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View Diary: The USA Is Not a Police State, IMO (299 comments)

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  •  How much does it take? (18+ / 0-)

    The first amendment is dead
    In NYC they blocked reporters from observing
    In Oakland they beat the hell out of an unarmed vet
    In UC Davis they set upon people sitting on the ground with pepper spray
    In Oakland they shot unarmed vets
    In NY they pepper sprayed kettled women who were complying
    In NY they blocked a bridge to arrest 700 people
    Your email is monitored
    Your phones land and mobile are tapped
    Your car can be bugged and traced 24/7
    2 million of us are in Jail
    You as a citizen can be locked up indefinitely without trial
    You as a citizen can be denied council and access to the courts
    You can be rendered to a foreign country for enhanced questioning
    Your travel can be prevented
    You can be placed in to custody as a precaution or as a preventive measure
    The can push you off a ledge and accuse you of fellony assault
    The FBI can convince you to join in a planning session talking about theoretical attacks then arrest you, they can entrap you
    If you organize a protest they will infiltrate and try to provoke you into a violent act
    If you try to tell the press about their misdeeds they will destroy your life.
    If you are walking the streets they can stop and search you with no warrant or probable cause (walking while black is a crime)
    They will set quotas for the number of arrests including stop and frisk numbers
    They will destroy evidence of their torture with impunity, even when there is a direct congressional instruction to preserve all evidence.

    To date not one "peace" officer who has shot, pepper sprayed, beaten, roughed up or abused a protestor journalist or photographer has been disciplined.

    Now tell me what will it take to get you to admit that perhaps there is a slight issue with those in authority?  And of course we do not have a police state.  But many people chose not to challenge the state because of fear that they will get on the wrong list.

    Look how many of the charges for OWS participants are Felonies.  Then think about what a Felony charge can do to you for the rest of your life.  No Food Stamps, no Vote, No collage loans, no welfare.  Its not a police state we but everyone knows that a "criminal" record can ruin your life so don't make a fuss and move allong.

    We the people no longer count, police state comes in many forms, overt and covert.  You may not even know that your home and computer has been searched......

    there is only one reality, republicans just forget at times

    by Bloke on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:56:36 PM PST

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    •  And yet in all these awful cases (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anthony de Jesus, gramofsam1, fizziks

      the defendant/victim still has due process and redress and remedy available to her in the courts. Plus, plenty of motivated lawyers ready to defend her.

      •  Will due process heal a split open head? (3+ / 0-)

        eom

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:09:27 PM PST

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      •  Except when they don't (12+ / 0-)

        The patriot act made made habeous corpus redundant, if you can not get into court where is your redress?  Aak those held in US prisons with out trial.

        In many instances the people do not get into court, or when they do it is too late.  IN many instnaces there is no due process.  or due process is a plea bargain 5 years later.  

        there is only one reality, republicans just forget at times

        by Bloke on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:11:30 PM PST

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        •  Americans held without trial (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fizziks

          or counsel are far and few between. The awful Patriot Act, reauthorized and extended by the current President, is still a work in process and hopefully will eventually be reigned in.

          Maybe it would help if progressives would stop supporting machine/status-quo democratic politicians.

          •  Ask the muslem community about that (6+ / 0-)

            How many people did Ashcroft have held after 9/11?
            How many people does it take held with out trial to matter?

            If one man is falsely held are we not all falsely held? Or more to the point the chilling effect of seeing your fellow citizen locked up with out trial or recorse ensures that others are much less likely to follow, ask Bradley Manning, it will be very interesting to see what happens if they ever get their hands on Julian Asange.  

            Of course the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth amendments come with an astrix " unless its only a few of the citizenry impacted"

            there is only one reality, republicans just forget at times

            by Bloke on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:36:03 PM PST

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      •  Yeah, right (4+ / 0-)

        Oh for Christ sakes, due process? You've got to be kidding me. Due process? Is that what they had at Guantanamo Bay? Is that what people who have been shot or Tased by the police and killed, is that what they have? Is that what you have if you're black and you get a shakedown from the cops all the time just for walking down the street? Is that what you get if you're Muslim and the police think you're acting suspiciously?

        Due process. You're living in a fantasy land.

        "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

        by Lost Left Coaster on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:57:45 PM PST

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      •  In theory, yes, they have due process (0+ / 0-)

        and redress, but only if they're millionaires like Rush Limbaugh.

        This "redress" meme is not good enough.  It's not good enough to have your rights trampled on, and then have to spend hundreds of hours to prove to some good or bad judge that you were right, not to mention the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars it's going to cost you for this so-called "redress."

        Plus, plenty of motivated lawyers ready to defend her.

        Are you aware of how many of these "motivated lawyers" who are willing to take this case on at no cost to the victim?  This isn't a contingency case, as you should know.

        The threshold is NOT to try to get away with anything you can, and then take your case to court.  

        We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

        by gooderservice on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:43:46 PM PST

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        •  Civil rights statutes (0+ / 0-)

          very often provide for fee shifting...violators pay the attorney's fees of the victims. So yes civil rights cases are often taken on contingency.

          Further remedy is provided by the electoral process. (E.g., why is Nancy Pelosi still in office?)

      •  Uh-huh (0+ / 0-)

        yeah, the woman needs to go through due process for executing her constitutional right to peaceful assembly.

        Really? Is that really your "argument"?

        There are none so blind as those who willfully look the other way.


        REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

        by lunachickie on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:14:23 PM PST

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    •  Your list is flawed (6+ / 0-)

      Just to cite a few examples, how is the First Amendment "dead"?  We are sitting here blogging about how much we hate the government.  I didn't go to church today, and nobody tried to make me.  99.9% of the people who have protested during occupy have suffered no sanction.

      Then, you mention the two million people in jail.  How many of them are there for their political opinions?  Very few.  While you may diasagree with an overly harsh and punitive sentencing structure, it does not a police state make, when it has been carried out by the courts in accordance with the law.

      I agree the car thing is really fucked up.  

      But again, we have to see these things as on a freedom/repression continuum.  We're somewhere on that continuum, but we are nowhere near where the "police states" are.

      •  try walking whilst black (0+ / 0-)

        Or driving whilst black (especially on the NJ turnpike, ask the troopers or the court that told them to stop).

        Stop and frisk is in direct contradiction to the 4th amendment and is targeted directly at minority communities.  What's more in NY the police have a history of convieniently finding evidence on those stopped (for no reason) and searched.  If you object you are resisting arrest, a fellony, if you run you risk being shot.  The police have quotas (also illegal) to meet and should an officer of integrity actiually refuse to engage in this activity their future is bleak (ask Adrian Schoolcraft).

        there is only one reality, republicans just forget at times

        by Bloke on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:42:24 PM PST

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        •  I don't think you addressed anything in my comment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1

          You have not shown that the First Amendment is "dead", and you have not shown how two million people in prison, almost none of them in for their political opinions or activities, constitutes a police state.

      •  First ammendment (0+ / 0-)

        The first ammendment covers much more than just church, specifically the freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression.

        The very first example I gave, blocking access to lower manhattan for reporters trying to cover OWS as the police raided Zucotti park should be all the example you need of the police riding roughshod over the constitution.

        there is only one reality, republicans just forget at times

        by Bloke on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:48:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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