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Comment: Re:If they were interested in upholding the law... (Score 1) 122

by Entropius (#46831949) Attached to: NYPD's Twitter Campaign Backfires

I am white, but two or three of the four cops were Hispanic, as is almost half of Tucson. (Many billboards are in Spanish, for instance: not only are there a lot of folks who speak the language, they are wealthy enough that it's worth selling them things.) That's why I included that coda about racial politics in Arizona to my post: it's a) the Border Patrol, and b) the nutters in Phoenix that make a habit of haranguing folks for "driving while Mexican"; the Tucson PD, keeping watch over a city with a large Hispanic population with a force comprised of many Hispanic people itself, tends to treat folks rather more fairly.

Comment: Re:If they were interested in upholding the law... (Score 2) 122

by Entropius (#46830333) Attached to: NYPD's Twitter Campaign Backfires

Good cop story: I was accosted by four cops in squad cars one night in Tucson about midnight. I'd gotten hungry and decided to go to the local burrito joint. I wanted to read while I was there, so I took my netbook. It was cold, so I jogged the few blocks to the Taco Shop.

'Course, the cops see a guy running down the road with a laptop, and go "huh, we'd better see what the hell is going on here."

Cop says "Eh, what're you doing?" I tell him I'm headed to the Taco Shop for a burrito, and ask him what the problem is. He says "Is that your computer?" I tell him "Yeah ... now that I think about it, I do look suspicious, I guess. Look, can I boot the thing and show you documents with my name on them, and that it matches my driver's license?"

The cop tells me to go ahead, so I do. He says "Well, looks like it's your computer -- have a nice night" and they leave me alone.

Unfortunately, in a lot of places trying to do what I did (talk to the cops, rather than say "I do not consent to any searches and would like a lawyer") ends badly. But Tucson PD is pretty relaxed. I just wish police in more places could be trusted to treat citizens like citizens rather than "criminals they haven't caught yet"; I imagine they'd be better at preventing crime if they did.

(For those not well-versed in Arizona geopolitics: the place with the out-of-control xenophobic sheriff is Phoenix, north of Tucson. There Hispanics are regularly harassed by the police. In Tucson a big chunk of the police *are* Hispanic; it's a city that is far more tolerant.)

Comment: Re:DUI checkpoints (Score 1) 407

by Entropius (#46823021) Attached to: Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

That's a weird law: smelling marijuana is reasonable suspicion of illegal activity which ought to trigger a search. Why, in this case, doesn't it? Smelling a decomposing corpse is reasonable suspicion, no?

It seems to be a tacit acknowledgement that marijuana prohibition is stupid but liked by Puritanical elements: "okay, we'll keep this illegal, to mollify you lot, but restrict how that is enforced." Why not just make the law consistent by getting rid of prohibition?

Comment: Re:Ban Affirmative Action (Score 3, Insightful) 358

It's funny: you say "anti-white", but in California at least it is strongly anti-Asian. There was a referendum that turned out much worse for affirmative action out there than expected because Asian voters, who are normally reliably Democratic-leaning, broke ranks with the party because affirmative action winds up screwing them over the worst.

Comment: Re:Not really needed anymore. (Score 4, Insightful) 358

It also makes teaching university classes very, very difficult -- when some of the students clearly don't have the background to be in university but are there anyway and in my class, how am I supposed to handle them? I could just assume that they have whatever background they really should have had, but I feel like if the university stuck 'em in my class there's some expectation I will do my best to help them. If I do that, though, I'm stuck explaining what a sine wave is to the affirmative action kid while the rest of the class is studying the effect of sample rate on the Nyquist cutoff. (It's a physics of music course.)

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