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The Dangers of Bad Humor, Cell Phones, and the Patriot Act.

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by casekonly, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. casekonly

    casekonly Veteran Member

    Joined: Aug 6, 2002 Messages: 8,264 Likes Received: 5
    The Dangers of Bad Humor, Cell Phones, and the Patriot Act.

    By: Toby Vest

    "At 4 am I was suddenly awakened by a dark figure standing at the foot of my bed, shining a light directly in my eyes, practically burning holes in my retinas. Still half asleep, I was barely able to comprehend what was taking place but eventually I realized the person in my room was a cop."

    I've always been the kind of guy who likes a good conspiracy theory and over the last few years more than a few of my friends have said I get more and more paranoid every day. Maybe I’m destined to end up a frazzled, paranoid, shut in who locks his refrigerator and has an escape hatch in the basement but the events that transpired at my house a few weeks ago have me a little worried. But before I get into the details of that let's begin at the beginning.

    The place where I live has become a sort of commune as of late. My brother and another friend, Brad, have recently moved in to my already cramped two bedroom house. If you add the amount of friends that seem to invade the house and you have quite a bit of traffic coming and going. Not exactly the best image to give the neighbors in a college neighborhood. Not to mention the front windows of our house are boarded up but that will come later.

    So at about 10 pm a couple of weeks ago Brad was having a phone conversation and the topic turned to politics. In the midst of this conversation, the person on the other end of Brad's phone call expressed her desire to vote for President Bush, which understandably sparked a heated reaction from my friend.

    He immediately sprang from his seat and began rapidly pacing around the room, his breathing getting heavy, and when she paused he exploded. "Are you retarded?" Brad screamed. "No intelligent human being could possibly want to vote for that man. His administration has single-handedly disgraced everything the United States stands for and it's only been four years. Imagine what they'll do with four more."

    According to Brad, his friend then proceeded to explain that her pro-life stance simply wouldn't allow her to vote for anyone else.

    "So what you're telling me," Brad responded, "is that you can forget all the other horrible aspects of Bush's agenda for the sake of one issue?"

    The person on the other end continued talking and then Brad lost it again.

    "I’ll think the best way to end this is just to assassinate the president and get it over with," he said. "That way we wouldn't even have to talk about it anymore."

    Brad, as well as everyone else in range of the conversation, let out a torrent of laughter and the conversation continued for a while longer and as Brad settled down we went about the rest of our evening. Or so we thought.

    At 4 am I was suddenly awakened by a dark figure standing at the foot of my bed, shining a light directly in my eyes, practically burning holes in my retinas. Still half asleep, I was barely able to comprehend what was taking place but eventually I realized the person in my room was a cop.

    "Excuse me officer," I said rubbing my eyes, "what's going on?"

    Apparently my brother woke up to a loud banging on the window in his room and when he got up to check it out, he saw two cops and went to the door. As soon as he opened it, the cops started in on him. The beams of their flashlights darted past my brother hoping to catch a glimpse of something, anything that could be used as another reason to enter the house.

    "Sir, are you the owner of this house?” the first cop asked forcefully, without giving my brother the time to answer. “There was a hang up 911 call placed from this address and we need to come in and check it out.”

    "What do you mean," my brother asked, "we don't even have a phone line, all cell phones here."

    "Well maybe it was the security system," said the second cop.

    "That doesn't even work," my brother countered.

    "Well, it's procedure to check and do a walk through after a hang up 911 call," the first cop responded, "So we're coming in."

    My brother, not knowing what to do, moved aside and the pair of cops entered the house and proceeded to go into every room of the house, hands perched atop their gun holsters.

    “Oh, they're musicians,” the second cop said to the other, explaining the boarded up windows.

    Soon the walk through was over, they bid us good evening and unable to fully grasp what had just occurred, I immediately fell back into a deep slumber.

    In the morning when I woke I began thinking about the events of the previous night and a strange chill came over me but before long this chill became a slow burning rage. I failed to understand why the cops had entered my house. I may have committed some minor traffic offenses in my life but I am certainly not a dangerous person and by no means did any thing to warrant a search of my residence at 4 am.

    And then it dawned on me: the phone conversation between Brad and his friend, most importantly the words "assassinate the president" had been the reason for the mysterious appearance of the police the night before. You see, I practically live in the shadow of the University of Memphis and my neighborhood has a large number of international students, particularly students from the Middle East, and with the new loosened restrictions on the monitoring of cell phones conversations allowed by the U.S. Patriot Act, I surmised that Brad’s conversation had been monitored.

    It is truly the only explanation when you think about it. We have no phone line and an outdated, disabled security system so the cops’ explanations for coming to my house are completely made up. A Memphis Police Department officer, who preferred not to be included in this piece, stated that normal procedure for a 911 hang up call is to “call the number back,” and without a land line in our house and no calls received by any of our cell phones, the only conclusion is that they were listening. I’ve made several phone calls to city hall to try and obtain access to the 911 recording or to see a report of the 911 call and the dispatch record of the cops being sent to my address but have only been run in endless circles. So until then…

    I know most people are dismissing this story right now. I can hear the accusations of paranoia and lunacy being propelled at me as I type this but the naysayers didn’t live it, they’ll never understand.

    But what they should understand is this incident is the very reason the Patriot Act is a dangerous document. The Patriot Act has a very broad definition of terrorism and because of a phone conversation involving a joke, albeit a bad one, about killing the president, my house was subject to a random search at 4 a.m. While I’ve never been a fan of Bush, his cronies, or their policies, I really wouldn’t want to see him killed no matter how worthless I think he is. I’m not quite ready to detonate that karmic atom bomb but that doesn’t mean my friends and I don’t have the right to have a good laugh about it in the privacy of my own home. So the next time you’re on the phone remember to choose your words wisely or the next invasion might be of your home.

  2. Dick Quickwood

    Dick Quickwood 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 14,783 Likes Received: 14

    i wonder why they sent regular cops, because some other type of law enforcement personnel would be strange?
  3. reach.4

    reach.4 New Jack

    Joined: Nov 24, 2002 Messages: 0 Likes Received: 0
    that would be some frightening shit waking up to a cop poiting a flashlight in your eye
  4. casekonly

    casekonly Veteran Member

    Joined: Aug 6, 2002 Messages: 8,264 Likes Received: 5
  5. mental invalid

    mental invalid Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 11, 2001 Messages: 13,050 Likes Received: 8