Marty, its all about choosing your propaganda. Here you get a lot of kids, not to mention a lot of families raising kids, and you show them how cool all the toys of the police are (theres recruitment for you). At the same time you send the message that police are friendly, nice, heroic men and women (best to start the reflexive defending of any thug with a badge early). By bringing out SWAT and the bomb squad you also keep the perception that police are necessary (how scary must the criminals be if these are the kinds of forces we need to hold them at bay?). And then all the way in the back of your head you have the not so subtle message of thuggery: we use this to dominate people, don’t make yourself a target, do what you’re told, remember who is in control.
Those big military parades that totalitarians are so fond of? Same damned thing.
‘Those big military parades that totalitarians are so fond of? Same damned thing.’
great point- growing up, when we studied totalitarian govts, the pictures always showed some kind of govt show of force. This IS the same. damned. thing.
This is a good spot to push the argument against a bigger federal govt. I think the bulk of this nonsense dries right up without federal grants. politicians and police unions are powerful forces, though… even fire departments are receiving millions in federal grants. they’re also being deployed by fema at great expense. firefighters love it because they’re cashing in huge ot checks… the local taxpayers don’t see the crime in this because the feds are paying the bill. I’m sure the fire unions will be pushing for more federal deployments, stand-bys, and other ‘necessary’ and ‘vital’ assignments for firefighters, just like the cops are doing. a lot of money and influence being peddled about…
yeah, i think #7 William is right on. this is the equivalent of the tactical nukes being paraded thru Red Square. its the community flexing its muscle. who cares if that muscle occasionally oppresses you, its still “YOUR” muscle.
[…] The Agitator blogger Radley Balko just moved to Nashville right about the same time as one of my best friends so his adventure in discovering the city really is kind of a glimpse into what a newcomer to the city is experiencing. Sounds Like the Scariest 5K Ever […]
On Wednesdays my local paper has a ‘B’ section which is the education section. Two weeks ago the photo on the front of section B was of career day at the elementary school where a police officer was showing the kids how to use a battering ram. Gotta teach them little buggers about the police state early on in life.
“its the community flexing its muscle. who cares if that muscle occasionally oppresses you, its still “YOUR” muscle.”
Its actually a lot more insidious then that. This isn’t just a show of force, its a subtle reminder. “We protect us from them” really means “we will use this force to hurt them” really means “remember to stay on the good side lest you move from being one of us to being one of them.” This kind of show is always a little bit of a threat. Its like watching COPS (or any of the legion of police dramas, reality shows, and forensic case file shows). Sure its kind of fun to watch that hillbilly get tased but at the same time they’re teaching you a valuable less: step out of line and the state always wins. It isn’t your muscle, its their muscle. You’re just auditioning to be a spectator.
interesting link, Stormy. one of my main issues with most traffic violations is that no one can ‘see’ the crime. it’s measured with an electronic device. in theory, I actually like the court’s ruling better, because the cop has to ‘see’ you speeding with his eyes. In reality, I think it’s a nightmare. There are too many instances of falsified dwi’s, dui’s, etc. As long as they have monetary incentives to write traffic tickets, they’ll abuse us.
I wonder if the court would uphold a citizen’s right to stand outside the donut shop and measure bmi on cops to see if they’re violating the law of nature…
“Oh, there’s a threat to America! Yeah, yeah, yeah… Back to that f-ckin’ COPS show. ‘Cuz I’ll tell you who the threat to freedom… no, no, not to freedom. I’ll tell you who the threat to the status quo is in this country: it’s us. That’s why they show you shows like f-ckin’ COPS. So you know that state power will win and we’ll bust your house down and we’ll f-ckin’ bust you anytime we want. That’s the message.”