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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...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Moms to the Barricades 'The tea parties are an extension of our need to protect the future for our children.'

By MICHAEL GRAHAM

If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. And if you've been to a tea party, you know Momma ain't happy at all.

Forget "angry white men." In the male-dominated world of conservative politics, the tea party stands out as a movement of energized and organized women. In particular, moms.

Moms like Sarah Palin, of course, who's been described as the "Momma Bear" of the tea party movement. But more important are the thousands of women at the state and local level who created this political phenomenon.

Moms like Christen Varley, the suburban mother of four who organized the successful tea party rally on Boston Common last month. Moms like Karen Miner Herd, who calls herself "one of the founding mothers" of the tea party movement in Virginia.

Her favorite tea party sign? "Menopause Was Change Enough for Me."

In fact, a recent Quinnipiac poll of voters found a majority of tea party supporters—55%—are women. To put that in perspective, only 48% of women voted for George W. Bush in 2004. And just two years ago, President Obama won 56% of the female vote.Click here to read more...
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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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