Morning Links

Monday, September 29th, 2008
  • Given the latest developments in the Ryan Frederick case, this drug raid that occurred at about the same time seems to include some interesting parallels, doesn’t it?
  • So if police have a hard time identifying one another during a raid (and this story isn’t unique in that respect), once again, how is that they expect the people they’re raiding to distinguish them from criminals?
  • The child-proofing of America continues. Now you have to be 18 to buy a magic marker?
  • This week in innocence: Durham, North Carolina man freed after doing seven years for a crime he didn’t commit.
  • DHS gets even creepier.
  • Sound waves + salt grains.
  • Digg it |  reddit | |  Fark

    26 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  MacK | 

      From the DHS story

      “Burns noted his team’s goal is to “restore a sense of freedom.””

      I notice it is only a “sense” of freedom, not actually restoring your freedoms.

    2. #2 |  chance | 

      That “mind reading camera” is crap. The technology simply isn’t there yet. No camera system in the world can scan the human body and face for subtle stress clues as efficiently as another human. We are hard-wired to constantly evaluate our fellow apes anxiety and stress levels, with surprising accuracy. Even so, we often get the signals wrong. I’m not saying it is impossible for a system to replicate our ability, or even to surpass it, as the article implies this camera doesbut the computational requirements are extremely high, and are not going to fit in a PC attached to a camera. DHS claims the test results were a “home run”. Well, duh. You used a small sample of test subjects and a even smaller group of surprise subjects. Their anxiety level should have been off the charts.

      An actual hard-corps terrorist however, that’s a different story. Why would he or she be stressed out or anxious? He or she is about to sucessfully complete their mission. Oh, you might capture a Richard Reed type with this, but you’ll never capture a Mohammad Atta.

    3. #3 |  Sithmonkey | 

      Thankfully in line behind her was a teacher who, after laughing at the ridiculous nature of the marker ban, purchased the marker for her.

      Tsk Tsk…now the marker police are going to follow up on this and make an abject lesson out of the teacher for contributing to the delinquency of a minor…

    4. #4 |  jet | 

      You appear to have lost the links in your post…

    5. #5 |  thomasblair | 

      DHS is now planning an even wider array of screening technology, including an eye scanner next year and pheromone-reading technology by 2010.

      And they’re planning to get even creepier: Minority Report, anyone?

    6. #6 |  Wayne | 

      Maybe we can all take solace in the fact that the DHS scanner technology will eventually become so inexpensive that we can all buy one at Radio Shack. Then we can use it to determine which of the luggage goons at the airport is most likely to steal something from our suitacases.

    7. #7 |  ktc2 | 

      As for this DHS crap, it’s just that crap. It’s like drug sniffing dogs, just another excuse to perform an otherwise illegal search. The dog “signaled” that there were drugs. Which can mean the dog barked, growled, sneezed, licked it’s nuts, cried or anything else dogs do hundreds of times a day for any or no reason. So it’s just another way to “justify” pre-existing suspicions and perform otherwise illegal searches.

      Accurate mind reading technology will destroy the world. It will be more devastating than nuclear war.

    8. #8 |  Jefferson | 

      So let me get this straight. The DHS is going make us wait in a long line, take our Aquafina and scissors, treat us like children in a surly manner, and then test our moods? Will anyone NOT register as pissed off?

    9. #9 |  Bronwyn | 

      That’s about what I was going to say, Jefferson. I’m always a surly, sour-pussed grump when passing through airport security. And it’s not recent for me, either. I used to be quite bitchy passing through security and immigration when coming and going through the airports in KSA.

      And there, I had to go into a little side room where a fully-veiled woman patted me down.

      Now it’s the same damn thing, only the woman isn’t veiled.

      I’ll be setting off all sorts of buzzers.

    10. #10 |  MacK | 

      Let me set this scenario last night I caught my daughter and her boy friend doing the Mack-nasty on the couch. I have to catch my flight for this important meeting. I’m pissed and want to beat the crap outta my kid and her friend. In fact my testosterone, adrenaline, and anger are all through the roof.

      I walk through the scanner 6 or 7 goons slam me to the ground whisk me off to a secret room, and interrogate me for several hours because this system hit a home run, and therefore I must be a terrorist, because this BS story about kids, and sex can’t set off this infallible machine. Am I then charged with intent to intend to do harm, cause the machine said this what I intended?

    11. #11 |  Matt | 

      Our government is really going out of its way to restrict us from traveling. Hmm…what other governments in history have done this…

    12. #12 |  thomasblair | 


      Make surly faces when you step through the sensing tunnel. An abundance of alpha errors will shut this stupid machine down quick, fast, and in a hurry. A test with low positive predictive value is worthless.

    13. #13 |  thomasblair | 

      You know, after thinking about this more closely, I realize that the TSA is currently using a high-alpha test with low positive predictive value. That doesn’t mean it’s still not worthless as a security measure.

    14. #14 |  Danno49 | 

      And when you think it couldn’t get any worse . . . the government wants to start using actual mind police. And how long before they use this machine in reverse mode? You know, at DUI roadblocks? I can see it now . . .

      “Step out of the car sir, you appear to be under the influence of a substance that is banned while operating a motor vehicle. This machine reads you as way too happy.”

      “Officer, I’m going to be honest with you. I just got the most intense blow-job of my life! Wouldn’t you be extremely happy, too?”

      “Sir, did you receive this act of sodomy while driving . . . . ?”

      God, it just gets scarier and scarier every day.

    15. #15 |  The Other Jeff | 

      [blockquote]An actual hard-corps terrorist however, that’s a different story. Why would he or she be stressed out or anxious?[/blockquote]
      Chance, I agree this system isn’t going to be able to analyze threat level like a human can, but think you’re off the mark here. It’s a very rare individual who doesn’t have a physiological response to that kind of stress. We have reports of 9/11 terrorists being very stressed after they’d taken control of a plane and are that much closer to success. Suicide bombers are often spotted and forced to detonate early.

      Like with a lie detector, though, you can be trained to fake it. If any future 9/11-type attacks are planned–which I don’t think will work for reasons completely unrelated to DHS–that’ll probably now be part of their training.

    16. #16 |  Montie | 

      Trouble identifying eachother… Like when deputy Christoper Long thought the sound of the battering ram next to him was someone in the house they were raiding was shooting at them. Then procceded to empty his magazine through the front door, killing occupant Peyton Strickland.

      Yes, a familiar happening. Good thing they have all of that extensive training to go through before being allowed on raids like this. Also good that they decided to kill the german shepherd. gotta follow SOP.

    17. #17 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #2 chance

      That “mind reading camera” is crap. The technology simply isn’t there yet.

      That’s not what I hear. I hear security technology is now so advanced that it’s only a matter of time before they have a machine that completely eliminates the need for people to travel at all.

    18. #18 |  libertarianlady | 

      Thanks for linking to my site for the marker story; here’s an update: I was happily golfing with my husband earlier when our HOA called. The rep told me that I had to take the signs down because they didn’t support McCain or Obama. I chewed her out and told her I’d call her after I finished my round. (Needless to say I was so angry that I played poorly the rest of the round.)

      Anyway, I called the dipshit back, explained protected speech and told her that I’d be happy to take the signs down on November 5th. She then told me, “Imagine the most repugnant political speech ever, wouldn’t you be offended?” I explained that I’m offended by the idea of McCain in office but I support my neighbors’ right to be stupid enough to support him.

      She’s calling the HOA’s lawyer but my little neighborhood might just get nasty.

    19. #19 |  pam | 

      poor neighborhoods like mine don’t have a HOA, that’s the good part about affordable neighborhoods.. I can have a clothesline too. And there are no snooty people nosing around my property. The neighborhood functions well without anyone telling us what time we can put our garbage cans out, what brand of garbage cans we can have, where we can store our garbage cans, bla, bla, etc. etc. Plus I save hundreds of dollars a year for not having anyone telling me what to do. You would think that the types of people who live in neighborhoods that have HOA’s wouldn’t need the etiquette(sp?) police. I guess they’re all as blue-blooded as they think they are. We don’t need rules here where I live and we have people of all nationalities including folks who only speak Spanish. It’s totally cool. Everyone tries to behave, but if someone doesn’t, it’s not a big deal, we just look the other way and mind our own business. No one takes advantage of “no rules”. I would think Libertarians would shun HOA’s.

    20. #20 |  Jim Collins | 

      “I’m not taking this mission Osama!”. “Why not Achmed?”. “Because the American security forces have a camera that can read my mind.”. “We have taken that into consideration Achmed. Take these two pills one hour before you go to the airport.”. “What are they Osama?”. “They are a drug called Valium, Achmed. The American’s camera won’t even notice you.”.

    21. #21 |  libertarianlady | 

      I would shun HOAs in favor of several acres of garden, goats and privacy. But, I married up from my station in life and my husband hasn’t quite come all the way ’round. Due to his coming ’round some, we don’t fight nearly as much as we used to and he even went online before me to find the TX law regarding political speech and HOAs.

      One small step at a time… ;o)

    22. #22 |  Windypundit | 

      I, for one, like the MALINTENT bad mood sensor. Let’s start by installing them in police stations and make every officer pass a screening before being allowed out on patrol. It should end the police brutality problem overnight.

    23. #23 |  The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack | 

      By the way, I was just in an airport on Sunday, and noticed that several of the TSA agents are now armed. I’m guessing that it is the supervisors, because their uniforms (the ones who had guns) are a darker blue than the screeners on the shoe/liquid inspection line.

      We are inching closer and closer to a police state.

    24. #24 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #23 The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack

      We are inching closer and closer to a police state.

      I think it’s safe to say we’re already a police state.

    25. #25 |  Matt | 

      Much as the expansion of Police departments (as a result of suburbanites clamouring for ‘safety’) brought us SWAT team raids, militarization, road blocks, and increased harassment, so will the expansion of the TSA bring us increased searches and ‘devices’ designed to detect terrorism.

      When you hire thousands of people, they must find ways of justifying their budget and existence, so they are eager to fund and implement such devices. And don’t for a moment think that they won’t use these devices elsewhere, or not store your information to help build a profile that might come in handy one day. The culprit is the very money given to TSA and DHS. It is scary when you think of how much funding is given to ‘fighting terror’ and how little is given to education and scientific research. It is the clearest indicator of where our country is headed.

      I hope that Barack Obama might pull a great move and reverse all of that, or at least slow it down, but I highly doubt it. The saddest thing is that the bigger these agencies get, the harder it is to fight them. George Carlin said it right, this country is finished.

    26. #26 |  Rick Caldwell | 

      I wrote about that drug raid, and the parallels to Ryan Frederick at the time it happened. Don’t look for it now. I’ve recently had a bit of a slap fight with my former web host, and my site is down. I’ll have it back up soon, but my archives are gone. Anyway, I’m in the middle of investigating that story, and I’m going to raise a big stink. After the drug arrest, WAVY TV 10 interviewed the two burglars, just walking around the trailer park. The one who answered was giggling about it, like “yeah, I’m the one. Heh heh”. didn’t seem too terribly concerned about burglary charges.