L. Neil Smith's
Number 235, August 24, 2003

The Dominoes Fell

What the #$@%???
by Francis A. Ney, Jr.

Exclusive to TLE

You have to wonder about the priorities of our police departments, particularly in New York and New Jersey.

9-11 notwithstanding, law enforcement in those areas have the reputation of being rude, overbearing, overzealous, and sorely lacking in fire discipline to put it mildly. One would think department brass would be concerned about things like official oppression, abuse of police powers, and crimes committed under color of authority, not to mention the enforcement of unconstitutional laws like USA PATRIOT, gun control, and the war on some drug users.

Instead, officials at The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police decided to get cranky over a TV show. Not just any TV show, but a show where five flaming poofs try to intravenously transfuse some fashion sense into a hopeless straight man. Yes, I'm talking about QueerEye For The Straight Guy. A recent victim of their attentions was a 29 year old PATH officer who was dating a model. Almost immediately upon broadcast, the wheels were set in motion to investigate the matter.

Now people who know me know I'm not exactly a cheerleader for cops in general, but this disturbs me. First Amendment issues aside, this doesn't even come close to the level of violations occuring on a daily basis that aren't even acknowleged, let alone investigated by whatever Internal Affairs whitewasher is lucky enough to get the job. Scrutinizing an officer for having the temerity to appear on a TV show without begging permission, and for horrors! associating with five known queers sends exactly the wrong message to the general public and to police officers about what "offenses" merit disciplinary action.

The late news is that the brass have decided clear this officer. I'm still wondering why the question even came up. These officers are enforcing unconstitutional laws on a daily basis. That's an issue more worthy of their time.

Frank is a freelance computer consultant and professional gadfly. His main hobbies are guns, computers, ham radio and libertarian politics. He lives in West Virginia, along with his SO of eight years, a number of horses, an aging wolfdog and a cat that thinks he has 6 legs. He occasionally entertains antlered rats (aka whitetail deer), foxes, turkeys, woodpeckers and pheasant just because they show up for the free food. When he can he volunteers with the local fire department as an EMT.

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