Police State

I would like to throw a brick at a cop in Ferguson. Any cop. All the cops. As a black male, I would like to fight back, violently, against the forces that have hunted me all my life, and will hunt my son all his life.

I’m not going to, but that is because history is not on my side. I no longer give a damn about the moral virtues of non-violence, but recorded history tells us that an oppressed minority population cannot succeed through violence. I don’t have a magic staff that can bring locusts and selectively drain or flood rivers, and without such a weapon, being peaceful out there is the only effective and reasonable option. I have just enough education to understand that, and just enough restraint to practice it. I believe in non-violence because it’s the only thing that works.

Thomas Jefferson has a famous quote about slavery. He was talking about the Missouri Compromise, which allowed Missouri to enter the union as a slave state (a fact way more relevant to the current situation than Mike Brown’s alleged shoplifting). On the slavery question, Jefferson offered: “We have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go.” Everybody remembers that part, but here’s the next line: “Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.” Jefferson is talking about justice for the slave, and self-preservation for America.

What America has done since 1820 is to gain self-preservation for itself without granting justice to those it oppressed. It’s been a neat trick. Go ahead, name any “justice” statistic: incarceration rates, conviction rates, homicides, homicides by cop, death penalty rates, drug prosecutions, forced plea bargains, diversity in the police force, diversity on the bench, name ANY JUSTICE STAT YOU CARE ABOUT. You have just named a statistic that illustrates how African-Americans are denied equal justice as compared to white Americans.

Continue reading on Above the Law Redline…

Happy Thanksgiving from the TSA.

I wish I could tell you that Americans fought the good fight, and the TSA let us be. I wish I could tell you that — but holiday travel is no fairy-tale world. We never said who did it, but we all knew. Things went on like that for awhile — travel consists of routine, and then more routine. Every so often, Americans would show up with fresh bruises. The TSA kept at us — sometimes we were able to fight ‘em off, sometimes not. And that’s how it went for American travelers — that was our routine.

Today is the biggest travel day of the year, and for another Thanksgiving, Americans will be doing it under the watchful eye of the Orwellian Transportation Security And Molestation Administration. The $8 billion dollar organization is alive, well, and entrenched. And nobody can accuse the freshly reelected Democratic president of doing anything to protect our civil liberties against the TSA. Nor has the supposedly liberty-loving Tea Party made aggressive groping at airports a major issue.

But for the most part, the country seems resigned to the TSA’s continued existence. Ooh, now kids under 12 don’t have to take off their shoes. Progress! We don’t sue them, we don’t legislate against them, we just kind of take it and hope that they decide to take their hands off our junk out of the kindness of their hearts.

We’ve got a couple of stories that, in their own way, highlight how cowed we’ve become….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Has The TSA Won?”

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I have to arrest you.

It has already been a big week for legal technology. Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down its opinion in United States v. Jones. The case dealt with emerging fourth amendment and privacy issues now that law enforcement have increasingly advanced technological abilities.

Well, law enforcement in the city of East Orange, New Jersey have also embraced technology in the fight against crime. Unlike law enforcement in Washington D.C., however, East Orange’s brilliant new plan involves shining a remotely controlled red light at would-be criminals.

Below the jump we have video footage of Hal this cool, new, swiveling stoplight….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “New Jersey Police Decide to Turn on the Freaky Red Light”


Yes Ma'am I do have proper identification. Now please, take your clothes off.

My friends, we live in strange times. Unreasonable times. Times when the federal government has stopped rationally protecting people and started irrationally molesting people.

And as we move into the 2012 election season I ask: “Who the F**K do I have to vote for to keep the TSA out of my a$$.” Literally. Which candidate can I look to who will fight to stop unwarranted molestation as a prerequisite for air travel?

Or has the TSA truly reached a military-industrial complex level where even the President is powerless in the face of the agency?

The story today is the TSA supporting the decision to pat down a 95-year-old woman, including making her remove her adult diaper. Yeah. This happened in America.

As @kashhill just said on Twitter: “OMFG, TSA.”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Honestly TSA, WTF Is Wrong With You?”

Every good story needs a villain, which is why people love to hate traffic cameras.

Cold and unblinking, they stalk us like prey, hitting drivers hard in the wallet when they blow through red lights, make rolling stops or, as is sometimes the case, let someone else drive their car.

Frederick County, MD recently began mounting traffic cameras on school buses to ensure that drivers obey traffic laws meant to safeguard children as they cross the street. The cameras will be able to record a car’s front and rear license plate number, GPS position and speed as it passes, according to WTOP.

In February, six Maryland lawmakers proposed mounting traffic cameras on school buses statewide. However, the proposal has met opposition from civil libertarians, who are fighting to protect the rights of motorists to run down kids on their way home.

“There are some school buses which can extend their ‘stop’ sign without actually coming to a full stop themselves or turning on their yellow lights first, so a driver could be charged with ‘passing’ in the opposite lane when in fact the bus that was still moving or they simply had no warning,” wrote Ron Ely of StopBigBrotherMD.org, a group that opposes traffic cameras and sees them as manifestations of “unchecked government power” and “backdoor taxes,” according to their website.

“Statistically speaking, compared to other types of traffic accidents, the number of traffic fatalities involving children boarding school buses is very small,” Ely said, citing a report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration which indicated children were at eight times greater risk riding with their parents than taking the bus.

We’d like to know if children being maimed is an acceptable risk, as long as they’re not being, you know, killed, as they rush home to play video games.

Read more and comment on AltTransport….