Open Thread: SWAT Teams Against Drugs Okra

As wise observers pointed out post-9/11, if you give every local police force military toys, some proportion — the least suitable — will find the use of their new toys irresistable. Here’s Mr. Charles P. Pierce, on the worst HOA-enabling Small Gubmint supremacists ever:

Speaking of the harmless behavior of a small group of people different from ourselves, let’s move a few degrees south to Texas, where the essential logic of the “war” on drugs itself played out as The Powell Doctrine of massive force was employed against… okra.

They came here under the guise that we were doing a drug trafficking, marijuana-growing operation,” said owner Shellie Smith. “They destroyed everything.” An Arlington police investigator laid out her marijuana suspicions and probable cause in a search warrant It was signed by a judge on August 1. The SWAT Team then went to the property on Mansfield Cardinal Road one day later to execute the warrant around 7:30 a.m. They found nothing….

According to inventory documents, some of the items seized included compost, wooden pallets, and furniture. Smith said code officials took away their food, and everything they need for a sustainable lifestyle….

“There were 15 to 20 blackberry bushes. There were sunflowers for our bees and gifting. Lots of okra, and we had a sweet potato patch that they whacked down with a Weed-Eater,” Smith said. “The weeds that we used to shade our crops are also gone.” City of Arlington spokeswoman Sana Syed said the Garden of Eden has been cited for numerous violations since 2011, and that the owner refused to make changes. “The purpose was to improve the quality of life, to resolve life safety issues within neighborhoods and to hold the property owner responsible for creating blight conditions on their property,” Syed said in a written statement.

Wait. What’s this about safety regulations? I thought it was to see if there was a “drug trafficking, marijuana-growing operation” going on there. That’s what the warrant said. You’d almost think that the “war” of drugs was just a front for busybodies. Letting a SWAT team enforce violations of a city’s zoning and health regulations is not something I would expect from a small-government state like Texas. I look forward to the first traffic stop that occasions the arrival of a Huey gunship…

109 replies
  1. 1

    Conservatives ‘small-government’ bona fides begin and end with the pocketbook, mainly making sure all of the ‘right’ people get the money. On every other issue they’re authoritarians.

  2. 2
    Hungry Joe says:

    I, on the other hand, do NOT look forward to the first traffic stop that occasions the arrival of a Huey gunship.

    (When all you’ve got is a Huey gunship, everything looks like targets down on the ground scurrying in terror for cover.)

  3. 3
    kc says:

    Ya know, I’m usually on your side, AL, but this story doesn’t have jackshit to do with HOA’s.

  4. 4
    Sad_Dem says:

    The important thing is that the hippies got what was coming to them. If they were allowed to go on growing okra, the next thing they just might do is blow up a chemical plant or something.

  5. 5
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Hungry Joe: Git some! Git some! Git some, yeah, yeah, yeah! Anyone who runs, is a VC. Anyone who stands still, is a well-disciplined VC! You guys oughta do a story about me sometime!

  6. 6
    scav says:

    Problem with okra in TX is that it’s not explosive enough to take out nearby small towns’ retirement centers when left properly unregulated. Nor does it accidentally go Bang! when well-regulated. So of course they had to swoop in with the Big Armament (Military Weedwacker Industrial Complex with Full Body Armor ‘n’ Shin ‘n’ Grass Stain Guards) and give it a hand.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    I used to do okra. That shit will mess you up.

  8. 8

    Okra is a powerful thickening agent and thus should be listed as a schedule one drug. Plus it makes all of those cajuns talk funny.

  9. 9
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Woodrowfan: You sound like the ghost of Michael Herr (“Dispatches”), except he’s not dead.

  10. 10
    Xantar says:

    So hey, Steve Ballmer is stepping down? Finally he has found a way to get Microsoft stock to go up!

  11. 11
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Hungry Joe: it’s from “Full Metal Jacket”

  12. 12
    Mary G says:

    @Sad_Dem: This. Sounds like the drug warrant was an excuse to get rid of the dirty hippies and their suspicious lifestyle. Despicable.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Woodrowfan: The quote in FMJ was lifted from Herr’s book.

  14. 14
    feebog says:

    This story is I think, about two weeks old. If the place was blighted, then a complaint to the local Building and Safety Office might have been in order. Oh wait this is Texas…

  15. 15
    Culture of Truth says:

    Blight? BLIGHT?? Like unmowed grass? Like a car up on blocks in the front yard? A fracking well out back??

  16. 16
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    At least they were not harboring a baby deer. You gotta deal with the citizens you got, not the citizens you want.

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bill in Section 147: Chronic wasting disease is a major problem in the WI deer population.

  18. 18
    NotMax says:

    Attention Texas SWAT teams: Not saying that there is a meth lab in the basement of the NRA headquarters, just that there could be.

  19. 19
    RaflW says:

    The thing I find the most completely bizarre about right-wingers is that they freak out about nonexistent threats to liberty, and say nothing at all about actual jack-boot thuggery by the folks who are creating the police state right under our noses.

    Sure it’s dirty hippies today. But for a party that is obsessed with slippery slopes, they’re all for puttin’ the hammer down on those people.

    Of course, that may be why they are scared beyond shitless of the coming demographic tide, when the white male in America will be so easily made to be those people.

  20. 20
    kc says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Also, it’s TEXAS. Isn’t Texas the pollution capital of the Southwest, if not the country? I would have thought “blight” was mandatory.

    Maybe it’s only “blight” if you’re not incorporated.

  21. 21
    Mike Lamb says:

    And yet, still no fire codes….

  22. 22
    Keith G says:

    @Hungry Joe: Just be aware that now that Manning is at Ft Leavenworth, the point-of-view video taken from that Huey will nevah be seen by us prols. So run fast.

  23. 23
    kc says:


    The GOP is launching a ‘Rising Stars’ program, a slate of new spokespeople who have young or non-white or female faces that look nothing like those who make up the party’s current base,” Businessweek reported

    Sounds suspiciously like the dreaded affirmative action.

    It’s different when Republicans do it, I know.

  24. 24
    Roger Moore says:

    Letting a SWAT team enforce violations of a city’s zoning and health regulations is not something I would expect from a small-government state like Texas.

    Unless the people it was being enforced against were black, brown, or hippies, in which case it’s entirely predictable.

    I think SWAT teams are a reasonable idea when the team is made up of officers with extra training who have to be pulled away from their other duties when they’re needed. There really are times when something like a SWAT team is necessary, but the need to pull officers away from their other duties ensures it will only be used when needed. But when you have a full-time SWAT team, they’ll be called out as much as possible so they don’t go to waste, resulting in this kind of overreaction.

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kc: Sounds more like the thinking that brought Sarah Palin to the forefront.

  26. 26
    Poopyman says:

    @NotMax:

    Attention Texas SWAT teams: Not saying that there is a meth lab in the basement of the NRA headquarters, just that there could be.

    Who cares? Now if they’re harboring a crop of friggin’ okra ….

  27. 27
    kc says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    True, though I thought part of that was McCain showing everyone what a bold and daring maverick he is.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kc: A floor wax and a dessert topping.

  29. 29
    Roger Moore says:

    @kc:

    Sounds suspiciously like the dreaded affirmative action.

    That’s one way to describe tokenism.

  30. 30
    scav says:

    @kc: Actually, given that they only explicitly mention The GOP is launching “spokespeople who have young or non-white or female faces that look nothing like those who make up the party’s current base”, it may only refer to a set of old white males with extensive cosmetic surgery. A bobblehead PR Program and a Jobs Program necessarily benefitting the ‘right sort’! Might even file it under Heath Care Plan.

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    @RaflW:

    The thing I find the most completely bizarre about right-wingers is that they freak out about nonexistent threats to liberty

    I’ve noticed that before. It’s a big part of the reason why dealing with the right wing is so difficult.

    Say what you want about left wing protest movements, they’re usually worried about something that actually exists (be it class inequality, segregation, imperialism, whatever), and you can usually defuse their more radical elements simply by addressing these concerns (welfare state, desegregation, decolonization, etc).

    On the other hand, how do you address the concerns of someone worried about the fact that the Elders of Zion control the world, or [insert whatever current version of that is your favorite – death panels, birth certificates, Muslim president, black people crashing the economy by buying homes]? Except by telling them that it’s not real? Which will only get them screeching that you must be in on the conspiracy too, and drive them even deeper into paranoid loon territory?

  32. 32
    jl says:

    So, in Texas, if you have a ‘blight condition’, say you don’t cut the grass on your front lawn and you are cited numerous times for a having tall grass prairie in front of your house, and your don’t remedy it, a SWAT team can come in on the pretext of looking for dope and take whatever they want from wherever they want on your property,and destroy the rest?

    Interesting that the government could not be bothered to specify one single ‘blight condition’. Was the compost not properly maintained, vermin infested the stacks of pallets? What?

    Some people consider the mere presence of any okra a ‘blight condition’, but I don’t see that being a popular opinion in the South.

  33. 33
    kindness says:

    I saw that yesterday. I forgot who linked to it. Anyway I linked over to the local paper’s version and read the comments. Jesus Christae! Some of those yokels have WAY too much time on their hands. Now most of them were aghast just like me but there were some noteable ones I had to razz their scruffy little hillbilly asses. And Arlington of all places. Yea, it isn’t Austin but I still expected better from Arlington. Boy was I wrong. Funny thing is I’ve really loved most every Texan I’ve met. Obviously the state wouldn’t like me though so scratch that vacation to El Paso, honey I guess we just have to go to Jamaica instead. Damn! Ya mon, pass that blunt over dis way, would you? Ja!

  34. 34
    Roger Moore says:

    @RaflW:

    The thing I find the most completely bizarre about right-wingers is that they freak out about nonexistent threats to liberty

    That’s because the biggest threat to liberty is staring at them in the mirror every morning, and they’re desperate to avoid admitting it. They can’t accept that the TSA has done more damage to our liberties than the 9/11 hijackers, or that the war on drugs is doing more damage than the drugs are, or that abortion restrictions are killing women.

  35. 35

    @RaflW: Straw men have served them so well that they’re addicted. Part of it is the fear you mention but their past successes play into it as well. Sometimes they do it so well (welfare queens) that the legacy lasts for more than 30 years. It’s amazing. And sad. And highlights that we need to do a better job at rebutting.

  36. 36
    jl says:

    @scav: Sprinkle a few different faces from different places among the old white scareds and bitters. How long have they been trying that?

    Looks like another spiral down to a lower level of the hell of GOP Outreach.

    No real new ideas were respectable. The old white racist strategies are put in full gear, so they dust off an Olden Goldie that never worked.

    Good news for the GOP.

  37. 37
    jl says:

    But did they take the goats and generators? Did they hurt the goats? What happened to the goats!?

    Oh, sorry, mistook this for a raid on Cole’s place.

  38. 38
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Do not, I repeat, NOT, use the words “thinking” and “Sarah Palin” in the same sentence.

    I don’t want to have to tell you this again, young man.

  39. 39
    scav says:

    I’m also enjoying the little detail of the Okra. Guess that isn’t a part of The Sacred Southern Heritage That Must Be Defended from all assault. Not the Right South. (easily amused r I.)

  40. 40
    WereBear says:

    This would freak me out… except I didn’t have a lawn on Long Island.

    This is apparently against the law, in violation of all known zoning codes, and a menace 2 society.

    I dug up most of my un-cooperative “lawn” (it broke a Toro engine block. I wouldn’t call it turf, I would call it mutant weeds) and planted roses and companion plants instead. (Our house had been built after the boom, on a vacant lot, and the subsurface had been spread around as “soil.”)

    I am no longer amazed at how some people police the boundaries of what they consider acceptable.

  41. 41
    jl says:

    @scav: Maybe this place was not owned by real Southerners. They had no right to okra and sweet taters, dammitall.

  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Sorry, my bad.

  43. 43
    Suffern ACE says:

    @scav: You mean, they might just be putting lipstick on a pig?

  44. 44
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    @kc: They have probably leased a whole set of props and wardrobe from the Disney Channel to outfit their young, hip and oh so with it rebellious youths.

    They’ll still have Eric Cantor step up to the podium to announce to the crowd that they have some youths coming up who, “will get jiggy with it.” John Boehner will drop “peeps” and “hizzouse” into his comments and then Paul Ryan will strut out with his ball cap askew and shout in his people voice, “RAISE THE ROOF!” before a few faces two years younger than his come out and drop som Freedom Bombs.

  45. 45
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Chris: I can’t remember the quote exactly, much less give attribution, but as for “how do you address the concerns of someone worried about the fact that the Elders of Zion control the world, or … ?” — You can’t use logic to talk someone out of a belief he didn’t arrive at logically.

    PLEASE somebody: Supply the correct quote and author. It’s killing me.

  46. 46
    ruemara says:

    @kindness:

    Jamaica instead. Damn! Ya mon, pass that blunt over dis way, would you? Ja!

    Visit, but never do that again. Ever. And most of us do not know where you can find a blunt.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @kc:

    Tokenism at its finest.

    On edit: /shakefist Roger Moore.

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bill in Section 147:

    Someone from the Ron Paul organization will be approaching them asserting theft of intellectual property.

  49. 49
    scav says:

    @Suffern ACE: Capitalist or Cop, but they might be breaking out some darker tones of blush this go-round. Break the piggy bank and change the brand of fake tan.

  50. 50
    Chris says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Yeah, that about sums it up. Which means I have no idea how to talk them out of that belief at all.

  51. 51
    kc says:

    @Chris:

    The black-people-crashed the economy thing has thoroughly taken root, based on my unscientific sampling of wingnut family members and acquaintances.

    Thirty years from today, wingnut-owned private schools will be teaching the children about the dark days of 2007 and 2008, when black people buying homes they couldn’t afford made the U.S. economy crash.

  52. 52
    ruemara says:

    You know, I didn’t care much for okra as a kid, but when I got older, I tasted it fresh in gumbo or delicious fried okra. What those guys need is a good meal with okra. And to grow the fuck up and stop bullying people. Fuckers. I mean, to love okra.

  53. 53
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    I’ll never figure out why people grow okra. You can buy that stuff for practically nothing in the grocery store.

  54. 54
    jl says:

    @Bill in Section 147:
    @Villago Delenda Est:

    23 skidoo, daddy-o!, Ol’ Boehner will need a break for hooch and a gasper.

  55. 55
    👾 Martin says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:

    I’ll never figure out why people grow okra. You can buy that stuff for practically nothing in the grocery store.

    Sure, you lead the charge to stop growing okra, the price skyrockets because supply dries up, then only Donald Trump can afford okra and it’s all your fault.

    Elitist bastard.

    Yeah, I don’t grow it either. My kid always want to grow potatoes. I have to remind them I can buy 10 pounds of potatoes for less money than I can buy 10 pounds of dirt.

  56. 56
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Okra, schmokra. Why don’t we have a thread on the absurd lengths of CVS receipts?

  57. 57
    👾 Martin says:

    @scav:

    Not the Right South.

    Nope. The only sacred vegetable in Texas is beef.

  58. 58
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @👾 Martin: Beans are the worst. The time, money and effort it takes to make a mess of beans is an order of magnitude greater than what it costs to buy them.

  59. 59
    mai naem says:

    Any pics of this garden before the cops came in? I’ve grown okra and sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes can kind of take over but doesn’t look like blight – more like a nice ground cover. Okra definitely doesn’t look like blight. Blackberry bushes at worst look like huge shrubs. I find it hard to see them as blight either.

  60. 60
    Long Tooth says:

    “I showed her the warrant and she got mad as a wet hen, copped an attitude, wouldn’t comply with my order to STFU, so I tasered her. And then Earl tasered her, and then Jim Bob, and hoo boy did she get lit up.. but the thing is this: she was growing tomato plants, not marijuana! We nearly split a gut we laughed so hard”.

  61. 61
    max says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: I’ll never figure out why people grow okra. You can buy that stuff for practically nothing in the grocery store.

    Because, dude, the okra in the grocery store tends to be weak and prone to molding quickly, whereas okra will grow anywhere with lots of sunshine, some dirt (any dirt) and some water. The only thing better at that niche is collard greens.

    @WereBear: This would freak me out… except I didn’t have a lawn on Long Island. This is apparently against the law, in violation of all known zoning codes, and a menace 2 society.

    That sort of thing spread to Texas maybe a decade and a half ago. Substitute flavor of white flight. Or Jim Crow, whatever.

    if you give every local police force military toys, some proportion — the least suitable — will find the use of their new toys irresistable.

    Speaking of which:

    NEW YORK—Executive board members of Goldman Sachs called an afternoon press conference today to announce they will be exploding a local intermediate care facility, adding that “we’re doing it, and there’s basically nothing anyone can do about it.” “We decided today we really want to blow up a nursing home, so we’re going to do that and, honestly, I can’t think of a single thing that any one of you could possibly do to stop us—in fact, I’d like to see you try,” said company chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who later added that residents of the Ocean Trail Care Center in Jamaica, Queens “can leave the facility if they want, or stay right there for all we care, but either way that whole damn nursing home is going up in smoke at 6 p.m.” “So, anyway, that’s what’s going on. We’re placing the explosive charges now and, again, you are all completely powerless to stop us. Have a good day and fuck all of you.” At press time, well, they did it.

    max
    [‘Those guys must think they’re Bill Kristol or something.’]

  62. 62
    scav says:

    @👾 Martin:

    The only sacred vegetable in Texas is beef.

    They certainly can carefully nourish a few.

  63. 63
    Mike in NC says:

    Every hapless Barney Fyfe type in Muricka now has access to automatic weapons, Kevlar body armor, and tactical vehicles. Just in case a lost dog or cat shows up in your yard.

  64. 64
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Terrible what happened in Spokane with that WWII Veteran. He must have attacked those black kids pretty viciously for them to have to kill him in self-defense.

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike in NC: Honestly, I think we would be a lot better off if the majority of cops went unarmed the majority of the time. Let them justify which people, which areas, which tasks really require being armed. It seems to work for the British.

  66. 66
    Felonius Monk says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Okra, schmokra. Why don’t we have a thread on the absurd lengths of CVS receipts?

    I bought a pound of okra at my local CVS and got a 10 foot long receipt with $5 worth of extrabucks rewards and a Texas Swat team attached.

  67. 67
    MikeJ says:

    @Mike in NC: The problem in this case is not that they had armor or automatic weapons available, it’s that they lied to a judge to get a warrant.

    There are probably procedure to force a nuisance neighbor to mow a lawn, etc, and while it may or may not have been called for in this instance, that’s the case they should have presented to the judge.

  68. 68
    Liberty60 says:

    Does anyone remember that incident in the mid 90’s I think it was, when the EPA raided a farmer in Central California for environmental violations, and Limbaugh freaked out and called them (literally, as I recall) “Jack Booted Thugs”?

    I guess the difference is Good Gubmint (the guys who enforce real laws) versus Bad Gubmint (the guys who enforce tree hugging laws)

  69. 69
    lol says:

    This could potentially be a problem if it’s attracting vermin.

    But as it transpired, I’m guessing it’s all bullshit.

  70. 70
    01jack says:

    @Hungry Joe:
    It usually goes something like “You can’t use logic to talk someone out of a belief that he didn’t arrive at logically.”

    Attributed variously to Swift or Twain.

  71. 71
    Helen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: This is tough. I live in NYC; all the cops have guns (semi? automatic). I moved here in 1981 when there were 4,000 murders WAIT!!! WHAT??? Yes 4,000 murders annually here. Last year that number was 400. Out of a population of 9,000,000.

    I also have Irish citizenship. They think we are crazy. Most of Europe does. The problem is a chicken or egg problem. The crooks have guns so the cops have guns, therefore the crooks need more guns. Should the cops get rid of their guns first?

    NYC is trying its best. The gun laws here are mega strict. You cannot come into NYC with a gun that is not registered with NYC. Period. The only exception is if the gun is locked up in your trunk and you drive through NYC without stopping. If you stop for coffee at Micky Dees, you are under arrest, Mutha fucker.

    That being said – I love NYC. But I am retiring to Ireland. I am done with 20 babies being killed in CT and everyone saying “What???”

  72. 72
    Roger Moore says:

    @👾 Martin:

    Yeah, I don’t grow it either. My kid always want to grow potatoes. I have to remind them I can buy 10 pounds of potatoes for less money than I can buy 10 pounds of dirt.

    But they won’t taste like homegrown potatoes. My sister grows them, and the homegrown ones are obviously better than the store ones. Of course, some of that could be a climate thing; if you don’t live in potato country, don’t grow potatoes.

  73. 73
    Roger Moore says:

    @Liberty60:

    I guess the difference is Good Gubmint (the guys who enforce real laws) versus Bad Gubmint (the guys who enforce tree hugging laws)

    The difference is between local cops and the feds. Especially when there’s a (D) after the name of the President.

  74. 74
    gelfling545 says:

    So I went with my daughter today to my granddaughter’s parent orientation meeting for the school year. My daughter likes me to go with her as I “speak the language” & can tell her what to ignore & what matters. After the usual boring procession of people reading powerpoints to us one of the school “partners” from a County alcohol & substance abuse project got up to tell us all they offer a parent workshop to acquaint them with current drug paraphernalia (She said – and I do not kid – “There is paraphernalia out there that would blow your mind”. No doubt there is, that being what it’s for, lady.) But her big message was that marijuana today is, in her words, much more addictive that the marijuana the assembled parents presumably used (much eye rolling among parents). So apparently, instead of being honest with kids the approach is still to either scare them by whatever means necessary including lies or to glorify drugs into such a big, dangerous deal that kids with any spirit will want to hurry out & try some. Not a word about the alcohol deal which has been the biggest source of problems locally, no talk of distinguishing which are the more dangerous drugs; just all about the evil weed. My tax dollars at work.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Helen: It’s an idea. I would like the decision to use force to be a true last resort. Having cops walk a regular beat without guns on their hips might be a step in the right direction.

  76. 76
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @RaflW:

    The thing I find the most completely bizarre about right-wingers is that they freak out about nonexistent threats to liberty, and say nothing at all about actual jack-boot thuggery by the folks who are creating the police state right under our noses.

    See, that’s the thing I find not bizarre at all. Fear of invisible and intangible enemies makes it very easy to turn a blind eye to SWAT treatment for a bunch of hippies.

  77. 77
    stinger says:

    I didn’t know SWAT teams were equipped with weed whackers. At least, they weren’t in Flashpoint.

  78. 78
    Roger Moore says:

    @gelfling545:

    So apparently, instead of being honest with kids the approach is still to either scare them by whatever means necessary including lies or to glorify drugs into such a big, dangerous deal that kids with any spirit will want to hurry out & try some. Not a word about the alcohol deal which has been the biggest source of problems locally, no talk of distinguishing which are the more dangerous drugs; just all about the evil weed.

    It’s the whole lie about pot being a gateway drug. If you let your kids have one little puff, they’re guaranteed to be mainlining speedballs by next week.

  79. 79
    Roger Moore says:

    @stinger:

    I didn’t know SWAT teams were equipped with weed whackers.

    They have to be properly armed in case they have to deal with Triffids or talking Venus fly traps. You can never be too careful, you know.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: And they will be listening to that Negro Jazz music too.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    Liquid says:

    Seahawks fixin to entertain some Wagstaff mah-fuckas.

  83. 83
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I did not know that….

  84. 84
    namekarB says:

    The Sheriff of Mendocino County in California had an innovative program that allowed legitimate growers to register so the Sheriff’s Dept could concentrate on illegal growers who were polluting the countryside. This American Life aired a report (go here for transcript or audio) that the Sheriff’s program was a success until the Feds and DEA stepped in. (If you go to the link there are 3 stories of which “Nipped in the Bud” is the 3rd story so you need to scroll down the page to find it)

  85. 85
    gmann says:

    Ahhh Texas. . . passed a County trooper at 2 mph over the speed limit of 60. . . He had slowed to mid 50’s. . . Spent 20 minutes roadside because I had a lot of hefty bags (filled w/ clothes) on board. . . The big drug bust he had hoped for didn’t happen. . . Irony was his last name is another name used for marijuana. . .

  86. 86
    gelfling545 says:

    @Roger Moore: They are making it into a gateway drug by telling them that every drug is just as dangerous than any other. So a kid tries weed & doesn’t turn into a raving addict, then why not try the others since they lied about one, in the kid’s mind they’ve probably lied about the others too and, whoops, meth turns out to be really a bad idea. Why can’t they just tell the truth?

  87. 87
    Helen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus@Omnes Omnibus: I get it. I do. They did it in Australia when the school shootings happened.
    But America will never give up their guns. When the CT shootings happened a lot of people said “OK now America will get it” And I knew better.

    Please indulge me. My 19 year old nephew Alex was shot to death by his “friend.” Alex’s “friend” lured him into the woods on a hunting expedition . And then he murdered him.

    On our drive down to VA for the funeral I kept saying to my liberal Dad “Daddy please do not say anything political about guns, just walk away if you have to” Well, guess what? That was not a problem. Those hillbilly assholes did not even bring up guns because it did not even occur to them that guns were the problem.

    And that, in a nutshell, is why America will never give up its guns and why I am outta here.

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @gmann:

    You lie! No self-respecting Texas state trooper wouldn’t plant drugs on you in that situation.

  89. 89
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @lol:

    This could potentially be a problem if it’s attracting vermin.

    Sounds to me like it did attract vermin.

  90. 90
    Chris says:

    @Helen:

    But America will never give up their guns. When the CT shootings happened a lot of people said “OK now America will get it” And I knew better.

    So did I. I was frankly astonished that Connecticut even generated as many ripples as it did, given the American public’s fondess for yawning and going “oh well, the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of innocent bystanders.”

    And so did my dad, who came to political awareness in the sixties and who summed it up quite nicely that evening (I was traveling home on the day of the shooting) by saying “If the JFK assassination didn’t convince people to do anything about guns, nothing will.”

  91. 91
    moderateindy says:

    if you give every local police force military toys, some proportion — the least suitable — will find the use of their new toys irresistable.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but a couple of years ago just off campus at Western IL U there was a riot. It started out as a large annual block party. When some jackasses uprooted a stop sign, and threw it on a bonfire all hell broke loose. In the past the local cops would have come in, and made the people inhabiting the house put out the fire, and probably would have cleared that particular property with little incident. That year however a special regional tactical unit had set up camp just outside of the street that the party was on. The unit was specifically formed for riot control for the Western part of IL, cause you know there are so many riots around there, and had all the toys, the special command center, with the extra loud sonic sirens and the full contingent of special tactical officers with complete riot gear etc. Surprise, surprise, they decided to line up chest to chest, stretching from house front, to house front, across the street to clear the entire area, pepper spraying people indiscriminately as they advanced. The reaction of the crowd was exactly what you’d expect from a bunch of drunken college kids. Because of their special toys, in this case employing their special regional tactical unit, with the special weapons they escalated what would have probably been a big nothing in previous years into an actual riot. Thereby justifying their own existence. See, we had to quell this riot, that we basically caused. Any time you give cops new toys they will inevitably find ways to use them, even if they have to create those circumstances themselves. Likewise politicians that spend big cash on things like tactical units will push to make sure that taxpayers don’t see them as wasting money on things that don’t make us safer.

  92. 92
    Anne Laurie says:

    @👾 Martin:

    My kid always want to grow potatoes. I have to remind them I can buy 10 pounds of potatoes for less money than I can buy 10 pounds of dirt.

    I actually tried growing my own heirloom potatoes one year, from certified organic gourmet stock. The plants were pretty, but my unsophisticated palate couldn’t tell the difference between my crop and the supermarket ‘yukons’, so those grobags have been re-dedicated to further tomato production.

  93. 93
    Helen says:

    @Chris: You know what we need? We need pictures. Some of those babies in CT weighed 40 pounds and were hit with as many as 14 bullets. Do you know what’s left? Guts on the walls. Brains on the chalk boards. Lungs on the ground. Pieces of hearts stuck to the American flag. How oh how did the first responders identify who was who?

    As horrific as it is. We need pictures.

  94. 94
    efgoldman says:

    What does a Texas swat team have against Oprah? I mean, other than she’s black, and uppity, and richer than most of the oilmen in the state, What else?
    Wait! What? Never Mind [/Emily Litella]

  95. 95
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Helen:

    As horrific as it is. We need pictures.

    Oh, honey, no. The Newtown parents I’ve read about have explicitly asked that the photos not be released, because there are a whole lot of sickos who’ll use them for sexual gratification. Heck, one of BJ’s own frequent commentors would be repeatedly calling for more lube & kleenex.

  96. 96
    efgoldman says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Heck, one of BJ’s own frequent commentors would be repeatedly calling for more lube & kleenex.

    Only one?

  97. 97
    Helen says:

    @Anne Laurie: Jesus fucking Christ. I do not know what to say.

  98. 98
    Mike G says:

    @RaflW:

    The thing I find the most completely bizarre about right-wingers is that they freak out about nonexistent threats to liberty, and say nothing at all about actual jack-boot thuggery by the folks who are creating the police state right under our noses.

    This. Because they have no ideological commitment to maximizing freedom for everyone (liberalism), just a tactical urge to maximize their own tribe’s freedom of action with a nasty authoritarian streak of enjoying suppressing everyone else’s rights. Prime example: Texas cops.

    The NRA and right-wingers not only sat on their hand but cheered lustily as Bush/Cheney built the Security State and snarlingly demanded everyone “watch what they say”. If there were a seriously fascist right-wing takeover of the US, they’d be the cowardly Brownshirts eager to enforce conformity, not the Resistance.

  99. 99
    Honus says:

    @Chris: Except it did. A year or two later mail order sales of guns were outlawed, in direct response to Oswald buying that Mannlicher-Carcano through the mail.

  100. 100
    gmann says:

    @Baud:

    You lie! No self-respecting Texas state trooper wouldn’t plant drugs on you in that situation.

    I felt fairly good as his 2 or 3rd question was “would you mind stepping into my patrol car, and just sit up front”.

    Possibilities swirled in my mind after I realized what the back of the car invite might have brought. . .

  101. 101
    kindness says:

    @ruemara:

    Visit, but never do that again. Ever.

    I can’t figure out if this is snark or what. What do you mean by this?

  102. 102
    ruemara says:

    @kindness: As a Jamaican, patois is sometimes grating. We don’t all sound that way. Welcome, but, leave the accents to us.

  103. 103
    kindness says:

    @ruemara: With all due respect my sister married a real Rasta who I love dearly. I have 3 beautiful nieces by them. I didn’t say anything racist or derrogetory about Rastas. We were talking about Texas and pot and I said I was going to go to Jamaica instead. So I’m sorry if you want to get insulted every time you hear someone say ja & mon but that’s you in this case not me.

    Let me tell you about how one time I went back to NY for a week for a visit. The first place I hit was their place. I happened to bring a bag o California good stuff with me, and I threw it to him and told him to roll one up for us. He took 3/4 of what was in that bag and rolled the biggest damn thing I’d ever seen this side of the Cheech and Chong paper that came with the album. I looked at my girlfriend and we both looked at what was supposed to have lasted us a week and now wasn’t going to because there was so little left. We didn’t say anything because we were visiting their house and I told him to roll one. The worst part? He put tobacco with it. I don’t smoke tobacco. But I smoked it with him then and there because that was most my stuff. Never have asked him to roll me one again.

    Be cool.

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kindness:

    I think her criticism is more that writing in dialect without being offensive is really, really hard and should be left to experts, like Mark Twain.

  105. 105
    boatboy_srq says:

    Letting a SWAT team enforce violations of a city’s zoning and health regulations is not something I would expect from a small-minded state like Texas.

    FIFY.

    Reminder: two Teahadist foundational beliefs:

    1) Big Gubmint: the thing in Washington DC that takes all your money in taxes and throws it away giving it to other countries, those people, finding out what you and your neighbor/mistress/boyfriend/accountant/attorney have been up to while trying cheat steal oppress live a “normal Ahmurrcan life”, and perpetuating the Organic Non-Consuming Envirohippymental-Soshulist Climate-Changing New World Order by implementing Agenda 21 and building FEMA camps. Syn: Soshulism™, Fascism™, Islamic States of Ahmurrca, BHO, HRC, WJC, [insert any federal program that doesn’t immediately benefit user of said term here].
    2) Small government: the thing that made Ahmurrca great, which is useful making sure Good Right-Thinking Caucasian Hetero Xtian Patriotic Ahmurrcans™ feel at home; and which is empowered by the Bible™ and the Constitution™ to make sure of every citizen’s heterosexuality, whiteness, conspicuous consumption and personal grooming. Syn: HOA. Ant: anarchy, commune, diverse community, Mendocino.

  106. 106
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Baud: Got you fried, didn’t it?

  107. 107
    boatboy_srq says:

    @RaflW: The complaints about the non-existent threats to liberty are mainly about the federal-level threats to the extant threats to liberty at the state/local level. If the Sheriffs are well-enough armed (2nd-Amendment remedies, y’all!) then not even the DoD can stop them; and if they already know who’s a FBI agent ATG agent librul media journalist snitch in their locale it’s unlikely the DoD would even know in time to try. A good portion of the remainder are complaints about Big Gubmint endangering their whiteness wealth way of life.

  108. 108
    DrBobby says:

    Looks a lot like hemp in the field…especially growing somewhat aridly. Grown it for years. Problem is the infrared signature. Ways to beat that are in the mix…so to speak.

  109. 109
    Lucy says:

    Now insult Radley Balko and other libertarians, please.

Comments are closed.