Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Maybe Orwell Was Right and Was Simply Off By a Few Decades?

At the risk of offending those of you (including the Gadfly himself) who have friends or family members working as police officers or in some other form of public-facing law enforcement - I am not afraid or ashamed to state that in my view there are way too many people who simply have no business being in a uniformed law enforcement position, and by proxy, granted all of the powers that go with that type of work.

This video is just outrageous and infuriating to me.  Repeatedly tasering a woman, whom the police initially identified as being the victim of a crime, while she is hog-tied, shackled and lying on her back in the rear seat of a squad car is just unconscionable at any level.

However, as disgusting as this incident is, it points to a much larger issue - which is the continued militarization of the civilian police forces in this country.  I keep seeing in the news story after story of small town police departments purchasing tanks, military-style assault vehicles, heavy weaponry, drones, and hi-tech surveillance equipment.  And also hardly a week goes by without reading some article about some poor bastard who has died while being electrocuted by some taser-happy cop.  I mean really - one need look no further than at the way the major police departments across the country brutally handled the non-violent Occupy protesters to see that something is terribly wrong here.

At some point, if you carefully analyze all of this shit, you can't help but wonder what is coming down the pike as far as the survivability of this country's freedoms go.  Here we have the United States Supreme Court, the highest law in the land, bestowing citizenship status to big multi-national corporations.  You have Wall street con artists not being arrested and held accountable for their financial crimes.  Then there is the ever escalating domestic surveillance of people's privacy on the internet and in their private e-mail and phone communications.  Combine all of that state-sponsored activity to the rapidly increasing wealth gap between the 1% elites and everybody else, the wholesale destruction of unions, the legislative assaults on worker's rights, and the obvious slow burn disintegration of the middle class - and it is becoming quite clear that a seismic shift is occurring in America's socio-economic structure - and that shift does not bode well for the future of representative democracy as we've known it.

I keep harping on it and saying it and will say it again -- y'all better start paying attention to this fucking stuff, because the last thing I want to hear from anyone when the proverbial shit is hitting the fan is, "oh woe is me - how could I have known?"

Do with that as you wish.


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