Mark Steyn: Liberal Policies And The Bankruptcy Of Detroit
Hat Tip: BB
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In today’s America, we walk a razor’s edge between Constitutional rights and security. Predictably, as Benjamin Franklin correctly feared, security is winning. There is a must-read article at the Wall Street Journal that caught my attention yesterday and it starkly brings to the forefront the militarization of America’s cities: Rise of the Warrior Cop.
Americans are confused and torn over their security — just as Obama wanted. In the name of national security after 9-11, we condoned the Patriot Act (including yours truly). We made a serious error and we opened the door to ever more governmental fascism. Next came the DHS, the TSA and a myriad of regulatory, faceless enforcement bureaus who have no pity and no recognition of the rights of Americans. Now, on a daily basis, we are subjected to the degradation and belittling of those whose job it is to ferret out individuals and radical groups that would harm the US. The Secret Service, the military, the CIA and as of late, the NSA, have all been involved in scandals. All need to be cleaned up and reigned in. But things are about to teeter out of control on that front as well and many of the agencies may either be no more or be reformed into entities that are not recognizable as American, but as tyrannical forces that are the enforcement arm of a dictatorial government. That was Obama’s agenda all along. To remake America into his image, ala the Frankfurt School of thought.
Since the inception of the War on Drugs in the 1970s, no-knock, warrantless searches and seizures have become commonplace. This was accomplished under a Republican president by the way. Watergate was not the only crime of Richard Milhous Nixon or of the Congress during that time period:
At about the same time, President Richard Nixon was declaring war on drugs. Among the new, tough-minded law-enforcement measures included in this campaign was the no-knock raid—a policy that allowed drug cops to break into homes without the traditional knock and announcement. After fierce debate, Congress passed a bill authorizing no-knock raids for federal narcotics agents in 1970.
Over the next several years, stories emerged of federal agents breaking down the doors of private homes (often without a warrant) and terrorizing innocent citizens and families. Congress repealed the no-knock law in 1974, but the policy would soon make a comeback (without congressional authorization).
Whether the intentions were noble or nefarious, the results are the same — Americans have been increasingly subjected to military-style invasions of their homes and businesses, many times with either the citizen and/or cops getting killed mistakenly. On top of that, possessions and property are seized by the authorities with no provable charges necessary. The burden of proof of innocence falls directly on the citizen, which is a clear violation of Constitutional principles. The property is usually kept, auctioned off and the profits kept by the arresting authority. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that smells a lot like theft.
The latest count on SWAT teams nationally is over 1,200. Everyone has them from the IRS, NASA (what the hell does NASA need with a SWAT team?), Fish & Wildlife, the Department of Education, to every alphabet agency, state and local police force on the map. SWATting (the practice of calling in SWAT on someone you don’t like) has become commonplace. A dangerous game indeed that could get someone killed. Many conservatives, bloggers and celebrities have been subjected to this prank. Complaints abound, but prevention does not. It’s only a matter of time until someone dies and that could lead to even more violence.
The government is gleefully ratcheting up militarized police forces with the massive oversupply of weapons, ammo, armor and drones. They are using targets modeled after civilians: moms, kids, grandparents… Military type drills are being held in cities large and small all over the US unannounced – scaring the crap out of civilians. Which is their intent. And while this is going on, Obama, his minions and other Marxist factions in America are deliberately stirring up race riots and protests, poking the American badger into mass confrontation (or giving the appearance thereof) which will give them the excuse to bring their jackboots down on America’s neck, declare Martial Law and finally once and for all get rid of that pesky Constitution and put a ‘beloved’ leader in iron-fisted control of a once free and moral nation. Perhaps pinning her under the theologic thumb of Shariah Law and the Caliphate.
Many longtime and retired law-enforcement officers have told me of their worry that the trend toward militarization is too far gone. Those who think there is still a chance at reform tend to embrace the idea of community policing, an approach that depends more on civil society than on brute force.
In this very different view of policing, cops walk beats, interact with citizens and consider themselves part of the neighborhoods they patrol—and therefore have a stake in those communities. It’s all about a baton-twirling “Officer Friendly” rather than a Taser-toting RoboCop.
More and more, we see the recruitment of police officers whose romantic view of enforcement does not consider the rights of Americans, but rather getting home safe no matter the overall cost. What happened to “protect and serve?” It should not be “conquer and arrest.” We are playing a dangerous game without frontiers and the American battlefield is littered with the bodies of those who clearly no longer have a voice. The Constitution is being silenced and shredded along with America as a whole. I pray we can bring America back from this brink before the term “battlefield” ceases to be a metaphor and the “game” becomes a real civil war.
Hat Tip: BB
By: Lloyd Marcus
Sincere well-intentioned Americans are asking, “What must we do to heal the racial divide following the Zimmerman trial?” What my naïve fellow Americans do not comprehend is that the Democratic party and the mainstream media are heavily invested in keeping racial tension alive.
During Obama’s presidency, race exploitation has been on steroids, used by Obama minions to silence opposition to his lawless implementation of his socialist agenda. Therefore, Democrats and the MSM will continue stirring the pot of racial division until it is no longer profitable.
The American people have proven their eagerness to put race behind us by electing the first black president, exempting him from the usual vetting process of one seeking the position of leader of the free world. Given his ties to anti-American far left radicals, weak credentials and under-reported excess baggage, Obama would not have been elected president if he were white.
Lets address the question of what to do to heal America’s racial divide. The first thing I would do is enact a 50 year moratorium on Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson having access to TV cameras and microphones; banning both guys from media appearances.
Second, I would disband the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus. Both these groups have abandoned their higher purpose to become scam artists – shills for conning blacks into embracing a socialist/liberal agenda. Real black empowerment is no longer their mission, quite the opposite. Both groups are hostile to self-reliant empowered black role models. Exploiting race is the meat and potatoes of the NAACP and CBC’s modus operandi.
Another thing I would advise Americans to do to begin racial healing is stop watching most of the mainstream media; particularly CNN, MSNBC and other agenda driven networks.
For crying out loud, NBC broadcast their doctored Zimmerman 911 call to make him appear to be a racist. http://bit.ly/16PKk52 Does that sound like NBC desires racial healing? I pray Zimmerman’s lawsuit against NBC reaps him a huge financial reward.
Exploiting race is so effective, evil and divisive because racial loyalty runs deep. I was surprised to hear a few fellow black conservatives parroting the liberal media’s spin of the Zimmerman trial. Racial loyalty explains why otherwise bright blacks became brain-dead Obama voters in 2008.
Political hacks such as the DOJ’s Eric Holder who called for a “national dialog about race” are themselves the problem – fueling the flames of racial division. In reality, racial healing is Holder, Obama and company’s worst nightmare.
To racially heal our land, justice must be distributed equally rather than politicians pandering to voting blocs; each jockeying for top victim status. Cease making excuses and exempting people-of-color from obeying the law to win their votes.
Oh, and for crying out loud, stop making it open season on dissing white America. Accusing whites of racism every time they disagree with another Obama outrageous power grab or move toward Socialism does not advance national racial healing.
Allow me to recap. To begin racial healing in America we should shut up Sharpton and Jackson, close down the NAACP and CBC, cease watching agenda-driven media, stop dividing Americans into victimized voting blocs and last but not lease; allow the American people to be who they truly are, fair-minded, decent, compassionate and generous without government interference.
Please note, my suggestion to silence Sharpton and Jackson and to disband the NAACP and CBC are made in jest. Unlike the Obama Administration and MSM enforcers of Political Correctness, I honor and defend our first Amendment right to free speech.
Every day in every way, Americans are getting along really well. Race problems are not that big of a deal. I know. I know. Some of you are going nuts over my statement. But, it is true. Blacks and whites are working, playing and having babies together.
Am I saying racism no longer exist? Absolutely not. Like every other sin, racism will survive until Jesus returns. All I am saying is that racism is not the major problem that Democrats and the mainstream media are so committed to having you believe; while they promote and nurture racial division.
If the race hustling pimps in the so-called civil rights movement and the MSM would get out of our way, we Americans will work out our racial issues.
I advise my fellow Americans to continue spreading a little love and forgiveness which is what the silent majority have been doing for years.
So, there you have it folks. This is how we achieve racial healing after the Zimmerman trial.
As always, it is up to us, every day Americans who make the country work to bring about racial healing; not the race baiting liberal elitists. We are Americans, good people blessed by God.
This is why I am honored to be named among you, a proud unhyphenated American.
Lloyd Marcus, Proud Unhyphenated American
Chairman, Conservative Campaign Committee
Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)
I would like to offer my readers clarity, but there is none right now with regard to projected “peace negotiations.”
Even without clarity, it is unquestionably a vile situation — wrought with innuendo, misrepresentations, unfortunate statements and arm-twisting. And these same factors render it a mess.
My discussion of the situation will be brief, and I will follow with more when the fog lifts a bit and a more accurate understanding of what’s going on is possible. As it is, I held off writing over the last couple of days because the situation was changing by the hour and it was impossible to offer anything even remotely definitive.
Thursday was a nerve-racking day. The Palestinian Arabs were announcing that Netanyahu had agreed to their key pre-condition for negotiations — that those talks would be based on the ’67 lines. This would have been shocking and beyond totally unacceptable. But it wasn’t until late in the day that Netanyahu said definitively he hadn’t agreed to anything of the sort. At least one solid source I was in touch with felt confident that there was no crisis.
For after the denial by Netanyahu, PLO sources were said to be adamant: there would be no talks unless Israel agreed to base them on the ’67 line. They were not content with the Kerry plan. Abbas, who had gone to the PLO for a go-ahead, seemed quite unlikely to receive it.
Friday, even before any announcement was made by Kerry, there were news reports that gave me an inkling of what was happening: Apparently there had been an expectation by the Palestinian Arabs that Kerry — not Netanyahu — would announce talks that were going to be based on the ’67 line. But Netanyahu undid this with his clear and explicit denial.
What absolutely enraged me on Friday was the press release from the White House indicating that President Obama had called Prime Minister Netanyahu and urged him to work with Secretary of State Kerry to the best of his ability to enable peace negotiations to proceed. For me, the meaning was clear: We cannot get the PLO to compromise on anything, so we’re leaning on you to do more “giving.” Really, really leaning on you.
Make no mistake about it: Netanyahu has been in an international vise.
Then, in Amman, Jordan, late yesterday, after having met with Abbas, Kerry addressed the press (emphasis added):
“I’m pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis,
“This is a significant and welcome step forward. The agreement is still in the process of being finalized so we are absolutely not going to talk about any of the elements now.”
Clearly, there is little to respond to in this announcement. But I note that as close as this seems to an announcement that negotiations are about to begin — and as much as the news has announced that they are, I see a slight hedge here with “still in the process of being finalized.” Even “establishing a basis” for talks is one step shy of “having agreed to return to the table.”
When it comes to understanding what’s going on right now, we face a major problem: while Kerry said little, the parties are making claims — profoundly conflicting claims, it should be noted.
The only thing that Netanyahu has actually said — and this tonight — is that the negotiations are in Israel’s “vital strategic interests.” I will table comment on this for the moment. There’s plenty to comment on in due course: I don’t like what he’s saying at all. But he spelled out nothing specific about the basis of an agreement to return to the table.
Other Israeli sources — unnamed ministers, according to the Times of Israel — have said that the PA dropped all conditions. Sorry, I do not accept this for a moment. It simply is not a believable statement.
Elsewhere I read that Israel will be releasing Palestinian Arab prisoners, including some terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands. The anonymous Israeli sources are saying this isn’t caving to a “pre-condition” because they will not be released before negotiations begin, but only in stages after talks start.
Very sorry, but this is game playing. If the AGREEMENT to release them was solidified before talks start, this is caving to a pre-condition. Never mind that such terrorists — somewhere between 100 and 350 according to different sources — should not be released at all.
Meanwhile, “a Palestinian official said Abbas agreed to restart talks only after receiving a letter from Kerry guaranteeing that the basis of the negotiations will indeed be Israel’s pre-1967 borders (sic).”
Did Kerry deliver such a letter? Here we’re on shaky ground. I can see Kerry having done this — it might well be what moved Abbas to agree after having adamantly refused. Kerry gave Abbas something, this is certain. Extant reports about Kerry threatening to withhold financial assistance would not explain the Abbas turn-around — for this would not protect Abbas’ greatly vaunted honor, which is key.
Could be that Obama told Netanyahu to shut his mouth when this announcement was made by the Palestinians, not confirming it, but also not killing it.
But I can also see the possibility of something else: That Kerry — having delivered no such letter — is permitting or even encouraging each side to say whatever it needs to in order to appear to have achieved the upper hand, while he remains mum about details.
The same PA source that spoke about Kerry promising that negotiations would begin based on the ’67 line also indicated that his letter “stipulated that both the Israelis and Palestinians must refrain from taking any steps that would jeopardize the outcome of the talks. Thus, allegedly, Israel is not to issue new tenders for West Bank settlements, while the Palestinians are to refrain from pursuing diplomatic actions against Israel at international organizations.”
And indeed, there have been rumors about an “unofficial” building freeze. While keeping Abbas from the UN has been one of Kerry’s key goals.
The Palestinian Arabs are saying that the talks would last six to nine months and focus on “borders and security.” Israeli sources are saying nine to twelve months.
All that seems clear is that in the next week or two a first meeting — whether to begin talks or to set up arrangements for talks is vague — is supposed to take place in Washington, with Tzipi Livni, Israel’s chief negotiator, Netanyahu envoy Yitzhak Molcho and the PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat. I must assume that Kerry or other US representatives would be present.
I had never expected the situation to get to this point, because it is not viable. The mere fact of the different stories indicates precisely this. How are the parties going to seriously negotiate anything, if they cannot agree on terms going in? Israel and the PA/PLO are simply too far apart.
Abbas is dead (literally) if he compromises. This is not going to go to a final agreement.
What is clear, however, is that the Israeli government must be watched very very closely as this proceeds, so that no regrettable precedents are established and nothing is given away.
Make no mistake about it: Even as I wrestle in analytic terms to understand what’s taking place, I am furious. And sick. This should not be happening. The Palestinian Arabs should not be given anything to coax them to a negotiating table. What seems to not occur to the Americans, or to not matter to them, is that if they have to be coaxed they don’t really want a “two state solution” that brings “peace.”
But first and foremost, I want assurance — real assurance, not empty political words — that our prime minister has not agreed to negotiations based on the ’67 line. And I want to know what he has agreed to up front.
The idea of a Palestinian state was a non-starter from the beginning. It’s time to throw out the notion of this “solution” and examine other alternatives. Those alternatives must consider Israeli rights. I cringe when I hear “security.” Yes, it’s important. But so are our rights. Too many Israeli leaders have forgotten about them.
As we watch this in the days and weeks ahead, there will be many premises that will require examination.
What I want to do here is recommend some very important articles on related, but different, subjects:
Jan Sokolovsky and Ari Briggs of Regavim have written a very important piece about Arabs taking over land in Judea and Samaria with EU support. This is information we should all have:
Then from Alan Baker, “The European Union — Hypocrisy, Hostility and Blatant Prejudice.”
Baker, an international lawyer, looks at the legal fallacies of EU positions on settlements, as well the long standing hostility to Israel exhibited by the EU.
This is an important piece, providing solid documentation. It should be saved and shared.
Lastly here, NGO monitor looks at the relationship between NGOs, hostile to Israel, and EU positions. It’s a story that is important and not well understood.