you look kind of canadian, boy.

Our closest border with Canuckistan is about an hour north of us (the Derby Line/Stanstead I-91 crossing), and the second-closest one is two hours away in Vermont.

Imagine my mild surprise when, on the way back from town with the kids, I ended up in a U.S. Border patrol checkpoint right on I-89 outside Lebanon, NH, close to a hundred road miles from the international border.  They had set up shop across the southbound lanes of the Interstate, and every single vehicle had to stop for inspection.

As far as stops go, it wasn’t much of an annoyance.  The uniformed BP agent gave the van the once-over, presumably to check the plates out, and make sure the Grand Caravan wasn’t sitting low in the water from having a ton and a half of explosives in the back, or twenty-four stowaways from Saskatchewan.  Then he asked how I was doing today (thereby eliciting a verbal response by which to gauge accent and/or nervousness level), and peeked past me into the back, where the kids were sitting.  Then he asked if everyone in the car was a U.S. citizen.  I answered in the affirmative, we wished each other a nice day, and I was on my way.

The libertarian knee-jerk reaction would be “ZOMG checkpointz!!!”, and utter revulsion at once again being asked to justify oneself in front of the agents of the state.  The conservative/Daddy State response would be to be glad that the stalwart defenders of Old Glory and apple pie are making sure the Islamists won’t invade us while being poorly disguised with flap-eared hats and hockey jerseys.  The Liberal response would be to be annoyed at having one’s mellow harshed by The Man. (I’m guessing here, of course.  I’m sure there are Liberals who are pro-enforcement on the immigration issue, and conservatives who get the heebie-jeebies at being asked their citizenship status by a Fed.)

I wasn’t too terribly put out, I suppose.  I wasn’t asked to present papers, and I thought that the quick on-the-spot interview was as effective as time constraints and practicality allowed.  They were fishing for stuff that looked off, and we didn’t.  Yes, I do realize that there are people who take advantage of the fact that both our land borders with our neighbors are way too long to effectively seal.  (The Mexican and Canadian borders put together are close to eight thousand miles, and that doesn’t even take into account our coastlines.) I also recognize that border protection is actually a legit and proper function of Teh Fedz.

Still, it’s a little weird to get funneled into a BP checkpoint while going about one’s business a hundred road miles away from the border.  You’d figure that running checks in west-central NH takes manpower that could be better used at the actual border itself…

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66 thoughts on “you look kind of canadian, boy.

  1. williamthecoroner says:

    I’ve been caught in those checkpoints, too. Mine was in NY state headed towards Albany from Burlington. You forget, people funnel onto the interstates to GET PLACES. So they’re concentrated there. Yes, stay on the backroads and you’ll probably avoid detection. It’ll also take for bloody ever.

  2. MarkHB says:

    That’s how it starts, you know.

    “This isn’t much of a pain, I’ll put up with it”.

    Next thing you know you’ll realise a prostate massage is actually quite pleasant and the BCS will be welcome.

    • John Stephens says:

      Checkpoints is how it begins. for a look at how it can end up, check out the history of the Conch Republic. Now imagine what would have happened if they weren’t kidding.

      • Mike says:

        Heh, I just read their history. They declared war and surrendered one minute later and requested a billion in aid. Someone read “The Mouse that Roared”.

  3. pax says:

    Apparently I’m a knee-jerk libertarian. Who knew?

    I am utterly revulsed that an American citizen, going about his lawful business in a lawful manner, and absent any reasonable belief that he personally has committed any crime, should be stopped by an agent of the state and forced to justify his lawful activities. This goes for drunk-driving checkpoints (“It’s for the children!!”), border checkpoints that aren’t at the border (“You’re against illegal immigration, aren’t you?”), and any other searches incident to lawful travel absent a specific probable cause for the search (“ZOMG! You’re in favor of terrorism???“).

    I’m even more revulsed that the common reaction from ordinary citizens, told of such doings, is no longer, “Waitaminute! It’s a free country, innit?” and has instead become, “Well, it’s only a little hassle, innit?”

    And, of course, I am a fan of Joe Huffman’s Jews in the Attic Test. These types of wide-sweeping checkpoints fail that test by a significant margin.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Yeah, I actually felt a bit ashamed at my lack of outrage. I’m worried that I may be losing my edge or something.

    • PlanetCaveman says:

      He didn’t force Marko to justify his actions, he just asked him how he was doing and if everyone was a citizen. I think this is relatively low on the scale of things to get pissed off at considering the “climate change” bill and the hordes of other things that are going to impact your life vastly more than the courteous Fed asking how one is doing.

      I’d gladly trade getting rid of the mountains of stuff the Feds have no Constitutional business doing in exchange for having a Fed ask me how I’m doing near the Canadian border.

      • aczarnowski says:

        He didn’t force Marko to justify his actions

        But the state did use force none the less. They forced Marko to stop and interact on their time line and subject to their control.

        Courtesy is well and good but it doesn’t change the fact that the CBP went beyond their granted powers.

        • PlanetCaveman says:

          Beyond their powers, what is the border patrol supposed to do? It’s not a smart idea to have people just at the border, having border patrol near the border, random places at random times, makes it much more difficult for bad guys to plan around.

        • Matt says:

          Would you accept that behavior from State and local police? Just a checkpoint, no obvious purpose like a sobriety checkpoint. Pulled you over and asked if you’ve been doing anything wrong.

          How long to do you think it would be before the ACLU was on the way to court with you?

          Why do the CBP get a pass? Because they’re protecting our borders? Same law enforcement rules still apply. If they suspect someone is illegal in a small town in Iowa, they need to get a warrant with probable cause like anyone else.

          What they don’t get to do is walk down the street of said town and ask every passerby for their birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers to prove they’re allowed to be there. So setting up a checkpoint on a road and pull you over in your car is no different. What if Marko had refused to answer? What was their legal authority to ask and if he refused, to detain him, in the absence of any wrongdoing or evidence prior to the stop.

          This is very much a civil liberties issue. While as citizens and citizens-to-be we can be polite and courteous, we should in no way accept or condone such behavior as no big deal. Various government entities have shown over time to never relax an overreach once they’ve grabbed it absent court intervention. Better to not let them get started in the first place.

          I did not wake up in Soviet Russia this morning. I did not wake up in a place where my rights were at the whim of what the government thinks they should be. I’m not about to start rolling over now and accept it. We shouldn’t.

      • perlhaqr says:

        Fuck that noise. I want all my liberty.

  4. Matt says:

    Sorry Marko, I’d be pissed. I’d expect that close to the border (say I-90 outside Buffalo) but well inside the state and you having American plates on your car. To me that screams “Fourth Amendment violation” or “Show me your papers”, American law enforcement style.

    Customs and Border Patrol should have no business stopping private vehicles on a “stop and frisk” basis, especially with you showing no reasonable suspicion to believe you had even crossed the border. You can’t (or shouldn’t be allowed) to stop every car on an Interstate and ask “Have you crossed the border today?”. Cars with Canadian plates, perhaps, could be justified. But anybody?

    Sorry, that howls of Soviet “Papers please”. If I was an American citizen, the first question out of my mouth would be “On what legal authority and reasonable suspicion do you have to force me to stop my vehicle and submit to a CBP inspection away from a border outside your jurisdiction?”.

    I don’t care if it was pleasant and a “How are you doing, everyone a citizen?” exchange. Should have never been permitted in the first place. Citizenship/immigration status can only be challenged during entry inspection OR in the course of a criminal investigation. Just pulling someone over and asking “You a citizen” seems like a major overreach in my opinion.

    • Jake says:

      agreed 100%, except maybe not even on I-90 past Buffalo. At the actual border, grudgingly, fine, but once on American soil, no.

      I am not a US citizen. I hold a green card. Whenever they ask me the status of my citizenship, either I lie, or it’s “your papers, please” time for me.

      • Matt says:

        Green card holder here too, Jake. Hence the “if I was a citizen”. I’d cooperate as Marko had under similar circumstances for that reason (not a good idea to make waves with the people who decide your long-term future in this country).

        When I naturalize though, that stops. I no longer need to kowtow and bow and scrape to someone overextending their authority. At the border, yes, I’d be polite and “Yes sir” and “No ma’am.”. In the middle of rural Maryland or New Hampshire, screw that. Even if I cooperate, my first phone call upon getting home is to a civil liberties attorney and the Department of Justice to complain loudly and properly.

        We shouldn’t let such things stand as “normal” and no big deal. I think they are a big deal.

    • tjbbpgob says:

      I don’t know about that Matt. It seems like we stop Mexicans all the time in some parts of the country and I am not upset about that. We should be stopping Arab looking people and others in certain places. Now I’ll really get it.

  5. I think I’d be a little bit torqued off at being pulled over and questioned, however lightly on Suspicion of Being a Citizen About One’s Business. I might have even offered to show them on my road atlas that they were a little far from the border.

    Pulling over people without probable cause is offensive, and I don’t give a rat’s posterior why they are doing it.

  6. JimmyT says:

    Boy you guys should try living in the Southwest, you seem a bit smitten there in the northeast at having the BP do their job. We had these kinds of stops hundreds of miles inside the state I grew up in (New Mexico) and we had a bunch of folks jumping out of line, crossing the median and hauling ass for the nearest border. I also had my brother taken from me on a return trip home from Juarez once, down there for a weekend jaunt, without permission I might add) and since he was ‘darker’ than I was and of course he had no ID so, they kept him. Try calling home and telling your parents that you are on your way home oh and by the way, your baby brother is now a guest of the state. Yeah, that’s trouble. I doubt stuff like that happens up there near Canuckistan, all true white people looking so much alike and all. Keep your papers handy boy’s!!

    BT: Jimmy T sends.

    • perlhaqr says:

      *nod*

      Got stopped at that checkpoint between Cruces and Socorro quite a few times. Got harassed a bunch too.

      They actually started leaving me alone after I started switching on a tape recorder as I rolled down the window. Of course that was all pre-9/11, so god only knows that they’d do to me now for trying that trick.

      Can’t say as I’m fond of all the stupid agricultural checkpoints on the CA border, either.

      • Kristopher says:

        CA ag points are easy. Just slow down and stop for the stop sign. Say “Have a nice day” to the nosey inspector, and drive off at the posted speed limit.

        Had one cop pull me over a few miles down the road and ask me why I did that. I told him that California is still part of the US, and they don’t get to have border guards. I then asked him what legal reason he had for stopping me. He got in his car and left.

        • perlhaqr says:

          Ooooooh. I’ll have to try that next time I don’t have anything going on the rest of the day on a trip to CA.

          The poor woman did look really confused last time, when I refused to open my trunk for her.

          Then I discovered that they don’t have a checkpoint on the little roads I prefer to drive on anyway…

  7. NYEMT says:

    Just a thought here – you didn’t mention how many officers there were, nor their demographics. I don’t know BP standard practices, but they may conduct training for new officers on checkpoint mechanics, traffic safety, and behavior recognition, and may also, for any of several reasons, opt to conduct such training at a little bit of distance from the border.

    I’m just sayin’.

  8. libertyman says:

    You should have answered in German, just for fun, of course.

  9. PlanetCaveman says:

    I’d be fine with this from state and local police, “Hi, are you here illegally”?

    Anyone that was and admitted it could be deported, if they’re that stupid I don’t want them in my country anyway.

  10. MarkHB says:

    Am I allowed to have a micro-freak-out about how accepting this sort of thing lead to having the muzzle of an MP5 shoved into my face while another cop dropped my $5,000 laptop onto concrete and laughed about it? Because 1) That’s a really fucking horrible true story of London Life and 2) It’s only a matter of time, kids.

  11. genie28 says:

    In Feb 2002, just 5 months after 9/11, I went to Canada for a Niagara Falls visit. Upon return, the American border agent did not ask for any form of identification from me and only took the birth certificate from my boyfriend (driving), no photo ID. 6 months later, a second trip- no ID problems but we had to go inside because we admitted buying a box of plums in Canada to eat in the car (stone-fruit, not restricted FYI).

    In one of those post-9/11 laws the government enacted, there is a provision for allowing border patrol activities within X number of miles of said border. I thought the number was approximately 80 miles but maybe it varies. I live in Michigan, where roughly 1/2 the state falls within the circle, but have not seen any roadblock-type activity. The law, as it happens, also allows ICE agents to stop people walking and ask for papers.

    Like a few others, I would be outraged if forced to stop and be subject to questions without cause, even if briefly, while driving (or walking) anywhere within this country. I would be equally offended if anyone in my family were subject to this treatment- noting that I have whole branch of the tree which is 1st and 2nd generation immigrants from Mexico. Accents, skin color or even libertarian bumper stickers complaining about the Fed Reserve are NOT sufficient cause to justify ignoring the Constitution.

  12. Tam says:

    Put me down in the “Since when did ‘Just driving down the road’ become ‘Probable cause’ or even ‘Reasonable suspicion’?” camp.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Clearly, you either want the terr’ists to win, or you’re fine with being invaded by all those shifty Canadians who take away pro hockey and snow removal service jobs from Americans.

      • Kristopher says:

        She’s one of those libertoonian wookie-suiters.

        Probably doesn’t believe we have always been at war with Eurasia as well.

      • Ken says:

        They ought to be having a look under Jeff Molson’s Zamboni machine.

  13. Jill says:

    I drove through this today too… found your blog because I googled it to see if anything serious was going on. I didn’t even get stopped, just waved through; apparently a white woman driving a Subaru with VT plates isn’t looked on as a threat to national security! Interesting though.

  14. RevolverRob says:

    I’m not saying I support CBP check points, but I’ve been stopped at a few over the years. Let me ask this…What justification does a police officer have to follow you and conduct a traffic stop?

    Most people say a moving violation or another type of traffic stop violation (expire tags, etc). Realistically, though, an officer can stop you for ANY reason (suspicious driving, anyone??). Why is the CBP any different in that respect? And in THAT regard, why, if they suspect you have been over the border, are they NOT to be suspicious and question you?

    If that’s the case, why do you have to visit with the CBP official in the airport or seaport and get your Passport stamped? Because NOTHING illegal, EVER comes from the other side of the border…right?

    Now, should those CBP checks be 100 miles from the border? Probably not, but they still serve a legitimate purpose, like it or not.

    -Rob

    • perlhaqr says:

      All right, so maybe it’s not the most well supported argument in the world, but I’m going to roll with “Because it’s just plain ol’ goddamned Unamerican.”

    • Mike says:

      For a police officer to stop you LEGALLY, they need to be able to articulate some kind of probable cause. “His driving was suspicious BECAUSE….”

      … he was driving erratically.
      … he was driving well under the posted limit.
      … etc.

      They cannot stop you on a whim and they can’t stop people indiscriminately.

  15. Thane says:

    Agree or disagree with the checkpoint, but it IS codified into the INA (Immigration and Nationalities Act) that Border Patrol agents have jurisdiction 100 air miles from the border (not highway miles). They -were- within their jurisdiction.

    The issue of the legality of an immigration checkpoint was addressed through case law; it’s been challenged MANY times. As I recall, the reasoning is, “Because everyone is stopped and no one is singled out, it does not constitute an ‘illegal stop’.” Were they to pull you or any other vehicle(s) over piecemeal at the same location, without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity and allowing other traffic to pass unimpeded, then yes, according to case law, they would have violated your rights.

    Agree or disagree with this, but that’s how it currently stands, legally.

    Frankly, I take more issue with vehicle registration, smog codes, ‘safety inspections,’ tax laws, un-Constitutional gun laws, slap-the-wrist-and-turn-‘em-loose judges, speech codes, “hate-crime” laws, affirmative action, etc., etc., etc. Illegal entry and overstaying/violating the terms of your visa ARE federal crimes, and checkpoints are an effort to apprehend those who break said immigration laws. Quibble about the manner of enforcement if you like, but there are more urgent, pressing, and important battles to fight at this time.

    • perlhaqr says:

      Slavery used to be legal. Didn’t make it right.

      • planetcaveman says:

        Yeah, slavery and border patrol operating within 100 miles of the border, exactly the same thing.

        • perlhaqr says:

          Yes, and that’s exactly what I said, too.

        • planetcaveman says:

          Why don’t you stop beating around the bush, you think any kind of government is immoral, why raise a fuss about this one particular thing when really any government action that impacts someone is going to disturb you just as much?

        • perlhaqr says:

          Yes, I’m an anarchist. I’ve never made any sort of secret of that.

          Also, congratulations! “You think government is immoral, so you shouldn’t complain about it” is possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, and I read Markadelphia’s commentary at The Smallest Minority. So you’ve at least showed me something extraordinary today.

      • Thane says:

        I had a nice, sarcastic, pithy little reply all typed up, but then thought, “Why bother?”

        I believe planetcaveman’s already called you on your straw-man, anyway.

        • perlhaqr says:

          What strawman? Pointing out that you can’t use “It’s legal” to substitute as an argument for “It’s right” because the two are clearly not correlated?

          Yeah, my argument sure has been totally destroyed.

  16. Desertrat says:

    Sorry, but I don’t get all that excited about BP checkpoints. The basic deal is to look for illegal aliens, and all they do is ask rather politely if you’re a citizen. I’ve been going through them for some 35+ years, now. Never a hassle.

    You’re not going to drive on I-10 through west Texas and New Mexico without going through a checkpoint. Or US 90 between Uvalde and Comstock. I go through one every time I go up to Alpine, our county seat.

    So, I’ve made up a trivial little game: I try to start the conversation and divert them from asking me if I’m a citizen. If they don’t ask, I win. If they ask, I lose. So far I’m winning about 3:1.

    I rolled up to the BP station west of Del Rio, one time, and both guys were Mexican. They were BSing in Spanish and as I stopped one of them had to finish his statement before turning to me. I immediately said, “No es verdad,” and they both cracked up laughing. I was waved on without another word spoken.

    FWIW, a Whittington Center NRA gimme cap seems to be reassuring to the BP guys…

    Art

  17. Louise Townsend says:

    That checkpoint has been in effect (off and on) for a couple of years.
    I too have wondered about it’s efficacy so far away from any border?
    Also, anyone who has any knowledge of it’s whereabouts knows full well that they can get around that stop by using many other alternate routes.
    I always thought of it as a waste of time and money and a really stoopid place to put the Border Patrol.
    One of the BP dudes who questioned us one day looked and sounded very Mexican.
    Go figure!

    • Steve says:

      The long time BP agent at the Pittsburg, NH / Chartierville, PQ crossing retired a few years back. He was originally from El Paso, I was amused that he wound up at the about as far opposite end of the country from where he started and stayed for 30 + years. I guess you don’t always get to pick your duty station

  18. planetcaveman says:

    “You think government is immoral, so you shouldn’t complain about it”

    I never said that, don’t put words in my mouth.

    • perlhaqr says:

      What else should I take “so why raise a fuss about this?” to mean, then?

      To answer the question in the most literal mode possible: I raise a fuss about things like this, and especially the way I did, to get people to question the binding that most of them naturally assume between “legal” and “moral”.

      • planetcaveman says:

        Why is this action different from ANYTHING else the government does? From enforcing noise ordinances to locking up a child rapist, it’s all the same to you if you’re an anarchist, so why just say “if the government is doing it then it’s bad”?

  19. MexBP says:

    I take it that no one here that has made comments really understands what the checkpoints are about. Furthermore no-one has bothered to look up what the Border Patrol’s mission is. I’ll give you one hint, the Border Patrol’s mission is not just illegal immigration. Also, let me ask a question to all of you that disagree with the checkpoints in Vermont. Where do people go after they sneak into the country and what do they sneak in with? Just because Agents are at the Border that doesn’t mean people, drugs, money, weapons and explosives doesn’t get by. So again, where do you think this stuff goes? I really don’t think it doesn’t stay in the border area. Also don’t bother to think it’s illegal for checkpoints to operate. Oh yes another thing, it’s completely different then vehicle stops.

    • MarkHB says:

      According to my handy-dandy Pocket Constitution for iThingy here, there’s this bit that says:

      “Amendment IV:

      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 things to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

      Now, I realise I am a chewer of electronic crayons rather than a Constitutional Scholar but it seems to be this whole “stopping people willy nilly and searching them” – however polite, and however light the search, is actually yes very gh0d-damned illegal, and entirely against the spirit of this little document. I don’t care what the checkpoints “are about”. I could care less about the security checkpoints at airports for that matter as they’re about as effective as a chainmail condom and twice as comfortable.

      So we have the options of people sneaking in and taking a job. Well, as long as I’m doing a better job than they are I don’t mind much. They brought drugs? Well, prohibition’s never proven to be a great idea anyway. Guns and bombs? As long as I’m not denied the right to defend my own self, I’ll take my chances if it means keeping a free country, rather than one where the PTBs will stop me, frisk me for Contentious Materials, check my papers, run it against a database and generally act like, er… England.

      “Probable Cause”, yes? When “Being on a road, in a car with your kids” is “Probable Cause” then things are Going Badly Wrong in my ever-arrogant opinion.

      • Thane says:

        “Amendment IV:

        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 things to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

        The point of contention, MarkHB, is that the courts have upheld that this kind of stop is not “unreasonable.” That is, if -everyone- is stopped, asked their citizenship, and then either sent on their way or investigated further (if reasonable suspicion is developed from that initial 10-15 seconds), then it’s not unreasonable. Now, if there was any kind of “selection process” about who did and did not have to present themselves at the checkpoint, and who got to bypass it entirely, it would become “unreasonable.”

        Agree or disagree with the mindset, but that is current case law. Arguing about the Constitutionality of it is rather pointless right now, as the courts have ruled that it IS Constitutional. I’d suggest instead, arguing about the rights of the courts to decide such things.

        Also, while everyone must stop and identify their citizenship, -searches- are NOT being made “willy-nilly.” A Border Patrol agent cannot search your car without permission or probable cause; that is, absent YOUR permission, OR something plainly visible that indicates a crime has been committed, he can NOT do more than just look through the windows. It’s the same for ANY law enforcement agency out there.

        The folks coming here are not just “looking for a job,” either. They’re coming here to leech off our social programs. They’re coming here to join up with gangs. They’re coming here to rob. To burglarize. To rape. To kill. Yes, there are a few “honest folks” who come here illegally. However, most “honest folk” will -obey the law- and come here -legally-.

        As for the drugs coming across, since you’re quoting the Constitution, I’ll do the same.
        Article I, Section 8:
        ” The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises,… …To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;…”
        In other words, Congress can regulate, and has regulated, what can enter or exit this country legally, per the Constitution. Now, I have problems with how the “war on drugs” is conducted internally, but that is another issue. The fact remains, however, that importing marijuana, cocaine, meth, and other drugs IS illegal, by federal law, and such law is sanctioned by the Constitution.

        Believe me, I understand where you’re coming from. I’m rather conservative myself, tending towards libertarian. I’m not going to pretend to like the checkpoints, either; but as things stand right now, they ARE considered Constitutional. If we’re going to argue a point, we need to make sure we know exactly what point we’re arguing, and have what we need to back it up.

        • Jake says:

          the magical words that earn a search are “this car is a rental”. I highly doubt that is within the intent of the 4th Amendment.

  20. planetcaveman says:

    The SCOTUS has upheld this kind of road stop, so it’s Constitutional in the way that has any meaning.

  21. Nylarthotep says:

    I’d seen the BP checkpoints when I was in North Conway a while ago. I’ve been lucky as to never experienced them.

    I think the thing those who argue they are harmless or they are doing a neccessary job seem to be missing is that there has been evidence of mission creep in many LEO branches, with the TSA being the most recent and the worst. When these LEO decide to enforce laws that they find violations on during searches for other purposes they violate the fourth amendment and they cause serious damage to people’s lives. Even if you get off of an arrest where they didn’t have jurisdiction, you will have a permanent record that will cause you problems later when you are investigated for job interviews or the like. At this point electronic records make it so that any infraction becomes a permanent black spot on your life.

    Giving LEOs the benefit of the doubt with regards to your freedoms is taking risks that should always be questioned.

    • MarkHB says:

      Yup. There’s also the diseased younger sibling of feature creep; the mindset that “If it helps protect us from $BOOGEYMAN_DU_JOUR then it’s Good!”

      Aside from justifying more and more intrusive actions in the name of Keeping Us Safe, that’s doing that whole self-defence handoff to uniformed types. That never seems to happen without a related shrinkage of personal self-defence rights – after all, Officer Friendly’s taking care of you now.

  22. Steve says:

    BP checkpoints aren’t anything new in this part of the world. Although, I can’t say I remember them as far south as WRJ or West Leb. In my field service days, about 20ish years ago, I serviced the states of NH, VT, and ME north country. I most often hit the checkpoints around Littleton / St. Jbry and Bangor, occasionally at Colebrook which was kind of weird since an LEO type acquaintance told me the stops were away from the borders to catch the drug mules off guard. As I recall, they’ve made some good busts in the past, I can’t say I’ve thought about the liberty aspect until you brought it up.

  23. David Starr says:

    They run a checkpoint on I93 around Plymouth now and again. I have been stopped there twice. They are polite. I look like law abiding citizen (gray hair cut short, Detroit sedan, NH plates, American accent) so they wave me thru.
    I’m not real fond of it, but it doesn’t raise my hackles to the tipping point, yet. Color me ambiguous.

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