ACLU calls for dissolving of Department of Homeland Security Reply

The DHS is actually an umbrella organization for dozens of federal police state alphabet soup agencies, many of which existed in various forms prior to the creation of the DHS in 2002. The DHS was originally created to better coordinate the relationship between these agencies, and between the feds, states, localities, tribal governments, the private sector, and NGOs. Researching the police and how it functions is kind of like researching “corporate welfare” in the sense of coming to recognize that just as the state has its hands deep in every aspect of the economy, so does the police state pervade virtually all institutions.

By Zack Budryk

The Hill

The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday called for the dissolution of the Department of Homeland Security, calling it a “fail[ed] experiment” that has become a “badge of shame” under President Trump.

More…

Scott Horton and Tom Woods on Government Police Reply

This is a pretty good discussion of what real “police reform” would look like: end drug prohibition, end random traffic stops, end patrolling, end qualified immunity, allow communities to opt-out of relying on state security forces, etc. Unlike most right-libertarians, they also point out what is wrong with “private police” and “private prisons” along with the class and race dimensions of the police state. The main limitation of this discussion is that even if everything they are talking about was put into practice it would only address problems with local police. What about the federal alphabet soup agencies? The war against the police state has to be fought on all fronts and at every level: federal, state, local, tribal, private, and university. We don’t want Scandinavian social worker cops. We don’t want Latin American private mercenary police.

Listen to the interview here.

Scott Horton and Tom Woods talk about the problems with the police and the insights libertarians have into the solution.

Gross, Sleazy Opportunist Kamala Harris Once Said She Believed Bidens’ Accusers Reply

It’s ironic that in the same year as massive anti-police riots and protests the Democrats, supposedly the “left” party, have a ticket that is arguably to the right of Trump/Pence on “criminal justice” issues.

Laura Ingraham is about as sophisticated a political analyst as Alex Jones who generally does nothing except work the culture war/everything-is-socialism angle, although she is correct that Kamala represents authoritarian progressivism.

Joe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Reply

Bye.

By Tal Axelrod

The Hill

Former Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio narrowly lost his campaign to get his old job back Friday, ending a nearly successful comeback for one of the state’s most polarizing figures. Arpaio, who held the position from 1993-2017, lost the GOP primary for the job to 40-year department veteran and Arpaio aide Jerry Sheridan by just over 6,000 votes when the Maricopa County Elections Department called the race. The two contenders were separated just 1 percent, 37-36.

READ MORE

Utah protesters face potential life sentence due to “gang” law 3

I always said that anti-gang laws were not only a violation of freedom of association but would eventually be used as a means of repressing political dissidents.

By Li Cohen

CBS News

Black Lives Matter protesters in Salt Lake City have been accused of splashing paint on a road and smashing the windows of the district attorney’s building at a July protest — and now, the charges they face carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Prosecutors charged multiple protesters with the crimes on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported. The charges have more severe consequences because Salt Lake City District Attorney Sim Gill upgraded them with a “gang enhancement,” which increases the penalties for “offenses committed in concert with two or more person or in relation to a criminal street gang,” according to state code.

More…

Many Americans Are Convinced Crime Is Rising In The U.S. They’re Wrong. 1

The reason Americans have an exaggerated fear of crime is that for decades the System has promoted anti-crime hysteria in order to justify the building of a police state. It is true that crime rates started to dramatically increase in the late 1960s when Nixon introduced the “war on drugs” as a means of repressing the antiwar, black power, and counterculture movements. American involvement in Southeast Asia also had the effect of creating a heroin pipeline from Southeast Asia to the United States. The simultaneous growth of the heroin trade and the drug war resulted in an increase in violent crime in large cities, mostly rival drug-dealing organizations fighting over markets, and by addicts trying to finance a drug habit at illegal market prices. At the time, black market heroin was worth about 20 times its actual value.

More…

Trump: Tinpot Dictator? (w/ Noam Chomsky) Reply

This is an excellent interview. Chomsky really puts the phenomenon of Trumpism in context in this interview. In recent years, Chomsky has at times gone off the deep end with hyperbolic comments but he doesn’t drop the ball in this one. It is good to hear Chomsky distinguishing Trump’s pro-plutocratic authoritarianism from fascism’s cult of the state, and Sanders’ New Dealism from Marxism.

Imagine if Israel’s Likud Party and El Salvador’s ARENA  relocated to America, united as a single party, and then adopted Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi as their leader, and you have a near-perfect picture of what the Republicans actually are. The Republic Party ultimately cares about only three things: the class interests of the right-wing of the ruling class, the profit margins of the arms merchants, and the expansionist agendas of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

‘Ode to Putin’ appears in Portland from Trump Statue Initiative Reply

I disagree with widespread claims that Trump is somehow Putin’s puppet. The Trump administration has been too hawkish toward Russia (unilaterally abrogating the INF Treaty, for example) rather than not hawkish enough. Russia is just a province in the global capitalist empire in which the US ruling class is the senior partner. Putin is not much different from a state governor that occasionally gets uppity. But this is still hilarious.

It’s Time to Abolish the FBI Reply

A proposal for “defunding the police” from the Right though a bit moderate, just like most proposals for “defunding the police” from the Left.

By Boyd Cathey

Chronicles

Now that a federal appellate court has ordered the dismissal of the case against Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, and outgoing intelligence chief Rick Grenell has released classified documents which cast the activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a horrendous light, the depth of corruption within our nation’s chief domestic intelligence agency is abundantly clear.

What should happen at this point is the de-authorization, termination, and abolishment of the FBI.

Then the United States should start all over with a newly authorized federal agency dedicated to punishing specific violations of federal law, but with its powers strictly curtailed, narrowly defined, and constantly regulated.

READ MORE

How Cops Can Secretly Track Your Phone Reply

The availability of surveillance technology increases the urgency of the decentralist project. Death to the Empire.

By Kim Zetter

The Intercept

Since May, as protesters around the country have marched against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, activists have spotted a recurring presence in the skies: mysterious planes and helicopters hovering overhead, apparently conducting surveillance on protesters. A press release from the Justice Department at the end of May revealed that the Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. Marshals Service were asked by the Justice Department to provide unspecified support to law enforcement during protests. A few days later, a memo obtained by BuzzFeed News offered a little more insight on the matter; it revealed that shortly after protests began in various cities, the DEA had sought special authority from the Justice Department to covertly spy on Black Lives Matter protesters on behalf of law enforcement.

Although the press release and memo didn’t say what form the support and surveillance would take, it’s likely that the two agencies were being asked to assist police for a particular reason. Both the DEA and the Marshals possess airplanes outfitted with so-called stingrays or dirtboxes: powerful technologies capable of tracking mobile phones or, depending on how they’re configured, collecting data and communications from mobile phones in bulk.

Stingrays have been used on the ground and in the air by law enforcement for years but are highly controversial because they don’t just collect data from targeted phones; they collect data from any phone in the vicinity of a device. That data can be used to identify people — protesters, for example — and track their movements during and after demonstrations, as well as to identify others who associate with them. They also can inject spying software onto specific phones or direct the browser of a phone to a website where malware can be loaded onto it, though it’s not clear if any U.S. law enforcement agencies have used them for this purpose.

READ MORE

Two Black moms took their kids to the Mall. Secret Service officers confronted them with guns, they said. Reply

By Katie Mettler

Washington Post

It was a hot Thursday afternoon, so India Johnson, 26, and Yasmeen Winston, 25, decided to take their babies to splash in the fountains at the World War II Memorial. The women, best friends since seventh grade, parked on Constitution Avenue near the White House and prepared to walk to the Mall.

Their babies were in the back seat, Mother Goose Club was singing through the car speakers, and the mothers were digging around in diaper bags when they heard the crash and felt the jolt.

Johnson and Winston looked up. A Secret Service cruiser had driven into their front left bumper, Winston told The Washington Post. Within seconds, Winston recalled, a uniformed Secret Service officer was pointing a rifle at them, yelling “Get out!” and “Put your hands in the air!” More officers surrounded them with guns pulled, the women said.

READ MORE

Why the US Military Usually Punishes Misconduct but Police Often Close Ranks Reply

By Dwight Stirling

The Conversation

Many U.S. military members publicly disavowed President Trump’s decision to pardon Edward Gallagher, the former SEAL commando convicted of killing a teenage detainee in Iraq in 2017.

Gallagher’s alleged war crimes were nearly universally condemned up the chain of command, from enlisted men to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer. Indeed, it was Gallagher’s SEAL colleagues who reported the former commando’s actions.

More…

Will ‘Law and Order’ Win Trump Reelection? Reply

This interview contains my general take on the great lumpenproletarian cultural revolution of 2020 from a Howard Cosell perspective.

US sheriffs rebel against state mask orders even as Covid-19 spreads Reply

Now, if these sheriffs would start rebelling against a whole lot more laws, we might have something.

By Jason Wilson

The Guardian

Sheriffs around the country are refusing to enforce or are even actively resisting Covid-19 mask laws and lockdowns, while others have permitted or encouraged armed vigilantism in response to Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests.

Critics say both phenomena are related to a far-right “constitutional sheriffs” movement, which believes that sheriffs are the highest constitutional authority in the country, with the power – and duty – to resist state and federal governments.

More…