FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics
$1 Billion Project to Include Images of Irises and Faces
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 22, 2007; Page A01
- Does a war protest count as a brush, a light touch or a skirmish?
- How ’bout being late on alimony?
- DUI, smoking pot, arguing in the street over a parking place?
- Having an unpaid out-of-state speeding ticket from 20 years ago?
Incredibly, forty years ago, while dressed in a business suit and taking an after-dinner stroll, I was stopped on a public sidewalk in Beverly Hills by the police. Told that “no one walks in Beverly Hills,” when I said that I certainly did and it was a public sidewalk, obviously built for pedestrian use, I was spread-eagled against a wall and told I could either do this the easy way or the hard way.
I told them I opted for the hard way and they backed off, with accompanying snears and threats, but we had not yet become a true police state.
There has been progress since then in the policing business.
Under the new process (I hesitate to designate it as a law), not only would that fascist behavior be legal, but would be duly reported to my employer.
And yet we will nod, shrug, perhaps raise an eyebrow and this too will pass as we further Balkanize America, fire up a mob-mentality against immigration, feed the hungers of racism and become an entirely intolerable place to live.
But we will by-god be safe, whatever that happens to mean–even if it comes to mean cowering in a safe basement instead of walking with our children and neighbors in the free (and problematic) association with those to whom we used to tip our hat instead of give the finger.
I choose problematic. I choose ‘the hard way‘ when it comes to cops threatening me on public sidewalks.