Friday, June 30, 2006


The Register comments on the red-light cameras in Clive. Their take apparently boils down to: if you follow the law, you shouldn't have to worry about it. Never mind the fact that the State doesn't have to prove that you were actually driving the car at the time. Never mind the fact that the ostensible reasons for the big-brotheresque cameras - reducing accidents - is demonstrably false. Never mind the fact that the scheme could constitute a violation of some of those pesky constitutional rights, or basic theories of justice like innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But then they add this quote:
Here's an idea. Instead of feeling violated by Big Brother's camera, how about just stopping on red?

No pictures are taken, which means nobody's civil liberties are trashed. Nobody gets T-boned and carted off in an ambulance.

We're all free to worry about something really intrusive, like having our phone calls monitored.

I find that rather ironic, as the majority in favor of the monitoring uses the same rationale: if you're not breaking the law by being involved with terrorist activities, you shouldn't have to worry about things like 4th Amendment violations or separation of powers. Hmm. Is it just me, or is a large segment of the population deciding they actually like the idea of a totalitarian society? When did we decide to rename it the Bill of Really Good Suggestions that Don't Work in Reality?

I may be rather idealistic, but I believe there are ways of making some improvements while still adhering to the fundamental principles of the Constitution. Red-light camera prosecutions aren't illegal per se, but I'd prefer they either prove who was driving, or stick to a ticket for something like "aiding and abetting a red-light runner by allowing them to use your car." Phone tapping is legal with a warrant, which is easily obtained and can be done even retroactively so the "there's no time to get a warrant" argument simply doesn't hold water. Protecting the rights of the accused, even if they are accused of behavior in which you wouldn't personally engage, ensures that your own rights are protected if you ever find yourself in the position of being falsely accused of a crime. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?


Meanwhile, I'm heading to the pool in my new bikini today. I'm taking my sister, and we're bringing chick magazines and sun-in for our hair, and then we're going to have lunch and bargain-hunt at resale stores for her husband's birthday.

I've noticed that stressing about job searches and planning for the future is totally consuming my life these days, so I've made a pact with myself: Every day, I am going to do one thing that I would be jealous of if I were working. After the resume's been revised and job sites surfed, I will take a nap, or go to the pool,or see a matinee, or visit a friend for coffee in the middle of the day. That way, once I'm back chained to a desk, I won't kick myself for wasting perfectly good free time while I had it. For those of you who can't take time off to enjoy the sunshine, here's a quiz for a mini-break:

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

UPDATE: Given the weather, the pool was substituted with shopping. Just in the interest of accuracy.

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