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Friday, August 7, 2009

Dems release their inner totalitarian

OrangePunch Liberty Blog
August 7th, 2009, 1:32 pm
posted by Steven Greenhut
I guess it’s not a surprise that President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders (with the help of their union goons) are trying to intimidate Americans into silence. They believe that the government should provide health care, even if it means long lines and other forms of rationing, and they therefore think that those Americans who show up at town hall meetings to protest their latest step down that path are Nazis, Republican hacks and lack civility. It would be so much better if people who fear the loss of their health care, or at least its provision in DMV-style agencies would be more polite and just go home and shut up. When the union gangs showed up at the meetings to show what real thuggery is about … well, that’s OK.

Personally, I prefer the current situation, whereby the Democrats are overreaching and are showing their totalitarian tendencies to the public (complete with a call for people to turn in improper anti-health-care information to a White House email address, where the authorities will look into the matter), rather than the alternative, which would have been a John McCain health-care plan that went 70 percent down the road that the Great Leader Obama is taking us. Had that happened, the GOP would have been strong-armed into supporting their Great Leader and the Democrats would have jumped on board and passed it, all the while decrying how insufficient the McCain health-care plan happened to be. In other words, the Dems are bungling this because they truly believe that their opponents (average Americans) are Nazis and fools. So it won’t pass. The Republicans would have passed something that wasn’t quite as bad but was still pretty bad. This is an opportunity for advocates of freedom to stop a bad plan in its tracks and reframe the health-care debate. Click here to continue

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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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