I write often about the paramilitarization of American law enforcement, while always vaguely assuming it will never get too near my own corner of rural New Hampshire. But who knows? Reid Smith writes today about his particular hometown in Pennsylvania:
Haverford straddles the border between Delaware and Montgomery Counties, some ten miles west of Philadelphia. According to Wikipedia, it's most notable for being home to the renowned Haverford College and the Merion Cricket Club. The former is best known for its intellectual rigor and Quaker antecedents; the latter for its beautiful grass tennis courts.
The local geography gets a little tricky, but a portion of the unincorporated town of Haverford is part of greater Haverford Township in Delaware County (affectionately known as "Delco").
Today a friend sent me an article from a local webzine. This is the sort of digital publication that usually leads with headlines about "Cast-Iron Cookware Restoration with Apple Cider and Elbow Grease" and heartfelt features on do-gooding business leaders.
But not today. Instead The Haverford-Havertown Patch's editor Alison Smith is enthusing over the local constabulary's purchase of a 2014 Lenco "BearCat" ballistic-engineered, armored-response vehicle (see picture). Everyone's happy. The County Council:
"As businesses continue to expand here in Delaware County, we are continually committed to making sure that our police have the ability to address new threats," said Delaware County Council Chairman Thomas McGarrigle.
Who knew a thriving business community presented such a threat to the security environment? Hey, it's not just businesses, it's also the local grade-school:
"We now have the ability to protect our police officers as they approach homes, businesses and schools while taking direct fire," said District Attorney Jack Whelan.
The SWAT ONE can "carry up to ten people, and has night-vision optics, a gas-injection system and a battering ram. It can withstand hits from a .50-caliber projectile". Why would anyone buy anything so superfluous? Ah, well:
The vehicle, a 2014 Lenco "BearCat" ballistic-engineered, armored-response vehicle, was purchased with Homeland Security grants under FEMA's Urban Area Security Initiative program.
Oh, right. Maybe the Afghan war only makes sense if you look on it as a dry run for Pennsylvania... As Laura Rosen Cohen says:
This is not a police force, it's a bloody army and the guns are being turned against you.
~I mentioned the other day my late colleague Auberon Waugh's amazing prescience on the matter of "hamburger gases", now being blamed (some two decades after Bron first advanced the theory) for global warming. But it's not just the bovine flatulence emitted by the cheeseburger when it's still in its four-legged state. The very act of cooking the cheeseburger is a further destablization of the climate all by itself:
Christian Pfrang at the University of Reading, UK, and colleagues, studied the ozone oxidation kinetics of methyl oleate monolayers at the air–water interface using experiments designed to mimic the atmospheric degradation of aerosols formed from fatty acid surfactants and moisture droplets. The experiments were carried out by skimming a fine beam of neutrons off a free air–water interface while the oxidation reaction took place. They found that the methyl ester monolayers broke down much faster than expected based on reported lifetimes in the atmosphere, suggesting that the long-chain organics are taken up into the droplet itself, where they are protected from further ozonolysis.
The presence of particulate matter in the atmosphere is a major health concern and may ultimately have significant climate change implications. Reports suggest that around a third of directly emitted aerosols above central London come from cooking, the majority of which are rich in oleic acid derivatives produced by cooking meat.
Don't let Michelle Obama hear about this, or she'll be sending that SWAT ONE Lenco Bearcat round to take out the local McDonald's.
Still, every hamburger-gas cloud has a silver lining:
These types of emissions are on the rise as vehicles move towards biofuels, another source of fatty acid methyl esters.
Don't follow a biofuel vehicle into the Burger King drive-thru is my advice. Or, if you do, make sure you're in a SWAT ONE when the cheeseburger/biofuel powder keg goes up.
~Thanks for all your emails in re my guest-hosting for Rush today. Buck Sexton will be behind the Golden EIB Microphone on Monday, and I hope you'll join me back on the air for Tuesday's show.