"The test for whether one is living in a police state is
that those who are charged with enforcing the law
are allowed to break the laws with impunity."
by:
Jon Roland
(1944-) founder of the Constitution Society
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It may be hypocrisy, but I don't know if it is a litmus test.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Yes, and unfortunately it's at the top and trickles down.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
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    Whether or not this is a good definition of a police state,if it is true;and it's my experience that it is true,than we as a people are in deep do-do.I just pray that there is a sleeping resolve in the 21st century American that will soon awaken and right or abolish what has been wrong with the USA. and make our Founders proud of the heirs to their blessed Republic.
     -- me again     
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    A good thought, but the two are really orthogonal...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Speeding cops are let go by the stopping cops. Cops lie, cheat and step on the rights of suspects. Judges don't follow the law, they do what is best for themselves.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    If those charged with enforcing the law may break it without impunity, call it what you want but it is certainly something you would find in a corrupt and oppressive country.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The quote tries to make a point, unrelated to half of the comments.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    That's only one characteristic of a police state. If the author had said "A test ..." instead of "The test..." he would have been correct.
     -- Lawren Freebody, Los Angeles     
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    There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
     -- Anonymous, triesha     
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    I guess the ultimate caveat here is; at the States united de jure jurisprudence, man can neither create or enforce law. Law enforcement is an oxymoron. Man can only enforce tyranny and despotism. The descriptive term that describes the scope of activity, where enforcement is beyond the legislated legal positivism, is legal realism. A police state exists at any level of law enforcement (at legal positivism or at legal realism). Law enforcement that breaks the legislated legal positivism with impunity is especially heinous. Welcome to Amerika
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Considering the time of the quote, 1944, It had not been to long sense SSI was instituted in 1937. Pains were still felt from the 140,000 thrown in jail for speaking out against robbery and socialism. Barter systems denied. Now we see the ( purest ) who do not dance, drink, smoke or play cards, dictate from the pulpit, from what ever denomination they claim. Even some judges go to ( church ). Unjust laws, overburdening the minds and behavior of individuals. People become easy prey, when the policing actions of states, intrude where they do not belong. Rewarding bad behavior on one end and condemning it on the other. Sounds like both ends against the middle. It is about money ! And we are caught in the middle. Governing our lives through their ( church of socialism ). When thee best paying job is with the government, fed or state, you see the lure. Creates a lazy population, wanting something for nothing. Vacations, the best insurance, vehicles, housing, Pensions. All on the back of the slave, living in a police state. The police agency has a list of who not to bother in every community.
     -- Ron w13, Or     
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    An excellent observation, one inevitably leading to thoughts about other practical aspects of Power and freedom. For police power (imprisonment and dispossession) is the most basic and intrusive of all state powers. Such authority is always ripe for abuse, corruption that survives only when it's tolerated at the next level of authority, thence upwards.

    Roland's thought holds particularly negative connotations for the U.S., Planet Earth's premier police, surveillance and prison state.

    On the other hand, according to the White House and its Press(titute) Corps, all can be made well by sending our celebrated war machine, er, DEFENSE apparatus to Ukraine. After all, those damn Russkies have got a real nerve ... putting their bloody country so close to all those military bases of ours.

    Obama = Bush. Both they and their respective Parties are practicing now-firmly established, neoconservative expansionist (Imperial) policy via pre-emptive warfare and endless FBI-CIA destabilizing operations, on at least five Continents.

    Pursuit of global hegemony has also meant the end of seriously organized domestic dissent, the personal freedom simply to be left alone and the ultimate, inevitable exclusion of certain entitled Persons from the Rule of Law.

    In case one hasn't noticed, cops are increasingly, violently running amok everywhere in the U.S., with near total-impunity.

    Consider the Tsarnaev witness, Ibragim Todashev, shot six times by a Special Agent, once in the head, six hours into his 3rd formal FBI interrogation. An apparent execution, his death would appear to constitute manslaughter at least.

    Todashev's killing was recently ruled "justifiable" by the Miami-Dade D.A. In an awake society that would constitute grounds for an instant recall election and replacement of an apparently tainted D.A.

    Unfortunately the precise opposite is the general reality: Todashev's is anything but an isolated case. The killer cop almost always walks.

    Isn't it 'curious' that out of all the crime statistics kept in America's endless supply of security-state computer memory, one statistic that ISN'T kept is how many people die annually at the hands of police?

    Roland's is more than a quote. It's a truism.

    "A-mer-ika, A-mer-ika ... God's Face has turned from thee ...
    No lamp of Light, no Bill of Rights ...
    corrupt from sea to sea."
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
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    This is certainly a way to determine if you are in a police state and their or others. The War on Drugs comes to mind.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
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    Well said, Mann.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Quite the statement from Mann. Thence upwards.
     -- Ron w13, Or     
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    Mann, very accurate - said well ! ! !
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    It is inevitable Being left alone to become what you will, as they evolve in understanding. Many aspects of Power and Freedom not openly discussed amongst those, not prepared for the transformation of practical reasoning. The veil removed or rent if you will. But whose to call a spade a spade. The governing powers still held to higher powers than themselves. All thing will be reveled in due time. Nothing hid that shall not be reveled.
     -- Ron w13, Or     
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    Or create a different set of laws for themselves.
     -- Roland, Bonner's Ferry     
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    MAGA WWG1WGA
     -- Ronw13, OR     
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     -- bojela, Dover, NH      
     
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