This SF Life

It’s been a bumper month for Transparent Society demonstrations.

  • Michael Richards went into a racist tirade. He played Kramer on Seinfeld, but I’m guessing he won’t be doing any NAACP benefits now. Perhaps they could invite him to the Comedy Central Roast of Whoopi Goldberg. Allegedly he had ranted about Jews previously, but nobody had heard about it because nobody had had a camera handy.

  • A Muslim student was repeatedly tasered by a campus cop with a history of police brutality and suspensions. The interesting thing about this one was how many assholes on the net tried to defend the cop.

    The facts, according to the dozen or more witnesses, are: The kid had the legal right to be in the library, he just didn’t have his student ID card with him. He was asked to leave, and had packed up his stuff and was already leaving when the cops showed up. He didn’t yell anything at them until one of them grabbed him as he was trying to leave. At that point, they tasered him. He hadn’t attempted to attack anyone, hadn’t threatened anyone, and was totally unarmed.

    Now, I think it’s pretty hard to justify that first tasering, but let’s for a moment entertain the remote possibility that the cops were in the right there. The problem is that as he was lying screaming on the floor, they tasered him again. They ordered him to get up, and (perhaps because all his muscles were in spasm) he didn’t get up, so they tasered him some more, and so on.

  • Some US troops in Iraq videoed themselves tormenting Iraqi kids by making them chase their truck in the hope of getting some fresh water. Inevitably, the video hit YouTube.

  • UK police are to get helmet-mounted video cameras which record up to 12 hours of video. This is a great idea, the only caveat I have is that the police should be required to keep the camera on when they’re working.

Of course, not so positive is the news that the UK police are setting up a precrime department called the Homicide Prevention Unit. I’m not sure whether precognitive mutants are involved.