[AZ-Observing] Re: Observing in Arizona

  • From: "Matt Luttinen" <mluttinen@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "AZ-Observing mailing list" <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 11:45:49 -0700

(stepping up on soapbox)

From what little I know, the Vekol valley is a notorious conduit for drugs
and illegals. If the law thinks the area is dangerous, they must have good
reason to say so. A few months ago I saw a news spot about how the Vekol
area was being covered by helicopters and all-terrain vehicles. They would
not allocate that many resources without justification. I will not be
observing there for the forseeable future-it is simply not worth it.

Last time I was at Sentinel, we had a midnight visit by a Maricopa County
Sherriff's Deputy. He was really nice, but he definitely checked us out. He
warned us of traffic up the road, none of it legal. It's just the times we
live in, I guess.

I know this is OT but I have to comment. The Patriot Act has greatly
expanded police powers, so if any officer of any department saw you and your
scoping equipment as truly suspicius (say, you looked like you might be
arabic), you could be hauled off to jail and *not* get your day in court.
Most people don't realize that habeus corpus has been suspended for anyone
suspected of terrorist activities. This includes surveillence, and a
telescope could be easily mistaken for a surveillence tool. 

That said, the Border Patrol and other enforcement agencies do a thankless
job; they are greatly understaffed and underpaid for the risks entailed. It
looks like we are seeing the effect of greatly stepped-up enforcement of the
law, and nothing more. At least I hope that is what it is . . .

(stepping down from soapbox)


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