Police in Irving, Texas arrested a teenager on Monday for bringing a a clock he produced on his personal time to school to show off to his Engineering instructors. Up until today local authorities were intending to pursue "hoax bomb" charges against the teenager, Ahmed Mohamed in spite of his constant assertions that the device he created was nothing more than a clock. Ahmed was involved in robotics club in Middle School and wanted to make a project at home he could use to demonstrate his engineering prowess for his new High School teachers. Ahmed's teachers upon hearing the clock beep pulled him out of class and alerted police who arrested him and drew up initial charges (archived). School principal Dan Cummings summarily suspended Ahmed from school grounds for three days.
The war on drugs in the United States begat a larger war against hobbyist chemists (archived) which with the advent of the War on Terror has expanded to include suspicion and prosecution directed against hobbyist engineers and people who entertain themselves with technical arts in general. Much as useful chemicals are branded as either drug precursors or potential explosives, electronic components are branded as bomb parts. The effect of these efforts against thinking persons are magnified by a cultural promotion in the United States of ignorance that supports suspicion without investigation and a glorification of feelings over competence in technical and other pursuits.
This situation where a home made clock can despite all protest still carry potential prosecution as a "hoax bomb" is just on further illustration of the systemic elimination of justice in the American legal system. An unchecked proliferation of criminal law which makes potentially any action by an American citizen a felony leaves the entire United States population including many expatriates under a constant threat of prosecution at the whim of any State's attorney. Between this proliferation of acts considered criminal and the increasingly lazy default bias towards the prosecuting party affecting the entire Anglophone world it is an exceedingly dangerous time for the geographically unfortunate.
The situation as devolved to the point where practitioners of thinking hobbies must conceal them as though they were running a criminal operation as the mere bystander's impression that the hobby is criminal is nearly enough to charge and potentially convict a person so running a "hoax" or "faux" version of whatever the ignorant bystander though the activity or its fruit was. In this case the Irving, Texas authorities happened to bow to social pressure and rescind charging this youth. It was very nearly the case though that this teen would have seriously faced charges of terrorism, because the clock he insisted was a clock was interpreted by lesser people to be a fake bomb.
Because of the unbounded depths of human idiocy, there are fewer dangerous situations for the thinking person that that in which his liberty and potentially his life are in the hands of what idiots think things are.