California Family Hit With SWAT Raid . . . Ordered By The Department of Education

In Stockton, California, Kenneth Wright was at home with his three young children ages 3, 7, and 11 when a SWAT team burst into his home at 6 a.m., dragged him out on the lawn, threw him to the ground, and put the family (including the kids) in squad cars. His alleged crime: default on student loans. On top of the overkill in using SWAT teams to target defaulting students, the city got it wrong. They were looking for Wright’s estranged wife. The D.O.E. now insists that it was not just about loans but part of a criminal investigation that it was carrying out.

There has been an expansion of SWAT teams with the infusion of federal funds, often connected to anti-terror programs. Departments appear to be searching for ways to use them, including as http://jonathanturley.org/2011/03/25/under-siege-steven-seagal-attacks-home-in-arizona-with-armored-cars-and-swat-members-to-arrest-man-accused-of-cockfighting/.

In this case, Apocalypse Now was unleashed by the Department of Education as it called in the police for a defaulted student. The Office of the Inspector General has a law enforcement branch of federal agents that carry out search warrants and investigations. However the Stockton Police Department said that it only provided one officer and one patrol car and did not participate in breaking Wright’s door, handcuffing him, or searching his home.

Does this mean that the Department of Education now has shock troops? The Department admitted that it issued the search warrant. That is pretty disturbing that the Department of Education now has authority to issue search warrants and trigger raids on homes.

Recently when the Education Department bought 27 shotguns it released the following statement:

Here’s a statement from the office in response to a question about why need 27 shotguns with a 14-inch barrels:

“The Office of Inspector General is the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Education and is responsible for the detection of waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds, programs, and operations. As such, OIG operates with full statutory law enforcement authority, which includes conducting search warrants, making arrests, and carrying firearms. The acquisition of these firearms is necessary to replace older and mechanically malfunctioning firearms, and in compliance with Federal procurement requirements. For more information on OIG’s law enforcement authority, please visit their Web site at : http://www.ed.gov/oig”

The D.O.E. issued the following statement in saying that it was carrying out its own raid but not over student loans. Here is the statements as found on Reason:

Yesterday, the Depart of Education’s office of inspector general executed a search warrant at Stockton California residence with the presence of local law enforcement authorities.

While it was reported in local media that the search was related to a defaulted student loan, that is incorrect. This is related to a criminal investigation. The Inspector General’s Office does not execute search warrants for late loan payments.

Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we can’t comment on the specifics of the case. We can say that the OIG’s office conducts about 30-35 search warrants a year on issues such as bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds.

All further questions on this issue should be directed to the Department of Education’s Inspector General’s Office.

Source: NEWS 10 as first seen on Reddit.

Jonathan Turley

Kudos to Elaine for shotgun story.

135 thoughts on “California Family Hit With SWAT Raid . . . Ordered By The Department of Education

  1. I don’t know how to even begin to respond to this story. I just wish I could get the case.

  2. This is another example of the “we have it let’s use it” approach in law enforcement. The infusion of money (via Homeland Security) and police powers (via the PATRIOT Act) gives local jurisdictions the resources and power to perform these kinds of operations.
    What it does not do is provide the expertise (aka “wisdom”) to use them properly.

  3. My god … this is beyond awful … grown men grabbing little kids out of their beds and throwing them into squad cars simply because they were ordered to do so … exactly where is their sense of right and wrong … humanity … protective instincts. Besides the assholes who ordered this raid, every one of those SWAT team members should be locked up … the cops have become as great a danger to society as the criminals they’re supposed to be pursuing … honestly … the thought of those monsters invading an innocent three year old’s bedroom makes me sick to my stomach.

    Release these sub-humans names so that we may all know them for exactly who they are and treat them accordingly.

  4. Perhaps I am naive, but I thought thst in law defaulting on a debt called for civil rather than criminal remedies. The DOE officials responsible for this policy should not only be fired, but their pension and benefits witheld. Are we next heading for debtor’s prisons and/or forced work camps?

  5. Does it mildly bother anyone that a state’s police power was used over a FRIGGING CONTRACT DISPUTE? Default on Student loan = breach of contract, not Default on Student loan = terrorism. Talk about massively misguided overkill. Or are we getting the privatized debtor’s prisons ready for the 60 or 70 million Americans who are under water on various loans?

  6. This so disgusts me … never in all the years that I spent protesting did I ever yell or say the following to any officer of the law but today, at the age of 66, I say this with complete sincerity and total disdain:

    You SWAT team guys involved in raid in Stockton, California, on Kenneth Wright and his children are complete and total PIGS

  7. If you think that sending in SWAT over a contractual issue is overkill, just tear that tag off your mattress.

    I dare you.

    And what Mike S. said. Not only do the people responsible for this need to be fired, they need their pensions voided. Also a swift kick in the ass. Several times.

  8. Quoted from the link:

    “All I want is an apology for me and my kids and for them to get me a new door,” Wright said. ”
    ___________

    Please Mr. Wright, consider pursuing legal action to help prevent this type of egregious LE from happening to other innocent American citizens—whether Black, Caucasian, et cetera…

  9. I second FFEO’s comment, Mr. Wright. You should sue them not just for yourself, but shine a light on a practice that is abhorrent.

  10. Primigenius
    1, June 8, 2011 at 9:42 am
    Does it mildly bother anyone that a state’s police power was used over a FRIGGING CONTRACT DISPUTE? Default on Student loan = breach of contract, not Default on Student loan = terrorism. Talk about massively misguided overkill. Or are we getting the privatized debtor’s prisons ready for the 60 or 70 million Americans who are under water on various loans?
    ————————–
    where’s the fear? who’s the terrorist?

  11. Questions you likely not hear a reporter ask:
    Whose responsibility is it to review requests to use SWAT Team resources?
    What criteria goes into making those decisions?
    Are individual officers advised of the reason they are being deployed?
    Are the responding officers offered an opportunity to question the use of SWAT resources?

  12. Here’s an interesting article I just found:

    Education Department buying 27 shotguns
    By Valerie Strauss
    The Washington Post
    3/11/2010
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/education-secretary-duncan/ed-department-buying-27-shotgu.html

    Excerpt:
    Why is the Education Department purchasing 27 Remington Brand Model 870 police 12-gauge shotguns (all new, no re-manufactured products, thank you)?

    The guns are to replace old firearms used by Education’s Office of Inspector General, which is the law enforcement arm of the department.

    Here’s a statement from the office in response to a question about why need 27 shotguns with a 14-inch barrels:

    “The Office of Inspector General is the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Education and is responsible for the detection of waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds, programs, and operations. As such, OIG operates with full statutory law enforcement authority, which includes conducting search warrants, making arrests, and carrying firearms. The acquisition of these firearms is necessary to replace older and mechanically malfunctioning firearms, and in compliance with Federal procurement requirements. For more information on OIG’s law enforcement authority, please visit their Web site at : http://www.ed.gov/oig”

    **********

    You learn something new every day. I never knew the DOE had a law enforcement arm before.

  13. Be thankful, it could have been much much worse….

    “He charged right at me, I feared for my life!” Quote from team member after firing on startled 3 yr old.

    “Of course I HAD to use my tazer, they wouldn’t stop crying and screaming!” Quote from another team member who claimed the 3 & 7 yr olds were “assaulting” his hearing…

  14. “All I want is an apology for me and my kids and for them to get me a new door,” Wright said. ”

    This has the the sweet stinky order of a threat not to pursue it any further.

  15. This site is so educational! I just learned that, as a liberal, I elected the DOE and SWAT teams! COOL! – I guess I missed that vote but I wanna know when they come up for re-election. Maybe I’ll even run for SWATTER-IN-CHIEF.

    DOE was first founded in 1867, then downgraded into an ‘agency’ so us eeeeevvvvviiiilll liberals have been around a long time (I guess we did free the slaves around then so the timing is right). Plus we all know that, once established, no organization ever runs off the rails, particularly when 20 of the last 30 years it has been staffed by people selected by administrations hell bent on proving government is the problem.

    Come on troll boy, is that the best your syphilis atrophied brain can come up with to say about this event?

  16. 1. This might have involved something criminal as opposed to just a default on a loan.

    2. Things like this happen and will continue to happen because politicians and officials realize that there will be few consequences for them. Politicians and officials realize that most people who respond to things like this by doing things that are stupid and ineffective or that they’ll forget this 10 minutes from now. For instance, it’s stupid and ineffective to present libertarianism as the alternative (as ReasonMag is) since few Americans want libertarianism. Making this a libertarian cause helps the DOE and friends. The teaparty solution would be to wave loopy signs and throw tantrums. Others just sit in online forums whining and moaning. Meanwhile, for over four years I’ve been promoting a generic plan that would hold pols accountable: have smart people “cross-examine” pols on their ideas at their public appearances on video. Not only have I got almost no help with that, I’ve even gotten some pushback. Ask your leaders why they won’t promote that plan but instead simply provide entertainment to get page views.

  17. A U.S. government official confirmed for News10 this morning federal agents with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), not local S.W.A.T., served the search warrant. The official would not say specifically why the raid took place. He did say the search was not related to student loans in default.

    He went on to say OIG is a semi-independent branch of the U.S. Department of Education that executes warrants for criminal offenses such as student aid fraud and embezzlement of federal aid.

  18. Warning! New Age LEOs: Black-suited Thugs with a Penchant for Lawlessness on Steroids.

    Coming Soon to a Theater (of SWAT Operations) Near You and Your Peaceful Neighborhood

    Thence Trouncing Upon Your Own Family Castle’s Doorsteps…
    ________

    “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

    The incomparable Thomas Jefferson

  19. Inspector General’s name is Kathleen S. Tighe. She earned her law degree, with honors, from George Washington University (JD’83). Deputy Inspector General is Mary Mitchelson (Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C). Good enough to start with.

    Now it’s on to finding the names of the SWAT thugs and exposing them to the full contempt of their fellow citizens … then throw the book at them and lock ’em up with their brothers in crime in Leavenworth. If there’s a way to throw Tighe and Mitchelson on the pile … do it. None of them should be walking the streets.

  20. My favorite part of the whole story is that the warrant was issued for the guy’s estranged wife who has not lived there for quite some time.

    She could’ve slaughtered 50 people but the fact an agency with an educational focus can dispatch armed goons across the country without taking 5 minutes to make sure the she lived there really speaks volumes about the two classes (and levels of intelligence) of people in this country (those that fund the government and those that abuse its power).

    With court rulings across America saying you have no right to defense for unlawful police entry into your home, thank god he didn’t try to shield his kids from these mongoloids (upon whom I pray for the worst in life) lest they have shot him and then said, “Oops.”

    I’d love to be on a jury for someone who opened fire on a moronic SWAT team like this one.

  21. Wow! I finally get a computer that will stay connected to the “internets” and I read that the Department of Education has a law enforcement agency under their control!! What the hell is going on here?! Great link Elaine.

  22. This is just beyond upsetting. You keep a man in the back of a car, handcuffed and in his underwear for SIX hours?

    For the non-lawyer readers, can someone explain what is on that search warrant? I was always under the impression that the warrant had to explain what the purpose of the search was, what areas were covered by the warrant and what the probable cause of the warrant was. Is that incorrect?

    Either that warrant says it’s about student loans, or that guy made it up out of whole cloth, and right it seems the former is much more likely, to me.

  23. Ms. EM,

    No amount of money or recognition that would tempt me to rejoin LE—especially engagement in SWAT Ops. I trained in SWAT-type tactics, although I never participated in any such ‘real-life’ actions.

    Above, Tim Hill hit on part of the problem. I also think, that with adrenalin pumping, SWAT officers resort to primal herd/mob mentalities and simply do not think through their actions and respond to whatever are their cohorts’ heated reactions.

    Furthermore, as long as LEOs view even the most benign misdemeanants as scum/ dirt bags—instead of innocent-until-proven-guilty fellow citizens—then the abuses we observed in this incident will continue to occur and intensify.

  24. This appears to be one of those stories whose details will have to be dragged out of people over the course of several days.

  25. This is a not about rogue cops or lack of training. To call for the heads of the officers involved is to miss the problem entirely. SWAT tactics by all levels of law enforcement is multiplying rapidly, government agencies desire to use tremendous force against individuals where no imminent threat exists, and accountability for abuses and even summary executions is virtually non-existent. The dangerousness of interacting with government is going parabolic.

    Today we are seeing just a small glimpse of our future. It will be truly horrific unless government is constrained at every turn. I see no sign of that happening.

  26. “Today we are seeing just a small glimpse of our future. It will be truly horrific unless government is constrained at every turn. I see no sign of that happening.” -puzzling

    Yep. Some unbelievable things goin’ on out there.

  27. “I don’t know how to even begin to respond to this story. I just wish I could get the case.” -Mike Appleton

    So do I…

  28. What we’re seeing here is such a small piece of what’s really going on…

    Thanks for posting that vid, puzzling.

  29. I have an idea. Instead of paying for more SWAT teams, how about paying for necessary infrastructure repairs and improvements and social programs the boost national security like universal health care and alternative energy R&D to rid of of oil companies and assholes like the Saudis for good. Government is a tool. It only harms you when you abuse it or let it abuse you. By allowing the Patriot Act to stand, We have abused government by allowing it to abuse us.

    Write your Senators and Representatives today and tell them you’ve had enough security theater, goon squad tactics against citizens, and would like to curb the growing police state by first repealing the Patriot Act.

  30. “Write your Senators and Representatives today and tell them you’ve had enough security theater, goon squad tactics against citizens, and would like to curb the growing police state by first repealing the Patriot Act.” -Buddha

    Please. (Thanks, Buddha.)

  31. “To call for the heads of the officers involved is to miss the problem entirely.” (puzzling)

    Bullshit … I noticed that although you enumerated the abuses and present/future possibilities you called for no solutions or punishments.

    I’m sick to death of talk … action is what is needed.

    Start with the thugs who stuffed those kids into the back of a squad car and work the way up their chain of command … put each and every one of them in Leavenworth and show them no more mercy or understanding than they showed that 3 year old little girl.

    I don’t care what kind of “new” excuse the Dept of Education comes up with to justify their thugs … no 3 year old should be collateral damage for a bunch of men who like to dress up in scary costumes and drag citizens out of their homes.

  32. “to rid ourselves of oil companies ”

    anon nurse,

    One lives to be of service.

    raff,

    I’m thinking the way we used to: with common sense, protecting the people’s rights foremost over any other consideration, and sound foreign policy that isn’t centered around being the World Police or bullies for alleged allies like Saudi Arabia.

  33. anon nurse,

    Pontificating is all fine and dandy but now it’s time to move against these out of control maniacs and get them off our streets and out of our lives … that’s what prisons are for and that’s where they belong until they’re too old to be a threat to anybody. Those who follow the orders are just as guilty as those who give the orders and they, in turn, are just as guilty as those who set the policy.

  34. A recent “survey”/”quiz” of FBI agents and supervisors, concerning bureau policy about issuance of National Security Letters, had a 20% failure rate…. Is this any less surprising?

  35. The Russians say “A fish rots from the head.”

    Politicians need to start paying for the illegal policies they set and crimes they commit while in office by going to prison.

    Why not include a paragraph in your letters demanding the criminal investigation and trial of the Bush Administration and any pols who enabled them to subvert the Constitution in the name of personal profits.

  36. Buddha,

    Needless to say, I’m incensed

    Student aid fraud and embezzlement of federal aid justifies SWAT (special weapons and tactics).

    This country, as far as I’m concerned, has now officially gone mad.

  37. Blouise wrote:

    Bullshit … I noticed that although you enumerated the abuses and present/future possibilities you called for no solutions or punishments.

    Some say that police are the “edge of the knife”. You need to consider who is holding that knife in the first place: your government.

    This cannot be solved bottom up by rare prosecutions of individual police. There are thousands eager to claim a spot on DOE SWAT teams if a handful of “operators” are dismissed for one reason or another. Those prosecutions are a diversion from acknowledging a larger problem.

    You need to ask why that SWAT team exists in the first place. Why is government vesting an education department with capability for such violence? Will even routine traffic stops one day be met by SWAT-like tactics in order to intimidate, condition and coerce? And will the situation continue to escalate until we have a full-fledged police state? I think that is likely. And they will not want it on tape:

  38. Copies of the warrant can be obtained by the news media. They need to get them & post the links like they do here in Vegas on stories like this. Then there is no discrepancy as to why his home was raided.
    I don’t care WHY they came in the first place, busting down the door is totally uncalled for! Had Kenneth moved in such a way for the cops to claim they felt threatened he would have been DEAD. The ONLY time a raid should be done is IF they know FOR SURE the person is in the home & is a rapist, murder or known record of violent criminal history, even then they can knock on the door & wait for an answer. If no answer then maybe kick the door in.

  39. Puzzling,

    Putting a leftist spin on words but offering no concrete solutions … just words. The questions you pose have been asked and answered … over and over again.

    Prosecution doesn’t stop at the SWAT level … it travels up the chain of command to the person who signed the search warrant, to the person who ordered the SWAT team on sight to the official who set the policy. They all go to prison. Nobody gets off with this or that excuse … all the way up to the Inspector General. She can throw her next cocktail in the prison cafeteria.

    Write your congressman, write to the U S Dept. of Ed, write to the White House, write everybody you can think of and demand action … then write them again. Hell, write your local FOP and tell them what you think of maniacs dressing up in funny costumes and dragging citizens out of their houses because some asshole ordered them to. Do something!

  40. Swat teams are essentially coward thugs. They exist in stealth mode under color of the law until called. Then they respond with surprise and only when they have overwhelming advantage in size and gun power over their victims. Their greatest exposure to risk of bodily harm comes from their comrades during the raid and possibly from tripping over their own feet.

    I would love to be in an equal sized counter-group with the same armaments with five minutes warning of the arrival of these coward thugs and to enjoy the same immunity.

  41. Puzzling:

    “The dangerousness of interacting with government is going parabolic.”

    Dont you mean exponential? or maybe Postal?

  42. “Pontificating is all fine and dandy but now it’s time to move against these out of control maniacs and get them off our streets and out of our lives … that’s what prisons are for and that’s where they belong until they’re too old to be a threat to anybody. Those who follow the orders are just as guilty as those who give the orders and they, in turn, are just as guilty as those who set the policy.” -Blouise

    Am I misunderstanding you? I agree with you…

  43. “I don’t care what kind of “new” excuse the Dept of Education comes up with to justify their thugs …”

    Maybe the problem is the Department of Education. They shouldnt even be a department and they shouldnt provide student loans. College costs have escalated because of easy money. But then government will always trample the rights of the people. It is in its nature. Our founders understood this and tried mightly to limit the scope and size of government. The Department of Education is not something the founders would have considered necessary to a society.

    Leviathan is here.

  44. obama has put us trillions in debt along with congressmen and senators. Can we kick in their doors and beat the crap out of them at 5 am???

  45. Some years ago, a request for funds came to me by mail for the proposed “National Holocaust Museum.” The letter was apparently written by an officer who was one of the first U.S. soldiers to enter one of the main Nazi death camps.

    In the letter to me were words to the effect that we (the U.S.) needed the National Holocaust Museum because we are not like the Nazis.

    I sent as much as I could reasonably afford, being a strong believer in “Niemal wieder, vergesse nicht,” and also wrote that I was sending money because, in every way not trivial, we (the people of the U.S.) are the same as the Nazis.

    I had hoped my view would be shown wrong. Alas, day by day, events seem to increasingly validate my view that there is no significant contrast between the Nazis and the citizenry of the U.S.

    If the predicament is not about people, not about nations or cultures or tribes, not about good or bad people, not about crazy or sane people, not about politicians or politics, not about economics, not about law, what is the predicament of violence about?

    Something situational?

    Something situational which, because of situational factors, we are yet unable to effectively, accurately recognize and understand?

    Surely the apparently escalating state of terror might be an indicator that no one has yet really figured out the nature of human violence completely?

    It occurs to me to wonder whether we might only be looking where the problem is not, and so cannot find it…

    What if someone happens to look where the problem really is, observes it accurately, and identifies a practicable remedy? Would anyone tolerate that?

  46. Violence is inherent in human nature, Brian. Change human nature and you can end violence. Anything short of that simply won’t work.

  47. I remember when the SWAT teams were developed to use in the Watts riots in 1968. I don’t have the fond memories of the good old days that some here have.

  48. They are just saying it’s criminal to try to get themselves out of trouble, in mt opinion.

  49. anon nurse,

    That was addressed to “puzzling” who seems to be asking the old questions which you and I answered to our own satisfaction at least a year ago, if not longer.

    You and I know what needs to be done which makes puzzlings’ questions meaningless for me.

    I don’t care what the probe is … grabbing kids like that and shoving them into a car … breaking into a house … over the top and damned scary and a complete unamerican activity that should be fully investigated by congress. (Which might lead to other investigations…)

    Looks like every government department needs their own costumed maniacs to terrorize the children of this country.

    Turn about is fair play … let’s run a criminal probe on them!

    You’re probably catching the tone of my anger towards the SWAT, I’m a tough guy ’cause I can scare a three year old, posers, and the Dept of Ed.

    I’d give you a smiley face but … well, you know how I feel.

    I am hoping this is a tipping point and I’m waiting to hear just how far the government is going to go in their spin. It’s going to have to be a pretty good one.

  50. violence is not in human nature, human beings are, for the most part rational animals and most would rather trade than fight.

    Violence is a construct of the state. Wars are not started by individuals but by governments and usually for stupid reasons. People if left alone in an environment of freedom with an objective rule of law will trade with rather than attack their neighbor.

  51. ROFLMAO

    I suppose libido and hunger are constructs of the state too. You are especially ridiculous today, Corporate Bootlick. Do you even know what the first tool was?

    A club. And it wasn’t just used for hunting either.

    That above statement of yours is particularly funny in light of your solution on the thread about the little girls attack the little boy.

    “Roco 1, June 6, 2011 at 9:52 am

    The kid should just find them each alone and kick their skanky asses. ”

    http://jonathanturley.org/2011/06/06/florida-boy-attacked-stripped-naked-in-public-and-videotaped-by-three-girls-resulting-in-no-charges/#comment-236831

    Hypocritical much?

    That’s the problem with sociopaths.

    They hinder civilization because they don’t understand it.

  52. Two statements I never thought I’d read in the same sentence: ‘Department of Education’ and ‘SWAT Team’. Every time I think I couldn’t be surprised by anything political I get a surprise. DOE has a SWAT team. That’s insane. I.N.S.A.N.E. Our government is insane.

    I wonder which other departments we normally wouldn’t think of as militarized are now militarized? I can only agree with the other posters here that want this victim to sue, want to have the Director of DOE fired etc. I wouldn’t bet money on reform though.

  53. Education Department says it doesn’t send SWAT teams after loan defaulters
    By Liz Goodwin
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110608/us_yblog_thelookout/education-department-says-it-doesnt-send-swat-teams-after-loan-defaulters

    Excerpt:
    But Education Department Press Secretary Justin Hamilton said in a statement to The Lookout that the department “does not execute search warrants for late loan payments.” He said the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) “conducts about 30-35 search warrants a year on issues such as bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds.” Hamilton said the department cannot comment on this particular case until the investigation is over, but did add that the claim the warrant was executed for late loan payment is untrue. The raid was related to a criminal investigation of Wright’s wife.

    The OIG lists some of its recent investigations on its website, including the case of a Boston man who was sent to prison last month for lying on a federal student aid form.

    About 8.9 percent of all federal loan recipients (about 330,000 people) defaulted between 2008 and 2010, the highest percentage in more than a decade. Unlike students who have some types of private student loans, borrowers with federal loans can’t declare bankruptcy as a way to get out of repayment, no matter how dire their financial situation.

    Still, Wright was not the subject of the agency’s investigation, and he is demanding an apology for being treated like a criminal in his own home. He animatedly explains in this video that he was handcuffed while still in his underwear and was made to wait in a police car for several hours with his three young children while the 15 law enforcement officers searched his house.

  54. Violence should only be used in retaliation as a last resort. And an 11 year old kicking the ass of someone who took his clothes off is hardly an example of violent nature. More like a desire for justice, which is a human trait.

    But most violence is perpetrated by nation states or primitive tribes of people over resources.

    The fact that we have a Constitution which provides for a way to settle disputes is pretty good evidence that rational men are not violent. Now men of a different stripe, the ones who orchestrated and provided the philosophical foundation for the French Revolution are violent by nature but then they were statists and so it is no surprise.

    Maybe you are the one who is violent by nature and are projecting your nature onto the entire human race?

  55. where does the authority come from to have a swat team?

    If DOE has one, you can bet the others do as well.

    It doesnt matter if they dont send the SWAT team out for loan defaulters, they shouldnt even have a SWAT team. The friggen police shouldnt either. If you dont like the drugs, then make them legal and allow honest farmers to make a buck.

  56. “Maybe you are the one who is violent by nature and are projecting your nature onto the entire human race?”

    Really. I wasn’t the one suggesting finding a bunch of little girls and “kicking their skanky asses” as an appropriate method of dispute resolution, sport. That’d be you.

  57. Why is the Education Department purchasing 27 Remington Brand Model 870 police 12-gauge shotguns (all new, no re-manufactured products, thank you)?

    The guns are to replace old firearms used by Education’s Office of Inspector General, which is the law enforcement arm of the department.

    Here’s a statement from the office in response to a question about why need 27 shotguns with a 14-inch barrels:

    “The Office of Inspector General is the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Education and is responsible for the detection of waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds, programs, and operations. As such, OIG operates with full statutory law enforcement authority, which includes conducting search warrants, making arrests, and carrying firearms. The acquisition of these firearms is necessary to replace older and mechanically malfunctioning firearms, and in compliance with Federal procurement requirements. For more information on OIG’s law enforcement authority, please visit their Web site at : http://www.ed.gov/oig”

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/education-secretary-duncan/ed-department-buying-27-shotgu.html

  58. lets look at the entire quote:

    “The kid should just find them each alone and kick their skanky asses. But then their mothers would probably have the kid on death row or facing life in prison.

    Kids used to handle this type of thing themselves after school.”

    So you are equating school yard justice by 11 year olds to the rational thought process of a grown adult? Are you projecting again?

  59. Bdaman:

    interesting article, how much you want to bet most of the hire-ups in the DOE think like Buddha is Laughing does?

  60. I’m not advocating violence is what I’m doing. But you sure are. My but you are a good example for the children. Just the kind of example I’d expect a sociopath to set. Try to twist your way out it after advocating violence and then saying violence isn’t a part of human nature. It’s funny.

  61. Oooooo. Going to try to tell me what I think about something I have expressed no opinion on? I guess you are adding “psychic” to your list of super-troll powers.

  62. I believe in free markets no matter how many times you try to say I don’t. I believe in regulated free markets. Unlike you and your laissez-faire abusive corporatist nonsense. But please. Lie some more. It’s what we’ve all come to expect from you.

  63. maybe when DOE gets all of the student loan perps out of the way then fannie may and freddie mac can borrow the swat team for all these mortgage defaulters

  64. A school yard fight is a far cry from violent by nature. Since very few children when I was growing up were involved in after school fights and considering when they did happen it was usually to settle some sort of real or imagined abuse by another child. I don’t think you can conclude from a couple of kids fighting because one feels he was wronged by another is violent by nature.

    If humans were violent by nature we would see mass killings, constant fighting and other violent crimes on a regular basis. We don’t, most people are peaceful and want to lead their lives without violence.

    If people were violent by nature we would not have lasted as a race, we would have killed each other. The state causes violence on a grand scale, typically totalitarian statist states cause mass death and destruction.

    I still say you are projecting statist boy.

  65. “I believe in free markets no matter how many times you try to say I don’t.”

    you dont, you are an avowed socialist, by definition you dont believe in free markets. If you think a free market can exist in a socialist state you are wrong and have little understanding of socialism or free markets.

    It is sad to watch your mind work.

  66. Pete asked

    maybe when DOE gets all of the student loan perps out of the way then fannie may and freddie mac can borrow the swat team for all these mortgage defaulters

    That’s already been done by Fannie Mae:

  67. SWAT was on-site for this Fannie Mae ordered eviction, a point made in the video description but not fully detailed within this clip.

  68. “Furthermore, as long as LEOs view even the most benign misdemeanants as scum/ dirt bags—instead of innocent-until-proven-guilty fellow citizens—then the abuses we observed in this incident will continue to occur and intensify.”

    FFLEO

    You point out exactly the problem. Looking at the history of Law Enforcement in the US many LEO’s came to their jobs believing they were protectiing the public. They soon found out that the real purpose of the job was to protect business and wealth. Read Wyatt Earp’s history for instance and you get a microcosm of the real use the elite has made of LEO’s and unfortunately the complicity of many LEO’s with that usage.

    The training that emphasises an “us vs. them” mentality and the exposure to the worst in human behavior reinforces the alienation of many LEO’s from the public they serve. Combine this with a press that rapaciously reports infamous cases, violent not white collar. A lack of education as to what the Bill of Rights and our legal system is about, in tandem with politicians (like prosecutors) who ignore the legal niceties for the sake of self aggrandisement. This creates a public all too willing to believe that all who are called criminal, really are and that legal defenses are but ways to escape justice.

    The reportage on the Caylee Anthony case is a good illustration of the assumption of guilt by a TV media striving to add drama in the service of ratings. Yesterday, I watched a commentator decrying the defenses effort to impeach the integrity of forensic evidence as trying to “OJ” the case. She then presented a purported expert on body language to pronounce the defendants guilt through her expressions and arm movements.

    We are led to believe that SWAT Teams protect the public and LEO’s, so we endow them with totalitarian tactics and advanced weaponry. The result is usually, as in this case, overkill that can turn needlessly lethal. This is all reinforced by network TV that is made up of at least 50% of unrealistic crime series, that have convinced the public to support a kind of law enforcement that only exists in the minds of writers.

    Pardon my rant, because at its base is my total astonishment that the DOE needs weapon carrying peace officers to fight “crimes” against education.

  69. i like the part where they arrested a neighbor for watching on the sidewalk.

    to bad it was the networks filming, then they could have arrested whoever shot the video.

  70. Roco,

    You pathetically cling to the same incorrect propaganda that has allowed you to think your innate selfishness as a human being has nobility. The ability of humans to rationalize their lack of caring for any save themselves is unlimited, as all your ravings prove.

  71. Puzzling:

    holy shit, she is following legal procedures and Freddie Mac has her arrested. WTF

    The statists are out in force in this administration.

    But then what do you expect when the Supreme Court’s left wing voted to allow the town of New London to take Kelo’s property for a development which would produce more taxes for the town.

    Arent Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac run by the government?

  72. “If humans were violent by nature we would see mass killings, constant fighting and other violent crimes on a regular basis. We don’t, most people are peaceful and want to lead their lives without violence.”

    Roco,

    Perhaps you haven’t heard of the genocide in Africa, or the violence in the rest of the world. We see everything you claim we don’t see and we see it all too often. The history of humanity is one of violence. Sadly, I your idealized society ever came to pass you would see violence up close and personal as the people with the most weapons take over. The relative peace you have experienced in your life has been because there is a government, but you are too besotted with fantasy to understand it.

  73. which raving are you talking about? the one where I said people are not violent by nature? Or the one where I thought the DOE was full of it to do what they did? Or maybe the one where I thought the grandmother who was evicted by Freddie/Fannie should have kept her house and worked it out?

    Or was it the one which I thought Kelo should have kept the house?

    Since you seem to think I was raving I can assume you are for unbridled government force when dealing with citizens?

  74. why dont you take a look at what the root cause of that violence is. And what types of government exist in which violence takes place.

    I dont deny that violence exists, I am just of the opinion that the majority of humanity are peaceful and given the chance would rather trade with others than fight them. Wars are created by the state. Whether an African tribe, a Greek Polis or a Constitutional Republic. Most wars have been started by countries which have statist governments.

  75. Roco asks

    Arent Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac run by the government?

    They are. The same government that will strip you of any self-defense capabilities, and then may torture those who call upon it to “serve and protect”, as this 57 year-old woman found out when she called 911 after suspecting a prowler near her house. Particularly disturbing to listen to, she begs for the torture to end and it does not:

    This is the result of a mindset of superiority being instilled into agents of an all-powerful government. Yet, I hear calls for more and more government everyday.

  76. puzzling:

    yes and right here in river city no less, on a blog devoted to civil liberties. Rather ironic eh?

  77. The ABC’s of Historical Materialism in regards to human history are this:

    Politics is Who gets What?

    A State is armed gangs defending property.

    An army is a State on wheels.

    Foreign Policy can only be an extension of Domestic Policy.

    America’s Foreign Policy has ALWAYS been Liberalism, that is, extending democracy on bayonets.

    Democracy has NEVER prevented a single war.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Based on these elemental precepts it stands to reason that if our foreign police, the US armed forces, can kick down the doors of Iraqis & other brown people in the middle of the night with impunity then so eventually will our domestic police kick down the doors of the citizenry with impunity.

    This is what all the mindless flag wavers on both sides of the aisle never understand, or refuse to come to grips with, because both US political parties ultimately are subservient to a single ruling class, that is, America is a one party Plutocracy (some say Kleptocracy) with two factions bickering over how best to screw over the working masses.

    Res Ipsa Loquitur

  78. For students interested in a historical follow up to the last post let me refer to the 20th century’s most articulate proletarian revolutionary philosopher:

    “The doctrine of formal democracy is…. but the theory of so-called natural law. The essence of the latter consists in the recognition of eternal and unchanging standards of law, which among different peoples and at different periods find a different, more or less limited and distorted expression. The natural law of the latest history – i.e., as it emerged from the Middle Ages – included first of all a protest against class privileges, the abuse of despotic legislation, and the other “artificial” products of feudal positive law. The theoreticians of the, as yet, weak Third Estate expressed its class interests in a few ideal standards, which later on developed into the teaching of democracy, acquiring at the same time an individualist character. The individual is absolute; all persons have the right of expressing their thoughts in speech and print; every man must enjoy equal electoral rights. As a battle cry against feudalism, the demand for democracy had a progressive character. As time went on, however, the metaphysics of natural law (the theory of formal democracy) began to show its reactionary side – the establishment of an ideal standard to control the real demands of the laboring masses and the revolutionary parties.

    If we look back to the historical sequence of world concepts, the theory of natural law will prove to be a paraphrase of Christian spiritualism freed from its crude mysticism. The Gospels proclaimed to the slave that he had just the same soul as the slave-owner, and in this way established the equality of all men before the heavenly tribunal. In reality, the slave remained a slave, and obedience became for him a religious duty. In the teaching of Christianity, the slave found an expression for his own ignorant protest against his degraded condition. Side by side with the protest was also the consolation. Christianity told him:– ”You have an immortal soul, although you resemble a pack-horse.” Here sounded the note of indignation. But the same Christianity said:– ”Although you are like a pack-horse, yet your immortal soul has in store for it an eternal reward.” Here is the voice of consolation. These two notes were found in historical Christianity in different proportions at different periods and amongst different classes. But as a whole, Christianity, like all other religions, became a method of deadening the consciousness of the oppressed masses.

    Natural law, which developed into the theory of democracy, said to the worker: “all men are equal before the law, independently of their origin, their property, and their position; every man has an equal right in determining the fate of the people.” This ideal criterion revolutionized the consciousness of the masses in so far as it was a condemnation of absolutism, aristocratic privileges, and the property qualification. But the longer it went on, the more if sent the consciousness to sleep, legalizing poverty, slavery and degradation: for how could one revolt against slavery when every man has an equal right in determining the fate of the nation?

    Rothschild, who has coined the blood and tears of the world into the gold napoleons of his income, has one vote at the parliamentary elections. The ignorant tiller of the soil who cannot sign his name, sleeps all his life without taking his clothes off, and wanders through society like an underground mole, plays his part, however, as a trustee of the nation’s sovereignty, and is equal to Rothschild in the courts and at the elections. In the real conditions of life, in the economic process, in social relations, in their way of life, people became more and more unequal; dazzling luxury was accumulated at one pole, poverty and hopelessness at the other. But in the sphere of the legal edifice of the State, these glaring contradictions disappeared, and there penetrated thither only unsubstantial legal shadows. The landlord, the laborer, the capitalist, the proletarian, the minister, the bootblack – all are equal as “citizens” and as “legislators.” The mystic equality of Christianity has taken one step down from the heavens in the shape of the “natural,” “legal” equality of democracy. But it has not yet reached earth, where lie the economic foundations of society. For the ignorant day-laborer, who all his life remains a beast of burden in the service of the bourgeoisie, the ideal right to influence the fate of the nations by means of the parliamentary elections remained little more real than the palace which he was promised in the kingdom of heaven.”

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1920/terrcomm/ch03.htm

    (See Chapter 3 — The Metaphyscics of Democracy)

  79. “I don’t think you can conclude from a couple of kids fighting because one feels he was wronged by another is violent by nature.”

    I don’t think you comprehend the definition of violence (exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse) if you don’t think fighting is violence, dumbass. That or you’ve never been in a fight. Probably both.

    “It is sad to watch your mind work.”

    Now that’s projection!

    You apparently cannot distinguish between democratic socialism and the entire spectrum of socialistic models no matter how many times it’s explained to you. Again for the slow crowd: socialism and communism are not the same thing. The only markets that need to be nationalized are those critical to national security. That means your beloved free markets get the rest but they have to follow the rules that protect citizens and employees from their potential and actual abuses. It’s not free markets that are the problem. It’s unregulated free markets and particularly abusive sectors (namely health care insurance and energy – which need to be nationalized – and banking – that needs to regulated to the point they can’t wreck the economy again with their made up bullshit “financial products” like CDS’) that are the problem.

    That and your inability to comprehend and ability to only regurgitate propaganda, sock puppet for oil.

    My mind is a Swiss precision timepiece compared to that limp dirty gym sock you call a brain so it’s no wonder that it makes you sad to watch my mind work. Jealousy and lack of comprehension can often result in sadness. Sadness at your own inadequacies. In contrast, watching your mind doesn’t make me sad. It makes me laugh.

    And the joke is on you.

  80. “For students interested in a historical follow up to the last post let me refer to the 20th century’s most articulate proletarian revolutionary philosopher:”

    Having known many followers of Trotsky in my life all I can say is that they are generally the most humorless, boring people I’ve ever met. Besides the ennui of being in their presence the other common characteristic is in their rigidity of perspective. Giving them any power over a society would be a disaster. However, that holds true for slavish followers of any of the “isms.” Save us from the “Ists” of the world because they will get us all killed in the end trying to perfect their canons of ignorance.

  81. I’m wondering why all of these different government agencies need guns. First it was the DEA, then the ATF, then others… I’m sure the FDA probably has them now, too… And to top it off, the DOE has them too.

    Why?

    Why can’t the FBI do this shit for them? Why do we need 500 Federal organizations that have law-enforcement authority and can carry weapons and break down doors?

  82. Yes, Spindell, there’s certainly some truth to what you say about the “followers” of Trotsky but the same could be said of all “followers.”

    That detracts zero from the truth of the man’s actual words, let alone his deeds, which were to almost single handedly forge the ruined & destitute Czars army into the Red Army which in only 70 years managed to accomplish across 12 time zones an industrial capacity 2nd only to the USA, the world’s first state with atheist education, full employment, free child care, free health care, free abortion, free education through college, state subsidized food, water & utilities, and a constitution that enforced the law that a blue collar worker could pay no more than 10% of their wages in rent. No wonder there was such enmity from white collar workers & bureaucrats like you who backed Perestroika with such zeal — for they had to pay 20% in rent!

    No wonder the Imperialist West foisted such a draconian blockade against them, indeed a Cold War, starting not in 1948 like mythology has it but rather in 1917, because a slave revolt like that had the potential to be the rotten apple that ruined the entire Imperialist barrell. It was an example of historically oppressed peoples’ audacity that had to be smashed. It took a while, but the 500 year reich (1492 to 1992) eventually smashed it just like they’ve done with every other slave revolt over the last 500 years.

  83. Mike Spindell wrote”

    “Pardon my rant, because at its base is my total astonishment that the DOE needs weapon carrying peace officers to fight “crimes” against education.”
    __________

    Not a rant in my view, Mike, since I agree with most of what you stated.

  84. …which in only 70 years managed to accomplish across 12 time zones an industrial capacity 2nd only to the USA, the world’s first state with atheist education, full employment, free child care, free health care, free abortion, free education through college, state subsidized food, water & utilities, and a constitution that enforced the law that a blue collar worker could pay no more than 10% of their wages in rent. No wonder there was such enmity from white collar workers & bureaucrats like you who backed Perestroika with such zeal — for they had to pay 20% in rent!

    Not to mention gulags and torture for dissidents! And next to no freedom of movement, speech, or association for everyone else! Utopia, it was!

    The only thing more ridiculous than someone claiming that the U.S.A. has been a force for good in the world is someone claiming that the U.S.S.R. was a force for good in the world.

  85. So now they claim it wasn’t a SWAT team but merely a dozen or so police ramming through the door and dragging the guy out and then his kids … everything else has remained the same except the name of the unit.

    Soon it will be kindly Sheriff Taylor and his ever faithful deputy, one bullet in his shirt pocket, Barney Fife politely placing Wright and his 3 kids in the back of a fully converted motor home where Aunt Bea served them milk and cookies as they listened to a video featuring Inspector General Kathleen S. Tighe reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The dozen or so other police officers were present to give their home a thorough spring cleaning.

    Wright has a lawyer and I believe the subject of excessive force has been mentioned. Poor Aunt Bea will be devastated.

  86. Further reports from the neighbors who watched the whole incident as it unfolded indicate the kids “were crying really loud.”

    Wright was dressed only in his boxers which were torn when the SWAT-Tactical Team-Thugs threw him to the ground.

    The screaming kids were put in the backseat of the cruiser with their nearly naked father who had his hands in cuffs behind his back. Hopefully his sons were able to help him cover his genitals. His three year old daughter continued crying.

    One wonders if the SWAT-Tactical Team-Thugs had allowed the kids to use the bathroom before they threw ’em, placed them, in the backseat of the cruiser … was the three year old fully potty trained or was she still in nighttime diapers.. Did they bring them anything to drink? Certainly the U S Department of Education has some sort of guidelines on how children should be treated when torn from their beds and “placed” in the back seat of a police car by costumed maniacs … you know something like the breakfast they recommend for all children before starting their school day.

    Wright says he begged them to let the kids go stay with a neighbor. No luck. Two hours later someone had gotten in touch with their grandmother and the children left with her.

    Wright remained in his almost naked state, handcuffed in the back of the cruiser for an additional 4 hours. He said at one point someone allowed him to move his swollen hands to the front of his body … and then recuffed him. Due to swelling, the cuffs had to be loosened twice.

    Witnesses counted 13 agents and one Stockton police officer outside Wright’s home. Tough guys … isn’t that right Special Agent Nance … macho, macho men?

    http://www.news10.net/news/article/141207/29/DOE-raids-Stockton-home-as-part-of-fraud-investigation

  87. health care already is a highly regulated market and look what has happened to it. Go try and buy an insurance policy with a $25,000 dollar deductible if you don’t believe me.

    I think Puzzling has written on the high level of regulation within the health insurance industry.

    And nationalize the oil industry, look what happened in the 70’s with just Nixon’s price controls. You will have worse than long gas lines. Only a free market can efficiently and effectively allocate resources to where they are put to the most productive use.

    As far as abuse to employees? A good economy will end that as employers scramble to provide higher wages and better working conditions than their competitors to attract the most skilled workers.

    I have worked in all types of jobs and have never been abused once, although I will admit that people who couldn’t produce were sometimes harassed so they had to leave. But the harassment usually didn’t come from management, it came from the other workers who didn’t want to carry the free loader. You a free loader since you seem to be so worried about employee abuse. You must be violent too since you seem to be worried about that as well.

    So you are a violent free loader, yep I figured as much. You probably are throwing Molotov Cocktails in the streets during the protests at the economic summit meetings.

    Your beloved European model has about a 20% unemployment rate with little room for advancement. Young people take note, you want a job? Vote for the libertarian or conservative candidate who believes in real free markets. You already voted for the Marxist/socialist and look what he has done in just 2 years. Although that isn’t quite fair, there was a socialist majority in the house and senate since 2006. It took them about 5 years to trash our economy. And it isn’t getting better because of their economic policies and the fear of the unknown consequences of health care regulations and other regulations. That is why companies aren’t hiring.

    Socialism/Marxism/communism and any variant of that despicable economic model has been discredited except to the most stupid or ideological among us.

    P.I.G.S. are getting slaughtered – Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain. They all have one thing in common. What is that you ask? They are socialist economies.

  88. “That detracts zero from the truth of the man’s actual words, let alone his deeds”

    Friedrich,

    Are you serious, I don’t think so. Methinks you’re attempting a “Devil’s Advocate” gambit. Pretending to advocate for Trotsky and communism. A Trotskyite wouldn’t be so quick to extol the Russian
    Revolution, since the “accomplishments” you talked of, save the army, were all done by Lenin and Stalin. They hunted poor Leon after he won them the revolution simply because he wanted to be top dog. Les sums up the refutation of your argument well:

    “Not to mention gulags and torture for dissidents! And next to no freedom of movement, speech, or association for everyone else! Utopia, it was!”

    In reality though, your argument is a “Potemkin Village” in nature because you believe the opposite no doubt. I think you’re just another Right Wing wannabe, who thinks his slick disinformation will
    somehow associate the Russian Revolution with Liberals and thus support the argument that socialism/communism highlight their current agenda. The intrinsic dichotomies presented in your comments:

    “America’s Foreign Policy has ALWAYS been Liberalism, that is, extending democracy on bayonets.”

    “No wonder the Imperialist West foisted such a draconian blockade against them, indeed a Cold War, starting not in 1948 like mythology has it but rather in 1917, because a slave revolt like that had the potential to be the rotten apple that ruined the entire Imperialist barrell.”

    You show confusion in assigning blame. You equate the imperialism of US foreign policy with Liberalism, when in fact it has been directed by the Right Wing corporatocracy, for its economic benefit. This is a weak semantic game on you part and played poorly to boot. However, that does suit your purpose of pretense.

    There is a problem with those of your ilk, be they counter propagandists as I suspect you are, or true believers as you claim to be. You are so caught up in pre-suppositions about society, that your solutions are always ultimately Draconian, whatever the “ism.” If as you imply you really want to save the mass of humanity from exploitation, then the only way to go about it is to start from certain principles and rights basic to all humans. Then you need to figure out the ways to achieve them, unfettered by canons of economic/social theory and grounded in the fact that all inhumanity
    stems from a will to power by sociopaths who use their “isms” to fool the people.

  89. “Only a free market can efficiently and effectively allocate resources to where they are put to the most productive use.”

    A statement worthy of comparison to the saving of Tinker Belle in Peter Pan, as he asks to audience to believe in fairies. Just as there are no fairies, there has never been and never will be a free market. It is a chimera of people who read (or heard of) Adam Smith, but weren’t capable of understanding what he was really saying. A free market is an oxymoron backed by those who lack the depth to see its innate contradiction.

  90. “health care already is a highly regulated market and look what has happened to it. ”

    Regulation has nothing to do with the problems in the health care insurance industry. Excessive profiteering at the expense of the lives and quality of lives for patients denied coverage so some asshat insurance company executives can have salaries nowhere near proportionate to what they contribute to the operation of the company and let’s not forget those perks like week long spa junkets where no work is done at all other than executive ego massage. Monies wasted while patients are denied coverage.

    In addition, there is also the very real issue of how risk pools operate. You want to reduce costs? In insurance, the first place to start is by maximizing the size of the risk pool. The largest possible risk pool is everyone. Second, you also reduce administrative costs in the health care system by having a single pay processing channel instead of the multiple channels you have now.

    “And nationalize the oil industry, look what happened in the 70′s with just Nixon’s price controls. ”

    Awwww. It’s always about money with you, greed boy. Nationalize the oil industry and you’ll not have criminals like Bush and Cheney – oil men in government service for their own P/E statements – starting needless wars for their pocketbooks. Screw the Exxons and Halliburtons. Their profits are not worth a drop of our troops blood. They want to fight a war so they can steal oil? Let their Boards of Directors get off their fat asses and go fight it themselves. Given the actions of the Bush administration, gas prices are a secondary concern to warmongering for private profits.

    “As far as abuse to employees? A good economy will end that as employers scramble to provide higher wages and better working conditions than their competitors to attract the most skilled workers. ”

    ROFLMAO

    I’m looking for the turnip truck you fell out of last night if you believe that self-serving corporatist bullshit.

    And this? This bit makes no sense whatsoever . . .

    “You a free loader since you seem to be so worried about employee abuse. You must be violent too since you seem to be worried about that as well.

    So you are a violent free loader, yep I figured as much. You probably are throwing Molotov Cocktails in the streets during the protests at the economic summit meetings.”

    No. I worry about abusive business practices because I don’t want anybody abused so some dick like you can make an extra dollar.

    And violence? You’re the one preoccupied with beating up little girls. I am not violent by nature and by training. When I encounter violence, I seek to end it quickly as possible and with the minimal amount of damage possible. What I am is a pacifist – I seek the least damaging of all solutions first. You, on the other hand, just want to see some “skanky asses kicked” as a way to resolve conflict. And among children no less. Worried about violence? You bet I am in a world filled with violence prone nitwits such as yourself. But worried about violence because I’m violent? That makes no sense at all. If I were a violent person, I’d be worried I wasn’t getting enough violence, not looking for ways to prevent it. I’ve never thrown a Molotov in my life, but if you want to say I’m a “violent leader” when there are literally years of posts here where I advocate peaceful solutions to societies problems before violence comes about as an inevitable outcome of the corporatist graft rooted abuses that plague our society, you knock yourself out. Knocking yourself out is, after all, what you are best at in this forum.

    “Your beloved European model has about a 20% unemployment rate with little room for advancement. Young people take note, you want a job? Vote for the libertarian or conservative candidate who believes in real free markets. You already voted for the Marxist/socialist and look what he has done in just 2 years. ”

    First, a statement with no basis in reality. I advocate the Norwegian model, not the British or French models and as of 2011, Norway has a 3.2% unemployment rate.

    Second, the domestic economy (and in large part the economies of European countries too heavily vested in our Casino on Wall St.) was wrecked by the Conservatives and allies the Libertarians in their efforts at bank deregulation. As for Obama being a socialist? Hardly. He’s about as socialist as Reagan was and just about as much a true Democrat as well. He’s a corporatist ass kissing toady much like yourself who makes excuses for corporate criminals and the political criminals that aid them in the quest for booty instead of investigating them and putting them on trial, so your implication that Obama was the “socialist choice” is pure fantasy. Just like most of your ideas. Speaking of fantasy, there is no “socialist majority” in Congress either, just corporatist assholes like yourself who just happen to work for different market sectors – the GOP is the Oil Party and the DNC is the Insurance Industry Party and other than some social issues they play against each other to inspire emotional voting over informed voting, there is not a dimes bit of difference in either party. Informed voters would put the GOP and DNC (and the Libertarians as well) out of business.

    “Socialism/Marxism/communism and any variant of that despicable economic model has been discredited except to the most stupid or ideological among us.”

    Nice of you to give yourself a promotion to the smartest and least ideological among us when you are clearly neither. The only thing you discredit is yourself and your failed ideology and you do so repeatedly and ad nauseum, fascist troll.

    “P.I.G.S. are getting slaughtered – Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain. They all have one thing in common. What is that you ask? They are socialist economies.”

    Correlation is not causation.

    Portugal’s problems are rooted in mismanagement of debt and a thin manufacturing base with 75-80% of their economy rooted in service sectors. Real economic strength in a country is never ever rooted that heavily in service industries as the manufacturing base is the only true measure of an economies health and strength. Service based economies are built on a foundation of sand. This is why our loss of manufacturing capacity in this country to outsourcing is so troubling. When economies stall, the first area hit is service industries because service sectors are always secondary to manufacturing sectors in an economy. Portugal is a democratic republic who admittedly had a Socialist party in control when the skids hit, however, their problems began long before the Socialist party took control by mismanaging the growth of their manufacturing sector under various regimes and the lets face facts about socialism or any other model – it’s only as good a tool as the management utilizing it. Poor management can bring down any economy regardless of the model chosen. I point to America as a prime example of this dynamic. I should also point out that Portugal has a free market economy. You mistake having a socialist party in power as having a socialist economic model.

    Ireland over investing in IT industries at a time IT investment was down combined with a poorly and under-regulated banking system (much like here) and over reliance on foreign energy was the cause of their downturn. They are not a socialist country politically nor a socialist economy. Ireland is a Parliamentary democracy with a diverse make up but was dominated by the conservative corporate special interest friendly Fianna Fail which was only deposed from long standing dominance – as in 90 years (making them the longest lived political party to hold dominance in Europe) – in 2008. They have a poorly regulated free market economy dominated by exports controlled by multinational companies, pharmaceuticals, and IT, but Ireland has a free market economy.

    Greece has an almost identical causation to their problems as Portugal, again with a base overly weighted to service industries and mismanagement of debt. And like Portugal, you mistake having a socialist party in power as having a socialist economic model. Having a high level of government services does not a socialist model make. You mistake having a socialist party in power as having a socialist economic model. Greece is also a free market economy.

    Spain is more like a mini-America in the basis of their economic woes. Unlike the aforementioned three countries though, they didn’t get too leveraged into the American property bubble (caused by under-regulated and lax enforcement of laws against companies like AIG and GoldmanSachs) by way of investment, but rather had a domestic property bubble of their own creation. Poor regulation and poor management of the domestic economy led to Spain’s downfall. However, their economy is a free market economy.

    In the end, all of the “PIGS” are management failures, not model failures although their models are all flawed forms of free market economies. Their management problems due in large part to special corporate interests getting their puppets into positions of power instead of the people getting pols who actually work for the people instead of those who line their pockets. Just like here.

    Contrast these failures (all free market economies) and our domestic failure (rooted in a laissez-faire capitalist model) with Norway to see what the socialist model properly managed can accomplish. One of the highest standards of living in the world, some of the happiest citizens in the world, and a robust economy with a strong manufacturing base are found in Norway. Norway which has escaped the ravages of the global economic downturn. And don’t start with your “oil props up Norway” bullshit again as that has been debunked numerous times by both me and Tony C.

    Now run along before I disarm you again.

  91. typical red, blame the insurance companies for having to live under government mandates. and compete under onerous regulations. also why do you think there are only 5 major health insurance companies? that’s right, give that commie a cigar, government intervention in the market.

    Why does it cost about $900 per eye to do lazik surgery to correct vision but $3,279 to do cataract surgery? becuase of competition.

  92. I don’t blame the insurance companies for living under regulation, greed boy. I blame them for excessive profit taking at the expense of the ill and the dying. If anything, they are under regulated. But please, call me a “commie” again. It’s funny. Especially since you’ve demonstrated time and again you make up meanings to political science terms to suit your needs time and again. Whereas when I call you a corporatist, I am merely being accurate.

  93. Too many comments here are off the mark. Blaming the police for this is off target. It was the federal government conducting this raid. The Dept. of Education. Some are also blaming the Patriot Act. Well, you’re barking up the wrong tree. This has nothing to do with the Patriot Act, which is about counter-terrorism. This kind of thing has been going on for more than 20 years and is getting worse because of encouraging federal powers. What most people don’t realize is the federal goverment has authorized almost every agency — Education, Energy, even Commerce! — to have armed agents. EVERYBODY wants a SWAT team. EVERYBODY wants to play the hero. What’s wrong with this picture is the fact that the offense doesn’t rise, by any stretch of the immagination, to the level of requiring, or even justifying, a SWAT team mentality. What ever happened to knocking on the door and talking to people?

    The ONLY justification for using no-knock, armed and forced entry is if, AND ONLY IF, they have strong reason — probably cause, with evidence to back it! — to believe the suspect may be armed and willing to use that arm against them.

    This was a supposed FRAUD investigation. Where the hell do guns come into the picture? Fraud is a non-violent crime. So, what’s with the guns?

    Liberals attacked the State of Idaho recently for proposing a State Statute BANNING the federal government from conducting raids within that State’s borders without local permission. As a former Police Officer from Illinois, I’m ALL IN FAVOR of such a law. If I was a governor, I would push for just such a law. The only time I can see the feds doing something without coordinating with local law enforcement is if they’re conducting an investigation ON local law enforcement, which was the case on my department. My first department, a Chicago suburb, was a real problem. So were other departments in the area. But then again, it’s Chicago. What do you expect? Corruption runs rampant there. I left, under duress from some nasty characters calling themselves police officers, and later, the FBI found drug dealing and other criminal activity. So, there was full justification for the hush hush. I’m not sure if they were working with State Police, but I know at the same time the neighboring town’s police department was also investigated and half the department was fired in the end, with a State Police Lieutenant Colonel taking over for the fired Chief in the interim.

    In those cases, I can see the feds working without local permission. HOWEVER, even then they were working mostly with State Police investigators. As far as I’m concerned, due to the numerous false arrests, mistaken indentities, etc., in these raids, especially those conducted by the BATF, it’s time for the States to reinstitute some local control and to put the federal goverment BACK in its box.

    I’m sorry, but only the FBI, DEA, or other such agency has any real business conducting raids. The idea of the Department of Education having armed agents and conducting raids on people’s homes is just unacceptable to me. We’re becoming a police state.

    The problem is many of you out there — you progressive voters in particular — are passively allowing this to happen through your votes. You keep reelecting the type of politicians who make this possible. This is what you get for the nanny government mentality driven by the left. And again, it’s NOT the Patriot Act that caused this. This is well outside the authority of the Patriot Act, and it’s been going on actively ever since Ruby Ridge in 1992, followed shortly thereafter by Waco. In those cases, the BATF was conducting operatiions WAY outside what should have been it’s authority. In the latter, had the BATF asked the local sheriff to intervene, rather than conducting an armed raid, there would have been no shooting. Yes, the Davidians had no business opening fire on the agents. But the whole thing could have been avoided had the bureau used its SWAT team as a tool of last choice, rather than looking for a way to grab headline news around budget time!

  94. “The problem is many of you out there — you progressive voters in particular — are passively allowing this to happen through your votes. You keep reelecting the type of politicians who make this possible”

    Tom,

    You know as someone who people think of as a Progressive Liberal her, there is much you say that I agree with. The trouble with your reasoning though is that you’ve bought into the whole left wing/right wing mythology and obviously on the side of the Right. We probably disagree on government involvement in trying to better the lot of the 98% of the people, who are being screwed by the other 2%. We do agree, however, that there has been an overuse of SWAT Teams in the work of LEO’s and that they are inappropriate in many cases where violent criminality is not concerned. This tendency,
    however, and the deprivation of civil liberties is not a liberal phenomena.

    Historically, it has arisen many times in our history. In the past 111 years alone their have been the Palmer Raids; Prohibition; Internment of Japanese citizens; the Red Scare led by Dick Nixon and Joe McCarthy; J.E. Hoover’s use of the FBI against the Civil Rights Movement; the CIA’s illegal role in stifling the Viet Nam anti-war movement; the passing of the truly unconstitutional (despite court rulings in favor) Patriot Act and a host of other ill-advised incursions through the years. Most of the impetus for these things originated with conservatives, though liberals both acquiesced and in many cases approved.

    “In the latter, had the BATF asked the local sheriff to intervene, rather than conducting an armed raid, there would have been no shooting.”

    While you make a good point that both Ruby Ridge and Waco should have been handled differently, I think that also you must admit that in many instances local law enforcement can be part of the problem. How many local sheriffs were also Klan members? How many lynchings were aided by local LEO’s? Many local LEO’s have also exhibited the same corruption that we decry on a Federal level?

    In far too many instances much unconstitutional LEO behavior has been instituted by right wing demagoguery with “Get Tough on Crime” platforms, that really mean crack down on the poor. Left wingers have also used that tactic, but in far less cases.

    LEO’s in this country, on all levels have been put in “damned if you do, damned if you don’t positions,” which causes them to be cynical and breeds an “us vs. them” mentality towards the public. Then too, as you mention from your past, some are out-right bad officers, who attempt reprisal against anyone trying to be a good cop. The answer to all this though is not distrusting the government per se, because it is meant to be OUR government and our Constitution grants us rights, which need enforcement. The answer is to take back our Constitutional rights through electing people committed to protecting them. and through beginning to differentiate demagogues, from those with real interest in serving the people. Because a person may be liberal, or conservative, does not mean that they can’t believe in the same basic values such as the rule of law, a government free of special interest lobbying, fair elections and taking money’s influence out of the campaign process.

    Right Wing/Left Wing/Conservative/Liberal are all terms meant to confuse and distract us from the common goals that all Americans do share. By narrowing the framework of discussion and blindly following “party” lines, we allow those who rule us to win the battle.

    .

  95. […] Of course, the so-called “war on drugs” initiated these jackbooted thugs.  Sadly, most of them do not understand the oath they took or the Law of the Land, as they terrorize people serving warrants, subpoenas, conducting alleged investigations by breaking in to people’s homes, and so on.  (For an example, see http://jonathanturley.org/2011/06/08/california-family-hit-with-swat-raid-ordered-by-the-department-…) […]

  96. neighborhood watch needs to potrol the hood looking for cops instead
    of what we thougt were criminals, and do an all call to the citizens
    in the neighborhood to take up arms like the minutemen of the past
    hide in the shubs and fire upon them as they ride by. maybe this will wake the dumbasses up, and eliminate them at the same time.

  97. OMG! Did you actually just give credit to “liberals” for freeing the slaves? Talk about not understanding history!!! O M G!

  98. “OMG! Did you actually just give credit to “liberals” for freeing the slaves? Talk about not understanding history!!! O M G!”

    OMG! WTF! Did you just write that?

  99. […]  This blog, like many others has an internal search function that will lead you to past stories. It is located beneath the smiling countenance of our proprietor on the upper right. If you enter SWAT into search, you see that the first archive page shows 19 stories involving SWAT raids that were unnecessary and/or unwarranted. In those raids 4 people and 9 dogs were shot in error by the SWAT Team. Just a catalog of the shootings belies the terror that these raids can instill in people who are merely residing within their homes. Many of the articles detail doors suddenly smashed open, flash grenades and gas grenades tossed into the home, people thrown to the floor handcuffed and left for hours in that position, by invading SWAT teams that either had the wrong house, faulty leads and or in some cases enforcing what were clearly civil warrants. In one instance in California a SWAT raid was carried out due to the suspicion of a defaulted student loan. http://jonathanturley.org/2011/06/08/california-family-hit-with-swat-raid-ordered-by-the-department-… […]

  100. If extremists ever start using IEDs in the US, it won’t be muslim against the US military. Just as prototype-teabagger Timothy McVeigh was the first mass murdering terrorist on US soil, it will be hutaree and other teabagger types using them against cops, planting bombs in expectation that thugs from TWA…I mean, SWAT are going to invade the house or drive down the road toward a compound.

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