The bills recently introduced at the General Assembly — which would give state police the right to get personal telephone, credit, and bank information without a warrant or court review — is a very, very scary idea. We must have missed it when Alberto Gonzales was named honorary chief of our staties.
Naturally, the legislative sponsors and the police say they don’t want warrant-less searches of everything from what home videos you’ve watched to what you had for breakfast this morning. No, no, just Internet-related info, they say.
P&J believe this is total bullshit, and we see it as a deprivation of individual rights. It’s going down the road of the Dubya administration’s penchant for arrests without charge or the ability to retain a lawyer. A number of local and national privacy experts share our view, and we hope that enough members of Halitosis Hall rise up on their hind legs to defeat this chilling legislation.
One of the most frightening lines heard during the discussion over these bills, as reported in the Other Paper, came from Corporal John Killian, the computer crime expert for the state police: “There’s a balance between privacy and police authority. The current situation is weighted too far on the side of privacy.” Sweet Jesus, if all our “police authorities” believe this, we are in serious trouble.
Those loud sounds you hear are the Founding Fathers whirring like lathes in their graves.
In light of the ridiculously contrived vote to change the state Constitution to usher in casino gambling, here are a few thoughts that have been whirling around Casa Diablo.
First off, kudos to all those media outlets that will, no doubt, reap a huge windfall from the propaganda machines on both sides.
We’ve been thinking about the gambling that is already rampant in our state (Keno, scratch cards, the VLTs at Newport and Lincoln), and it reminded us of another amusement — prostitution — that comes under the heading of vice. Keno, scratch cards, and VLTs are the low end of gambling, sort of like street hookers. Now some high-class call girls (Harrah’s and the Narragansetts’ casino) want to horn in on the action. Don “Laughing Boy” Carcieri, who claims to be opposed to vice, has been a primary force in expanding our street hooker brigades. So he’s a hypocrite.
The Narragansett tribe, whose culture and history would seem to indicate oneness with nature and an impressive spiritual basis, are also hypocrites, because they want to run a stable of high-class call girls. The legislature, party to all of this, is just your basic whore for sale. Isn’t Vo Dilun a lovely little state?
A very special tip of the sombrero to Senate president Joe Montalbano, who is already under fire for his inadvertency. We suspect that his desire to have another Nawt Prov boy, Ralph Mollis, get the party nod for secretary of state may have encouraged him to rally Senate support for the stupid casino bill.
Oh yes, we’re pompous and presumptuous little asses, but we say, vote for deRamel and, like so many times before, let’s figure a way to get rid of the latest model of “leadership” in the General Assembly. We’ve been on the beat for only 26 years, and Halitosis Hall has a long history of going putrid. From Harry “Painting Boy” Curvin, Rocco’s Robots, Milkshake Matty and the Prince of Darkness to Johnny Hardwood, they never disappoint with their petty power grabs. That’s our little tirade for the week.