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Radically Inept
Saturday, June 26, 2004
  Odds and ends, and a little rambling.

Probably a light blogging weekend. I'm getting ready to go do the weekly hunting and gathering, and then I'm not sure. The lawn needs mowing, but the recent weather pattern of rain each afternoon and evening, keeps the grass too wet to mow. We'll see.

The Pacifier and I are in the early stages of collaborating on a writing project. He's developed his own omni-verse, and we're now fleshing out major points of 'history', and developing characters. This would be a huge advantage in getting a teaching job vs a government policy job. I'd have much more time to write (and blog). Anyway, I don't know, presuming we 'complete' the project, if we'll ever get the final product commercially published, but the process is fun.

I got together w/ one of my oldest friends last night. He's back from Iraq, and had some really great photos. I'd like to get some of them to post, and I'll ask him about it, but there is a lot that he said was classified, and we were drinking, so I'll reconfirm w/ him on what's bloggable and what's not. Cool stuff, though. And it's nice to get the view of the Green Zone bars, the remote locations and the politics of dealing w/ the locals from a friend you can trust, as opposed to a govt and media, largely bereft of integrity.

A couple of quick things I want to point to:

Phil Carter from INTEL DUMP provides a pretty good analysis of the Supreme court's decision in the Larry "Dudley" Hiibel case.

Today, the Supreme Court extended the Terry stop to include "stop and ID" in addition to "stop and frisk". The case arose out of a Nevada cattle rancher's misdemeanor conviction, but it's easy to see the applicability of this case in other contexts. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the Court's majority, said these "stop and ID" searches violated neither the 4th nor the 5th Amendment rights of the defendant in this case. Here are some excerpts from the majority opinion.
On the 4th Amendment issues:

"Asking questions is an essential part of police investigations. In the ordinary course a police officer is free to ask a person for identification without implicating the Fourth
Amendment. [emphasis added]

* * *
"Obtaining a suspect's name in the course of a Terry stop serves important government interests. Knowledge of identity may inform an officer that a suspect is wanted for another offense, or has a record of violence or mental disorder. On the other hand, knowing identity may help clear a suspect and allow the police to concentrate their efforts elsewhere. Identity may prove particularly important in cases such as this, where the police are investigating what appears to be a domestic assault. Officers called to investigate domestic disputes need to know whom they are dealing with in order to assess the situation, the threat to their own safety, and possible danger to the
potential victim."
On the 5th Amendment questions:

"The Fifth Amendment prohibits only compelled testimony
that is incriminating."

* * *
"In this case petitioner's refusal to disclose his name was not based on any articulated real and appreciable fear that his name would be used to incriminate him, or that it would furnish a link in the chain of evidence needed to prosecute him. ... Even today, petitioner does not explain how the disclosure of his name could have been used against him in a criminal case."

* * *
"The narrow scope of the disclosure requirement is also important. One's identity is, by definition, unique; yet it is, in another sense, a universal characteristic. Answering a request to disclose a name is likely to be so insignificant in the scheme of things as to be incriminating only in unusual circumstances."

My take is that in the Fifth Amendment argument, they jumped the track. Starting w/ ""In this case petitioner's refusal to disclose his name was not based on any articulated real and appreciable fear that his name would be used to incriminate him, or that it would furnish a link in the chain of evidence needed to prosecute him. What if my name does link me to a crime? I have than lost my right against self-incrimination. And no, I don't think, "Answering a request to disclose a name is likely to be so insignificant in the scheme of things as to be incriminating only in unusual circumstances." I think we have lost yet more rights. Interesting. I seem to hear more and more people talking about leaving the country. A rise in ex-patriotism is not a good sign. I'll look to see if I can find evidence of emigration to support this later.

Well, I need to get moving. Later...
 
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