Kevin Lacey, if you can look at the photos of the bleeding lacerations of Adrian Peterson's son and not see how his "switching" crossed the line from judicious discipline to violent physical abuse, then guess what? You did not "turn out" okay. You are one sick puppy.
To be more precise, police departments aren't so much "profiting" from keeping marijuana illegal as they are getting a huge portion of their funding from it. It has become legal and commonplace for police departments to keep money and other assets seized in drug busts as a way of supplementing their funding. It is a vile practice which serves as an incentive for law enforcement agencies and even the federal government to keep marijuana illegal because to legalize it would take away a large portion of their funding.
If there is one facet of life in our time that speaks against carrying guns with us, either on our person or even in our cars, it is road rage. It is known to turn even the most docile and well adjusted of personalities into raging monsters. Add a gun to the mix and there is almost always going to be a deadly outcome. The case of Mr. Gallman being shot and killed is not an isolated incident. Scenarios just like that take place all too often and with just as deadly results: an innocent life taken, and the life of the gunman, rendered momentarily senseless with rage, ruined.
The prohibition against alcohol in the U.S. lasted 13 years and, compared to our prohibition of marijuana and other drugs, that is a relatively short period of time. Our legislators saw what a mistake it was and changed course. Not only was it not working; it was creating a huge black market that was enriching the criminal element and enabling them to flourish. Our "war on drugs" (Prohibition on steroids) has lasted over 50 years with no signs of letting up. You'd think that we would learn from our past mistakes and lift the senseless ban, at least on marijuana, which has been proven to be not only less addictive and destructive than alcohol but to be a palliative and curative for many illnesses and ailments.
But the difference today is the fact that too many big businesses and institutions, not the least of which are our police departments and private prisons, are making huge profits by keeping it illegal. "Profits over common sense" has become the motto of 21st century America. Actually, "Profits over EVERYTHING ELSE" would be a more accurate motto.
I acknowledge that being a cop is a very difficult and dangerous job and that they have to be prepared to fight well-armed criminals any way they can. But America is becoming, more and more every day, a war zone, and our basic freedoms that we used to take for granted are being stripped away from us, one by one. We are slipping into an Orwellian nightmare. "1984" is coming. It's just taking a little longer to get here than Orwell predicted.
I know that there are still many good cops who are trying to do the right thing, but the good cops can't just sit back and keep making excuses for the increasing number of renegade, thuggish cops who are no better than the criminals, and sometimes even worse. It seems that they almost always just get a slap on the wrist and then they end up back on the force. I would think that if the good cops really cared about protecting their reputations they would be as adamant as anyone about weeding out the bad-asses from their ranks.
Another thing that has corrupted our police departments is the allowing of drug seizures and criminal and civil asset forfeiture to pad their budgets. Both federal and state laws, in general, say that a law enforcement agency that seizes assets may not "supplant" its own budget with confiscated funds, nor should "the prospect of receiving forfeited funds ... influence relative priorities of law enforcement agencies." But police depts. all cross the land are using drug seizures and asset forfeitures to finance increasingly larger portions of their budget, and neither the Feds nor the state authorities are doing anything to deter them from doing it. In fact, they are tacitly encouraging the police departments to do so.
"Police aren't using this military grade equipment to serve 'n protect citizens as much as they are using it against citizens who pose no threat." - Ki
Exactly. I don't see how anyone can see the militarization of the police as a good thing. They wouldn't need this bigger and badder firepower in the first place if we had not been so stupid as to allow military-style weapons to circulate freely on the open market. But then, apparently we must coddle those who interpret the second amendment to mean that our founding fathers intended for us to have the right to own machine guns, grenade launchers, and other weapons of mass destruction, either for our sporting pleasure or for forming a “well regulated militia" (which, by the way, we already have!). Of course, they could not, even in the farthest reaches of their imagination, conceive of such weapons at a time when single-shot muskets were the only firearm known to humankind, but that is neither here nor there as far the gun crazies are concerned.
And how often do we see SWAT teams showing up with a small army of robo-cops, decked out in full military gear and wielding their assault rifles as they apprehend a drug dealer or user (oftentimes involving nothing more than marijuana)? Drug busts seem to comprise the vast majority of their raids, and usually when the suspects are at home with kids and other innocent people around.
Then, it has become customary for the cops to show up at even the most peaceful of protests decked out in full military gear, with their very presence and demeanor bringing out the worst in people.
The only way that anyone can see the militarization of our cops as a good thing is if you don't have the good sense to see, like Ki said, that “police aren't using this military grade equipment to serve 'n protect citizens as much as they are using it against citizens who pose no threat."
Thank you, Sandy Harris, for yet another inspiring letter from the Bible thumping community, reminding us that the only thing really wrong with America is that we need to get right with God and get back to that ol' time religion.
As for how Chattanooga can do its part, might I suggest a weeklong festival of penance and Godly celebration? We could have tent revivals all along Broad and Market Streets from the riverfront to King Blvd. And we could have music stages set up all around (kind of like a God-centered Riverbend) with gospel quartets and Christian rock bands belting out their love songs to Jesus and God. And then we could have areas designated for self-flagellation. And let's not forget one of the most important things - public hangings and burnings, on the hour, every hour, of abortionists, gays, sodomites, socialists, and atheists, to really show God how sincere we are about cleaning up this great Christian city of ours and eradicating the heathen filth.
Surely, if other cities across the land joined in, God would once again look favorably upon this nation, smite our enemies, and we could all live happily ever after, knowing that he's got the whole world in his hands - except for those he's smiting, of course. Hallee-loo-ya and praise Jeezus!
The only thing that makes for a ho-hum column is when the writer is more worried about offending someone than by stating the truth as he/she sees it. It's always obvious when a writer is trying to make nice and not ruffle anyone's feathers. He only comes across as a wimpy fence straddler. The divide between right and left, theist and non-theist, is so vast today, with people so passionately attached to their opinions and beliefs, that somebody somewhere is always going to find something rude in what we say or how we say it.
Oops. I meant to say, at the beginning of my second paragraph above, "...about making the NFL a kinder, gentler league and football a kinder, gentler sport." My bad. But by the look of things this article is not attracting anyone's interest, at least not enough to respond to it, so I don't know why I'm even bothering to correct myself! Mr. Cook has raised some valid points and this topic is certainly timely and relevant. It seems that unless he writes about gays, guns, or God nobody is interested enough to enter the discussion.