Monday, December 05, 2011

American Justice

Fascist edition;

The amount of force the government uses to uphold a given law is no longer determined only by the threat to public safety posed by the suspect. Now, it appears to give an indication of how serious the government is about the law being enforced. The DEA sends SWAT teams barreling into the offices of doctors accused of over-prescribing painkillers not because the doctors pose any real threat of violence, but because prescription drug abuse is a hot issue right now. The feds sent SWAT teams into marijuana dispensaries not because medicinal pot merchants are inherently dangerous people, but because officials believe the dispensaries are openly defying federal law. It is, to put it bluntly, a terror tactic. Sending a couple cops with a clipboard to hand out fines and shut down a dispensary doesn't convey a strong message. Sending a bunch of cops dressed like soldiers to point guns at dispensary owners and their customers certainly does.

Ya'll know I'm not a big fan of; "why, back in my day" posts, but sometimes they do have some relevance.

When I grew up in the 70's and 80's, we just never saw these wannabie ass kicking' military style police units all that much, unless armed bank robbers were holed up in a bank with hostages. Now, it's a common occurrence.

There's two reasons for this. One is that the police have spent a lot of tax payer money training and outfitting these robocop wannabies. Second, if they weren't sent out after dime bag pot dealers, they'd have nothing else to do. Real violent crime is trending downward just as the police as beefing up their image via establishment of paramilitary units within their ranks.

It used to be you'd see the same cops every day, and you might even know them, or wave at them as they patrolled the neighborhoods (and particularly surrounding schools), and they looked like uniformed officers with a hand gun on their hip.

Now it's the ego and narcissism of police force employees who feel inadequate unless they're totting a fully automatic AR15 around. The escalation of police into paramilitary does not have a corresponding escalation of criminals into Mexican drug cartels.

They have the money to do it, the psychology pathology to do it, and so they do. Meanwhile, real community police work that used to contribute to the deterrent factor of the police presence is gone.

It'll be a self-fulfilling machine though. As the police militarize, that will cause a corresponding militarization in the average criminal and so it will escalate. Aha! say the police. Good thing we have a Navy Seal style commando unit ready to break up that hippy pot smoking cartel!


There are trends in American culture that you can see are immutable and irreversible, and others that are just a fad. Jersey Shore is a fad. The erosion of American civil liberties and the dominance of the military fetish in the police forces is not reversible. The police like it too much. Strapping on a cod piece and an assault rifle validates a man's masculinity.

Virtually every writer I read takes a broad view of such things, such as Greenwald, who really is the foremost critic of these trends. I respect and admire that, but while Glenn is very macro about American culture, I'm micro. I don't think what Greenwald is doing is going to mean anything, nor affect anything, other than to inform our discourse and inflame our passions. I'm more about the practical.

What can an individual do about what has become of the American culture of crime, a criminal law enforcement apparatus, and a culturally accepted norm of ruining every individual who gets caught up in it?

That's the easy part.

You get a lot of money, and you automatically become immune to the vast majority of it. Unless you shoot somebody in the face, or are famous and caught for a DUI bust with some coke in your purse, you're going to be fine.

If if you manage to get a significant amount of money without actually becoming "rich" (which is realistically possible) - then you can geographically determine your own fate. There are still pockets in the US where the police haven't gone completely bonkers. They're typically smaller towns, and so you lose the benefit of big city living.

The other alternative is to get the fuck out of Dodge. Canada represents the best alternative. Vancouver and Toronto represent a sane alternative to American big cities, and you feel a sense of freedom there.. a relief from the pressure of knowing you are one small stupid thing from being royally fucked over by the American judicial system.

Other people think that simply stockpiling guns is the answer. It's not. It only gives the military police more incentive to declare war on you. You can't win that war. There will be no great uprising of the American people, to wrest liberty and justice for all back from the hands of corrupt governments and police forces. The most you will ever see from the American public is "occupy Wall Street" type protests. The majority of their fellow citizens will side with the police.

There is no American Guy Fawkes. You can control your own little corner of the world though.


Bonus American Justice;

A man on a train refuses to answer a cop's question, demanding to know the man's country of origin because he has an accent. The man refuses, and is arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. The prosecutor wants the man to spend time in jail if convicted.

My advice is not to antagonize the cops by pointing out that their conduct is illegal. It's easier just to answer just to stroke the cops ego and get out of the situation.

Then move to someplace where the police are not jack booted thugs. This will likely require leaving the United States.

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