Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: One just HATES to agree with Bob Barr, but he does have a point.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Oct 2001

    One just HATES to agree with Bob Barr, but he does have a point.


    Crimes before the fact

    Bob Barr

    In last year's mega-hit movie "Minority Report," starring Tom Cruise in a mid-21st-century sci-fi thriller, D.C. police identify persons who have not yet committed a crime, but who, based on premonition evidence are going to commit a crime, and then swoop in and arrest these pre-criminals before they can carry out their dastardly deeds.
    A fine movie; I saw it and liked it. Well, it isn't even 2054 (the year in which the movie is set), and already, Washington-area police in this case, Fairfax County, Va.'s finest are taking the movie to heart, and putting it into practice now.
    Seems the local constabularies are getting bored actually waiting for crimes to be committed, and then, based on actual evidence, practicing good police work and arresting the perpetrators.
    The gendarmes are going into local area bars undercover, waiting for patrons to imbibe what might possibly be too much inside the bar, forcing them outside for a mandatory blood-alcohol content test and, if they fail, citing them. In some instances, eschewing the boredom of operating undercover, they are charging in with full, SWAT regalia, and pulling patrons outside the bar. All this with no evidence whatsoever the poor souls enjoying a drink at the local pub were going to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive under the influence.
    Perhaps the Fairfax County Police Department has its own "pre cog" the strange humans in "Minority Report" who envision the future and identify the criminals before they are criminals, in order for the police to arrest them and save potential victims of crimes. Maybe this Fairfax pre cog relays to the men and women in blue a vision of these potential evildoers who are drinking too much and might do something bad.
    Or, perhaps the police in Fairfax County don't have a clue these bar patrons will or will not drive under the influence which certainly is a crime and certainly ought to be stopped and punished. Perhaps they are simply police officers whose sensibilities are enraged by people in a bar having a good time, even if perhaps drinking more than local Officer Muldoon condones.
    The department's explanation that it is against the law to be intoxicated in a public place (including a bar), is nonsense, even if, in a hyper-technical sense, correct. Someone perhaps ought to remind Fairfax County that bars actually exist as places in which people drink alcohol; it's not only legal, it's encouraged.
    This actually is a frightening scenario that one hopes is nipped in the bud. Not only is this sort of Gestapolike behavior chilling in the extreme, but if condoned or encouraged, will find its way into other areas of detaining or arresting people for potential criminal behavior.
    Come to think of it, however, we're already on the way to that scenario, what with the manner in which law-abiding citizens are subject to humiliating, public partial strip searches for no reason other than they might have looked at an airport security person in the wrong way, or bought a ticket in a manner different from their usual routine.
    All this fits right in with the "Eye-in-the-Sky" perspective of retired Adm. John Poindexter and the cherished Total Information Awareness system he's building at the Pentagon collect all the information on as many people as you can in advance, decide who might be bad, and act on it. So what if you invade the privacy of virtually every law-abiding citizen in the country; you might be able to possibly identify a potential lawbreaker. The good retired admiral would really like those guys down at the Fairfax precinct. They're his kind of guys.
    We are already, as a society, reaping what we've sown. And this is not the movies, folks.

    Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican, is the American Conservative Union Foundation's 21st century chairman for privacy and freedom.

    Perhaps we could bust zoning violators and developers before the fact too. We know they will be guilty. It is just a matter of time...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    This is frightening, even more so when you have to suspect that Ashcroft has the same thing in mind with "national security." I support our police in keeping the peace and applaud legitimate efforts at crime prevention. Those efforts should not infringe upon personal liberty.

  3. #3

    Oct 2001
    Solano County, California
    This is pretty darn wild. I thought the mandatory road blocks were questionable (at best), but this . . .

    Given what Ashclown considers "crimes," it is pretty frightening.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Mar 2002
    Welcome to life in the DC area.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  5. #5

    Oct 2001
    Solano County, California
    Bar patrons (I drink very little, and not very much in bars) assure me that this is common in a lot of places. The police here in California arrest the (as he put it) "stumbling down drunks before they can get behind the wheel."

    Another story: A former mayor was winding his way home from a Chamber of Commerce mixer. He sees one of those checkpoints ahead of him, so he pulls into a residential area and leaves his car by the side of the street. He then walks (stumbles?) down the street, tripping and falling (giving himself a nasty cut). The Police don't arrest him, but they issue (independently of the City Manager's office) a press release incriminating the mayor. The same mayor had not been , by the way, endorsed by the Police Union because he wouldn't agree to pay increases. Quite a little tempest!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Dec 2001
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Since I don't drink I'm all for it

    It's poison I tell you...all that alcohol you guys put in your bodies.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Government can't agree with itself?
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 14
    Last post: 19 Dec 2011, 5:52 PM
  2. Replies: 15
    Last post: 07 Oct 2008, 4:26 PM
  3. Reds and Blues Agree...
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 30 Nov 2004, 5:52 PM
  4. Finally, an ED strategy we can all agree on!
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 12 Jun 2003, 7:34 PM
  5. Point- Counter Point
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 07 Mar 2003, 1:32 PM