BLM citations

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busted flat
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BLM citations

Post by busted flat » Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:26 pm

Our camp of 7 people ended up with 3 citations from BLM cops for possession of controlled substance, in 2 incidents -- one on Tuesday when a cop just appeared inside one of our domes and busted someone for pot. The second was the night of the Burn after midnight, in the middle of the playa with no one anywhere near us. Turns out the BLM cops were out with infrared night vision equipment, just busting people at will for smoking after spotting them across great distances with their NASA technology. The cops in incident 2 were terrible -- threatening and overbearing in the face of no resistance whatsoever -- and one of their searches leading to a citation was unquestionably illegal. Our group heard many stories of citations and arrests. I've been to BM three times now and this was the only time we've had any interactions with police. I now feel there is a much greater risk of citation/arrest in BRC than where I live (SF/Marin County).

Were we just unlucky, or did Bush's BLM turn up the heat significantly this year? I'd love to hear other participants' experiences.

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lightchocolate
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re: busted by tha man

Post by lightchocolate » Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:43 pm

unfortunately we had a camper in our group get busted after being subjected to a search for peeing in the desert...

I think he was simply caught off guard and accepted a search.

Some jackass that lived adjacent to us apparently roofied someone Tuesday or Wednesday, so there seemed to be a bit of surveillance going on in our spot (330/uranus area) culminating in a drug TRADE that was actually an undercover trading with a camper. needless to say the cops converged quickly afterwards.

A nosey woman stopped in our camp, asked for directions, and asked what I was on very abruptly Sat AM (He seems really sleepy, what's he on? he must be on mushrooms, where can I get some?). Needless to say she was fucked off in the wrong direction empty handed.

Two thoughts: it's almost worth moving camp if your neighbor pulls some nasty trick (ie roofies) and secondly a network of information on the undercovers at work would sure be nice, if it could be done without a witchhunt

busted flat
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Post by busted flat » Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:49 pm

I understand that at Rainbow Gatherings a system has developed where when people spot police they call out some kind of "code" warning to other participants in the vicinity. It's a shame that something like this might be necessary at BM.

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Post by deliveryboyespecialle » Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:08 pm

Doesn't that knife cut both ways??

It's a shame that some people think illegal substances might be necessary at BM.

Not to criticize... I'm all for letting people have the experience they want to have... but isn't the playa experience enough of a head trip on its own?

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Post by Simply Joel » Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:14 pm

deliveryboyespecialle wrote:Doesn't that knife cut both ways??

It's a shame that some people think illegal substances might be necessary at BM.

Not to criticize... I'm all for letting people have the experience they want to have... but isn't the playa experience enough of a head trip on its own?
uh... no.

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Rich
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Post by Rich » Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:14 pm

I can't speak for everyone, but I just read "Drug arrests and citations were also down, preliminary reports showed."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... DT0552.DTL

I personally saw much more drug use this year than last, and I saw a lot fewer police this year than last. But both of those are purely subjective measures.

I truly do not think there was a Bush-lead crackdown of any sort. It would be so easy for law enforcement to basically destroy the event with a 'heavy' prescence, so the fact that not much really happened says a lot.

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Post by ckburn » Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:32 pm

deliveryboyespecialle wrote:... but isn't the playa experience enough of a head trip on its own?
For my part, absolutely. I know quite a number of folks who avoid mind-altering substances at Burning Man, many of them for the specific reason that the event alters their minds more than enough.

I love Burning Man without drugs. I know plenty of people who like it with drugs. It would be nice if Nevada law and federal law permitted us all the same freedom... But they don't.
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Re: BLM citations

Post by ckburn » Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:35 pm

busted flat wrote:The second was the night of the Burn after midnight, in the middle of the playa with no one anywhere near us.
Try it this way: "I was sitting there on the beach with my friends smoking a bowl and minding my own business, and this damn beach patrol cop came up and busted us! How dare he?!?"

Sounds kind of silly doesn't it? If you want to partake in illegal drugs, do it in the privacy of your own home or your own sealed-up RV.... Or expect to get busted. Don't come crying to us about being unwise enough to do it in public.
busted flat wrote: Turns out the BLM cops were out with infrared night vision equipment, just busting people at will for smoking after spotting them across great distances with their NASA technology.
More likely they were walking by and smelled it. Infrared would tell you someone was smoking something out there, but not that it was pot rather than tobacco. It would be pretty useless for finding people smoking pot.
busted flat wrote: The cops in incident 2 were terrible -- threatening and overbearing in the face of no resistance whatsoever -- and one of their searches leading to a citation was unquestionably illegal.
Now THAT sucks. Did you get the cops' names? Did you report them to the BLM or the Black Rock Rangers? If the community doesn't push back, these bastards will just think they can get away with it.
busted flat wrote:Were we just unlucky, or did Bush's BLM turn up the heat significantly this year?
I have the numbers, and BLM/Pershing County citations for drug offenses were down this year when compared to 2002 and 2003. You were just unlucky (and taking risks by smoking in public places, a risk that was fully explained in the survival guide here: http://www.burningman.com/preparation/e ... ement.html ).
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I don't want commentary, i want stories

Post by smallblueboy » Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:18 pm

What i'd love to hear are the detailed descriptions of how people got busted and what those cops looked like, especially the undercovers.

and please, enough with the back and forth conversation about expecting to be busted if you've got illegal shit, or one doesn't need it at BM. I don't care. I want to know from other's experience how to avoid the undercovers.

and if you've got the statistics of busts, post them, and the source they came from.

thanks.

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Post by Dustdevil » Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:21 pm

An interesting group of stories. Here is mine. I was asked to run my fire art project Saturday after the Man fell. I watched the entire program and stayed until he did finally fall. I was walking back to my fire art project which was located at 3:30 about 500' off the Esplanade. My lips were dry and I needed a chapstick. My wife held the flashlight while I dug through my fanny pack. Out of the darkness two BLM rangers rolled up upon us. They wanted to see what I had in my pack and asked what we were doing. I did not feel the need to explain myself and I did not let them open my pack. They only looked through the mesh part on the outside. After a few moments their caustic attitude changed. I cannot say for certain why, I would guess my age or general appearance had something to do with it. My fire art project is somewhat dangerous to operate so I didn't have so much as a beer before the Burn. I was clean and sober, I am 53 years old with short hair, (straight appearance) and I refused to be intimidated by their attitude. I resented the implication and I made them aware of my feelings. They drove off without another word. My lesson from this, be cautious, be aware of your surroundings and behave as though you are being watched because you might very well be under survelance.
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Post by busted flat » Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:27 pm

ckburn wrote:
"If you want to partake in illegal drugs, do it in the privacy of your own home or your own sealed-up RV.... Or expect to get busted. Don't come crying to us about being unwise enough to do it in public."

I'm not crying about anything (and your admonition to read the survival guide is condescending). I was just surprised that BLM agents simply walked into a dome uninvited to make a pot bust (so much for partaking in the privacy of my own home -- can't afford a "sealed up RV")) and did it again in the middle of the night way out in the playa.

In the playa incident, no one was anywhere near us and could not possibly have smelled anything. After we reported the incident, a burning man ranger explained to us about BLM's use of night vision/infrared technology from relatively long distances. He also explained how passing a pipe is readily apparent with the infrared and looks decidely different than someone smoking a cigarette. The rangers then use their little, unlit carts to roll up quickly.

If you're cool with the police using whatever technology they can dream up to bust pot smokers way out in the playa in the middle of the night (and in walking into people's domes to bust them) -- instead of focusing on actual issues of public safety -- that's fine, you're entitled to your opinions.

I simply thought it would be helpful for participants to better understand police practices on the playa so they can protect themselves.

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Post by Hotspur » Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:57 pm

I think it is very important to know that darkness does NOT give to the presumption of privacy (which is the legal principle which prevents the cops from using IR equipment to watch you inside your house without a warrant).

I think it's lame that we have to worry about this stuff, but it's not surprising given the culture we live in today.

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Post by _tears_ » Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:59 pm

I saw many more police this year than last. I witnessed 4 arrests and two searches. Last year I saw none. In my opinion and the opinion of my campmates as well ( well most of them ) there were many more police this year than last.

I also heard of a theme camp having to put part of there camp in the back off of the main road (although this could be a rumor, i didnt venture over that way much ).
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Post by busted flat » Wed Sep 08, 2004 4:15 pm

This may be an urban legend in the making, but we heard that the BLM was actually running two art cars this year. "Sure, buddy, hop aboard for a ride! Can I give you a light? [And some handcuffs.]"

Probably untrue, but this is the place to have such wild rumors dispelled or confirmed.

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Post by Rob the Wop » Wed Sep 08, 2004 4:21 pm

Larry Harvey is an undercover DEA agent. Do NOT attend any parties of his while carrying drugs.
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Post by burning tent » Wed Sep 08, 2004 4:29 pm

I already mentioned your experience to a number of people and in my second post.

I don't know how the revenue from these citations is dispersed but I am pretty sure the BLM has one of the smallest budgets of federal agencies. Maybe I'm wrong and these rangers just really really like doing their jobs (or whatever) but it sure seemed like 'donation' time to me. They were far and away the biggest negative I experienced this year.

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Post by busted flat » Wed Sep 08, 2004 4:52 pm

I suspect the cost of issuing citations exceeds the expense of issuing them, particularly when you consider the expensive technology used to apprehend violators "in plain sight" and in the fact BLM brings in officers from across the West. (The officers who busted us were from New Mexico and Oregon.) The real benefit to BLM probably comes when they can crow about all of their success at Burning Man when it's time to fight for a piece of next year's budget.

In our case, at least the 2nd incident, the officers were clearly taking great pleasure in citing us (and threatening far worse), even though we were not giving them any trouble whatsoever. My son and I were in the group and the minute I asked whether he had consented to the search they were conducting of his pack, I was immediately separated from the rest of the group and taken to their electric cart for multiple searches. When one of our group asked the perfectly legitimate question whether he was free to leave, the cop threatend to tackle "you mortherfucker" and said "you won't be the first asshole I've tackled today." He seemed like a twisted little kid on Christmas morning, he was having so much fun.

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Post by stuart » Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:24 pm

This may be an urban legend in the making, but we heard that the BLM was actually running two art cars this year. "Sure, buddy, hop aboard for a ride! Can I give you a light? [And some handcuffs.]"
not an urban legend.

Someone I know was busted in a case of clear entrapment.

Art car rolls up.

friend 'nice art car'

drivers response 'want a ride?'

friend 'sure'

driver 'got a bud?'

friend 'yeah'

driver 'your under arrest'

friend with friend 'hey, you can't do that'

they then went on to search 2nd friend and bust him as well.
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Post by unjonharley » Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:51 pm

Hope this thread is where all the fucking whineing takes place.

You come to the BM to do your drugs. You got busted. Boo Hoo. Now go sit in the corner and suck your thomb. Or at least "fuck off"
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Post by ckburn » Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:22 pm

busted flat wrote: I'm not crying about anything (and your admonition to read the survival guide is condescending).
Ok, then, whining. And it was meant to be condescending. Sorry, but that's how I feel about it.
busted flat wrote: I was just surprised that BLM agents simply walked into a dome uninvited to make a pot bust (so much for partaking in the privacy of my own home -- can't afford a "sealed up RV"))
Was this your living dome, not your party dome? Was there a door of some sort, and was it closed? These are the things you have to think about and deal with. It was clearly explained, and the people who got busted this year were generally the people who ignored the advice.
busted flat wrote:In the playa incident, no one was anywhere near us and could not possibly have smelled anything. After we reported the incident, a burning man ranger explained to us about BLM's use of night vision/infrared technology from relatively long distances. He also explained how passing a pipe is readily apparent with the infrared and looks decidely different than someone smoking a cigarette. The rangers then use their little, unlit carts to roll up quickly.
I'll buy that, and if true I stand corrected. Those tactics piss me off, too. Unfortunately they are probably completely legal.
busted flat wrote:If you're cool with the police using whatever technology they can dream up to bust pot smokers way out in the playa in the middle of the night (and in walking into people's domes to bust them) -- instead of focusing on actual issues of public safety -- that's fine, you're entitled to your opinions.
I'm not "cool" with it, but I am enough of a realist to expect that this is exactly what is going to happen at Burning Man. These same complaints were all over e-playa last year. If you are going to break the law, you have to expect that the guys whose job it is to stop you are probably going to do that job.

They were also very focused on public safety. The BLM and PCSO responded to Black Rock Ranger requests for assistance many times during the event for such things as lost children, theft, and violent offenders (real ones, not playa-play).
busted flat wrote:I simply thought it would be helpful for participants to better understand police practices on the playa so they can protect themselves.
I totally agree. However, pretty much everything you need to know is in the aforementioned Guide (with the exception of the night vision stuff). If you follow the advice there, your chances of getting busted become very small. It still happens, and yes, there are illegal searches. That kind of shit sucks, and should be reported and fought in court.

I also think that the behavior of the officers you described in another post (verbal abuse, etc.) is absolutely inexcusable. If you have the names of the officers involved I invite you to send them my way through the email link in my posts. I'll do what I can to make sure they get reported.

Furthermore, if others have negative interactions with law enforcement officers they would like to relate, I'd like to hear them (via email). All we can do is complain, but if a pattern of abuse appears regarding specific officers it could do some good.
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Post by Dustydude » Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:40 pm

I went substance free, but I did feel watched, especially out on the playa. Once I was digging through my bag for chocolates and a BLM suv approached me fairly quickly, but they didn't stop, although I'm sure they looked hard at me with their gadgets. A walk on the playa at night invites their probes. I rarely saw their suvs drive by camp, but it sounds like the undercovers were doing that beat.

Friday night I saw an suv pull up to near the Lush camp and shut the lights off. I later saw a golf cart, undecorated, zoom into the dance camp. It looked like they were doing a bust. Anyone hear about that?

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Censorship at burning man

Post by Glassy151 » Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:21 pm

I too heard of part of peoples camp being forcefully moved, A sheriff saw a painting of 2 males engaged having sex and he forced the camp to take it down, the camp did agree to move the sign (due to obvious obscenities) however the officer did take offense himself, then some bystander witnessed the event and after the sheriff left he grabbed the sign and started to parade it around and yell "your art is next" and trying to rile the crowd, thats what I know

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Post by ckburn » Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:31 pm

stuart wrote:not an urban legend. Someone I know was busted in a case of clear entrapment.
Better dust off your law library and crack the books, Stuart. The legal definition of entrapment requires that officers persuade a person to commit a crime that he had no previous intent to commit. If your friend had bud in his pocket, an officer merely asked for some, and your friend freely gave it to him, then there is nothing about that scene to indciate entrapment. Check out the prostitution stings on Cops sometime... the undercovers there most certainly entice men to ask for sex for money. All perfectly legal under the law.

Entrapment occurs only if:

- First, the idea for committing the crime came from the government agents and not from the person accused of the crime.

- Second, the government agents then persuaded or talked the person into committing the crime. Simply giving him the opportunity to commit the crime is not the same as persuading him to commit the crime.

- And third, the person was not ready and willing to commit the crime before the government agents spoke with him.

So for example, if an undercover officer sat around with your buddy for awhile, brought up the subject of buying drugs, and then helped put him in contact with a dealer and make a buy, your friend could have been entrapped. IF he had no previous provable intent to buy drugs.

Now the friend of your friend who was searched merely for saying 'hey you can't do that'... a case might be made for illegal search there.

This is the first I have heard of the police using mutant vehicles in drug stings. Did your friend have a large amount of illegal drugs on him, maybe prepared for distribution? Or just a small, "casual use" amount? I'm very interested in this particular point if you know the facts.



Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and am not offering legal advice. Just opinions based on minimal research.
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Post by lightchocolate » Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:09 pm

unjonharley wrote:Hope this thread is where all the fucking whineing takes place.

You come to the BM to do your drugs. You got busted. Boo Hoo. Now go sit in the corner and suck your thomb. Or at least "fuck off"
Good one unjohn harley. Glad you don't mind invasive and pointless legal codes, and the puritanical tits that wander around the desert enforcing them. Hopefully you don't like having your cock sucked, because that my friend is another arbitrary violation of said legal codes, though maybe you'll get lucky and a cop wont enforce that (if you blow him too). Or, he will, and you will get a chance to follow your own advice, boo hooing, sucking your thumb, and fucking off. It takes a true visionary to be rightous about following stupid rules, and you unjon have that vision.

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Post by cornelius » Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:23 am

BUSTED FLAT- We had a very similar XP. The year: Twenty oh two. The place: BaseWave Marina, Black Rock City. It was full dark. Nobody was at 10 o'clock and BaseWave. DJ Leo was spinning music. We (about 10 people) pulled up in our Rocket Car. Made a circle and passed a doober amungst friends, know what I mean? Anyway...so these frickin' Feds are out in the darkness with night vision EQPT. All of a sudden the young hot rookie (mustache, wind breaker, ball cap and all) comes blasting outta the distance and grabs my pal who just so happens to be dressed up like a shark and who just so happens to be holding the doober. He pulled him violently away from the group and a golf cart appears with another Fed. (mustachio's superior). They "field booked" my friend (photograph in shark costume). God I wanna see that picture.
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Post by unjonharley » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:51 am

lightchocolate wrote:
unjonharley wrote:Hope this thread is where all the fucking whineing takes place.

You come to the BM to do your drugs. You got busted. Boo Hoo. Now go sit in the corner and suck your thomb. Or at least "fuck off"
Good one unjohn harley. Glad you don't mind invasive and pointless legal codes, and the puritanical tits that wander around the desert enforcing them. Hopefully you don't like having your cock sucked, because that my friend is another arbitrary violation of said legal codes, though maybe you'll get lucky and a cop wont enforce that (if you blow him too). Or, he will, and you will get a chance to follow your own advice, boo hooing, sucking your thumb, and fucking off. It takes a true visionary to be rightous about following stupid rules, and you unjon have that vision.


You dumb fuck. I don't have troubles with the law. If you want to play cat&mouse with them. Stop your fucking whining when the game is over. I've done my drugs and done my time. What I didn't do was the whine time. Your a self centered fk wit to break the rules. To stupid to change them.
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Post by Last Real Burner » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:37 am

Being an indulger, and wanting to intermingle my pleasures, I basically smoked at camp, and only in a sealed vehicle, and taking into said vehicle only the amount to be imbibed. Most of you already know about my feelings for the LEO, and how I whined and cried and moan and basically pitched a bitch about the LEO prescences and how I sat out a few years in defiance. Well I have to admit, I agree with Unjohn. If you do stupid stuff anywhere Johnny Law will get you, they spend billions on shit just to do there job better, and that you can carry to the bank. If you do drugs and don't know or pretend that it is not true "Anywhere" in these United States, then you're a "Dumb Ass", and you get what you deserve. You would not in a million years walk downtown in any city and fire up, you just would'nt. Why would you think or act any different in BRC.

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Post by lightchocolate » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:18 am

unjonharley wrote:
lightchocolate wrote:
unjonharley wrote:Hope this thread is where all the fucking whineing takes place.

You come to the BM to do your drugs. You got busted. Boo Hoo. Now go sit in the corner and suck your thomb. Or at least "fuck off"
Good one unjohn harley. Glad you don't mind invasive and pointless legal codes, and the puritanical tits that wander around the desert enforcing them. Hopefully you don't like having your cock sucked, because that my friend is another arbitrary violation of said legal codes, though maybe you'll get lucky and a cop wont enforce that (if you blow him too). Or, he will, and you will get a chance to follow your own advice, boo hooing, sucking your thumb, and fucking off. It takes a true visionary to be rightous about following stupid rules, and you unjon have that vision.


You dumb fuck. I don't have troubles with the law. If you want to play cat&mouse with them. Stop your fucking whining when the game is over. I've done my drugs and done my time. What I didn't do was the whine time. Your a self centered fk wit to break the rules. To stupid to change them.
Dear unjohn,

The implication of calling one dumbfuck is that the namecaller is not. A logical extension of that is that said namecaller is smart, the communication of which would require a certain aptitude for written expression in the namecaller's native toungue. Barring that others may perceive that you are taken with delusions of granduer.

Notice people can write whatever they want, and you can also write "stop whining" all you want, I can write cops are a buzzkill all I want, etc. etc.

Before you call someone "to stupid" (at least it wasn't two stoopid) you should really be aware of the proper usage of following words: to, too, and to.

In case you missed the point of my previous posts, yes the police can sneak around enforcing our own country's legal codes, but the less obtrusive this is the more Eutopian the BM community feels. I appreciate your rugged individualism, your past drug experience, and your lofty self concept.

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Post by Blenderhead » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:28 am

would it be presumptious of me to call "chickenfucker!" on this thread?

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Post by Rob the Wop » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:44 am

lightchocolate wrote: In case you missed the point of my previous posts, yes the police can sneak around enforcing our own country's legal codes, but the less obtrusive this is the more Eutopian the BM community feels. I appreciate your rugged individualism, your past drug experience, and your lofty self concept.
Having both a very close personal friend in law enforcement and having a grandpa that was a cheif for 35 years- I can give you some quick information.

A) Their job is to enforce the laws enacted by our legislators. Period.
B) To do their job, they will and should use the best legal means possible.

So they are not 'sneaking around' enforcing legal codes. It's their job and if they do it well, then they take their jobs seriously. Wouldn't it just be peachy if someone was murdering a friend of yours and a cop was standing by- refusing to 'sneak around' and prevent said murder. Of course not. Both friend and grandpa have told me that they don't always agree with all the codes, but it's not their job to make the laws- just enforce them. They can get fired or worse if they ignore illegal activity.

Until your drug of choice is legalized, the police will be looking to bust you for it when they can. In Oregon, there are many with 'medical' cards. They can't get busted for it (barring federal intervention, of course).

Hopefully you learned to treat Burning Man the same way as your doing drugs in a city park- because that is essentially what it has become. It is a city. There are cops and BLM. You are in a 'park'. Make fucking brownies for fuck's sake. Why are people always baffled and pissed off when the cops do the job they're paid for? They can't practice 'selective' law enforcement.

Oh and Blenderhead, "chickenfucker" just turns me on- so please move erotic statements to a more appropriate thread. Thank you.
[b]The other, other white meat.[/b]

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