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View Diary: No Charges for Pepper-Spraying and Sucker-Punching Cops (138 comments)

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  •  Please show me where this happens: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keninoakland, emelyn, VClib
    A police state is a state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic, and political life of the population. A police state typically exhibits elements of totalitarianism and social control, and there is usually little or no distinction between the law and the exercise of political power by the executive.

    The inhabitants of a police state experience restrictions on their mobility, and on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views, which are subject to police monitoring or enforcement. Political control may be exerted by means of a secret police force which operates outside the boundaries normally imposed by a constitutional state.[2]

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 09:03:44 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  it is just a matter of degrees... (11+ / 0-)

      ...granted we are not in the worst of it yet.  It is only starting.  But for example try protesting in the parks of Chicago without a police approved permit or when they don't want it or where they don't want it.  Free speech zones anyone.

      Try being homeless or feeding homeless. I think it was in Houston where ordinances prohibit people feeding other people.

      What about sneak and peek searches or the placement of tracking devices without warrant on vehicles.

      What about the no fly list or the CISPA or the secret collecting of all internet traffic.

      I could go on but since you don't see it, it is not happening.

      But it is.

      But I will grant you it is not yet as bad as it could get.  And I don't trust anymore.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 09:21:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  NYPD scanning people without their knowledge (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tool, Dirtandiron

        http://www.theblaze.com/...

        how can you have these things and bombers openly carry bombs?

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 09:33:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So then the right is correct that we are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Martha, emelyn

        communists since it is only a "matter of degrees."

        There are serious issues in this country and many of those involve police and government over reach. But language matters and when we use terms too loosely it dilutes those words and their meaning.

        I have traveled through police states. We are nothing like them.

        Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

        by Mike S on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 09:34:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So what language should we... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron, burlydee

          ...use to describe where we are now that would properly describe the place we are in now and motivate people to action.

          We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

          by delver rootnose on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 09:37:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Student patrol state? Sneaky Brother state? (4+ / 0-)

            Neighborhood Watch Fascism?... Police state lite is not far wrong... when it is all headed away from democracy in the wrong direction into the darkness... and it is not all dark yet at what point can one say you have arrived at a functional equivalent to some sort of borderline Police state?... how many elements need to be in place at least in at a developmental level for it to be apparent that the next steps are almost inevitable and would best be described as an early form of police state.

            There have been and are plenty of "authoritarian-lite" regimes... many now gone that seemed very congenial to visit and seemed quiet and pretty much repression free, unless you met the right people, looked beyond the bland facade and saw the fear and how the repression worked and the means it used.

            Many are on the road in the right direction in more recent years but still are not all the way to a functioning plural democracy since they never were in the past... the opposite... a more open society going into autocracy is rarer but there are examples... but there has never so far been a long term modern democracy being eroded and devolving into dictatorship...

            The Roman republic turning into an empire ruled by an absolute ruler is an archaic example but worth studying... it actually took centuries for all the safeguards and restraints to be removed one after another... slowly enough that each generation forgot what they lost and made changes or accepted changes as being sensible and without danger.

            An early warning that is taken seriously is far more likely to prevent de-evolution to dictatorship than pooh poohing the very idea that a nation could go step by step into the darkness... but of course early warnings are not taken seriously and later ones do not make sense to those habituated to the additional steps...

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 10:38:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "1776", anyone? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              eXtina, IreGyre

              Specific reference, the petty debate over the wording of the claim of deprivation of the benefits of Trial by Jury.

              One smug Congressperson from Delaware: "We have always had trial by jury."

              Adams (curtly): "In Massachusetts we have not."

              End result, the insertion of the mealy-mouthed phrase "in many cases". :-P

              If it's
              Not your body,
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              And it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 11:22:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  language and "Police State" (0+ / 0-)

            I see the semantics and the phenomenology of this as a "Rule of Law" issue.

            In the United States, we are seeing wider swaths of the most powerful people, institutions, corporations etc. acting above the law with full knowledge that their criminality will go unpunished.

            Conversely, many within our society are subjected to either the abuses of those who are above the law and/or we are subjected to selective enforcement of laws and legal process to which other elements of society are totally immune.  

            A police officer criminally assaulting a protester/voter/citizen etc. - knowing that he is above the law and unanswerable to laws that, ostensibly apply to all of us -- is a gross demonstration of the bigger problem.

            sláinte,
            cl
            -- Religion is like sodomy: both can be harmless when practiced between consenting adults but neither should be imposed upon children.

            by Caoimhin Laochdha on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 06:15:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Bigger issue, from my perspective, is (0+ / 0-)

        that we are no longer a "nation of laws."  For as long as I've practiced law (beginning in 1992) I have seen our Country become less and less a (nominal) nation of laws and more and more into a nation of (wo)men.  Powerful, rich, politically connected men and corporations do not have to play by the same rules the overwhelming majority of us are made to observe.    

        There is nothing unique or novel about corporate and government criminality.  These entities are becoming less accountable to the rule of law -- the trend should be frightening to all of us.

        Criminality among police officers -- battery, civil rights violations, selective enforcement, perjury & even murder -- is commonplace; and many of us, sadly, or do not want to acknowledge this or are immune to its escalation.  When I say it's "commonplace," I mean we, as a nation, experience this fact regularly and witness it frequently.  "Commonplace" does not mean the majority of police departments and it does not even mean a significant minority of police officers.  It means that it happens everyday, it is not novel and we are all potential victims of it and we all pay for it.

        Police criminality is far from the rule. I am not suggesting that it is tolerated in most departments.  However, the rule is fast becoming that police who engage in criminality are, as a rule, above the law.  There are far too many instances of this to ignore. The NYPD is an a gross example.

        A professional police presence is essential, and we all rely on police like we rely on many other professionals both in, and out of, government.  However, the problem of government criminality has grown out-of-control.  If we cannot reform how we deal with street level criminality of our police, then we truly have no chance to hold the most powerful elements of government accountable for their crimes.

        sláinte,
        cl
        -- Religion is like sodomy: both can be harmless when practiced between consenting adults but neither should be imposed upon children.

        by Caoimhin Laochdha on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 05:58:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm.... (15+ / 0-)

      • Warrantless wiretapping
      • Secret memos authorizing drone strikes on American citizens
      • "National security letters" that you can't tell anyone about
      • "Stop & frisk"
      • "Papers please"
      • Being arrested for filming police misconduct
      • Spending months in solitary confinement for refusing to give up sources
      • Locking down an entire city and treating it as a "we don't need no stinking warrants" zone
      • Virtual unaccountability for police wrongdoing
      • Arbitrary changes to early voting laws to disenfranchise a voting bloc
      • Peeing into a cup to get public assistance
      • Homeless people being rounded up and dumped out of town
      • Whistleblowers being punished

      Just because it is not all happening in the same city at the same time doesn't mean it isn't a problem.

    •  OK, I'll bite. (10+ / 0-)

      The inhabitants of a police state experience restrictions on their mobility,
      Cops attacking Occupy protesters because they're 'not allowed' to be at certain places at certain times. So-called 'Free Speech' zones.

      and on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views, which are subject to police monitoring or enforcement.
      Police during Occupy subpoenaed Twitter accounts and combed social media for anyone involved with Occupy. Which police? The Boston Police, unfortunately.

      Political control may be exerted by means of a secret police force which operates outside the boundaries normally imposed by a constitutional state.
      There were undercover cops all over the place at Occupy. There were "conterterrorism units". Counterterrorism? For tents and drum circles? Really? The incidences of people being beaten up, protesters in Los Angeles being forced to kneel in a parking garage for several hours until some of them vomited or passed out (which is torture IMO), documented incidences of sexual assault by cops (there's a viral picture of a cop grabbing a woman's breasts)...

      THAT is what a police state looks like. No we're not Iran or Soviet Russia or Chile under Pinochet. Not even close. But we're slowly starting up that road.

      I actually saw the events in Boston the past week as positive, as a step towards reconciliation between cops and the public. The police actually protected the people for once instead of attacking them. But on Daily Kos we get diaries like the climateguy diary where it was made clear that some folks aren't interested in reconciliation.

      inb4 you ask for links, because that's what always happens. I don't have time to comb the Internet for every link about this. Most of this was diaried on Daily Kos anyway. People will just deny it anyway so what's the point.

      Some would say that I'm off my gourd. I would say that I am a gourd.

      by Hubbard Squash on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 09:27:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it does not mean that we live in (5+ / 0-)

        a police state, but yes, it certainly means that there are significant elements of a police state in place in this country and growing stronger.  And, if one is African American, especially a teenage African African male, the police state description is even more apt.

        But at the same time, a significant number of us still have freedoms that we would not have in a police state.  The ACLU still exists and still is going strong, as are a good number of other progressive organizations that are fighting to maintain civil liberties and civil rights.

        It's a very complex situation, and the we do/we don't argument reduces those complexities to cliches.  Frankly, I thought the original diary was overblown, even while raising significant points about the quashing of dissent.  I thought the response diary was offensive; it didn't just disagree but it was mocking, which is completely counterproductive.  

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