Why All Police Are Bad — for Society. Ademo Freeman, Cop Block (2010-12-30).
I’m often questioned about my stance on police which is fine — anyone who knows me is aware that I don’t mind sharing my thoughts. Oftentimes during the conversation I’m accused of being a “cop hater” or told that not all cops are bad. I understand the reasoning most people...(Linked Friday 2011-01-14.)
From the Downsize DC Foundation: The Dictator Fallacy. DownsizeDC.org (2011-01-13).
The Downsize DC Foundation's website, www.DownsizeDCFoundation.org, continues to grow. Today, we bring you one of those articles, from the Our Lexicon category . . . "The Dictator Fallacy" by Jim Babka fal·la·cy - * a misleading or unsound argument. * Logic. any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render...(Linked Saturday 2011-01-15.)
Nothing Natural about It. Sheldon Richman, Free Association (2011-01-15).
The sharp historical division between labor and capital ownership is not a natural emergent feature of the market economy but largely the conscious result of government privilege.Atom(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)
Two Little Pigs: How Some Cops Get Jail While Others Go Free. Modesto Anarcho (2011-01-16). It's not that police "protect their own," exactly. It's that police protect their power. Rape your step daughter or get plastered and drive your car off the road, and you're well behind the blue wall. Do something that disrupts command and control within a prison, and the long knives come out. (Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)
Kiva Lending Team: Anarchists for Empowerment. tolstoyscat, things along the way (2011-01-11).
Join here: Anarchists for EmpowermentKiva's mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.Anarchists for Empowerment: We loan...(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)
Mistakes Were Made. Guns Were Pointed. A Family Was Terrorized. Pets Were Threatened. Radley Balko, Gangsters in Blue (2011-01-16).
The DEA has apologized for the wrong door raid in the Hudson Valley that I blogged about last week. Sort of. John P. Gilbride, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, issued a statement Friday clearing Spring Valley resident David McKay and his family of anything to do...(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)
Why read about it when you can play? Shelley, MyTech (2011-01-16).
Earlier today I got into a friendly discussion and debate on Twitter about a new web site called W3Fools. The site bills itself as a "W3Schools intervention", and the purpose is to wake developers up to the fact that W3School tutorials can, and do, have errors. The problem with a...(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)
The state begins in robbery; some patterns of robb... Gary Chartier, Comments on Free Association: Take It to the Limit (2011-01-08).
The state begins in robbery; some patterns of robbery are doubtless spontaneously ordered, but surely others are planned by groups of robbers.Once the state has been established and mechanisms for obtaining power have been regularized, it will surely be unsurprising if people who do obtain power are people who like...(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)
The Semicolon Wars » American Scientist. www.americanscientist.org (2011-01-16).
I mock the pettiness of these squabbles—and I believe some of them deserve mocking—and yet I don't want to give the impression that only cosmetic issues are in dispute, or that programming languages are really all alike under the skin. On the contrary, what's most fascinating about programming languages is...(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)
Let a million bookmarks bloom. l.m.orchard, 0xDECAFBAD (2010-12-19).
TL;DR: Don’t depend on Delicious; host your own, pay for it elsewhere, or hope for the best. Use real-time feeds to stitch the bookmarking diaspora back together into topical aggregate indexes. In the last entry, I wrote about why my use of Delicious has dropped over time, and what I’ve...(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)
Another Isolated Incident. Radley Balko, Gangsters in Blue (2010-10-16).
Montgomery, Alabama: “They could have at least apologized,” says LaKisha Dixon. She just wants to hear Montgomery police officers say they’re sorry. Last month, officers entered her home without even knocking on the door. Dixon and two children were inside. “It was three tall men with masks on and big...(Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)
On the Ground Floor… James Tuttle, On ALLiance (2010-10-17).
Dear Friends, Fellow Workers and ALLies, A grand opportunity present’s itself. We have the ability to aid a rising Anarcho-Star. Anna O. Morgenstern of C4SS.org and Tranarchism blog spot (and soon ALLiance Journal) fame is pursuing two literary projects, one fictional and the other non-fictional. At this time, and until...(Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)
The Real IP Pirates. Stephan Kinsella, Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom (2010-10-16).
It’s bad enough that IP advocates dishonestly use the word “theft” to describe use of your own property in contravention of a monopoly issued by the state. (After all, as Nina Paley reminds us, copying is not theft; when you use information to guide your action or configure your own...(Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)
“Princess Boy”: Addressing Children’s Gender Non-Conformity. Sociological Images (2010-10-18). The important thing about this is a pair of fundamentally decent parents and a group of adults realizing that the only "issue" here is an issue with their own anxieties, which they are perfectly capable of overcoming. And thank goodness for that. Because of course there is no problem with Dyson; other than being weirded out by being put in front of a crowd of strangers for a teevee show, he is obviously happy as a clam. Not with being "non-conformant" (who the hell are these Genital Correctness busybodies that we're supposed to " "conform" to? and why should we care what those assholes think?) but rather with just being his own self. The people who deserve a label are the power-freaking Genital Correctness Busybody Brigade, whose obsession with conformity and anxieties about sex-class drive them to treat little kids like crap for wanting to wear pretty things, or for playing games that they enjoy. Thank goodness they are absent from this conversation; it makes me feel that much better about the world. (Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)
By now you’ve probably seen the video of the SWAT stormtrooper raid in Columbia, Missouri, during which a gang of heavily-armed cops violently stormed a house in order to serve a search warrant on a suspected possible nonviolent marijuana user. Turned out that his partner and 7 year old child were also there at the time; so were their two dogs, which the cops went ahead to shoot and kill. After murdering pets, they repeatedly lied about their actions to neighbors and the press, and the story has only come out because the video has been released on the Internet. In any case, if you haven’t read it, Radley Balko’s commentary on the story is mostly right on.
In Tulsa County, Oklahoma, a government police SWAT team on another hyperviolent warrant-serving drug-search shot an nearly deaf biker named Russell Doza at least seven times in the back while he awoke from sleeping in a bed in the clubhouse. They were supposedly storming the clubhouse early in the morning in order to serve a warrant for the victimless
crime of selling marijuana and methamphetamines. They didn’t actually find any drugs in the clubhouse, and they didn’t find any of the suspects named in the warrant, but they did find Russell Doza, so three cops — Deputy Lance Ramsey, Corporal Tom Helm, and Sergeant Shane Rhames — shot him in the back, in one arm, and at least twice, point blank, in the back of his head. The cops claim he reached for a gun and just somehow got shot in the back of the head at close range. Even if he did reach for a gun, the cops created the violent confrontation in the first place by storming a private club for no just reason at all, in a failed attempt to discover evidence of a
crime that never had any victims to begin with. I have no particular reason to believe that the Deppities are telling the truth, but even if they are, they murdered Russell Doza.
In Detroit, a government police SWAT team on another hyperviolent warrant-serving raid killed a 7 year old girl named Aiyana Jones by shooting her in the neck while she slept on the sofa, in her family’s living room, in their hosue on Lillibridge St. on the east side of Detroit. The SWAT team tstormed the house in the middle of the night in order to serve a warrant for a murder suspect. Who, in press releases after the storming of the house and the killing of Aiyana Jones, was indeed found
in the location,
within the scope of our search warrant. Except the problem is that the house is a duplex and they got a warrant for the home of a completely innocent family, without bothering to figure out where the fugitive was, and even though they had every reason to be aware that there were children living in the house that they planned to mount a high-risk hyperviolent raid on. They neglected to mention that the house they killed Aiyana Jones in was not the house where they arrested their Suspect Individual; when they got there, the door wasn’t even locked. But the cops were on film, being followed around by a camera crew for A&E’s murder-cop reality action show, The First 48. So what better opportunity to show their stuff? They swarmed the front porch, hurled a flash-bang grenade through the plate-glass window into the living room, and then Officer Joe Weekley, a frequent guest star on several A&E cop shows, shot off his gun and put a bullet into Aiyana Jones’s neck. According to the initial excuses from the police, there was a
— no, strike that, there was
some sort of contact [sic] between Officer Joe Weekley, and Aiyana’s grandmother, Mertilla Jones. According to the current police story, while the heavily-armed, professional police Officer Joe Weekley was courageously
contacting a 46 year old woman who was confused and upset by a bunch of heavily armed strangers blowing up a grenade in her living room in the middle of the night right next to her sleeping granddaughter and storming into her house, somehow, in a Terrible Tragedy, the gun just
discharged, somehow or another, in the midst of all the
contact. After shooting her granddaughter to death, police wouldn’t say whether or not Mertilla Jones would be charged with assaulting a police officer.
According to the family, the cops are lying. Geoffrey Fieger, a well-known civil rights lawyer in Detroit, has taken on the family’s case, and says that he has a tape which clearly shows the cops shooting blindly into the house from out on the porch, moments after the grenade blew up. I don’t know which is telling the truth, although I will say that the cops have obfuscated, revised, evaded and lied from the start in this case, in a consistent attempt to deny responsibility and create a false appearance of urgency. I have no particular reason to believe that they are telling the truth about this, either, whereas I do have some reason to believe that Fieger probably has the video he says that he has. All that said, it really doesn’t matter what the video shows, or doesn’t. If the cops burned a little girl to hell with an incendiary grenade and then shot her in the neck,
accidentally, while storming into a house they had no reason and no right to be in, in order to serve a warrant for a man who wasn’t there, because they couldn’t be bothered to exercise the caution necessary to pick the right unit of the duplex, or to work out some way of catching a suspect whose location they already knew other than a hyperviolent middle-of-the-night paramilitary raid, then they still fucking murdered that little girl. They introduced violence into the situation; they chose a hyperviolent confrontational method which they knew would be endangering the lives of a house full of completely innocent people; if you or I stormed two different apartments on the theory that a dangerous man might be in one of them, hurled explosives, ran around with guns drawn, and we
accidentally killed a child in the process, then you or I would be locked up immediately, indicted shortly thereafter, and thrown in prison for years. Because the unhinged maniac who shot a little girl happens to have a badge and a uniform, the shooter has been given a paid vacation from their job. Boss Cop Detroit Police Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee gave a press conference in which he solemnly announced how Very Sorry he was that police just had to gun down a 7-year-old girl in her own home, because of the risk to their sacred hides when Entering a Potentially Dangerous Situation. He wants you to know that this is a
tragedy of unspeakable magnitude, and that
This is every parent’s worst nightmare. It’s also every police officer’s nightmare. I can’t tell you what I think of that, because there aren’t any words that are dirty enough.
In a follow-up post on the Columbia, Missouri raid, Radley Balko posted a letter from a government soldier who took umbrade at his watch-word of
police militarization, because the rules of engagement SWAT teams operate under are, in some ways, even looser than those used by counterinsurgency soldiers trying to kill enemy guerrillas in Afghanistan. Balko seriously wonders whether SWAT teams are now
more militarized than the military. I’m not convinced, unless the in some ways is doing so much work as to make the statement meaningless.  But the mere fact that the comparison might seem plausible is telling. And outrageous. But not at all surprising. How could it be, when every week brings Yet Another Isolated Incident, and when Terrible Tragedy after Terrible Tragedy shows SWAT teams once again storming houses and clubs for no reason other than to protect the investigation of the most utterly trivial and nonviolent
offenses, when they consistently use maximal force and freely open fire, even when they know that they may well be in completely the wrong house, even when they have every reason to know that they’re putting children’s lives in danger, and when they brutalize, beat and murder innocent people, over and over again, all with more or less explicit legal guarantees of complete impunity, and the lockstep backing of their departments and their colleagues throughout the government’s criminal system?
Do you feel safer now?
-  When he’s not shooting 7 year old girls and showing off SWAT tactics on live victims for television audiences, Officer Joe Weekley also drives a tank (
Armored Personnel Carrier,sorry) for the Detroit SWAT team. ↩
-  The process of storming a house in a war zone may offer more opportunities to surrender before escalating the situation to violence; but SWAT teams aren’t firing missiles into apartment complexes from robot aircraft… yet. ↩
If you have the displeasure of reading POLICE: The Law Enforcement Magazine, you’ll find that Editor David Griffith’s The Peter Principle is a pointless, empty article which exists for no particular reason other than filling space. (The central thesis is
When an officer is promoted it should be based on merit and leadership; he also bravely comes out against promoting cops solely on the basis of political cronyism. Well, O.K.). I mention it here because it is so ordinary, and what people treat as obvious and banal can be interestingly revealing. In this particular article, the one thing that Griffith does get really excited about, along the way, is a long discussion of the comparative merits of Army generals who ordered a lot of men to kill each other during the American Civil War. After discussing this burning issue, the upshot we are offered is that
Even good leaders make terrible mistakes and, more importantly, nothing is more dangerous to a warrior — whether he is a 19th century infantryman or she is a 21st century patrol officer — than a bad leader. We are then told that
That’s why it’s critical that only the best warriors get promoted up the ranks in law enforcement. … A promotion should only be given when an officer demonstrates effective leadership and is capable of commanding others in a crisis.
Maybe so. Meanwhile, nothing is more dangerous to ordinary people than heavily-armed twitchy police who think of themselves as
warriors, and their patrols of the streets as an occupation of hostile territory.
- GT 2008-05-12: No, seriously, I could swear the water in this pot is getting a little hotter…. (#2): On
- GT 2009-05-07: Occupying forces, or: No, seriously, I could swear the water in this pot is getting a little hotter… (#8)
- GT 2009-05-28: How cops see themselves (#2). National Police Memorial Week and El Monte, California.
- GT 2008-09-25: How cops see themselves
- GT 2008-09-19: No, seriously, I could swear the water in this pot is getting a little hotter… (#6)
- GT 2008-08-22: No, seriously, I could swear the water in this pot is getting a little hotter… (#5)
- GT 2010-01-23: Siege mentality
-  Trust me, don’t bother—I read it so you don’t have to. ↩
- Welcome to Statelessness. Roderick, Austro-Athenian Empire (2010-03-01).
Gary Chartier is offering an introductory online course on anarchism under the auspices of the Molinari Institute’s Center for a Stateless Society. Check it out.(Linked Tuesday 2010-03-02.)
- SWAT Team Endangers Child, Parents Charged With Child Endangerment. The Agitator (2010-03-02). Police are here to keep kids safe: "So smoking pot = 'child endangerment.' Storming a home with guns, then firing bullets into the family pets as a child looks on = necessary police procedures to ensure everyone’s safety. Just so we're clear." (Linked Tuesday 2010-03-02.)
- “Looters” and Food in an Emergency. Matthew Yglesias (2010-03-02). Disaster Statism Vs. Human Survival and Reclamation of Lost and Abandoned Property (Linked Tuesday 2010-03-02.)
- NONVIOLENCE. A REVIEW OF MARK KURLANSKY’S 2006 BOOK. www.wendymcelroy.com (2010-03-02).
NONVIOLENCE: A REVIEW OF MARK KURLANSKY’S 2006 BOOK BY THAT NAME By Jim Russell(Linked Tuesday 2010-03-02.)
- HOUSE DEMOCRATS SUPPORT TORTURE. UNDERNEWS (2010-03-02). Keep on Hoping, y'all. (Linked Tuesday 2010-03-02.)
- t r u t h o u t | Alexander Cockburn | The Bogus Crime Wave. www.truthout.org (2010-03-02). Siege Mentality vs. Empirical Reality (Sin Fronteras Edition): In spite of the constant shrill efforts by Anglo nationalists to cultivate a siege mentality, there actually is no empirical evidence of an immigrant crime wave. When you control for age and state of residence, and when you don't count bogus victimless "offenses" which are directly related to immigration status, young Latin@ men are no more likely to commit violent crimes than young white men. If the undocumented population is significantly undercounted by the census (as many, including the nativist fear-mongers, would generally believe it to be), then the Latin@ crime rate is actually significantly lower than the white crime rate. The American Conservative, of all places (!), has the story. (Via the November Coalition.) (Linked Tuesday 2010-03-02.)
- School district admits installing covert webcam activation software on student laptops, denies wrongdoing. Boing Boing (2010-03-02). In which Perpetual State of Supervision meets Stasi-statism: "The Superintendant of the Lower Merion School District -- where parents have initiated a class action suit over the covert use of students' laptops to surveil them in school and at home -- has sent a letter to parents with more information about the spying. The school admits that there was spyware installed on students laptops that allowed for remote, covert activation of their webcams, ... They have disabled the system for now and deny that it was misused." Dude, seriously? Of course they were "misused." The thing itself IS the misuse. (Linked Tuesday 2010-03-02.)
- Nolan Klein: an innocent man who died of an untreated medical condition inside Nevada´s prison system. NPW, Nevada Prison Watch (2010-03-02).
From the January 12 2010 Meeting of the Board of Prison Commissioners:Tonya Brown stated she had a private autopsy performed on Mr. Klein and passed out the updated death certificate to the Board. She stated had he been properly treated, he would still be alive today and the State of...(Linked Tuesday 2010-03-02.)