Linkatharsis: Case of the Mondays
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.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.
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'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.
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?
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.
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.