Police Militarization: How it Happened

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16th December 2014

With Ben Swann

Guest Contributor for Wake Up World

Independent investigative journalist Ben Swann discusses the root of America’s current problem with the militarization of police.

“The militarization of America’s police forces has captured the nation’s attention, largely because of Ferguson, Missouri,” said Swann. “But what mainstream media has not told you, is how police forces got militarized in the first place, and why militarization is about a lot more than just military equipment.”

Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson during a confrontation in August. His death triggered protests, some of which led to rioting and looting.

Swann points out that what really “stunned the nation” was the way police responded to the protests. Rather than responding like a police force that intended to serve and protect, Ferguson police responded like a military unit, complete with armored vehicles and flash grenades. Swann said that for millions of Americans, “this was a stunning site on American streets.”

Swann said that while Benswann.com has been working to raise awareness about the militarization of police for over a year, “the rest of the media acted like they had no idea.”

The program ignored by the mainstream media is the 1033 program. Also called the Department of Defense Excess Property Program, this platform is used by police departments to obtain military equipment. Swann explains:

“It is a federal program that provides surplus DoD military equipment to state and local civilian law enforcement agencies for use in counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations, and to enhance officer safety.”

While the 1033 program does provide armored vehicles and flash grenades, it also provides police departments with other emergency supplies that go beyond weaponry.

Larry Kirk, the Police Chief in Old Monroe, Missouri, which is just a few miles from Ferguson, said that he is against banning the 1033 program altogether, due to the fact that it gives smaller departments certain supplies they would not have been able to afford.

However, while Kirk is in favor of keeping the program, he is also one of the few police chiefs in the country who is opposed to departments receiving military weapons. Kirk explained that he is skeptical about the level is militarized weapons that he has seen come through the program recently.
“Being realistic, there is no reason I would ever need an MRAP,” said Kirk. “Most departments would never need one.”

Swann further described the “MRAP”, which is one of two armored vehicles that police departments are given by grant, through the 1033 program. The vehicles, which were originally made to fight in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, were kept by the Department of Defense after the wars cooled down, and are now being granted to local police departments.

According to a report from the New York Times, “about 500 planes, helicopters, and mine-resistant armored vehicles have been obtained, alongside 94,000 machine guns.”

Swann said that following the protests in Ferguson, Americans began to realize the size and scale of the military equipment that was available to local police, and they “began calling for police departments to do away with military vehicles.”

The Root of Police Militarization  300x210 The Root of Police Militarization

Swann also pointed out that while the mainstream media has covered the protests, it hasn’t worked to provide Americans with the keys to the root of the problem.

“What media has not helped the public understand is that the real problem with militarization is not military equipment,” said Swann. “It’s the use by police of military tactics.”

Swann gave three examples of incidents in which police used military tactics to serve warrants on drugs:

The first example occurred in Detroit, Michigan, when 7-year-old girl Aiyana Jones was awakened in the middle of the night by a stun grenade developed for wartime raids, called a “flash bang,” which was thrown by a SWAT team, and immediately set fire to her blanket. Following the release of the grenade, the SWAT team stormed into the house, and mistakenly shot Jones through the neck, killing her.

A second incident occurred in Tucson, Arizona, when a SWAT team attempted to serve a search warrant as part of a multi-house drug crackdown. Jose Guerena, an Iraq war veteran who lived in the house, instructed his family to hide while he got his gun, after his wife became alarmed at the sight of a shadowy figure standing in their front yard, holding a gun. Guerena retrieved his gun – leaving the safety on – and stepped into the living room. The SWAT team then entered the house and shot him 60 times.

Swann noted that the police “have still never said whether they found drugs” in Guerena’s home.

A third example occurred in Atlanta, Georgia, when a SWAT team visited a family’s home in search of a small amount of drugs they believed were in the possession of the family’s nephew. The parents, three daughters, and a 19-month-old baby boy were asleep in a converted garage when police opened the door and threw a stun grenade in. The grenade landed in the 19-month-old baby’s crib. It blew a hole in his chest, and resulted in such severe burns that the baby was placed in a medically induced coma.

Swann said that, according to author Radley Balkow, “The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.”

These raids have become increasingly frequent, with as many as 40,000 occurring every year. Swann pointed out that the 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.”

“Despite what the media spin-doctors will tell you, militarization has nothing to do with the war on terror, and it has everything to do with perpetuating the war on drugs,” Swann said.

Kirk said that he believed the United States has created so many different wars, from the war on crime to the war on drugs, that it has left police officers in the perpetual state of needing to be a “warrior.”

“If you continue to tell people they are in a war, you are going to create warriors,” said Kirk. “You are going to create soldiers that you are now putting on the street.”

The Root of Police Militarization weaponry 300x260 The Root of Police Militarization

Swann traveled to Washington DC to investigate the root of militarization. He noted that although DC has military gear and uses military tactics, “it does not participate in the 1033 program.”

Swann spoke with Seema Sadanandam, the ACLU Director of the Nation’s Capital. Sadanandam explained that while the picture of tanks in the streets was the “most visceral and extreme example” that came out of Ferguson, there is more to the concept of police militarization.

Sadanandam said that the fact that DC does not utilize the 1033 program would be surprising to members of the black communities who have been “subjected to law enforcement’s militarized war on drugs.”

While DC does not participate in the program, it does use military tactics on a daily basis. One of the tactics used, is referred to as the “jump out car.

Sadanandam explained that a “jump out car” is an unmarked car containing four to six officers, dressed in tactical vests, who jump out of the car to ambush their target. “They literally jump out of the car and surprise people,” said Sadanandam, who went on to say that the main objective is to convince people to submit to a so-called “consent search.”

According to Sadanandam, the tactic of using jump out cars is only acceptable in black, brown, and indigent communities, and is not seen in all-white communities.

“In Dupont circle, for example, which is a largely white community and where we know that there is regular cocaine use and cocaine possession, you would never see jump out cars jumping out on a group of white men in business suits, and police saying they fit the description of regular cocaine users,” said Sadanandam. “That would be considered completely unacceptable.”

Swann attended a meeting in southeastern DC, where black residents gathered to express their frustration with militarized police. He noted that people living in these neighborhoods say militarization for them is “not about the idea that so many of us have been confronted with” in the last few months. Instead, it is something they have been dealing with their entire lives.

Orlando Bego, the Pastor of Centerpoint Baptist Church, said that in the midst of the events in Ferguson, the nation was watching the wrong problem, and that getting rid of the 1033 program will not solve the real problem.

“Ferguson is not new,” said Bego. “It may be new for the mass of people who watch it on media outlets, but for people who live in inner city, urban neighborhoods, that is a common tactic that is used.”

Bego believes that even if the 1033 program were eliminated, the military mindset instilled in police officers would still be present. He said he dreads the day that his 10-year-old son, who currently wants to grow up to be a police officer because he views officers as heroes who serve and protect, is “pulled over for driving while black,” or “stopped and harassed for making eye contact.”

The Root of Police Militarization 1 300x217 The Root of Police MilitarizationBen Swann maintains that while Americans should be outraged at the idea of militarization, it should not be just because police show up in tanks to a protest. It should be because of the tactics that have been used by police for years, such as using battering rams to knock down people’s doors, and throwing stun grenades through windows, all for the sake of serving drug warrants.

“The militarized mindset isn’t about gear, it’s about tactics,” said Swann. “When we talk about things like ‘no hesitation targets,’ where police are taught to shoot a child holding a gun, or shoot a pregnant woman holding a gun, at what point do we as a public tell police, ‘Stop. We want you to hesitate.’”

Swann noted that while there are still many men and women who become police officers to serve and protect their communities, the problem occurs in the militarized way they are being trained. “They’re being taught to kill or be killed, that every suspect they encounter could be their last encounter, and that every person walking the streets of every community, is a threat, when in fact, it’s simply not true,” Swann said.

“Militarization takes good cops and teaches them to act like they’re in a warzone,” said Swann. “But the streets of the United States of America are not a warzone, and it’s up to us, the public, to keep it that way.”

Truth In Media – The Root of Police Militarization

In this latest episode of Truth In Media, dependent investigative journalist Ben Swann discusses the root of America’s current problem with the militarization of police.

10 Step Action Plan to Combat Police Militarization

1) Share this Truth in Media episode, “The Root of Police Militarization,” on all available social media outlets. There is currently no better method for dispersion of information.

2) Call local and national talk radio programs and share this information with the host on air. While most hosts are in some way preaching to the choir, you have a unique opportunity to spread the concept of Liberty while highlighting this issue. http://radio­locator.com/cgi­bin/finder?format=tal&s=R&sr=Y

3) Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Your name attached to a personalized message is a powerful tool for change. http://www.50states.com/news

4) Call your County Sheriff or town Chief to share your concerns regarding the militarized tactics of Police departments. Respectfully articulate your views, encourage others to do so as well. These are mostly elected positions with the vast majority hoping to hold on to power.

5) Contact your elected representatives to let them know you are holding them accountable to take action within their jurisdiction. This could include your U.S. Senators, Congressman, Governor, State Senators, State Representatives and City Councilors. http://www.usa.gov/Agencies.shtml

6) Write your own blog (feel free to include this episode) and state your personal opinion supported by facts and history. Share your own words via email and social media.

7) Connect with a local, regional or national group opposing militarized tactics. CSPOA, PANDA, and The Oath Keepers are on the front lines on a national level. Many national organizations have local chapters. Local organizations are a search away. http://oathkeepers.org/oath/   http://cspoa.org/   http://pandaunite.org/

8) Highlight stories of officers making the RIGHT decision. Here, we have a great opportunity to publicly support those who will not abuse their power. Over 1.3 MILLION people have watched this “Good Cop” in the link below. What better way to show officers the way it SHOULD be?

9) Speak to this issue in front of your City Council. These meetings are a public way to inform Counselors, put them on the record and educate local citizens. Often, these are broadcast on local television stations. Your audience is not limited to those in the room. While not on topic, with nearly 250,000 views, the link below is a great example of the power of speaking publicly at a City Council meeting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAkv_cddfos

10) Further your education on this issue and act upon it. Creating a 14 minute episode of Truth In Media is my contribution. What will yours be?

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  • Kaecyy

    I loved this article, and support the suggestions. Maybe they don’t go far enough.

    This isn’t about racism. It involves racism. This is about a (near total) lack of accountability of our police, our injustice system, and ultimately our government to the people. They are not doing their jobs. In the case of the police and injustice system, they are harassing the poor and minorities to death— white, black, whatever. But African Americans most of all— a fact that is incontrovertible by the statistics published by our own government.

    Institutional racists simply have no idea yet how much they’re being used, owned, and profited from by the same system that’s perpetrating the centuries-old World Civil Class & Race War on our African AMERICAN brothers and sisters, and destroying the ability of Earth to sustain human life for all of us.

    To paraphrase Supreme Commander Eisenhower, remember— ultimately every armored vehicle, every gun, every sonic weapon, every cannon, every chemical weapon canister, every bullet, every arrest, every incarceration, and every killing is a win for the war industry, the prison industry, the healthcare industry, the drugs industry, and the banksters, and a loss for every single one of us.

    Wake up, boys and girls— and that means you cops, too— your fingers are pointed in the wrong direction.

    If Citizens United or the methane plumes bursting from the ocean floor haven’t made it clear to you all that it’s time to revolt against the injustice that is threatening the fabric of our civilization, the waste that is threatening our survival as a species, and the corporate oligarchs and government quislings behind it, let me make it clear here, and what I believe we should start to do about it— through the lens of part of my personal experience of this corruption.

    I practice the sacred art of the Japanese sword in the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu, perhaps the oldest remaining sword sect in the world, and I get stopped all the time by various combinations of security guards, troopers, stormtroopers (riot shields, etc), and gestapo (no uniform). For my WOODEN katana, no less— what is called in Japanese a bokuto… a fancy word for a stick!

    Usually the police are relatively cool and I actually have a good time talking to them, but both in my personal experience and with even a casual perusal of the historical and contemporary record, there are a LOT of bad apples in there, far, far more than the police can possibly have, IF they want to have even a shred of legitimacy as an institution.

    Obviously, they do not.

    Sometimes, they actually want to search you, or even see your genitals.

    In public.

    They claim to be searching for weapons, but I’ve had them not even touch my phone and camera and go straight for anything else, anything soft, I have in my pockets (so it’s best to have an erection, boys).

    This is criminal, police behavior.

    The police do this because a weapons search is actually a pretext for police to break the laws that govern them— and the social contracts under which we tolerate their existence— in order to search you for drugs. And this in turn is because of their filthy, vile, and corrupt World Civil Class & Race War on a Selection of Drug Users, which the US government has been expensively and ineffectively waging against our own people and the people of the world since 1937— with about one million POWs and counting in the USA alone.

    Even taken by itself, without their many other crimes against the public, this slow-burning genocide of a war invalidates the police totally as an organization.

    And so their questions and searches toward this corrupt and criminal end are deeply offensive to me— both personally and as an American, particularly one of Japanese descent— and particularly when they have already snuck up on me in force (like some kind of Pearl Harbor in reverse) and interrupted my religious practices because some xenophobe, some racist, some myopic, or some PTSD-wracked survivor of the Second World War has flipped their lid and called in the strike… ON A DUDE CARRYING A STICK. (Though this trouble does not eliminate my cultivation of compassion for those afflicted with these four terrible illnesses… three of which I have also suffered from myself.)

    Once the police have determined that I am in fact carrying a stick, and not a sword, it is obvious to anyone who believes in liberty— to any real American, for example— that apologies from the security forces and dismissal are in immediate order, and any further interruption of my religious practices, especially to feel me up and to gaze upon my genitalia, is at the least a violation of my religious freedom, my freedom from unreasonable searches, etcetera etcetera.

    My apologies for the fear of the ignorant public, but that’s why I meet them halfway, as an educator, and use the WOODEN STICK in public and not the metal sword, and I smile to the people I can’t avoid altogether. Hell, I’m so friendly, sometimes I even show the kids the basics of how to chop a man in half in the traditional Japanese way. (Kids love me.)

    The fact is, whether it’s Detroit or Denmark, the police everywhere in this world have such a long history of abuse, racism, murder, and corruption, they should all go the way of the SS and Kempeitai— they should be outright DISBANDED, and replaced by a totally new, unrelated, post-police organization geared toward the 21st Century— enshrining human rights and our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness above ALL else, and especially for those already marginalized, such as minorities, women, LGBTQ people, and those in poverty.

    The police forces we have today routinely disrespect, violate, oppress, and abuse all of the above, and many more. In their everyday abuse of power and neglect of their duties, they commit or facilitate as many crimes as they solve, if not more, and greater crimes at that— societal crimes, which though less dramatic and less immediately tangible, through their pervasiveness, their perversion, and their origin in the seat of government affect everyone and do more harm to more people than any single serial killer or terrorist cell ever could— yes, even the ones who fly planes into buildings.

    The police, the injustice system, and the prison industry are fingers of an iron fist slapping the pool of our civilization, creating waves of criminality and personal and social destruction across the entire surface and undercurrent of our society, drowning those who cannot afford to build a life above the tsunami of corruption devouring the victims of their corporatized and internationalized World Civil Class & Race War.

    This leads to historical and contemporary ironies such as the police unapologetically protecting America’s most powerful, influential, corrupting, organized, and dangerous criminals (who harm us all, including themselves)— such as the ones on Wall Street— while beating the crap out of dedicated, peaceful patriots exercising their Constitutionally enshrined rights (who harm no one)— such as the ones in Occupy Wall Street.

    Events such as the Memorial Day Massacre of 1937 in Chicago, by police, show us that historically, actions such as this are not an anomaly but rather the standard operating procedure of the police— which shouldn’t be that surprising, since after all, that’s the same year the current World Civil Class & Race War on a Selection of Drug Users began.

    “The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races,” said Harry J. Anslinger, original Prohibitionist and founder of Second Prohibition, in 1937. With First Prohibition just a few years gone, it was through the the delegalization of cannabis— perhaps the most industrially useful plant in the world and the safest in the entire pharmacopeia— that with the support of corporate oligarchs William Randolph Hearst, Andrew Mellon, and Pierre S. du Pont, Anslinger and his allies managed to ensure that the American people would always have an enemy in our own government.

    Of course it goes back much further than that. The genocide, the marginalization, the repression, and the disrespect of sovereignty toward the only REAL, real Americans— the Native ones (the rest of us are really only immigrants, and illegal ones at that)— is also an ongoing series of government and later stages police war crimes. Texas Rangers, anyone? COINTELPRO, anyone?

    Our police forces, who nominally work for us, and whom Americans really do pay and pay through the nose for the pleasure, are an occupying army with too much time, too many resources, too much power, too little to do, and no meaningful accountability— a combination that Mother History tells us is ALWAYS toxic for the surrounding civilian population. Roman Empire, anyone?

    One “bad apple” in any organization dealing with the public, particularly an armed and dangerous force like the police, is one far, far too many, and in our conditions only the tip of a vast iceberg— an indicator of perhaps hundreds more. The simple fact that it is nearly impossible to hold the police accountable for even the most outrageous and on video of their countless criminal acts (YouTube, anyone?), combined with the official unofficial Blue Code of Silence (“testilying”, anyone?), reveals what a medieval and obsolete organization the police, our courts, and our “justice” system really are— totally unsuitable to their legal duty and stated aim of “protecting” and “serving” the entire public equally, from Wall Street Wally to Occupy Otto to Janitor Joe.

    I’m sorry, but it’s the motherhumping 21st Century, girls and boys— the rich, the powerful, and the many have enough in their favor already, without an occupying army in their palm that busts everyone else’s chops, and delivers them into a selective punishment system rigged in favor of the affluent.

    It is also impossible for any civilized, intelligent, and educated person to accept the fact that in most if not all places in the world, the police are permitted to touch, molest, injure, incapacitate, or kill any of us with little chance of serious consequences, whereas to kill, to incapacitate, or even in many cases to even TOUCH a police officer, no matter how criminally the police may be behaving, in fact if not always law carries grave consequences, with a vast burden on the victim to prove police abuse before the rights of civilians to defend themselves against these frequently hostile, occupying soldiers are legally accepted.

    And that’s only if you’re (un)lucky enough to be taken ALIVE after the fact.

    Now look at the statistics of crime rates by race vs searches and arrests by race vs conviction rates by race vs sentencing rates by race. Among the entire world’s prison population— yeah, that includes China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, etc (AND YES, we in the USA do lock up more people than each and all of them, and everyone else as well)— among the entire world’s prison population, one in nine prisoners is an African AMERICAN male.

    Lady Justice ain’t blind, brothers and sisters, but she sure as hell is white, and she’s a flaming racist to boot.

    Ladies and gentlemen— in fact, we have no “justice” system. We have a selective punishment system. An injustice system. The police, our courts, and large swathes of our private industry (no state with a private prison industry has ANY claim to justice or legitimacy, nor will it ever), working in tandem and mutually protecting one another like a network of Japanese bunkers on a Pacific hellhole, are a legalized protection racket, parasitically feeding off our society while giving a few of us with paler skin and bigger bank accounts the thin illusion of security and safety.

    “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” —Dr Benjamin Franklin, Founding Grandfather

    As a pledge-bound defender of “liberty and justice for all”, and thus a real goddamn American— except under truly exceptional circumstances, I can no longer willingly cooperate with, utilize the services of, or respect the police or any other armed or coercive branch, of any government, that is existing and operating without the consent and support of the people who are most at risk in our civilization, that has a history of abuse coupled with a lack of accountability, that enjoys a de facto monopoly in society on violence even when behaving illegally or with criminal violence, or that is participating in, facilitating, or profiting from ongoing societal atrocities, such as poverty, social inequality, racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, the destruction of the environment, or the 1937 to present World Civil Class & Race War on a Selection of Drug Users.

    Thus, as of today, I declare my independence.

    As of today, I pledge as my patriotic duty, insofar as practically, legally, or covertly possible, to no longer recognize or respect the authority or legitimacy of the organized, criminal organization known as the “police”, nor that of any other armed or coercive force of parallel, analogous, or allied disposition, such as the DEA, the NSA, the FBI, the CIA, the ATF, etc etc.

    In fact, I am exercising my democratic right as a proud American citizen, RIGHT NOW, and calling, loudly and clearly, for these obsolescent organizations to be disbanded immediately, and rebuilt from the ground up towards the humanitarian ends that I stated above.

    However, using my intelligence and my social aptitudes, to the best of my abilities I WILL respect and personally engage with the individuals in these corrupt organizations— many of them unprosecuted war criminals still at liberty, carrying weapons and the badge of government, yes, but also many of them good people with good hearts who have themselves been grossly disinformed and disserved by their government and society, as have we all— and in my engagement with these occupying soldiers I will try to educate and encourage them into reform, into disobedience, into resistance, or even into going the full Edward Snowden.

    You see, my friends, most actual cops I meet I really like, and I hit it off with them. We must all learn to love that which is outside ourselves, including our enemies. For this, too, is an important way for our rebellion to grow. And grow.

    And grow.

    I suspect that it won’t be too many years before we have a full on Underground Railroad going for these kinds of heroes, those brave enough to resist— I’m convinced that the more incentive and facilitation, internationally, that we can give whistleblowers to blow that whistle, the more of them will come out of the woodwork. And the better for everyone in the world.

    It will take organization. It will take resources. But it has been done, it can be done again, and I believe it will be done. (French Resistance, anyone?)

    Thus as an Eagle Scout and former POW, I will do my best, to do my duty, to the gods and our civilization, to help tune them in, turn them on, and drop them the hell out.

    I strongly suggest the rest of you do the same. Each of us, both alone and together— to the best of our abilities.

    If you’ve made it this far, then you’re probably sharp enough to see the truth in what I say, and surely smart enough to make a difference. Let us do so— in any way that we can, for the rest of our lives.

    My friends— just because something is the law, it sure as hell doesn’t make it right.

    Total Civil Resistance is one key factor we must utilize toward attaining the post-police force we deserve, for the money we pay, to protect and serve ALL of us. Total Civil Resistance, in addition to seeking change through the legal channels, and through engagement with our governments.

    As Father History has proven, the legal channels for change available to us are utterly inadequate, perverted by those already benefitting from legalized injustices, and our resistance must move beyond the rigged selective punishment system to non-cooperation, divestment, and direct action at the least, and on up to outright espionage and sabotage where and when appropriate, available, and effective.

    With our police and security forces, we have a situation like the Wehrmacht and the Imperial Japanese Army— it’s the organization that is evil and must be disbanded, but not ALL of the people in it. But for the rest, we Americans really do need a Nuremberg/ Tokyo-style war crimes tribunal to mark the end of, for a start, the World Civil Class & Race War on a Selection of Drug Users, and to hold accountable those who have perpetrated, profited from, and perpetuated this ongoing, slow-burning social and racial genocide, which has been tearing our society apart for nearly a century.

    Obviously, the same is true for the not unrelated War of Terror… it just hasn’t been true for as many years.

    Yet.

    “…with liberty and justice for all.”

    It rings proud, and great, but hollow. All of us Americans have pledged allegiance to a country that does not yet exist, and never has existed on the face of this Earth. And so it is our duty to fulfill that promise of our civilization, and to build that society— no matter what powers we must face, and what institutions we must tear to the ground to make way and achieve this.

    Anything less is the very definition of un-American.

    Brothers and sisters— please join the Rebel Alliance. The Empire is strong. We need every kind of help it is possible to give, from every person that can give it, in every place that they can give it— at home, in the workplace, on the streets, in secret, and out in the open.

    We want you, and we need you.

    I’ll see y’all in the future!

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Want to learn more about the world, listening while you do what you need to do?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/globalnews

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/docarchive

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/fooc

    —Independent, non-commercial, ad-free news from a more global and objective perspective, including an outside, sympathetic look at the USA… without a dog in the fight. Frank, investigative, trustworthy— utterly unlike our own, mostly corrupted broadcast media in the US— the BBC asks hard questions of just about everyone but the Queen. If you’ve grown up with American broadcast media, be prepared to be shocked at how many important things are going on in the world that you’ve never been told about, and you otherwise never will be— the BBC has reporters on the ground in every region of the world, so dust off your world map. Bonus: almost zero reporting of celebrities… until they die.

    http://www.hbo.com/last-week-tonight-with-john-oliver#/

    http://www.hbo.com/real-time-with-bill-maher#/

    http://thedailyshow.cc.com/

    http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/

    —Why, in the “Age of Information”, do few but our jesters speak the truth?

    http://www.bestoftheleft.com/

    —Don’t be fooled by the name. This is science-based common sense for a healthy society and a civilization with a future— with explicit and immediate activism opportunities, and excellent debate of ideas and best practices.

    Want further learning and activism opportunities?

    http://www.popularresistance.org/issues/

    —Common sense total civil resistance, united.

    http://350.org/

    —Help us save the Earth. So we get to have a future.

    Who me? I’m an independent individual acting where I see I can best apply my limited time and abilities. I’m not profiting from any of these organizations. I simply want to know what the hell we should do to fairly and humanely save and evolve our planet and civilization, before the game is up for the most deadly and interesting species on the planet. (Look in the mirror.)

    I come from time and space as a warning to the human race— you have begun your most desperate centuries. Halt greenhouse gas emissions; enact peaceful resolution and social justice as transnational absolutes; plan and behave both scientifically and humanely; eliminate nationalism, xenophobia, and war; enshrine your biodiversity; learn to love each other— or go extinct.

    Your time is up, earthling savages.