Archive for Civil Disobedience
Dave Killion — April 29, 2013
Better watch out for the Cheese Police.
At Reason.com, Baylen Linnekin writes about “The Government’s Looming Crackdown on Raw Milk Cheese” -
“Earlier this month reports emerged that the FDA had detained a U.S.-bound shipment of mimolette, a French cheese”… “If this FDA crackdown on a set of rather obscure, mitey artisanal cheeses that conform to traditional standards sounds like a small, targeted regulatory intervention involving cheeses you’ve never heard of, consider that this agency crackdown is but one small part of the FDA’s larger, very concerted international and domestic attack on artisanal cheeses—especially those made with raw milk.”
Although the article refers chiefly to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Linnekin also makes it clear that what is happening in the U.S. is also underway in Canada. Anyone surprised?
Not me. There are a bunch of bureaucrats who have budgets to justify and jobs to protect, so they have to find something to do. So, let’s see… shall we target big, corporate food producers? You know, the ones who have lawyers and make donations to the politicians on whom I depend for employment? Or, how about some defenceless small scale artisanal producers and organic farmers? Yeah, that sounds better. Let’s go after the hippies and the Amish.
Coming soon: Black Market cheese. If you’re making any, let me know, because I want to buy it. In fact, I’ve heard of people using Bitcoin to make anonymous purchases of illicit products over the internet. I don’t know if raw-milk cheeses are amongst those goods, but if not, there’s a market opportunity for somebody.
Dave Killion — February 25, 2013
The unblinking eye of the state never rests, and if you are the type who finds this disconcerting enough to defend against, you will be interested to know that there is an easy and cheap way to prevent your face from being captured by video or CCTV -
“Most cameras (especially black and white security cameras) will see low levels of infrared light. This helps them video at dusk/dawn and in lower levels of light. The level of light the camera can see is called the LUX level. To test this theory turn on your video camera and point your TV remote control at it. Change a few channels and you will see a pulse of light flash that the naked eye obviously can’t see. With that said you can easily make an infrared hat with cheap $1 infrared LEDs stitched into the front of the hat, the more the better… Attach a 9 volt battery to the LEDS and bam you are now a giant LED flash light. People will see nothing out of the ordinary, but CCTV cameras will only see a large flash of infrared light coming from your head, hiding your face. “
Cool trick. If you want to see a video on how such a hat can be constructed, then look right here.
Dave Killion — January 28, 2013
The next time I strip down at an airport, I will do so with a little more certainty that I won’t be arrested -
“A Virginia man who wrote an abbreviated version of the Fourth Amendment on his body and stripped to his shorts at an airport security screening area won a trial Friday in his lawsuit seeking $250,000 in damages for being detained on a disorderly conduct charge.
Aaron Tobey claimed in a civil rights lawsuit that in 2010 he was handcuffed and held for about 90 minutes by the Transportation Security Administration at the Richmond International Airport after he began removing his clothing to display on his chest a magic-marker protest of airport security measures.”
The dissenting judge criticizes Tobey for creating a distraction that could potentially have provided a diversion for “nefarious actors”. But the majority judges saw what is obvious – the distraction wasn’t caused by the honest citizen exercising his rights, but rather, by the heavy-handed government agency violating them. Chalk one up for the little guys.
Dave Killion — December 18, 2012
Samizdata regularly posts a Quote of the Day, and Johnathan Pearce recently quoted a post made at Econlog by David Henderson. In said post, Henderson recounts a not-so-unpleasant interaction with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Pearce then shares his own less-than-traumatic interaction with the same agency -
“When I recently flew into San Francisco airport, the queues were long but – and this might just be my being lucky – the guy who checked my passport and details was friendly, helpful and efficient. (He was ex-Air Force and did his military service near where I was brought up, a fact that he told me with great delight). Perhaps someone has told the TSA to improve.”
I hardly ever fly, but I do so enough to know I hate it. Still, despite the numerous horror stories I’ve encountered from reliable sources, my experiences with the TSA have been in keeping with both Henderson and Pearce. On my last trip, I was returning home via the Pittsburgh Airport. As I was passing through security, an agent waved me towards a scanner. Having time to spare, I indicated I would not pass through the device, and the agent called out “Opt out.” He instructed me (civilly) to wait a moment until another agent came to escort me to the pat-down area. The agent who came to escort me chatted with me amiably, and as he pulled on his gloves I advised him (matter-of-factly) that I didn’t want any stranger touching me any more than was absolutely necessary, and that I would be stripping down to my briefs before allowing the pat-down. He told me that I wouldn’t be, but I assured him that I most certainly would be, AND that he had no legal authority to prevent me from doing so, AND that I had no objections to undressing in front of everyone if they didn’t have a private area. The agent was a little taken aback, but not angry. He called for his supervisor, who spoke with his supervisor, who spoke with the airport manager, who said it was just the same thing as if I came through security wearing a Speedo. So we all went off into a private area where the first supervisor went to great pains to explain the procedure to me, both repeatedly and in detail. My clothes were taken away to be scanned (can they only pat them down when they’re on your body?), and my crotch and buttocks got a light pass with the back of gloved hands. No one asked me why I was doing this, or expressed any anger or resentment. They wished me a good trip when all was finished, and the whole process seemed more stressful to them than to me.
None of this is to excuse the TSA or its practices. In order to return to my family, I had to submit to being either fondled or irradiated. Even taking the steps I did, I still had to suffer the indignity of having my genitals touched by a stranger. This is entirely unsatisfactory, and I’m sorry to find from the reaction of the TSA agents that very few people are putting up even the minimum level of fuss that I did. Like Henderson and Pearce, I find the TSA agents to be, at least on a personal level, pleasant people. All the same, the next time I fly, I plan on wearing a T-shirt and sweatpants over some Speedos, and there’s not going to be so much discussion before I drop my drawers.