Today's category: Watching the watchmen
As we make the government more responsible for our everyday lives (food, shelter, health care, etc.) it stands to reason that it will require a more aggressive police force to, well, enforce all the rules we as a country have been begging for.
Well, welcome to the future…
- A group headed by the National Hispanic Media Coalition has requested that the FCC launch a probe to monitor hate speech and "misinformation" online. They say the FCC should gather and catalog information about who uses hate speech, when and where, then turn that information over to the NHMC so that they can "hold the media accountable" for hate speech.
Aside from the obvious First Amendment violation this suggests (not that we actually care about the Bill of Rights anymore), this is a good example about being careful what you wish for.
Often, a police state isn't forced upon a society, at least not initially. What happens is that through fear and ignorance, a group will demand the the government protect them from whatever bogeyman du jour they perceive to be out there. Then, too late, they realize they've given up their liberty in exchange for the illusion of security.
- Luckily, we live in a republic that recognizes certain inalienable rights that protects us from abuses of the state. Of course, just because those rights are inalienable, doesn't mean they can't be watered down.
The highest court in the land got into the act recently when it declared that if you remain, then you give up your right to remain silent. Any watcher of TV cop drama's is pretty familiar with the Miranda Rights. I bet most of you could say it right off the top of your head.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?Until a few days ago, the only way you could waive this right was to expressly say that you waive your right. Now the only way you can exercise your right to remain silent is to break your silence to expressly affirm that right. In other words, your Fifth Amendment (there's that pesky Bill of Rights again) right not to incriminate doesn't exist if you don't say it does.
As my friend Joel rightly put it, police now get to assume you don't want your Constitutional rights. Makes trampling on the public that much easier, I guess.
- You know what else makes it easy to keep the plebs under your boot heel? Tasers, baby!
That's right, another court ruling has established precedence that will allow your local stormtroopers to indiscriminately Taser your ass for something as harmless not wearing a seat belt while driving and wearing only boxer shorts and sneakers.
Now granted, Tasing is probably better than having a cop pop a cap in you half-naked ass. And even I'll admit to seeing a bit of humor in the over use of the Taser in the past. But come on people, am I the only one who thinks its a bit of an over reaction to Taser these hippies? I know they smell bad, but I suspect this ruling might have turned our different if it had been caught on camera…
- …Then again, maybe it wouldn't. Another disturbing trend is that more and more people are being arrested simply for … taking pictures. In public areas… Where you would have no expectation of privacy… But there are police there.
And this is one of the scariest developments in our nascent police state. Not only is the government using abusive tactics and ignoring constitutional rights, but now they are trying to criminalize the documentation of those abuses.
A few weeks ago, an Illinois judge rejected a motion to dismiss an eavesdropping charge against Christopher Drew, who recorded his own arrest for selling one-dollar artwork on the streets of Chicago. Although the misdemeanor charges of not having a peddler's license and peddling in a prohibited area were dropped, Drew is being prosecuted for illegal recording, a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.Look, I respect good police officers and I'm grateful for the work that they do. But in my opinion, the clear sign of an abusive officer is if they are afraid to be seen doing what they do. How else could this kind of law be interpreted other than to protect officers who abuse their authority?
Kind of makes you want to right your congresscritter to complain. But that might not be such a good idea…
- You see, in a police state your best course of action is to stay low and try to maintain your anonymity. But that won't be so easy is some lawmakers have their way.
A bill sponsored by New Mexico Democrat Harry Teague aims to use the Federal budget bribes to get states to collect DNA samples from ANYONE who is ARRESTED and put them in a national database.
It doesn't matter if the person is charged, or even acquitted. Merely being brought "down to the station." This is some next level, pre-crime Minority Report meets 1984 meets Blade Runner type shit.
Think of the message this is sending:
"Okay kids, think what we want you to think, snitch on your friends, don't take pictures or we'll Taser your ass, haul you downtown and your DNA will be ours for the rest of your life."
Sounds like Utopia to me.
tagged: Bullitt, police, abuse, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Miranda Warning, DNA, Taser, cameras