NextBurgh, PA          @VannevarB      About      Pittsburgh Murals
November 23, 2011

What do we expect when we give police military equipment, training, and orders?

We must point out that for all the discussion of the militarization of civilian police forces and the depiction of civilians as the enemy, we do not intend to criticize the policemen themselves.

We do intend to criticize their training, equipment, expanded mission, and the lack of accountability among the leaders authorities who give them their orders. We are putting these good people (police) into terrible situations with unrealistic expectations, the political leadership expects special-forces capabilities in civilian settings, and the military-industrial complex sees the Mayberry Police Dept. as a profit center.

This criticism is not about the good men and women who put on the uniform. When authorities put a squad of highly trained men with assault weapons into a crowd of 2000 fully enabled college students with impractical orders, what do we expect to happen other than another Kent State? It's the authorities who are bungling this. At one time, they were called The Establishment.

Post-9/11 Trends in Children's Dolls

Toy manufacturers are eerily good at presenting military hardware and military dolls action figures. Admiral Rickover condemned Ravell for producing a model of the Polaris submarine that he claimed provided the Soviet Union with classified information.

The toymaking industry's affinity with soldiers and weapons may be that they share a seminal root; maybe the guns and gear are just very expensive and very dangerous toys for older little boys.

The various incarnations of Hasbro's GI Joe presents a chronicle of the changing role, definition, and kit of the modern military. They've followed our post-911 lead and expanded the production line to include policemen. It's kind of interesting to see the progression.

The earliest common point of military figures and police figures is, inevitably, the military police (MP) figure.

legacy Military Police United Nations peacekeeper MP

These are the legacy civilian Police GI Joe's:
classic NYPD patrolman
 NYPD Riot Squad

This is the 2011 Police Officer GI Joe, equipped with helmet, ballistic safety glasses, 9mm Semi-automatic pistol with utility belt, MP-5 tactical assault rifle with 2 clips, gas grenade and police dog with spring-loaded jaws (to maintain the essential "Selma" capability):

From Hasbro:
This 12-inch G.I. JOE figure is a real American hero with the real firepower he needs to prevail against the enemies of the country he serves! In his authentic police uniform and safety glasses, he’ll look like the warrior he is whether he’s fighting the battles you send him into or standing in your collection. Put his pistol or gas grenade in one hand, leaving the other hand free for his K-9 companion’s leash! Order will be restored with your G.I. JOE figure on patrol!

Maybe it's just me. That's not a police officer, that's a soldier wearing fatigues with a gas grenade and an assault rifle. This is not the guy who should be giving a ticket to college kids for camping without a permit.

Finally, toy collectors are expecting the doll action figure depicted below to be introduced as the first "Homeland Security GI Joe", also known as "Need-to-Know Joe".

His uniform doesn't need any insignia or identification of agency. You don't need to know.

The local police vs federal agents distinction is irrelevant.

The civilian vs military distinction is irrelevant. You don't need to know.

The government vs contractor distinction is irrelevant.

When Need-to-Know Joe tells you to do something, you just Obey.

Questioning is Resistance.
Hesitation is Resistance.
Resistance is futile.


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