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Written by American expat living in Germany, wherein the police in 2011 fired 85 bullets, half of them were warning shots.



Dedication: this diary is dedicated to Eric Garner, whose murder/execution is documented in this diary's embedded Youtube video, where he was an unarmed African-American male placed in a chokehold and strangled to death by a New York City policeman on July 17th 2014!                   May Eric rest in peace.

Using the ballot box to lawfully disarm the American militarized police state

(Shouldn't someone ask the Ferguson P.D. why can't they wear police uniforms)?
"When you see the kind of force that's being used in Ferguson it really does make it appear that the police department there is an occupying army in a hostile territory and that is absolutely not what we want to see in the United States."
(End of quote) Senator Bernie Sanders on the Ed Schultz show (MSNBC) - Aug. 18th 2014
"The U.S. militarization of police displayed in Ferguson has been going on across America for decades" by Meteor Blades

"When cops treat people the way an occupying army would, the consequences for citizens, for constitutional protections, for the police themselves are exactly the opposite of what is needed in a civilized society. "Serve and protect" is transformed into a sick joke."

Doesn't the recent evidence coming out of Ferguson, Missouri show us that we are not dealing with a protest, but rather a rebellion against the American racist  militarized police state. Elizabeth Warren is recently quoted as saying this is not a war zone but rather America, when decrying the American police state, along with Bernie Sanders and many others tell us the answer is not to buy more tanks for the police but rather to create jobs for Americans with that money. But America's war profiteers make a lot of money selling military equipment all over the world so now that they can't make money in Iraq militarizing their streets they want to make even more money by continuing to militarizing American streets by militarizing the police even faster through the 1033 Program which provides military equipment to police essentially at federal expense. Many members of the police have served as members of the national guard or reserve in Iraq, so to them a militarization of the police seems natural given their socialization from the Iraq war! (This socialization extends to the wearing of Iraq style urban combat uniforms, as opposed to the ordinary police SWAT blue tactical uniforms, which would send a completely different message to the public). This has given America's war profiteers the opportunity to embrace fully the Iraq war socialization of many members of the police force as if it's a marriage made in heaven and a marketing dream with endless tax advantages.
War Comes Home
The Excessive Militarization of American Policing 2014 ACLU Foundation
"Militarization of policing encourages officers to adopt a “warrior” mentality
and think of the people they are supposed to serve as enemies".

(page 24 In 2013, "The Department of Defense started giving away MRAPs through the 1033 Program. According to the Department of Defense, MRAPs are designed to protect occupants against armor-piercing roadside bombs. 47 In 2007, the United States spent $50 billion to produce 27,000 MRAPs and deploy them to Iraq and Afghanistan. 48 No longer needed overseas, MRAPs have made their way into local communities. Because the ACLU launched this investigation in early 2013 and requested records only from 2011-2012, we did not ask the jurisdictions studied to send documentation of MRAP requests, so it is not possible to know from this investigation how many towns have acquired such vehicles through the 1033 Program. Media accounts put the number at around 500. 49 Dallas, Texas, has one. 50 So does Salinas, California, 51 as well as the Utah Highway Patrol. 52 And, perhaps most bizarrely, the Ohio State University Police has one—in order to provide “presence” on football game days". 53
https://www.aclu.org/...

 As such this action diary asks an important question isn't it time to put a referendum on the ballot to disarm the police, who don't need to be armed. I've been to England and I saw firsthand outstanding community policing, where many peace officers in the police dept were unarmed, that is to say they did not carry firearms. Now to be sure there are specialized units which may be called into action at a moment's notice, ready to respond 24/7 that are armed specialized units, who do carry firearms in the UK. As such shouldn't we ask is it really necessary for every single cop in America to be armed and to be armed all the time with often fully militarized firearms? Now to be clear I'm not talking about Sheriff Andy Griffith, who never wore a firearm. I am talking about real life police constables in large metropolitan areas to include London, who do not regularly carry firearms, because they believe to do so would provoke violence and put citizens in unnecessary danger.

British police come out of the comparison well. Last year only two people were shot dead by police in England and Wales, while the country's largest force, the Metropolitan Police, fired just six shots in the 2009-10 figures.
http://www.theweek.co.uk/...
Shortly after I arrived in Germany in 2011, there was a standing joke being circulated through the media which bluntly put says, that the American police kill more people in America than the crooks kill in Germany, and that this came on the back of a study that was published just 2 years ago in 2012 that showed that the German police in the previous year of 2011 shot just 85 bullets at people and half of them were warning shots.
German police used 85 bullets in 2011, according to a report.
LA police fired 90 in one incident....
LAST UPDATED AT 11:41 ON Mon 14 May 2012

But perhaps shootings aren’t the worst risk in the US. Amnesty International estimates that more than 500 people have been killed by police using supposedly 'non-lethal' Tasers since 2001.
http://www.theweek.co.uk/...

Some political activists have made the point that the militarized American police response in light of the number of in line of duty deaths is overly aggressive and cannot be justified in its use of force policies and what should happen is a more peace officer like European style community based policing model that is far less aggressive which should be adopted in the United States. This diary will not speak to that issue but will instead let you as the reader come to your own conclusions on that point as to whether or not the militarized American police response is truly justified or not.
 
American Line of Duty Police Deaths for 2014: 67
Assault: 1
Automobile accident: 15
Fire: 1
Gunfire: 27
Gunfire (Accidental): 1
Heart attack: 8
Motorcycle accident: 2
Struck by vehicle: 3
Vehicle pursuit: 2
Vehicular assault: 7

Link: http://www.odmp.org/...

It should be noted that while the federal government and private groups in America keep track of the number of police who are killed in the line of duty by being shot at, there is no part of the federal government or any private groups who track the number of citizens in America who are shot and killed by the police. So that number for the above reasons is historically and permanently unavailable, whereupon this diary invites you to draw to your own conclusions from that.
From New York Times journalist Matt Apuzzo in  PBS Newshour Interview (at 28mins, 20secs) on Aug 14, 2014  
"The idea that America's streets are so dangerous that the police are outgun isn't just born out of the data.We're looking at violent crime in the United States now
is at a generational low and police shootings have been steadily declining, shootings against police. I should note that while the federal government and private groups keep data when people shoot police, no such data is collected when the police shoot people..." (End of quote)

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/...

---------------------------------
WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised. This video below shows graphic matter wherein an unarmed African American male, Eric Garner is choked to death by a white police officer in broad daylight, on camera, with complete impunity wherein no criminal charges have been filed against the police. As this type of thing has happened thousands of times in America, can we understand the reaction of the African American community in Ferguson and across America.    

As a male of European ethnicity it is honestly difficult for me to believe that these racially profiled motivated killings by police, who are entitled to use deadly force even against unarmed Americans wherein the clear subtext is that the lives of police are more important than the lives of unarmed American citizens (as an axiomatic issue). Also why aren't students all across America today following the lead of the students at Howard University, peacefully posing for pictures like the one below.

Before the tragedy in Ferguson unfolded where a young unarmed African American male by the name of Micheal Brown was killed, and I would argue actually racially profiled and murdered by white policemen, I wrote about a young 13 year old boy by the name of Andy Lopez who was also racially profiled and was killed wherein he was initially shot in the back (by a white policeman who was an Iraq war veteran) on his way home while carrying a plastic toy BB gun next to a field that was a regular playground for neighborhood kids.

Prior to that  I wrote about a mentally disturbed African American man who had a knife in his hand and was killed by New York City Police running racial profiling operations in the most iconic of American places, right in Times Square in the heart of New York City.

  I recently had an important conversation with a European friend who was as rightly disturbed by the American militarized police state as I was. He related to me a personal experience that deserves your attention, wherein over here he reported a knife wielding mentally disturbed man to the police, they responded. The man came at them with a knife and these police officers exercised such restraint, that they actually got into their cars and closed the doors. The man then proceeded to damage their police vehicle smashing the headlights and causing other damage. The officers stayed seated until such time as a canine police patrol unit appeared on the scene. At which point a dog subdued the man and he was taken into custody without any serious injury. My friend recalls seeing the man waving at him behind a fenced mental health facility, waving at all cars as they went by. He was alive and well and hopefully on his way to recovery with the help of competent health care professionals at a hospital facility. Given our experience as Americans I would have to say it would be very unlikely that this man would have been allowed to survive in most jurisdictions in the United States, because American police are trained differently!

* Here's a link to the German article, wherein the machete wielding intoxicated mentally disturbed German man was shot once in the leg and survived  (June 11th 2014) .
Isn't it time we imported European police officers from the German police service and the police services of other European countries to train American police to stop summary firing squad time executions of mentally disturbed people by police in the United States. Certainly its an international badge of shame how poorly in the use of force American police are trained compared to their European counterparts who displayed  a much higher level of competence in this regard.

By contrast, near Ferguson in St. Louis the police shot  a mentally deranged young African American male from accounts in possession of a butter knife, police fired 8 times, killing him. This is real evidence of how poorly trained the American police are compared to European police forces as in the example of Germany.  


(Clearly these statistics for the Ferguson Police must be seen as badge of shame).


We in America actually have more people in federal, state and local lockups, than we have service members in the active duty military. This is an enormous loss of human potential, which has become an international badge of shame in the militarized American police state. The only protection that we as citizens have against the militarized police state is the ballot box. We must vote the militarized American police state out of existence in order to protect public safety and our democracy. We must act bravely and swiftly to stop this criminalized police state from robbing still more of our needed taxpayer funds, so that greedy war profiteers, who have grown fat and rich on human misery, the world over now believe they have found a new market segmentation, this time on American streets. They are now doing to the American people what America through military intervention and through the intimidation of gunboat diplomacy has done all over the world, where we have well over 200 military bases worldwide. There is always plenty of money for the worldwide American police state, but there is never enough money for universal medical care, dental care, prescription medications. There is never enough money for American food security, environmental protection and rebuilding crumbling critical infrastructures. Our last line of defense is the ballot box, because it is only through the ballot box that we can save our communities from the American militarized police state.  

Regarding the rebellion taking place in Ferguson. The Reverend Jesse Jackson has been quoted by the BBC as detailed below with what one may only refer to as sobering words indeed. Please give Reverend Jackson's remarks and full article a close read.

'Overkill'

Earlier, following a rally organised by civil rights activist the Reverend Jesse Jackson, he described Mr Brown's death as part of "a pattern around the country of a black man being shot by white police, [falsely] arrested, stop and frisk, excessive jailing."

"This is a kind of lynching in 2014," Mr Jackson added.
http://www.bbc.com/...

Please let's remember as the American working class continues to be pushed to the wall by the 1% and their Wall Street surrogates, the pockets of the third world will continue to grow as will the militarized police force to ensure the oppression by the rich of America's poor and working class. Therefore the militarization of America's police forces are a frightening trend which must be addressed by the voters at the ballot box. If our politicians don't show the political will that's necessary then our voters must organize referendum ballot measures in order to protect public safety and to ensure the continued democracy of the United States.

  Please note the intent of this action diary is not to provide any comprehensive treatment of the subject matter, but rather merely to provide an ice breaker type discussion starter in a public space by American voters!

PS: UPDATE: 20th August 2014
 Eric Holder Attorney General of the United States announced today that he will be visiting Ferguson shortly, so there is good reason for hope, and we must always work to support each other and keep hope alive. So there is some hope of
a prosecution under Federal law. This is important because any hope of a successful prosecution under Missouri laws all but zero! In fact in states like Missouri the laws are specifically written to make a successful prosecution in cases like Michael Brown all but impossible, especially when the killer is a policeman. While the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt who killed Michael Brown. Basically once that's done the person who killed him only has to provide evidence that he was acting in self-defense, instead of being required to mount a vigorous, full on affirmative defense. The evidentiary standard for a claim of self-defense under Missouri law is so low, it would be almost impossible for a policeman through his own testimony, stating he was in fear and acted in self-defense wouldn't be sufficient. This evidence may be established through the killers own testimony. In which case Missouri law so heavily in its weight favors the killer, that any reasonable chance of a conviction becomes so unlikely, especially in the case of a policeman being the killer, that it's extremely unlikely that the prosecutor would ever pursue such a case, because securing a conviction, especially if the victim is African-American and the killer is a policeman, under Missouri state law the situation becomes essentially almost hopeless. Therefore the visit of Eric Holder, as the Attorney General of the United States offers some real hope of a federal prosecution being effectuated in the matter of Michael Brown's civil rights being violated.

--------------------------------------------------------
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Daily Kos: Democrats Ramshield
http://www.dailykos.com/....

My email address: democratsramshield@yahoo.com

Originally posted to Democrats Ramshield on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:24 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Local communities are following federal lead (18+ / 0-)

    What local gov't is going to turn down such largesse?  I'm curious as to whether any have done so.  

    It is pretty sick that libraries and schools are seeing severe budget cuts while law enforcement gets new toys.  It was equally sick that the crushing of local Occupy movements from coast to coast was coordinated at the federal level.

    It's both a national and a local problem.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 04:54:18 AM PDT

  •  America is a war zone if you're not white nt (7+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 05:00:49 AM PDT

  •  It doesn't have to be this way (27+ / 0-)

    STOP the Drug War.   Repeal the Controlled Substances Act.   Defund the DEA.

    End the 1033 program, which has a troubled past anyway.   It was suspended back in 2012, when it was discovered that sensible police that realized they needed money more than MRAPs, were selling their equipment, thus flooding the civilian market with military equipment.

    Require that police officers carry cameras.

    Have more programs like this.   Sometimes, Texas gets it right.

  •  Not going to happen. Even if such a thing becam... (4+ / 0-)

    Not going to happen. Even if such a thing became the number one issue priority among all voting Americans today, this November only one third of the Senate will be on a ballot. So the other two thirds can still easily squash any such intention. It would take until the 2016 election for a two thirds majority in the Senate to be voted in, 2017 until it is in office and the bill could even be introduced.

    Three years, and that is if everyone dropped every other issue completely and focused only on reversing local police militarization.

    That sort of shift in focus is not going to happen.

    So, those with a handle on reality should begin to cogitate on the high likelihood that things will continue as they are until something BIG happens, and all hell breaks loose.

    Other contributing factors are worsening income inequality, the march of time as people retire and approach retirement without early anything in the way of retirement funding, general wealth-class friction, and unemployment.

    It's like a ball beginning to roll downhill. At first it moves deceptively slowly, so people react too slowly. When it finally dawns on them that the speed of the ball has gotten out of hand, it is almost too late. All of those contributing factors are a downward slope on which we are rolling. And I don't see anyone truly racing to stop our descent.

    •  your comment could be about (7+ / 0-)

      climate change
      gun violence
      TBTF
      and about fifty other pressing issues that collective America has decided to steadfastly ignore. well, except for prepping for the war against our "difficult" citizens.
      Bummer.

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:36:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are a LOT of contributing factors. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sorry that I did not list your personal pet favorites. It wasn't intentional. You'll have to get over it.

        MLK never really took back these words - "Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we have to just give up and let violence take its course. The nation won't listen to our voice - maybe it'll heed the voice of violence."

        by JayFromPA on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:30:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  don't look now, but (4+ / 0-)

          the post you responded to wasn't enumerating all those other things because of

          personal pet favorites
          Not to mention, this is the issue the diary you are commenting in is essentially responding to:
          prepping for the war against our "difficult" citizens
           

          So what was your actual point initially, again? Oh, this?

          That sort of shift in focus is not going to happen.

          Ahh, another member of the Crystal Ball brigade. Where are you people when I need the winning lotto numbers?

          "Counting on people having nowhere else to go is the logic of a slumlord."--Wolf10

          by lunachickie on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:40:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  just amplifying your point, Jay (0+ / 0-)

          which seemed to me to be that our incumbent protection racket makes real systemic change near impossible. I agree. On many issues.
          Not every comment on the internet is designed to antagonize. Have a good day.

          Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

          by kamarvt on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 09:13:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah. I see. Sorry. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kamarvt

            As explanation, I usually engage in dkos threads that are more stubborn and emotional. It sets a trend of expectation.

            MLK never really took back these words - "Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we have to just give up and let violence take its course. The nation won't listen to our voice - maybe it'll heed the voice of violence."

            by JayFromPA on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 10:16:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  "And I don't see anyone truly racing to stop our (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayFromPA, lunachickie, divineorder

      descent."

      Half the people lack sufficient concern and are impervious to persuasion, the other half consists predominantly of people who are paralyzed with foreboding, hopelessness, and understandable learned helplessness.

      The people who are engaged in activism and/or prepared to drop everything and do so given some broader, popular commitment don't appear to be significant enough to have hit the radar yet. I suspect partly because they are so fragmented and disorganized. It's a "movement" that is a inch deep and a mile wide and, in a way, it ironically appears to disprove one of its own points, which is that de-centralization of authority is better, because it can't seem to compete with concentrated authority yet.

      Overall, it's a recipe for disaster and, as you say, there is effectively no discernible "race to stop our descent."

      I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      by Words In Action on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:49:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just don't think it's "half and half" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ypochris, storeysound

        it's just that the "extremes" of either "side" are always highlighted, in particular by a media tasked with keeping us divided and hopeless. IMO, there's roughly about 15% on either "side" and the rest fall somewhere in between, whether they are

        paralyzed with foreboding, hopelessness, and understandable learned helplessness
        or not...

        "Counting on people having nowhere else to go is the logic of a slumlord."--Wolf10

        by lunachickie on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:44:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Campaign Finance Reform (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NearlyNormal, divineorder

      While I agree with much of what you wrote, there is a way to begin to address both this very real and pressing problem, and the myriad other real and pressing problems in our country and the world.

      The starting line for wholesale change in this country is Campaign Finance Reform.

      If we want to address the militarization of local police; or climate change; or the disenfranchisement of our neighbors; or investment in infrastructure; or, or, or....we must get money out of politics.

      We are the 99% we've been waiting for -DCBlue - 8.12 - 6.56

      by DCBlue on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:15:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So basically… (0+ / 0-)

        You want to add even more of a time delay. Everyone drops everything else except for campaign-finance reform, which a bill won't be introduced truly until 2017, and then shift focus to local militarization, which depending on the elected officials at the time could require two MORE election cycles, meaning the armored vehicles stay on the streets until at least 2021.

        You have given a perfect illustration of the ball rolling downhill.

        MLK never really took back these words - "Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we have to just give up and let violence take its course. The nation won't listen to our voice - maybe it'll heed the voice of violence."

        by JayFromPA on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:29:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is the most needed change. Period. (0+ / 0-)

          As I mentioned, (IMHO) every other wholesale change begins with Campaign Finance Reform.  (partly for the reasons you mention in the comment I replied to)

          You seem focused on why change can't happen.  That's fine, and yes it is an uphill battle.  Always has been, always will be.  I've been on national, state, Congressional and local operations and it.is.not.easy.

          However, if you don't offer what you believe to be potential solutions; if you throw your hands up in the air and say "meh, the balls already rolling down hill, I would posit that at least as it pertains to the battleground in your head, "they" have won.

          I for one will never let them win my mind.  And I will always work for progressive change.  And as I mentioned, the gateway for the change that I see we need can be realized beginning by addressing the (massive amount of dirty) money in politics.

          You haven't said why you disagree with my comment and analysis (other than it could take some time), just that you do.  Your concern is noted.

          We are the 99% we've been waiting for -DCBlue - 8.12 - 6.56

          by DCBlue on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:49:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's how you feel. Others differ. (0+ / 0-)

            You've got me wrong. I'm not focused on why change can't happen.

            I observe why it won't happen.

            You say campaign finance is priority one.
            Others say it is income inequality.
            Or some third group says it is wage discrimination.
            Or still others say climate change is top if the list.
            And the group that says police militarization is most urgent.

            That fracturing of direction, THAT is why substantive change will not happen until something BIG happens that stuns EVERYONE into focusing on one issue.

            MLK never really took back these words - "Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we have to just give up and let violence take its course. The nation won't listen to our voice - maybe it'll heed the voice of violence."

            by JayFromPA on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:59:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can vote for candidates supporting all reforms (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DCBlue

              it's not a pick-only-one list.

              we don't need to crawl like snails obliquely toward Justice.

            •  Different words, same analysis. (0+ / 0-)

              Okay, you've observed that change won't happen.  (I disagree, but whatever)

              Now what?

              I'll tell ya now what:

              I and many many other people will continue to work towards change and you might continue to say it can't be done; won't be done.  That's fine.  Won't sway resolve.

              And I and many others will continue to point at those concerned that change is impossible and ask "what are you doing to work towards change."  From your posts in here, it seems like you're not doing much.  That's fine.  Your prerogative.  If you are, then my apologies.

              But honestly, it sounds almost as if you're cheering the fracturing, but I won't go as far as to say that.  But, what I will say is that you're either part of the solution or part of the problem.

              Hope you have a nice afternoon.

              -Blue

              We are the 99% we've been waiting for -DCBlue - 8.12 - 6.56

              by DCBlue on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 09:50:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I see the difference. (0+ / 0-)

                Difference between can't and won't.

                We are trying the Sisyphean task of pushing the rocks up the hill.

                "Can't" means we have the strength and push but are blocked.

                "Won't" means we are not blocked, we merely won't gather together behind one boulder at a time.

                It's not the same words.

                MLK never really took back these words - "Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we have to just give up and let violence take its course. The nation won't listen to our voice - maybe it'll heed the voice of violence."

                by JayFromPA on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 10:20:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Why do you write in extremes? Who said anything (0+ / 0-)

          about dropping "everything else"??

          If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel the Elder, Ethics of the Fathers. Corporadeus

          by Floyd Blue on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 09:44:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's how the right wing got us here. (0+ / 0-)

            They took turns. The anti-immigration crowd, free market crowd, christian-only crowd, whites only crowd, free-trade crowd, and whichever groups make up the right wing. The others all jumped in and supported the free-trade crowd, then they switched over to the free-market crowd, then another crowd got their turn.

            They each took a time in the backseat while some other segment of the party took the steering wheel.

            That's why I think we need to be more unified and take turns on our issues.

            MLK never really took back these words - "Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we have to just give up and let violence take its course. The nation won't listen to our voice - maybe it'll heed the voice of violence."

            by JayFromPA on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 10:30:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Two words: Local elections. (6+ / 0-)

      It's the local government that controls the police.

      •  dd - BINGO ,the chief of police is hired by the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prognosticator, 88kathy

        mayor and/or city council of every city. Those are political races where personal involvement is easiest and change can happen quickly. Police department hiring, training, and resources are local issues and be impacted by local political involvement.

        "let's talk about that" uid 92953

        by VClib on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:40:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup, it's city or county level control of police (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DCBlue, cville townie

          I don't know about St. Louis County, but in the City of Ferguson at least, there ought to be enough people motivated to get a majority to vote and change how that city is run.

          If the city police are so bad that you'd be better off turning things over to the county police, they could simply disband the city police. A better course of action might be to get control of the city police, perhaps starting with a law that says patrol officers can't be armed.

          Certainly any community that is majority black should not have to deal with rampant police profiling and police violence, if they are well organized politically.  

          •  The cops have voters locked down (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cville townie

            Apparently, there's so many outstanding bench warrants for traffic tickets in Ferguson and surrounding poor communities, that they average 3 per household.

            Three bench warrants PER HOUSEHOLD.

            Convicted felons do not get to vote.  People on probation might be able to, but probably won't.

            Fugitives definitely won't.

            Thus has the over-policing, over-fining, protection-racket thuggery of the Ferguson PD and court system resulted in disenfranchisement of a large chunk of the "poor vote".  Without those voters, nothing will change.

            The only alternative I can see, is to get the entire Ferguson city charter invalidated due to Federal corruption and racketeering charges.  It's happened before, where a small town was found to be systematically fleecing everyone not holding public office... the end result was that the state police took over the patrols, and the town itself went back to 'unincorporated'.

            One could argue that such a move would kill necessary social services, such as fire, EMS, schools, and so on.  I would say, if it's as bad as we can see here?  Start over.

            "Tabula Rasa, gentlemen.  Wipe the slate clean." - Will Patton as General Bethlehem, "The Postman"

            If your sole and entire rationale for doing something is "It's not illegal." then perhaps you should rethink doing it.

            by dcnblues on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 11:42:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Convited felons can GOTV. They can make sure (0+ / 0-)

              granny gets to the polls. They can watch the kids while sister and brother vote. They can bring pizza and water to people waiting in line.

              As Lincoln said.

              I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go

              We need to make sure everyone in the culture knows, votes matter and just because you can't vote, doesn't mean you can't matter.

              Protest that works comment by nomandates Registration Table Change the culture 100% registration.

              by 88kathy on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 04:38:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  acerimusduz - I think it would be very difficult (0+ / 0-)

            to recruit police officer candidates to any LEO in the US if one of the stipulations would be that they cannot be armed. With the proliferation of firearms in the US I don't think that unarmed police officers are a possibility.

            "let's talk about that" uid 92953

            by VClib on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 04:47:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  If the demonstrators were screaming (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cville townie

        WE'RE REGISTERED NOW

        It would scare the crap out of them. The No Justice No Peace didn't work then and it won't work now.

        Protest that works comment by nomandates Registration Table Change the culture 100% registration.

        by 88kathy on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 12:14:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Shortened: Too hard. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DCBlue

      Same argument you use for other topics.

      This better be good. Because it is not going away.

      by DerAmi on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:29:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. Just the people are too selfish. (0+ / 0-)

        They can't work together. They all have their own "most urgent" issue, and that divides the voice of the people into segments that are more easily beaten.

        What we have here is like ten sofas that all need to be carried up the stairs, and each of the ten owners is demanding that their sofa be carried up first. Result: NOBODY gets a sofa because NOBODY is willing to give way to someone else.

        Why did the right get so successful? They worked together and took turns combining forces for each other.

        That needs to happen on the left, or substantive progress won't be made.

        MLK never really took back these words - "Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we have to just give up and let violence take its course. The nation won't listen to our voice - maybe it'll heed the voice of violence."

        by JayFromPA on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 09:06:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Once again --- The big thing that needs to happen (0+ / 0-)

      is voters need to stop thinking votes don't matter.

      Koch's evidently think votes are worth a lot of money. But it is still votes and it's not too late.

      And NO, JayFromPA -- we don't need the shit to hit the fan and all the 2nd Amendment nuts to save us.

      Protest that works comment by nomandates Registration Table Change the culture 100% registration.

      by 88kathy on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 12:12:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You failed your Rorschach test. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not thinking about  2a  people. You are, but that's not what's in my mind.

        I still think voting will work, it's just that the left is still too fractured on their "prime issue" to send a clear command to their electeds to knock off all other shenanigans and cement some solutions in place 'right fracking now'.

        You've got your prime issue of banning guns. Others have other prime issues.

        The phrase is "divide and conquer". We've been divided and have been getting slowly conquered.

        Time to stop being divided. Strength in solidarity. Except I don't think that will happen until something that affects more people than the crash of 08 happens.

        MLK never really took back these words - "Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we have to just give up and let violence take its course. The nation won't listen to our voice - maybe it'll heed the voice of violence."

        by JayFromPA on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:42:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thought BIG THING was code for shit hit the fan (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayFromPA, Miggles

          Actually my prime issue is high speed trains.

          Protest that works comment by nomandates Registration Table Change the culture 100% registration.

          by 88kathy on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 04:33:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a good issue. (0+ / 0-)

            I would really like to have those running the eastern seaboard. 18 hours to florida is just too much.

            Unfortunately, I don't think that prime issue is able to get everyone behind it before everyone gets behind other things like fair taxation of corporations and fair taxation of the high incomes.

            I'm not going to put it in code, I'll say it straight out: You should consider accepting that some of these other issues must necessarily come before yours gets the spotlight.

            The logic goes: Fair taxation of corporations and high incomes will result in tax revenues that will feed the funding needs that have long been too neglected. Like the VA, like medicare and medicaid and oversight of the banking system and investments in renewables. High speed trains won't get built without money, so money must come first.

            Again, from the start:
            My prediction is that all the people are too dedicated to their personal pet prime issues. You with your trains, others with climate, a third group with X or Y or Z. X
            Separated, their voices do not create a single command to the elected suits of "THOU SHALT DO X", but the separated voices sound like white noise.

            And the inability of the left to put aside their personal prime issues and join together to tackle one at a time, that is our undoing.

            And while we are giving off white noise, time passes and hard deadlines arrive and pass by. Deadlines for climate change. Deadlines for more and more of the aging who have had their retirements stolen by bank shenanigans. Deadlines for those who have been dying due to VA sweeping of problems under the rug.

            So can you put aside high speed trains and push for something that isn't your personal most important thing? Or will you continue to be a participant in creating white noise?

            Rose Tyler: "Doctor, they've got guns."
            Dr Who: "And I haven't. Which makes me the better person, don't you think? They can shoot me dead but the moral high ground is mine."

            by JayFromPA on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:27:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  You ignore the fact that there already is a (0+ / 0-)

      majority in the Senate. It just has to be built on, and only needs to reach 60 seats, not the 67 that would constitute a 2/3 majority to become filibuster-proof.

      Republicans - A pathology, not a party.

      by storeysound on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:23:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No I didn't ignore that. (0+ / 0-)

        It's not merely having a majority, it's having the majority that is constructed by issue-commanded electeds.

        Remember when we did have a majority just a few years ago? Remember how dems bolted from the party often enough that obama damn near had specter (pa) and collins and whats-her-name from maine on speed dial?

        THAT is why just having a majority is not enough. Map out the list of senators up for the ballot this november, it is Class 2 of the senate - ten of the dems are in reddish states and won't be staying around if they go much to the left. Kicking out mcconnel would be a net gain of zero if even one of them loses.

        That is the danger of partisan politics - it's all about the brand name and nothing about the issues. The right wing has managed to herd their pols according to their issues, while we have done squat. That sort of thing doesn't happen on a dime, it takes time and persistence over more than just one election.

        Hence, I say that at minimum it would take two elections to change the fundamental personality of the senate from the current partisan thinking to an issue-centric focus.

        MLK never really took back these words - "Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we have to just give up and let violence take its course. The nation won't listen to our voice - maybe it'll heed the voice of violence."

        by JayFromPA on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 03:26:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  While I agree with the diary, none of it (8+ / 0-)

    makes one scintilla of sense UNLESS you also forward candidates for office fiercely supportive of this sort of reformist agenda.

    In other words, NO pols like HRC, whose support for the MIC is legion.

    Of the almost 1,900 dead Palestinians, the IDF said it killed "900 terrorists" in Gaza. Add that to its long list of lies.

    by pajoly on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:20:00 AM PDT

  •  Also, frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if those (6+ / 0-)

    military assets were turned against the fed gov't under certain circumstances. It is not unheard of for law enforcement and military to change sides and join insurrections. Would anyone doubt this could happen in certain red states if, say, gun control were pushed too far?

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:34:35 AM PDT

  •  There is a curious pattern in the map of MRAPS (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DCBlue, Gooserock, unfangus, jayden

    The South has so many more crowd control vehicles in per portion to their population.
    It appears to be a quantification of racial fear.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:33:38 AM PDT

  •  And the shooter of Andy Lopez (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    returns to patrol duties now.  Back down to Moorland Avenue on his old beat

    "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man..." Robbie Robertson

    by NearlyNormal on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:46:47 AM PDT

  •  I started teaching in 2000. At the time, many of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, jayden

    my students spent time in Europe. They were shocked to se police in Germany and the Netherlands with semi- automatic military looking weapons.
       Things have changed a lot since 9-11 and the foundation of the Department of Homeland Security.
       More than the military toys, though, there needs to be a change of policy about the way police react to the public. They need to go back to trying to defuse violent situations rather than trying to dominate them.  

  •  Its a tragedy to say the least. Hopefully, this is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    storeysound

    a wake up call for African Americans to get out and vote. Protests are only  a portion of the fight. Votes matter.....

  •  The only reason I am not moving back to the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    USA is because I have children.

    This better be good. Because it is not going away.

    by DerAmi on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:22:42 AM PDT

  •  Brit Cops vs US Cops (6+ / 0-)

    here is footage of the arrest of the two Islamist psychos who murdered a soldier in Woolwich, London.

    Note that despite the fact that the two were standing in the street covered in blood and armed with blades and a gun, life goes on and the area is not in any form of police lockdown.

    And count how many shots are fired. Shots that hit the targets in the legs and arms, despite one of them actually charging at the officers with a gun in his hand.

    You will only need your fingers.

    https://www.youtube.com/...

    NOW

    wobble off and find footage of the arrest of the last Boston bomber - the one that hid in the boat. Listen to the crackle of gunfire. I challenge you to count the shots, as its a constant racket like Chinese firecrackers going off for around 20 seconds or more.

    UK: - a small team of specialist armed response officers in basic anti-stab vests take down two psychos with a handful of shots, killing neither yet making sure the threat is neutralised while life goes on normally just a few paces away on a busy high street.

    US: an army of heavily armed paramilitary forces dressed like NWO stormtroopers, with APCs, snipers, heavy weaponry, helecopters and more guns than a fecking Texas gunshow, have to lock down the whole city to shower two idiot teenagers in a monsoon of lead heavy enough to cover a cathedral roof.

    Now remind me just how safe you feel with your police on the streets.

  •  Thanks to everone for your support of the diary. (0+ / 0-)

    You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

    by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 11:07:25 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the great diary DR! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    "Better to fight for something than live for nothing." - George S. Patton

    by tinhut on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 11:28:05 AM PDT

  •  COMPARISONS OF FERGUSON? (0+ / 0-)

    IF ANY COUNTRY IS INTELLECTUAL THEN WHY MAKE UH
    COMPARISONS? THAT IN AND OF ITSELF SPEAKS VOLUMES OF FLAGRANT IGNORANCE ESPECIALLY IN LIGHT OF COMPARISON TO HUMAN PREJUICE.
    COMPARING MYSELF TO YOU IS BLATANT PREJUDICE AND YET ALL OVER THE WORLD WE DO EXACTLY THIS FOR MONEY/ COMMERCE. (GERMANY? AND THE NAZI'Z WERE VERY NATIONALISTIC AREN'T WE ALL? SOMETIMES? IGNORANTLY ENOUGH - UH DOESN'T THIS NEED CHANGE?)
    SO? WHICH COUNTRY DOESN'T DO PSYCHOTIC BEHAVIOR AND COMPARE ITSELF PREJUDICAILLY TO OTHERS?
    ONLY ONE THAT I KNOW OF TODAY BUTAN A TINY COUNTRY ALMOST INSIGNIFIGANT IF YOU HAVE TO MEASURE ANYTHING AGAINST IT. AND YET THESE PEOPLES DO NOT BASE THEIR LIVES ON MONEY AT ALL-
    THE REASONS WHY THERE IS SO MUCH VINDICATION ATTACHED TO THE LITERAL MESS PEOPLE MAKE OF PREJUCIDE COMES FROM  ONLY FOLKS  TA DA !!!CHILDHOOD. WHERE YOUR RIGHTS ARE TAKEN FROM YOU AND TRIVIALIZED AS UNIMPORTANT.
    THERE HAVE BEEN QUOTES FROM PEOPLE ALL OVER THE PLACE ABOUT OTHERS BEHAVIORS AND YET WE HAVE NOTHING TO SAY REALLY !!!! WHY? BECAUSE ON EVERY SIDE WE ARE DOING WHAT WE ARE CONDEMING AS WRONGFUL BEHAVIOR AND CALLING IT NORMAL WHEN IT ACTUALLY IS PSYCHOTIC AND MOST UNNATURAL TO BASE LIFE ON .
    TO ALLOW AND TOLERATE PSYCHOTIC LIFE LEADS ONE TO QUESTION ONES CHILDHOOD FOR THE REASON(S) YOU DO NOT SEE WHAT YOU** ARE DOING ACTUALLY
    ALL GOVERNMENT ALL PEOPLE WHO BASE LIFE ON NUMBERS AND JUST TALK FOR THE INTELLECTUALIZM THEY SEEM TO PRIZE ARE BASELESS CLAIMS TO KNOWING SOMETHING  THIS WAY. WHILE YOU LIVE IN POISON AND DO NOT SEE WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO YOUR VERY LIVES.
    EVERYTHING WE DO TEACHES US TO BE AFRAID OF MAKING MISTAKES FROM WHEN WE ARE VERY LITTLE ALSO. AND SINCE WHEN WERE ANY OF US BORN PERFECT ? CHILDREN ARE LIKE THE CAVEMAN WHO YES THEY CANNOT TALK (UNTIL LATER)HOWEVER THEY KNOW WHAT YOU EXPECT OF THEM AND VERY QUICKLY- SOMEHOW AND WITH SCIENTIFIC PROOF. CHILDREN COMMUNICATE BY READING YOU WITHOUT UNDERSTAND YOUR WORDS AND IF YOU LOOK AT YOURSELF THIS TYPE OF COMMUNICATION IS STILL PROBABLE IN ADULTS . NOTICE HOWEVER THE HUGE PREJUDICE OF THE CHILD AND HOW LITERALLY UNIMPORTANT THEY / US ARE REGARDED.   HOW DOES ANYONE LEAD A HUMAN BEING INTO BELIEVING THEY ARE LIVING A  NORMAL LIFE WHEN IT IS A PSYCHOTIC LIFE? BY EXERCISING THE OLD WAY OF RAISING YOUR CHILDREN AND IGNORING THEIR RIGHTS AS INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE. THIS IS HOW YOU REPEAT VIOLENCE, MACHINE LIKE BEHAVIORS THAT SIMPLY DO WHAT THEIR TOLD TO DO & NO MATTER WHAT IT IS !!!  OK? FOLKS? SO DO WE LIKE OURSELVES? DO WE LIKE THIS LIFE?  WE MIRROR WHAT WE BELIEVE AND IT LOOKS THE WAY IT LOOKS FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD . HUMILIATING? IT SHOULDN'T BE - - - - -

  •  How much Money? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    storeysound

    THese war manufacturers get paid huge amounts to supply the military over and over and the surplus - "Last Year's Models" are then cleared out at pennies on the thousands of dollars. That means that there has to be some MROE military contracts for MORE of it. Much better than when we cut our defense budget. Ah well. Until it all stops - none of it stops.

  •  Using the ballot box to end the Iraq war. (0+ / 0-)

    That went really well.  NOT.   The sad fact is the two-party system doesn't allow us to vote on most issues.   There is no anti-militarism or pro-civil-liberties party to choose when the choices are limited to D and R.

    •  USING THE BALLOT BOX TO END THE IRAQ WAR (0+ / 0-)

      YOU ARE SO CORRECT!
      WE NEED THOSE BILLS TO VOTE ON
      IN THERORY AND THEN THERE IS PRACTICE
      WHO IS THE THERORY  THE PRACTICE MOST OF US COULD SUFFER FROM IF SOMETHING IS NOT DONE EFFECTIVELY
      WRITE YOUR TRUSTED POLITICS AND GET THEM INTO THIS TELL THEM WE WANT AND EVEN DEMAND TRANSPARENCY FROM THEM. AND THAT WE NEED PARTICIPATION FOR CHANGE AS VOTERS ON THE BILLS THAT PASS US BY !  THAT WAY THERORY IS PRACTICE FOR ALL OF US

  •  ABOUT THE ELECTION (0+ / 0-)

    SIGN ON WITH THE COURAGE CAMPAIGN ONLINE THERE IS A VOTE THERE TO MAKE POLITICAL VOTES AND WHO AND WHAT IS BEHIND THEM TRANSPARENT
    IF ENOUGH OF THIS IS ROUTED TO YOUR FRIENDS AND ANYONE ELSE  WELL AND WRITE THE POLITICS YOU TRUST GET THEM IN THIS TOO!
    I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU I HAVE WAITED FOR TRANSPARANCY FOR A LONG TIME

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