28 Jan 2010


All Posts, Potpourri No Comments

* Josiah Neeley sends this article on “6 Enlightened Ideas Brought to You By Evil Empires.” The premise is that yeah these regimes were mass murderers and ate their own children and such, but gosh they were kinda progressive in a modern way too. Rather than concluding that things like mandatory schooling or bans on smoking are suspect, of course the writer concludes that maybe these regimes weren’t unadulterated evil after all. (Note that I am not saying I have a problem with women being allowed to own property, which is one of the examples.) Note that there are some naughty words in the article.

* I haven’t done any research to confirm or deny, but David R. Henderson had an interesting blog post arguing that Republicans purposely allowed ObamaCare to advance in December, so they’d have a great thing to run against in November. (This was before the Scott Brown election.)

* Here’s a weird thing: A guy got charged with DUI when his car wouldn’t even start.

* Richard Ebeling saw that I survived, and so he too faced Wendell Jones and Godfrey Eneas on Platform TV in the Bahamas.

* RatherBFlying sends me this rather ominous RAND report, “Does the United States Need a New Police Force for Stability Operations?” Here’s the conclusion from their summary:

Weighing all considerations, the researchers concluded that the best option would be a 6,000-person hybrid force headquartered in the U.S. Marshals Service. The personnel in reserve status could be employed in state and local police forces so they would be able to exercise police functions in a civilian population daily and could be called up as needed. The Marshals Service was deemed to have many of the requisite skills. However, its training and management capabilities would need to be expanded to take on this large mission, and it would have to recruit additional personnel as well. The annual cost, $637 million, is reasonable given the capability it buys. The cost savings in relieving military forces of these duties could be greater than required to create the SPF [Stability Police Force].

The Military Police option was attractive for a number of reasons, especially its capacity, training, and logistical capabilities, but its inability to engage in policing activities when not deployed was a major stumbling block. The Posse Comitatus Act precludes military personnel from exercising police functions in a civilian setting, and legislative relief might be difficult to get. Even if such relief were forthcoming, it is unclear where and how routine police skills might be honed.

Creation of a civilian SPF would not affect the roles that other elements of the U.S. government would play. Rather, it would complement other agencies such as the departments of Defense and State. But the SPF would provide a necessary capability, and the U.S. Army should support its creation.

Note that the report, as written, seems to be exclusively focused on deploying the new SPF to foreign theaters; I skimmed it and didn’t see any mention of US operations. However, as I put in bold above, the SPF would obviously be trained on US soil. If you don’t see the potential trouble, please watch Star Wars Episode III.

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