Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Maybe the transport authorities are on a hair trigger because of this?

Fender Bender for Rumsfeld
The US is tilting towards Kafka more and more.

I was going home on the Red Line tonight (~10:30) when the metro operator came on the PA- "Passengers be advised that we will be holding at this station" (Van Ness). OK-- usually that's a sign that either it's the last train or there's something mechanical amiss somewhere. Fine.

But after about a minute, a string of police descend upon the train, hustling from car to car apparently looking for someone. I heard "he's wearing a blue jacket" as crew-cut heads popped into every doorway and made a less than cursory scan of the passengers. After about 5 minutes, a cop (decked out in neon orange reflective gear) came to the doorway nearest to me and snapped, "would you step out of the car, please" with a very quick hand gesture. None of us (people in the general direction in which he was talking) could figure out who he was talking to. It could have been any one of at least 20 ppl. The cop appeared a minute later and more exasperatedly indicated that the guy sitting next to me (a well-dressed black man with headphones who was not, by the way, wearing a blue jacket) come out of the car with him. He was out for maybe 30 seconds, and then sat back down, pointedly listening to his headphones.

After about 3 more minutes, there was activity in the other end of the car (hard to see through the moderate crowd). But a large black man in a suit started loudly asking, "Is he under arrest?"

-- Inaudible --

"Then you can't take him off ...."

-- Inaudible --

"Then arrest me! I have a lawyer..."

They apparently backed down, because we were moving about a minute afterwards.

About 30 seconds after that, there was another announcement on the PA: "Passengers be advised that the intercoms at the ends of the cars are for emergency use only."

So it sounds like someone bumped an intercom button or thought they would be funny-- but to prompt a search of the whole train? And to have such a detailed description of the guy they were looking for? And picking people from the middle of various cars? I'm not so sure.

Whatever happened-- that was a pretty poor police reaction to an incident, especially in DC and given (all) the circumstances. They stopped the train in a station where innocents were waiting, calling out descriptions of the person they were trying to find (OK, they might have been talking about someone else), and not being able to pinpoint in which car any misuse of the intercom system had occurred.

I'd recommend any new funding to go to training, or at least mini copies of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Then they might be able to know what the rules for search and holding (or arresting) people instead of (at the very least) shying away when questioned....

And if there's going to be an actual stated shift in procedure-- the writings of Beria, or Fidel's internal security services.

Any official/news information people find would be greatly appreciated.

The slogan "Uncle Sam Wants You" has an entirely new meaning for me now.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

You know, for all the logical gaps and crises attributable to W's foreign policy, I've actually been able to detect an amazingly clear central vision. It is truly stunning in its simplicity and elegance.
The bad guy is always the one with the black hat or facial hair.

Just look at the Axis of Evil-- Saddam's moustache was legendary and so is Khatami's long salt and pepper beard. As for black hats--- Kim Jong Il's huge black pompadour, of course!

And we all know the French wear those devious black berets......

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Thanks, Tricia, for letting me know about this surprisingly insightful quiz. While it's not necessarily 100% true, it fits nicely.

picture of fawn

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