Scattershot Posting

Interesting stuff around the web this morning:

  • Reason‘s David Weigel watched last night’s Republican debate so you didn’t have to.
  • Maryland Transportation Secretary John D Porcari wants to hit drivers with a $2000 fine for speeding in a highway work zone. I’m sure this is strictly out of concern for workers—even though the most common cause of injuries to construction zone workers is construction accidents—and that the revenue angle is only incidental.
  • Kip talks about Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s absurd attempt to get a list of everyone who reads the Phoenix New Times.
  • In the UK, which is already doing its best to bring 1984 to life through millions of security cameras, they now want to use RFID tags to track school children.
  • Federal prosecutors apparently have nothing better to do than prosecute a retailer for selling porno videos through the mail. As is always the case, nobody is forced to watch pornography if they don’t want to…except the jurors on pornography cases.

I actually started to write a whole post about Sheriff Arpaio, so I’ll end this with an edited excerpt:

Arpaio is an asshole. To give you an idea of how big an asshole he is, he bills himself as the “toughest sheriff in America.” If you don’t already know his story, try to imagine what he must have done to claim that. Did he break up a bank robbery single-handed? Infiltrate a drug gang? Clean out corruption in his own department? Bust an organize crime syndicate?

No, nothing like that.

He’s tough on the prisoners in his jail. They don’t get goodies like coffee or cigarettes or porno mags, they have very limited television viewing, and they spend a lot of time in chain gangs. Also, he makes them all wear pink underwear.

Picking on people who are disarmed, locked up, and dependent on him for basic survival requirements doesn’t make Arpaio tough. It makes him a sadistic bully.

Most of the tough-on-prisoners crap does not rise to Abu Graib levels of mistreatment, but there have been accusations along those lines as well: Arpaio is one of the few Americans ever to be investigated by Amnesty International.

The Phoenix New Times has a lot more about Arpaio.

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