> Oregon has its issues, but not pumping your own > gas isn't one of them. The locals see it as a way > to create jobs for young and/or poor people. Sure, > we pay more for gas, but the benefits to society > of having less unemployment seem to be worth it.
Well, hell, with that rationale, imagine all the other jobs that could be created if we just forced people to let others do the most mundane tasks in our lives!
"I'm sorry, sir, but you can't carry your purchase out of the store. You have pay this kid to take it to your car for you so we can keep the local teens employed."
"Ma'am, we're going to have to ask you to stop watering/mowing your own lawn. You see, we have a lot of poor people here in town and they need a job, so you'll have to pay someone to tend to your yard for you."
I think it's hilarious how a site that's constantly calling for government transparency and criticizing government agencies for not releasing files and documents is now apparently upset that a government agency released a file because it found it advantageous to do so.
Apparently the government is only supposed to be transparent when doing so will get them in trouble.
Various state and local governments have done this with gas masks, also. They've made possessing and/or wearing a gas mask illegal because they started to get protesters showing up to demonstrations wearing them and the cops' tear gas had no effect on them.
The sum total of these kinds of laws is the government is basically saying to the citizens, "Not only do we have the right to fuck you up, but if we decide you need to be fucked up, it's illegal for you to do anything to prevent it."
It's beyond me that whichever judge is overseeing this mess hasn't pulled the government's lawyers into court and told them in absolutely plain and simple terms that if they don't manage to find and deliver the relevant documents to the court in a reasonable amount of time, someone important is going to find his ass in a jail cell until they are so delivered.
> Meanwhile, Ryan Reilly of the Huffington > Post reports...
I don't put much stock in anything this guy says. He's the guy who found some orange foamy earplugs on the ground and breathlessly tweeted out that they were rubber bullets.
And he's also the guy who goes to the site of the counter-protesters and starts taking photos of their vehicles and their license tags and posting them online as a way of intimidating people with whom he disagrees. Not exactly something one finds in the job description of "reporter". He's not really a reporter, he's an obviously biased activist who makes himself the story more often than not.
My question would be, do the officers have the ability to turn the cameras on and off?
Because if they do, then the bad cops will just shut them off before dispensing a little street justice. And if they don't, then there are issues that will come up regarding officer privacy and informants.
While it's true that a cop doesn't enjoy an expectation of privacy when out working a crime scene or other public performance of duty, he/she does have a privacy expectation at times during an 8-hour tour of duty. Meal breaks, personal conversations with partner and phone calls to family, bathroom breaks, etc. The public isn't entitled to eavesdrop on any of that.
Additionally, working informants is a key aspect of policing and way that a significant number of crimes are solved. If the cops can't turn off the cameras, no informant with half a brain will ever talk to a cop again knowing he's being recorded.
Seems like a Catch-22. Either way you go with the cameras, there's a downside.
> Secondly, your right to record ends at the > gate or the door.
What if there was a 5-story building across the street? Could the police tell everyone in the building they are not allowed to look down out of their windows at the parking lot across the street, or record anything they can see? Could they charge someone with trespassing for being in their *own home*, just because they were looking at something the police don't want them to look at?
Washington DC being a federal district has nothing to do with why the government is able to legally forbid people from flying drones over the White House or otherwise trespass on the grounds.
If that were the case, then they would have no authority to prohibit such activities on federal property that isn't in DC. Like the Pentagon. It's in Arlington, VA. Or the CIA, in Langley, VA. Those facilities have the same sort of restrictions that are found at the White House, but they're not in DC. Yet they're perfectly legal and valid restrictions nevertheless.
> I'm sure the words "officer safety" will be thrown > around to justify yet another double standard
> There's national security implications with the > White House and flight pattern/aircraft safety issues > with airports.
I know "officer safety" has been abused by the police to justify a lot of nonsense, but in this case, there is indeed a legitimate safety issue. There are a lot of people who would like nothing better to quickly and efficiently kill a lot of cops. There have been nuts in the past who felt so strongly about it that they've walked into police stations and just started opening fire to see how many cops they could kill before they were brought down themselves.
As easily as these drones can be fitted with a camera, they can be fitted with explosives as well. They're a perfect little delivery system for a targeted IED, giving someone the ability to kill a bunch of cops without even having to die in the process, or even be very easily caught. The police have a legitimate concern that they might be used that way. I'm sure most here will scoff and laugh and say that'll never happen, until the day it does.
On the other hand, the idea that any photography of their secure area is a trespass is nonsense. That cop was just making things up on the fly to justify his position. California trespass law requires a physical intrusion onto private property or restricted areas. Photographing property from a public street does not meet the elements of trespass. I'd have asked the cop if there was a 5-story building across the street, would it be a trespass to stand on the roof and look down on their parking lot. To answer 'yes' to that would drive home to him how absurd his interpretation of trespass law is.
Likewise the drone pilot was being silly with his "This is public property, isn't it?" questions. Just because property is public-- i.e., owned by the government-- doesn't give people free reign to do whatever they like on it. The Pentagon is public property but try walking into it or flying a drone over it without authorization and see what happens to you.
Seems like both sides of this issue have resorted to some rather hyperbolic and inaccurate legal arguments to justify their positions.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is (another reason) why the "war on terror" has been lost the moment it was started
> But imagine if they all started claiming that the states along > the southern border belonged to them now
They're actually starting to do that.
> Yeah, you'd better believe we'd be responding exactly > the way Israel is responding to their illegal immigration > problem!
No kidding. If Mexico started launching rockets into Texas at the rate of 40,000/year, you'd better believe we'd bring the hammer of god down on them. The people would demand it. It's what we pay all those taxes to have a Defense Department for. To, you know, defend us from shit like that.
Bottom line, don't start wars with people who can kick your ass and then whine when you get your ass kicked.
So where do things like having a Muslim guy interrogated by a woman fall? Or being seen naked by a woman? Or shaving a Muslim's beard? Or having their religion insulted? Or not telling a prisoner which way Mecca is located (or telling him the wrong direction)?
Because all of those have been described as "torture" by various media outlets over the years, yet no actual pain is inflicted in any of those scenarios.
Is the Times going to actually stick with its definition or is it going to wander down the ridiculous PC road other media orgs have trod, where basically anything that makes a terrorist feel bad is the equivalent of torture?
> If you stay here to attend a wedding and leave us > a negative review on any internet site you agree > to a $500. fine for each negative review.
I've never understood how these people even think they can enforce this sort of thing. If I stayed there and really wanted to post a negative review, I'd just get my wife or son or next door neighbor to do it for me.
"My friend stayed at the Union Street Guest House last weekend, and you wouldn't believe what happened to him..."
The person posting the review isn't the person who stayed at the inn and agreed to the contract, so they have no recourse against him. Such a simple way around these things, it's a wonder why they even bother even if there was no such thing as the Streisand Effect.
> I think it's funny as fuck you're rallying a defense for > a bunch of officers who aren't scared of gangsters or > hardened criminals, but are wetting their pants at the > sight of a guy whose most dangerous weapon is his > camera
I won't rally in defense of cops who go out and confront guys like this and try and take their camera or arrest them on bogus charges like "disorderly conduct", but it's a proven and indisputable fact that "pre-operational target surveillance" has been conducted in almost every terrorist attack on a government building, both domestically and overseas-- to include the Oklahoma City bombing, the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the US Embassy bombing in Nairobi, and the 911 WTC attack itself. In every case, the attackers or those working with them spent time around the target buildings engaged in the exact same kind of photography that Jeff Gray does, filming security posts and CCTV locations, loading docks and delivery schedules, traffic patterns, the coming and going of personnel, etc.
Is it Gray's right to do this? Sure.
But just because it's his right, should law enforcement essentially be required to do nothing when they see someone doing the very thing that attackers worldwide have been proven to do before engaging in mass murder?
Imagine what would happen if some guy like Tim McVeigh who actually *did* have the intent to kill hundreds of people was seen walking around a federal building the week before he detonated a truck bomb and murdered hundreds of people, and the security/police at the building did nothing. They recognized that his behavior fit the well-established pattern of terrorist pre-operational target surveillance, but they did nothing about it. They didn't approach him and talk to him, they didn't identify him, they never ran his license tag. Nothing. Just stood there and waved as the terrorist walked around planning his slaughter. After the building blew sky high and hundreds of corpses were being pulled out of the rubble, the government would be absolutely *crucified* for its spectacular incompetence, and rightly so.
Should these guys, who purposely engage in behavior that mimics the behavior of known attackers, be accosted and have their cameras seized and be arrested on bullshit trumped-up charges? Nope.
But at the same time, you can't expect the people whose job it is to protect these buildings to do *nothing* when they see someone who's acting like an attacker. If you want to act like a terrorist, I don't think it's a tremendous burden on your 1st Amendment right to film government buildings for a cop to quietly run your car registration (if he can see your license tag) and name through a database. If you come back clean, no criminal history, no TECS record showing you like to vacation in Syria, and it's clear you're just an activist trying to goad the cops into doing something they shouldn't, then have at it, film away. Case closed.
No rights are absolute. Society, through the courts, always balances competing interests when determining the extent of any right. The rest of society has a right not to be blown up that's every bit as important as Gray's right to take pictures of security gates (or whatever) around a police station.