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thedrifter
07-27-05, 01:49 PM
Searches Make Sense
By Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder
Published 7/27/2005 12:06:07 AM

NEW YORK -- Abraham Lincoln noted that "the dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present." With terrorists blowing up trains, buses and the tallest building in the United States, you don't need Abraham Lincoln to tell you that things cannot remain "business as usual." You don't need Abraham Lincoln to tell you that lawyers would better serve humanity if they continued to chase their secretaries around their desks rather than meddle in the affairs of the real world, attempting to apply antiquated notions of what is legal and proper to today's chaotic and dangerous world.

New York City's Police Commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, has sensibly started having police inspect parcels and the backpacks of New York subway riders. His is no idle concern since trains in Moscow, Madrid, and London have already been blown up by terrorists. We have learned that subway and tunnel bombs are particularly heinous because they create a constricted area wherein the explosions do their deadly damage.

Predictably, the lawyers have come to the aid of the would-be terrorists. As we speak, outraged lawyers are sharpening their pencils and have come out of the woodwork, setting themselves up to challenge the Police Department's actions.

Donna Liebermann, the executive director of the New York City Civil Liberties Union, has already begun work on a federal lawsuit to inhibit the police. Like the sea gulls that pounce on garbage from the tugboats in New York harbor, there will certainly be many other lawyers assaulting rationality with lawsuits seeking the same relief.

Surely common sense has fled the field of battle. If these package searches are able to save only one person's life, they will all be worthwhile. Terrorists feed on lack of defensive preparedness and the absence of police. If a terrorist had to choose between a soft target that was unguarded, and one with a heavy police presence and, additionally, subjecting the potential terrorist to search, he or she would certainly choose the unprotected target. Terrorists may be crazy, demonic, and filled with hate, but they are not stupid.

The possibility that a search may reveal drugs or illegal weapons is a plus -- not a minus. People shouldn't be walking around our city in possession of illegal guns, drugs, etc., bringing them from one part of town to another. Being aware of the risks to their delivery system by entering highly guarded venues, they probably would have the common sense not to ride the subway -- which would create a safer environment not only for the riders but, perhaps, for New Yorkers in general. This, of course, leads to another conclusion.

There is no law, body of law, or constitutional authority that gives anyone the right to ride the subway. There is no body of law or constitutional authority mandating that a municipality is required to provide a subway system. It is offered to the public, and if members of the public feel that availing itself of such transportation is not in their interest, particularly since they might be searched, they are perfectly free to walk -- preferably away from the City.

Superimposed upon all of this is the nonsense about racial profiling. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to know that the bombers in the past have not been blond-haired, blue-eyed Scandinavian transsexuals wearing snowshoes. Virtually all of the bombings have been perpetrated by certain groups of people coming from one particular part of the world. It would make no sense to deny our police the right to husband their resources and direct it toward those most likely perpetrators rather than have to waste their time -- and risk our safety -- searching little old ladies. We have the best police force in the world. Many of the police officers are members of minorities themselves, and, as a matter of fact, in the last graduation of police officers, the minority was the majority of the new recruits. The police know the profiles of potential bombers and they should be allowed to do their job. This is not a case of profiling people because of their ethnicity, or harassing them, or denigrating them simply because of their race or ethnicity. This is simply a sensible protective action that logically can be most effective when directed towards the certain known groups of people most likely to commit the crime.

All of this is not to suggest that there will come a time, hopefully sooner rather than later, that none of this will be necessary, but in the interim, let us err -- if err it is -- on the side of saving lives.

Jackie Mason is a comedian. Raoul Felder is an attorney.

Ellie

tasslehof
07-27-05, 02:34 PM
Ok the profiling I can go with, for the very reasons that are stated above. The folks doing the bombing are quite frankly from a certain part of the world whose peoples have certain physical characteristics.

However what I can not agree with is the searches. Might it save one person or many people to search as they are? Yes it might. However what it allows is much,much more dangerous than the bombs ever could be. The loss of our freedoms. They state in the letter that the city does not HAVE to provide the subway or other public transportation. This is true to a point, however they DO provide those things and with Public funds taken from the TAXES that they levy on people in those cities. And since it is a PUBLIC conveyance run BY the government they fall under the constitution just like any other part of the government.

This means that the 4th Amendment DOES apply and that those people are gauranteed freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. Ie you are not supposed to be able to stop them at random and search their belongings. Will some take issue at this and rehash the "it's to save peeeeoooopllllee"? I am sure that they will, however it is in my opinion MUCH more important to preserve our FREEDOM, because without that....you will see our people start to sink to the level of the people we are trying to guard against.

"Those whom would sacrifice even an ounce of freedom for a perceived safety, deserve neither."

mrbsox
07-27-05, 10:36 PM
Lets NOT confuse peoples RIGHTS with civil liberties. Part of the Governments responsibilities is to 'provide for the common defense', as well as 'Serve and Protect'.

The right to free speech doesn't mean it's OK to yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater.
WHY ??
The common good of all involved.

If searching protects the COMMON good of the people, as well as the country, then SEARCE ME !!
Every time I go thru the airport, if I ring the bell or get pulled aside, when they are done I give them a 'KEEP IT UP'.
I see it as a minor burden, an infringement upon my time, even a disruption of my routine. But I don't fuss because my CIVIL LIBERTIES are on the line.

All I ask is apply a little common sense. 87 year old white haired grannys aren't the ones hijacking planes or setting bombs.

If your DUCK HUNTING, you don't draw a bead on every bird that flys by.

Terry

Nagalfar
07-27-05, 10:45 PM
What happens when they want to search your house? then your wife and kids? when is enough enough? those willing to trade freedom for security deserve neither.. and will lose both.

mrbsox
07-27-05, 10:52 PM
I don't think my HOUSE is putting an airplane in jeopardy.

I DID say apply a little common sense to the matter !!
REASONABLE search and sezier is the way the law reads. I think profilling is REASONABLE.

Law abiding citizens SHOULD have nothing to fear, and have no problem proving it.
(we all know there are exceptions to innocent till proven guilty), but thats another thread.
I have had trouble in this area, several years ago. But I don't blame the law, I blame the mind set of the investigators.

tasslehof
07-28-05, 03:07 PM
But you seem to forget that if you **** someone off mrbsox that they MIGHT SAY that your house is putting an airplane in jeopardy. After all you might have a stinger missile system sitting in your attic ready to take down the next plane that comes by. Now do they have proof? Negative. Is it REASONABLE? Sure is according to your post on the subject. It is a slippery slope that quite frankly we can not afford to start down.

Of course it doesn't matter anymore anyway. We are well onto that slope for a while now and there are not enough patriots left to pull us off of it. Far too many sheep that are willing to give up their RIGHTS for a little perceived security. After all....look at California, NY, and Illinois (Chicago in particular) and the fact that they are being and have been STRIPPED of their 2nd Amendment rights.

mrbsox
07-28-05, 05:45 PM
Then if they knock on my door, with a DULY SWORN warrant, they can dig thru my attic all they want.

I'm not saying 'Gestapo' style search and destroy anything anytime they get the whim. I'm saying, that if there is REAL AND PROBABLE CAUSE, then the issue has been thru the system, before a judge whom has reviewed the evidence, and has found a reason to search for a missile system in my residence, then I will invite them in.
And since the law also states that I have to right to face my accusser, I'll find get to out where that B.S. info came from.

Regardless, I'm NOT giving up my RIGHTS in any of this. I don't recall;
THE RIGHT TO FAST AND EASY TRAVEL THRU THE AIRPORT
THE RIGHT TO CHEAP GASOLINE FOR MY CAR
THE RIGHT TO POST STUFF ON THE INTERNET
THE RIGHT TO HAVE A DRIVERS LICENSE
THE RIGHT TO NOT BE LEGALLY SEARCHED
THE RIGHT TO YELL FIRE IN A CROWDED THEATRE

Don't confuse RIGHTS with CIVIL LIBERTIES.

Oh... and I also think that the protections offered by the Constitution of the United States of America, should extend to CITIZENS of the United States, not every Tom, Dick and Mohammed that visits.

Wyoming
07-28-05, 08:31 PM
Oh... and I also think that the protections offered by the Constitution of the United States of America, should extend to CITIZENS of the United States, not every Tom, Dick and Mohammed that visits.

Therein be the crux of the problem.

tasslehof
07-29-05, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by mrbsox
Then if they knock on my door, with a DULY SWORN warrant, they can dig thru my attic all they want.

I'm not saying 'Gestapo' style search and destroy anything anytime they get the whim. I'm saying, that if there is REAL AND PROBABLE CAUSE, then the issue has been thru the system, before a judge whom has reviewed the evidence, and has found a reason to search for a missile system in my residence, then I will invite them in.
And since the law also states that I have to right to face my accusser, I'll find get to out where that B.S. info came from.

Regardless, I'm NOT giving up my RIGHTS in any of this. I don't recall;
THE RIGHT TO FAST AND EASY TRAVEL THRU THE AIRPORT
THE RIGHT TO CHEAP GASOLINE FOR MY CAR
THE RIGHT TO POST STUFF ON THE INTERNET
THE RIGHT TO HAVE A DRIVERS LICENSE
THE RIGHT TO NOT BE LEGALLY SEARCHED
THE RIGHT TO YELL FIRE IN A CROWDED THEATRE

Don't confuse RIGHTS with CIVIL LIBERTIES.

Oh... and I also think that the protections offered by the Constitution of the United States of America, should extend to CITIZENS of the United States, not every Tom, Dick and Mohammed that visits.

Haven't you heard mrb? They don't need a duly sworn warrant anymore with the Patriot Act. They also have a nasty habit these days of having blank warrants. They also are not required anymore to let you face your accuser. They will call him/her an informant or say they got "an anonymous tip" then ransack your house and leave it in shambles for you to clean up and pay for.

As to civil liberties versus rights...well I seem to recall us fighting a war over just the kind of trespasses against our "liberties" that the police are performing right now with the subway searches. The British soldiers would search anyone they wanted to whenever they wanted to as well.

I do agree though that the Constitution applies to OUR citizens not visitors, but we do have to remember that it is pretty much accepted that you are subject to the rules and freedoms (or lack thereof) of whatever country you visit. So we unfortunately sometimes have to extend those right/privileges etc of the constitution to those visiting our country as well. Otherwise how can we expect them to obey our laws? I know, I know most of them are NOT obeying those laws but we are supposed to be a country where you are innocent until proven guilty and that is for a reason, the founders thought it better to let a hundred guilty men go than to let one man be wrongly convicted. Personally I think we have gotten way too far away from that these days. Now you are guilty until YOU prove that you are innocent for the most part and that is not how it is supposed to work.


Doesn't really matter I suppose since all of us have our opinions and being Marines usually we tend to hold onto those opinions come hell or high water. Be aware though that it is not a very far leap at all from suspending the constitution for others to suspending it for our citizens.

CHOPPER7199
07-29-05, 11:59 AM
ALL SAID IS TRUE, WE DO HAVE OUR OWN OPINIONS ON THINGS AND THATS WHY I SEE IT AS, IF YOU GOT TO GIVE A LOT TO GAIN SOME, THEN DO IT. IF NEED BE ON SEARCHS TO SECURE THE SAFETY OF US, THEN DO IT. IS IT NOT TRUE ON BEING SAFE NOW THAN SORRY LATER FOR NOT DOING IT? FORGET THE BURDEN IT BRINGS AND THINK OF THE BEST FOR ALL CONCERNED, WHICH IS TO LIVE SAFELY. THE WORLD HAS CHANGED AND WE HAVE TO ADAPT TO THE CHANGES. ENJOY WHAT YOU HAVE NOW, LIFE IS AN EVER CHANGING THING. JUST AN OLD GRUNTS OPINION

Joseph P Carey
07-29-05, 01:26 PM
Unfortunately, I feel divided on this issue. We have a temporary thing here that deserves special scrutiny and special latitude, but the problem with this is that what the government takes, it never gives back in quite the same fashion. There has to be some checks and balances, but who is it that decides what checks and balances there are to be?

During WWII, there were sacrifices the American People had to make (Meatless Tuesdays, Gas Rationing, Ration Cards, and others), and at the end of the war, most of the way America was before the war went back to its usual way of life, but, after the war, not all things returned to normal as was evident by things that happened in Roswell NM, and the covert operations of the CIA, and the secrecy in government, and the actions of McCarthy and the FBI that remained on a wartime footing, but did not really know who was our enemy.

Strange enough, even with all of this, the Communist seemed to be able to infiltrate our systems of government, and our schools, and our universities, and our unions while the government went after Organized Crime with a vengeance of a country at war. The only problem was that Organized Crime was not that big a danger to the country, it was just Extreme Business that would eventually straighten itself out through the cause of Public opinion.

We have to remember, that government agencies do not go quietly into the night. There are government employees involved, and the agencies take on a life of their own. When there are no more terrorist plots to root out, the agencies will change direction to make themselves useful, even create a usefulness that only they can handle, and who knows where that will go?

I say, be very careful what powers we give the government, it may come back to bite us in the a$$!