Do the police have rights too?

posted at 12:31 pm on September 23, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

At first glance it looks like something out of an Orwellian horror film. Police with high power weapons and riot shields shutting down an intersection on a busy city street, rousting families out of cars, handcuffing them all and lining them up on the pavement. But in this case, there was a method to the mayhem. An unknown individual wearing a beekeeper’s mask – hiding not only their identity, race, age, etc. but their gender as well – had robbed a nearby bank and the police were out to get the bad guy.

The Wells Fargo at Chambers and Hampden was robbed just before closing time on Saturday. Shortly afterwards police shut down the intersection of Buckley and Iliff just southeast of the bank, corralling nearly two dozen cars in search for the suspect.

Police Chief Daniel Oates on Monday apologized to the innocent bystanders that got caught up in the search for the suspect. Oates also said the ends justify the means since the suspect was caught.

The police are still apologizing for the inconvenience and trauma to all of the motorists caught up in the sweep, but insist that there was no question of the location of the suspect.

“We had a virtual certainty that the bank robber was in one of those cars,” Oates said.

Officers did find the suspect in one of the cars, and he will likely face bank robbery charges in federal court, Oates said. Investigators also found a beekeeper mask they say the man wore during the robbery as well as two pistols connected to the crime, he said.

So how did they have a “virtual certainty” that the bank robber would be found at that location? The bank teller had inserted a GPS device in the bag of money they gave the suspect and the police were tracking him. When it became obvious that the getaway car was approaching a choke point in the traffic, officials moved in, shut it down and began methodically going through every car at that intersection. And they found the guy, who the police described as “extraordinarily dangerous.”

But now some of the motorists are raising questions as to whether their civil rights were violated with the mass detention. And adding insult to injury, the lawyer for the suspect is already claiming that his client initially refused the police demand to search his vehicle until he felt “pressured” to do so and that all the evidence obtained from the search – money, guns, beekeeper mask – should be thrown out. (No link on that portion of the story yet, but CNN is covering it on their morning lineup.) Seriously?

I hope there is a judge out there with the common sense to toss this notion out to the curb. Yes, many people were inconvenienced, and the police have already offered an apology. But the cops were in the process of quickly apprehending a violent, heavily armed felon right in their midst. And as to the suspect’s claims of some sort of illegal search… how high does that bar have to be? If you can narrow down the location of the evidence to a group of twenty or so cars, is that not “probably cause” enough?

If this guy walks, the world has truly gone mad.


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The police could have made things go more easily and much faster if, after checking the cars and occupants, they just waved them on through their roadblock as in a DUI checkstop.

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Now, how this is different from what so many are saying is that it doesn’t ascribe unconstitutionality to it, merely a lack of wisdom. (And, it at least disguises any “police state thuggery” accusations in a thin veneer of a lame joke.)

I’m not sure, though, whatcat, if there might have been tactical considerations to letting the cars go. They might have thought (rightly or wrongly) that if they let some of the cars go the robber might have been able to force his way out when they did. I think a much better method might have been to let one car at a time proceed into a space confined by police vehicles, then the occupants brought out and their vehicle searched. Then, they are released and the next car is brought forward. It *is* always safer to have to control one vehicle’s occupants at a time – having them all detained at once increased their variables significantly. (Yes, I underwent training on checkpoint searches when I was sent to Bosnia in the early 90s.)

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

You made your proclamation, that every citizen subject in that intersection was GUILTY until proven innocent, you sir can go right straight to hell, do not pass go and do not collect jack $hit.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

No, Nimrod, I didn’t. I said they were SUSPECTS. If you don’t know the difference, then please don’t comment on legal matters, as there is a wide disparity between the two things.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM

No, Nimrod, I didn’t. I said they were SUSPECTS. If you don’t know the difference, then please don’t comment on legal matters, as there is a wide disparity between the two things.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM

How old are you, and why do you substitute insults with substance?

discojoe on September 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM

No, Nimrod, I didn’t. I said they were SUSPECTS. If you don’t know the difference, then please don’t comment on legal matters, as there is a wide disparity between the two things.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM

You worthless lying ignorant sack of shit.

You know, they weren’t innocent people cuffed at the side of the road, they were potential suspects – until they were cleared.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 7:14 AM

NO, they absolutely WERE not potential suspects, they were innocent law abiding citizens whose constitutional and civil rights had become inconvenient to totalitarian thugs masquerading as public servants.

Get this through your thick phucking skull. A Constitution RIGHT is not a privilege granted by the government, it cannot be suspended on the whim of any government official or employe when it becomes inconvenient or troublesome.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM

The difficulty is when we allow the police to declare anyone a suspect without reasonable cause.

And, our difference evidently is over what “reasonable cause” is. I think they had reasonable cause to stop all those cars and search them. I don’t think they had reasonable cause to keep everyone confined in cuffs for the duration (and there is some dispute as to whether they were cuffed the entire time).

Cops do that all the time

Let’s specify that *some* cops do that all the time. I personally know some good cops.

No, I’ve never been arrested and I only have one traffic ticket. I just have over three decades experience with dealing with bully cops who have never helped my family, never found anything that was stolen and who have hassled me and others I know for existing… because they can and they know idealists like yourself will defend them.

mankai on September 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM

I have some traffic tickets. I’ve beat one in court (besides my not being guilty, the cop was an idiot, broke some rules, and got a verbal beatdown from the judge), I’ve told off a policemen who let me off without a warning (he was in the wrong when he stopped me and I told him so), and I’ve sucked it up on others because they were legitimate. I’m not a fan of my local police department in many things. I am willing to call this incident a mixed bag: they caught the guy – good, they treated a bunch of people much worse than they should have – bad, unreasonable searches? – I don’t think so.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Tunnel vision is fun.

discojoe on September 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Get this through your thick phucking skull.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM

And, on that note of irrationality, I’m out of here. I’m off to buy some stock in Reynolds.

mankai and whatcat, thank you for at least discussing the issues.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I understand why people shoot cops. A lot of them deserve it.

woodNfish on September 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

AP, Ed, can we at least agree that this sort of thing is going too far?

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

And, on that note of irrationality, I’m out of here. I’m off to buy some stock in Reynolds.

mankai and whatcat, thank you for at least discussing the issues.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

You worldly sage, you.

discojoe on September 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

One good thing about this story is that it has made clear which commenters respect the Constitution and which do not. Very helpful for future debates.

McDuck on September 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I think a much better method might have been to let one car at a time proceed into a space confined by police vehicles, then the occupants brought out and their vehicle searched. Then, they are released and the next car is brought forward.

That would give the bad guy too much time (even if he complied instead of flooring it) to grab his weapons. Sitting with your hands on the wheel (or on the cartop) with heavy weapons aimed at you would be more intimidating and a lot faster to check the car out. Then you wave the person on after you got ID and if there’s nothing suspicious (related to the crime in question) found.

It *is* always safer to have to control one vehicle’s occupants at a time – having them all detained at once increased their variables significantly. (Yes, I underwent training on checkpoint searches when I was sent to Bosnia in the early 90s.)
GWB on September 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Yeah, I think had this been handled more like a DUI checkpoint there wouldn’t be so many ticked off people, potential lawsuits and the likelihood of the evidence that was found to be deemed to have been illegally obtained.

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM

woodNfish on September 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

AP, Ed, can we at least agree that this sort of thing is going too far?
GWB on September 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Yup. That’s just plain nutso-talk.

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I did it often. They go a long way with reasonable people. Most people are, if you give them a chance. Unfortunately many of my fellow officers don’t/didn’t think the same way. They have a jaded view of the society they protect.

Conservative4Ever on September 23, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Ah, that explains it. A thug with a badge. Well, government is inherently force and coercion, and it needs its jackbooted thugs to demonstrate its monopolization of force.

Dante on September 23, 2012 at 5:42 PM

I’m a thug because I would apologize (“I did it often”) to citizens when I thought they were wronged or maligned by officers? I think your reading comprehension skills need a lot of work. Did you even read what I responding to? What elicited my response above was another who thought officers should apologize if they did something wrong. I agreed with him/her. So that makes me a thug? For agreeing to apologizing when an officer does wrong?

You also called me a “sheep” in a later post because I stated a fact about the “motor vehicle exception” to the search warrant rule. That has been a fact since 1925. I wasn’t giving my personal thoughts on if I agreed or not with the decision. I was stating it as a fact.

Yet you decided to “shoot first and aim later” and went right to name calling instead of debating if there is in fact a “motor vehicle exception.” You would have lost that debate because it’s a fact that it exists today in current law. Had you comprehended the difference between personal thoughts and facts you might have elicited a response which could have shown whether or not I thought it was a good outcome to the 1925 case. Then you could have name called like most immature liberals do.

I thought the officers were wrong to handcuff everyone. See now that is a personal statement you can attack. I wasn’t stating a fact. It was my personal thoughts on the subject matter. See the difference in posting facts and personal thoughts?

The officers had “probable cause” because of the GPS tracker. The officers were able to conduct a search because of the “probable cause” and there currently is an exception to the search warrant rule with motor vehicles. There has been since 1925. See those are facts. I’m not showing support or lack of support. I’m merely stating fact. Not my personal thoughts. Get it yet Dante? See the difference?

If not go ahead and “shoot first and aim later.” You show the same maturity as your dear leader who owns that quote.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Yup. That’s just plain nutso-talk.

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Shooting police is supremely dumb, sure. But the sentiment that the government agents often get what’s coming to them is rational, reasonable, and entirely sane.

discojoe on September 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I understand why people shoot cops.

woodNfish on September 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I’ve been shot at a few times. I’m lucky that I’m still around. I’m sure my wife and 2 children (adults now) would take great offense to your statement if I wasn’t “still around.” I know some widows who will.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Tunnel vision is fun.

discojoe on September 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM

That is not tunnel vision, it’s called feeling 100 percent comfortable with totalitarianism. Some people are frightened by freedom and liberty, they carry terrifying concepts with them, concepts like responsibility, honesty, and integrity. But even worse, they carry with them the possibility that some people will do bad things.

Things that chicken$hit totalitarian thugs like GWB would try to prevent before they can happen. They would do so without ever taking a single nanosecond to grasp what their “Good Intentions” entail. Anyone who has ever studied any of the physical sciences has been exposed to the concept of cause and affect. They are as inseparable as entropy is from the universe.

America’s Founding Fathers understood with a startling clarity that freedom and liberty had a price associated with them. They understood that freedom meant the ability to make bad decision as well as the ability to make good decision. That the more you restrict an individuals ability to make bad decisions the more you restrict their ability to make any decision and the less freedom or liberty you allow them.

This is why the Founding Fathers wrote that it was better and more acceptable that 100 criminals go free than that a single individual be wrongfully convicted of a crime. It is why they wrote that America should never have a professional police class, but that every citizen should upon need be an officer of the court.

In their efforts to prevent individuals from doing bad things, these do-gooder busybodies have robbed all of us of our Natural rights in a futile attempt to provide their own consciences with a little temporary security. In the end they have forced upon us all the worst of all tyrannies. They have deprived us of our freedom and our liberty.

C.S. Lewis: Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

It’s only illegal if the search was not reasonable.

tom on September 23, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Tom, you’re wrong on this and I must jump in here because you keep pushing the same erroneous point.

The whole linch pin for a search to even be initiated IS where there exists sufficient probable cause. And it’s not just any probable cause, it must be sufficient probable cause AND it must be directed at YOU personally. Whether any search that was conducted AFTER the finding of probable cause was reasonable or unreasonable is entirely another issue.

In sum, the search WAS UNREASONABLE if there was no probable cause.

Mahdi on September 24, 2012 at 12:32 PM

In sum, the search WAS UNREASONABLE if there was no probable cause.

Mahdi on September 24, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Probable Cause most emphatically is not a net that can indiscriminately be cast over John Doe’s 1 through 150.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Shooting police is supremely dumb, sure. But the sentiment that the government agents often get what’s coming to them is rational, reasonable, and entirely sane.

discojoe on September 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM

especially when cops do criminal things like kicking in the wrong door and
shooting grandma because they got the wrong address .. oops sorry …
and we have immunity … cant touch this …

conservative tarheel on September 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM

I cannot believe that on a supposedly conservative web site, I am reading commentary in support of this blatantly unconstitutional act by the police, both from one of the HotAir writers and from many commenters here.

This action by police is extremely disturbing, to the point where I think every single police officer who was involved in this at any level should be immediately fired and perhaps prosecuted. There is simply no way the Constitutional requirement for searches and seizures can be reconciled with a blanket search of a mass of citizens who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

And not only an unconstitutional search, but putting them in handcuffs and detaining them for hours! I could be wrong, but last time I checked, once the police detain you, your Miranda rights are supposed to immediately kick in and you have right to benefit of counsel, if nothing else.

The police justification for the thing seems to be “well, we knew he was in the area, and we had no way to identify him specifically, so that gave us probable cause to search everyone.” If that argument is allowed to stand, the fifth amendment becomes meaningless. Because they’re essentially saying “we don’t have enough information to have probable cause for a specific suspect, so that lack of information gives us probable cause to search everyone.” Scary stuff.

Shump on September 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Shump…..consider this. A school has a report of a massive shooting spree inside the school. The reports suggest it is 2 students who are killing other students and teachers. There are thousands of students inside the school. There is a very vague description of the shooters who are students there.

The police have the building surrounded. Let’s say at one point students pour out of the school. Should the police search them for weapons? Or just let them go as your post suggests?

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

What about the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I think the ends justified the means in these cases. Don’t you?

DarkCurrent on September 23, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Sorry this is rather late, but no, I don’t believe the ends justified the means in that case or any other. Either your tactics are acceptable or they aren’t. I don’t care what the result is. If the Japanese had kept going, that would not have made the use of the A-bombs unjustified.

(Some believe war itself is never justified, in which case it’s pointless to argue about the tactics. I’m not a pacifist: I simply reject the notion that war per se is an evil, necessary or not.)

To continue — if the use of conventional weaponry doesn’t stop the enemy, is conventional weaponry unjustified? If the use of a gun to defend yourself from an attacker doesn’t stop the attack, is it unjustified?

If raping the women and/or children in the city being sacked saps their will and causes them to surrender, is that tactic justified?

Oh hey, one of these things is not like the other! The last scenario involves an action that is never justified, not even if it results in an immediate cessation of resistance and no further loss of life.

IOW, there are actions that are legitimate tactics in war, and there are actions which are not. It doesn’t matter what you think the result might be, or even what the result is. Fortunately, these things are spelled out fairly well with a system in place for interpreting what may be unclear.

Same in law. Suspending a suspect’s constitutional rights (with or without the accompanying innocent bystanders) might well yield the sought-after results in many cases, but it isn’t justified. If it’s done anyway, that positive result may turn quite negative, and the authorities may fail to secure a conviction. That’s the way it goes.

Sometimes (mostly) good people do bad things to get what they want. No matter how good their intentions or how successful the result, they’re still bad actors. People who allow themselves to justify their bad actions may be very successful–wealthy, popular, admired, whatever–and may use this for good works, but they’re still creeps.

VerbumSap on September 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Shump…..consider this. A school has a report of a massive shooting spree inside the school. The reports suggest it is 2 students who are killing other students and teachers. There are thousands of students inside the school. There is a very vague description of the shooters who are students there.

The police have the building surrounded. Let’s say at one point students pour out of the school. Should the police search them for weapons? Or just let them go as your post suggests?

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Let them go. No question.

The constitution simply does not permit the blanket searching of a large group of people without having probable cause to search the specific individuals in question. Our system of jurisprudence is based on the idea that it is better to let 100 guilty people go free than to violate the rights of 1 innocent person.

Shump on September 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM

After having had the chance to sleep on this, some further thoughts came to mind.

First, this was not a reasonable search, nor was there probable cause to search all those vehicles because one and only one vehicle contained a working, functioning transmitter broadcasting the location of the perp. GPS location error, on a bad day is 90 feet. So, even just using standard, non-enhanced GPS at worst, you have 90 feet of CEP. You cannot fit 19 vehicles in a 90 foot area, so the net cast was simply too wide even if you accept the flawed premise that this was the ONLY place the police could ever have caught the perp, again, another fallacy since he had a transmitter in his vehicle broadcasting his position. The only probable cause that existed was for the vehicle containing the transmitter.

Secondly, the danger that the police put the innocents in that intersection into was unconscionable. They didn’t know what the perp looked like, much less the mental stability or mental condition of the perp. Detaining all those cars at once, even under gunpoint, they could in no way have cleared all those cars simultaneously. If the perp had been unstable and/or a felon pledging not to return to jail, he could have emerged from his vehicle shooting even if he was killed, it would have killed innocents as well.

Finally, for those of you defending this action. If you find this escalation of police tactics acceptable, how many more steps before you are willing to accept, “Round up the usual suspects” as a police tactic?

AZfederalist on September 24, 2012 at 1:41 PM

The police have the building surrounded. Let’s say at one point students pour out of the school. Should the police search them for weapons? Or just let them go as your post suggests?

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

I don’t know, are the two shooters wearing transmitters?

AZfederalist on September 24, 2012 at 1:44 PM

FlatFoot on September 23, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Who the Fluke is this thing? Did Mohammed rise from the dead?

Nutstuyu on September 24, 2012 at 1:46 PM

I cannot believe that on a supposedly conservative web site, I am reading commentary in support of this blatantly unconstitutional act by the police, both from one of the HotAir writers and from many commenters here.

This action by police is extremely disturbing, to the point where I think every single police officer who was involved in this at any level should be immediately fired and perhaps prosecuted. There is simply no way the Constitutional requirement for searches and seizures can be reconciled with a blanket search of a mass of citizens who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

And not only an unconstitutional search, but putting them in handcuffs and detaining them for hours! I could be wrong, but last time I checked, once the police detain you, your Miranda rights are supposed to immediately kick in and you have right to benefit of counsel, if nothing else.

The police justification for the thing seems to be “well, we knew he was in the area, and we had no way to identify him specifically, so that gave us probable cause to search everyone.” If that argument is allowed to stand, the fifth amendment becomes meaningless. Because they’re essentially saying “we don’t have enough information to have probable cause for a specific suspect, so that lack of information gives us probable cause to search everyone.” Scary stuff.

Well said. As for the legality of police detainment, police can detain you (in handcuffs) without counsel for the amount of time it takes to conduct a brief investigation if they have an articulable, reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that there is a “pretty good chance” that you may be involved in the commission of some sort of crime.

What qualifies as a reasonable amount of time to be detained varies depending on who you ask. The SCOTUS has said that people detained during drug raids can be kept for up to three hours. In cases like this, holding these innocent people against their will for even two hours seems highly excessive.

And like I said earlier, the constitutionality of this is irrelevant. This is immoral first, constitutional or unconstitutional second.

discojoe on September 24, 2012 at 1:47 PM

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 7:14 AM

apparently in your view of the constitution , pulling me and my family at gunpoint from my car and handcuffing me on the side of the road when i have DONE NOTHING WRONG is perfectly ok as long as someone in my general vicinity is a law breaker…. and causing me and mine to sit on the side of the road in HANDCUFFS even though we have done nothing wrong is perfectly sane… ok so when the gunmen gets out of his car and resists arrest and shoots my 5 year old while attempting to escape then well the police bear no culpability since hey my family and i WERE NOT INNOCENT until we were cleared…. sounds like you DO NOT UNDERSTAND the concept of INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY and frankly wether or not released later .. if i am cuffed on the side of the road with guns in mine and my familys face i would most definately consider that unjustifiable arrest and detention and would sue the living hell out of you and yours , i would not ask for money i would simply demand the loss of your job for MURDERING my child because it would not have happened if you had not handcuffed me and my family for NO DAMN REASON in the first damn place

katee bayer on September 24, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Conservative4EveraMinute on September 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Based on your apparent grasp of constitutional rights.

Nutstuyu on September 24, 2012 at 1:50 PM

ROTFLMAO… You live on the West coast eh, hopefully in the Peoples Marxist Republic of California… Where we are about to hand your dumb ass the effing shock of your bully punk a$$ life… If you think you are going to collect on the fat juicy retirement plan, all I have to say to you is…. BWAHAHAHAHAH………. SUCKER……

SWalker on September 23, 2012 at 11:20 PM

Like I said — numbnuts — I’m locked in to my retirement and pension plus all benefits guaranteed me by contract.

In California, the pension reform is not retroactive and cannot be grandfathered. That is illegal you see — public safety contracts are binding every bit as much as any other signed, sealed, and delivered binding contract. Only new hires shall be effected.

Of course, that would be obvious to anyone with even just a thimble full of common sense and a modicum of intelligence…

I win. You lose. Naturally.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM

But the sentiment that the government agents often get what’s coming to them is rational, reasonable, and entirely sane.
discojoe on September 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I suggest ya might wanna stop there unless you’re a big fan of that yummy bighouse food.

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Like I said — numbnuts — I’m locked in to my retirement and pension plus all benefits guaranteed me by contract.

In California, the pension reform is not retroactive and cannot be grandfathered. That is illegal you see — public safety contracts are binding every bit as much as any other signed, sealed, and delivered binding contract. Only new hires shall be effected.

Of course, that would be obvious to anyone with even just a thimble full of common sense and a modicum of intelligence…

I win. You lose. Naturally.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM

ROTFLMAO…. I guess in Nazi training camp the words Bankruptcy Court and Chapter 9 Title 11 probably don’t come up all that often… Ask the folks in San Bernardino County or Orange county just how damned secure their “Guaranteed Pensions” turned out to be.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 2:01 PM

In California, the pension reform is not retroactive and cannot be grandfathered. That is illegal you see — public safety contracts are binding every bit as much as any other signed, sealed, and delivered binding contract. Only new hires shall be effected.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM

ROTFLMAO… what a fool, that was only for the pensions of San Diego county and San Pedro, counties which are not currently threatened with Chapter 9 Title 11 filings. Pension contracts are not worth the paper they are written on under Chapter 9 Title 11 filings. And that my imbecilic friend, is as you say… The Law…

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 2:05 PM

I don’t know, are the two shooters wearing transmitters?

AZfederalist on September 24, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Was the question directed at you?

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Shump…..consider this. A school has a report of a massive shooting spree inside the school. The reports suggest it is 2 students who are killing other students and teachers. There are thousands of students inside the school. There is a very vague description of the shooters who are students there.

The police have the building surrounded. Let’s say at one point students pour out of the school. Should the police search them for weapons? Or just let them go as your post suggests?

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Let them go. No question.

The constitution simply does not permit the blanket searching of a large group of people without having probable cause to search the specific individuals in question. Our system of jurisprudence is based on the idea that it is better to let 100 guilty people go free than to violate the rights of 1 innocent person.

Shump on September 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM

With that response we should just disband all police departments.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Would the end of saving a child from being mauled to death by a pitbull justify the means of shooting dead the pitbull?

The pitbull’s owner could say the means were excessive and unjustified.

The child’s parent would likely disagree.

It all depends of the end and the means.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

profitsbeard on September 23, 2012 at 5:50 PM

What if the shooting were a miss (or didn’t happen soon enough) and the child died anyway? Would it then be unjustified? What if the kid were shot instead? Now is it unjustified?

I don’t justify things contingent on the results. What is important is the situation–specifically, the situation as we know it, before the action is done and before we know what the results are actually going to be. A lot of bad reasoning is a matter of rationalization, fitting the desired (or observed) conclusion to the cherry-picked facts. Granted, situations often arise where people don’t really have the time to fully evaluate everything, but that’s just life. A moral one is a different beast.

VerbumSap on September 24, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I win. You lose. Naturally.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I know I am late to this slugfest…but why is it every time a public employee union member wins…someone else loses? Oh wait, I know…

At least in my chosen economic model both parties are enriched by their transactions…not just gov. leaches–>i.e. someone who thinks they should get 110% of pay after 20(30)yrs of work…makes no sense.

airmonkey on September 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Conservative4EveraMinute on September 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Based on your apparent grasp of constitutional rights.

Nutstuyu on September 24, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Be specific if you can. Just where do you make the assumption I don’t grasp “Constitutional Rights?” Which post? Word to the wise, don’t make the same mistake Dante did.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

I don’t know, are the two shooters wearing transmitters?

AZfederalist on September 24, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Was the question directed at you?

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Is that the best you got mr thug? A pathetic attempt to bully someone who dared to question your godlike authority?

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Like I said — numbnuts — I’m locked in to my retirement and pension plus all benefits guaranteed me by contract.

In California, the pension reform is not retroactive and cannot be grandfathered. That is illegal you see — public safety contracts are binding every bit as much as any other signed, sealed, and delivered binding contract. Only new hires shall be effected.

Of course, that would be obvious to anyone with even just a thimble full of common sense and a modicum of intelligence…

I win. You lose. Naturally.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Mine are the same.

What disturbs me is your posts from last night. You are the type of officer I was referring to in an earlier post. Useless individuals who doesn’t deserve to wear the badge. There are a few of you, but you make most of us look real bad. Good luck in your retirement. The citizens of CA will rejoice once you leave the force.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Mine are the same.

What disturbs me is your posts from last night. You are the type of officer I was referring to in an earlier post. Useless individuals who doesn’t deserve to wear the badge. There are a few of you, but you make most of us look real bad. Good luck in your retirement. The citizens of CA will rejoice once you leave the force.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Don’t deceive yourself, you aren’t any different them him. You’ve proven that on this thread multiple times already.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I don’t know, are the two shooters wearing transmitters?
AZfederalist on September 24, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Was the question directed at you?
Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:27 PM

But still a valid question to bring a hypothetical more in sync with the actual incident being discussed here.

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Like I said — numbnuts — I’m locked in to my retirement and pension plus all benefits guaranteed me by contract.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM

If you’re stupid enough to think you’re collecting your full pension out of California then that says all anybody needs to know.

public safety contracts are binding every bit as much as any other signed, sealed, and delivered binding contract.

What are you going to do? Take math into the back room and beat it with a billy club? Maybe take math out to a deserted location and threaten it?

P.S. Perhaps you should drop the link in your signature. I’m pretty sure you’re not doing the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund any revenue favors.

DFCtomm on September 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Is that the best you got mr thug? A pathetic attempt to bully someone who dared to question your godlike authority?

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Be specific. Which post do you refer to that I show “thug” like personality and “godlike authority?” The one where I gave facts that disputed your feelings and hurt them?

Or the one where I agreed that handcuffing those citizens was wrong?

Or another in which I agreed that officer should apologize to citizens if they were wronged?

Or will you continue to generalize and show your immaturity and spout off insults because you don’t like all police officers?

Be specific if you can, SWalker.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM

But still a valid question to bring a hypothetical more in sync with the actual incident being discussed here.

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

No it wasn’t. The situation is similar that the suspect(s) were students and were in a contained area. The GPS tracker was in a small contained area with normal everyday citizens. Each blended into the environment. Each needed to be found.

Asking me if there was a GPS tacker in my scenario was cherry picking just to be snark like. Immature at best.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Mine are the same.

What disturbs me is your posts from last night. You are the type of officer I was referring to in an earlier post. Useless individuals who doesn’t deserve to wear the badge. There are a few of you, but you make most of us look real bad. Good luck in your retirement. The citizens of CA will rejoice once you leave the force.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Don’t deceive yourself, you aren’t any different them him. You’ve proven that on this thread multiple times already.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Can you quote the post that shows me to be just like him? I would love to see this post. Are you up to it?

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:46 PM

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Be specific. Which post do you refer to that I show “thug” like personality and “godlike authority?” The one where I gave facts that disputed your feelings and hurt them?

Or the one where I agreed that handcuffing those citizens was wrong?

Or another in which I agreed that officer should apologize to citizens if they were wronged?

Or will you continue to generalize and show your immaturity and spout off insults because you don’t like all police officers?

Be specific if you can, SWalker.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Is this specific enough for you? Kiss my a$$. The Constitutional Rights of US Citizens are NOT writ’s of Privilege granted to the subjects of the United States suspendable at the whim of a$$holes like you because they inconvenience you.

No apology on earth makes up for violating the constitutional and civil rights of a US Citizen. No apology justifies abuse of authority or the use of implied deadly force to coerce a innocent law abiding citizen into surrendering their constitutional or civil rights.

No apology validates the arrogant dismissal of a citizens Constitutional Rights just because those constitutional rights make your job more difficult or because a known criminal might escape.

And no apology justifies claiming that you were “Just following orders” when you knowingly and willingly violated the Constitutional rights of a citizen because those rights inconvenienced you.

No, I am not going to dig through 7 pages of verbiage to pull out the individual specific instances where you have made it indisputably clear that you believe that you as a police officer are the custodian of us poor ignorant unwashed sheeple, or that as a police officer you have the indisputable right to suspend the constitutional or civil rights of any law abiding citizen when those rights are inconvenient to you.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Mine are the same.

What disturbs me is your posts from last night. You are the type of officer I was referring to in an earlier post. Useless individuals who doesn’t deserve to wear the badge. There are a few of you, but you make most of us look real bad. Good luck in your retirement. The citizens of CA will rejoice once you leave the force.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Meh. You’re entitled to your opinion — no matter how farked in the head it is. That stuff’s a nothing-burger and you know it. That is — if you’re actually what you claim — you definitely should know it.

From the sound of it — you’re probably one of those guys who dry humps the sarge’s and el tee’s leg — ratting out your partners for even the tiniest of little indiscretions just for the brownie points. That’s cool. The backup will always still be there for you anyway — despite the rat f—ing of your partners — right?

From a supervisory standpoint — I’d have to say that ingratiating leg humpers like yourself do make good gophers though. Fetch me some coffee will ya, boy? One sugar — two creams — don’t forget to stir it well and put the lid on tight. If you do it right enough times — maybe you’ll be billeted a sweet assignment. No need to thank me though — I should thank you. Ingratiating leg humping and coffee fetching is important work requiring abiding devotion and dedicated effort.

Thanks.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

But still a valid question to bring a hypothetical more in sync with the actual incident being discussed here.
whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

No it wasn’t. The situation is similar that the suspect(s) were students and were in a contained area. The GPS tracker was in a small contained area with normal everyday citizens. Each blended into the environment. Each needed to be found.

Asking me if there was a GPS tacker in my scenario was cherry picking just to be snark like. Immature at best.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

That’s the problem with hypotheticals removed from an actual events being used as comparisons. Apples v. oranges.

But in a hypothetical with students with tracking devices – you just have them spread apart. In this case, there was an actual tracking device which may have been handled in a similar fashion:

Clear the next block of traffic and pedestrians. Place squads on the intersection so no left/right turn could be made. Place checkpoint at the end of the next block and let each vehicle go ahead one at a time & pass through the checkpoint after the police have checked ID, plates and taken a quick look-see in the vehicle. The instant the GPS indicates the wanted vehicle is moving ahead, radio ahead and you’ve got your man.

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM

P.S. Perhaps you should drop the link in your signature. I’m pretty sure you’re not doing the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund any revenue favors.

DFCtomm on September 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I have several close personal friends whose names are on that wall. Killed in the line of duty fulfilling their oaths of service. You can go ahead and f–k right off whenever you feel like it. No rush.

Also — I do as I please — naturally.

It’s good to be The King.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 3:11 PM

It’s good to be The TROLL King.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 3:11 PM

fixed it for you ….

conservative tarheel on September 24, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Be specific if you can. Just where do you make the assumption I don’t grasp “Constitutional Rights?” Which post? Word to the wise, don’t make the same mistake Dante did.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Which mistake was that? Counting the wrong levels of hell?

Nutstuyu on September 24, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I have several close personal friends whose names are on that wall. Killed in the line of duty fulfilling their oaths of service. You can go ahead and f–k right off whenever you feel like it. No rush.

Also — I do as I please — naturally.

It’s good to be The King.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 3:11 PM

What were you doing? Hiding behind something while they sacrificed their lives?

Nutstuyu on September 24, 2012 at 3:37 PM

No, I am not going to dig through 7 pages of verbiage to pull out the individual specific instances where you have made it indisputably clear that you believe that you as a police officer are the custodian of us poor ignorant unwashed sheeple, or that as a police officer you have the indisputable right to suspend the constitutional or civil rights of any law abiding citizen when those rights are inconvenient to you.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 2:57 PM

You won’t because you can’t. All you do is spout insults because you have a generalized hatred for all police officers. I remember the days when people had a generalized hatred of persons who had a different color of skin than they did. I detest each. Same bigoted belief system that you hold. Have a nice day.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Which mistake was that? Counting the wrong levels of hell?

Nutstuyu on September 24, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Specifics if you can.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 3:42 PM

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Enjoy your solitary retirement. I don’t envy what you have coming. Mine came to soon, but still is full of friends and family. It lets me sleep well at night.

Soon you will be a lonely, bubbling man, who cries into their pillow at night because no one loves you anymore like they did when you slept with your partner in your patrol vehicle, laughing at citizens who complained of your slow response times.

Your retirement will have you cussing at imaginary citizens in all hours of the night because there is no longer a brother in blue to comfort your sick belief system.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 3:50 PM

The police have the building surrounded. Let’s say at one point students pour out of the school. Should the police search them for weapons? Or just let them go as your post suggests?

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

A clear reference to Columbine shootings, where when many kids fled out the school doors and cops had them keep their hands up. Of course, by then the shooters had offed themselves. Which the police probably would have known if they had sent in some officers instead of surrounding the school and sitting on their backsides.

Prudence dictates they keep a close eye on the flood of victims fleeing and search in some cases with say, probable cause. Ultimately, your “hypothetical” is not the same as what happened in the Aurora case we’re talking about.

oryguncon on September 24, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Clear the next block of traffic and pedestrians. Place squads on the intersection so no left/right turn could be made. Place checkpoint at the end of the next block and let each vehicle go ahead one at a time & pass through the checkpoint after the police have checked ID, plates and taken a quick look-see in the vehicle. The instant the GPS indicates the wanted vehicle is moving ahead, radio ahead and you’ve got your man.

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM

What makes you think I don’t agree with the above? I’ve stated several times the police should not have handcuffed those citizens. Project much?

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Prudence dictates they keep a close eye on the flood of victims fleeing and search in some cases with say, probable cause. Ultimately, your “hypothetical” is not the same as what happened in the Aurora case we’re talking about.

oryguncon on September 24, 2012 at 3:52 PM

It is only you that is comparing it to the Aurora case. I was referring to the story in question (Jazz’s) and my hypothetical of a similar crime scene. Yes…the Columbine case. Well you did get 1 out of two. Good job.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Clear the next block of traffic and pedestrians. Place squads on the intersection so no left/right turn could be made. Place checkpoint at the end of the next block and let each vehicle go ahead one at a time & pass through the checkpoint after the police have checked ID, plates and taken a quick look-see in the vehicle. The instant the GPS indicates the wanted vehicle is moving ahead, radio ahead and you’ve got your man.
whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM

What makes you think I don’t agree with the above? I’ve stated several times the police should not have handcuffed those citizens. Project much?
Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Didn’t mean that as a dig at you, just offered as one possible procedure that makes sense to me.

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

As I have mentioned, it is never a good idea to give the police extraordinary powers which impinge on the constitutional freedoms of citizens. Also I stated the the most flagrant abuses of police powers have invariably occurred under left wing dictatorships.

Now consider this: For the past two years the Army has concentrating its training more on “policing” duties and less on military ones-including riot control and now the Marine Corps has announced, for the first time, that its forces will be getting extensive military police training. Why? Could it be that a certain U.S. President is more afraid of his own people than any foreign enemy? Will the IRS need reinforcements to police Obamacare? Will food rioters need to be controlled with live ammunition if socialist-caused economic collapse (expected with an Obama re-election)occurs in American cities?
Could the US Army be needed to suppress the Texas National Guard when Obama cedes Texas back to Mexico as restitution for “American Colonialism”–JUST KIDDING ON THE LAST ONE, FOLKS!-but wouldn’t it be nice to dump all those damaging electoral votes?

MaiDee on September 24, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I have several close personal friends whose names are on that wall. Killed in the line of duty fulfilling their oaths of service. You can go ahead and f–k right off whenever you feel like it. No rush.

Also — I do as I please — naturally.

It’s good to be The King.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Then maybe you should quit tarnishing their memory by acting like an ass. Whether you like it or not you are representing them here.

DFCtomm on September 24, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Wrong house leads to man’s death by police:

http://abcnews.go.com/story?id=95475#.UGC8bFGlH6M

oryguncon on September 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Didn’t mean that as a dig at you, just offered as one possible procedure that makes sense to me.

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

My apologies. Just a little wound up from the hatred from previous posters. I should know better to lump you with them. Sorry

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Shump…..consider this. A school has a report of a massive shooting spree inside the school. The reports suggest it is 2 students who are killing other students and teachers. There are thousands of students inside the school. There is a very vague description of the shooters who are students there.

The police have the building surrounded. Let’s say at one point students pour out of the school. Should the police search them for weapons? Or just let them go as your post suggests?

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

It already happened at Columbine and it was a disaster. They sat outside and did nothing and prevented anyone else from taking action. If the police hadn’t responded at all it would have been an improvement.

sharrukin on September 24, 2012 at 4:07 PM

My apologies. Just a little wound up from the hatred from previous posters. I should know better to lump you with them. Sorry
Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM

No problem. Though we may disagree on some minor legal points, you’ve been reasonable and respectful with me. I have family in LE, so I try to keep in mind that times things aren’t always what they might seem to be to those outside the profession. As one of those relatives told me about being called to handle disputes: “There’s one side and there’s the other side – and then there’s the truth.”

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 4:14 PM

I remember the days when people had a generalized hatred of persons who had a different color of skin than they did.
Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM

When you have to pull the race card to win an argument, you have lost not only the argument, but any creditability that you might have been granted simply for having shown up.

You sir are an a$$, the entirety of your argument consists solely of the brute force appeal to authority of a school yard bully. You can get away with that on the street by virtue of your gun and badge, but in any actual discussion it has zero value and wins zero points.

That you would resort to such pathetic defenses for the indefensible shows the complete and utter lack of comprehension in you of anything more intellectually challenging then Ugg Smash…

It is therefore no surprise to anyone with an IQ above that of room temperature that you are incapable of grasping how offensive the arrogant disregard of those who practice your chosen profession towards the rights of average citizen is.

I will once again drag your broke Dick pathetic a$$ kicking and Screaming into a light you obviously are utterly incapable of understanding. I do this only because I enjoy watching a$$hole trolls like you scream and run trailing smoke vapors back into the shadows.

The Rise of the Praetorian Class

Legions and Lictors – the Praetorian Class

The Praetorian Class includes members of the Armed Services, federal, state and local law enforcement personnel as well as numerous militarized officials including agents from the DEA, Immigrations, Customs Enforcement, Air Marshalls, US Marshalls, and more. It also includes, although to a lesser extent, various stage actors in the expanding security theater such as TSA personnel. The main mission of the Praetorian Class is to keep the order of the day. This requires displaying an intimidating presence in their interactions with the Economic Class.

As the Praetorian Class ascends, the clear, albeit unstated, message that emerges is that actions and events in the Economic Class only occur with its tacit consent. Whether driving on roads, traveling in the air, visiting public land, walking down the street or even living in your own home, every action you take is predicated on its permission. By preconditioning the populace to enforcement of its edicts, most of which are completely arbitrary, the Praetorian Class sets itself up for a high degree of autonomy in its actions. This is confirmed by the fact that consequences for malfeasance within the Praetorian Class are almost never observed, and when it happens, it typically becomes a grotesque spectacle in which one of their own is sacrificed as an example, so as to keep appearances of effective internal controls.

Members of the Praetorian Class are typically recruited from the Economic Class and usually from the lower socio-economic spectrum, which offers them an opportunity for personal and professional gain that otherwise might be out of their reach. Early on in the training and indoctrination process, a strong emphasis is placed on teamwork and advancing the welfare of the team above the individual. While independent thought is never overtly discouraged, the fact is that questioning authority and failing to display complete loyalty to the team results in censure, shunning and even expulsion. Naturally, the recruit learns in short order which behavior is rewarded and responds accordingly. This forges a lifelong, unbreakable bond between the brothers-in-arms. This bond can be observed when people proudly display unit insignia and decorations decades after their departure from service.

As they serve in their martial role, members of the Praetorian Class learn to despise members of the Political Class and to view the plight of the Economic Class with detachment or even contempt. Law enforcement and military personnel will converse behind closed doors about the most horrific injustices and brutalities with cavalier amusement. While perhaps natural, their training for violence and teamwork is a fundamental cause for why members of the Praetorian Class abandon their roots and in time come to view their peers “back on the farm” with contempt. Likewise, the steady displays of the craven and treacherous character of the Political Class causes the Praetorian Class to privately disavow emotional allegiance to their masters, usually early in their service.

Naturally, as the members of the Praetorian Class socially distance themselves from both their origins and their masters, even though they are paid to do their bidding, a new group identity among them emerges. Adoption of this group identity, forged by the training, indoctrination and work, defines membership in the Praetorian Class. Some of the characteristics of this identity include:

Viewing everything and everyone according to a perceived threat posture. The members’ thought processes, beliefs and actions center on viewing the world through a paradigm of a graduated conflict spectrum and how to posture themselves accordingly. Even in the most mundane settings, their conversations tend to be awkward if not centered on their martial duties.

Tight internal socialization. Because they view life through a martial paradigm, members tend to socialize almost exclusively amongst themselves. Immediate family members are expected to do the same, which naturally occurs anyway as they can share experiences that external relationships simply are unable to address.

Loyalty is the highest honor. Whether referred to as the blue wall of silence or the brotherhood in arms, even the most egregious transgressions are buried. If the misdeeds are internal, meaning member versus member, the justice is handled internally. On the other hand, external missteps are typically swept under the rug and significant chicane is experienced by outsiders who seek to learn the truth.

In a relatively free and peaceful society, members of the communities that form the Praetorian Class lead a discrete existence. Members of the military commute to and from their place of work and are largely invisible to both the Political and Economic Class, certainly in communities that are not “Praetorian” communities. Attendance at cultural events in uniform is frowned upon, if not explicitly forbidden. During these times, members of the military and law enforcement are expected to live and operate outside the perception of other members of society, their purpose and function regarded with a sense of detachment and perhaps even subtle curiosity.

As the Political Class increasingly calls upon the Praetorian Class to ensure their order, however, their martial nature becomes more visible in the fabric of day-to-day life. This serves several purposes. For one, it allows the Political Class to demonstrate its willingness to use unlimited force to achieve its objectives, something that was always the case but is now made publicly visible. Rationalizing the increased public profile, a stream of honorifics is bestowed upon the Praetorian Class so that they may be presented as defenders of the Economic Class. This is accomplished through the time-tested use of pageantry, pomp and circumstance.

Over time, additional perquisites are bestowed upon the Praetorian Class including preferential treatment in both private and public facilities. Preferred air travel accommodations for uniformed personnel, including dedicated lines at TSA checkpoints and preferential boarding, have recently emerged as cultural standards that further distance the Praetorian Class from the masses.

Another clear change is the physical appearance of members of the Praetorian Class. The uniforms transition from relatively inconspicuous attire to “battle uniforms” such are those now standard issue to both the military and law enforcement personnel. These optics reinforce the position of the Praetorian Class as maintainers of public order, convey a message of physical dominance and establish chronic low-level fear among the masses. Sometimes referred to as the militarization of the police force, this characterization traditionally refers to the increasing firepower in even municipal police departments. Frequently lost in this observation, however, is the psychological impact that such a heavily armed police presence has on the “civilian” population – specifically that it further separates the Praetorian Class from the Economic Class.

As the influence of the Praetorian Class grows, so do the resources it consumes. This is manifested in the form of continuous “equipment” upgrades, training budgets and costly “interagency collaboration” in addition to the usual staff augmentation. This, of course, has the ancillary benefit of directing resources to equipment and service providers that are favored by the Political Class and in some cases may in fact be the primary purpose.

Perhaps less obvious is the need to constantly keep the Praetorian Class on the march. A bored Praetorian is a dangerous creature that will start looking for things to do. In order to keep the Praetorian Class engaged, they must be fed a continuous source of adversaries that they in turn actively engage. In “peace time,” actual engagement is replaced by training and rehearsing the defeat of the adversaries.

While the Praetorian Class emerges as its own entity, with allegiance only to the members’ peers, the most senior of the Praetorians are eventually invited to join the Political Class. Prior to that occurring, they are vetted for suitability, after which they become “made men.” Consider the long list of senior military officers and police chiefs that joined the ranks of the political elite. It is a sight to behold, their new-found support of the Political Class, a class they had silently held in contempt until their recent assumption. Metropolitan police chiefs, district attorneys and joint chiefs of staff are selected for political compatibility, not conviction of character.

How Does It Play Out?

History does not keep a flattering record of societies that allowed the Praetorian Class to rise. The Roman Empire’s decline from splendor to squalor extended for two centuries whereas the Nazi Third Reich collapsed in less than two decades. The continuous drain on productive resources, continuous warfare against new foes, abrogation of human rights and liberties and a pervasive culture of fear inevitably send the society into a tail spin. Some societies are able to observe the retreat of the Praetorian Class, but it is usually a function of economic necessity and often after a great price has been paid by the general population.

Unfortunately, as the tragedy unfolds, the Economic Class often tries to ride out the calamity. This is understandable, since people have a limited capacity to internalize long-term trends. In fact, because people adjust to new circumstances relatively quickly, it is almost impossible for them to compare the condition of life in the present versus the past. The common vernacular for this concept is “the new normal”, which upon the slightest reflection represents an obvious paradox, since the word normal implies a historically stable trend.

The Third Reich as a Textbook Example

History books are filled with examples of societies that have seen the rise of the Praetorian Class, followed by their own subsequent collapse, ranging from the Roman Empire to the Soviet Union. Of all the examples, however, none seems more instructive than the rise and fall of the Nazi Third Reich in Germany.

Over a period of two decades, starting with the collapse of the Weimar Republic and the end of World War II, Germany saw the rise of a charismatic demagogue, the rise of police and paramilitary forces, the development of a military-industrial complex, the assumption of industry by the State, the demonization and persecution of scapegoats finally resulting in widespread warfare and societal ruin. Because the timeline is relatively compressed compared to other historical examples, spanning a single generation, the Third Reich serves as an excellent example of the broader consequences a society experiences when we observe the rise of the Praetorian Class. Furthermore, by virtue of its recent occurrence, many cultural and technological parallels serve as clear milestones.

Call to Action for the Economic Class

In order to evade the inexorable path to ruin, two critical actions must be taken. First, it is imperative to understand historically how events play out, identifying key milestones along the process. Some milestones may include the level of military spending, such as the $700 billion that the United States spends annually on defense. Consider the escalating threat propaganda. Leading up to the war with Iraq in 2003, a common justification heard was “We gotta fight them there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” Apparently that strategy didn’t work, since the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act declared the United States part of the global battlefield. Is it the increasing monitoring and control exerted over the media, including the subpoena and detention of free-speech activists? Or perhaps it is the tortuous argument that the private minting of silver coins bearing no resemblance to US legal tender currency represents domestic terrorism.

As the saying goes, “History does not repeat, but it does rhyme”, which is to say there are events that have played out universally in the past and are likely to do so again. An implied task that emerges is the need to be an avid student of history. Usurpations of power observed today have historical precedents in some form or another and therefore serve in some instances as predictable milestones.

Second, identify the milestone that defines the “point of no return,” at which point taking no action is likely to have very adverse consequences. This is a very difficult task emotionally as it usually requires taking drastic action before circumstances clearly warrant it. It may involve winding down business and social commitments while conditions on the surface still seem fine. This, of course, represents a personal balancing act. While there is merit in the saying that it is better to be a month early than a minute late, there is a practical limit to the value of that axiom. Predicting a financial collapse twenty years early, and making adjustments accordingly, results in significant opportunities lost, both personally and professionally.

In Summary

The emergence and rise of the Praetorian Class is a common observation in societies that have transitioned from market-based meritocracies to societies governed by coercive syndicates formed by the Political Class. The Praetorian Class is formed and grown to defend the Political Class and in time becomes the dragon that rules its master. It represents a highly disturbing trend because it foretells the decline, not the advance, of a society. In some instances, the decline is peaceful, clearing the path for an improved future. Unfortunately, in many instances that is not the case. The Political Class leverages the full force of the Praetorian Class representing significant loss in wealth, personal freedom and, in many cases, human life. For this reason, it is critical that productive members of society take steps to protect themselves.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Then maybe you should quit tarnishing their memory by acting like an ass. Whether you like it or not you are representing them here.

DFCtomm on September 24, 2012 at 3:59 PM

How do you figure? Because — you said so?

Ha. Okay.

I speak for myself and myself only. And when I’m off-duty I say whatever I want to to whomever I want to at any time I feel I’d like to via any medium I care to express myself on. The fact that any of my brothers and sisters may or may not agree with me is wholly irrelevant.

Besides — actions speak far louder than words. I have an exemplary career with multiple commendations, citations, and medals including Life-Saving and Valor. My feelings and personal opinions expressed anywhere off the clock have zero — to absolutely nothing — to do with the job anyway. That is something we brothers and sisters in arms — in fact — ALL agree on.

Try foisting your realm of responsibility on elected officials. You might even get a millimeter’s worth of credence out of them — eventually — which would be miles more than you’re ever going to get here and now.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 4:23 PM

“There’s one side and there’s the other side – and then there’s the truth.”

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 4:14 PM

I’m a 3rd generation police officer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. :-) That said, the way police do their job today as compared to my grandfathers day is vastly different. If he were still alive today we too would disagree on what is proper or not. I still have my uncle around to laugh at what conversations the three of us would have.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Enjoy your solitary retirement. I don’t envy what you have coming. Mine came to soon, but still is full of friends and family. It lets me sleep well at night.

Soon you will be a lonely, bubbling man, who cries into their pillow at night because no one loves you anymore like they did when you slept with your partner in your patrol vehicle, laughing at citizens who complained of your slow response times.

Your retirement will have you cussing at imaginary citizens in all hours of the night because there is no longer a brother in blue to comfort your sick belief system.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 3:50 PM

That’s it?

That’s all you’ve got?

LmaO

Sorry — mall security guard does not qualify you as a ‘cop’ — because if that’s all you’ve got then you’re definitely no ‘cop’.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

When you have to pull the race card to win an argument, you have lost not only the argument, but any creditability that you might have been granted simply for having shown up.

You sir are an a$$, the entirety of your argument consists solely of the brute force appeal to authority of a school yard bully. You can get away with that on the street by virtue of your gun and badge, but in any actual discussion it has zero value and wins zero points.

That you would resort to such pathetic defenses for the indefensible shows the complete and utter lack of comprehension in you of anything more intellectually challenging then Ugg Smash…

It is therefore no surprise to anyone with an IQ above that of room temperature that you are incapable of grasping how offensive the arrogant disregard of those who practice your chosen profession towards the rights of average citizen is.

I will once again drag your broke Dick pathetic a$$ kicking and Screaming into a light you obviously are utterly incapable of understanding. I do this only because I enjoy watching a$$hole trolls like you scream and run trailing smoke vapors back into the shadows.

So what you are saying is you can’t find one post of mine that actually makes me a “thug” Got it!

What is funny is you have copied & pasted the “The Praetorian Class” post at least a half a dozen times. Keep repeating your senseless immature rants against all police officers.

You are a bigot. Which you proved by pulling a quote and putting it into an out of context statement. You generalize and lump all police officers into one. Just like those who hated those with different color skin.

Grow up.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Whatever you say, flat mind.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I speak for myself and myself only. And when I’m off-duty I say whatever I want to to whomever I want to at any time I feel I’d like to via any medium I care to express myself on. The fact that any of my brothers and sisters may or may not agree with me is wholly irrelevant.

FlatFoot on September 24, 2012 at 4:23 PM

You don’t think comments like this reflect badly on your fellow officers?

That’s right. I can beat you and down and tazer you up and you can’t do sh-t about it, chump.

Problem?

bahahahahaha

FlatFoot on September 23, 2012 at 9:24 PM

You’re not just bad at math, but apparently the whole thinking thing period aren’t you? Is there a short police car? You know for the special officers. Do they even let you have any bullets Barney?

It’s been real but I gotta go cut some grass. Hey, maybe you can drop by and write me up for a DUI on my riding lawnmower. You can beat the bottoms of my feet with a rubber hose, after you’ve beaten math into submission, of course.

DFCtomm on September 24, 2012 at 4:43 PM

It already happened at Columbine and it was a disaster. They sat outside and did nothing and prevented anyone else from taking action. If the police hadn’t responded at all it would have been an improvement.

sharrukin on September 24, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Had they actually done their jobs right it would have been different. What is needed that every law abiding teacher should be allowed to have a CCW. At least then, a citizen can take those type of students out and take care of the problem before the police show up to bungle the entire event. It can and will save lives.

Same goes for college campuses. Difference being, students and professors can and should be allowed to carry. Just to take out the offender before his death toll reaches dozens. Police don’t handle those situations well.

I get officer safety. But sometimes citizens can protect officers better by doing their job for them due to the convenience of being there when the crime occurs.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 4:45 PM

In response to some comments about me not being able to be a consitutionalist and a police officer at the same time.

The truth is your best police officers are constitutionalists. You would be surprised how many police on the line are very sensitive to the rights of their fellow citizens. Especially as we age and get past the Wyatt Earp syndrome that hits many young gungho officers (of both sexes. The females are the worst!!)

However, most of you miss the point I was trying to make. This had nothing to do with Nazis or the BATF (which no real police officer is happy with. Read my blog http://www.truthandcommonsense.com and you’ll see I’m not fan, never have been since the seventies and especially since Clinton/Reno time. My old blog got spammed or you would REALLY know what I think about lazy cops, bad prosecutions- Zimmerman for example, and the vaunted TSA or BATF!)

As for the length of detention. I’m not happy with that. It was too long. I’m not sure why it took so long or how many resources they had but it should have been quicker. Once a person was found to be unarmed and obviously not the bad guy (a search of the person and vehicle) they should be identified and let go. If nothing of evidentiary value is found, you can’t keep them.

As for finding other problems with the people stopped, I agree with the one poster who said you turn a blind eye and let them go. The only possible exception would be finding a dead body or a live kidnap victim. People crimes HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED! And of course warrants. Warrants don’t care how the person is found, just that they are found. (Those are judges orders to present the defendant before them, and judges don’t like us not paying attention to them- ego baby ego!)

D.L. issues, dope, etc. The police must look the other way. Just seize the dope, let the guy go and remember who he is. He’ll carry again someday. Tell the D.L guy to get a ride. (Why not just let him go? Lawyers…. He hits a person a block down the street and they sue the police for letting him go. Trust me, I know this by heart.)

Again, this is a case of man bites dog. The chances of this type of situation occurring again are small. It was an imperfect situation handled probably poorly considering the challenges and the resources. It happens. It is NOT THE NORM!!! at the local levels. Of course, you could be in a place where the police are bad, like Chicago. I can’t help that- it is more a community/accepted practice thing that only citizens can fix. But the vast majority of agencies do their best with what they have to work with.

However, some of the comments are just plain silly. Like the guy who is disabled and complains about how being handcuffed would cause him pain. Hello. Note that one woman was holding her kid, un-handcuffed in one photo, so I’m thinking the police tried to use some common sense. In that, if the bank robber didn’t roll in the bank in a wheel chair or hobble in on a fake leg, the police could probably eliminate the disabled guy as a suspect rather quickly.

Further, and really you have to realize this, inside the police department at the local level there are a lot of conservations revolving around what is too much. I had them all the time with my people. Most police officers are not happy with the power they are given at the level they have it. They realize REALIZE!! it can be used against them and their family too.

You’ll find FEW fans of Obama on the line—if any!

Lastly, and again, not to be a butt about it. One poster was right in that the police directly reflect what the society allows. This is also disturbing to many of us. You would be surprised just how eager most Americans are to give up their freedom to us in order to avoid taking responsibility for their lives. The TSA is an example, everybody bitches, but you still fly don’t you! Why? Drive. Refuse to board. protest at the airports. Fire the congressman who continues to fund it. It would go away if enough concentrated effort were applied. But many find it easier to complain than to act.

Most people are weak sheep-like creatures who just want to believe their political leaders because it is easier and less trouble. But boy do they squawk when they sacred cow is gored. I had two posters on the side of my half wall at my desk. In the middle I had a saying I believe in “10% of the people in the world run the world, while 90% wander around wondering what happened and who did it. You decided which one you are.” Next to the comment was the posters, one read “90% stand here” the other “10% stand here.” You’d be surprised how many policemen would read it, study it, and get in the 90% line! Humans….I swear.

I was not defending along the blue line. You talk to my guys and you’ll get an impression about me and how I stood the line on the constitution.

Yes, we have a bad job, yes it is stressful and frankly not given the due it should by you. I laugh at some of you making big statements. You have no idea what we deal with on a day to day level. Most people are idiots. Most people we deal with on the street are intentionally or unintentionally dangerous to themselves or us. Every call, every day, every week, every year, for some of us thirty years. The officer you deal with may have just left a dead body, bloated and stinking, or a child drowning where he was trying CPR on a baby left unattended near a pool by its parents, knowing full well he is too late and he’s doing it for them.

Then he goes 10-8 and on to his next call, trying to get the taste of the dead child out of his mouth and the memory out of his mind. Then he gets one of you to deal with, all about yourselves, demanding your constitutional rights even before he gets out of his car.

And you wonder why he reacts poorly to your dumba%%edness….

You have no idea just how badly this nation as done in creating good citizens who realize their role in a good healthy society.

There is supposed to be an agreement between the police and the citizens we serve. You do was we think is right, based on the laws your representatives put in place, and you do it peacefully. We in turn promise not to abuse you, keep you in good health, allow you the opportunity for bail and a chance to defend yourself in court.

It only goes bad when one side or the other screws up. Usually, it has been my experience, we aren’t the side screwing up.

archer52 on September 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Sorry, but you believe in the same batsh!t skittle-pooping unicorns the Obama cultists do – yours are just a different color. You seriously advocate that there should have been an armed response against the police? You’re nucking futz.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 10:22 AM

No, what I said was that I believe if the majority of citizens exercised their right to bear each and every day, police would have to treat citizens with more respect instead of herding citizens at gunpoint.

In fact, the police could not have justified their actions as protecting citizens from the dangerous fellon if those citizens were capable of protecting themselves. Nor could the police justify actually taking away a citizen’s ability to defend himself from a fleeing fellon in a dangerous situation, which they did by handcuffing the very people they say were in danger. Further, a fleeing fellon would not be hot to engage an armed citizenry to begin with.

You siad people who find fault in this particular police action aren’t real conservatives. I responded that real conservatives would in many cases be armed, first to prevent the abuse of power of public officials, second for personal protection, and the police would have to take that into account prior to action, whether their goal is to protect innocent civilians or to trample their rights.

shuzilla on September 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM

“There’s one side and there’s the other side – and then there’s the truth.”
whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 4:14 PM

I’m a 3rd generation police officer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. :-) That said, the way police do their job today as compared to my grandfathers day is vastly different. If he were still alive today we too would disagree on what is proper or not. I still have my uncle around to laugh at what conversations the three of us would have.
Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Yeah, that was from a firstgen officer awhile back so it was new to him at the time, heh. Now he’s in the upper ranks of the NYPD.

I can imagine you could have some interesting inter-generational talk, just on technology alone – from police callboxes to lapel mics. A whole lot of “Now, back when I was on the force…” stories.
:)

whatcat on September 24, 2012 at 4:53 PM

So what you are saying is you can’t find one post of mine that actually makes me a “thug” Got it!

What is funny is you have copied & pasted the “The Praetorian Class” post at least a half a dozen times. Keep repeating your senseless immature rants against all police officers.

You are a bigot. Which you proved by pulling a quote and putting it into an out of context statement. You generalize and lump all police officers into one. Just like those who hated those with different color skin.

Grow up.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM

How amusingly absurd, nearly ALL of your statements display that you are a thug. The amusing part, is that you have been so indoctrinated and programmed to bully and abuse anyone who isn’t of a greater authority than yourself that you are utterly and completely incapable of seeing just how thuggish and abusive your behavior is. Just like your pathetic and fallacious attempts to portray me as a racist/bigot because I recognize what you are and find it offensive.

The intimidation of individuals through intellectual discourse bereft of material ramifications is obviously beyond your intellectual pay grade (way beyond it I might add). Yes, it is indeed amusing to watch you flail about attempting to intimidate with absolutely nothing to back that braggadocio up.

I won’t bother asking if you read the article I posted, since it clearly expresses degree’s and levels of rational cognizant reasoning in it that simply does not lend itself to the Ugg Smash mentality you so effectively epitomize. Sorry, you cannot shoot an idea, you cannot beat a concepts brains out, you cannot arrest, handcuff or incarcerate the truth.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Had they actually done their jobs right it would have been different. What is needed that every law abiding teacher should be allowed to have a CCW.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Though I understand the sentiment, the number of injuries and deaths from accidents arising from the presence of those weapons would eclipse the mayhem bearing arms for other’s protection would produce.

Say there is one Columbine every decade, killing one percent of a high school’s population. Assuming there are about 30,000 high schools of all types in this country, then the chance of a Columbine happening in any one year at a particular school is one in 300,000. The chance of a particular student (your kid) being killed is one in 30 Million, assuming 1000 students per school. Your kid would have to attend high school for 30 Million years to have an even chance of perishing in a mass shooting.

Even with armed people on site, perhaps half of the casualties would still not be prevented by armed faculty.

But then let’s assume that arming teachers resulted in one incident per century per school, in which on average one student dies. That’s over 300 such incidences per year in this country! So for every dozen or so killed in a Columbine-type massacre there would be 3000 killed, one at a time, from exceedingly rare, once-per-century incidences arising from either armed faculty or armed security.

Each of the incidences arising from armed teachers (or security guards)has the potential of bankrupting the parent school system from legal and liability costs, as the armed teachers would have been instituted by the school boards and thus they would share liability with the actual perpetrators.

shuzilla on September 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM

No, what I said was that I believe if the majority of citizens exercised their right to bear each and every day, police would have to treat citizens with more respect instead of herding citizens at gunpoint.

In fact, the police could not have justified their actions as protecting citizens from the dangerous fellon if those citizens were capable of protecting themselves. Nor could the police justify actually taking away a citizen’s ability to defend himself from a fleeing fellon in a dangerous situation, which they did by handcuffing the very people they say were in danger. Further, a fleeing fellon would not be hot to engage an armed citizenry to begin with.

You siad people who find fault in this particular police action aren’t real conservatives. I responded that real conservatives would in many cases be armed, first to prevent the abuse of power of public officials, second for personal protection, and the police would have to take that into account prior to action, whether their goal is to protect innocent civilians or to trample their rights.

shuzilla on September 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Good post. It wasn’t the weapons the suspect had that singled him out from all the innocent citizens. It was the GPS tracker and the beekeepers mask that would be a key indicator that they “got their man.” I fully agree. We all need more well armed, law abiding citizens protecting us.

It will keep those corrupt officers in check better. They exist and it has always bothered me they are more than just a select few. Not a majority, but enough to trample the Constitution on a daily basis to effect the viewpoints of many in a negative way. It hurts me to see it and I do try to correct some who want to lump all officers as the same. We are not all the same as some like to suggest in previous posts.

That said, there were many posts where non police officers pointed out exactly how it should have been handled. I actually thought those to be well thought out and spot on.

Anyway, your above post was a good one.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Had they actually done their jobs right it would have been different.

I agree, but they were more concerned with procedure and handing off responsibility to SWAT teams or the FBI than in actually doing that job. Some officers wanted to make an immediate entry and were denied.

Two officers exchanged fire with one of the teenage gunmen just outside the school door, then stopped — as they had been trained to do — to wait for a SWAT team. During the 45 minutes it took for the SWAT team to assemble and go in, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot 10 of the 13 people they killed that day.

Instead the SWAT teams were marching students out with their hands in the air treating everyone as guilty. Concentrating on their own safety instead of the situation at hand, made them essentially worse than useless.

What is needed that every law abiding teacher should be allowed to have a CCW. At least then, a citizen can take those type of students out and take care of the problem before the police show up to bungle the entire event. It can and will save lives.

Same goes for college campuses. Difference being, students and professors can and should be allowed to carry. Just to take out the offender before his death toll reaches dozens. Police don’t handle those situations well.

Absolutely agree with this. Police need to understand that citizens are their ally if they let them be.

I get officer safety. But sometimes citizens can protect officers better by doing their job for them due to the convenience of being there when the crime occurs.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 4:45 PM

By the time Klebold and Harris committed suicide at 12:08, at least 75 police officers were surrounding Columbine High School. The first SWAT team had been in the building only two minutes. It would be nearly three hours before they would know the gunmen were dead.

Just before noon, Mike Rotole put a sign in the window. It said, “One bleeding to death.” The Jefferson County Sheriff’s command post was well aware of Dave Sanders’ condition and where he was. Since 11:42, a teacher in the room with Sanders had been on the phone with operators at Sheriff’s headquarters. And once Mike Rotole put the sign in the classroom window, radio calls started coming from officers urging the command post to rescue him.

SWAT officers finally reached Dave Sanders in Science Room Three at 2:42 – more than three hours after he’d been shot. They evacuated the kids right away, but held Sanders there to wait for a paramedic. That paramedic didn’t arrive for another 42 minutes.

This is putting far too much faith and prestige in SWAT units and not enough in line police officers. If officer safety is the paramount concern then they will not be capable of doing their job, particularly when they see the general public as the enemy.

sharrukin on September 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Though I understand the sentiment, the number of injuries and deaths from accidents arising from the presence of those weapons would eclipse the mayhem bearing arms for other’s protection would produce.

Say there is one Columbine every decade, killing one percent of a high school’s population. Assuming there are about 30,000 high schools of all types in this country, then the chance of a Columbine happening in any one year at a particular school is one in 300,000. The chance of a particular student (your kid) being killed is one in 30 Million, assuming 1000 students per school. Your kid would have to attend high school for 30 Million years to have an even chance of perishing in a mass shooting.

Even with armed people on site, perhaps half of the casualties would still not be prevented by armed faculty.

But then let’s assume that arming teachers resulted in one incident per century per school, in which on average one student dies. That’s over 300 such incidences per year in this country! So for every dozen or so killed in a Columbine-type massacre there would be 3000 killed, one at a time, from exceedingly rare, once-per-century incidences arising from either armed faculty or armed security.

Each of the incidences arising from armed teachers (or security guards)has the potential of bankrupting the parent school system from legal and liability costs, as the armed teachers would have been instituted by the school boards and thus they would share liability with the actual perpetrators.

shuzilla on September 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM

I’ve never been one to accept a certain amount of causalities. If I was in the military I know I wouldn’t think the same way. It’s a must in war.

I don’t view police work as a war though. I say one death prevented is a good number to start with.

We might differ on who should and shouldn’t be armed. I just look to the 2nd Amendment and believe all law abiding (adult) citizens should have that right. In a high school, hospital, college campus. It is their right to protect themselves. I will believe that until the day I die. Even if the nutcase in the WH manages to shred the Constitution and dismantle the 2nd Amendment.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Had they actually done their jobs right it would have been different.

I agree, but they were more concerned with procedure and handing off responsibility to SWAT teams or the FBI than in actually doing that job. Some officers wanted to make an immediate entry and were denied.

Two officers exchanged fire with one of the teenage gunmen just outside the school door, then stopped — as they had been trained to do — to wait for a SWAT team. During the 45 minutes it took for the SWAT team to assemble and go in, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot 10 of the 13 people they killed that day.

Instead the SWAT teams were marching students out with their hands in the air treating everyone as guilty. Concentrating on their own safety instead of the situation at hand, made them essentially worse than useless.

I was off the day this happened. I literally was screaming at the TV as it was unfolding in front of us. I would have ignored my training and finished them off or die. It would have been the right move.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 5:18 PM

I’m attempting to post this again. it didn’t go through. I did manage to copy most of it before I sent it. Forgive me if it duplicates.
—–

In response to some comments about me not being able to be a consitutionalist and a police officer at the same time.

The truth is your best police officers are constitutionalists. You would be surprised how many police on the line are very sensitive to the rights of their fellow citizens. Especially as we age and get past the Wyatt Earp syndrome that hits many young gungho officers (of both sexes. The females are the worst!!)

However, some of the comments are just plain silly. Like the guy who is disabled and complains about how being handcuffed would cause him pain. Hello. Note that one woman was holding her kid, unhandcuffed in one photo, so I’m thinking the police tried to use some common sense. In that, if the bank robber didn’t roll in the bank in a wheel chair or hobble in on bad fake leg, the police could probably eliminate the disabled guy as a suspect rather quickly. Yet, the fact the cops handcuff everybody is a reaction to getting jumped by people they shouldn’t have and the police simply making a decision to cuff everyone until the good guys/bad guys can be sorted out. I don’t like it, didn’t use it, but I do understand it.

As for the length of detention. I’m not happy with that. It was too long. I’m not sure why it took so long or how many resources they had but it should have been quicker. Once a person was found to be unarmed and obviously not the bad guy (a search of the person and vehicle) they should be identified and let go. If nothing of evidentiary value is found, you can’t keep them.

As for finding other problems with the people stopped, I agree with the one poster who said you turn a blind eye and let them go. The only possible exception would be finding a dead body or a live kidnap victim. People crimes HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED! And of course warrants. Warrants don’t care how the person is found, just that they are found. (Those are judges orders to present the defendant before them, and judges don’t like us not paying attention to them- ego baby ego!)

D.L. issues, dope, etc. The police must look the other way. Just seize the dope, let the guy go and remember who he is. He’ll carry again someday.

Tell the D.L guy to get a ride. (Why not just let him go? Lawyers…. He hits a person a block down the street and they sue the police for letting him go. Trust me, I know this by heart.)

Again, this is a case of man bites dog. The chances of this type of situation occurring again are small. It was an imperfect situation handled probably poorly considering the challenges and the resources. It happens. It is NOT THE NORM!!! at the local levels. Of course, you could be in a place where the police are bad, like Chicago. I can’t help that- it is more a community/accepted practice thing that only citizens can fix. But the vast majority of agencies do their best with what they have to work with.

However, some of the comments are just plain silly. Like the guy who is disabled and complains about how being handcuffed would cause him pain. Hello. Note that one woman was holding her kid, unhandcuffed in one photo, so I’m thinking the police tried to use some common sense. In that, if the bank robber didn’t roll in the bank in a wheel chair or hobble in on a fake leg, the police could probably eliminate the disabled guy as a suspect rather quickly.

Further, and really you have to realize this, inside the police department at the local level there are a lot of conservations revolving around what is too much. I had them all the time with my people. Most police officers are not happy with the power they are given at the level they have it. They realize REALIZE!! it can be used against them and their family too.

You’ll find FEW fans of Obama on the line—if any!

Lastly, and again, not to be a butt about it. One poster was right in that the police directly reflect what the society allows. This is also disturbing to many of us. You would be surprised just how eager most Americans are to give up their freedom to us in order to avoid taking responsibility for their lives.

Most people are weak sheep-like creatures who just want to believe their political leaders because it is easier and less trouble. But boy do they squawk when they sacred cow is gored. TSA, Drones, cell phone tracking and recording. None of this is something we on the line approve of. They can track us and our family too!

I was not defending along the blue line. You talk to my guys and you’ll get an impression about me and how I stood the line on the constitution.

Yes, we have a bad job, yes it is stressful and frankly not given the due it should by you. I laugh at some of you making big statements. You have no idea what we deal with on a day to day level. Most people are idiots, not bad people just not really in tune with how the real world works. They mean no harm, but CSI and SVU and Law and Order has dulled many people’s understanding of how things really work. It can be frustrating.

Most people we deal with on the street are intentionally or unintentionally dangerous to themselves or us. Every call, every day, every week, every year, for some of us thirty years. The officer you are dealing with could have just left the scene of a child drowning where the baby was left unattended by the parents and the officer is doing CPR on it, knowing full well it is too late and he’s doing it for the parents’ sake. Then he goes 10-8 to his next call trying to get the taste of the child out of his mouth and the memory out of his mind. He gets to deal with you on his next call, demanding your constitutional rights even before he gets out of his patrol car.

And you wonder why he doesn’t handle your dumb**sedness well!

You have no idea just how badly this nation as done in creating good citizens who realize their role in a good healthy society.

There is supposed to be an agreement between the police and the citizens we serve. We follow the laws passed by your representatives in a way we think is right. You submit to our authority and arrest if necessary in a peaceful manner. In return, we promise to take good care of you and make sure you can make bail in good health so you can defend yourself in court, as it is your right to do so.

The only time that agreement doesn’t work is if one side or the other screws up. It’s been my experience that it isn’t our side that does the screwing up all the time.

archer52 on September 24, 2012 at 5:21 PM

shuzilla on September 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM

I think you communicated your idea very poorly, as it clearly (IMO) seemed to indicate the armed citizens would stop the officers from stopping and searching vehicles. Even with your added context, I would hope that citizens would not turn a manhunt for an armed bank robber into an armed standoff just because they think policeman are overstepping their constitutional bounds. I don’t see capturing a bank robber as a good point for starting a revo lution. I’m not saying there aren’t some good points, but capturing a bank robber is not the right one.

For accuracy’s sake, I didn’t say that those finding fault were not true conservatives, I said:

And, those of you arguing that this dangerous man should be let go because of police actions (arguing that all the evidence of the search should be thrown out) are not conservatives.

There’s a huge difference between finding fault and 1) saying the guy should be let go because the incident was badly handled or 2) flaming on folks because they happen to think law enforcement is a necessary requirement in a civilized society.

C4E, thank you, as well, for some intelligent response to this post. It seems we have a few folks around here who would rather burn the barn than catch the mice.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 5:21 PM

sharrukin on September 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Yep it made police officers look like idiots. I took it personally and told myself to never make the same mistakes even if it got me fired.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 5:22 PM

There is supposed to be an agreement between the police and the citizens we serve. We follow the laws passed by your representatives in a way we think is right. You submit to our authority and arrest if necessary in a peaceful manner. In return, we promise to take good care of you and make sure you can make bail in good health so you can defend yourself in court, as it is your right to do so.

archer52 on September 24, 2012 at 5:21 PM

That is just messed up.

Its called fascism.

sharrukin on September 24, 2012 at 5:25 PM

sharrukin on September 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Though I agree about the poor performance of the police at the Columbine shooting, do remember that there were reports of bombs, as well. That makes entry significantly riskier – and not just for the entering officer. I think some officers let that possibility become the only thing they saw that day.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

We might differ on who should and shouldn’t be armed. I just look to the 2nd Amendment and believe all law abiding (adult) citizens should have that right. In a high school, hospital, college campus. It is their right to protect themselves.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 5:14 PM

I am bothered as well that people are prohibited in many instances from bearing arms in public places, especially soft targets. But we have to keep in mind that agregious crimes like a Columbine are exceedingly rare events, that to prepare to be fully protected against would be akin to constructing every home to be earthquake-proof to a 9 magnitude, tornado-proof to catagory EF5 and capable of withstanding 50-foot tsunamis as well. That would also save many lives, but is clearly overkill. Regardless, liability for accidental or malicious discharge of firearms by emplyees and agents would bankrupt anyone who attempts to arm employees at a school or a hospital.

shuzilla on September 24, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Though I agree about the poor performance of the police at the Columbine shooting, do remember that there were reports of bombs, as well. That makes entry significantly riskier – and not just for the entering officer. I think some officers let that possibility become the only thing they saw that day.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

I agree, but the safety of police officers, if allowed to become the preeminent concern renders them largely ineffective. Armed civilians would be a better option at that point despite a lack of training.

That concern for safety also tends to lead to treating everyone as a potential threat with a mentality that reflects that. If the general public is seen as an enemy, or a potential enemy then you have a police force that drifts away from ‘serve and protect’ towards ‘enforce and control’.

sharrukin on September 24, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Just what would constitute “probable cause” in your eyes? What is defined as a “reasonable” search to you? How few people do they have to detain before you think it’s ok to stop the crowd and search folks? (I think and hope that you, at least, are arguing this – where to draw the line – and not discojoe’s PoV that there should be no line.)

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Probable cause would not have 19 separate vehicles and multiple dozens of people who needed to be searched.

As other people indicated. Simply having the vehicles move, one at a time would have eventually given them PROBABLE cause. So a simple road block, with questions, let the car go, followed questions, let the people go would have accomplished this.

Instead, they cast a net over many people they obviously had NO PROBABLE cause to infringe upon their rights.

You are a police state loving person who likely would have just been happily following orders as you stuffed the trains full of Jews.

astonerii on September 24, 2012 at 5:35 PM

It only goes bad when one side or the other screws up. Usually, it has been my experience, we aren’t the side screwing up.

archer52 on September 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Archer52 – good post … however when your side does screw up they do it so spectacularly ….

wrong addresses .. no knock raid .. kick in the door … people get shot …
and nothing happens to the cops .. oops … sorry … the cops may get in trouble
they may even get fired .. but they do NOT go to court …
they do not go to jail …. etc …

conservative tarheel on September 24, 2012 at 5:38 PM

As for the length of detention. I’m not happy with that. It was too long. I’m not sure why it took so long or how many resources they had but it should have been quicker.

archer52 on September 24, 2012 at 5:21 PM

The video certainly made it look like there were a LOT of officers present. It certainly was not an unedited video, however. The cuffing should have been very temporary. The “detention”* should have been as long as it took to resolve things. As I commented earlier, once a vehicle was cleared, they should have – at a minimum – uncuffed the driver, led them into a donut shop, given them some water, then let them mill about (possibly having an investigator chat with them).

* “Detention” might be a questionable word, when applied to asking witnesses and such to please stay nearby – out of the way of the police and out of the way of the perp. Given the choices made on tactics, they weren’t going to let people drive away. Fine if you want to walk away, but when it’s all over, expect your vehicle to be impounded for being abandoned if you’re not around.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 5:43 PM

akin to constructing every home to be earthquake-proof to a 9 magnitude, tornado-proof to catagory EF5 and capable of withstanding 50-foot tsunamis as well.

shuzilla on September 24, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Might make more jobs, though. You could put them alongside all those weatherproofing jobs……..

That concern for safety also tends to lead to treating everyone as a potential threat with a mentality that reflects that. If the general public is seen as an enemy, or a potential enemy then you have a police force that drifts away from ‘serve and protect’ towards ‘enforce and control’.

sharrukin on September 24, 2012 at 5:34 PM

I agree wholeheartedly. This is the fundamental problem with the TSA.

You are a police state loving person who likely would have just been happily following orders as you stuffed the trains full of Jews.

astonerii on September 24, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Was going to say that you and I disagree on degree, not kind, in that post. Then you have to go and say something as ignorant, stupid and offensive as this. You’ve made anything else you have to say totally irrelevant.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 5:51 PM

How amusingly absurd, nearly ALL of your statements display that you are a thug. The amusing part, is that you have been so indoctrinated and programmed to bully and abuse anyone who isn’t of a greater authority than yourself that you are utterly and completely incapable of seeing just how thuggish and abusive your behavior is. Just like your pathetic and fallacious attempts to portray me as a racist/bigot because I recognize what you are and find it offensive.

The intimidation of individuals through intellectual discourse bereft of material ramifications is obviously beyond your intellectual pay grade (way beyond it I might add). Yes, it is indeed amusing to watch you flail about attempting to intimidate with absolutely nothing to back that braggadocio up.

I won’t bother asking if you read the article I posted, since it clearly expresses degree’s and levels of rational cognizant reasoning in it that simply does not lend itself to the Ugg Smash mentality you so effectively epitomize. Sorry, you cannot shoot an idea, you cannot beat a concepts brains out, you cannot arrest, handcuff or incarcerate the truth.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM

I’m still waiting for you to find just ONE post of mine, or all of them to prove your point. You still haven’t quoted me once to show that I’m a “thug” “bully” or show “abusive behavior” Come on SWalker, quote me.

So far all you have your generalized hated for all police officers. You are bigot for those hate generalizations.

Are just lazy too look for just one post of mine to prove your point? Come on, just one to show that I’m a “thug.” Even you can do it, can’t you?

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Sigh….correction…> “Are you just too lazy too look for just one post….”

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 5:53 PM

You are a police state loving person who likely would have just been happily following orders as you stuffed the trains full of Jews.

astonerii on September 24, 2012 at 5:35 PM

The painfully ironic thing… Is that they genuinely do not understand that. They have been so brainwashed and indoctrinated that they genuinely cannot conceive of any society without a special praetorian guard class whose job is to keep the sheeple in line. Some of them think that if they are nice and polite and apologize for forcing the sheeple onto the cattle cars, that somehow makes it ok, because, at least they are not hurting the sheeple like some other rogue agents.

The Rise of the Praetorian Class

By Pete Kofod

Much attention has been paid to the “disappearing middle class” and the “vanishing American Dream.” While the observations are largely accurate, they are also misleading. The traditional three-tier model of the upper, middle and lower class broadly categorizes people according to income and net worth. One significant problem with this model is that membership in any particular class is very much in the eye of the beholder. One man’s “scraping by” is another man’s “opulent living.” This subjective and arbitrary grouping and boundary assessment inevitably gives rise to the simmering class warfare that is starting to rear its ugly head in many Western countries. Such categorization is therefore meaningless at best, if not outright deceptive as it conflates a variety of economic actors.

The chief fallacy of this model rests in the fact that it focuses on how much those actors are compensated, as opposed to how and why they are compensated. A far better perspective is perhaps gained using two classes, the Political Class and the Economic Class, with a third class emerging.

The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker – The Economic Class

The Economic Class, at least in the United States, has historically been the numerically dominant group, although in recent decades its dominance has noticeably waned. The economic class would traditionally be called the Private Sector, but even that term has become misleading for reasons we will delve into later in this article.

Members of the Economic Class provide goods and services that are voluntarily sought by consumers and paid at rates that the market will bear. In an unfettered environment, the economic class would count farmers, engineers, coal miners, artists, physicians, janitorial staff, security guards, merchants and company executives among its membership. They participate freely and competitively in the market place, using the economic principles of Division of Labor and the Law of Comparative Advantage to increase the wealth of society as well as improve their personal position. Capital, entrepreneurial and human resources are brought together collaboratively to meet the needs of the market place. This is standard Economics 101 fare and hopefully generates little controversy among the readership. The important factor defining Economic Class membership is not the amount of money a person earns but rather their participation in the free and open market.

The Lazy Highwaymen – The Political Class

Like the Economic Class, members of the Political Class are not properly defined by their wealth but rather by how they exert influence in the market place. Whereas members of the Economic Class engage the market openly and voluntarily, members of the Political Class employ coercion and deceit to achieve their economic objectives. The coercion and deceit may either be exerted directly or, as is increasingly observed, through a variety of proxy agents. The most obvious members of the Political Class are, unsurprisingly, politicians. This group includes elected individuals at every level of government as well as various appointed officials.

In addition to this primary membership category, a second distinct group exists within the Political Class. It consists of various advocates including lobbyists, influence peddlers and miscellaneous other supplicants of government cheese. These creatures exist to serve as envoys for the third distinct group, which is made up of a patchwork of commercial entities that have learned that employing a politically well-connected pitch man replaces the need for an effective sales and marketing organization and in some cases even the requirement to have a desirable product.

Furthermore, it is commonly observed that members of the Political Class routinely migrate between the three aforementioned groups. An unfortunate consequence of allowing these economic actors to “cut in line” is that the rewarded event becomes the prevailing trend. Because of that, there is virtually no industry that has opted out of the rent-seeking game. From the military-industrial complex to agricultural subsidies, to the utterly corrupt banking system, the Political Class is inexorably claiming an increasing share of the world’s economic activity, a highly disturbing trend indeed.

Subsidized inefficiency, intentional destruction of productive assets and confiscation of property are but some of the effects that are observed when the Political Class employs force to serve those that are “more equal than others.” The arrangement can be summed up by saying that economic activity within the Economic Class places the bargaining power in the hands of the buyer whereas the economic activity within the Political Class places the bargaining power in the hand of the seller. This gives rise to dislocations in the free exchange of goods and services as well as widespread misallocations of capital as businesses adjust their practices based not on the normal mechanics of supply and demand but rather based on the dictates of the Political Class. Over the years, the scale of the intrusions of the Political Class into economies around the world, and very definitely here in the United States, has grown to the point where truly free markets are now the exception and not the norm.

Because the Economic Class operates in the realm of voluntary exchange whereas the Political Class employs force to achieve its objectives, many of which are anathema to the Economic Class, it follows that a significant amount of resources must be dedicated by the Political Class to the enforcement of their objectives. This role has traditionally fallen on the wide array of military and law enforcement organizations as well as numerous regulatory agencies and departments.

From the US military’s role in protecting the Political Class’s global interests and the IRS keeping the Treasury full, to the FDA serving “Big Pharma” and various law enforcement agencies maintaining a low-level chronic fear in the populace, the level of physical control that the Political Class needs to extend over productive resources is staggering. And in lockstep with the virtually unchecked growth in the Political Class, so has grown the size and scope of the enforcement branch deployed to protect its interests.

Paradoxically, for reasons I’ll touch on momentarily, the allegiance of this enforcement branch belongs to neither the Political Class whom they serve nor the Economic Class whom they “service.” In time, their level of influence grows to the point in which they become a class of their own. They are the Praetorian Class.

Legions and Lictors – the Praetorian Class

The Praetorian Class includes members of the Armed Services, federal, state and local law enforcement personnel as well as numerous militarized officials including agents from the DEA, Immigrations, Customs Enforcement, Air Marshalls, US Marshalls, and more. It also includes, although to a lesser extent, various stage actors in the expanding security theater such as TSA personnel. The main mission of the Praetorian Class is to keep the order of the day. This requires displaying an intimidating presence in their interactions with the Economic Class.

As the Praetorian Class ascends, the clear, albeit unstated, message that emerges is that actions and events in the Economic Class only occur with its tacit consent. Whether driving on roads, traveling in the air, visiting public land, walking down the street or even living in your own home, every action you take is predicated on its permission. By preconditioning the populace to enforcement of its edicts, most of which are completely arbitrary, the Praetorian Class sets itself up for a high degree of autonomy in its actions. This is confirmed by the fact that consequences for malfeasance within the Praetorian Class are almost never observed, and when it happens, it typically becomes a grotesque spectacle in which one of their own is sacrificed as an example, so as to keep appearances of effective internal controls.

Members of the Praetorian Class are typically recruited from the Economic Class and usually from the lower socio-economic spectrum, which offers them an opportunity for personal and professional gain that otherwise might be out of their reach. Early on in the training and indoctrination process, a strong emphasis is placed on teamwork and advancing the welfare of the team above the individual. While independent thought is never overtly discouraged, the fact is that questioning authority and failing to display complete loyalty to the team results in censure, shunning and even expulsion. Naturally, the recruit learns in short order which behavior is rewarded and responds accordingly. This forges a lifelong, unbreakable bond between the brothers-in-arms. This bond can be observed when people proudly display unit insignia and decorations decades after their departure from service.

As they serve in their martial role, members of the Praetorian Class learn to despise members of the Political Class and to view the plight of the Economic Class with detachment or even contempt. Law enforcement and military personnel will converse behind closed doors about the most horrific injustices and brutalities with cavalier amusement. While perhaps natural, their training for violence and teamwork is a fundamental cause for why members of the Praetorian Class abandon their roots and in time come to view their peers “back on the farm” with contempt. Likewise, the steady displays of the craven and treacherous character of the Political Class causes the Praetorian Class to privately disavow emotional allegiance to their masters, usually early in their service.

Naturally, as the members of the Praetorian Class socially distance themselves from both their origins and their masters, even though they are paid to do their bidding, a new group identity among them emerges. Adoption of this group identity, forged by the training, indoctrination and work, defines membership in the Praetorian Class. Some of the characteristics of this identity include:

Viewing everything and everyone according to a perceived threat posture. The members’ thought processes, beliefs and actions center on viewing the world through a paradigm of a graduated conflict spectrum and how to posture themselves accordingly. Even in the most mundane settings, their conversations tend to be awkward if not centered on their martial duties.

Tight internal socialization. Because they view life through a martial paradigm, members tend to socialize almost exclusively amongst themselves. Immediate family members are expected to do the same, which naturally occurs anyway as they can share experiences that external relationships simply are unable to address.

Loyalty is the highest honor. Whether referred to as the blue wall of silence or the brotherhood in arms, even the most egregious transgressions are buried. If the misdeeds are internal, meaning member versus member, the justice is handled internally. On the other hand, external missteps are typically swept under the rug and significant chicane is experienced by outsiders who seek to learn the truth.

In a relatively free and peaceful society, members of the communities that form the Praetorian Class lead a discrete existence. Members of the military commute to and from their place of work and are largely invisible to both the Political and Economic Class, certainly in communities that are not “Praetorian” communities. Attendance at cultural events in uniform is frowned upon, if not explicitly forbidden. During these times, members of the military and law enforcement are expected to live and operate outside the perception of other members of society, their purpose and function regarded with a sense of detachment and perhaps even subtle curiosity.

As the Political Class increasingly calls upon the Praetorian Class to ensure their order, however, their martial nature becomes more visible in the fabric of day-to-day life. This serves several purposes. For one, it allows the Political Class to demonstrate its willingness to use unlimited force to achieve its objectives, something that was always the case but is now made publicly visible. Rationalizing the increased public profile, a stream of honorifics is bestowed upon the Praetorian Class so that they may be presented as defenders of the Economic Class. This is accomplished through the time-tested use of pageantry, pomp and circumstance.

Over time, additional perquisites are bestowed upon the Praetorian Class including preferential treatment in both private and public facilities. Preferred air travel accommodations for uniformed personnel, including dedicated lines at TSA checkpoints and preferential boarding, have recently emerged as cultural standards that further distance the Praetorian Class from the masses.

Another clear change is the physical appearance of members of the Praetorian Class. The uniforms transition from relatively inconspicuous attire to “battle uniforms” such are those now standard issue to both the military and law enforcement personnel. These optics reinforce the position of the Praetorian Class as maintainers of public order, convey a message of physical dominance and establish chronic low-level fear among the masses. Sometimes referred to as the militarization of the police force, this characterization traditionally refers to the increasing firepower in even municipal police departments. Frequently lost in this observation, however, is the psychological impact that such a heavily armed police presence has on the “civilian” population – specifically that it further separates the Praetorian Class from the Economic Class.

As the influence of the Praetorian Class grows, so do the resources it consumes. This is manifested in the form of continuous “equipment” upgrades, training budgets and costly “interagency collaboration” in addition to the usual staff augmentation. This, of course, has the ancillary benefit of directing resources to equipment and service providers that are favored by the Political Class and in some cases may in fact be the primary purpose.

Perhaps less obvious is the need to constantly keep the Praetorian Class on the march. A bored Praetorian is a dangerous creature that will start looking for things to do. In order to keep the Praetorian Class engaged, they must be fed a continuous source of adversaries that they in turn actively engage. In “peace time,” actual engagement is replaced by training and rehearsing the defeat of the adversaries.

While the Praetorian Class emerges as its own entity, with allegiance only to the members’ peers, the most senior of the Praetorians are eventually invited to join the Political Class. Prior to that occurring, they are vetted for suitability, after which they become “made men.” Consider the long list of senior military officers and police chiefs that joined the ranks of the political elite. It is a sight to behold, their new-found support of the Political Class, a class they had silently held in contempt until their recent assumption. Metropolitan police chiefs, district attorneys and joint chiefs of staff are selected for political compatibility, not conviction of character.

How Does It Play Out?

History does not keep a flattering record of societies that allowed the Praetorian Class to rise. The Roman Empire’s decline from splendor to squalor extended for two centuries whereas the Nazi Third Reich collapsed in less than two decades. The continuous drain on productive resources, continuous warfare against new foes, abrogation of human rights and liberties and a pervasive culture of fear inevitably send the society into a tail spin. Some societies are able to observe the retreat of the Praetorian Class, but it is usually a function of economic necessity and often after a great price has been paid by the general population.

Unfortunately, as the tragedy unfolds, the Economic Class often tries to ride out the calamity. This is understandable, since people have a limited capacity to internalize long-term trends. In fact, because people adjust to new circumstances relatively quickly, it is almost impossible for them to compare the condition of life in the present versus the past. The common vernacular for this concept is “the new normal”, which upon the slightest reflection represents an obvious paradox, since the word normal implies a historically stable trend.

The Third Reich as a Textbook Example

History books are filled with examples of societies that have seen the rise of the Praetorian Class, followed by their own subsequent collapse, ranging from the Roman Empire to the Soviet Union. Of all the examples, however, none seems more instructive than the rise and fall of the Nazi Third Reich in Germany.

Over a period of two decades, starting with the collapse of the Weimar Republic and the end of World War II, Germany saw the rise of a charismatic demagogue, the rise of police and paramilitary forces, the development of a military-industrial complex, the assumption of industry by the State, the demonization and persecution of scapegoats finally resulting in widespread warfare and societal ruin. Because the timeline is relatively compressed compared to other historical examples, spanning a single generation, the Third Reich serves as an excellent example of the broader consequences a society experiences when we observe the rise of the Praetorian Class. Furthermore, by virtue of its recent occurrence, many cultural and technological parallels serve as clear milestones.

Call to Action for the Economic Class

In order to evade the inexorable path to ruin, two critical actions must be taken. First, it is imperative to understand historically how events play out, identifying key milestones along the process. Some milestones may include the level of military spending, such as the $700 billion that the United States spends annually on defense. Consider the escalating threat propaganda. Leading up to the war with Iraq in 2003, a common justification heard was “We gotta fight them there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” Apparently that strategy didn’t work, since the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act declared the United States part of the global battlefield. Is it the increasing monitoring and control exerted over the media, including the subpoena and detention of free-speech activists? Or perhaps it is the tortuous argument that the private minting of silver coins bearing no resemblance to US legal tender currency represents domestic terrorism.

As the saying goes, “History does not repeat, but it does rhyme”, which is to say there are events that have played out universally in the past and are likely to do so again. An implied task that emerges is the need to be an avid student of history. Usurpations of power observed today have historical precedents in some form or another and therefore serve in some instances as predictable milestones.

Second, identify the milestone that defines the “point of no return,” at which point taking no action is likely to have very adverse consequences. This is a very difficult task emotionally as it usually requires taking drastic action before circumstances clearly warrant it. It may involve winding down business and social commitments while conditions on the surface still seem fine. This, of course, represents a personal balancing act. While there is merit in the saying that it is better to be a month early than a minute late, there is a practical limit to the value of that axiom. Predicting a financial collapse twenty years early, and making adjustments accordingly, results in significant opportunities lost, both personally and professionally.

In Summary

The emergence and rise of the Praetorian Class is a common observation in societies that have transitioned from market-based meritocracies to societies governed by coercive syndicates formed by the Political Class. The Praetorian Class is formed and grown to defend the Political Class and in time becomes the dragon that rules its master. It represents a highly disturbing trend because it foretells the decline, not the advance, of a society. In some instances, the decline is peaceful, clearing the path for an improved future. Unfortunately, in many instances that is not the case. The Political Class leverages the full force of the Praetorian Class representing significant loss in wealth, personal freedom and, in many cases, human life. For this reason, it is critical that productive members of society take steps to protect themselves.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM

I’m a thug because I would apologize (“I did it often”) to citizens when I thought they were wronged or maligned by officers? I think your reading comprehension skills need a lot of work. Did you even read what I responding to? What elicited my response above was another who thought officers should apologize if they did something wrong. I agreed with him/her. So that makes me a thug? For agreeing to apologizing when an officer does wrong?

No, you’re a thug because you hide behind a badge of state-sanctioned force. You are a defender and enabler of tyranny.

You also called me a “sheep” in a later post because I stated a fact about the “motor vehicle exception” to the search warrant rule. That has been a fact since 1925. I wasn’t giving my personal thoughts on if I agreed or not with the decision. I was stating it as a fact.

Conservative4Ever on September 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

There is no “motor vehicle exception” found anywhere in the 4th Amendment. THAT is a fact. “Because the government said so” is a laughable argument.

Dante on September 24, 2012 at 5:55 PM

“Detention” might be a questionable word, when applied to asking witnesses and such to please stay nearby – out of the way of the police and out of the way of the perp. Given the choices made on tactics, they weren’t going to let people drive away. Fine if you want to walk away, but when it’s all over, expect your vehicle to be impounded for being abandoned if you’re not around.

GWB on September 24, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Witnesses to what exactly? Besides unwarranted detainment and warrantless search, but I don’t think that’s what you meant. Not a single one of those people who were on the wrong end of a firearm, handcuffed and detained, with the single exception of the actual perp (1 of 40 people) had witnessed the crime, had seen the perpetrator or for that matter even knew that a crime had taken place. They just happened to be driving in the wrong place at the wrong time. You think those kids, after seeing the policeman point a gun at them and mommy or daddy just because they were driving on a certain street on the way home from dance class is going to have a favorable view of police officers in the future? Do you think that’s a great way to get community support for the police?

/Round up the usual suspects. That’s coming next

AZfederalist on September 24, 2012 at 5:55 PM

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