Friday, March 19, 2010

The grass is browner

No matter how sorry you're feeling for yourself, there is always someone in a much worse situation.  I kind of can't believe this, but then again, I kind of can, and it makes me really want to seriously consider becoming a hermit or a monk.  What other laws have consequences like this that we aren't hearing about?

It's like something out of a dystopian future novel nightmare.  Be sure to read the more full account from the victim, but the basic deal is that a guy got stopped at a random inspection at the Canadian border, asked why, ended up being hit in the face and pepper sprayed and is now a convicted felon.  He's an author of science fiction, which has a rather close relationship with dystopian future nightmare novels, so he's aware of the precedents, but I bet he never expected to be victimized quite like this.

Should a law like this that takes away our civil rights be allowed to exist? 

We're not even talking about war time or because of suspicious activity here.  He was randomly stopped, probably like we had to randomly screen people coming through security checkpoints when I worked for the government. We did not do it because we suspected them of wrong-doing; we did it because they were the Xth person through the metal detector.  We always had to be alert in case our randomness caught a real baddie, but not this kind of alert (which reminds me of a kind of alert Dave Barry mocked in a particularly memorable article about dogs who alertly watched a thief break in and steal their masters' stuff), the kind of "alert" that hits people in the face for asking perfectly logical questions and assuming they have rights, the kind of alert that feels justice is served by this outcome.

I'm more than a tad disturbed by this.  Any thoughts from you on it?  (Feel free to comment anonymously, since Big Brother may be watching . . .)

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