Police State America

Joke Of An AG: CODEPINK Activist Who Laughed During Jeff Sessions’ Hearing To Face New Trial

  By Andrea Germanos Common Dreams (9/2/17) CODEPINK activist Desiree Fairooz, who was arrested after laughing during Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ confirmation hearing, will face a second trial this fall after she rejected a plea deal on Friday. “I still cannot believe the government refuses to drop this. Vindictive!” she wrote on Twitter, while CODEPINK called it “ridiculous.” As Common Dreams reported, she was convicted in May of disorderly and disruptive conduct during the hearing. While Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) argued that Sessions’ record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented,” Fairooz, who was in the hearing room, laughed. She held up a sign that…

Read More

California Correctional Officers Accused Of Perverted ‘sadistic and terrorizing acts’ Against Prisoners

  By Sam Levine The Guardian (9/5/17) Four California sheriff’s deputies have been accused of “sadistic and terrorizing acts” against inmates, including encouraging prisoners to throw urine and feces at each other, laughing at an assault victim seeking help, strangling an inmate into unconsciousness and intimidating witnesses. The felony assault charges against four Alameda County deputies, accused of victimizing eight prisoners, have provided a window into the violent abuse and misconduct that prisoners’ rights activists say is still commonplace in some jails across the country, including in progressive regions that have pledged reforms. Deputies Justin Linn and Erik McDermott are facing charges of assault, witness intimidation…


Washington Post Guide To Resigned Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s Chest Full Of Fake Medals

So where’s the medal for ‘Baloney’, David? By Phillip Bump The Washington Post (5/26/17) Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke emerged onto the national scene last year with his fervent support of Republican Donald Trump, despite the fact he was a Democrat. Clarke’s embrace of Trump’s politics — and of Trump’s intemperate rhetorical style — earned him a speaking slot at the Republican convention last year. It also overlapped with a great deal of scrutiny about his behavior as sheriff, including a number of deaths at jails under his jurisdiction. Clarke’s political energy and background made him a deeply controversial figure, and the subject…


Grenade Launchers At The Mini Mart & Bayonets At The Playground: Trump Orders Resumption Of Military Supplies To Local Police

  By Patrick Martin World Socialist Web Site (8/29/17) President Trump signed an executive order Monday morning reinstituting a federal program to supply military-grade weaponry and equipment to state and local police forces. The program had been suspended since May 2015 under an executive order signed by Barack Obama that Trump has now rescinded. The Obama administration was compelled to restrict, at least temporarily, the distribution of “surplus” military equipment after widespread public outrage following the deployment of armored vehicles and other military weaponry in Ferguson, Missouri, after mass protests that followed the August 2014 police murder of 18-year-old Michael…


Shades Of Things To Come To All Of Us: Despite Low Crime Rates, Miami Police Expand Their Use Of Military Vehicles & Weaponry

‘Scairdy Cat Nation By Matthew MacEgan World Socialist Web Site (8/11/17) An investigative report appearing in a Miami newspaper, the New Times, provides details about the Miami-Dade Police Department’s expanded use of military-grade equipment vehicles on an everyday basis. The MDPD announced Monday that they will begin “randomly” sending out their “rapid deployment force” to various county buildings, as well as public transit stops. In Monday’s press release, MDPD stated, “In keeping with our ongoing homeland security initiatives, the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) today begins its Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) as an enhanced security presence to deter threats to critical infrastructure sites…


Trump Administration Demands Details On All Visitors To Anti-Trump Protest Website

  By Julia Carrie Wong & Olivia Solon The Guardian (8/14/17) The US government is seeking to unmask every person who visited an anti-Trump website in what privacy advocates say is an unconstitutional “fishing expedition” for political dissidents. The warrant appears to be an escalation of the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) campaign against anti-Trump activities, including the harsh prosecution of inauguration day protesters. “It’s a short step after you have the list to connect the IP address to someone’s identity.” On 17 July, the DoJ served a website-hosting company, DreamHost, with a search warrant for every piece of information it possessed that…


Whither Our Future: Orwell Or Huxley? It May Well Be That Huxley Was Right

  Social critic Neil Postman contrasted the worlds of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He writes:   “What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us….


VIDEO: Tennessee Deputies Tortured 19-Year-Old Inmate With Tasers While He Was Strapped Helplessly To A Chair

“I’ll keep on doing it until I run out of batteries!” – Cheatham County Torturer (Editor’s Note: History shows over and over again that the weapons and cruelty of empire are always brought home to subdue and destroy the citizens who protest their impoverishment for empire. What happens to one of us can happen to all, and not just in Cheat-ham County, Tennessee. – Mark L. Taylor) By Bob Brigham The Raw Story (8/1/17) Three Cheatham County Sheriff’s deputies have been placed on administrative leave after multiple videos emerged showing the officers using tasers to torture an 18-year-old inmate. “Jordan…


Ron Paul Interviews Edward Snowden About Privacy And The Security State

  “Liberty is freedom from permission.” Ron Paul Liberty Report (6/20/17) In this wide-ranging exclusive interview, former intelligence analyst turned whistleblower Edward Snowden tells all. What to say to those who argue that they’ve got nothing to hide so nothing to fear from the intrusive ears of the state? Snowden is engagingly philosophical yet frank about his current position and where we are headed as a society. Check out the Freedom of the Press Foundation, where he is Board President: https://freedom.press/ Link to 34-Minute Video


Face Of The State: D.C. Cops Used Jailhouse ‘Rape As Punishment’ After Inauguration Day Mass Arrests, ACLU Lawsuit Says

By Andy Pyke ThinkProgress (6/22/17) When black-clad marchers began smashing windows in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day, the city’s police force — reputedly the best in the country at upholding protesters’ rights during disruptive demonstrations — went nuclear. Officers quickly deployed pepper spray, tear gas, and crowd-control grenades of various types. The Metropolitan Police Department opted to “kettle” everyone on the streets nearby the initial anarchist-driven property destruction, something it does not, by reputation, make a habit of doing during protests. The mass round-up swept the “Antifa” rowdy types together with many peaceful protesters, journalists, and volunteer legal observers who turn out in bright…


The Most Important Interview You Can Watch This Month: Yale Historian Timothy Snyder On How The U.S. Can Avoid Sliding Into Authoritarianism

“Twentyith century authoritarians have learned the way to dismantle systems like ours is to go after one institution and then the next. Which means that we have to have an active relationship with both to history, so you can see how failure arises and learn from people who try to protect institutions, but also an active relationship to our institutions; that institutions are only as good as the people who attempt to serve them ” – Timothy Snyder Democracy Now! (5/30/17) Is the United States sliding toward tyranny? That is the question posed by Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder…


Muzzle: Spate Of Anti-Protest Bills Would ‘attack right to speak out’ In Time Of Trump

  By Adam Gabbatt The Guardian (5/8/17) More than 20 states have proposed bills that would crack down on protests and demonstrations since Donald Trump was elected, in a moved that UN experts have branded “incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law”. The proposed laws would variously increase the penalties for protesting in large groups, ban protesters from wearing masks during demonstrations and, in some states, protect drivers from liability if they strike someone taking part in a protest. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said more than 30 separate anti-protest bills have been introduced since 8 November…


‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ – Futuristic Dystopian Literature & Movies Provide The Story Line For The Present

  By Tom Ashbrook OnPoint (4/3/17) Dystopian fiction is having a heyday. We’ll look at the dystopian plots and perils that publishers love right now. Check out the new fiction coming from publishers these days and it may scare you to pieces. Not horror scare exactly, but dystopia. Dystopian fiction is all over the place now. Books of the future gone horribly wrong. A new civil war in America.  Crazy microbes on the loose. The planet a mess. Democracy done.  Insane inequality. Killer drones all over. Walls and fences and people fleeing Earth if they can. Great. This hour On…


Can Border Agents Search Your Electronic Devices? It’s Complicated

  By Esha Bandari & Nathan Freed Wessler ACLU (3/14/17) We’ve been getting a lot of questions about when border agents can legally conduct searches of travelers’ electronic devices at international airports and other ports of entry. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple. The government has long claimed that Fourth Amendment protections prohibiting warrantless searches don’t apply at the border. The ACLU takes issue with this position generally, especially when it comes to electronic devices like smartphones and laptops. Our smartphones store detailed accounts of our conversations, professional lives, whereabouts, and web-browsing habits. They paint a far more detailed picture of…


To Protect & Shove? Watch Big, Tough Cop Push 86 Year-Old Woman To Ground At Trump Protest

Then 65 year-old retired teacher who came to her aid was maced. (Editor’s Note: Wow, tough guys! The state is losing legitimacy fast. – Mark L. Taylor) By Shane Dixon Kavahaugh Vocativ (2/27/17) A police officer in Tucson, Arizona, shoved an 86-year-old woman onto the pavement during a tense confrontation with demonstrators opposed to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, video footage shows. The Tucson Police Department said that it is investigating the incident from earlier this month that also left a retired school teacher with a face full of pepper spray as she tried to help the elderly woman, who…