Saturday, January 4, 2014

Do we live in a police state? (Part 2)

2013 in review (Tom Tomorrow/
Throwing police power at social problems
Civil liberties? (
If all one has is a hammer then everything starts looking like a nail. If police and prosecutors are our only tool, sooner or later everything and everyone in America will be treated like a criminal. 

This is increasingly the way of life we are being forced to endure, a path that involves “solving” social problems (even non-problems) by throwing more and more cops at them, with disastrous results. 

Shut up the F up, old man! (
Wall-to-wall criminal law encroaches on everyday life as police power is applied in ways that would have been unthinkable just a generation ago.

By now, the militarization of the police has advanced to the point where the “War on Crime” and “War on Drugs” are no longer metaphors but understatements. There is a proliferation of:
  • heavily armed SWAT teams even in small towns
  • school lock downs treating children like prison inmates
  • the use of shock-and-awe tactics to bust small-time bookies
  • no-knock raids to recover trace amounts of drugs often resulting in the killing of family dogs or family members
  • waging a counterinsurgency drug war in communities where drug treatment programs were once  key...
But American over-policing involves far more than the widely reported up-armoring of our local precinct. It’s also the way police power has entered the DNA of social policy, turning just about every sphere of American life into a police matter. More

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