Jun 102008

Want to go for a drive?  I like to do that once in a while.  It’s one of the simple pleasures of a free people.

Oh, but don’t do it in the Washington DC neighborhood of Trinidad.  You’re not allowed.

Here’s how it works:  armed government officials stop you on a public road and require that you show them your identification.  You also tell them what you’re doing.  If, according to armed government officials, you don’t have a “legitimate purpose” in the area—church visit and doctor’s appointment are the given examples—then armed government officials shall prevent you from using the public road.

There were eight murders in the DC area last weekend, so we need this.  Feel safer?

Don’t worry.  It’s temporary.  Armed government officials say so.

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 Posted by at 9:42 pm

  7 Responses to “Your papers, please”

  1. Before we all get excited…there have been about 13 murders in this particular neighborhood in the last month. The police have tried a number of different approaches–including having officers posted throughout. That hasn’t deterred anything yet. In this case, it’s the “something” that was needed.

  2. Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence. -Thomas Jefferson

  3. sjanzen: I have no problem with law enforcement restricting movement of the populace when there is an acute and assessable threat. Someone dumps a boxcar of toxic goop over, then damned straight I want the cops keeping me away from it.

    But what is the connection between stopping people going about their business on a public street and reducing the murder rate? I suspect it’s arguable whether there’s even a transient benefit, but assuming said transient benefit is a slam-dunk, what’s the ultimate point? Or do you actually think they’re going to catch anyone with such a practice? I don’t care for the waste of money; I don’t care for the dog-and-pony politics of it all; and I really, viscerally don’t care for the presumption of guilt, which is exactly what it is.

    Moreover, where does it stop? You know, I think all subdivisions should have armed police officers at their entrances, demanding the identification and itinerary of all comers and goers, when it’s dark outside. It’s For Our Protection. Would the violent crime rate go down? Oh, almost certainly. At what cost? Is it worth it? Not in my America.

    This is 180 out from what our founders envisioned. Of course, they also envisioned a widely armed populace, lack of which I suspect is the biggest single problem with the crime rate in DC.

  4. In my opinion, the ACLU is one of the most evil groups in our country.
    In general, they are not a force for good or positive progress.

  5. Pearl, they shovel a lot of shit, and I used to share your opinion. Over the past four or five years, however, I have come to acknowledge them as a necessary evil–a very necessary one.

    We’re conditioning entire generations of people to think nothing of stuff like these checkpoints. We get used to this. Our kids never know a world without it. Perhaps in another decade, the checkpoints are just there all the time. Our kids get used to it. Their kids never know a world without it. Etc.

    Folks, it’s not the checkpoint described in this news article per se that is so heinously offensive–it’s the fact that it’s at the top of the slipperiest fucking slope there is. IT IS NOT OKAY, and already, a depressingly small number of us even know to object. Why? Well, that’s the way it is. Whaddya gonna do? Hey, what’s on TV tonight? Who ate the last oatmeal cream pie?

    I blew my son’s mind a week or so ago when I told him that when I was his age, I could get up, go to school, go to the grocery store with my mom, come home, go out to play, and go out to eat without ever once being on a camera anywhere.

  6. Hey did you see some people were ARRESTED for shouting when their kids were graduating? Now, I can see having a behavior code (private and public arenas have those, right?) And if you disturb the proceedings, you can get kicked out. I’m okay with that. But an arrest? For what crime? I just thought it was a bit of overkill.

    There is an interesting book out about cameras and privacy. Oh, damn. I can’t think of the name of it now. But part of the discussion is how they can be good as well as bad. See, they are BAD if only big brother has them. But we little sisters can film big brothers hurtin on us. It creates this weird balance of power. Damn – this is really useful without the book title, isn’t it?

  7. […] Speer’s closing statement to the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal and, given where it seems our government sees fit to take us, I think this quote is particularly […]

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