The delicate balance between safety and personal liberty


Politicians struggle with the delicate balance between safety and personal liberty. Often times we have to give up some of the latter to get some of the former. And often times I’m not happy about making this tradeoff.

Now let’s talk about toilets. (How’s that for a transition?) More specifically, let’s talk about the guys who go out of their way to pee on the floor and the toilet seat—the imaginative rebels for whom peeing into the toilet bowl is just too blasé.

These guys need to be stopped.

But it’s hard. By the time you discover the crime, the perp is usually gone. And even if he’s not, approaching him and calling him out on his s**t takes Rosa Parks-like fortitude.

So here’s what I’m thinking: We design some sort of sensor that goes on toilets and detects when their seats are being peed on. The sensors are hooked up to Tasers.

The less-violent approach would be putting cameras in bathrooms and dealing with the guys after the fact—something similar to those red light cameras that take pictures of license plates as cars speed by. Obviously I’m not seriously suggesting we do this…I’m just saying that I sort of understand what everybody in the Senate (except for Russ Feingold) was thinking when they rubber stamped the Patriot Act.


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