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I only watch the mainstream (cable) news-networks when I'm doing research on propaganda, and so I'm writing this after subjecting myself to about an hour and a half of (torturous) propaganda news reporting of the mall shooting in Maryland.

Obviously, by now we all know there is an epidemic of gun violence in this country, which is of course one more symptom of a dysfunctional social and political system captured by undemocratic forces (corporate cartels, including the NRA, and super-wealthy individuals).

The other day I heard about a man killing his wife, kid, and then turning the gun on himself.  Murder-suicides are happening all over the country, and they are happening more frequently.  Schools shootings are happening all over the country, and are happening more frequently, as well.  And mass shooting are happening more frequently.

There are of course many reasons for this social sickness, one of the principal ones being the consequences of the massive looting of trillions of dollars by the Wall Street racketeering criminal cartel, which caused all kinds of economic dislocations for millions and millions of people.  The consequences of that type of unprecedented and rampant looting and pillaging (with total impunity) can't be underestimated.

It is within that context that I marvel at the blatant police state propaganda in the aftermath of some mass shootings.  In the latest case--the shooting at the shopping mall in Maryland--as I write this, it has been reported that a lone shooter killed two young people (in their 20's), employees of a mall retail establishment, and then turned the gun on himself.

Obviously, just like the shootings that happen every day across this country, this is also a tragic situation for the victims, their families, and their communities.

But the way these propaganda outfits (TV news media) exploit these events is truly shameful.  The rampant speculation, the non-stop loops of photos and videos of what looks like entire army platoons in our streets; the huge militarized vehicles...

There is a hidden subtext to all of it... There is (whipped up) mass fear and hysteria (helped by the constant drumming of the story, and the images).  And there is the allusion of heavily militarized police forces and all their equipment rushing in to establish order and security.  The constant loops (on TV) of military-clad officers holding on to their heavy weaponry, huddling in earnest while they are seemingly strategizing as to their next moves.  The helicopters, the ambulances, emergency vehicles...

I understand this receiving heavy media coverage where it happened, but why is this national news?  And why is it receiving wall-to-wall coverage by all these cable news networks?

I've written about this many times, but knowing that I'm now done with my research, after subjecting myself to just 1 1/2 hour of that type of very harmful propaganda, I can't begin to imagine what it does to people who glue themselves to the nonstop coverage for hours at a time.

There is no redeeming value to it; it will do nothing to help bring about "sensible gun legislation," given the fact that 90% of people support it.  It will not help prevent the next mass shooting; it will not help in helping people identify the root causes of the appealing income inequality that's helping bring about many of the social ills we are experiencing.

In the final analysis the only thing this type of overwrought exposure to what is essentially a local issue (one more shooting) does is to whip up fear (at a national level), and to serve as powerful propaganda for the police state.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Time was, military surplus... (14+ / 0-)

    ...was sold to civilians (check out an old copy of Popular Science), or held in reserve. Some would be sold to friendly foreign countries.

    Then we started selling our wares to other countries, concurrently with production for our own, and they have all they need. Gotta put those extra MRAP's somewheres!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 03:26:10 PM PST

  •  Some will say its too soon after the current (24+ / 0-)

    gun fail daily disaster at the mall to discuss this.

     And surely many here, as I do, will have empathy with the families of the victims and the perp.

    Stepping back from today in Baltimore and looking out  across the country the answer to your title question is at least in part, a 'yes.'

    My fav Texas yellow dog Democrat turned commentator, Jim Hightower wrote this recently, via Salon  :

    Thursday, Jan 9, 2014 06:49 AM MST
    The absurdly dangerous militarization of America’s policeMore and more local departments are splurging for heavy-duty combat machinery. Here's why we should all be nervous
    Jim Hightower, Alternet
    Snip
    What we have here is the absurdly dangerous militarization of America’s police departments. Our sprawling Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon (which gave the MRAP to Bastrop) are haphazardly spreading war equipment, war techniques and a war mentality to what are supposed to be our communities’ peacekeepers and crime solvers.
    Having the technology and mindset for military actions, local authorities will find excuses to substitute them for honest police work, turning common citizens into “enemies.” As a spokesman for the Bastrop sheriff’s department said of the MRAP, “With today’s society … there’s no way the thing won’t be used.” How comforting is that?

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 03:29:35 PM PST

  •  It is about money and ratings. (8+ / 0-)

    It is national to the extent we all need to understand we could be slaughtered en masse at any public place, including government offices, anywhere in the country.
    These news stories just do not seem to have any agenda except to keep the shooting porn going for the advertising.
    It doesn't address gun laws or gun reforms or the precious second amendment.
    Those police/soldiers may have been militarized for lots of wrong reasons, but on a single day and a single event when they need all that military gear to keep safe, in truth, I am glad they have it.
    Going up against armored killers is one thing, but truth be known, why would they believe unarmed protesters are not every bit as armed as the tea bag bastards that show up when our president is publicly speaking?
    I am a big follower of you, Ray, and you are what I was 40 years ago.  
    I just think until we address fucking guns, we can't blame police for trying to live to see another day.

  •  Ted Nugent does not support... (6+ / 0-)

    ... "sensible" gun legislation.  He is in the NRA Board of Directors and he is one of the most prominent faces of the GOP.

    Google him if you doubt.

    And between him an the Duck Dynasty idiots they probably make up more than 10% of the electorate.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 03:37:27 PM PST

  •  There are so many factors in American society (11+ / 0-)

    that are fueling this militarized police force. Unlimited build up of guns, the drug war, the war on terror. And before long you have paramilitary style police invading an animal shelter housing a deer. A deer.

    At some point the ACLU or some other organization is going to have to push a 3rd Amendment case about "quartering of troops" or maybe the Posse Comitatus Act.

    There are lies, damn lies, and statistics but they all pale in comparison to conservative talking points.

    by ontheleftcoast on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 03:41:20 PM PST

    •  The militarization of the police started well (7+ / 0-)

      before the build up of guns in civilians hands started.

      And it was a fawn, a baby deer. Fucking surreal. I feel like someone should make a movie out of that one.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:37:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The militarization of police forces began as (16+ / 0-)

        ... "drug war" funding. That's where police forces started getting the money to outfit cops in this kind of gear. But the addition of armored vehicles has been a result of our protracted period of war. Military surplus has no place on our city streets, but there it is.

        That said, as the NRA and gun makers ramped up their "guns-as-self-defense" marketing to cover the steady decline in hunting as a pastime (starting in the late 1970s/early 1980s), the police often found themselves outgunned by bad guys with semi-auto pistols and rifles.

        It was an arms race fueled by the NRA, gun makers and their lobbyists.

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:43:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's a great article that provides background (11+ / 0-)

        ... on how and why the federal government started providing funding to state and local governments for the development of highly-militarized police units. The article is from 1989:

        Criminals Pull Ahead In Urban Arms Race

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 05:05:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea, 6412093, Bob Johnson
          "In this crack-infested city, it`s easier for a teenage drug lord to buy an Uzi carbine with a 25-round magazine than it is for him to buy a beer."
          Back in 1989, this kind of hyperbole ridden tripe was called "new journalism." Regardless, it's hard to give credence to anything that follows. But I tried, and it wasn't completely devoid of fact - exaggerations notwithstanding.

          Mostly though, that kind of fear mongering was a right wing tool to feed the racism needed to wage war on black communities. It goes way back.

          •  Right, it was used as justification for uparming (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bisbonian, AoT, 6412093, edrie, Hey338Too

            ... the police. That's where all this shit started. The inane "War on Drugs."

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 08:19:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  add to the situation the ease of buying (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hey338Too

              military grade weapons in the general population.  i keep flashing on the gun shows that show more and more firepower and present it as something that gun lovers MUST own!

              i have a friend with an ak-47 - he was in the military - loves guns and has a huge collection.  for what!  he never goes anywhere he can shoot the damned thing - but he is convinced he has to have one because...

              clamp down on gun shows - regulate and enforce what gun dealers can sell - limit magazines.  

              NO one needs a military grade automatic weapon for hunting - unless they like lead in their hamburger.

              we're still focusing on the wrong side of things, imho - elminate the need for the massive firepower and then we can demand it be curtailed on the police front, too!

              EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

              by edrie on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 01:32:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So it's all just that there are too many weapons (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Unca Joseph

                out there, and of course the police kind of needs to keep up with the "arm race," and about personal anecdotes of friends with AK-47s... Let's first address that, completely, and then we can ask the police to stop militarization, right?

                It's not about this (again): ACLU: The Militarization of Policing in America

                American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war. Federal funding in the billions of dollars has allowed state and local police departments to gain access to weapons and tactics created for overseas combat theaters – and yet very little is known about exactly how many police departments have military weapons and training, how militarized the police have become, and how extensively federal money is incentivizing this trend. It’s time to understand the true scope of the militarization of policing in America and the impact it is having in our neighborhoods. Since March 6th, ACLU affiliates in 25 states filed over 260 public records requests with law enforcement agencies and National Guard offices to determine the extent to which federal funding and support has fueled the militarization of state and local police departments. Stay tuned as this project develops.

                Check out this map of the law enforcement agencies with which ACLU Affiliates have filed public records requests.

                Consider these ten chilling stories. If the anecdotal evidence is any indication, use of military machinery such as tanks and grenades, as well as counter-terrorism tactics, encourage overly aggressive policing – too often with devastating consequences:

          •  I wonder how people who were saying the exact (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gerrilea, Unca Joseph

            same thing in 1989 were seen by the general public?

            In 20 years from now it is very likely that when people talk about how fascism took hold in the U.S. those who were warning about it in real time were largely dismissed.

      •  that's where there should have been MAJOR (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hey338Too

        pushback from the community!  i totally agree with you that particular situation was totally wrong.

        unless that fawn had an ak-47 strapped to its shoulder, there was NO reason for that "exercise" in abusive power!

        looking at the mall situation, though, i see something totally different.  with the kenyan mall shooting and the other random mall shootings, the police can't simply walk into the mall in their dress blues.  they don't know what the situation is until they confront what is inside.  what i'd like to see happen is greater pressure to stop the proliferation of weapons on ALL sides - especially the civilian side.  the police are not the ones causing this militarization - it is the huge amount of weaponry that is out there in ALL hands!

        hi, AoT, how are ya!  come to the south bay and let's get coffee!!!  miss seeing ya...

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 01:09:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Honestly, I'm trying to understand why you are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Unca Joseph

          going out of your way to deny something that's just so obvious; something that has been discussed extensively by civil right groups, by activists, writers, intellectuals.

          That's the part I can't get my head around, the apparent system apologia.

          Here's what the ACLU has to say about it:

          The Militarization of Policing in America
          American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war. Federal funding in the billions of dollars has allowed state and local police departments to gain access to weapons and tactics created for overseas combat theaters – and yet very little is known about exactly how many police departments have military weapons and training, how militarized the police have become, and how extensively federal money is incentivizing this trend. It’s time to understand the true scope of the militarization of policing in America and the impact it is having in our neighborhoods. Since March 6th, ACLU affiliates in 25 states filed over 260 public records requests with law enforcement agencies and National Guard offices to determine the extent to which federal funding and support has fueled the militarization of state and local police departments. Stay tuned as this project develops.

          Check out this map of the law enforcement agencies with which ACLU Affiliates have filed public records requests.

          Consider these ten chilling stories. If the anecdotal evidence is any indication, use of military machinery such as tanks and grenades, as well as counter-terrorism tactics, encourage overly aggressive policing – too often with devastating consequences:

          But either way, many, many respected researchers, writers, etc., have written about this.

          This stuff is not happening by coincidence, by happenstance.

          •  obvious to whom. you see one way, others see (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hey338Too, 6412093

            from different perspectives.

            and, as for many respected researchers - many more also see a more complex situation than you try to portray.

            your writings seem to be stuck in one groove - you blame the corporations, the system yet you haven't examined the more complex causes that result in the problems you decry.

            ray, i will say this one more time...

            the world isn't as "simple" as you make it out to be.  and problems won't be solved until ALL of the cause and effect issues are dealt with.

            now, i've a horse to ride - so i'm out of this discussion.

            EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

            by edrie on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 01:36:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  ah, before i go - i realize why i find your (4+ / 0-)

              theories to be lacking.

              having spent the first 4 years of college majoring in bio, the scientific method was the basis for everything we studied.  your research is lacking in that balance - the examination of alternative theories - you posit a theory and justify it rather than truly examine it to see if your theory holds up to greater scrutiny.

              if you want to really change things, you have to be willing to examine the whole of the subject to see where you need to expand and/or modify it as the facts come in.  you cannot seletively pull only "facts" that support your theory.

              it is just as critical to DISPROVE a theory as it is to prove it.  thus goes knowledge and change and growth.

              NOW i'm going to go ride my pony.

              EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

              by edrie on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 01:38:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Just because you keep repeating these things, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Unca Joseph

              that I have a simplistic view of the world, and make allusions to me being delusional, over and over, it doesn't mean they are going to stick.

              So now, after defending the police (on militarization), you are defending corporations.

              Maybe the problem is because I'm thinking I'm interacting with a Democrat, a progressive, someone on the Left, but I'm getting confused by seeing you arguing for the status quo, for the defense of the establishment... That would be an argument coming from someone who defends corporations, from the right wing, from a conservative.

              Maybe that's what it is.  Should I ask you?  Are you a Democrat on the Progressive side of things, or are you pro-establishment (which would make you a conservative)?

              •  oh brother (5+ / 0-)
                So now, after defending the police (on militarization), you are defending corporations.
                I don't see it. I checked your evidence — oh, wait, there was none. Hmm. Well, it's always timely to wonder out loud whether other Kossacks are right-wing pro-establishment conservatives. Especially if they've been talking about (shudder) complex causes. Heck, that sounds downright liber— I mean, reactionary.

                Or maybe the problem is because you keep sticking words in edrie's mouth. That seems possible. I don't see edrie denying that the police are overly militarized. I suspect she is placing too much emphasis on private weapons, but that isn't exactly a right-wing concern in common parlance.

                "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 02:48:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  But Ray, you keep saying that voting is important. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hey338Too, 6412093, erratic

                Doesn't that make you exactly as pro-establishment as you are calling out other people to be?

                Either you think supporting the electoral process is important, which you have indeed said many times, and you're defending at least a part of the established order, or you've been lying about your absolute backing for the basis of the electoral process.

                I've gotta say, it's a novel way, for you, of ducking any substantive discussion, but unless you are prepared to also HR edrie for right wing talking points (on no basis whatsoever), I suggest you dump this argument, both here and in any other context in which you might find it a useful diversion from actually being required to think about what a commenter is saying.

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 03:11:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  ROTFLMAO! One shudders! BTW, who appointed you (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Unca Joseph

                  as the kos police? First things first... Don't be under any illusion that I can be intimidated.

                  Regarding the user in question, you are the one bringing up the issue of talking points. I'm just making an observation that the user seems to be defending or excusing the militarization of the police, and also defending corporations. I mentioned that I find that odd and I ask the user about it.

                •  And, if you do not defend corporations, you (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hey338Too, 6412093, erratic, WB Reeves

                  certainly support them and empower them while you hurl anti-corporation rhetoric with their help.

                  You depend on one to keep your anonymity on the web; on another to carry your tweets; on another to provide you with a wide audience among the left (it had occurred to you that Daily Kos is a corporation, yes? I note that you are a subscriber.); on another to supply your up to date cloud computer.

                  You have suggested that you are in the business of developing, or helping develop, publicity (propaganda?) campaigns - are any of your clients corporations? With whom do you bank? Who backs your credit cards? It wouldn't be - gasp - corporations, would it? (In case you were wondering, yes, the questions are rhetorical. I have no interest in your financial or business practices except to possibly challenge their purity in respect to your writings. Or perhaps to challenge the purity of your writing in respect to your reliance on and accommodation to corporations in your daily life.)

                  You are a fine one to even suggest that disagreement with you implies support for or defense of corporations, or that support for corporations implies either a conservative or a right wing agenda.

                  At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                  by serendipityisabitch on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 08:58:53 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  ontheleftcoast - unless the police are sleeping (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast, Sky Net, Cedwyn

      at your house, without your consent, or are in the chain of command at the DoD I don't think you can make a constitutional case against the militarizing of the local police force.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 05:43:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely Not U.S. Military (7+ / 0-)

    It is prohibited by the Posse Comitatus act, and subsequent legislation described in this excellent Wikipedia Article.

    I had not been aware of it's origin, the stalemated election of 1879,  where to get the Southern State agreement with electing Hayes, the Democrats demanded this law, which ended federal occupation to enforce reconstruction.

    The U.S. Military, like the CIA, is restricted to non-domestic activities.  The FBI is our federal enforcement agency, and with very few exceptions, such as the short military involvement in enforcing School integration in the 1950s,  the U.S. government does not use the military internally.  In fact, murder as such is not a federal offense.

    •  Here's a question for you: Is there any practical (16+ / 0-)

      difference between actual military personnel and militarized-to-the-hilt local police forces using military tactics in our neighborhoods?

    •  after Hurricane Katrina, (10+ / 0-)

      Blackwater mercenaries were seen patrolling the streets of New Orleans to maintain order.

      Since Blackwater (or whatever they're calling themselves these days) are a private company, posse comitatus doesn't apply to them. But they are, in fact, a private army.

      This is quite a sinister development, because it means that the Posse Comitatus Act can be circumvented very easily by employing private mercenaries.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:18:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Were they hired and controlled by the feds? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cedwyn

        This diary was asking the question about Military, which implies the traditional Army, Navy and Air force.  Blackwater is available for hire, and unless there are state laws that proscribe their use to maintain order, I would say there is no federal law against their use.

        But they are not protected by Sovereign Immunity, and nor under the Code of Military Justice.  

        If the question was about a para-military force under local government, or excessive force in general, then it would have been a different, and important, discussion.

    •  Obviously you are not from Hawai'i. (2+ / 0-)

      National Guard troops have been running law enforcement operations there (cannabis eradication) since the first "Operation Green Harvest" in 1978.

      The restriction against the military running domestic operations is, like so much of what we thought was the law or "our rights", just a figment of the popular imagination. It has no basis in actual reality.

      •  The National Guard isn't technically (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too

        part of the standing army. That's why Eisenhower had to take the legal step of nationalizing the Guard after Arkansas Gov. Orville Faubus deployed them to block the desegregation of Central High School during the Little Rock Crisis. It's also why the Guard has historically been deployed domestically when states of emergency have been declared (natural disasters, riots, etc.).

        I suspect that Hawaii's State Government had to sign off on the activities you describe.
         

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 12:03:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which is why they can't be deployed to foreign (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador

          conflicts under the command of regular army officers, no doubt. (/s)

          •  No, the National Guard can be deployed (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hey338Too, serendipityisabitch

            in combat outside the US with regular army troops but that doesn't effect their status within the limits of the US.  

            You seem to think that one has something to do with the other. It doesn't.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 02:53:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  On the off chance that you'd like to be better (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hey338Too

            informed on the subject, here's a link.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 03:04:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Although I don't trust Wikipedia articles, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WB Reeves

              your link states "Under current law, the respective state National Guards and the State Defense Forces are authorized by Congress to the states and are referred to as "troops." 32 U.S.C. § 109"

              (note that in the cited law, the National Guard is referred to as a "reserve component of the armed forces", although it also states "Nothing in this title limits the right of a State...to use its National Guard... within its borders in time of peace". Nothing IN THIS TITLE, however, that does not rule out other laws (posse comitatus) restricting that use.

              But there does seem to be a "weasel clause":"Congress finalized the split between the National Guard and the traditional state militias by mandating that all federally funded soldiers take a dual enlistment/commission and thus enter both the state National Guard and the National Guard of the United States." In other words, when they are used in the United States, they are State Troops, but when they are used in foreign countries they are Federal Troops.

              I guess you CAN have it both ways - if you write the laws...

              But however you look at it, troops are being used for law enforcement duties inside the United States.

              •  That is the point (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hey338Too

                Except that, domestically, the various State National Guards are under the authority and direction of the State Governments, unless and until they are Federalized by the President.

                For example: the National Guard Units that were responsible for the Kent State Massacre were sent to the University by the then Governor at the request of the then Mayor of Kent, not by any Federal authority. The presence of the national Guard is not in itself evidence of involvement by either the Federal Government or the US military command.

                Yes troops are being used, under local elected authority. Just as they have been throughout the history of the Guard and State Militias. I don't approve of such use except in cases of natural disasters but it's not a recent innovation and, consequently, isn't much of an indicator of the increasing militarization of local law enforcement.

                BTW, I don't consider Wikipedia to be authoritative. It is useful for getting the broad outlines of a question though and if you're skeptical of something, you can do what I do: dig deeper.

                Nothing human is alien to me.

                by WB Reeves on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 04:14:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Damn Ray, that's fucked up. Ya, the liberals (12+ / 0-)

    and democrats were all upset when Bush established  "Homeland Security", now look what we've got.  And it's only going to get worse, the military/security/law enforcement congressional industrial complex is always at the drawing board, always coming up with new shit.
    The Department of Homeland Security was designed to foster this militarization.  It's a top down stovepiped military type organization structure that can bring all military/security/intelligence/law enforcement together. That's partly why the cross training in secret, see link below.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/...

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 03:57:50 PM PST

  •  The issue is too many guns in this country... (6+ / 0-)

    ... and if national media coverage of these events brings the tipping point to achieving common sense gun regulation closer, then let them cover it.  Who knows what event is going to cause Congress to act, but burying these incidents (or relegating them to the local news) will only help the NRA, not the people who believe that killing machines should be regulated.

    Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

    by Hey338Too on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:13:48 PM PST

  •  I am not sure I see the connection (8+ / 0-)

    between mass shootings and corporate wrong doing. The fact is Americans love guns and love violence, it is just something specific to the culture here. We make it easy to obtain guns and we have a terrible mental health system. Not a great combination.

  •  SWAT teams used to wear all black. (9+ / 0-)

    They've been militarized for many years, sadly.

    Just because some of them now wear camo doesn't make them any more or any less militarized.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:20:55 PM PST

    •  Check this out: (7+ / 0-)
      AlterNet: The Dangerous Militarization of Our Local Police Forces
      What we have here is the absurdly dangerous militarization of America's police departments. Our sprawling Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon (which gave the MRAP to Bastrop) are haphazardly spreading war equipment, war techniques and a war mentality to what are supposed to be our communities' peacekeepers and crime solvers.

      Having the technology and mindset for military actions, local authorities will find excuses to substitute them for honest police work, turning common citizens into "enemies." As a spokesman for the Bastrop sheriff's department said of the MRAP, "With today's society ... there's no way the thing won't be used." How comforting is that?

      •  Sure, but that's not what's in your picture. (7+ / 0-)

        The photo you have in your diary shows a bunch of guys in camo. Ten years ago, they wore all black. In this case, they weren't using the military surplus armored vehicles to take down a shooter inside the mall. It was just a bunch of guys wrapped in Kevlar carrying heavy weapons. They've been carrying those heavy weapons and wearing Kevlar for a decade or more.

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:33:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why the change though? It's not like camo (4+ / 0-)

          works in Baltimore.

          Black gear for 20 guys is not prohibitively expensive.

          I believe the camo is about militarizing the police force and giving them the appearance of soldiers more than it is about utilizing or recycling surplus military goods.

          I hear you on the heavy weapons and black front... reminds me of being in Mexico and seeing the military guards outside the gates with big guns. It took me by surprise, as we don't have guards with big guns outside the gates on the main road. They sit in a guardshack with their big guns.

          We used to keep our big guns hidden, just out of sight, that has changed, and I see it as part of this militarized police force movement.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:42:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Many SWAT teams still wear black. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            k9disc, Aquarius40, poco, Sylv, emelyn

            These guys wear camo. So what? They're both militarized.

            SWAT teams have been wearing Kevlar and carrying heavy arms since the early-to-mid 1990s. As I note, above, initial funding came for the inane, "war on drugs." Now, police departments are getting military surplus armored vehicles. That's what more than a decade of wars will bring us.

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:46:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So what? You can't tell the difference between (9+ / 0-)

              cops and soldiers, that's what.

              When you have soldier lookalikes combing your streets, it kind of has a warlike feel, you know, and we seem to be deploying SWAT at the drop of a hat: http://www.dailykos.com/...

              Apparently in MD, they have 4.5 SWAT raids per day:
              http://reason.com/...

              Worse even than those dreary numbers is the fact that more than half of the county’s SWAT deployments were for misdemeanors and nonserious felonies.
              So what? Right? Who cares, "Why?" The uniform thing is obviously just a normal response to market forces and efficient and full utilization of equipment, and the heavy weapons are just about our far more dangerous world these days.

              Sorry, not buying it. This is part of a concerted effort to normalize the idea of perpetual war and to prepare us for a dangerous future.

              It's Big Stick Diplomacy right here in our streets.  

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 05:05:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, I'm not saying "so what" that we have... (7+ / 0-)

                ... militarized police. I'm saying "so what" about how they're dressed. I don't like the fact that we have militarized police. To me, the fact that some wear camo and some wear all black is neither here nor there.

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 05:09:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  By the way, how many police forces wear camo as... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                k9disc, poco, Sylv

                ... opposed to all black?

                Here's a page of SWAT team photos.

                Most of them are in all black.

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 05:13:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's what is so weird about the camo guys, (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Bob Johnson, DeadHead, poco, Sylv

                  "Why?"

                  I cut off my answer so as to stay on track, but I think another answer for "why" is to further separate them from "civilians". Or perhaps it's a convenient byproduct, I don't know...

                  But what I do know is that I'm not going to get upset when someone calls out this startling visual change amidst this transformation from citizen on patrol to martial police.

                  The above image is not some fashion change, or equipment usage. The guy in the swat suit in this image should be sitting in the middle - with the camo guy to the right - or perhaps camo guy in an MRAP...

                  Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                  by k9disc on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 05:39:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  typo: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Bob Johnson
                    The above image is not some fashion change, or equipment usage program. The guy in the swat suit in this image should be sitting in the middle - with the camo guy to the right - or perhaps camo guy in an MRAP...

                    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                    by k9disc on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 05:41:47 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No doubt. (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      poco, Hey338Too, 6412093, Sylv, emelyn

                      Not sure if you looked at that article from 1989 that I linked.

                      Here it is in case you didn't see it:

                      Criminals Pull Ahead In Urban Arms Race

                      A lot of this insanity is a direct result of the NRA and the gun manufacturers ramping up sales of semi-auto weapons when the hunting market dried up.

                      "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                      by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 05:46:59 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think that's a feature, not a bug. (4+ / 0-)

                        Seems to me that's what arms dealers do. They create a market for their wares and then sell them. It's a descending spiral from there.

                        It's what Republicans do: "Government sucks, elect me and I'll prove it" which creates a self reinforcing loop.

                        This is what governments do to colonial properties, and that's really what freaks me out.

                        I think it behooves us to think that the Establishment still has their Kissengers and that there are factions doing their real politik thing here, domestically.

                        If you look at the CIA outlooks from the late 90s and early 00s, you can see this real politik in print. It's real matter of fact, banal even, while they talk about the coming resource wars - food, water, in particular, due to global warming, and the resultant shocks to the interconnected system.  

                        We made a conscious decision to leverage our superiority in security markets at that time, exporting security to finance our debt, and we decided that we should stoke the fires of the coming resource wars, groom them to our benefit, and profit from the situation.

                        It really is a sad and dangerous path that we've decided to take. It all but guarantees that we will experience 'terrorism', both domestic and foreign. Which is why we have this martial police force thing going on. Which is good, that self reinforcing loops like this are great for profits.

                        Security, arms, intelligence, prisons and propaganda - those pretty much are the markets our nation has left, and we're pouring our hearts and souls into it.

                        meh

                        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                        by k9disc on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 06:44:58 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  So true. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          k9disc
                          It all but guarantees that we will experience 'terrorism', both domestic and foreign. Which is why we have this martial police force thing going on. Which is good, that self reinforcing loops like this are great for profits.
                          There is terrorism in our cities every day. Young people are dying by the dozens. Certainly, the ready availability of guns aids that effort. In the never-ending quest for more profits.

                          "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                          by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 06:56:07 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Bob you are wrong about the date 1989 (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hey338Too, Bob Johnson, WB Reeves

                        The militarizing of the police as part of the drug war ramp-up started in the early 70s under Nixon, not in the late 80s.  I am basing this claim on Rise of the Warrior Cop by Radley Balko, published in 2013.

                        “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

                        by 6412093 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 11:54:21 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

      •  In addition, officers and prosecutors are being (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, on the cusp, chuckvw

        Cross deputized so as to give blanket and double coverage of authority to federal officers for state crimes and events, and give state prosecutors authority In Federal matters.  So much for a federal system where the states are in charge of the police function.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:43:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well.... it's a police state and nobody (9+ / 0-)

    really know what to do about it.   Not a partisan thing.
    Left...right....They all want this Homeland Security and the very name Bush and cult gave it sounds fascists as hell.
    Gives the doomsdayers and endtimers ammo.. ( pardon the pun).

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:23:36 PM PST

  •  Ray, can you show a corrolation between recent (7+ / 0-)

    ... economic dislocation and shootings?

    I think it has far more to do with the easy availability of guns in this country. Any fucking idiot can get a gun, and the NRA and the gun makers and even most of our resident RKBA members here want it and like it that way.

    This country is absolutely flooded with guns. The number of gun per capita in the U.S. is truly astounding and completely insane.

    The problems with guns in this country have much less to do with economic dislocation and lot more to do with groups like the NRA, the gun makers and our own RKBA making it ever-easier to buy, own and carry a gun.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:31:23 PM PST

  •  Didn't you get the memo? (11+ / 0-)
    It is the absolute right of the State Newscorp to supervise the formation of public opinion.
    --Joseph Goebbels Rupert Murdoch

    "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

    by BOHICA on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:46:19 PM PST

  •  Great piece on the (domestic) arms race from 1989. (5+ / 0-)

    This article was published in the the Chicago Tribune on March 20, 1989 and shows how the gun industry, along with their friends at the NRA, marketed increasingly powerful weapons as "tools for self-defense."

    Prior to the decline in hunting, the NRA had primarily promoted guns for hunting, sport shooting and collecting. As hunting declined, gun makers and their lackeys at the NRA transitioned their marketing efforts to "guns-as-self-defense" because the gun makers were in a period of declining sales.

    Consequently, police often found themselves outgunned by criminals. Which is how the entire move to SWAT teams got started and funded. The arms race started by gun manufacturers and the NRA led to the federal government funding state agencies to, in turn, fund local police departments to fight the inane "war on drugs."

    Criminals Pull Ahead In Urban Arms Race

    DETROIT — In this crack-infested city, it`s easier for a teenage drug lord to buy an Uzi carbine with a 25-round magazine than it is for him to buy a beer.

    The ready availability of sophisticated weapons, along with the huge profits and ruthless competition of the crack cocaine trade in places such as Detroit, Washington and Los Angeles, is fueling an urban arms race that has turned some neighborhoods into free-fire zones and left outgunned police departments staggering to catch up.

    ...

    A good place to catch the flavor in Detroit is Bill Goodman`s monthly Gun and Knife show at the Light Guard Armory. One of the Midwest`s largest traveling arms bazaars, this particular show offers something for everyone:

    Shotguns for the sportsman, semiautomatic pistols with armor-piercing bullets for the drug dealer, silencer kits for the armed robber or contract killer, assault rifles for the collector, target shooter or homicidal psychopath.

    Assembled under one roof is enough firepower to overthrow a small country. A Chinese-made AK-47, the weapon used in the recent schoolyard massacre in Stockton, Calif., sells for $300. Uzi semiautomatic pistols go for $500 and up. There are Israeli-made Galil assault rifles and ``civilian``versions of the U.S. Army`s M-16 rifle, as well as MAC-10s and TEC-9s-compact, easily concealed killing machines popularized by TV`s ``Miami Vice.``

    At a recent show, a young man of 18 or 19, whose manner of dress announced that he was a drug dealer, picked up the first Uzi carbine he saw and told the dealer he wanted it. After checking the young man`s driver`s license-you must be over 18 to buy an assault rifle in Michigan-the dealer asked him to fill out the federal 4473 form stating that he was not a convicted felon or fugitive from justice.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 05:02:52 PM PST

    •  Bob, seriously. You want to deny that since 9/11 (6+ / 0-)

      there hasn't been an unprecedented militarization of local police forces?  And that represents a grave danger to civil liberties in the country?

      Are you seriously going the "nothing new to see hear, move along" route?

      •  Ray, why do you do this? (9+ / 0-)

        Nowhere in my comments in this diary have I:

        • denied that there has been militarization of our police forces;
        • claimed that there is "'nothing to see hear (sic), move along' route."
        • Why do you so consistently put words in my mouth (and into the mouths of others) in your diaries?

        I was pointing out how the militarization of our police forces started. It  began as part of the inane "war on drugs." And it also was due to the gun makers and the NRA looking for new markets as hunting declined and they began marketing increasingly powerful weaponry as tools for "self-defense."

        Why do you do this, Ray? It's wrong.

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 06:21:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fair enough. Just wanted to make sure. By you (3+ / 0-)

          bringing up a hardly relevant issue that goes all the way back to 1989 it gave me the impression that you were minimizing the danger of the unprecedented militarization of local police forces.

          I'm glad you agree with the premise of the diary, and that this issue is new, unprecedented, and dangerous to our civil liberties.

          •  Ray, why would you write this? (7+ / 0-)
            Just wanted to make sure. By you (0+ / 0-)

            bringing up a hardly relevant issue that goes all the way back to 1989 it gave me the impression that you were minimizing the danger of the unprecedented militarization of local police forces.

            Your diary is about the militarization of police forces. Had you bothered to read my comments throughout the comments section, you would see that I, in fact, agree that there has been militarization of our police forces.

            That said, the issue is not new. The militarization of our police forces started in earnest in the mid-1990s as part of the inane "war on drugs." Our decade-plus war footing has led to further militarization as surplus military hardware has been delivered to police forces.

            But one of the primary reasons our police forces were militarized in the first place was the ramping up of sales of high-powered weaponry. And that started in the early-to-mid-`80s as gun makers sought new markets as hunting declined in popularity.

            As for the correlation between economic dislocation and the types of mass shootings in public spaces, I simply asked you if you were aware of any studies making that correlation. I think the much larger problem is the ready availability of guns in this country. the NRA, the gun makers and even folks like our resident RKBA members want guns to be easily available, and they have succeeded in making it so. It's insane.

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 06:36:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're going out of your way to negate the (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bluehammer, Don midwest, Unca Joseph

              rise of the American surveillance police state.  In the view you're pushing, it's all about markets, and how awful the NRA is, and about interest groups wanting guns easily available; it's just all happenstance.  Yes, awful stuff, even dangerous, but no larger connections.

              We're experiencing the rise of a Surveillance Police State.  There is a number of corporations behind it, yes, going after markets; they've bought off the politicians, hence the DHS pushing for the militarization of local police forces...

              At one level, it all looks pretty banal, just greedy folks going after markets.  But in reality is proto-fascism.

              •  What? (8+ / 0-)
                You're going out of your way to negate the (0+ / 0-)

                rise of the American surveillance police state.  In the view you're pushing, it's all about markets, and how awful the NRA is, and about interest groups wanting guns easily available; it's just all happenstance.

                Ray, nowhere do I make the case that's "it's all just happenstance."

                Why do you constantly make unfounded statements about what I and others mean in our comments?

                I know you need everything to fit your narrative, but, in fact, the militarization of our police has been ongoing for nearly 20 years. It has ramped up in the last few years in large part to our eternal war footing, with the federal government doling out surplus war materiel to police forces.

                But to ignore the history of how we got here is simply ignorant, Ray. This has been a process. It began with the inane "war on drugs," and has continued, unabated, since the mid-`90s.

                You started all this by citing CNN coverage of a shooting at a shopping mall. That shooting is likely the result of two things:

                • a mentally disturbed individual
                • with ready access to deadly weapons

                So, yes, the NRA and its policies are completely relevant to this discussion.

                You were asked the following upthread:

                I am not sure I see the connection (7+ / 0-)

                between mass shootings and corporate wrong doing. The fact is Americans love guns and love violence, it is just something specific to the culture here. We make it easy to obtain guns and we have a terrible mental health system. Not a great combination.

                by undercovercalico on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 06:17:39 PM CST

                Are you familiar with studies to the contrary? (1+ / 0-)

                by Ray Pensador on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 06:20:16 PM CST

                Are you familar with studies (7+ / 0-)

                that connect mass shootings with increase concentration of corporate power because that would be interesting to read.

                I am perhaps misunderstanding are you saying that awful mall murder suicide today for example can be directly linked to corporate concentration of power? Or am I assuming incorrectly that you are making that connection?

                by undercovercalico on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 06:31:07 PM CST

                Simple question, really. I know you want everything to fit the narrative you have constructed. But there is far more to the militarization of police forces and the ways the media covers incidents such as mass shootings than your effort to make it all about "corporate cartels" and "propaganda."

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 07:46:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Mark Ames has put together a compelling case for (8+ / 0-)

              the correlation between economic hardship and going postal. I am presently disgusted with Mark Ames so I won't fetch the links. But you know how to find it.

              And of course, there's a plethora of work showing the correlation between economic hardship and violence in general. in many countries, over many years. Wingnut fear this correlation so they manufacture controversy. But it's a slam dunk.

              But, of course, these kinds of mass shootings are special cases. And a correlation can also be found between them and use of SSRIs and other psychotropic drugs.

              I don't think it takes a study though to recognize that increased corporate power has lead to unprecedented concentrations of wealth, unprecedented wealth inequality, dramatic increases in economic hardship and poverty, and a destabilization of societies around the world.

              Has this destabilization lead to, or at least fed the bizarre outbreak in mass shootings? I find it almost impossible to believe it has not.

              But again, it's really complicated, with lots of other factors. Glorification in the media of sorts (You can be on TV). The militarization of society (it's not just the police) with the constant promotion of violence and militarism by multimedia entertainment Inc.

              And of course guns. It's hard to take out a movie theater with a slingshot.

              It seems pretty clear all of these factors combine. It's a cultural, economic, pharmaceutical perfect storm.

              •  What you wrote is not only empirically provable (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Don midwest, Unca Joseph

                but it just basic common sense.

              •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hey338Too

                That has been my point to Ray, throughout. These types of shootings are the result of a combination of factors. That said, I believe the primary factor is ready access to high-powered, semi-automatic weaponry.

                As for this...

                Has this destabilization lead to, or at least fed the bizarre outbreak in mass shootings? I find it almost impossible to believe it has not.
                It would be nice to see that correlation. Certainly, there has been an uptick in suicides as a result of economic destabilization. But mass shootings? I'm not sure.

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 09:36:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wait (3+ / 0-)

                  "primary factor is ready access to high-powered, semi-automatic weaponry."

                  Primary factor for what? The kiil number, or whatever it's called? Or the mental process that sets off the act?

                  These are different things. What would a mass shooting look like without a semi-automatic rifle?

                  I just want to clarify what we're talking about here. The psychological factors that lead to going postal, versus the damage done once that threshold has been crossed.

                  Obviously, both are important. But they're different issues. I care more about why these people are going off - the cause of the social and psychological instability that leads people to lash out like this.

                  And I don't believe that really has that much to do with what kind of weapons they have. I do recognize that when someone has possession of a gun, everyone starts to look a lot more like a target though. I've seen that phenomena.

                  But while removing guns is a wise and noble goal, it is far too often used as a quick fix that prevents us from looking too deeply at the very troubled state of our society.

                  I think a two tiered approach is in order. And due to the realpolitik of gun control, it may be time to focus a bit more on the social side.

                  •  We agree. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    James Hepburn, fcvaguy

                    As I note a couple of comments above yours:

                    You started all this by citing CNN coverage of a shooting at a shopping mall. That shooting is likely the result of two things:
                    • a mentally disturbed individual
                    • with ready access to deadly weapons
                    Whether this shooter was also suffering due to economic circumstances brought on by corporate hegemony is still to be seen. (Has he been recently laid off or otherwise impacted by a staggering economy, etc.) But we can agree that the combination of mental illness and the ready availability of weapons certainly were relevant to what this shooter did. According to reports, he bought the gun used to kill two people and himself two weeks ago.

                    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                    by Bob Johnson on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 09:18:58 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe it's time to try something else? (0+ / 0-)

    Why do mass shootings happen at the mall, school or movie theaters? Why not in the rich mans neighborhood? After all it was the 1% rich people in this country that caused the "Great Recession", so why are these shooters taking it out on the little folk? Isn't it the friends of the republican party and NRA that are telling people to go out and do these things (but not in so many words)? When are we Americans going to wake up and demand action even if it means going to court and suing the republicans for not representing the Americans like they were elected to do?

    Well maybe it's time for this crazy person to buy a gun?

  •  Felon Alert by Helicopter..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, DeadHead

    Here's a letter I sent to our Mayor and Sheriff yesterday that sort of fits this diary:

    -------------------------
    At around 11:AM today, Friday 24, a helicopter circled the area of The Lumberyard on Highway 101, with this announcement on its loudspeaker:

    "Felony Alert, 6 foot 2, 200 pound black male with blue shirt, contact Sheriff's office"

    This is being written around four hours later, and I have sought information on the Sheriffs web site.  The Home page does not have a section for "alerts" nor does the section for the Encinitas station.  A general google returned nothing.  I can only assume that this was a major crime that justified this public alert, and that the suspect was on foot in the general area of the helicopter's range.

    Since this was disturbing, by this time there should be some additional details available to the public on the Sheriff Department website.  This would either ensure those who heard the alert that the suspect has been found, or that he is still being sought, with further details of where the crime took place so those in the immediate vicinity could be vigilant.  

    Making a racial identification in this location where those of the described race are a small part of the population would naturally cause apprehension for anyone who fit this description.  Since a sense of emergency was created and public assistance was requested, providing timely clarification will preserve the good will that will continue to make such alerts effective.

    Sincerely
    -------------------
    I will be surprised if I get any response.  

  •  So if you were CNN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn

    How would you report this story?

    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

    by Sky Net on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 06:31:11 PM PST

    •  I really don't want to be flip about this, but the (4+ / 0-)

      fact that you are asking that question shows to me that you are unaware of how the entire corporate media landscape is a propaganda machine.

      It seems that you have gotten used to the entire narrative of how the media functions in this country.

      •  There you go again, Ray. (11+ / 0-)

        Why are you ascribing motives or thoughts to Sky Net? Sky Net asked you a question. And you launch unfounded claims as to Sky Net's thought process and understanding.

        Are you that insecure?

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 06:39:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sky Net, erratic

          One should be far more courteous to our new AI overlords.

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 07:25:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  not unexpected (6+ / 0-)

          I was hoping for a serious reply but wasn't surprised Ray went for a misdirection instead.  He's pretty long on criticism, short on ideas.

          Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

          by Sky Net on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 08:40:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fair enough. Let's try this: (4+ / 0-)

            My point is that CNN is grotesque corporate propaganda outfit, the same with MSNBC, FoxNews, CBS, ABC.  That's why they do what they do when it comes to certain events.

            As to your question about how CNN should have reported the incident, maybe a couple of short reports, if at all, the situation being a local event with no real national significance.

            But I think the issue is moot since we are not talking about legitimate news outfits, but about grotesque corporate propaganda outfits.

            Would you consider this a more complete answer?

            •  News (6+ / 0-)

              I see your point that this is a local news story (though if the national media didn't report it I'm sure we'd be inundated with diaries about how the media is covering up gun violence).  However, I wonder where to draw the line.  Was Hurricane Katrina just a local weather story of little interest outside Louisiana?  If GM workers go on strike is that just a local Detroit story?  How about Wisconsin politics?  Most national news is just local news that some editor thinks is interesting to the rest of the country.  

              Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

              by Sky Net on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 10:28:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  "There you go again..." (6+ / 0-)

          That was Reagan's line. Be more original Bob.

          Ray was pretty specific in his criticism of the CNN coverage. If Sky Net was just asking a neutral question, and not defending CNN, he might have been able to infer how Ray would have covered the story by simply looking at his criticism of the coverage and then assuming he wouldn't have done the shit he criticized.

          But the way these propaganda outfits (TV news media) exploit these events is truly shameful.  The rampant speculation, the non-stop loops of photos and videos of what looks like entire army platoons in our streets; the huge militarized vehicles...

          There is a hidden subtext to all of it... There is (whipped up) mass fear and hysteria (helped by the constant drumming of the story, and the images).  And there is the allusion of heavily militarized police forces and all their equipment rushing in to establish order and security.  The constant loops (on TV) of military-clad officers holding on to their heavy weaponry, huddling in earnest while they are seemingly strategizing as to their next moves.  The helicopters, the ambulances, emergency vehicles...

          I understand this receiving heavy media coverage where it happened, but why is this national news?  And why is it receiving wall-to-wall coverage by all these cable news networks?

          Ray's right. CNN may as well be called the "Be Very Afraid News Network." And it's not for ratings. Not all of it. CNN was pushing the War on Terror Show long after people became terror fatigued. Their ratings plummeted. And they pushed it anyway, day after day.

          Some people have really gone after Ray for his contention that the corporate media is not just going after ratings but actually has an agenda, and that they employ propaganda to achieve that agenda. "No, no, no", they say. "It's just a business in the free market."

          These people are complete morons. Seriously. If you don't realize that the corporate media has an agenda at this point, then you're brain dead.

          •  Isn't it amazing to see this kind of dissembling (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Don midwest, Unca Joseph

            happening in real time?  I swear, I write this often, but is true.  I think a six- or seventh-grader could correctly explain the "author's" intent (of this diary) in the exact same way you just did.

            It just so obvious... But then you get this weird dissembling that as you say, it doesn't make any sense.  Go figure.

            •  Jeez, Ray... (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emelyn, WB Reeves, 6412093, Hey338Too, erratic

              Now you add liar to the shallow insults you've hurled my way.

              Pathetic.

              At least I can have a rational discussion with James. Impossible with you.

              You are so locked into your view, and so insistent that everything fit the narrative you've constructed, that you can't see a bigger picture where there is an entire, long 20+ year history that brought us to where we are now. But your narrative requires that our current state be a direct result of the "fascistic state of the ruling elite and corporate cartels aided by the corporate propaganda outlets" or whatever other word jumble you happen to be using.

              And as soon as soon as someone tries to bring more to the table on the subject, you accuse them, automatically, as being a "defender of the status quo.

              Good luck building your "movement" with that name-calling attitude, Ray. I note that Monday, January 27, is the target date for your big kickoff meeting in front of the Bank of America in San Francisco.

              I am sure that will be a rousing success, just as I'm sure you're still on track with your book project scheduled to launch April 15th.

              When all you can do is name-call and denigrate those who don't buy your narrative 100%, your movement is doomed to fail. People here want the same things you do. Calling them names and questioning their motives and integrity doesn't help you, Ray.

              "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

              by Bob Johnson on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 08:47:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  CNN sucks, James. (0+ / 0-)

            I don't think there's anything to disagree about there.

            But Sky Net's questions stands.

            They cover it the way they do because it's good for their business. And the idiots who watch it eat it up. Just like the idiots who watch "Dancing with the Stars" or "American Idol" eat up that tripe.

            So what's the difference? Is CNN really part of a conspiracy?

            If you believe that, you're probably giving them too much credit. They're just another bunch of money-grubbing assholes.

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 09:57:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Everyone uses propaganda. Labeled as the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too

    truth by the speaker and soaked up as truth by the receiver. The best at it sense what the target audience wants to hear and tailors the message to them. One of the more insidious methods is to claim the other side is using propaganda and that the speaker's side is telling the truth.  US Government used it very effectively during WWII and the Red scare.  Just label some country, group, etc as using propaganda and they were evil.    

    If I comply with non-compliance am I complying?

    by thestructureguy on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 07:25:08 PM PST

  •  An alternative hypothesis (4+ / 0-)

    about the heavy media coverage of these incidents - they do it because it increases viewership. The more people watching, the better their ad revenue, and for whatever reason, these kinds of incidents catch people's attention.

    While the outcome may be what you conclude,

    In the final analysis the only thing this type of overwrought exposure to what is essentially a local issue (one more shooting) does is to whip up fear (at a national level), and to serve as powerful propaganda for the police state.  
    that's not necessarily the intent. I think that the media has learned to exploit the same kind of fascination that makes everyone slow down on the highway to get a good look at the car accident on the side of the road.
    •  I don't disagree with that at all. Actually, I (4+ / 0-)

      think that's exactly the way it works--how you describe it.

      Maybe I should clarify this when I write about this subject in the future.  I don't mean to say that all these players (media folks, etc.) are acting as propaganda outfits for the ruling class overtly, or consciously for that matter.

      The problem we have in the entire country when it comes to corporate domination, is related to a certain ethos that has engulfed institutions, the levers of power. It has to do with incentives, with securing one's financial situation, with fitting in in the power structure, with the definition of success.

      So in all these different realms (politics, media, military industrial complex), are environments wherein the fninacialization of the entire economy (of everything), brought about by the philosophy of Neo-liberalism, creates the conditions where truth-telling, ethics, honesty, duty, are devalued in favor of crass profiteering... This then spreads throughout the entire society.

      And that's how the media becomes a propaganda machine (through a system of incentives), and how the military industrial complex benefits from wars, and how the surveillance apparatus becomes oppressive (wanting to increase the profits and market for Booz Allen, for example).

      It's the "banality of evil."  Everybody hustling to make a buck.

      But when you add it all together you end up with fascism.

      •  We likely agree on many of the symptoms (5+ / 0-)

        of the problems you discuss, but not necessarily the diagnoses. For example in this case, I don't see an intent behind the media coverage to promote a police state. So while the effect might be similar to that of a propaganda campaign, it doesn't meet my criteria for being one.

        •  I'm not surprised. Given what I perceive to be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Unca Joseph

          your staunch support of the status quo, I don't think there is any argument, facts, or evidence I could put forward that will make claim otherwise.

          I do encourage you to read about the Propaganda Model, by Noam Chomsky.

          •  Classic. (8+ / 0-)

            An alternative viewpoint that doesn't align with your self-reinforcing narrative 100% is labeled "staunch support of the status quo."

            I don't think you're really serious about building any kind of movement. Someone who was serious about building a movement would seek out ways to work with people like erratic who no doubt agree with you on the fundamentals, but bring alternative interpretations to the table.

            I think you're far more concerned with "being right" than you are with "building a movement."

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 08:51:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you've made that determination, why are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Unca Joseph

              you here?  You keep repeating these means, desperately it seems, but what you're doing is digging a hole on your own reputation.  Have you seen all the posts form users saying that they use to have a positive impression of you, etc., but after reading what you're doing in my diaries they are changing?

              •  Non-response, as usual. (7+ / 0-)

                "Why are you here?"

                I was having a good discussion with others in this comments section, including AoT and James Hepburn. Watching you shut down rational discussion, good discussion, over and over is worth calling out.

                As for your last comment, I just find that hilarious. Everyone has opinions, Ray. I would think if you're really trying to build a movement, you want want fresh eyes on your diaries. If I was a person who was visiting a diary of yours for the first time, I'd wonder why you inevitably ignore/shut down/insult those who may present alternative viewpoints while looking for a deeper discussion of the content in your diary.

                As I said, above, good luck building a movement with that attitude.

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 09:04:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  As in Aesop. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              6412093, Hey338Too

              The grapes (wealth and privilege) must be very sour.

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 08:57:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Why not make your case (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hey338Too

            without the insults?

            •  I did. Do you find that me accurately observing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Unca Joseph

              that you seem to be a staunch supporter of the status quo an insult?

              Have you notice the handful of posters that land on my diaries calling me all kinds of names, real insulting stuff, over and over?  Those are insults (paranoid, liar, coward, narcissist).

              These 4 or 5 users have been doing this for months, engaging in character assassination.  And I just stay the course; I don't reply in kind.

              But you find me saying that I perceive you're a supporter of the status quo, insulting?  I thought you had a thick skin when it comes to these discussions.

              Either way, is my perception wrong?  Are you an anti-establishment progressive?  I am, and proudly so.

              •  Considering the meaning of the phrase (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hey338Too, erratic

                "status quo", which you have been throwing around, is whatever currently exists, including the police being militarized, you diarying, pootie diaries appearing regularly on the site, Barack Obama and Justin Bieber and flash mob performances of Beethoven and Ted Cruz making an ass of himself, it's kind of an odd phrase to use in a description of someone else.

                Of course, you generally proceed to connect it with support for conservatism, the far right, and other things which you regard as consummate evils, all for the purpose of muddying the waters and escaping substantive discussion of legitimate points of disagreement.

                I have a feeling I could win a Bingo game or two from your last few comments, if I was bothering to play this morning.

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:36:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  As you often put it, (4+ / 0-)

              any 6th grader could tell that was intended as an insult, and that I took it to be one. So returning to my question, "Why not make your case without the insults?".

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