This is sufficiently long enough that I notice a lot of changes… some so drastic that they hit me in the head like a baseball bat.
For example, just last week when I was at Los Angeles International Airport, the police set up a checkpoint outside the main entrance as if we were in downtown Baghdad driving into the Green Zone.
And I couldn’t believe my eyes when, driving down Santa Monica Boulevard last Wednesday, I saw a police urban assault vehicle modeled after a US Army mechanized infantry fighting vehicle. It’s designed for one thing: maximum destruction.
It’s truly appalling how police forces across the country have become militarized. The concept of ‘peace officer’ no longer exists. Police are now paramilitary forces who only protect and serve the political class.
Because I’ve been out of the country for so long, I notice these changes more acutely; it’s like diving in head first into ice-cold water as opposed to wading in slowly. And this rise of the police state is accelerating.