Civil Liberties

20 Dire Civil Liberties Predictions for 2014


As we come to the end of a year that saw revelations about massive government spying programs, horrifying stories of police abuse, and brazen violations of the Fourth Amendment, I thought I might offer my own grim predictions about where civil liberties are headed in the coming year. Sure, some of these may seem outlandish. But to borrow from H.L. Mencken, nobody ever went broke underestimating the grade and lubriciousness of the slippery slope.

So I predict the following for 2014:

1. Not content with their current powers to employ drug dogs and dubious accusations to engage in asset forfeiture shakedowns of motorists, some states will pass laws making it illegal to have a space in your car where drugs could possibly be hidden, regardless of whether or not you've actually hidden any drugs in those spaces.

2. Also on the forfeiture front: Taking the private prison idea one step further, prosecutors will begin hiring private security firms to pull over motorists in order to seize property for the local government. And they'll get to keep a cut of what they take.

3. Now that they've turned America's cities into surveillance societies, city officials will incredibly claim, incredibly, that using similar cameras to prevent abuse by law enforcement officers would be a violation of police officers' civil rights…

Read all 20 predictions at The Agitator.

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  1. Haven’t 1 and 3 already happened?

    1. Ya isn’t this #1?

      1. That’s the gimmick. They all already happened. You have to click through and RTFA.Like I didn’t do.

  2. Who gives a shit what someone from the HuffPost thinks.

    1. A toxic amalgamation of collectivism and ad hom, for your delectation.

      1. “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.”

        Toshi Station Raiders

  3. The first two have already happened.
    The private security shit didn’t go too well with the judge though.

  4. I guess the new CAFE standards will have to ban glove compartments and console compartments. What about space above your wheel well? Man, this has so many possibilities!

    1. Between drug laws and child porn laws, you pretty much can criminalize everyone. I bet some of those assholes have an orgasm when they think about how they can prosecute a child for sending naked pictures of herself. Does it get any better than destroying the child’s life to save her?

      1. I don’t have the necessary venality to understand how one could rationalize prosecuting a kid for child porn for sexting naked pictured of themselves. I’m totally perverted enough to understand doing the sexting, but the prosecution is beyond me. It’s a special kind of sadism.

        1. Me too. I can’t imagine ever thinking that is anything but horrible. The people who have done so are really a special sort of sick.

        2. I can only imagine these are people who walked in on their parents screwing at some point, and now find sex so repulsive that they must put a stop to it by any means possible.

          1. I walked in on my parents having sex a few times. They were enjoying themselves. I wasn’t thrilled about seeing it, but it sure didn’t make me hate sex; in fact, it made me realize that humping and enjoying it was for everybody, even my horrible parents. It was also good that they didn’t treat my walking in as some horrible error; they just said they needed some alone time and to get the fuck out. Now.

            1. I heard daddy telling mommy he was going to give her a pearl necklace!

              1. That’s not how you make babies, Scientist. You have to give a stork a pearl necklace.

                1. Let’s not go there. Discussions about animals screwing attract Bo.

                  1. “Sex with animals?!? There’s no time, man!”

                    1. Do you like movie about gladiators?


  5. How about a little Christmas cheer?

    A jury awarded Michael Troso $500,000, half which the city must pay, the other half which Wheaton must pay, who incredulously, is still employed by the Atlantic City Police Department, despite the liability he has proven to be.


    The asshole beat up a DA who was fired thanks to the false arrest and is how a DUI attorney. Yeah I know it took beating up a DA to finally get one of these assholes held accountable and he still is a cop. But there is one upside. A civil rights judgement is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. And the guy who has the judgement is a lawyer. So that lawyer can spend the rest of his life taking everything this cop owns and ensuring he never owns a house or a car or really anything beyond a roof over his head. Having a 250K intentional tort judgement against you is a giant dose of suck. Couldn’t happen to a better person.

    1. Came here for the nut punch, instead received a gentle cupping. Thanks!

      1. ummm, one gentle cupping vs. 20 Balko Poundings?

        Not enough if you ask me.

  6. iPad mini or Nexus 7?


    1. I know someone who had a Surface and then got an iPad Mini. They ended up using the iPad Mini almost exclusively because, in their words, it was the perfect size and weight, whereas the Surface (and presumably a regular iPad) was a little too heavy and ungainly. Not sure how an Android tablet stacks up, including the new Kindle Fire HD.

      1. Unless you are writing, there really is no point in using anything but a tablet. They are just easier. And having messed with all of them, I have yet to find a single significant difference in performance between an Ipad, Kindle or Nook. I bought a nook because it was sold a store close to me and was cheap. It works great and it is the off brand one everyone says is never going to make it. Works fine for me.

        1. The only thing that sucks about a Nook is that KOTOR hasn’t been ported to it.

        2. My only issue with Kindles is that it is welded to the Amazon website. Unless you jailbreak it, its not really a fully functional Android tablet because you can’t get any Android apps that aren’t offered through Amazon.

          Even very standard apps like DirecTV.

      2. It depends on what you use it for, but you couldn’t pry the Surface Touch Cover away from me. Makes typing on a tablet so, so much better.

    2. $399 or $229?

      That’s a no brainer and you don’t have to associate with the creepy Apple fanbois.

      1. read on a forum:

        Go on and keep getting pulled into the Android marketing trap, Someday you’ll realize you’ve been a fool for worshiping the little green robot like the rest of the Droid minions.

        1. I can’t ever imagine caring that much about this issue.

        2. Gotta be a prog. That level of projection can’t exist in isolation.

    3. Got my grandkids the ASUS Memo Pad HD7. Asus makes the Nexus 7. The HD7 compares favorably and costs less than the Nexus.

      1. Are the grandkids over or under 12?


          One thing the ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 has that the Nexus 7 doesn’t is a back-facing camera. While the Nexus 7 famously had its camera axed because ASUS said it wasn’t necessary, the MeMo Pad HD 7 works with a 5 megapixel camera on its back and a 1.2 megapixel camera on its front. The Nexus 7 works with just the front-facing camera on its front for selfies and video chat.

    4. Here’s a good review:

      “The most expensive Nexus 7 (32 GB with LTE) is less expensive than the cheapest iPad mini.”

  7. 21. The words “The Huffington Post” will appear on a reason byline.

  8. A Christmas vigintuple nutpunch!

  9. I predict more than 20 nut punches in 2014. I blame Bush Balko.

  10. some states will pass laws making it illegal to have a space in your car where drugs could possibly be hidden, regardless of whether or not you’ve actually hidden any drugs in those spaces.

    I was worried for a minute, but my secret compartment is strictly for hiding guns.

  11. Anyone care to venture over to the comments on that article and see how strong the derp is? I already got my dose at the Daily Caller.

    1. Jane B. (pphhrogg)
      4,034 Fans?domestic clown goddess
      LOLOLOL… WERE joking, right? If not, then get yourself to a shrink FAST, since you are a paranoid schizophrenic.
      21 DEC 10:19 PM

      Nope, none of this could ever possibly happen, and Balko is in need of psychiatric help. I assume Jane B. would support getting him forcible psychiatric help. I would also assume Jane B. doesn’t know how links work.

      1. Although actually, the comments are pretty heavily weighted toward supportive, with the standard heavy dose of “It’s the Republicans’ fault” that any HuffPo article is required to feature.

    2. I did. It was extremely painful. In fact, I think I lost a few IQ points because the derb was so bad.

      The phrases “these are just isolated incidents” and “these are just predictions” appeared, so the gullible and the illiterate were represented nicely.

      I dearly miss the old days of the Agitator-tots.


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