Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Agitator series: Raid of the Day

In anticipation of his upcoming book, Radley Balko is going to blog about a different drug raid each day until the book hits store shelves.  The first installment is about the 1996 Miami raid on the apartment of Richard Brown:

The police in Miami had received a tip from an informant that Brown, who had no criminal record, was selling drugs from his small apartment. So they sent the SWAT team. The police claimed at the time that Brown began firing at them as soon as they entered his home. So they fired back.

And they fired back.

And they fired back.

Read the whole article here.

Wow! Our government has protected us from yet another economic crisis!

The House of Representatives managed to pass a “Fiscal Cliff” deal last night.  Let us all rejoice!  I’m sure most people will see this as just more proof that, in a pinch, Congress will always act to protect the public from impending calamity.  Except the Congress never protects the public from calamity and is, in fact, the primary cause of most of the crises the country faces.

The one thing on which both parties (as well as most of the media) agree is that running up a huge debt that will be passed on to people who aren’t even old enough to vote is not an issue worth addressing.  Pay it lip service for sure, but that’s about it.  In any other context, adults running up a debt and forcing their children to work it off would be a crime, if not child abuse.  But, not so for the republicans and democrats in Congress, regardless of rhetoric to the contrary.

And the U.S. population, dumbed down by decades of grossly inadequate economics education, doesn’t even have the competence to realize that living beyond one’s means is no less a recipe for disaster when government does it than when anyone else does it.  I’m sure that most people who have been following the economic crisis in Greece (perhaps 2% of the U.S. population?) shake their heads at how impotent and childish the Greek Parliament is, completely oblivious to the fact that the U.S. Congress is no different.

Last night’s vote did nothing more than buy an increment of time, each of which gets smaller as we approach the real cliff, the point at which there are no more options available to avoid disaster..  The coming debt ceiling debate will be another example of Congressional insanity, when Senators and Congressmen wrangle over whether to allow the government to borrow the money to pay for the programs they, themselves, enacted into law.  The idiocy is nothing short of mind-numbing.


Radley Balko talks police militarization on Al Jazeera.

Link to The Agitator:

Watch Me Talk Police Militarization

Wait a sec. The host didn’t interrupting the guests every 5 seconds. Obviously, this host would never make it on an American news outlet.

Here is a link to the Fault Lines episode of “A Tale of Two Cities” which is referred to in the Inside Story show above.

Not much likelihood of seeing this kind of discussion in U.S. mainstream media. News outlets like Al Jazeera and RT have much less of a vested interest in maintaining the status (or statist) quo.

The perfect Christmas gift for the kid who has everything

Sales of armored backpacks for kids soar

But, if you really cared, you would give them an automotive crash helmet, because they are at much greater risk of dying in a car wreck than being shot by a mass murderer.  People just can’t pass up an excuse to get hysterical.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know we’re probably all burned out on the discussions, parasitic news coverage, and political opportunism related to the Newtown shooting, but I particularly liked Glenn Greenwald’s take on it.  Killing kids seems to really get people worked up.  If the killing is the result of a terrorist or military attack, many people probably start thinking about vengeance.  a Luckily, the DHS keeps us safe from the anger triggered by the innocent people  we kill in places like Pakistan, so we have nothing to worry about.