The Gun is Civilization

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

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Radley Balko on the Militarization of Police

Northcom Backs Out of National Level Exercise 2010

Northcom has unexpectedly withdrawn from participation in National Level Exercise (NLE) with FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Defense announced on April 26 it was decoupling its Ardent Sentry exercise from the National Level Exercise.

Ardent Sentry is a Joint Chiefs of Staff directed and Northcom sponsored “homeland defense” exercise. It is one of a number of DoD and Homeland Security exercises that blur the boundaries between the Pentagon, the federal government, and state and local governments under the guise of combating terrorism and responding to natural disasters.

The Pentagon said it decided against the exercise after Las Vegas, the planned site for a post-nuclear-attack response exercise, pulled out in November, fearing a negative impact on its struggling business environment, according to the Washington Times. Officials said a new site could not be found.

“The official also said the Northern Command’s exercise plans for ‘cooping’ — continuity of operations, during which commanders go to off-site locations — also had been scratched,” writes Rowan Scarborough for the newspaper.

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Lawmakers want military in Chicago to fight crime

Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis today spoke out against a request for the Illinois National Guard to be to deployed on Chicago’s streets to help tackle gun violence.

Stopping just short of outright rejecting the request from state lawmakers Rep. John Alden Fritchey IV and Rep. LaShawn K. Ford, Weis said “I don’t think the National Guard is the solution.”

At a press conference earlier Sunday, Fritchey and Ford had called on Gov. Patrick Joseph “Pat” Quinn III and Mayor Richard M. Daley to deploy troops. The action, in coordination with Weis, should be taken as soon as possible to help get guns and criminals off the street, they said.

The two Chicago Democrats noted National Guard members are now working side-by-side with U.S. troops to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while another deadly war is taking place in Chicago neighborhoods.

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Three More Domestic Spying Programs Revealed

The Department of Homeland Security is acknowledging the existence of three more government programs charged with spying on American citizens in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The programs — Pantheon, Pathfinder and Organizational Shared Space — used a variety of software tools to gather and analyze information about Americans, according to documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting. The DHS turned over the papers in response to a December 2008 Freedom of Information Act request. The documents shed new light on the proliferation of domestic intelligence and surveillance efforts after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to the CIR:

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U.S. Senators Seek Changes to Plan Colombia

WASHINGTON – Three influential Democratic senators have urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to review the U.S. contribution to the counter-narcotics initiative known as Plan Colombia in light of Bogota’s scant progress in reducing cocaine production or curbing human rights abuses.

“Given U.S. record budget deficits, we cannot afford to continue assistance that is not achieving sufficient results,” Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Vermont’s Patrick Leahy and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut said.

Feingold sits on the Senate Foreign Relations, Budget and Intelligence Committees, Leahy chairs the Judiciary Committee and Dodd is chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Narcotics Affairs.

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Resistance Against Checkpoints

Law enforcement agencies have declared they will hold 300 “DUI” checkpoints during the holiday season statewide. Furthermore, they have declared 2010 “the year of the checkpoint.” Checkpoints are a military tactic that violate the Fourth Amendment and condition society to passivity toward police interference in daily activities. They disproportionately impact immigrant communities, who face deportation due to 287(g) agreements, which deputize local law agencies to enforce federal immigration law. For these reasons, resistance to “the checkpoint society” has been fierce, and has included lobbying local officials, holding vigils and marches, creating communication networks, and actually being present at checkpoints to warn passing motorists and document abuses. Follow reports from the struggle:

Op/Ed: Checkpoints Violate the Fourth Amendment and Normalize the Police State by Rockero

From the newswire: Pomona anti-checkpoint action by Direct Action Claremont | | Documentación de un caso de injusticia ejecutada en un retén policial por Rockero | | Protest LAPD Stealing Cars from Raza during Xmas Season!! by Unión del Barrio

This week’s checkpoints: Retenes navideños / Christmas checkpoints (25/dec-2/ene) by Checkpoint response