Tuesday, July 09, 2013

GOP immigration plan devised by Communist Party

The U.S. Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration-reform plan, as well as a strikingly similar plan now being backed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and a bi-partisan House “Gang,” both offer the “roadmap to citizenship” originally conceived and carefully developed by members of the Communist Party USA working within the Democratic Party and the radical left activist network. It is no surprise that their only real purpose is to use amnestied illegals to build a “permanent progressive majority.”

That is the inescapable conclusion readers will draw after reading the forthcoming book by acclaimed researcher and blogger Trevor Loudon, titled “TheEnemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress.” Although not yet published, Loudon agreed to allow WND readers to preview one chapter, titled “LatinoImmigrants: Tools to Ensure a ‘Governing Coalition’ for the Left.”

In the book, Loudon exhaustively documents the Left’s longtime agenda regarding illegal aliens and how its activists have gone about implementing it. He provides irrefutable proof that the entire immigration-reform movement was the brainchild of American communists and that their goal has long been to establish unchallengeable political supremacy.

According to Loudon, the Communist Party USA has influenced U.S. policy toward illegals since at least the 1960s. He traces the history, showing how communists and communist-founded organizations slowly built the movement from the ground up. While other groups certainly joined the effort, the communists were always at the center.

For example, he tells the story of CPUSA member Bert Corona, the “Communist Father of the ‘Immigrants Rights’ movement.” In 1964, Corona, Cesar Chavez and future Democratic Socialists of America member Dolores Huerta forced Congress to end the guest worker “Bracero” program. Later, Corona sought ways to address “problems confronting Mexicans in the United States who had no visas or citizenship documents” – in other words, illegal aliens – including “how to defend persons detained by immigration authorities and how to help immigrants acquire disability and unemployment insurance and welfare.”

Along the way, Corona founded and/or led numerous organizations, such as the Mexican American Political Association, or MAPA, Centro de Action Social Autonoma, or CASA, and La Hermandad Mexicana Nacional (the National Mexican Brotherhood), all influential in the “immigrant rights” movement. The Communist Party still has strong influence in MAPA, which acts as a king-maker for Democratic Party candidates in the Los Angeles area.

Antonio Villaraigosa, former Los Angeles mayor and 2012 chairman of the Democratic National Convention, got his start with CASA. He was also a former member of the Communist Venceremos Brigades and worked with the Brigades in Cuba. As mayor of Los Angeles, he was “the most pro-illegal immigrant mayor the city has ever seen.”

Lorenzo Torrez, a long-time organizer of the Arizona Communist Party, paved the way for Communist-backed Congressmen Ed Pastor and Raul Grijalva to win congressional seats in Arizona. He organized opposition to Southwestern states attempting to prevent illegal immigration and also helped change voting patterns across the entire region.

Loudon’s book identifies many influential communist and socialist politicians holding positions of influence in Congress and state and local governing bodies. For example, Rep. Judy Chu,D.-Calif., writes Loudon, has “a thirty-year history with the now defunct pro-China Communist Workers Party (CWP) and its surviving networks.” Chu is an advocate for “progressive” immigration reform and was a co-sponsor of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill introduced by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) in 2010. In 2012, Chu served as co-chair of President Obama’s reelection campaign.

For his part, Gutierrez is a former member of theMarxist-Leninist Puerto Rican Socialist Party, and chairs the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Longtime amnesty activists Gutierrez and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), both members of the CongressionalProgressive Caucus, are working with House Republicans on this latest amnesty effort.

As for the Communists, today’s Communist Party USA cites the current amnesty effort as its top legislative priority. Its official position is virtually indistinguishable from that of the Democratic Party…


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Copperhead Movie a Unique Take on the Civil War

Wednesday, June 25, 2013 – Orthodox mythology of the Civil War holds that the Northern states rallied in unity behind the messianic President Lincoln on a noble mission to liberate the slaves and preserve the Union. Its terrible cost in American lives – unmatched by any other conflict before or since – is taken as a measure of that nobility, and anyone who challenges that view can only be an idiot, or worse, a closet racist. The truth, as usual, is a little more complicated. 

Copperhead, a movie set to open this coming Friday, June 28, grapples with one of these complicated truths: Northern opposition to the war. This is a truly unique Civil War movie. There are no battle scenes; no exploration of different campaigns and the military logic that informed them. Rather, this movie explores the politically uncomfortable realities – the divergence of interests and opinions, of rhetoric versus reality, and the social upheavals – that accompany major conflict. It may not change your view on the Civil War, but certainly challenges orthodox thinking, and deepens our understanding of an aspect that is rarely mentioned.

Copperheads were the derogatory name given by Republicans to “Peace Democrats,” a wing of the Democratic Party that opposed the Civil War. While Republicans were referring to the poisonous snake of that name, Copperheads responded by defiantly wearing lady liberty lapel buttons cut from copperhead pennies. They wielded a fair amount of influence, especially in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, but their protest was felt throughout the North. Most Copperheads believed the war was unconstitutional and destructive, and that Lincoln was abusing his power. Some low-income laborers, for example in the coal fields of Pennsylvania, also saw liberation of the slaves as a threat to their jobs. Prominent leaders included Ohio Representative Clement Vallandigham.

The Copperheads’ polar opposites were the “Radical Republicans,” represented by such figures as Ohio Senator Benjamin Wade, Horace Greeley, Frederick Douglass, Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens, who believed that Lincoln was not working hard or fast enough to emancipate the slaves. Their sentiments at the time were perhaps best captured by General Order Number 38, written by Union General Ambrose Burnside, making it illegal to criticize the war effort. The Order was used as pretext to arrest Clement Vallandigham for treason. Embarrassed by this excess, Lincoln commuted the sentence, but banished Vallandigham to the Confederacy.

The movie centers on two upstate New York families and the town’s reactions to their unyielding positions as the war’s effects hit home. The Copperheads are represented by patriarch Abner Beech (Billy Campbell), his wife M’rye (Genevieve Steele) son, Jeff (Casey Brown), and the orphan they have taken in, Jimmy (Josh Cruddash). The Beech’s run a dairy farm.

The Radical Republicans are represented by the family of Jee Hagadorn (Angus Macfayden of Braveheart fame), his daughter Esther (Lucy Boynton), and son Ni (Augustus Prew). Jee runs a saw mill and manufactures wooden barrels. Avery, an elderly Republican who attempts to keep peace among the various town factions, is played ably by Peter Fonda. One criticism of the film is that it is slow in developing the characters, thus it takes a while to figure out how each one fits into the story.

The period covered in the film, 1862, saw Democrat Horatio Seymour elected governor of New York State, along with a number of other Democrats. A Democrat was elected governor of New Jersey and Copperheads also won majorities in the Illinois and Indiana legislatures that year. Abner Beech provokes the town following the election by holding a celebratory bonfire, which the town’s Republicans see as an open act of defiance.

The antagonists opposing sentiments are well captured when Abner comments aloud to his family on a local newspaper story following the election: “Benjamin Wade, a Republican of Ohio, says anyone who quotes the Constitution in the current crisis is a traitor. A traitor! Can you imagine? But listen how a Democrat paper in Ohio gave it right back to him: ‘Such an abolitionist should be hung until the flesh rots off his bones and the winds of Heaven whistle Yankee Doodle through his loathsome skeleton.’”

Echoing Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Jeff Beech becomes enamored of Esther Hagadorn. Esther only courts him, however, after he agrees to use his middle name, “Tom.” She finds “Jeff” unacceptable, because it reminds her of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, even though he explains that he was named after Thomas Jefferson. He agrees anyway and becomes “Tom” to her family and his friends. Abner’s response to the influence Esther and her father is having on his son’s political views is classic Dad: “The way to a woman’s heart, boy, ain’t by rejecting one’s own kin and parroting the asinine opinions of her father.” Nonetheless, Jeff defies his father, joins the Union Army and goes off to war.

Jee Hagadorn, meanwhile, seeks to dissuade Esther from her interest in Tom with a torrid quote from Mark: “Brother will betray brother unto death, and the father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death…” He adds “I am a blind pilgrim on this earth, but even I can see when a boy sparks a girl.” To which Esther responds “Dear father, sparks don’t always lead to a fire.” He then flatly states, “If you marry him, well, he will kill me.”

Jee Hagadorn’s son, Ni – short for “Benaiah” one of David’s Old Testament generals – tolerates his father’s rigid dogmatism with sarcasm and defiance. Ni relates to Jimmy how every day his father lambasts him for not living up to his name. “I should’ve named you Pete, or Steve, or William Henry!” Jee wails. “I get this every day,” Ni tells Jimmy, but adds, “I said ‘Now listen here, patriarchs in glass houses mustn’t heave stones. You’re named after Jehoaddan, that’s in the Bible. He made a covenant with God. I ain’t never seen you make no covenant. All you do is make barrels.’” Jimmy asks “What did he say?” Ni smiles, “I left before he could say anything.”

The movie’s plot thickens as news of town casualties come back from the front, and the Radical Republicans, led by Jee Hagadorn, become increasingly hostile to Beech and the other Copperheads. Beech finds almost no buyers for his dairy products, and is scorned by the local preacher at the Sunday service. It is easy to imagine such drama playing out in a small town, where residents interact on a daily basis. I won’t spoil the dramatic ending for you.

The film has an unmistakable air of authenticity. It was shot entirely on location at Nova Scotia’s King’s Landing, a “living museum” reconstructed to mimic a 19th century North American town. The book on which the film was based, Copperheads, was written in 1893 by Harold Frederic, an author who lived through the period in question. His novel therefore captured the mannerisms and speech of the day.

Copperhead was directed by Ron Maxwell, who also directed two other well-known Civil War classics, Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. The screenplay was written by Bill Kaufman, a novelist whose contrarian political leanings appear well-fitted for this contrarian plot. Kauffman has been described as a pacifist, an anarchist, an anti-war conservative, even paleoconservative; he is most decidedly anti-war and this is a prevailing theme in Copperhead.

This is perhaps best captured in an exchange between Jimmy and Abner. Jimmy asks, “Mr. Jefferson wrote that all men are created equal. Those slaves are men, aren’t they?”

Abner responds, “They are, they surely are. But their cure is worse than the disease. War ain’t a cure for this. Slavery ain’t right… but killing people, destroying whole cities and towns and turning the government in Washington into God’s almighty army isn’t right either. Why make things worse… only make for a lot of dead boys.”

One is tempted to draw a comparison between Copperheadism and the anti-war sentiments of sixties radicals. The Copperheads were boisterous activists and a few did have sympathies for the Southern cause. However similarities cease there. Copperheads really were opposed to the war, both because they saw the death and destruction as unnecessary, and because they believed it to be unconstitutional. Most also remained loyal to the Union.

Leftist leaders of the anti-war movement, on the other hand, aren’t really anti-war, but anti-US. This is best exemplified by Obama’s friend Bill Ayers, who wrote in his manifesto Prairie Fire, “We are communist women and men… Our intention is to disrupt the empire, to incapacitate it, to put pressure on the cracks, to make it hard to carry out its bloody functioning against the people of the world, to join the world struggle, to attack from the inside... Without mass struggle there can be no revolution. Without armed struggle there can be no victory.” Peace Democrats, for sure.

Conservatives will appreciate the other major theme of the movie, the U.S. Constitution. Many Copperheads firmly believed the war was unconstitutional and that Lincoln was abusing his power. What is left completely out of the movie, however, is the fact that some were also racist, and opposed the war on that basis. So while one can appreciate their devotion to the Constitution, and enjoy the movie because of it, their image remains tarnished by that reality.

Kauffman deliberately remained faithful to the book’s rich dialog. As Maxwell explained, “That line where an ear of burnt corn is described as ‘tougher than Pharaoh’s heart’ is so good you’d be crazy to cut it. The book was filled with them, illuminating a time and a place and a mind-set that’s been positively informed by the memorizing of scripture.”

This loyalty to the day’s dialog is refreshing in its honesty and wholesomeness. There is only one curse word to be found, and that uttered by the town bad boy, from which such might be expected – but even that seems out of place. I kept contrasting this in my mind with the idiotic Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters, which I had to sit through recently. The film pretended to be set in some fantasy medieval period, but was so rife with “F” and “S” bombs you couldn’t even enjoy the sophomoric humor, much less believe the setting. As Hollywood would doubtless be surprised to learn, Copperheads is enriched by both its authenticity and the absence of such base gimmicks. This historical honesty also evidences the nation’s then devout Christianity, another welcome departure from typical Hollywood fare.

As Paul Buhle & Dave Wagner write in a Swan’s Commentary review: “This is a movie with a script that is for a change equal to the complicated politics of the dangerous moment it explores, when the outcome of the Civil War was far from certain.”

This is a movie well worth seeing; both for its accurate depiction of the times, its rich narrative, and the unique, rarely discussed subject matter, which was in fact a major component of the days’ controversies. It is also completely family friendly – a rarity in Hollywood these days.

Here is a theater listing.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Police Militarization, Abuses of Power, and the Road to Impeachment

These are trying times. Never in the history of this country have we been so weakened and polarized by what many view as deliberate government policy. Now anti-gunners in the U.S. Congress, the Obama administration, and legislatures across the country are seeking to exploit the Newtown tragedy to promote their “gun control” agenda that envisions federal, universal background checks on gun purchases, and that could lead to gun registration and confiscation.

At the same time, the increasing militarization of law enforcement, most visibly demonstrated by the growing use of massive, SWAT-type raids on businesses and individuals, sometimes with federal involvement or authorization, is heightening concerns that this country is moving toward a police state.

Mountain Pure SWAT Raid: The Movie

Mountain Pure Water, LLC is headquartered on Interstate 30 just outside the town of Little Rock, Arkansas. The company manufactures and distributes beverage containers, spring water, fruit drinks, and teas. In January 2012, about 50 federal agents, led by Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Special Agent Cynthia Roberts and IRS Special Agent Bobbi Spradlin, swooped in, guns drawn. Without explanation they shut down plant operations, herded employees into the cafeteria, and confined them to the room for hours. They could not so much as use the bathroom without police escort. Cell phones were confiscated and all Internet and company phones were disabled.

Plant Manager Court Stacks was at his desk when police burst through his office door, guns drawn and pointed at him—a thoroughly unprofessional violation of basic firearms discipline in this circumstance, and the cause of numerous accidental SWAT killings.

According to Mountain Pure CEO John Stacks, the search warrant was related to questions about an SBA loan he secured through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to recover tornado losses to his home, warehouse, and associated equipment. Mr. Stacks says the SBA apparently doesn’t believe that assets listed as damaged in the storm were actually damaged.

The search warrant was extremely vague and some agents’ actions may have been illegal, according to company attorney, Timothy Dudley. Comptroller Jerry Miller was taken to a private room and interrogated for over three hours by SBA Special Agent Cynthia Roberts, the raid leader. He requested an attorney and was told “That ain’t gonna happen.” According to Miller, the SBA unilaterally changed the terms of Stacks’ loan. He says he asked Roberts what gave the SBA authority to do that, and she responded, “We’re the federal government, we can do what we want, when we want, and there is nothing you can do about it.” Miller said during the raid Roberts “strutted around the place like she was Napoleon.”

Stacks said the company has had three IRS audits in the past three years, including one following the raid, with no problems. The SBA has still not filed any charges, continues to stonewall about the raid’s purpose, and refuses to release most of the property seized during the raid.

Quality Assurance Director Katy Depriest, who doubles as the company crisis manager, described agents’ “Gestapo tactics.” She added that they confiscated CDs of college course work and educational materials for a class she had been taking that resulted in her flunking the course. Those materials have not yet been returned.
Attempts were made to contact Ms. Roberts for this article, but she is no longer employed by the SBA. Questions were directed to the Little Rock, Arkansas U.S. Attorney’s office. The USA’s public affairs officer had no comment; however they have convened a grand jury to evaluate the case.

Because law enforcement refused repeated requests to respond for this article, we have only Mountain Pure’s side of the story, but they make a compelling case:
  • Many company employees were willing to discuss this raid on the record.
  • Mountain Pure and several employees have sued Special Agents Roberts and Spradlin.
  • Mr. Stacks commissioned a video about the raid, reproduced below.

The video includes testimony from Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of famed Gibson Guitar Corp., which suffered two such raids, and another raid target, Duncan Outdoors Inc. The video does not attempt to establish anyone’s guilt or innocence, but rather highlights law enforcement’s heavy-handed tactics in executing SWAT-style search warrants against legitimate businesses. Gibson has settled with the Justice Department in a case fraught with legal ambiguities, while Duncan has been indicted for violations of currency transaction reporting requirements.

Mr. Stacks claims he has gotten calls from many companies that have suffered similar raids, but they are afraid to speak out. Here are a few examples that have made national news:
  • FDA officials, U.S. Marshals, and the Pennsylvania State Police raided an Amish farm in 2011 for selling raw milk.
  •  A Department of Education SWAT team raided a man’s home, “dragged him out in his boxer shorts, threw him to the ground and handcuffed him” in front of his three young children. They were looking for evidence of his estranged wife’s financial aid fraud.
  • 66 year-old George Norris spent two years in jail following a USFWS raid that nailed him for filing incorrect forms on imported orchids.
  • A Fairfax, Virginia optometrist being served a warrant for illegal gambling was killed by a SWAT team member whose firearm accidentally discharged. He answered the door in his bathrobe, unarmed and unaware that he was even under investigation.
War on Small Business?

In 2006, the IRS announced it would shift its focus to audit more small businesses. IRS data on tax audits seems to bear this out. Between the first and second half of the last decade, the audit coverage rate on businesses with assets between $10 and $50 million increased by 42 percent. Between 2001 and 2005 an annual average of 13,549 returns were audited for businesses with assets less than $10 million. Between 2006 and 2011, the average was 19,289, an increase of over 42 percent (pdf).

This has paid off in increased enforcement revenues, but are massive SWAT raids an essential part of this new strategy? In addition to the potential dangers and the outrage of having company employees treated like drug dealers or terrorists, the cost of these raids is staggering. Agents told Mountain Pure employees they had flown in from all over the country.

The Sharpsburg Raid

Sharpsburg, Maryland, population 706, is a quiet little town bordering the Antietam National Battlefield in rural Washington County. On Thursday, November 29, 2012 at about 12:30 pm, the quiet was shattered by an invasion of over 150 Maryland State Police (MSP), FBI, State Fire Marshal’s bomb squad, and County SWAT teams, complete with two police helicopters, two Bearcat “special response” vehicles, mobile command posts, snipers, police dogs, bomb disposal truck, bomb sniffing robots, and a huge excavator. They even brought in food trucks.

A heavily armed MSP Special Tactical Assault Team Element (STATE) executed a no-knock search warrant, smashing through the reportedly unlocked door with a battering ram. They worked until after 7:30 p.m., ransacking a modest, 20 ft. by 60 ft. single-family home for weapons, and searching for its owner, one Terry Porter. For hours, neighbors were left worrying and wondering, while countless police blanketed the area.

Local resident Tim Franquist described the scene:
The event, or siege as we are calling it, involved convoys of police speeding to the area, two helicopters, armored vehicles, command centers, countless police cruisers and officers. They blocked off the roads and commandeered a campground as their staging area.

Terry Porter is married with three children, has lived in the town all of his life, and owns a modest welding business. He is also a prepper. His preparations include an underground bunker, buried food supplies, and surveillance cameras. Porter really doesn’t like Obama, and tells anyone who will listen.

Unfortunately, one listener was an undercover officer for the MSP. The police had become interested in Porter through an anonymous caller who claimed that Porter “had been getting crazier and crazier…” and that he had “10 to 15 machine gun-style weapons, six handguns and up to 10,000 rounds of ammunition…” The MSP performed a background check and discovered Porter had a 20-year-old charge for aiding marijuana distribution, a disqualification for firearms ownership.

MSP detailed an officer to visit Porter’s shop on November 16th posing as a customer. The officer said Porter “openly admitted to being a prepper.” Not a crime. Porter also allegedly claimed to have a Saiga shotgun, and was willing to use it “when people show up unannounced.” Based on the Russian AK-47 design, some Saiga variants are fully automatic. On November 27th MSP obtained a search warrant.

Two days later they appeared at Porter’s door but could not find him. Porter later disclosed he “left out the back door.” Where he went has not been disclosed. However, local blogger Ann Corcoran, who lives nearby and followed the issue closely, claims he hid out in fear for his life. Given highly publicized, accidental shootings involving SWAT teams and the overwhelming force present, that’s a reasonable assumption.

The following day Porter turned himself in and took the police through his property. The raid produced a total of four shotguns, a 30-30-caliber hunting rifle and two .22-caliber rifles. He was charged with firearms possession violations and released on a $75,000 bond.

The raid was one of the largest in recent U.S. history, twice the size of the 1993 Branch Davidian raid in Waco, Texas, which initially involved 76 ATF agents. It almost rivaled the recent 200-strong statewide manhunt for California cop-killing cop, Christopher Dorner. Yet only a few local stories emerged and those presented a hysterical portrait of Porter while largely underreporting the police presence.

Why the Raid?

The MSP did not notify town officials or Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore, who learned of the raid after it began, when they requested the use of his SWAT Team and Bearcat. The MSP also set up a command center at a campground within the national park without notifying the Park Police. Bills have since been introduced in the Maryland legislature by Washington County Delegate Neil Parrott (HB 0219) and State Senator Chris Shank (SB 0259) to require notification of local law enforcement before any outside agency serves a warrant.

A meeting following the raid attracted 60 concerned Sharpsburg citizens and leaders. Sharpsburg Vice Mayor Bryan Gabriel characterized the raid as “overwhelming,” and said it “could have put a lot of people at risk.” Erin Moshier, a citizen who attended the meeting added, “We all felt there was excessive force involved, and we felt that a member of our community was victimized and we wanted to get to the bottom of it and get some answers.” Both Gabriel and Sheriff Mullendore have issued statements of support for Porter, who they know personally. Citizens created a Friends for Terry” website to help with his legal costs.

When asked why the police did not simply detain Porter in town or at a traffic stop, MSP Hagerstown Barracks Commander, Lt. Thomas Woodward said the police only had a property search warrant and had no authority to arrest Porter. However police do have authority to “detain the property owner for 24 hours” when executing a search warrant, so Porter could have been intercepted elsewhere, but they chose to execute that authority as part of the raid.

Lt. Woodward said that the state police have a good working relationship with Sheriff Mullendore. If that is the case, why didn’t they consult the sheriff first? If Porter were really that dangerous wouldn’t it be helpful to get more information from a trusted source better acquainted with him? Mullendore said they usually do give notice. Reportedly several state police who personally know Porter reside in Sharpsburg. Why were they not consulted?

Does the MSP detail SWAT automatically for gun search warrants? Some other police forces do. For example, in one fatal Florida SWAT shooting, a 21-man SWAT team was called in merely because the target had a concealed-carry permit. Are SWAT raids to become the order of the day for gun owners?

If Mr. Porter is indeed adjudicated a felon in possession of firearms, then he was in violation of the law. He didn’t help his case by bragging to the undercover officer about his doomsday preparations, especially the Saiga—which turned out to be nonexistent.

There is nothing wrong with being prepared, or even describing the actions you might take in a hypothetical “doomsday” situation, but in fairness to police, with all the lunatics coming out of the woodwork these days, and the heightened atmosphere of mutual distrust between law enforcement and citizens, the MSP might be excused for presuming the worst. But 150 police?

Recent events such as the kidnapping/bunker standoff in Alabama, and cop-killer Dorner, provide apt examples. Police never know what to expect. Still, in this case at least, it seems a little more investigation and consultation with local authorities could have resolved this issue quietly and with much less risk and cost.

Cost of the Operation

Neither the FBI nor the MSP have publicly disclosed how many of their officers were involved in the raid. However, Senator Shank and Delegate Parrott were told in a meeting with top MSP officials that the total, including federal, state, and local police, exceeded 150. From public information requests we know that the Washington County Special Response Team (SRT) sent 17, including four snipers, two medics, and their Bearcat driver. Only two of these actually participated, the driver and a sniper who accompanied him.

The FBI personnel were training nearby and when their assistance was requested, many, if not all, chose to participate. A witness on the scene guessed there were approximately 40 officers at the campground where the FBI staged. If we assume a total of 150, that would leave 93 MSP. The following table, based on police salaries gleaned from public sources provides a rough estimate of the personnel cost for this operation.

The MSP argued that only variable costs—those directly related to the operation—are relevant. By this logic, the operation cost very little, as salaries and other fixed costs are incurred anyway. But the personnel and resources involved would otherwise have been engaged elsewhere: tracking down criminals, enforcing other laws, and assisting in emergencies. There are clearly other, potentially more beneficial activities they could not simultaneously perform. This is called opportunity cost and must be considered.

This raid cost approximately $11,000 per hour, which dramatically illustrates one reason government spending is so wildly out of control. If agency managers considered the true cost of their decisions, they might work harder to prioritize their activities and not waste valuable resources on errands of questionable value.

High visibility events like the Sharpsburg raid present a one-sided picture of police as out-of-control, wasting time on seeming trifles. But their daily efforts, which go largely unreported, paint a much more balanced picture. For example, the MSP Gang Enforcement Unit has aggressively investigated violent street gangs, one of the largest sources of gun violence.

Between 2010 and 2012 alone, the Gang Unit made 621 gang arrests and seized 94 firearms. This does not include their extensive work with multi-agency task forces. Here, they have participated in successful operations against such violent gangs as the Crips & Bloods, Wise Guyz, B-6, the Black Guerrilla Family, Juggalos, the Dead Man Incorporated crime syndicate, and others, and have brought many of these offenders to justice.

Militarization of Police

The SWAT concept was popularized by Los Angeles Police Chief Darryl Gates in the late 1960s in response to large-scale incidents for which the police were ill-prepared. But the use of SWAT teams has since exploded. Massive SWAT raids using military-style equipment are becoming routine methods for executing search warrants. One study estimates 40,000 such raids per year nationwide:

These increasingly frequent raids… are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. 

John W. Whitehead writes in the Huffington Post, that “it appears to have less to do with increases in violent crime and more to do with law enforcement bureaucracy and a police state mentality.”

The ACLU recently announced its intention to investigate the militarization of law enforcement. Ironically, despite the perception of heightened gun violence due to incidents like Newtown, ACLU points out that both crime rates and law enforcement gun deaths have been declining for decades (see chart).

Yet police forces are becoming increasingly militarized due to huge subsidies provided by the federal government:
Through its little-known “1033 program,” the Department of Defense gave away nearly $500 million worth of leftover military gear to law enforcement in fiscal year 2011… The surplus equipment includes grenade launchers, helicopters, military robots, M-16 assault rifles and armored vehicles… Orders in fiscal year 2012 are up 400 percent over the same period in 2011...

Congress created this provision in 1997 for drug and anti-terrorism efforts. It has since provided over 17,000 agencies $2.6 billion worth of equipment at no charge. One local agency now owns an amphibious tank, while another obtained a machine-gun-equipped APC.

Additionally, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants have allowed state and local agencies nationwide to purchase Bearcats. These 16,000 pound vehicles are bulletproof and can be equipped with all kinds of extra features.

Ironically, while SWAT teams probably got their biggest boost initially from conservatives, many fear law enforcement is becoming a tool to enforce leftist ideology. University criminal justice programs turn out graduates indoctrinated in liberal theology, which carries into modern law enforcement bureaucratic culture.

Today this trend is reflected in reports coming out of the Department of Homeland Security, the military, and various law enforcement “fusion” centers, that identify gun-owners, patriots, ex-military, Christians, pro-life activists, and tea party members as “potential domestic terrorists (pdf).”

The perpetrator of last summer’s attempted mass shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters now admits he was prompted by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Watch” list. The radical leftist SPLC is now “consulting” with the FBI and DHS regarding “rightwing hate groups.” The group labeled AIM’s Cliff Kincaid a member of a sinister group of “Patriots” for writing critically of the United Nations, President Obama, and the homosexual lobby, among other things. Ironically, the SPLC “Teaching tolerance” project ran an article praising unrepentant Communist terrorist bomber Bill Ayers as a “civil rights organizer, radical anti-Vietnam War activist, teacher, and author,” with an “editor’s note” going so far as to say that Ayers “has become a highly respected figure in the field of multicultural education.”

Ammo, Military Equipment and Domestic Drone Use

The Internet is abuzz with news that the Department of Homeland Security is purchasing over 1.6 billion rounds of pistol and rifle ammunition, 2,700 Mine Resistant Armored Vehicles (MRAP), and 7,000 fully-automatic “personal defense weapons.” Some of this is worthy of concern, some maybe not so much. Meanwhile, the expanded use of aerial drones within the continental U.S. has created anxiety among the public and political leaders alike.


Reportedly, the order for 1.6 billion rounds of pistol and rifle ammunition would fulfill DHS requirements for the next five years, or 320 million rounds per year. DHS has 55,471 employees authorized to carry firearms, which comes to about 5,800 rounds per year, per employee. For perspective, during the first year of the war on terror, approximately 72 million rounds were expended in Iraq and another 21 million in Afghanistan by an estimated 45,000 combat troops. This amounts to about 2,000 rounds per war fighter.

Yet the requisition may not be unreasonable. The largest order, 750 million rounds, came from DHS’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) for training. FLETC Public Affairs Director Peggy Dixon said that the purchase request was “a ceiling. It does not mean that we will buy, or require, the full amounts of either contract.” Another 650 million rounds are being purchased by Inspections and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to cover the next five years.

Since these are maximum figures, it is difficult to conclusively evaluate the purchase. Some have asserted that the practical effect—if not the deliberate intent—is to dry up the private market for ammunition. Congressmen are now demanding answers from DHS regarding these purchases. But most ammunition shortages are likely due to civilian demands. Obama and the Democrats’ palpable hostility to gun owners has caused ammunition and firearms purchases to skyrocket.
There are 80 million gun owners in the U.S. If each just purchased 100 rounds of ammo—enough for one afternoon at the range—that would equal 8-billion rounds. Many are purchasing significantly more.

MRAPs & Submachine Guns

The original story regarding a purchase of 2,700 MRAPs s was in error. The confusion centers on a 2011 order from the U.S. Marines to retrofit 2,717 of its MRAPs with upgraded chassis.
DHS has been using MRAPs since 2008 and currently has a fleet of 16 received from the Army at no cost. They are used by DHS special response teams in executing “high-risk warrants.”
Similarly, the purchase of 7,000 “Personal Defense Weapons” is not extraordinary for an agency of this size.

Instead of asking why DHS needs 1.6 billion rounds of ammo or 7,000 “Personal Defense Weapons,” the real question should be “why does DHS need 55,000 law enforcement officers?”


DHS’s Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) has been operating Predator drones since 2005, with a current fleet of nine. Some in Congress seek to expand their use. In February of 2012, Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which includes a provision for commercial drone regulations. The FAA projects that up to 30,000 drones could be flying by 2020. A requisition memo describes these requirements for drones operated by CBP against border incursions by frequently armed drug traffickers and coyotes, but concern exists that this use will extend to U.S. citizens inside the border.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) filibustered the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director, in order to obtain answers about lethal drone use against American citizens within the U.S. Holder finally sent Paul a letter, which said:
It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.

Paul said they had been asking Holder for about six weeks. But Holder didn’t answer the question at all. Paul did not specify Americans “engaged in combat on American soil.” He asked about attacks against any Americans on U.S. soil. Holder had said in earlier testimony that the President did have the authority to kill Americans on American soil in certain circumstances.

Given the Obama administration’s contempt for the Constitution and its broad definition of “domestic terrorists” to include pretty much anyone they don’t like, there is cause for genuine concern.

Gun Control

The Sharpsburg raid occurred prior to the Newtown tragedy, but nonetheless reinforced the widespread impression that MSP is an anti-gun organization. Did the MSP decide to make an example of Porter to send a message to Maryland gun owners, or were they genuinely afraid that Porter was about to go postal? That question is unclear, but a Maryland law enforcement source who has attended briefings on the subject said that state police are “gearing up for confiscation.”

In 1989 Patrick O’Carroll of the Centers for Disease Control, stated:
We’re going to systematically build a case that owning firearms causes deaths. We’re doing the most we can do, given the political realities (emphasis added).

The CDC further revealed its strategy in 1994:
We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes. Now it [sic] is dirty, deadly, and banned.” Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Control and Prevention. Washington Post, 1994 (emphasis added).

Do these themes sound familiar? They represent a single component of a vast effort by media, politicians, Hollywood, educational institutions, and professionals to vilify gun ownership. One left-wing organization, Third Way, created a “messaging strategy,” encouraging the term “gun safety” because “gun control has become a loaded term that leads voters to believe that the candidate supports the most restrictive laws.”

Since Newtown, however, the anti-gunners have pretty much dropped any pretense. Here is a small sampling of recent anti-gun lunacy:
  • Florida Democratic state Senator Audrey Gibson has proposed a bill requiring anger management classes for would-be ammo purchasers.
  • Colorado State Senator Evie Hudak told a rape victim testifying against gun control that having a gun was a waste of time as the rapist would have killed her with it.
  • A Democrat activist says we should train rapists not to rape, rather than using guns to stop them.
  • A Baltimore, MD seven-year old was suspended from school for two days for biting a pastry into a shape that looked like a gun.
  • A five-year old was suspended from school and branded a “terrorist threat” for telling a classmate she was going to shoot her with her Princess “bubble gun.”
  • A Philadelphia 5th grader was called “murderer” by classmates and yelled at by her teacher for having a piece of paper cut into a shape that looked vaguely like a pistol.
  • A New Jersey family was visited by police and the Department of Youth and Family Services because of a photo of their 11-year-old son posing with a rifle.

In an unguarded moment recently, U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) revealed the Democratic intentions:

We want everything on the table…This is a moment of opportunity. There’s no question about it…We’re on a roll now, and I think we’ve got to take the—you know, we’re gonna push as hard as we can and as far as we can.


The increased militarization of police forces and the associated use of SWAT teams for routine law enforcement are a dangerous trend. Given Obama’s seeming willingness to abuse the power of his office on so many fronts, it is reasonable to expect more, not less, of the kind of abusive police overreach described in this report, while police forces and capabilities will continue to grow.

Obama’s obvious hostility to gun owners is fueling legitimate fears of gun confiscation, furthering an atmosphere of mutual distrust and paranoia between police and civilians. This raises the specter of armed confrontations should there be attempts to confiscate firearms. As one law enforcement official said at a recent gun hearing, “Good people are going to die trying to take these guns and good people are going to die trying to keep them.”

Ironically, despite its professed commitment to stopping “gun violence,” the Obama Administration authorized gun-running to Mexican drug cartels and Jihadists in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East. Some hearings and investigations have been held into these schemes but there has been little accountability for this “gun violence.”

At an AIM conference before the 2012 presidential election, impeachment proceedings against President Obama were discussed. Citing his experience with the Clinton impeachment, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), then-chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, talked about hearings held by his committee featuring constitutional experts who said “no other administration has ignored laws like this administration…” In regard to impeachment, however, he said that the standard was extremely high, and the process long and involved. He concluded, “I really think the better answer is to turn the attention to the American people and saying, ‘If you feel that strongly about the President, one way to register that discontent is to vote for the other person.’”

In the end, of course, Obama won re-election, and the abuses continue. However, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), has suggested impeachment may be an option if the President continues to govern through unilateral executive orders and attempts to impose his anti-Second Amendment agenda through such measures.