Defund the Police?

Seriously, WTF does that have to do with police brutality?

What kind of hair-brained misdirection is that?

Does anyone think the police are too brutal with domestic violence issues?

So the idiots, who speak before thinking, believe that police are doing too much and, well, they beat people because of their effin’ stress? Give me a break.

The solution to police brutality is three-fold:

  1. Employ a two-strike rule for inappropriate use of force. If a policeman is found using inappropriate force in the arrest and detention of suspects, he is fired for the second offense. I’m not talking excessive force, I’m talking INAPPROPRIATE force. You don’t effin’ handcuff nine year olds. You don’t beat a suspect to give him a fair trial. You subdue people who threaten. You stop violence with violence… but it better be appropriate. A tw0-strike rule that re-sets every five years makes the most sense to me. Everybody has a bad day. Police should have less of them and be accountable when they don’t.
  2. Employ three types of arrest instead of one type: the self-recognizance arrest, the firm arrest, and the hard arrest. Each will have a set of conditions that make it applicable to the violation. Train the public and the police force in the appropriate use of each.
  3. Get rid of the Darth Vader-looking police uniforms and bring back the look of professional law enforcement.
  4. Create a tiered approach to carrying weapons. Not all police officers should carry guns and no police officer under the age of 25 should ever carry a gun. There should be a review of stress situation events faced by the officer before he/she is allowed a gun permit for his/her attained level of police work.

Is that so hard to do?

Yeah, with unions, yeah. But do it any way. The life you save may be your own.

Black Lives Matter

For a fledgling organization, BLM is racking up some impressive results. Perhaps they are benefiting from the times, or perhaps its the leadership, or perhaps the deployment of technology, or perhaps it is simply the sharp focus of the mission, or perhaps all of it.

Largest civil rights gatherings in history…It has become a movement.

I was at the website to learn more.

https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/

The group is focused exclusively on the “state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism”.

The “state-sanctioned violence” (SSV) and the “anti-Black racism” (ABR) are two things we can all wrap our heads around regardless of our race or ethnicity.

The training of police forces must move away from the “one-size-fits-all” arrest and detain methodology. Handcuffing crying children is outrageous. So too, the beating of suspects into submission.

Alternative arrest methodologies should be developed and promoted in police departments everywhere.

It is better that a hundred suspects escape detention and arrest than it is for an innocent man OR woman to be beaten or killed. You don’t have to be Black to understand that.

And yet, we ask our police force to address lawlessness and brutality everyday. We ask our police forces to be the line of defense between gang violence and middle-class America. We also ask our police forces to confront violent behaviors and make the home and the street safe for the non-violent among us.

Black Lives Matter because every one of us should be safe from racism, anarchy, violence, and brutality, regardless of origin but especially from our governments.

Changing the Police Force

The protests across the country are not about racism as much as they are about police training.

The de-militarization of the police force must take place in the next ten years. Symbolism, tactics, responsibility, and accountability.

No one is safe from the police anymore. Plenty of video evidence of that on the internet. Even the “White Privileged” minority no longer feel safe when being stopped or arrested by a policeman in the US. At one time, we only feared the big, dumb, Georgia cop behind the billboard who stopped you for speeding. (Stereotyped in hundreds of movies) Today we are afraid of them all. Officer Friendly has been replaced by black-as-death stealth-painted squad cars with a foreboding appearance. The man in black is a cop. He’s nobody’s friend. He is trained to be intolerant of those who resist his orders. The type of crime is irrelevant. Obedience to the police officer is paramount. Do as he says or face the immediate consequences of his wrath.

New training is needed. De-militarize the police department.

John McCain, Republican nominee for President in 2008, once said during the hearings on Abu Ghraib that anyone in the custody of the US Military should be safe from harm. I believe that should also be true with police forces.

When handcuffed, the suspect is now a detainee and should be safe from harm. New approaches are needed to capture suspects, restrict their movement, and prevent them from bringing harm to themselves and to others. Suspects should be told that once the handcuffs are on, the suspect is safe unless he chooses to run. If he runs, the penalties are doubled, and his safety is jeopardized until he complies with lawful orders.

No one has a right to be mean. Not even policemen. However, being a policeman means that force is permitted under certain circumstances. Defensive force is allowed and sometimes offensive force is permitted too. Beating a person to submission is unnecessary.

Police force accountability must be reinstated. You are accountable when you have to clean up the mess you made. Policemen and police women have to take action to set things right when they make professional mistakes.

Police must be accountable in a meaningful way with the victims.

Bring a modern Officer Friendly into law enforcement again.

America is full of protest because the Mpls police officer showed no animus in the administration his knee on the neck of Floyd. He was determined to keep his control over the suspect even though the crime was a minimal crime.

No one should be mean. Not the police officer and not the suspect.

The Pentagon at War

One day I would like to read a book with that title. Unfortunately, it will likely never be written let alone printed. The Pentagon is at its zenith right now. Never has it had so much money, so little oversight, so many projects, and so many new war-making technologies and technology threats as it has today.

Consider this: The threats of war include not only the traditional territory ‘capture and control’ threats but also the cyber threats, the microbe threats, the infrastructure threats, the terrorist threats, the space and satellite threats, and countless other ‘specialized threats’ that debilitate but not physically injure whole populations. Each of these threats require an early detection system, a thwart system, and a progressive response system. And in many cases, we need to watch our allies as much as our enemies.

In any event, the Pentagon at War must be a fascinating study in how to recognize, categorize, triage, and plan for threats when you are listening to every possible conversation taking place around the world and monitoring the evolution of technologies that can be used against you. You can imagine the SUG (Serious, Urgent, Growing) analysis that takes place every day.

One area that I find interesting is the crypto/code breaker area. Not only do we have to have computers programmed to work with foreign latin-based languages but the pictograph and scrawl languages that might be encrypted and require decoding would be quite challenging. No wonder the US Military is working hard to build computers that can crack every code in every language worldwide.If machine intelligence ever arises, it will be because code breaking computers do it. It won’t be due to some computer at the Social Security Division with a 666 address.

All these thoughts came to me as I was reading Ashton Carter’s article in Foreign Affairs about the Pentagon’s difficulties in procuring new war-making vehicles and weapons. With so many technologies and mfring entrenched in other countries, it must be a real challenge to keep war secrets. US dependencies on foreign chips, software, hardware, and manufacturing must be a problem when choosing strategic weapons to be deployed.

I was struck by his last two statements: “Too many lives were lost in the early years of those wars (Afghanistan and Iraq) because the Pentagon failed to keep up with a changing battlefield. Never again should it make the same mistake twice.” He was referring to the failure to protect troops from IED’s through the planning, development, and deployment of successful technologies to reduce the effectiveness of IEDs. Seems to me that agility and changing battlefields are main components of waging a successful war.

In any event, the Pentagon has been at war for many years and it would be fascinating to know how it changed itself to triage all threats and develop war plans for all the threats it faces.

The Debt Bomb, Martial Law, and the Fall of Democracy

Update: The President signed the bill to keep the government running into January and February. Look for a repeat experience in 2014. I might repeat this post at the same time.

These three things appear to be linked now.

I have recently come to believe that the Debt Bomb is America’s newest weapon for world domination. It is the opposite of the neutron bomb. The neutron bomb killed people and left all the infrastructure intact but the Debt Bomb kills the infrastructure and leaves the people intact. And when there are people and no infrastructure then there is chaos in the streets. I am not the first to write about Debtonation

I believe the US will default on its obligations and cause a financial panic around the world as it chooses which creditors it will and will not pay. You can believe that it will not pay those who compete with us or move against us. It will always pay its citizens something but it will greatly reduce that amount through emergency legislation or emergency power grabbing by a clueless President. The default will last long enough to send a serious message to those who depend upon US trade and industry.

The Central Banks of Western Democracy appear to be colluding to defeat their banking rivals. Those rivals are Persian, Asian, and Communist Petrodollar systems that fund countries opposed to Euro-American domination. The Debt Bomb scenario seems to bring the world to its knees by wrecking the infrastructure of a global trading system and re-establishing a World Order with fewer players.

With that World Order will come chaos in cities around the world. Cities survive based upon the transport of goods into them like food, shelter, and medicine. When these are trucked, flown, and shipped into the cities and that transportation becomes volatile, then chaos results and refugees result and business, industry, and economies fail. And when those fail, society fails.

When society fails, martial law takes its place. The US has been putting in place the infrastructure to support federal martial law for two decades now and has stepped up its pace the last three years so much that ordinary people are remarking about it. Alex Jones and his PrisonPlanet TV have captured some people’s attention. The shredding of the US Constitution, the establishment of combat battalions in the US, the coordinated “drills” between police and military that have taken place over the past seven years, the acknowledgement of FEMA camps for housing large numbers of citizens, the billion bullet purchase by government agencies who have no police or military standing, and the establishment of a universal government surveillance system all points to the eventual establishment of Federal martial law in the United States.

With martial law in the US will come the end of Democracy as we know it. The Senate and the House have given huge powers to the Executive Branch to create rules that govern our daily lives. The only defensive weapon that the Congress has is the power to de-fund the Executive branch of the government. And that weapon is meaningless when Congress has no money in the Treasury and cannot issue bonds anymore. Congress has shown itself to be incompetent and soon it will show itself to be corrupt. When that happens, the Treasury Department will serve the President instead of legislation, the military will support the Treasury, and the President will sequester the Supreme Court until military control has been asserted over Washington , DC. The President will assert huge emergency powers to run the country up until the day the Pentagon tires of him. The purge of generals that has been taking place the last few years is to break the fraternity that would keep the Executive Branch, Congress and the Supreme Court viable. A call for a new Constitution will change our democracy forever.

The Republican and Democrat parties will be neutered and absorbed into some new political party. Because blame will fall on the two-party democracy system, a single political party will emerge under a new Constitution. The US military-industrial complex will be at the center of world economic domination.

This is the future of the US. A near term future if there are no changes in the pace of implementation. A long term future if you and I resist these changes through our democratic process. Vote independently and make your voice heard.

US Government shuts down people-centered activities only

If the government shuts down all nonessential services and the nonessential services are ‘for the people” then the government has retained all services that serve itself.

Does that make you afraid?

The Government “for the people” has just perished from the earth. I am kind of glad that Abraham Lincoln is no longer around to learn this. Should we re-write history now so that it appears that President Lincoln said “… that this government of the people, by the people, and for itself shall not perish from the face of the earth”?

This government shut down was constructed and carried out to close all “for the people” activities and keep all the “for the government” actions fully staffed.

Snarkily, I have been waiting for President Obama and Speaker Boehner to help serve food in the cafeteria on Capitol Hill plus I was kind of looking forward to the President and the First Lady having a BBQ in their backyard just for themselves.

Imagine the photo shoot and press op:

“President Obama used Kinsgford charcoal in his Weber today to prepare hot dogs and burgers for his family’s dinner. The shutdown has caused problems with staffing the White House kitchens and the President and the First Lady have now taken on the kitchen duties. The first lady’s ‘world renown shapely arms in sleeveless dresses’ are now gracing the White House kitchen sink. The President wears a Wolfgang Puck apron and places dishes in racks to let them air dry.”

No, we don’t get those stories, do we? We get stories about closed parks, memorials, dire warnings that checks will not be sent, while all the funds earmarked for foreign aid are still paid.

So who is sharing your (and my) burden of this government shut down? The furloughed workers. But they will be paid when the shutdown ends. So it is a paid vacation after the fact. How corrupt is a government when it favors its own over all others?

So to all you Statists out there, let me say this: The problem with the government becoming so big that it runs everything: they don’t have any experience. And when they do, they run the country for the government’s benefit rather than ours.

If the civilian government does not get its act together, I fear what comes next.

New Government Entitlements for 2013!

Congress and President Obama have joined forces for the first time to bring you new government entitlements. I hope you like them because you are paying for them.

The US Government is:

1. entitled to spend whatever they want, whenever they want.

2. entitled to make you pay taxes over and over again on the same money.

3. entitled to force you to buy insurance from insurance companies or tax you.

4. entitled to tell you what kinds of products you can buy, like light bulbs.

5. entitled to read all your emails and listen to all your conversations whether you have committed a crime or not.

6. entitled to bomb anyone, anywhere, as long as they call them an enemy and do it for 60 days.

7. entitled to torture and detain any American citizen.

8. entitled to waive habeas corpus at any time.

9. entitled to sell weapons to criminals and watch them commit crimes with them.

10. entitled to tell your school what they should serve as food and what should be taught in the school.

11. entitled to track your whereabouts and use facial recognition software to spot you anywhere.

12. entitled to prevent you from remaining silent.

13. entitled to search you or your belongings anytime, anywhere.

14. entitled to force you to reveal your security pass codes so they can read your electronic papers and effects.

15. entitled to make you take off your shoes and other garments before you board a plane.

16. entitled to deny you travel by private air courier by putting your name on a list.

 

 

Syria is on everyone’s mind

First there is this:

MILWAUKEE — Republican Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner and Sean Duffy said Wednesday that they will vote against military intervention in Syria, and other members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation expressed hesitancy about a strike.

The U.S. and France have accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of using chemical weapons against his own people, and President Barack Obama has asked Congress to authorize a military strike. The president has said only limited military action is planned.

Duffy, who represents northern Wisconsin, said in a statement that Obama did the right thing by seeking congressional approval, but he didn’t think the president had outlined a “coherent plan to justify American military action.”

“It is not clear who we are fighting with or what we are fighting for,” Duffy said. “Therefore, I do not plan to support the resolution to intervene.”

Sensenbrenner, whose district includes Milwaukee’s western suburbs, said in a statement that Assad’s actions are “reprehensible” but “Congress did not set a red line for military action in Syria — President Obama did. And his plan for military force will not help the Syrian people or promote the freedom or security of the United States.”

Republican Rep. Reid Ribble, who represents northeastern Wisconsin, and Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, whose district includes Madison, also lean against military action but are keeping open minds, their spokesmen said in emails.

Other members of the delegation were still seeking more information. After attending intelligence briefings by the White House, Democratic Rep. Ron Kind said he remains concerned about the possibility of the U.S. being drawn into a long conflict. Kind said he asked the Obama administration for a national intelligence assessment of what the day after a strike might look like.

“There are many trip wires throughout the region and we could very easily be drawn into a prolonged engagement, not of our choosing or liking, just based on the response in the region,” Kind said.

Kind said he has been speaking with residents in western Wisconsin and “there’s not much enthusiasm about another prolonged military engagement in the Middle East following two long wars this past decade in the same region.”

PHOTO: File - In this June 4, 2013, photo is Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kind says he is undecided about whether the U.S. should take military action in Syria after hearing White House briefings and talking to residents in his district. He said most people he has spoken with are not eager for engagement but also says not taking action also sends a message to Assad and that could be the wrong message. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

File – In this June 4, 2013, photo is Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kind says he is undecided about whether the U.S. should take military action in Syria after hearing White House briefings and talking to residents in his district. He said most people he has spoken with are not eager for engagement but also says not taking action also sends a message to Assad and that could be the wrong message. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

But not taking military action could send “the wrong message,” he said.

“There’s a reason so many countries throughout the world have signed the chemical weapons treaty, because they’ve determined that is a red line, that that cannot be tolerated in the international community,” Kind said.

Among the questions Kind still wants answered is, who gave the order for the attack?

“I think that’s what a lot of members have focused on, including myself,” he said. “Was this a rogue general? Was it Assad himself? And that’s where we’re looking for some greater clarification.”

Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore, who represents the Milwaukee area, said she has “decided to be undecided because I have two awful sorts of choices. And I promised myself I would listen to all the arguments before I made up my mind.”

Moore said a vote on military action is among the most important she can cast and she has been talking to as many people as she can, including peace activists, Jewish groups and Syrians living in the United States.

“I’m concerned about the humanitarian crisis that the use of these chemical weapons has caused,” she said. But she added, she was not concerned about arguments that the U.S. must use force to save face after Assad ignored Obama’s earlier warnings. She said she’s asking, “can we actually have some sort of impact, other than just extracting some sort of revenge for them crossing the red line?”

Staff members for Republican Rep. Tom Petri, whose district includes Oshkosh and Fond du Lac, and Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson said they also remain undecided. Baldwin, a Democrat, and Johnson, a Republican, both released statements saying they were looking for Obama to present a convincing case to the American people for military action.

“The President says Syria ‘presents a serious danger to our national security.’ He must explain what this danger is, and how his plan would reduce it,” Johnson said.

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, who represents the southeastern corner of the state, released a statement saying Obama “has some work to do to recover from his grave missteps in Syria.”

“He needs to clearly demonstrate that the use of military force would strengthen America’s security,” Ryan said.

Second, the Reform Party held an email poll of those who are on their list and some of the results were:

1. 47% said Syria had used chem weapons while 40% were unsure

2. 43% said use of chem weapons justifies an international response while 37% said it did not.

3. Remarkably, 45.8% said that somebody else should do something about Syria instead of the US. The feelings expressed were that other Arab countries should be denouncing Syria and taking some action.

This is no slam dunk. Reminds me of kitchen table talk in the 60s when blacks were rioting in their neighborhoods and my relatives said “Who cares as long as it stays there?” Of course, it did not stay there but spilled out everywhere until Dr. King came along and gave the movement direction and guidance.

So the President is in a box, isn’t he? Cannot do nothing and yet cannot do anything either. This places him in a position that he has to pass or punt and he cannot do either and win. So maybe he is trying to let the clock run out…

 

Texas Cops SWAT-ing Flies

Sometimes you can’t make this stuff up:

A small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a massive police action last week that included aerial surveillance, a SWAT raid and a 10-hour search.

Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm. But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,” after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.

The militarization of the local police has been happening since 9-11. And paraphrasing what Madeleine Albright once said “What’s the point of having this superb military police swat team that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

We apparently use our SWAT teams for almost anything, for example:

A Fox television affiliate reported this week, for example, that police in St. Louis County, Mo., brought out the SWAT team to serve an administrative warrant. The report went on to explain that all felony warrants are served with a SWAT team, regardless whether the crime being alleged involves violence.

In recent years, SWAT teams have been called out to perform regulatory alcohol inspections at a bar in Manassas Park, Va.; to raid bars for suspected underage drinking in New Haven, Conn.; to raid a gay bar in Atlanta where police suspected customers and employees were having public sex; and to perform license inspections at barbershops in Orlando, Fla.

Other raids have been conducted on food co-ops and Amish farms suspected of selling unpasteurized milk products. The federal government has for years been conducting raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized them, even though the businesses operate openly and are unlikely to pose any threat to the safety of federal enforcers.

If you build it they will come. But it is also true that if you own it, you will use it.

I have lamented before that Officer Friendly has been replaced with Officer Threat. I remember when the argument was that criminals outgun the local police and police need better weapons. But does every police department need a SWAT team and stealth vehicles? I don’t think so.

I know what you are thinking. It is only a short step from eating Okra to abusing it.

Okra eating leads to jambalaya abuse. Or so I have been told.

All in all it was a good haul for the police to keep things like this off the street: “The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,”

Andy Griffith must be wondering what happened to the America he left behind.

The Third Amendment? Really?

A family is suing the city of Henderson, Nevada for violating their Third Amendment rights — the constitutional prohibition against quartering soldiers in a private home during peacetime without the owner’s consent.

The Mitchell family says that’s essentially what happened when Henderson police allegedly arrested them for refusing to let officers use their homes for a “tactical advantage” in a domestic violence investigation into a neighbor, according to an official complaint.

Police officers contacted Anthony Mitchell on July 10, 2011, with a request to use his house as a lookout while investigating his neighbor. When Mitchell told police that he did not wish to be involved, the complaint alleges, police decided they would use the residence anyway.

According to Courthouse News Service, the police department decided that if Mitchell refused to leave or open the door, officers would force their way in and arrest him.

Mitchell claims this is exactly what happened. First officers “smashed open” Mitchell’s door with a “metal ram” after he did not immediately open it himself. He then “curled on the floor of his living room, with his hands over his face,” as the police shot Mitchell and his dog — which the family claims did not attack the officers — several times with “pepperball” rounds.

Pepperball is a projectile containing chemical irritant pepper spray, which is released upon impact.

Afterward, Mitchell was arrested for “obstructing a police officer.”

The ordeal didn’t end there. Mitchell’s parents, Michael and Linda, were also neighbors to the home where police officers suspected domestic violence, so the police wanted to use their home as well. Michael Mitchell was invited to a local police command center to assist “in negotiating the surrender of the neighboring suspect.”

But upon arriving at the commander center, the elder Mitchell was informed the negotiations wouldn’t be taking place, the complaint says. When he decided to leave, he was also arrested.

The elder Mitchell’s wife was not arrested, but she was roughly escorted from her home while other officers entered the house without permission, the complaint alleges. The family claims that when she was allowed to return, “the cabinets and closet doors throughout the house had been left open and their contents moved about… Even the refrigerator door had been left ajar, and mustard and mayonnaise had been left on their kitchen floor.”

The charges against both the father and the son were dismissed.

The Volokh Conspiracy (a lawyerly blog) had the following to say:

The most obvious obstacle to winning a Third Amendment claim here is that police arguably do not qualify as “soldiers.” On the other hand, as Radley Balko describes in his excellent new book The Rise of the Warrior Cop, many police departments are increasingly using military-style tactics and equipment, often including the aggressive use of force against innocent people who get in the way of their plans. If the plaintiffs’ complaint is accurate, this appears to be an example of that trend. In jurisdictions where the police have become increasingly militarized, perhaps the courts should treat them as “soldiers” for Third Amendment purposes.

A second possible impediment to winning a Third Amendment claim in this case is that the Amendment is one of the few parts of the Bill of Rights that the Supreme Court still has not “incorporated” against state governments. For incorporation purposes, claims against local governments (like this one) are treated the same way as claims against states. On the other hand, the Supreme Court has never ruled that the Third Amendment does not apply to the states. If, as the Court has previously decided, virtually all the rest of the Bill of Rights applies to state governments, there is no good reason to exclude the Third Amendment. If the Third Amendment part of the case is not dismissed on other grounds, the federal district court may have to address the issue of incorporation.

This increased militarization of America is a concern. Whatever happened to Officer Friendly?