Call the police; voter ID

voter_IDI’ve been pondering this topic pretty much since I got booted from jury duty on a trial for a police officer who had allegedly been assaulted.

Yes, I DO think being part of the police is inherently much more dangerous than what I do, what most people do. And it’s not just going after the bad guys, such as when two Los Angeles cops were killed during a shooting spree. I found recent cases where they were targeted rather disturbing, such as the New York City cops assaulted by a hatchet-wielding man.

You may have heard about Eric Frein, a survivalist who is accused of shooting and killing a Pennsylvania State Police officer, Bryon Dickson, and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass in an ambush September 12 outside the Blooming Grove state police barracks in Pike County, PA. He has fortunately been captured, seven weeks later. What you may not have read about is the man who was repeatedly mistaken for Frein. His allegation of rough treatment, unfortunately, rang true with me.

I was oddly happy to see a local cop acting badly, and the citizen involved being white. That’s because it removes the racial stereotypes; you’ll still see them in the comments to the video. That cop has resigned. Saratoga County, BTW, is one of the more well-to-do counties in the state, certainly in the Albany metro area.

This will tie in, eventually: a friend sent me an article Texans Slam Voter ID Law: ‘Now That It’s Happened To Me, I’m Devastated’. An “84-year-old grandmother who lives in an assisted-living facility in Austin, Texas, has voted in every major election in her life since she became eligible. But ..she couldn’t get the right identification…” Women who have ID under different names are particularly vulnerable.

“Critics of the law estimated that up to 750,000 people in Texas wouldn’t have sufficient ID and would need to get an election certificate to vote. Yet between June 2013 and the week leading up to Tuesday’s midterms, only 371 certificates had been issued…” Since these IDs are expensive, the purchase of same would amount to a poll tax, which is in violation of the 24th Amendment to the US Constitution.

The linkage here is that people often are oblivious to the wrongs that take place, sometimes under the presumption of legal authority, and believe it’s no big deal, until it affects them personally. My friend was really ticked about this in the voter ID case. I tend to think that it’s just human nature to think a problem is “theirs”, until it becomes “yours.”