I have said it before and will happily state it again: we basically get little to no news up here in northern Minnesota. Unless you are an internet-scouring newspaper junkie like me, if the only source of your news is the Duluth News Tribune, you are in trouble. You probably have no clue what kind of insane opposition “free” Americans are actually dealing with. The DNT basically publishes nice little stories about naughty pets that run away from home and then come back home, bears cubs born in Ely, and once in a while different fire scenarios that occur at the site of the Kozy bar. We get to read ridiculous things. It’s kinda funny if you think about it. I read today that Minnesota DNR officials are now thinking about repopulating deer herds in Minnesota. That’s hysterical, as last year all we heard about was that there are too many deer. In fact, are there not special hunters granted permission to go out in the city and bow hunt for deer? Confusing. But that’s Duluth news for you. Feel-good stories and animal addiction.

    My source of choice for global news would have to be the Star Tribune, and thank God for it. If not for this, I would know almost nada when it comes to important headlines and laws being passed that directly affect me, my family, and my friends. Let me share with you a shocking little news brief that the DNT seemingly either forgot to write about or may have, yet buried it somewhere between the many JC Penney circulars and the property transactions. It would appear that last week, the Supreme Court passed a measure that allows law enforcement to strip search incarcerated people at any time for any reason. For example, say you are driving 45 mph per hour on Piedmont Ave. where the speed limit is 30 (you all do it—let’s be real) and you see cherries light up behind you. You pull over and Mr. Cop asks for your license. He discovers after 25 minutes of mulling in his car playing “Words with Friends” on his Iphone that you have a warrant. Unpaid parking ticket from 2005. You had let it go—you forgot and/or hate the system. Either way, it’s unpaid, and now you have a bench warrant. Guess what? Should Mr. Cop decide it’s ok, he can bring you in and strip search you. And there isn’t a thing you can do about it.

    Am I the only one who believes that is a gross infraction on human rights and dignity in general? Am I the only one who finds this Supreme Court ruling disgusting and completely unjust? Probably not, but the problem is, where else can you hear about it to know that it’s actually a law now? I’m going to be honest: I even missed this when it first came out, but a woman after my own heart told me to look it up. I was horrified. To me, this means that someone like me could end up going to prison for simply speeding. I mean, that would be the day a cop is going to tell me to strip for no reason—I wouldn’t stand for it, thus I’d probably react as such and, you know, get prison time.  The worst part is that this isn’t even a debatable issue anymore. It’s a Supreme Court ruling. What in the hell happens to democracy and freedom in a so-called “free country” when laws like this are enforced without something as simple as public knowledge?

    I understood when certain occasions arose that officers had to strip search someone. Possibly drugs or weapons were found on the person, in which case of course yes, they must check, but this new ruling—strip searching on a whim—feels like some strange militia law. I don’t believe it has human interest rights at heart whatsoever. The Supreme Court, however, would not agree with me... Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “Courts are in no position to second guess the judgment of correctional officers.” That is pretty much the scariest kind of comment that could come out of a judge’s mouth. That basically means America is on the verge of becoming a militia-run country. Kiss freedom goodbye. If a law enforcement official decides you are bad—based on nothing—then you are bad, and you will be punished. Wow. I used to think the courts and higher-up government officials were here for the good of the people, to protect our rights as established by that little thing called the Constitution. It appears that belief is no longer valid.

    Have police officers begun more rigorous training and/or testing and credentialing to ensure they are equipped to handle this kind of responsibility? No. We still get the same schooling to train the men and women that decide to become law enforcement. Which isn’t much. That means that the 25-year-old cop with the crew cut and chip on his shoulder can decide what happens to you. He can humble you right fast, he can make you get naked, the most vulnerable of human forms, and he can do it just because he thought he should. Ha. Thanks, America. And a special thanks to the DNT for once again forgetting that we aren’t ALL brain-dead rednecks up here. Some of us might appreciate a little news in our newspaper.