I keep a mental list of "Places Never To Go Because The Law Enforcement Is Retarded". Looks like Brooklyn, Ohio is now on that list. Whether Michael Righi was "asking for it" or not is beside the point; you don't fail to read someone's rights when you arrest them and then drag them to the police station while trying to figure out what to charge them with. That's evil dictatorship right out of a sci-fi flick.
One of my great fears is being injustly punished. When people in positions of authority are doing something wrong, far too few are willing to stand up and say it, especially when they most need to: when innocents are suffering because of it. In fact, many of them will even show resentment towards those that DO uphold their civic duty. This holds true at all levels of the spectrum, from when a teacher is corrected by a student up to when a president sends troops to battle without a congressional declaration of war.
I am sincerely scared of one day being abducted by law enforcement, charged for something I had absolutely nothing to do with nor knowledge of, and thought of as a criminal by the general populace, even if I'm not found guilty. That manner of completely unfair and unfounded stigmata arbitrarily assigned to me worries me deeply, and the thought of it being able to happen anywhere deeply troubles me.
Being honest and open - knowing the truth and telling the truth - is useless when everyone else involved thinks you're lying, and when they do finally accept the truth, it's much too late for you. I can't help but feel that one day this "you" will be me, and the "too late" effect will be permanent. It's like I'm fighting against my destiny.
There are possible segues I could make from that, entering the domains of civil liberties, racism, religion, and the fatally flawed Golden Rule, but I have too much work to do right now to get into any of that (not to mention they could warrant their own entries).
I am SO glad that I live in Rhode Island now. I figure that of all the states in the Union, the one founded on the principle of individual freedom is the safest to be in; it's probably the closest to a civil-liberties bastion as any government that currently exists, and the citizens don't put up with any shit to the contrary. I'm sure it's not perfect, but it could be far, far worse.
Tomorrow: One segue I will follow shortly is into a discussion - and a dream - about Bioshock, a Zotmeister Seal of Approval winner that presents a very clever perspective on civil liberties. - ZM