TSA

Only Latent Criminals Need Fear BusSafe Sweeps

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Last Friday the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas, which serves the Houston area, cheerfully announced that "patrons riding METRO on Friday, April 13, or any given day, may be sitting next to an undercover MPD [Metro Police Department] officer" (emphasis in the original). It explained that "the move to monitor and curtail crime on buses and trains is just one component of a much larger initiative called BusSafe—a national pilot program created by a peer advisory group of mass transit police chiefs and security directors," which "METRO's Police Department is adopting to enhance safety on the system." To kick off this swell safety-enhancing program, the transportation authority carried out "a synchronized counter-terrorism exercise" on Friday that included Houston police, Harris County deputy constables, and "representatives with the Transportation Security Administration" as well as transit cops. They were all there to "ride buses, perform random bag checks, and conduct K-9 sweeps, as well as place uniformed and plainclothes officers at Transit Centers and rail platforms to detect, prevent and address latent criminal activity or behavior."

Who could possibly be against safety enhancement, especially when it aims to prevent and address latent criminal activity and behavior? "Today," declared Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas), "we announce that if you think you're going to be a bad actor on buses, get ready: You are going to have a short-lived time frame." In the same TV segment, Joel Eisenbaum, a reporter for Houston's NBC affiliate, chirped that BusSafe is "kind of akin to air marshals, but for buses," although he conceded that "safety apparently will come somewhat at the expense of civil liberties," since "these officers will be able to search bags at random," and "K-9s might be brought in." 

Writing in The Guardian, Jennifer Abel notes that Homeland Securty Secretary Janet Napolitano responded to complaints about the TSA's ritual humiliation of airplane passengers by advising touchy travelers to get from Point A to Point B "by some other means." But now that the TSA's Visual Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams are wriggling their way into "bus terminals, train stations, [and] highways," she asks, "What's left? If you don't like it, walk." Abel notes that Rep. Jackson, a big TSA booster, says the government is only "looking to make sure that the lady I saw walking with a cane…knows that Metro cares as much about her as we do about building the light rail." Or as Abel puts it, "if you don't support the random harassment of ordinary people riding the bus to work, you're a callous bastard who doesn't care about little old ladies." I feel BusSafer already.

More on VIPR here. More on "consent" searches aboard buses here. In a 2005 column, I noted the largely obsequious response to random bag searches on New York City's subways.

[Thanks to Tricky Vic for the tip.]

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  1. At some point, SCOTUS is going to have to face up to the fact that there is no “voluntary” search before travel, because the only mode of travel that is not subject to search is (a) cars (which some people don’t have (b) horses (which most people don’t have or (c) walking.

    If there is now way to travel without being searched first, even the fig leaf of “consent” is gone.

    1. At some point, the People are going to have to face up to the fact that the 4th Amendment is no more operative than the 9th and 10th Amendments.

      1. If I have done nothing wrong, I refuse to cooperate with the police. I tell them: “I don’t trust cops, don’t blame me because you people have a dishonest reputation”.

        At some point, you are going to have to blame your family, friends, and neighbors who are too submissive to stand up for their rights.

    2. cars aren’t subject to search?

      1. Not all cars preemptively, yet. Only at any time a cop notices you.

        1. notices you at the roadblock.

          This distiction-without-a-difference will totally help me sleep better at night.

          1. Slap a Ron Paul or Gadsen sticker on your car*, and you’re on their domestic terrorist shitlist.

            *The SPLC said so, so it must be true.

    3. At some point, SCOTUS is going to have to face up to the fact that there is no “voluntary” search before travel…

      I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      1. I’m still trying to figure out what this latent criminal activity is, considering to be latent (from latere, to lie hidden, buried) it must be inactive.

        1. They mean drugs you haven’t taken yet. It’s always about drugs.

    4. One can make an argument that air travel is uniquely vulnerable to attacks, since you can’t just pull over and evacuate a plane in the middle of travel. So this slippery slope does have a branch or two to catch yourself on.

      1. Weak argument. You can’t pull a train over and evacuate, you can’t pull a bus over and evacuate on an urban interstate because of the volume of high speed traffic.

        I also see no “unique circumstances” exceptions in the Constitution.

  2. I already knew METRO sucked, the federal government hated citizens, and Sheila Jackson Lee was a moron. What’s the news in this story?

    1. Well, now you’ve learned she’s fat too.

      1. Sadly, I knew that too. I used to date a girl who lived in her district, as a matter of fact. It’s a hipster ghetto.

        1. Well, now you know she’s black. See?

          1. Dude, my girlfriend was whiter than you.

            1. That’s not hard, seeing as I am only white on the right side.

              1. You bastard!

                /White on left side

        2. Hahaha! I used to live in the Heights. Not sure how she kept getting elected though. The district was a weird shape so maybe there was a hidden ghetto somewhere, or maybe the hipsters liked her hats.

          1. A map of her congressional district can be found here. It’s a lot more than the Heights: the 3rd Ward, a good chunk of Guns Point, NE Houston, part of Sunny Side—no shortage of ghettos. And her district is as challenge-proof as it gets. Sucks for the Heights, I guess.

            Every time I think SJL can’t say anything stupider… Fucking Metro can’t even be bothered to run within +/- 20 minutes of their schedules; they’re now going to add bomb-hunting to their tasks?

            For Dean, I’d think that the stop n frisk programs in, e.g., NYC, count as searches for your point (3) above, and it looks like the commenters have taken care of point (1).

            What gets me is all of this is taking place without any actual terrorist incidents to justify it. Can you imagine how badly this country will lose its shit if an intifada-type bombing campaign starts up?

            1. they’re now going to add bomb-hunting to their tasks?

              No, they’re not. I will guarantee that the dogs they run are trained for drugs. The bomb sniffing thing is almost always a lie.

            2. True enough, GG. I was thinking of searches as a condition of being allowed to travel a certain way.

          2. Hahaha! I used to live in the Heights.

            So how do you talk to an angel?

    2. Among the black people I know, there seems to be about the same percentage of obnoxious morons to total population as latinos, whites and asians (Canadians are a different story; fuck those guys), so why does it seem like only the loudest, stupidest and most obnoxious of them get elected to congr…oh, right. Nevermind.

  3. Who knew Grimace was the Rep. of the 18th district in Texas? You Texans must really love your McDonald’s.

    1. I’m Mayor McCheese, and I approve this message.

    2. Holy crap. Now I can’t un-see it.

  4. “Today, we announce that if you think you’re going to be a bad actor on buses, get ready: You are going to have a short-lived time frame.”

    This must be how intelligent people talk.

    1. Well, I sure don’t understand anything intelligent people say; ergo, if I say something nobody understands, that makes it intelligent, right?

      1. Depends on how erudite the syntax is.

      2. This is exactly what goes on in SJL’s head.

        She got primaried by a guy who at least seemed not to be a moron (and he was black, which is important in the 3rd Ward), but somehow she beat him, so maybe he was a moron.

    2. “…bad actor on buses…”

      Hopefully they can get this system up and running in LA ASAP.

  5. If you don’t like it, walk.

    Which raises the question: is her house pedestrian accessible?

  6. That crazy piece of shit is my congresswoman… sigh.

    1. I’ll take it from your comment that you did not vote for her.

      Therefore, my condolences. She is one retarded, statist piece of shit.

      1. Luckily we just voted her protege, Jolanda Jones, out of the city council. She’s almost as crazy and was a Survivor contestant. Wore neon pink clothing and stuff. Local politics is weird.

    2. I had hoped I was wrong about this as I hadn’t checked my new apartment yet but I’m literally at the edge of the district… sigh.

      1. So…you’re saying take off and nuke Houston from orbit?

        1. No, we may have SJL here but at least were not Dallas, nuke those fucking northerners instead.

          1. Piss off, at least my city isn’t filthy and damp.

            1. Yeah, but yours has a certain someone.

              1. Presumably a yankee. We’ve had a lot of your people moving here over the last two decades, since our economy actually, you know, grows and makes jobs.

                1. A mayor who serves pizzas or a mayor who serves fish tacos… you decide.

              2. Hey now, Fort Worth ain’t Dallas. We only group ourselves with Fort Worth when they make us look good.

                1. From Fort Worth: Fuck off, Dallas.

                  1. It must be hard to live somewhere where one gamboling shitstain spoils an otherwise pleasant little city.

              3. Mark Cuban? Tony Romo? June Jones? Garrett Gilbert?

          2. “Chopped and screwed” and purple drank: the apex of Houston’s cultural achievements. Congratulations.

            1. We also have the San Jacinto Monument, which is the same as the Washington Monument, but bigger. and not cracked. And the George R. Brown convention center! And, most importantly, two separate airports that offer direct flights to Denver.

          3. Oh and lol at the Houston Rockets who probably just missed the playoffs and let the Dallas Champs get one win away from a guaranteed slot.

    3. Couple of SJL blasts from the past: she was the one who wanted to know if the Mars Pathfinder could be sent to where the astronauts planted the flag; also made reference in a congressional speech to the [current] survival of South Vietnam.

    4. Don’t feel bad, we’ve got Barbara Lee.

  7. How long before a couple of TSA screeners are stationed outside the doors of every residence in America, poised to grope the person and rifle through the belongings of anyone who enters or leaves?

    You know, for our safety?

    1. South Park already did that joke.

      1. “I jess need ta check ya asssshoe….”

        Yes

        1. I’m a big boy!

  8. I took the DART (the Dallas metro) this past weekend, and at one point there were more metro cops than passengers on there. All presumably in response to a couple of shootings we’ve had at the stations over the last few months.

      1. Your comment grows tiresome.

        1. TOUCH MY COMMENT! LOOOOOOVE MY COMMENT!

          1. FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD, PLEASE LET THE BOY TOUCH ALMANIAN’S COMMENT!!!!

    1. The War on Terror is the greatest jobs program since the WPA.

      1. Think about how much government has grown since 9/11. It’s mind-bending. Those terrorists sure got us good and fucked, and by our own government no less.

        1. I wondered the other day, while driving slowly along the highway cursing that drivers here won’t drive like they do in Hong Kong (where everyone drives like their lives depend on getting to wherever they’re going in 30 seconds) if our slow, overly cautious drivers were a symptom of the general American state of being terrified of everything, all the time.

          Child molesters in the bushes, terrorists on the busses, Mexicans in the unemployment line. We’re afraid of our own shadows.

          1. Culture has become completely risk adverse. Probably a combination of the terrorists, the nanny state/regulation and political correctness. It has stifled our entrepreneurial spirit.

            I call it the pussification of America.

            1. But I don’t think the nanny state or all the PC bullshit would have been possible if the population wasn’t already ripe for that particular ideology. It’s kind of a chicken-and-egg thing.

              I blame the Christians. If they weren’t going around claiming that all life is precious and special, then people wouldn’t feel comfortable spending $999,999,999,999,999,999.00 to possibly prevent a single death.

              “What’s that? You value money over the life of a child?! What kind of sick monster ARE you!!!”

              1. Agree

                And people knuckle under to it, which just legitimizes the practice.

                You value money over the life of a child?!

                Yep, the little bastards are worth about $3.50 ea.

                1. Most people value the lives of other people’s children less than non-trivial amounts of their own money.

                2. Don’t give those little bastards tree fiddy! They’ll just keep comin back!

              2. “I blame the Christians. If they weren’t going around claiming that all life is precious and special, then people wouldn’t feel comfortable spending $999,999,999,999,999,999.00 to possibly prevent a single death.”

                Good thing society has become more secular and abortion and birth control have been legalized then.

                1. More secular? You have a citation?

                  I’m not disputing your word, but I’d have thought that people are more religious now, with the rise of the Evangelicals, than any other time in our nation’s history. Or, at least, more radical wrt their beliefs.

                  Again, I may be wrong.

                  1. Today’s evangelicals are much more accepting of a secular foundation for our society than those of the past (largely because they know they can’t fight it anymore). Ask a young fervent Evangelical in 2012 whether he favors mandatory prayer in public schools and he’ll look at you funny… but it was only a couple of decades ago that this was a serious political issue.

                    1. But what about in comparison to people 150-200+ years ago?

                  2. Well for one thing the Public School system doesn’t seem to be big on Protestant indocrination (Government schools pretty much exist everywhere because of opposition to Catholicism )anymore. Academia and the Media doesn’t seem especially religious. Hasn’t reason been citing some polls showing increasing irreligiousness?

                    Mostly I feel there is a pretty dubious correlation being cited. I mean it isn’t like the Secular Left is very opposed to the things you don’t like.

                    Reminds me of an article a few years ago that blamed the decline of American Public Schools on the Religious Right which strikes me as pretty dubious since there is no school prayer anymore, the educrats don’t seem to be motivated by religious fervor and there is more sex ed and evolution teaching.

              3. Christianity has been hijacked. The original Christians worshiped a criminal who was put to death for sedition and blasphemy.

                1. Er, the original Christians also thought he was innocent of those crimes.

                  1. If he was innocent, why was he put to death?

                    1. “Political expediency”, Xenocles. It’s a popular rationale employed by government all the time.

                    2. That was slight tongue-in-cheek – remember the audience.

                    3. Carry on, Xeno.:-) Remember, there are people who would ask the same question as you, but with full earnestness and sincerity of a doe-eyed urchin.

        2. It may not have been the victory that bin Laden was looking for, but as they say in the Big Leagues, a Win’s a Win no matter how you come by it.

  9. It’s unfortunate that to provide extra policing, they feel the need to provide extra-constitutional policing.

  10. Homeland Securty Secretary

    Local colour or typo?

  11. What’s wrong with Cameras in one’s living room?

    I mean, one shouldn’t be doing anything wrong anyway…right?

    And, you don’t have 2 put it in every living room. You can just do the people you think are doing something wrong?

    Why Not?

    Aint’ that America !!!

    1. It’s on the way, Alice, and it won’t make a shit difference which Team is in power when it happens.

      Oh, and blinds and curtains? Those will be illegal, someday. Why would anyone have anything to hide from the outside?

  12. Always nice to see Jennifer preachin’ the word!

  13. I can see it now: Paul Blart: Bus Marshall!

  14. IIRC Houston has seen a spate of assaults and murders on the local public transportation. The undercover “bus marshals” seem more than warranted.

    Of course just stopping and apprehending violent criminals doesn’t offer much opportunity for lucrative property seizure, much less Fed Homeland Security money

  15. IIRC Houston has seen a spate of assaults and murders on the local public transportation. The undercover “bus marshals” seem more than warranted.

    And the random bag and K-9 searches are related to this how?

    1. $$$
      Read the second sentence.

      1. Nah, I predict that 9/10 of the arrests will be for drug possession.

      2. The undercover “bus marshals” seem more than warranted.

        This second sentence?

  16. If they start this in Seattle, hopefully it will instigate a lot of police brutality following department procedure being visited on all the disgusting homeless people who infest the metro system.

    I realize my sentiment makes me a bad libertarian. I don’t care. You most likely don’t have to deal with the subhuman scum that infest public transit here.

    1. Dang man, that sucks that y’all in Seattle aren’t allowed to have cars and are forced to ride public transit. Here we can buy an automobile and not have to worry about bums and such.

      1. It’s difficult to own a car in this area, general. Our overlords HATE cars. They funnel money away from roads toward mass transit, they put unsynchronized traffic lights every 30 feet…it sucks.

        1. Given the coming of peak oil you may as well get used to it. Northern and Midwestern cities can easily bring back the streetcars and interurbans but the sprawly south and west (excluding Portland and SF) is fucked of they don’t start transitioning now.

          1. You keep worrying about “peak oil” and we’ll keep driving our cars, deal?

            1. Sure but don’t you want alternatives like light rail and walkable communities when gas hits 10 dollars a gallon?

              1. Well if there was a market for ’em then they’d already be built.

                Not to mention that all communities are currently walkable the only thing lacking is a citizenry with lots of time and strong legs.

                1. The ignorance in this comment is staggering. Try walking even three miles in the typical suburban Sprawlsville to do so much as pick up a bag of groceries and get back to me.

                  1. Jeezus, Dick don’t get all sore on me.

                    If people wanted to walk to the store then they would chose to live in a place where that was feasible. If gas gets too expensive people will adjust. No need for $billion boondoggles now for something that may not even happen.

                    I can walk ~6 mph for a long time and am in not so great shape so that would only add an hour to the grocery trip. For years my primary mode of transport was walking then bike (mostly because of my hatred of mass transit) it ain’t that hard to get things done within a 10 mile radius.

                  2. The ignorance in this comment is staggering. Try walking even three miles in the typical suburban Sprawlsville to do so much as pick up a bag of groceries and get back to me.

                    Well aren’t you a smug asshole? I live in Houston and regularly walk to get groceries. Thing about big sprawling cities is that there is an abundance of living options and you can find a place that meets you preferences.

                  3. “Try walking even three miles in the typical suburban Sprawlsville to do so much as pick up a bag of groceries and get back to me.”

                    You mean like my 70-year old grandmother did twice a week in the 80’s?

                2. Not to mention that all communities are currently walkable the only thing lacking is a citizenry with lots of time and strong legs.

                  Foolish cap l, that’s why we need to tell people where to live, in cloistered, densely populated metropolitan areas.

                  1. YOU TRY WALKING THREE !!3!! FUCKING MILES IT’S IMPOSSIBLE SMART ASS!!!PEAKDURR!!

              2. Richard, by the time that’s a real problem there will be natural gas conversion kits cheaper than wiper blades. So relax!

                1. Dude we’ve got enough oil to last a long long long time. They know where it’s at, all they have to do is go drill it.

              3. When gas hits $10/gal, light rail will still be more expensive to operate. It’s very heavily subsidized already and you only think that you’re not paying as much. But you are paying with your taxes. And so am I. Only… I don’t use public transportation.

                So what you’re really demanding is that I foot your bills for getting to and from work, grocery store, etc. Do you really not understand why that makes people angry?

                Why don’t you just hold me up with a gun and make me give you my lunch money? Oh, I know – because that would make you the bad guy. But as long as Big Gov’s holding the gun, you’re totally cool with that. That way, you don’t actually have to think about what you’re stealing from me by force.

                1. Don’t feed the troll

              4. Walkable for me, but not for thee.

        2. @ sage

          That sux but it’s no reason to unleash baton wielding troglodytes on people whose smell disagrees with you.

          1. This from an officer who doesn’t even wear a uniform.

            1. My baton is pre-unleashed. Safety first.

              1. So you’ve been to prison?

                1. Hey, I might have been violently raped in prison but at least I don’t ride the fucking bus, dude.

                  1. Neither do I. Anymore.

                    1. But you did, and you can’t wash that stink away.

                    2. *hangs head*

                      I will return my monocle presently.

          2. Hey cap, I’ve been meaning to ask, does this make me your Senior Deacon?

            1. GBN was my nom d’stossel-bloggin’ for a bit. I found me using it calculus style all the way back in ’10.

              That notwithstanding if I ever go mason on this bitch you’ll be my Senior Deacon.

              1. Don’t know why I chose these:

                It rubs its crotch up against freedom to make its pragmatism squirt.

                words, but I like it.

              2. Well I’ll be damned.

                That notwithstanding if I ever go mason on this bitch you’ll be my Senior Deacon.

                I would, but my lodge got banned when I added butt-chugging to the sword ceremony.

    2. I have. And yeah, the shitbums on the buses in Seattle are something else.

      1. Hey sage, I have a car. In Belltown. With my own personal parking spot under my building. I’m pretty sure that makes me better than you.

        1. Hey I didn’t say I STILL ride the bus.

          I have a driver. And he has his own butler and monocle polisher. Better, you say?

          1. I have a driver. His name is me. And he has his own driver, me. Stop me if this is confusing you.

            “The charge is bank robbery. Now, my caddy’s chauffeur informs me that a bank is a place where people put money that isn’t properly invested. Therefore, robbing a bank is tantamount to that most heinous of crimes, theft of money.”

            1. I didn’t know you were so into Dr. Suess.

              “I have a driver. His name is me. And all he like to do is pee. He likes to pee and drink tea, see?”

              1. You’re into Dr. Suess!

                1. Hi, I’m sage. I’m all the rage. I’m as crazy as an ape in a cage. And wait until I get on stage!

                  1. you should both move to the Eastside like normal people

    3. I realize my sentiment makes me a bad libertarian.

      Nah. The Bus System sucks. The fact of the matter is, there’s an assload of crime on it. If I had the time and Reason didn’t block posts with too many links, commas, quotations, italics etc., I’d post just a smattering of recent events which have taken place on Seattle buses which are enough to turn the most ardent libertarian into a tough-on-crime advocate.

      Placing a transit cop on a bus would be great. But when you start doing random bag checks and shit? They just blow it.

      1. Exactly. I wouldn’t mind just having uniformed officers ride occasional buses–thay is no different than having a cop walk the beat really. It is the random bag checks that are way over the line.

      2. If I had the time and Reason didn’t block posts with too many links, commas, quotations, italics etc.,

        I think I’ve got that bug figured out…

        1) The new server squirrels don’t like pasted punctuation–especially quotes and apostrophes.

        So, when you paste a quote and it contains quotation marks or apostrophes, you have to go in and delete the punctuation you pasted and physically replace it by keyboard. You can’t keep certain pasted punctuation.

        Do that and your post will go through.

        2) The old server squirrels used to automatically shorten your URL for you; the new server squirrel won’t do that. So you have to use tiny url or some other service. If you don’t and you have a url that’s a hair too long, you’ll be declared invalid.

        And nobody wants to be invalid.

        Anyway, that’s what I’ve figured out so far.

        Well, that and the fact that more Jennifer is always better. If she were to ever start posting like staff here at Hit & Run, that would be the ultimate.

        1. Yeah, it seemed to have something to do with pasting stuff from other sources… but I only have so much time to waste at work, and I’m just too lazy to figure it out… so I’d delete the stuff I pasted and voila! Comment valid.

          I have had a case where a comment was invalid right after logging in. So on a hunch I copied my whole comment into the clippy, reloaded the page and pasted my comment verbatim back in, comment valid.

          1. My guess is it’s a character encoding problem. The standard is supposed to be UTF-8 (which Reason uses), but many websites either use a different one or don’t bother to set a standard one, and many word processors will use their own (MS Word uses some silly proprietary encoding like Windows 1250, depending on settings).

            Combine that with a commenting system that isn’t set up to parse non UTF-8 text, and you get issues.

      3. nough to turn the most ardent libertarian into a tough-on-crime advocate.

        The average libertarian is AGAINST public transit in the first place. If it were a private system, few libertarians would have ANY qualms about the private company’s particular security methods – they’d let the damn thing go defunct if no one liked it.

  17. Criminal behavior on The Public’s transit includes eating, sleeping, or putting a bag on the seat next to you.

    Fuck the transit police.

  18. “In the same TV segment, Joel Eisenbaum, a reporter for Houston’s NBC affiliate, chirped that BusSafe is ‘kind of akin to air marshals, but for buses,’ ”

    What part of that characterization is supposed to appeal to anyone?

    1. They could have said a kind of TSA for buses.

      If they actually were like Air Marshall’s for buses, no one would notice. But I notice the TSA, and I notice them hard.

      1. They notice when you’re hard too. They have don’t have photographic evidence.

        1. They assured me all those images were deleted. I asked to have copies.

  19. Bus systems are worthless anyway unless they’re backed up by streetcars and light rail.

    1. You know, you were doing a pretty good sockpuppet routine and then you had to go and ruin it.

  20. I would like you all to go around and name one commentor who is no longer here due to registration.

    1. Well, we no longer have massive White Idiot induced shitstorms shitting up all the comment threads, so there’s that.

    2. Mary Stack.

      OK, we’re done here.

      1. anonopussy RIP

        1. Yes, how terrible. I’m sure we’re all broken up about it.

      2. Whatever you do, just don’t say that 3 times in front of a mirror.

    3. joe, CrazyLoner, Hercule Triathalon Savinian, Shannon Love, White Indian, Underzog, Warty.

      All posted before registration. None of them have posted since. Being unable to see into men’s souls, we have to assume registration is why they stopped.

      1. Pretty sure I’ve seen Warty post.

        1. I understand your confusion. That’s not the real Warty. That’s post-Crisis All-Star Warty. He’s written by that hack Grant Morrison, and it’s totally not canon.

          1. You’re a fucking idiot. J.K. Rowling is writing Warty now.

            1. We’re all Alan Vanneman, now.

              1. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

              2. Great. Now I’ll have to finish that “review” of Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Spotted Dick.

          2. If you were a true Warty fan, you’d know that he’s been written by Brandon Sanderson since his untimely demise in 2009.

            1. It’s a;; true.

    4. Okay, let me clarify. I meant someone that is no longer her due to registration and that you actually miss.

      1. sorry I mean here not her

        1. Well, there’s plenty of folks who are not her.

          1. In fact, everyone on the planet except her is not her.

            1. if everybody’s somebody, then noone’s anybody … gilbert and sullivan (which musical escapes me at the moment)

  21. P Brooks 🙁

    1. *pours fortee on ground to commemorate those comrades fallen to registration*

    2. He’ll be MIA in my heart, until they find a body.

      1. I’m sorry, we forgot to tell you, they found the body last night.

    3. P Brooks’ refusal to use threaded comments was the early warning sign that he wouldn’t be back post-registratum. Yeah, I made that up.

  22. Reasonoids of the world unit, we have nothing to lose but our chains!

    1. Can we lose you?

  23. Combating the vile scourge known as khat.

    Prosecutors, wary that the defense would make khat use appear to be innocuous, successfully sought a ban from the outset of trial on any arguments or evidence from the defense that khat use is culturally acceptable in Somali or Yemeni culture, or that khat use is not as bad as other drugs.

    “Encouraging jurors to decide according to their prejudices or consciences would be negating the rule of law in favor of the rule of lawlessness,” prosecutor Mary Daly wrote.

    Arghhhhhhhhhhhh.

    1. the nice thing about jury nullification is that daly may be right vis a vis the law, but jurors CAN still make such rulings and there is no fuck-all she can do about it

  24. What’s the statist argument for how this is more effective than a uniformed cop on the same transit system doing what cops are already authorized to do?

    And what the hell are they checking for that’s illegal and contributes to violent crime? Grenades?

    1. What’s the statist argument for how this is more effective than a uniformed cop on the same transit system doing what cops are already authorized to do?

      Gun control, Teh War on Terror, and they will probably throw in SYG laws just for good measure. Armies of straw men are not built by themselves, you know.

      1. i’ve seen people open carry on metro bus before. a plus to being in a prorkba state!

    2. i have a huge problem with random etc. bag searches

      undercover cops on city buses, etc. are a good idea for the following reason.

      uniformed cops are good. when bad guys see the cops on the train, they tend to behave

      the problem is… when they see no uniformed cops on the train, they can and do pull all kinds of shit because they feel ‘safe’ from getting caught.

      when a jurisdiction has undercover cops on buses, the word gets out quick, and bad guys never know if there is one on the bus they are on, so it acts well as a general deterrent.

      that’s one reason why air marshals are plainclothed. if they were only in uniform and you looked and didn’t see one, you’d KNOW there wasn’t one on the plane

      same general concept.

      that is of course totally tangential to the fact that yes i want cops on buses, etc. but no i do not want them searching bags ‘randomly’ and other such shit

  25. undercover cops riding buses?

    no problemo. that happens where i live btw. they have undercover king county cops on the metro buses (which i rarely ride)

    uniformed cops riding buses?

    no problem

    RANDOM BAG SEARCHES?

    BIIIGGGGG problem!!!!

    i am happy to live in a state with a right to privacy, where such searches would not come close to happening.

    nobody has complained about the undercover cops riding buses where i live … in general… but they don’t do random bag searches and other shit like that.

    1. I’ll make it harder for you…

      Uniformed cop with drug sniffing dog?

      1. good one

        look, anything that makes the WOD easier to fight, i am against, in the sense that i am against the war on drugs in the first place, as POLICY.

        however, GIVEN the wod, i think the uni with a drug sniffing dog is ‘ok’ in that they are smelling stuff in the air that is emanating from the bags, then there is no right to privacy… to the airspace AROUND your bag. you place your bag on the floor and the drug sniffs around it. that’s a public place, etc.

        the problem i have with shit like that, is i don’t like the war on drugs in the first place. but GIVEN THE WOD, i certainly think the cops are within their rights to use uni’s with drug dogs on a bus.

        1. I can always keep pushing the boundaries. What makes a pot sniffing dog acceptable but a roving tricorder that can detect pot at 500 yards not? Is there any real difference between an immediate zone of privacy around my person and a zone of privacy dictated by a property line?

          Once you’ve allowed for inspections without cause, you’re already on that slippery slope. Which we are currently slip-sliding away on.

          1. because a roving tricorder is not in common use whereas dogs are (at least that;’s the scotus reasoning)

            and of course there is a difference between private property and public property.

            looking inside the bag is violative, observing light reflected off it or smells emanating from it isn’t imo.

            that’s under a reading of the federal const. our state constitution has an explicit right to privacy, so there is a stricter reading of govt. actions in that regards

            since i am against all drug stuff, i look at these cases assuming i(assume stolen property had a special unique smell). iow, if it is constitutional to get back stolen property, then it’s constitutional for drugs

            i use this test, because i am naturally biased against any drug search, but i need to apply rule of law, not my personal beliefs

        2. “drug sniffing dog is ‘ok’ in that they are smelling stuff in the air that is emanating from the bags, then there is no right to privacy… to the airspace AROUND your bag”

          That’s some gymnastics. A search is a fucking search. The cop is using the dog to “know” something he couldn’t know without the dog… ignoring the fact that dogs are terrible excuses for invading personal space.

          I know “the court” has accepted this sophistry, but it doesn’t mean you have to be okay with it.

          1. i’m not ‘ok’ with any drug search but as a general principle, yes

            if i have the right to look, i have the right to smell

            neither look INSIDE a place where privacy exists.

            light rays and odor particles i look at the same way.

          2. i’m not ‘ok’ with any drug search but as a general principle, yes

            if i have the right to look, i have the right to smell

            neither look INSIDE a place where privacy exists.

            light rays and odor particles i look at the same way.

  26. “No, officer: I do NOT consent to a search, but if you don’t want to go away empty-handed, I’ll happily give you this copy of the constitution to keep, if you will read the fourth amendment to me out loud. Here you go, I’ve highlighted it.”

    -jcr

    1. Sorry, shitizen, Snuffles here has alerted. STOP RESISTING!!!

    2. Doesn’t work. That’s why they brought in the TSA. They can fine you 10k if you refuse.

  27. Rep. Jackson, a big TSA booster, says the government is only “looking to make sure that the lady I saw walking with a cane…knows that Metro cares as much about her as we do about building the light rail.”

    That is one ridiculous sentence. These days, one could probably develop a PhD dissertation about it.

  28. Derporate in Phailosophy.

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