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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May election more of an IQ test: Voters can pass the test by voting no on everything.

Sunday, May 10, 2009
Steven Greenhut
Sr. editorial writer and columnist
The Orange County Register

Don't think of the May 19 ballot as a special election so much as an IQ test.

California voters are being asked to approve six budget "reforms" that will supposedly fix the state's massive budget deficit and keep politicians from digging a big hole in the future. The titles and verbiage for each one are rather complex, but it's not any test of intelligence to figure out what the measures really mean. The politicians who drafted them – or at least who hired the lawyers who drafted them – don't really know how they will play out, and I doubt any legislator or the governor has more than a passing knowledge of the details contained within 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E or 1F. How can an average voter be expected to do any better?
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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