[This is the transcript of my regular KVMR commentary that will be broadcast early next week due to this week being the station’s regular late spring pledge week.]
The debate about who is trying to silence whom continues. Over the past decades the evidence has favored the Right since McCarthy was accused of blacklisting half of Hollywood sixty years ago. But during this election year of intense emotions and strong political positions, it’s good to consider some updates of what our progressive cadres are doing in and out of government.
Have you heard of SWATing? That’s SWAT like in Special Weapons and Tactics, you know, all the guys in black combat gear with assault weapons descending on armed desperados holed up somewhere. Well SWATing is when you go in front of someone’s house, dial 911, and report that someone was just killed or is about to be done in. Very quickly the police with SWAT team in tow arrive and assault the house.
The Washington Times reports that this has now happened to three prominent conservative bloggers across the country who reported on the doings of a leftwing activist Brett Kimberlin. The encounters have been pretty dramatic, and surprised the hell out of the victims. Fortunately no one has yet been shot.
A more prominent example involved Mr Van Jones and his Color of Change movement going after ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), a longstanding national organization of conservative legislators. Jones, the former White House ‘green jobs’ czar and self-proclaimed communist, went after ALEC for promoting voter ID of the kind that is already law in half the states. Jones was joined by union sponsored Change to Win and the Center for Political Accountability run by Democratic operative Bruce Freed. They threatened a boycott of ALEC’s corporate contributors if the voter ID piece was not pulled from its website. ALEC caved after enough of its stalwart capitalist sponsors pulled their support for the organization.
As if this were not enough, it turns out that all kinds of government departments, bureaus, and regulatory agencies have been quietly arming themselves. Did you know that the Department of Education now has armed field officers who break down doors to investigate student loan fraud. The Department recently bought another 27 12-gauge shotguns for its SWAT teams.
You, of course, have heard about EPA’s environmental police. A cohort of these armed thugs arrived at the Boston Commons recently, and promptly shut down a popular and licensed ice cream stand that had been there for 26 years. For unknown regulatory violations they physically prevented customers from buying, and proceeded to put about twenty people out of work.
And this trend is now rampant in the federal firmament. Departments of Agriculture and Interior, the US Forest Service, the FDA, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the list of armed and arming federal agencies goes on. This trend is abetted by government employees who arm themselves, thereby getting paid extra for carrying a badge and a gun.
So this is the kind of nation we have become. As criminalization of normal activities accelerates through a fast growing labyrinth of regulations and codes, the regulators are now prepared to bypass local police and sheriffs to bring force to bear on legions of newly minted criminals. Is this is the change that we hoped for with progressive governance?
My name is Rebane, and I also expand on these and other themes in my Union columns, and on georgerebane.com where this transcript appears. These opinions are not necessarily shared by KVMR. Thank you for listening.