Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Not in my Backyard!

Torture is in the news a lot these days, and the news items often include such high ranking officials as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. If it weren't downright scary, it would be laughable to hear a supreme court justice reference a fictional television show when discussing the constitutional merits of torture. But then, discussing should we be discussing the constitutionality of torture at all? I don't think the point of a governing document is to look for loopholes that allow us to do questionable things. I think we would be much better served if Justice Scalia were to stick to imagining one of his own nine children as the terror suspect to be interrogated. It's so much easier to ignore the torture of other people's kids.

In fact, it's becoming easier to ignore other people's children all the time. It might take a village to raise a child, but that village no longer includes some shopkeepers in England. First tested in Wales the Mosquito emits an annoying, high-frequency sound that for the most part, only younger people can hear. The device has proved successful at disbursing gangs of hoodlum teenagers from harassing people in front of shops with the device installed, so they can, I suppose, go harass people in front of shops that don't have such a device. Ironically, the shop owner where the device was tested had planned to install a system that would broadcast classical music in front of his store, a tactic also known to disperse teenage gangs, while also introducing them to the likes of Bach and Mozart. However, the shopkeeper had never gotten around to it, and in fact, did nothing until the maker of the Mosquito gave him a device in order to test it. So by doing nothing, he's found a way to continue ignoring these teens, now with technology on his side.

I wonder where those hoodlum teenagers are now? Perhaps they're busy becoming terror suspects.