February 2008

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Dude, Where're My Civil Rights? 

I typically don't have enough emotional energy to devote to hating people, but the following video makes me come close to hating Officer Rivieri:

What do you think?

Fortunately, it seems that he was suspended after the video came out.

Perhaps I'm a bit biased, because I have a special aversion to the abuse of authority and to the mistreatment of children. But, watching this video made me hope that Rivieri is not only suspended, but permanently removed from any position of authority over other people. He shouldn't even be a manager at a fast food restaurant!

The guy is a bully. And, he behaved just like a gang-member; demanding unearned respect, and confusing respect with fear. Maybe he agrees with Hillary Clinton that "It Takes A Village" to raise a child, but I think most children are better off being raised by people whom they know and love.

It's especially sad because it makes it even harder for those officers who don't abuse their positions to get the positive recognition and respect that they deserve.

Another thought that this brings to mind is that if we are creeping into a surveillance society, the first people who should be under constant surveillance are law enforcement officers. If they do their jobs right, they should have nothing to fear. It would help protect us from this kind of excess, and it would prove useful as a source of evidence that's much more reliable than frail memories.

In the mean time, three cheers for YouTube and people like the one who recorded and posted this incident. Who knows how often this stuff goes on without being recorded? Hopefully, the prevalence of privately controlled cameras will bring about more professionalism among our "servants."


Friday, February 01, 2008

With His Own Petard 

Amount John McCain spent in the primaries by the end of 2007: $39 Million

Overall primaries spending limit for those receiving public funding: $50 Million

Having McCain's frontrunning campaign hamstrung by the inevitable effects of his own authoritarian speech-limiting regulatory regime: Priceless

Unfortunately, I suspect that a political insider like McCain will manage to get around this problem (something an outsider would have much more trouble doing).

But, it sure is satisfying to see the web of regulations actually hurting someone who richly deserves it, for once.