Are We There Yet? Police State America

“Reasonable” people call it Authoritarianism for the sake of “reasonable” conversation. People who are more interested in describing the trend we have seen over the last eight years of “Authoritarian” rule (not governance) allow their alarm and disgust to utter words that once did seem alarmist and unreasonable in reasonable conversation.  Words like totalitarianism, tyranny and even the dread and semi-forbidden word….. fascism. Or perhaps even worse….Police State. These words have previously been used in The Land of the Free as part of the Cold War propaganda effeort to describe countries and governments behind the Iron Curtain. The thrust of the propaganda effort of course, was to point to America as a bastion of all things free and just and right, particularly individual and human rights. America MEANS Freedom, especially individual freedom.

Not anymore.

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The totalitarian tendencies of the Law N’ Order Right Wing are in full flower under the Republican Reign of Terror, every foreign policy decision looks like a nail to their hammer and every expression of individual freedom at home must be beaten down as well. Handily for them, the nations various law enforcers from the Attorney General and the DOJ on down to the security guards at your children’s school who may soon be armed with tasers, need only surrender to their own innate ‘Authoritarianism’ now that the example and theme has been set. The fish rots from the head down and you can smell the stench of tyranny all over the formerly Land of the Free these days.

Free Speech has been reduced to a right that only exists in zones, when it used to stretch from sea to shining sea. If you exercise your right to free speech or assembly outside one of the  First Amendment zones….


http://www.usatoday.com/news/p…

The 47,000-square-foot demonstration zone that protesters call the “freedom cage” will have a chain-link fence atop concrete barriers on three sides. The fourth side will be open to pedestrians on a street south of the Pepsi Center, where the convention will be held Aug. 25-28.

…..you get hauled to a warehouse and caged behind  barbed wire and threatened with the new standard for controlling unruly citizens, the tasers that are now used not as a substitute for deadly force as they were approved to be, but at the drop of a hat. Despite the many abuses and deaths that are attributed to overzealous “Peace Officers” armed with their new and deadly toy. If this is not a description of a nascent Police State, (under the guise of fighting ‘terrorists’)  I don’t know what is.

Amy Goodman via xxdr-zombiexx’s diary at DK:

The full spectrum of police and military will also be on hand at the Democratic convention in Denver, many of these units coordinated by a “fusion center.” These centers are springing up around the country as an outgrowth of the post-9/11 national-security system. Erin Rosa of the online Colorado Independent recently published a report on the Denver fusion center, which will be sharing information with the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI and the U.S. Northern Command. The center is set up to gather and distribute “intelligence” about “suspicious activities,” which, Rosa points out, “can include taking pictures or taking notes. The definition is very broad.”

Civil rights advocates fear the fusion center could enable unwarranted spying on protesters exercising their First Amendment rights at the convention. Documents obtained by I-Witness Video, a group that documents police abuses and demonstrations, revealed that the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency were receiving intelligence about the protests at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. The growing problem is that legal, peaceful protesters are ending up on federal databases and watch lists with scant legal oversight.

Oh wait, yes I do know something that sounds even more like a Police State….how about imposing martial law on a whole neighborhood due to the actions of a relatively few residents?

Officers armed with military rifles have been stopping and questioning passers-by in a neighborhood plagued by violence that’s been under a 24-hour curfew for a week. On Tuesday, the Helena-West Helena City Council voted 9-0 to allow police to expand that program into any area of the city, despite a warning from a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas that the police stops were unconstitutional.

Police Chief Fred Fielder said the patrols have netted 32 arrests since they began last week in a 10-block neighborhood in this small town on the banks of the Mississippi River long troubled by poverty. The council said those living in the city want the random shootings and drug-fueled violence to stop, no matter what the cost.


A practice which the freedom loving Republitatarian John McCain would like to see implemented in “inner cities’ across the Land of the Free. Presumably, the beacon of freedom will shine forth from guard towers on the Sadr City-like walls in his ideal world, Sadr City-like walls, only in Detroit and the Bronx and Compton.  Really, Mccain wants to bring “the Surge” to American inner (poor, black neighborhoods) cities to rid them of crime. Why alleviate the pressure of poverty that leads to crime when you can funnel money to the MIC right here in our own cities instead of having to launch pesky invasions?

This is not how things are done in a Free Country, this is not how America is supposed to be. This is a government and ruling class at war with it’s own citizens. This is a government and ruling class that knows how unhappy its citizens are with it, but instead of fixing what they are unhappy about, has decided to repress, distract and control them instead. This is a ruling class and government that has totally and in a totalitarian fashion stolen the rights of its citizens and robbed and replaced a government of, by, and for The People with government and ‘law enforcement’ dedicated to protecting itself from its own citizens. And rightly so, since the government and ruling class has stolen America from it’s People, and replaced it with a third rate, fascistic Banana Republic and wiped out 230 years of the fight for civil rights and freedom….all merely to line its own pockets and fulfill its pretensions of plutocracy. At YOUR expense….and at the expense of real freedom in The Land of the Free..

General Strike, 9/11/08

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85 comments

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  1. Photobucket

    • Edger on August 14, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    how far it has to go before even the “police” used to execute repression start to get sick of it too…

  2. … its like living in Brazil or Argentina or Greece under the Generals/Colonels/Captains/waddeva …

    … except the tradition of civilian rule of the military is deeply enough entrenched that a softening up, getting rid of the general staff with the most integrity and political intelligence via a putsch in the civilian executive first, and then who knows.

  3. the exercise of Martial Law, Buhdy!  In June, for example, there were martial law exercises in Indianapolis, Indiana, for over two weeks.  We’re also seeing arrests of anti-war activists, etc.  

    Mid all these latest events, here is something that you might just get a little satisfaction from — Pelosi is being dogged on her book promoting tour.

    Pelosi Scapegoats Republicans for Her Failure to Protect & Defend Constitution – Admits She’s Impotent Against Them

  4. Dkos

  5. How much will we lose before then?

    Will our children ask “how come you didn’t do anything”?

    RISE UP and SHUT IT DOWN!!! It’s time.

    • robodd on August 14, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    but not to the extent they don’t. A show a force is effective to show they are and can do things, so politically useful depending on how deployed.  

    But if it were a true totalitarian police state, they would not hide (or try to hide) the fact that they are monitoring us.  They would use it to repress communication. Ultimately, because most Americans find such monitoring distasteful they won’t tell us they are doing it.

    They do what it good for them and to the extent they can get away with it.

  6. 6 billion world.

    Now the Illuminati which now runs the world can extract a greater profit margin by redistributing the energy resources from the 300 million who want to drive to the gym and or get pedicures, manicures and botox or breast augmentations.

    All throughout the history of man elite assholes have always been able to control and manipulate their populations in spite of “diverse” cultures, belief systems and or religions.  Up until the United States’s promise of freedom and equality for all.

  7. is in full force if your skin happens to be brown. Just a couple of examples:

    Postville, Iowa

    T. Don Hutto: America’s Family Prison

  8. SPIE is an international engineering society catering to the advancement in the optical industry.

    http://spie.org/

    In drilling down to the topics of papers and scientific talks for the next exhibition subjects included computer data mining and terahertz waves.  For those not in the know terahertz waves are the technology behind those nifty new airport scanners that make your hot girfriend/wife/daughter look totally naked in front of leering 8 dollar an hour cretins.  Homeboy Security crap has been institutionalized into the egalitarian aspects of advancing the cause of humanity through engineering.  How profane is that.

    This is an engineering society and these brilliant people can calculate the path of a hummingbird for fun.  Given the proper motivation and a paycheck people can and are motivated into the devoting of lives toward the construction of a world Orwell only touched upon.

    • on August 15, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Here’s a contrast:  Korea and the United States are moving in opposite directions in this area.  After the first real elections in 1988 Korea wasn’t any freer than it had been the day before. Chun Do Wan the former general was still president and the police were still oppressive. The election of Kim Young sam brought some relaxation of the police state but wasn’t until Kim Dae jung was elected that a real changes took place. These changes included the use of force and pepper spray as means of crowd control. Kim Dae jung restricted the use of both. Even today the Conservative President Lee Moon bak has continued with the polices instituted by Kim Dae jung.  While not perfect its a far cry from the time when protesters would just disappear or end up dead.

    Since the attacks of September 11, 2001 the United States has moved in the direction Korea has sought to leave behind the authoritarian police state.  At one time the U.S. issued at most 5,000 National Security Letters a year which gave Federal Law enforcement the right to search without a warrant. Today that number is 30,000.  The Church Commission shed light upon the abuses not only of the FBI but the CIA as well and their involvement in Domestic Spying. Hence the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which sought to protect American citizens from such abuses. Today you have warrant less wiretapping. Why because the Bush administration felt there were constraints under the FISA law which prevented them from stopping terrorism and terrorists. These are just the tip of the ice berg.  

    If the the Republicans had maintained control of both Houses of Congress after the 2006 midterm elections does anyone believe that you would now be living in a real police state today?          

    • banger on August 15, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Not because the structures are so firmly in place but because the majority of the American people want what we have today. They’ve bought into the whole concept of “security”–they want to be protected in their little playrooms so they can be children for the rest of their lives. It is not the evil oligarchy forcing anything–they supply the drugs but the chumps aren’t forced to take them.

    I think police state is the wrong term–“Security State” is a better term. We have to face the fact that democracy and rule of law are the exception not the rule of history. I knew it was the end when Francis Fukyama wrote The End of History.

    Nothing is as it seems, everybody lies, everybody is in denial. The human reality is not pretty and we have to learn to deal with it if we want to create something better. But the fact of the matter is that we are dependent on the authorities–they will decide; as I often say, we are dependent on the kindness of strangers.  

  9. (Snip)

    We have said above that a prince must have strong foundations, otherwise his downfall is inevitable. The main foundation of all states, new, old, or mixed, are good laws and good arms; and since there cannot be good laws where there are not good arms and likewise where there are good arms the laws must be good too, I shall omit discussion of laws and speak only of arms. Now the arms with which a prince defends his state are either his own, or mercenary, or auxiliary (allied), or mixed. Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous, and a leader having his state built on mercenary armies will never be secure. Troops of this sort are disunited, ambitious, undisiplined, and faithless,swaggering when among friends and cowardly in the face of the enemy; they have neither fear of God nor loyalty to men. Ruin is postponed only so long as the assault is postponed; in times of peace you are despoiled by them and in time of war by the enemy.The reason is that they have no interest or incentive to hold the field, save only thier moderate pay, which is not enough to make them willing to die for you. They are pleased to be your soldiers so long as you have no war; when it comes they either run away or leave your employ (for the other guy).

    (/Snip)

    Parentheses mine, for clarification.

    I am not saying mercenaries are not VERY dangerous. They ARE. I am saying they CAN be beaten, and everyone who is anyone knows both the fact and the reason. It should be realized Machiavelli was talking to a Prince about mishandling others. You are one of the others. The thing to note here for you is, no one ever supposes that mercs can stand up to a military force, so they must be intended for something less dangerous.

    This point should be made with ones’ legislators, explicitly.  Mercenaries, being useless against a military, must therefore be intended for use against civilians, which is a war crime. Therefore, Because of the lack of other utility, utilizing the service of mercenaries equates to War Crime.

    Thanks.

  10. a malleable populace.  The authoritarians use that fear to establish themselves as “saviors.”  It is irrelevant that 99% of that fearful populace truly has nothing to fear but fear itself; the authoritarians will take the fear and make it worse, and present themselves as the only means of maintaining safety.

    We’ve seen this in action since 9/11…but I think it fits other cultures too.  Maybe someone who knows more about this subject than I do could elaborate…but I think you get my meaning.

    There’s a lot to be scared of, that’s for sure: economic meltdown, ecological meltdown…but terrorist attacks?  Thunderstorms will do more damage this year!  

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