Good Cop, Bad Cop – Premonitions of a Police State in America

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

The topic of local police using military equipment seems too academic for most people to be concerned about. That is because most people have not been awakened at 3AM by a powerful explosion caused by a flash grenade thrown through their glass window by the police, followed by a door being smashed open …their barking dogs being shot dead on the spot … everyone in the home thrown to the floor, sometimes naked, then handcuffed, and threatened with more physical violence if they do not hand over the pet lizard that they did not know was on the endangered species list.

I didn’t mention that innocent people have been shot dead by police during these legal home invasions because in their confusion they flinched when a masked policeman told them to get down on the floor.

In one case, the police completely trashed a house in search of drugs, only to discover that they had the wrong address. Made aware by dispatch that they were at the wrong house, the police left without so much as an apology, and later declared that they had no liability for the many hundreds of dollars in damage that they had caused. Tough luck, homeowner.

There is a bit of good news about this. http://news.yahoo.com/u-court-not-block-lawsuits-over-connecticut-swat-233911169.html

[Begin excerpt] A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that Connecticut police cannot claim immunity to quash lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages from a botched 2008 raid by a SWAT team that severely injured a homeowner and killed his friend. [End excerpt]

The bad news is that, despite the Fourth Amendment, which apparently protects you from the inconvenience of being frisked on the street by police in a neighborhood where criminal violence is rampant, it has taken until now for a court to affirm two Constitutional issues involved in these cases:

One issue is that we are guaranteed the right to be secure in our homes from unwarranted government intrusion.

The other is that we are guaranteed the right to redress our government for grievances.

While the court did not specifically frame the case in these terms, it has at long last set some reasonable limits that should have been enforced since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. I realize that justice is slow, but come on now, we fought a revolutionary war over such matters.

The other side of this coin is that every year, more than 100 police officers are killed in the line of duty. The “Officer Down Memorial Page” at http://www.odmp.org/search/year?year=2013 counts 105 policemen killed last year, 30 by gunfire and two by stabbing. A more exact breakdown of the gun deaths is not given, but clearly, police work is very dangerous, and therefore, the police should be given every reasonable protection available to them. If this includes military equipment, so be it, give them all the assault rifles, grenades and armored vehicles that will help them safely enforce the law.

As one pundit stated, it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

The question is not one of having, it’s one of using. Police departments have very clear guidelines on when to use force, when to initiate a car chase, how to interrogate a suspect, and so on. It is therefore entirely reasonable for those departments to provide clear policies on when military style equipment is to be used, how, and for what purpose.

If departmental policies are not enough, the next step is legislative.

This is not a merely academic issue, and not a soft-on-crime bleeding heart position to take. John Marshall, fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court famously said that “the power to tax is the power to destroy.” If his words are not an overstatement, then it is also no overstatement to say that the power to police is the power to kill. Perhaps more than that, it is the power to enforce tyranny.

Indeed, third world dictatorships commonly use their armies as internal police to suppress dissent. In the US, such use of military force is prohibited under the Posse Comitatus Act. That law does not, however, specifically prohibit substituting militarized police to achieve the same result.

I want the police to be safe when they are enforcing the law. I will even go so far as to say that they should use more than minimal force when the risk is great. They should get the benefit of any reasonable doubt. What I object to is using Special Weapons AssaultTeams (SWAT) to close down a child’s lemonade stand.

Law, devoid of common sense, is oppression.

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Sonnet of the Terror Warriors

SONNET OF THE TERROR WARRIORS

(Inspired by James Foley and Steven Sotloff)

 

Those martyred souls who dared to fight
And that evil, if allowed to reign
That evil that would be their blight
They only would have died in vain

So fight we must with all our might
With all our will and not to tame
For those brave hearts, for what is right
Send evil back to whence it came

And even with no end in sight
Never to flinch from fear or pain
We must maintain our pledge and plight
Our great resolve should never wane

And that evil, if allowed to reign
They only would have died in vain

Shylock

Click on Shylock to find is latest book, Poems of Shylock


 

The Day That Time Stood Still

by Genevieve, Senior Editor, Advisor

As I think about the anniversary of September 11, it is hard to believe that 13 years have passed since that fateful day. The events still permeate my memory. I was hurrying, as usual, so that I wouldn’t be late for work when my phone rang. A friend called to tell me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Living in a world-weary time when tragic incidents don’t have much impact, I paid little attention and continued with my morning routine. The horrors that followed: three more plane crashes – another one at the WTC, one at the Pentagon and the third in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, foreshadowed far-reaching changes to life in America.

All air transportation was brought to a complete halt – airports were closed. It was the eeriest feeling to look skyward and not see a single airplane. Our freedoms and liberties would gradually vanish as the struggle against terrorism stripped the tranquility from our daily lives.

The nightmare is perpetuated by the ever-changing forces that threaten our very existence. There is little comparison to the atrocities committed by Al Qaida and the slaughters and bloodbaths executed by ISIS, Hamas and other terrorist-affiliated organizations. The most unsettling thing about relentless terrorism is that there is no opportunity for peace anymore. We are constantly looking over our shoulders waiting for the next shoe to fall. Fighting our enemies in past wars was considerably simpler. The battles were fought and ended. The war against terrorism, however, is never ended. We are continually confronted by the opposition when we least expect an offensive.

We have no one to depend on for protection and security. Our government is clueless about how to circumvent the destruction and collapse of mankind. Our lives are controlled by apprehension and fear.

“The LORD is my strength and my shield, my heart trusted in him, and I was helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, and with my song will I praise him.” (Psalms 28:7)

I live my life from day to day in humble and reverent remembrance of THE DAY THAT TIME STOOD STILL.

Socialism – The World’s Most Intractable Addiction

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

An alcoholic employee was called into the boss’s office and was given an ultimatum.  It went something like this.  You are a valued employee, and because of that, you have been given numerous chances to correct your deficiencies.  Yet you continue to come in late for work, or some days, not at all.  You continue to miss important deadlines.  When you meet the deadlines, your work is either incomplete, or contains numerous errors. Other employees have tried to cover for you, but it only detracts from their own work performance.  Therefore, no further concessions will be made to you, and no more excuses will be accepted.  This is it.  Either take control of your life and perform according to standards, or else, turn in your keys in return for your final paycheck.  Which will it be?

The above story is probably true, many times over, but I have fictionalized several elements of it.  First, the reality is that instead of an employee, the real story involves a country. Second, instead of alcoholism, the reality is socialist economics.

The country is Argentina, but many other countries fit the description. (Argentina Bets on Price Controls)

Argentina is on the brink of collapse.  I wrote about this recently in The Bold Pursuit, “Yet Another Socialist Paradise is Collapsing.” 

Instead of the technical details, this time I wish to focus, as I did in the fictional account of the alcoholic, on the psychology of addiction, not addiction to a drug, but to ideological beliefs that have been consistently and repeatedly shown to be false, and worse than false, catastrophic.

Socialism as an economic and political system is inexplicably addictive.  One can understand its initial appeal, because that appeal is simplistic, easily reduced to mindless slogans. Socialism addresses the scourge of poverty by saying simply, give money to the poor people. It addresses the problem of high prices by commanding sellers to lower their prices.  And when all the socialist remedies only dig the hole deeper, the last ditch resorts include raising taxes, confiscating wealth from those who produce it, and entrenching a class of voters who will never make the short-term sacrifices that are necessary for their long-term benefit.

Socialism has even more appeal when it is contrasted to our present economic system, the one we mistakenly call capitalism, but which is more properly referred to as “crony capitalism.”  A better term for that system might be, feudalism.  In any case, the present system as practiced is a twisted perversion of the free market system.  Compared to it, socialism starts to look good to those who are stuck on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.

While socialism’s initial appeal might be understandable, what is not excusable is the persistent failure to recognize that socialism is not the easy way out of economic injustice, but is rather a fatal dependency on remedies that do not work.  Compared to truly free markets, socialism is a disaster.  Would that there were a truly free market to prove this.  Free markets have, alas, all but become extinct, and what now passes for capitalism is in reality a close cousin of socialism, even in the United States.

Is there a remedy?

It is no longer possible to simply do away with the century (and more) of clutter that has destroyed free markets, and to replace that clutter with the few basic principles that allow anyone—literally anyone—to have free and unfettered access to the marketplace.  Those principles include truly representative government, anti-trust laws, anti-fraud laws, and property rights.

The entrenched social powers are so firmly in control of our economic system that—and this is quite literal—a child can no longer start and operate a sidewalk lemonade stand in the US. In order to do so, the child would have to hire a consultant to navigate the government regulations, the legal hurdles, and competition from lemonade producers who can crush any hint of competition.  In other words, to sell ten cents worth of lemonade, a ten-year-old child would have to have about ten thousand dollars in startup financing.  Think of it as the 10-10-10 rule.  The problem extends upward from there, to many thousands of good business ideas that are never given a chance to succeed.

This inability to create new businesses without large investments up front would have, according to the founder of hardware giant Home Depot, prevented his corporation from ever having gained a foothold in the marketplace.

Make no mistake, large corporations, although many of them benefited from free markets when they were first begun, now oppose the very idea.  Partnering with big government, big corporations lobby for ever more oppressive regulation of business, knowing that that will stifle competition.

In doing so, they have persuaded millions of welfare recipients to settle for a life of indolence and hopelessness that is poisoning our society from within. 

The real tragedy of this is that there are places in the world where there is a remedy. Argentina is a prime example.  When a social and economic system is in the early stage of collapse, the prospect for reform rises dramatically, as people become desperate to find a solution to their problems.  This brief window of opportunity has opened inArgentina.

Unfortunately, the window is all too often closed by those who instead of free markets, impose the harsh hand of raw power.  This seems to be happening in Argentina and elsewhere.  Instead of more freedom, people tend to seek less of it, in the form of dictatorships.

The outlook is bleak.  Nation after nation, addicted to spending, taxation and overregulation is killing the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg.  Revolutions are inevitable.  Social collapse will follow, as will wars and rumors of war.

Still, even this outlook is not entirely bleak. There was a revolution in 1776 that, centuries later, still points the way to justice and prosperity. 

We need a reset button.

Sharia Enforcers in a Christian Country — Here it comes

by Don Hank, Guest Contributor 

Bernard Chalumeau, founder of France Libre and expert on international law, sent me a link to a story of Sharia Police, an unauthorized group of Muslim activists posing as cops in Germany and harassing and threatening people for patronizing bars, eating pork, and doing other things that are perfectly legal in Germany and none of their business. This is just the beginning of the harassment, since the demographics are rapidly shifting from non-Muslim to Muslim. Just imagine what is certainly on the way.

Well, how can I say this? Europe has done a very thorough job of eliminating Christian teaching and preaching in the public square. So thorough that many churches have emptied out and some are being replaced by mosques. After all, the plain and simple message of such official policies is that there is something sinister or unwholesome or even dangerous about outspoken Christians — or perhaps Christians in general. And did you know that none other than Adolf Hitler made this muzzling of Christians a salient policy of his regime, telling church leaders they could pretty much teach as they wanted within the 4 walls of their churches, but not to bring their messages out to the streets, please? Or else. What other country does this remind you of? (Hint: home of the ACLU).

German officialdom, along with the rest of Europe, has been enthusiastically carrying on this cherished tradition of selectively suppressing Christian speech and thought  to the present day.

Which points to an interesting phenomenon:

Empirical evidence clearly shows that people everywhere have a certain hunger for things spiritual and that many will naturally gravitate towards people who model, and call for, temperance and a clean lifestyle especially when they teach that such is godly.

Since Christian teachers of this clean lifestyle have been banned in the public square or have gone underground (including with regard to a certain teaching about a certain sexual preference), Muslims teaching these things are therefore naturally attractive to an increasing number of people. This is because there is an unmistakable double standard that is tolerant ofMuslim public utterances while eschewing or outright banning Christian public utterances.

So the upshot of these policies is effectively to eliminate Christianity and fill the vacuum left in its place with Islam. And today, more plainly than ever, we see in northern Iraq, Syria and elsewhere what Islamic law leads to, don’t we? The same secular governments that created and foster this spiritual vacuum in the West are now sending troops to help save indigenous minorities in the Middle East from being slashed to death by Muslims, the people they have invited to live in Europe by the millions upon millions, even to the point of displacing indigenous Europeans and creating no-go enclaves where police and ambulances are banned. In European cities.

Thus, surprisingly, replacing Christianity with agnosticism and secularism has not had the intended result of turning Europeans into obedient agnostic socialists. Instead, many are becoming attracted to Islam, something quite the opposite of the intended result.

Some people have another way of saying “unintended consequences.” They call them divine intervention.

Europeans can still believe or disbelieve as they wish and they are free to support the anti-Christian, pro-Muslim policies of their keepers. They just can’t feel safe walking alone in certain parts of their cities these days where people of a certain religion dwell.

All thanks to “enlightened” secularism.

See for yourself:

http://rt.com/news/185664-sharia-police-patrol-germany/

‘Seven Days in September’ – Will They Finally Do It?

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

Over the past few years, I have posted several commentaries referring to the fictional political thriller titled, Seven Days in May. That novel (and movie) is about an attempted coup d’état in the White House – by high ranking national security officials – who believe that the policies of the (fictional) president are gravely imperiling the nation.

The coup fails and the moral of the story is that law, by the Constitution, rules America and that there is never any justification for substituting force for the ballot box.

The account is fictional, but today, the reality is that the “rule of law” is becoming fiction. Top government officials illegally and flagrantly do the president’s personal bidding in defiance of the Constitution. Eric Holder, Lois Lerner, the NSA, the EPA – the list is too long for full inclusion here – have all acted according to the morals of third world dictators.

Obama’s presidency has not only been marked by violations of the law, but perhaps worse in the eyes of highly-placed policy officials, marked by ineptitude and failure. Generals and intelligence chiefs might very well (I am sorry to say) tolerate trashing the Constitution to achieve results they view as pragmatic. What they likely will not tolerate is failure. When failure becomes fiasco, they will become concerned. When it shows signs of becoming catastrophe, they might risk their own careers and take desperate action, if not to save the republic, then at least to save themselves.

Judging from recent interviews and public statements by such officials, they have not yet become concerned, but they certainly seem to have sat bolt upright and taken notice, as grim reality sets in. Their public statements might be viewed as simple lack of coordination between speech writers, but they also might indicate shots across the bow, so to speak, subtle warnings to the president to shape up.

While presidential dereliction of duty is plain to see in the news reports, there are likely much more serious derelictions going on behind the scenes. Surely, security and military officials must have more than once commented to each other—albeit in carefully phrased, deniable words—that they are disappointed that the president has consistently dismissed their advice, only to see the world stage become more dangerous as a result. They must resent being repeatedly blamed by Obama for his own failures. They must know far more than we know, exactly what the failures of the administration have been. I suspect it goes far beyond the “I don’t have a strategy,” category, and far into the “I don’t have a clue,” classification.

Beyond a doubt – Barack Obama has, for some time, now posed a clear and present danger to the Republic. It is the duty of government to respond decisively to such threats. His golf outings and fund raisers are more than mere matters of appearance and embarrassment. They demonstrate conclusively that the pilot does not have his hand on the controls, but instead is outsourcing his policy decisions to radical ideologues who share Obama’s left wing world view. They are almost literally trying to “community-organize” the world, but the world is not cooperating. On the contrary, international disorder is beginning to run riot as the looters (dictators and terrorists) discover that no one is on duty to stop them.

Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini is said to have been tolerated by his public despite his oppressive policies, because as the legend goes, he kept the trains running on time. Obama could not even manage to keep Obamacare running on time, and it remains a fiasco today, with worse yet to come.

Obama’s foreign policy failures have cost American blood, strengthened our enemies, weakened our alliances, and made the nation vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Throughout it all, he has never admitted error except in the most self-serving terms.

My personal perception (and I have no inside knowledge, of course) is that there is a segment of the national security apparatus that may soon become concerned, even alarmed. My fear is that when they finally take action, it will not end well.

The final chapter is yet to be written.