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10001  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 24, 2010, 04:45:04 PM
You did? You voted for Obama with this in mind?  rolleyes
10002  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: August 24, 2010, 02:48:16 PM
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38673

Glad he's doing "outreach" on our dime. Thanks Obama!
10003  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dow faces bumpy ride to 5000 on: August 24, 2010, 11:47:10 AM
http://www.cnbc.com/id/38826988

Strap in.
10004  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's war on jobs on: August 24, 2010, 07:39:14 AM
http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2010/08/24/the-phantom-priority/

The Phantom Priority
posted at 1:05 am on August 24, 2010 by Doctor Zero


After the passage of his massive health-care plan, President Obama promised a “hard pivot” to dealing with our flagging economy.  Job creation was said to be his new “top priority.”  Politicians make a habit of declaring lots of top priorities.  Mark Knoller of CBS News recently put together an amusing list of thirteen items the President has declared to be his top priority.  The promise to put the economy first was repeated loudly and often.  It will still be ringing in the ears of voters when they clean Democrats out of Congress with an electoral leaf blower this autumn.

In reality, job creation and economic growth are nowhere to be found on this Administration’s list of priorities.  The “hard pivot” was actually the feeble ring of ruby slippers clicking together.
10005  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 23, 2010, 10:49:48 PM
NYPD is the only one with unlimited sick time. Keep in mind though, you have to really be sick to use it. NYPD has an IA unit that places officers on sick leave under surveillance and verifies medical documentation.
10006  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: August 23, 2010, 10:27:30 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38811725/ns/business-the_new_york_times

**Real estate as an investment is dead.**
10007  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 23, 2010, 09:56:13 PM
http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/killed/2008/officersassaulted.html

http://www.policeone.com/off-duty/articles/2026720-Off-duty-in-rural-America/

Couple of points to consider.
10008  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 23, 2010, 09:31:09 PM
You aren't counting the injury rate, or attempted murders/assaults on officers. Lumberjacks don't have to worry that a tree will follow him home to ambush him and his family in his driveway.
10009  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: August 23, 2010, 08:07:16 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38790670/ns/technology_and_science-security/

Disturbing aviation security news.
10010  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 23, 2010, 07:03:04 PM
**Most jobs, public sector or private don't have things like this as potential threats:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/21227694/detail.html

PUEBLO, Colo. -- A man suspected of trying to blow up a Pueblo police officer's home was in jail Wednesday, following an extensive manhunt across the city.

Officers arrested Robert Howard Bruce, 47, at a Kmart in Pueblo on Tuesday evening.

Police had been actively looking for him since Pueblo police officer Nathan Pruce found a 30-pound propane tank on Tuesday morning, rigged to pump the explosive gas into his home.
10011  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 23, 2010, 06:52:21 PM
Las Vegas Metro Police pays better and given that NV has no state income tax, you actually see more and 1000 dollars a month rent doesn't have you living next to the projects. Look at what a tiny apt in NYC goes for and factor in the federal, state and city taxes and overall cost of living for NYPD, even after 5 years, it's pretty brutal.
10012  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 23, 2010, 06:31:45 PM
Privacy takes effort and caution. There is no absolute privacy as there is no absolute security. I'm less concerned with a big corp like AA having my personal info than what can be gained by private investigators working for criminal cartels.
10013  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 23, 2010, 05:52:19 PM
Your name and DOB are probably out there from a variety of sources. Your SSN is much more important when it comes to identity theft.
10014  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 23, 2010, 05:47:25 PM
I'm not offended. I may end up getting out of law enforcement for a variety of reasons, at least on a full time basis anyway.
10015  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 23, 2010, 10:23:11 AM
All airlines must now get DOBs for passengers when tickets are purchased. The Name and DOB gets passed on to the TSA.
10016  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 22, 2010, 09:50:37 AM
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/acceptable_documents.shtm

ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints

Airtravel
Identity Matters

Effective June 21, 2008, adult passengers (18 and over) are required to show a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID that contains the following: name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature in order to be allowed to go through the checkpoint and onto their flight.

Passengers who do not or cannot present an acceptable ID will have to provide information to the Transportation Security Officer performing Travel Document Checking duties in order to verify their identity. Passengers who are cleared through this process may be subject to additional screening. Passengers whose identity cannot be verified by TSA may not be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint or onto an airplane.
10017  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 22, 2010, 09:36:04 AM
Your birthdate as well as legal name is obtained by the airline to be given to the TSA for prescreening prior to your flight. If your name, birthdate doesn't match when you attempt to board your flight, you won't be allowed to fly.
10018  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: August 22, 2010, 09:33:00 AM
The muslim world is up to it's neck in crazy conspiracy theories.
10019  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 22, 2010, 09:31:07 AM
It would be nice if police/fire/EMS/military got compensated like pro athletes, but it isn't going to happen. The taxpayers can only pay what is affordable. Most of us in those careers got into the job to protect society, not to contribute to public debts that work to destroy our society.
10020  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 06:08:58 PM
http://www.city-journal.org/2009/nytom_nypd.html

Heather Mac Donald
New York’s Indispensable Institution
The NYPD’s crime-fighting sparked the city’s economic revival and is essential to its future.
10021  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 05:00:18 PM
http://salary.nytimes.com/CostOfLivingWizard/layoutscripts/coll_start.asp

Interesting tool for comparing the cost of living from place to place.
10022  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 04:15:35 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/12/nyregion/12recruits.html?_r=2&ref=nyregion&oref=slogin

Sorry that this is 3 years old, but I doubt that the pay increase since then has made the financial burdens much easier.
10023  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 03:51:07 PM
Doug,

If you look at the base rate for academy training they posted, no one would have any shift differential or OT or step increases. Even once the academy is completed, getting paid overtime is unlikely, usually comp time is given instead.
10024  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 12:50:55 PM
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=6133543

NYPD loses recruits to better paying agencies.
10025  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 12:14:25 PM
http://gothamist.com/2008/02/17/more_nypd_recru.php

More NYPD Recruiting Trouble as Exam Takers Decline

The NYPD's recruiting woes appear to be continuing through 2008, with a sharp drop-off in the number of candidates applying to sit for the Police Officer Exam, which is the first step to qualifying to enter the Police Academy. According to the New York Post, the number of test takers is down 20% from number of people who took the exam at the same time last year. "Slightly fewer than 20,000 have applied for the Feb. 23 test, down from the roughly 25,000 who filed last year. In October 2004, more than 35,000 registered for the test."

The decline is not for lack of trying either. The NYPD has been casting its net far and wide in search of recruits.
10026  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 10:24:03 AM
NYPD gets pay raise

Newsday

NEW YORK CITY — Police officers got the award they were looking for when an arbitration panel yesterday awarded them a pay raise and hiked by more than $10,000 the starting salary that the NYPD felt had significantly hampered its recruitment efforts.

Rookie cops who had been paid a starting salary of $25,100 will now earn $35,881, with the hike retroactive to January 2006.

**NYPD has a union, and this pay is horrific, especially in NYC.**
10027  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 20, 2010, 07:12:34 PM
Quote
**The NSA doesn't have that now?**

The folks at Fort Meade play stuff close to the chest so it's pretty hard to know in general, though it's clear the most the congresscritters charged w/ oversight couldn't shake a transistor out of their shoe. "The Puzzlepalace" is a good read about those folks.

The NSA is an awful small slice of the intelligence gathering pie and someone with your googlefu ought to be able to drum up story after story of alphabet agencies that fail to share timely intelligence due to chain of command, turf considerations, and so on. Are you arguing that a system as vast, ad hoc, and territorial as the one the US has built cannot be subject to misuse? Look at the battles between the Air Force and the Navy over which refueling tanker nozzle should be used and then multiply it by each intelligence agency and gathering technique and you'll have an approximation of the scope of the issue. My experience running much smaller and less complex organizations suggests that when that much gray area exists gross pathologies are a given.


Anything is potentially subject to misuse. My concern is that the system has become so big, it's utterly impossible to be used effectively.
10028  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 20, 2010, 12:37:43 PM
No one forces you to go on the web or use websites or software with those loopholes. Aren't libertarians supposed to believe in the rights of individuals to freely make choices in terms of commerce?
10029  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism: on: August 19, 2010, 05:07:25 PM
Boyo,

State schools normally have campus police that have police powers, while private schools normally have security forces that do not hold any law enforcement authority. Campus police normally answer to the college/university administration, which might explain why Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin might not get the level of protection needed to be allowed to speak uninterrupted.
10030  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 19, 2010, 10:21:19 AM
How much transparency do you want for the NSA and other intel agencies?
10031  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: August 19, 2010, 10:18:14 AM
I know the M-1 is California legal, I'm guessing the M-1 Carbine is legal there too. It's a pity that the Obama thugs won't let these in.
10032  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 18, 2010, 10:17:07 PM
Oversight and accountability with a sensible chain of command.

**The NSA doesn't have that now?**
10033  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism: on: August 18, 2010, 09:45:03 PM
The state's job is to balance everyone's rights, not just the protesters.
10034  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cops, Crime, and the Economy on: August 17, 2010, 10:44:28 AM

Cops, Crime, and the Economy

Economic recovery on a local scale, whether in Los Angeles, Oakland, or St. Louis, is largely dependent on the willingness of citizens to live and spend money there.
August 16, 2010 - by Jack Dunphy

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/cops-crime-and-the-economy/?singlepage=true
10035  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: August 17, 2010, 09:31:47 AM
http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2010/08/16/facts-obama-doesnt-want-you-to-connect/

Very good work here.
10036  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Gurkhas and their Kukris on: August 17, 2010, 09:10:05 AM
I know that some EP/bodyguard work is done by Gurkhas in Hong Kong.
10037  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 17, 2010, 08:22:17 AM
Still waiting for some sot of concrete policy position......
10038  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 17, 2010, 07:25:26 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Homeland-Siege-Tactics-Police-Military/dp/0981865917/ref=pd_sim_b_1

Looks relevant.
10039  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 09:47:38 PM
Most cops in this country work for small agencies with small budgets. The LAPD does better than most, and Cali agencies from cities with deep tax bases have real nice pay and bennies, although for how long as California implodes?
10040  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 16, 2010, 09:44:03 PM
So shut down the NSA? Get the US out of the intelligence business?
10041  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 08:32:25 PM
http://www.policeone.com/careers/

http://officer.com/jobs/

Let me know how impressive the pay and benefits look.
10042  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 16, 2010, 08:25:34 PM
The panopticon prisons were failures and almost all in the US are no longer in use.
10043  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 08:17:52 PM
I'm amazed at what some cops get paid in places like California. In my state, outside of the metropolitan areas, the police wages are very low and the benefits are far from impressive. In much of the state, a entry level officer with a wife and 2 kids is eligible for food stamps.
10044  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 12:32:21 PM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2010/08/unsustainable.html

Saturday, August 14, 2010
The Problem With Petty Officer Gurney


Petty Officer First Class Ethan Gurney will retire from the Navy this fall, after 20 years of service. Critics of the military retirement system say that's too soon, creating long-term fiscal problems for the Defense Department (Stars and Stripes photo).


According to a Pentagon advisory board, Navy Petty Officer First Class Ethan Gurney represents what's wrong with the military retirement system.

Petty Officer Gurney joined the Navy out of high school, and has served honorably as an electronics technician for almost two decades. This fall, after reaching 20 years of active duty service, Gurney will retire from the Navy and begin drawing a retirement check--at the ripe old age of 38.

From the board's perspective, that's too soon. With advances in medicine and increasing longevity, Gurney and his fellow military retirees will live for decades after leaving active duty, collecting billions of dollars in pensions, health care and other benefits.

The Defense Business Board, tasked by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to find ways to cut Pentagon spending, says the current retirement system is "unsustainable" and must be fixed. Without reforms, payments for military retirees will grow from $47.7 billion this year, to just under $60 billion by 2020.

As Stars and Stripes recently reported:

The 25-member group of civilian business leaders suggests that the Defense Department look at changing the current system, even hinting at raising the number of years troops must serve before being eligible for retirement pay.

The current system “encourages our military to leave at 20 years when they are most productive and experienced, and then pays them and their families and their survivors for another 40 years," committee chairman Arnold Punaro told board members at their quarterly meeting late last month.

Among the "reforms" being suggested by the advisory panel: delaying payments to retirees, in exchange for earlier "vesting" in the program. One proposal being studied by the board would provide a limited retirement benefit for military members who serve as little as 10 years. Those personnel would receive their pension at age 60 under the reform plan, while those with 20 years of service would begin receiving checks at age 57--almost 20 years after some of them leave active duty.

The hypocrisy of the "reformers" is almost laughable. Board chairman Arnold Punaro worries about a system that "encourages [military members] to leave when they're most productive and experienced, then pays them, their family and their dependents for the next 40 years."

But Punaro hasn't declined his military retirement check. Turns out that Mr. Punaro is also a retired Major General in the Marine Corps. According to Forbes, he currently works as an executive Vice President at defense contractor SAIC, where his total compensation in 2009 topped $2.7 million. That's almost three times what Petty Officer Gurney will collect in military retirement pay, even if he lives to age 80. And we didn't include Punaro's USMC pension in that total, either.

Fact is, the typical military retiree is a lot closer to Gurney than General Punaro. When he leaves active duty later this year, Petty Officer Gurney will receive a gross monthly pension of just over $1,800. By the time you deduct federal and state taxes and allotments for such items
as the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), dental insurance and other expenses, Gurney's "rich" pension will be closer to $1,400 a month.

Indeed, the average person retiring from the military at the 20-year point is an E-6, the same rank as Petty Officer Gurney. Most are married, with kids in school, and (if they're lucky) that $1,400 pension will cover their mortgage payment. Compare that to say, the average annuity for a state employee in New York, New Jersey or California, and tell us
who's getting rich in retirement.

Punaro's critique also misses a pair of critical points. There are two primary reasons the military has always embraced an early retirement system. First, it's a powerful recruiting and retention tool, particularly for mid-level officers and NCOs, who form the backbone of our armed forces. Allowing retirement at the 20-year point keeps a lot of mid-level officers and non-commissioned officers in uniform, ensuring an adequate supply of experienced personnel.

By comparison, if the military allows individuals to earn delayed benefits after only 10 years of service, it would only accelerate the exodus of skilled troops. Individuals with highly marketable skills (including intelligence, nuclear power, special forces and contracting, to name a few) would leave at the first opportunity, further eroding experience levels at the most critical ranks.

Additionally, there's the matter of who's best suited for certain military jobs. No offense to General Punaro, but jobs like Marine rifleman, Army ranger, Air Force combat controller and Navy fighter pilot (to name a few) are best handled by the young. True, experience does improve with age, but reflexes, vision, hearing and physical conditioning tend to deteriorate as we get older. And sometimes, experience is no substitute for the strength, speed and stamina found in younger troops.

Another critic of the current system, Nathaniel Fick of the left-leaning Center for a New American Security, has wondered "Why we're paying 38-year-olds" as they embark on their second full career. Fick, a former Marine Corps officer, made the comment in a recent article published at the Foreign Policy website.

We think the best rejoinder to that argument comes from Petty Officer Gurney, a man who is (supposedly) the poster boy for problems in our military pension system. For 20 years of dedicated and faithful service, Gurney simply expects the Navy to meet the promise it made to him. And he observes that (relatively) few people are willing to meet the demands for that 20-year pension:

"No rational person would put up with 20 years of the hardships that you’re forced to endure if it wasn’t for the brass ring at the end of it all called instant retirement,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Gurney.

[snip]

“The continuous deployments, living conditions, remote and hazardous duty stations are unique to the military,” he said. “This isn’t a civilian company, so any civilian model that you use to compare to the military is impertinent. To do so is irresponsible at best.”

Bravo Zulu, Petty Officer Gurney. Couldn't have said it better ourselves. Unfortunately, Secretary Gates now views the military retirement system as Fiscal Problem #1, so some sort of reforms appear inevitable. Never mind that the current system has served the military well, and payments will eventually decline, as retirees from Korea, Vietnam and the Reagan eras pass on.

One more thing: we find the current fixation on military retirement rather curious, for other reasons. The Pentagon has suddenly discovered that its payments for retiree medical coverage are out-of-control, just months after the Obama Administration pushed through national health care coverage. Gee...doesn't DoD have the option of potentially pushing military retirees into the national plan, saving billions of dollars each year--and creating more "urgency" for preserving the new system? Coincidence? You decide.

Likewise, Secretary Gates (and his bosses in the White House) would like to find other ways to save money at the Pentagon. If they can put off pension payments for years after military retirees leave active duty, so much the better. I'm sure that DoD's actuaries have already calculated the number of personnel who will die during that "gap" between their retirement ceremony and the age of 57 or 60, when the first retirement check rolls in. How much would DoD save using that approach, and where will that money goes? So far, Dr. Gates hasn't answered that one.

Equally galling is the growing demand for the reform of military retirement benefits, while the "big" entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) just keep on growing. Even at the inflated totals cited in the Stars and Stripes article, military pensions represent only a fraction of our annual Social Security payments--and that system will go broke long before the armed forces retirement system. But it's (apparently) more important to fix military pensions, with little regard for the long-term impact on retention and experience levels in the ranks.

Go figure.
10045  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 11:38:56 AM
I can't comment on firefighters, but for police officers the expectation is that it takes about 3-5 years working patrol (after the academy and field training) to be fully proficient at the job. Working special details, detectives also has a long learning curve involved. There is also such a thing as institutional knowledge from veterans on patrol, but patrol like the combat arms of the military, is a young man's game. You would be fine having a 60 year old detective working a case, but you don't want a 60 yr. old patrol officer trying to run down a mugger.

I've seen conflicting stats on police life spans, but it's not just the line of duty deaths you have to factor in, it's the physical and psychological stressors related to the job. It's the cumilative injuries that add up. Just wearing 20-30 pounds of duty gear every day on your waist results in long term back pain for most everyone. No matter where you work, you see the worst of humanity, you learn the sights, sounds and smells of the ugliest things that can possibly happen. I just finished another series of blood tests for all the wonderful things commonly floating around, having had my forearm torn open by the fingernails of a career offender at work.

The realities of the job are far from glorious, and these days the job just gets worse and worse. The only thing that keeps a minimally acceptable amount of recruits coming in is the bad economy and the fact that there are fewer LE jobs these days.
10046  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 10:58:00 AM
Pay cops and firefighters minimum wage, no benefits. Let's see how that works out.
10047  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 15, 2010, 01:35:15 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/08/15/california-gets-tough-on-illegal-border-crossings/

Priorities.
10048  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism: on: August 15, 2010, 01:03:52 PM
**I think this article does a good job explaining things.**

http://www.policeone.com/columnists/Charles-Remsberg/articles/1242034-Handling-Protesters-Part-2/

IMPORTANT NOTE: As with any legal advice, be sure to check with your local advisors to be certain that the principles and precedents explained here currently apply in your jurisdiction.

1. Authorities can limit public speech, and the correlative right to protest and demonstrate, to a reasonable time, a reasonable place and a reasonable manner. You'll often see this 3-part terminology in court decisions dealing with 1st Amendment freedoms. These restrictions apply to speech (and protests) in public areas like roads, sidewalks, parks or other sites that are traditionally open for citizens to gather, talk and demonstrate.

Protest can also always be restricted because of its relationship to illegal conduct. Demonstrators do not have the right to trespass onto somebody's private property to protest or to engage in assault or disorderly conduct or any other behavior that violates the law. When free expression becomes illegal conduct, it can always be restricted.

2. Any limitation has to meet these criteria:

a) It must be content neutral, meaning that you don't restrict only those groups whose message you disagree with. In enforcing a quiet zone around a hospital, for example, you are not trying to control the message put forth by demonstrators, you're trying to control the noise that interferes with people getting well. Content neutrality is THE most important factor in keeping restrictions legal.

b) Any limitation must be narrowly tailored to serve an important interest. To continue the quiet zone analogy, the zone must not extend out farther than it has to to accomplish its purpose. It can't be clear across town where it has no reasonable relation to the hospital it supposedly protects. In other words, imposition of a restriction has to closely match the reason for it.

c) Limitations must ALLOW FOR ALTERNATIVES. If a person or group is restricted from protesting 1 place, they should have ample opportunity to demonstrate some other place in town.

3. If some group wants to protest across an interstate highway because they think that will have the biggest impact, you can easily deny that. In a recent federal case, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals supported a city in Alabama that completely banned tables set up on city sidewalks to distribute literature because they were considered too disruptive to pedestrians. You can deny the right to protest during RUSH HOUR. Many cities have statutes that prohibit demonstrations within a certain distance of a CHURCH during hours of service or shortly before or after because of anticipated traffic problems.

You can also sometimes limit the SIZE of a protest group. If a group of 500 wants to demonstrate in a park that can legitimately accommodate only 100 persons, you can stop that.

Court cases suggest that you CAN'T have a complete ban on protesting in a residential neighborhood. But you can prohibit a group from focusing on a particular resident (called "focused residential picketing"). And you can stop groups from marching through residential neighborhoods in the middle of the night when the noise would disrupt privacy.

In imposing restrictions, just remember the criteria itemized in #2. You must apply objective, content-neutral limitations based on some important consideration.

4. YES, but to do so you have to meet a VERY HIGH STANDARD.

Say you want to deny the Ku Klux Klan the right to march in your town because you're worried that you won't be able to protect against a real bloodbath. Courts have said that the police (or government in combination with the police) must prove that maintaining public safety and order is beyond the reasonable ability of your officers and administrators.

The courts will ask why you couldn't get help from neighboring jurisdictions or other sources. They will ask specific reasons why your doubt of maintaining public order is accurate. They will take a very close look because obviously a lot of jurisdictions would like to say, "Hey, we just can't be safe, so you can't come here."

It is very rare that a jurisdiction is able to place a complete ban on a group's ability to protest. You might be able to move the protest, or limit the size or delay it until you have time to recruit extra help, but a complete ban will very rarely be upheld.

5. If you are faced with a problem group, like the Ku Klux Klan or Operation Rescue, wanting to demonstrate in your community and you are concerned about your ability to maintain order because the group is known for not demonstrating peacefully and legally in other communities, you can probably obtain an INJUNCTION from a local judge that will allow you to impose specific, advance limitations on the group's right to protest/demonstrate. For example, an injunction might specify that protesters can't carry weapons, even if they have permits that ordinarily enable them to do so.

This legal tactic became a very useful arrow in law enforcement's quiver with the U.S. Supreme Court's sanction in the case of Madsen v. Women's Health Center [114 S.Ct. 2516 (1994).] In this important case, the Court upheld for the first time the use of injunctions in regards to demonstrations.

A local judge will likely be sympathetic with your position because he is not going to want his own community ripped apart by the group you're concerned about. Even if it turns out later that the judge shouldn't have issued the injunction, you and your department are fully protected from liability so long as you are acting pursuant to his order.

6. Your LOCAL PROSECUTOR. If the prosecutor doesn't agree with you on the arrests you make, he is going to abandon you when you get ready to go to trial. Be sure he participates in the planning and helps you evaluate the statutes that you may want to use as foundations for your arrests. Your department legal advisor or city attorney can guide you regarding civil liability issues, but a prosecutor's input is important where possible criminal charges against demonstrators or counter-demonstrators are concerned.

Particularly if you haven't had cause to use them for awhile, take a close and critical look at your statutes on disorderly conduct, public assembly and noise (noise can be an especially useful ground for arrest in protest situations, if the statute is specific enough). In some cases, these statutes are old, confusing and vague. The language would no longer pass court scrutiny. With sufficient notice, it may even be possible to get weak statutes updated before the protest goes down.

Once a prosecution strategy is agreed upon, officers must be informed as to what's permissible arrest-wise. When Winston-Salem PD anticipates an event with potentially troublesome protesters, officers are given a booklet clearly delineating elements of the non-routine offenses they might be called upon to arrest for. They are then trained on what they will need to show in order to get a conviction for each offense.

Take full advantage of what your laws will let you do. Your prosecutor should be oriented to telling you what you can do legally, not just hammering at what you can't do.

You also want to review physical control tactics that may be appropriate in handling demonstrators. In many departments, the command staff was trained in the '70s, while line officers were trained in the '90s. You don't want commanders encouraging an obsolete "stomp-and-drag" approach--and then later using inflammatory terminology like that in court--when more currently trained officers may know of more effective, lower profile options.

7. INSULTS, YES; SPITTING, NO.

Where exchanges between civilians are concerned, courts generally have ruled that when 1 person is right up in the face of another, close enough so that fighting could occur, and that person speaks directly to the other in an insulting, threatening, provoking manner, such speech can be considered "fighting words" and can be cause for arrest. [For an explanation of "fighting words", see Newsline No. 68.]

However, law enforcement officers, unlike ordinary citizens, are generally expected because of their professional training to restrain themselves in the face of insulting language. So if you're policing a demonstration and 1 of the protesters gives you obscene gestures and nasty talk, you're expected to have a thicker skin and not punch him in the mouth.

Spitting's a different matter. A protester even preparing to spit is committing assault and can be arrested. In 1 instance, a handcuffed subject was being walked to a police vehicle when he made a gurgling sound as if getting ready to spit. An officer immediately delivered when he later called "a straight-arm stun technique designed to redirect the head," injuring the subject but preventing officers from being spit on. A federal Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit against the officer, reasoning that no police officer should be left defenseless against someone preparing to spit on him and that objectively reasonable force to prevent the spitting does not violate any legal standard imposed by the constitution.

8. One of your highest liability risks--a very, very high risk--is FALSE IMPRISONMENT or FALSE ARREST, stemming from an arrest made without probable cause. This can happen easily in a confusing demonstration situation, where you have many people engaged in various types of behavior and quite likely struggling with you. Adequately documenting who in the crowd actually did what and that you had a specific reason for everyone you took in becomes difficult, especially in mass-arrest situations.

EXCESSIVE FORCE also remains a concern. While courts are becoming more and more cognizant of law enforcement realities, they still hold officers to a fairly high standard. If you're accused of excessive force, you will need to be able to articulate why you felt the level of force you used was required.

There may also be claims that you deprived would-be demonstrators of their CIVIL RIGHTS by imposing unreasonable limitations that made the protest ineffective. Your actions will then be tested against the criteria of objectivity itemized in #2. Courts will give great latitude for your regulation of free speech in public places but they do not look favorably on totally eliminating it just because it is inconvenient, unpopular or expensive, all of which it often is. If you effectively eliminate a person's chance for public expression, you need a very strong reason for doing so.

In some state courts, the accusation of FAILURE TO PROTECT is beginning to be raised. Here the court will look for evidence of a "special relationship" between you and the protesters that gives you an exceptional need to protect. Be careful not to make promises, such as: "Yes, you can demonstrate safely because we'll certainly have enough police officers there" or "We'll be fully equipped and fully prepared to protect you, you don't have to worry about a thing."

Another liability area for administrators that has started to emerge in some states is FAILURE TO PROTECT YOUR EMPLOYEE. An officer who gets injured wants to collect beyond workmen's compensation and argues, "You [the administrator] knew perfectly well you were expecting 2,000 Klansmen and you put me out there with 3 other officers and said, 'Here, guys, hold the line'--without adequate training, proper support, proper communications or proper equipment to handle the job, knowing full well that there was potential for harm to me."

9. Videotape can help you prepare tactically for managing a protest and help you defend yourself afterwards against charges of excessive force.

If you know a particular group is coming to town, contact other jurisdictions where these protesters have been previously and ask to borrow videotapes of their demonstration. Some groups try deliberately to provoke inappropriate responses from officers so they can sue or at least so they can get more publicity for their cause. Seeing some of their tactics ahead of time can help you plan your actions better. You may also be able to go on the Internet and find out what other agencies have learned when dealing with the group you're facing.

It's a good idea, incidentally, to practice and videotape crowd control tactics in role-playing exercises, just as you practice DT moves. Make and critique your mistakes with each other so you don't make them in public. Field-test your equipment beforehand, too.

If you use pain compliance or leverage techniques (like some we demonstrate in the Calibre Press Street Survival Seminar) to move people who are blocking an area, you are likely to get allegations of improper force afterwards. If the event has been taped, you can show in court that you used only an amount of force reasonably necessary to get the job done.

Departments and officers win almost all these force cases, unless the force used was clearly outrageous. More and more judges recognize that the way to evaluate an officer's use of force is to put themselves in that officer's shoes. They recognize the officer is in a tense, rapidly evolving, often dangerous situation and that he has to make split-second decisions. Even the Supreme Court has said that not every push or shove that an officer engages in that turns out to be unnecessary violates the law. There has to be room for understanding the dynamics of force confrontations...and videotape can help make the circumstances clearer.

Videotapes you make can be used for future training, too.

10. Generally, NO. Privately owned shopping malls are not considered to be public forum areas (like streets, sidewalks and public parks are) for purposes of 1st Amendment activity. People may have the right to protest outside the mall on public property, but you can keep demonstrators out of privately owned parking areas and the mall interior completely, if owners of the mall don't want people protesting there.

The same can be true regarding private universities. If it's private property it's not public-forum property. Even public buildings, like schools and police stations, are not normally open for demonstrations.

In July, 1997, a MN judge ruled that demonstrations must be permitted inside the Mall of America, the nation's largest, near Minneapolis. But that was because government funds were used in its construction. However, the judge said that the mall has the right to determine the time, place and manner of demonstrations and ruled that some animal-rights protesters must face trespassing charges because they failed to get permission from the mall before demonstrating inside last spring.

11. NO. From a legal standpoint, the media does not have any right of access to any area of public property or to your briefings or planning sessions that the public in general doesn't have. If you set up a no-person zone, with access barred by a police line, for example, the media has no legal right to say, "We're the media, we can come in there." You may decide to let them in, to give them extra access, but that's absolutely your choice.

Sometimes to cover big events, news helicopters will fly over areas where police don't want them for safety reasons. In LA this has been dealt with on occasion by a call to the FAA. The FAA, in turn, has declared the area in question a restricted zone, and news pilots who don't get out of there are subject to losing their licenses.

12. Not really. You can charge the group, but only for the cost their activities directly create. Say you have 50 Klanspeople who want to march down the middle of Main St., crossing 4 intersections. You can charge the Klan for traffic control officers at each intersection (including extra help you bring in from other jurisdictions), provided that you likewise charge other groups comparably for the same service. You can charge the cost of clean-up, but only for the clean-up activities you can actually tie to the activities of the protesting group, not those required because 2,000 onlookers trashed the area. That all has to be absorbed by your community as a cost of doing business in a democracy.

Likewise, you cannot charge protesters for the possible reaction of those observing their protest. In the case of 50 Klanspeople and 2,000 onlookers, if most of your extra resources are to keep the onlookers from bashing in the heads of the marchers, you can't charge for that protection.

Of course you can charge an administrative processing fee for a parade permit before a march-type demonstration is held, provided the fee is set and administered in a non-discriminatory, content-neutral manner. In other words, you must charge the Girl Scouts who want to stage a parade across town the same permit fee as you do the KKK. You don't favor 1 group over another because you like 1 group and don't like the other.

You can have a provision for indigent groups if you wish, but they must meet an objective test for indigence before the fee can be waived.
10049  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism: on: August 15, 2010, 01:00:47 AM
I'm guessing this "John Bush" had no student status on the campus and had been asked to leave, refused to do so and was then arrested as a result. A press pass is not some sort of "get out of jail free" card.
10050  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 13, 2010, 05:44:15 PM
This assumes he didn't convert to the religion of pieces.

Not the only scenario. He could be a piquerist. This would be a very interesting case to work.
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