Selective and Brutal Enforcement

Some thoughts about my last post…  I’ve been on subways where NYPD officers ignore people breaking the law in a number of ways.  They’ve done nothing.  Which leads to a situation of selective, yet brutal, enforcement of laws.

What does that do to citizens, knowing that the police might beat you and arrest you for something you’ve previously seen an officer walk by like it was no big deal?


NYPD Police Brutalize Musician, Threaten Crowd

NYPD, as part of a recent crackdown against musicians, arrested a man playing music illegally in a park in Chinatown.  The man, forced face down on the pavement with officers holding him down, displayed a bloodied face.  As of this time it appears he did not resist.  The crowd did voice their opposition quite loudly.  They were rewarded with threats of being maced and threatening movements made by one of the officers.

The video on youtube has been flagged inappropriate, making it harder for people to see, and artificially driving down its view count.

Outlaw Arbitration

The recent Supreme Court decision against arbitration was yet another victory for corporations over the rights of citizens.  The case was decided along partisan lines, with Republican nominated justices providing the majority pro-corporate opinion.

It is time we fight back.

Arbitration is, in essence privatized justice where the legal ball is always in the corporation’s court.  It is essentially being forced on consumers in a manner strangely reminiscent of price fixing and collusion.  This will not stand.  We live in a time where corporate rule has led directly to the entirely preventable disasters in Japan and in the Gulf of Mexico.  They have been granted ever more power to directly influence our government with their massive financial resources.  This is not about drawing a line in the sand.  It is about recognizing that corporations now have far more say in our system of government than we do, and resolving to fight back any way we can.

One way to fight back would be to campaign to outlaw arbitration.  We need a coordinated, grassroots campaign to provide consistent and compelling communications to convey how arbitration puts citizens at risk while allowing corporations to get away with crimes.  We need legislation prohibiting the use of arbitration clauses to lock consumers into a lopsided means of conflict resolution.

Call your legislator today.  Let’s outlaw arbitration and snatch this victory back from the jaws of SCOTUS.

TSA’s Bigotry Towards Wicca

The TSA – apparently deciding it wasn’t doing enough to earn the active hate of the public – has decided to indulge in a little anti-Wiccan bigotry.  And come on, who hasn’t wanted to spend a lazy Sunday hating on “those witches” and their evil witch powers?  We’re only human for heaven’s sake.  MSNBC via Jesus’ General:

Here’s a situation for all you aspiring managers: If you were the boss at a U.S. government agency and one of your employees complained that she was afraid of a co-worker’s religious practices, what would you do?

Would it change your decision if the religion were Wicca, and the employee feared her co-worker because she thought she might cast a spell on her?

Here’s how the Transportation Security Administration handled it:

It fired the witch.

NICE.  As seems to be the usual luck in prejudiced firings, they took out one of their best employees:

She was in the top 10 percent in Albany at catching weapons on the X-ray machine.

As a patriotic god fearing Christ warrior American, I’d rather fly with a few more deadly weapons on board than know there’s an evil witch parading around the airport – not believing in Jesus.  Turns out the TSA is firmly in my corner there.  Good on them.

Protest the TSA, and Avoid Flying

A lot of this bullshit article by the AP doesn’t add up. Written with an anti-populist sneer, the article states:

Despite tough talk on the Internet, there was little if any indication of a passenger revolt Monday at many major U.S. airports, with very few people declining the X-ray scan that can peer through their clothes.

As well as claiming:

Many travelers said that the scans and the pat-down were not much of an inconvenience, and that the stepped-up measures made them feel safer and were, in any case, unavoidable.

According to the article, most people don’t care, hell they don’t mind being molested by TSA officials and feel all warm and cuddly about it.

And yet…

A loosely organized Internet campaign is urging people to refuse the scans on Wednesday in what is being called National Opt-Out Day. The extra time needed to pat down people could cause a cascade of delays at dozens of major airports, including those in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.

If so few people care or are taking action, how will it cause a “cascade of delays”?

“Just one or two recalcitrant passengers at an airport is all it takes to cause huge delays,” said Paul Ruden, a spokesman for the American Society of Travel Agents, which has warned its more than 8,000 members about delays. “It doesn’t take much to mess things up anyway.”

Bullshit. They are worried about many people choosing to skip the scan. And not because of the delay. Because with every additional scan they run the risk of more news stories like this one (they broke a man’s prosthetic and left him drenched in his own urine), or this one(patting down a 3-year old child), or this one(a woman is “patted down” underneath her underwear). The negative PR over this is shooting through the roof.

The article’s language (“loosely organized Internet campaign” and “tough talk on the Internet”) screams an aloofness – a desire to minimize the validity and impact of a visceral reaction to police state tactics at the airport. Idiotic politicians are taking one of two routes – use this mess to advocate profiling (guess who… Republicans), or take the time to actual defend this bullshit (you guessed it,Obama). This leaves us with an increasing disconnect between a stressed public who are being subjected to unreasonable and illegal procedures. The pat downs are essentially sexual assault. The scans don’t inspire confidence either from a privacy or a health standpoint (has not seen independent evaluations is technicalese for – the data thus far is just biased jack).

The TSA chief worries about people boycotting the scans. If you must fly, boycott them, slow the line down. Make a statement. Or make a bigger statement by avoiding air travel at every opportunity. That’s what I’m doing. Because when you factor in the cost, unpleasant nature of the cramped seats (coupled with too large passengers), time to and from the airport, time waiting at the airport, risk of getting molested by the tsa, radiation exposure, and the hassle of the security line… Is it really worth the trouble?

Boycott the TSA, boycott the scans, if you get molested let them know “if they touch you inappropriately you will seek all available legal recourse”. Boycott flying. Raise a ruckus.

Police State USA

Just a few words, before the professor Gates arrest and subsequent arrest of DC lawyer Tuma fades into the memory hole.
We need abuse of authority laws with the same power as hate crime laws. We need to challenge the culture behind our police state.
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California Religious Schools Civil Rights Free

Apparently religious schools in California aren’t subject to civil rights laws.  I wonder what else they can get away with, thanks to this ruling?

The funny thing is that the kids were expelled based on the perception of their sexuality.  Wonder if this would fly is the school was run by a Christian Identity Church and expelled students for being non-European.