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My Squashed Posting # 1

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Regarding this post:

The following was intended to be included in a conversation in the comment section of the Times Leader newspaper article Brown releases video of WB traffic stop connected to racial profiling complaint. Unfortunately my posting was "detected as spam" and removed from public view.

Nnnnnnaaaargh!!

Web capture of part of my posting at the Times Leader.

I don't know that it's any good or that you care even if it is -- it's just another one of a billion online comments at a newspaper's website. The point is, I wrote it and the Times Leader squashed it.

Taking the trouble to re-post it on the web for such a one-time squashing might seem irrational, but the Times Leader keeps deleting my posts. So now, I am making a point to inject my stupid rants pointedly whenever they do this. This posting represents the first of what I hope does not become a series because that is both sad, as it is important for me to do.

You can read my blog entry about this issue right here.

Start of Actual Squashed Comment:

I just posted a comment suggesting that all anyone needed to do was fetch the Yahoo mail app instead of the Gmail one - and how suspicious I was of either side, for different reasons, that that never happened or was suggested. After that I found and read the actual complaint and saw where she in fact was trying to but got distracted by the rest of the interactions at hand.

But now, having read that complaint, I have less sympathy for her position. The entire complaint is great as a venting device, and I hope that she feels better for having done so. But point for point, her logic doesn't make any sense in terms of incriminating the police or absolving her or her family.

The laundry list is long but some things stand out. At the very top of matters is just sloppy car ownership and readiness for a basic pull-over event. It isn't hard to make sure before you leave the house that a car's paperwork, even if it is temporary, is well in order.

If you want the raw unbridled truth, sure, there could be a cluster of racist cops who hate her because of who she is, and the unpolished assertiveness that she exerts, just being herself. Any single one of them might have known for days or weeks that she was driving around with a suspended license plate, or that people in her family had suspended licenses, or what not. All of this foreknowledge might easily have been used to organize what looked like a random drive-by with a license-plate-scanner equipped patrol car. Throw in some common short-range FRS radios between a few officers, or maybe text messages between private phones, or maybe just some quiet talk around some officer's backyard home swimming pool - and yeah, the whole thing might be the nightmare conspiracy with a racist bent that she imagines. It's not impossible, it happened once in Tampa, Florida -- though in that case it was lawsuit shenanigans driving it all, not racism.

It is for exactly that possibility, not to mention the mere standard civility of it all to the extent that any of us can live up to that, to make sure basic car administration is perfect. Even just having one of the items on that infraction platter might have been fine, but whole litany among everyone? Come on. A suspended license, a suspended tag, no proof of insurance, and warrant of all things?

She's making too much of her case on abstract notions of what everyone's motivations must have been. Then there are the appointed affronts to common sense about what she seems to view as legitimate excuses.

Her daughter is afraid of and upset by the conditions of the Luzerne County jail, for example. Why does that perception of the jail, which to some is actually meant to BE an uncomfortable place, justify breezily negating a warrant upon what is presumably random contact with the police? If Duggins-M really thinks that a warrant lends itself to the most discretionary of options, I can see how this would be enraging. But warrants generally are not matters of discretion, and even when they may be, "I am not comfortable with being in jail" is definitely not a pivot in the argument. I shouldn't have to finish this paragraph with a cliche example, but I guess that I will: If the police happen upon a bank robber leaving the bank, they can't let the bank robber go just because the bank robber remembers a time there was some snafu in prison over the dispensation of his cough medicine, or whatever.

But all that a given, what is the actual jail time for someone who gets picked up on a bench warrant over driving administration stuff anyway? Isn't that like a few hours in the afternoon and a $100 bail -- if even? I know it's certainly an inconvenience, but my point is, it ain't so much to be drawing comparisons to time in Auschwitz.

She also doesn't seem able to parse that being a victim of administrative blunder doesn't mean the police in that situation don't have a job to do. I lost major opportunities because jailers didn't do their job once and put my name on the docket as a criminal. That was unfortunate and I had to deal with that mess for years. But were I arrested under any of the bogus warrants against me, I would have the intellectual and simply compassionate fortitude to not grumble about the "those damned jail clerks" than I would the officer trying to conduct a simple arrest and get him or herself home to dinner safely.

I notice that she tries to squeeze through an insinuation that she was forbidden from calling insurance companies. Now, it's true that the officer was trying to paint a picture of futility, probably more to get the process moving (all of this time and argument is "work" after all), but he didn't "prevent" her from doing so. If she wanted to truly help that particular aspect with her insurance out, she would have kept working to get that Yahoo or insurance app going instead of trying to "deal with multiple situations" that were largely not going to have different outcomes in her efforts to do so.

The entire complaint, or most of it, reads like a screeching letter to HR, with every single mistake of an HR letter composition one can make. It's tragic because she probably is a community target among people who don't like her kind. It is because of that that she has to play a sharper game and be less instigated. Negative in to get negative out is one the oldest playbook strategies against people. Pay fines, get the sloppy paperwork neat, and learn how to be a stronger less vulnerable agent, is my advice to her.

End of Actual Squashed Comment

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