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How Fascism Becomes Entrenched


From Lake County, Florida, this is pretty incredible.

Or as this guy says:

I’m sure Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III approves.

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  • efgoldman

    I’m sure Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III approves.

    I’m sure his boss does, too.

    • To protect corral and serve stomp.

    • ema

      How is this legal? Since when are public servants allowed to go incognito while on duty?

      • rea

        Florida indeed has an anti-Klan law prohibiting going masked in public.

        • los

          excellent disguise for Daesh/ISIS/ISIL to wander freely through Florida police facilities.

  • randomworker

    Holy fuck.

  • DocAmazing

    I hate Florida ninjas.

    • efgoldman

      I hate Florida ninjas.

      If I never go to Florida again, it will be too soon.
      I wonder how brave they are without weapons.

      • sigaba

        They have weapons, and the knowledge that they will never have to answer for using them, against anyone.

        They look like FSB. Or the private security guys Mexican billionaires hire– then again, isn’t that what they are?

      • UnderTheSun

        Obviously not brave enough to stand on stage looking like total wassocks without maintaining a high degree on anonymity. On the other hand that does suggest they might not be complete morons.

    • McAllen

      “Florida Ninja Tries to Kill Alligator, Impales Himself on His Own Katana.”

      • Karen24

        We can only hope.

      • MyNameIsZweig

        If I don’t see a legit version of this headline at least twice a week for the rest of my life, I will feel cheated somehow.

  • 21st Century Klan. But if we all vote & are politically active, that’ll straighten things right out.

    • efgoldman

      But if we all vote & are politically active, that’ll straighten things right out.

      I can’t tell if you’re being serious or snarkastic, but either way, if we DON’T vote, nothing gets straightened out.

      • I’m sure Sheriff Hilter there was duly elected by a majority (of morons).

        Serious or snarking, bullets beat votes every time.

        • mark

          Lake County gave us Sheriff McCall, who was re-elected 5 times or so after deciding the best way to teach some high profile defendants a lesson was to shoot them.

          It does not appear to have gotten better. What country do these people think they live in?

          • Sheriff McC. must be a hell of a dick to get his own Wiki entry.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            Their Good Book says something about spare the bullet, spoil the defendant.

            • los

              don’t spare the bullet; the defendant spoils

              /unless well-preserved

          • Karen24

            There will always be local goons. We vote because good legislators, governors, members of Congress, and Presidents restrain the local goons.

            • BiloSagdiyev

              You forgot to mention courts. But that ship has now sailed…

            • DrDick

              It is a Southern tradition.

    • sigaba

      Voting is not a sufficient condition but it is a necessary one!

    • DrDick

      My thought as well. This is just a reversion to the pre-1960s norm in the South.

  • I was immediately reminded of the over-the-top even for that franchise singing sky marshal sequence from the direct to DVD Starship Troopers 3:


    • Ahuitzotl

      that’s friggin’ hysterical. Awful, but hilarious.

  • synykyl

    Are they fascists, or did the department just decide to do a Mapplethorpe style calendar?

    • sigaba

      Toxic masculinity the dose makes the poison.

    • DAS

      They are not Nazis fascists, they are nihilists. Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it was an ethos Mussolini made the trains run on time.

  • petesh

    Every man ought to be a macho, macho man
    To live a life of freedom, machos make a stand
    Have your own lifestyles and ideals
    Possess the strength of confidence, that’s the skill
    You can best believe that he’s a macho man
    He’s the special god son in anybody’s land
    hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

  • LosGatosCA

    Isn’t that really an outtake from Mall Cop III, The High Command?

    • It has the level of acting typical of local car-dealership commercials, combined with terrifying firepower and (effective) legal immunity.

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    “We are coming for you.”

    Or someone who lives on the same street as you. Or someone who looks sort of like you. And family members who don’t follow our orders quickly enough.

    • brettvk

      But we’ll take your dog out first.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Every dog, every time. Where’s King Ezekiel’s tiger when you need him?

  • Cheerfull

    Note that they say that when the SWAT team comes at night they will blow off the doors of the dealers. And we know from other stories how that can go wrong. There is nothing about knocking or presenting a warrant, or trying to make an arrest in some peaceful manner. Apparently the act of selling drugs is, in itself, sufficient basis for violence by the police.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      Well, our nation’s Attorney General just stated that drug dealers are inherently violent, and that’s why we have to start jailing everyone* for long periods of time.

      Essentially, we’re re-instating prohibition which has always worked so well. Too bad this police chief doesn’t have Eliot Ness’ PR person.

      * everyone = mostly small-time dealers who are mostly users trying to pay for their habit, because they’re the ones who are easiest to catch.

      • Hogan

        That’s why prosecutors have to plea bargain them down to 10-15 years, so that they’ll give up the names of their kingpins. Then we’re getting somewhere. Those guys can afford the *really* big bribes emoluments campaign contributions..

      • mds

        * everyone = mostly small-time dealers who are mostly users trying to pay for their habit, because they’re the ones who are easiest to catch.

        Unless they’re rural white small-time meth dealers who are mostly users trying to pay for their habit. Them we’re supposed to have all sorts of compassion for now. “Jailing everyone” only applies to dusky urbanites, as usual.

    • Lurking Canadian

      Apparently the act of selling drugs is, in itself, sufficient basis for violence by the police.

      Actually, given the role played by the police in the US justice system, it’s the suspicion that you are selling drugs that brings these guys to your door, guns blazing.

      This shit is plain scary.

  • Dr. Acula

    Staff Sgt. Joker is right; these assholes look exactly like the Taliban, Daesh or Al Qaeda.I bet they don’t even realize they’re emulating those groups.

    • Q.E.Dumbass

      Mike J said, “It was one of the worst ISIS videos of all the ones that didn’t have an actual beheading” after I linked the story (though not the same tweet) over at Balloon Juice.

    • Matt McIrvin

      I think they probably do. They associate the trappings of evil with strength, and believe them to be insurmountable advantages. That we’ll never beat any bad guys until we are more terrifying, cruel and lawless than they are.

      • Origami Isopod

        They associate the trappings of evil with strength

        I don’t see any white Persian cat in that photo.

    • PunditusMaximus

      Conservatives are all the same. ISIS or the Klan, it’s all toxic, cruel, violent masculinity. Shrug.

  • Murc

    These guys look a squad of minibosses from a minigame surrounding the main bad guy. Like you have to defeat the four masked goons before the Sheriff exposes his weak point for you to hit.

    • That’s giving them too much credit. They look like the faceless mooks in a bad third-person shooter, some kind of Max Payne knockoff. When you select them with R2 the status bar just says “Thug”. They’re all wearing masks because the devs are too cheap to create more than one asset per enemy type.

      Actually, what they really look like is the generic soldiers in Metal Gear. One of those guys has a comedy cutscene where he has pooping problems. Later he turns out to be a beautiful man and gets married.

      • Nick056

        They’re decked out in a sort of lethal enforcer chic. You can imagine them popping up in window frames, open doors, suddenly sliding through your field of vision, etc.

        (Now there’s a fascinating game. The controversy was “they’re letting you shoot photorealistic bad guys,” not, they’re valorizing the job of police as killing lots of bad dudes, and should that be our concept of policing?)

        • I’m hard pressed to identify many games where the job of police isn’t depicted as killing lots of bad dudes. Or any, frankly.

          The original Police Quest ends without the player shooting anyone, but it does end in a (non-lethal) shootout. That doesn’t make it into the rest of the series — I believe the body count is 3 in Police Quest 2 (two hijackers and the villain of the game). However, I do believe you get a worse ending in PQ2 if you shoot the villain before he aims his gun at you.

          I also don’t think you shoot anyone in Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, but that game isn’t solely about playing police.

  • delazeur

    We will charge you with murder.

    Hey guys, check out the Sheriff who thinks he’s a prosecutor.

    A question for the resident lawyers: Can a dealer really be charged with murder if their customer dies from an overdose? It doesn’t make much sense to me, but on the other hand, it’s the sort of thing I can see a Tough On Crime judge being excited about.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      Hey guys, check out the Sheriff who thinks he’s a prosecutor.

      Judge, jury and executioner, too. Man’s a quintuple-threat.

    • ChrisS

      “Can a dealer really be charged with murder if their customer dies from an overdose?”
      I imagine that this doesn’t apply to pharmaceutical companies.

      Also, and related, I bet the good sheriff doesn’t think that if a gun is used in a crime, that they should charge the seller with murder …

    • Brad Nailer

      “We are not liable for incidental damages.”

  • AMK

    Hail Hydra.

    I’m past the point where I think the trash-on-trash violence induced by opioids is a bad thing.

    • rachelmap

      Is it opioids or meth?

      • Lurking Canadian


        • los


    • Origami Isopod

      Yeah, we know, you’ve made your toxic classism and support for eugenics very clear.

  • Manju

    Someone should edit Kendall Jenner into this video.

    Once she hands the Sheriff a Pepsi this shit will go viral in 2 seconds flat. I wouldn’t be surprised it the War on Drugs ends up meeting the same fate as the War on Christmas.

    • efgoldman

      Someone should edit Kendall Jenner into this video.

      Pepe the Frog would fit better.

      • los

        with a can of diet liberrel taers

        • los

          (delete that)

          offering a Wind in the Willows theme mug of diet liberrel taers

      • Origami Isopod

        Edit in that Black Bloc guy who clocked Richard Spencer a few months ago, taking aim at Grinnell.

  • Q.E.Dumbass

    ISIS has either fallen on hard times or has been startlingly successful in expanding the franchise. Although this is in Florida, so: Hard times it is.

    Seriously, this would be more subtle if everyone involved was wearing pig masks and oinking.

  • helkamet

    While you watch this don’t forget about the forfeiture laws!

  • BiloSagdiyev

    I could only think of Reno 911 and how they would bungle such a video. Or that their making such a video would be the bungle. Or how they then went back to the conference room to have a two hour staff meeting, with their masks on. “Who are you again? I’m confused.”

    2) As if warrants took so long to get in low level drug cases.


  • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

    Wikipedia says Lake County includes Sugarloaf Mountain, the highest point in peninsular Florida.

    But, darn, probably not the mountain Neil Young was singing about.

    • Thom

      You can’t be a black guy
      On Sugar Mountain

    • Q.E.Dumbass

      I always get Sugarcandy Mountain and Big Rock Candy Mountain mixed up.

      • D.N. Nation

        In the Big Rock Candy Mountain
        You can shoot all the blacks
        And because you’re a masked officer
        You won’t even get 40 whacks

        • Q.E.Dumbass

          The original, (understandably) omitted final stanza:

          The punk rolled up his big blue eyes
          And said to the jocker, “Sandy,
          I’ve hiked and hiked and wandered too,
          But I ain’t seen any candy.
          I’ve hiked and hiked till my feet are sore
          And I’ll be damned if I hike any more
          To be buggered sore like a hobo’s whore
          In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.”

          • gilby

            Dang it, now I really want to hear someone performing the original version, and probably never will…

            …actually, the internet’s a big place. It might already be out there.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      I have always loved how the mental concept of “mountain” is relative to its region. My favorite local mountain range has peaks well in excess of 800 feet.

      I once drove over the contintental (if that’s the term) divide of Florida. We just said, “Look! A hill!” and then we were over it.

    • Colin Day

      Green eyed sheriff, passion sheriff
      dressed in black, he lives his life to kill
      Green eyed sheriff, armored sheriff
      All his posing makes me ill.

  • Thom

    “Our undercover agents have already bought heroin from you.” Hmmm.

    • DAS

      And they are just waiting to get an arrest warrant before arresting you … right …

      • Colin Day

        Wouldn’t selling drugs to an undercover officer constitute probable cause?

  • Peterr

    From the Sheriff’s official bio:

    Sheriff Peyton C. Grinnell was born in Eustis, Florida and is a graduate of Leesburg High School. He is a Marine Corp combat veteran with distinguished service in the Republic of Panama during Operation Just Cause and the Middle East during Operations Desert Shield/Storm.

    Sheriff Grinnell completed his basic law enforcement training at the Lake Technical Center in Eustis. He was hired at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in 1994 and has worked various job assignments to include: Criminal Investigations, Uniform Patrol, Organized Crime and Intelligence, Training Director, Community Services and Public Information.

    Sheriff Grinnell holds an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor’s in Organizational Management, is a graduate of the Administrative Officers Course (111th) at the Southern Police Institute, University of Louisville, 244th session of the FBI National Academy – Quantico, VA and the Chief Executive Seminar (43rd) at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

    When the lead in your bio is your distinguished military service in Panama . . .

    • CP

      Testament to how we view the police these days. I mean, technically, he might as well have said “and in high school, I was a checkout line clerk at WalMart, and I was praised with having the best customer service” – that’s nice, but it has nothing to do with your current job, which is to be a cop. But it’s just accepted as a matter of course that the police’s job is to be a domestic quasi-military (with much more relaxed standards).

      • Colin Day

        Maybe we should insist on good customer service from ur LEOs.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      I’d want to know his military occupational specialty. MP? Quartermaster corp?

      Combat veteran? I used to scoff with skepticism about those two engagements, but, it all depends, and I’d need to know more. Some troops really did do things in those two engagements. (But I’m still a cynic at heart.)

      • I was definitely shot at in Desert Storm (USAF).

        Everything from small arms up to 100 mm plus a few SAMs for good measure.

    • MyNameIsZweig

      Sheriff Peyton C. Grinnell was born in Eustis, Florida

      Eustis is a shithole.

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  • Taylor

    Nazis. I hate Nazis.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    As of this morning I have discovered the new Ice T releases, and they are up to snuff.

    Black Hoodie:

    No Lives Matter

    This shit is ugly to the core!
    When it comes to the poor,
    no lives matter

  • Mike Furlan

    Didn’t I see these guys on a United Airlines plane?

  • There is a photograph in existence of Aunt Sadie and her six children sitting around the tea-table at Alconleigh. The table is situated, as it was, is now, and ever shall be, in the hall, in front of a huge open fire of logs. Over the chimney-piece plainly visible in the photograph, hangs an entrenching tool, with which, in 1915, Uncle Matthew had wacked to death eight Germans one by one as they crawled out of a dug-out. It is still covered with blood and hairs, an object of fascination to us as children.

    As Fascism becomes entrenched, anti-fascists must learn to reach for their entrenching tools.

    • Hogan

      If the Fascists are entrenched, what we need are hand grenades and field artillery.

      (Cheers for the Nancy Mitford reference.)

    • njorl

      Is that “Love in a Cold Climate”?


    • petesh

      The Edit button shall rise again! “¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!”

      • Hogan

        “Hang on a minute,” said a small man, slowly. “As far as we know, the dragon’s only good at one thing. It flies around the city setting fire to people. I’m not actually certain what is being proposed that would stop it doing this.”

        “Yes, but if we all protest–” said the first speaker, his voice modulated with uncertainty.

        “It can’t burn everybody,” said Colon. He decided to play his new ace again and added, proudly, “The people united can never be ignited!”

  • Simple Mind

    That’s the Rodrigo Duterte of Florida.

  • Origami Isopod

    Jack Smith again: “Bringing back this thread on the undiagnosed epidemic of police PTSD — the consequence of ‘warrior’ culture.”

    Warrior culture, lauded by every Internet Tough Guy who ever posted that “sheep, sheepdogs, wolves” essay, is absolute garbage. Aside from the inherent violence, it’s correlated with the worst standards of living, the worst measures of inequality on all axes of oppression, and a complete scorn for the arts. Fuck everybody who wants to destroy the U.S. and the world because Red Dawn makes them priapic.

    • CP

      I think my single biggest complaint about “warrior culture” is that 90% of it seems to consist of sitting around wailing about how the loathsome ungrateful civilian vermin doesn’t love and respect you enough, and/or patting each other on the back about how you’re so much better than the loathsome ungrateful civilian vermin. The degree to which it’s guided by rampant insecurity is freaking pathetic.

      • Hondo

        Seems like not all PDs are suffering from this disease. Here in my section of Brownbakistan, the cops are not bad guys. I don’t hear much about bad shootings or overly aggressive behavior here, but maybe it’s not well publicized, or I don’t pay enough attention. I know a few of them, and they have a team in our rec ice hockey league. I have not played them since they are in a separate tier, but they don’t have a bad rep and seem like good guys. It’s funny, but, if a guy is truly a douchebag, there’s something about rec league hockey that will bring it out. Doesn’t matter how good a guy he is off the ice. I don’t see that with this team. They actually seem to go out of their way to be a bit more friendly than they really need to be. But, I’m from NJ, and still not used to that Midwestern thing.
        Years ago I played against the Spotswood NJ Police softball team in the Industrial League we were in, and they were assholes. Hot heads, overly competitive, confrontational. I hated them.
        Playing 1st, one of the worst ones grounded to short, after taking the throw for the 3rd out, I flipped the ball up into the hitters face as he approached the bag. This earned me a stern warning from the umpire. Cops didn’t like me much after that. Fuck them.

        • It’s funny, but, if a guy is truly a douchebag, there’s something about rec league hockey that will bring it out.

          Strange, indeed!

          • CP

            You know what they say: a man once went to a fight, and a hockey game broke out…

            • los

              the web says… Rodney Dangerfield

  • Justin Runia

    Less ISIS, more Mexican police, but still, not a great comparison for the state of Florida…

    • efgoldman

      not a great comparison for the state of Florida…

      I think the assumption is that these klowns are an exception. Given “Florida”, I’m not so sure.

  • Jordan

    Every time they start obscuring the faces of the thugs, it is always time to get really, really worried.

  • Hondo

    Holy shit. I really thought this was a trailer from some Starship Troopers sequel. I didn’t think it was real until the camera panned out to show the Lake County Sheriff banner on the wall.
    In my opinion, although the militarization of civilian law enforcement started before 9/11, the idea that cops are warriors on a battlefield started after 9/11. It was fueled by the increased hero-worship for cops, and fire, and was further fueled and extended to soldiers after the Iraq war started.
    This Blue Lives Matter thing is complete self-serving bullshit. We know what has always happened when a cop gets shot. All the stops get pulled out, every cop within 100 miles drops what he’s doing in order to find the guy who did it. That’s what happened when that cop in Texas got shot while pumping gas into his patrol car. And, that’s ok. That’s what should have happened.
    However, what Black Lives Matter is saying is that when unarmed black people get shot by cops for not instantly and fully complying with every order given, nothing much happens. Videos get suppressed by the city government for up to a year, cops close ranks around the shooter and defend him to the end in spite of video evidence showing that the cop was wrong, even criminal, and then, Blue Lives Matter has the gall to complain that we are painting all cops with the same brush as the “Bad Apples.” Pantaleo strangling Garner to death on a sidewalk in Staten Island wasn’t even worthy of terminating that officer? Are you fucking kidding me? And body camera’s are supposed to help? How? This murder was on video. And it got the guy holding the camera arrested for his troubles.
    Wilkerson’s “Warmth of Other Suns” left me with the impression that Florida was about the most vehemently racist place in the country. Fuck Florida.
    This shit in Lake County is scary indeed, and I am not optimistic for the future of this country. I think the battle to maintain our republic, and with it, our civil rights, is already lost. I live in a deep red state. I have professional colleagues who express some of the most ignorant right-wing bullshit you could imagine. I had one guy tell me that his preferred health care plan for the country was, “If you get cancer, you’re gonna die. ‘Cause we ain’t paying for it.” I didn’t say anything. What could you say? I finished my beer and went home. That dude got laid off this year.
    The sheer amount of bullshit that has soaked into people from all these years of Limbaugh, Fox “News”, and all the rest of that shit, has given us Trump, and will further erode what is left of our country. I don’t think there is anyway to fight this. The right-wing has too much money, too big a platform. And those of us who are not right-wing extremists suffer from the fatal flaw of having empathy, and respect for the law. Republicans suffer from no such impediments, which is one reason why they are, and will continue, to kick our asses in court, in congress, at the voting booth, and at protests.
    You can’t trust any news organization. The New York Times has clearly not learned anything from what Judith Miller did. NPR is increasing useless. It’s continued bromance between Steve Inskeep and Jonah Fucking Goldberg is disgusting. It’s recent habit of dredging the deepest part of the right-wing fever swamp for the most ignorant Trump supporter and putting them on the public airwaves with no check on the bullshit and falsehoods they are permitted to spew is infuriating.
    We all saw the video of the CBS chairman Moonves yucking it up with his buddies about how bad Trump was for the country, but he was great for ratings. Haw haw haw. It is possible that the selling out of the NYT, NPR, and NBC, etc. is by direction from their corporate offices. Play up the emails, give Trump coverage, ignore his bullshit because a close horse race is good for ratings. We make money, and no real harm is done since there’s no chance he will win anyway. Called that wrong didn’t you Lester?
    But, not only the battle is lost, but the war as well. Say what you will, but our retirement, at least from our current lives, is coming within the next year. We are seriously thinking about leaving the US. After this last election, I don’t know what kind of country this is. I have to reevaluate who my friends are. There are many whom I seemed to have misjudged. Usually, I don’t let politics get in the way of my friendships. I had to stop my wife from getting into two separate facebook flame wars with relatives. I have always tried to remember that quote attributed to Jefferson, I think, and loosely paraphrasing here, “You’re fucked up, misinformed political views take no skin off my posterior region.” But, at this point, hearing people in your life, who are ostensibly educated, saying things they believe and vote for that are absolutely reprehensible has pushed me to basically give up. I don’t know these people anymore. I don’t share their values, I think what they are doing will destroy the country. These are things that I cannot live with, and also things I think cannot be fought. It is too late. The republicans today increasing look like the pro-slavery factions of the 1850s.
    Being home for a while on medical leave, I am 200 pages from finishing Fredrick Douglass’s autobiography. Things really have not changed much.
    You can’t argue with these assholes. Nothing gets through. No mountain of fact, scientific, historical, or statistical, is high enough to make a dent in their sculls. I tried. I will try no longer. Now I just avoid them and walk away before any their spew gets on my shoes.

    • Hondo

      Your, not you’re. Damn it Jim, I’m an engineer, not an English Major!

    • Julia Grey

      I had one guy tell me that his preferred health care plan for the country was, “If you get cancer, you’re gonna die. ‘Cause we ain’t paying for it.”

      Men. I’m telling you. There’s something wrong with their brains.

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