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This is your home

This is part of a new campaign by the ACLU: War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing

All across the country, heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs. It should enrage us that people have needlessly died during these raids, that pets have been shot, and that homes have been ravaged.

Our neighborhoods are not warzones, and police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies. Any yet, every year, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to state and local police departments. Departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted people of color.

As our new report makes clear, it’s time for American police to remember that they are supposed to protect and serve our communities, not wage war on the people who live in them.

Even the Los Angeles Times (which has historically been a bit of a drug war cheerleader) thinks it’s out of control —

Editorial: Have police departments gone too far with SWAT units?

The ACLU rightly urges the federal government to scale back its program of military hand-me-downs to civilian agencies, and suggests that the Department of Justice require data collection on SWAT deployments. Local and state governments also need to standardize criteria and oversight for when the units are used, and insist that they be deployed only when necessary, and proportionate to the situation. Together, those steps would help restore the notion that police exist to protect and serve, not conquer.

Of course, awareness on this issue owes a huge debt of gratitude to Radley Balko, who has been at the very front line of talking about the militarization of the drug war.

He has another article today:

Massachusetts SWAT teams claim they’re private corporations, immune from open records laws

Some of these LECs [Law Enforcement Councils] have also apparently incorporated as 501(c)(3) organizations. And it’s here that we run into problems. According to the ACLU, the LECs are claiming that the 501(c)(3) status means that they’re private corporations, not government agencies. And therefore, they say they’re immune from open records requests. Let’s be clear. These agencies oversee police activities. They employ cops who carry guns, wear badges, collect paychecks provided by taxpayers and have the power to detain, arrest, injure and kill. They operate SWAT teams, which conduct raids on private residences. And yet they say that because they’ve incorporated, they’re immune to Massachusetts open records laws. The state’s residents aren’t permitted to know how often the SWAT teams are used, what they’re used for, what sort of training they get or who they’re primarily used against.

A police state happens when the people fail to stop it from developing (or even actively encourage it through succumbing to fear). It is up to us to insure that the public knows the warning signs (and that we’ve already reached the point of urgency).

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68 comments to This is your home

  • Servetus

    It’s inevitable that anything touched by the drug war will be dragged down to the level of the drug war. It’s a war whose ideology resides somewhere near the eleventh circle of hell. Many agencies and civilians are not familiar with how low prohibition can go, and that presents a problem to those naïve enough to believe they will remain untarnished or unaffected by the totalitarian disorders of drug war sycophants.

    SWAT had a specific task to perform when it was created. But because snipers and hostage-taking were rare, the usual capitalist/Calvinist work-ethic BS demanded SWAT resources be utilized to maximize the return on monetary investment in specialized police units. It would have been better had SWAT officers been deployed in their off hours to rescuing cats from high trees, cleaning roadways, or some other useful function. But nooooo….

    The authoritarians and the inbreds needed to prove how tough they were. They needed to prove themselves superior to those damn hippies and blacks in black urban neighborhoods. The culture war became their priority, not public health. So now SWAT is poised to be dissected and deconstructed. If any government agency can be deemed psychopathic, and therefore a threat to society, SWAT is that agency.

  • One of my greatest focuses is raising awareness about the most serious form of abuse due to its mainly broad scope of destruction — law abuse.

    As I studied the definition of liberty in our nation, I see that definition is constructed solely of absolutes (liberty, unalienable, naturally given, and self-evident). Putting the logic together leaves us only with liberty minus the liberty to directly infringe upon another person’s liberty.

    That definition must be met (the right is self-evident), which means (without doubt) that our public servants have no just ability to legally define risk, because one cannot define risk without also defining liberty.

    Had our national society honored that obligation, we would have no racism (including slavery), no gender discrimination, no sexual preference discrimination, and of course, no recreational drug choice discrimination.

    The legal foundation supporting “balanced liberty” is amendment nine in our Constitution, which clearly states, “The enumeration in our Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Without the “truths to be held self-evident” (obviously including the unalienable right to liberty), that catchall amendment has no meaning.

    Law abuse is blatantly rampant (and shows only signs of getting worse imho), and a public intervention is seriously needed now to put an end to the horribly devastating domination “fix” that too many public servants crave against everything our nation was supposed to be lawfully built upon.

    Our fundamental rights are not a failed experiment. They are an obligation ignored throughout American history, so the ‘morality and equality police’ can abuse law by defining risk supposedly for our safety.

    Want proof that overall tragedy reduction has occurred from any risk-based law? You will never find it, because only statistical spin and other biased reasoning can ever be applied in a reality that is inherently tragic. For prime example, each one of dies at some point, regardless of the rule-of-law, and that death can come from intended or unintended consequences in an overwhelming variety of ways (including death effectively by law abuse).

    Just say no to drugs? Just demonstrate no to law abuse (in part by helping us spread the word about this most serious form of abuse).

    You want conservatism? Honor our fundamental right to liberty as defined in our most famous declaration. You want progressive/liberalism? Honor that same purely logically constructed right (justice requires fairness, which requires objectivity).

    • Windy

      Well written, thank you, I hope you don’t mind that I copied and shared it to facebook. It is so right on, I couldn’t help myself.

  • DdC

    Jack A. Cole ‏@jackacole
    More Drug War arrogance. Now the public has no right to know about SWAT teams. http://wapo.st/1sID35d
    Want to end this?

    Massachusetts SWAT teams claim they’re private corporations, immune from open records laws http://wapo.st/1nHzkOn via @washingtonpost

    LEAP ‏@CopsSayLegalize @DrugPolicyNews
    Regulation in CO After 6 Months of Retail Sales & 18 Months of Decrim http://bit.ly/1rEZWCj

    Congress Blocks Marijuana Decriminalization in D.C., Racist Pot Arrests Rage On http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2014/06/26/Congress-Blocks-Marijuana-Decriminalization-DC-Racist-Pot-Arrests-Rage

  • Howard

    Related to the links in Pete’s post, with the appropriate irony and snark (an oped about the plight of the Kettle Falls Five);

    Lock ’Em Up Nation: Mandatory Sentencing for Medical Marijuana

    http://tinyurl.com/qjtd2g9

    • strayan

      Well umm, gee, maybe cannabis shouldn’t be treated like a new prescription medicine.

      I don’t need a script to buy coffee beans and then enjoy the health benefits of consuming them, why do I need a script to buy cannabis?

  • Not Your Squeaky Toy

    What are the limits of Your Patience? Stretch an Elastic, Keep going, Keep going, …. SNAP!
    Absolutely loved it when a peeved farmer dumped a load of Chicken Manure on the Porch of the BC legislature.
    Vive La Resistance!
    More of this, Please.

    • kaptinemo

      “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”Frederick Douglass

      • DdC

        How’s this for Irony?

        Frederick Douglass, the renowned abolitionist, began life as a slave on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. When his owner had trouble with the young, unruly slave, Douglass was sent to Edward Covey, a notorious “slave breaker.” Covey’s plantation, where physical and psychological torture were standard, was called Mount Misery. Douglass eventually fought back, escaped to the North and went on to change the world. Today Mount Misery is owned by Donald Rumsfeld, the previous secretary of defense.

  • Colin Keesee

    I feel that in the long run, even more SWAT raids can be good politically. We need more SWAT raids applied to college dorms, the homes of small town mayors, churches, the homes of rural people, the homes of law and order “soccer moms” and “NASCAR dads.” In other words, white, middle and upper class America needs to feel some heat.

    Most white folks, safely ensconced in the burbs and rural areas, far from the inner city, were just fine with “tough on crime” laws when it was assumed that that “tough love” would only be applied to a youthful, colored and impoverished other. In politics, folks who are personally unaffected by inhumane policy, rarely see the light but they change their tune very quickly when they feel the heat.

    • kaptinemo

      You’ve just described the essence of the late Professor Charles Whitebread’s “Iron Law of Prohibition”: Prohibitions are enacted by an easily identified US against an equally easily identifiable THEM. When the laws start to affect US, they’re changed.

    • darkcycle

      Kap’n is right. Those laws were never intended to affect suburban white neighborhoods and such. That’s why the outrage is rising. It has, as it invariably does, spread and begun taking those very people.
      Now the people no longer see the victims of the drug war as “them”. It’s very obviously become “Us”.

  • claygooding

    O/T but then perhaps not so much,

    25% of all women in the US have a prescription for psychological drugs.

    That is one scary statistic,,it means 75% are running around untreated.

    I expect to see more ads for those drugs soon.

    • allan

      “That is one scary statistic,,it means 75% are running around untreated.”

      ouch!

      Excessive alcohol use kills 1 in 10 working-age adults, new CDC report says

      • primus

        So one in 10 drink themselves to death? So what? I fail to see the significance. With all the PSA’s and other messages over the years, everyone knows that excessive alcohol use is damaging to the individual and to society. If a person chooses to use alcohol knowing all that, they also accept the consequences. If they had no prior knowledge of the harms that would be sad, but sadder still would be for them to lose the freedom to choose for themselves. As to ‘alcoholism’ I have observed it at close hand all my life. Many have stopped using alcohol for the rest of their lives, others choose not to, but it can be done. I have several friends like that. If someone chooses to drink after becoming sober so be it. Their choice, their consequences.

        • kaptinemo

          The thing that always puzzled me was this: Why so much spent on trying to keep people from using (currently!) illicit drugs, and not so much on alcoholics?

          Over a trillion dollars since 1969 have been spent in such touching concern for the lives of such drug users, and comparatively, only the barest fraction of that on stemming alcoholism.

          If I were an alcoholic, I might be incensed; isn’t the life of an alcoholic just as worthy of ‘saving’ as that of the illicit drug user? You don’t see Uncle Sam spending anywhere near as much on alcohol prevention programs.

          Obviously, the life of a ‘druggie’ is vastly more valuable than that of the juicer, given the amount spent. We should feel exalted, I suppose. (/snark)

        • claygooding

          kapt,,it is all in an effort to lock hemp up where nobody could free it,,the entire drug war is staged to cover up the “deal” made between our federal government and the power brokers of the early 1900’s and most or their heirs or corporations they formed are still the power brokers today,,the federal government even today is still trying to keep that deal and willing to go broke doing it.
          I wish we could tally the money changing hands in legislative offices all over this country right now.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          C’mon kaptin, quit tryin’ to be all clever and shit. I know that you know that we both know that everyone knows that people are allowed to drink themselves into a coma, permanent brain damage, or even to death because there are other people who don’t drink to get drunk! Also there are people who sometimes use drinking alcohol to make a toast at a wedding because it’s “ingrained” in our culture! Back in the 1920s people getting married had to hire Al Capone to cater their weddings! Then again his wedding catering service really did supply the nicest floral bouquets available so it wasn’t all bad.

          If only there was a use for cannabis where people aren’t getting high. It isn’t like I might look at a local grocery store’s promotional flyer and see something like “milk” made from hemp on special this week. Even the thought is just plain absurdity!!

        • strayan

          I’ve adapted your snark a little kaptinemo

          Can anyone explain why so much spent on trying to stop people from using cannabis, and not so much on trying to stop people smoking tobacco?

          The U.S. government spends 5.5 billion per year[1] enforcing cannabis prohibition (in a touching display of concern for the lives of cannabis users), and comparatively, the barest fraction of that on stemming tobacco use.

          If I were a tobacco addict, I might be incensed; isn’t my life just as worthy of ‘saving’ as that of the illicit cannabis user? You don’t see Uncle Sam spending anywhere near as much on tobacco programs (only 641 million in 2010[2]).

          Obviously, the life of a ‘stoner’ is vastly more valuable than that of the nicotine fiend, given the amount spent.

          We should feel exalted, I suppose.

          1. http://blumenauer.house.gov/images/stories/2013/The_Path_Forward_Rethinking_Federal_Marijuana_Policy.pdf
          2. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6120a3.htm#tab2

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        That report might be meaningful if the people who work at the CDC weren’t functionally innumerate.

  • Jean Valjean

    Nemo (with irony acknowledged)…
    ” the life of a ‘druggie’ is vastly more valuable than that of the juicer…”
    This only works if you ask the question more valuable to whom?… to private prisons, law enforcement and all the rest of the prohib blood suckers the answer is clearly yes. The individual drug consumer serves the same function of ‘value’ to these people as did slaves in the past towards their owners.

    • kaptinemo

      M. Jean, you are so right…and inadvertantly buttressed even further your own argument…by mentioning slaves.

      Re-read the 13th Amendment:

      Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

      Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. (Emphasis mine – k.)

      I posit that slavery has not ended. It was resurrected with the DrugWar.

      Does anyone NOT see a similarity between the previous form of slavery and the below-minimum wages paid to inmates shackled to workdesks in private prisons? Whips and clubs have been replaced by Tasers and PR-24’s… but the chains are still there, all the same.

      The fact that the ones most incarcerated on drug charges, and thus so (ahem!) ’employed’, are African-Americans, doesn’t require 20/20 vision to see – or predict.

      If it walks like a duck, has webbed feet like a duck, has a yellow bill like a duck, quacks like a duck, shi-, uhm, uh, oh well, you get the idea. It’s a freakin’ duck. And this one is wearing a T-shirt that says SLAVERY.

      De facto slavery exists in the US…and it’s time for a new civil rights movement to finally smash this obscenity to the dust is should have been reduced to before. A civil rights movement, not to protect any one group, but to protect the rights of all in the face of the burgeoning Spook/Police State. An entity whose jackboot soles are stamped with “DrugWarInc. as the manufacturer’s logo.

      And here is the true irony of it all. Here’s the kicker. The ones most concerned about the diminution and diffusion of our rights were the very ones demonized by society for being outspoken on a socially unpopular subject…drug law reformers.

      We’ve always been ‘the canaries in the (civil rights) coalmine’, ‘the voice in the wilderness’, Jeremiah warning about the approaching sh*tstorm if we don’t mend our ways and stop the DrugWar-greased slide into fascism. And all we ever got was what Cassandra did.

      And now? Look at every ‘progressive’ blog and they’ve been bemoaning the same thing as if they just discovered the fascist elephant in the living room whose damn trunk has been trumpeting Orwellian insanity while it’s been whipping us black-and-blue for 40 frakkin’ years …when it hasn’t been using the carpet as toilet paper.

      Welcome in, Johnny-Come-Latelys, but don’t think you’ll grab all the glory when the dust settles. We’re the grizzled veterans of this campaign, broken-nosed, busted-bottle, no-nonsense trench fighters, and some of us have the scars to prove it.

      We’ve been battling alone, without any R&R, much less proper resupply, while the newbies stood on the sides of said trenches and either told us to be quiet…or used the trenches as urinals. We’re in no mood for games, not after so many of us have been put through so much.

      They couldn’t be bothered when we told them about the slow, insidious loss of freedoms and liberties which accelerated when ‘their’ man Klinton was Chief Executive. And now what we’ve been warning about for years is coming to pass…and the ‘progressives’ are only now realizing that ‘DrugWar’ + ‘War on Terror’ = Fascism.

      Oh, well, better late than never. But I also never pass up a chance to remind the newest voices in the choir who wrote the words in their new hymnals…and how not so long ago they damned us for daring to do so.

      • Tony Aroma

        Good point, kaptinemo! I always thought the drug war was a form of slavery for a completely different reason. When the government tells you what you can and can’t ingest, they’ve taken away your personal sovereignty. They have control over what you’re allowed to do with your body. If someone else is in charge of what you can and can’t do with your own body, then I’d say they own you. Prison is just the way disobedient slaves are punished.

  • claygooding

    I have to admit that some drugs drive the user harder than others but I haven’t found one yet that drives harder than tobacco.
    However there are some drugs(opiates) that I never did enough to ever form any kind of habit for them or pharmaceutical downers,,,now I do have to admit the second hardest driver is shown here:

    http://tinyurl.com/oofo4my

    I can relate.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Well here’s a new one…Johns Hopkins University did a study which was published in the last half of 2013 which quantified the danger of beer and the 5 most harmful by brand name. They are Budweiser, Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Bud Ice and Bud Light. I don’t know if they adjusted for brand popularity. With 3 of the 5 culprits being produced by the largest beer manufacturing concerns either they did not or Anheuser-Busch is truly evil. Since he’s the devil in human form I wonder, does George Soros own Anheuser-Busch?

    Dr. Jernigan said that the breakdown of liquor consumption in the study may be particular to Baltimore, and that he and his colleagues are hoping to study other cities as well. The findings could have policy implications, potentially influencing labeling requirements and marketing for higher-alcohol beers, Dr. Jernigan said.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/19/beers-implicated-in-emergency-room-visits/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

  • primus

    More meaningless statistics. Just as bad as the DAWN stats cited by the prohibidiots relative to cannabis use. So buddy had a couple beers before he fell off the skateboard. Was he inebriated? Probably not. Was the accident caused in any way by alcohol? It probably was, in a way, because of lowered inhibitions. Sober, buddy knows he can’t skateboard now that he’s in his 40’s, but give him a couple beers and he wants to have fun and relive his youth a bit. Sober he knows better, but now he broke his ankle. Did the beers cause it? No. Buddy is a moron. Beer just exposed the fact.

    • darkcycle

      LMAO. And Buddy should stick with the Wii skateboard and stay the hell off the driveway and away from Buddy Jr.s wheels! Even I figured that one out!

      • allan

        even tho’ I was climbing 30′ ladders and scrambling across steep rooftops until I was 61 I never jumped off, fell off(!) nor did I do it while drinking beer. Skateboards? Really? NoFW! Nowadays not even sober.

        I am always glad tho’ to pass on to the current generation of skateboarders that we started out the whole thing with metal skates nailed to a 2×4 (1960). Just turning a corner was a trick! I call it early lessons in geometry and physics…

    • Windy

      My 50 year old son snowboards (still doing inverted tricks) skateboards, surfs, and as a carpenter (mostly building homes and apartments) he walks on skinny little boards on second and third stories before there is a piece of plywood or whatever nailed down for flooring or solid walls, too. It is something to watch him at this work, you’d think he was doing it all on the flat ground. He does all these things stoned as much as he does them sober (he doesn’t always work for a contractor, sometimes he works for himself and solo). He can bang out a REALLY well made house in an amazingly short period of time, he’s FAST, being stoned doesn’t slow him down one bit.

  • primus

    Our family’s first skateboard was a pathetic little thing with steel wheels. When we wore them completely out, mom bought us one with plastic wheels and ball bearings and WOW were we impressed. Fond memories. Last time I was on a skateboard (and I mean the LAST time) was on a camping trip, cold sober. Lost control. Legs not long enough or fast enough. Lesson learned at age 35.

  • Windy

    They are going to have to choose, either they are a government policing agency or they are private company without any legitimate policing powers, because there is NO WAY they can be allowed to be both at the same time.

  • Nick

    So if that SWAT team is a private business then when they raid a home it’s considered breaking and entering and the homeowners are free to shoot them? The homeowners should be able to shoot as many as they can, and then take them to court and sue them for their destruction of property, amongst other crimes. Sounds good to me. For real though, the SWAT team fails to understand that they get funded by the people who pay taxes, which means they are not a private business. Reading that makes my blood boil. What doesn’t anymore though?

    I would enjoy seeing an article of a homeowner in that area opening fire on them and getting away with it after they have admitted to being a rogue agency within the city government.

  • jean valjean

    ot
    i m surprised kevin or some other prohib spin doctor hasnt attributed the uraguay soccer biting incident to that country’ s legalization of pot. Afterall we have been told that canibalism is a side effect of the locoweed. (see florida face eating incident).

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Alright now, no giving these people ideas. You know that they’ll fall for just about anything you can possibly imagine if it’s presented correctly and/or confirms their biases.

      So has everyone taken a look at the Form 990 filed with the IRS by the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council? It says they’re open to the public. Does that mean that anyone can give them a ring and order up a SWAT raid? I suppose that since a 501 c(3) is supposed to be an educational organization that they’ll only raid people that need to be taught a lesson.
      https://citizenaudit.org/042742556/

      • Jean Valjean

        Remember that really offensive, in the literal sense, threat/ad from a SWAT team that ran “If you do dope? We make housecalls?” You can almost imagine those smirking fat boys, pictured in their pretend soldier gear, thinking “that’ll learn ’em!”

  • Howard

    Any discussions regarding the militarization of police forces around the US always reminds me of this incident in 1997, anybody remember this?;

    North Hollywood Shootout

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Hollywood_shootout

    An important sentence in the wiki entry;

    “The incident sparked debate on the need for patrol officers to upgrade their capabilities in similar situations in the future.”

    I’ve often wondered if this incident led to the idea among law enforcement agencies everywhere that any confrontational situation could be a duplicate of the North Hollywood Shootout. I can hear it now;

    Officer #1: “We’re raiding this house based on an informant’s tip”.

    Officer #2: “The only person home is a 90 year old grandmother”.

    Officer #1: “Yeah well, remember the North Hollywood Shootout?”

    Officer #2: “Right, better send in a 10 person SWAT team. We can’t be too careful.”

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Sometimes those 90 year old grannies shoot back! It’s a crying shame that they don’t have a better aim.
      http://www.drugwarrant.com/2007/04/the-story-of-kathryn-johnstons-death/

      Good god, have I actually been visiting this site for more than 7 years? Wow, time sure flies when you’re being repressed.

    • allan

      as Kap says above, we in drug policy reform been waving the warning flag for a looong time. But drug policy is hardly the sole policy where police/criminal justice have gone amok:

      Newly Released Documents Show Outgrowth of ‘Homeland Security’ Is Corrupted Federal and Local Law Enforcement

      And “criminal justice” is a great descriptor.

      Shock Docs: Total Federalization of Police Under New Homeland Security Mission

      -snip-

      Achieving this new aim includes co-opting local law enforcement and other regional agencies.

      “As the threat grows more localized,” the report reads, “the federal government’s need to train, and even staff, local agencies, such as major city police departments, will grow.”

      That’s right, the feds want to oversee the hiring of your local police.

      Fusion Centers, now spread across the nation, have already infected police agencies and local governments with a federalization takeover mentality. A Dec. 2010 Aspen Homeland Security Group report, quoting the Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, recommends that “every mayor and governor of a major city in the country should have to attend a DHS-sponsored emergency management course where various scenarios – like hurricanes, levy breaks, and explosions – are exercised.”

      But directing local police departments, mayors and governors is only the beginning. Indeed, the Aspen group envisions the ‘foundation for a separate DHS intelligence mission’ by building upon ‘decentralized’ partnerships with the private sector as well.

      -snip-

      • claygooding

        They buy our local police with grants,,which are made up of tax dollars,,the catch is that getting them from the feds gives the feds control and buys cooperation of local police,,,and even federal control of how they spend those tax dollars,,a local tax would be cheaper and allow our police to spend funds on what they need and not what the feds tell them they need,,but try explaining that to a police chief that was prolly hired under the low IQ policy.

      • Secret organizations have secret agenda’s and secret budgets. FBI, CIA, DEA, HS, etc. …How many government agencies do you have proper clearance to know about?

        I don’t think for a minute that government oversight committee’s can provide for the security of the taxpayers interests against another part of that same government. Case in point is the NSA.

        People in this country have no clue how many trillions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted, literally wasted, on a war that was manufactured to hoodwink the rubes in the public (case in point is the drug war and the illegality of marijuana). We give them an open checkbook and say “spend it wisely”. The reward for our generosity is telling the elderly that their meager SS payments must be cut to make ends meet (sorry, all those payments that you spent a lifetime making is not enough), and we must get better behavior from the poor before we will feed them.

        These federal agencies are handing out money like they have a few billion extra laying around so they can give it out like the philanthropists they want you to think they are … just a couple small rules and sign on the dotted line for your check. For a country that seems over budgeted and broke they sure can throw the cash around like big shots. As long as its to give them better control over those same dangerous and unruly taxpayers.

      • kaptinemo

        I have been warning about this crap for YEARS.

        For years, I’ve used the analogy of when you buy a guard dog, and you can only afford to feed it kibble, and your richer neighbor wants that dog, he’ll feed it steak to gain its loyalties.

        Soon, it’s taking his orders, not yours…while it’s still eating your kibble on top of his steak. (And here’s the kicker: it’s actually our steak, as it came from our taxes.) That’s what’s happened with local control of law enforcement. The Feds are the rich neighbor suborning control of your local LE with their (OUR!) Byrne grants, military hardware, etc.

        Time to start cutting off this subversive slide to centralized, unConstitutioinal nationwide policing before it goes too far.

        • primus

          Too late.

        • kaptinemo

          If it were too late, this site would be down permanently and the survivors of the initial attack would all be in camps, somewhere.

          No, it’s not too late to saw the leg off before the jackboot that adorns it comes down on our ‘faces, forever’ a la ‘1984’. Otherwise, I’d have emigrated long ago…

        • allan

          If it were too late, this site would be down permanently

          funny, I was thinking about that as I was posting those articles. I had Michael Franti’s Yell Fire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh-8mw9MKbQ) playing on the stereo…

          I thought the timing of the song and my thinking apropos:

          A revolution never come with a warning
          A revolution never sends you an omen
          A revolution just arrived like the morning
          Ring the alarm, we come to wake up the snoring

          They tellin’ you to never worry about the future
          They tellin’ you to never worry about the torture
          They tellin you that you’ll never see the horror
          Spend it all today and we will bill you tomorrow
          Three piece suits and bank accounts in Bahamas
          Wall street crime will never send you to the slammer
          Tell all the children in the arms of their mommas
          The F-15 is a homicide bomber
          TV commercials for a popping pill culture
          Drug companies circling like a vulture
          An Iraqi babies with a G.I. Joe father
          Ten years from now is anyboby gonna bother

          Yell Fire, yo, yo, yo
          Here we come, here we come
          Yell Fire, yo, yo, yo
          Revolution a comin’
          Yell Fire, yo, yo, yo
          Put em up, Put em up
          Yell Fire, yo, yo, yo
          A revolution never come with a warning
          A revolution never sends you an omen
          A revolution

          Everyone addicted to the same nicotine
          Everyone addicted to the same gasoline
          Everyone addicted to a technicolour scream
          Everybody trying to get their hands on same green
          From the banks of the river to the banks of the greedy
          All of the riches taken back by needy
          We come from the country and we come from the city
          You play us on the record, you can play us on the CD
          All the shit you given us is fertilizer
          The seeds that we planted you can brutalize them
          Tell the corporation you can never globalize you
          Like Peter Toss said “Legalize It”
          Girls and boys hear the bass and treble
          Rumble in the speakers and it make you wanna rebel
          Throw your hands up, take it to another level
          And you can never, ever, ever make a deal with the devil

          -snip-

  • allan

    NM a leader in police militarization

    -snip-

    As noted in the Journal’s recent three-part series analyzing “mission creep” at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the federal government funnels millions of tax dollars to local police departments in the form of grants used to buy high-powered paramilitary style weapons and other gear.

    Law enforcement agencies across the country are also tapping into a military surplus program to acquire Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, or MRAPs, used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Interestingly – some would say disturbingly – New Mexico police departments, representing one of the nation’s least populous states, have acquired more of these fearsome-looking armored vehicles than any other state, according to a New York Times analysis.

    -snip-

    The Indianapolis Star newspaper this month quoted Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer explaining in stark, frightening detail the mindset behind his department’s decision to acquire an MRAP.

    “The United States of America has become a war zone,” Gayer said. “There’s violence in the workplace, there’s violence in schools and there’s violence in the streets. You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because of the threats we have to counteract. If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

    No law-abiding citizen wants police officers gunned down – and MRAPs can help prevent fatalities at the scene of a mass shooting – but seriously, Sheriff Gayer? America has become a war zone?

    -snip-

    • Hope

      They don’t even pretend to not be scared to death anymore to do the job they chose. Will they even get out of said armored military vehicle should they actually arrive at the scene of anything they might feel they need this vehicle for? Somehow I doubt it. Even so fully armored they can barely walk. Even with top of the line “Assault” weaponry.

      The amount of fearfulness exhibited in statements like that sheriff made makes them too dangerous to carry loaded weapons, much less drive military vehicles through the streets, because it’s indicative of extreme paranoia. Extreme… as in mental instability.

    • Is this some left handed way of militarizing the border areas? (immigration/drug war)

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Hey, if they’re a private corporation does that mean that we could hire them? Do they offer services at all levels of jackbooted thuggery? E.g. I just want a half an hour of shock and awe but a dear friend of mine wants the deluxe package including having them shoot the dogs dead and use tear gas. I know that to keep their status as a 501(C)(3) Educational organization that they have to teach somebody a lesson so we definitely qualify as far as our mens rea is concerned. Oh wait, my friend also wants to know if he can ride in the helicopter while the raid is ongoing and have the event recorded on a DVD for a souvenir?

    Man this thing is starting to sound like it could be a carload of fun! I want a carton of flash/bang grenades for my souvenir!!

  • allan

    Those pagan high holidays like the solstices are great and all but man, ya just gotta love Silly Season:

    Medical marijuana far from miracle cure

    I certainly hope the trend of idiot prohibs opening their mouths continues. This one is a doozy. And it’s funny because this is straight out of the Calvina playbook. Except for the profile photo it could be Linda “it’s a scam people!” Taylor writing this.

    • B. Snow

      Those who are using marijuana for so-called medicinal purposes are young people under 40 years of age who overwhelmingly use marijuana for “chronic pain,” which includes ailments such as high-heel syndrome and writer’s cramp.

      OMG – “the stupid”, It burns, it burns – somebody help me. – It burns… (*whimper*)

      [On a more serious note]:
      WTF is this = “young people under 40” crap?
      What, I gotta be a freakin fossil – before I can have chronic pain, w/o someone like this bitch calling me a liar?

      Also – When the hell was the last time someone, ANYONE – had “writer’s cramp”?
      Go ahead, look it up = I’ll wait…

      • Windy

        At the age of 70 I sometimes get writer’s cramp when making my grocery list, writing a check or a note in a card, but I actually have more of problem with the pain in my other hand, the wrist/thumb joint actually, it is osteoarthritis, have it in my lower back, too, but the thumb is more painful, don’t know why.

        • B. Snow

          Sorry, my comment was more snark than serious – FWIW I’m nearly 40, BUT – I’ve had chronic pain issues for years… Which people often refused to believe possible – because I was “too young” and it’s not the sort that shows up easily and definitively in tests, short of an MRI or nerve tests where they -basically- shock the crap outta ya – and look to see if the oscilloscope confirms that “Why yes, that could be pain you’re experiencing… Sorry we implied you were lying all this time.”
          Except there really wasn’t any “apology” part.

          Also, I was suggesting that no one writes much anymore – they’re more likely to type and have “carpal tunnel syndrome”, OR – even use voice recognition software to dictate directly into their fancy ‘word processors’.

          And they lady’s ‘talking points’ seem to come almost directly from the 80’s era “Anti-Hollywood” and/or “God-less California Liberals”, MADD/DARE playbook.

          Right next to the chapters on how Rock/Heavy Metal, and D&D RPG’s are “Of The Devil”…
          See Also: Folk Devils and Moral panics

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Apparently poor Ms. Taylor died when she took a trip to the beach for a vacation. How about a little respect for the dead?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ynQ_cw6oHMg

    • Hope

      Wow. That Seidel woman is totally freaking out.

      She compares “Raw” cannabis to snake venom.

  • thelbert

    swat teams are psychological warfare. they are meant to intimidate the populace. the only way the cops can pretend to enforce prohibition is to screw as many people as they can with jail time. so the rest will fear the cops and obey orders.

  • DdC

    Beckley Foundation ‏@BeckleyDrugs
    “enforcing global prohibition costs at least $100 billion a year” read the alternative world drug report: http://buff.ly/1iM42IZ (exec summ)

    Jodie Emery ‏@JodieEmery
    Taxpayers forced to pay $ to bad cops. “@TorontoStar: EDITORIAL Rogue police officers should be suspended without pay http://on.thestar.com/1rOn55j

  • DdC

    Erowid Center ‏@Erowid
    New on Erowid: Books : How to Stop Time: Heroin from A to Z [1999] http://ow.ly/2JgxjN

    Cannabis Activist ‏@CannabisActivis Mar 1
    Certain #Cannabinoids treat certain symptoms. What are you in need of today? http://bit.ly/1dIRjlD #cannabis #mmj

    Yeah for the Home Team

    HIGH TIMES ‏@HIGH_TIMES_Mag
    Sativa #CannabisCup #Sativa 1st Place – Cracker Jack – Santa Cruz Mountain Naturals

    HIGH TIMES Bay Area Cannabis Cup Winners – http://eepurl.com/XZD8r