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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Over-funded, out-of-control, running amok

Citizen control of government: "A quaint anachronism"

It's not just here in Portland, in the state's capital city of Salem, and in the nation's captial, Washington, D.C. It's become a nationwide epidemic. With federal, state and local coffers flush due to rising tax payments - and elected officials insulated from public critique by incumbency protections - local police around the nation have become alarmingly unruly.

It goes like this. Police use heavy-handed brutality against a citizen committing a minor violation. (Meanwhile, more serious personal and property crime goes unchecked.) A Good Samaritan with a cell-phone camera records the brutality and posts an internet video.

Arkansas police in skateboarder crackdown

Locals mount a protest against their rogue peace-keepers but the public lacks the legal authority to provide effective discipline. The officer is placed on leave with full pay and the new Chief of Police says, "You'd better get used to it." Regarding the officer's misconduct, he jokes, "Tell it to the union."

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