Do You Want A Police State? Because This Is How You Get A Police State

from the MARTIAL-LAW-[WIP] dept


One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community.1 A Trump Administration will empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence. The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.

1 There is no such right. But that doesn’t stop police defenders from invoking it, like this police union rep defending the burning of a toddler with a flashbang grenade:

You have to draw the line between your right as a citizen to privacy and a community’s right to live in a crime-free environment. You can’t have them both.

But is the “anti-police atmosphere” really “wrong?” Let’s ask the federal government.

DOJ Civil Rights Investigation of the Albuquerque PD, 2014

[O]fficers used deadly force against people who posed a minimal threat, including individuals who posed a threat only to themselves or who were unarmed. Officers also used deadly force in situations where the conduct of the officers heightened the danger and contributed to the need to use force…

Officers also often used Tasers in dangerous situations. For example, officers fired Tasers numerous times at a man who had poured gasoline on himself. The Taser discharges set the man on fire, requiring another officer to extinguish the flames. This endangered all present.

DOJ Investigation of the Cleveland PD, 2014

Officers also use less lethal force that is significantly out of proportion to the resistance encountered and officers too often escalate incidents with citizens instead of using effective and accepted tactics to de-escalate tension…

At times, this force appears to have been applied as punishment for the person’s earlier verbal or physical resistance to an officer’s command, and is not based on a current threat posed by the person. This retaliatory use of force is not legally justified. Our review also revealed that officers use excessive force against individuals who are in mental health crisis or who may be unable to understand or comply with officers’ commands, including when the individual is not suspected of having committed any crime at all.

DOJ Civil Rights Investigation of the Ferguson PD, 2015

[O]fficers frequently make enforcement decisions based on what subjects say, or how they say it. Just as officers reflexively resort to arrest immediately upon noncompliance with their orders, whether lawful or not, they are quick to overreact to challenges and verbal slights. These incidents—sometimes called “contempt of cop” cases—are propelled by officers’ belief that arrest is an appropriate response to disrespect…

FPD officers believe criticism and insolence are grounds for arrest, and… supervisors have condoned such unconstitutional policing…

Many officers are quick to escalate encounters with subjects they perceive to be disobeying their orders or resisting arrest. They have come to rely on ECWs, specifically Tasers®, where less force—or no force at all—would do. They also release canines on unarmed subjects unreasonably and before attempting to use force less likely to cause injury. Some incidents of excessive force result from stops or arrests that have no basis in law. Others are punitive and retaliatory.

DOJ Civil Rights Investigation of the Baltimore PD, 2016

Officers frequently resort to physical force when a subject does not immediately respond to verbal commands, even where the subject poses no imminent threat to the officer or others…

BPD uses unreasonable force against people who present little or no threat to officers or others. Specifically, BPD uses excessive force against (1) individuals who are already restrained and under officers’ control and (2) individuals who are fleeing from officers and are not suspected of serious criminal offenses…

DOJ Civil Rights Investigation of the Chicago PD, 2017

We found that officers engage in tactically unsound and unnecessary foot pursuits, and that these foot pursuits too often end with officers unreasonably shooting someone—including unarmed individuals. We found that officers shoot at vehicles without justification and in contradiction to CPD policy. We found further that officers exhibit poor discipline when discharging their weapons and engage in tactics that endanger themselves and public safety, including failing to await backup when they safely could and should; using unsound tactics in approaching vehicles; and using their own vehicles in a manner that is dangerous…

We reviewed instances of CPD using less-lethal force, often Tasers, including in drive-stun mode, against people who posed no threat, and using unreasonable retaliatory force and unreasonable force against children.

And here’s more, in officers’ own words. Here’s an officer’s greeting to a veteran who found his house surrounded after a mistaken suicide hotline call:

I don’t have time to play this constitutional bullshit. We’re going to break down your door. You’re going to have to pay for a new door.

Here’s a police impound lot staffer, responding to the questions of a man whose car was unconstitutionally seized:

When Mr. Zullo asked the defendant’s employee why he had to pay for the tow, the defendant’s employee told him that the tow cost was Mr. Zullo’s fault for exercising his rights.

And here’s an unnamed officer accosting someone for filming prisoner transfers from a public sidewalk:

You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights.

In exchange for a fake right, the Trump Administration is apparently willing to sacrifice citizens’ actual rights. And hand out even more rights to an already-well-protected group. The only parts of the DOJ that don’t actively make American law enforcement worse will be the first against the wall.

At the Department of Justice, the blueprint calls for eliminating the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Violence Against Women Grants and the Legal Services Corporation and for reducing funding for its Civil Rights and its Environment and Natural Resources divisions.

And if martial law’s your kink, the Donald has you covered:

Until Americans are more willing to lift police morale, Trump’s administration will ensure those in charge of morale-lifting beatings are fully-backed by the US government.

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Comments on “Do You Want A Police State? Because This Is How You Get A Police State”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Not your ordinary wrong, fractally wrong

You have to draw the line between your right as a citizen to privacy and a community’s right to live in a crime-free environment. You can’t have them both.

Not only does that ‘right’ not exist, the ‘choice’ presented is a false dichotomy. Give up all the privacy possible with cameras in every room, every call intercepted and every email scanned, and you’re still not guarantee a ‘crime-free environment’, because, and here’s the kicker: those that break the laws tend not to care about the laws.

Cameras in every room? A would-be-criminal will plan out of range of them.

Every communication scanned? Speak in code.

There’s also the tiny little detail that any crime not pre-planned could, at best, and assuming it’s caught by the (currently mythical) all seeing and flawless privacy destroying system be stopped, not prevented.

They’re not offering a trade of security in exchange for privacy, they’re ‘offering’ a trade of something that they can’t offer in exchange for something very real and important.

As for the ‘woe is us, the police are so unfairly maligned’ gist of the rest of the article, from the sound of it Trump’s plan of solving that bonefire is to dump a bunch of gasoline on top of it. Pointing to the smoke while ignoring the fire it’s coming from. If the public increasingly (rightly) doesn’t trust the police, and/or feel that the police get special treatment going even more overboard in ‘protecting’ them from the mean old public is just going to fan the flames, increasing the divide and intensifying the animosity.

But hey, I suppose I could give him the benefit of the doubt in assuming he’s not being completely boneheaded here, because as the title notes, ‘Do You Want A Police State? Because This Is How You Get A Police State’

nerd bert (profile) says:

Re: Not your ordinary wrong, fractally wrong

One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community.

We have the right to live in a safe community. We have the right to healthcare. We have the right to be forgotten. We have the right to choose a bathroom based on our mental state. We have a right to be safe from hot coffee spilling on our crotches when we put coffee cups between our legs.

When you expand your definition of “fundamental rights” to include anything that you think would be nice, you expect consistency from politicians as to what are “fundamental rights”? Seriously folks, much of this discussion of “rights” has been corrupted from overexpansion. You might as well call yourself a computer programmer because you managed to sum a column of numbers in Excel.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Not your ordinary wrong, fractally wrong

Be reasonable; there’s the Bill of Rights, to which nerd bert refers, which enumerates our legally enforceable rights, and the “extra” rights that have been cropping up lately. Last time I had a good look into the impact of political correctness I didn’t find it bringing about a positive impact on society.

It actually seems to be creating a fuzzy confusion because basically we’ve thrown empiricism out of the window.

Meanwhile, the fuzziness has resulted in the validity of the legally enforceable rights being called into question because of feelings. It seems to me that whoever has the strongest feelings and the most effective way of enforcing them believes they have a moral imperative to do so, hence the outright murders perpetrated by policemen who “felt” in fear of their lives.

We need to let go of the binary thinking that drives extremism in these cases; I’d rather not live in a brutal society in which people routinely behave abusively to each other but I don’t want a crazy free-for-all either.

The Twofold Principle applies: the individual must be free to act and the will of the people must be respected.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Not your ordinary wrong, fractally wrong

“Be reasonable; there’s the Bill of Rights, to which nerd bert refers, which enumerates our legally enforceable rights”

… yeah I’m supposed to be reasonable – why is that?

Yes, there is the bill of rights and multitudes of documentation detailing court rulings and precedence – but that is all out the window now isn’t it. Seems someone thinks they have been made king emperor and would like everyone to admire his new clothing, who is going to tell him about his new clothes?

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m sure you can find an alt-right Stormfront or Breitbart citation, but do you have a credible citation?

Heck, look at the protesters at Friday’s inauguration. Just the opposite of what you claim.

The police resorted to kettling, where when someone does something wrong they cordon off the entire area and arrest everyone. Of the 200 people arrested – including six journalists – you can bet that most will have charges dropped for utter lack of evidence.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Maybe he’s talking about the enforcement that hadn’t been going on. Like arresting protesters that turn into rioters. There have even been reports that cops stopped policing high crime/majority black areas, for fear of public backlash. And crime went up.

"There have been reports." Yes, and all of those have been debunked by actual data:

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You’re leaving out Cincinnati.

In 2001 a Cincinnati police officer mistakenly shot and killed a young black man. Afterwards, there were riots for weeks.

After the riots died down, District 1 police (covers downtown, Over-The-Rhine, and Queensgate) refused to go into the Over-The Rhine area unless they were specifically dispatched because they were constantly being targeted by shooters. My source? A relative of mine is a D1 cop for Cincinnati.

By 2009, U.S. News & World Report declared Over-The-Rhine in Cincinnati to be the single most violent and crime ridden neighborhood in the entire country.

The lesson: Have someone check your fact checkers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

All you have to do is google past issues of the Cincinnati Enquirer and U.S News.

The Enquirer covered the shooting, the riots as well as D1 officers refusing the do routine patrols of OTR.

U.S. News had a rather large section about the violence and crime in OTR.

Sounds like you are just too lazy to do anything and would rather deny the truth.

historygeek (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I believe that both “Cincinnati Enquirer” and “US News” still count as sources. And it took me less than 15 seconds to Google “cincinnati enquirer otr crime data” and get 68,000 results in 0.50 seconds. The first two pages of said results being consistent with a.c.’s comments. As is, apparently; the observation regarding laziness.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 "You lot, do my homework for me lest I call you lazy for not doing so!"

Whether five seconds of work or .5, the point remains that others refusing to do your work and provide your evidence for your argument is hardly an instance of them being ‘lazy’.

(For clarity ‘your’ in the above sentence is referring to the lazy schmuck and anyone like them who constantly tells others to do his or her work and provide evidence to back up his/her claims, not you unless you happen to fall into that category.)

The one who makes the claim(whatever that claim may be) is the one who gets to back it up with evidence, if they are too lazy to actually do so then they don’t get to expect to be taken seriously when they complain about others applying some Hitchen’s Razor and dismissing their claims as bogus, even if they happen to be right.

sorrykb (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

And for the record: I actually have had a gun pointed at me at work, but it wasn’t a handgun. It was a rather amped-up SWAT guy with a rifle (who, I’ll note, still pointed the rifle at my coworkers and me even after establishing that we weren’t a threat, because his flashlight was attached to his rifle).

sorrykb (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Since I didn’t dare take out my phone to take a photo, I can offer no pictures of said SWAT guy with his rifle aimed at us.

Here’s what I will tell you. I work at UCLA and seven months ago there was a shooting on campus. That much you can Google. There was also a false report of a shooting in my building, which brought the SWAT team in, some members of which apparently forget the old rule “Never point a gun at something you’re not prepared to destroy.” (Or they just didn’t care.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

Whether he is lying or not is irrelevant. His response is just as applicable here as it was to the person he was responding to. It added nothing when he made the original response, it still adds nothing except that it shows he cannot take what he gives out.

My whole point in doing so was to see what kind of person he was and it has revealed that. There are some very thoughtful, very insightful and very funny characters that inhabit this space. He is not one of them, but then again neither am I, so …. why do you care?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

And last I checked, police aren’t conscripts.

This! A thousand times this.

Dear, dear police, I’m not interested in you complaining about doing your fucking jobs any more than I am interested in the McDonalds worker complaining about how flipping burgers sucks.

Don’t like the work? Go fuck off and find another job.

Just like everyone else.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

AC, you’re missing the REAL data.

I know a guy whose brother is a Cinci cop 1990-present. His brother told him that he goes into District 1 all the time, on-duty, wearing nothing more than a speedo banana hammock. Seems crazy, but I have it on good authority, so we know it’s true.

By 2006, crime in the district was down 19%, but street orgies and gay sex were each up 32% and 45% respectively as reported by Enquirer. My friends brother says it was all a positive change, and wants to establish that he is strictly a top, not a bottom.

The lesson: analogies are pretty worthless.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

No one is arguing that it’s OK for anyone to target police officers. These types of violent criminals are exactly the types of people the police should be going after. In fact having body cameras could help them pursue these criminals in court as well.

But instead of doing the job they signed up for the police officers coward away from the communities that need them the most leaving them vulnerable to violent criminals. They much prefer to patrol safe neighborhoods and waste our tax money going after non-violent victimless criminals so that they can grandstand about how they are doing the community such a great service. Your post exactly highlights why police have been losing a lot of respect.

My_Name_Here says:

Re: Re: Re:

The article doesn’t disprove the Ferguson Effect at all.

Yes, violence has been on the rise for a while. There is a question of a tipping point however, where police no longer feel that they can truly manage the violence, and where they are no longer comfortable trying.

The question of protesters that turn into rioters isn’t new to Ferguson or any other event. A tipping point was certainly reached where the masses have figured out they can get away with almost anything and few will ever be punished. The police have come to the same conclusion it seems, and no longer appear to make an effort to arrest these people. They are now all about minimizing damages and protecting their own equipment and people.

Using op-ed and opinion pieces to try to establish fact is pretty weak, don’t you think?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Or perhaps violence has been on the rise for a while because police have been focusing too much time and too many resources on victimless criminals instead of crimes with victims. If we stopped turning everything into a crime then the police can focus more on real crimes and not wasting their time grandstanding over petty nonsense and we can stop filling our jails with people that shouldn’t be in jail and start filling them with people that actually belong in jail.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

You might be able to beat the charge, but you cannot beat the ride!

Anyone trying to make use of their rights, those that are inalienable and the government is prohibited from denying, must plan to lose their time and treasure fighting for what they already have but have been denied access to. Protesters attempting to let the government know their feelings will be persecuted (strike out) prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, guilty or not.

Tread carefully fellow citizens, be prepared for the full cost of your actions (loss of pay, loss of property, cost of lawyers, possible loss of job, etc.), whether you take those actions or not. Oh, and make sure you have your papers, they may not do you any good, but not having them will certainly cause you pain.

States can mitigate the attitude, but pursuing and implementing the political will to do so will be difficult, given the climate. Also that the use of social media to express one’s views makes one liable for arrest, whether it is possible to be convicted or not, we must find other means to communicate our displeasure. Fear must not be shown because that will feed the beasts, making them believe they are winning. They must not win.

Anonymous Coward says:

Bullfucking shit!

“One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community.”

No, this is NOT a fundamental right! Never was, never will be! Liberty is the fundamental right. There is a reason for this saying… “The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants!” Most people do not understand this at all.

“President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public.”

Law Enforcement never fucking EVER had the mission of protecting the public and only a fool thinks this. Law Enforcement has only ONE SINGULAR FUCKING GOAL, and it just so happens to fucking be in its name. Law Enforcement. If the law is unjust, the police are unjust. If the law is tyrannical then the police are tyrannical. They are are not here to protect you, they are here to enforce law. Several courts have made it clear that the police are not legally required to render aid, and several police are on record stating that the firearms they carry are meant for their protection NOT YOURS!

The 2nd Amendment is clear, YOUR are responsible for your own defense, because no one else can or will provide for it! Only a fool in shackles believes in this shit.

The #1 job of government is to protect our liberties as stated in the declaration of independence and when a government stops doing that… it is our right & DUTY to throw off such forms of government secure ourselves new guards for our liberty!

David says:

Re: Bullfucking shit!

"One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community."

No, this is NOT a fundamental right! Never was, never will be! Liberty is the fundamental right.

The actual problem is that a "right to live in a safe community" is fundamentally incompatible with liberty since it puts the citizen in the position of cattle: safety guarantees can only be given for extremely constrained conditions, in particular conditions not depending on the individuals’ behavior any more.

People have a right to assume their part of being an active part of a safe community. And the more people will do so, the safer they will end up.

Living in a safe community is not a right, it is an obligation and responsibility. Choosing the best way to do so is liberty. It may involve hiring and tasking police officers for securing the perimeters. Which is a tough job and paid well. But they cannot substitute for the core of forming a safe community among free citizens.

If you close your eyes against your own responsibility towards crime and justice, you promote the law of the jungle, with the most powerful stomping over the weaker because there are no values telling them not to, whether those end up being the police officers or someone else.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Bullfucking shit!

Agree, this is why the 2nd Amendment was written the way it was.

The people must have the right to keep and bear arms so that they can form militia as needed to defend against enemies foreign or domestic. this concept fails in front of a “police is for our protection” state because in order for the police to protect us, we have to be turned into defenseless cattle just as you stated.

The premier Armed Force of American is the militia, which is to be formed by its citizens. Unfortunately most citizens refuse the responsibility of participating in the protection of their communities making the entire idea of the 2nd an anathema to many.

Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Bullfucking shit!

The people must have the right to keep and bear arms so that they can form militia as needed to defend against enemies foreign or domestic.

Which may even have been a good idea back in about 1800 when state-of-the-art military technology was pretty much a rotary machine gun and technology within reach of the "average" citizen could match it with enough determination….

Now, the only people capable of coming within an order of magnitude of matching death technology with the government are billionaires who are more likely to side with government and frankly putting some of that stuff in the hands of the "average" citizen would just be bat-poop crazy (even more so than the government having it)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Bullfucking shit!

“Now, the only people capable of coming within an order of magnitude of matching death technology with the government are billionaires who are more likely to side with government and frankly putting some of that stuff in the hands of the “average” citizen would just be bat-poop crazy (even more so than the government having it)”

It’s not about matching firepower. It’s about the willingness and ability of the public to rise up in armed rebellion. The Government is comprised of the people. There will be some that would pull the trigger, but I’m betting less than you think.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Bullfucking shit!

“and frankly putting some of that stuff in the hands of the “average” citizen would just be bat-poop crazy (even more so than the government having it)”

yea, we have NEVER seen a government abuse it’s authority at all have we? Government has murdered more people than any WAR or group of criminals on the planet.

We can prevent businesses from being allowed to hire an army or personnel with firearms. We can also create an amendment preventing civilians from owning or creating nukes, but citizens should have every right to fight on equal footing with every member of government as per the founding fathers very clear intentions!

The other solution is to become a slave without freedom, where the police can murder you without trouble because you are a worthless pissant that will NEVER fight back.

Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Bullfucking shit!

yea, we have NEVER seen a government abuse it’s authority at all have we? Government has murdered more people than any WAR or group of criminals on the planet.

Well, most wars have historically been started in the name of religion and far as I know the top killer, even in America, is heart disease. Added to that, a quick bit of research suggests there were about as many gun-related homicides in America as there were civilian deaths in Iraq from ’03-’13 so that claim smacks of hyperbole.

But all that’s rather beside the point. My points were;

A/ The "right" to have whatever BFG you think does the job is irrelevant in your hypothetical revolution when anyone capable of affording hardware destructive enough to match the most expensively equipped military on the planet is still not going to be able to afford ENOUGH of it to make a difference. Any BFG anyone but a billionaire can afford is likely to be about as effective as urinating off the windward side of a boat.

B/ Are you really claiming that the situation in America would be improved if, for example, the people who perpetrated the 136 mass shooting incidents last year had had easy access to, say, medium range missiles and military grade explosives?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Bullfucking shit!

A. 1. Getting one BFG isn’t even a plausible reaction to a revolution (It would be “as effective as urinating off the windward side of a boat”). Big guns don’t wars. I’ll ignore that portion and focus on costs of smaller items: A billionaire with exactly $1 billion to spend could buy 89,341 FIM-92B Stinger Sight and Missile units (1 unit equipped with 1 missile). (
Other things that could be bought with that much include:
1,000,000 SUB-2000s ( and 50000 rounds of 9mm (9mm FMJ munitions seems to cost, on average, $13 for 50 rounds, and that’s not even a bulk purchase which REALLY reduces round cost)
66666 OMEN Watchmens ( with 16713 rounds( $17.95 for 20 rounds)
All that said however, you are right: an average civilian is not a billionaire. BUT, in the case of a revolution, one billionaire wouldn’t be supplying a civilian militia per say. Civilians would buy these sorts of things unless they were already armed. 1 SUB-2000 and 200 rounds would cost about $1269.23. Average household income in the US in 2015 was $56,516. Not sure what exactly your point was about the billionaire thing, but if it was about how many unarmed citizens could be armed, I hope this was informative.

TL;DR: Higher gun-ownership rates have a negative correlation to (read: reduce) murder rates.
Also, quoting Federalist 29:

“Where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits and interests?”

Honestly, you should be more scared of a road related accident or heart disease than the still VERY improbable chance that you will be killed in a mass shooting. Furthermore, the cost to equip oneself with “medium range missiles and military grade explosives” is obviously high enough to dissuade people from using those. Otherwise, it would have already occurred.

Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Bullfucking shit!

Which all sounds splendid, I’m sure, and terribly Rambo. On the other hand, even with all those toys, it still wouldn’t run a war for very long, would it? Buying the toys is only a tiny fraction of the cost of war.
Plus, none of it seems to get you very far against real war toys

Interesting Harvard study, BTW… I guess Americans are just more homicidal by nature than other western first-world countries then.

BUT, in the case of a revolution, one billionaire wouldn’t be supplying a civilian militia per say. Civilians would buy these sorts of things unless they were already armed.

So, is your contention that all US citizens should already be stockpiling military-grade weapons just in case of a revolution being necessary? Doesn’t sound massively practical considering that 30% of the earning power in the top 1% must skew that $56k average somewhat and in US equivalent, my own family would be above that and couldn’t find the money to support a firearm habit.
Or is your contention that, in the event of the hypothetical revolution, everyone will be able to buy all these things without any interference from the government and military?

Honestly, you should be more scared of a road related accident or heart disease than the still VERY improbable chance that you will be killed in a mass shooting.

I am. In fact I made that very point about heart disease when you were claiming government was the biggest killer. Yes, even in the US the chances of actually being in a mass shooting are small. I can’t imagine that’s much comfort to the coming up for 2000 Americans killed or injured in them last year. Nor can I imagine it would be improved if the probably unstable people responsible had had access to more destructive weaponry. By the way, the equivalent statistic for Europe (and Russia) is rather less – a bit over 200 when Europe’s population is twice the US.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Bullfucking shit!

Exactly. Since we cannot reasonably (or, arguably, safely) arm private citizens up to the level of paramilitary police forces, the only way to make this right is to deprive paramilitary police forces of high end weapons. Restrict the cops to those weapons that can be bought by law-abiding members of the general public for no more than say, a month’s average wages. Anything more expensive than that, or anything which requires special permission from the government (i.e. a tax stamp, or a may-issue permit), is off limits to the police.

Ryunosuke (profile) says:

Re: Bullfucking shit!

Correct me if I am wrong, but….

Wasn’t the 2nd amendment written SPECIFICALLY to defend against a tyrannical government? or more specifically, the law enforcement representing said government. Whether it is a modern police force, or an 18th century army regiment.

How can Republicans defend both the 2nd Amendment, AND Police tactics/Trump administration’s defense of them.

They should take up a career as a contortionist.

Anonymous Coward says:

If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!

Send them in. Hell, send in tanks while you’re at it. Checkpoints at every corner.
I’m sure that’ll do wonders for tourism. Just like it’s doing for the businesses around trump tower:

Sometimes the only way to fix this degree of stupid is to let them do it.

Roger Strong (profile) says:


That would be the same President* Trump who on TV yesterday called for the US to resume torture. If it’s OK for the troops and CIA and Homeland Security, it’s OK for police fighting the "horrible carnage" at home. His enemies are his enemies.

As for his friends, Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University, has an interesting note about how a dictator controls the loyalty of his inner circle:

Bloomberg: Why Trump’s Staff Is Lying

By requiring subordinates to speak untruths, a leader can undercut their independent standing, including their standing with the public, with the media and with other members of the administration. That makes those individuals grow more dependent on the leader and less likely to mount independent rebellions against the structure of command. Promoting such chains of lies is a classic tactic when a leader distrusts his subordinates and expects to continue to distrust them in the future.

Another reason for promoting lying is what economists sometimes call loyalty filters. If you want to ascertain if someone is truly loyal to you, ask them to do something outrageous or stupid. If they balk, then you know right away they aren’t fully with you. That too is a sign of incipient mistrust within the ruling clique, and it is part of the same worldview that leads Trump to rely so heavily on family members.

sigalrm (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The US, as a society, has been hearing a constant refrain of “the world is an ugly, scary place, and anyone who isn’t a true American wants to kill you in a horrific fashion. Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid” from mass media for at least a couple of decades now. Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes it’s overt, but it’s been pretty much continuous.

That a large number of people are legitimately terrified and feel a strong desire for someone, anyone, to protect them at any cost shouldn’t be a surprise.

It’s sad. But utterly predictable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

As an American the only constant I keep hearing is how I am somehow responsible for a bunch of people halfway around the globe that I need to save with my money and wealth.

I am not allowed to use military might to save them… fuck no, that is wrong.
I am not allowed to tell them to fix their own fucking problems by rising up against their own oppressors… no, that is wrong.
I am not allowed to say it is not my responsibility to police every country on the planet.
I am not allowed to preserve MY culture, instead I must move over or allow their culture to stomp or drown mine out.

No… I think they are just envious and want what I am lucky to have, but they are too fucking coward to build for themselves.

sigalrm (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

And you’re welcome to feel that way. I won’t say that you’re wrong to be upset about those things, but it’s important to understand that fear & anger are tightly coupled emotions in the human brain, and it’s pretty common for anger to be a direct response to fear.

I’m a sucker for quotes, so I’ll channel Yoda on this one: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

There’s a lot more wisdom in that than most people realize.

BernardoVerda (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Funny, I was hearing almost exactly that same line from some pro-Putin (and even pro-Stalin apologist) Russian(s) in another forum — in course of a discussion about the Russian annexation of Crimea from the Ukraine — except according them, it’s Russia that is the target of some combination of covert but powerful internal threats, terrorists (internal and external), and the external/outside world’s unjust prejudices and inimical, threatening national enmity.

Authoritarians the world over keep plying the same, tired lies — and the people keep falling for it.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Funny how when a Democrat is in the White House, the right declares extreme libertarianism to be NECESSARY to fight government totalitarianism. Cliven Bundy and the Occupy Gift Shop militia LARPers are freedom fighters! Executive Orders are dictatorship!

But when a Republican is in the White House, if you express ANY opposition to REAL totalitarian posturing from the President*, or show even mild libertarianism, the same people declare you “leftwing.”

Trump is signing executive order at a fast rate. With not a peep from those who – with Obama signing them at a lower rate than any President in over a century – still called it dictatorship.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Executive Orders are dictatorship!”

Any EO that attempts to extend beyond the POTUS managing the Executive Branch IS dictatorial. The constitution does not grant the executive branch the power it has been wielding from time to time.

Of course, Congress “could” kick the POTUS nuts into his neck for it, but lets be honest… they don’t give a fucking shit and neither do any of you that voted those fuckers back into power!

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Obama’s EOs were constantly under a microscope, the Republicans trying to block anything he tried to do, and taking it to court at every opportunity.

They only found that he overstepped his bounds in one instance. (On immigration enforcement, doing what was arguably Republican policy when they’re in office.) And that was pretty routine.

But no, Republicans were squealing because he was using EOs AT ALL. Yet another case of IOKIYAR. (It’s OK If You’re A Republican.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

One of the things that keeps pissing me off is the Dems are only okay when a Dem does it and the Reps are only okay if a Rep does it.

The sheep in this nation need a fucking shave!

Obama was a shit stain of a president, just like fucking Bush and what appears to be Trump will be. The sad thing is… these guys are not the first… and from the looks of things… won’t be near the last.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

False equivalence.

I’m mean sure, the Democrats do it. But nothing remotely on the scale of what the Republicans have done for eight years.

The Democrats abused the filibuster, but the Republicans’ stated policy of filibustering EVERYTHING is brand new. It was not business as usual.

Obama was essentially two more Republican terms, continuing the policies of Bush II’s administration. Even ObamaCare is best described as “15 years of Republican healthcare policy until the moment Obama adopted it.” But it all – Republican policies on military, immigration, healthcare, bank and business bail-outs – you name it – suddenly became commie Marxist socialism and opposed.

The Democrats have never blocked action on that scale. Nor was there the same level of protest about EOs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Obama signing [executive orders] at a lower rate than any President in over a century

Well, have to say, you were pretty much right.
Number of Executive Orders issued 1929-2017 by president:
Obama: 258
George W. Bush: 290
Bill Clinton: 363
George Bush: 165
Ronald Reagan: 380
Jimmy Carter: 319
Gerald R. Ford: 168
Richard Nixon: 345
Lyndon B. Johnson: 323
John F. Kennedy: 213
Dwight D. Eisenhower: 481
Harry S. Truman: 893
Franklin D. Roosevelt: 3466
Herbert Hoover: 995

Rate of Executive Orders issued 1929-2017 (# of Orders / Years in Office) by president:
Obama: 32.25 Orders per year
George W. Bush: 36.25 o/y
Bill Clinton: 45.375 o/y
George Bush: 41.25 o/y
Ronald Reagan: 47.5 o/y
Jimmy Carter: 79.75 o/y
Gerald R. Ford: 56 o/y
Richard Nixon: 69 o/y
Lyndon B. Johnson: 53.833… o/y
John F. Kennedy: 106.5 o/y
Dwight D. Eisenhower: 60.125 o/y
Harry S. Truman: 111.625 o/y
Franklin D. Roosevelt: 288.833… o/y
Herbert Hoover: 248.75 o/y

>Trump is signing executive order at a fast rate.

Trump’s Executive order rate as of now: 2 orders / 6 days
2/(6/365) = 121.66… but then again it has only been 6 days since inauguration.

Anonymous Coward says:

Out of site out of mind

Ignoring your problems and embracing an ideological stance of “the police are the problem” is a sure fire way to spiral down the abyss of chaos.

So far in January 2017 Chicago has had 37 homicide with 190 people wounded. That is fairly remarkable since the new year has barely begun. The only response from leadership in Chicago has been to implement gun control laws. (As if criminals are going to stop shooting people because its against the law).

All this article is another blame the police type of argument that has no basis in reality. Anyone who truly believes the police are the issue is forever lost to identity politics of far fringe leftist movement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Out of site out of mind

The police as a whole are not the issue. The police failure to meaningfully punish abuse by officers is an issue that taints the public perception of the entire police department. Internal Affairs fails at policing bad officers for a variety of reasons, most of them well documented on Techdirt (among other places): perverse legal structures that require overwhelming evidence of egregious conduct before meaningful discipline can come up, perverse rules that explicitly make legal conduct that would be highly illegal for someone not sworn in as a police officer, vast deference to even highly implausible claims, etc. If the police departments adopted and enforced policies to meaningfully punish bad officers, they could readily improve the public perception of the police as a whole. As is, there are neighborhoods and sometimes entire cities where the public rightly believes that calling the cops is an actively bad idea. Crime flourishes when the victims cannot or will not involve the authorities.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Out of site out of mind

And it’s entirely possible that crime in Chicago is getting worse, and that special action in Chicago is necessary to counter or combat that.

IIRC, there are a handful of major cities around the nation where crime (especially violent crime) has spiked significantly, enough so to make a visible change in the national averages – but that crime everywhere else is continuing to fall, or at worst is remaining level.

If Chicago is one of that handful, the anecdotes given would make perfect sense, while still not coming close to justifying action on a national level.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Since this is now a political news website

You both are right, I clearly recognize the left lean of TD and the right lean of other sites, but it is hardly a leave worthy offense for any of them. No one has the whole truth and understand the logic behind everyone’s thinking is important for progress!

Like I have told mike and the rest of you, please do not allow attitudes to polarize the place to the point where people leave and this becomes an echo chamber. I am a big asshole and still able to recognize this!

It is important for everyone here to continue to point out the perceived failings of all sides. Communication is important that way!

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Since this is now a political news website

I clearly recognize the left lean of TD

And as we’ve told you, that’s not true. CNN once refered to us as a "right wing" site. A copyright maximalist has called me a socialist.

We’re not right wing/left wing, because that’s a made up fantasy that lets idiots claim "my team/your team." We tend to be big believers in innovation and whatever will most help innovation and the public dissemination of the benefits of that innovation. That does not fit neatly with stupid "left wing/right wing" memes. I disagree, heavily, with plenty of Democrats who seek to put in place onerous regulations on technology that harms innovation. And I disagree, heavily, with those on the right wing that look to interfere with civil liberties or who embrace greater surveillance.

But you seem to use "left wing" as an explanation for why we sometimes disagree with your view of the world. That’s silly.

We’re not left wing or right wing. We don’t fall anywhere along the traditional spectrum, and attempts to classify us along that spectrum tend to only reflect poorly on those who wish to classify us.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Since this is now a political news website

“We’re not left wing or right wing.”

I said lean… this implies that you are not necessarily LEFT but that you match up with them in ideology more than right.

Yes I am well aware of the fact that my own biases are directly relative to that and my views of others, but the same applies to you. Your biases make you believe that your left lean is not. I have a right lean, but I consistently test out as a centrist. I sound like a conservative but think of myself as more of an original liberal.

And we can bitch about the labels all day long, they will never go anywhere so chillax!

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Since this is now a political news website

I said lean… this implies that you are not necessarily LEFT but that you match up with them in ideology more than right.

And my point was that if you actually think the "left/right" model means anything, you should educate yourself a bit. We reject that model, because we don’t fit anywhere on that spectrum.

Relying on that model is what gives you a false view of the world. Getting rid of it is step one towards enlightenment.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Since this is now a political news website

They don’t. At best they’d be in the center which by definition has plenty of both sides. Or center-right because they do agree with plenty of free market ideas with regulation where free market fails.

But people seem to have extreme difficulty upgrading their view of the world.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Since this is now a political news website

Binary thinking is being enforced. You know those “You bunch of __________s” posters who come in here from time to time bewailing the ____ward march of the site and declaring they’ll ne’er darken our doors again lest their eyeballs be polluted, or something?

They’re trying to “correct” the staff so they write to suit their biases. Most of this appears to be coming from the far right, but there’s a reason for this. The far right has successfully rebranded itself as mainstream. As a result its adherents naturally view anything that doesn’t conform to this, particularly if it’s in the public interest, as “left-wing.”

That’s how the partisan pattycake game works, people. It’s where extremism comes from. Push back, don’t join in.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Since this is now a political news website

The left as such, which would put Noam Chomsky on the left of that and Bernie Sanders on the right, is small and hasn’t got much traction. The last time a hard-right man tried to school me about the political spectrum I tagged Jacobin Magazine and told him, “That’s left wing. MSM is liberal/progressive.” I think I blew his mind.

After that the biggest left-leaning group is the liberals, which is split along market and progressive lines. Your “true” liberal is all about the free market and freedom of speech for nazis, etc. Your liberal progressive wants to ring-fence toilet usage rights, among other things. These are the ones who grovel all over Obama. I think they’re planning a memorial service for his administration. After that, moving rightwards, you’ve got libertarians. Left of that, public interest, right of that, “voluntary-ism” and anarcho-capitalism. After that, we’re headed right into neocons, paleo, and the Tea Party. After that, fascism/alt-right, anarcho-capitalism.

What is this “center” you speak of? The clubs that constitute the various norms use shaming to enforce the echo chambers in which they exist. We see it here in TD all the time.

Anonymous Coward says:

If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!

I’m not even sure if I would be upset about this. Because when it comes down to it, the Chicago PD is the most corrupt in the nation (or at least in the top 3). Taking them out of power is a public good, and I find it difficult to believe the feds would be worse. I could be wrong, of course, but it seems unlikely.

GristleMissile (profile) says:

Re: Re:

As usual, this is one of things with more than one interpretation, not all of which are bad things. Obama’s admin mandated federal oversight of several police departments and there was nary a peep of anything except support for it. Suddenly when Trump threatens to do the same he’s a totalitarian monster creating a police state. (which we’re ALREADY in, btw, and have been since at least early Dubya)

Maybe folks could wait and see what his actual plan is before flipping shit and spewing FUD. It could very well be that his plan is to fix the problems in police behaviour that led to there being an anti-police atmosphere.

And Tim, your "counter-examples" in no way showed that there isn’t an anti-police atmosphere (there is one). You merely showed the police often deserve such an atmosphere. That’s a different thing.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Err… what?

Maybe I’m (badly) misreading the reports on this, but where is Trump threatening to place police departments under federal oversight?

What I’ve gotten from the reports on this, including this very article, is that Trump is threatening to crack down on those who accuse police officers of doing bad things, and to defend police officers against all attempts to rein them in.

Literally nothing about that says “oversight” to me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Call in the feds … like in those cheap hollywood B movies.
How fitting, B movie plot inspired martial law invasion of a major metropolitan area … hey wait a sec, is this what they were training for a while ago in texas? You remember, when Obama was taking over texas so that he could take away your guns – remember that? Pepperidge farm remembers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Blame FDR

Students aren’t taught the freedoms in the actual Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, but some claptrap “fake news”/”lies” invented by one of our own Presidents:

1. Freedom of speech
2. Freedom of worship
3. Freedom from want
4. Freedom from fear

Curiously, there is no freedom to *do* anything, only *think* something (#’s 1 & 2), thus providing as much freedom as an ordinary prisoner.

“If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.”

— Dwight D. Eisenhower

Anonymous Coward says:

If I were a law abiding citizen living there, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t welcome a short term military style build up and sweep of the entire city by the feds. The crime there is absolutely horrible, and it hasn’t seems to have gotten better under the last administration.

But .. Trump is the Devil! *Grabs pitchfork and torch* *Joins crowd*

Anonymous Coward says:

Doesn’t the current governor of Illinois (notably, a Republican) have the authority to mobilize the national guard?

I thought Republicans were all for states’ rights. I wonder how the governor feels about Trump sticking his orange head into what is clearly Illinois’ business.

Or more importantly, why isn’t the governor doing something?

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Who is "American?"

If “One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community,” why eliminate the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Violence Against Women Grants, the Legal Services Corporation, and reducing funding for its Civil Rights and the Environment and Natural Resources divisions?

Is Trump stripping all but rich white males and members of the law enforcement agencies of American citizenship? That’s the only explanation I can think of for this. I mean, he wouldn’t lie to us, would he?

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