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in a web of glass, pinned to the edges of vision

more political horror stories

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

mucha mosaic

more political horror stories

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keyangst (photo by Bruce Sterling)
First they start talking about how it's inappropriate to have free speech where, you know, anyone will actually hear it, see it, or be otherwise influenced by it.
Then they cordon free speech off in razorwire in Boston.
Then there was the crazy bitch who went insane because a bunch of Libyan musicians all got on a plane together and used the bathroom in rapid sequence.
Then they start trying to confiscate RPG material that they find offensive for unnamed reasons.

Un.
Fucking.
Believable.

Can I have a US Government that values things like free speech again plz k thx.
  • I posted this over in stakebait's comments, but it bears repeating over here:

    One thing that does bear pointing out, which isn't included in the original story but was clarified in the comments: this wasn't a cop, this wasn't a federal agent, this wasn't anybody but a ticket person, i.e. a ferry employee.

    So, while it is very annoying and stupid that this guy got harassed over his reading material by a rent-a-cop, let's not forget that this guy got harassed by a rent-a-cop, who are notorious for abusing the feck out of whatever tiny little power they have. It's so mundane an occurance as to be farcical and stereotypical.

    Scary, in the overall? Yeah, kinda. I do, however, think that realising this was not a government employee of any sort but a privately owned rent-a-cop acting like the powermongering, I-so-do-not-have-a-tiny-peener-let-me-prove-it-to-you schmucks that they're notorious for being puts a whole new spin on the situation.
    • One thing that does bear pointing out, which isn't included in the original story but was clarified in the comments: this wasn't a cop, this wasn't a federal agent, this wasn't anybody but a ticket person, i.e. a ferry employee.
      True! This is indeed a not-terribly-shocking example of someone you'd expect to be an asshole being an asshole.
      But let us also not forget that this officious dork of a ferry employee was placed in a position to be an officious dork because of Federal rules and regs. specifically requiring the presence of rent-a-cops. Let us also not forget the lovely story from a few months ago of a man and his pregnant wife who were detained by US Customs rent-a-creeps who were belligerent, hostile in the extreme, and brought on early labor.
      I'm not viewing this as specific to only this situation, is the point. The current administration seems to have a great deal of time and energy invested in acclimatizing us to humiliating and insulting bullshit at its whim- this is just the most recent example I've encountered (see the early labor story above, see the USA PATRIOT Act, see a lot of other rather worrisome shit that the NeoCons currently running the federal government have shoved down our throat in the last 365 days).
      While yes, it's not unusual for an idiot to be an idiot- I don't expect that I or you should consider such essentially unlawful idiocy to be a thing to be accepted or tolerated. To my eyes, though, there does seem to be a great impetus to get us to consider such essentially unlawful idiocy as a thing to be accepted or tolerated. What's always struck me as the best way to destroy the Constitution of the United States of America is this: train us to believe that what it says and what it means are two different things, and get us to believe in the 'what it means' that is a severely curtailed list of rights and responsibilities.
      • I agree with you on this. I'm not entirely coherent, here, just trying to stay focused. (Let's do the vicodin dance.) So I apologize for trying to carry on a conversation when not entirely, y'know. Here.

        Anyway, I do think that it changes the situation in an important way when you understand that the authority figure involved wasn't a police officer or a federal agent but was instead a rent-a-cop.

        If nothing else, it opens up a whole new thread of discussion, as you have just displayed. Do I think we should become acclimatized to them being humiliating assholes? Absolutely not, just as I don't think that people should tolerate doctors acting like humiliating assholes, or I should have to tolerate customers being screaming, patronizing assholes.

        It's just that it's not surprising to me to realise someone with no real power is desperately grasping what little power they have.
        • It's just that it's not surprising to me to realise someone with no real power is desperately grasping what little power they have.

          Indeed. And the litany of legalese nonsense I referenced above bugs me 'cause it gives the minutely-phallused among us a much longer reach with which to claim their import.
          If I see the adjective 'terroristic' one more time, I swear I'm going to do something someone else will regret. Such threats are exactly the sort of thing that's being described to me as 'terroristic' by such eminently large minds and personalities as Deputy R. Imjobber of the Podunk Co. Sheriff's Dep't. & Gen'l Store. We're giving these people a lot of authority with which they can claim power, and are not producing an accountability chain which makes claiming that power anything like an annoying responsibility.
          And for the gift of an extended reach to the sphinctolalic among us, I blame the current administration; for an additional realm in which they can claim to be The Big Man With The Three Inch Penis, I blame George W. Bush. For a lot of these ills, I have no choice but to reasonably blame those who created them.

          Man. I do prattle on. I am not, I should note, at ALL perturbed w/ you, or with anything you've said. From my PoV, the tolerance of little men with little agendas and little minds seems like the sort of thing Benjamin Franklin would've specifically pointed at while saying 'they who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security'.
          • Anyway, I do think that it changes the situation in an important way when you understand that the authority figure involved wasn't a police officer or a federal agent but was instead a rent-a-cop.

            I don't think it changes it. Shit flows downhill. Rent-a-cops wouldn't think this kind of behavior was ok if they hadn't been shown already that it was, and forcefully, by those assholes in the airports, by the sodiers who perpetrated Abu Ghraib, or by the president who's currently abusing the country. (I was going to go on, but I'm all Ms. Ranty Pants about this, right now, and obviously you two are thoughtful people who don't need me ranting at you about something you already agree with.)
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