Freedom to record

Public forum? Public can record it.

From The Baltimore Sun:

A Harford County Circuit Court judge ruled this afternoon that a motorcyclist who was arrested for videotaping his traffic stop by a Maryland State Trooper was within his rights to record the confrontation.

Judge Emory A Pitt Jr. tossed all the charges filed against Anthony Graber, leaving only speeding and other traffic violations, and most likely sparing him a trial that had been scheduled for Oct. 12. The judge ruled that Maryland’s wire tap law allows recording of both voice and sound in areas where privacy cannot be expected. He ruled that a police officer on a traffic stop has no expectation of privacy.

“Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public,” the judge wrote.

“When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded from public observation.”

Taliban Dan

Alan Grayson’s new ad tells it like it is – extremists are extremists, whether they be Taliban or fundamentalist Christians.

Boulder: Thank you firefighters!

At 2:00 pm today, Sept. 19, 2010 the residents of Boulder, evacuees from the fire and well-wishers lined Pearl Street to publicly thank all the fire crews that worked the Fourmile Fire. I was there to record the event. Here’s the photos and videos I took. Please feel free to use any of this material any way you like. If possible, an attribution of ‘Courtesy of’ is appreciated but not required. There’s also a great poster available at All proceeds go to benefit local firefighters.

I polled a number of firefighters with this question: “How does it feel to be a celebrity?” and got almost exactly the same answer in every case: “Not me.” These men and women risk their lives and don’t consider themselves heroes – just ‘glad we got to play that day’ – God Bless You ALL.

Here’s my Flickr gallery of photos from this event. Please feel free to use any of these photos any way you like. If possible, an attribution of ‘Courtesy of’ is appreciated but not required.

Smile or Die

Acclaimed journalist, author and political activist Barbara Ehrenreich explores the darker side of positive thinking.

The Anti-Solar Mayor

Video from Longmont City Council Open Forum January 12th, 2010. Listen to our new mayor’s remarks to a citizen asking for reconsideration of the solar tax credit.