Expect some ad hominem.
Expect some ad hominem.
Rania Khalek writes at Alternet:
The US is at the forefront of an international arms development effort that includes a remarkable assortment of technologies, which look and sound like they belong in a Hollywood science fiction thriller. From microwave energy blasters and blinding laser beams, to chemical agents and deafening sonic blasters, these weapons are at the cutting edge of crowd control.
The Pentagon’s approved term for these weapons is “non-lethal” or “less-lethal” and they are intended for use against the unarmed . Designed to “control crowds, clear streets, subdue and restrain individuals and secure borders,” they are the 21st century’s version of the police baton, pepper spray and tear gas. As journalist Ando Arike puts it, “The result is what appears to be the first arms race in which the opponent is the general population.”
The demand for non-lethal weapons (NLW) is rooted in the rise of television. In the 1960s and ’70s the medium let everyday Americans witness the violent tactics used to suppress the civil rights and anti-war movements.
I’m curious to see this news get tweaked as a lighthearted Portlandia segment. The Portland Mercury on the revelation that the FBI is conducting raids on the homes of politically minded locals in search of “criminal evidence” such as black clothing, anarchist literature, and placard signs and flags:
The first interview with any of the Portlanders who were served grand jury subpoenas as FBI agents searched their homes on July 25 shines some light on what authorities may be hoping to achieve with the raids.
Dennison Williams was in bed at his house on Wednesday morning when he heard someone shout, “FBI!” Then came a loud crash, which turned out to be agents breaking down his front door, and Williams heard a bang and a saw a flash of light—the agents throwing flash grenades.
FBI officers entered his room with assault rifles and kept them aimed at him while they handcuffed him.
Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:
American law enforcement agencies continue to increase their surveillance on an otherwise fairly complacent citizenry, logging an incredible amount of requests for information regarding cell phone and social media use.
Last week, a judge in New York ruled that Twitter must give a court close to three months of information from a user in a pending case involving an Occupy Wall Street protester arrested at a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge in October. In February, a subpoena from the New York City District Attorney’s office demanded the microblogging site, often used by protesters to update their followers on events happening on the street in real time, give up “any and all user information, including email address, as well as any and all tweets posted for the period of 9/15/2011-12/31/2011” from user Malcolm Harris.” Harris (@destructuremal), managing editor for the New Inquiry online magazine was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge with 700 other demonstrators.… Read the rest
On the date on his birth, let’s focus on matters that make the U.S. holiday matter even more: