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

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  •  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

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

      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

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    •  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

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      •  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

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        •  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

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          •  "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

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        •  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.

          -- 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

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    •  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.

      -- 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

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