Just another Saturday Night in Times Square

… with everyone in the immediate vicinity of a failed car bomb coming *this close* to being blown to smithereens:

Police found an “amateurish” but potentially powerful bomb that apparently began to detonate but did not explode in a smoking sport utility vehicle in Times Square, authorities said Sunday.

Thousands of tourists were cleared from the streets for 10 hours after two vendors alerted police to the suspicious vehicle, which contained three propane tanks, fireworks, two filled 5-gallon gasoline containers, and two clocks with batteries, electrical wire and other components, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Police are calling the bomb a “crudely constructed” device… I guess we never hear about “professionally constructed” devices because they’re the ones that actually explode.  But even a crudely constructed, unexploded bomb sends a message… just what that message is, is subject to interpretation pending the release of more information about the persons responsible.

Unlike some of my friends, I don’t think the teabaggers look good for this.  Were their extremist elements so inclined, they’d be more likely to do what paleo-teabagger Timothy McVeigh did in Oklahoma City and target a government building, not a bunch of anonymous citizens roaming Times Square in the feral heart of a Saturday night.  History shows that there is an extremist group that indiscriminately targets citizens using similar devices, but for some reason it’s bad form to suggest this might be their handiwork… although apparently it’s not uncool to level similar accusations at the ‘baggers ;)

Besides, the cops have video that shows a suspect exiting the car, and if he’d been wearing a “NoBama” T-shirt I’m pretty sure we’d have heard about it by now.  Ha! Haha!  (Sorry.)

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH: The car was apparently parked outside the offices of Viacom, which carries South Park.   The area is also home to the Bank of America and a lot of other offices, but well you know.  Um.

YES, but: Having visited NYC, I should have realized that the possibility of a terrorist or anyone else being able to  drive downtown and instantly park a car in exactly the right spot is practically nil, which doesn’t look good for a Viacom ‘connection’.

46 Responses to “Just another Saturday Night in Times Square”


  1. 1 Jymn Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Interestingly, CNN is reporting that so far the suspect is a white male according to the NYPD. “We’re currently examining video that shows a white male in his 40s, in Schubert Alley, looking back in the direction of West 45th Street,” Kelly said. “He also was seen shedding a dark-colored shirt, revealing a red one underneath. He put the darker one into a bag that he was carrying.”

  2. 2 JJ Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    We shall see.

    All I’m saying is, if people suspect muslim extremists, especially after this past week with the south park thing, it’s not altogether unreasonable. And if people want to speculate about who it was, it should be open season — radical muslims, extremist teabaggers, every kind of nut in the jar.

    For all we know it was the Fred Phelps family. Ha!

  3. 3 deBeauxOs Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Except the Fred Phelps family is not exactly known for their … ah, discretion and propensity for keeping a low profile. If you know what I mean.
    :wink:

  4. 4 Bleatmop Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    It’d be irresponsible not to speculate on this issue. Clearly I think it is Russian Ex-Pats upset that Obama finally brought communism to the USA where their Soviet buddies failed.

  5. 5 JJ Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    deBeaux – LOL, okay. Not the Phelpses, then.

    Knowing your sense of humour, I couldn’t resist funnin’ with ya ;) but pity the poor ‘baggers, eh? They’re getting blamed for everything these days, before they even set off their first bomb :P

  6. 6 JJ Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Bleatmop – Possible, possible. Sovieteabaggers!!! :shock:

    Believe it or not, when I heard about this story my first thought was “THE MOB!!!!” :lol: When I think of “car bombs” I still think of the kind that blow up when the guy turns the ignition key.

    Whoever did it, they didn’t do it very well, and I suppose that’s the important thing.

  7. 7 deBeauxOs Monday, May 3, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Hells Angels!!! Except the bomb would have gone off.

  8. 8 Reality.Bites Monday, May 3, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Let’s see, a bomb on Broadway means you’re targetting one or all of:

    1. Gays
    2. Jews
    3. Gay Jews
    4. Midwestern American tourists

    I think number four probably exonerates the Teabaggers. ;)

  9. 9 toujoursdan Monday, May 3, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I live in NYC now and like all NYers I NEVER go to Times Square. That is considered Touristville and the locals stay away.

    There aren’t many Jews or Gays either unless they are visiting from out of town to see a play. The Jewish neighbourhoods are the Upper East Side or Ozone Park in Brooklyn, and the Gays stick to Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. Times Square is overwhelmingly midwestern with the same horrible midwestern restaurant chains as elsewhere else in the country.

    Most people here take it in stride. The possibility of terrorism is a fact of life in the big city, but I am more worried about the crazy bicyclists who go through intersections against the light, the wrong way.

  10. 10 toujoursdan Monday, May 3, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Oh and the mob is everywhere in NYC. There are two restaurants in my neighbourhood that are mob fronts (though, technically “the mob” is only Sicilian and these restaurants are Calabrian. Their organized gang are called the “Ndrangheta”.) You know they are fronts because the food they serve is far too cheap for what you get.

    But the mob never targets innocent people outside its clique. They’ll kill a rival family that pisses them off, but they won’t attack innocents.

  11. 11 JJ Monday, May 3, 2010 at 10:29 am

    RB – :lol: #4 is kind of why I don’t think they did this. Most of them have probably taken that wild little trip to NYC to see the sights, and they’re probably aware that they could be targeting their own.

    OTOH, awareness doesn’t seem to be their strong suit, so you never know.

  12. 12 JJ Monday, May 3, 2010 at 10:39 am

    toujoursdan — So basically this is common knowledge? That Times Square is mostly tourists from flyover country?

    There are two restaurants in my neighbourhood that are mob fronts (though, technically “the mob” is only Sicilian and these restaurants are Calabrian. Their organized gang are called the “Ndrangheta”.) You know they are fronts because the food they serve is far too cheap for what you get.

    Scrub-a-dub-dub

    But the mob never targets innocent people outside its clique. They’ll kill a rival family that pisses them off, but they won’t attack innocents.

    Yes, that’s why my concept of a car bomb is something that only goes off when the intended target turns the key in the ignition. I still haven’t gotten used to the “IED” type car bomb that’s used by terrorists, but it seems to be the up and coming thing. Not just for war zones anymore. (Of course, to some of these guys, NYC is a war zone… the Battle of the World Trade Center was just one skirmish.)

  13. 13 Bleatmop Monday, May 3, 2010 at 11:45 am

    toujoursdan – Are those restaurants safe to eat in? To they serve good food? I ask only because I plan on attending a baseball game in NYC sometime in the near affordable future and you know, a dollar saved is a dollar not spent or something like that.

  14. 14 Brian Monday, May 3, 2010 at 11:48 am

    OTOH, awareness doesn’t seem to be their strong suit, so you never know.

    Yeah, but still, I’m sure that anything the average TPP put together would at least blow up, if only from experience blowing up mailboxes & frogs.

  15. 15 brebis noire Monday, May 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I visited NYC in 2006 with teh kids and we were dropped off with all the other bus tourists in Times Square. It was Disney World NYC Inc. A big sparkly letdown, and vastly different from the NYC I visited in 1989. The place was populated entirely by bused-in tourists and workers who must’ve commuted in from some pretty far off suburbs, because who could afford the rent anywhere in Manhattan?

    This sounds a lot to me like the Atlanta Olympic Games bomber. Who actually turned out to be an antiabortion wingnut.

  16. 16 Reality.Bites Monday, May 3, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    If it turns out I’m right, remember where you read this first. ;)

    Rahim Jaffer, in a bid to deflect attention.

    No? OK, how about Michael Ignatieff, in an attempt to prove once and for all that his loyalty is to Canada, not the United States.

  17. 17 toujoursdan Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 7:15 am

    It’s well known amongst NYers that Times Square is for tourists. Manhattan can be a busy, crowded place but Times Square takes it to a whole ‘nuther level.

    Bleet: Yeah, the mob restaurants serve decent food. Though, if you don’t know the area, you’d never know which restaurants are mob. For obvious reasons they keep a low profile.

    It appears that the attempted bomber is an American citizen of Pakistani origin. The right-wingers don’t want this naturalized American citizen to have the same rights as other American citizens: Republicans warn against Miranda rights for terror suspect

    I swear this place becomes more banana republic each day. All citizens are equal but some are more equal than others… sigh

  18. 18 Marty Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 7:42 am

    “YES, but: Having visited NYC, I should have realized that the possibility of a terrorist or anyone else being able to drive downtown and instantly park a car in exactly the right spot is practically nil, which doesn’t look good for a Viacom ‘connection’.”

    Meknows you are being facetious, but of course he parked in one of our ubiquitous no-parking zones – so I wouldn’t dismiss the possible Viacom/South Park gonnegtion, old sport. Those terrorists flouting our parking laws, sigh. Sure he’ll get a ticket from the ferocious NYPD on top of his impending jail time. They never miss a beat.

  19. 19 JJ Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Marty – Looks like you could be right, buddy.

  20. 20 brebis noire Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Parking in downtown NYC, in 1989, cost $20/hour. I imagine you can’t even pay to park anywhere nowadays unless your name is Donald Trump. His parking ticket may cost more than all of his legal fees.

    Not surprised about the identity of the bomber. It all sounds very American Dreamz to me.

  21. 21 Brian Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 10:14 am

    The right-wingers don’t want this naturalized American citizen to have the same rights as other American citizens: Republicans warn against Miranda rights for terror suspect

    The first half of that article was about the rabid right wing nut Joe Lieberman…

    Miranda is for ensuring a fair trial for criminals. It is not designed for interrogations following acts of war.

    Questioning Faisal Shahzad without having read him his rights with respect to criminal prosecution might yield information that could not be used in a criminal trial against him, but would be very, very valuable.

    He apparently trained in terrorist training camps. It seems just fine to me to ask him questions about that while he is unaware of what he is allowed to not say. That does not equate to torturing him.

    The info on foreign training camps is very valuable information. Were he to give details on that, and for those details to not be useful in prosecuting him, seems perfectly acceptable as a trade off. He potentially goes free, and we get insight into Al Qeda’s current plans.

    Additionally, he can be questioned, then later mirandized with a completely separated group handling that, pursuing prosecution.

    This is not a board game. What this guy knows has the potential to save thousands of lives, maybe tens of thousands.

     

     

    Did you notice that Janet Napolitano reiterated the idea “If you see something, say something.” I’m sure it was just an oversight that she failed to include, “Unless you’re a police officer in Arizona.”

  22. 22 toujoursdan Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Questioning Faisal Shahzad without having read him his rights with respect to criminal prosecution might yield information that could not be used in a criminal trial against him, but would be very, very valuable.

    Questioning Faisal Shahzad means that he goes free and it’s the police that are put on trial. Miranda rights exist whether they are read to the suspect or not. Reading them protects the police from prosecution.

  23. 23 toujoursdan Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 11:04 am

    And leaving a bomb in Times Square is no more a an act of war than blowing up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was. Acts of domestic terrorism by American citizens are not acts of war. It doesn’t matter if the citizens are brown people with Muslim names. They are still acts of terrorism, not acts of war.

    Did you notice that Janet Napolitano reiterated the idea “If you see something, say something.” I’m sure it was just an oversight that she failed to include, “Unless you’re a police officer in Arizona.”

    This is beyond stupid. It’s a crime to leave a bomb in a public place. It isn’t a crime to be a brown person who speaks broken English in public.

  24. 24 brebis noire Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Good point toujoursdan – and sadly not obvious to some people!

  25. 25 toujoursdan Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    It’s amazing how these “conservatives” talk about how they are the true heirs to the founding fathers, how Obama’s government now disregards the Constitution and how they need to “take America back”. They talk so much about “liberty” and “freedom” from oppressive government and throw those terms into their political action committees and fundraisers. But the moment brown people do scary things, they’re the first to throw out the Bill of Rights.

    In American law these rights, including the right to not self-incriminate and the presumption of innocence aren’t granted by the Government and they cannot be taken away by the government, no matter what a citizen does. They are inalienable rights according to the Constitution.

    The Miranda warning comes directly from the 5th and 6th Amendments and the accused has those rights whether (s)he receives the warning or not. The warning protects the police, not the accused.

    Shahzad is innocent UNTIL proven guilty in a jury trial, so the police cannot treat him any differently than any other U.S. citizen. They have to Mirandize him and treat him as an innocent until the jury renders the verdict. So they cannot force him to speak, confess, or keep his attorney from advising him.

    Likewise, the government can’t force American citizens of Hispanic, Asian or Arab decent, even the ones who speak broken English and “appear” illegal, prove they are here legally upon demand else be subject to arrest and deportation. Hispanic, Arab and Asian citizens, even the ones who have an accent and may “look” suspiciously illegal, don’t have to carry ID proving they are here legally. There is no legal requirement that Americans carry ID or proof of citizenship in public and that applies to them too. In this case, the police would have to assume American citizens are guilty until they prove themselves innocent, and that violates 200 years of jurisprudence surrounding the 5th and 6th Amendments as well. So that is one or many reasons the AZ law is going to be tossed out.

    In both cases it’s the government that would be held in violation of the Constitution and be forced to compensate the victim(s).

    I am convinced that conservatives don’t want the “wrong” people to have rights, which means they really don’t like democracy and the rule of law.

  26. 26 brebis noire Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    “The info on foreign training camps is very valuable information. Were he to give details on that, and for those details to not be useful in prosecuting him, seems perfectly acceptable as a trade off. He potentially goes free, and we get insight into Al Qeda’s current plans.”

    Oh please. That is ridiculous. You’d rather a criminal gets off from serving time for his crimes in exchange for what might or might not be useful information about Al Qeda’s (sic) current plans (or past plans, or imaginary plans, for that matter)?
    I think you’ve been watching too many episodes of 24. Jack doesn’t really save the world, you know. He’s just an actor with a drinking problem.

  27. 27 toujoursdan Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    You know, on Planet Wingnut the police ALWAYS arrest the right person(s), the evidence is ALWAYS crystal clear, the [forced] confessions are ALWAYS 100% reliable, and the “terrorist” (even if they are a citizen) goes into some black hole out-of-sight and out-of-mind, after. They certainly aren’t going to be released, even if the evidence is made inadmissible.

    Yet this society has the mostest liberty and freedom EVAH!

  28. 28 Brian Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Miranda rights exist whether they are read to the suspect or not.

    You have the right to remain silent so that you do not implicate yourself.

    This is amplified in being told that “anything you say can– and will be used against you in a court of law,” which gives you a reason to choose to remain silent so that you do not implicate yourself.

    You have the right to consult with an attorney, so that you do not inadvertently implicate yourself.

    You have the right to have that attorney present during questioning for the same reason.

    These rights all stem from the 5th amendment, which protects your rights in asserting that you need not testify against yourself. This all pertains to prosecution.

    Questioning someone who has committed an act of war might not be undertaken for the purpose of prosecution.

    The right to have an attorney present during questioning does not protect the person from being questioned, it protects them from inadvertently implicating themselves, and therefore testifying against themselves against their will.

    If a person is questioned in a way that does not conform to the Miranda, and then is let go, that is the end of it. The police don’t get sued. If instead the person is tried using that information gathered that way, then the suspect is materially harmed, and the police can be sued.

    It isn’t a crime to be a brown person who speaks broken English in public.

    It is if you are in the country illegally… Skin color and speech are not the only things you might observe.

    And leaving a bomb in Times Square is no more a an act of war than blowing up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was.

    It is if a foreign agency is involved. But I would not have had a big problem with calling McVeigh’s actions an act of war; I’m sure he saw them as such.

    Acts of domestic terrorism by American citizens are not acts of war.

    They are if Al Qeda is involved, just as a US citizen doing a domestic bombing for Mussolini would have been in 1942.

    But the moment brown people do scary things, they’re the first to throw out the Bill of Rights.

    Well, that’s just stupid. No one gives two hoots about their skin color (except a bunch of liberal chicken littles). There is a war going on. Some of those trying to attack have brown skin — I care about them. Some of those trying to attack the US have peach colored skin. I care about them too. We fought on behalf of millions of people with brown skin in Iraq, leaving them with their country and their oil at the end of it all.

    … the right to not self-incriminate and the presumption of innocence …

    have to do with prosecution. Interrogations about what Al Qeda might be up to do not.

    The warning protects the police, not the accused.

    It actually protects both. It additionally protects the prosecutor from having his case thrown out.

    Shahzad is innocent UNTIL proven guilty in a jury trial” with respect to conviction. People all the time try to say that people cannot say anything about people arrested for crimes, prior to their conviction, as if the Constitution protects suspects from citizens saying bad things about them. Of course, that’s ludicrous. It protects them from prosecution that treats them as guilty before that has been proven.

    Likewise, the government can’t force American citizens of Hispanic, Asian or Arab decent, even the ones who speak broken English and “appear” illegal, prove they are here legally upon demand else be subject to arrest and deportation.

    Of course they can. Just as, if you are stopped and cannot prove that you own the car you were driving, it will be taken away without a court proceeding.

    They cannot legally deport someone without a trial, but they surely can arrest them.

    If anyone finds themselves detained, and they cannot prove who they are or that they have citizenship, they will not be let go. It has been that way for many, many decades. I suspect it is the same in Canada.

    … the police would have to assume American citizens are guilty until they prove themselves innocent, and that violates 200 years of jurisprudence surrounding the 5th and 6th Amendments as well.

    This shows how little you understand this issue. Think about it for a second: the police arrest people all the time, and lock them away awaiting trial, without any proof of guilt required. According to your understanding, taking a suspect away would “violate 200 years of jurisprudence.” They would never be able to arrest someone until the person had been proven guilty in a court of law. These laws of innocence, proof, and so on pertain to convictions in court.

    Oh please. That is ridiculous. You’d rather a criminal gets off from serving time for his crimes in exchange for what might or might not be useful information about Al Qeda’s (sic) current plans (or past plans, or imaginary plans, for that matter)?

    Yes! Yes! YES!!! Of COURSE I would! What kind of a moral cripple wouldn’t?!? If letting one criminal — even a murderer — go free, and you prevent the downing of the World Trade Center, you think that is a bad trade?!? What are you thinking? You wouldn’t? And not for imaginary plans, either. (And who the hell know how to spell Al qeda, or Q’ran? I must have seen 5 different spellings for each. If you ask me, that’s sic.)

    Police and prosecutors let criminals get away with not paying for their crimes in exchange for information all the time. 3 people get arrested for a jewel theft. One person is willing to talk, and tell both where the jewels are, and what the other two did. He gets a suspended sentence or a plea bargain for his info. And that doesn’t even save one life!

    Of COURSE I’m OK with that!

  29. 29 JJ Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    toujoursdan – Well said, as always.

    Although the Times Square guy appears to be a muslim who was bomb-trained in one of those shit holes where they have terrorist training camps, his motivation appears to have been driven more by the economic crisis than a commitment to some extremist ideology.

    He was living the american dream — nice little job as a low-level financial advisor, big house in the burbs (with 1/4 million $ mortgage), wife and kid… then he started falling behind on his mortgage payments and everything went sideways. Wife and kid split, house was close to forclosure, and that’s when he developed a sudden interest in Teh Jihad.

    Wall Street, enablers of terrorism.

  30. 30 JJ Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Brian – If you don’t read a guy his rights, there’s a good-to-excellent chance that he’ll walk on the charges. And thus far, nobody has been able to tell me how NOT reading a terrorism suspect his rights makes it more likely that he will provide reliable information.

  31. 31 Brian Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    If he walks on the charges, but an attack is stopped, or some high-ups in a terrorist organization are caught or killed, I think that is a reasonable trade. I recognize in such a case the perpetrator might walk.

    On the other hand, if the DoJ questions the guy without him being read his rights, then that group leaves with their info, and a different group reads him his rights, explains that everything he has said so far has left the building and that he is starting to be questioned with a clean slate, it seems a successful prosecution could be accomplished. Maybe not, but like I said, given the proportionality of things, that seems acceptable to me.

    The bomber who tried to bring the plane down Christmas day was talking for about 40 minutes until the US DoJ read him his rights. At that point he clammed up. Just one real-life case where mirandizing inhibited intel gathering. They weren’t torturing him, they were just asking him questions.

  32. 32 Brian Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    He was living the [A]merican dream — nice little job as a low-level financial advisor, big house in the burbs (with $¼ million mortgage), wife & kid… then he started falling behind on his mortgage payments &everything went sideways. Wife &kid split, house was close to forclosure… that’s when he developed a sudden interest in Teh Jihad.

    Wall Street, enablers of terrorism.

    The US Congress, enablers of terrorism, if you want to properly shift the blame (rather than terrorism being done by beasts, which is where the blame belongs).

    The Community Reinvestment Act forced brokers to make risky loans or face the wrath of the Washington, DC, bureaucratic machine — IRS audits, permit denials, subpoenae to testify before Congress, etc.

    So they make the loans — stated income, 98% loan to value, and so on. Naturally, the risky loans Congress forced them to make so that congressmen could brag about how they were extending home ownership to the little guy and minorities went south. Congress’s reaction? Haul the brokers before them to explain themselves!

  33. 33 brebis noire Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Brian, in this case, the bomb did not go off, and the suspect was arrested. In the extremely unlikely event he “knows something” about a bomb somewhere else, how exactly are you going to know whether or not his information is reliable. That’s not a great way to get intel.
    You get intel by tried-and-true methods such as infiltration and surveillance.
    It’s simply a fantasy that you will get “save lives” by questioning low-level criminals who have nothing to lose or to gain by telling what they know. Especially under duress or torture.

  34. 34 toujoursdan Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Brian clearly has no understanding of Constitutional law at all.

    1) The 5th and 6th Amendments protect all American civilian citizens when they commit ANY criminal act from murdering a relative in cold blood to planting a bomb in Times Square. There is nothing in the Constitution that distinguishes between the type of crimes committed, ethnic background, any foreign connections or anything else. From arrest to conviction, the protections are exactly the same for ALL citizens in ALL circumstances. (Honest, Brian. Go look.)

    When it comes to American citizens committing violent acts on American soil, the protections remain intact.

    2) The Miranda Warning protects the police. The accused has Constitutional rights from the moment of arrest to conviction that remain intact. For American civilians, there are no exceptions to these rights whatsoever articulated in the Constitution.

    The Warning protects the police by informing the accused of their rights so that evidence gathered by the police can’t be compromised by the accused making a reasonable defence that they didn’t know their rights.

    3) This act wasn’t an act of war. War has to be declared by Congress. Congress as not declared a civil war and suspended civil liberties. Whether Brian thinks Timothy McVeigh committed an act or war is irrelevant. This is a nation of laws, not opinions.

    4) Skin colour has everything to do with the AZ immigration law. The police are not going to “reasonably suspect” and waste their time checking the papers and arresting White people who speak midwestern English. The reasonable suspension will fall on Hispanics and others who speak English with an accent. That is racial profiling.

    The law says:

    B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY
    21 OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS
    22 STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS
    23 UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE,
    24 WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE
    25 PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
    26 PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

    “Any Lawful Contact” is part of the problem here. It is lawful contact for a police officer to say hello to you or come up and ask you for directions. It is unconstitutional for that officer to then demand paperwork proving your citizenship under the 4th Amendment.

    And if not profiling by ethnicity or accent, how on earth do you find “reasonable suspicion” that someone is here illegally?

    Even the police know that it comes down to racial profiling:

    “It says you can’t use race and ethnicity. If you’re not paying attention to race and ethnicity, what other elements are there?” [Tucson Police Chief] Villaseñor asked. “If it’s 95 percent based on race and ethnicity, what’s the other 5 percent? No one knows.”

    From: Washington Post: Arizona law on immigration puts police in tight spot

    Again, it assumes people are guilty and forces them to prove that they are innocent. That violates the 5th and 6th Amendment. It also violates the Supremacy Clause, which makes immigration a federal matter and it violates the 14th Amendment which establishes citizenship.

    The law will never take effect. Legal scholars on both sides of the aisle have stated that it is clearly Unconstitutional and the police departments in the State have said they won’t enforce it. KGUN: Pima County sheriff calls immigration law “impossible” The Arizona Police Chiefs Association also condemned the law.

  35. 35 Brian Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 9:20 am

    brebis noire,

    In the extremely unlikely event he “knows something” about a bomb somewhere else, how exactly are you going to know whether or not his information is reliable.

    Those who are professionals at this are pretty good. They can read people well, in the first place. Then they intersperse their questions where they want to learn something with question they know the answers to. This helps them assess how honest the person is being. They ask the same questions again later, and see whether they get the same answer. They look for hesitation indicating that the person is trying to remember the lie they told before. There is much they can do to assess how reliable the information is.

    Your question is a good one, and I believe there are good answers — more than those I just gave.

    You get intel by tried-and-true methods such as infiltration & surveillance. It’s simply a fantasy that you will get “save lives” by questioning low-level criminals who have nothing to lose or to gain by telling what they know. Especially under duress or torture.

    Infiltration has been abysmally unsuccessful when attempted, and the US specifically has dramatically cut back on this class of intel gathering, placing far too much confidence in high technology.

    The questioning at Gitmo that was derided as ineffective due to the subject just telling you whatever you want to hear was actually effective. Through the use of asking questions they knew the answers to they were able to convince the subject that he would be unable to invent intel. Many successful operations were mounted from intle gathered in a way that is often derided as ineffective. These interrogators are not rank amateurs nor bumblers. They are well trained, and experienced.

    I am not advocating torture, though I think duress is a good idea. Part of the reason I think it is a good idea is that it has, contrary to the wisdom of the talking heads, been shown to be effective.

  36. 36 Frank Frink Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Brian clearly has no understanding of Constitutional law at all.

    Gee, d’ya think? ;-)

  37. 37 Brian Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 10:14 am

    There is nothing in the Constitution that distinguishes between the type of crimes committed, ethnic background, any foreign connections or anything else. From arrest to conviction, the protections are exactly the same for ALL citizens in ALL circumstances. (Honest, Brian. Go look.)

    No shit… I never said nor indicated otherwise. I know there are those who want to hear me as saying otherwise, but I haven’t.

    This act wasn’t an act of war. War has to be declared by Congress.

    You are confounding the meaning of “act of war.”

    From Wiki:
    Casus belli is a Latin expression meaning the justification for acts of war. Casus means “incident,” “rupture” or indeed “case,” while belli means “of war.” It is usually distinguished from casus foederis, with casus belli being used to refer to offenses or threats directly against a nation, and casus foederis to refer to offenses or threats to another, allied, nation with which the justifying nation is engaged in a mutual defense treaty, such as NATO.

    So casus belli are acts against a nation justifying a war-like response.
    Casus foederis is the case explaining why war-like behavior is just.
    A casus foederis can be built in whole or part from casus belli.

    Context made it clear that I meant casus belli, but since you missed that I have explained it for you.

    Skin colour has everything to do with the AZ immigration law.

    We disagree on this, and merely restating your position will avail nothing — it just leads to “Does not!” “Does too!”

    The reasonable suspension will fall on Hispanics and others who speak English with an accent. That is racial profiling.

    Just the briefest pondering of the situation will make it clear that if you had magic glasses that showed you everyone who was in the state of Arizona without proper authorization, you would “see” that the vast majority of that group, maybe as much as 90% of that group, would be individuals born south of the US’s southern border, some from south of Mexico.

    But despite that, this law only comes into operation in cases where other lawful contact has been made.

    It is lawful contact for a police officer to say hello to you or come up and ask you for directions.

    This is not the technical use of that term. It is used to mean official contact, for official purposes.

    It is unconstitutional for that officer to then demand paperwork proving your citizenship under the 4th Amendment.

    Even if your interpretation were accurate, this assertion is inaccurate. Citizens are secure in their persons and papers from unreasonable searches or seizures. A reasonable search is not one that is sensible or “feels right,” but one for which a reason exists. This is a technical term, and is pretty well defined through the body of case history coupled with descriptions within existing legislation.

    how on earth do you find “reasonable suspicion” that someone is here illegally?

    Furtive behavior, apparently forged documents (driver’s lic., registration, green card, passport, whatever), dishonesty (contradictory answers to questions, two different individuals giving different answers when separated), a police dog giving an indication of drug or explosive odor, etc.

    Again, it assumes people are guilty and forces them to prove that they are innocent. That violates the 5th and 6th Amendment.

    >sigh< No… It doesn't… Once again, the presumption of innocence, if applied at this level, would prohibit arresting anyone prior to them being convicted in court.

    Police detention and apprehension does not constitute an unconstitutional violation of the 5th or 6th amendments. They cannot assume someone's guilt so as to sentence them, but that does not prohibit being taken into "custody" on suspicious circumstances, or when there is reasonable cause to believe you have committed a crime.

    It also violates the Supremacy Clause, which makes immigration a federal matter and it violates the 14th Amendment which establishes citizenship.

    The Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Clause 2, says:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    This means that no state may ignore the laws of the United States or treaties entered into by the United States. Repeating federal law in state law does not violate that, it only adds agencies to enforce federal laws. In Edgar v. Mite Corporation, 457 U.S. 624 (1982), the Supreme Court ruled that “A state statute is void to the extent that it actually conflicts with a valid federal statute.”

    The 14th amendment in part reads: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.

    Arizona’s law does not do that.

    As to it never taking effect, you could be right. My position throughout has been a wait & see. It might not, but then again, things might cool down and the law might quietly pass into use. I anticipate the court proceedings will be very interesting, and well worth reading the transcripts and decisions of. I am looking forward to that.

    Thanks for introducing me to the supremacy clause. I had not heard of it, but more or less believed things to be the way the clause spells out. It is good to have now explicitly read it, confirming that my opinion on that which it touches on was well in keeping with it.

  38. 38 Brian Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 10:18 am
    Brian clearly has no understanding of Constitutional law at all.

    Gee, d’ya think?

    Apparently not, as the points brought up by toujoursdan showed that toujoursdan was in error about what the Constitution says, and my checking on what toujoursdan said showed that my understanding was right in line with what the text says, and what courts have ruled it to mean.

  39. 39 brebis noire Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 11:25 am

    “Infiltration has been abysmally unsuccessful when attempted, and the US specifically has dramatically cut back on this class of intel gathering, placing far too much confidence in high technology.”

    Actually, I have no trouble believing that infiltration has been unsuccessful by Americans. I read an article in Harper’s serveral years ago which described how Americans spies/intel agents had a hard time of it basically because they tended not to be trained in at least one second language. And that people who were very proficient in languages were not prized very highly by the agencies. To the detriment of national security, of course.

  40. 40 hemmingforddogblog Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    “The Community Reinvestment Act forced brokers to make risky loans or face the wrath of the Washington, DC, bureaucratic machine — IRS audits, permit denials, subpoenae to testify before Congress, etc.”

    Brian, Brian, Brian. Please, please, please stop regurgitating right wing talking points. Your statement is false. Plain and simple. Most of the lenders (brokers) were EXEMPT from the CRA. This blaming the poor for the current financial problems while the schmucks are Goldman Sachs et al get their multi-million dollar bonuses talks to your character (or lack of)…

    From Barry:

    “Data based analysis, for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term, is how research and discovery get accomplished in the real world. It is an alternative way of arguing that the “Blame CRA” proponents are blessedly unaware of. However, outside the universe of rabid partisan sniping, its how actual analysis gets accomplished.”

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/06/most-subprime-lenders-werent-covered-by-cra/

  41. 41 Brian Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    This blaming the poor for the current financial problems…

    If you look, you’ll find I blamed Congress, not the poor.

    You will also find that I had the most to say about governmental coercion. The CRA was but an example of the mentality in Congress, the idea that they could pressure private enterprise as a means to promote social engineering.

    Congress pressured lenders, changed regulations, beefed up the CRA, and more, all part of an environment of extending loans by fiat to individuals that experience had shown would have difficulty with those mortgages. Bob McTeer, pres. of the Dallas Fed. Res. Bank from ’91 to ’04, said, “There was a lot of pressure from Congress and generally everywhere to make home ownership affordable for poor & low-income people. Some mortgages were made that would not have ordinarily been made.” And before you start shooting blood out of your eyes in anger at my racism, or heartlessness, and all that rubbish, these individuals did have trouble with those mortgages. It’s hard to argue with reality, but I’m sure someone will come along now and try…

    I’m actually a little surprised at your post. You seem to be highly sensitive to the misuse of words to make a point which you called “talking points.” As I have said before, it matters little to me if something is a “talking point” if it is true, and I have no use for it if it is false even if it is a “talking point.”

    But someone who writes an allegedly objective financial piece and includes wording like:

         It is an alternative way of arguing that the “Blame CRA”
         proponents are blessedly unaware of.

         … rabid partisan sniping…

    and so on. I mean, where is your radar now? This reads more like a partisan sniping piece than an objective analysis.

  42. 42 hemmingforddogblog Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 1:50 am

    There is nothing partisan in that piece by Barry Ritholz. It is a financial site that talks about the markets. He only deals in facts and the fact is most of the bad loans were not done through the CRA. They were done by outfits like Countrywide and other quick buck artists. They gave mortgages, (knowing that they were not going to be repaid), and then sold the mortgages to Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac. When the person issuing a mortgage is working on commission, and knows that he is not going to be holding the mortgage, there was a tendency to play fast and dirty.

  43. 43 Brian Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 10:37 am

    “The fact is most of the bad loans were not done through the CRA.”

    Yeah? So? I said, “You’ll also find that I had the most to say about governmental coercion. The CRA was but an example of the mentality in Congress, the idea that they could pressure private enterprise as a means to promote social engineering.”

    Quick buck artists are not a new phenomenon.
    Making deals you know will not be repaid for profit isn’t new.
    Selling bad investments to escape their failure is not new.
    People working on commission making deals they know will fail is not new.
    Playing fast & dirty isn’t new.

    These sorts of things have been going on for many, many decades, like since the 1920s, an probably before. Why did this only produce a mortgage/economy problem 10 to 15 years ago? Hmmm? What changed? Come on: same environment that pertained for decades, different result — on an industry-wide scale, to boot. Something had to be different right?

    This became a problem after President Clinton really ramped up the CRA in the mid 1990’s, and he, Barney Frank and Howard Raines (et al.) started using the power of the government to pressure lenders into not being such “hoarders” (as they saw it, not as I see it). That pressure — which was typified in the CRA, whether the CRA itself applied so broadly or not — was an influence that was industry wide…

    In a quote which makes no reference to the CRA (emphasis added):

        Bob McTeer, pres. of the Dallas Fed. Res. Bank from ’91 to ’04,
        said, “There was a lot of pressure from Congress and generally
        everywhere
    to make home ownership affordable for poor &
        low-income people.  Some mortgages were made that would not
    have ordinarily been made.”

    Making home ownership “more affordable” means making loans that would otherwise have been turned down. Lenders are in business to make loans. Each lender is in competition with all the other lenders. If they turn down a loan it is because their lending formulae indicate that the loan will be a bad risk.

  44. 44 JJ Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Brian, stop moving the goalposts. Thanks in advance :)

  45. 45 Brian Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I don’t think I did. I had said that it was congress that deserved the blame rather than greedy Wall Street, and additionally mentioned the CRA. I was told the CRA was not all that significant. I reiterated that my focus was Congress.  ’S been a long thread, I suppose I might have been pulled a bit this way or that, but I fault Congress for the economic downturn, and the explosion of the mortgage market (and I partially blame them for the problems in the automotive market, too).


  1. 1 BOOM! (updated) « unrepentant old hippie Trackback on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm

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