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  #81  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: rammed:by the customs & border patrol

Quote:
Originally Posted by LooseDiamond View Post
As I said earlier -

Folks, get the facts, not a defense lawyer's view point. They have the commitment of the chicken in a ham and egg breakfast, you are the ham. They make money from you, you lose and go to jail.

Follow the law and you have no fears.
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  #82  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: rammed:by the customs & border patrol

I've never been boarded by the Coasties, but when lobstering in the Florida Keys we have been regularly "inspected" by the "Grouper Troopers" (Florida Fish and Game). They have always been polite and professional. They have an enormous responsibility and deal with people all day who are lots less than professional or even polite (and some are drunk too). The stories I hear from folks about getting around the bag limits and the things they do to our natural resources always makes me offer the officers a cold water and my warm regards. As long as there is a percentage of the population who will abuse our shared natural resources to the point that they will destroy it, we as a community have to police them. But we cannot police them without allowing the police to watch us as well.
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  #83  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: rammed:by the customs & border patrol

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Originally Posted by AKscooter View Post
Boats have been a major vehicle of smuggling for centuries
Other than the long historical perspective, so have planes, cars, backpacks/purses and pockets. So what is your point????
My point is: warrantless searches of boats have been going on since long before you were ever born. There's nothing new about it. It's an ancient practice. Probably the first day someone hollowed out a log to make the first boat, there was someone in authority wanting to look inside it. It's just part of the rich and ancient traditions of boating. You chose to engage in an activity that includes the likelihood of being boarded by the Coast Guard. That's your right. And it's also your right to complain about it. But you are only "baying at the moon" -- it's not going to change. You might as well complain about the sun's habit of rising in the east. If it really bugs you, you might want to consider doing something else that doesn't include a long tradition of warrantless searches. It'd be better for your blood pressure.

To quote an old Viking song: "Vem kan segla förutan vind?" -- who can sail without the wind? You're wanting to go out on the water free from warrantless searches is as whimsical as trying to sail without the wind. Good luck.

From a constitutional standpoint: there are only nine people in the United Stares who can decide whether the practice is constitutional. I encourage you to take it up with them, but ironically, the most conservative members of that body are the least likely to side with your position. You might want to read this case that came before the Supreme Court to appreciate what you're up against: http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/462/579/. Quoting the first sentence of that decision: "Title 19 U.S.C. § 1581(a) authorizes customs officers to board any vessel at any time and at any place in the United States to examine the vessel's manifest and other documents." I'll let the lawyers among us explain the Court's past decisions on the topic.

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Originally Posted by AKscooter View Post
Sailing a boat is not a terrorist act.
Neither is flying an airplane. But as pithy as it may be, you can't sum up the whole situation in one sentence. Real life is messier than that. We pilots have had to operate under a microscope ever since 9/11. Would you propose we stop doing background checks on foreign flight students? It's very inconvenient for them. They have to wait weeks before they can start instruction... The world has changed. Get over it.
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Last edited by patrickbryant; 11-20-2012 at 02:07 PM.
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  #84  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: rammed:by the customs & border patrol

Step aboard and you do lose all your rights. Why? Because they have "policies" that circumvent the Bill of Rights. That is why the politicians invented policies and regulations. They can steal your rights and money and there is nothing you can do about it.
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  #85  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: rammed:by the customs & border patrol

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Originally Posted by tomperanteau View Post
Step aboard and you do lose all your rights. Why? Because they have "policies" that circumvent the Bill of Rights. That is why the politicians invented policies and regulations. They can steal your rights and money and there is nothing you can do about it.
Interestingly, you don't even need to step aboard to have fun with Customs: the usual rules don't apply when going crossing a border. They can search & seize without probable cause (which is the limiting factor for the highway patrolman, who has no right to search your car - he can look at what he can see through the window, and act based on that alone).
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  #86  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: rammed:by the customs & border patrol

Well, you could write your congressman ;-)

Here're the laws on Customs boarding/searching/seizing: 19 USC § 1581 - Boarding vessels | LII / Legal Information Institute

The laws have been on the books for a long time. Probably before many readers here were born. And the laws really just codify what Customs has always had the power to do. Those are the rules of the road. Don't like it? Don't get on a boat. Or get the laws changed.

I would not go so far as to say "you lose ALL your rights." That's an extreme perspective. And I do deeply sympathize with people whose boats are their homes.

But the Supreme Court settled this argument 29 years ago:

"In 1790, ... the First Congress clearly authorized the suspicionless boarding of vessels by Government officers, reflecting its view that such boardings are not contrary to the Fourth Amendment, which was promulgated by the same Congress."

[United States v. Villamonte-Marquez, 462 U.S. 579 (1983)]

I hate to break it to you guys who're screaming about the 4th amendment but, the SAME congress that originally passed the 4th Amendment to the constitution also said that government agents could board vessels without any suspicion!

It's amazing how these old arguments get rehashed over and over, usually by newly-minted ill-informed self-appointed constitutionalists, when the congress that wrote the 4th amendment settled the issue way back in 1790.

What we need is an explicit constitutional right of privacy. Do a text search of the US constitution some time for the word "privacy" and see how many times it appears (zero). The ninth and tenth amendments sorta, kinda, indirectly, give you the vague impression that there might be such a thing as a right to privacy; but in today's era -- we need something explicit. Constitutional scholars argue that since the government isn't explicitly allowed to violate your privacy, then that means you have a right to privacy (a bad case of circular logic in my opinion). But here we have it: all it takes is government legislation that grants the power to invade your privacy -- and that right dissolves into thin air. Legislation like what Congress passed, in 1790. Privacy is a very "soft" right in this county that can be easily brushed aside because it isn't explicitly granted in our constitution.

I lived in Sweden for two years (great sailing!), and studied their constitution. Sweden has a very explicit right-to-privacy, and Sweden is the "gold standard" for privacy laws today. The Europeans have recent painful memories of Big Brother snooping through people's stuff (WWII, Nazis, and Stalinists). But the neo-pseudo-conservatives in this country will have nothin' to do with none of them there Socialist privacy laws. How else are they going to ruin people's lives over what they do in their bedrooms? So, until attitudes change, we're stuck.

Last edited by patrickbryant; 11-21-2012 at 01:22 PM.
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  #87  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: rammed:by the customs & border patrol

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
As I said earlier -

Folks, get the facts, not a defense lawyer's view point. They have the commitment of the chicken in a ham and egg breakfast, you are the ham. They make money from you, you lose and go to jail.

Follow the law and you have no fears.
Insist they follow the law and law breaking on their part is less likely to become standard procedure. To do that you have an obligation to know the law. Allowing oneself to be bullied encourages them to bully others, making you an accomplice, the kind of person we have to thank for our loss of freedom and civil rights.
Neville Chamberlain was no hero!
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  #88  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: rammed:by the customs & border patrol

Quote:
Insist they follow the law and law breaking on their part is less likely to become standard procedure. To do that you have an obligation to know the law. Allowing oneself to be bullied encourages them to bully others, making you an accomplice, the kind of person we have to thank for our loss of freedom and civil rights.
Neville Chamberlain was no hero!
I couldn't agree more. Well said!

Last edited by patrickbryant; 11-20-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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  #89  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: rammed:by the customs & border patrol

I hope the OP gets back soon. Or did I miss part 2 already?
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  #90  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: rammed:by the customs & border patrol

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
As I said earlier -

Folks, get the facts, not a defense lawyer's view point. They have the commitment of the chicken in a ham and egg breakfast, you are the ham. They make money from you, you lose and go to jail.

Follow the law and you have no fears.
Are you calling me a ham, Chuckles?
Or are you saying don't eat eggs in front of an angry hen?
I am all scrambled by your analogy, but I like it!

I suppose you mean that there is really no chicken in a ham and egg breakfast. An egg could become a chicken though!
Mmmmh! Ham!
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