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Thursday, May 29, 2008

The cotton-eyed joe

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Climb aboard The Tejas, a civil-rights rollercoaster constructed on a daily basis from the remnants of the American Revolution.

First, the long haul up the hill: the Texas Supreme Court ruled today that the state's Child Protective Services overspent its authority allowance when it grabbed 400+ kids from the Yearning for Zion FLDS colony in Eldorado, Texas, agreeing with the appeals court that removing kids from their home is the most extreme solution, and the state had failed to exhaust its many other options under the law. The likely virtual enslavement of young women in the Warren Jeffs' sect still needs to be addressed, but today's rulings confirm that it'll have to happen under the color of the constitution. Iconoclastic, cliquish parents everywhere should rejoice. The story isn't over mind you, CPS will just have to actually build individual cases.

Then, the short drop: District 4 Councilman Philip Cortez unveiled a $50,000 expanded internet policing system at the public libraries that will shut down the one-half of one percent of you that were turning Japanese with the visual stimulation of the SAPL computers. The library folks assert, and the daily mindlessly repeats, that the methods -- a warning, followed by disconnection -- skirt First Amendment issues. So, we gather, if you have the option to surrender your First Amendment rights before the plug is pulled, no foul? I remain unconvinced, but I'll check back in with you tomorrow after I go to the library to research sexual slavery and blow-up dolls.

And the long fall: DA Susan Reed, police state envelope-pusher, was triumphal in her evaluation of Memorial Day weekend mandatory blood tests. No refusing the breathalyzer; a "warrant" obtained on the quick ensured that your blood could be drawn and tested against your will. More on the dubious legality of that later (the article notes that the TX Court of Criminal Appeals has approved the use of warrants to coerce blood samples from suspected drunken drivers, but as a defense attorny points out to the X-News, a warrant and a rubber stamp are not the same thing).

To rub salt in the wound, the daily published the name of a schoolteacher (who sounds like she's maybe having a rough personal time) who was pulled over, appeared inebriated, "refused to give a breath sample," and was forcibly tested. But, if we read the article correctly, the results weren't back before the article was published. No matter; her name appeared, along with her subsequent discipline at the hands of the school district (which alleges she showed up "seemingly intoxicated," and was issued a citation for public intoxication). Is the woman not entitled to some privacy until and if she's actually convicted?

Or maybe the E-N is practicing more of its conviction by imagination.

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