Rise of the stealth oligarchy.

AuthorHightower, Jim
PositionVOX POPULIST - Unjust military operations - Essay

It can be tough policing the mean streets in these days of desperation, when drug cartels and other hardened criminals are out there ... somewhere ... you really can't know where ... until they strike, and another civilian is marked with a V for Victim.

But the good people of Orange County, Florida, are lucky, because they've got the astonishing team of DBPR (the Department of Business and Professional Regulation) and OCSO (Orange County Sheriffs Office) keeping watch, ready and able to preempt any criminal gang before it can strike locals with the dreaded V. In fact, a recent ruling by a US Court of Appeals documents the truly incredible vigilance of this dynamic duo.

The target in this case was a suspicious enterprise calling itself Strictly Skillz. Agents spent a month carefully planning a joint sweep operation, including an armed SWAT team in full battle dress. On the day of the raid, the team sealed off the parking lot. Next, two plainclothes cops entered to size up the danger. And then: BAM! The SWAT team hit the unsuspecting subjects. Wearing riot gear and brandishing their guns, the team seized half a dozen of the enterprise's kingpins, cuffed them, and laid them out on the floor, while officers searched the premises for more than an hour. Alas, nothing criminal was found.

You might think that this was a narcotics operation. Nope. Strictly Skillz is just a barber shop. What possible criminal activity led to this militaristic show of brute force? "Barbering without a license." That's a mere second-degree misdemeanor. But there was no violation, for all licenses at the shop were valid. DBPR could've determined that by a routine inspection, but instead OCSO got involved to muscle the barbers, because ... well, because it has a SWAT team and a military mentality.

In this case, the court not only yanked this abusive duo's Constitutional chain, but...

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