Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”     Leo Tolstoy

August 15, 2009

Papers Please

by tarran

Over at the Agitator, Radley Balko asks why people are amused by Bob Dylan’s latest run-in with the law.

I find it pretty depressing. There was a time when we condescendingly used the term “your papers, please” to distinguish ourselves from Eastern Block countries and other authoritarian states. Post-Hiibel, America has become a place where a harmless, 68-year-old man out on a stroll can be stopped, interrogated, detained, and forced to produce proof of identification to state authorities, despite having committed no crime.

Maybe what makes it comical rather than a tragedy is that it happened to a famous guy rather than some ordinary person.

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1 Comment

  1. Incidents like these are a tragedy. I wonder if he was “patted down” for the officers’ protection before being escorted to where his identity could be proven. The article didn’t say.

    Brings to mind some of the vagrancy laws, where you can be arrested for not having ID as well as a certain amount of money.

    Comment by John222 — August 15, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

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