Tuesday, August 16, 2016

In Which Bulletman Gives Me an Excuse to Criticize the Supreme Court

Checking out the Bulletman story from Master Comics #8!

Hmmmm... this was before he dumped that scarf, which I think is just asking for trouble.  Why put something around your own neck if you know you're going to be in high-conflict situations?  Not only could you catch it on something as you flew past it, there's also the issue of some bad guy grabbing it.  I guess someone thought it was a better idea than a cape, and I guess it is but not by much.


"My fists are my warrant" is considered a valid warrant in most of the United States these days.  I mean, not officially, but it practically is.  The United States Supreme Court has made some really horrible rulings over the past couple of years.  Police can pretty much hassle you for any reason or no reason at all and it'll stick unless you can show some pattern of malice on their part.

See, once upon a time we kept police officers honest because if they didn't follow proper procedure, then you could get the illegally obtained evidence kept out of court.  Oh, but not any more.

The case of Hein v. North Carolina involved an officer pulling a motorist over who the officer mistakenly thought violated a law... but the officer was mistaken because the officer was ignorant of the law, which is his responsibility to know.  But the Supreme Court said (and I may be paraphrasing here), "Hey, shit happens," and allowed a conviction based on the illegally-obtained evidence to stand.

Oh, but it got better.

This year, in the case of Utah v. Strieff, the Supreme Court went one step further and pretty much ruled that "fishing" for evidence, which was once a no-no, is now perfectly okay as long as the fishing is successful.  So, if a cop stops you without reasonable suspicion but then determines you had some old warrant, then anything goes.  

What's to stop the police from just stopping everyone?  Well, if you can prove "systematic and recurrent police misconduct," or "proof that the cops do this as a matter of course" (good luck with that), then you might be able to get evidence discovered during the course of an illegal search suppressed.  Otherwise, the cops have no incentive not to hassle you without probable cause.  Welcome to 21st Century American Criminal Justice, folks!

Like George Carlin said, "Rights aren't rights if someone can take them away from you.  They're privileges.  And that's what we have, a Bill of Temporary Privileges."

But getting back to Bulletman:

Okay, why did Susan have a bottle of ammonia in her purse?  That's a very random thing to have and they never explained it.  Maybe she was germ-phobe.  This story did come out before hand sanitizer was all over the place.

But one thing about Susan...

... she ain't no shrinking violet.  I think what she meant to say was, "Won't you ever stop long enough for me to know who you are?", but what she ended up saying is a polite way of... well, I'm saying this for the version of my non-American readers, but this is actually a euphemism for sharing a sexual experience with someone.  You could probably say, "I'd like to get to know you," and it wouldn't be taken that way, but that particular choice of words has told us all kinds of things about Susan.  She was quite the forward lady, considering the era.

See you tomorrow!


Cflmaior said...

Actually the expression was known even before anyone set foot upon Plymouth Rock:
"And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them." Genesis, 19:5

Adam Barnett said...