Skip to main content

View Diary: To the self-described "patriots" of 2013: My friends, this is NOT what tyranny looks like (177 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Wow (11+ / 0-)

    You can look back on the Occupy protests, the stop and frisk practices in NYC (hundreds of thousands stopped and frisked in a year), the police departments getting riot gear, other militaristic equipment like BearCat swat/tanks, drone surveillance, police departments clamoring for drones that would have the capability to be weaponized in the future, the FBI entrapments, the fusion centers, the new National Security Counterterrorism Center data base populated with data from innocent citizens, the airport x-ray machines and security checks, the fact that all of our electronic communications are being hoovered up and stored and that a huge data center is being built in Utah... I could go on and on and on.

    And yet you are going to deny that we are living in an increasingly police state?  How would you characterize all of those things?  Just paranoid conspiracy theory?

    It amazes me that people can just pretend certain things aren't happening or pretend it is a partisan thing.  

    Wow.  I didn't even get into half of the things that I could have and didn't even touch on the Bush era policies that this president codified or is in the process of codifying, the obsessive crackdown on whistleblowers, the NDAA, FISA, SOPA/PIPA.  It would take me all day to produce a reasonable list of all the ways that we're becoming a police state and our rights are being eroded.

    But, oh, nothing to see here! I guess.  Amazingly poorly informed or denial, I don't know which.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:10:24 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I said people here say its a police state (7+ / 0-)

      And you just proved my point again
      No this is not a police state and I can tell you never lived in  one

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:28:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's not get into "is this right now a police (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, Dirtandiron, elwior

        state".

        How would you characterize the above?

        Necessary for democracy?

        Or going against the grain of democracy?

        •  You clearly don't understand what a police state (9+ / 0-)

          is, or a democracy for that matter. If you think that a democracy is a place in which such abuses never happen, then it's no wonder you think we live in a police state.

          The difference between our very robust democracy and a police state is that a police state prohibits victims of abuses of power from seeking any kind of redress.  Our democracy is no guarantee against abuses of power. What it does guarantee is the voice of its citizens.  Your ability to wonder aloud whether or not we live in a police state is itself evidence that we do not.

          •  Explain indefinite detention then (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Agathena, elwior

            Allowing someone to be held forever without trial does fit your above definition of prohibiting victims from seeking redress.

            There is no such thing as "a little bit of cancer". It will always spread, and the NDAA is a malignant tumor.

            •  I replied to you above. (0+ / 0-)

              You are misinformed about the Patriot Act. Indefinite detention is not codified in our law by the Patriot Act.

              •  You still have to explain it (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Agathena, Flying Goat, elwior

                Fine, I'm wrong, it's not the Patriot Act. But whatever the law is called, it's on the books and the government can do it.

                Now will you explain how that's still not a police state?

                •  There is no law of which I'm aware that codifies (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Eclectablog, vcmvo2, elwior

                  indefinite detention. Our Congress has never passed such a law, and last I checked, our elections are free and fair. Indefinite detention is an example of an abuse of power that can be (and has been in the case of Jose Padilla) redressed by the courts.

                  You claim that there is "whatever law" (of which you don't offer an example) is problematic. Instead of insisting that I explain how an imaginary law isn't an example of a police state, why don't you do some research and provide us with a real example of your claim.
                   

                  •  Here it is, the NDAA signed by Obama (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Simplify, elwior

                    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

                    Now the article says the indefinite detention provisions can be waived. But that doesn't mean they will be waived. If the military calls you a terrorist, they can hold you forever.

                    The law is also being challenged in court and sanity may prevail. But if it does not, we have real problems.

                    Also, the fact that Jose Padilla's case was addressed by the courts doesn't excuse what happened. Padilla was diesels by the police state, there is no argument against that.

                  •  In case you haven't noticed, Jose Padilla (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Simplify, elwior, Dogs are fuzzy

                    was completely destroyed by his persecution. I'm sure that whatever redress was "available" to him came as small comfort.

                    The bottom line is that they can do whatever the fuck they want to you, and by the time you can get redress, it's too late -- which means the redress isn't in fact redress, it's the equivalent of a show-trial in reverse. It's just theatre. Meanwhile, only a crazy person would openly defy them, understanding the price that will be paid.

                    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:08:24 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Norm, who are you saying is indefinitely detained? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elwior

                  I'm not arguing it doesn't happen, but I think you need some specific examples, here.

                  Part of the issue - an important part - is that we are housing enemy combatants. I know of no law, domestic or international, that requires the release of enemy combatants before hostilities in which they were involved are concluded. (The Geneva Conventions apply to their treatment, release and repatriation. In light of cell-group/terrorist/non-state sponsored hostilities, I hope the Geneva Conventions are reexamined, for they may be anomalous in these times.)

                  That said, specific examples of "indefinite detention" will move the discussion better, I submit, than a fast track to declarations that a police state exists because of what our government can do.

                  2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                  by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:29:02 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The law allows it, period (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    elwior

                    We don't need to have specific examples to address a law that violates the 4th amendment. But l'll use the Jose Padilla example. His constitutional rights were violated. And if they're willing to do it once, they can and will do it again given an NDAA law that allows it.

                    •  I do not - for a second - approve of Padilla's ... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Norm in Chicago, elwior

                      ... treatment as a prisoner. That was the Bush administration at its worst, among a lot of worsts. And I think Bush & Co's post-torture treatment of him was cruel and unusual.

                      But ... Padilla was convicted of conspiring to kill people and to fund and support terrorism. Earlier, a Federal Court of Appeals recognized that his detention as an enemy combatant was justified but held that the US did not have power to detain a citizen arrested in the US and outside a combat zone as an "enemy combatant." It was not a constitutional decision as I understand it, but one resting on lack of congressional authority to do it.

                      These are arguable legal points, to be sure. I think the Patriot Act was far overreaching and I am dismayed that Congress did not oversee it during the Bush years and that the Obama administration does not propose cutting it back in significant ways.

                      But we are a nation of laws. When otherwise civilized people claim it's OK to wave guns around as an answer to laws they don't like, they're just plain wrong.

                      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                      by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:53:01 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    elwior
                    ...we are housing enemy combatants
                    And have ever since 1865...but did not get around to passing a law until 2001.  Funny that the US seemed to survive very well in dealing with enemy combatants before then.

                    Maybe we would be better to drop the extraordinary (that have now become too ordinary) powers and get back to a rule of law in which there are actual warrrants and due process.  A good listen at what Colleen Rowley has to say might be worthwhile; she had some significant experience in dealing with enemy combatants.

                    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

                    by TarheelDem on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:14:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Enemy combatants don't get Due Process. (0+ / 0-)

                      Nor are they entitled to all the other processes of American criminal law.

                      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                      by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:38:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Says what authority besides George W. Bush? (0+ / 0-)

                        Either enemy comabants get due process in US courts or they get due process as prisoners of war.  Until 2001 there were only two operative standards.  Both required due process.

                        Any other way of handling it opens up the process to arbitrary decision about who is an enemy combatant and arbitrary decisions (star chambers and kangaroo courts) about the handling.  Which is exactly what the Bush and Obama administrations have wound up doing.  And arbitrary justice is not justice.

                        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

                        by TarheelDem on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:12:15 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  And the enemy combatants (0+ / 0-)

                        ...from 1865 were restored to full citizenship even after they engaged in domestic terror campaigns.

                        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

                        by TarheelDem on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:14:41 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  How about a plutocracy then? Police state puts (6+ / 0-)

            it into too black and white terms.

            A growing oligarchy.

            Pick your term.

            But we certainly are developing a two tier justice system.

          •  seeking redress (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Agathena, Dirtandiron, a2nite, elwior

            takes expertise, which takes money and/or influence

            those who are abused by the police, the criminal "justice" system, landlords, employers, etc. don't have any of the above

            and even if eventually they get help from organizations like Legal Aid, they've probably lost more than they'll ever gain

            •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              a2nite, elwior, joanneleon
              those who are abused by the police, the criminal "justice" system, landlords, employers, etc. don't have any of the above
              Yes, if it's your word against that of a police officer, the judges tend to give the police the benefit of the doubt. So that is their end run around your rights. (I am not implying all police are bad, just explaining how the ones that are that are get away with it). Also, police can be very intimidating, which gets people to consent to searches when they might not want to. (or sign confessions, etc.)
               

              Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

              by Dirtandiron on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:26:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  There are some things that can't be redressed. (3+ / 0-)

              It is one of the mythologies of the Right and of Libertarians that all damages can be redressed. That's why the Objectivist "solution" to pollution is post-hoc fines, rather than preventive regulation.

              It's fucking fantasy. The average American will be completely ruined if locked up for more than about 3 weeks. There will be no redress for that fall into the underclass.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:11:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Well, I guess now that you have your (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior

            working definition:

            The difference between our very robust democracy and a police state is that a police state prohibits victims of abuses of power from seeking any kind of redress.
            ... you can support your assertion.

            On the other hand, since your working definition is an arbitrary criterion pulled out of your own id, it doesn't carry much freight with me, or a lot of other here.

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:04:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  While there are many issues there...... (6+ / 0-)

          that are worth discussing and i know we wlould  have some agrement on, I do not agree with people who insist this is a police state.
          My frame of reference is the year I spent in South Vietnam observing what was and is arguably the most corrupt police state in the world at that time.

          There is a whole body of agreement on Dailykos---proved above and provaable 100 times over that we live i  apolice state, fascism, tyranny.
          We do not.
          Step away fromn the computer, go out into the fresh air. Ask the first 50 people you run across if we live in a police state. I wager a lot they look at you blanklly

          I would characterize much of what is said above as Right Wing Paranoia Drsssed Up As Liberalspeak.
          Notice the RW meme: we live--or are becoming in a dictatorship, a police state!! How is that different than whatv the RW says?  If she's not for free guns for everyone then there's some inconsistency there.

          Is this real? Sorry, I live in Oregon,  an almost ALL blue state where every single person I can vote for in a partisan office, from State Rep to President IS A DEMOCRAT!!!!
          I AM A DEMOCRAT!!! (see profile, liberal too)
          I do not live in a police state and neither does anyone else in America. Anybody who says we do is just parrooting the RW meme posted herer

          that will be it for this diary for me.

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:00:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Question (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BradyB, ZhenRen, elwior

            When you say this:

            I would characterize much of what is said above as Right Wing Paranoia Drsssed Up As Liberalspeak.
            what exactly are you referring to?  I would like you to cite the exact things above that you are making this very strong accusation against as being "Right Wing Paranoia".  And because it's such a strong accusation, you are obligated to cite exactly where it is and who said it.  Back it up or retract it now.


            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:33:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Apparently (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, Dogs are fuzzy

            You never bothered to demonstrate in Portland and thus never were chemically attacked by your own "liberal" government for marching in the streets.

            Here's a photo of a person I'm acquainted with who was attacked for no reason other than exercising first amendment rights.

            Obama cheers for Arab Spring, while sending in DHS to evict protesters here doing the same thing.

            My partner from Iowa never questioned the authority of police until being in a peaceful protest in "liberal" Portland which was attacked by brutal Portland police dressed in riot gear. The irony is there was no riot or violence except that initiated by violence-prone cops.

            Now she worries about whether or not we have dossiers on us in police files, since FOIA evidence indicates Occupy protesters are considered possible terrorists in this country, and are spied upon. Recently in Portland people were arrested as suspects in local breaking of windows of banks for simply having books on Anarchist political theory.

            Free speech? It really isn't all that free.

            Call it what you will, but we don't have anything close to the freedoms people imagine, and civil rights depend much upon the class of society to which one belongs.

            Try finding a "legal" place to sleep if you're without a house. It is illegal to exist in the U.S. if you're homeless.

            PB031400

            PB031411

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:45:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Notice that "violent" gray haired elderly woman (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior

              in the photo... oh my, isn't she dangerous!

              And Cameron, the African American in the photo is one of the calmest, friendliest, most non-violent persons you will ever meet.

              But the police, and those whom they enable and protect from protest (the wealthy class of either party) deem these citizens to be a threat to democracy the capitalistic corporatocracy.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:53:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Uh huh. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior

            You once lived in one, so now you are an expert on everything that comes within the compass of "police state".

            Does it not occur to you that this is ... illogical?

            You claim to be a liberal. I've read a lot of your writing here, including various descriptions of your military career. I don't follow you, or stalk you, so you may have expressed regret and remorse for what you chose to do, to whom you chose to do it, and upon whose orders ... but if you have done so, I never saw it. The fact that you were, once upon a time, a voluntary, self-enlisted, and apparently enthusiastic elite agent of state violence against a bunch of people who, by any reasonable "liberal" analysis, were no threat to you or to anybody who might have mattered to you prior to your enlistment, and that it still doesn't seem to have occurred to you that you shouldn't have done that, is not great testimony to your liberalness. It also suggests a bit of a blindspot with respect to the shortcomings of your "homeland".

            You insist that "we" don't live in a police state -- but again, your perception is entirely about you, your experience, etc. etc. Sure, most people would blankly stare at you if you asked them whether we lived in a police state, but then most people would blankly stare at you if you asked them what habeas corpus means.

            Riddle me this, batman: Are we an empire, or not?

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:25:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You never know what rights you have (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior

              Until you try to excercize them.  Ask 50 nazis if they live in a police state.  Most of them will stare at you blankly.

              "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

              by TheFern on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:44:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You could ask 50 Amish the same question and (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TheFern

                they too might stare at you blankly.

                •  That (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LilithGardener

                  At least would be worth the effort, rewarded with wisdom perhaps.  

                  "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

                  by TheFern on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:34:11 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They firmly believe in exceptional protection (0+ / 0-)

                    under the law, reject the very idea of equal protection under the law. They believe they are bound by God's laws, not by the laws of man, and have conducted various successful campaigns of civil disobedience over time. They are exempt from a variety of laws, school curriculum to name one, and social security tax, to name another.

                    The reason they are generally law abiding, is because they seek to be ignored, to keep a low profile.

                  •  But realize, the Amish, who enjoy exceptional (0+ / 0-)

                    protection under the law here in the US, (the Amish in Europe, and those who fled to Russia did not survive, they assimilated), are among those who agree with President Ahmadinejad, "What did you say? Gay people? There are no gay people in Iran."

                    We have people with those views right here among us, who believe there are no gay people in the Amish.

                    No, we have abuses of power, and in some industries, extensive corruption, and we have a highly militarized police force, but we do not live in a police state. A friend who grew up in a dictatorship told me that before 9/11 people he knew wanted to live and work here, but didn't want to become US citizens. It was looked down on. Since then, they all want to become US citizens if they can; still have the most coveted set of rights and freedoms in the world.

                    •  The principles of the Amish aside (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      UntimelyRippd, LilithGardener

                      And they seem to be, if nothing else, very principled people. Though I admit I know very little about them.  My point is:  If we claim to be a free people, or at least if we claim to have the rights afforded to us by our governing documents,  then these rights should be on display when people actually take to the streets and exercise them.  The OWS saga demonstrated something else.  When the people took to the streets with a legitimate grievance they were met with state resistance and, oftentimes state violence.  This being the case,  you don't have guaranteed rights.  You have cherished principles.  The state (government, banks, industry) is only on the people's side if the people comply.  You have every freedom imaginable if you never use your freedoms.  If you get a face full of mace and a court date for redressing a legitimate grievance, well, you should question your freedoms.

                      "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

                      by TheFern on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:28:32 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The point of my posing the Amish as a (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TheFern

                        counter point to your example is that every society has a range of participants and it's easy to judge FROM OUR OWN CULTURAL vantage point and from what we read in news and in history books.

                        And they seem to be, if nothing else, very principled people.
                        They are highly sincere, for the most part, but I'm not sure what you mean by "principled." They have a full range of social ills as the wider society does. Part of their stability, as a culture, is that people who don't toe the line are kicked out or made miserable enough that they leave "voluntarily."  

                        They are also extremely restricted. Are they a police state? No. Do they tolerate ANY dissent? Hell, no!

                        It is a culture in which there is no art, no musical instruments, no creative writing, no science, no literature, no statistics, no calculus, no formal teaching of deductive reasoning, no statistics, no research, (I could go on and on). Most importantly there is no approval for anyone challenging of authority (except to challenge outside authority in a few well-proscribed ways).

                        There are NO gay people in the Amish, and there are NO options for women except marriage and motherhood. There is NO religious tolerance. There is no tolerance of independent thought. If you disagree you are kicked out.

                        They are an example of your point that freedoms not used can be completely lost, to the point of not being aware of what freedom could be.

                        And they are also an ironic study of the co-existence of extreme authoritarian control and American religious tolerance ("freedom" depending on where you fall on the religious practice spectrum), co-existing in a single culture, neither of which requires police or a military to maintain.

                    •  For starters, please stop equating dictatorship (0+ / 0-)

                      with police state.

                      For seconds, the enthusiasm some people have for our rights and freedoms is not necessarily reality-based. People who have lived in other highly-developed western democracies find this particular variety of American self-congratulation particular tedious. Ask the average Canadian whether she "covets" American rights and freedoms. Or the average Swede. Or Parisian. Or Nederlander. You'll be right back there in blank-stare country. People from banana republics covet a phony hollywood version of our rights and freedoms, and know nothing about how those rights and freedoms compare with the rights and freedoms of citizens of other countries -- starting with, but hardly ending at, the right to see a doctor when you're sick.

                      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:38:41 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Neither the Amish nor the other group the (0+ / 0-)

                        commentor mentioned are "average" in anyway.

                        In a country as diverse as the US "average" doesn't mean a whole lot. Even on a smaller scale, what does "average" New Yorker mean? Go ahead if you dare to answer your own question, where does an "average" New Yorker fall on the "reality based" spectrum of appreciation for realized freedoms?

                        The personal anecdote made a different point than the one you are harping on, and doesn't equate what you suppose it does. I suspect you and I might agree with much, but I find your style to be __.

                        I left it blank since you seem to be good at projecting your perspective into any comment. You probably call that "reading between the lines."

                        •  I'm sorry, but I was responding to something (0+ / 0-)

                          very specific in your comment. If I misinterpreted the point being made by this:

                          A friend who grew up in a dictatorship told me that before 9/11 people he knew wanted to live and work here, but didn't want to become US citizens. It was looked down on. Since then, they all want to become US citizens if they can; still have the most coveted set of rights and freedoms in the world.
                          please clarify.

                          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:15:58 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

    •  It's like the cuts to Social Security (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, elwior, joanneleon

      People will deny it until it actually happens. Warnings are not only not heeded, they are rejected outright. Like Social Security," there will be no cuts" until there are cuts.

      It's too late then.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:04:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (151)
  • Community (66)
  • 2016 (44)
  • Environment (43)
  • Republicans (39)
  • Culture (37)
  • Elections (36)
  • Bernie Sanders (34)
  • Memorial Day (31)
  • Labor (28)
  • Media (27)
  • Education (26)
  • Climate Change (25)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (25)
  • Civil Rights (24)
  • Barack Obama (24)
  • Hillary Clinton (24)
  • Spam (23)
  • GOP (23)
  • Economy (22)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site