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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...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chilean Mining Rescue Offers Lesson Worth Importing

"We did it the Chilean Way," noted President Sebastián Piñera after 33 miners were rescued from a ten-week ordeal in a copper mine in western Chile. And so they did. Chile's rescue effort welcomed technological assistance from companies on opposite sides of the planet, including Samsung of Korea and Center Rock of the United States, to name but two.

As in the rescue operation, so in Chile's trade policy: the country's success stems in no small measure from avoiding the nationalistic protectionism that has crippled numerous countries in the less-developed world, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Alvaro Vargas Llosa. The lesson? "The less inward-looking a country is," writes Vargas Llosa in his latest column, "the more successful it can be--and the prouder its patriotic citizens can be of its achievements."

The United States, Europe, and Japan should also "import" that lesson if they wish to reverse their decline. "Getting it right is an attitude that needs to be renewed with each generation," Vargas Llosa continues. "Perhaps the extraordinary achievements coming out of the emerging world will help trigger that process."
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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


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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