Labor Day Surprise: It's a Police Drone Over Your House! - The Friday AM Quickie 9/1/23

There's a Super Typhoon coming for my city today, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about it, though nobody else seems to be. I've never experienced a typhoon before is all. - Corey

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NYPD Will Use Drones to Spy on Backyard Parties

New York City Mayor-Cop Eric Adams visited Israel last week, and he reportedly impressed by that country's use of aerial drone technology to surveil and control its Palestinian population. Adams has gushed that the potential of police drones is "endless." Well, this Labor Day weekend, New Yorkers will get a taste of what hizzoner has in mind. The New York Police Department Commissioner yesterday announced that the cops would be using drones to monitor private outdoor parties. Per the Associated Press:

"If a caller states there's a large crowd, a large party in a backyard, we're going to be utilizing our assets to go up and go check on the party," Kaz Daughtry, the assistant NYPD Commissioner, said...
The move was announced during a security briefing focused on J'ouvert, an annual Caribbean festival marking the end of slavery that brings thousands of revelers and a heavy police presence to the streets of Brooklyn.

So I'm guessing they won't see so many of these things buzzing around the Upper East Side.

Privacy and civil liberties advocates are concerned, of course. Daniel Schwarz of the New York Civil Liberties Union calls the "sci-fi inspired scenario" a "troubling announcement [that] flies in the face of the POST Act," a 2020 city law that requires the cops to disclose their surveillance tactics.

Citing city data, the AP says the NYPD has used drones 124 times so far this year, up from four times in all of 2022. Some 1,400 police departments across the U.S. are using drone tech for various things, and "privacy advocates say regulations have not kept up, opening the door to intrusive surveillance that would be illegal if conducted by a human police officer." That's the whole point, doncha think? The NYPD was unwilling to answer questions about its drone policies. Which certainly inspires a ton of confidence that they'll use this tech lawfully and responsibly. Anyway, enjoy your weekend, folks, and pay no mind to the eye in the sky: it's there for your own good!

LGBTQ Rights Roundup

  • Texas Supreme Court Lets Trans Healthcare Ban Take Effect "Several doctors who treat transgender children said they worry their patients will suffer deteriorating mental health, which could possibly lead to suicide, if they are denied safe and effective treatment." via the Guardian.
  • Federal Judge Blocks Texas Drag Show Ban "The Court finds there is a substantial likelihood that S.B. 12 as drafted violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution," Judge David Hittner wrote yesterday. via HuffPost.
  • Kansas No Longer Obliged to Amend Birth Certificates for Trans People, Judge Says "Without accurate identity documents, transgender people face even greater threats of discrimination, harassment, and even violence," says the lawyer who sued on behalf of trans people denied proper documents by a new state law. via the Associated Press.
  • Nebraska Gov. Signs Order Basically Saying Trans People Don't Exist Republican Gov. Jim Pillen's order to state agencies ("to protect our kids and women's athletics") aims to restrict trans people's access to public spaces. via the AP.

Two Proud Boy Lieutenants Weep as They Get Big Jan. 6 Sentences

HuffPost reports that high-ranking Proud Boys Joseph Biggs, a former correspondent for Alex Jones' Infowars, and Zachary Rehl, who led the terror group's Philadelphia chapter, were sentenced to prison by a federal judge in Washington, D.C. yesterday for their role in Donald Trump's Jan. 6, 2021 coup attempt. Biggs got 17 years and Rehl got 15. Both tough guys reportedly sobbed during their sentencing hearing. "My curiosity got the better of me and I will have to live with that for the rest of my life," Biggs told Judge Timothy Kelly. "I'm so sorry." Kelly responded that Biggs had helped to shatter "the most precious thing we had as Americans" -- the peaceful transfer of power -- not just in the 2020 elections but in future elections as well. Proud Boy co-defendants Enrique Tarrio, Ethan Nordean and Dominic Pezzola will be sentenced over the next week in the seditious conspiracy case. Good luck, jabronis!


  • Republicans Call for Mitch McConnell's Replacement, But His Doc Says He Is 'Medically Clear' to Work Independent neurologists speculate that the Senate Minority Leader's public freeze-ups could result from localized seizures or ministrokes. via the Washington Post and the New York Times.
  • Trump Enters Not Guilty Plea in Georgia Racketeering Case Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, meanwhile, said it would be "unconstitutional" for him to replace Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. via the Post and NBC News.
  • Clarence Thomas Admits He Should Have Reported Property Sale to Billionaire Pal "Writing in his annual financial disclosure form, [Supreme Court Justice] Thomas said that he 'inadvertently failed to realize' that the deal needed to be publicly disclosed." via ProPublica.
  • Biden Proposal Would Close 'Gun Show Loophole' New proposed rules by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives represent "the broadest expansion of firearms background checks in decades." via the Times.



That's how much public money was saved per person over the course of a study that gave $5,540 cash to 50 homeless people in Vancouver, British Columbia. The study, the Washington Post reports, "found that the recipients spent fewer days homeless, increased their savings and put more money toward essentials."


9/1: It's Casual Friday! Sam is joined by Heather Digby Parton, contributing writer at and proprietor of the blog Hullabaloo, to round up the week in news. Then, he is joined by MR alum extraordinaire Jamie Peck to discuss what exciting things she has coming up. And THEN, he's joined by Matthew Film Guy!


DeSantis Goes Full Maniac During Bizarre Press Conference

Things are not going well for him on the trail.

Trump Henchman HUMILIATED By Protester During Press Conference

"Bro, you're already facing charges. Go ahead and commit another crime."


"Why is this one gentleman who is close to the prime minister, allowed to move [hundreds of millions] of dollars to pump up his share price and to use the money to capture Indian assets such as airports and ports?"

-- Indian opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, demanding a parliamentary investigation yesterday following a report in the Guardian that India's richest person, Gautam Adani, who is a close friend of prime minister Narendra Modi, engaged in market manipulation and benefited from government ties.

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