Friday, July 24, 2009

Police state cometh

There's a lot of hoo-hah and bluster going on right now about how stupidly the cops in Cambridge, Mass. acted for arresting a guy who was breaking and entering his own house.

Every one is all verklempt by the outrageous actions of the police, or the outrageous actions of Professor Gates, or the outrageous comments of the president. In short, everyone is outraged.

Me? Meh. I can't say I'm surprised by the incident. And frankly, as a society we probably deserve it.

For year's we've been told by politicians that we're in huge trouble. We're on the brink of disaster from terrorists, or economic calamity, or illegal aliens, or unfettered gun ownership, or swine flu. Pick your poison, we're dying from pretty much everything these days.

The result, of course, it that we willingly vote for people who say they can protect us. Sure it will cost us about half our annual income in taxes each year. But isn't that a small price to pay for security and the promise of long life?

Well except for those times where our protective golem turns against us. The Gates/Crowley incident is only one recent example.

In Western Australia recently, police used "non-lethal" weapon to subdue a crazy gasoline fume sniffer. Unfortunately, this made the perp a little hot under the collar.
Mitchell's sister told The Australian newspaper that her brother had been sniffing petrol.

"He must have put petrol on his face, then the policeman shot him with the Taser, that's when the flames happened," she said.

Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said Mr Mitchell was a known violent offender, and defended the police officers' deployment of the Taser.
I'm not saying the Taser wasn't justified. Probably it was. Still...

Then there's the case of Boise, Idaho cops who when crazy with their Tasers:
The February incident was captured by an audio recording made by one of the police officers at the unidentified man's home.

"If you move again, I'm going to stick this Taser up your (expletive) and pull the trigger," one of the officers said. "Now, do you feel this in your (expletive)? - I'm going to Tase your (expletive) if you move again."

Police violated the department's use-of-force policy when the officers Tasered the man once in the back before he was handcuffed, and then in the buttocks after he was handcuffed...
Look, I'm not down on cops. I like the police in general.

What I'm sayin' is that we have ourselves to blame. In general we're tending to put too much faith in "the authorities" to look out for us, instead of looking out for each other, keeping each other safe, making sure our neighbors and families aren't starving, or sick (physically or mentally).

If we make the government collectively responsible for everything, then the governed aren't individually responsible for anything.

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  1. Precisely. Aside from the fact that no government can provide such security, it's promises notwithstanding, believing otherwise is an easy way for us to abrogate the responsibilities of being adults, i.e. taking care of ourselves, our families, our neighbors. People who wish to let the government take care of them are the same types who today are 30 year old's living in their parent's basement, smoking pot and playing video games all day.


  2. Very nice post. Nicer than the bullies who become cops deserve.

  3. "...the same types who today are 30 year old's living in their parent's basement, smoking pot and playing video games all day."

    Hey, I don't live in my parents' basement.


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