If you didn’t do anything wrong…

A 16-year-old girl was protected and served (that is, cuffed and forced to sit in the back of a police car for two hours) by two of Newark, New Jersey’s finest for the egregious crime of filming the illustrious public servants when they boarded a city bus to “deal with a man who seemed to be drunk.”  The cops erased the video, but didn’t charge the girl with any crime—probably because she didn’t commit one.

The girl’s suing the Newark PD, with the help of the ACLU, for violating her civil rights.  Good for her.  I hope she wins.  (Although, instead of forcing taxpayers to cough up more money, on top of what’s already been taken from them to pay for these piglets’ salaries, she should file criminal charges against them.)

The cops, of course, are worried that allowing people to videotape them might make their jobs more dangerous:

“They need to move quickly, in split seconds, without giving a lot of thought to what the adverse consequences for them might be,” says Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police.

“We feel that anything that’s going to have a chilling effect on an officer moving — an apprehension that he’s being videotaped and may be made to look bad — could cost him or some citizen their life,” Pasco says, “or some serious bodily harm.”

Yes, because we wouldn’t want those fearless defenders of the public weal to hesitate for a moment or two before tazing or, better yet, shooting somebody for no reason.  After all, somebody might get hurt.  And think of the children.

Meanwhile, the only “chilling effect” that matters is the one that this kind of thuggish behavior by cops might have on the willingness of people to keep tabs on the armed goons who supposedly work for them:

Khaliah Fitchette’s lawyers in New Jersey say her detention was illegal. But Fitchette still says she’d think twice before filming police in Newark again.

“It would have to be important enough to get myself in trouble for, I guess,” she says.



I have a friend who’s a 9/11 Truther.  Without getting into the specifics of the debate, such as it is, I’ve noticed, in discussing the topic with him over the years, a definite parallel between Truthers and the Intelligent Design crowd. 

The ID’ers don’t believe that humans resulted from evolution because such a complex life form couldn’t possibly have come into existence without the help of an omniscient and omnipotent being.

Truthers, all supposed facts aside, don’t believe that 9/11 could have been the work of 19 hijackers because such a complex operation couldn’t possibly have been pulled off without the help of an omniscient and omnipotent organization (i.e., the US government and/or the Israelis).

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

I was watching the Phillies game on ESPN last night and around the sixth or seventh inning the crowd started chanting “U-S-A!  U-S-A!”  The announcers helpfully informed us that they were reacting to the news that bin Laden had been killed and suggested we switch over to ABC for the news coverage.  So I did, listening for about 30 seconds to the braindead talking heads and pundits ruminate on the killing’s significance for the ongoing war on terr’r.

Then I switched back to the game, where one of the announcers (Orel Hershiser, I think) said, “This is like one of those ‘where were you when this happened’ moments” (yeah, thirty years from now I’m gonna remember that I was sitting on the sofa watching a boring-ass baseball game and scratching my ass when bin Laden was finally “brought to justice”).  Some more shots of the crowd, people staring at their electronic devices, more scattered chanting, one particularly dumb fuck stretching the front of his shirt, which, by some stroke of luck or genius, happened to have “USA” emblazoned on the front of it, while giving the “No. 1” sign with his hand.

How fitting that I was seeing the whole ridiculous spectacle unfold in the context of a sporting event.  The death of bin Laden has about as much significance for the lives of the poor deluded chumps chanting “U-S-A” as the outcome of last night’s baseball game—in other words, none.  Same goes for the effect it’ll have on Team USA’s war on the Middle East and Central Asia.  It’s a hollow, symbolic victory at best, a little something for the rubes to cheer about while the managers of the empire go in search of another bogeyman.