A Simple Rule of Thumb

Here is a simple rule of thumb:  Public officials should have no expectation of privacy when performing their public functions.  Period.  Except for some really narrow exceptions, I can't think of any justification for prosecuting people filming police officers than the officer's desire to avoid accountability.

I grew up in the South and saw the tail end of Jim Crow.  This is how we are achieving the new equality -- in the future, everyone will be treated by the criminal justice system like blacks have been in the deep south.


  1. blokeinfrance:

    Riot police in the UK taped over the ID numbers they wear on epaulettes so they couldn't be singled out for brutality. What happened? Brutality increased and police / public confidence decreased.

  2. me:

    There is an interesting political trend here: a substantial philosophy between the original setup of most modern states, including the US was the acknowledgement that (a) nations ought to have the monopoly on use of force and (b) the actions of authority had to be scrutinized and regulated very closely in exchange, due to the potential for abuse.

    The last 15 years have provided ample evidence for (b) being turned upside down - there is an assumption now that the actions of authority should be monitored less closely.

    Greenwald puts it succinctly in a recent column, when he points out that there now is a vocal group who "literally believe that anyone acting as part of the American government should be able to get away with murder" (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/01/23/detainees/index.html)

  3. Evil Red Scandi:

    Cue liberals screaming about using the phrase "rule of thumb" because of it's (poorly) alleged etymology in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ...

  4. Gil:

    Hurry guvmint and open the doors to Area 51! Pronto!

  5. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society:

    Peripherally related:
    The Transparent Society

    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

  6. caseyboy:

    As you opine about the brutality of the police and their tendency to ride roughshod over fellow citizens, I'm wondering if we might take a moment to remember 4 police officers killed (attempting to serve arrest warrants) in the line of duty in the last few days. Two in Miami and two in St Petersburg. There have been 10 officers killed already this year. Maybe you'd call it a good start to the year, but I am sickened by a society that has little respect for life or the rule of law.