If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom. - Dwight Eisenhower
The state represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the state is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence." - Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi
Except for some very determined and informed civil liberties activists, few Americans are even noticing that America is rapidly morphing into a full fledged police state complete with militarized police, surveillance drones, government cameras on the highways, government trained TSA agents who routinely sexually assault airline passengers and even our schools now resemble prisons.
Even worse, Police State USA continues to criminalize just about every possible behavior and America has more folks in prison than any nation on earth. We lock-up more folks than China and more folks than the world's most notoriously ruthless dictators.
According to the International Centre for Prison Studies, America, with a population of 310 million, has over 2.2 million folks in prison and China, a nation with a population of 1.3 billion, has far less folks in prison.
1. United States of America 2,266,832
2. China 1,640,000
3. Russian Federation 738,400
4. Brazil 514,582
5. India 368,998
In fact, America has a thriving Prison Industrial Complex because it's a hugely profitable business for prison corporations, here. It's also very costly to taxpayers. Furthermore, police unions, prison guard unions, private prison corporations, beer/alcohol producers and big pharmaceutical interests are the top five lobby groups to keep marijuana illegal. A sane criminal justice system would be predicated on the just theory of "no victim, no crime" but America is now a place that is addicted to criminalizing everything.
The media has tons of TV cop shows that glorify law enforcement, justify our hideously insane laws and promote the injustice of a criminal justice system that feeds on its victims like voracious bloodsuckers. One is compelled to wonder if the American people are so sick and demented that they just 'get off' watching the cops violently slam a victim against a wall, beat them up and cuff them. Cop shows are truly horror shows that magnify the police powers of the state, yet they remain hugely popular.
Why do we have so many folks locked up? Is America just a more crime ridden and violent place than other nations? Is crime actually escalating? According to the New York Times, "The number of violent crimes in the United States dropped significantly last year, to what appeared to be the lowest rate in nearly 40 years..."
If violent crime has been significantly dropping in the US for 40 years, then why are so many folks in prison and why is the US prison population exploding? It makes no sense. But our jails and prison systems are overflowing with folks who shouldn't even be in prison. Many folks are definitely rotting in prison for possession of marijuana and other victimless or minor crimes.
Even more disturbing, there are instances where individuals are locked up who have been proven innocent, the government knows they are innocent yet they remain unjustly imprisoned. In a shocking piece in USA Today titled Scores in N.C. are legally 'innocent,' yet still imprisoned, the article reports:
Terrell McCullum did not commit a federal crime by carrying a shotgun and a rifle out of his ex-girlfriend's house.
But he is serving a federal prison sentence for it. And the fact that everyone — including the U.S. Justice Department — agrees that he is legally innocent might not be enough to set him free.
A USA TODAY investigation, based on court records and interviews with government officials and attorneys, found more than 60 men who went to prison for violating federal gun possession laws, even though courts have since determined that it was not a federal crime for them to have a gun.
Many of them don't even know they're innocent.
Another troubling feature of Police State USA is that it's blatantly racist and black and brown people definitely do not receive equal treatment under the law. Despite studies proving that drug use is a consistent percentage across racial lines, brown and black people are arrested in far larger percentages than white folks for drugs. CNN, a typical media propaganda machine and certainly no champion of justice, reported:
More than 50,000 people in 2011 were arrested in New York City for possessing small amounts of marijuana -- the majority of whom were black and Latino -- at a considerable judicial and financial cost. New York City spends about $75 million every year on arresting people for recreational marijuana possession.
But what many people don't know is that the state decriminalized this offense more than 30 years ago, making private possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana a violation punishable by a $100 fine. Possession of the same amount in public view remains a criminal misdemeanor.
Despite this change in law, arrests for small quantities of marijuana over the last decade have skyrocketed, with more than 400,000 people arrested and unceremoniously run through the criminal justice system. Marijuana possession is now the No. 1 arrest category in New York.
Why is this happening?
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people in New York are stopped, questioned, frisked and searched, often without justification, under the "stop and frisk" policy. The vast majority of these people live in communities of color, and almost 90% are immediately released without arrest or even a summons.
Read the rest here
Marijuana laws just creates criminals
Police State USA isn't just about locking up folks for drugs, pot possession and other victimless crimes, it's also about a monstrous federal surveillance state and its numerous bureaucracies.
....the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators….The government's goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington….This localized intelligence apparatus is part of a larger Top Secret America….Today's story, along with related material on The Post's Web site, examines how Top Secret America plays out at the local level. It describes a web of 4,058 federal, state and local organizations, each with its own counterterrorism responsibilities and jurisdictions. At least 935 of these organizations have been created since the 2001 attacks or became involved in counterterrorism for the first time after 9/11.”4,058 federal, state and local organizations all creating a centralized command and control police state is indeed a horrifying reminder that America no longer even values civil liberties, the freedom movement of the people or their privacy; Americans have become pathetic compliant sheeple who now think and act like slaves. Even more surprising is that this stuff has been going on for years/decades and that only 935 of these organizations were created since 911.
Libertarian organizations like Reason, Cato, Lew Rockwell and anti-war.com have been exposing the assaults on civil liberties for years. But apparently, Obama and his Gestapo styled goon machine are attempting to out-Bush Bush on civil liberty assaults.
So many Fedzilla power grabs are in the process of being legislated and/or implemented by our increasingly Nazified Police State that it’s difficult for Americans to even grasp what is being done to them, their liberty and their privacy.
The American Police State at all levels - federal, state and city - is a clear and present danger to civil liberties. It's unthinkable that Americans would welcome and tolerate the total obliteration of civil liberties. But they have, and they continue to re-elect the same politicians who are stripping them of their constitutional rights, their civil liberties, their privacy and even their dignity.
Moreover, there was no outrage when the Supreme Court ruled that the police absolutely do have the right to perform cavity searches, even for folks picked up on routine traffic stops.