“Where are you coming from this evening son?” asked the cop, who might have been two years older than me.
“What do you need that information for sir?” I asked with as much contempt as I could pack into an eight-word sentence.
“This is police business. Don’t try and get smart on me. Where are you coming from?” he repeated. This time I could SWEAR that his hand moved closer to his baton. As if to let me know that he was not afraid to beat my brains in for not answering his questions EXACTLY the way he wanted them answered.
“Once again, SIR”, I said with extra sarcastic emphasis on “Sir”, “If you could tell me why you need that information, I would be glad to think about letting you know.”
He huffed like someone had just given him an SAT level math problem, and then walked briskly back to his cruiser. He sat there for a while GLARING at me under the brim of his State Policeman’s hat. I saw him slap his dashboard and shake his head as if he were disappointed about something. He then walked back to my car and literally threw my license and registration into my lap.
“This could be easier next time.” He stated with an air of “how dare you!”
“Yeah, you could have something on me before you pull me over. That would make everything easier.”
“You want to step out here and settle this son,” he said excitedly. There was a tone in his voice that I hadn’t heard in a long time, but I still knew it. This guy wanted to destroy me. He wanted to take me out of my car, get me to throw a punch, and then beat me in to a coma, or worse.
“Are you threatening me sir?” I said with genuine shock. At this point, I was BEGGING for another cop to pull up and see what was going on. But there’s never a cop around when you need one.
He stared into my soul. This guy had flipped. He had reached a point in his head where something didn’t make sense. Everyone that he had pulled over that day had handed him their license and registration and then proceeded to tell him their life story. They made SURE that they cooperated with his every whim, just to get out of a ticket. No one wants to be a criminal right? No one wants to be suspicious of anything. And if a cop pulls you over, he must have you on something. Right? RIGHT?! Wrong.
We live in a time on this earth when people are giving up their most basic of rights in the name of safety and paranoia. Forget the constitution for a minute. Forget the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness just for a moment, and let’s get down to what REALLY matters. Your most basic right in life is to exist an anonymous human being. No one has the right to track your movement. No one has the right to hunt you down and tag you like some rare species of lizard, but that’s what’s starting to happen RIGHT NOW.
There is an old story that says if you put a frog in a pot of water, you can eventually boil him to death as long as you gradually turn up the heat on the stove. He’ll just keep getting comfortable with the heat. No need to escape right? The temperature will get tolerable sooner or later. Is this happening to us? Are we allowing the government to pass laws that take away our freedoms, simply because we are comfortable with the way things are? Are we so complacent that we let things like the Patriot Act and Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003 just slide through without anyone griping, simply because we don’t want to be labeled as domestic terrorists?
The Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003 states that the government doesn’t need a warrant if they suspect you as a terrorist. Section 501 of this document states that anyone found breaking a law during a time of war could be considered a terrorist. Before that, section 201 says that the government never has to release the whereabouts of a jailed terrorist. Pretty nice and neat huh? First, we’ll grab you off the street, and then we’ll lock you up and no one ever has to know. And why do things like this get through? Why would we let something go through our government that allows them to completely wipe their ass with the 4th amendment? People are scared to stand out. It really is that simple. People have convinced themselves that if they haven’t “done anything wrong”, and then they don’t have anything to worry about. They are secure in their head that there is no way that the government would mobilize troops on it’s own people. Ask the people that were at Ruby Ridge what they think about that thought process.
The new trend coming through America now is the microchipping of kids. Just take your rugrat into a specialist office, like the ones at a place called Verichip, and just get a little microchip implanted beneath the skin. This chip can be scanned to verify identity, social security number, medical information, place of birth and whatever else you want to be known when those chips get scanned. Why is this a concern, you might ask? Well, think about a government that has total access to the movement of all of its citizens. Think about how easy it would be to declare martial law on the citizens of this country, and then herd them all up into camps, or wherever they wanted us to go. And hey, it’s for our safety right? There is no way that the elitist, rich, power hungry government would EVER put it’s own citizens into camps for no reason right? Well, unless we were at war, and it was the 1940’s and you were of Japanese or German decent. They don’t tell that story too often, now do they?
So when is enough, enough? When do you stop using your credit card with the little magnetic strip on it that tells the bank, and everyone else who wants that information, where and how you spend your money. How do we stop the use of things like face recognition software out of malls and schools? How do we prevent city and state governments from putting cameras on every street corner? How do we keep things like the national ID card from coming to fruition? The answer is a LOT simpler than people might like to think; we simply MUST care where our freedoms go. They CAN’T pass these bills and spend our money this way if we don’t let them. The root of all of this comes back to us as citizens. We MUST shake the apathy from our collective brain, and take the country back from the people that would abuse it and our freedoms.
10 replies on “The Most Basic of Rights”
how do I get this to be posted without the punctuation getting all jankey?
very excellently written. On the last day of gov’t class senior year of high school, our teacher whom we were convinced was in the CIA, brought in an article about the whole inserting chips into ourselves thing and it freaked everyone out, but as much as we don’t want to believe it’s possible, it is very much possible….very scary shit. Last semester, in history class, we had to read a book about this family’s experience with the Japanese internment camps. It’s really sad, fucked up stuff and it’s a shame most people in this country are so apathetic/dumb/lazy/care about the wrong things. I’m glad you wrote this.
Did that really happen to you? Or is it just an example? Either way it’s a fucked scenario that I hope doesn’t exist in the UK, it at least isn’t reported as such anyhow,
As soon as I started reading this i was thinking from the scene from “Boyz n The Hood” where Tre and his friend (the one who got shot) are pulled up on their way home after those other gang members started firing off their Uzi,
Anyway he was trying to be as co-operative as possible and the police were really baiting him to do something, Tre just got scared however and eventually after a few minutes of humiliation the cops got called to another job, but what the fuck is the world coming to?
A nice piece Tommy, i’m just sorry that it came from experience
wait, so what happened with the cop???
seriously though, great article once again. I like your style a lot as well as what you have to say. very intelligent and well written.
oh, and if you think shit like that doesn’t happen in the uk and everywhere fucking else on earth (yes, even denmark) at least a couple times, you are out of you mind. just because it isnt “reported” doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. and even if it is reported, that doesn’t mean you get to hear about it unless it was one of you friends. cops are people just like everyone else, they get mad and frustrated, they can be fucked up in the head, they can have bad days, they can have thier prejudices and just like everyone else, they can use poor judgement, so why should it be such a big shock that shit like this (and worse) can and does happen all the time. there is a margine of human error, and there is also a line that should be crossed no matter how bad of a day you are having and how much your life might suck. the trouble is trying to agree on where that line is and how best to keep people (esp. those in charge and entrusted with others lives) from crossing it (short of putting chips in thier brains and electronic shock collars around thier necks).
he sent me on my way.
but with that said, I recommend civil disobediance whenever anyone feels like they are being violated for whatever reason. Your rights are yours, no matter WHERE you live. Everyone on earth has the RIGHT to go where they want to go in a public arena without being catalogued or hassled. everyone has the right to have thoughts that belong only to them. Everyone has the right to tell an authority figure that they are out of line, when that is the case.
thanks bell. I appreciate the good word.
Wow. I just saw that I can comment here. Good article coming. I, for one, am hoping to see more.
Fear mongering about the Patriot Act? Yawn. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War, and that’s much worse than anything in the Patriot Act.
And no one mentions Japanese internment? America not only officially apologized for that, if I’m not mistaken they handed out some cash as well. And, maybe this just because I live in Washington, but every American history class I’ve had stressed how wrong the internment was, my schools have had mandatory assemblies about it, etc. So I find your idea of suggesting America hides the internment as very laughable. I suppose my school district could be the only one in the country not teaching its students about Japanese internment, but I find that a little bit on the unlikely side. 😉
“Think about how easy it would be to declare martial law on the citizens of this country, and then herd them all up into camps”
Pretty damn hard considering America’s military is made up of human beings, not mindless automatons with guns. And you using the Japanese internment that happened 60 years ago to suggest a large number of citizens could be interned without any justifiable reason is kind of shaky. By that logic, I should start telling my Jewish friends to avoid Germany because they could wind up in a concentration camp.
There have been no mass arrests or internments of Americans of Arab descent after 9/11 and martial law has not been declared after 9/11. All this with a RepubliKKKan administration in office, and the new antichrist for the Left wing George W. Bush as President. So while your piece is well written, at least to me it comes off like a bunch of conspiracy theories.
But hey, if President Bush doesn’t leave office after 2008, I’ll owe ya a coke!
Whoops, I typed “I suppose my school district could be the only one in the country NOT teaching its students about Japanese internment”
Pretend I didn’t put that not in there 🙂
The fucked up actions of the past do not make the actions of now right your example of trying to downplay the patriot act by comparing it to lincoln’s actions and the japanese inernment is like saying “racial segrigation isn’t so bad, back then we used to have slavery, that’s much worse.”
Give me a break
are you just going to ignore the fact that what this cop did, and others do is just flat out wrong and against what this nation was founded for?
You make some valid points Teufel but when push comes to shove you’re beating around the bush with the whole point of this article. Our civil liberties are being taken away in the name of the war on terror, and it’s not going to stop unless we make it stop.
if we sit idlely by and let our government get more and more encroching into our general lives and take away our rights we’re bound to lose them all. You an believe in the cause for them being taken away or not but our founders knew their importance from hundreds of years of history and how while it might not be prefect these rights are what is necessary and fair for all human beings.
You can”t just sacrifice some willingly to the government, give them thoe rights and they won’t give them back. like i said you can believe it’s a noble sacrifice but power corrupts and the government will only continue to take them away until we have people in our government who represent us again.
Currently we’re told we are at war so we need to make sacrifices, but we’re fighting a war that our own government admits might not ever have a clear ending… so when do you think we’ll get our right back?