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Over at Time.com, Rand Paul gets it mostly right on the over-militarization of the police and the targeting, literally, of black citizens (link):

Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth.

The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm. It is one thing for federal officials to work in conjunction with local authorities to reduce or solve crime. It is quite another for them to subsidize it.

Paul can't resist taking a swipe at "big government":
Not surprisingly, big government has been at the heart of the problem.
Here is where I think he's a bit off.  The problem is not "big government".  Income taxes, clean water laws, public school teachers, and all the other things that drive libertarians crazy aren't responsible here.  

What is to blame is a security-obsessed, warlike government.  And in his very next sentences, Paul hits upon this truth:

Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies—where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement.
Read the whole thing, it is good.

Poll

Do you agree with Rand Paul that the police are over-militarized?

12%6 votes
18%9 votes
64%32 votes
6%3 votes

| 50 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:57:09 AM PDT

  •  although it's always nice to be courted... (12+ / 0-)

    hardly any black person is buying what he's selling.

    we're not all fools, after all.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:00:34 PM PDT

  •  No thanks (7+ / 0-)

    Hell with that guy.  Who gives a shit when he "hits upon the truth" when his whole thing is about being a part of the big lie?  

    When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:02:44 PM PDT

  •  Like a stopped clock Paul is right twice a day (7+ / 0-)

    He is right about other things; foreign intervention, military spending, mass surveillance, prison population.  More like a clock running backwards, right 4 times a day.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action. UID: 9742

    by Shockwave on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:02:50 PM PDT

  •  Excerpt from Bill Moyers website, (11+ / 0-)
    April 11, 2014,
    Rand Paul Has a Race Problem

    One problem — but not the biggest — is Paul’s close working relationships with racists. Back in 2009, Paul’s senate campaign spokesperson had a Myspace webpage that included a comment tied to the Martin Luther King holiday that read: “HAPPY N***ER DAY!!!” above a photo of a lynching. While someone else might have posted the comment, it remained on the staffer’s page for nearly two years.

    Then in 2013, Jack Hunter, Paul’s social media director — and the co-author of Paul’s 2011 book on the tea party — was uncovered as the “Southern Avenger,” a radio shock jock who regularly donned a mask emblazoned with the Confederate flag and had a long history of making racially inflammatory statements...

    Under pressure, Paul reluctantly fired both offending parties — but did so while denying any racism on their parts. Back in 2009, he absolved his staffer of having “any racist tendencies,” while last year he protected Hunter for two weeks before finally letting him go and blaming the media. “He was unfairly treated by the media, and he was put up as target practice for people to say he was a racist, and none of that’s true,” Paul said. “None of it was racist.”

    Beyond the problem of Paul’s close affiliation with these bigots, his inability to see them as racists suggests a huge blind spot with respect to racism

    "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

    by Calvino Partigiani on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:07:39 PM PDT

  •  Glad to see Rand speaking about race here (6+ / 0-)

    in the ways that he did --

    Given these developments, it is almost impossible for many Americans not to feel like their government is targeting them. Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.  (snip)

    Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth.

    That's definitely not the standard Fox/Republican party line. I applaud him for saying what he said here.  Even if I disagree vehemently with what he'll say on other subjects such as public school spending.
  •  Obama on the other hand completely avoided (0+ / 0-)

    the topic during his statement.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:15:16 PM PDT

  •  Between Clinton's comments on Syria and all the... (5+ / 0-)

    Between Clinton's comments on Syria and all the other wars we should have started earlier this week and Paul's comments here, anyone else having trouble figuring out who is the democrat and who is the far right republican?

  •  He's manipulating you, he's an opportunist (8+ / 0-)

    He's using this horrible situation to push his agenda of anti-government and that's all.

    It's the Federal government using the civil rights act (that Paul did not support) that will get to the bottom of what happened, and it's the federal government that will put the brakes on those local cops who think they're navy seals.

    Rand Paul is a disgusting opportunist who is trying to blame this on the government so he can push his disgusting Libertarian anti-humanity agenda.

  •  He was also right on the NSA. And on drone use.... (0+ / 0-)

    He was also right on the NSA. And on drone use. Quite frankly, lately he has been right more than wrong. And if I have to choose between uneducated kids and dead kids, im going to choose uneducated.

    •  ok, ok. you're obviously a fan. I think he's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dougymi

      a lying opportunist.  

      to each his/her own.

      oh, let me answer your other comment:

      Between Clinton's comments on Syria and all the other wars we should have started earlier this week and Paul's comments here, anyone else having trouble figuring out who is the democrat and who is the far right republican?
      not me.

      This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

      by mallyroyal on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:02:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do you suppose he really means it ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vita Brevis, Mannie

    The guy sells bridges.  I don't listen slime like Rand Paul.  He's lying, he has an agenda (and not a good one).

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:48:11 PM PDT

  •  I'm seeing lots of kudos to him (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calvino Partigiani, Mannie

    on Twitter but I'm definitely of the "even a blind squirrel finds a nut" opinion on this.

    Better than some of his outreach to black people I s'pose but waaaaay too little, waaaaaaay too late and I'm skeptical.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:48:27 PM PDT

  •  where is the no button (0+ / 0-)

    Again, my fellow liberals are sounding more and more like our rightwing counterparts.  Gee why don't we just get rid of police altogether.   Again we need to wait and see all the facts before judging.  

    Sad part none of my fellow liberals are talking about blacks killing blacks on a daily basis.  I live the San Francisco/Bay Area.  Every day on the news reports of innocent black children being shot when drive by shootings happen in Oakland, Richmond, Bayview in San Francisco, the Western Addition in San Francisco.  

  •  the libertarian loonies have always been good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calvino Partigiani

    on civil rights issues.  Something the Dems should.

    It's their idiotic reliance on failed "free market" philosophy that turns the libertarians into loons. (And their propensity for paranoid conspiracy theory about absolutely everything.)

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:00:46 PM PDT

  •  He's a feckless opportunist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calvino Partigiani, Sun dog

    and a world-class misogynist.

    Anytime I see his name in a diary I am duty-bound to remind everyone that Rand Paul is an 'effing hypocrite about "small government."

    Rand Paul favors a Personhood Amendment to the Constitution.  His long voting record is 100% anti-choice.

    He wants the government (HIS government, mind you) to hold dominion over every woman's reproductive life.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:39:07 PM PDT

  •  I'm not sure what "over-militarization" means. (0+ / 0-)

    I gather from MB's diary that it means the police having too much access to military gear such as armored vehicles, helicopters, night-vision goggles, and assault rifles.

    I'm not in favor banning police from having those things.  There are certain criminal situations where such equipment is required, and if police are prohibited from having that equipment themselves, then that means the military has to deal with those criminal situations, which has posse-comitatis (sp) problems.  And "night goggles" are bad for police to have?  Really?

    IMO, I don't think having access to military gear is the problem.  Targeting of blacks is the problem, whether that targeting makes use of military gear or not.  The other problem would be misjudgment on when to use such gear in general.  BUt that doens't mean police should be prohibited from the gear altogether.  

    I think people are focusing on the wrong thing, on the "shiny object".  It reminds me of the anger at use of "drones" as if those angered by drones would be hunky-dory with using bombers instead.  It's not the equipment they're really angry about, it's how they're used.  Same with military gear used by police.

    I'm probably a minority of one on this site in questioning the meme of "over-militarization of police being issue #1", but that's ok. ;)

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