By on July 30, 2011

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever. —O’Brien, in “1984”.

O’Brien was wrong. The picture of the future is a picture of you: completely naked, with your privacy invaded, taken as you walk along the street, sit in your own vehicle, or pursue your own private business. You will be recorded forever, your movements will be marked, your possessions will be noted, you will become completely subservient to a government you may not even remember electing. Eventually, you may die of cancer, moaning out a final cry of drug-addled defiance as you are culled — in a quite humane fashion, of course — to prevent excessive healthcare costs.

The company helping to bring you the above future is called, without irony, “American Science and Engineering, Inc.”

What you see above is supposedly one of the photographs returned by the “Z Backscatter Van”. The “ZBV” can be driven anywhere a regular light-duty truck can be driven. It creates backscatter X-Ray images similar to those employed by the TSA in its “nudie booth” airport scanners. It’s the only image of human beings released by AS&E, Inc, which assured Forbes magazine that the images collected by the ZBV were of “lower resolution” than those collected by the airport scanners, which are already infamous for delivering precise pictures of your naked body to a $12-an-hour drone in an office somewhere.

As far as photos go, one couldn’t ask for one more deliberately deceptive. The humans in the photo are seated, facing away from the camera. It’s a low-res JPG. Given the almost pornographic delight with which AS&E displays photos of the Z Backscatter Van’s imaging capabilities in other areas — it’s detailed enough that one can easily distinguish the type of vehicle in the no-person-shown photos — it’s a virtual certainty that it can, in fact, record with more detail than the company lets on. Check this photo out:

Now comes the best part. The public has, by and large, accepted backscatter machines in airports because “it would take 50 backscatter images to deliver the radiation of a single chest X-ray” and “if you choose not to fly, you have nothing to worry about.” Don’t forget the old chestnut “the images are not stored, nor are they related to specific individuals.” All of that goes out the window with the ZBV. If you work a hotdog stand and the ZBV circles your block ten times a day, congratulations! You just got an extra 60 full-strength X-rays a year. Hope that hotdog stand has health insurance. And, of course, the ZBV isn’t bound by any silly rules about storing or correlating images. It can record as long as you have hard drives to hold the images, and you’re free to take visual-spectrum photos at the same time and correlate them.

My friend Miss Melisa Mae wouldn’t have to reach out at dinner and check her dates’ equipment anymore; oh no. It will be possible for her to purchase a short list of men who meet her lengthy qualifications. (For the record, Melisa, I just wasn’t out walking the day the vans went by.) You’d better hope that your hobbies are acceptable, now and in the future. Don’t take your shotgun to the trap shoot the day some minor Congressman is in town! You’ve just become a terrorist. Don’t buy too much fertilizer for your McMansion! Do you carry two laptops in your car, one for work and one for home? Maybe you’re a “hacker”. Don’t leave a glucose checker in the car as you interview for a new job; your potential employer may have no interest in diabetics.

No doubt many TTACers won’t have a problem with this. They may point out that most of us have already been forced to show our genitalia to strangers by agencies as diverse as one’s public school and/or the Nolet Distillery. This isn’t about sexuality, however. It’s about privacy, the Fourth Amendment, and the right to be secure against unwarranted, health-endangering search. Speaking personally, after being “randomly selected” seven times in a row for the airport scanner at CMH, I’ve started opting out. I tell the TSA people that if they want to see me naked, they have to do it like everybody else and listen to me play John Mayer’s “Wheel” on the acoustic guitar first.

The vans cost $850,000 or thereabouts. Hundreds have been sold, to customers as diverse as the Department of Defense and small-town law enforcement agencies. The NYPD is one of AS&E’s thrilled customers. Next time you’re in Manhattan, don’t forget to smile — and, er, stand up — for the camera.

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108 Comments on “The Truck That Invades Your Privacy, Photographs Your Genitalia, Records The Photograph For Posterity, And May Cause You To Die Of Cancer...”


  • avatar
    morbo

    Wahh wahh,wahh. The big bad gubment is taking naughty pictures of you while you drive / walk / fark. Meanwhile the majority of you drones willingly tell all your life details to some 26 year old pimply faced billionaire without nary a thought of privacy.

    The world’s a dangerous place. If the masses don’t want these trucks that’s fine. Just stop asking the government to do everything possible to keep you safe and accept that freedom from screening means less security.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The next time I’m in the US I must remember to embroider some choice words into my undergarments with metal thread.

    Stuff like this makes me shake my head. The causes of crime an terror are almost always poverty, an yet millions are spent on stuff like this, rather than helping people get to the state where they wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

    It’s like spending billions on prisons or the military without a second thought, but arguing over every penny for education, healthcare and aid.

    • 0 avatar

      The causes of crime an terror are almost always poverty,

      Do I really have to list all the jihadis who have come from middle class backgrounds and were educated as doctors and engineers? Rantisi, Zawahari and others. Hamas has practically made a medical specialty called doctors of death. It certainly wasn’t poverty that made Dr. Nidal Hassan gun down all those soldiers at Ft. Hood.

      Revolutions don’t come from the numb and the dumb, they come from the educated elites.

      As for funding education, in the US education receives massively more dollars than the military.

      • 0 avatar
        serothis

        “As for funding education, in the US education receives massively more dollars than the military.”

        wrong. US military defense this year will get a budget of $768.2B
        department of education will get $78.2B for pre-k through secondary education.

      • 0 avatar
        Kabayo

        “As for funding education, in the US education receives massively more dollars than the military.”

        Correct.

        The Federal Dept of Education (an unconstitutional agency) may have a budget 78.2 Billion, but the actual legal and constitutional State and local education budgets amount to many times that figure.

        “School districts had total expenditures of approximately $596.6 billion in 2007–08, including about $506.8 billion in current expenditures for public elementary and secondary education. Of the remaining expenditures, nearly $65.8 billion was spent on capital outlay, almost $15.7 billion on interest payments on debt, and $8.3 billion on other programs (including programs such as community services and adult education, which are not a part of public elementary and secondary education).”

        SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). Digest of Education Statistics, 2010 (NCES 2011-015), Table 188 and Chapter 2 .

        http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66

        If you add in private elementary and secondary education, plus all higher education, I am confident you will get a total which far exceeds the Pentagon’s 2008 budget.

        BTW, I am not defending the Pentagon’s bloated budget, nor any of its missions.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        As for funding education, in the US education receives massively more dollars than the military.

        For one, that doesn’t include special allocations, like, eg, the ones used to fund Iraq. Two, all that proves is that the United States sucks at public institutions, especially when government support is half-hearted. We already know this vis a vis how incredibly badly America does in terms of healthcare,despite spending (between private and public spending) versus the rest of the world. That education suffers from the same sad state of affairs is entirely unsurprising.

      • 0 avatar

        Kabayo,

        Thanks for clarifying that. I’d bet that even in the 1950s and 1960s when the defense budget was about 8% of GDP (about twice what it now) in total we spend more on schools than on defense.

        The folks who think in bumper sticker slogans (“Wouldn’t it be nice if the Pentagon had to hold bake sales and schools got billions?”) are so caught up in expanding the size and scope of the federal government that they don’t realize that in the US, education has always been controlled and funded at the local and state levels. I can vote against a school board member, I can’t do anything to hold a Dept. of Education bureaucrat accountable.

        Abolish the Dept. of Education? Oh my. But what about the Manhattan Project? Oh, right, there was no cabinet level Dept. of Education in the 1940s. Well, then, what about NASA and the Apollo program? Oops, again, no Dept. of Education in the 1960s. Okay, well what about computers, like Eniac. Again, decades before the Dept. of Education started sucking up dollars in 1981.

        If the federal Dept. of Education is so vital, how did we survive and thrive as a country without it for the first 205 years of our existence?

      • 0 avatar
        serothis

        well I guess we really need to define defense. Are we including the war on drugs/terror? because then we would have to include the $15.5B ONDCP budget; $8.1B TSA budget; all the state’s drug war budgets.

        I’m not saying that our education budget isn’t over blown and poorly utilized but but how is $596.6 > $768.2B. private schools are a direct decision of the parents. The over inflated pentagon and eductaion budgets are not a direct decision of taxpayers.

      • 0 avatar
        wstarvingteacher

        Retired as a teacher a year ago. Did a study for one of our in-services. From our establishment as a country until 1964 the state and local govts ran education w/o hardly any interference. In adjusted dollars the cost per student was virtually unchanged from the turn of the century. As the feds became involved the cost skyrocketed. I can vote out the superintendent or a school board member. I can’t vote out a supreme court justice or federal bureaucrat. Education shouldn’t cost what it does. Our always present federal govt ensures that it does. The start of Orwell’s 1984 was in Johnson’s 1964. A lot of it seemed like a good idea at the time. Who knew? BTW the DOE is probably not unconstitutional but except for doling federal dollars IMHO it is unneeded.

      • 0 avatar
        steeringwithmyknees

        those well-educated, middle class jihadis rise to power on the backs of people suffering massive poverty.

        as for the education vs military spending comment… ill just say that is a ridiculous comment.

        in my household, we spend far more on educational costs than cars (two post graduate students), one of those is an investment that will return many times over the cost we are paying now. The other is a necessary, but costly expense. Further, figuring out how to pay less for one will not equal paying more for the other (although i do realize this is not always the choice everyone else would make)

        Educating people will, in the long run, always return more value than killing them.

        And to those who say we did without a Dept of Ed in the past, you are correct, however we also did not educate major portions of our society (the disabled) or the education we did provide was a sad joke (minorities). Further, most education research is funded by the Dept of Ed. This is one of the many fields of endeavor where research itself was non-existent. If you don’t understand the value of research (as i am sure some of you will come up with ridiculous examples of research to prove that research as a whole is not worthwhile), I am not taking the time to try to enlighten you.

        once again, the B and B is proving that if the conversation turns from cars to politics, a new name should be adopted.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Gordon

        “Do I really have to list all the jihadis who have come from middle class backgrounds and were educated as doctors and engineers?”

        Quite right, but it’s a trait not limited to Jihadis, non-arab terrorists like Pol Pot, Menachem Begin and Selvarasa Pathmanathan were all well educated men. There are and were plenty more that were as dumb as a donkey though.

      • 0 avatar
        windswords

        That’s the total figure I heard on education too – abut 600 billion. That doesn’t include private education costs like the ones our elected officials use.

        Since the Great Society and the war on poverty we have spent multiple trillions of dollars on programs to combat poverty. In the 60’s the poverty rate was 14%. Today it is 14.3%. We would never accept this kind of failure from a business.

        Since the Dept of Education was created, the feds have spent 2.3 (or is it 2.6) TRILLION dollars on education. NOT ONE metric of education (reading comprehension, math, writing, grammar, science, test scores etc.) has improved.

      • 0 avatar

        @Ronnie Schrieber, 5:41pm: Agreed & Well-Spotted.
        IMO The lowest class of people, by a Mile, I’ve ever met is the Sanctimonious, Political, and Extreme. -Worse than armed robbers. Worse than even finance guys.

        At least with finance guys, what you see is what you get; screwing people is kinda their business and they don’t really try to cover that up with PC BS.

        Look for a thousand footsoldier grunts and leading them from afar in a tactical dive-bar full of PBR & off-hours Americal Apparel models, will be the biggest whining self-important Stalinizing Narcissist gash you could possibly imagine in 10 lifetimes.

        Che himself was more whiny, emo hipster narcissist dou**ebag than anything else.

        His fans might as well all wear an Osama Bin Laden hoodie to go with that iconic T-shirt while listening to Tom Morello piss and moan.

        +And just like TM, it’s *ESPECIALLY* the ideologically-SELF-appointed-elites of governmental philosophy; none of the psychological maturity, 10x the whining, and 4x the snobbery.

        Dou**ebag Elites, indeed. Preach on, Brothah!!!

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      I apologize in advance for a long comment on an article with such a weak relation to cars. If the equipment in question hadn’t been installed on a motor vehicle it wouldn’t have made this website in the first place.

      The photo on top is obviously a load of illegal immigrants hiding in a truckload of ‘innocent’ cargo. No business being here, no expectation of privacy. While you’re at it, crank the beam up to 11. The bottom is of a car containing possible contraband, probably at a border crossing. They may be down pillows, or they could be bales of drugs. Enough reason to have the driver open the trunk for a closer look. If the car in the photo is embarrassed I can’t tell.

      There are people who have dedicated their lives to killing us. There are people who make their living selling drugs. There are others who want to be here because they don’t like where they are and don’t care about our rules on the subject. Now choose: no security, tight security, or weak ineffective feel-good security.

      “The causes of crime an terror are almost always poverty”: Actually most terrorists have come from middle-to-upper class backgrounds. Poverty (which is hard to define – most American poor have better standards of living than many countries’ middle class) used to be a motivator to strive to improve oneself. Now it’s an excuse. We spend more per pupil than anywhere else on the planet and get continually declining results, but continue to believe that more money will fix what it could not fix before. Aid (presumably foreign) hasn’t produced any positive results beyond the Marshall Plan (& its Japanese equivalent).

      • 0 avatar
        Mike the Dog

        “The photo on top is obviously a load of illegal immigrants hiding in a truckload of ‘innocent’ cargo. No business being here, no expectation of privacy. While you’re at it, crank the beam up to 11. The bottom is of a car containing possible contraband, probably at a border crossing. They may be down pillows, or they could be bales of drugs. Enough reason to have the driver open the trunk for a closer look.”

        You make a few assumptions here and totally ignore the fact that to catch these “criminals” (an assumption) Literally thousands of vehicles were randomly scanned. Have you ever heard of the Fourth Amendment? Let me quote it here as a refresher:
        “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
        This vehicle, like it or not, is a rolling illegal search. If you like security so much that you’re willing to surrender the RIGHTS that our forefathers died to protect, move to Russia, where having rights to be infringed upon won’t be an issue.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Some upper-echelon terrorists are middle and upper class. Most ground-pounders most certainly are not, and the upper-crust ones get the attitude they have (and worse, the power over others) from a feeling of collective disenfranchisement, and almost all are from “marginal” nations. The glaring examples of Ireland, Spain and Quebec—where a including, wealth and opportunity effectively extinguished terror, and the recent downturn in the two former is coming with an increase intension, should surprise no one.

        And then you have the near-linear tracking of poverty and crime. When people get poor, crime increases. This is “well, duh!” territory.

        This is basic human nature: push people to desperation and you ought not to be surprised when they lash out. The people in power don’t seem to understand this (even while, in the US and Europe, demagogues are yoking this very sentiment) and are surprised when the proles fight back speaks of either foolishness or a gross sense of entitlement.

        As for immigration, well, I personally don’t care. If you want to come to my country, if it were my choice, I’ll let you. I take “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” seriously. Why should mobility be a privilege of the wealthy, while the poor are stuck?

      • 0 avatar

        This is basic human nature: push people to desperation and you ought not to be surprised when they lash out.

        I’ll expect you to remember that the next time Americans or Israelis lash out.

      • 0 avatar

        Psar,

        Did you know that Canada imprisoned German Jews as enemy aliens during WWII? Philospher Emile Fackenheim spent the duration in a camp in the maritime provinces. He related how he wouldn’t eat salmon later in life because the Canucks somehow figured out a way to serve pork products at every meal, so he survived by eating salmon.

      • 0 avatar
        serothis

        @ronnie

        And the US rounded up and imprisoned japanese-americans (and quite a few other asian-americans) during WWII. What’s your point?

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Ronnie,

        Yes, I knew that. I also knew they did the same to Japanese and Italians, and that we sterilized handicapped people in Alberta and single mothers in Quebec, that we did some truly awful things to the First Nations, and that we mine asbestos. So what?

        The difference is that I don’t subscribe to “my country, right or wrong” cause-absolutism like you do, and that I’d support any of that, or get into a moral scorekeeping contest over who did the most wrong.

    • 0 avatar

      Do keep in mind that military is a legitimate function of a government, whereas funding of education is not. In theory citizens could enter a compact and agree to fund education, but I am not quite sure that we ever did.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        If you’re talking about the United States, education could fall under general welfare. As for the military, the original intent was for a well-regulated militia for common defense, while an expeditionary force was most certainly not the intent.

        Erstwhile constitutionalists never mention that bit. Curious, isn’t it?

      • 0 avatar
        areader

        “This is basic human nature: push people to desperation and you ought not to be surprised when they lash out.

        I’ll expect you to remember that the next time Americans or Israelis lash out.”

        Oh yeah. The US and Jews are victims. The US has military forces in how many countries? And the CIA is doing what where? With the advent of drones, it’ll only get worse until the money runs out. And the Israelis, funded by American Jews and supported no matter what by the corrupt and bought US Congress, have and are screwing over everybody within reach, have vastly greater military and economic power, but are still playing the victim game. 911 was just a little payback, but it’s been used to justify seemingly endless violence and killing. When the money runs out, this will change and our client states, even the one who wags us, will have to make other arrangements.

        Measuring increases in US public education against results in recent decades is more complex than a few numbers suggest. Very significant declines in parental involvement and support are hard to factor in. The decline in real wages and the increase in single parent families have shifted more of the burden to the schools. Of course those who don’t want to see their money go to fund education, health care, etc. for the unwashed masses want to dump on the teachers, and their unions so they can convince the ignorant public that public education, and health, are bad investments. Lower taxes are the answer for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      Dynamic88

      “The Federal Dept of Education (an unconstitutional agency)”

      Could you please explain your “reasoning” ?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Could you please explain your “reasoning” ?

        Misinterpreting the Constitution is a favorite pastime on the internet.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        I can’t explain his; but the Constitution is a simple, short and plainspoken document that anyone can download and read in little time.

        All powers not ennumerated in the Articles are possessed by the Respective States.

        “General Welfare” refers not to distributing checks (called “relief” until the brainiacs decided that was a negative term and started attaching euphimisms for being on the dole) nor even to education, flu shots, or cable-converter boxes. The term is GENERAL – benefiting all. Benefiting the nation. “Internal Improvements” was the term of the time – roads, annexations of land, canals, military outposts to protect settlers.

        Education is an individual need. Everyone needs it, to some extent, true…but everyone needs food and clothing, too. And homes. And cars.

        Purchases or outlays that benefit individuals, even large numbers of individuals, are NOT in the powers ennumerated in the Constitution. And that was a wise choice…as we see with Washington trying to use kids as pawns with various forms of untrue propaganda…everything from politicized climate-science to sexual-preference pressure.

        Locally controlled schools would never be taken in such a direction. The board members would be removed and maybe lynched. Rightly. With Washington bureaucrats issuing such edicts, locals can neither remove nor stop nor dispatch the offenders.

        We wander from the Constitution’s principles at our perils. Enjoy your Ford Golfcar 500 in 2025…that’s where unchecked bureaucratic power leads us.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        All powers not ennumerated in the Articles are possessed by the Respective States.

        I hate to burst your bubble, but you’re about, oh, 200 years behind in your knowledge of case law.

        “There is nothing in the Constitution of the United States similar to the Articles of Confederation, which exclude incidental or implied powers.

        If the end be legitimate, and within the scope of the Constitution, all the means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, and which are not prohibited, may constitutionally be employed to carry it into effect.”

        McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
        http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0017_0316_ZS.html

        From John Marshall’s opinion in this case:

        “But there is no phrase in the instrument (the Constitution) which, like the Articles of Confederation, excludes incidental or implied powers and which requires that everything granted shall be expressly and minutely described.Even the 10th Amendment, which was framed for the purpose of quieting the excessive jealousies which had been excited, omits the word “expressly,” and declares only that the powers “not delegated to the United States, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people,” thus leaving the question whether the particular power which may become the subject of contest has been delegated to the one Government, or prohibited to the other, to depend on a fair construction of the whole instrument.”

        I would suggest that posters who are genuinely interested in the Constitution read the courts’ opinions and cogent legal analysis. Leave the political blogs to the uninformed who prefer to not know what they’re talking about.

        Incidentally, Article 2 gives the president the power to form a cabinet and departments. The power to create the DOE would come from Article 2. If you don’t like the DOE, then get a president who is serious about dumping it. It would seem that Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43 were not as serious about it as are some of you.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        @pch101:
        “I would suggest that posters who are genuinely interested in the Constitution read the opinions and cogent legal analysis. Leave the political blogs to the uninformed who prefer to know what they’re talking about.”

        And I would suggest reading the CONSTITUTION. And the Federalist Papers, which were written as an in-depth explanation of the Constitution before its ratification.

        You can read it here: http://www.constitution.org/constit_.htm

        The decisions of politicized judges, while they stand as law, are not necessarily honest interpretations of the Constitution. Can you show where the “right to privacy” is found in the Constitution; what article and section; and why it doesn’t apply to my car or my computer or my medicine cabinet or airline luggage, but DOES apply to my 14-year-old’s decision, alone, to get a government-funded abortion?

        I’m not surprised you found a way to work the name of BOOSH!! into your screed. Is Tourette’s contagious? Because people of certain rigid ideological persuasions, seem to have it: B-b-bush-bush-BUSH!!

        See a doctor. And do us a favor and don’t vote.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The decisions of politicized judges, while they stand as law, are not necessarily honest interpretations of the Constitution.

        I can appreciate that you’re so busy posting stuff on the internet that you simply don’t have the time to get a clue of what you’re talking about. But you might want to try, anyway.

        Since you claim to care about America, take a few minutes and learn about what happens in a common law system like the one that you supposedly support. Google terms such as “stare decisis” and figure out what they mean.

        John Marshall wrote that opinion almost 200 years ago. He is considered one of the great Supreme Court justices in US history, and that case is a landmark case that has survived two centuries of case law and amendments. You can whine all you want, but that ruling has more standing and substance than anything that you’ll ever type on this website.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        @Pch101:

        Does the Constitution allow itself to be amended by the ruling of one judge who bases his “decision” out of naked sophistry?

        In other words, does the Constitution mean only what a judge decides it means, when he decides it and until he decides differently? Or does the TEXT ITSELF have meaning; and procedures for removal of corrupt Federal judges?

        Are judges gods? Can they not be dishonest and corrupt? When you look at a document saying one thing; and have a person who pretends to be Solomon telling you it means something entirely different, who are you going to believe? The smarmy sophist, or your own eyes?

        I repeat: If you want to be persuaded further that the Constitution means what it says it means, you need only ask its authors. Read the Federalist Papers – written by the principals of the Constitution – and it will tell you whether your cadre of hack judges are scholors or liars.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynamic88

        @JustPassin

        The Constitution is a short document. Case law OTOH is extensive.

        Like it or not, it isn’t your interpretation that matters, it’s the Supreme Court’s interpretation – found in case law – that matters. There is 200+ years of case law that determines what the short document means.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Does the Constitution allow itself to be amended by the ruling of one judge who bases his “decision” out of naked sophistry?

        Look, it’s awesome that you found a link online to the Constitution. Unfortunately, you never made it past Article 1. If you had, you would see that the judiciary and the president also have legal authority.

        In the US system, the courts have the authority to interpret the Constitution. Apparently, your enumerated powers argument got chucked back when Monroe was president. I’m sorry that you didn’t keep up with the rulings, but if you start now, then you might catch up eventually.

      • 0 avatar
        fishiftstick

        “spends more on military than education”

        Ah, the irrelevant sound bite. I spend more on gas than I do on water. That doesn’t make gas more important; it just makes it more expensive.

        Also: since the 1960s, funding per student in constant dollars has more than tripled, while the quality of education has declined. The problem is not insufficient funding, but out-of-control teachers’ unions. Some of the most needed reforms–eliminating tenure, rewarding success instead of seniority–would actually save money.

        Or–just to squeeze in something remotely relevant to cars here–anyone fantasizing about buying a Lada? No? What about a Trabant? Can I interest you in a fine mid-’70s British Leyland product? What’s the matter? Don’t you enjoy breakdowns, oil leaks and electrical fires?

        You wouldn’t buy a car built by a government monopoly. Why would you entrust your kids’ education to one?

        Competition improves products. It also reduces costs.

        Education needs to be free and public–it just doesn’t have to be provided by a government monopoly.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        “Look, it’s awesome that you found a link online to the Constitution. Unfortunately, you never made it past Article 1. If you had, you would see that the judiciary and the president also have legal authority.”

        …Which is LIMITED. By the Constitution.

        The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. Not the President; not the Congress, and not the rulings of sophist political judges.

        The Constitution was short and to the point, for a reason. Thousand-page rulings are long and confusing, also for a reason…to muddy the waters.

        We’re in the process of removing the relevance of the Constitution to government. Because, unfortunately, it’s only a piece of paper – and it only works when it’s followed and when those who violate it and contort it, are called up short and punished for it.

        How does this apply to autos, and to this subject? Neither the freedoms the auto represents, nor the industry itself, can exist for long in a totalitarian state. As we’re finding.

        This abuse of government power, OTOH, is commonplace and will become more so. Because too many of our citizens put faith in wordy, disingenuous sophist judges, and not enough in the Constitution and its principles.

        And because too many others are cowed and mocked into silence.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land

        Yeah, yeah, I got that. Unfortunately, you have absolutely no idea what that means. For a guy who talks as much as you do about the Constitution, you sure don’t know much about it.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        “Yeah, yeah, I got that. Unfortunately, you have absolutely no idea what that means. For a guy who talks as much as you do about the Constitution, you sure don’t know much about it.”

        No. And you not only don’t understand what it means, you don’t understand what it does or what it is. It is NOT whatever some hack in a black robe RULES it is. His is not the power to change the Constitution by twisting the meanings of its text.

        You obviously worship sophistry. But that route renders the actual Constitution irrelevant and thrusts us into oligarchy.

        As we have now. Think not? Try buying incandescent light bulbs. Or a Corvair-type car. Or a lawnmower without expensive government-mandated equipment.

        Or, just for fun, try some off-roading in a National Forest area. Be sure to arrange to have someone bail you out.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        And you not only don’t understand what it means, you don’t understand what it does or what it is. It is NOT whatever some hack in a black robe RULES it is.

        Er, seriously, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

        Article 3 establishes the judiciary. The Supreme Court is required under Article 3, Section 1. Article 3, Section 2 outlines its authority.

        I know that you’re just another ill-informed anonymous crank on the internet, so educating you is beyond hopeless. But it might helps others to know that the Supreme Court that was established under Article 3 was the same Supreme Court that ruled 192 years ago that your enumerated powers claim is false. The Supreme Court has that authority, whether you like it or not, and we don’t reside in the fictional legal universe that you have constructed on this thread.

    • 0 avatar
      forraymond

      +1000

      This is the most logical, correct posting I have ever read on this site. Thank you for letting me know I am not the only one on here who isn’t a GWB disciple.

    • 0 avatar
      FleetofWheel

      So many clunkers in one post.

      Big govt fans who tellingly think solely in terms of the Federal govt with nary a thought about the powers and budgets of the individual States. Oh yeah, States do spend a lot on education.

      People who think a poetic inscription on a statue supersedes Congress’ authority to set law regarding immigration.

      Claiming poverty as the root of most crime and terror…whoa..Progressive doctrine has always held that the rich, advantaged, uppers cause all the real terror in the world. But if you see wealth creation as causing poverty creation in a zero sum world, wealth = poverty.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Great. Yet another way that my genitalia are going to end up on the internet.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Personally, I don’t see the point. The market already has filled the “genitalia on the Internet” niche effectively; there’s no need for subsidies or a public alternative.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The market already has filled the “genitalia on the Internet” niche effectively; there’s no need for subsidies or a public alternative.

        I hate to have my private bits commoditized. I certainly don’t want to lose my following of housewives who are paying $20 per month each to belong to my website…

        On a serious note, I’m not happy about this stuff, either. However, those who are shocked about the Fourth Amendment need to learn something about the Fourth Amendment.

        The Court has already ruled on many occasions that we have little expectation of privacy in public places. You have no more right to expect to be protected from this on Fourth Amendment grounds than you would have the right to not be filmed or photographed while you’re in a park or a public space. Another approach would be needed if this sort of thing is to be banned.

      • 0 avatar
        serothis

        @pch101

        you are correct in that in public you don’t have an expectation of privacy (unless you’re a cop..even if you’re in uniform…and on duty…and engaged in a public service). However you do have a protection from warrant-less searches. Searching the contents of a vehicle is just that, a search.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        However you do have a protection from warrant-less searches. Searching the contents of a vehicle is just that, a search.

        You are correct. But it would depend upon where and how they used it.

        I gather that in addition to using it in places where you have no right to refuse a search, such as at immigration or DUI checkpoints, that they would use this in order to justify Terry stops. I suppose that would mean that they would use the scan in conjunction with other information in order to justify “reasonable suspicion”, which would then allow a physical search and law enforcement contact, which could then provide probable cause that justifies an arrest.

        In other words, there are plenty of ways to keep this from being a Fourth Amendment issue. If the citizens don’t like these (and they shouldn’t), then they should contact their Congressmen and ask for them to be made illegal.

      • 0 avatar

        Pch, my car is not a public space. My underwear is not a public space.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        my car is not a public space.

        You might want to take that up with the Supreme Court. They haven’t entirely agreed with that position since the 1920s.

        While you’re at it, go Google “Terry stop.” Those have been allowed for over forty years, and I’d bet that’s how these things would be used.

      • 0 avatar

        A locked car with no probable cause still needs a warrant for a search.

        As for Terry Stops, they don’t give cops the right to check for skidmarks on my BVDs.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        A locked car with no probable cause still needs a warrant for a search.

        That doesn’t change the fact that there are many justifications that the police have to stop and conduct limited searches of cars, particularly when those cars are occupied.

  • avatar

    “Well as long as I feel safe” has been the refrain of far too many people who let their privacy slowly erode in the name of fighting terrorism and defending freedom.
    And sorry but freedom from screening does not mean less security, the more screening you have stemming from knee jerk decision making means less freedom overall for everyone else.
    In fact I’d say the terrorists are winning in a way with every ham-fisted act they do – underwear bomber, explosive liquids etc – as it results in draconian decisions on this side of the pond that solve nothing but enrich security companies coffers.
    Terrorists must be delighted watching TSA staff feel out passengers nether regions and telling 95 year old grannies to remove their diapers, you can’t make this stuff up.
    Even Israel doesn’t use these machines, and they have way more to fear from terrorism then Americans ever have to worry about IMHO.
    I’m just waiting for the terrorist to hide explosives in his rectum, which means full body cavity searches for everyone, in the name of freedom of course.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      +1 “Those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither.” – (Numerous Patriots from Many Political Parties)

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        Dan, which freedom are you defending? The right to evade immigration controls, the right to smuggle contraband, or the right to park a car bomb on a city street? I can’t think of any freedom of mine that’s being traded away here. I can’t even conceive of a way to use this equipment that infringes on my rights or my privacy in any meaningful way.

        These are expensive pieces of equipment that aren’t going to be used for some bureaucrat’s jollies. If they speed up passing thru a border checkpoint, stop the next Times Square bomber, or make things safer for a SWAT entry team, they have a useful application.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        If used in stationary applications to perhaps xray trucks and cars (I see in those pictures that there are no humans in those pictures other than the obviousl illegal aliens who where taking a hell of a risk in the first place) with no one in the car (therefore not exposing anyone to cancer danger) I don’t see too much of a problem with it. Freaking pat me down for crying out loud, but radiation? Are the inventors of this freaking morons? They used to xray feet for shoe fittings but the shoe salesmen got cancer. Early xray techs died quite early because of the lack of protection.

        Are you really telling me that your scared so shiteless that your willing to just allow trucks to drive around and around where ever the heck they want LOOKING for trouble? On no grounds other than – cause we can. I on the other hand as a future School Administrator practically have to have the school districts lawyers present if I want to search a student who I have damn good reason to suspect has a weapon, or drugs, or heck even an explosive device in his back pack.

        If you’ve got probable cause, seach away. But just cause we have the technology… where do you think we are… Vladimir Putin’s Russia?

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        +2

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        @Dan, that was almost certainly Benjamin Franklin, who said (likely in 1775): “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

        Franklin, having signed both the declaration of independence and the constitution, would likely count as a founding father to most people.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        I know that many besides Franklin have repeated it since and I believe that whoever it comes from does not diminish it’s impact. John Bonner could have said it, Harry Reid could have said it, Jessie Ventura could have said it… it doesn’t diminish the truth of the words. There’s a reason we have a “Bill of Rights” in this country.

    • 0 avatar

      Even Israel doesn’t use these machines, and they have way more to fear from terrorism then Americans ever have to worry about IMHO.

      Actually, Israel uses methods that would make progressives howl about profiling. And no, it’s not simply a question of giving Arab travelers the stinkeye. They pay attention to the answers and then ask questions that are hard to lie about.

      Something equivalent would be the smart and clever US Customs agent who asked me what I was doing in Windsor, across from Detroit. I told him that I was picking up suits for myself and my son from Freeds, a men’s clothing store that has nice clothes and great sales. He asked me what color the suits were.

      So if I’m traveling out of Ben Gurion airport, I shouldn’t expect to get a pass just because I might wear a yarmulke. More likely I’ll get asked who my first grade teacher was in Hebrew school.

      The Israelis haven’t survived in an inhospitable neighborhood by being stupid.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Intelligent questioning is the smart option, which does not violate people’s right, liberties or privacy.

        TSA and AS&E on the other hand are going for the brute-force radiate-all-things-and-people approach which is quite the opposite.

  • avatar

    I’m shocked that nobody has raised 4th Amendment concerns. This is almost the definition of widespread warrantless invasive searches.

    One solution might be to rent one of their vans and drive by the homes and cars of Anthony R. Fabiano, CEO of American Science & Engineering and publicize whatever dirt you can find.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      rent one of their vans and drive by the homes and cars

      Judging from the companies address, he probably doesn’t live far from me. The problem is that most of the homes in this area are set very far from the street and well out of range of their scanning van, so he’s pretty safe. Besides, as a CEO of a small company with government contracts, he probably has FINRA, the IRS, and others probing his finances looking for dirt.

    • 0 avatar
      2ronnies1cup

      When I worked in a certain part of the world, there were signs which read something like:

      ATTENTION You are entering a designated stop-and-search zone, By proceeding beyond this notice, you consent to be subject to being stopped, questioned or searched by security forces.

      Something like that would probably satisfy the lawyers. If you don’t want to consent to it, go around the designated zone. Tough if you happen to live or work inside it though…

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Noting wrong with building and selling the things. Better to rent one and drive use it to photograph those that make the decision that “they” have a “need” to spy on someone else.

      The only saving grace in all of this, is Moore’s law. What’s $850,000 now, will be $50 at some point in the future. Hopefully open sourced, and shrunk to the point where there won’t be one, but thousands of them in the White House, in Congress or wherever else. And, with just a bit of luck, development will go in the same direction with weapons systems as well.

      After all, if our tax feeding “servants” need these things to keep track of us, we, their “masters” surely could use them to keep tabs on them as well. Symmetry is always an unqualified boon in all power relationships.

    • 0 avatar

      Yup. Heard again.

      –Sadder still is the NYPD. They don’t even wait for the truck. They just find a pretext to stick their hands not just ON your person for some BS reason, but IN your pockets, AFTER unzipping them.

      +And they do it alot to folks who they KNOW will not/can not fight it in court, and who will take 1 charge to avoid another.

      Or using the pretext of: If you -show- me you have this much or under the limit, then you’re fine. Then they arrest & book you for displaying drugs in the open after you do.

      There was a piece about it on WNYC 93.9FM/wnyc.org about a month and a half ago about the 11am time-slot.

      Watch out around even Washington Square Park.

  • avatar

    Let’s bring in the standard moron’s reply:
    “So what? It’s for safety. I have nothing to hide.”
    BTW: They already do this routinely in Europe (although with stationary equipment, hopefully restricted to trucks) for a while.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Maybe short on good material today, Jack? If so, you were smart to buy a little time by giving the TTAC hornet’s nest a whack. It’s almost Skinnerian the way it seems to work.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Next up, throw up an article on auto safety.

      It’ll be sure to bring out the loony nanny-staters who won’t rest until cars are completely automated with all human interaction removed, because our lives will be “safer” for it.

  • avatar
    Slocum

    “wrong. US military defense this year will get a budget of $768.2B
    department of education will get $78.2B for pre-k through secondary education.”

    But the Dept of Education provides only a small fraction of U.S. education spending (most of which is done by local and state governments). The U.S. absolutely spends much more on public education than on national defense.

  • avatar
    skysharad

    hey dickheads…

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    Is this why we need to raise the debt ceiling?

  • avatar
    Towncar

    Well, it may be a health hazard, a civil liberties issue, and a sign of the apocalypse, but it’s the only new vehicle I’ve seen in years with fender skirts. I want one!

  • avatar

    Really? Vance Duke found dead at 57 (you know, from that one weird season on Dukes of Hazard when Bo and Luke were racing NASCAR, or pursuing a music career in Nashville) and this is the best “car” story you can come up with? Are you just going to do a full court press tomorrow with a team of reporters carrying the whole story from different perspective or what?

  • avatar
    jkumpire

    If I ever see one of those in my small town it will be time for a little civil disobedience…

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    I’d much rather live with the embarrassment of having my genitalia photographed than be flown into the side of a building by some jihadist idiot.

  • avatar
    MikeAR

    Wow, this was an entertaining thread. It was pretty interesting seeing all the supposed liberals here twist themselves into pretzels defending pretty much unrestricted use of hazardous x-ray surveillance vans. Does it ever bother you that you’ve become the modern day Bull Connors? Defending the status quo isn’t how your heroes from the 60s got started you know.

    Heck, I remember just a few years ago, liberals were going crazy about the Patriot Act. That happened to be a fairly principled stand in my opinion. Now some of the more faux-intellectual among you are citing John Marshall. Never thought I would see that, using a dead white male Founding Father to justify their blind support of their particular adminstration. And now here comes the good part. All of you guys who see no problem with this, guess what if this had been written during the Bush Administration, you would have had strokes denouncing it.

    One last thought, education by every measure was better and cheaper in this country before the Department of Education was created. Deny that.

    • 0 avatar
      thebanana

      I think you’re confused. Real “liberals” would never agree to this sort of willy nilly gov’t intrusion. Most neocons would though.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        +1 to thebanana – I for example have defined myself as a liberal in the classical sense of the word – Classical liberalism is a philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Banana, you’re the one who is confused. I knew exactly what I was saying. You do too, you know that the modern progressive fascists like yourself, I’m thinking, have stolen the word liberal to hide their true identities. A rule of thumb I always follow is that anyone who uses the word neo-con is an unthinking prgressive robot. In other words, you just throw the word out there because to you it’s a boogieman that scares you. It’s just a word, don’t be afraid. If you hadn’t noticed, which you hadn’t, the people most happy about government intrusion and control are your side, the liberals. Look at your side honestly for a change you won’t like what you see.

        Dan, you’re a nice guy, but you’re defending the wrong person here. You might try reading my post. You just agreed with me but you’re defending the guy who attacked me. Why? If it’s my views on education admit that at least, You may not like me but don’t agree with someone just because they attacked me.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        I simply objecting to how the word “Liberal” is used.

        I think your a fairly nice guy too but also think that you have a inclanation to make everything political. Jack’s article above mentions that many of these have been sold to local governments in the name of the war on terror or homeland security. I’m going to guess that both Democratic and Republican politicians have made sure that the money was appropriated in this manner. I’m one of those guys who looks at the two major political parties and says; “A pox on both your houses.”

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Good enough Dan. My point, not expressed very well at all, was that your ideal of the Burkean Liberal doesn’t really exist anymore. It’s an 18th century concept that was great at the time and is now too. But liberal in that sense is an archaic word now. I’m trying to think of another word that at one time was commonly used to mean one thing and now means another. I can’t think of one now but I hope that this has helped explain my point a little better.

      • 0 avatar
        thebanana

        Mike AR..you know SFA about me or my political beliefs. Your ranting pretty much makes my case about neocons though.

    • 0 avatar
      Dynamic88

      ” One last thought, education by every measure was better and cheaper in this country before the Department of Education was created. Deny that.”

      Well it was created shortly after the civil war, in 1867 and has been in continuous existence since. It was a cabinet level dept. for a year or so, then was downgraded to a bureau within the dept. of Interior (as an aside, Interior was formed in 1849 – wonder if it is also an “unconstitutional” dept.? ) In the reorganization of the Exec. branch in 1939 it was moved to the Federal Security Agency and renamed the Office of Education. In ’53 another Executive Dept. reorganization took place and the FSA was renamed the Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, and upgraded to a cabinet level agency. This of course was done under the administration of IKE, the well know left wing liberal President.

      So, according to you, education was better prior to 1867. Pardon me if I’m skeptical. Not that reality matters one little bit to ideologues.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Given that a few memebers of the B&B insist on draging education into this and I do love a good quote (and I’ll give proper attribution this time) let me just say this, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” – Thomas Jefferson

        Who FWIW also said – “. . . whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right.”

        Therefore (and as someone who has taught students from 6th grade through undergraduate and is now trusted to help teachers better their skills) I would argue that education and defense are equally important, although I wouldn’t use dollars to measure the effectiveness of either.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Not that reality matters one little bit to ideologues.

        Reality is for chumps.

        I think that you have to understand that political blogs, talk radio hosts, and the like create these memes and throw them out to the crowd, like meat to a pack of dogs.

        They complain about this stuff because they’ve been told to complain about it, not because they have any substantive gripes. If you ask them for a non-hyperbolic rational list of reasons for their positions, that can’t provide it. The constant moaning provides a sense of belonging to people whose main hobby is just being pissed off.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Pot, kettle. Dynamic, if you call me an ideologue, then what are you? Oh, I suppose you’re so reasonable and right about everything. How could any intelligent person disagree with you after all? For what it’s worth I had forgotten the history of the Federal involvement in education but no matter, I stand by what I said. If you can say with a straight face that education in this country is in good shape because of the billions spent on it, then you are either delusional or pathological. Which is it?

        I’m not going to bother to link to anything but look up some old high school and college level exit exams from the 19th and early 20th centuries and tell me that kids tody are as well educated as they were back then. You aren’t serious enough to waste my time linking.

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    I believe whenever someone publishes an article that has to do with bio-fuel, privacy, SAAB, traffic cameras, trucks, UAW, VOLT, bail-out and so on will often cause the forum to jump the shark.

  • avatar
    George B

    Two huge problems here. If this mobile x-ray was used without warrant or “consent” of the people and property being scanned, wouldn’t there be a 4th Amendment unreasonable search issue? A traveler can be hassled into giving consent to being scanned to get on a plane, but the traveler knows in advance that the scan will happen and can choose not to fly or not carry offending things onto the plane. Taken to the extreme, my local police could cruise my neighborhood fishing for violations/revenue.

    The other problem is uncontrolled exposure to ionizing radiation. Medical X-rays occur infrequently under well controlled conditions. Hard to see how a long-range mobile x-ray machine could ever limit exposure to any one person if the operator doesn’t know who is being exposed.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      The courts have ruled otherwise.

      And as our “educated” members have admonished me, Constitutional protections are whatever courts decide they are in long-winded word-salad rulings.

      What the Constitution actually SAYS is irrelevant.

      Obviously I don’t agree; but that’s the premise we’re running on…as we rush headlong as a society into the brick wall of reality.

  • avatar
    newcarscostalot

    I am surprised that Jack, being a celebrity, doesn’t charge people to see him naked.

  • avatar
    StatisticalDolphin

    Used to be a regular visitor to Decrepit Northern City. One of the famous citizens of DNC drove a red Citation featuring nearly every square inch of its interior lined with aluminum foil, including the windows and a good bit of the windshield. Widely considered to a colorful character and harmlessly cuckoo, who knew he was so prescient?

    How difficult would it be to defeat this rolling x-ray machine? Seems likely that the serious criminals are way ahead of the keystone kops. Even the two-bit nimrods who pilfer at the retail level have figured out how to defeat the retail establishments’ security devices by lining their shopping bags with some sort of metal foil.

    And, unlike the airport scenario, the potential for secondary screening becomes a lot more problematic out in open, where the screenees are not being herded like livestock.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      You’d need thick lead panels in the doors; firewall, behind the rear seat…or the walls of the trunk, if you’re worried about your Schedule II Narcotics importation business.

      And none of it would help much because the glass would still let the radiation through…the X-Ray Police might not see as much but you’d still get a dose. And when they don’t see, they become suspicious.

      You can’t defend yourself against the tactics of a police state. You can only work to prevent its happening or to rid yourself, as a nation, of it.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Hmmmmmmmmmmmm I was thinking the best defense was a remotely triggered device that would ram a piece of rebar through the oil pan effectively disabling the vehicle in short order.

  • avatar
    RogueInLA

    Wow, amazing reading, (checking) did I click on the Washinton Post website? Nope, this is TTAC. Whatever, this isn’t democrat, republican, liberal, conservative, facist, socialist, libertarian, or how you chose to call it. This is petty minded fear mongering power hungry politicos/cops/demagoges(sp)/what have yous who want to have ‘control’ over people, and are using “we’re fighting terror” to do it. I’ll bet less than 1% of these machines are used in any legitimate way (and I can’t really think of any, offhand). What’s next?… “these trucks aren’t giving us good enough images, you all have to walk thru our new “portable checkpoint xray machines” because after all, it’s for your safety. I agree with Dan, a pox on both (or more) of their houses. This is just power, regardless of the political persuasion of those making the arguments. And shouldn’t these trucks be well marked as DANGEROUS? After all, they’re for public safety. Now can we go back to cars?

    Don’t tell GOOGLE about these, imagine if they started putting this to work doing their street view shots?…. EEEK

    This whole thread validates what I was told by the owner when I started tending bar “never argue sex politics or religion” I agreed with 2 of those, I didn’t care if someone disagreed with my politics, and you can never change anyones mind, nor did I care enough to argue their religion, cuz it was a good way to start a fight… however, I would argue sex, *IF* she was good looking, after all, if she agreed with me, great, nothing to argue about, if she disagreed, I just MIGHT change her mind by arguing (call it a spirited discussion) :)

    Ok, back to our regularly scheduled program.

    **DISCLAIMER** The above is soley my opinion, before you post that I should read the constitution, the declaration of independence, the national inquirer, theonion.com, etc. I really don’t care what you think of what I think. No animals were injured in the writing of this posting, and it consists of 95% post consumer recycled material (sounds disgusting). Your mileage may vary, not valid where prohibited by law, and probably not allowed in places where it is. Offer available to licensed drivers age 18 and over, except in china (just because). Rember, only you can prevent forest fires (well, that guy with the matches could probably prevent them too)

  • avatar
    gglockster

    Let’s see: Local governments are short of cash and have underfunded pension programs, meanwhile local police go out and by more bright shiny toys because they can and defense contractors are always looking for new markets. If we are lucky then when this thing breaks, it will sit a garage with all of the other military surplus toys scarfed up by the police. Quietly and quickly forgotten.

    Or our Constitutional rights against illegal search and seizures gets worn transparently thinner than an x-ray. Keep in mind if you take a picture of one of these vans, that you are likely to get arrested for obstructing the police.

    Personally, any jurisdiction that buys technology like this needs to instead reduce spending and cut taxes.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Look, I’m all up for the occasional rant about loss of privacy as I come from Britain, the home of more CCTV cameras per head of population than any other country on earth; but this is a car blog folks – the fact that this mobile scanning thingy is attached to the back of an F450 is about the only thing related to cars. I thought this was ‘The Truth About Cars’ – not – ‘The Truth About Mobile X-Ray Imager Scanner Thingy Units’.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Let me share my thought process with you about posting this.

      This vehicle IS a vehicle, to begin with. It’s being used to scan automobiles. The privacy of motorists is being violated. This is, to my mind, as relevant as redlight cameras, speed cameras, or vehicle searches, all of which have been thoroughly discussed on TTAC.

      I understand if it still seems not TTAC-worthy, but look on the bright side: Jalopnik’s posted at least three stories about AIRPORT scanners :)

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      I enjoyed the article. TTAC has alot of different content, which I enjoy.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    They can take my picture all my want. When they come for my guns, they’ll have quite a fight on their hands….

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