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America's Secret Police
America's Secret Police
You may have noticed that the Army is protecting the Lincoln Memorial from Americans, while the whole city of DC is overrun by people who look like some sort of militarized police in generic uniforms.  Who are these men in black who answer only to the Attorney General and the President himself?  And where the hell did thousands of them come from?

The Story Behind Bill Barr’s Unmarked Federal Agents.  This article has everything you need to know about where they come from, how the US government has been adding one ATF worth of assorted police every year since 2001.  I definitely did not know that the National Gallery has a shooting range.

The other implication is that, at least in the federal district, the United States now has a secret police, whose members will not tell the public which agency they work.  They erect checkpoints around the city, attack camera crews, and open fire on protesters so that the president can wave a Bible in a photo op.  All part of the President's plan to "dominate the streets".  Nominally, these police report to a government officer, but the majority of officers are non-permanent acting appointments serving as figureheads; in practice the police collective only answers to the top levels of party leadership.
"Kitto daijoubu da yo." - Sakura Kinomoto
RE: America's Secret Police

I'd say we now seem to have our very own Gestapo, except that the Germans at least made theirs an official organ of their government with an actual chain of command.

This is nothing more than a goddamned posse under the direct authority of Trump. Something he really doesn't need because he already has the Secret Service to provide his security and protection - and they already have very broad liberties, such as being able to hold people without charges.
Yasuri Nanami is my number one waifu, if only because she would horribly murder all the others if they didn't shut up and toe the line.

"They did not care about all the other attempts wizards had made on the Lone Power through history; as far as a computer is concerned, there is no program that cannot be debugged, or at worst, rewritten."
-Diane Duane, High Wizardry

"If our friendship depends on things like space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don't you think that we might see each other once or twice?"
-Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
RE: America's Secret Police
I said it in our discord, and I will say it again here.

Heinleins 'Crazy Years' have arrived. The only thing he got wrong is the date.

Something Arthur C Clarke lamanted upon before his own death, that they were right about the whats, just wrong about the whens.
Hear that thunder rolling till it seems to rock the sky?
Thats' every ship in Grayson's Navy taking up the cry!

No Quarter by Echo's Children
RE: America's Secret Police
(06-06-2020, 02:49 PM)Star Ranger4 Wrote: Heinleins 'Crazy Years' have arrived.  The only thing he got wrong is the date.

Something Arthur C Clarke lamanted upon before his own death, that they were right about the whats, just wrong about the whens.

Remind me, are the Crazy Years before or after society decides incest is okay?

Honestly I'm starting to look at this all as a sign that people in general are becoming less crazy.  For four hundred years in this country, it was okay for an officer of the law to go out and lynch a black man.  Then, for the past fifty, it was okay if they did it, so long as they pretended that wasn't what they were doing.  Now, it's suddenly not okay.  This feels a lot like collective progress.

At first, the only people to march in the streets for blacks were the fringe religions, the Quakers and Shakers, and freedmen.  And then it became an army.  In the 1960s, it started in the churches, but then it was black sanitation workers, and then the whole black community, joined by college students and Jews.  But, fuck, man, look at these marches, and it looks like everyone is upset about it.  White, black, brown, young and old.  All in recognition that the social contract is broken, and has been for centuries.  This, to me, looks a lot like mass sanity.  An outbreak of sanity in an outbreak of coronavirus.

I think the speed with which this is happening is catching people by surprise.  A widely quoted paraphrase of Vladimir Lenin goes something like this: there are decades where nothing happens, and then there are weeks where decades happen.*  As a climate scientist, I have to tell you, tipping points are like this.  With a dose of 2020 hindsight, it's easy to see why these things are happening.  I hesitate to say that it's the last gasp of a dying breed of racism, but we have made a great leap on civil rights that can't easily be erased.

Case in point is that "Black Lives Matter Plaza" in Washington D.C.  You know that's permanent, right?  It's already on Google Maps and Apple Maps.  If you disagree with me, tell me how a mayor will suddenly decide to remove the sign with an electorate full of blacks, federal employees, Foggy Bottom boys, and military brass will decide to take that down.  Or tell me how demographics will shift in the next 20 years when they haven't in the last 100?  In fifty years, there will be a monument there with a plaque and everything commemorating how the President had peaceful protestors shot and gassed so he could make a make a photo op.  How he had them gassed in the middle of a pandemic of a respiratory disease, as a response to a strangling by police.  This will remain as a reminder to every president in the future not to overreach.

Is it going to be painful?  Sure.  But if you look at the history of race relations with the police, it's about time we share that pain.

So seriously, fuck Heinlein and fuck his air fee.  We all need to breathe.

 * Wikiquote has the original and it's a less poetic version, in the context of historians, but it's kind of a Beam Me Up Scotty and much better as popular culture rewrote it.
"Kitto daijoubu da yo." - Sakura Kinomoto
RE: America's Secret Police
All that is happening will matter little if society doesn't follow through. And with the current government in charge? Society won't be allowed to follow through, the ones in power benefit too much from the current situation and will lose power if things change.

I'm with Labster, this will not be the last gasp of a dying breed of racism. That will not come for another 50 years at minimum, as those who believe it's right to be like this die off, unable to teach others that this is right. But it's part of the death throes.

Obama's message of hope and change (leaving aside how much of that happened) was a reaction on 8 years of war, despair and stagnation. Not all of which, to be fair, was Bush jr.'s fault necessarily, wars tend to have that effect on people and societies. But Trump's rise? That was definitely a reaction from the worst parts of US culture to a black man being elected to and holding the presidential office and doing a decent job at it, even pushing through a number of absolutely needed economic and social reforms despite considerable effort to prevent it.

The violence inflicted upon the protesters is an attempt to stop a social and cultural shift through fear and suffering. They may succeed, if Trump and his cronies remain seated in the White House, and if the Republicans aren't ousted from power. But unless the military gets deployed to quell an insurrection? They won't succeed for long, and even if the military gets to deployed to quell an insurrection things are poised to get very violent, very quickly across a large part of the USA.

And that is only going to make things worse. A lot worse. For everyone, including those now in power.
RE: America's Secret Police
I've been rewatching Babylon 5 these past two weeks and this brings a monologue by G'kar:
Quote:The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender.
The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always pain.
“When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action. When you desire a consequence you had damned well better take the action that would create it.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, Memory
What zombie movies got wrong about the actual apocalypse, part 1,487: they omitted scenes of people on the street demanding the right to be eaten by zombies.
—Kelly Davio, Twitter, 4/19/2020

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