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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, July 15, 2009

California Screaming: The Golden State's political class comes unglued in the face of a citizens' revolt.

This piece has made the rounds, but just in case you missed it, I loved it and I hope everyone gets a chance to read it. It demarcates the boundaries and the limits for the bluest of blue tax payers. Wow, what a thrill to see there is a limit.

But there’s another interpretation of California’s rebellion, one with far sunnier implications for those of us who prefer our governments constrained. Faced with a political class that ignored bureaucratic inefficiency, that demanded higher taxes, that filled the newspapers with scare stories about people who will literally die as a result of budget cuts, the citizens of one of the bluest states in the nation collectively said we just don’t believe you anymore. If even California’s famous fruits and nuts can call the statists’ bluff, there may be hope for the rest of the country.

Click here to read the article
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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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