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Friday, October 28, 2016

Attention citizens: I have received inside information revealing that global terrorists are targeting us again. Their target is not Washington, New York City or even Disneyland. Rather, it is: Concord.

You know, in New Hampshire. The state capital. Even though only about 43,000 people live there, Concord apparently has some sort of secret significance that makes it a target. We can infer this from an extraordinary defensive action being taken by local authorities. Concord police, fully backed by the city council, are preparing for a horrific terrorist assault. Specifically, they sought a $258,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security so they can gird themselves for the onslaught by purchasing a “Lenco BearCat G3” armored vehicle. Sure enough, DHS gladly coughed up the cash.

This bold stand to defend the homeland was revealed by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, which obtained a copy of the grant request. Actually, it is not al Qaeda terrorists that have Concord’s police gearing up for war, but, as their request put it, “the domestic type” of terrorists.

Really? Terrorists in Concord? Yes, claim police, referring vaguely to “daily challenges” and warning that the “threat is real and here.”

Who are these domestic demons? The police finger two groups. First, Occupy NH. But it’s a benign bunch that legitimately protests inequalities in our country, and its only “violence” has been directed at litter, having joined in local litter pickup days. Second, the Free State Project. But it’s just a libertarianish outfit trying to convince 20,000 likeminded people to move to New Hampshire and support limited government. How’s that for irony?

Neither group is armed or dangerous, and both are committed to nonviolence. Still, the police insist they need a BearCat G3 because of terrorist threats that might involve “chemical, biological and radiological materials, as well as explosive gases.”

However, the most explosive gas in Concord is spewing directly from the out-of-control police officials who assail their own peaceful citizens as “terrorists.” And the real threat to our security is DHS, which keeps shoveling our tax dollars into the militarization of America’s police forces. In fact, the real motive behind Concord’s desire for this war toy seems to have been BearCat envy — it turns out that the nearby towns of Keene and Manchester already had BearCats, so Concord cops wanted to keep up with the Joneses in the ever-escalating police arms race.

But this ridiculous and dangerous conversion from honest police work to a martial force in our own land is not just a matter of acquiring arms, but of our police departments acquiring a military attitude. An example of this alarming shift can be found in, of all places, the Garden of Eden.

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    I’ve stated all along that our Police Forces are becoming more and more Militarized.

    The Ninja-styled headware reminds me of Shock Troops. And, these guys are your Next Door Neighbors too.

    Cowards to show their faces I presume!

    You don’t need to worry about the federal government invading your home. All you have to do is turn to your friendly neighborhood Police Force.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    I used to live in NH. The town officials up there live in terror of anything upsetting the status quo of the past 230 years. This includes people moving up there from Boston with their new fangled citified ideas like gasoline powered buggies, telephones that do not need a switchboard operator to connect calls, and other modern contraptions. They expect everyone to vote Republican, just like their Great-Great-Grandfathers voted Whig, just like their Great-Grandfathers voted Federalist.
    They want their annual town hall meetings to decide every issue before the community, including all budgets, be settled in one night. They want their legislature to only meet for six to eight weeks every two years, so as not to do anything damaging to the rest of the state. And they demand the right for each voting citizen to have the opportunity to personally meet and discuss issues with each potential candidate for President.

    Anything that upsets any of those things is considered a threat to the status quo. After all, the possibility of someone actually wanting to “Live Free” but not the way the local Congregational Church expects them to, is outside their reckoning.

    • sigrid28

      I see this militarization as one trend in police work on a local level, perhaps due to the role veterans now play in town police forces as a natural transition to “civil” life. All of this daring-do and military high jinx in Concord and the Garden of Eden seems like an distortion designed by town and country officials eager to play with their new toys. The Keystone Cops aspect of the thing, as very well illustrated by Jim Hightower, would be funny if there were not so much money wasted on these endeavors and if politics were not as polarizing as it is today. If only well trained vets were able to transition to police work and bring expertise to this enterprise, where it is sorely needed.

      I’m kind of shocked to find myself about the bring up a very positive aspect of police work that goes in tandem with militarization, which is evident in the medium-sized Iowa town in which I live. Most members of the police force have college educations and are very well trained in psychology. Those with the highest degree of expertise in psychology are sent out on sensitive assignments, like checking the emotional status of a college student off campus. Most of our local police seem to have more public relations ability than military identification. They know how to interact effectively with the public, which is a good thing, because the public in this town includes thousands of tourists and thousands of college students. Many vets have also received excellent training in psychology. There must be many police departments nationwide where there is a struggle between the peace keeping role of police and the mission to protect and serve.

      • Sand_Cat

        I think we could have the psychology training without using vets accustomed to being randomly shot at in endless tours to places where no one wants them anything but out or dead, starting, most importantly, with the selection of police officers to avoid the kind of damaged or pathological personalities who seem to pop up all too often, and who I suspect cheer the additional of military weapons to the arsenal. The most important point is not to start with sociopaths and other disturbed recruits: there’s a reason, or at least I’d like to think so, that George Zimmerman has so far been unable to realize his dream to wear blue and a gun.
        I’m not suggesting vets be excluded, only that they receive at least as strict an examination as that all of the others should be receiving.

        • sigrid28

          I agree that vets need some police training and the same vetting process police recruits go through. I wonder if military experience shooting and being shot at might have helped the sane vets who come home get that out of their systems, preparing them for the psychological, public service aspects of police work. They might turn out better than police wannabes you speak of–the George Zimmerman types, as you say.

          • Sand_Cat

            I don’t think we have any serious points of disagreement on this.

        • John Pigg

          Law Enforcement is one of the few Blue Collar jobs that anyone can apply too. This has led to even local police dept hiring to be very competitive. I suspect that this trend is true nationwide but have little data to back up this assessment.

          In my hometown in Indiana 60k, they have something like 200 people apply to the PD, they take maybe 5-20 depending on retirements. The state of Indiana regularly receives 2k in applications for the State Police, of these they hire 200.

          • And just WHO are the people that want to be COPS eh?
            George Zimmermen clones!
            We have more than enough COPS, we need to stop locking people up & ruining their lives over petty issues that do not involve a crime against anyone or anything.
            Just because some a-holes pass a law saying THIS is illegal doesn’t mean it should be. It’s only design is to increase revenue for the State.

          • Sand_Cat

            I don’t want to dispute your reasonable points other than to say that a large pool of potential recruits doesn’t guarantee a good one. In this country, at least, police work seems to have a strong attraction for some of the very worst types of people, people who should never be given authority over anyone who want a badge and gun. Hopefully, that pool of recruits is subject to very strict background and psychological testing, and a negative in either cannot be overridden by “veterans” who didn’t have to meet those criteria.
            There also needs to be very strong oversight, not by other cops, but by more objective outsiders. The number of police shootings of unarmed people, without including all the other abuses, is an outrage. I bet the police in this country kill more people per year than the total murders in a number of other countries.

          • John Pigg

            I can understand your point of view. In my opinion the real problem is the War on Drugs and,some state policies on Alcohol. I think that in the performance of their duty law enforcement are tasked with enforcing drug laws that are unpopular and outdated. This can make them seem “overly strict” when its the policy and law that is the issue.

            I wouldn’t knock your idea of more civilian oversight. That sounds valid and reasonable. As far as police shootings are concerned, this should not happen. But a comparison between US shootings and murders in small European countries is probably unfair. I would advocate looking at police shootings per capita and see what that shows. I generally detest statistics.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            The basic problem with police is that there is that Thin Blue Line, meaning, No Cop Does Anything Wrong.

            Rarely does a cop get held accountable for any misdeeds unless there is a shooting that leads to someone’s death and with it a huge public outcry about it.

            We had a case here a few months ago in Canton Ohio. A cop investigated a stopped car the driver white and two black passengers, was just sitting on the side of a road when he saw one of the passengers get out of the car.

            The driver attempted to tell the cop he had a CCW and was carrying at the time. The Cop flew off the handle and basically threatened to kill the driver.

            Of course, sitting on the side of the road at 2 in the morning, in not a good part of town didn’t help either.

            All on the cop cars video too!

            The cop made a complete ass of himself. Big public outcry over it, went on for months.

            No one seems to know what was done about the bad cop.

          • glorybe2

            Civilian oversight might be Ok if those civilians spent one year on patrol and found out how deadly a situation cops are in. For example some gangs make killing a cop a requirement of membership. A cop killer will never be able to squeal on other gang members. We have had cops killed sitting in their car filling out reports.

          • glorybe2

            Until the 1960s our cops were required to be over six feet in height. It was seen as a way to prevent fights when arrests were being made. Civil rights suits broke that up when Cuban refugees complained that they were rarely tall enough to make the force. That six foot rule might have been a good idea. Yeh, women would be banned from the force but they really can not back the males up anyway.

        • glorybe2

          Mr. Zimmerman is a hero. He managed to stop a young man who was trying to murder him. It really is that simple.

          • Sand_Cat

            Yeah, and you’re a bigot and a moron. You have no way of knowing what went on other than relying on your own prejudice. Didn’t Travon Martin have the right to “stand his ground”? Of course not; he was the wrong color.

      • glorybe2

        The militarization of police that we are seeing is because so many are shot. I live in a super safe area and cops are still at risk here. People are all too willing to commit murder these days.

        • Sand_Cat

          Violent crime has been plummeting for years. You’re way off base on that, too.

  • Buford2k11

    Get used to this…It is the vision of the Fascists…they don’t call themselves “fascists” but they are…They are the Kochs, ALEC, and those associated with this corrupt outfit…Fascism was not ended with the hanging Mussolini…just delayed until the 2010 election…it has been in the works for quite a while, but the election of the crazies ended our republic just as assuredly as a NUKE from Iran…

    • RobGinChicago

      The powers that be know that they are pushing the middle class to the breaking point, and they want to be sure that they can swiftly put down any insurrection. The way that the Occupy Movement was outmaneuvered and marginalized was just an initial test of their methodlology.

  • Sand_Cat

    Well, maybe this will finally get people to face facts about police abuses of power and the tolerant attitude all too many otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people seem to have towards them. But I doubt it.

  • Hey kids!
    They have to do something with all those losers coming back from the Bush Wars.
    What are they qualified to do eh? Wash cars? Pump gas? Terrorize people?
    Americans have no reason to fear any SWAT or Police unit, they’ll crumble at the first sign of trouble & run home to mommy (under the guise of protecting their own familes).
    THIS is not the result of Pres. Obamas policies but left-overs from the Bush days. Obama didn’t create TSA, give NSA unlimited powers of survielence, start wars all over the world then cave.
    This is the GOP (Greedy Oil Party) at work. WHO makes money from these wepaons & equipment sales to the COPS? One guess…the 1%’ers.

  • glorybe2

    Even my small town has tank like vehicles. When they have a violent person surrounded who refuses to surrender they can drive these things right through a home.

    I was in the next county to mine last week and made note that the cops have gone to an external flack vest that is quite thick, much like combat soldiers wear. I found that a bit spooky.

    • Sand_Cat

      Yeah, it’s kind of like penis envy, except it’s about military hardware they don’t need.

      • glorybe2

        Sober up. Travon Martin came forward and attacked. Standing your ground means exactly that. No human being has to put up with being attacked or suffer the risk of inadequate response. Martin is exactly the type of person that we want gunned down. He was clearly a criminal and after intense scrutiny by two police forces, the FBI and a full trial Mr. Zimmerman has justly been found not guilty in any degree at all. That is exactly what we want. Ball up a fist and throw a punch and get your head blown off. That is justice.

        • Sand_Cat

          Once again, your bigotry speaks. Or were you a witness who failed to do his duty and come forward? If not, you have nothing but your racism to tell you what happened. But I’m sure that’s what you prefer, anyway. Who wants those nasty facts undermining your bigotry?