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Lauren Johnson
06-14-2014, 12:22 AM
Social science is being militarised to develop 'operational tools' to target peaceful activists and protest movements (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/12/pentagon-mass-civil-breakdown)


A US Department of Defense (DoD) research (http://www.theguardian.com/education/research) programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military (http://www.theguardian.com/world/us-military) agencies. The multi-million dollar programme (http://minerva.dtic.mil/cois.html) is designed to develop immediate and long-term "warfighter-relevant insights" for senior officials and decision makers in "the defense policy community," and to inform policy implemented by "combatant commands."

Launched in 2008 (http://www.wired.com/2008/12/earlier-this-1/) – the year of the global banking crisis – the DoD 'Minerva Research Initiative' (http://minerva.dtic.mil/funded.html) partners with universities "to improve DoD's basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US."
Among the projects awarded for the period 2014-2017 is a Cornell University-led study managed by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research which aims to develop an empirical model "of the dynamics of social movement mobilisation and contagions." The project will determine "the critical mass (tipping point)" of social contagians by studying their "digital traces" in the cases of "the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey."

Twitter posts and conversations will be examined "to identify individuals mobilised in a social contagion and when they become mobilised."

Another project awarded this year to the University of Washington "seeks to uncover the conditions under which political movements aimed at large-scale political and economic change originate," along with their "characteristics and consequences." The project, managed by the US Army Research Office, focuses on "large-scale movements involving more than 1,000 participants in enduring activity," and will cover 58 countries in total.

Last year, the DoD's Minerva Initiative funded a project to determine 'Who Does Not Become a Terrorist, and Why?' (http://minerva.dtic.mil/doc/abstracts/Rasmussen_WhoNotTerrorist_FY13.pdf) which, however, conflates peaceful activists with "supporters of political violence" who are different from terrorists only in that they do not embark on "armed militancy" themselves. The project explicitly sets out to study non-violent activists:

"In every context we find many individuals who share the demographic, family, cultural, and/or socioeconomic background of those who decided to engage in terrorism, and yet refrained themselves from taking up armed militancy, even though they were sympathetic to the end goals of armed groups. The field of terrorism studies has not, until recently, attempted to look at this control group. This project is not about terrorists, but about supporters of political violence."

The project's 14 case studies each "involve extensive interviews with ten or more activists and militants in parties and NGOs who, though sympathetic to radical causes, have chosen a path of non-violence."

I contacted the project's principal investigator, Prof Maria Rasmussen of the US Naval Postgraduate School, asking why non-violent activists working for NGOs should be equated to supporters of political violence – and which "parties and NGOs" were being investigated – but received no response.

Similarly, Minerva programme staff refused to answer a series of similar questions I put to them, including asking how "radical causes" promoted by peaceful NGOs constituted a potential national security threat of interest to the DoD.
Among my questions, I asked:

"Does the US Department of Defense see protest (http://www.theguardian.com/world/protest) movements and social activism (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/activism) in different parts of the world as a threat to US national security? If so, why? Does the US Department of Defense consider political movements aiming for large scale political and economic change as a national security matter? If so, why? Activism, protest, 'political movements' and of course NGOs are a vital element of a healthy civil society and democracy - why is it that the DoD is funding research to investigate such issues?"

Minerva's programme director Dr Erin Fitzgerald said "I appreciate your concerns and am glad that you reached out to give us the opportunity to clarify" before promising a more detailed response. Instead, I received the following bland statement from the DoD's press office:

"The Department of Defense takes seriously its role in the security of the United States (http://www.theguardian.com/world/usa), its citizens, and US allies and partners. While every security challenge does not cause conflict, and every conflict does not involve the US military, Minerva helps fund basic social science research that helps increase the Department of Defense's understanding of what causes instability and insecurity around the world. By better understanding these conflicts and their causes beforehand, the Department of Defense can better prepare for the dynamic future security environment."

In 2013, Minerva funded a University of Maryland project in collaboration with the US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to gauge the risk of civil unrest due to climate change (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-change). The three-year $1.9 million project (http://www.livescience.com/38167-national-security-impact-of-warming-climate.html) is developing models to anticipate what could happen to societies under a range of potential climate change scenarios.

From the outset, the Minerva programme was slated to provide over $75 million over five years for social and behavioural science research. This year alone it has been allocated a total budget of $17.8 million by US Congress.

An internal Minerva staff email communication referenced in a 2012 Masters dissertation (http://repository.asu.edu/attachments/93938/content/tmp/package-DBgi6R/Nair_asu_0010N_11963.pdf) reveals that the programme is geared toward producing quick results that are directly applicable to field operations. The dissertation was part of a Minerva-funded project on "counter-radical Muslim discourse" (http://cidse.engineering.asu.edu/minerva-initiative-project-recognized-by-dod/) at Arizona State University.

The internal email from Prof Steve Corman, a principal investigator for the project, describes a meeting hosted by the DoD's Human Social Cultural and Behavioural Modeling (HSCB) programme in which senior Pentagon officials said their priority was "to develop capabilities that are deliverable quickly" in the form of "models and tools that can be integrated with operations."

Although Office of Naval Research supervisor Dr Harold Hawkins had assured the university researchers at the outset that the project was merely "a basic research effort, so we shouldn't be concerned about doing applied stuff", the meeting in fact showed that DoD is looking to "feed results" into "applications," Corman said in the email. He advised his researchers to "think about shaping results, reports, etc., so they [DoD] can clearly see their application for tools that can be taken to the field."

Many independent scholars are critical of what they see as the US government's efforts to militarise social science in the service of war. In May 2008, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) wrote to the US government (http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/upload/Minerva-Letter.pdf) noting that the Pentagon lacks "the kind of infrastructure for evaluating anthropological [and other social science] research" in a way that involves "rigorous, balanced and objective peer review", calling for such research to be managed instead by civilian agencies like the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The following month, the DoD signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the NSF to cooperate on the management of Minerva. In response, the AAA cautioned (http://www.aaanet.org/_cs_upload/issues/press/22649_1.pdf) that although research proposals would now be evaluated by NSF's merit-review panels. "Pentagon officials will have decision-making power in deciding who sits on the panels":

"… there remain concerns within the discipline that research will only be funded when it supports the Pentagon's agenda. Other critics of the programme, including the Network of Concerned Anthropologists, have raised concerns that the programme would discourage research in other important areas and undermine the role of the university as a place for independent discussion and critique of the military."

According to Prof David Price, a cultural anthropologist at St Martin's University in Washington DC and author of Weaponizing Anthropology (http://www.theguardian.com/science/anthropology): Social Science in Service of the Militarized State, "when you looked at the individual bits of many of these projects they sort of looked like normal social science, textual analysis, historical research, and so on, but when you added these bits up they all shared themes of legibility with all the distortions of over-simplification. Minerva is farming out the piece-work of empire in ways that can allow individuals to disassociate their individual contributions from the larger project."

Prof Price has previously exposed (http://zeroanthropology.net/2010/02/16/david-price-human-terrain-systems-dissenter-resigns-tells-inside-story-of-trainings-heart-of-darkness/) how the Pentagon's Human Terrain Systems (HTS) programme - designed to embed social scientists in military field operations - routinely conducted training scenarios set in regions "within the United States."

Citing a summary critique of the programme sent to HTS directors by a former employee, Price reported that the HTS training scenarios "adapted COIN [counterinsurgency] for Afghanistan/Iraq" to domestic situations "in the USA where the local population was seen from the military perspective as threatening the established balance of power and influence, and challenging law and order."

One war-game, said Price, involved environmental activists protesting pollution from a coal-fired plant near Missouri, some of whom were members of the well-known environmental NGO Sierra Club. Participants were tasked to "identify those who were 'problem-solvers' and those who were 'problem-causers,' and the rest of the population whom would be the target of the information operations to move their Center of Gravity toward that set of viewpoints and values which was the 'desired end-state' of the military's strategy."

Such war-games are consistent with a raft of Pentagon planning documents which suggest that National Security Agency (NSA (http://www.theguardian.com/world/nsa)) mass surveillance (http://www.theguardian.com/world/surveillance) is partially motivated to prepare for the destabilising impact of coming environmental, energy and economic shocks (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/jun/14/climate-change-energy-shocks-nsa-prism).

James Petras, Bartle Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University in New York, concurs with Price's concerns. Minerva-funded social scientists tied to Pentagon counterinsurgency operations are involved in the "study of emotions in stoking or quelling ideologically driven movements," he said, including how "to counteract grassroots movements."

Minerva is a prime example of the deeply narrow-minded and self-defeating nature of military ideology. Worse still, the unwillingness of DoD officials to answer the most basic questions is symptomatic of a simple fact – in their unswerving mission to defend an increasingly unpopular global system serving the interests of a tiny minority (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/may/28/inclusive-capitalism-trojan-horse-global-revolt-henry-jackson-society-pr-growth), security agencies have no qualms about painting the rest of us as potential terrorists.

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed (http://www.nafeezahmed.com) is an international security journalist and academic. He is the author of A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (http://crisisofcivilization.com), and the forthcoming science fiction thriller, ZERO POINT (http://zro.pt). Follow him on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/DrNafeezAhmed) and Twitter @nafeezahmed (http://www.twitter.com/nafeezahmed).

Magda Hassan
06-14-2014, 02:13 AM
The DoD have clearly not hear of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is not rocket science. If people have their basic needs met and the opportunity to develop personally there will be no tipping points or riots. If one small entitled class is not dominating and repressing the majority who miss out there are no tipping points and riots. Equal distribution of the socially produced fruits. If the social structure and its military/police is designed to protect the interests of the entitled minority there will be riots.

Lauren Johnson
06-14-2014, 02:38 AM
The DoD have clearly not hear of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is not rocket science. If people have their basic needs met and the opportunity to develop personally there will be no tipping points or riots. If one small entitled class is not dominating and repressing the majority who miss out there are no tipping points and riots. Equal distribution of the socially produced fruits. If the social structure and its military/police is designed to protect the interests of the entitled minority there will be riots.

Actually, I take an inverse and perverse position. Indeed, they have read Maslow, and many others in various social sciences, which is exactly why they are making plans.

Magda Hassan
06-14-2014, 03:37 AM
The DoD have clearly not hear of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is not rocket science. If people have their basic needs met and the opportunity to develop personally there will be no tipping points or riots. If one small entitled class is not dominating and repressing the majority who miss out there are no tipping points and riots. Equal distribution of the socially produced fruits. If the social structure and its military/police is designed to protect the interests of the entitled minority there will be riots.

Actually, I take an inverse and perverse position. Indeed, they have read Maslow, and many others in various social sciences, which is exactly why they are making plans.
Well, I can see that point too. Unfortunately...

Lauren Johnson
06-14-2014, 03:51 AM
The DoD have clearly not hear of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is not rocket science. If people have their basic needs met and the opportunity to develop personally there will be no tipping points or riots. If one small entitled class is not dominating and repressing the majority who miss out there are no tipping points and riots. Equal distribution of the socially produced fruits. If the social structure and its military/police is designed to protect the interests of the entitled minority there will be riots.

Actually, I take an inverse and perverse position. Indeed, they have read Maslow, and many others in various social sciences, which is exactly why they are making plans.
Well, I can see that point too. Unfortunately...

I think that is exactly the point of the article. The Pentagon is using very sophisticated modeling tools USING the social sciences to make projections. Who will do what, when and where? It becomes a force multiplier. A just-in-time allocation of resources as well as planning who, how many to arrest, and the development of manuals for the treatment of detainees, i.e. persons without rights, have to be developed. It's all quite rational.

Magda Hassan
06-14-2014, 04:24 AM
It's all quite rational.

Of course. And legal too. So its all okay. And they are the experts too. ::depressed:: Some times I don't want to live on this planet any more. ::beammeup::

Peter Lemkin
06-14-2014, 04:25 AM
One of the more ominous and weirder things going on now are the large scale buying of guns and ammunition by parts of the government hard to fathom doing actual fighting - such as the post office, NOAA [National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration], even the Agricultural Department have been buying [or told to buy] assault weapons, body armor, and hollow-point ammunition for weapons....::face.palm::

Magda Hassan
06-14-2014, 04:35 AM
One of the more ominous and weirder things going on now are the large scale buying of guns and ammunition by parts of the government hard to fathom doing actual fighting - such as the post office, NOAA [National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration], even the Agricultural Department have been buying [or told to buy] assault weapons, body armour, and hollow-point ammunition for weapons....::face.palm::
The Post Office I can understand. It seems to produce some real psychos for some reason and it might, at a stretch, be justifiable for self defence. But fish and cows and air?

NOAA does the weather forecasts and research on climate change, ocean warming, el Nino, et al. It has no inspectors and all its personnel are academic types. Agriculture does have a few inspectors who do sometimes write 'tickets' and even more rarely make arrests...but still..they are supposed to be supported in those efforts with the police. In some areas of the US, it is now illegal to have your own chickens....these crazy laws passed due to pressure by big agribusiness to stop family competition. The nation has gone insane....and is overarmed...the end result will not be pretty!

David Andrews
06-14-2014, 04:46 AM
The DoD have clearly not hear of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is not rocket science. If people have their basic needs met and the opportunity to develop personally there will be no tipping points or riots. If one small entitled class is not dominating and repressing the majority who miss out there are no tipping points and riots. Equal distribution of the socially produced fruits. If the social structure and its military/police is designed to protect the interests of the entitled minority there will be riots.


Greed. Period. May it achieve its reward.

Peter Lemkin
06-14-2014, 05:37 AM
One of the more ominous and weirder things going on now are the large scale buying of guns and ammunition by parts of the government hard to fathom doing actual fighting - such as the post office, NOAA [National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration], even the Agricultural Department have been buying [or told to buy] assault weapons, body armour, and hollow-point ammunition for weapons....::face.palm::
The Post Office I can understand. It seems to produce some real psychos for some reason and it might, at a stretch, be justifiable for self defence. But fish and cows and air?

NOAA does the weather forecasts and research on climate change, ocean warming, el Nino, et al. It has no inspectors and all its personnel are academic types. Agriculture does have a few inspectors who do sometimes write 'tickets' and even more rarely make arrests...but still..they are supposed to be supported in those efforts with the police. e.g. In some areas of the US, it is now illegal to have your own chickens....these crazy laws passed due to pressure by big agribusiness to stop family competition. The nation has gone insane....and is overarmed...the end result will not be pretty!

Lauren Johnson
06-14-2014, 05:40 AM
The DoD have clearly not hear of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is not rocket science. If people have their basic needs met and the opportunity to develop personally there will be no tipping points or riots. If one small entitled class is not dominating and repressing the majority who miss out there are no tipping points and riots. Equal distribution of the socially produced fruits. If the social structure and its military/police is designed to protect the interests of the entitled minority there will be riots.


Greed. Period. May it achieve its reward.

You have strong feelings about this. Clearly.

If you read the original article and note that one of the critics, Dr. Price, has written a book entitled in Weaponizing Anthropology (http://www.theguardian.com/science/anthropology): Social Science in Service of the Militarized State. There is a long history of the military/intelligence agencies using the social sciences both offensively and defensively including the Tavistock Institute and Kurt Lewin, the funding of the humanistic psychology movement of the 60's and 70's, etc. to further social control and the creation of chaos. One can trace back to Saul Alinsky's community organizing efforts and trace forward to the National Endowment for Democracy, which extends American "soft power" to targeted nations around the world. The goal: full spectrum dominance of everything.

Maslow can be read in a humanistic way or he can be read to further social control. Very sad. Our leaders seem to be choosing door number two. Why? I think they know that the world of Leave It To Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet is long gone and they are getting ready for the shit storm.

Hope that helps.

Peter Lemkin
06-14-2014, 07:30 AM
USDA and Submachine Guns: Latest Example of Mission Creep as Federal Policing Expands Saturday, 07 June 2014 09:00 By Candice Bernd (http://www.truth-out.org/author/itemlist/user/47429)





http://truth-out.org/images/images_2014_06/2014_607_usda_fw.jpgUSDA soldier shoots submachine gun. (Image: EL / TO (http://www.flickr.com/photos/truthout); Adapted: Seth Anderson / Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/5587850110), Viktor Gladkov / Shutterstock (http://tinyurl.com/pce5nob))
Why does the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) need submachine guns?
The agency's Office of Inspector General (OIG) is seeking (https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=9fc3a01217d03b0354e1e18b69aa7bad&tab=core&tabmode=list&=) .40 Caliber semiautomatic submachine guns. But while many may wonder why USDA agents need semiautomatic weapons, the OIG's request is not unusual for other similar and seemingly unlikely federal agencies that are rapidly becoming armed and equipped with police units of their very own.
USDA OIG spokespeople explained its procurement request to Truthout by citing a 1978 law that authorizes OIG Special Agents to make arrests, execute warrants and carry firearms. From 2012 to March of this year, USDA OIG investigations have obtained more than 2,000 indictments and 1,350 convictions.
The agency also noted in a statement that "OIG Special agents regularly conduct undercover operations and surveillance. The types of investigations conducted by OIG Special Agents include criminal activities such as fraud in farm programs; significant thefts of Government property or funds; bribery and extortion; smuggling; and assaults and threats of violence against USDA employees engaged in their official duties."
And the Agriculture Department isn't the only federal agency seeking an increased amount of weapons and/or ammunition in recent months.
Earlier this year, the US Postal Service (http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/submachine-gun-usda-buy/2014/05/17/id/571905/) listed a similar notice on its website, soliciting proposals for assorted small arms ammunition. And the Social Security Administration put in a request for 174,000 rounds of hollow-point bullets, shortly after the USDA requested 320,000 rounds about a year ago. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service, also requested 46,000 rounds. ::depressed::
The ammunitions purchases are to supply dozens of federal agencies which, in the years since 9/11, have acquired Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/376053/united-states-swat-john-fund)) teams to enforce the inflating definition of their missions. The Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Office of Personnel Management, the Labor Department, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service are just some of the federal agencies that have their own SWAT units.
But how did these agencies come to acquire their very own police forces? Why do they not rely on the US Marshalls Service or the FBI to enforce federal criminal law? The answer can be found somewhere in the ever-expanding and sprawling federal code that gives these agencies' inspector generals the authority to make arrests and enforce the law.
How We Got Here: Federal Regulatory Over-Criminalization
The number of federal agencies creating their own police and SWAT forces has grown in tandem with the expansion of criminal law into regulatory and civil enforcement areas in the last few decades.
No one knows exactly how many federal regulatory criminal provisions (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970203518404577094861497383678?mg=id-wsj&mg=id-wsj) are scattered throughout the federal code, but some legal experts estimate that the number may be as high as 300,000, with hundreds more regulatory criminal laws passed at the federal level every year.
"We've seen this reaction from Congress that every problem deserves a criminal remedy," said Tiffany Joslyn, counsel at the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
But as the federal code becames more and more prolific, the criminal statutes passed by Congress authorized agencies' OIGs to create means to enforce the law, such as SWAT teams and armed criminal investigators. The statutes also allowed the OIGs to write the copious additional regulations required to make the laws a reality.
Members of the public are increasingly encountering the law enforcement officers and tactical teams who enforce these regulatory statutes.
In 2003, federal law enforcement officers from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, clad in protective Kevlar and bearing semiautomatic weapons, raided the home of George Norris (http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2012/September/Orchid-Kingpin-Mistake-Lands-Elderly-Gardener-in-Prison/), forcing him to remain in his kitchen as the agents searched his belongings. Norris was indicted for "smuggling" legally imported orchids. In reality, though, his only crime was a paperwork violation; agents found that a small percentage of his documentation for the orchids was inaccurate.
More recently, in April, the US Supreme Court agreed to decide whether a Florida fisherman, John Yates, violated the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a post-Enron anti-shredding statute, by throwing three undersized fish from his boat back into the Gulf of Mexico. The NACDL filed an amicus brief (http://truthoutdocs.cloudaccess.net/documents/NACDL%20_%20Yates%20v%20US%20-%20NACDL%20Amicus%20Curiae%20Brief%20in%20Support% 20of%20Petition%20for%20Writ%20of%20Certiorari.pdf )supporting Yates, arguing his prosecution is an example of unconstitutional executive expansion of federal law.
Joslyn contended that the creation of these criminal statutes and the process for their enforcement doesn't make sense and serves only to convolute the federal code with unnecessary criminalization of offenses that really should be punishable by civil fines.
"If the conduct is so egregious that it needs to be addressed criminally then the agency would typically have to go to the FBI or the [US] Marshalls and get them involved," Joslyn told Truthout. "But the FBI may not be interested because the conduct at issue is actually not that big a deal, so them getting their own police force, their own militia, is essentially their way of making their agency and their regulation tougher and stronger and enforceable criminally."
It's a problem that is only beginning to be addressed by lawmakers: The Over-Criminalization Task Force within the House Judiciary Committee met for the first time last year. The task force has held hearings on issues like the erasure of the criminal intent requirement in federal criminal law (many federal criminal laws lack the [I]mens rea (guilty mind) requirement by which prosecutors must prove a defendant intended to break the law), the redundancy of state law in the federal code, mass incarceration, mandatory minimum sentences and widespread regulatory criminalization.
The task force is set to have a hearing this month on the consequences of conviction, including the legal barriers faced by those convicted, generalized discrimination and social stigma. The NACDL recently released a lengthy report on the subject (http://www.nacdl.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=33203&libID=33172).
Agency Police May Lack Oversight Mechanisms
The Government Accountability Office hasn't conducted a survey (http://www.gao.gov/browse/topic/Justice_and_Law_Enforcement/Federal_employees/Law_enforcement/) on federal civilian law enforcement functions since 2006. In that survey (http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-121), there were more than 25,000 law enforcement officers reported working in government agencies outside of traditional crime-fighting departments. Among the smaller agencies, 3,812 criminal investigators were counted.
Congress typically provides much less oversight of these officers and investigators than it provides officers within traditional federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI. Committees overseeing these departments pay little heed (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970203518404577094861497383678?mg=id-wsj&mg=id-wsj&mg=id-wsj) to their policing practices.
It is often the agencies' OIGs that are tasked with enforcing new regulatory criminal laws and expanding public law enforcement. But inspector generals are also intended to serve as the primary sources of accountability within their departments - often, IGs are the ones who blow the whistle on officer practices. The massive increase in criminal laws focused on the public has muddled the function of the OIGs, endangering the integrity of essential oversight.
The operational practices of agency officers have also paralleled the growing trend of increased militarization across local police departments, with officers acquiring military-grade weaponry and armor, often to enforce regulatory law that was once punishable by civil fines.
"These federal agencies are no different in that they want what's considered to be the best equipment available to law enforcement," said Jeffrey Bumgarner, a professor of government at Minnesota State University. He has served as a federal officer and written a history of federal law enforcement.
Bumgarner said the expansion of federal regulatory law into criminal law was a troubling trend and one that conservatives and progressives should agree on:
"There's a lot of common cause to be made between progressives and conservatives on the issue of federal law enforcement, just because progressives tend to be generally suspicious and wary of police power, and conservatives tend to be wary and suspicious of federal power, and so you combine federal with law enforcement and there's a lot for a lot of people to be concerned about."
So, as the USDA begins to acquire its own military weaponry and other unlikely federal agencies stock up on hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, experts and advocates emphasize that it's still possible to turn this trend around.
"If there were ever a time to stop this trend, for reform and reversal, that time is now, and I saw that because we can take lessons from our friends on the state level that are winning criminal justice reform," said Joslyn. "Business as usual is being called into question, and that business as usual . . . is aggressive police tactics, over-criminalization, over-incarceration, all of that is now being called into question and looked at."

David Guyatt
06-14-2014, 07:42 AM
One of the more ominous and weirder things going on now are the large scale buying of guns and ammunition by parts of the government hard to fathom doing actual fighting - such as the post office, NOAA [National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration], even the Agricultural Department have been buying [or told to buy] assault weapons, body armor, and hollow-point ammunition for weapons....::face.palm::

Good for the arms manufacturers though...

David Guyatt
06-14-2014, 07:54 AM
Our leaders seem to be choosing door number two. Why? I think they know that the world of Leave It To Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet is long gone and they are getting ready for the shit storm.


This is what I think too. Like all tyrants throughout history, they'd rather go down in flames than quit or do the right thing, and therefore they plan ahead for their one perennial fear - the people. Sooner or later the forced transference of wealth from the very many to the very few will result in rebellion. In the meantime developing a culture of fear with a de facto police state is the perennial solution.

All very sad.

Albert Doyle
07-16-2014, 08:29 PM
This is how you change a government of and for the people to one armed against the people.

Magda Hassan
07-16-2014, 11:17 PM
This is how you change a government of and for the people to one armed against the people.

Sweet of you to think the government was ever a government of and for the people. Never was though. Laws are there to protect the wealthy. If others benefit from them this would be a side effect and not the purpose.

David Guyatt
07-17-2014, 06:38 AM
“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”
― Edward R. Murrow (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/178884.Edward_R_Murrow)