Category Archives: Progressives

Are Police in America Now a Military, Occupying Force?

Despite the steady hue and cry by government agencies about the need for more police, more sophisticated weaponry, and the difficulties of preserving the peace and maintaining security in our modern age, the reality is far different. Indeed, violent crime in America has been on a steady decline, and if current trends continue, Americans will finish the year 2013 experiencing the lowest murder rate in over a century.

Despite this clear referendum on the fact that communities would be better served by smaller, demilitarized police forces, police agencies throughout the country are dramatically increasing in size and scope. Some of the nation’s larger cities boast police forces the size of small armies. (New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg actually likes to brag that the NYPD is his personal army.) For example, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has reached a total of 10,000 officers. It takes its place alongside other cities boasting increasingly large police forces, including New York (36,000 officers) and Chicago (13,400 officers). When considered in terms of cops per square mile, Los Angeles assigns a whopping 469 officers per square mile, followed by New York with 303 officers per square mile, and Chicago with 227 cops per square mile.

Of course, such heavy police presence comes at a price. Los Angeles spends over $2 billion per year on the police force, a 36% increase within the last eight years. The LAPD currently consumes over 55% of Los Angeles’ discretionary budget, a 9% increase over the past nine years. Meanwhile, street repair and maintenance spending has declined by 36%, and in 2011, one-fifth of the city’s fire stations lost units, increasing response times for 911 medical emergencies.

For those who want to credit hefty police forces for declining crime rates, the data just doesn’t show a direct correlation. In fact, many cities across the country actually saw decreases in crime rates during the 1990s in the wake of increasing prison sentences and the waning crack-cocaine epidemic. Cities such as Seattle and Dallas actually cut their police forces during this time and still saw crime rates drop.

Read more here.

America Wake Up: ‘We are in the midst of a coup’

This week’s revelations about the federal government collecting massive amounts of communication data on American citizens has the country’s most-listened-to radio voice saying President Barack Obama is leading a coup against the nation.

“What everybody knows and what nobody wants to come to grips with is we are in the midst of a coup taking place,” talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said Friday afternoon. “It’s almost on a par with [when I said] ‘I hope he fails.’ How does that sound now, by the way?”

“What’s wrong with calling this a coup?” he continued. “There’s a lot here to be concerned about.”

“This is the guy, don’t forget, convincing people that this kind of stuff was never going to happen here. … This is the guy who got elected president by telling us that what is happening now was never going to happen when he was president. … He got elected warning us that what was happening now was happening in 2008. … [Now] it’s more sweeping than it’s ever been.”

He pointed out that information gathering has already been used to target political supporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 election cycle.

“This is clearly an administration that wants to identify its enemies and then take action against them … take them out, whatever,” Limbaugh said.

A caller reminded Limbaugh that even though massive data collection has been employed by the federal government in recent years, it has hardly been used to help protect Americans, as in the case of the Boston Marathon bombing April 15. The U.S. had been warned in advance about the bombing suspects by the Russian government, but took no action against them.

“What good does having all this data do when you’re not going to use it?” Limbaugh asked.

“So why is it really being collected?”

“I dont wan’t to come across as a conspiratorialist. I’m not,” Limbaugh said.

Read more here.

Palm Beach County sheriff gets $1 million for violence prevention unit amid questions about civil liberties, care for mentally ill

Florida House and Senate budget leaders have awarded Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw $1 million for a new violence prevention unit aimed at preventing tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., from occurring on his turf.

Bradshaw plans to use the extra $1 million to launch “prevention intervention” units featuring specially trained deputies, mental health professionals and caseworkers. The teams will respond to citizen phone calls to a 24-hour hotline with a knock on the door and a referral to services, if needed.

The goal will be avoiding crime — and making sure law enforcement knows about potential powder kegs before tragedies occur, Bradshaw said. But the earmark, which is a one-time-only funding provision, provoked a debate Monday among mental health advocates and providers about the balance between civil liberties, privacy and protecting the public.

Bradshaw said his proposal is a first-of-its-kind in the nation, and he hopes it will become a model for the rest of the state like his gang prevention and pill-mill units.

“Every single incident, whether it’s Newtown, that movie theater, or the guy who spouts off at work and then goes home and kills his wife and two kids — in every single case, there were people who said they knew ahead of time that there was a problem,” Bradshaw said. “If the neighbor of the mom in Newtown had called somebody, this might have saved 25 kids’ lives.”

Bradshaw is readying a hotline and is planning public service announcements to encourage local citizens to report their neighbors, friends or family members if they fear they could harm themselves or others.

The goal won’t be to arrest troubled people but to get them help before there’s violence, Bradshaw said. As a side benefit, law enforcement will have needed information to keep a close eye on things.

Read more here.

Obama to be Democratic nominee in 2016?

A new poll of Democrats on their preferred candidates for the 2016 presidential race has produced the Obama name, which pollster Fritz Wenzel described as “bizarre.”

The results come from a poll by Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies, who found that Hillary Clinton is winning 55 percent of the support from respondents who said they plan to vote in the Democrat Party primary.

But in the No. 2 position was Michelle Obama, with support from 19 percent of the respondents.

“In a limited field of just four candidates – Clinton, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, and John Kerry, Michelle Obama finished a very distant second place at 19 percent support. The second-place finish of Obama is every bit as bizarre as Clinton’s first-place finish is predictable,” he said.

“Joe Biden’s support by just 8 percent of likely Democratic voters is simply pathetic, and if John Kerry ever harbored a thought that his current role as Secretary of State might support a presidential comeback, this survey shows he should discard such a thought,” Wenzel said.

Only some 2 percent said they would pick Kerry.

WND reported earlier that political junkies were creating a buzz over a “dream” ticket of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.

According to the Washington Examiner, former Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney said, “All due respect for President Obama and Vice President Biden, but that would truly be a dream team for America.”

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Illinois Lawmaker Explodes Over Dems’ Attempt to Sneak Significant Amendment Into Concealed Carry Bill: ‘Keep Playing Games!’

Babies drowned alive in toxic liquid

A Pennsylvania jury will soon render a verdict on whether abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell murdered four babies who survived abortions as well as a woman who was one of his patients, but a new series of videos from Live Action suggest that Gosnell’s actions are not out of the mainstream.

Live Action President Lila Rose told WND her group has already released two videos showing abortion providers in New York City and Washington, D.C., explaining how they would do nothing to help a baby who survived an abortion to survive.

The 10-year Planned Parenthood adviser tells an undercover Live Action investigator that if she were to deliver her baby alive while at home between the stages in her two-day abortion, that she should just “flush it.” The female official also said that the woman definitely should not call a hospital because it wouldn’t help her since the abortion had already started. She further asserted that any surviving baby would die once it was submerged in a toxic solution inside a jar.

In Washington, Dr. Caesare Santanegelo admits that he is legally bound to help a baby who survived an abortion to stay alive – but that he would not. Santangelo said he would call 9-1-1 but do nothing on his own to save the child’s life. He also criticized Virginia hospitals for their policy of trying to save those lives.

“Gosnell is not alone. This investigation shows already those in the Bronx and in D.C., abortion workers talking about how they would commit infanticide and how this is either the tactic they would use, whether to expose the infant or put it in a jar of toxic solution so that it will stop breathing,” said Rose, who added that these first two videos are just the beginning of this series which she contends will repeatedly show abortion practitioners having detailed knowledge of exactly what they would do if a baby survives an abortion – a description that almost never follows the law.

The Gosnell trial was part of the motivation for this video series, but Rose said personal stories and cold statistics prove this situation plays out far more often than the pro-choice movement would have Americans believe.

Read more here.

Americans fear government more than terror

According to a pair of recent polls, for the first time since the 9/11 terrorist hijackings, Americans are more fearful their government will abuse constitutional liberties than fail to keep its citizens safe.

Even in the wake of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing – in which a pair of Islamic radicals are accused of planting explosives that took the lives of 3 and wounded over 280 – the polls suggest Americans are hesitant to give up any further freedoms in exchange for increased “security.”

A Fox News survey polling a random national sample of 619 registered voters the day after the bombing found despite the tragic event, those interviewed responded very differently than following 9/11.

For the first time since a similar question was asked in May 2001, more Americans answered “no” to the question, “Would you be willing to give up some of your personal freedom in order to reduce the threat of terrorism?”

Of those surveyed on April 16, 2013, 45 percent answered no to the question, compared to 43 percent answering yes.

In May 2001, before 9/11, the balance was similar, with 40 percent answering no to 33 percent answering yes.

But following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the numbers flipped dramatically, to 71 percent agreeing to sacrifice personal freedom to reduce the threat of terrorism.

Subsequent polls asking the same question in 2002, 2005 and 2006 found Americans consistently willing to give up freedom in exchange for security. Yet the numbers were declining from 71 percent following 9/11 to only 54 percent by May 2006.

Now, it would seem, the famous quote widely attributed to Benjamin Franklin – “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” – is holding more sway with Americans than it has in over a dozen years.

A similar poll sampling 588 adults, conducted on April 17 and 18 for the Washington Post, also discovered the change in attitude.

Read more here.