The Fungibility of Meaning

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Where is the “border?”

As it turns out, it isn’t where the United States ends – and Mexico begins. Kind of like the Fourth Amendment doesn’t mean:

“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.” 

Which has no such meaning – as a practical matter – because the courts have ruled the Fourth means the government can subject anyone who happens to be out driving to a search, just because he is out driving. Because requiring him to stop, present his identification and allow a government enforcer to look him and his vehicle over isn’t “unreasonable” or even a “search” if it is “brief” and the government has a “compelling” interest in (ostensibly) preventing “drunks” from driving.

And also because – by dint of having a driver’s license – he has given his “implied consent” to be searched.

Never mind that he consented to no such thing.

This brings us back to the “border.” Which isn’t the place where the United States ends and Mexico begins. It is as far as 100 miles within the United States – at least insofar as the reach of the (sic) Border Patrol. Its authority extends far beyond the physical border, which makes use of the term “border” nonsensical – of a piece with that business about us being protected from “unreasonable” searches, which allows the government to determine what it considers to be a reasonable search. Thereby neatly getting around the difficulty – for the government – of having to establish “… probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”


And that is why you are required to establish that you are citizen of this country even when you’ve never left it – if you’re within 100 miles of the physical border of this country. The “border” patrol has the power to drag you out of your vehicle and put you in manacles if you refuse to provide this information – even in the absence of any probable cause that would lead a reasonable person to suspect you of being a non-citizen. You know, such as not having just crossed the border or given any reason to suspect you recently did.

Because you’re nowhere near it, for one.

Merely being within 100 miles of the border is sufficient legal warrant to eliminate the need for a warrant. This is interesting because it means that whole cities within America such as San Diego and Los Angeles are within the Authority of the Border Patrol yet one fraction of an inch on the Mexican side of the actual border, the Border Patrol has no Authority.

This here river only runs one way, cap’n. Hadn’t you heard?

The U.S. Border Patrol, in other words, can abuse the rights of American but not Mexican citizens – the latter of whom (as well as anyone else from anywhere else except this country) are effectively free to come across the border and not only that, are welcomed with debit cards, food and lodging and airplane tickets to an American city of their choice. This is not considered abusive – of Americans – by the Border (sic) Patrol.

Further abuse – of Americans who happens to driving within America and as far as 100 miles way from the border – includes what the Border Patrol styles “inspections,” as if the latter differed from “searches” in any meaningful way. There are “checkpoints” at which American drivers must stop and not only answer questions – something that drivers don’t have to do at “drunk” driving checkpoints that are more than 100 miles within the United States, where they can legally tell the government goon they don’t answer questions and not get dragged out of their car and manacled for it – they must also submit to a more than cursory search of their vehicle, so long as it is styled an “inspection.” This can include having to open closed trunks and beverage coolers, etc.

Erin Marquis

The pretext being “foreign” flora and fauna. Of a piece with the pretext – at “drunk” driving checkpoints – that you are not sober until you’ve proved you aren’t “drunk” to the satisfaction of a government worker with a gun.

All of this is bad and depressing. Far worse, though, is the abuse directed at Americans who object to being abused.

When it comes to dealing with the border patrol, the name of the game is cooperation,” trills an American who is a Good German. She thinks Americans ought not to question their being abused.That they ought to cooperate with their abusers.  She mocks two Americans who had the gall to fail to cooperate, styling them “doofuses” and taking “delight” in their being dragged out of their vehicle and manacled for it.

She says the Bill of Rights (sic) “protects Americans from self-incriminating testimony, not from answering any questions ever posed by the feds.” Apparently not understanding that being compelled to answer any question is by definition “testimony” and that can (and will) be used to “incriminate.” 

Are you a citizen?

Well, if I’m not – and I answer that honestly – have I not just incriminated myself? And if I am not – and answer dishonestly – then have I also not just incriminated myself for lying to a government worker with a gun? 

Abuse exists because it is tolerated. Because it is defended – by people such as Erin Marquis. We used to live in a free country; people even used to say it. When was the last time you heard anyone say it?

Patty Hearst, phone home.

. . .

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  1. The USBP is not designed to keep illegal foreigners out. It’s to keep LEGAL American citizens from leaving!

  2. Three words that should never be believed again when uttered by a politician, bureaucrat, or establishment media is “Safe and Effective!” after the COVID jabs proved to be the exact opposite of what they were framed as. It’s a wonder the government and the global elites didn’t also use those words (or a variation of those words) for the other demented ideas they’re trying to shove down our throats, such as EVs, Net Zero, consumption of bugs and frankenfood, carbon footprint trackers, digital ID, CBDCs, etc.

  3. A person sure can learn a lot here. Information galore, busting out out the seams, in outer space.

    And you have to go back to recent entries to read more comments to learn a little bit more.

    “Stick around, you’ve got a lot to learn” are words you hear, but never heed. lol

    I have to buy a new serpentine belt, it’s time.

    Maintenance issues are a plague at times.

  4. ‘the name of the game is cooperation,” trills an American who is a Good German.’ — eric

    Wow, thanks for the memories, Eric. ‘Good German’ is an old-timey expression from three generations ago. It faded into disuse along with the old saw ‘It’s a free country,‘ commonly heard during our youth when it was nearly true.

    ‘Good Germans’ now have been replaced with ‘Good Israelis’ — except for a few defiant refuseniks:

    ‘Following Rep Thomas Massie’s vote in favor of vacating [House Speaker] Johnson, an AIPAC-affiliated super PAC is devoting at least $300,000 to campaign against him in his May 21st primary.

    ‘United Democracy Project will purchase advertising from all of Fox’s channels across Kentucky to run ads against Massie that highlight what they chastise as his lack of support for Israel. UDP spokesman Patrick Dorton said “We are going to make sure every voter in the state of Kentucky knows how bad Tom Massie is on Israel.”

    ‘Ads already airing to degrade Massie’s reputation have been nothing short of character assassination with one making the claim that Israel is “under attack by Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and Congressman Tom Massie.”’

    Try to wrap your mind around it: a foreign lobby spending hundreds of thousands of dirty money to slime a Member of Congress for insufficient loyalty to a rich foreign country which just sucked $30 billion out of US taxpayers.

    Thomas Massie refuses to be a Good Israeli. And so do I.

    • Thomas Massie is the best member of the House, bar none. I’m glad that there is not only a proper libertarian in Congress, but a libertarian engineer.

      As for Mike Johnson… When he took the Speaker position, he said something like “Take the Bible off your shelf and look inside. That’s my world view.” This did not bode well, and certainly didn’t inspire me to have any confidence in the man.

      For all I know, Mike Johnson thinks the Roman Empire is still a problem and the US is sending money to free Judea from occupation.

      • >a libertarian engineer.
        It amazes me that Rep. Massie, as well as some of his more enlightened colleagues, have the patience to deal with the idiots among them.
        For example, we have one Rep who believes that islands can capsize.
        And another who believes that NASA can change Earth’s orbit.
        Props to the naval officer for keeping a straight face.
        Wake up, folks. These pendejos are determining national policy.
        First, we hire the most brilliant minds on Earth to design nuclear weapons, which can end human civilization.
        Second, we delegate the decision to use hem, or not, to a Grade B movie actor.
        What is wrong with this picture?

      • Those of us who deal with physical reality know that there are right and wrong answers to certain questions, The tape measure does not lie, and neither does the voltmeter. It either works, or it doesn’t. Quod erat demonstrandum, as the saying goes.

    • “UDP spokesman Patrick Dorton said “We are going to make sure every voter in the state of Kentucky knows how bad Tom Massie is on Israel.”
      The best reason I can think of for supporting him, wish he was my rep. I think I will send a check to support his campaign.

  5. Females like Marquis are increasingly given a much larger reach/influence than their intelligence warrants. I’ve noticed attention whores like her lining up all day everyday to get their picture taken next to the giant Kokopelli, under the super Starbucks sign along the freeway. One after another, they contort themselves to mimic the kokopelli for what reason, I have no freaking idea. If the higher power/ETs/God, whatever has a television set showing all the channels of the universe simultaneously, I’ll bet earth in general and stupid shit retards do in particular is their favorite station.

  6. Not too long ago the Border Patrol a-holes were harassing drivers on I-93 in New Hampshire with their “checkpoints”. The governor of NH got them to knock it off and as far as I know they haven’t returned; we need more governors like that to get the Feds to back off.

    • Permanent inspection stations exist on I-10, on either side of El Paso. Eastbound, it’s before you reach Van Horn, Texas. Westbound, a few miles west of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

      Like the TSA guards in airports, these stations are security theater. When well-briefed migrants can just wade across the shallow Rio Grande, claim asylum, and receive domestic air tickets, only uninformed doofuses would try to ride up I-10 hiding in a pickup bed.

      The more than doubling of ‘migrant encounters’ within weeks after HIAS board member ‘Mayorkas’ was confirmed by the Senate on Feb 2, 2021, speaks for itself. ‘HIAS stands for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and opportunity.’ See for yourself:

      Are we not entertained?

  7. “When it comes to dealing with the border patrol, the name of the game is cooperation,” trills an American who is a Good German.’ — Jalopnik, quoted by Eric

    When I encounter leftist agitprop, my first question is ‘Who gave this flack a platform?’ You can almost predict the answer in advance.

    Jalopnik is owned by G/O Media, headed by James Spanfeller Jr. He in turn has an X account [twitter dot com slash jimspanfeller]. In a post dated Dec 16, 2016 — just after the great white whale Hitlary washed up on the beach — he wrote, ‘Well worth a read no matter what ur party affiliation is. Russian hack is bad stuff Useful Idiots Galore‘.

    His link leads to a New York Slimes column by Paul Krugman, denouncing Trump as a faithful tool of Putin. This media blitz helped tee up the fraudulent Mueller persecution, which actually was about covering up the FBI’s illegally-predicated Crossfire Hurricane ‘investigation.’ By alleging that Wikileaks got its DNC emails from Russia, the Lügenpresse helped put Julian Assange in prison, where he remains.

    Spanfeller’s first ‘job’ out of college was with the SoHo Weekly News, an alternative newspaper founded by music publicist Michael Goldstein and published in New York City from 1973 to 1982. In another words, he’s just a radical leftist college kid who never grew up.

    Behold the sorry result empowering anti-freedom leftists to write about cars: soon there won’t be any cars, at least of the ICE variety. And not many EeeVees, either.

    Smash the Media.

  8. What border? Christ you can swing a dead cat and hit an illegal alien. And it’s not just Latin Americans —every nation is sending their dregs.

  9. “Well, you have to let us do it because it’s in the Constitution. It’s our job, and we’re the experts. You’re not an expert, so you better just shut up!” – some random CBP bureaucrat, justifying the 100 mile border program.

    This is an example of the fundamental problem with avoiding amendments and using the courts instead of the states and people to determine the best course of action as times change. If there is a task such as border protection delegated to the Federal government, it will be abused and used to justify any action far beyond any sane person’s interpretation. This pretzel logic that they use to implement policy like the 100 mile borderland is a fantastic example. And one could see them implementing a further interpretation of the constitution to encompass 100 miles around international airports, including such transportation hubs as Des Moines International (which has no scheduled international flights), and Denver International, which at least has a lot of international commercial flights but is about as equidistantly far from the borders as one can get.

  10. A Border Patrol checkpoint provides Elon with another layer of security for his launch facility down at Boca Chica here in Texas.

    Technically, the road past the launch pad is public since the beach located where the pavement ends is a state park, but SpaceX and the various levels of government involved do their best to discourage people from exercising their rights.

  11. I maintain the federal government has never been delegated the power to control immigration, only naturalization. If it was, then those who wrote down those powers would have written that down. They didn’t.

    Since the power to control immigration was not granted, it was retained by the states. Immigration enforcement by the feds is a usurpation.

    Of course, the federal courts have decided the federal government does indeed have this authority. Shocking considering who pays their bills.

    The USA is and has been a police state for a very long time. We are convinced we are free because the government schools tell us we are. We sing a song that says so. Maybe that was true in 1812, but not today.

    We live in a fantasy world where the USA alone saved the world from the Nazis, granting us the moral authority to impose our will on the rest of the world, including our citizens.

    If Madison returned today, he would be very unhappy with the flavor of soup the boiling frog produced.

    • I agree that the federal government does not possess the right to grant citizenship – that is, indeed a State issue. I believe Judge Nap actually just mentioned this on one of his recent shows. I do disagree, however, with the assertion that Madison would be unhappy with how things have turned out on the continent. The dude was a tool who illegally took part in a coup that saw 13 sovereign countries, calling themselves these united States, get forced to undergo a slow transformation into a single blob calling itself The United States. That was all him, and Hamilton, and Washington, and Jefferson, etc, etc, etc.

  12. Just like taxes. If the state can steal a percentage of your income, what prevents it from stealing 100 percent of it?
    So with the 100 mile extension of the US/Mexican border. What prevents that extension from being declared at 2000 miles, and encompassing the entire US population?
    The answer to both is friction and gravity, in other words not a damned thing.


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