Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Grigg, channeling Solzhenitsyn again...

...shit, just spend some time over at Pro Libertate, and pick any random article.  Cross-reference with even the first few chapters of The Gulag Archipelago.  That latter book may be the single most frightening historical document that a modern American could read--because it's in progress, right now, here, where things like that don't happen.

Grigg's most recent rage generator is on "rogue cops"--meaning peace officers rather than law enforcers--and what happens to them when they stray from the Cheka playbook:

Witness the case of former Austin Police Department Officer Ramon Perez, who joined the force as a 41-year-old rookie cop because of a sincere desire to protect people from crime. During a January 2005 domestic violence incident, Perez refused an order by a superior officer, Robert Paranich, to use his Taser on an elderly man who was not a threat to himself or anybody else.

Owing to the fact that the subject was a frail man of advanced years, Perez was understandably concerned that the portable electro-shock torture device would kill him. Furthermore, using the Taser in that situation would have violated the explicit provisions of the Austin PD’s Taser Policy. Perez was able to resolve the situation through de-escalation, rather than by using potentially lethal force to “impose authority.”

Two days later, Perez was given what could only be considered a punitive transfer to the night shift. Two months later, following a second incident in which Perez chose de-escalation over armed compulsion, he was invited to what he was told would be a “counseling” session with the APD’s staff psychologist, Carol Logan. The purpose of that meeting, Perez was told, was to help him develop better “communication skills” with his fellow officers. In fact, it was a disguised “fit-for-duty review” convened to find a pretext to purge the probationary officer from the force before the “rogue cop” could infect others with his respect for individual rights.

There's lots more, as usual, over at Grigg's site, and it's hard to actually stop once you start seeing all the parallels with Solzhenitsyn.  They're everywhere.

And they cut both ways, too.  When you start to get depressed that we're just hurtling toward the same conclusions with no one seeming to care, remember that huge numbers of the Only One faithful met their own Vasili Blokhin as well.

Get that, thugocrats?  There's always someone Onlier than you.  And that's if you succeed.


Plug Nickel Outfit said...

Kevin - thought I'd take an opportunity to say "hello". I've seen your name occasionally in comments at other sites I visit and had answered a question you had about a Solzhenitsyn attribution over at Claire's blog a couple weeks ago. At the time I checked out your blog from a link you'd left and have dropped by a couple times since.

From some of your own posts and comments elsewhere I gather that The Gulag Archipelago has been a meaningful read for you so far - I'm not surprised. I first read it about 25 years ago and I was deeply struck by the rendering. Naturally - too - this led me to read some of his other books - First Circle, Cancer Ward, and A Day in the Life...

I can appreciate your situation as you read the book in these times - particularly with these new-fangled interwebs at hand. It doesn't surprise me that you'd bring it up in comments and postings as you work your way through it. Back when I read it - iirc - nobody I knew wanted to discuss the book with me. Back then - I think my ex just wanted me to set it aside and put my head back into the day-to-day concerns! I can understand how she probably saw things - but it definitely seemed to me that the man had a story and a warning appropriate for any time. It certainly affected my way of regarding 'my fellow man' and their capabilities.

Anyway - just wanted to pipe up and introduce myself. I'll be interested in seeing your comments as you continue with the story.

Btw - there's a section of the book I've been wanting to reference for a while now - but haven't found a copy of GA around to check... When you get to it - would you mind mentioning it here on your blog? It'd be in the last 1/3 of the book when he is describing treatment of various political prisoners. The few paragraph section begins with "In 194*, in Minsk" (iirc) and ends with a statement to the effect that "one can't cry for everyone when they live in a graveyard". In between those two points he describes a 'death march'. I recall it to be a particularly moving passage but haven't been able to search it out online. I've found references to his remark about 'living in a graveyard' - but none of them include the earlier passage about the forced march.

Plug Nickel Outfit said...

Kevin - scratch that last part about the passage request! I followed your link in an earlier post about your beginning the book to the Wiki entry and found the link to the Archive.org copy.


Don't know why that didn't come up some time ago when I'd tried finding the text online...?

Fwiw - I've a copy of the book in my 'library' - but that's been in storage for about 10 years now!