Monday, July 25, 2005

Linkatharsis: Case of the Mondays

  • I'm going to revisit the subway bag search issue because I was incredibly bothered by the apparent consensus among subway riders, at least according to the local news, that the searches are somehow justified and necessary. So I was heartened to see that at least our friends at Cole Slaw Blog shared my displeasure and summed up the issues nicely:
    It's clear under established law that a cop can question anyone without suspicion, provided that the person is permitted to decline and go about his or her business. This is different. It is coercive. Under this rationale, the NYPD could post cops on every street corner, demand to search people and their belongings, but claim it was okay because you're free to turn around and walk back to your apartment.

    As far as the "no profiling" remark, this is a two-edged sword. "No profiling" is a way of saying that the searches are wholly standardless and arbitrary. But if there were to be profiling, it would likely be discriminatory. With these types of searches, they're bound to be either ineffective or unconstitutional. The current system manages, horribly, to achieve both.
    I stayed away from the legal issues since the RNC showed how much Bloomberg administration cares about civil rights and regrettably, people won't care until it's too late.

    I'm more worried about exactly what NYPD is trying to achieve with the searches. NY1's newspaper headline guy asked a great question Saturday morning - what are they looking for? If you go to an airport, there's a clearly posted list of prohibited materials before you get to the security check. Does an art student' Xacto knife get confiscated? If you have a grooming kit, are they going to take away the scissors like they do at airports? Are they going to open my iBook?

    My best guess is that this is a case of Totally Useless Preemptive Ass Covering, or TUPAC. If something should happen in the subway, they can say, "Well, we were doing our best." Or worse, they'll stop doing the searches, and if terrorists strike, they can say "We wanted to do the searches but you complained. That'll teach you." Whatever the case, I guess it beats doing real police work.

  • Chicago pretends their hot dog is better than New York's. New York yawns.

  • Lance Armstrong would have been a great porn star name if it weren't wasted on such an amazing athlete.

  • Jon Stewart and Tucker Carlson: inseparable.

    Jon Stewart, Faking it and Making it (NPR)

    This wouldn't be remarkable except this isn't the only medium where MSNBC is pimping Tucker's new show to Jon Stewart's audience. I guess we should file this in the "any publicity is good publicity". I mean, what Daily Show viewer doesn't want to tune into a show hosted by a guy Stewart referred to as a male genitalia?

  • My favorite summer drink is, without a doubt, mojito, especially when they stick that sugar cane in the glass. So it was with eager anticipation I clicked on the link for The Best Mojitos in New York City Bars in New York mag. But wait, what is this at the top of the page?
    The Spot: A fashion-forward crowd dances in Dior at this tri-leveled nightclub typical of the new Ludlow Street scene."

    Wait, "fashion-forward"? At least King Size gets a mention, the same week East Side Company Bar got its NY Times writeup.

  • David Rushkoff's angel: Suicide Bombs as Viral Media
    What we're witnessing is viral contagion - the beginnings of what some hope will spawn an epidemic of suicide attacks. These would not be conducted by "foreigners" crossing borders with plastic explosives kits, but locals, spontaneously acting in concert with others around the globe.
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