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People, we are being hoodwinked.  I think these warning, at this point, are pretty much useless since the total-information-awareness surveillance police state has been fully entrenched in our society, but come on, it's like they're not bothering to hide their tracks any more.

The other day I read a diary about Leslie Stahl being a member of the Advisory Board of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

I have pretty much given up on the American mainstream media, after realizing long ago that it is basically a propaganda machine.  But after I read about Leslie Stahl being a member of an Advisory Board of an organization associated with such an odious character (Peter G. Peterson), I did find it alarming.

Now, this "60 Minutes" report by Ms. Stahl may have nothing to do with the fact that she sits on that Board, but it nevertheless hit me as such a blatant and transparent apologia for the militarization of our police forces (and hence, for a police state), that I find it extremely suspect.  It is clearly a piece of cheap propaganda.

What a shame... And to think that not too long ago I considered "60 Minutes" an honest news source.

This is how we lost our country to the plutocracy: because of fear.

Watch the report, and see how Ms. Stahl makes a point about gang members riding around on motorcycles, with AK-47 strapped to their backs!  Yes, just like insurgents in Afghanistan.

And by golly, who, who in any neighborhood would not want to be protected from violent hoodlums carrying AK-47s, victimizing and terrorizing residents?

Except that the real terrorizing and victimizing is being done by the rich fucks who refuse to pay their fair share of taxes, hiding the money instead in tax heavens the world over.

And so they buy off the debased politicians to do their bidding; to impose "austerity" on the population.

And so as government functions are purposely de-funded, and as people like Peterson (and the Koch brothers) push for policies that defund the social safety net, and weaken workers' rights, and environmental protections, what do you think is going to happen?

People are going to get desperate.  Suicide rates are going to go through the roof, crime is going to increase.  The social fabric is being destroyed on purpose by these fascist billionaires and their puppets in government.  That to me is terrorism at a massive scale!

Instead of turning the entire population into "informants" and using military-type assaults and raids on our streets, our homes, our neighborhoods, why don't they ask these rich fucks (and corporations) to pay their fair share of taxes?  Why don't we flood our streets with jobs instead, and with free schooling (from Headstart to college)?

"60 Minutes," I'm calling you out.  That's some piece of cheap propaganda!  




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Comment Preferences

  •  Kevin Phillips had a name for it (20+ / 0-)

    "Apple-pie authoritarianism".  It will look and sound and smell like America, but it won't be the same nation at all any more.  I think we're pretty much there now.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:46:33 PM PDT

    •  I agree completely. (5+ / 0-)

          I've felt that way for some time now. Why would anybody expect the 21st Century version of authoritarianism to come complete with brown shirts and torchlight parades (followed by rousing speeches, of course)? Why would it look like Russia 1955 or East Germany 1962?  It makes total sense that it would look like America 2013.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:01:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I rarely watch 60 minutes anymore (5+ / 0-)

    1) It rarely starts on time, usually delayed for some sporting event - my time is valuable so if they can't stick with their schedule and start on time, they shouldn't expect me to be waiting for them,
    2) Too much (boring) celebrity worship,
    3) It sucks anyway without Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley and Andy Rooney,
    4) As for Leslie, she stalled and sold out a long time ago. How old is she now - 150?

  •  Hey Ray - Did you also see the segment on TBI (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emelyn

    among our military members and veterans? Was that also a "sham"?

    Do you (really) care?

    For you and anyone who takes every opportunity to slam everyone involved in law enforcement and anyone who might dare support them, I invite you to see this reality-based diary.

    Good luck with your "call-out" and bloviating about the "police state" --- remember it the next time you feel the need to "call" the police to trouble them with your accusations of theft at Walmart.

  •  Arresting the "other": (19+ / 0-)

    This is what this 60 minutes piece seems to be all about.  Drug dealers and gang members are not people, but "bad guys" to be arrested and removed from the community.  Never mind about the conditions that created them--lack of jobs, lack of social services, lack of education, etc.  And what happens to these young men after they go to prison?  Without proper services to reintegrate them into society, they will be lost causes, committing more crimes and going to prison again.  

    I also found it striking that the piece did not once mention an alternative to this type of police crackdown--legalizing drugs to dry up the black market, and putting the savings from this much less expensive approach into improved social services, including treatment programs for drug abusers.

    The senior citizen at the elders meeting who had been robbed 55 times--you can bet that the majority of times he had been robbed, it was because the robbers wanted the money to fund their drug habits.  (That is what statistics usually show about people who do robberies on the street.)

    Then there is the militarism of the whole approach--the police troopers are literally jackbooted (they look like updated Nazi's, and you have to assume this look is deliberate), and the SWAT team conducting the drug raid were literally outfitted as soldiers, with all the usual gear that soldiers have.

    This is not a good direction to be going in.  It results in a society based on fear, with an intrusive police presence as the norm.  Somehow, I don't think that is what the founders of this country would have wanted.

    •  This "military approach" is nothing but... (9+ / 0-)

      "Community Policing" which was adopted, dropped and re-"discovered" again.

      Modern-era Background:

      The "beat cop" was dropped as the NYPD Knapp Commission tied corruption (free donut) to the presence of a known police presence.  That corruption (payoffs to ignore drugs, gambling, etc...) was at the root, equal to a free coffee.
      You're being bribed to provide more-or-less police services, instead of having NO ties to the community, as you're zooming in by RMP (radio motor-patrol) car, busting heads, or taking reports.  "Anybody see anything?  No?  We're outtahere."

      What you aren't doing is developing those close ties which yield information on criminal activity... often over a free coffee and donut.  It could be low-level stuff:  "I think the Falcone kid is doing those purse-snatches".
      Or high level stuff:  "Tommy, the other cop?  He's telling Vito when the card games are getting raided."

      What that free donut didn't do, (getting or not getting) was fix the problem upstream.  
      The problem the Knapp Commission didn't want to discuss.  That "Tommy the other cop" was being told by his Captain, who was told by his Inspector, that the raid was coming.

      "Tommy" went to jail on corruption charges.  Those above retired to a nice home upstate, on Long Island, or took a job as Police Chief in a retirement community down south.

      What community policing does:

      There was a 10 second segment of that trooper handing-out his cell number with a message of call me, if you want the name of a guy with some construction work.
      Job, vs. stealing stuff, or selling drugs for an income stream.

      Walking kids to school - not a police initiated program - but it worked.  It's this, and not some grand program which will secure the neighborhood.  Getting cops out of cars, and putting them in direct-contact with the populace.

      It was "Community Policing Initiatives" that the Police Officer/Guardsmen brought TO THE MILITARY when we were losing neighborhoods, cities, and provinces in Iraq.
      Now it's "military tactics"?
      That's the bullshit line in this whole story.

      Crime mapping.  "Back in the day" it was on a chalk board, flip-chart, or taped to a wall.  It was done for almost all members of "Organized Crime Syndicates" - so you knew who, worked for who, worked for who.
      Three guys who work for Carmine get dead, and you're looking for who within the organization is moving on Carmine - or who from another organization is moving-in on Carmine's turf.   Some answers were unexpected.  "Colombians."

      Now it's displayed via software on a tablet device with spiffy animation.  We had animation too, if you left a window open, the papers would flutter.

      Last item:  Massachusetts State Police have maintained this quaint "Mounties" look for as long as I can remember.
      I'm more concerned with M-4 carbines and Kevlar battle gear response, shown here and post-Marathon, than I am to a pair of shiny boots, and Jodhpur-style pants.

      The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them.” ~ Joseph Heller, Catch-22

      by 43north on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:10:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I kind of thought it was community policing, but (0+ / 0-)

        what I know about military tactics / policing would fit on a matchbook.

        I did post to my facebook, copied below, about the 60 minutes piece - I grew up in Holyoke MA, 10 mins. from Springfield, and took the Peter Pan Bus to Boston in '78 for Boston College ... and have lived in Seattle since '89.

        "60 Mins. special about a green beret / MA. state trooper using counter insurgency tactics from Afghanistan in Springfield MA., 10 miles from where I grew up. Decades of fascist thieving lies wrecking jobs and communities + decades of politically pathetic coward Democratic and union "leaders", EXCEPT when they're yuppie fuck sell outs like Clinton, Kerry, ... Obama = Kandahar, Massachusetts. Bravo to the Statie - hope he runs for office. The rest of the pathetic / sell out Democratic Party "leaders" of MA. should just go jump in the Atlantic and drown themselves. (In Washington State we got the Pacific Ocean ...!)"

        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:53:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have less of a problem with cops who get free (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unfangus

        "stuff" from local businesses than I do with cops who shakedown drug dealers, plant evidence, and brutally enforce the militarization of the ghetto.

        In the first example, some businesses give out things like a free cup of coffee or a slice of pizza as a thank you for protecting our neighborhood. The cop who gets his free donuts and coffee from a local bakery, convenience store, or cafe might be more likely to be vigilant in those places than in businesses that give them nothing. I'm not saying the practice is right. Certainly there are some cops who would get free stuff all over their beat. Conversely there are cops that take nothing for free as well. And I don't think businesses should be forced into giving cops free stuff. In the town I grew up in, McDonald's used to give the cops free meals. Some of the cops ate two or three times a day in there. Others didn't go at all.

        OTOH, cops that rob drug dealers and shakedown people are crooked. IMO there is a big difference between a cop who accepts  a $2 cup of coffee and one who collects a weekly bribe.

      •  This was my thinking while seeing this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        I kept thinking 'Are you going to ask how is this different from 'community policing?'.  But being a crappy reporter and having a crappy producer this was never asked.

        I don't know if this segment or the 'Robin Hood' scam artist were more offensive to the audience.

      •  Good points about the community policing. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        I think to be really effective, it has to be coupled with social initiatives that address the conditions that drive many of these young men to crime in the first place.

        I'm not wild about the "Mounties" look, but I agree that the M-4 carbine Kevlar battle gear response is more worrying, as it blurs the line between police and real soldiers.  The two services are different--one for civilian law and order, the other to fight wars abroad--and we should not be combining them--posse comitatus and all that.

    •  Out in Left Field, did you miss the part where (0+ / 0-)

      the police started one a month "elder" meetings, coordinating all the social services, the first time they talked to one another?

      And there was no jackbooting in the officers walking the kids to school in the walking schoolbus.

      Very unfair characterization of the 60 minutes piece, I think.

      "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

      by mumtaznepal on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:18:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds like an effort to perpetuate (11+ / 0-)

    "insurgent" as a dysphemism. Insurgents are people who rise up against or oppose the extant power structure. Because we are likely to have power-mavens among us forever, there will always be a need to counter their efforts. Insurgency = eternal vigilance.
    Fear is a logical, rational response to irrational aggression. It is not the prompt of the latter, although aggressors, especially human ones, will try to justify their demands and assaults like those of a spechless predator by taking signs of weakness as an invitation to lunch.
    Motorscyclists, like bicyclists or pedestrians, are a threat to cops because they are not caged. People in cages on wheels are the culture of obedience ideal, especially now that they are strapped in because their superior training as drivers provides cops with an assurance of superiority. What gets lost in the culture of obedience is that cops are supposed to be public servants, respectful of individuals, even those they suspect of having committed a crime. If they model respect, it is more likely to be reflected. If not, then they'll have evidence of criminal intent.
    The effort to validate the culture of obedience is on-going. We assume that when people do wrong, guilt will prompt a change in behavior. But, that's not how guilt works. The more likely response is repetition of the wrong behavior as if to prove it wasn't wrong and there's no reason for the guilt. The invasion of Iraq is such a wrong behavior which there is still an effort to prove as right because it was/is central to the culture of obedience. Iraq was invaded to punish Saddam Hussein and all his supporters for being disobedient -- specifically, for failing to grant the U.S. military bases from which "the region" could be conveniently controlled. Since Saddam wouldn't give them, the U.S. determined to take them.

    "If you are unwilling, I will have to use force."

    That's the core principle of the culture of obedience. Applying it spectatcularly on an unsuspecting third party is an innovation that lets the perpetrators get away unscathed because the unwary victims are not prepared to retaliate.
    "We fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here."

    That's a corollary to the threat of force implied in the first and reveals the strategy of demonsrating it on someone else. Making the threat overt is necessary if it is to work.

    "I'm going to slaughter your children, if you don't give me your land," has been employed for a long time.
    The next time you hear a power-maven talk about children, consider whether or not you're hearing a veiled threat.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:51:07 AM PDT

  •  How many of these Hermann Goring (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, jabney

    quotes fit America today? Granted most of these are quotes about war but fit for our police state.

    My measures will not be crippled by any bureaucracy. Here I don't have to worry about Justice; my mission is only to destroy and to exterminate; nothing more. (maybe a little harsh but give us time)

    Shoot first and inquire afterwards, and if you make mistakes, I will protect you. (what he told his police chiefs)

    Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat. (more defense less social safety net)

    I have no conscience, Adolf Hitler (put in your local despot) is my conscience.

    the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country. (works for war or a police state)

    "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

    by fugwb on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:53:58 AM PDT

  •  This story on 60 Minutes did not disturb me. (8+ / 0-)

    I was cooking supper at the time so did not watch with great attention, but from what I saw, it was indeed "community policing" and if I lived in one of those areas, I imagine I would welcome it. I agree with those who note that the "War on Drugs" is the cause of much crime and changing that policy is desperately needed. However, for people living in certain areas, something needs to be done to protect them while we attempt to change the WOD.

    What was more disturbing to me last night was 3 stories in about an hour about billionaires who are doing wonderful things with their money. Two were on 60 Minutes and the other  was on the CBS News (I believe). These men were Paul Tudor Jones (Robin Hood Project), a Mr. Kaiser (early education in Oklahoma), and the third was a man who is building centers for soldiers with traumatic brain injury.

    Now I certainly applaud all three of these men for what they are doing. So why are these stories disturbing to me? The fact that there were 3 stories in such a short time makes it seem as if rich people are using their money for good  - so why should we tax them more when they are doing such wonderful things with their money. That seemed to be what CBS was trying to imply last night. Yet the fact is that these men could easily pay higher taxes and still spend as much money as they do on these projects and still have more money than they and their children could possibly spend for generations. The fact is also that there are many more wealthy people who have more money than they and their descendants could possibly spend in several generations who do nothing productive with their money.

    So good for those men who use a portion of their wealth to help others, but I question the motives of CBS for putting out all three stories at once.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:57:07 AM PDT

  •  60 Minutes is not news but propaganda (4+ / 0-)

    Just years ago, 60 minutes was must watch TV in my home.

    Not any longer, the last election cycle proved that the program is not a news magazine, but has a specific agenda aimed at hoodwinking its viewers.

    Fair and objective it is not and is now has become a tool of the right wing frenzy to destroy everything we hold dear.

    They probably will have Leslie Stahl do a piece on how labor unions are destroying this country complete with an interview with blowhard Christie, followed by a piece on how voter fraud is ruining the electorate......just watch and see.......

  •  And two billion worship segments (6+ / 0-)

    Did you notice that the two following segments were each about billionaires who have come in to do what the supposedly failing government cannot.  The first billionaire is replacing public schools with his charter schools.  The second billionaire has built a cutting edge hospital for brain injury, you know that government built VA cannot.  See folks, we don't really need government, except for the troops, I mean police in your home town.  

    •  Yes, I did notice that. That's going to be (2+ / 0-)

      another diary!

    •  The first billiionaire is not about charters (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal

      Their grantee list looks like just about every major foundation in a major urban area. The usual social service programs, legal aid, food pantries, shelters, AIDS services, etc. etc. The only thing he can claim that differentiates his foundation is an approach of evaluating outcomes - which is also not all that special, given how many local United Ways have been working that angle for decades now.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:40:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the school segment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal

      The school was for 0-4 year olds.  In other words it wasn't replacing public schools it was supplementing them with an area where they currently didn't cover.  It was Head Start on steroids.  They didn't have any original ideas; they just spent the money[24k/year/child] and got results.  If anything I took from it that government needs to spend more money on pre-K education because the government is the only one with the resources and coverage to try to make it work everywhere.  But at the same time I don't see how the gov't[or anyone] can afford to spend 24k/year/child for pre-K so it was hard to see what the larger picture was supposed to be.

  •  Springfield destroyed by "free trade" policies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, out of left field

    Springfield was once the center of precision manufacturing but like the rest of America's manufacturing heartland, it has been destroyed by the bipartisan policy of free trade. When working people have a chance to work and build good lives for their families, there is little need for police, and none at all for the kind of militarized control praised by Lesly Stahl.

    Ironically, Springfield was once known not for fearsome biker gangs but as the home of the classic Indian motorcycle.

    A glimpse of Springfield history

    If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

    by Valatius on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:52:33 PM PDT

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