The Custodial State

When I was a kid, the police I knew looked something like this picture I snagged off the interwebs. I think this is a sheriff’s department photo from the Midwest.

SecondShiftPatrol2014

The cops back then were local guys who often had done a stretch in the military and then got a job as a local cop. Maybe they had ambitions to be a state trooper. Most were fine working as a county or town cop because they got to stick close to home and the job was not all that difficult. City cops had it tougher because they had real crime, but city cops came from the city so they knew the score before they signed onto the force. For many, the action was the attraction.

It was not an idyllic age. There was plenty of real crime and plenty of real criminals. Take a look at homicide rates over the last century and you can see that we live is a relatively safe time. Crime has ticked up a bit recently, but nothing like we saw in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

United_States_Homicides_and_Homicide_Rate

In the olden thymes, the cops were equipped with state of the art technology for the day. They had radios, revolvers and fast cars for doing traffic duty. When I was a kid, radar was becoming common for traffic duty and it created a lot of friction between citizens and cops. Suddenly, the cops felt like highwaymen to a lot of people. CB radio probably got popular in the 70’s because it was a way for motorists to warn one another about radar traps. I don’t know that for certain, but someone once told me that and it jives with my memories as a kid in the 70’s.

The point of this trip down memory lane is to point out that ti was not so long ago when cops were just guys in the neighborhood. The only people who saw them as an adversary were up to no good. That’s not the case today. this is what the cops look like in the typical American town.

deadstate-conspiracies-in-reality

Every time Donald Trump has a rally, we see employees of the DNC and George Soros out attacking people and we also see cops in battle gear. They look like extras from a Star Wars movie, kitted out in black and Darth Vader helmets. The point of the outfit is to be intimidating and look dangerous. These are not citizens hired to enforce the law. These are agents of the state ready to crack heads.

This is a scene from the Trump San Diego rally a few weeks ago:

TL_Trump_Protests_San_Diego_Stone_160527_12x5_1600

Now, you can say that riot control is dangerous stuff so the cops need to be dressed like storm troopers. The fact that we managed to control mobs for generations without having militarized cops is the obvious counter argument. We could also arrest the people financing these riots, which would pull the plug on all of this without having a massive display of force. But, where’s the fun in that? No, the state wants the display. That’s the point.

It’s tempting to call what we are seeing an “emerging police state” and there is an argument in support of that claim. It used to be the politicians feared the people. They could be voted out of office and if that did not work, they could dragged from their office and hanged from the nearest light pole. They have no fear of that today. Those guys with the gas masks, body armor and full-auto rifles stand between you and the rulers. That’s right gun grabbers, the cops now have mil-spec automatic weapons.

The West is not East Asia so “police state” is the wrong way to put it. The security forces in America will not be opening fire on peaceful crowds. They will not be driving armored vehicles through protest camps like we saw in China. Instead, it will be beanbags, rubber bullets and other non-lethal crowd control tools. It will also be endless surveillance.

Sept, 29, 2015. San Diego, CA. USA| Cameras in the alley by the Hi-Lite Theater where police shot and killed a manI.|Photos by Jamie Scott Lytle.Copyright.

Sept, 29, 2015. San Diego, CA. USA| Cameras in the alley by the Hi-Lite Theater where police shot and killed a man.|Photos by Jamie Scott Lytle.Copyright.

If you read this interesting story on the geezers who pulled the Hatton Garden Heist, the thing that should jump out at you is the causal celebration of the custodial state. The robbers were, in part, caught by the use of CCTV. Like most cities now, London is under 24×7 video surveillance by the authorities. On my way to the office, a two mile drive, I pass 12 security cameras and two speed cameras. They are watching us all the time now.

It’s why the people in charge increasingly talk to us like we are pets, barely able to understand them. They see us as zoo animals. It’s also why they are increasingly cavalier about bucking the will of the people. Paul Ryan laughs at so-called conservatives as he helps Obama push through his agenda in the remaining months of his rule. Angela Merkel is indifferent to public sentiment because, well, what are they going to do about it? How many divisions do they have?

At some point, maybe sooner than we realize, the pols in Washington will decide they have had enough with the voters. It’s simply too much of a hassle. Some excuse will be trotted out so they can pretend to one another that it is necessary or temporary, but voting will come to an end. The people will protest, but the state will have men in body armor pouring out of APC’s holding MP-5’s. In the name of public safety, the protests will be broken up and the people put back in their enclosures.

Welcome to the custodial state.

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p.g.t beauregard
Guest
p.g.t beauregard

300 million firearms
500 billion rounds of ammo in civilian hands
Just waiting on Richard the Lion Hearted’s return to rally the troops

Doug
Guest
Doug

It is not those weapons and materiel they are really after, it is the dirt people who will use them in defense of their liberty and life they wish to liquidate. Personally, I believe it is the dirt people who are the only existential threat to the oligarchy, that they know it, and are afraid of what the dirt people will do to them for what they are doing to the dirt people. Nonetheless as you point out, that is a lot of guns, it is, a potential, Small Infantry, citizen army unequaled in size by any army in the… Read more »

pbird
Guest
pbird

You were doing so well until you spelled lose as loose.

Doug
Guest
Doug

You must have got your new spelling police badge in the mail.

Other Doug
Guest
Other Doug

It was actually at the bottom of his bowl of Count Cuckula this morning,

CaptDMO
Guest
CaptDMO

I’m pretty sure it begins with the :expansion” of terms to describe criminal behavior.
Repeated “false flag” operations…”SEE! THIS is why you NEED us!”
I’m pretty sure firearms confiscation, termed “common sense”, follows, one paper cut at a time.
I COULD be wrong, of course.
My recent favorite: (para) “The People are tired of the Senate doing NOTHING on this”
After repeated denials of 2A “challenges” , AND while filibustering from the floor.

Ivar
Guest
Ivar

My own observation is that the Managerial State has already passed the point of diminishing returns. These days our greatest protection is bureaucratic overreach and incompetence. The military and police look the way they do because we don’t manage people anymore, we manage their fantasies. I realized this when I saw pics of Army Rangers in one of the sandbox countries and realized they were dressed just like G. I. Joe dolls from fifteen years earlier.

Doug
Guest
Doug

Toot! Toot! All Aboard! Next Stop Banana Republic! Excellent point you make Ivar. Just follow the money. There is no crazy conspiracy theory or ideological driving force. It is greed and power. It’s aha is at the heart of it. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think the Managerial State, Administrative tyranny really, has passed the point of no return, on their part at least. The oligarchy is going to give up the wealth and power it has acquired. That just is basic political logic, (was that an oxymoron?), or reality. “Law Enforcement” is essentially the armed badged leg breaker faction… Read more »

Syd Piffle
Guest
Syd Piffle

Or, the government runs out of money to pay all the goons, and it all withers away.

Anon
Guest
Anon

The left is opposed to the death penalty. The far-left (which keeps dragging the ordinary left to its positions) is even more passionately opposed to the death penalty and is increasingly against prisons. At the same time, the far left considers the word “Trump” to be hate-speech and ‘violence’. So here’s a question: What percentage of social justice warriors would like to have a death sentence for people who say “I don’t like Islam”, or “Mass Muslim immigration is a terrible idea”, or “I think the threat of global warming is greatly exaggerated”? Those same people who say nobody should… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
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Karl Horst (Germany)

I find the level of paranoia in America is nearly epidemic to the point of a national psychosis. As one of the countries with the lowest risk of an outside attack or invasion from its neighbors, it never fails to amaze me how Americans are always looking for a boogie man somewhere. If it’s not a commie, it’s a liberal, if not a liberal, then it’s a Muslim. And when those threats go away, you always have the ingrained fear of your own government or your police and of course the every growing threat of a zombie apocalypse. I must… Read more »

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

You call it paranoia. I call it eternal vigilance. “WE” learn from history. History which states like the Nazi’s, among others, have perpetuated on their own people after they have disarmed the public. Hence, we know that as much as we would not want that to happen in America, it is still possible. And if you read the tea leaves, watch what has been going on, the “paranoia” has all the reason for existing. That the powers that be have learned as well from past failures of dictators and adjusted their tactics and strategies to use available technologies, means that… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

Remind me again about how safe Americans are shopping at Wal-Mart or going to a gay bar or taking your toddler to Disney Land – gunmen and jihadists and alligators – oh my! Please tell me how your university system is so great, when your students graduate in debt and jobless. And how’s all the offs-horing of jobs working out for you? Learning from history? Let me think – Afghanistan…the Brits tried it, the Russians tried, and yet there you are. And how exactly will you fight? With what and against whom? Your first and second amendment rights are already… Read more »

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Everything you point out is valid but the result of government run amok. The wars, Dept. of Education, Big Business and labor cabals, those are completely, and quite different from many individual people who value their freedom over free stuff. As for politics, I agree. You would thinK that of 330 million people we could do better with the pool of leaders to choose from but that shows just how corrupt and broken the system is. It is no different in your country if you are honest. So if you think Merkel is so great, you keep her! We are… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Infidel – No country is perfect, no citizenry infallible and we both have our fair share of problems. As I hope the EU can sort itself out to the benefit of all Europeans, I also hope Americans can come to terms with your upcoming election in a positive way that will secure and maintain the rights and freedoms you are so proud of. And I mean that with all sincerity. Yes, I must agree that Frau Merkel made a big mistake with her Syrian refugee policy, but personally I can forgive her given her political track record. Overall she… Read more »

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Karl, it is good to dialog with you about these many issues. Thanks for continuing despite some of the negative response to your comments. As for the upcoming US election, the problem is really between a divided America. It used to be that Republican and Democrat could say they agreed on the definition of the problem, it was the solution to the problem that was contentious. Now, there is no agreement on anything except on the two coasts where socialism/liberalism rules for the most part. Now no one can even agree on how to define a problem. As for Chancellor… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Infidel – Thanks for your response. I do very much enjoy this opportunity to make a point especially when it can be critical of things going on in the US. I do so not to insult, but to make a point from a different perspective. It is why I am completely open to anyone in this blog being critical of EU or German political decisions or the direction we seem to be heading. Critical observations and discussions are a must if we are to understand one another, especially within the confines of a blog. I think we are very… Read more »

Member

In a 100 years we’ll be here, we may not be called the United States of America, but we’ll be here. Germany wont.

Drake
Guest
Drake

I don’t think it was like that in the least until about 104 years ago. Right about the time the Progressives decided to punch through the Constitutional limits and get the Federal government involved in our personal lives – and – we were drawn into two bloody European wars.

They are out to get us. They are out to get you too. The indignities Europeans are willing to accept has always amazed me. Maybe that’s why ancestors left and your’s stayed.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

“Maybe that’s why ancestors left and yours stayed”. If you look at the history of immigration, it’s generally the least desirable, the poor, criminals and social outcasts that leave.The ones who were successful remain. Why would anyone intentionally leave when things are good? Just saying. 😉

Member

Because things may be bad enough to leave Germany doesn’t mean those leaving are trashy outcasts – you have conflated the two. For example, my people left after being on the losing side of the revolutions of 1848 – it’s chintzy for those who won (or who knuckled under) to denigrate the ones who “got the hell out of Hesse”.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

1848 was a bumper year for Europe to export it’s many people. It was a blessing that America existed, and one would be ignorant do deny it was often their last hope. On the other side of that coin, America grew into a super power while we were still busy slogging it out across European battle fields for the next 100-years. So to the point, maybe those who left made a better decision.

Christopher S. Johns
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Christopher S. Johns

You call it paranoia? Paranoia is an unjustified belief that one is being persecuted. Perhaps you haven’t been paying attention, but just this week there was a little incident in a Florida nightclub involving a Muslim and a lot of dead gays. And what was the response of our political elite and the echo chamber media? Well, with one prominent exception, it was to inform us unequivocally that more, lots more Muslims were going to be imported, and that more Muslims were good for us so as to cure us of our nasty Islamophobia – because only bigots could have… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Christopher – And how many “incidents” have happened in American schools where children have been shot to death or seriously wounded at the hands of non-Muslims? I have provided a link so you can check for yourself. Its been going on in your country since July 26, 1764 starting at the Enoch Brown school massacre and it hasn’t stopped since. Your own countrymen are doing a great job of slaughtering innocents without any help from outsiders.

You are right, Americans are volatile people indeed. They say people get the government they deserve. Perhaps you get the police you deserve too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

We’ve got plenty of murderous nutjobs in America and always have. This is not an argument for importing any more, however.

Christopher S. Johns
Guest
Christopher S. Johns

That’s a pretty pathetic effort to change the subject, and your little listicle is lame, even by Wikipedia standards. Really Karl, ever been in a vibrantly diverse US HS in a vibrantly diverse urban community? The miracle is that there aren’t more shootings. “Innocents”? That’s a good one.

Clearly then, we should do just as good frau Merkel does, and import more Muslims, so (in a fitting twist on pro-immigration sloganeering) they can shoot the approved minorities that (white) Americans just won’t do.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

The point I’m trying to make with regards to this topic, is there’s a reason your police act the way they do and why the average American citizen feels slightly afraid when being pulled over for a minor traffic violation. America is and always has been a violent place. Certainly not on the scale of Africa or South America, and without the help of the new colonizers. Your government is reacting to it by the only means it has available without imposing Marshal law or calling out the military – as it has on any number of occasions. Let’s look… Read more »

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Karl, when you say that “America is and always has been a violent place” it makes me think you grew up in America. Even though I grew up an Army brat, and four of my formative years were spent in W. Germany (Bamberg/Erlangen), my experience in the US is nothing like you describe. In fact, it was the epitome of freedom and security. Were we lived, we never locked the doors to our home; as a child, I would leave home in the morning and go play all day long and come home at dinner time. I would walk to… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Infidel – Many Europeans see America the way I do. We constantly read about someone, somewhere in American being gunned down on a near daily basis. That’s what we read about in the US papers in our airports and railway stations and see on CNN international. I lived in the SF bay area for about 20-years during the 1980-90’s so much of what I know is first hand knowledge. As mentioned in a previous comment, my parents and grand parents lived under a real police state run by the Nazi’s through the Gestapo. Block wardens were civilians who monitored… Read more »

Notsothoreau
Guest
Notsothoreau

You don’t understand. Back in the 70s, the liberals decided that committing crazy people for observation was wrong. Crazy people were just free spirits! And so they turned them out and made it very hard to commit anyone.

And you can add to that the psychotropic drugs that they give to teenage boys. They have warnings that they can cause psychotic episodes. But we aren’t allowed to talk about that or consider it after mass shootings.

Syd Piffle
Guest
Syd Piffle

How many children have been lost to abortion? That is the number to focus on…

Drake
Guest
Drake

Always amuses me when a cop starts bitching about how they aren’t respected any longer. Don’t dress, act, and arm yourself like a member of an army of occupation – unless you want to be treated like one.

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

Would simply raise the point that the 4G warfare we see employed by ISIS and the fact that a single active shooter report can basically tie down the entire resource base of LEO in San Diego for a day shows the weak underbelly. The only thing that surprises me is that our adversaries haven’t become more tuned to that and simply upped the tempo of operations to simply wear them out.

PRCD
Guest
PRCD

4GW relies on the local population for support. If there were enough attacks, non-Muslims would realize the state won’t protect them and take matters into their own hands. Muhammad commanded his followers to play the victim while they were few and feign weakness.

They’re attacking often enough to terrorize but not often enough that the average joe decides to fight back. Of course, the state would surely go after any “Islamophobes” who retaliate. As the state’s incompetence grows and the number of Muslims grows, the calculus may change.

Mario Albano
Member

Z, your essay illumines the state may not need to declare martial law at all. A few more evil & criminal events, coupled with wolfpack jihad mayhem to a cowed populace will do it, unless civilians opt for disobedience.

f1guyus
Guest
f1guyus

“Welcome to the custodial state”
And that’s when I’ll be really glad I was born in the 1930’s and I’m too old to be Mr Fixit any more.

Chazz
Guest
Chazz

The unbridled lust for control by our custodians is increasingly implemented through the agency of computer systems. What if the goons in star wars suits are dispatched to the “wrong” location? Ultimately it may be that software checkmates hardware.

ambiguousfrog
Guest
ambiguousfrog

I could be wrong entirely but worth the thought. Are “they” losing control? It’s always after the fact we see that the fbi were investigating these people. With all the “technology” (nsa/tsa or otherwise) they never prevent any of it. I get the feeling they want it to happen in order to tighten the screws even more. Ordered chaos anyone? What do they expect we’re going to get when the border is agape? Are they just pretending they have a handle on things or is it out of control and they won’t acknowledge it? It seems all points are going… Read more »

Member

Are “they” losing control? It’s always after the fact we see that the fbi were investigating these people.

How terribly Naive. The FBI manufactures these people.

alzaebo
Guest
alzaebo

Yup. Not investigating- recruiting.

It’s called “creating a demand”. Never ending profits for politicos investing in the startup.

trackback

[…] Now go, much more, with pictures, to read about our actual state of cops, etc at the Z Man! […]

Anglo-American
Guest
Anglo-American

Grateful for the Woman that just injected race politics into your country? Karl that’s not a small fuck up and it will be Merkle’s legacy. Have you learned anything from your study of Americans that you did not know before?

UKer
Guest
UKer

The police-citizen compact is well established as regards the modern world. Robert Peel made it clear the police were not above the law, should be impartial in the quest for justice and should not receive special treatment. They were, in fact, an extension of the public and no more. But that appears to be forgotten as the police become the defendants not of liberty and order but the protection of the wealthy and the powerful. The cops who stand in their armour and helmets with batons ready give every impression by their actions they indicating to the ordinary people they… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Guest

Not so impressed with this essay. Most local cops still look like the cops in the top picture when on routine duty. Riot control is a separate duty and has always been quasi-militarized. Your assertion that we managed to control mobs for generations without militarized cops is simply incorrect. Look back at pictures from any of the riots during the Vietnam era. The response was militarized–usually literally via National Guard troops. The steep drop in violent crime rates beginning in 1994 and extending through 1999 was largely the result of the 1994 crime bill and the mandatory sentencing provisions associated… Read more »

Clayton Bigsby
Guest
Clayton Bigsby

Good point… though I think its a valid observation and discussion overall.
I’d say look even further back than Vietnam era…. which I remember fairly well…..the Railroad strikes of 1877 and of course the coal miners too….Many cities still have Armories that were built during these periods, for the support of these militarized groups and militias. So yeah….nothin new really, in that context…..

Fuel Filter
Guest
Fuel Filter

Agreed, Guest. I was a kid during the first Watts riots in the early 60s and remember full well the Nat’l Guard being called out by Gov. Pat Brown (Moonbeam’s daddy. He was a no-bullshit guy). They set up sandbagged .30 cal machine-gun nests (WWII vintage) at multiple intersections to keep the black rioters within their own areas. Front page pics of them in the L.A. Times and on the evening news. Troops armed with Tommy guns and 30.06 M1s and BARs coming in by the truckloads day and night. If I remember correctly well over 3000 troops were called… Read more »

Drake
Guest
Drake

Well, that depends on your local. I see all flavors of cops in New Jersey. My town doesn’t have a police force thankfully since all the cops in the small towns around us seem to do is pester commuters for traffic fine revenue. Some towns do look like the first picture. The NJ State Troopers are dressed like Army Officers in class A’s thanks to uniform Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. designed for them. The town right next ours is more like the second picture minus the leg armor and headgear. Basically blue military utilities, body armor, and bloused boots. Doesn’t exactly… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

The line between the military and police has probably always been blurred. George Washington called up militia to enforce liquor taxes soon after the constitution was ratified and most of the south was occupied for more than ten years after the states were invaded.

Member

I was gonna say that Guest 🙂 Yes, the article is a good one, but the jive comparison of old and new policing is a huge flaw. Police don’t look like star wars when they aren’t on riot duty or a SWAT-type raid. Yes, the police are becoming more militarized, but in the late 60’s and early 70’s they looked almost the same on riot duty. In fact, I think they looked more military then when they would form in ranks and march down the street clearing it and beating heads. They aren’t often told to do that nowadays.

Member

Well, it’s depressingly obvious to me that among the myriad purposes of this current administration and the left generally — with the *enthusiastic* support of the GOP — is to inundate the US with hostiles in order to ADVANCE the totalitarian state, eliminate our rights under the Constitution, and to de facto place our country under the control of the UN. De facto, because to say — to declare — that this is their goal is to court violent pushback, which I wager is coming, at any rate. Said pushback will be blamed on the victims of the nefarious state,… Read more »

TWS
Guest
TWS

I wouldn’t mind the ‘hats and bats’ if they’d use them. There the enemy is in all it’s pot stinking, BO smelling, trigglypuff shrieking glory and they stand there like the praetorian guard while the plebes get chased and beaten. I mean look at the protestors, pissing on the flag, flipping police cars burning property. They’re not protestors they are rioters when I was a kid we knew how to put down a riot. But since the sixties they’ve let them ‘burn themselves out’. Those guys in their gear should be cleaning them out under general principles. Not standing by… Read more »

Casius Lucius
Guest
Casius Lucius

Zman, any chance of a post about the MP killed in the U.K. today?