For decades now, I’ve seen the aftermath of botched drug raids; early morning mayhem in which police, using mauls and wearing body armor, smash through the front doors of ghetto homes, guns drawn, shouting for sleeping residents to drop to the ground. I’ve seen raids of sixteen or eighteen addresses come up empty for drugs and weapons at more than half of those locations. And of course, I’ve seen raiding officers drop a copy of the signed, documented and perfectly legal probable cause on the rowhouse floor, gather equipment, and walk out of homes from which they recovered no evidence of criminality.
“Are you gonna fix my door?” is always a stunned resident’s first question.
“You need to call the city for that,” is always the ready, ambiguous reply.
What poor and working-class communities routinely endure within the very constitutional construct of our drug war makes the wails of indignation over this NSA data-mining astonishing and embarrassing to me. And no, before you get wound up prematurely and choose the too-easy, I-didn’t-read-deep-enough argument, I am not saying that overreach in other realms of the criminal justice system justifies overreach anywhere else.
After all, no one is suggesting that we do away with court-approved search warrants for domestic crime suppression. Or dialed-numbered recorders. Or interrogation rooms. Or informants. Or just about any other law enforcement asset that can be used properly and misused egregiously. Oh, more people are now complaining about the excesses of the drug war, to be sure. But all of us understand that the existing legal weapons and strategies are there for all crimes — for murder, for rape, for robbery, for burglary. Hell, if a crew of detectives were pulling cell numbers off a tower to identify and arrest a rampaging serial rapist — and traipsing through the phone metadata of ten thousand other citizens to do it — we’d do more than applaud; we’d buy the film rights. We are comfortable with a certain level of intrusion involving all previous weapons of law enforcement, and even the use of phone metadata as it can be utilized. Why, I wonder. And why has this particular law enforcement intervention– no less legal as it was proposed to the FISA court — engaged the worst fears of many.
Considering the number of public officials that have been gunned down recently, many allegedly by Aryan Nation types, you would think that this man is either very dumb, lacks any compassion, is psychotic, or maybe just a fool.
The founder of a Colorado gun group is looking forward to November’s “hunting season” because it will be “time to hunt Democrats.”
Dudley Brown, who serves as the executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the executive vice president of the National Association for Gun Rights, used some violent rhetoric during a Wednesday interview with NPR about how gun owners would deal with Democrats who supported President Barack Obama’s proposal for universal background checks.
“I liken it to the proverbial hunting season,” Brown quipped. “We tell gun owners, ‘There’s a time to hunt deer. And the next election is the time to hunt Democrats.’”
“This is a very Western state with traditional Western values,” he pointed out. “And citizens had to have firearms for self-defense, and right now that’s still the case.”
A 2010 post on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page had placed crosshairs over Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ congressional district only months before the Democratic congresswoman was shot in January of 2011. Palin had said supporters should “reload” and use their votes to “aim for” the Democrat’s defeat.
EXCERPT: A tea party leader in Texas is defending his promotion of the American Fascist Party as something he thought was “pro-Constitution, pro-America.”
James Ives, who was listed as the president of the Greater Fort Bend County Tea Party in 2011, confirmed to The Texas Tribune on Monday that he had made a promotional video for the American Fascist Party and advocated tea party principles on a Fascist Party message board.
In the video, a man who looks like Ives sits in front of a Fascist Party logo wearing a uniform with yellow shoulder patches. Another photo shows a uniformed man sitting in front of a fascist cross. The blog that inspired Norwegian mass shooter Anders Behring Breivik describes fascist solar crosses as “symbolic representations buried deep in the regions of the brain where the primal responses to stimuli are rage, awe, and fear.” . . .
. . . “From my point of view, it was all pro-Constitution, pro-America,” Ives explained to the Tribune. “I never did anything… There really weren’t enough people involved to be a gathering, let alone a rally. It was basically a scattering of people across the continent just complaining.”
The tea party leader claimed that he his participation in the Fascist Party was part of an effort to write a novel about what he thought was a cabal. But instead of writing that novel, Ives wrote on the message board about how building the Fascist Party in America was “our spirit, our calling.”
“It will be our greatest challenge, and our sweetest victory, to finally surpass this dark menace, this numbing threat from the shadows, and replace it with the pure sunbeam that is our Fascist Faith, our Fascist Truth,” Ives wrote.