Via Erik Kain (someone not enough of you read or link, btw), is Radley Balko’s follow up of the SWAT raid in Missouri where the cops popped a cap into a corgi:
But despite all the anger the raid has inspired, the only thing unusual thing here is that the raid was captured on video, and that the video was subsequently released to the press. Everything else was routine. Save for the outrage coming from Columbia residents themselves, therefore, the mass anger directed at the Columbia Police Department over the last week is misdirected. Raids just like the one captured in the video happen 100-150 times every day in America. Those angered by that video should probably look to their own communities. Odds are pretty good that your local police department is doing the same thing.
Go read the whole thing.
There is so much insanity going on in this country on any given day that it is hard to keep track of it all, but surely our bizarre behavior and attitudes and laws regarding drugs has to be near the top of any list of inexplicable nonsense. Alcohol, ok! Marijuana, bad! Property taxes- tyranny! Cops raiding your house and shooting your dogs because of a plant- ehh, they had it coming!
Just completely bizarre and I hope in a few years we will look back at this and wonder just WTF we were thinking.
Aside from Radley Balko’s b.s. defense of himself and Reason on this blog about a month(?) ago, I still think he is pretty awesome for the reporting he does.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
I have a theory that in a thousand years, historians will look back on the US as just an offshoot of the British Empire, in the same way the Byzantine Empire was just an offshoot of Rome. And very few people talk about them.
The Moar You Know
Me too, but I suspect we’ll be looking back in a few years and longing for the good old days when we didn’t have to pay monthly fees to the police to be allowed to drive or walk into our houses without facing summary execution.
I hope in a few years we will look back at this and wonder just WTF we were thinking
Pish posh. We’ll be far too busy scavenging for food to have an opinion one way or the other.
Never mind, the rapture is coming, and at that point dogs and cats will take over the earth anyway.
They’ll develop opposable thumbs and take their revenge on any policemen left behind.
Or more accurrately, driving through the wastelnds looking for gas for our muscle cars wearing nothing but football gear and feathers.
Soon. Very soon.
@Cynickal: Not the Evangelicals. They’ll be wearing wetsuits (two of them in fact) and will be sitting up very straight in the seats.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
Yea, or, how come we didn’t realize things would get a lot worse.
Bill Section 147
Some thought that the Hutaree Terrorist militia were nuts thinking they could start the End-Times Revolution by attacking the police and spark an over-reaction. Note to militia: put some weed in the cop’s cars before the next uprising.
The Oakland Deer must-a-been trying to score some leaf when police handled their business.
I spent yesterday with a former client (a 60 year old woman who lives with her 83 year old mother) who’s home was raided by 9 cops on Friday night looking for weed. NINE COPS! Because a neighbor had reported “suspicious drug activity” at her house (the neighbor is a prick and has also reported her for feeding stray cats, we won that trial).
With that I come home this evening and find Tigger dead under the deck. Someone had fucking shot him. I hate human beings sometimes. Who could look at this face
and think “hmmmmm I think I will shoot that”. I hope that the mother fucker is a christian and that he roasts in fucking hell after being told to GTFO by St. Francis when he shows up at the pearly gates.
I cannot understand human beings. I really can’t.
Karen in GA
O/T — the fail is strong with this one.
CNN Pundit Draws Ire From All Sides
If everyone hates him, he can’t be bad!
With bonus quote from Jane Hamsher, calling him an “honest broker.”
Back to your regularly scheduled discussion that I’m avoiding because my head would fly straight up off my neck.
Already happened in my house.
@Litlebritdifrnt: OMG, I am sorry. It pisses me off when I am driving along and see a bunch of birds on the street and the a**hole in the next lane intentionally speeds up to run over these birds(and I have seen this three times recently.) I can’t imagine this with a cat.
@Karen in GA:
Clicked the link, thinking, “Nope, no way. Can’t be Erick.” Boy howdy, was I wrong. Didn’t bother reading it, though: People who think Erick Erickson isn’t far-right enough are people I don’t want to waste my time on.
How did Australians find all of that American football gear after the Apocalypse? Did gyro captain take a quick trans-Pacific jaunt to pick up all those shoulder pads?
BTW, The Road Warrior is one of my all time favorite movies – not the first one which was fairly silly and definitely not the third which was doubleplus ungood. But in this post-Sugar Tits era, I have a hard time watching anything with Mel Gibson in it. Thanks for ruining a great movie for me, Mel!
@Litlebritdifrnt: Holy cow! I’m so sorry. What an awful situation! On top of so many other awful situations. Your kitty deserved much better. As do so many others.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
From Matt Taibbi:
I was going to talk about how much more acceptable the mainstream finds violence against others today, but that won’t help Litlebritdifrnt.
Sorry for your loss. RIP Tigger.
Karen in GA
I don’t blame you. But that means you missed the part about how he’s “sometimes shown a pragmatic streak” because he banned birthers from Redstate. (Has he? I’ve never bothered reading Redstate.)
Evidently at the New York Times, “sometimes capable of not being entirely bugfuck crazy” is considered pragmatic. That explains a lot.
Karen in GA
@Litlebritdifrnt: Oh, damn. I’m so sorry.
What the fuck kind of miserable bastard does something like that?
After Bristol Palin won the presidency with Meghan McCain as her running mate (if you needed to know the source of the Apocalypse, look no further), they immediately launched a pre-emptive war against all non-english speaking nations. After repeated viewings of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Secretary of State Jenna Bush determined that Australia should be added to the list of non-english speaking nations. Lacking traditional weaponry as it had been used all over Asia, and the Republican administration overlooking the fact that all of our bombs were now made in China, they had to resort to bombing Australia with surplus football and hockey equipment.
Good god. I am so sorry about Tigger. What kind of fucking loser shoots a house cat?
@Karen in GA:
I did not believe this, clearly, because it would be crazy talk.
Erick Erickson, an “honest broker” who avoids “reciting prescribed talking points.”
@Karen in GA:
Jeez, we could spend all week making the list of assholes that would fit the bill, so instead I’ll post a Stereolab video.
Dear NYTimes, Calamity Jane Hamsher does not speak for the left.
@Midnight Marauder: A typo. Hamsher obviously said ‘honestly bonkers’.
Emphasizing police abuses as a result of our admittedly ill-conceived war on some drugs let’s police departments off lightly. The problem is far deeper, and has to do with hiring the wrong people as officers, badly managed departments, and — most importantly — the general acceptance by Americans of fascistic behavior by our government officials, because “freedom” has come to be relevant only to owning guns and not having tax money go to minorities. There was another incident in Seattle, also filmed, that did not involve murdering dogs but instead kicking an innocent kid on the head because he was brown. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g1uvG5WoX0&feature=player_embedded
@fourlegsgood: She’s in good company, as she joins a rogue’s gallery of people who didn’t speak for me when the NY Times assumed they spoke for me.
People are sick. I have come to realize that after years of owning animals and observing wildlife. I have also seen drivers actively swerving to hit something on the road, it sickens me. I have watched horrified as a pick up truck hit two dogs in the middle of the road and just keep on driving, like they had driven over a log. I cannot get my head around the fact that there are people like us who view every life to be precious, and those who view other living things as sport.
Despite the fact that Tigger attempted to kill me everytime I walked around the garden by twisting himself around my legs I shall miss him like the dickens. He was the most noble of cats, and had more class and humanity than the piece of shit that shot him. I shall, without remorse, pray for the M-F to DIAF.
I’ve always theorized that some chemical or preservative which was cleared by Reagan’s FDA for use in food or for pest control or something like that actually increases the likelihood of exposed children growing up to be sadists and psychopaths. Honest-to-God, I think the number of people who can be classified as soulless monsters had quintupled in the last thirty years.
@Karen in GA:
You have something on your lip.
I believe it is semen.
Might want to clean that up.
Karen in GA
I’m not religious at all, but I’ll make an exception here and pray right along with you.
Confidential informants are a real threat, in my view. In this case, they got the alleged “tip” from a confidential informant. The informant makes a deal to plead to a lesser charge or gets a break on sentencing, and then basically turns over his phone list. If you’re on it, they’re going to be searching your trash, as here, and that’s what justified the warrant. There’s lots of law on when they can search your trash, so read up. Better not carry it to the curb!
Confidential informants are not reliable, they have an inherent conflict, and they sweep a lot of people up in their desperate ingratiating deal-making. They leave a trail of wreckage, and a lot of them have a sort of odd authoritarian-worshiping attitude. They want to be on The Team. They’re Tool Number One in the drug war tool kit, because they make it possible to sweep in ever-widening circles.
If anyone’s interested, they must have dropped the child endangerment charge, because the man here didn’t plead to it. I suspect they dropped it because the police officers lied when outraged neighbors called and claimed they did not know a child was in the house. Would be tough to charge him with child endangerment, huh? No child!
Personally (and it may be an unpopular theory) I think it has to do with video games. What is the difference between shooting something on a screen and doing it in real life. On the screen the “victim” just gets up and gets to live again. There are some people who cannot differentiate.
@Litlebritdifrnt: Oh hon, I’m so sorry. That’s just one of those days that really makes you lose your faith in humanity, isn’t it? I hope that Karma royally kicks the ass of the psychopath who shot your cat AND your former client’s asshole of a neighbour.
These aren’t policies about drugs. They’re about militarizing the police, funding a privatized prison industry, jailing much of the lower classes, making narco-trafficking more profitable, and of course, training the population to expect routine and frightening levels of violence by police forces — you know, like was normal in the late 19th – early 20th centuries, when police forces were relatively new.
You can’t play that card, though. Saying, “Police Departments hire the wrong guys” and then linking to some police brutality doesn’t address the problem at hand. It just suggests that humanity is too incompetent to police itself.
The reason that the War on Drugs is such a recurring problem is that it gives police the excuse to bust down your door and beat up your kids or kill your pets. An officer that raids a man’s house and walks out with nothing can get sanctioned or punished. An officer that walks out with half an ounce of weed was just doing his job.
The Drug War is just one big ongoing excuse for malfeasance.
Kay – THAT, exactly THAT was their justification for the search warrant, they emptied her trash can at 1AM (and lets not even go into the sheer absurdity of police officers being out at 1AM going through someone’s trash can when they could have been you know out catching real criminals) and allegedly found “burnt vegetable matter” Excuse me? I am a pretty good cook but probably seven days a week you could find “burnt vegetable matter” in my trash can, thanks to my forgetting to turn off burners after I have dished out dinner.
Thanks. I am holding up right now. I have cried as much as I can cry and right now am just trying to hold on to the tiny bit of faith I have in the human race. I am holding on by my fingertips though. Anything you guys can do to grab my butt and push me over the edge is helping.
Well you can start by supporting these initiatives:
It’s important that both of them pass simultaneously in November so that it’s harder to strike down politically.
@Litlebritdifrnt: Personally I think that’s stuttering bullshit fountained forth only by people who know nothing about video game culture.
Somehow my decades of video-gaming (including literally MONTHS spent playing Duke Nukem and Unreal) have failed to turn me into a murderous psychopath. I don’t even own a gun, and never will.
Errrr, can we pull you back, instead?
And yer on your own with yer butt.
ETA: And it has nothing to do about nothing with video games (or teevee or devil music or religion or money &c.). In fact, human beings have always been horrible, cruel, and nasty. If anything, in past times more so than now.
Right? But they couldn’t use the confidential informant as probable cause, so they had to search the trash, to get the warrant, on the tip from the confidential informant.
It all makes perfect sense, in the drug war.
How much did that evening cost the county? He paid a fine of 300 dollars.
They could be sending every drug addict in the county to residential celebrity rehabs for what these swat team adventures cost. Places with saunas, and massage.
Instead they’re warehousing them, putting the kids in foster care, and releasing them as convicted felons, which all but assures they’ll never be working on the books again. Good job! Could we possibly make this more long-term expensive and stupid?
We’re all just a bunch of self-obsessed jack-asses. Who wants alcohol legal but weed illegal? Those who drink beer but don’t smoke weed. Who wants health insurance to cover erectile dysfunction pills but not birth control pills? Men who want to bork their wives / girlfriends / men in airport bathroom stalls but who can’t have babies because they’re men. Who wants other people’s dogs shot in front of their children? People who can’t conceive this ever happening to them, even though it could.
Self-obsessed jack-assery. It drives 95% of our country’s intellectual incohesiveness, and conservatives aren’t the only ones who practice it, but they sure are the ones who have perfected it and commoditized it for the benefit of the small core of nihilistic, amoral elite like Dick Cheney.
If we don’t do something to decriminalize drugs, there will be pretty much no way of stopping the proliferation of Mexican super-narco-paramilitaries, such as existed at the height of Colombia’s wilder narco-trafficker days — I mean, before the government was led by a man who literally helped launch the government-tied right wing death squad narco-paramilitaries, who don’t care quite so much about free-range narco-traffickers.
When you consider that the Roman Empire, for some the pinnacle of civilization in the ancient world, had a decided policy of expansionist wars and cruel punishments for those that violated social norms, one notices that not a fucking thing has changed.
Maybe Sumer? Nah.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
I’ve blogged on this and provided updates as the story’s developed:
@Litlebritdifrnt: I’m sorry for your loss, but don’t become a stupid ignorant excusemaker. If you truly believe this, you are now part of the problem. Rather than actually digging into the root cause or doing some real research of the subject, you go for the easy pill to solve the issue. “Videogames” is such a crock of bullshit.
GTA has sold millions upon millions of units, but we don’t have millions upon millions of sadistic bloodthirsty people going around the country. The same is true of any videogame. All of these bloody, violent videogames have sold millions upon millions of units, but they aren’t the cause of the problem or play a big role in it.
They just act as a convenient scapegoat.
@Litlebritdifrnt: People are sick. We’ve got a nice culture going based on the currency of ‘I got mine, fuck you’. Half the country seems to want to run their own little dictatorships of one. The other half seems to be trying to figure out how to survive in a sea of borderline sociopaths.
I never seem to find ways to forget that at their core, people are just animals with guns.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
I should add that during the big press briefing yesterday, at the end, the Columbia PD Chief said at the end, when asked what he felt he learned from this:
“I hate the internet”.
Fucking asshole. It’s the internet that held you and your sorry ass bullies with badges SWAT team accountable.
we can be heroes
Wow, that was a great Stereolab video.
Also, regarding this drug raid, I’ve seen the idea floated that the cops involved were only enforcing a bad law, aren’t to be blamed overmuch for their excesses, blah blah blah. I am formally calling bullshit on that, right here and now.
Stupid/insane doesn’t ‘run out’.
Yeah I know. It was a kneejerk reaction and I should be called out on it. I am just really pissed off at the world right now and it was an easy target. I regret it.
Fleas correct the era
I’m so sorry for your loss, and I join you in prayer.
@Litlebritdifrnt: I’m really sorry for your loss. I know how it feels to lose a beloved pet.
@we can be heroes:
Oh, I don’t know about that. Here, they volunteer for the MANN unit. It’s a chosen assignment, so self-selecting. Did you see the gear they were wearing in the video? Ordinary “community policing” doesn’t require dressing like a soldier. Ordinary (good) police officers spend a lot of time negotiating and talking with crazy-mad-drunk people. They have a different “skill set” than the drug commandos. They try to bring it the fear level down, not UP.
It’s gotten worse, too. They used to wear jackets with “police” printed on the back (for obvious reasons) and jeans and sneakers. Now they’re decked out like a national army. I feel as if it really took off after 9/11, the “police officer as soldier” theme.
Consider this a little bloggy push from me. Hold on tight and you’ll get back over the ledge. Be well!
Kay – we had an incident a couple of years back when the police shot a kid at UNCW through a screened door on suspicion of stealing an X-box or something. At the TV hearing of the thing the Wilmington PD showed up in full “stormtrooper” gear. My boss (a country lawyer) watched aghast, he wanted to know “when did this country become a police state?” Whatever you say about Britain, our local bobbies are just that, nicely dressed bobbies, who’s only weapon is a truncheon. Over here in the US the cops are armed with guns, tasers, pepper spray, bullet proof vests, and probably small nuclear weapons.
Dear god I hope legal weed passes in CA.
@Litlebritdifrnt: Dear god, I’m so sorry. It’s just terrible.
As I told a friend, years ago, when the same thing happened to her:
Litlebritdifrnt: Oh no. No words.
@Litlebritdifrnt: I’m so terribly sorry to hear that. I hope you find the bastard who did it.
Balko is right that this happens all over the country, but he’s wrong that “the mass anger directed at the Columbia Police Department … is misdirected.” If people all over the country are visibly horrified by the sick behavior of these particular cops — even if there’s other equally sick stuff that they weren’t aware of — the public anger is still out there for police departments in other towns to see, and it might help remind other civilians in other towns (including reporters) that this kind of thing is serious shit.
If everyone just gets furious at Columbia and then forgets all about it forever, then obviously that doesn’t help, but the people who would do that are not really the people who are going to be motivated to look into the doings of their own police department either.
I’ve been wondering WTF we were thinking for 40 years now.
Same thing (drug raid) happened in suburban DC two years ago, although circumstances were slightly different, the result was just as needlessly tragic.
Sorry about having your friend taken from you.
Bad crap was going on when I was a kid, many moons ago. I’m sure it was going on long before that. We would hear about it first or maybe second hand and that would be about it. Now total strangers from around the world can talk about this, see the videos, spread the story. We are aghast at all these acts. We would have been before if we had known they were happening. So we can say, the world is a much more dangerous place, more rapists, more murders, more police brutality. It may or may not have gotten worse, but we are exposed to it much more than decades prior. Look at the news from the Vietnam era. Early on footage was shown every night on tv. People figured out that war is dirty, deadly stuff. How much have you seen from Iraq? How many remember this photo?
People are animals. And we do arm a lot of them. Some who have no remorse, no concept of others, no concept of what life is, how precious time is. But they will act the same way about others no matter what the tool they use to do it.
I wish I had, or someone, anyone, had a key, an idea how to change the nature of humans so that so many of us would not be such mindless pricks.
Talk about a pony.
@Litlebritdifrnt: OhgodohgodohFUCK, I am so sorry. There are no words but I share your grief and your rage. I hope the unmitigated BASTARD who did this suffers every day of his (or, I guess, her) natural life and then for a few eons and millenia in whatever afterlife there may be. I’m simultanously weeping and spitting nails. Hugs tou you and RIP, beautiful Tigger.
@Litlebritdifrnt: Wow. I’m sorry. Whoever’s responsible, what a bastard.
By the way, if you wonder where the police get the money for all the para-military gear, much of it comes from the Federal government and decades of “support the police” politics. The easiest way to turn this around would be to shut off the federal spigot.
Re the whole video game discussion: I’m personally not a gamer and the more violent ones just repel me from the start — in any case, I’m no expert — but I’m inclined to believe that they are going to prompt genuinely violent real-life behaviour only in people who are pretty close to the tipping point already. If someone has a propensity to lose control and FUCKING SHOOT PEOPLE’S CATS, it could be a video game, a billboard, a talking ad on an otherwise harmless blog, or an annoying kid sister, doesn’t matter, *something* will be the catalyst to send that person over the edge. I’d prefer to see resources devoted to early identification of and treatment for these people than to banning the games or music or whatever (not that anyone here was suggesting that, but there are people who do).
And we can thank the War on Drugs for transforming every major and medium sized metropolitan police department into a paramilitary organization.
Why the bloody hell does Columbia, Missouri, population 85,000, need a SWAT team?
@fourlegsgood: What kind of fucking loser shoots a house cat?
A cop sending a message about an attorney’s choice of clients.
Yeah, I went there. Tell me how unpossible it is.
John said “Just completely bizarre and I hope in a few years we will look back at this and wonder just WTF we were thinking.”
I have to tell you that at age 64, having come of age during the era of the Civil Rights movement, then surviving the era of Vietnam and “The Hippies”, then Nixon and Watergate, then Raygun, I harbor no optimism anymore. In fact, my cynicism is probably my most distinguishing trait anymore.
For a long time I honestly thought that the latter half of the 20th century, despite the harsh bumps in the road, represented a continued progression along the path since the Age of Enlightenment of the triumph of reason and science. I also foolishly thought we were finally making progress in acknowledging little things like equality among races, and even for women. I always felt this a good thing, especially as one who as a teenager attended e.g. one of the first schools integrated in Birmingham in the early 1960’s, and personally witnessed the first two Black girls being escorted by an old maid teacher everywhere, and spit on by other students in the halls if the opportunity arose.
Instead, I look around me now at a nation seemingly gone mad.
We have a Congress in thrall and bondage of money to special interests and corporate America and the masters of Wall Street.
We have a Democratic president who has left in place and not dismantled the gulag and police state apparatus imposed by the prior regime.
We have a stock market that is now nothing more than a finely tuned gambling machine run by computers that constantly manipulate and respond to market conditions in order to steadily peel off profits for those running the shell game, as was so well demonstrated in the faux-crash last week, and in the revelations of insider trading by large firms whose computers were running seconds ahead of what the masses knew re: changes in the market.
We have corporate and Faux Noise Nutwork sponsored/created Tea Baggers running around pushing the most incoherent and internally self-contradictory hodgepodge of right-wing talking points imaginable, people whose “movement” was nothing but a creation of the propaganda masters of the corporations. I mean give me a break, in a document the first point of which is to insist that NOTHING be embodied in law that is not literally in the Constitution later has a paragraph mentioning ACORN. For $DEITY’s sake, man, the head just wants to burst. Yet the media lavishes them with attention, while ignoring demonstrations on immigration and other issues which attract many orders of magnitude more people.
Our journalism establishment has become utterly corrupt and useless. As far as I am concerned, there is no real journalism and investigative reporting on TV anymore, I simply quit watching any of it about 8 years ago. It is all part of the Orwellian / Huxley soma-culture, run by and for the benefit of the corporations that own and now control the news media. It is pablum, infotainment, and propaganda for the masses. The very fact that the contrived crap offered up as reality shows are even called “reality” shows says it all. (With all due apologies to a close friend who is the father of the producer of the original “Survivor” series. I actually got to meet the guy and talk with him for about a half hour once. Facts are facts, though, sometimes.)
Since I am from Alabama originally, I cannot close without bashing a state still today with a population that revels in its ignorance and backwardness. To rest my case, I simply point you to the latest hit political ad there, in which we have candidates arguing over who is the most anti-Evolution, and who will do the most to further lower the educational standards and content of the schools of the state:
I don’t know about that, either. Someone is deciding how to use the funds, locally. Our city police force are (generally) professional and reasonable. They applied for and got funding for a bicycle unit. People like that they’re out of the patrol car in the summer. Our county police force are thugs. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that the sheriff (county) is elected, and the police chief is not. The sheriff here is essentially a political actor: he pontificates on crime, generally, he does dramatic news releases on meth busts, he constantly lobbying for more funding, he’s developed this whole swaggering public persona, and his attitude is reflected in his deputies. I never hear a public word from the police chief, yet his agency is run better, and the city police seem to do their jobs well without making people afraid of them.
Federal funding or not, I think it comes down to local control, and maybe “tough on crime” political ambitions.
@kay: Nope. The Federal spigot still plays a large role because you have to justify why you are getting those funds by showing enough results that you can say it’s working, but we could really use just a little bit more to really finish the problem off once and for all.
The Wire shows you a good example of how counterproductive that can be.
It’s the same carrot and stick approach the government used with the seatbelt laws.
@Joey Maloney #76: you may be the first to post that thought, but you werrent the first or only one to think it. Same occurred to me when I first read Litlebrit’s original post. The timing was just a little too coincidental, yes? And impossible to prove.
Paul in KY
@Litlebritdifrnt: I’m so sorry about Tigger. Such a cute cat. Probably some teenaged to tween punk or an old asshole who has an obsession about their flower beds, etc.
@Litlebritdifrnt: it’s an unpopular theory because the sort of person who cannot differentiate between fantasy and reality would act that way regardless of whether they play games or not. games are no more the cause than R rated movies or the evening news. if anything they are a symptom of our culture’s attitude that violence is okay, but sex is evil.
i’d blame poor parenting, if you need to place blame.
@Litlebritdifrnt: I’m very sorry for your loss.