Michael Brown Was A Human Being

photo of Police in Ferguson, Missouri watching protest
Why would police in Ferguson, Missouri need a sniper on an armored truck for an unarmed non-violent protest?

Michael Brown was shot by a police officer on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. His shooting led to several weeks of protests, which sometimes got violent. His shooting illustrates not just racism but much worse. The treatment of Michael Brown and African-Americans like him shows a general attempt to dehumanize a group of people. If we stay silent about it, how long before we are next?

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Why Does Ohio State University Need A Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Vehicle?

image showing OSU's new armored personnel carrier

I came a across a report that the Ohio State University Police has acquired a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle for their fleet. Why is the Department of Defense selling a heavy duty military vehicle like the MRAP to a college police department? I know cops like new toys but is the MRAP really needed on a college campus? The reasons OSU give just don’t hold up to examination.

MRAPs are armored personnel carriers used in hostile environments like Iraq and Afghanistan where they are needed to reduce causalities due to mines and ambushes. This is frankly overkill for any police department to have and continues the troubling militarism of the police.

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Why Do We Have To Choose Between Privacy Or Security?

created image of guy looking in a window with POLICE on shirt
If you aren’t doing anything wrong then this should not be a problem, right?

The media coverage over what National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden did, by publicly revealing the large surveillance program conducted by the NSA, included ridiculously breathless stories about his whereabouts, if the guy is a traitor (he’s not), and if Glenn Greenwald should be jailed for doing his job of reporting the story. What still isn’t being discussed is the reasons and methods behind the program Snowden exposed and why there isn’t much discussion about the accountability of the program. We have been given a false choice between privacy or security.

Bob Sullivan, on the NBC News website wrote a good essay about the problem of having the false choice of privacy or security:

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New Merchant of Death: The NRA

image of a gun

The NRA may not have pulled the trigger at the elementary school in Connecticut but they can’t avoid any blame since they fight for little or no gun laws and benefit from and promote an irrational public fear that drives gun sales. The press conference they held on Friday 12/21 proves the point that they don’t really care about mass killings accomplished after their hard work. They now join tobacco and alcohol producers who also refuse to accept any blame for killing people and work to get legal protection. They have joined the merchants of death.

Here is the main take away from the NRA press conference:

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