By Xeni Jardin at 2:56 pm Thu, Dec 31, 2009
...apropos of bloggers being bullied into parting with their hard drives: check out this nifty doormat, available at Target for 18 bucks and some change.
Ooh! I want one! Better yet, I want a doormat that actually has the text of the Fourth Amendment on it. If someone’s gonna violate my most basic, Constitutionally-protected civil liberties, I want them to have to literally wipe their feet on the Bill of Rights in order to do it.
I agree with you 100%, if you’re gonna violate my 4th amendment rights, you’re gonna have to literally walk on ‘em and photos or video of the mat in front of your door probably wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
I actually own a tote bag that has the 4th amendment printed on it. Though I’m not so sure I’ll carry it with me on my next flight, which is within a few days.
Yeah, sad but true, this could be seen by some bully-boy as provocation.
It’s sad that we think like that in America. I’m a tax-paying librarian, never touched any kind of illegal drugs in my life, enjoy a bit of hard cider maybe twice a year, never been involved in any crime more serious than some unpaid parking tickets. But I’m worried about what my doormat might say to tick off a cop on a power trip.
Mind you, I’ve politely refused to hand over security tapes to local police at my library, been part of the ALA (rabble-rousing intellectual freedom advocates) and supplied all sorts of dangerous books to children and adults alike. So maybe I am the great dark menace in the American heart?
Ah well, Happy New Year.
Nice doormat! I love the looks and responses I get from cops who just assume everyone will let them trample their civil rights just because they have a gun. My 2 personal favorite responses from cops I denied unlawful searches…
1. Cop: Don’t you want to help the war on terror? Me: How does you searching my car for no reason help the war on terror?
2. Cop: Our dog smelled something in your car. Can we search your car? Me: I was standing right here, and I heard the other cop tell you the dog didn’t find anything. If the dog had found anything, you wouldn’t have to ask me to search my car. That would be the probable cause that you don’t have. (I then made the mistake of relenting to their ridiculous search, and they repaid me by removing EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE SEATS from my car and leaving them on the side of the highway at 2am. I was young, and that was the 1st and last time I ever consented to a search. It was also the night I learned to never trust anything that comes out of a cop’s mouth.)
Isn’t “Warrant” a common surname in the US?
If the authorities had any sense of humor…
Better yet, build/buy a BITCHIN’ electromagnet upon which you will rest your laptop/hard drive, and backup to DVDs stored in your Disney DVD packaging.
A violation of the fourth amendment requires an equal and opposite reaction with the make my day law.
This was really silly – shooting the messenger, sort of. So someone can walk in the White House and fool around and nobody says nothin’ and these guys who talked about an unclassified manual get busted.
Police do have a lot of latitude in what’s considered to be probable cause to search without a warrant. A great number of the reasons can be entirely on the word of the officer. If they smell pot smoke, hear shouting or other commotion.
Most wouldn’t bother, but I feel sorry for someone who does use this doormat, and winds up with the nosy, dishonest type at their door. =P
Growing up in Mississippi, it was routine for cops to take a refusal of a request to search as probable cause. And the courts would uphold it.
I knew it was a fucking joke, even as a kid. Still, I’d use the doormat. If they tried that shit with me now, I’d know which lawyers to call.
That’s exactly why I store copies of information that I want to keep confidential on a server outside of the US. Mirroring my hard drives only provides a copy of Windoze and not much else.
Reminds me of the Simpson’s episode where Flanders moves and the new neighbor’s doormat reads:
“Ring bell for free ass kicking.”
Oh, and never reveal, offer, or otherwise agree to give up information to a police officer, appraiser, insurance salesperson, or IRS agent that isn’t necessary contrary to what is legally required.
Love it! I’m afraid, however, that I reside in Long Beach, CA; our police force is notorious ~ any officer who noticed this might very take it as a challenge.
I’m only half-joking, sadly.
*might very well..* I left a word out.
My husband is a warrant officer for the army. So this mat is perfect.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to spend the money on making the points of entry physically police-proof? Presumably there are doors (and windows?) out there which can stand up to standard-issue battering rams.
@ROSSINDETROIT #15 That’s proper policing. The problem to the neighbours was the loud music, not the pot smoking.
See, this is the discussion my wife and I get into every time we watch COPS. COPS, by the way, is a great multi-part documentary on the stupidity of the common American adult.
Anyway, most of the argument centers around what happens whenever there’s a traffic stop on the show. Usually, the law enforcement on the show will ask the driver of the vehicle “Where are you coming from?” or “Where are you going to?” Sometimes, it’s “Where do you live?” or “Why are you in this area?” None of which serve to fulfill what the courts have said is your legal obligation to identify yourself when questioned by law enforcement. The argument begins when I suggest to my wife that my answer to any of those questions would be, “None of your business, officer.”
This, of course, would be enough “probable cause” for law enforcement to detain me and search my vehicle.
True story: In college I was at a friend’s house in the afternoon getting ready for a party and blasting music. A cop appeared at the wide open door and politely knocked. She calmly handed a brochure on East Lansing’s noise policy to my friend, who had an ounce of weed and Zig Zags in plain view on a Frisbee in his other hand. That was in 1980. I’d discourage anyone from expecting that outcome today.
I would love this so much more if it were written in nice, friendly, cursive letters.
Also available from Amazon
Or in the style of an embroidered sampler.
Ah, but in this American climate isn’t the doormat itself probable cause? Sigh…
That’s 99.9% of why I don’t want it for real.
The .1% is my semblance of do-right re: not spending money on stupid^H^H^H^H^H whimsical crap.
It is probable cause, as is possession of a U.S. Constitution.
Might be hard to track down members of that band. Can you re-use a member of Warrant?
“They provoked us with that welcome mat. We HAD to break the door down.”
Or maybe the police would break down the door then throw the welcome mat in the dumpster as a way of hiding evidence.
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