Saturday, August 12, 2006

a bookworm reads the morning paper

And four things jump out at him:

1. Kelly Richardson has written a book, "Violation! The Bitchings of a Boston Meter Maid." Kelly herself is smart, sharp, and funny (the same can be said for her ex-husband and her son) - it stands to reason her book will be too. It's self-published now, but here's hoping this little profile - and the article in the Herald - will bring her to the attention of a Boston publishing house.

2. Former TV host Mike Douglas died. You just won't know how vapid and ass-kissing today's crop of professional hosts - from Oprah to Leno with the possible exception of Letterman - are until you've watched the Holy Trinity of the 70's, Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, and Mike Douglas. If any 'best of' DVDs ever come out, Netflix the Hell out of them.

3. A New York appeals court UPHELD the legality of random bag-searches on subways. Even though such searches are PATENTLY ILLEGAL. So, to all you New Yorkers out there reading this: if a cop orders you at random to produce your bag for searching, DON'T COMPLY. Quietly, politely, steadfastly REFUSE. Remind the cop that searches require probable cause. They require a REASON, even a POSSIBLE reason. Tell the cop that he's going to have to physically subdue you in order to search your bag. Do this even though it will land you in jail and seriously derail your day. Do this even though it will land you in jail and seriously derail your day. It sucks, but it's the only way.

4. Gunter Grass has admitted to having been a member of the Waffen-SS. Grass has written some powerful books, books that are gifts to all humanity. Nevertheless: None of us must ever buy another Grass product again as long as we live. He has a new book coming out soon - don't buy it, don't review it, don't borrow it. Walk across the room, take his books down off your shelf, and quietly throw them away. No doubt the admission was wrenching for him personally, but the Waffen-SS wasn't a boy's club - it was utterly impossible to join it without knowing what it was and BELIEVING in it. So we must have nothing more to do with Gunter Grass.


Anonymous said...

But there were a hundred thousand members of the waffen-SS! Surely a large number had to be conscripts! And he was below the age of reason! I donno. I never liked GG anyway (although there's something going on in his poetry alright). I just feel badly about the whole business. -- Cotter

Sam Well said...

The New York Subway bag checking works slightly differently than you suggest (not that this gives it any legitimacy, though): the random, non-probable-cause checks are staged before you pass through the stiles. Police sit at a table and randomly require passengers to enter the station on the condition that they submit to a bag check. Police can only arrest you if you decline the search and still try to pass through the turnstile. The easy solution is simply to walk to the next station, or walk or take a cab. The obvious point, made by the ACLU in their lawsuit, is that the only people who ever would consent to the searches (since it is all technically by consent) would be innocent people.

steve said...

What I'm calling for here is the HARD solution: walk through the turnstile and get arrested. If fifty people did that at one station on one morning, this fascism would come under heavy fire. If a thousand people did it at one station on one morning - or every morning - the policy would stop. The policy's backbone is this: if you want to use the subway, you have to surrender a little freedom. It's shameful that everybody's answer to that isn't an automatic, affronted 'no.'

HJ JEREMY said...

There is a good chance those that would be search on the subways of NYC are FOREIGNERS. The U.S. Constitution does not apply to them. Madison was refering to AMERICA CITIZENS when he wrote the phrase "the people," which is found several times in the Constitution. Whatever the case, to quote a famous jurist, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact.