Wednesday, March 26, 2008

radioactive cats

Danny Westneat, in the Seattle Times, has recently shared with the world, a most illuminating tale: a federal border agent told a group of citizens of an incident, where, “government now has the ability to detect radiation in a cat inside a car going by at 70 miles per hour.” A motorist was stopped and had his vehicle searched. There was radiation in his car. The source was a cat, which had had undergone medical treatment, three days prior. Apparently, we can assume, after this was satisfactorily ascertained, he was then free to go. Fortunate he.

Radiation lingers. When the cat has left the vehicle, there still would be radiation. How sensitive was, or can be in the future, the police detecting equipment? By accident, what if the police personnel were to be both overzealous and given to harshness and rudeness [read brutality]? The possibilities of cascading mistakes could be horrendous. Washington state is a calm place, what if Joe Motorist and his feline companion were negotiating a road outside Baghdad? What if a human, previous occupant, of two hundred pounds more in weight than the cat, were to have such medical treatment? Would not his larger, radiation signature linger?

In that article, the relating officer, was depicted, as rational and experienced, yet, he too, was worried about certain aspects of the new police powers, and so too the writer. If paranoia is active in the powers of the state, alongside such technological sophistication, are not our civil rights and freedoms endangered? There are criminal bandits, and would be assassins, wanting to do harm, there are also governmental forces willing to do other types of harm, constantly and thoroughly, and argue that their actions protect us from the other dangers.

The odds, that I, will encounter Osama and his comrades, whom are hiding in a central asian cave, are infinitesimally small. The odds, that, I can avoid the surveillance of the police and the state are smaller still.

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