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http://time.com/3111474/rand-paul-ferguson-police/ I am posting this article becuase I do think our police have become way too militarized, and are being trained that we the people are the enemy. I do not know what the facts are about the initial shooting, and am not endorsing or condeming the article's content. We simply do not know what happened, but I am glad Rand has spoken up about this serious problem growing within our country. thx, Thegente Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police Sen. Rand Paul @SenRandPaul 12:26 PM ET Police in riot gear watch protesters in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 13, 2014. Jeff Roberson—AP Anyone who thinks race does not skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention, Sen. Rand Paul writes for TIME, amid violence in Ferguson, Mo. over the police shooting death of Michael Brown More Echoes of History Resound in Ferguson, Mo. Unrest Why Ferguson Was Ready to Explode If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot. The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response. The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action. Glenn Reynolds, in Popular Mechanics, recognized the increasing militarization of the police five years ago. In 2009 he wrote: Soldiers and police are supposed to be different. … Police look inward. They’re supposed to protect their fellow citizens from criminals, and to maintain order with a minimum of force. It’s the difference between Audie Murphy and Andy Griffith. But nowadays, police are looking, and acting, more like soldiers than cops, with bad consequences. And those who suffer the consequences are usually innocent civilians. The Cato Institute’s Walter Olson observed this week how the rising militarization of law enforcement is currently playing out in Ferguson: Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb? Why would cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlors? Why are the authorities in Ferguson, Mo. so given to quasi-martial crowd control methods (such as bans on walking on the street) and, per the reporting of Riverfront Times, the firing of tear gas at people in their own yards? (“‘This my property!’ he shouted, prompting police to fire a tear gas canister directly at his face.”) Why would someone identifying himself as an 82nd Airborne Army veteran, observing the Ferguson police scene, comment that “We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone”? Olson added, “the dominant visual aspect of the story, however, has been the sight of overpowering police forces confronting unarmed protesters who are seen waving signs or just their hands.” How did this happen? Most police officers are good cops and good people. It is an unquestionably difficult job, especially in the current circumstances. There is a systemic problem with today’s law enforcement. Not surprisingly, big government has been at the heart of the problem. 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. This is usually done in the name of fighting the war on drugs or terrorism. The Heritage Foundation’s Evan Bernick wrote in 2013 that, “the Department of Homeland Security has handed out anti-terrorism grants to cities and towns across the country, enabling them to buy armored vehicles, guns, armor, aircraft, and other equipment.” Bernick continued, “federal agencies of all stripes, as well as local police departments in towns with populations less than 14,000, come equipped with SWAT teams and heavy artillery.” Bernick noted the cartoonish imbalance between the equipment some police departments possess and the constituents they serve, “today, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, has a .50 caliber gun mounted on an armored vehicle. The Pentagon gives away millions of pieces of military equipment to police departments across the country—tanks included.” When you couple this militarization of law enforcement with an erosion of civil liberties and due process that allows the police to become judge and jury—national security letters, no-knock searches, broad general warrants, pre-conviction forfeiture—we begin to have a very serious problem on our hands. 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. This is part of the anguish we are seeing in the tragic events outside of St. Louis, Missouri. It is what the citizens of Ferguson feel when there is an unfortunate and heartbreaking shooting like the incident with Michael Brown. 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. Americans must never sacrifice their liberty for an illusive and dangerous, or false, security. This has been a cause I have championed for years, and one that is at a near-crisis point in our country. Let us continue to pray for Michael Brown’s family, the people of Ferguson, police, and citizens alike. Paul is the junior U.S. Senator for Kentucky.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-14/us-and-israeli-military-tactics-used-against-american-citizens-%E2%80%A6-gazans-tweet-tips-h U.S. and Israeli Military Tactics Used Against American Citizens … Gazans Tweet Tips to Help AMERICANS On How to Handle Tear Gas Submitted by George Washington on 08/14/2014 15:10 -0400 inShare6 As you may have heard, police and Swat teams in Ferguson, Missouri have fired tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters, and outlawed peaceful assembly. Police are also using stun grenades and ear-damaging military sound cannons against peaceful protesters. Reporters are among those shot at with rubber bullets and tear gas, assaulted and arrested. Glenn Greenwald notes: Reporters have been told to turn off their cameras. And a no-fly zone was established above Ferguson in order to keep news helicopters away. Last night, two reporters, The Washington Post‘s Wesley Lowery and The Huffington Post‘s Ryan Reilly, were arrested and assaulted while working from a McDonald’s in Ferguson. The arrests were arbitrary and abusive, and received substantial attention — only because of their prominent platforms, not, as they both quickly pointed out upon being released, because there was anything unusual about this police behavior. Reilly, on Facebook, recounted how he was arrested by “a Saint Louis County police officer in full riot gear, who refused to identify himself despite my repeated requests, purposefully banged my head against the window on the way out and sarcastically apologized.” He wrote: ”I’m fine. But if this is the way these officers treat a white reporter working on a laptop who moved a little too slowly for their liking, I can’t imagine how horribly they treat others.” A state senator was teargassed along with protesters. Congressman Amash tweets: And: Images & reports out of #Ferguson are frightening. Is this a war zone or a US city? Gov’t escalates tensions w/military equipment & tactics. If you want to visually see how extreme the reaction of police is in Ferguson, compare what’s going on in Ferguson to what’s happening in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan (or scroll through this page of pictures.) Someone identifying himself as an 82nd Airborne Army veteran, observing the Ferguson police scene, comment[ed] that “We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone” … What’s really going on? And how did we get here? We explained in 2011: Journalists from across the spectrum have documented the militarization of police forces in the United States, including, CNN, Huffington Post, the Cato Institute, Forbes, the New York Times, Daily Kos, Esquire, The Atlantic, Salon and many others. Many police departments laugh at and harass Americans who exercise their right to free speech. Here’s one example of police laughing at a civil rights lawyer after she was shot in the head with a rubber bullet: Indeed – especially since police brutality against protesters has been so blatant in recent months, while no top bank executives have been prosecuted – many Americans believe that the police are protecting the bankers whose fraud brought down the economy instead of the American people …. Some are comparing police brutality towards the Occupy protesters to that used by Israeli forces against Palestinian protesters. Indeed, numerous heads of U.S. police departments have traveled to Israel for “anti-terrorism training”, and received training from Israeli anti-terrorism experts visiting the U.S. See this, this, this, this, this. Indeed, the Ferguson police chief received training in crowd control in Israel in 2011. And Gaza residents are literally tweeting info on how to handle tear gas to help Ferguson citizens. Even the mainstream media is picking up on the militarized police. USA Today headlines, “Pentagon fueled Ferguson confrontation“. And Newsweek runs with, “How America’s Police Became an Army.” But they’re still blaming 9/11 as the reason for the militarization of the police. As we explained in 2011, that’s not accurate: Indeed: Most assume that the militarization of police started after 9/11. Certainly, **** Cheney initiated Continuity of Government Plans on September 11th that ended America’s constitutional form of government (at least for some undetermined period of time.) On that same day, a national state of emergency was declared … and that state of emergency has continuously been in effect up to today. But the militarization of police actually started long before 9/11 … in the 1980s. Radley Balko testified before the House Subcommittee on Crime in 2007: (And see this.) Militarization [of police forces is] a troubling trend that’s been on the rise in America’s police departments over the last 25 years. *** Since the late 1980s, Mr. Chairman, thanks to acts passed by the U.S. Congress, millions of pieces of surplus military equipment have been given to local police departments across the country. We’re not talking just about computers and office equipment. Military-grade semi-automatic weapons, armored personnel vehicles, tanks, helicopters, airplanes, and all manner of other equipment designed for use on the battlefield is now being used on American streets, against American citizens. Academic criminologists credit these transfers with the dramatic rise in paramilitary SWAT teams over the last quarter century. SWAT teams were originally designed to be used in violent, emergency situations like hostage takings, acts of terrorism, or bank robberies. From the late 1960s to the early 1980s, that’s primarily how they were used, and they performed marvelously. But beginning in the early 1980s, they’ve been increasingly used for routine warrant service in drug cases and other nonviolent crimes. And thanks to the Pentagon transfer programs, there are now a lot more of them. Huffington Post notes: And Jamie Douglas notes: Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper published an essay arguing that the current epidemic of police brutality is a reflection of the militarization (his word, not mine) of our urban police forces, the result of years of the “war on drugs” and the “war on terror. Stamper was chief of police during the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999, and is not a voice that can be easily dismissed. Ever since Ronald Reagan in 1981 helped draw up the Military Cooperation With Law Enforcement Act, quickly passed by a very cooperative congress, effectively circumventing the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by codifying military cooperation with law enforcement, the military has been encouraged to give any and all law enforcement agencies unfettered access to all military resources, training and hardware included. The military equipment was designed to be used by American fighting forces in combat with “the enemy,” but since a law was passed in 1994, the Pentagon has been able to donate all surplus war materiel to America’s police departments. The National Journal has compiled a number of statistics showing that in the first three years after the 1994 law came into effect, the “Department of Offense” stocked police departments with 3800 M-16 assault rifles, 2185 M-14’s, 73 grenade launchers, and 112 armored personnel carriers, as well as untold number of bayonets, tanks, helicopters, and even some airplanes. Regardless who will be in power in the future, the militarization of the police will continue. After all, who wants to appear as being soft on crime? These days, a chief of police’s office is like a doctor’s office, but instead of getting swamped with drug salesmen, they have very congenial visits with the merchants of popular oppression, the salesmen of weapons, various chemical agents, Tasers, body armor, and all kinds of tracking software, surveillance gear, and anything else the department may need for crowd control and to infiltrate dissidents, which are no more than US citizens wanting to restore the republic to its rightful place. The government treats copyright infringers as terrorists, and swat teams have been deployed against them. See this, this, this and this. *** It’s not just intellectual property. The government is widely using anti-terror laws to help giant businesses … and to crush those who speak out against their abusive practices, labeling anyone who speaks out as a potential bad guy. Remember: Journalists are considered terrorists in modern America. Peaceful protest is considered terrorism. As one example, the FBI treated the peaceful protesters at the Occupy protests as terrorists. More here and here Americans have lost virtually all of our Constitutional rights The U.S. government considers the entire world – including American soil – to be a battlefield As Greenwald writes: Ultimately, police militarization is part of a broader and truly dangerous trend: the importation of War on Terror tactics from foreign war zones onto American soil. American surveillance drones went from Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia into American cities, and it’s impossible to imagine that they won’t be followed by weaponized ones. The inhumane and oppressive conditions that prevailed at Guantanamo are matched, or exceeded, by the super-max hellholes and “Communications Management Units” now in the American prison system. And the “collect-it-all” mentality that drives NSA domestic surveillance was pioneered by Gen. Keith Alexander in Baghdad and by other generals in Afghanistan, aimed at enemy war populations. *** As part of America’s posture of Endless War, Americans have been trained to believe that everything is justified on the “battlefield” (now defined to mean “the whole world”): imprisonment without charges, kidnapping, torture, even assassination of U.S. citizens without trials. It is not hard to predict the results of importing this battlefield mentality onto American soil, aimed at American citizens: “From Warfighter to Crimefighter.” The results have been clear for those who have looked – or those who have been subject to this – for years. The events in Ferguson are, finally, forcing all Americans to watch the outcome of this process.
http://thefreethoughtproject.com/captain-mike-brown-case-marches-protestors/ On Thursday afternoon Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain and 27 year veteran of the force, Ronald S. Johnson, was announced to be taking over security decisions in the outraged city of Ferguson.Local law enforcement intends to stay involved, but highway patrol is now directly on the ground. During the press conference held by Governor Nixon, Johnson stated, “We are going to have a different approach and have the approach that we’re in this together”, and so far, he wasn’t lying. As several thousand gathered to march Tuesday evening, the tone seemed entirely different. People online watched tweets with baited breath waiting for the tear gas, swat, and violence from police we have seen in recent days. Except that didn’t happen. What did happen was an amazing show of what happens when police remove their helmets and treat people with dignity, and it was beautiful. “When I see a young lady cry because of fear of this uniform, that’s a problem. We’ve got to solve that.” Johnson said. The new man in charge assured the crowd there would be no blocked streets, no more disproportionate force, and actually marched side by side with the protestors. I think this one statement shouted out over the megaphone is a glowing example of what the world would be like without militarized police treating us as an enemy- “They respect us, so let’s respect them. They’ve given us the sidewalk so lets stay out of their street.” Even if this is a PR stunt, it still makes a great case against militarized police. Put away your tanks and take off your helmets… and you no longer need them. If our police stopped killing unarmed people and treating every citizen as a criminal, there would be peace.
Hey Everybody, Greetings Dinar Friends! Its rare that I post so please read this with an unpressured interest. I've been living in the Metro area of Detroit and have come to know many of our local Military Personnel. I've been involved with "Church" ministry for (I won't say how many, youll know how old I am) years. When my husband died, I pastored the church for two years and then we dispersed as we were very small and were struggling to make it against the backdrop of the "Mega" Church. That said, I have always desired to find ways to give back so I kept the 501 © (3) alive and active. The reason I'm writing this post is because I have launched a mission to provide supplemental funds, resources or direction for our Local Military Families facing struggle. From following some of you on here, it appears there may be some Michiganders among us. Soooooo, here it is. if there are some people here that would like to see what we are planning, please go to www.thinklarger.weebly.com On March 8th at a local banquet center we are hosting a 1940s USO Style Dinner Dance to raise funds for the immediate and or personal needs of the local military families. We've title it, "Fight For Our Heroes" If you read our story on the website, you will see that, while this is a true story, its just one of many that happen all around us. I'd like to invite any Michigan based members of this site to consider joining us for that great event. Thanks for your interest and time And if the RV happens before than, won't it be grand!