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10/01/2004 Archived Entry: "A tip of the hat to Sunni Maravillosa"

I quote in part an email I received from Free-Market.net activist Sunni Maravillosa. I regret her departure from FMN's newsletter and I look forward to seeing the form in which her activism will next emerge. Here's Sunni's message:

SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH. Yes, I know -- I've cribbed my title from Douglas Adams. But it's appropriate, given the subject of this essay and my continuing struggles to find my voice after the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hiibel case. [See end of entry for more info on the decision and its implications.] And, unlike the Harvard professor, I'm admitting it freely, so it shouldn't come back to haunt me.

For those of you who may have forgotten, or didn't receive the last FM News, I wrote in part: "The magnitude of the task before those of us who love freedom has been revealed, in the yawning indifference of Americans to this decision. I wonder how many of us are checking our 'Claire Wolfe clocks', and saying something like, 'Wow -- how did it get to be half-past time to shoot the bastards without me noticing?' On June 21 the Supreme Court killed any pretense that may have remained of protecting the Constitution, and thereby U.S. citizens, from abuse at the hands of the state. And most of America scratched, belched, and turned on the TV. It's too early to say, but my optimism may have died that day too. I hope not, but for now, I continue to be speechless in response to the trends in the U.S." To read or re-read the entire essay, please see.

This is, as the title suggests, my farewell FM News. I have resigned from Free-Market.Net in order to explore other paths to freedom. Lest I implicate all you readers in a "conspiracy" with me, I won't say more on those other paths here, except to assure you that I've not given up the cause of freedom. ISIL intends to keep Free-Market.Net going, although the details of that are still being worked out. They could use whatever support you might be able to give, ranging from suggestions for improving FMN, volunteer work, and of course, contributions.

More on the implications of the Hiibel decision...To quote an article by Jennifer Van Bergen, from the World Socialist Web Site: Under previous Supreme Court law, individuals did not need to identify themselves to police. The ACLU has a brochure called "Know Your Rights," in which it informs readers that "you do not need to answer any questions if you are detained or arrested" on the street. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) also has a "Know Your Rights" brochure. It states: "The Right to Remain Silent. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives every person the right not to answer questions asked by a police officer or government agent." Apparently, the Supreme Court just changed all this. The way the Court did this was pretty sneaky, because it merely upheld a Nevada state law that authorizes police to request that a person identify himself when the officer has a "reasonable suspicion" that a person may be involved in criminal activity, and that if the person refuses to identify himself, the officer may arrest him. So, it was only under these very specific factual circumstances that the Court ruled. However, the decision is like a piece of moss clinging to a crevice in a rock on the side of a sheer cliff. It gets into that crevice and it works its roots in, making the crack gradually bigger and bigger as it grows. This ruling finds a tiny little crevice in the Fifth Amendment and capitalizes on it, ultimately potentially leading to the complete evisceration of the right to remain silent, not to mention the Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures.

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