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Old 05-09-2005, 07:21   #16
Kai Nui

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And agreed!

Old 05-09-2005, 22:49   #17
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A Bit of Perspective Here

Yes, the national security is more important than pampering my privacy ("privacy" being one of the so-called rights not expressly written into the Constitution; rather divined to be there by liberal judges some two hundred years after the ink was dry). The balance has shifted only slightly, and it's necessary when madmen intent on martyrdom run around with exploding backpacks in a country that has been exceedingly lax in its immigration policy, visa requirements and border enforcement. (With all due respect to the Founding Fathers mentioned above, this kind of insanity was siimply unthinkable in their world).

Choose:[list=a]being wakened in the wee hours because the Coasties were on the job (seems the failure here is one of coordination of information between entities, one of the big faults in our intelligence system unveiled by 9/11),[/list=a] or[list=b] living next to a floating meth lab, inviting crimminals onto your gangway and threatening an explosion at any time.[/list=b]
The choice is pretty clear to me. The knowledge that crazies are being tracked down and removed from my world lets me fall off to sleep all the quicker. I still enjoy more freedoms that the vast, vast majority of the world, including the freedom to complain about what I don't like about the government (the real purpose of the 1st Amend.).

sneuman, the fourth amendment revolves around the phrase "probable cause," which is the check on executive power (law enforcement is an arm of the executive branch of governemt). If the boat fit the description/location, probable cause existed, even if it turned out to be the wrong boat.

Sean, scare stories about people involved in accidental shootings committed by law enforcement are indeed tragic, but they are significant only because of how seldom we hear about them, and certainly aren't useful to suggest that we're heading for some kind of brutal, jack-booted police state. They are better to illustrate the truth that human beings are fallible in any system in which they operate.

nockerwhite, the police give direct and unmistakable orders to a suspicious backpack-toting young man of dark complexion just hours after the worst attack on London since the Blitz, and he doesn't take them seriously and gets himself shot for his unwillingness to submit to their authority? I'm sad for his death, but he was stupid.

And sneuman, again: what will let bin laden win is a populace that refuses to adapt itself to block his mischief because it is addicted to its luxury and complacency. When the barbarians are at the gate, you close it, bar it, and put sentries on the walls. The small inconveniences are well worth the safety. One cannot enjoy freedom in rubble.

I know I'm against the general senitiment here, and I don't need anyone to agree with me. Consider it the other side of the same coin, if you like.

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"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." G. K. Chesterfield
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Old 05-09-2005, 23:26   #18
Kai Nui

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It is those same "bleeding heart liberals" who have prevented your right to publicly disagree from being taken away.
I have to agree with your assessment of Inteligence problems at high levels.
I do feel that each and every one of us has a responsiblilty to provide for our own security. If we choose to let go of our privacy and freedom to have others keep us safe, we are subject to their definition of safety and security. Too often, through history, that has resulted in a very few having absolute control of wealth, class, and even survival of the general populas.
I am pleased that we live in a society that will allow you to bar yourself behind your security gated community cut off from people like me who may have different values, and I am sure you feel the same.
As for targeting a vessel, that would be appropriate under the previous definition of probable cause, and even a mistake targeting my boat would have been an understandable situation, human error being what it is, but this was a blanket search, and in fact has continued all weekend to include every vessel that has traveled in or out of this harbor since Friday. Oddly enough no effort has been made to board the vessel I suspect. A vessel that is clearly not seaworthy, and has been reported to the harbor for suspicious activity. I can tell you that I feel no real fear in this harbor of the actions of my neighbors. I have never been intimidated by the actions of my neighbors. I was , however intimidated by the actions of 6 armed men boarding my boat in the middle of the night and demanding to see my ID, my wife's ID, our boat's ID, and to physically enter my HOME, to inspect it, without any justification beyond there statement that the Patriot act allows them to take this action.
While I would expect such activities in many foreign ports, I do not expect, or accept such an imposition on my privacy in the United States.
I wonder how you would respond to the Patriot act if it had been written and passed by the Clinton Whitehouse. After all, it is traditionally the Democrats who belive that the government should play a larger part in protecting the people. Traditionally the Republicans are for arming the people, and putting protection in their own hands.
And Jeff, let me add that despite my tone, I respect and appreciate your view even if I do not agree with it. Makes for a much more interesting converstion to have both sides.
Old 06-09-2005, 00:01   #19
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Captain Jeff, that was the police account that first was given credence; it later (2-3 days) transpired that their account was a tissue of lies. The victim lived in the same block of flats (apartments) that a suspect lived in - agreed, was not identified because the officer who should have done so was relieving himself at the time!, was followed all the way to the tube station. The police stated that he was wearing bulky clothing - untrue - a light jean jacket, did not buy a ticket - he did, vaulted the ticket barrier - he did not, challenged him and warned him to stop - they did not, ran all the way to a waiting train - he did not; he broke into a run the last few yards when he saw a train was in - something we all would do if we were fit enough. They then rushed him on the train wrestled him down and rapidly discharged 7 shots into his head. He certainly did not have a middle eastern appearance. Passengers commented on the look of terror on the victim's face at this time, as herealised he was being attacked bu a mob of apparent assasins Some hours later it was discovered that some of the CCTV cameras were 'out of order'.This whole incident has badly shaken the confidence of many law-abiding and police- respecting citizens. Of course the police have often closed ranks if one was known to be out of order.
Volkeno, I've just spotted your contribution - Thankyou
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Old 06-09-2005, 00:39   #20
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It's obvious from your post that you feel sweeping up a few (or a lot) of innocent people is the price a society pays for catching all the guilty people. Higher walls, bigger prisons, more police powers, coerced confessions, prison torture, death penalty for spitting on the sidewalk - it all follows rather freely. That is a perspective you share with many of history's greatest tyrants; it is a perspective the Founding Fathers rejected.

I, for one, reject the notion that life is risk free - and I reject the notion that living in a police state in any way compensates for minimizing that risk. I have no interest in living in a society such as that.

The root of the word "terrorism" is NOT murder, 747, WTC or suicide bomb - it is simply "terror" - the ability to cause a population to live in constant FEAR of attack. Again, I posit that Osama has succeeded.
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Old 06-09-2005, 00:48   #21
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"Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. "

Hmmm... A lot of very good people crafted these words and a lot of thought went into penning them. A lot of people have died for them over the last 200 + years. I often time get concerned when we just "reinterpret" them for the expedience of the day or the from political necessity. Every major position in the US government requires that one swears to uphold them. Being willing to die for them is what made the US such a success and such a wonderful place to live. Ahh well, I guess safety if far more important... Where's Ben Franklin when we need him!?

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Old 06-09-2005, 01:07   #22
Kai Nui

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"Reasonable searches and siezures" is exactly my point. I feel it reasonable for the US Coast guard to inspect any vessel underway that could potentially prove a hazard to her crew or to other vessels. I also support the need to inspect any SPECIFIC vessel thought to be a danger to other vessels in a marina. I do not, however support a blanket search for any reason.
Reinterpretation of the laws of this country is the purpose of the Supreme Court, and although the founding fathers could not have imagined the threats we face today, they certainly prepared for it, by puting in place the Supreme Court. Reinterpretation to fit changing times and technology is reasonable. However reinterpretaion for personal agenda is not. Lest we forget the arrogance of our president who stated that the Geneva Convention did not apply to us, in reference to Guantanamo Bay. Even if you support the current regime, you must admit that such an arrogant statement is out of line. Unfortunately, this is not simply an isolated remark, but rather a way of doing business.
It will be interesting to see where the administration goes with the current dissaster. For them it is a true PR nightmare, well earned.
Old 06-09-2005, 04:07   #23
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With out trying to sound holier than thou, it occured to me early in this thread that it would not be long B4 the US participants started talking about their rights, and the amendments, and the bleeding heart liberals. Would it be possible to discuss something like this, with out using the bill of rights or any amendments, and the right to bear arms. For the rest of the owrld we wonder what your thoughts are on the issue, not what founding fathers had to say. Some of us might be lead to start quoting some lordly decisions dating back to the 16 and 1700s.
Is it reasonable for the guys with the badges to politely ask you to check your boat at 2230 while in pursuit of the baddies?
However after watching some US shows on how the cops apprehend the baddies, I can see why there is cause for alarm.
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Old 06-09-2005, 04:18   #24
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Well, we have established that the incident in question occurred in the U.S., so that sorta makes a discussion of U.S. law, and how it does or doesn't apply, a relevant issue.
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Old 06-09-2005, 05:18   #25
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My car got searched this weekend when I came back into the US and the only thing that bothered me about that was that I wasn't allowed to watch (I had a fresh box of Tim Horton's donuts on the seat). I live on my boat and my marina is a port of entry into the US so the customs guys are here a lot checking in boats, but I can't recall ever seeing the coast guard in the marina aside from Auxilliaries. I know that the sherriff deputies and city police were here to take crime reports about some teens that broke into a boat and stole another boat which they ran aground.

You know a lot of the home searches they do in Bagdad are in the middle of the night because people are less resistant when they are sleepy and awakened. However being a night person 10:30pm falls into a gray area since I am still up then. 5am would be another story for me. However telling them to come back with a warrant could be the difference between a minor search and a tear the place apart search. I very rarely vote for republicans anymore, they have really gone for the fear and intimidation in the last 10 years and it works, but not for me.

CaptainJeff may want to check your facts regarding the man murdered by London police since many new facts have come out recently after reviewing the security camera tapes. He never ran from them. They did not identify themselves or even reveal their presence until he was on the train and the first guy pinned his arms then when he was in their control they pressed a handgun against his head and fired it 10 times with 3 misses. nice police work there. He had no backpack or puffy coat.
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Old 06-09-2005, 05:47   #26
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Do something about it

Ok, imo this whole incident falls into the non-acceptable category if it went down exactly as described by Kai Nui.

If the Patriot Act allows this, it needs to be fixed. Has this incident been reported in the local media?
If so, can I have a link? Do you have more specifics as to which clause the coasties sited as authority?


Chances are this incident was instigated by one person (BMIC) with questionable leadership ability, rather than indemic. But we (Yanks) should squeak about it. I promise to do a little squeaking, and urge others that agree to do the same.

If our elected reps don't know about it, they can't fix it.
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Old 06-09-2005, 17:35   #27
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Not the Patriot Act

The Coast Guard has had the right, and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, to board and inspect any vessel within its waters and any U.S. flagged vessel anywhere. The Patriot Act only gives them the impetus to reach out and touch someone. We live in times that try mens souls and we can each expect it to get worse before it gets better.
Should you choose to write your congressman, it will probably fall on deaf ears, but should you choose to convince others to write all their congressmen there may be some positive impact.

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Old 06-09-2005, 19:21   #28
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As been noted the USCG has the authority to board any vessel in US waters when ever requested - period. In fact they don't generally board boats without an order from higher up to do so. Like any normal person they don't chase around in the middle of the night boarding boats without some jackass making them do it either. It may be as general as all boats in an area or certain type of boats when looking for something or someone. They don't do it randomly - ever. They may do spot inspections but these days not very much and not at night.

I can't sail any place without passing across the dock of the USCG Trainning Center. In Late May the cadets do boarding trainning here so you can be boarded here pretty easily as they have to do it as part of the training. It's just as legal when they do it as cadets too. Memorial Day is about when they go through it.

In general, the USCG will be nice about the whole thing and I know the cadets doing training are scared to death that they will get in trouble for not being nice. They are a class act in most all respects. The Virginia Marine Police OTOH have the reputation for being a PITA. They may not all be like that but they seem to have the reputation.

Since we live in an area with a lot of USCG people I would say that the Dept of Homeland InSecuity has screwed them up as bad as anything they have done. The concentration of power has not been any better for the USCG than FEMA. They get stuck chasing down stupid non terrorist threats and a lot of other goofy paperwork that is of doubtful benefit. It greatly detracts from the duties they perform that really makes boating a whole lot safer. They do it all with a "budget Increase" that leaves them with less money too.

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Old 09-09-2005, 09:29   #29
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First off, for BCMike. You need not read this post if you are not interested in the Patriot Act or the opinions of those who care about it. You apparently are not aware of or care about how this Act impacts you Canucks. FYI, this issue impacts or could impact sailors the world over, particularly Canadian sailors, not just USA sailors. Are you aware that Presidential Orders promulgated this past year or two prohibits travel to Cuba (which many Canadian sailors do) by any vessel using USA ports or waters? A Canadian vessel can no longer legally use a US port prior to embarking for Cuba. Their vessel can be seized althought I do not know if this has happened yet. The current administration has illogically linked (for apparently political reasons) the Patriot Act with the "Trading with the Enemies Act". Our "Trading with the enemies Act" was formerly used to attempt to ban US ciitizens from traveling to Cuba by not allowing us to spend US dollars there and was only applied to US citizens. Now (unless there has been a recent change in this policy) the presidential order makes travel to Cuba equivalent to supporting international terrorism and has given the US Coast Guard the power to stop and/or seize any vessels not just USA vessels. In fact just being merely suspected of being capable of or planning to go to Cuba gives them the authority to board or seize a vessel.
Second off: I agree with Kai Nui about the boarding of his home and for most of the same reasons plus some of my own. Questions: Were other vessels boarded that same evening? Are these boardings continuing? Has anyone complained to their congressman about this(or these) incidents? Was the purported concern (drugs)by the Coasties such that they could not have performed the search during daylight? What is the connection between a drug lab and international terroism? (Were the drug suspects, dark complexioned indivuals wearing head rags for hats? (LOL) Has the Coast Guard advertised or made a general announcement that from now on, residents of marinas either full time or parttime all over the United States now subject to random, midnight searches without due process? If so, there are hundreds of thousands of people at marinas thoughout the country on rivers, lakes and on our sea coasts who are potentially subject to such intrusions. There are lots of people, including members of congress, who are concerned about certain aspects of the Patriot Act, particularly those that apparently seem to nullify our (USA) rights regarding search and seizure. The Patriots Act is soon up for reauthorization or have I missed this while trying to dodge hurricanes this summer? May be a chance to change or modify certain provisions of the Act. It is not surprising that the "Patriot Act" has many similarities to the so-called "War on Drugs". In that "War", like this War, American citizens lost rights regarding search and seizure which many of us thought to be guaranteed by our constitution. There are lots of examples I can give but for the sake of brevity (my rant has already gone on too long) I will not. And as for government abuse of power. I know there is a tendency for folks to blame it on the current President or the current political party in power in Congress. I reject that notion entirely. Seems to me that both major political parties and most Presidents, Dem. or Repub., have been at fault. The Patriots Act or something similar would have been enacted regardless of who is in power. I can't remember who was responsible for starting the War on Drugs (could have been during the Regan or Bush NO. 1 administrations, I don't remember). But it was strenuosly pursued by the Clinton administration. Just ask any commercial fisherman who had a fishing boat seized because a crewmember, unbeknownst to the Captain, brought some "grass" on board. But I clearly remember the Waco incident in Texas and the Ruby Ridge incident in Idaho. Those were Clinton Administration fiascos. And those incidents were related to the BATF and FBI rabid and paranoid enforcement of federal firearms laws. Furthermore (As I rant on)Seems like there are plenty of people who are willing to give up Constitutional rights, depending on whose "ox is being gored". Some people seem to be willing to have others rights infringed on or to sit passively by, as long as theirs are left intact. And for Capt. Jeff: You present a very eloquent and seemingly logical explanation for the other side of the coin. You write well, althought some of your conclusions or opinions may not be based on a thorough knowledge of all the facts. But I can not help but wonder what your reaction would be if you were the one being rousted in the dark of night whether on your boat or in a home on land. A man's home is his castle no matter whether it floats on water or rests on terra firma.
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Old 09-09-2005, 10:53   #30

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Kudos to everyone on here for having this discussion. Being sailors/boaters, we are some of the most independent, free thinking people out there.

The trouble is with the masses.... they'll elect tyrants and not question a thing when it comes to issues like this.

This is one of many, many reasons I think this country is not the healthy "american dream" country it used to be for the middle and lower income people.

All has changed for people born post baby-boom, and it has changed very quickly.

Thank god for boats. They can take you elsewhere when the sh*t hits the fan.

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