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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...

Friday, July 1, 2011

The media deportation of Jose Antonio Vargas--a powerful lesson in the hypocricy of so many engaged in matters of liberty and justice.

The media deportation of Jose Antonio Vargas

Journalism's self-appointed guardians have denounced Vargas's deception with no regard for the realities of his immigrant status

Vargas showed a lot of courage and a lot faith in his fellow journalists when he stepped out of the closet.  Problem for him, it was the wrong closet to step out of.  It's hard to imagine how he must have believed that the majority of journalists gave a damn about the individuals who live among us illegally.  He must have thought they had compassion for those who live a secret life in terror of being discovered.  He didn't interpret his colleagues' silence around the plight, treatment, and indignity of illegal workers who live in the shadows and are increasingly hated by self described freedom loving Americans as meaning they didn't care, or worse, that they agreed with such perspective.

He must have thought there was a silent concern and objection among his peers to the growing concessions made by legal citizens, of their own civil liberties, in exchange for the promise that illegals would be weeded out and deported, and anyone hiring or even transporting them would be punished.  

Surly, he must have thought, his colleagues would be inspired when they realized that a so-called illegal could be anyone!  Even a Pulitzer prize winning fellow journalist. 

His experience must be a living hell, to realize how those of his fellow colleagues whom he thought shared a real concern and compassion for humanity and freedom, were in fact shallow, petty and hollow.  

Vargas is a man persecuted by unjust laws for being who he is – an undocumented immigrant – trying to live not just a normal, but an extraordinary, life. For that, he should be applauded. Meanwhile, Bronstein and others in the journalism establishment are rewriting Vargas's tragedy as a boilerplate melodrama, with themselves playing the victims.--Excerpt from The media deportation of Jose Antonio Vargas | Daniel Denvir | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk 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


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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