Police outside the RNC


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Street protests are usually a waste of time for those protesting as well as a nuisance to the passing public. But, from the public’s point of view, between this nuisance and the police described below I’d choose the nuisance any day.

Three of Greenwald’s blog entries about the police outside the Republican National Convention:

Sept. 1, 2008

Scenes from St. Paul -- Democracy Now's Amy Goodman arrested

Beginning last night, St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city be, even more so than Manhattan in the week of 9/11 – with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas canisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations. Humvees and law enforcement officers with rifles were posted on various buildings and balconies. Numerous protesters and observers were tear gassed and injured.


Here are several photographs taken from around St. Paul from this morning – before the march or any of the protests started – showing how militarized the city was. For whatever reasons, the brigades of police officers would periodically chant military terms and march around in formation (“Double Time!”), while helicopters hovered overhead and Humvees drove by frequently ...

Aug. 31, 2008

Federal government involved in raids on protesters

... the raids were specifically “aided by informants planted in protest groups.” Back in May, Marcy Wheeler presciently noted that the Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force – an inter-agency group of federal, state and local law enforcement led by the FBI – was actively recruiting Minneapolis residents to serve as plants, to infiltrate “vegan groups” and other left-wing activist groups and report back to the Task Force about what they were doing. There seems to be little doubt that it was this domestic spying by the Federal Government that led to the ... home assaults by the police yesterday.

So here we have a massive assault led by Federal Government law enforcement agencies on left-wing dissidents and protesters who have committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever, preceded by months-long espionage efforts to track what they do.

Aug. 30, 2008

Massive police raids on suspected protesters in Minneapolis

Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.

Edited by Mark
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How much ~additional~ thought does Ted Keer, or anyone reasonably alert and perceptive and informed, have to give to your slanted post, after having seen television reports of all the destruction of property caused by illegally masked "demonstrators"?

I second Ted's post and give you a swift metaphorical kick in the butt for being either terminally naive or disingenuous. You either need to do a much better job of informing yourself and thinking about the rights issues involved -- or find some other group to con into giving aid and sympathy to the thugs who were in smash-property mode.

I lived through this B.S. during the 60s, when the New Left just about turned the campuses and cities inside out. The Thin Blue Line wasn't always up to the task of keeping the lid on the violent radicals, but they tried, and we should support their efforts, not act like they are "fascist pigs" whenever they apprehend those destroying or conspiring to destroy people's property.


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I read the first paragraph of Bissell’s post. the first line of the next, then stopped.

Besides his thuggish manner of expression, Bissell seems incapable of making even course distinctions. As Greenwald makes clear, Greenwald approves of the arrest of some of the “protesters.” But there’s more to the situation than that. Attacking bona fide journalists, arresting bona fide journalists, arresting people in their own homes who’d done nothing wrong, the use of spies against people who’d done nothing wrong, and more that you can read about in the links.

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Attacking bona fide journalists, arresting bona fide journalists...

The description of Amy Goodman as a "journalist" is what made me dismiss Mark's post with my appropriately brief response. The Left knows the value of hiding behind the absurdly absolutist notion held in this country regarding the "freedom of the press." Such freedom should rightly apply to freedom of speech - not the "freedom" of journalists to do as they like in the guise of being journalists. I am reminded of the hijacking of the news media by Black Panthers in the movie Network, and my mind wanders off into Tom Wolfe's seminal essay Radical Chic.


The freedom of the press does not extend to the "freedom" to print outright lies without liability. Nor does it extend to the "right" to engage in harrassment such as chasing Princess Diana to her death. Nor does it extend to the "right" to engage in a little criminal mischief on the side, while wearing one's press badge.

Good for the police!

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Ted only calls someone a journalist if they agree with him 100%. Anyone who disagrees with him is a terrorist.

Even though Ted has admitted elsewhere that he has actually been a victim of pig brutality, he still loves the pigs when they are beating up on people who disagree with him.

Edited by Chris Baker
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Ted; I'm wondering if Chris B doesn't disprove your quote. He is really beginning to offend me.

Chris B. This is a small correction. You refer to Roger Bissell as being course. Even a graduate from a public high school would know the word was "coarse".

Edited by Chris Grieb
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Admitted? Link, please, you terrorist.

The terrorist might be misinterpreting an old RoR post, here, in which you were briefly detained, or here, where you crossed paths with cops again. He could also be referring to your claim to have been arrested dozens of times for being white in black circumstances.

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I just found out that this jerk’s an OL moderator!

My last post to OL.


That "jerk" happens to be a contributor (and my friend) who has posted a huge amount of essays from Objectivist and Objectivism-friendly intellectuals in the Corners of Insight, where he is moderator (he is not moderator on the other sections). He is also featured in Corners of Insight for his own valuable writings.

I only mention this to undo a nasty tribal insinuation you are trying to make.

Roger and I certainly go at it at times, but I would not trade my friendship with him for the world. He is a first-class independent mind and has my full respect, even when I know he is wrong (i.e, when we disagree :) ).

You see, OL is for independent thinkers, not ones who necessarily agree with each other. There is no intellectual intimidation or ganging up here. If that is your intention, you do well by moving on. If not, I suggest developing a thicker skin because some people are going to disagree with you. Independence of thinking is a chosen site policy. Each person has to stand on his own two feet and agree or disagree with others according to his own intellectual merits. Here you must convince people by reason, not nastiness or snarkiness.

That policy will not change by you staying or leaving. It's your life so please yourself as to your actions, but it's not your forum and it never will be.

The only issue I have is for posters to stay within the posting guidelines, and even then, I am flexible. I try to weigh intellectual value against momentary flare-ups and vanity problems.

For the record, I don't really need to say it, but I will. You are free to come and go as you please.


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Simon William, please let Chris bear his own Cross. Did you seriously think I had forgotten those incidents? If Chris wants to embarrass himself by claiming that I had "admitted" these incidents then please let him do his own work explaining himself.

In any case, you missed my definitive statement on the matter. I'll post the essay separately.

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Too Many Cops are Opportunistic Bullies, But not All

...Back in 1990, at age 22, when I drove into Manhattan for the first time to drive home my boyfriend (I am white, and wear a ponytail, he was black and well dressed) I made an improper turn in the traffic circle one flows into when exiting the Holland Tunnel. I was stopped and the police made us get out of the car, and questioned us separately, obviously assuming we were conducting a drug deal. In my pocket I had one prescription allergy pill, given that I have very bad allergies. I told him that I had the empty bottle in the car, but was not sure where it was. It became obvious that they were going to take us in, so I told the cop holding me that we were on our first date, and that this was the first time I had driven into Manhattan, and couldn't he cut us some slack. I figured that such an out of the blue statement would jar him and make him reconsider our criminality. He yelled to his partner to let my friend go, and told me he was going to write me up a warning, but that I better find that prescription bottle before he was through or he would arrest me. I told my friend (and lover-to-be of six years what I had said to let us be released. He said "Christ, they'll beat the shit out of us." I said, let's just find the bottle. It had fallen between the seats. The cop gave me the ticket. I said thanks, and he said "Make sure you faggots just keep the fuck out of New York." Needless to say, I did not take his advice.

I was still living in New Jersey and driving into the City to visit my boyfriend Jay, when I fell at work, breaking my arm. On the day I was to have the cast removed, I got stopped by a state trooper for going 72mph, which was no faster than the surrounding traffic. When he approached my window, his first words were, "So where are you headed in such a hurry?!" I calmly told him the simple truth, that I was on my way to have the cast removed. He responded "Well it's not on your fucking foot, is it?" I got a ticket.

Two years later, my boyfriend and I had two $100 tickets to a concert downtown. He was babysitting his nieces in Harlem, so I went to meet him at his Grandmother's. On the way from the apartment to the subway, we walked past a cop car that was parked on the curb. As soon as we passed, the sirens were flashing and they were out and had us up against the wall. My first time in "the position." They started asking us where the drugs were, being very sarcastic and pushing us around. I made the mistake of asking what probable cause they had to stop us. With a straight face, one of the cops said that when I "reached inside my jacket to pull out my baseball cap" (which I kept folded in the inside breast pocket) I "could have been pulling out a gun." In other words, they knew it wasn't a gun, but they already had their lie prepared. Jay had a NY license and no warrants, so they let him go. I had a Jersey license so they said that it was obvious I must have a warrant out for me since I knew what probable cause was, and they said they were going to hold me at the station and check me out. One was officer Greenberg, and the other officer Hernandez. (I still have the ticket I got for "disorderly conduct.") With me in the back handcuffed, they started baiting me, saying "So whatcha doin' in this neighborhood, Whitey?" I responded, "So what got a Spick and a Heeb like you assholes assigned here?" They held me in the locker room for six hours with my boyfriend finally tracking me down and making a stink at the front desk. The Sergeant got angry at them for holding me. They wrote up the "disorderly conduct ticket" and let me go. I had to take a day off work unpaid to fight the charge. When I got to the court, the clerk said that I wasn't on the docket. I asked what that meant. She said the cops had never turned the ticket in. I asked if that meant I could go. She said no, I would have to wait to see if they showed up. They didn't. I didn't get to plead not-guilty, the charges were dismissed before I got to the bench. My boyfriend and I missed a day of work each. I was told that if I wanted to pay a $500 retainer and wait two years I would get a five to twenty thousand dollar settlement for false arrest. I declined. And we missed the concert.

That was the same year a Puerto Rican kid got strangled to death by a cop because his football hit a cop car during a game of touch football. The cop got off, but was fired.

(End Part I)

Ted Keer, 10 November, 2006

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The standard is wrong in this discussion. It is not cops or government-controlled force. The standard is bullies.

There are bullies in the police force and there are really good cops. Ditto for the underworld.

Ditto even for the Democrats. :)

The evil is bullying and the good is standing up to bullies.

Cops and demonstrators are not inherently good or evil. They are evil when they bully, but not all of them bully. Not even the vast majority from what I have seen.

(Still, the word "pigs" brought back a pang of nostalgic memories. Good times, those...)


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Not All Cops are Opportunistic Bullies, Just Too Many.

A year later, it was almost 9PM when the public bathrooms close in NYC parks. I was in the Village, so I ran one block to the Washington Square Park urinals. I ran past a cop car on the way. Again, the lights and sirens. I stood there jumping up and down holding my crotch about ready to wet myself while the cops threw the contents of my pockets, my radio and valuables on the ground. Again, I asked why I was being stopped. The said they had a "description of a white guy in the area." Imagine that, a white guy in Greenwich Village. What a bizarre coincidence! They let me go. But the restroom was now locked. So I peed in the corner, and was left to do so unmolested.

Although I am white, with blue eyes and a ponytail, I speak fluent Spanish. In early 1996 I was working at night, living in the South Bronx, (effectively a neighborhood of Spanish Harlem,) when a local trouble-maker attempted to pick my pocket. I did have $500 dollars in one pocket, but he picked my empty wallet out of the other. I didn't immediately notice that the wallet was gone. When he bumped me I had patted my cash by habit and thought nothing of it. The bodega manager, who ran me a tab, (a bodega is a small private general store) told me what had happened. I thanked him and calmly took my money and my dinner home. I went back out looking for the pick-pocket. I found him back at the same bodega (with cash he�d have been off to buy smack) and I went up to him without a word and patted him down. He pulled a pair of scissors on me. The bodega owner feared we might topple his shelves. We took it outside. I said, go ahead, but kill me with the first stab, or I will kill you. I got the wallet back, with a lot of noise, but I got it back.

It wasn't that the wallet was of any value. Rather, I knew that if word got out that I could be robbed, then I would be robbed, repeatedly, probably to death. The following day I went to the local police station to file a complaint. I had called them the night before, but after pulling up in front of my building, they went away without ringing my bell. (Think U.N.) The officer at the desk basically asked me why "a person like you" was living in that neighborhood. Later that evening, I got a knock on my door from someone I didn't know. He said he was one of the dealers who ran the drugs on the block. He gave me his card. He told me he didn�t like trouble, and told me to come to him if I had any other trouble. His card had two phone numbers on it. In 1996, that was impressive.

In 2002, I was living in Inwood, the very upper tip of Manhattan. It was just after 11PM, which I know because the Simpson�s had just started on Fox. I heard a loud bang in the hallway that sounded as if someone had dropped a hundred pound metal plate on the floor outside my apartment. The thought occurred that it was a gunshot, but I said no, and went back to watching the show. I heard what sounded like a woman cursing in Spanish, and then again, and this time knew, another gunshot. I called 911. They said that it had already been reported, to stay inside and the police would knock. Within 9o seconds the building was crawling with police. I heard a knock at my door. There were two police officers, crouched, guns pointed at my face. I had answered with my hands up. I said I had called it in. They said they knew (they had my address from 911, apparently) asked if I was okay, which I was, for the circumstances. They said stay inside, someone would knock in ten minutes. I waited, and two detectives right out of NYPD Blue, a fat Italian guy and a sexy Puerto Rican lady in street clothes knocked on my door and asked to come in. I could see down the hall that the shooting was across from me, two doors down. They asked my name, what I�d heard. I said that I thought it was a lady cursing in Spanish between the shots. I said, "So he finally killed her?" They said no, he was dead.

(End Part II)

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And All Good Cops are Underpaid

I did not know the poor gentleman who had so recently lived across the hall from me. I knew him from his two dogs which were his pride and joy and which I liked to pet in the elevator when he took them out on walks. Most of the time he was accompanied by his two young sons, probably six and eight years old, who scampered about while the dogs strutted dignifiedly down the street with the deceased following along as if he were on the leash. A week before the shooting, I had seen him, the boys, the dogs, and a woman whom I assumed to be his wife a block from our building. The boys were scampering and the dogs were strutting as usual. He was dutifully being dragged along behind and she was alternately berating him in one ear then, as he turned to avoid her abuse, she trotted around to the other ear and began deafening that one in turn. I watched them approach from a block away, thinking that someone was going to trip and get tangled up in the leashes, or to be more honest, I thought he was going to trip her on purpose. I had never seen such a look on a married man�s face. My exact and literal final thought as we passed and I saw him for the last time was that someday he was going to kill her.

Well, just one week later the marriage was over, but it was not with the settlement that I had expected. I found out from neighbors that they had long been separated. The boys only visited him, hence our encounters always on the elevator with the dogs. She was a harpy. She bought the gun. She came over and shot him to death unprovoked. She left the dogs alone with his dead body on the floor and it was her whom I had heard flee past my door down the stairs beside my apartment seconds after the second shot. She fled the country, most likely to the Dominican Republic and then perhaps beyond. They hung up posters in my building: "ASESINO" "MURDER" "Cash Reward." I still have the poster. About an hour after the shooting, I tried to leave the building. You would have thought every cop in New York City was there. They didn't want to let me leave the crime scene. I said I needed to buy milk. But the sexy detective said it was okay. I bought a gallon of milk and two forties of O.E., which means eighty ounces of malt liquor in two bottles. So far as I know, she was never caught.

Later that year in the summer I left the house one Sunday evening to get a steak and some ingredients for dinner, but I didn�t have any cash. As I crossed the street to go to the ATM, again with the sirens and the lights. After 15 years of police harassment; after my lover Jay was shot dead in a botched car-jacking which the police refused to investigate, but which was solved when the murderer�s own mother turned him in; after being stopped by every cop in the precinct where I had lived in the South Bronx for being the wrong color, until every single pair of cops on patrol had met me and frisked me for having blue eyes; after getting sick in the waiting room at the dentist - not from the after effects of the drilling but from watching the Rodney King beating on the overhead TV and hearing the other white patients say the "nigger deserved it"; after getting so enraged that I told a cop if he wanted to arrest me to go ahead and do it and when he asked why I was angry I told him just to tell me which god-damn form I had to fill out to get his permission as a white man to live in that neighborhood; after two decades of proof that the police are not necessarily my friend, I stood there and had them frisk me and ask me "Just to tell where the bag of coke was" and they "wouldn't take me down to the station" while the local business owners who all knew me watched me spread up against the wall. I stood there and held my tongue. I offered to show them my I.D. that I lived in the building from which they had followed me. They apologized and said that they were "just doing their job." And I asked them if they had caught the lady that had killed the guy in 507 yet. They knew it was sarcasm, apologized again, and drove off.

I am, through my brother-in-law, distantly related to Daniel Faulkner, (pictured above) the otherwise unknown victim of the celebrated confessed-cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. I listened and watched as dozens of Cops' funeral corteges passed by my workplace on Broadway after 9/11. I have friends and family who have served and died in the military. I have seen cops behave with amazing wherewithal and dignity under the most trying circumstances. And I have seen pigs for whom the name pig was invented. And I have never been more relieved that that night when I opened my door to have two cops pointing their revolvers in my face. Can I respect a cop? Why not, if he deserves it?

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One of my closest friends in the world (my bassist) is a policeman, he works in the worst part of Cleveland. So, "pig" doesn't cut it for me.

The thing is, it's like anything else, there's good cops, and rotten ones. It's more serious, though, because they wield power--the ability to detain, search, even deadly force.

The real problem is deeper, much deeper. Look around the country--see what has evolved. We are being moved more and more into a, well, police state. There is ample evidence to support this. We are being conditioned to military rule.

Here in Ohio, I am given countless, near-daily examples of how police have changed their attitude--it's getting tight. Under the Ohio Patriot Act (heh) you can go to jail if you don't have an i.d. on you ("May I see your papers, please?"). They are constantly running anyone and everyone for warrants, and the highway fishing expeditions are beyond belief. They want to get as many people as they can into the system.

Do the work. Find out that there are already internment camps built throughout the United States. This is part of the Globalists' plan, the Elite's plan. This is not conspiracy theory, it's right out there to find and there's more.

People are being told to report any and all suspicious activities (including that of your neighbors). This is NOT about "Homeland Security." It's about Martial Law Training.

Here's one for you:


Edited by Rich Engle
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Chris Baker: "Here's an article on how a pig in Michigan uses tickets to increase his income."

Police officers daily risk their lives-- and even forfeit their lives-- to protect you. Is your life so insignificant that you call them pigs? But perhaps you know best.


Police spend very little time actually protecting anyone other than themselves. The courts have ruled that the police are under absolutely no obligation to protect the citizens whose job it allegedly is to protect. If you are being brutally assaulted, and a policeman just stands there watching, you have absolutely no legal recourse against either the officer or the police department. They don't work for the citizens and they don't for the most part give a damn what the public thinks. Their salaries are paid from our involuntary extracted taxation, and like all government employees, they are in no danger of getting fired for poor job performance.

Radley Balko, a writer for Reason magazine, has spent years meticulously documenting the ever-increasing, systematic abuses of police departments across the country. SWAT teams have become ubiquitous as police are becoming more and more militarized. They are receiving military training and military style weapons. No-knock raids against innocent people, carried out without warrants, are becoming commonplace. This militarization of the police first started largely in response to the insane "War on Drugs", which has filled our prisons with non-violent "criminals" whose only crime is using a drug that the government goons don't approve of. The militarization of the police has continued to accelerate in response to the "War on Terror".

Here in California, there is going to be placed on the ballot a proposition limiting the power of the govenrment to incarcerate people in state prisons for non-violent drug use, proposing instead the non-libertarian but still much preferable alternative of drug treatment. Our esteemed boys in blue have done everything in their power to prevent this ballot proposition from ever reaching the ballot, and will vigorously campaign against it. The war on drugs has been the full employment act for overpaid police officers and prison guards. They have profited handsomely from screwing over the American public.

So in response to your question, raised to Chris Baker, "Is your life so insignificant that you call them pigs?", I will provide an answer. My life is so significant to me that I would never dream of depending upon the police to protect me, if I had any other plausible alternative. The police have become armed, dangeous, and trained to view the rest of us the way soldiers view civilians in an enemy nation. The police are not your friend.


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