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"Routine as fingerprinting"

This seems like big news.

The Justice Department is completing rules to allow the collection of DNA from most people arrested or detained by federal authorities, a vast expansion of DNA gathering that will include hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, by far the largest group affected.
The goal, justice officials said, is to make the practice of DNA sampling as routine as fingerprinting for anyone detained by federal agents, including illegal immigrants. Until now, federal authorities have taken DNA samples only from convicted felons.

Yep, it looks like any routine federal arrest may now include DNA sampling, via collection of a small amount of blood or saliva.

Damn that PATRIOT Act, right?

Guess again. It was passed as part of the Violence Against Women Act (I kid you not), which was passed by unanimous consent to the applause of lefties everywhere, and with the co-sponsorship of almost every Democrat in the Senate. But hell, now that I think about it, every Democrat but Russ Feingold voted for the PATRIOT Act as well. I guess there's no appetite for limiting law enforcement powers anywhere in Washington these days.


Don't know who these lefties everywhere are, but I'm not one who agrees that physical intrusions are warranted for every situation.

It would be nice if the rule of law returned to Washington, but raping the Constitution seems to be a game there now.

and it doesn't matter WHO's in charge. Didnn't the Dems (and Reps who actually care about civil liberties) think about the conseqences?

DBK, given my innate bias in favor of "pre-event interdiction," (at least in the case of terrorism) it would be expected that I'd disagree with you and I do, at least to this extent;

A DNA sample can help an innocent individual as much as help convict (not harm, but rightfully convict) a guilty one.

I don't believe privacy statutes were designed to limit prosecution, even though that is often an unfortunate result.

In the case of terrorism, those who support pre-event interdiction, like myself, claim that terrorism is not actually a "criminal act," it's an act of "unconventional warfare" targeted at civilian populations.

In my view, the potential costs of terrorism are far too high not to remove things like "supporting terrorism," "attending terrorist training," "making terroristic threats" and "planning terrorist events" from the ranks of mere "criminal acts."

From my vantage, we do need to allow law enforcement to be able to interdict potential terrorists well before they act - and that requires things like the NSA program, domestic surveillance of those deemed "suspected terrorists," due to suspicious financial activities or connections to suspect organizations.

While I acknowledge that there has been a whole host of "intrusions" thrust upon a largely, apparently willing populace of late - from intersection cameras, to random roadside sobriety checkpoints to online pedophile stings, and now to this new DNA database for offenders, there is certainly legitimate debate over the eficacy of such procedures.

My question is, how do those things harm law-abdiing individuals?

It's all to obvious how those who speed, drive drunk, are pedarists and commit "quality-of-life" crimes from public urination, to turnstile jumping to illegally crossing the border harm law abiding individuals, but I don't see how intersection cameras, roadside sobriety checkpoints and online pedophile stings harm the vast majority of decent citizens.

I'd rather not wait until a drunk driver kills someone, or a pedarist violates an actual kid...it's infinitely better if they're caught before they do irreparable harm.

Should every misdeamor result in a DNA sample?

My question is, again, who does it hurt?

It COULD serve to free that individual if he/she is later wrongly accused of a more serious crime...or, it could help convict them of a serious crime later IF they are indeed guilty.

I don't know, I just don't see it as "harmful."

On the face of it, neither do I.

I liked the way Mayor Giuliani fingerprinted everyone (I think) arrested, regardless of how minor the crime (jumping a subway turnstile). Often times, those fingerprints helped ID the perp in a far worse crime down the road.

Giuliani's initial "war on crime" was brilliant, Fred.

The worst thing he ever did was getting rid of its architect Bill Bratton.

Yes, there were a LOT of controversial aspects to that program, the random "stop & frisks" (largely of roving bands of teens) mostly in inner city nabes, sealing off entire blocks for drug sweeps, targeting vehicles with out-of-town plates driving through prime drug areas like Washington Heights and the South Bronx and as you say, going after quality-of-life crimes and running those folks through the system, often coming up with many people with outstanding warrants.

If Bratton were still Police Commissioner, its unlikely that the Diallo shooting would've occurred.

The Commander who set up that program balked when Safir and Giuliani sought to expand that program into every precinct. He warned that that program needed strict supervision and needed to be an autonomous unit.

He was bannished to Staten island for his troubles...that was about six months prior to the Diallo killing, which occurred AFTER that illegal gun task force was decentralized.

Police actions have to be strictly controlled and supervised, but things like going after "aggressive panhandling" (the squeegee men and other panhandlers) and other quality-of-life crimes certainly did bring results, especially when combined with escalating sentencing - more prison time for each subsequent offense.

Moreover, is a DNA sample that much more intrusive than a fingerprint sample?

A mouth swab compared to inking every finger???

I seem to recall Rudy not digging all the good press Bratton ws getting...as a result, he had to go.


Although I think Bratton had commissioned a poll to explore his chances for a possible run for Mayor down the road.

If that's really why Giuliani canned him, than that was his biggest mistake.

He disgraced himself with Safir and Kerik in the wake of Bratton.

They each made Bratton look even better in hindsight!

Same with the FDNY. His first commissioner was the first Hispanic Fire Commissoner (Carlos "Charlie" Rivera) who had worked himself up through the ranks from fireman to Staff Chief.

When he got rid of Rivera for standing up to some ill-advised cuts, he followed him with Safir, a former BATF bureaucrat, who had neither any experience nor interest in the Fire Dept and then Tom von Essen (the former Presdident of the UFA) who turned out to be one of the worst commissioners ever.

In that sense, it was all down hill from that auspicious start.

9/11 saved his reputation.

In that sense, no one's capitalized off of 9/11/01 more than Rudy!

Call me a heretic or something for sayign this but Giuliani was New York's greatest mayor--the right guy needed at the right time and he did much to save the city and turn things around. A great MAYOR.
In running for President (hey, if dumb John Lindsay could, so can Rudy), how anyone can tout Giuliani's national security credentials is beyond me. He has none.
What he has is the after-effects from several very good weeks, politically, from 9/11 onward. He did all the right things that day and in the days after. He was looked to by many for comfort and reassurance and toughness (vs. the early reactions from the White House).
But he did not man an anti-aircraft gun atop a building and shoot down a terrorist jet. He did not make any decisions re: Afghanistan or anything else in that realm. He did not engage in hand-to-hand combat to thwart terrorists. He just had a couple of very very very good weeks --sad as they were-- that any politician thirsts for.
And those pitch-perfect weeks helped his opponents forget some of the blemishes on his otherwise pretty damned good record.

Great great mayor he was; national security expert he ain't.

Hmmmm, I have a very different view, re 9/11.

Rudy, von Essen and Kerik were all lucky they weren't killed at the FDNY Command Post, which they were at until about ten minutes before that first tower fell, killing most of those at that Command Post, including then Chief of Department Peter Ganci.

I must admit that I missed that afterglow, as those six to eight weeks directly after 9/11 are still a blur of 24 hours on and 24 hours off, alternating one day at Ground Zero, the next at the firehouse. It wasn't until late November that things began to re-stabilize and then the Funerals started.

I supported Giuliani twice and given the choices we had, I'd certainly do that again, but for me, his first appointments dwarfed his subsequent replacements.

On the WoT I'd say that Rudy, like Ed Koch "gets it," and most of the Dems I've heard don't.

Of course I believe that the West (not just America) is in a fight for its very survival right now...in fact, I'm more certain of that each day.

It's all Bush's fault

"It's all Bush's fault" (A Dem)

Ain't that the truth?

To the BAD we have:

* The porous southern border that's been steadfastly ignored.

* Some reckless social spending (the NCLB Act & the prescription drug boondoggle) that's emboldened our enemies at home (Liberal tax and spenders)

* And a failure to define the real enemy in the WoT - Sharia-based Islam.

To the GOOD we have:

* A great economy - a 2.2% inflation rate, 4.6% unemployment rate, LOW interest rates, rising personal income, very strong GDP growth and a roaring Dow (over 12,000) spurred on by investment and resulted in over 7.5 million new jobs over the last six years and high tax revenues to boot!

* We've finally engaged in the WoT, a war that had been relentlessly waged against us since 1993 (the 1st WTC bombing, if not before) and ignored.

* Some of the lowest tax rates in history, which he's trying to get cemented in and made permanent!.

Yes, since the buck stops there....it's ALL Bush's fault!

I've always wondered how the 'sobriety checkpoints' were established. They seem to my under-educated mind to be an infringement without cause. Where the hell was the ACLU, then?

But, as someone said, law abiding citizens have nothing to worry about from such intrusions. Except for the undue interuption and delay while minding our own business in our private vehicle, that's correct. No, I don't want to wait for someone to kill someone else before they are picked up for DUI, but you can't stop ALL crime before it happens. It just is an impossible and implausible task. How do you know that that person you just detained and released through the sobriety check point isn't going to now be in a hurry and blow the next red light or stop sign and kill someone? You don't. So, did finding 1 or 2 DUI's at the check point, who may or may not have caused an accident before they got home, actually save anyone? Or just cause a different type of accident?

However, if someone caught with bomb making materials or plans for an attack is stopped ahead of time, that's different in my view. A drunk driver might make it home just fine, but someone planning a terrorist attack IS going to kill someone if not stopped.

As for DNA replacing or along with fingerprinting for all arrests, I've got no problem with that. If you're arrested it's just another way of identifying you. A more definite ID for that matter. And as someone else mentioned, what's a swab to the cheek? Beats trying to get that damn ink off your fingers!

I believe the sobriety checkpoints came about through lobbying efforts by MADD (mothers against drunk driving).

Actually the Rhenquist court approved them in this decision;

"However, the United States Supreme Court, in Michigan Department of State Police vs. Sitz (1990), found properly conducted sobriety checkpoints to be constitutional. The Michigan Supreme Court had found sobriety roadblocks to be a violation of the Fourth Amendment. In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed. Although acknowledging that such checkpoints violate a fundamental constitutional right, Chief Justice Rehnquist argued that they are necessary in order to reduce drunk driving.

Dissenting justices argued that the Constitution doesn’t provide exceptions. "That stopping every car might make it easier to prevent drunken driving ... is an insufficient justification for abandoning the requirement of individualized suspicion", dissenting Justice Brennan insisted.

Chief Justice Rehnquist argued that an exception was justified because sobriety roadblocks were effective and necessary. On the other hand, dissenting Justice Stevens countered that "the findings of the trial court, based on an extensive record and affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals, indicate that the net effect of sobriety checkpoints on traffic safety is infinitesimal and possibly negative." And even if roadblocks were effective, the fact that they work wouldn’t justify violating individuals’ constitutional rights, some justices argued."


I don't know if I'd have supported Rhenquist's argument on that case myself, though I do understand the impetus to get drunk drivers off the road.

In a rare case, Stevens argeument actually makes more sense to me.

JMK, you keep squawking about the great economy. Too bad the actual economists don't agree. Sure, the economy is great for the wealthy, but the middle class is being destroyed, along with the America we once knew.

Thanks to Bush's idiotic pro-immigration (legal or not!) and pro-offshoring stance, the middle class is disappearing. Bankruptcy reached an all-time high, so the Repugs made it illegal for middle class people (though corporations can continue to abuse the Bankruptcy laws). Now Foreclosures are at an all-time high, and growing exponentially as the Neocon house of cards begins to implode.

I expect liberals to try and take away my personal liberties and run my life. They don't even try to hide their agenda. Now, with conservatives turned neocons joining them in the Government Knows Best approach, we have little chance of keeping our liberties, and they will have to be fought for again some day -- that battle will make Iraq seem like a summer picnic.

There is no war. Wars involve armies. Our existence isn't threatened by a bunch of Stone Age religious nuts. We have more to fear from our government than from terrorists. Terrorists didn't kill 60 million people -- Stalin did.

There are no/zero economists who'd called the current economy (2.2% inflation rate, 4.6% unemployment rate, low interest rates, very strong GDP growth, rising personal income and over 7.5 million new jobs created over the past six years) "poor," or even "average."

It's a very strong economy in respect to all those common economic indicators.

As far as immigration goes, we NEED to address the problems of structural unemployment.

I have no problem with importing (allowing to immigrate) various professionals who can fill jobs that not enough Americans have been trained to do.

It's actually a vital need.

The American middle class is acually growing and growing more prosperous as we speak - over the past 25 years, the legacy of Supply-Side economics is clear. In 1980, the last year of the Carter administration, a mere 35% of Americans earned $50,000/year or more in 2003 dollars (adjusted for inflation), by 1990, 40% of Americans earned $50,000/year or more in 2003 dollars (adj for inflation) and in 2003, 44% of Americans earned $50,000/year or more in those same 2003 dollars!

During that same period American households with their prime earners between the ages of 25 and 59 (their peak earning years) saw a 13% increase in households earning over $100,000/year and a 14% decrease in such households earning less than $75,000/year.

There is no real estate crisis or "crash," as so many naive folks expected. Real estate prices flattened without dropping much at all, last year.

Foreclosures ARE up, though that's not due to any economic squeeze in the economy, but because many people foolishly took on excessive debt via adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) and have seen their payments go up as interest rates on those loans can rise to a set amount above prime after three to five years. Some folks could pay that "teaser rate," for the first thre years, but couldn't handle the increase above prime that came after that intro period. Personal stupidity (or a lack of common sense) is not a governmental problem.

As to the WoT, the West, at this point, is barely holding its own in what is, without question, a fight for its very survival against the global jihad of a radicalized and growing Sharia-based Islam.

The fact that you don't understand the dynamics of the WoT doesn't make your wishful thinking (that "it doesn't exist,") true....I wish that it did.

Law enforcement and the Military are two key components of the government bequeathed us by America's Founders.

I'd prefer them lean (they are), but powerfully intrusive and effective at both combating crime and defending the nation.

Terrorism, of course, does NOT fall into the category of "crime," as terrorism is universally defined as "unconventional warfare waged against civilian populations."

Terrorism is a Military problem that should fall under Military jurisdiction.

That's why those Military Tribunals are the correct way to go, in dealing with suspected terrorists and their supporters.

That website isn't run by economists, not a single one posts any economic credentials.

That said those folks are certainly entitled to their misguided opinions.

Free Trade has been a net positive for America, creating more demand for many of our products worldwide and has created more jobs here in the U.S then we've exported overseas.

EVERY honest economist would tell you that if widgets can be manufactured on an assembly-line in the Congo that pays workers $3/day, then it's simply no longer economically viable to produce those widgets in places like England and America.

If Free Trade were taking American jobs then how come there hasn't been a decrease in American jobs over the past five or ten years?

In fact, there've been 7.5 million new jobs created over the past six years MOST of them in financial services and the health fields.

Once again a 2.2% rate of inflation, a unemployment rate of 4.6%, LOW interest rates, rising personal income, strong GDP growth and over 7.5 million new jobs created over the past six years is best described as "extrtemely strong," or "BULLISH!"

When foreign goods flood this country because they're cheaper that's an indication that our economy is stronger than that of most of the rest opf the world's. We get to buy foreign goods at lower prices and that's a net GAIN for those who have the least amount of money to spend.

Aside from the great Pat Buchanan (and his sidekick Ravi Batra) where are the anti-globalists?

The Democrats???

Hell no!

NAFTA was passed in January of 1994 by a Democratic Congress and signed into law by a Democratic President. The same President who TWICE raised the limits for H-1B visas...and rightfully and necessarily so, due to "structural unemployment" here in the U.S.

Senator Reed Smoot (R-UT) and Representative Willis C. Hawley, (R-OR) had that "great idea" of raising tariffs and "producing our own goods and services no matter what the cost," and that "great idea" led to the Great Depression.

We've learned our lesson and thankfully, there are no longer many, if any of THAT kind of "Republican" in today's GOP.

Goddamn, did you fall on your head?

Admit it, Mexico could train firemen who could then work a lot cheaper than you. India can train programmers. Mexico can train nurses. Pakistan trains a great many of our doctors. Lawyers ship their research work off to India. Doctors have their medical transcription done in India. China manufactures everything. Mexicans work the ranches, farms, and orchards.

Tell me JMK, what fucking job can't be done cheaper by some foreigner?

What happens to an economy when people can't afford to buy things because they don't have a job?

Wasn't that called the fucking GREAT DEPRESSION?

We could get much cheaper teachers from India, couldn't we?

By God, we could save billions by replacing our worthless American CEOs with foreigners!

This is about one thing: increasing short-term profit for the very wealthy. It is disasterous for the country, but great for the mega-rich. They don't give a shit who they employ, and without the American middle class, or any regard for human rights, they envision the happy days of old, when the "little people" were there only for their amusement, profit, and abuse.

America SIN'T overrun with well-trained immigrants "stealing 'OUR' jobs."

That's why they have a cap on those H-1B visas.

It started out at 65,000/year, went to 135,000/year and then 195,000/year under Bill Clinton in order to address some real problems American companies were having with STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT. Bill Clinton was RIGHT to do that!!!

That cap was dropped back down to 65,000/year by the current occupant, in the wake of the 2000 NASDAQ implosion, and to the detriment of American businesses!

If there aren't enough Americans trained to do these jobs we must have mechanisms in place tofill those jobs so that American industry can keep humming and keep on keeping their investors happy.

The Great Depression was caused by, among other factors, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.

Personal income has risen more sharply over the last two years than it ahd throughout the 1990s.

Over 7.5 million new American jobs were created over the last six years.

I'm one of the few guys I know that doesn't make more money from investments than I do working...I should listen to my cousins more.

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