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Another example of Sovietization
May 10th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Gre­gory Girard: Polit­i­cal Pris­oner. Mass­a­chu­setts res­i­dent Gre­gory Girard has never been for­mally charged with a crime, let alone con­victed of one. Yet after spend­ing four months in jail, he will spend the next four years as a ward of the court.

Girard’s legally obtained firearms will remain in the pos­ses­sion of the thieves in uni­form who stole them on Feb­ru­ary 9, the same day he was kid­napped by a SWAT team. He will undergo invol­un­tary psy­chi­atric eval­u­a­tion and treat­ment, includ­ing the admin­is­tra­tion of psy­chotropic drugs.

If it is deemed “nec­es­sary” by any of the legal or ther­a­peu­tic appa­ratchiks who are now in charge of his life, Girard will be taken into cus­tody for “in-patient treatment.”

This would almost cer­tainly occur if Girard were once again to express the unac­cept­able polit­i­cal views that resulted in his four month impris­on­ment, to wit: The Régime rul­ing us will even­tu­ally send para­mil­i­tary goon squads to con­fis­cate legally owned firearms and imprison those who own them.

Because pos­ses­sion of such views made Girard a “dan­ger to the com­mu­nity,” a para­mil­i­tary strike force was sent to seize his guns, and he was sum­mar­ily imprisoned.Under the terms of a “con­tin­u­ance with­out a find­ing” announced by Salem Dis­trict Court Judge Richard Mori, Girard will avoid prison only if his con­duct and atti­tude meet with the approval of peo­ple who can con­sign him to the psi­huska at whim. [Pro Lib­er­tate]

Given the Evil Empire’s eager rush to be just like the orig­i­nal Soviet Union, it’s hardly sur­pris­ing that they would adopt the Soviet prac­tice of impris­on­ing polit­i­cal dis­si­dents in “men­tal hos­pi­tals”.

The arti­cle con­trasts Girard’s pun­ish­ment for being right about the gov­ern­ment with a case from the same state in which Gestapo agents mur­dered some­one at one of their Check­point Char­lie reen­act­ments for no par­tic­u­lar rea­son and (as usual) got away com­pletely unpunished.

Role reversal
Apr 15th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

The ulti­mate reap­ing of what one sows: right-wing edi­tion. Right-wing polemi­cists today are shriek­ing in self-pitying protest over a new report from the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity sent to local police forces which warns of grow­ing “right-wing extrem­ist activ­ity.” The report (.pdf) iden­ti­fies attrib­utes of these right-wing extrem­ists, warn­ing that a grow­ing domes­tic threat of vio­lence and ter­ror­ism “may include groups and indi­vid­u­als that are ded­i­cated to a single-issue, such as oppo­si­tion to abor­tion or immi­gra­tion” and “groups that reject fed­eral author­ity in favor of state or local authority.”

[…]

But the polit­i­cal fac­tion screech­ing about the dan­gers of the DHS is the same one that spent the last eight years vastly expand­ing the domes­tic Sur­veil­lance State and fed­eral police pow­ers in every area. DHS — and the still-creepy phrase “home­land secu­rity” — became George Bush’s call­ing card. The Repub­li­cans won the 2002 elec­tion by demo­niz­ing those who opposed its cre­ation. All of the enabling leg­is­la­tion under­ly­ing this Sur­veil­lance State — from the Patriot Act to the Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sions Act, from the var­i­ous FISA “reforms” to mas­sive increases in domes­tic “counter-Terrorism” pro­grams — are the spawns of the very right-wing move­ment that today is pet­ri­fied that this is all being directed at them.

When you cheer on a Sur­veil­lance State, you have no grounds to com­plain when it turns its eyes on you. If you cre­ate a mas­sive and wildly empow­ered domes­tic sur­veil­lance appa­ra­tus, it’s going to mon­i­tor and inves­ti­gate domes­tic polit­i­cal activ­ity. That’s its nature. [Glenn Green­wald]

Gestapo stupidity
Dec 29th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Gun­pow­der Is Okay to Bring on an Air­plane.

Putting it in a clear plas­tic bag­gie mag­i­cally makes it safe:

Mind you, I had packed the stuff safely. It was in three sep­a­rate jars: one of char­coal, one of sul­phur, and one of salt­pe­tre (potas­sium nitrate). Each jar was labeled: Char­coal, Sul­phur, Salt­pe­tre. I had also thor­oughly wet down each pow­der with tap water. No igni­tion was pos­si­ble. As a good cit­i­zen, I had packed the result­ing pastes into a quart-sized “3−1−1″ plas­tic bag, along with my sham­poo and hand cream. This bag I took out of my mes­sen­ger bag and put on top of my bin of belong­ings, turned so that the labels were easy for the TSA inspec­tor to read.

[Schneier on Secu­rity]

Of course this worked not because the Check­point Char­lies thought it was safe, but because they were so abysmally igno­rant that they didn’t know what you get by mix­ing those ingredients.

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