Saturday, July 20, 2002

So far the massive crackdown by the Feds that has stripped me of my civil liberties hasn't managed to do much. They have to work a bit harder.

I'm back to not showing ID to get into work just like before the war.

The states where I choose not to obtain a drivers license have upped their ID requirements for initial license applications but I already have one and don't patronize them in any case. They still let foreigners drive with foreign licenses so I will become a foreigner if they get too uppity.

Flight delays only slightly worse than usual (particularly since I mostly fly internationally and have always shown my passport). Domestic flight ID fascism is 6 years old this August so no change there.

As far as we know, only a little more than 1000 detained out of a pop of 270 megs. I was expecting that we would at least make WWII levels -- 200,000+ out of a population of 132 megs. I guess there could be a few more internees but they'd be tough to hide. Too many others would note their absence.

I thinks the Feds are just to wimpy to indulge in actual oppression these days. At least on a wholesale basis.

Maybe I'm wrong but I need more evidence first.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Gilmore v. Ashcroft -- FAA ID Challenge

Secret rule demanding 'Your Papers Please' claimed unconstitutional

San Francisco - Civil libertarian John Gilmore today challenged as unconstitutional a secret federal rule that requires domestic US travelers to identify themselves.

Smooth move. Attempt to board a flight to DC on July 4th "to petition the government for redress of grievances". Even if not successful, it will be annoying and will be worthwhile if it manages to crack out copies of the secret security directives (like FAA SD 96-05)establishing the system.

Keep in mind that until the end of the first Clinton administration, it was perfectly legal to fly domestically without ID.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

So I'm faithfully reading The Volokh Conspiracy
and faithfully following the link to a joint article on The Second Amendment as Teaching Tool in Constitutional Law Classes wherein I find:

The clash between constitutional rights and government interests is rarely presented more starkly than in the Second Amendment. The government interests (or, even more to the point, public interests) are profound, and are clearly implicated by the private conduct. And yet, whether we like it or not, the constitutional text protects at least some sorts of conduct that inherently jeopardizes these interests. (Even if one believes that the Second Amendment protects only a states' right, one still has to consider what would happen if a state in fact insists on arming its citizens and the federal government claims a countervailing interest in disarming them.

and I find myself desperately trying to come up with some "profound government interests" in disarming the citizenry. I guess that a governor would be worried about an armed citizenry if his intentions were less than honorable. I can't see a governor worrying about an armed citizenry unless he was going to do something nasty.

Can anyone come up with some valid government interests in a helpless population?

In fact, the Feds are probably missing a bet. Here's the DOJ publication United for a Stronger America: A Citizens' Preparedness Guide and it has nothing in it about arming yourselves to kill terrorists. On September 11th, our president could have gone on national TV and said, "I call upon all armed citizens to load their weapons, and go outside to secure their communities against terrorists. Under the emergency powers granted to me, I hereby suspend all federal state and local regulations against the possession and carrying of firearms." Large chunks of the US would have been safe from terrorists. Then the government could have concentrated on the disarmed bits like airliners and so forth. Make their job much easier.