Morning Links

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
  • Jake Tapper calls out Obama press secretary Jay Carney on the administration’s free press hypocrisy.
  • “To have a passport is privilege, it’s not entitled to you by citizenship.” In other words, the government can bar you from freely leaving the country, for any reason it pleases. In this case, one child of a vacationing family had a passport with a crease that a federal bureaucrat determined disqualified him from the privilege of crossing the border.
  • I must be a nihilist, death-obsessed liberal, because I’m actually okay with most of the worst-case scenarios in this article. In fact, the only accusation against the Dutch that I find unsettling—that Dutch doctors may be euthanizing infirm patients without their consent—is the scenario with little to no empirical evidence to support it.
  • Five reasons you should never agree to a police search, even if you think you have nothing to hide.
  • The war on food trucks continues.
  • Headline of the day. (Here’s the runner-up.)
  • The truth about pot.

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77 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  MH | 

    “#43 Herb, you have the right to remain silent.”

    False. Under Hiibel, it appears you can be compelled to give your name during a Terry stop. Whether there are criminal penalties for refusing may depend on your state’s law, so check this before deciding to refuse. Giving a false name is probably a crime. (IANAL).

    You might ask if you are being detained, arrested, or if you are free to go. If being detained, you might ask the officer what “specific and articulable facts” have led the officer to think you are involved in a crime. (However, if you have actually committed a crime, perhaps it is better to keep your mouth shut as much as possible until you have an attorney present).

    It might be interesting to try to use your phone to record the officer’s answer to the question.

  2. #2 |  Curt | 

    Ummm… I think Radley has pretty well covered the true Reason #1 not to consent to a police search. Asset Forfeiture.

    You don’t need to have committed a crime or possess anything illegal for the police to choose to steal your stuff. If you consent to a search and the cop decides he wants to take your lunch money, he simply says that he believed you got that $10 by selling drugs. Then you have to prove that you didn’t in order to get it back.

  3. #3 |  Bob Mc | 

    #43 | Herb |

    “Suppose you refuse a police search, but the cop wants to ask you questions. What questions are you obligated to answer and for how long”?

    If the officer answers yes to your “am I being detained” question, then any further conversation constitutes a custodial interrogation. You then have the right to demand an attorney and remain silent.*

    If the officer answers no to your “am I being detained” question, then any further discussion constitutes a consensual conversation. You always have to the right to decline such.

    *Some states require you to identify yourself when detained.

  4. #4 |  EBL | 

    MH, most of the time these stops will be while driving so you will have to give your name with your drivers license and they also have your plates to go off of. But beyond giving your name, asserting you do not consent a search and (if arrested) want a lawyer, shut up. Less is definitely more.

    If you are stopped (say walking a dog in some park without a leash) and the choice is giving a false name or not answering at all, it is always safer not to answer at all.

  5. #5 |  Onlooker | 

    I would add to or amend the 5th reason not to allow police to search. You never know what they may “find”, even if it wasn’t there before.

    Obviously there’s a long time practice of crooked cops framing people with false evidence they’ve place in the suspect’s home/car, etc. You never know if the cop you’re dealing with is honest or corrupt.

    It seems that even the most naive’ fool could see the wisdom of this reason. But alas you’ll never convince some.

  6. #6 |  Onlooker | 


    Indeed the scourge of asset forfeiture is another reason not only to not talk to them, but to avoid all contact if possible. That’s quite unfortunate, but it’s where we are right now, until we get a congress and court that will take us back to our constitutional rights.

  7. #7 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    I’m just saying that if, in the 1970’s, when my folks were deciding to mske their first living wills, somebody had suggested that at some time in the future a court would, in trying to determine the wishes of a comatose patient, consult the opinion of a person standing to benefit from that patient’s death, everbody would have considered the speaker mad.

  8. #8 |  MH | 

    The Shiavo thread is over — Dan Godwin’d it at #46.

  9. #9 |  Bronwyn | 

    So, question…

    If a cop stops me and asks if he can search my car, I say no.
    If he tells me to get out of my car, do I have to comply? I remember that petite 60 some-odd year woman who was dragged out of her car and tasered…

    So. Do I have to get out of my car?

  10. #10 |  jb | 

    I know that won’t go over well, so I’ll try to keep it behind my teeth.

    Which is good because to do otherwise would be to break rule number one while being stopped by a cop: Shut the fuck up!

  11. #11 |  Stick | 

    ‘Passport Story’ – Americans still like to think they are ‘Citizens’. The realisation that you are actually ‘Subjects’ of your political overlords is too abominable to consider.

    ‘Pot Story’ – All my friends from my younger days used to smoke. The only ones who haven’t ‘made good’ with their lives are the ones who liked alcohol a little too much.

  12. #12 |  nigmalg | 

    “So. Do I have to get out of my car?”

    Yes, you do have to get out of the car. There is some SCOTUS precedent here following Terry, but I can’t for the life of me find it right now.

  13. #13 |  nigmalg | 

    Figures, a few moments after I post. The case was

  14. #14 |  jb | 

    i>So. Do I have to get out of my car”
    Yes, though if you can lock it behind you with the windows rolled up while on the way out (keep you keys in your pocket) then you stand a good chance of not having the car searched while your sitting on the curb. When the cop asks why did you do that answer, “Force of habit. I always lock my door when I get out of my car.”

  15. #15 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I have watched the Legalise Pot/Demonise Pot arguments since I was in middle school. The only thing I have to add to the usual is that it is my understanding that THC is only slightly water-soluable but easily fat-soluable. This coincides with my personal experience of Pot smoking, which was that the effects lingered far longer than the effects of alcohol … or so it seemed to me.

    That said, if the effects of Pot were permanent – every single person who had ever smoked was going to stay stoned until they died – I would still oppose the War On Drugs.

  16. #16 |  EH | 

    An exquisite example of the increasingly rare Positive Straw Man.

  17. #17 |  croaker | 

    “Euthanasia is a good thing – there ought to be a lot more of it.”

    Can we start with Congress?

  18. #18 |  primus | 

    yes, they have proven themselves to be brain dead so let the games begin.

  19. #19 |  Mike T | 

    Just because you can find someone to pay for it, doesn’t mean anyone would want to be kept alive in a vegetative state. Nor can it be assumed anyone would want the judgment of their spouse to be overridden in favor of their parents.

    I see at least three big problems with that…

    1) Schiavo wasn’t able to consent at the time so no one can tell what she wanted; I am unaware of a living willing that said she gave plenary powers over her well-being in the event of PVS to her husband.
    2) Her husband’s behavior, if I remember correctly, is strongly believed to have caused her PVS. Allegedly, he waited a while before reporting her condition to 911. Most people would definitely not want their fate to be in the hands of a man suspected of that behavior.
    3) If #2 could be shown in court, it would be utterly negligent for a court to keep even a living will together since it couldn’t be reasonably argued that any mentally competent person would want someone who nearly killed them to have the power of life and death over them.

  20. #20 |  Mike T | 

    ** who nearly murdered them.

  21. #21 |  Jerryskids | 

    Have you seen this?

  22. #22 |  Dave Krueger | 

    The truth about pot.

    Probably not.

    While the statistics from the studies are interesting, the definitions of dependence and addiction are largely determined by the industry whose profits are directly affected by that definition. Furthermore, they list the addiction rates of various substances for comparison, without mentioning that the “addiction” rate for a legal substance is likely to be higher simply because its use doesn’t carry the same risks as the others.

    Someday I’d like to see a study that determines how addiction rates are affected by the constant propaganda crusade that substances are addictive. For example, for the last couple decades we’ve been in the midst of an aggressive campaign to saturate all forms of media with claims that cigarettes are more addictive that heroine, a claim that is preposterous on its face. And yet, if you say it often enough, people will believe it and quitting cigarettes will become an impossible challenge for them (much to the joy of smoking cessation industry).

    I may not have a lot of company on this, but my personal belief is that legalization of pot should not be argued from the perspective of it being less harmful than other drugs (legal or otherwise) because I believe that all drugs should be legal for reasons that are completely independent of the effects of those drugs.

  23. #23 |  Henry | 

    To be fair about the passport issue. Many countries see it as a sort of privilege. I grew up in a country where males over 18 where required to complete their mandatory military service in order to get a passport even though the army was all-volunteer, but you still had to enroll in the draft.

    Everybody remembers their rights, few remember their obligations.

  24. #24 |  supercat | 

    #69 | Mike T | “Her husband’s behavior, if I remember correctly, is strongly believed to have caused her PVS.”

    Such beliefs may be regarded as innuendo. On the other hand, the record is clear that that very shortly after a trust fund was awarded which was supposed to be used for care and rehabilitation, Mr. Schiavo who had previously claimed to have high hopes and expectations for his wife’s recovery suddenly started pushing for her death. If Terri had truly expressed a desire to be fatally dehydrated if she were incapacitated, Mr. Schiavo’s failure to express such a desire when seeking a malpractice judgment for her care would seem dishonest.

  25. #25 |  supercat | 

    #33 | Nick T. | //Just keep them alive forever, or let their next of kin make the decision?//

    If a married man is openly living with a “fiancee” by whom he has two children, but the “fiancee” wants a Catholic wedding (meaning she could marry a widower, but not a divorce’), should such a man really be regarded as “next of kin” to the wife whom he wants dead?

    Michael Schiavo had the right, under Florida law, to petition for a divorce three years after his wife was incapacitated; the granting of such a petition would have been essentially automatic. Had Michael Schiavo received a divorce, he would have had every right to start a new life for himself with any unattached woman who would want him.

    What I and many others people object to, however, is the notion that a person can openly renounce any restrictions a marriage contract would place upon him, and yet still claim to be his wife’s “next of kin”, superior to other relatives who want her to receive therapy and make a good faith effort to improve her condition. Even if there would only be a 0.01% chance that a person might turn out to be one of those bizarre cases that can walk and talk even though the parts of the brain which “should” be responsible for such functions have been totally destroyed, that’s not a reason for denying those relatives who provide treatment from doing so.

  26. #26 |  Windy | 

    #71, Jerryskids last summer or fall, don’t really recall just when, but I do think it was Radley who linked to it when it was new.

  27. #27 |  Jamessir Bensonmum | 

    re: to have a passport is a privilege

    “Ray Priest, owner of International Passport Visas in Denver, said your passport isn’t actually yours at all; it belongs to the US government.”

    That person quoted owns a service agency. He does not speak for the airline or the government. And he’s a nitwit butthead.

    The problem is that some airline employees and airport employees are catching the disease. What disease? The power tripping control freak personality disorder disease of American law enforcement in general and the TSA in particular.

    This crap shouldn’t even be an issue the family should’ve been on their way.