indian Law who agrees with us."

Checkpoint Constitutionality

As more people learn that refusing to cooperate at internal checkpoints is an option, the movement grows. A search on YouTube for "internal checkpoint refusal" produces thousands of results. Many of the videos are set in states that border Mexico; some videos have hundreds of thousands of views.

The footage ranges from the mundane to the outrageous. One agent casually asks a driver stopped at an internal checkpoint if he minds if the agent takes a look in his trunk. The traveler says he does in fact mind. "Is there any reason to believe I've broken immigration law? What's the reason you want to check my trunk?"

The agent, somewhat flummoxed by this questioning of his authority, responds with, "It's just…your car is dirty." Going too long between carwashes doesn't traditionally rise to the level of probable cause.

Unfortunately, not all the refusniks understand the complete legal picture governing checkpoints. Most defend their lack of cooperation by citing the Fourth Amendment. But they usually struggle to come up with any more legal analysis on the spot.

Internal checkpoints are legally separate from checkpoints on international borders or their "functional equivalent," such as international airports. At these border crossings, CBP agents have wide latitude to search and seize, absent any warrant or probable cause. They can also unilaterally refuse to admit international travelers. Internal checkpoints are more complicated.

In a pivotal 1976 Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Martinez-Fuerte, the defendant was caught transporting illegal aliens through an internal immigration checkpoint located on Interstate 5 between Oceanside and San Clemente in California, about 90 miles from the border. After the immigrants were discovered and admitted their status, Amado Martinez-Fuerte was charged with two counts of illegally transporting aliens. A court majority opined that "brief questioning of [the motor vehicle's] occupants even if there is no reason to believe that the particular vehicle contains illegal aliens," is legal.

In the Supreme Court case United States v. Montoya de Hernandez (1985), the court further ruled that "automotive travelers may be stopped at fixed checkpoints near the border without individualized suspicion, even if the stop is based largely on ethnicity." Flowing from this case is the assumptive creation of the "border search exception" allowing for warrantless searches within 100 miles of the border. This Fourth Amendment-lite zone encompasses the place of residence for nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population.

Martinez-Fuerte held that internal checkpoints were considered to be a functional equivalent of a border crossing only if the government could prove with reasonable certainty that traffic passing through was international in character and would be comprised of only a "negligible number of domestic travelers."

The Border Patrol's Inspector's Field Manual governing internal checkpoints has been public information since 2008, thanks to a successful FOIA request from immigration attorney Charles M. Miller. According to Section 18.7 of the manual, before an inspector may constitutionally detain a traveler at a non-entry checkpoint, the inspector "must have reasonable suspicion that the person is an alien and is illegally in the United States." The manual goes on to say: "This higher degree of suspicion arises generally in questioning persons encountered in and around the port who are awaiting persons referred to secondary. This suspicion is based on questioning of alienage alone and also involves specific articulable facts, such as particular characteristics or circumstances which the inspector can describe in words."

If, according to the CBP's guidelines, inspectors shall not indefinitely detain a traveler without at least reasonable suspicion, the collection of videos online clearly shows agents breaking their own rules.

Many travelers don't realize that complying with the Border Patrol's questioning can be completely optional. It is well within their Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent. If this right is exercised, the agent does not have the power to further detain them absent consent, reasonable suspicion, or probable cause that the traveler is committing a crime. While the Supreme Court ruled in Martinez-Fuerte that temporary detention at internal checkpoints is not an unconstitutional encroachment, the detention must not be indefinite and may only be for a reasonable amount of time.

What does that mean in practice? When I asked Bill Brooks, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman, he didn't answer directly. Instead he cited the Supreme Court's opinion in Martinez-Fuerte that "very brief detention" of motorists does not constitute an unreasonable search or seizure. He added, "Under normal circumstances this takes just a short period of time. In unusual instances, agents will detain a member of the public long enough to establish their citizenship." CBP agents "may question the occupants about their citizenship, place of birth, and request document proof of immigration status, how legal status was obtained and make quick observations of what is in plain view in the interior of the vehicle."

Denise Gilman, co-director of the immigration clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, argues that a reasonable amount of time is roughly 20 minutes.

Although an agent may "request" documentary proof of immigration status, it is not a legal requirement to produce such proof unless the agent has obtained probable cause or at least has reasonable suspicion that the traveler is committing an immigration crime. Simply passing through one of these checkpoints shouldn't qualify as such suspicion. In Martinez-Fuerte, the court declared, "We have held that checkpoint searches are constitutional only if justified by consent or probable cause to search."

Still, many refusenik videos show officials forcibly removing travelers from their cars absent individualized suspicion, then removing their wallets in search of identification.

Federal and local law enforcement agencies have become skilled at circumventing these legal strictures through the seeming manufacture of probable cause. A Government Accountability Office study published in 2009 shows there were 3,540 drug-related seizures at southwestern checkpoints in 2008. That same year, southwestern checkpoints saw 16,959 apprehensions of illegal aliens. A key method is through canine sniffing. Internal checkpoints, particularly permanent installations, typically employ drug- and bomb-sniffing dogs that patrol nearly every vehicle passing through. By using canines, the CBP is pushing the line between stops for immigration purposes and "ordinary criminal wrongdoing." The immigration portion of the stop becomes a mere pretext to establish a probable cause for searching the car or driver.

Civil libertarians point out that deploying these dogs appears to run against the City of Indianapolis vs. Edmond principle that checkpoints be conducted for a specific and not general area of wrongdoing. The Border Patrol is "pushing that line very hard," David Loy, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union's San Diego chapter, said in a March 2013 interview with KPBS-TV. Suspicionless checkpoints, Loy said, "are the hallmark of a police state, not a free society."

CBP's own rules seem to incorporate Edmond in that internal checkpoints are supposed to be used for "determining citizenship of those who pass through" and "not for the general search for those persons or vehicle." But the preponderance of canines at internal checkpoint stops would seem to contradict these guidelines, since dogs have no demonstrated ability to sniff out the difference between an American and a Mexican.

Checking the Checkpoints

Many of those fighting back against suspicionless checkpoints are not taking their cases to court, engaging instead in direct civil disobedience. The vast majority of the YouTube videos show the agent allowing a traveler to continue on his way without extracting information about his citizenship status. Arrests are very rare; beatings like Pastor Anderson's are rarer still. Each video becomes a small, inspiring victory against overweening state power.

Some policies have been changed as a result of this small revolt. In Blaine, Washington, near the Canadian border, Border Patrol agents attempted to expand their internal checkpoint operations. But the plans triggered significant outcry from activists; from Rep. Norm Dicks, a Democrat from the Olympic Peninsula area; and from nearly 400 residents who showed up to a 2008 forum to protest the checkpoints. The agency soon cut, rather than expanded, its Northwest Washington operation.

Refuseniks who once were routinely hassled for declining to cooperate with Border Patrol are now recording agents waving them through without a word of questioning. Bressi believes if enough people are willing to mobilize and speak against checkpoints, "enough lawmakers who are also against them will feel empowered to either prevent the authorization of new checkpoint authority or roll back existing authority."

Technology, Bressi argues, is the key to successfully standing up for your rights. It shows the world how the authority vested with police officers and federal agents is being systematically abused.

After being tased and beaten, Pastor Steven Anderson was charged with two misdemeanors: "obstructing the highway" and "resisting an order directing, regulating, or controlling a motor vehicle." Following a court battle, Anderson was cleared of all charges in August 2010. Shortly before then, Anderson filed a civil lawsuit against the two agents who tased him.

For now, America still awaits a champion who can win a major victory against internal checkpoints at the Supreme Court. But the minor everyday victories on YouTube are slowly helping to restore our constitutional rights.

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  1. RESISTANCE IS FATAL

    1. Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant.
      You must comply.

  2. This is all part and parcel of the ‘papers please’ strain pushed by conservatives several aspects. We must ‘build that dang fence,’ we must ‘protect our borders,’ we must catch the illegals that are in the US, make sure they are not being employed or getting benefits and prevent them from voting for Democrats, so we need a comprehensive system of restraining and overlooking freedom of movement, contract, to vote and association so our nation does not succumb to ‘those furriners’ who elected the President with the furrin name and Kenyan socialist ideas.

    1. “papers please” seems to be pushed by both the left and the right.

      1. Really? I see the right and red states adopting wide ranging anti-immigration laws on the Arizona model and voter Id laws, not ‘blue’ states, but I am happy to acknowledge any counter evidence you would produce.

        1. Hush. Bo simply desires yet another opportunity to fellate a Democrat.

          1. If this is supposed to be counter evidence then you have very little to say.

            I am curious as to why a libertarian would see a criticism of Republican or conservative policies restricting freedom of contract, movement or association as necessarily indicating a preference for Democrats?

            1. He was insulting you for your red herring, not offering “counter evidence.”

              That’s chiefly because he, like many of us, doesn’t take you seriously, as you seem to believe that the US Border Patrol is a state entity rather than a federal one, and that it doesn’t abuse its powers in blue states because, well, magic.

              Democrat and Republican politicos alike love the security state and the death of the Fourth Amendment, whether that’s papers, please at the border, TSA gaterape, or the numerous abuses of the NSA. Your attempt to turn this into blue-good-guys vs. red-baddies would be revealing if we didn’t already know you to be a pompous, puffed-up, tribalistic ass.

              1. Who pushes for tighter immigration at the federal level more, the right or the left? Could it be the same group that at the state level has pushed for these Arizona-modeled laws? Or is pointing that out only pompous, tribalistic foolishness?

                1. You tell me, Bo.

                  Which party directly controls federal border patrol agency today? Is it the Republican house that controls and directs its policies or perhaps the executive?

                  Which party is the most ardent defender of the TSA and NSA abuses? Which politician is the most visible apologist for their actions and blatant violations of the Constitution, not to mention human decency?

                  Doesn’t all that water get heavy after a while?

                  1. If you think the Republicans are ideologically superior to the Democrats on this issue–because Barack Obama has been in the White House for last five years–then yer outta yer mind.

                    The solution to this flavor of government stupidity doesn’t have anything to do with which party is in power presently.

                    Somebody make that connection for me: If only the Republicans were in power…

                    Go ahead, finish the sentence.

                    How would electing a Republican put an end to using immigration as a stupid excuse to do stupid things?

                    1. In fact, conservative politicians and groups have consistently criticized Obama for being ‘soft’ on immigration.

                      Now, to a libertarian, that is absurd, he has consistently violated what the Nolan chart calls for. But that does not change the fact that, as the criticism demonstrates, the ‘other team’ would like to do it more.

                    2. If you think the Republicans are ideologically superior to the Democrats on this issue–because Barack Obama has been in the White House for last five years–then yer outta yer mind.

                      Ok, how about this one.

                      The last republican president, Bush the lessor was demonstrably better than the current democrat president on this issue.

                      Which renders Bo false equivalence, well false.

                      Further, the dems overall are more ardent defenders of the surveillance state and police abuses generally.

                    3. The Republicans can’t shut up about immigration to save their electoral lives.

                      Further, the dems overall are more ardent defenders of the surveillance state and police abuses generally.

                      I think this is incorrect, and even if it were true, we’re talking about the difference between eating shit or a crap sandwich.

                      Many of here at Hit & Run were denounced as terrorist sympathizers and traitors for opposing warrantless wiretapping and such during the Bush years.

                      I was on the receiving end of that here at Hit & Run for five years of the Bush presidency. One of the reasons we know the Democrat sucked on that was because they did virtually nothing to oppose Bush’s War on Our Constitutional Rights.

                      A pox on both their houses.

                    4. “Somebody make that connection for me: If only the Republicans were in power…”

                      We wouldn’t have Obamacare ?

                    5. “We wouldn’t have Obamacare ?”

                      You’re absolutely right, and I would rather have had a Republican president for exactly that reason.

                      But we were talking about this in the context of things like our civil rights.

                      Warrantless wiretapping? Immigration?

                      The Republicans got nothin’ on the Democrats on those issues, and it’s not that the Democrats are better on those issues. It’s that the Democrats suck too.

                      They both suck.

                    6. Obamacare? Maybe not, at least not by name. However, Bush and his republican admin gave us Medicare part D, and the system Obamacare was based on was the product of a Republican Governor. So no, I don’t see any big improvement with a Republican Prez.

                    7. Refuse on principle to vote for “the lesser of two evils” and guess what? You end up with the greater of two evils.

                      On principle, of course.

                    8. Unless the election hinges on a single vote–last I checked, you are several thousand times more likely to die on the way to or from the polling place than you are to cast a deciding vote in even a state election, much less a national one–your vote doesn’t matter.

                      Now if you’re forced to choose between a commie and a republican for county dogcatcher? Nah, one vote still doesn’t matter then more than once every millennium. Democracy destroys individual voices.

                  2. “Which party directly controls federal border patrol agency today?”

                    What are you getting at on this? Federal agencies are directed by the executive in implanting laws and policies passed by Congress. What are you arguing, that the current administration should cease these policies, and then be threatened with impeachment for ‘not faithfully executing the law’ as has occurred when the current administration chose to lay off a small group of anti-immigrant policies? Where did THAT outcry come from?

                    “Which party is the most ardent defender of the TSA and NSA abuses? ”

                    You tell me. I seem to recall the TSA and NSA abuses were the products of a GOP Congress and Presidency. I think plenty of pox can be cast upon the Democrat house for continuing them though.

                    “Doesn’t all that water get heavy after a while?”

                    Considering I can easily point to comments and threads where I only criticize Democrats and the left, but can not recall seeing you ever call them or similar ones from others here out for ‘red herrings’ and ‘tribalistic’ feints, I think you should probably answer that question.

                    1. Federal agencies are directed by the executive in implanting laws and policies passed by Congress. What are you arguing, that the current administration should cease these policies, and then be threatened with impeachment for ‘not faithfully executing the law’ as has occurred when the current administration chose to lay off a small group of anti-immigrant policies? Where did THAT outcry come from?

                      To be clear, you’re claiming that the executive is the helpless pawn of the legislature and never acts of its own accord? Is it too painful to admit that the reason Obama and the Democrats don’t oppose the abusive GOP policies is because they’re not opposed to them and don’t mind implementing them?

                      You tell me. I seem to recall the TSA and NSA abuses were the products of a GOP Congress and Presidency. I think plenty of pox can be cast upon the Democrat house for continuing them though.

                      Gaterape began under Obama and a pan-democrat Congress. The abuses of the NSA have been adamantly defended by Obama with the support of neocons like Peter King. The extrajudicial assassination of untried, unaccused American citizens was purely the work of Obama, and neither party moved to impeach him for what is likely the greatest abuse of executive powers in a century.

                      The point, as always, is not that neocons aren’t assholes. It’s that Dems are more than willing to support the favored abuses of neocons while adding greater abuses of their own.

                    2. Considering I can easily point to comments and threads where I only criticize Democrats and the left, but can not recall seeing you ever call them or similar ones from others here out for ‘red herrings’ and ‘tribalistic’ feints, I think you should probably answer that question.

                      Your first post in this exchange was to point out how much worse the red states are than the blue states when it comes to immigration. The reality, as several of us have pointed out, is that immigration is a federal policy driven by the executive, and the executive is run like a dictatorship under the present officious CIC who respects no limits on his power.

                      The obvious point being that, when Team Blue holds the scepter, it’s Team Blue that’s responsible for abuses of that power.

                      And since you’re so keen to turn the tables, why don’t you tell me what my tribe is?

                    3. So much is wrong with this comment.

                      1. State policies matter to, especially to those who live in those states under them AND as indicators of where certain sentiments are the strongest. I have made this point several times, and your unwillingness or inability to engage it at all seems telling.

                      2. SOME immigration policy is federal, but as I noted the executive does not have a ‘free hand’ politically in this area. Given that, of course the current administration deserves some criticism, if only for not having the courage to stand up to that political pressure. Having said that, it is clear from many indicators where that political pressure finds its home more.

                      3. Your team strikes me as very likely team red my friend. What else am I to infer from your desperate need to flag what you see as ‘blue tribalism’ in one who simply notes that ‘team red’ is worse in this one area, but can produce no evidence of doing the same on the much more numerous occasions of people noting when and where ‘team blue’ is worse?

                    4. 1. State policies matter to, especially to those who live in those states under them AND as indicators of where certain sentiments are the strongest. I have made this point several times, and your unwillingness or inability to engage it at all seems telling.

                      What’s your point? Team Red is full of anti-immigration advocates, and no one has contended otherwise. Your argument is that Team Blue is better–that Blue States are more tolerant (despite the fact that states have no authority over federal borders), when it’s Team Blue that’s enabling and enforcing the abusive, anti-4A policies. What’s so telling about pointing out your blind spot for abusive Dems or their willingness to play the pro-immigrant role when they’re crushing immigrants and Americans alike under their bootheel?

                      2. SOME immigration policy is federal, but as I noted the executive does not have a ‘free hand’ politically in this area.

                      That’s false; the executive has a de facto free hand in whatever it wishes. Over the past several years, the executive has taken for itself the power to make war–even war in excess of the WPR–to assassinate American citizens without trial, and to rewrite law in the case of the ACA without censure, impeachment, or anything more than modest criticism. If Team Blue desired to do something about BP and immigration abuses, it could and would, and Republicans would be powerless to stop it.

                    5. 3. Your team strikes me as very likely team red my friend. What else am I to infer from your desperate need to flag what you see as ‘blue tribalism’ in one who simply notes that ‘team red’ is worse in this one area, but can produce no evidence of doing the same on the much more numerous occasions of people noting when and where ‘team blue’ is worse?

                      Honestly, where did you learn to frame your arguments in such an awful, prissy, purple way? That’s not even how the gassiest academics write. Maybe you’ve got your dander up, I don’t know.

                      My political-philosophical team is Locke-Rothbard-Mises, none of whom were particularly fond of reds or Team Purple. I doubt any of them would particularly enjoy hearing fatuous jibber-jabber from someone who wants to thread the needle re: how much sweeter Team Bluish-Purple is toward the immigrants it harms than is Team Reddish-Purple.

                    6. “Your argument is that Team Blue is better–that Blue States are more tolerant”

                      And I have presented evidence of that. Did you not learn from the flap about Arizona, South Carolina, Alabama, etc., that states can have differently harsh policies on immigration? And which states do, I ask you?

                      “If Team Blue desired to do something about BP and immigration abuses”

                      Obama did something recently, and has been threatened with impeachment for it. Whose side did that come from?

                    7. “Your argument is that Team Blue is better–that Blue States are more tolerant”

                      And I have presented evidence of that. Did you not learn from the flap about Arizona, South Carolina, Alabama, etc., that states can have differently harsh policies on immigration? And which states do, I ask you?

                      Quote the entire block, please. Again, we’re speaking of federal immigration laws, not state.

                      “If Team Blue desired to do something about BP and immigration abuses”

                      Obama did something recently, and has been threatened with impeachment for it. Whose side did that come from?

                      You go ahead and present your citation for Obama, 4A warrior, and I’ll present mine for Obama, executive who continues and exacerbates 4A abuses.

                    8. “Again, we’re speaking of federal immigration laws, not state.”

                      No, you are. I am talking about both, and the latter as an indicator of sentiment at the former.

                      “You go ahead and present your citation for Obama, 4A warrior”

                      4A? I am talking about immigration policy, specifically the recent deferment on enforcement from the executive.

                    9. What a load of horseshit Bo. You say that every issue is “the one issue republicans are worse on”. And then when someone calls you on it you automatically assume they’re team red.

                      Welcome back to the boards MNG.

                    10. What are you getting at on this? Federal agencies are directed by the executive in implanting laws and policies passed by Congress.

                      And a democrat is chief executive and determines enforcement levels, departmental procedures etc.

                      So problem in this instance is all on that chief executive, that is unless you can cite the Congressionally enacted law that requires border patrol agents to act as they did in this case.

                2. Here you go Blue Tulpa: 113th Congress border security bills

                  46 bills by R’s and 36 bills by D’s.

                  A whole 25% less cuntish than the opposition!

                  1. Without knowing what was in those bills that is a pretty meaningless statistic, though by your own criteria, yes, one is 25% worse.

                    Are you really arguing there is as much political sentiment and will on ‘cracking down’ on illegal aliens among conservatives and Republicans as among liberals and Democrats? Because polling data, platform planks, state laws, debate rhetoric (we all remember the long debates in the Democratic primaries about ‘self deportation’, right) seem to stand against you.

                    What is it that so threatens some ‘libertarians’ in acknowledging that on this issue, immigration, conservatives and Republicans are further off the (old) Nolan chart than the Democrats? It is not like on many other issues that would not be reversed.

                    1. Are you really arguing there is as much political sentiment and will on ‘cracking down’ on illegal aliens among conservatives and Republicans as among liberals and Democrats?

                      No, I was only foolishly feeding you. I have no interest in actually interacting with weeping sore of a partisan cunt like you.

                      Now kindly fuck off to the pit from whence you came.

                    2. After such an articulate and well reasoned response, I can only lament your unwillingness to engage with me.

                      Perhaps you think your vulgar, rude responses (which insult not just me but our gracious host who asks you to refrain from such, one would think a libertarian would have more respect for the wishes of the owner of the property they use) make up for your inability to defend your points? Or is that just a conservative thing 😉

                    3. You didn’t get beat up enough in school. Had you, you might not be tedious and boring twat that you are today.

                      I might actually kill myself if I had to interact with you in meatspace, since feigning death wouldn’t shut you up.

                    4. I was never beaten up in school at all, but your comment is nice since nothing goes with the NAP like wishing people were beat up more.

                    5. That only validates my model.

                      I’m wondering, though, just how much of an aspy mongoloid are you? I’d say to pick a number on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the biggest social retard, but I can see you picking a number out to 5 decimal points after a rigorous calulation. That takes all the fun out of it.

                      Wishing a painful and unfortunate event on someone is no violation of the NAP. I have committed no actual aggression myself. That’s a clear distinction that I’m sure you can appreciate. I’m only wishing that an escaped prisoner would skullfuck you in a back alley.

                    6. “Bo Cara Esq.|12.28.13 @ 2:19PM|#

                      After such an articulate and well reasoned response, I can only lament your unwillingness to engage with me.

                      Wow look = it speaks *fluent* Douchebag.

                    7. “Are you really arguing there is as much political sentiment and will on ‘cracking down’ on illegal aliens among conservatives and Republicans as among liberals and Democrats?”

                      There’s no need for ‘argument’ = its a basic fact. The main difference you seem to be caught up in is the rhetorical posture each party takes in regards to its feel-goodness with immigrants. Democrats pander to immigrants to pretend to be offering open arms to new constituents; in reality, they enlarge, reinforce, and perpetuate the institutions that make immigrants lives miserable for a variety of reasons, the main of which is that they’ve never seen a bureaucracy they didn’t like, but not the least of which is the inherent legacy protectionism and racism which has been part of the democrat tradition since its inception.

                      I mean, do ‘record deportations’ not put the slightest dent in the ‘immigration-friendly’ bullshit rhetoric of democrats?

                      http://www.salon.com/2013/12/2…..ortations/

                      When you can show me a comprehensive immigration reform bill proposed by Democrats that’s actually *better* than the one shot down in 2007… then you might have some actual point to make. The fact is that Immigration makes a wonderful stalking horse for either party to use to rally up constituents in different ways, but in the end the actual policies either party endorses are hardly different at all.

                    8. “When you can show me a comprehensive immigration reform bill proposed by Democrats that’s actually *better* than the one shot down in 2007”

                      The one that a total of seven Democrat senators opposed?

              2. I live in a Red State totally dominated by conservatives which has adopted one of these Arizona type laws as well as the Voter Id laws. The rhetoric about ‘furriners’ coming here, ‘taking our jobs,’ ‘getting benefits,’ ‘electing liberals’ and ‘speaking their funny language’ is thick.

                If that is coming from the Left and passing in Blue States then please, please present such evidence. If you will or can not, then let us stop this ‘red herring’ business. Pointing to the place where the political will comes from for ‘cracking down on illegals’ is hardly a ‘red herring’ when discussing those policies. It is not like in other discussions, on other policies, it would not be proper to identify the Left and Democrat Party as chiefly to blame (though the Right and Republicans might not be blameless), and somehow I doubt the ‘usual suspects’ such as yourself would be bellyaching about tribalism in those cases.

                  1. A facebook page of Democrats that oppose Amnesty?

                    Of course some Democrats oppose amnesty. But let me repeat what I said supra to someone else to you:

                    “Are you really arguing there is as much political sentiment and will on ‘cracking down’ on illegal aliens among conservatives and Republicans as among liberals and Democrats?”

                1. I just moved out of Philadelphia, which is about as blue as it gets, and I promise you that while the rhetoric is different they will be the first to line up against “foreigners taking jobs” or “outsourcing” or whatever the anti-trade/immigration flavor-of-the-day is.

                  1. Sure. Do you think this is generalizable across ‘blues’ as much as for ‘reds’ across the country? Because that is the point I was making.

                    1. Yes. I would say there are very few people on either Team interested in truly Open Borders.

                      When the left talks about legalization of immigrants they are basically talking about current residents and there isn’t any real push for opening things up to allow anyone to take any job no matter their current country of residence.

                    2. Look at the current immigration reform bill, what it has in it and who is against it and for it, and which parts.

                    3. I am already aware of these things.

                      You’re missing the point though. The left is for citizenship for currently illegal immigrants because they see a constituency up for grabs.

                      However, the Unions see immigrants as a threat to their inflated labor prices and thus oppose bringing in any more.

                      To really see this in action you should go look at the exchange Bryan Caplan had with one of these guys during and after an Intelligence squared debate.

                    4. I do not doubt that many Democrats are ‘better’ on immigration (from a libertarian perspective) for dubious motives, or that there are quite a few Democrats who are no better, only that overall, nationally, conservatives and Republicans have more anti-immigrant sentiments and proposed/adopted policies than Democrats. This is easily shown by looking what laws which states pass, congressional votes, and polling data.

        2. I would say that the immigration retards are primarily from the right, but for the simple reason that the left just wants to give immigrants goodies and buy their votes.

          However, “papers please” is not just restricted to immigration. The fedgov is very concerned about knowing who moves where and when and with whom else, because something something national security.

          1. I think politicians on the left do not mind funding DHS projects because, well, spending! But yes, primarily anti-immigration sentiment finds its home amongst the right and the Republican Party (and unfortunately too many ‘libertarians’ who, shall we say, lean to the right and the GOP) these days.

        3. “Papers please” isnt just about immigration.

          Much of it is about internal movement too.

          And the left is probably worse on that than the right, which balances out the right being worse on immigration.

          1. robc, I did not mean it sarcastically when I said I would be happy to acknowledge evidence of what you are getting at.

    2. Huh? I thought that the Border Patrol and the rest of US Homeland Security worked for the President with a furrin name and Kenyan socialist ideas.

      Sure, a bunch of neo-cons would be happy with a ‘papers please’ police state if it omitted the ‘please’ part, and a tangled coalition of conservative protectionists, labor unions, and other Neandertals would like to restrict immigration more harshly.

      However, these border checkpoints have expanded under Obama, not contracted. It’s rather disingenuous to assert that this is strictly a Democrat or Republican phenomenon. Statists of all stripes endorse it.

      1. “I thought that the Border Patrol and the rest of US Homeland Security worked for the President with a furrin name and Kenyan socialist ideas.”

        This is the same President that many on the right are calling for his impeachment for failing to enforce a small sliver of these laws?

        1. Yes, what’s your point?

          1. See my first paragraph supra @ 1:55

        2. What’s your point?

          When are progressives going to accept responsibility for the performance of the government that they control?

          DHS is funded by Congress, but it reports to the President. The rest of the responsibility for its success or failure with the Obama Administration.

          This whole blame Bush thing is really getting old.

          1. His point appears to be that as long as there is as a non-Democrat alive, the struggle continues.

            1. I think you are projecting, but a mirror image.

    3. Re: Bo cara Esq.,

      This is all part and parcel of the ‘papers please’ strain pushed by conservatives [in] several aspects.

      It’s actually the direct result of the war on drugs, Bo, which is universally pushed by statist busybodies on both sides.

      1. The statists are pretty much on one side. It is a quite massive side, of course, nothing like an equal distribution in these matters. The anti-statists are on a different side.

    4. I keep hearing you people call the Obama administration “conservative” but I never see any evidence of it. This story and your response to it are perfect examples. Then again, you people seem to think health food nut and massive government advocate Hitler was a conservative too.

      1. And if you were not calling Obama conservative, maybe you need to figure out who was president in 2009 and in charge of these immigration enforcers.

  3. Fantastic piece, Mr. Kimbell.

    “Many of my initial conflicts were much like the generic one described above, resulting in agents eventually letting me through without me answering their questions. But after several such encounters, I experienced something different.”

    My understanding is that they have license plate readers at the checkpoints. They keep a database of everyone going through the checkpoints, and they can flag a license plate for extra scrutiny if they see a regular pattern.

    After the first few times you resisted, I bet your license plate got flagged.

    I’d love to see this same kind of resistance movement blossom around airport security. I’d be interested to hear if some of the people who are routinely hassled going through checkpoints are also hassled when they fly.

    1. Not too many people want or can afford to be put on the ‘Do Not Fly’ list.

      And, once a protester gets on the list, the he is no longer able to protest effectively.

      1. I suspect there’s a list of people who aren’t on the DNF list but who, like at the checkpoints, are singled out for extra scrutiny.

        I would be interested to know if it’s the same database.

        Some people get searched two or three times on the way to the plane every time they fly, but they can still fly.

        1. That used to happen to me.

          I had a girlfriend who was Muslim, and once I started going to mosque, all of a sudden I’d get searched two or three times every time I flew.

          They’d pull me out of the boarding line, even.

          I thought I was just unlucky for a while. I mean, what, is the DHS taking down license plate numbers at the mosque, or something? But, back then, I thought people were paranoid to say the government was tracking all of our phone calls, too.

          It doesn’t happen anymore. I never get stopped in the airport anymore.

          1. I had a girlfriend who was Muslim, and once I started going to mosque

            Man, I’ve done a lot of crazy shit to get laid, but this… She must have been smoking hot.

            1. I should have converted and married her.

              Worst mistake I ever made in my life.

              1. Perhaps it’s my lack of imagination, but I can’t picture any woman hot enough to trade bacon and whiskey for.

                1. One of the things that’s hard to get across to people is that there’s this picture of what Muslims are like, and then there’s the reality.

                  Sort of like the Kinsey Report? Given what Americans said publicly back in the ’40s and ’50s, you’d think the BJ hadn’t been invented yet, but we know that isn’t true…

                  You know how there are more strip bars per capita in the Bible Belt than anywhere else in the country?

                  Well, a lot of Muslims drink. …and I don’t just mean here in the U.S. Around the world, there are a lot of Muslims who drink. Some countries in North Africa have ongoing, centuries long traditions of wine making. You’ll find plenty of Muslims in places like Egypt and Turkey who drink, too, and you’ll find alcohol about in Saudi Arabia.

                  Just like you’ll find plenty of Christians who drink in the South.

                  Dispelling some of these myths about people is one of the reasons why I think more people should visit a mosque.

                  When you get there, instead of a hot bed of anti-Americanism, oppression of women, and political extremism, what you’re probably going to find is a bunch of people trying to find someone to marry, people trying to teach their kids to be honest and respect their elders; people looking for ways to cope with their mortality, and people looking for a social outlet outside of the home.

                  Muslims just aren’t scary. What’s going on at your local planning commission meeting or PTA meeting is a lot more frightening.

                  1. ^^Read this.

            2. Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean women can be STUNNING! My wife is half Syrian (Christian) and the women on her mom’s side are off the charts.

              1. I knew some Lebanese sisters when I was young.

                Un effing believably hot.

            3. You could do a lot worse than dating the sophisticated, well educated, first and second generation immigrant beauties of Egypt, Iran, and the Middle East. Our prejudices about these people are often unfounded.

              For some reason, when we see other people as enemies, we tend to draw pictures in our minds of their women that are unflattering.

              During the Cold War, we thought of the women in the Eastern Bloc as looking like East German women’s weightlifting team.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va_IIOKYl6M

              Russian women aren’t like that.

              During World War II, I suppose we thought Japanese women had huge buck teeth and wore big, thick glasses.

              You should go to a mosque some time. Might change your perspective on a lot of things.

              1. I mean, if you have to be against open immigration, at least they should let as many women come here as want to.

                Especially if they’re from Colombia, Eastern Europe, Lebanon, or Iran. For goodness’ sake, the government keeping single women in those countries from moving here if they want to is a crime against my humanity.

              2. You should go to a mosque some time

                Unless the mosque follows the Maliki viewpoint which doesn’t allow non-believers into a mosque under any circumstance upon pain of death.

                So no delicious Moroccan lemon rice, unfortunately.

                1. Whatever.

                  1. Well, it’s an important factoid to know if one wanted to go mosque-hopping, yes?

                    My parents lived in Morocco for a while before I was born and my mom has a funny story about the time she almost fell into a mosque after being bumped on the side of the road by a donkey-cart.

                    1. You’re going to have to look really hard to find a mosque where non-believers are officially unwelcome.

                      But, yeah, go to the mosque’s website to look for when services are, or call them up. If you call them, chances are they’ll have some volunteer meet you at the door and show you around.

                    2. You’re going to have to look really hard to find a mosque where non-believers are officially unwelcome [here in the United States]…

                      I should have added.

      2. Lovely catch-22, huh?

  4. More mayhem by the alphabet soup agencies that answer only to the executive branch. Are we through pretending that we’re in a republic anymore?

  5. After the agent declared that the dog alerted to my vehicle, I relented and pulled into the secondary inspection area. I recorded the entire encounter with my phone. The agents led the dog throughout my car for several minutes until the search ended with no contraband discovered.

    Get the canine’s “badge number” and create a database showing how often certain dogs “alert” with subsequent searches turning up nothing, calling the dog’s abilities into question.

  6. Das papieren, bitte.

    1. American fascists no longer bother with the ‘bitte’ part.

      1. Jetzt.

        1. As in, Das papieren jetzt, sonst.

          1. Doch.

    2. Sus papeles, por favor.

  7. Once upon a time, there was a Ron Paul libertarian that turned liberal, thus invalidating libertarianism

    After leaving my small town upbringing, I learned that libertarians are made for lots of reasons, like reading the bad fiction of Ayn Rand or perhaps the passable writing of Robert Heinlein. In my experience, most seemed to be poor, white and undereducated. They were contortionists, justifying the excesses of the capitalist elite, despite being victims if libertarian politics succeed.

    If you think that selfishness and cruelty are fantastic personal traits, you might be a libertarian. In the movement no one will ever call you an asshole, but rather, say you believe in radical individualism.
    […]
    Through all the turmoil, the presidential election went ahead. Although I didn’t vote for him, I wept when Barack Obama took the oath of office in early 2009. They were tears of bewilderment, joy, pride and hope, despite the fact that I did everything within my own limited power to keep the moment from ever happening.

    From the ashes of the election rose the movement that pushed me from convinced libertarian into bunny-hugging liberal. The Tea Party monster forever tainted the words freedom and libertarian for me. The rise of the Tea Party made me want to puke, and my nausea is now a chronic condition.

    Thank God this asshole has left us, although he clearly has issues.

    1. He wept when Obama took office? This guy sounds like a “libertarian” who was really looking for an authoritarian god to worship. Guess Ron Paul wasn’t authoritarian enough. Sad, really.

      1. This guy sounds like a “libertarian” who was really looking for an authoritarian god to worship.

        My thoughts as well…although I don’t think it’s specifically authoritarian…this guy just had an Obama shaped empty spot that is now filled. The rest of his article would have made more sense in 2009 as opposed to late 2013.

        I wonder if he’s still weeping and if so if it’s still from joy?

        1. He prayed the gay away!

          1. That’s some serious praying.

            I am pissed that this guy kinda looks like me though…he even grew up in my “back yard”

            I hope that’s not me….nahh that’s just crazy talk!

      2. Why does every fascist feel the need to take a swipe at Rand when thy come out of the closet?

          1. Of Ayn Rand?

            It’s just some bizarre and boring tribal ad hominem. It’s always clear that neither the person using the insult nor his intended audience have ever read anything of hers.

            1. Sorry, I thought you were referring to Rand Paul. Let me change my answer.

              Because Rand, has in fact, made a lot of libertarians. That makes her the enemy.

              The common, “I was an Objectivist in my youth, but then I outgrew it” claim probably comes from a discounting of the philosophy rather than being able to refute it, likely based upon the justification of “wanting free shit”. (I’m surmising)

              1. It’s bizarre and boring, and it’s a tribal ad hominem. But it is also a lie. Ayn Rand was not a libertarian. She was explicitly anti-libertarian.

                Ayn Rand on Libertarianism:

                All kinds of people today call themselves “libertarians,” especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies who are anarchists instead of leftist collectivists; but anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet libertarians combine capitalism and anarchism. That’s worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. Anarchists are the scum of the intellectual world of the Left, which has given them up. So the Right picks up another leftist discard. That’s the libertarian movement.

                1. Yeah, but Rand hated everyone other than herself (debatable) and Aristotle. She really did view the world in stark us vs. them terms, with Rothbard and Buckley receiving as much hate as the worst collectivist.

                  Politically, she shares common interests with libertarians and classical liberals, and in the dirty world of politics, that’s close enough to either lump her as a variant of classical liberalism and one of the standard pugnacious radicals that marginalized groups produce when the rest of the world is aligned against them.

                2. Well aware of Rand’s stance on libertarianism. It would be interesting, if she was still alive, to ask her if those views have softened any?

                  This all or nothing, my way or the highway, stance is why I’m not a full up Objectivist. Their intolerance of anyone who strays even a little from their mantra is unappealing to me. Her main gripe with libertarians is that libertarians tolerate the anarchists. I would agree that after the great libertarian revolution of 201X, the minarchists and the anarchists will split, but until then, we are more alike than different. Hows about we argue the details after we’re free?

                  I also don’t like their intolerance of religion. While I understand the logic that gets them there (and I agree with it), an intolerant philosophical viewpoint has a high potential for morphing into “we need to do something about it” stance. I’ll stick with the NAP, thanks.

                  1. I also don’t like their intolerance of religion. While I understand the logic that gets them there (and I agree with it), an intolerant philosophical viewpoint has a high potential for morphing into “we need to do something about it” stance. I’ll stick with the NAP, thanks.

                    Rand’s epistemology completely excludes any un-derived, abstract knowledge, so anyone with the slightest metaphysical leaning is already out. Exclusivity may be fun for a narcissist, but that’s not a great way to begin your political-philosophical movement.

                    The most fundamental difference I can spot between libertarianism and objectivism is that Rand conflated the moral with the ethical. There are lots of libertarians who’d find violent porn immoral and objectionable, but who don’t believe that it violates the libertarian ethos if all parties participated voluntarily. There are others who’d have no problem with it morally or ethically. So we share a common ethos codified by the NAP, but not necessarily a general sense of morality.

                    Rand doesn’t screw around with that distinction, but just calls things moral or immoral, then kicks people out of her group when they object. That leads to a inbred philosophical culture that could easily become, like you said, dangerously intolerant to new or heretical ideas.

                    1. I almost posted this last night when folks were debating tolerance (the duck guy thread), but it didn’t quite fit.

                      I have to come down with Rand on this.

                      Moral = you didn’t infringe upon the rights of another

                      Immoral = you did infringe on the rights of another

                      If it’s moral, shut the fuck up and let people live as they see fit.

                      If it’s immoral, you may seek restitution.

                      I see little if any difference between ethics and morals. I see nothing wrong, at all, with any action that doesn’t affect another’s rights.

                    2. She’s conflating a personal ethos with a political one. Which is why she comes off as kind of a twat and why I don’t particularly think she’s any good for the brand.

                      Artistically, the fact that her greatest contribution to the written word was influencing the lyrics of Rush is reason enough to cast her aside as a novelty.

                3. That doesn’t even make sense! X is Y (because I say it)! The over use of “isms” …. AAAAAAGH!

                  1. Sure it does, Kyfho.

                    Ethics refers to a group’s values. Nazis have an ethos. Neocons have an ethos. Point being that you can operate within a particular ethos without being moral.

                    Rand just skips right past ethics and goes straight to morality, which has the virtue of simplicity, but not flexibility.

            2. Rand is the most polarizing philosopher in our spectrum, and there aren’t even too many libertarians who believe that ethical egoism is a route to happiness, much less socdems, progressives, or conservatives.

              If you’re looking for a reason to dismiss an entire philosophy without straining yourself, might as well take on its most controversial branch. Kind of like how it’s easier to dismiss socialism when hammering away at Stalin than by going after LBJ.

        1. Rand, due to her appearances in popular culture is one of the few libertarians along with Friedman that progressive are in anyway familiar with. Combine this with a personal life and personality quirks that make her good fodder for ad hominem

          1. Accidentally hit submit

            and you get the reason why every former libertarian who saw the progressive light story begins with the cliche of how they read Rand in high school.

            1. The reality is that Objectivists and libertarians are often openly hostile to each other, and Ayn Rand was apparently quite hostile to various libertarians.

              Murray Rothbard spoofed Ayn Rand in his one act comedy, “Mozart was a Red”:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIk5C2qsRH8

              And Ayn Rand apparently despised Hayek. Take a look at some examples pulled from Doherty’s book:

              http://ftalphaville.ft.com/201…..k-vs-rand/

              The weird thing about Ayn Rand, from a libertarian perspective, is that in the public’s imagination, she seems to stand in as a whipping boy for everything libertarian. In the popular imagination if Ayn Rand argued it, then libertarians dogmatically believe it.

              In the real world, Rand seems to have despised Rothbard and Hayek (libertarians) and they seem to have thought very little of her dogmatism–to say the least.

              1. I’m aware of this, perhaps I should have specified libertarianish or libertarian leaning.

              2. with a young Jeff Tucker–sounding a lot like Kenneth from 30 Rock–as Nathaniel Branden.

          2. “Rand … is one of the few libertarians …”

            Except Rand is NOT a libertarian. Rand considered libertarians to be “scum”.

    2. From the article:

      “The Republican convention didn’t turn me off of libertarians, but I started losing respect for the movement while watching the financial meltdown. Libertarians were (rightly) furious when our government bailed out the banks, but they fought hardest against help for ordinary Americans. They hated unemployment insurance and reduced school lunches. I used to say similar things, but in such a catastrophic recession isn’t the government supposed to help? Isn’t that the lesson of the Great Depression?”

      This fellow was clearly never a libertarian with comments like the last two sentences.

      1. I wept when he took office too. Oh, wait.

        1. I can actually see a black person weeping when Obama took office in 08. Catholics weeping when Kennedy took office was not unheard of. Members of long oppressed minority groups feeling an arational joy at seeing such a milestone being achieved, I can understand that.

          Everyone should have wept when he took office in 12.

    3. Greg Gutfeld calls himself a libertarian when he’s not calling for Edward Snowden to be executed.

      Politics and political labels attract fools and nutcases of all stripes. I don’t think too many of us would be surprised to learn that a lot of libertarians are the sorts of people we wouldn’t want to share an elevator with; it’s just significantly less likely to be true of them than a GOP member or Democrat who buttress the party candidate no matter his character or crimes.

    4. I never saw him at any of the meetings.

      1. LMAO

    5. Damn you for linking to that pile of blithering idiocy masquerading as commentary. That’s about twenty minutes of reading that I’ll never get back. Hardly any of the people there seemed interested in having any kind of serious debate. It all seemed to be a bunch of name calling. Even the self professed defenders of libertarianism were rather incoherent. Yikes.

    6. In my experience, most [libertarians] seemed to be poor, white and undereducated.

      In my experience, most liberals are incapable of separating ideas from the people that hold them. I can also easily say that most liberals *I know* are assholes, so all liberals must be assholes. See? Easy-piecy Fallacy of Composition!

      If you think that selfishness and cruelty are fantastic personal traits, you might be a libertarian.

      THIS particular statement tells me that the guy is either being incredibly dishonest or incredibly ignorant. Being selfish does not mean ipso facto being cruel or accepting of cruelty. One thing (selfishness) does not beget the other (cruelty.) That is, leaving aside the utterly pedestrian use of the word “fantastic” which means “not real, born from fantasy.”

      By the way, I consider the concept of controlling people’s lives through legislation and a regulatory state to be the ultimate cruelty towards your fellow men.

      1. Cruelya a desire to cause others to suffer

        Seem like a direct violation of the non-aggression principle to me.

  8. According to this article the proposed immigration bill languishing in Congress would restrict any internal border checkpoints to sites within 25 miles of a US border:

    http://www.vnews.com/news/8743…..heckpoints

    1. It’s also kind of ridiculous that the checkpoints close so often.

      I go back and forth through the one south of Temecula on the I-15 all the time. A lot of times its closed, and it always seems to be closed on government holidays. If you’re a terrorist, coyote, or drug smuggler, once you get into San Diego, I guess you just have to wait for the next government holiday, and the checkpoint will be closed.

      The one between Nevada and California on the I-15 is pretty ridiculous, too. They’re still searching for fruit flies, so they don’t want you bringing any fruit into the state in your car. (California already has enough fruits!)

      They just look like work making programs to me. I’m sure they get a bust every so often to justify their jobs, but if what they’re doing isn’t important enough to do on holidays, then it must not really be that important. And seriously, who needs another stop on the freeway between San Diego and Orange County/the Inland Empire/LA?

      They’re certainly not preventing illegal immigration. I’ve heard there’s more than 3 million illegal immigrants in California alone. Statistically, those checkpoints are stopping a molecule in the proverbial bucket.

      1. The I-15 checkpoint is run by the Democratic People’s Republic of California (DPRC) for “agricultural protection.” It is make work. When I was growing up Arizona ran them too. So along the AZ/CA border there were checkpoints both ways. You wouldn’t want a communist mexican grapefruit entering your state.

        1. It used to be about fruit flies!

          As recently as the early ’80s, Orange County was all oranges as far as the eye could see. They were trying to protect the fruit crop.

          They just use whatever excuse they have at the moment. And the last thing we need between North County and Temecula, Murrieta, etc. is a pointless stop on the freeway.

          It didn’t used to be commuter traffic, but it is now! Those are bedroom communities for an awful lot of people who can’t afford to live in North County and don’t want to move to San Ysidro or, God forbid, El Cajon.

    2. I think it should be 50 yards.

  9. I think an important step in combating this nonsense would be to establish in law that if a Law Enforcement Agency has destroyed, lost, or is otherwise unable to produce video evidence that is known to have existed in its custody at some point, its version of events no longer carries any legal weight. Naturally, attempting to pass such a law would generate howls of outrage and general butthurt from the LEOs and their partisans, but that in itself might be a worthwhile effect.

    Anybody know a legislator with a nasty sense of humor?

    1. I would love for a defense attorney to bring in a dog expert and show the jury how they can get a dog to signal at anything in the courtroom. Can these dogs find drugs? Yes. But when used at these stops, they are basically looking for approval from their handlers.

    2. Need to change the FOIA laws. There should be no statute of limitations on the State, or at least change it so that any request for clarification resets the clock so the State can’t run out the clock with delays like this.

      I’d also say that any case dies with the injured party as well even though that has some potential downsides too.

  10. If a cop wants a date , all he has to do is ask you for your number. http://www.adn.com/2013/12/26/…..ficer.html

  11. Oh, look. MNG Junior stops by to say,
    “ARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARF”

    People throw his slimy slobbery stick for him. Just like old times.

    1. I think you are actually physically pained by criticism of the Right.

      I have to wonder how the small, but quite vocal, group of persons such as yourself can stand to hang around libertarian websites like Reason who consistently cast poxes on the Right Team as much as the Left Team?

      But I have an idea how you do: call the commentators Cosmotarians, the commenters ‘MNG Junior’ or ‘Blue Tulpas’ and never, ever, acknowledge the complete paucity of any argument to defend Team Red in these circumstances.

      1. Few here defend the Peter Kings, Bloombergs, or McCains of team red. You may not have noticed, but Team Red is mostly despised, with even its best senator receiving plenty of heat for his socon leanings.

        Your role on this forum, however, is to point out how much worse team red is than team blue on civil liberties, which is unequivocally false given the record of the democratic legislature under Bush and Obama and Obama’s intensification of Bush’s abusive policies. Your absurd, calculated writing style doesn’t help the perception that you’re a water-carrying fop.

        You might more easily understand the reaction to your posts were you to realize that you are perceived the sort of character who, when comparing Mussolini to FDR–each a villain in his own right–chides others for saying such nasty things about Il Duce when it’s clear who the real troublemaker is.

        1. “Few here defend the Peter Kings, Bloombergs, or McCains of team red.”

          Every conservative does that!

          “Your role on this forum, however, is to point out how much worse team red is than team blue on civil liberties, which is unequivocally false ”

          It totally depends on what we are discussing. If we are talking about health care policy I do not think you can find a comment of mine defending the travesty that the Democrats coughed up there or criticizing the Republicans in that area. That is because the Democrats are much worse than the Republicans from a libertarian perspective on that issue. Likewise, on immigration the GOP is much worse than the Democrats, so in a conversation about that I flag the GOP.

          Now, here is my question to you: have you ever flagged someone for focusing only on the Democrats on some issue (even one where they are worse)? Of course you have not. Because, ironically, you are the one acting consistently with a ‘water-carrier’, albeit one for the other team.

          1. Every conservative does that!

            That’s a particularly weird non sequitur. We’re talking about Team Red: Peter King, Bloomberg (until he became an “independent”), and McCain have been among the most visible and powerful members of Team Red for the past decade.

            Now, here is my question to you: have you ever flagged someone for focusing only on the Democrats on some issue (even one where they are worse)? Of course you have not. Because, ironically, you are the one acting consistently with a ‘water-carrier’, albeit one for the other team.

            Just as it’s bad taste to laugh at your own joke, you probably shouldn’t answer your own questions. And when you do, you probably shouldn’t answer them incorrectly while including an “of course” to case even more light onto your presumptuousness.

            As I asked you earlier, what’s my tribe? Who am I carrying water for? And why are you intent on turning the tables without answering charges? I assume it’s because you’re a smug contrarian, but admittedly there could be other issues there.

            1. Conservatives commonly criticize Bloomberg, King and McCain as traitors and ‘RINOs’, but nice try.

              “you probably shouldn’t answer your own questions”

              Someone has to answer it, since you have failed to present any.

              “And why are you intent on turning the tables without answering charges?”

              I have answered you, more than once and even in the comment you just directly replied to here! So, yes, having done so it is ‘your turn’.

              1. Conservatives commonly criticize Bloomberg, King and McCain as traitors and ‘RINOs’, but nice try.

                Non sequitur. No one is talking about “conservatives,” whatever that label might mean to you. We’re talking about Red and Blue, Democrat and Republican, party affiliations. McCain is Red. King is Red. Bloomberg was Red.

                Someone has to answer it, since you have failed to present any.

                Reading is fundamental, Bo. You made a guess about my affiliation and missed by a country mile. Then you offered your usual passive-aggressive misdirection when I corrected you. And now you’re blathering on again in the hopes that you can slip off the hook that you put yourself on.

                I have answered you, more than once and even in the comment you just directly replied to here! So, yes, having done so it is ‘your turn’.

                Bo, you didn’t answer me, you just denied the charges against the Democrats who enable and, for the past five years, lead the abuses against immigrants and citizens alike. I anxiously await your admission that Democrats, not Republicans, have been behind the 4A abuses of executive agencies for the past five years.

                At that point, we can exchange sugar-cookie recipes or talk 2014 MLB or the distinction between Platonic and Neoplatonic thought. I just want to see you admit that Team Blue has been as responsible for federal immigration abuses since 2009 as Team Red was from 2001-8.

                1. Reading is indeed fundamental, which is why we should both do it.

                  “No one is talking about “conservatives,” ”

                  Here is the beginning of the original post of mine that started this discussion:

                  Bo Cara Esq.|12.28.13 @ 12:40PM|#
                  This is all part and parcel of the ‘papers please’ strain pushed by conservatives several aspects.

                  “You made a guess about my affiliation and missed by a country mile.”

                  I made a guess based on the facts that you criticize a person for saying Team Red is worse as a ‘red herring’ and ‘tribalism’ and yet can produce no instance of you doing the same when someone criticizes Team Blue the same way. It is a fair inference that you can undercut by simply providing any evidence that you are, in fact, consistent on this rather than being more upset at criticisms of Team Red than Blue.

                  “I just want to see you admit that Team Blue has been as responsible for federal immigration abuses since 2009 as Team Red was from 2001-8.”

                  The Obama administration is responsible for the offences of the agencies it directs and the policies it enacted. My point was about where the sentiment behind such abuses, from any policies of any administration, come from more. As I have said, if you look at legislation in Red vs. Blue states, polling data of conservatives and liberals, and voting records of each ‘team’ on matters of immigration it is plain which is more far from the libertarian Nolan chart position.

          2. Bo Cara Esq.|12.28.13 @ 2:10PM|#

            “Few here defend the Peter Kings, Bloombergs, or McCains of team red.”

            Every conservative does that!

            Bullshit!
            I’ve never seen anyone hear defend one of those three assholes.

            1. Yes, few conservatives would defend them.

              1. Lots of conservatives were enthusiastic McCain cheerleaders back in 2008. Almost every single one of them. Lots of them were enthusiastic McCain boosters back in 2000 as well.

                Most conservatives have never heard of King, and could not care less. (Don’t forget that most folks can’t even name their own representative, much less some jerk in New York.) Bloomberg is an anomaly.

      2. I think you are actually physically pained by criticism of the Right.

        See, this is where you reveal yourself to be nothing more than a less abrasive version of Palin’s Buttplug.

        Your obsession with the so-cons, an increasingly marginalized and ineffectual group of old crazies, is purely contrarian, as is your apparent pleasure in castigating those who find so-cons less offensive and less threatening than progressives. Do you think we need to compulsively mock the Right as much as the Left to gain libertarian cred?

        1. “Your obsession with the so-cons”

          That started with a conversation I had with two posters about the regular postings about leftist feminists making crazy statements. I asked about a particular wacky female socon (Lopez) and the others said they would love to see posts about such people. Given socons regularly call for NAP violations I fail to see how noting that is so offensive to so many here.

          “your apparent pleasure in castigating those who find so-cons less offensive and less threatening than progressives”

          I have actually several times stated unequivocally that progressives are, nationwide, a greater current threat to overall liberty than socons.

          “Do you think we need to compulsively mock the Right as much as the Left to gain libertarian cred?”

          No, but being so offended by mocking of the Right is a bit strange, no?

        2. Closer to Tulpa than Shitstopper, as Tulpa and Bo are just here to argue. Shitstopper is a shill.

          This notion that we bag on the left more than the right can be easily explained:

          We are libertarians. The farther one strays from libertarian philosophy the more shit one can expect. Quite simply, conservatives have more common issues with libertarians than progressives do.

          It has nothing to do with carrying water for one of the Teams, it has to do with how far that Team strays from our beliefs.

          1. “Quite simply, conservatives have more common issues with libertarians than progressives do.”

            And I have said repeatedly that as a general matter in the current US this is true. How that leads to outrage at someone noting that conservatives are still un-libertarian on a variety of issues is what escapes me.

      3. You are Blue Tulpa because you argue dishonestly by trying to nitpick details and moving goalposts in a similar manner that Tulpa does. You did this to me a while back, trying to argue the interpretation of a very statement made by an LEO or something a while back. That’s when I decided you were not worth engaging with. It’s not your tribalism so much as your tactics that put in the the Tulpa camp.

        1. Jesus Christ proofread, Plissken.

        2. Look, sometimes fine, nuanced points are very important. Law school has really taught me that. Big things really can hinge on if something is an ‘and’ or an ‘or.’ I understand that might seem frustrating, especially if what people are looking for is a chorus of unqualified and enthusiastic support for what they want to say or think. I do not mean it as so.

          1. Law school has really taught me that.

            Shit, you’re a law student. No wonder this was going so poorly. Sorry for all the putdowns about your writing style.

            Most of us here have a more nuanced view than your standard political talking head, and we don’t take kindly to having our anti-authoritarianism lumped into anti-Democratism when we spent the entire decade of the aughts in shellshock from the Bush administration. We’ve paid our dues, thanks, and we don’t have to prove that we’re not *really* Republicans in disguise.

            Good luck with law school. It’s a bitch.

            1. Shit, you’re a law student.

              My guess, and I’ve not seen anything to disprove my speculation, is that Blue Tulpa thinks he’s practicing for his future profession by coming here to argue. I think this is why he picks the most insignificant topics to prattle on about as well. He feels superior arguing points that no one else cares about. Makes him feel lawyerly, as if he, is the only being willing to care about the minutia, because that’s what a good lawyer does.

              What it actually does, is make him an annoying insect.

            2. “Most of us here have a more nuanced view than your standard political talking head”

              Wait, I thought it was the nuance that was infuriating half of the ‘haters?’ Now I do not have enough?

              1. Wait, I thought it was the nuance that was infuriating half of the ‘haters?’ Now I do not have enough?

                Not following. Who are the “haters”? Are you the “hater” or am I supposed to be the “hater”? What is it, exactly, that I/you hate?

                What I’m saying is that you lack an understanding of where the rest of us are coming from. The majority of us recognize that there is barely a hair’s difference between Team Red and Team Blue and that most politicians could switch parties without changing more than one or two voting tendencies. Obama is purely a continuation of Bush, and, talking points aside, the standard politician in both parties supports aggressive intrusions into civil liberties via border searches, gaterape, NSA spying, etc.

                You seem to believe that there’s a greater chasm between these two groups of people who operate entirely within the Overton window, and that’s why you’re getting hammered here.

                Your confusion over why I’d oppose your water-carrying for Blue State politicians–it must be because I’m a closeted Republican!–is due to the fact that you don’t understand libertarian sentiments re: the Bush era or the belief that Obama is nothing more than a Term 3 & 4 Bush. And that’s because, no offense, you’re a political and philosophical naif who seems to believe the world of political philosophy has its boundaries in the views of Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul.

                There’s a big world out there, Bo.

                1. There is some powerful irony in your comment, if you are being honest.

                  I have not been posting here long. If you go back to six months or so when I began you will find me making the exact points you just made. People often seemed exclusively focused on ‘progs’ and Democrats as the statists, and I finally started to say ‘hey, you know, progs and Democrats are certainly statists, but not the only ones, and on some (albeit few) issues they are not even the worst statists.’ This was an easy observation for me to make, because where I live and grew up Team Blue was not in control by a long shot and it was Team Red innovating in liberty restricting. So I started to note stories about Team Red in general, but Social Conservatives in particular, pushing NAP violations.

                  And a lot of people were quite upset.

                  Now, a libertarian who feels ‘a pox on the left and the right’ is not going to be upset by someone pointing out the NAP violations of the right (or left). But, a small but quite vocal group of commenters here did just that, getting highly offended at my noting Team Red violations so much. You yourself have done so and offered no instance of you doing the same regarding focuses on Team Blue.

                  Now, what is one to make of that? It makes sense if one leans Red, but not if they are libertarians who feel ‘a pox on both their houses.’

        3. You are Blue Tulpa because you argue dishonestly by trying to nitpick details and moving goalposts in a similar manner that Tulpa does.

          Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner.

          I wouldn’t mind arguing with the guy if he would actually debate issues rather than picking nits.

          1. And as you point out, arguing simply for the sake of argument, something that doesn’t interest me, and another Tulpa specialty.

        4. It’s not your tribalism so much as your tactics that put in the the Tulpa camp.

          It’s both, actually.

  12. since dogs have no demonstrated ability to sniff out the difference between an American and a Mexican.

    Clearly we need better dogs. Can I get a research grant? I promise I’ll only use organic and natural techniques. I expect it shouldn’t take more than a few decades to complete the work. Retirement age? Oh no, I’ll be done before that.

  13. Oh noes, Brooksie, TEAM BLUE piss-boy is onto you.

    I told you it was bad form to hump the leg of Reaagn’s corpse like that. People might get ideas.

    1. If I have ever, ever endorsed a Team Blue NAP violating policy, please present such evidence here.

      1. I hope that Shelia Jackson Lee cornholes you, one day.

        1. You really have nothing behind your arguments other than your anger. That is quite sad.

          1. Has being such a pedantic mattress-stain overwhelmed your brain to the point that you can’t tell the difference between an argument and a sincere insult?

            Seriously, go die from natural causes in prison.

            1. “Has being such a pedantic mattress-stain overwhelmed your brain to the point that you can’t tell the difference between an argument and a sincere insult?”

              Great fun, considering I am sure you either equate the two or are incapable of the former.

  14. Ah, the power of the false dichotomy. I like what Harry Browne used to say. Open the border but FIRST take down the “Free Lunch” sign. First things first. Can a cop, a federal agency director, or a president ignore a law? Even ones you don’t like? What is the difference between cops ignoring unlawful detainment and unlawful entry into this country?

  15. Any of you who are stupid enough to engage New Tulpa deserve everything you get. Man, some of you are stupid.

    1. Ever since I engaged you, I have painful boils that won’t go away! Thanks a lot, pal!

      1. Those aren’t boils. See your doctor immediately.

    2. I don’t know if you remember, or not, but there was once a thread that contained a multi-hundred sub-argument over the fact that “team” has the letters “m” and “e” in it.

      It started with someone making a joke about there being no “i” in “team” and a reply that “there was an m and an e, though”…

      By the end of it there were insults, pleas for suicide, death threats and general hostile feelings. That argument reminds me of every thread that Tulpa Jr. takes to.

      1. Look, if you don’t engage it on its retarded level, you’re the retard. Or something. If you can be bothered to read its juvenile scribblings, good for you, but I have things to do.

        Remember: according to New Tulpa, Old Tulpa, and your mom, not responding to utter inanity on the internet means you aren’t a serious lawyer/arguer/utter idiot. Only by interacting with mongoloids who want nothing more than an eristic waste of time allows you to fulfill your potential. What fun!

        1. You see, people can not rise above the level of wishing those they disagree with to be ‘skullf*cked’ or die, and that strikes Episiarch as not worth comment, but if someone disagrees on fine points then that must be denounced as a contemptible ‘eristic waste of time.’

          That is the culture you fellows want around here? No wonder Ms. Postrel was appalled.

          I repeat, if you want to form some sad, self support club for bruised and angry people who think of themselves as libertarians to engage in vulgar, self referential one-upmanship and denounce anyone who belabors any generalization no matter how grossly made, why would you choose the discussion board here at Reason, where the tone of the writers, the stated disclaimer of the discussion board, and the attempts by people like Ms. Postrel (and supposedly other former editors) indicate that such a purpose is not what they intend or want for their discussion board?

  16. I have never seen Episiarch engage with anyone who disagreed with him here. He arrives, ipse dixit some extreme testimonial, and when disagreed with usually curses the other person and moves on. And it is not a hate of ‘nitpicking nuance,’ I saw him do this to John a few times and John is not given to flights of nitpicking nuance.

    I kind of get what is going on here. An internet community has grown here which has largely self selected for people with extremely strong opinions, many leaning toward partisanship for Team Red (or just hate for Team Blue), but one much more focused on operating as a kind of support group where a person can go, prove they are an unquestioned member of the ‘team’ by posting extreme generalizations, and eschew any disagreement (after all, for one with extremely ideological and strongly held views those who disagree are either evil fascists (Tony) or nitpicking nitwits (me, Tulpa, etc).

    However, I do not think Reason intends this forum to be an echo chamber where everyone outdoes one another with extreme sloganeering and who hates disagreement and robust discussion. Their commentators do not write like this. They do not ask for this in their disclaimer statement to this board. I imagine this is what Ms. Postrel was complaining about recently interacting with this board.

    This is a mighty strange culture that has evolved here. I guess my question for those who are part of it here (and many regular posters are not by the way), why here?

    1. What I see is disdain for TEAM focused politics in general versus simply hate for TEAM blue.

      Since TEAM blue has held the executive branch for five years, there will naturally be more opportunities to point out the hypocrisy and evil they are currently responsible for committing than some hypothetical evil that TEAM red may commit once they regain the throne.

      Fuck team thinking. Regardless of whose foot is in the boot, I’m not licking it. The fact that the asshole currently enjoying Hawaii is doing the exact opposite of what he said he would do while running for the office and nobody other than Ron Wyden has the balls to call him on his bullshit shows how poor team blue’s views of civil liberties really are.

      Politicians care about staying in office and expanding their power. May they all die horribly in a fire.

    2. Ummm…

      Maybe it’s because people with our opinions are really rare and finding others to talk to is hard. We have one place that these views are the accepted norm. If you wanna escape this echo chamber go literally anywhere else.

      Or maybe,

      For the long term posters the whole “you guys are just a bunch of shills for TEAMRED/BLUE! Now prove to me yer not!!!” has happened with near constancy since reason went online. The derision you receive is not happening because you’re outsmarting anyone or saying something new and insightful and it scares people; it’s because you’re merely gumming up the works parroting the same idiotic nonsense we’ve been hearing for years.

      Ditto with your “nuance”…

      Your arguments are usually bunch of shit that’s been hashed over for years and years, but now picked apart to a degree of insanity. It’s not nuance, bo, it’s compulsion.

      And don’t get me started on the “I’m here, nailed to this cross, trying to get you assholes to think!” bullshit pioneered by tulpa before you were a glimmer in your daddy’s eye.

      Most people come here to vent and converse in a ideologically friendly environment, not to argue “or”s and “and”s with you. To them (us) they post something stupid or enraging and others join in to ridicule. We don’t have a counter going to make sure we’re bashing team red as much as we do team blue. Now, it’s blue getting the abuse and when bush was in office it was red. It’ll change again when the party in power changes.

      1. Additionally…

        If you knew how to interact with other humans or had an iota of empathy, I wouldn’t have to explain this to you.

      2. “Maybe it’s because people with our opinions are really rare and finding others to talk to is hard. We have one place that these views are the accepted norm.”

        With all due respect, that strikes me, while accurate for many here, sort of pathetic.

        “it’s because you’re merely gumming up the works parroting the same idiotic nonsense we’ve been hearing for years”

        Actually, I never called anyone for leaning GOP until they started to act offended and insulting toward my mere posting of stories of SoCon NAP violations. It was from that reaction I inferred the conclusion they had some strange sympathy for the socons or cons in general.

        1. With all due respect, that strikes me, while accurate for many here, sort of pathetic.

          Well then fucking leave, asshole. I’m sure, that as a sociopathic piece of shit, it’s hard for you to imagine that people would want to talk with other people of similar interests without creepy autistic virgins nitpicking the details of their conversations, but too fucking bad, bo, that’s what’s going on here.

          Sometimes I almost feel bad for you, bo. You know, between your crazy cult-like family, your crippling lack of social intelligence and the obvious fact that you are without friends make me pity you on occasion, but then I remember what an arrogant fucking cunt you are and the pity vanishes.

          One day you’ll be old and the only memory you’ll have of your college days won’t be talking with girls, or crazy adventures with new friends, but that you got to spend your time feeling superior to a bunch of malcontents on an obscure website comment section. That’s pathetic, bo.

    3. kind of get what is going on here. An internet community has grown here which has largely self selected for people with extremely strong opinions, many leaning toward partisanship for Team Red (or just hate for Team Blue), but one much more focused on operating as a kind of support group where a person can go, prove they are an unquestioned member of the ‘team’ by posting extreme generalizations, and eschew any disagreement (after all, for one with extremely ideological and strongly held views those who disagree are either evil fascists (Tony) or nitpicking nitwits (me, Tulpa, etc).

      You’re delusional Bo.

      The team dynamic here is Team Orange of the Cosmo variety.

  17. To paraphrase the greatest orator of our time: if you like your police state, you can keep your police state.

  18. Good grief.

    I get a chance to sit down for a bit and try to read this thread…..it is mostly a long, tiresome argument over which is the least stinky turd.

    1. Sounds to me like Suthenboy thinks that all turds stink the same, when I know very well that his shit stinks more than mine does.

      1. You are more right than you know. I got up for a midnight snack last night and made a sandwich. I found some hard salami in the fridge that I had forgotten about. My eyesight isnt as good as it used to be so I thought the slight off color of the meat was just my bad eyes.

        Today I am learning that my eyes are not as bad as I thought they were.

    2. My shit stinks much better than yours,
      My shit stinks right down to the floor.
      With a feeling so pure,
      It’s got you coming back for more.

      Regardless of whether your pizza is deep dish or thin crust topping it with shit of any color renders it inedible.

  19. I think you are actually physically pained by criticism of the Right.

    In the bizarro world in your head, maybe.

    Your monumentally obtuse ignorance makes my head hurt.

    1. Can you achieve a level of argument more sophisticated than ‘no I am not, you are!’?

  20. Re: Bo Cara Esq.,

    Really? I see the right and red states adopting wide ranging anti-immigration laws on the Arizona model and voter I[D] laws, not ‘blue’ states, but I am happy to acknowledge any counter evidence you would produce.

    First, you’re conflating two entirely separate issues which are anti-immigration laws and voter ID laws. Voter ID laws are NOT anti-immigration laws as immigrants who are not naturalized U.S. citizens are not allowed to vote as a matter of law, regardless of voter ID laws.

    Second, whereas it is true that most anti-immigration laws have been proposed or legislated by red state governments, liberal states are equally guilty of establishing anti-immigration regulations. When I was living in California during the years of Arnold and a socialist state congress, the DMV refused to issue a driver’s license to my wife because she has no SSN, despite the fact that she’s in the U.S. legally. She was able to obtain a driver’s license in ?ber-Red Texas with no problem.

    The ONLY reason why liberal states seem more friendly with immigrants is because their politicians use them as political pawns while paying lip service to immigration reform. The people who least want immigration reform are liberals.

    1. Do you want to argue that a lot of the reason and sentiment behind voter ID law is not about keeping illegal immigrants from voting?

      “whereas it is true that most anti-immigration laws have been proposed or legislated by red state governments”

      Forgive my exasperation, but THIS IS ALL I HAVE BEEN SAYING HERE. I readily concede Democrat administrations, ‘Blue states’ and many individual Democrats would not be on the Nolan chart with libertarians on immigration. I only noted that recently the Right has been where more of that sentiment has been coming. And look at the reaction to that simple, usually uncontroversial in libertarian quarters (noted by several recent Reason articles for example) made by me. Sheesh.

      1. I’m an open-borders guy, Tony, but I support voter ID laws.

        Frankly, urban political machines have spent a century sending people around to polling precincts to vote under fake identities or using the names of people who aren’t going to show up, and I would like to see the loophole that makes it impossible to detect that activity closed.

        1. I am not up for a debate about the merits of voter Id laws, I was simply noting that anti-immigrant reasons and sentiment often are behind voter ID laws.

      2. Re: Bo Cara Esq.,

        Do you want to argue that a lot of the reason and sentiment behind voter ID law is not about keeping illegal immigrants from voting?

        But they’re not allowed to vote, Bo. That’s the point: voter ID laws are not the same as anti-immigrantion laws.

        I only noted that recently the Right has been where more of that sentiment has been coming

        And I am not disputing that that’s the case. I am telling you not to feel so cocky about what the left does regarding immigration; I am sure (being an immigrant) that the left is playing us for suckers.

      3. Before World War One, immigration laws were very basic – their main purpose was to prevent the introduction of people with contagious diseases and that immigrants had someone who would look after them.

        It was the Eugenics believers who advocated Progress through Science who transformed immigration policy to prevent “deterioration of the gene pool” – largely targeted at Russians like Ayn Rand fleeing Russia – and labor unions wanting to prevent immigrants (and blacks from the South) from undermining labor unions attempts to unionize industries.

  21. Was the detained, beaten, and tazed guy a US citizen or not?

  22. Speaking of TEAMS
    Team red women are happier than team blue women.
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/c…..n-n1769066

    My theory is that the birthing camps have good drugs. Also, the binders are quite comfy when you get used to them.

    1. Conservative men also report higher levels of happiness than liberal men.

      I think the reason is that people believe in an inner locus of control are generally happier and also more individualistic – which maps to conservatism in the US; While people with an external locus of control are generally less happy and more communitarian.

  23. Can you achieve a level of argument more sophisticated than ‘no I am not, you are!’?

    I am not in any way obligated to explain myself to you, you simpering dweeb. I was busily motherfucking politicians of all stripes while you still had Gerber creamed corn dribbling down your chin.

    1. Thanks for making my arguments for me, friend!

  24. Bo is Tony, guys. I’ve been telling you this for a long time.

    Tony decided to adopt a more reasonable-sounding persona in order to:

    1. concern troll
    2. try to be more friendly and reasonable-sounding (the better to pursue #1)
    3. have a persona not bogged down by his previous posting history as Tony.

    The voices aren’t different enough for the ruse to work, though. I’ve got an ear for that kind of thing, even when I can’t explain why.

    1. Because certainly, no one other than Tony could post from a libertarian view but focusing on NAP violations from the Right more than the left. It could never be, perhaps, someone who happened to live in a deeply Red state who naturally reacts to what Team Red is doing to his liberties there more than the impotent other side, or someone who, say, prizes something like abortion rights greatly and so sees Team Red as quite the threat there.

      Additionally, Tony does not seem hesitant to post as Tony.

      1. Gee, Bo, so wouldn’t that count for those of us who live in deeply Blue states who naturally react to what team Blue is doing to his liberties there more than the impotent other side, or someone who, say, prizes something like economic freedom greatly and so sees Team Blue as quite the threat there?

        Oh wait, that makes me Team Red, but you’re just a concerned Libertarian offering a balanced, rational viewpoint and not carrying water for Team Blue. Endlessly bringing up SoCon issues in fiscal threads certainly demonstrates just how concerned you are with the Left’s “greatest” threat to liberty.

    2. Nope. Gotta disagree Fluffy. Bo, while an asshole, is FAR more intelligent than Tony. He understands and responds to reasoned arguments. Tony is ALL emotion and talking points.

      He is also far more libertarian than Tony could ever fake.

      I just don’t see it.

  25. politically distinct entities need security based on how different they are. be that city, county, state, nation.

    anything that goes contrary to this will cause unrest. its defiance of power structure.

    what defines the USA is the constitution and how its enforced. mexico is a druglord corruption pen with 7 families owning all wealth.

    we dont want to import their political train of thought. congress and obama do want to import that political train of thought.

    you guys are acting like this is hard, but its not. however much value you place on WHO ‘makes the laws’ is how essential border security is.

  26. Poor little doggy.

  27. Congrats Bo you’ve completely shitted up this post with concern-trolling. This is nearly White Indian level of devastation. Can you fuck off now and forever?

    1. What is concern trolling and how did my comments here fall into it? It seems many use the term to mean ‘posts that make me angry!’ but if you actually mean something else by it, can you define it and tell us how my posts fall under it?

      1. I mean, a libertarian noting that conservatives are disturbingly far from libertarians on immigration is hardly something so novel and odd that it must be labeled concern trolling.

        1. I’ve done it before and vastly better to you. I am competent enough not to use an excess of the the current DEMOCRATIC executive my ‘exhibit A’.

      2. What is concern trolling and how did my comments here fall into it?

        The fact that you rarely express an original opinion and spend most of your time here expressing concern for the commentariate’s supposed red sympathies. And do so by legalistically parsing the text or other commenters.

        1. The fact that you rarely express an original opinion

          We can’t express opinions if someone else has ever expressed them before?

          most of your time here expressing concern for the commentariate’s supposed red sympathies

          Actually, most of his time here is spent responding to posters who freak out every time he makes a post about conservative statism. He makes some comment or posts a link, half a dozen commenters freak out and call him a secret lefty, and the rest of the thread he spends responding.

          And do so by legalistically parsing the text or other commenters.

          Unlike the legalistic parsings by people angling someway, somehow to show any and every thing he posts is wrong (and evidence of why he’s a Secret Socialist?) regardless of how accepted it would be if said by another poster?

          1. Hey look, Bo’s best friend showed up to defend him. 😛

            You know it didnt start out that way right? People dogpile on him now cause he acts like an insufferable twat.

            And that’s coming from someone who agrees with him from time to time.

  28. Harrowing tales of police overstep. I wonder if Reason has done a piece covering the well-known phenomenon of ‘driving while black’ that sounds pretty similar to these stories, but at a much broader scale.

    1. I’m 98% sure that Balko would’ve covered that.

  29. Welcome to the new Regime!

    http://www.BeinAnon.tk

  30. There seems to be a checkpoint mania going on everywhere.

    Under the guise of dui, seatbelt, safety, immigration status, they all usually have one common ingredient: Federal funding.

    Stop the federal funding, especially “grant” money, and I’d bet you’d see these checkpoints dry up in a real hurry.

  31. Not that I’m unsympathetic to the pastor, but didn’t he have a drivers license? What was the point of all the bs I’ve gone through in NJ and Ohio to get digital Drivers licenses with a six point document check to get the DL and use it as photo ID. Something is drastically wrong here if INS wouldn’t accept that has easily verifiable proof of residency….

    1. Many states issue DL’s to illegal-aliens.

  32. I’ve never been stopped by the Border Patrol but have experienced DHS at the borders having traveled to and from Canada and Europe several times. I was born in the U.S. as was my great-great-great-great grandfather. Believe me, the treatment I get from border control officers in foreign countries is far superior to what even Americans get crossing the U.S. borders. I’m sure the treatment foreigners get coming to the U.S. for traveling or on holiday has got to discourage them from ever wanting to return.

    With regard to being able to prove one’s citizenship. I never carry my passport while traveling in the U.S. and surely a driver’s license is not enough to prove citizenship. Several states don’t require proof when issuing a driver’s license. So would I be wise to travel with my passport in Arizona? Maybe we do need a national ID card, surely the passport card is a step in that direction.

  33. “Noncitizen permanent residents over 18 years old are required to carry green cards…” Not quite true. First, all aliens, not “noncitizens” are required to carry immigration documents, not just legal permanent residents. Those aliens not legal permanent residents are also required to carry whatever immigration documents that show legal presence. As a matter of fact, persons born in American Samoa and the Swains Islands are U.S. nationals, not citizens. Americans are not required to carry their passports other than when crossing the border. But they may make an oral declaration of citizenship at checkpoints. Why these crazy people refuse to make an oral declaration of citizenship is beyond me. Except that libertarians want to flood the country with socialist voters from Mexico for some strange reason. Probably because they think they will save money at the local Chipolte.

  34. The outcome of Pastor Anderson’s civil-rights suit against the two tase-happy BP thugs should be interesting, and informative of what kind of country we have become.

    As to The Right supporting internal checkpoints with their advocacy of immigration controls:
    All we want is for the Government to enforce the law as written in Simpson-Mazzoli (which means closing off the job market and enforcing sanctions against employers who hire illegals), and to stop illegal aliens from crossing our borders – and the border is very specifically defined, all you have to do is look at a map.


  35. my roomate’s half-sister makes 74 dollars an hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for 7 months but last month her check was 19922 dollars just working on the laptop for a few hours. published here

    http://www.tec30.com

  36. Here is how we shutdown a checkpoint:

    Police State Checkpoint Nullification in Upper Moreland, PA http://www.theinternationallib…..ation.html

  37. agents announced that a police dog had alerted to potential

  38. The request was denied.

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