Megan, did you ever consider that using this machine to solve minor street crime is kind of like trying to get the speck of dirt out of your eye with an ice cream scoop? If you intend to actually solve the problem, you wouldn't choose that tool. And if you don't intend to use the tool, then you've not only wasted time and money, but you're really engaging in a sort of coercion through fear, and I think there's a name for that.
What? Megan must be dating a cop or something. I wonder if she would like a police tank to roll through her neighborhood as an occasional demonstration of deadly force? Just what crimes do you think are best counteracted by such a piece of equipment? Are these crimes common in your neighborhood?
Here's why we really have it. A few years ago, after the famous hollywood bank shootout in California, every honest cop asked himself what would happen if they were in such a situation, and every gung-ho cop wished for heavier artillery so they could feel even more powerful. They got some elected people, whose jobs depend on them LOOKING LIKE they're helping, to spend our money on such heavy artillery in the name of protecting our banks at the expense of our neighborhoods. Is this tank going to save a starving child, or reform a poor drug addict? The only problem this machine can solve is the population's insufficient fear of its government.
Did you even read what its used for?!! Knocking down buildings and such while under heavy arms fire. When was the last time you read about a need for any such armed vehicle in the entire history of the state of Pennsylvania? Ever?!!
If you can't appreciate the problems our founding fathers considered so wisely on the principles of liberty, perhaps you should stick to MTV news, and continue your trek toward Nazi-style socialism.
The Nazi's were Germany's Nationalist Socialist party, pushed for a welfare state, and they believed in oppressive force too. When will Americans learn that welfare and warfare go hand in hand? When will we as citizens stand up for our own defense, instead of relying on an oppressive force that doesn't serve the citizens' best interests? When the State empowers us? Have fun waiting for that. No, it will most likely happen once our force either fails the majority of us, or commits an atrocity. But since power always seeks more power, those holding it now will likely never return any to the people who gave it to them.
The real question is, do we need a show of State Power in our cities like they used to hold in Soviet Russia? If it didn't make Russians any better off than we were, how do we expect a police assault tank to help Pittsburgh, today? It seems now we just have to wait for an excuse to use it. And I'm sure that we'll find one, now that we have it in service. I just hope its not my neighborhood it rolls though next.
$250 grand, half paid by the Fed? Its almost as if the federal policy-makers want to help us kill each other. They keep giving us more means for evil than good, more destruction than creation. Imagine the good things that could have been done with a quarter mil. But we spend more and more on instruments of death and destruction. God save us from our sins and voters like Megan.
Don't you think the paycheck-to-paycheck crowd you just spoke of could use a WalMart within walking distance? Especially if there is a Port Authority crisis? So Wal-Mart's getting sued. S*** happens, and we're seeing justice served through the lawsuit right? Aside from that, WalMart helps more poor people through low prices as well as reasonably fair employment practices than are hurt by, um, what else was wrong? Some folks think it hurts small business, but the truth is that it hurts INEFFICIENT business. It raises the bar on the level of service any competing business needs to provide. About the lawsuit, it is statistically likely that in the aggregate, wages for employees who take major leaves (like maternity) are likely to be less than their non-leave-taking counterparts will be, especially as the position becomes harder to staff. And in a free country, shouldn't an employee and employer be free to decide the conditions of their working relationship free from government entanglement?
Speaking of government entanglement, why should it have anything at all to do with the rebuilding of a theater, (or arena or stadium, for that matter) except for making sure the result is within established building safety and fire codes? Why should anyone except the owner of a building be responsible for its finances and operations? If the neighbors of a stadium pay should subsidize its costs on the premise that their neighborhood is improved, perhaps you'd knock on your neighbor's door and ask them to pay for your landscaping or other improvements to your house, since it will 'benefit them' by improving their neighborhood? What if your neighbor came and asked you?
As for renaming sections of town, well, so what? Even if they gave downtown a name, having something to do with its shape maybe, like the Triangle maybe, people would still call it downtown, and still know what you meant if you said it. If it changed so much, it could be old downtown. Whatever. Do you want your property to rise in value? Probably not, if it would take an act of legislation to change your income. For those not yet dependent on socialism, freedom to choose and change is preferable.
Of course I agree police should not point a gun at a child. Unless that child is pointing a gun at people.
The police academy question is racist. Whether one class is all-white or all-black shouldn't matter. The real question should be the quality of the protection we get. That we ALL get. Shouldn't the police in your neighborhood reside in your neighborhood? Would you trust someone else's pit bull to protect your kids?
Government has caused most of the ills that seem to be troubling you, yet you call for more government action when you ask for a state of emergency. If you're truly gifted, maybe you'll try to find some way to improve education outside the schools. Our young minds are not limited by capacity, but by availability. Our public school system is a product of government planning, which worked so well for Pre-WWI Germany and Post-WWII Russia, didn't it? While it was a method for progress in those countries, our free system had surpassed both, as evidenced by our ability to turn our peacetime tools to making wartime products capable of reaching the opposite side of the globe, while these supposedly omnicient government planners could barely feed their populations and point rifles at their neighbors, as well as their own citizens. Sound familiar? So are you really calling for an increase in this socialist endeavor?
Poverty programs are designed to:
1. Make lawmakers look like they care
2. Manage the problem not solve it
3. Keep bureaucrats employed
The free market:
1. Rewards productivity
2. Rewards efficiency
3. Penalizes discrimination
4. Meets demands of the masses every day
5. Works without central planning
In a free market, every dollar is a vote. Without a (poorly implemented) public school system, there would be a market for educational services, and through competition those who met the demand best would be rewarded most. Instead, with the current system every taxpayer is forced to pay for a substandard service. One that today enjoys a defacto monopoly on education.
Another difficult truth is that not every child or teen wants to be a student. Graduating our high schools is certainly not the guarantee of success it used to be. So why should the students who want to learn be subjected to the ones who don't? If you had to pay a fair price to attend a class, chances are you'd want to make sure you got your money's worth. If you got it for free, you might be less inclined to learn, since you could always take it again for free. And if you're forced to go against your will, you might show your distaste for such coercion by disrupting the learning environment for those who seem to like the same system that violated your freedom. Indeed, such a disruptive influence should not only NOT be forced to attend involuntarily, but should find it uneconomical to gain access to disrupt the class.
Someone recently said they learned all they needed to know in Kindergarten. This isn't far off. Once you learn to read, you're ready to consume information. And today the internet freely provides information that was unavailable to kings or dictators half a century ago. If someone has an interest and an internet connection, they can learn something new. Faster and better than the public school system could ever possibly plan to teach them.
I don't mean to bring you down, but to focus you on the sources of the problems you seek to solve. Sorry for the long-windedness, and for just being a poor white guy who thinks we can all be rich if we're each free to pursue happiness, not forced to learn from the same system we'd outperformed a century ago.
The constitution says government is supposed to provide for the common defense, but this is strengthening one set of outsiders (the police) against another set of outsiders (the drug dealers). Don't believe me? Why couldn't they find any 'kingpins', why do they only hope for some evidence? Maybe this is why: Why would a successful crime king or boss live in the same dangerous area they work? The cops don't, but they pretend their real enemy does, and the local citizens pay the price.
Criminalizing things that aren't real crimes (victimless crimes such as drug offenses, drinking underage, selling stock with inside knowledge, or selling sex which is free to give away) still leads to arrests and produce real criminals. Don't believe me? Ask yourself if your son or daughter would be better or worse off after spending every minute for a month, 6 months, or 2 years - with other enemies of the state for partying too hard or just making wise business decisions.
Its easier to condemn someone else's actions, beliefs, culture, neighborhood, than to look for and stick to real solutions. Prohibition didn't work for alcohol, and in fact led to more crime than it was designed to cure. Today's prohibitions are doing the same thing, yet we continue to throw police spending at the problem as if its been working all along, and just needs a little more help.
Where are the legal representatives of these areas? Shouldn't these communities be led and policed by local citizens with local interests? Were the police in the BEAR local community members? If not, how can the community see it as ANYTHING BUT an outsider?!! If legislators are too cowardly to legalize the things that citizens obviously are demanding, then perhaps the citizens need to create a local coalition to keep the crime tehy don't want off THEIR streets, and if necessary, establish a FREE zone where such things can take place well away from their families and community, managing the problem without creating new criminals.
This could only happen in a truly FREE society. Do we live in a free enough country? I'm reminded of a song lyric, appropriately enough from Rage Against the Machine, that said "What?!! The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy!" If we don't have freedom at home, how can our government export it? Truly every step away from freedom is a step toward communism and a police state. And who wants that, besides communists, the police, and the state?