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OverSword

American Police State

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From the editorial:

By John W. Whitehead

July 28, 2014

“The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.”—C.S. Lewis,
The Screwtape Letters

Whether it’s the working mother arrested for letting her 9-year-old play unsupervised at a playground, the teenager forced to have his genitals photographed by police, the underage burglar sentenced to 23 years for shooting a retired police dog, or the 43-year-old man who died of a heart attack after being put in a chokehold by NYPD officers allegedly over the sale of untaxed cigarettes, the theater of the absurd that passes for life in the American police state grows more tragic and incomprehensible by the day.

Debra Harrell, a 46-year-old South Carolina working mother, was arrested, charged with abandonment and had her child placed in state custody after allowing the 9-year-old to spend unsupervised time at a neighborhood playground while the mom worked a shift at McDonald’s. Mind you, the child asked to play outside, was given a cell phone in case she needed to reach someone, and the park—a stone’s throw from the mom’s place of work—was overrun with kids enjoying its swings, splash pad, and shade.

A Connecticut mother was charged with leaving her 11-year-old daughter in the car unsupervised while she ran inside a store—despite the fact that the child asked to stay in the car and was not overheated or in distress. A few states away, a New Jersey man was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of his children after leaving them in a car parked in a police station parking lot, windows rolled down, while he ran inside to pay a ticket.

A Virginia teenager was charged with violating the state’s sexting law after exchanging sexually provocative videos with his girlfriend. Instead of insisting that the matter be dealt with as a matter of parental concern, police charged the boy with manufacturing and distributing child pornography and issued a search warrant to “medically induce an erection” in the 17-year-old boy in order to photograph his erect penis and compare it to the images sent in the sexting exchange. The police had already taken an initial photograph of the boy’s penis against his will, upon his arrest.

In Georgia, a toddler had his face severely burned when a flash bang grenade, launched by a SWAT team during the course of a no-knock warrant, landed in his portable crib, detonating on his pillow. Also in Georgia, a police officer shot and killed a 17-year-old boy who answered the door, reportedly with a Nintendo Wii controller in his hands. The cop claimed the teenager pointed a gun at her, thereby justifying the use of deadly force. Then there was the incident wherein a police officer, responding to a complaint that some children were “chopping off tree limbs” creating “tripping hazards,”pulled a gun on a group of 11-year-old boys who were playing in a wooded area, attempting to build a tree fort.

While the growing phenomenon of cops shooting family pets only adds to the insanity (it is estimated that a family pet is killed by law enforcement every 98 minutes in America), it’s worse for those who dare to shoot a police dog. Ivins Rosier was 16 when he broke into the home of a Florida highway patrol officer and shot (although he didn’t kill) the man’s retired police dog. For his crime, the teenager was sentenced to 23 years in prison, all the while police officers who shoot family pets are rarely reprimanded.

Meanwhile if you’re one of those hoping to live off the grid, independent of city resources, you might want to think again. Florida resident Robin Speronis was threatened with eviction for living without utilities. Speronis was accused of violating the International Property Maintenance Code by relying on rain water instead of the city water system and solar panels instead of the electric grid.

Now we can shrug these incidents off as isolated injustices happening to “other” people. We can rationalize them away by suggesting that these people “must” have done something to warrant such treatment. Or we can acknowledge that this slide into totalitarianism—helped along by overcriminalization, government surveillance, militarized police, neighbors turning in neighbors, privatized prisons, and forced labor camps, to name just a few similarities—is tracking very closely with what we saw happening in Germany in the years leading up to Hitler’s rise to power.

When all is said and done, what these incidents reflect is a society that has become so bureaucratic, so legalistic, so politically correct, so militaristic, so locked down, so self righteous, and so willing to march in lockstep with the corporate-minded police state that any deviations from the norm—especially those that offend the sensibilities of the “government-knows-best” nanny state or challenge the powers that be—become grist for prosecution, persecution and endless tribulations for the poor souls who are caught in the crosshairs.

Then there are the incidents, less colorful perhaps but no less offensive to the sensibilities of any freedom-loving individual, which should arouse outrage among the populace but often slip under the radar of a sleeping nation.

Read the rest here

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Now we can shrug these incidents off as isolated injustices happening to “other” people. We can rationalize them away by suggesting that these people “must” have done something to warrant such treatment.

Oh yes we can and we do, Oversword. I've been seeing exactly that, all week.

so bureaucratic, so legalistic, so politically correct, so militaristic, so locked down, so self righteous, and so willing to march in lockstep with the corporate-minded police state

That we can rationalize these people must have done something to warrant such treatment.

should arouse outrage among the populace but often slip under the radar of a sleeping nation.

Yes it should, but ignorance is bliss and nobody cares until the chickens come home to roost.

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Nice troll Yamato, and I can't in good conscience dispute your statements.

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I don't support the police state, but I support the state police. That sounds like a horrid joke, but I think that the rank and file police, especially older ones, are concerned about the present situation. A DA tells me that he worries about this current militarization. He's not a "I hate all pigs" type. He's a law and order guy. He sees dark things on the horizon if things continue in this direction. On a related note, it seems like our kids are indoctrinated at a young age to see excessive reactions by law enforcement as natural. You've read the stories about grade school students who were handcuffed and jailed. Now, they sell Fisher Price little people decked out in full riot gear. They look more like stormtroopers than lovable neighborhood beat cops. There always were good guys and bad guys in that line of work because it attracts both extremes, and I still think that most LEOs are honorable people. I fear that might not be the case when the Millennial Generation comes of age.

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My definition of Police State is one where only the government and criminals have guns.

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My definition of Police State is one where only the government and criminals have guns.

How exactly is "having a gun" going to save you when "The Police State" comes for you?

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I don't support the police state, but I support the state police. That sounds like a horrid joke, but I think that the rank and file police, especially older ones, are concerned about the present situation. A DA tells me that he worries about this current militarization. He's not a "I hate all pigs" type. He's a law and order guy. He sees dark things on the horizon if things continue in this direction. On a related note, it seems like our kids are indoctrinated at a young age to see excessive reactions by law enforcement as natural. You've read the stories about grade school students who were handcuffed and jailed. Now, they sell Fisher Price little people decked out in full riot gear. They look more like stormtroopers than lovable neighborhood beat cops. There always were good guys and bad guys in that line of work because it attracts both extremes, and I still think that most LEOs are honorable people. I fear that might not be the case when the Millennial Generation comes of age.

I have to agree. What has OverSword posted but examples showing a couple dozen bad cops? While there must be nearly a million cops in the entirety of the USA.

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23 years isn't that bad, personally I would've killed him.

YEAH! It was a dog after all. :gun:

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Posted (edited)

How exactly is "having a gun" going to save you when "The Police State" comes for you?

If the police state has come to you, you don't have any guns. In any police state private ownership of guns is prohibited or strictly regulated. It often starts out benign. Afterall it is better that people don't go around slaughtering one another. How much better to live like peaceful placid sheep and be guarded by good shepherds who do have guns. Unfortunately, there's never a good shepherd around when you need one. History has shown, time and again, that when people choose or are forced to live like sheep, they die like sheep when a wolf slips into the fold. The easiest way to pacify a population is to to teach it cowardness; that individuals are not and should not be responsible or take action for or in their own defense. That should be left to the professionals. So, if confronted with armed violence in such a society, you're pretty much up the creek without a paddle. The Scotch-Irish in me is revolted by such a concept. History has taught us that freedom is a privilege that must be safe guarded- especially from one's own government and that it is never wise to trust in the benevolence or gratitude of princes. We learned that the hard way in Ulster. Edited by John Wesley Boyd
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I have to agree. What has OverSword posted but examples showing a couple dozen bad cops? While there must be nearly a million cops in the entirety of the USA.

Its far far more than a couple dozen you just must refuse to look as most are covered up by the biggest gang in the United States. Lets say a million cops in big cities all trained military style. Profiling, illegal prisons and prisons for profit, un warrented searches, un warrented wire tapping un warrented home envasions and un warrented pat downs. Papers please. NSA has proven your rights mean crap.

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If the police state has come to you, you don't have any guns. In any police state private ownership of guns is prohibited or strictly regulated. It often starts out benign. Afterall it is better that people don't go around slaughtering one another. How much better to live like peaceful placid sheep and be guarded by good shepherds who do have guns. Unfortunately, there's never a good shepherd around when you need one. History has shown, time and again, that when people choose or are forced to live like sheep, they die like sheep when a wolf slips into the fold. The easiest way to pacify a population is to to teach it cowardness; that individuals are not and should not be responsible or take action for or in their own defense. That should be left to the professionals. So, if confronted with armed violence in such a society, you're pretty much up the creek without a paddle. The Scotch-Irish in me is revolted by such a concept. History has taught us that freedom is a privilege that must be safe guarded- especially from one's own government and that it is never wise to trust in the benevolence or gratitude of princes. We learned that the hard way in Ulster.

That armed population you laud?

They'll be the ones held up as "the trouble makers" and shot first in a true Police State.

Well I suppose it'll mean you'd never live in a police state I suppose, because you'd be dead. No matter how big your gun, or how good you are with it "the Police State" will always have people who are better armed and better wit them. Or at the very least, there'll e a lot more of them.

Your totemic, almost fetishized, guns won't protect you. They'll make you the first victim.

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If the police state has come to you, you don't have any guns. In any police state private ownership of guns is prohibited or strictly regulated. It often starts out benign. Afterall it is better that people don't go around slaughtering one another. How much better to live like peaceful placid sheep and be guarded by good shepherds who do have guns. Unfortunately, there's never a good shepherd around when you need one. History has shown, time and again, that when people choose or are forced to live like sheep, they die like sheep when a wolf slips into the fold. The easiest way to pacify a population is to to teach it cowardness; that individuals are not and should not be responsible or take action for or in their own defense. That should be left to the professionals. So, if confronted with armed violence in such a society, you're pretty much up the creek without a paddle. The Scotch-Irish in me is revolted by such a concept. History has taught us that freedom is a privilege that must be safe guarded- especially from one's own government and that it is never wise to trust in the benevolence or gratitude of princes. We learned that the hard way in Ulster.

Are you going to form a well organized militia to deal with a government gone rogue. Ya thats what I thought. The second amendment is so far out of date its pointless.

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That armed population you laud?

They'll be the ones held up as "the trouble makers" and shot first in a true Police State.

Well I suppose it'll mean you'd never live in a police state I suppose, because you'd be dead. No matter how big your gun, or how good you are with it "the Police State" will always have people who are better armed and better wit them. Or at the very least, there'll e a lot more of them.

Your totemic, almost fetishized, guns won't protect you. They'll make you the first victim.

Then while others cower with their women, they'll pry my gun from my cold dead fingers. I'd rather die like a man than live like a coward. I've owned guns all my life and never once fired one in anger. They are just tools, better to have and not need, than need and not have.

Are you going to form a well organized militia to deal with a government gone rogue. Ya thats what I thought. The second amendment is so far out of date its pointless.

You sound very civilized.

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Then while others cower with their women, they'll pry my gun from my cold dead fingers. I'd rather die like a man than live like a coward. I've owned guns all my life and never once fired one in anger. They are just tools, better to have and not need, than need and not have.

You sound very civilized.

OK Mr. Heston you better do something now rather than later.

OK Mr. Heston you better do something now rather than later. Thats what I thought.

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OK Mr. Heston you better do something now rather than later.

You sound very Canadian.
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Posted (edited)

You sound very Canadian.

I own guns and to think my neighborhood watch group could stop the military is stupid. You sound very American. Can you even name a war you won oh ya the spanish american war of what ever. Canada even beat you. If you talk the walk just walk it. Or do you want others to do it for you.

Edited by The Silver Thong

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Posted (edited)

I own guns and to think my neighborhood watch group could stop the military is stupid. You sound very American. Can you even name a war you won oh ya the spanish american war of what ever. Canada even beat you. If you talk the walk just walk it. Or do you want others to do it for you.

I wasn't claimed anything of the sort. I was explaining the history of my people, the Scotch-Irish and how gun ownership became important to us, and you guys got your back up for some reason. "The military" is not a term often used by us in that tone, because so many of us ARE the military. We think military=good. Your long winded reposte was unnecessary. A simple, "Yeah, and I'm proud of it." would have sufficed. :yes: Edited by John Wesley Boyd
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How exactly is "having a gun" going to save you when "The Police State" comes for you?

It can't. But it CAN, when the act is multiplied a thousand or a hundred thousand times, give them pause about some of their more egregious aspirations. And in the final analysis it's simply a fact that some few would actually rather die fighting than live on their knees.
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I have to agree. What has OverSword posted but examples showing a couple dozen bad cops? While there must be nearly a million cops in the entirety of the USA.

the whole point is it's not just a few individual cops, it's deeply entrenched in the system and the way that government does business. All these things were done with sanction or approval of the authorities.
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the whole point is it's not just a few individual cops, it's deeply entrenched in the system and the way that government does business. All these things were done with sanction or approval of the authorities.

Exactly who are "the authorities"? It sounds so.... Machiavellian.
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It can't. But it CAN, when the act is multiplied a thousand or a hundred thousand times, give them pause about some of their more egregious aspirations. And in the final analysis it's simply a fact that some few would actually rather die fighting than live on their knees.

Like the Palestinians you mean?

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My definition of Police State is one where only the government and criminals have guns.

If you are so afraid of your own government, corruption, etc. that you feel you need a gun to protect yourself, you might not be living in the best of places.

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Here's my problem with all of this - we sit back, read articles like this, wring our hands, and talk about how "they" are doing this.

"They" are US folks.

We have elected the people that have done this - judges, DAs, even LEOs. We've even reelected them afterwards, to multiple terms I might add. None of this has happened in a vacuum. All of this could be turned around inside of 2-4 years if we were really motivated to do so.

You get the government you deserve.

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