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Thread: The Big Lie About Police Brutality is Claiming itís Not Rampant"

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    The Big Lie About Police Brutality is Claiming itís Not Rampant"

    Police brutality is in the news, thanks to the widespread availability of amateur video and the omnipresence of security cameras.

    We've seen scene after scene of police beating the crap out of, and even shooting and killing unarmed or minimally dangerous students, women, old men and crazy people, many of them after they have been handcuffed and checked for weapons.

    The police brass, and leading politicians who oversee the departments involved, nearly always have the same answer: This is not the norm, these are isolated incidents, police violence is not on the rise.

    The thing is, of course, it is on the rise. Just as the exonerations of supposed murders and rapists are only those where there was DNA available to prove their innocence, while many more are also clearly wrongly facing death or long prison sentences, the scenes of brutality we're seeing on the videos are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg too. What is different is that we're seeing these things at all. It used to be that getting videos of police brutality was very rare -- like the taping of the notorious police assault on the prone body of Rodney King by Los Angeles cops during a traffic stop. It just happened that someone with a video camera was at the scene when it occurred. Nowadays everyone with a cellphone is a potential videographer, so we're seeing more of what really goes on when police make their arrests.

    Just check out the latest video of LAPD officers body slamming a 5'4" nurse (two times!) who had the audacity to get out of her car when they stopped her for talking on her cell phone while driving (this particular video was taken by a surveillance camera at a store focussed on the parking lot where police had followed the woman's car). Note that one of the burly cops slamming this small handcuffed woman to the ground and later fist-bumping to celebrate with his younger partner holds the rank of commander -- he's a 20-year veteran of the LAPD.

    Or check out this video of four LAPD cops on top of a 19-year-old (black) student stopped for skateboarding on the wrong side of the street. After he was down and handcuffed he was punched in the face by a cop, breaking his nose and cheekbone. This for a very minor offense, not even warranting an arrest, but just a citation.

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    But it's not just Los Angeles. We also have videos like this one of a young woman stopped by a cop in Florida. In this case the cop was fired and jailed after his supervisor viewed the video, taken by the camera on the cop's own car. This case was unusual. The woman filed no complaint about the abuse, probably figuring it would be pointless. But in a standard review of the officer's video footage, the incident was spotted and referred up the chain to the department chief who was outraged at the treatment of a handcuffed woman.

    Much worse was the killing, by six Saginaw, Michigan cops, of a troubled homeless man who had called 9-11 after an argument with a shop attendant. Standing far from the cops, and holding a small knife, he was shot, apparently, judging from the video, as he was walking away from the officers, who hit him with a volley of 46 shots, killing him. This video was taken by someone in the parking lot who had a cell phone. Two months later, the local DA is still allegedly claiming to still be "investigating" that tragic incident.

    The thing we need to all recognize is that these videos are just the incidents that have been captured on video. They clearly reflect something that is going on all the time, usually without any video to record it, or often even without any eye witnesses.

    Police in too many departments are out of control. Too many departments are allowing their uniformed and armed cops to act as though they are an occupying army. Many of the younger cops may even have come from military duty in Iraq and Afghanistan where they actually were acting as an occupying army since in many jurisdictions there is a preference given to hiring such veterans. That would be fine if those veterans were put through training programs to make clear to them that there is a fundamental difference between war and policing, and that the public here at home is not the enemy, but I sincerely doubt that that is being done in most police departments. Indeed, given the mindless hanging of the appellation "hero" on everyone who wears or once wore a military uniform in our current war-obsessed culture, veterans who become cops are probably seen as ideal for the job.

    The attitude of being occupiers and in a state of war with the people being "policed" is enhanced by politicians who call for tough policing, and by the Pentagon, which is handing out military equipment to police like candy to trick-or-treaters. Police are routinely armed with M-16s in their squad cars. We all saw the result of this kind of militarization of the police in the ease with which police in cities across the country, from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles to Portland and points in between became paramilitary goons in attacking peaceful Occupy Movement protesters with everything from tear gas canisters and rubber bullets to mace or pepper spray aimed point blank into faces.

    Or look at what happened when a whacked and sacked employee in New York City staked out a spot near his former employer and executed a supervisor he felt had gotten him fired. Two cops on the street, when he turned towards them still holding his gun, unloaded their service revolvers at him on the crowded street, killing him but also injuring nine innocent bystanders.

    We can call that a panicky reaction to having a man with a gun point it at you, but we need to expect better of our police. These were men who at least should have been wearing bullet-proof vests, making them much better protected than all the people on the sidewalk they were sworn to protect. Even if they had felt the need to protect themselves by firing at the gunman, they were clearly out of line emptying their weapons at him. What they did is a tactic called "spray and pray" by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It means firing off everything you've got if a bullet is fired your way. It's deadly, and it's an inappropriate tactic in an urban setting even in war time. It's even more outrageous in the middle of midtown Manhattan at the morning rush hour.

    What is happening to this country?

    I'm sure all the Republican yahoos in the Tampa Convention Center who called out for the dotty old Clint Eastwood to reprise his famous and overused "Dirty Harry" line of "Go ahead, make my day!", and who shouted out the line enthusiastically as he offered it up for them at the end of his painfully embarrassing 12-minute ramble, think that all this police violence is just fine.

    But it's not. Police officers are not Dirty Harry. They are supposed to be trained professionals tasked with protecting the public, not putting them in even worse jeopardy. I keep coming back to firefighters, who are true heroes. Would a firefighter pull down a house while people were inside, in order to put out a blaze? Of course not. But police emptying their guns wildly at an armed man on a crowded street is the same thing as doing that, and they did it without hesitation. That nobody was killed by police fire is simply a matter of dumb luck in this case.

    As I just wrote this past week, I was recently threatened with arrest and jail by a bullying cop from the town of Horsham, Pennsylvania for standing legally on the grass beside the road trying to hitchhike. I was lied to by the officer, who claimed that hitchhiking is illegal in the state (it's only illegal if you stand on the road and the officer should have known, and surely did know this), which is bad enough, but to be threatened with arrest and jail for something that, even had I been in violation, gets you a citation and which carries a $35 fine (it's just a summary offense), is simply outrageous. And suppose I had argued with this officer? He might well have cuffed me and then slammed me into the ground or into the side of his SUV before hauling me in on a charge of resisting arrest, and would anyone have been surprised?

    Sadly no. This is law enforcement today in America. There are plenty of good cops who take their work seriously, and do their job properly, but as some of those cops have told me themselves, there are also way too many who are just thugs in uniforms, and there are precious few chiefs of police, few district attorneys, and few mayors who have the political courage (exhibited by the chief in the Florida case above) to take them on, to punish abusive behavior and to demand that policing be about "protecting and serving," and not about brutalizing those who are being confronted for alleged law-breaking.

    The advent of cameras in the hands of the masses is a good thing (there's a reason why so many cops illegally harass and even arrest or confiscate the cameras or cell phones of those who try to videotape or photograph their activities, as cops just doing their job should have no fear of cameras), but it won't end the problem of rampant police brutality in America. Only a broad public demand for more civil and appropriate, constitutional and humane behavior by our police will accomplish that. If we don't come together and make that demand, we continue a drift towards becoming a police state, a path along which the United State is already dangerously well advanced.
    http://www.nationofchange.org/it-s-n...ant-1346588239



    ABOUT DAVE LINDORFF
    Dave Lindorff is an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com. He received a Project Censored award in 2004. Dave is also a founding member of the online newspaper ThisCantBeHappening! at www.thiscantbehappening.net

  2. #2
    Counterpunch. Salon. No moveon.org

    Left wing rags.

    How about articles on the increase in BLACK crime in the U.S. Shall we put all blacks in concentration camps now?
    There have been and always will be SOME examples of police getting out of line. Just like a lot of Marines are criminals waiting to happen. Perhaps Parris Island should be shuttered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    Counterpunch. Salon. No moveon.org

    Left wing rags.

    How about articles on the increase in BLACK crime in the U.S. Shall we put all blacks in concentration camps now?
    There have been and always will be SOME examples of police getting out of line. Just like a lot of Marines are criminals waiting to happen. Perhaps Parris Island should be shuttered.
    You sound like one of the guys who thought that running up deficits over the past 40 years was a good thing to do. As long as it is the republicans in charge...

    I found this part interesting:

    there is a fundamental difference between war and policing,
    You always desire to treat American citizens like POW's, clearly overlooking this point.

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    Police shooting armed individuals is not brutality, it's a justifiable (both legally and ethically) action. A disturbed, homeless guy with a knife is a threat, period. Doesn't matter if he is moving away or towards you. A person unstable enough to plot, shoot and kill his former boss is a threat, period. A combat situation is a combat situation, regardless of whether it takes place in Afghanistan or NYC, period. Your bias overshadows your recognizing that. Makes me think you were in the rear with the gear, too.

    Oh, and LOL at the "police are ROUTINELY armed with M-16s in their squad cars"! I guess since this lines up with your ideology you choose to overlook "facts" like that, huh? Speaking of which, how come no citations of increased prevalence?
    Last edited by Jetworks; 09-03-2012 at 04:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    Police shooting armed individuals is not brutality, it's a justifiable (both legally and ethically) action. A disturbed, homeless guy with a knife is a threat, period. Doesn't matter if he is moving away or towards you. A person unstable enough to plot, shoot and kill his former boss is a threat, period. A combat situation is a combat situation, regardless of whether it takes place in Afghanistan or NYC, period. Your bias overshadows your recognizing that. Makes me think you were in the rear with the gear, too.

    Oh, and LOL at the "police are ROUTINELY armed with M-16s in their squad cars"! I guess since this lines up with your ideology you choose to overlook "facts" like that, huh? Speaking of which, how come no citations of increased prevalence?
    Couldn't they have just shot him in the leg?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetsfanfromtheBURGH View Post
    Couldn't they have just shot him in the leg?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    I don't know what that means. Sorry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetdawgg View Post
    This may or may not be true. In a country of 310+ million people the evidence presented in this article can be fairly easily dismissed as anecdotal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    ... A disturbed, homeless guy with a knife is a threat, period. Doesn't matter if he is moving away or towards youÖ
    Sound argument except for this part.

    This all smacks of the ďcops are always badĒ vs. ďthe police are justified in any action they takeĒ arguments. And those argument make my head hurt. Police officers are people. They have been screened and most of them are good people. But some of them are not. That is just human nature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    Police shooting armed individuals is not brutality, it's a justifiable (both legally and ethically) action. A disturbed, homeless guy with a knife is a threat, period. Doesn't matter if he is moving away or towards you. A person unstable enough to plot, shoot and kill his former boss is a threat, period. A combat situation is a combat situation, regardless of whether it takes place in Afghanistan or NYC, period. Your bias overshadows your recognizing that. Makes me think you were in the rear with the gear, too.

    Oh, and LOL at the "police are ROUTINELY armed with M-16s in their squad cars"! I guess since this lines up with your ideology you choose to overlook "facts" like that, huh? Speaking of which, how come no citations of increased prevalence?
    You are entitled to your thoughts, even if they are wrong. Like i said last week on another thread, this is a growing and dangerous situation. More prevalent than most dare to admit.

    As for the M-16's:
    http://www.usacarry.com/forums/gener...-ar15-m16.html

    Where have you been hiding?

    BTW, I was one of 420 US Marines stationed on GTMO against the 59,000 manned Cuban Army, so child please.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetsfanfromtheBURGH View Post
    I don't know what that means. Sorry
    It means I wasn't sure if you were serious about whether or not the cops should have shot them in the leg. If that was serious, it shows a profound lack of understanding about policing and the use of deadly physical force.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    This may or may not be true. In a country of 310+ million people the evidence presented in this article can be fairly easily dismissed as anecdotal.


    Sound argument except for this part.

    This all smacks of the “cops are always bad” vs. “the police are justified in any action they take” arguments. And those argument make my head hurt. Police officers are people. They have been screened and most of them are good people. But some of them are not. That is just human nature.
    Cops are justified in the two examples I cited. OP will never admit that, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetdawgg View Post
    You are entitled to your thoughts, even if they are wrong. Like i said last week on another thread, this is a growing and dangerous situation. More prevalent than most dare to admit.

    As for the M-16's:
    http://www.usacarry.com/forums/gener...-ar15-m16.html

    Where have you been hiding?

    BTW, I was one of 420 US Marines stationed on GTMO against the 59,000 manned Cuban Army, so child please.....
    Where are "my thoughts" wrong? Go read some operational orders or CPLs about the use of deadly physical force and get back to me about what is actionable and justifiable, instead of relying on sophist posts of bloggers. And then get some relevant numbers to back up your claims that it's more prevalent. Until then, please preface all of these posts you make with "IMO", because that's what they are, opinions.

    The citation you have offered up about the M16s is, in fact, about AR15s. It goes on to say that the the MPDC trained 10% of their force. That is most certainly not "routinely". The Miami PD started using them in response to an officer being shot by a bad guy that had one. Would you prefer that LEOs be under-equipped to meet that? Or do you think it's better practice to have shotguns, which are inherently less accurate? And since the article is 4 years old, are there updated statistics about this "rampant" increase in the equipping of rifles? Also, how does this relate to police brutality? Carrying better equipment does not equal abuse.

    Still waiting to hear you justify the position that the two cases I cited were not good shootings. Of course, you having no LE training puts you at a disadvantage for understanding the legalities of the situations, but I'm still curious to hear how you would have handled them. Guy has a knife, is clearly altered, what do you do? Guy has a gun, has killed someone in plain sight in NYC, what do you do? Seriously, I'd love to hear your answers.

    Not lessening my respect for those that stood the wall, but by your admission, you've never seen any combat then?
    Last edited by Jetworks; 09-03-2012 at 07:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    It means I wasn't sure if you were serious about whether or not the cops should have shot them in the leg. If that was serious, it shows a profound lack of understanding about policing and the use of deadly physical force.



    Cops are justified in the two examples I cited. OP will never admit that, though.



    Where are "my thoughts" wrong? Go read some operational orders or CPLs about the use of deadly physical force and get back to me about what is actionable and justifiable, instead of relying on sophist posts of bloggers. And then get some relevant numbers to back up your claims that it's more prevalent. Until then, please preface all of these posts you make with "IMO", because that's what they are, opinions.

    The citation you have offered up about the M16s is, in fact, about AR15s. It goes on to say that the the MPDC trained 10% of their force. That is most certainly not "routinely". The Miami PD started using them in response to an officer being shot by a bad guy that had one. Would you prefer that LEOs be under-equipped to meet that? Or do you think it's better practice to have shotguns, which are inherently less accurate? And since the article is 4 years old, are there updated statistics about this "rampant" increase in the equipping of rifles? Also, how does this relate to police brutality? Carrying better equipment does not equal abuse.

    Still waiting to hear you justify the position that the two cases I cited were not good shootings. Of course, you having no LE training puts you at a disadvantage for understanding the legalities of the situations, but I'm still curious to hear how you would have handled them. Guy has a knife, is clearly altered, what do you do? Guy has a gun, has killed someone in plain sight in NYC, what do you do? Seriously, I'd love to hear your answers.

    Not lessening my respect for those that stood the wall, but by your admission, you've never seen any combat then?
    I understand about deadly force. No matter how you spin it, 40 or more shots is a tad excessive. It's a clearly shows the lack of training on the police part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    It means I wasn't sure if you were serious about whether or not the cops should have shot them in the leg. If that was serious, it shows a profound lack of understanding about policing and the use of deadly physical force.



    Cops are justified in the two examples I cited. OP will never admit that, though.



    Where are "my thoughts" wrong? Go read some operational orders or CPLs about the use of deadly physical force and get back to me about what is actionable and justifiable, instead of relying on sophist posts of bloggers. And then get some relevant numbers to back up your claims that it's more prevalent. Until then, please preface all of these posts you make with "IMO", because that's what they are, opinions.

    The citation you have offered up about the M16s is, in fact, about AR15s. It goes on to say that the the MPDC trained 10% of their force. That is most certainly not "routinely". The Miami PD started using them in response to an officer being shot by a bad guy that had one. Would you prefer that LEOs be under-equipped to meet that? Or do you think it's better practice to have shotguns, which are inherently less accurate? And since the article is 4 years old, are there updated statistics about this "rampant" increase in the equipping of rifles? Also, how does this relate to police brutality? Carrying better equipment does not equal abuse.

    Still waiting to hear you justify the position that the two cases I cited were not good shootings. Of course, you having no LE training puts you at a disadvantage for understanding the legalities of the situations, but I'm still curious to hear how you would have handled them. Guy has a knife, is clearly altered, what do you do? Guy has a gun, has killed someone in plain sight in NYC, what do you do? Seriously, I'd love to hear your answers.

    Not lessening my respect for those that stood the wall, but by your admission, you've never seen any combat then?
    I never saw combat.

    Does not mean that I am any less of a Marine. I answered the call. The politics of the day is out of every Marine's ability. You have no idea how tough it is to keep Marines out of combat (in garrison). It is difficult to keep the 'Dog's of War' reigned in (lol).

    I often see where a LEO states that they 'feared for their life'. There are several places in the world where Marines and Soldiers stand guard solo. That individual IS the front line of defense. GTMO is one of those places.

    There is a big sign in Camp Lejeune; "Every Man is Expendable". Once a Marine sees that reality, any fear they may have is lost for good. My Honorable Discharge, Service to my Nation and Rank speaks volumes about my courage and character.

    Furthermore, even if I served AD today and was a POGUE Marine, I'd STILL be called 'Marine'

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jetdawgg View Post
    You sound like one of the guys who thought that running up deficits over the past 40 years was a good thing to do. As long as it is the republicans in charge...

    I found this part interesting:



    You always desire to treat American citizens like POW's, clearly overlooking this point.

    The KING of Deficits is Obama. Well over 1/3 of the debt is HIS. In 3 1/2 years. Versus ALL the presidents before him.
    And the worst is yet to come. We will have a $20+trill deficits at the end of 8 years. That means he will have more debt than evry pres inhistory combined. that's what never having worked for a living does.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jetdawgg View Post
    I never saw combat.

    Does not mean that I am any less of a Marine. I answered the call. The politics of the day is out of every Marine's ability. You have no idea how tough it is to keep Marines out of combat (in garrison). It is difficult to keep the 'Dog's of War' reigned in (lol).

    I often see where a LEO states that they 'feared for their life'. There are several places in the world where Marines and Soldiers stand guard solo. That individual IS the front line of defense. GTMO is one of those places.

    There is a big sign in Camp Lejeune; "Every Man is Expendable". Once a Marine sees that reality, any fear they may have is lost for good. My Honorable Discharge, Service to my Nation and Rank speaks volumes about my courage and character.

    Furthermore, even if I served AD today and was a POGUE Marine, I'd STILL be called 'Marine'

    Being a former Army combat officer and son of a Marine combat airman, I am surprised at your apparent total disrespect for authority.
    It begs the question as to whether you were in fact separated from the Marine Corps honorably or under other circumstances. Bad attitudes don't go away that quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetdawgg View Post
    You are entitled to your thoughts, even if they are wrong. Like i said last week on another thread, this is a growing and dangerous situation. More prevalent than most dare to admit.

    As for the M-16's:
    http://www.usacarry.com/forums/gener...-ar15-m16.html

    Where have you been hiding?

    BTW, I was one of 420 US Marines stationed on GTMO against the 59,000 manned Cuban Army
    , so child please.....
    Got into a lot of firefights there, huh?

    Thank you for your service, and if there actually had been a war between Cuba and the US you would've been in a bad position, so I imagine it was tense, but Child Please is right. You were a guard on a cold border along which no shots have been fired for what, decades? That's not combat duty.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    Got into a lot of firefights there, huh?

    Thank you for your service, and if there actually had been a war between Cuba and the US you would've been in a bad position, so I imagine it was tense, but Child Please is right. You were a guard on a cold border along which no shots have been fired for what, decades? That's not combat duty.

    It's CODE RED, baby. LOL

    Better GITMO than on the border with East Germany and/or Czechoslavakia 43 years ago. Done that. 10 divisions versus 100+.

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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    Being a former Army combat officer and son of a Marine combat airman, I am surprised at your apparent total disrespect for authority.
    It begs the question as to whether you were in fact separated from the Marine Corps honorably or under other circumstances. Bad attitudes don't go away that quickly.
    LOL. What authority?

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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    How about articles on the increase in BLACK crime in the U.S.
    We could also have some articles on nasty white people who like to cook up cold medicine in red states while their toddlers are running around their trailer.

    Go South!! METH!! Woot!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetdawgg View Post
    I never saw combat......
    That answered my last question, didn't need the accompanying soliloquy you provided. Maybe you should have concentrated those energies into answering the rest of the questions I put forth that are germane to the conversation.

    I'll wait....

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    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    Got into a lot of firefights there, huh?

    Thank you for your service, and if there actually had been a war between Cuba and the US you would've been in a bad position, so I imagine it was tense, but Child Please is right. You were a guard on a cold border along which no shots have been fired for what, decades? That's not combat duty.
    Shots were always exchanged while I was stationed there. There was even a missile fired near the Marine Barracks one night. Cuba is the place where the USA announced DEFCON 2. Mostly they shot to at us.

    I had dinner last year in NYC with a Marine buddy of mine who was stationed with me then, we laughed about it. You have no idea what it is like to spend ONE night on guard duty in GTMO or the 38th Parallel.

    It is dark, hot, humid and lots of sounds that you have to distinguish. Viscous mosquitoes. Scorpions. Snakes. Huge crabs. Lizards. The Minefield. Wild Boars. The Cubans were easy to deal with (lol).

    We did not even get a full magazine of rounds back then. Guess they wanted us to use the rounds upon ourselves if the Cubans came full force (lol)

    That is just one of the exciting places that I spent some time at. Marines are trained for killing and combat. When the Iraq war began in 2003, I went to sign up again. The Marines won't take you past the age of 29.

    I never stated that I saw combat. I was sure looking for it!!!!! And I went to some of the right places to get. It is all about timing. Combat makes Marines comfortable. That's why there are only a 'few' of us.

    Our retention rate is higher when there is a war. 70% of the Marines leave when there is no war.

    Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.
    Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

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