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Friday, March 23, 2012

Pledge of Allegiance at a Union Dinner « LewRockwell.com Blog

Excerpt: "But why the Pledge of Allegiance? Is this some sort of pox that Americans have caught? Is it that as their country goes downhill, they believe that this is some sort of ritual incantation that will resurrect its past life? Or, more likely, is this a way of "unifying" the people in the room, of sweeping them under one social umbrella so that they'll be more receptive to the union messages? A blessing would do that. Is there something wrong with saying a blessing? Is blessing the United States of America supposed to be better? No, but it's more politically effective."
Click here to read full post, Pledge of Allegiance at a Union Dinner « LewRockwell.com Blog


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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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