As technology makes possible availability and acceptance of "non-lethal" weapons, one also has to wonder about their impact on police practices and the exercise of civil liberties.
Penn State has one of the U.S. Navy's top civilian research facilities, where it's developing non-lethal weapons. But the government may be using the illusion of good intentions to mask its more pressing agenda.
Tasers have become a prevalent force tool, often used against individuals who pose no serious danger to themselves, the officers or others.
There's been a lot of buzz in the press about women's Taser parties. (They're like Tupperware parties, but sell C2 Tasers instead of plastic tubs.) These reports infuriate me.
When I wrote last week about the tasering of a student, I criticized Kerry's behavior during the incident. The post drew some strong reactions and I want to follow up.
What alarms me and the classmates I spoke with on campus today is the crackdown on students' free speech rights.
When people start to be hurt by the state for speaking out, dissent closes quickly and the shock chills opposition very, very fast.
Kerry should have gotten off the stage and told the cops to get the hell off that guy. It's not what a politician would do, but it's what a man would do.
Campus police and administrators can remove audience members who refuse to abide by reasonable rules, like time limitations on questions. But the problem here is obvious.
In the shadow of Virginia Tech, it is likely much more difficult on a college campus to make the difficult distinction between threatening actions and angry, but safe expression.
Our right to free speech remains. And that means you can be a nutso, annoying, know-it-all jerk. That student didn't cross any line that put him into illegal territory. Period.
You gotta love the glorious retro good-manners of the undergrad University of Florida crowd -- desperate for order over rancor, photo-ops over discourse . At any cost.