By now, the militarization of the police has advanced to the point where "the War on Crime" and "the War on Drugs" are no longer metaphors but bland understatements. There is the proliferation of heavily armed SWAT teams, even in small towns; the use of shock-and-awe tactics to bust small-time bookies; the no-knock raids to recover trace amounts of drugs that often result in the killing of family dogs, if not family members; and in communities where drug treatment programs once were key, the waging of a drug version of counterinsurgency war. (All of this is ably reported on journalist Radley Balko's blog and in his book, The Rise of the Warrior Cop.) But American over-policing involves far more than the widely reported up-armoring of your local precinct. It's also the way police power has entered the DNA of social policy, turning just about every sphere of American life into a police matter.We talked about St. Cloud's implement of mass destruction last month. While it's easy to downplay the notion of finding common ground with the modern Left, concern about the power of the police is a legitimate issue across the political spectrum. Anyone who thinks the matter through understands that a government with too much police power can turn on its citizenry at any time, and for what are often arbitrary reasons. There's ample room for common ground on this issue.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Get Your MoJo Workin'
We don't call out the august work of Mother Jones very much around here, but I find it difficult to argue with anything Chase Madar says in this piece: