The weirdest thing about this Will Saletan piece regarding the LA City Council’s decision to ban additional construction of fast food joints that Matt and Ezra mock is not his apparent lack of understanding of the widespread practices of zoning boards all across the country, but that this is a priority at all for premier column space. And so as to not engage in the concern troll wankery that is all too popular among the bobbleheads in the village, in which you state “there are far more important issues” and then never discuss them but instead furl your brow and tut-tut about the unseriousness of everyone around you, here are at least two things that individuals concerned with freedom should be far more upset about:
1.) Federal agents can take your possessions, without cause, and do whatever the fuck they want with them:
Federal agents may take a traveler’s laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.
Also, officials may share copies of the laptop’s contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“The policies . . . are truly alarming,” said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who is probing the government’s border search practices. He said he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.
The STASI called. They are jealous.
2.) SWAT teams raid a Mayor’s house and kill his dogs without so much as attempting to knock or handle things in a non-aggressive manner:
As the police came in, Calvo said, they shot his 7-year-old black Labrador retriever, Payton, near the front door and then his 4-year-old dog, Chase, also a black Lab, as the dog ran into a back room. Walking through his house yesterday, Calvo pointed out a bullet hole in the drywall where the younger dog had been shot.
“I understand they have a job to do, but it didn’t have to go like that,” Calvo said. He said the police could have knocked on his door and asked him about the package. “I’ve never done drugs in my life. Anyone who knows me knows that I am so adamantly opposed to them.”
Police said yesterday that, when they seized the package during the raid, it was unopened.
Berwyn Heights Police Chief Patrick Murphy said county police and the Sheriff’s Office had not notified his department of the raid. He said town police could have conducted the search without a SWAT team.
“You can’t tell me the chief of police of a municipality wouldn’t have been able to knock on the door of the mayor of that municipality, gain his confidence and enter the residence,” Murphy said. “It would not have been a necessity to shoot and kill this man’s dogs.”
And I could go on and on. There are far more serious and dangerous violations of your civil liberties happening every day done in the name of safety and the war on drugs and the war on terror, all committed by nameless, faceless, and unaccountable folks, and there is really nothing you can do about it. Fight back and you will be shot or tasered to death, or jailed for resisting arrest if you are lucky. And no one, that I can tell, other than Russ Feingold, the corpse of William kunstler, a few folks at Reason magazine, and some DFH’s, seems to give a shit.
At least with the LA City Council decision, you can address the issue. If it is unpopular, elect council members who will do your bidding. There is a course of action available.
Who do you turn to when the DEA shoots your dogs? Where do you go when Customs Agents steal your laptop? Who do you turn to when federal agents commit home invasion. That, to me, seems far more troubling than having to go to one of the already existing 200 McDonalds in LA for a burger.
*** Update ***
Or, you know, this:
His aunt says he is undergoing major surgery for a broken back and broken heel. While he was lying on the ground, she wonders why Ozark police used an electric stun gun on him up to 19 times.
“I’m not an officer, but i don’t see the reason for ‘Tasering’ somebody laying there with a broken back. I don’t consider that a threat,”
His dad says the use of the stun gun delayed what would have been immediate surgery by two days.
“The ‘Tasering’ increased his white blood cell count and caused him to have a temperature so they could not go into the operation.”
“He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him. He is making incoherent statements; he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers,” said Ozark Police Capt. Thomas Rousset.
Police say although there are several unanswered questions; the reason for the use of a stun gun is not one of them.
Kid falls off a highway overpass 30 feet to the ground, breaks his back. Cops use a stun gun 19 times because he won’t get up.
In a decent society, every single fucking one of those cops would be facing hard time.