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Mr. Scorpio

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 73,092

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"Reality" Gets Real...

The Cops Should Always Be On Camera

For the past 12 months, police officers in Rialto, California, have been wearing cameras while on duty as part of a pilot program. It’s expensive to mount a camera on every uniformed cop, but the idea is that by recording all the interactions between officers and civilians and suspects, cops will behave better and complaints against the department will be quickly resolved—if someone makes a claim about being mistreated, it can be easily proved or disproved by a look at the tape. The experiment seems to be going well, and starting September 1, all 66 uniformed officers in Rialto will wear them. Complaints against the department have gone down 88 percent over the course of the year-long study while the use of force by officers declined by more than half, implying that cameras really do benefit both police and civilians. Indeed, a New York Daily News article highlighted the case of Rialto cop Randy Peterson, who was cleared of an excessive-force allegation lodged against him by a mentally disturbed man thanks to his body camera.

But not all departments are as forward-thinking as Rialto’s, or as concerned with the future of police accountability. On August 12, when the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy was ruled unconstitutionally racist, the judge pointed to Rialto as an example of how to make cops accountable while ordering the NYPD to institute a similar program. The cops aren’t happy about this, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg—who generally supports surveillance when it comes to monitoring the civilian population—called the idea “a nightmare.” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly also sounded dubious, saying that these body cameras have only been tried in much smaller cities than New York (Rialto has about 100,000 people). And it’s true that since these body cameras cost $900 a pop, outfitting all of New York’s 35,000 uniformed officers might prove fiscally impossible.

Cops generally object to being filmed even when it doesn’t cost their departments money. It’s easy to find footage on YouTube of cops objecting to being filmed by civilians—sometimes violently, sometimes with illegal arrests. Websites like Photography Is Not a Crime and Copblock are devoted to filming police, reporting on incidents where cops violate the civil rights of people who try to do so, and encouraging everyone to keep a close eye on law enforcement. You’ll even hear horror stories of people in states with restrictive wiretapping laws like Indiana and Massachusetts facing criminal prosecutions for trying to record the cops. The charges are usually eventually dropped, but the question remains: Why, if they aren’t doing anything wrong, are the police so afraid of being filmed?


A shout out to DU's own Carlos Miller! BOOYAH!

More, More, More, how do you like it?

Think about it in terms of cold, hard cash...

The true meaning behind the NSA scandal and the Military Industrial Complex is more about the upward distribution of wealth than it is about anything else.

Now you can sit there and ignore this point as you rhapsodize over your poor lost "freedoms", but the fact is that, as long as we live in a country where we gauge a person's intrinsic value on a scale of their wealth, your so-called freedoms will always be defined in ways which won't harm that systematic wealth distribution for those in which it serves the most.

Once you try to redefine the system of value and worth with something like... I dunno, democracy, that's when things begin to get problematic for the people who actually run the show.

Which is where we come to systems of control: The lopsided redistribution of wealth, the restriction of voting rights, a constant stream of propaganda to convince you that you're under threat internally and externally, false narratives and distractions, "entertainment", divide and conquer techniques, massive pharmaceutical distribution, so forth and so on.

NSA surveillance is about transferring wealth and building a self-sustaining intelligence infrastructure which will do anything to justify its continued existence. It's a bureaucracy whose first obligation is to perpetuate itself and justify its own existence, even though there really is no reason for it to exist at its current size and scope. The creation of new invasive techniques only happens because the system of procurement demands an ever increasing diversification and application of capability. They're always looking for new ways to build a better mousetrap.

It's no accident that the private sector has been outsourced as a facilitator of this Intelligence State. It's already happened to a much greater extent with the Defense industry. Why do you think that the Pentagon Budget is so big and why the government is always looking for circumstances in this already volatile world to insert and facilitate that volatility with a steady supply of fresh arms? If not us, it's going to be the other guy and we'll always contend that when opposing sides are willing to destroy each other, they should use the best killing machine that money can buy, good old American armament, baby!

Since the very same people are both in charge of enhancing that capability and ensuring that the money spigot is always turned on, that inhibits them from adhering to their other responsibility; oversight and the protection of civil liberties. You can tell what's most important to them by the way they're moving the goalposts to accommodate the former.

It's being used to facilitate those systems of control that I mentioned earlier. It's a tool to create a sense of danger in things that are as not as dangerous as other things that cause real harm. It's not like they're using the NSA to prevent the tens of thousands of deaths from gun violence in this country, right? Of course, not. The people who run things aren't really concerned about that, because gun violence isn't a threat to them, it's a threat to the rest of us.

So, have your guns, for all they care. (Speaking of guns, stop giving the gun lobby your money and try to manufacture your own arms for a change. If you can. Then see how long the NRA will stand up for people who are taking food out of the mouths of their gun industry masters)

What they want is your fear and your fervent adherence to the cultural and economic status quo.

So, again. Think about the money, where it's going: To contractors that benefit overwhelmingly from the creation and perpetuation of the Security State and where it's not going, to facilitate real economic security for all.

Now, I'll tell you a secret: Everyone in Washington is in on it. Because if anyone gets the idea that they can change the game, they can easily be replaced. Our current system of binary political factions and privately financed elections guarantees it. The only choice is no choice, so it seems.

So, get your head out of politics when it comes to this NSA issue. It's way beyond politics. It's about money, who's running the show and the system by which they're controlling the definition of right and wrong and who has influence over all of that. You, me and everyone else, on the other hand, are merely the field on which the controllers play until we all do what we must to wrest that control away from them.

Power concedes nothing without a struggle. Never forget that.

Courage v. Cowardice

"QUICK, get in! There's no time to explain!"

Mother Surprised Son Needs So Much Ammunition For First Day Of School

VERSAILLES, PA—With a list of back-to-school supplies that included an AR-15 rifle, three Walther P22 pistols, and four X-15 skeletonized drum magazines, local mother Amy Bromka asked her 15-year-old son, Tyler, Monday if he really needed all that ammunition for his first day of school. “Honey, can you even fit all of that in your backpack?” Bromka reportedly asked of the near 40 pounds of smooth-feeding 30-round speed loaders Tyler said he “totally needed.” “It just seems like a lot of guns and ammunition, sweetie. And I don’t think you need more than two three-subject notebooks, either.” At press time, Tyler’s best friend Ben had just given his mom a similar list.


When I watched the March ceremony in DC, I really missed being there

That would have been a special time to be back in the city with everyone.

When in doubt...

This Week In Disco Trivia...

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