Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another Brick Out Of The Wall

Noting that a building’s collapsing is fairly simple, but detailing the downfall of each individual brick impossibly complicated. So too it goes for anyone trying to note every little detail of the collapse of the America I knew, an America that could plausibly lay claim to being the freest country in the world. But here’s a few of the small bricks that tumbled, just in the last week or so:

The state of Tennessee isn’t usually described by such terms as “progressive” or “forward-looking,” but on Tuesday it won praise from Homeland Security for being the first state to deploy TSA agents on Interstate highways. Agents of the not-at-all-ominously named VIPR squad – you might remember them from such fiascoes as grope-searching Amtrak passengers (including a nine-year-old boy) in Savannah after they finished their journey and disembarked from the train – were deployed at weigh stations and bus stations throughout the state. Officials admitted the VIPR deployment wasn’t in response to any particular threat; Tennessee Highway Patrol spokescop Tracy Trott discussed the importance of paying attention to detail and reminded people (seriously) that a police officer caught Timothy McVeigh after pulling him over for driving a car without a license plate. Of course, police already had the power to pull over unlicensed cars; they don’t need mass searches and interrogations of truck drivers on the highways.

In New York City, a narcotics detective surprised exactly nobody when he testified that cops routinely plant drugs n innocent people to meet arrest quotas.

Alabama proposed ending the problem of illegal immigrants taking farm jobs away from unemployed Americans by having prison laborers take farm jobs away from unemployed Americans.

Some Occupy protesters were arrested for being disruptive in a Citibank, and it turned out the loudest and most disruptive of all was an undercover cop presumably goading people so he could arrest them. The arrested protesters were lucky, by modern American standards; at least the cop didn’t plant drugs on them too.


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