A blog that used to be about things

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Debtors' Prisons

The best part about living in our panopticon, though, is how incompetent it is:

Wright came downstairs in his boxer shorts as a S.W.A.T team barged through his front door. Wright said an officer grabbed him by the neck and led him outside on his front lawn.

. . .

As it turned out, the person law enforcement was looking for was not there - Wright's estranged wife.

Of course, accidents like this must be allowed when S.W.A.T. teams are looking for public threats, right?

The U.S. Department of Education issued the search and called in the S.W.A.T for his wife's defaulted student loans.

Just call it a "learning experience."

UPDATE: Dale! Cristina! Where did your story go? Alas, much like an h in Cristina's name, we can pretend it was never there. Commenters at Randy Balko's blog found these two articles, though.

Thinking Corporately

I called attention to the phrase "think corporately" last post*, as I am obviously antagonistic to such an idea. Literally, the phrase can be benign, much like an enormous and unsightly growth protruding from your neck can be benign; you just might have to by slightly larger shirts. Anyway, here is a timely example of thinking corporately:

NBC lost about $200 million on the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and anticipates losing about $250 million on the 2012 Summer Games in London.

But that did not stop the new conglomerate of Comcast-NBC Universal from putting in a winning bid of $4.4 billion for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia; the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro; and the 2018 Winter and 2020 Summer Games, for which the host cities have not yet been determined.

*not really, but close enough.


In the middle of an article in the New Yorker about our wonderful panopticon, I see:

[General Michael Hayde, director of the NSA] then sent out an agency-wide memo, in which he warned that several “individuals, in a session with our congressional overseers, took a position in direct opposition to one that we had corporately decided to follow. . . .

Of course the decision was made "corporately." In 21st Century America, is there even an alternative to thinking corporately? Unorthodox vocabulary seems to be another trait of Men In Power (MIPs?):

Soon after he showed up, he says, Steven Tyrrell, the prosecutor, walked in and told him, “You’re screwed, Mr. Drake. We have enough evidence to put you away for most of the rest of your natural life.”

Mr. Drake will be a free cyborg, though. It is a tragedy, this failure of our legal system.