Talk:Police state

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Request for Comment - Is the focus on details of actions in countries such as the US providing an UNDUE weight to such claims?[edit]

Should the article contain a lot of details about "western" government actions which have been been individually described as moving countries such as the United States in direction of being/becoming "police states"; or is such detail providing an undue focus that is unrepresentative of the mainstream academic view of "police state"? edited to add clarity For example, does the current version of the article [1] where of the approximately 1,800 words of actual article content (when you exclude all of the trivia "fictional examples") having over 1/4 of the article (~500 words) used to provide western "examples" focus too much on the Western incidents? -- The Red Pen of Doom 20:49, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

This is way too vague to be evaluated.
"a lot of details" When do the details constitute being "a lot"?
You may ask, "So what's your standard of undue in this context?" My answer is 17 sentences. You may ask "By what standard?" Admittedly, I don't have one, but neither, apparently, do you. However, I can say what it is broadly: Minority positions which are not fringe (I believe this is the case here) deserve enough attention for the reader to get a good overview of what their claims are. Four or five sentences, with respect to a topic as complicated as this, obviously ain't gonna cut it.

Finally, I have no problem with more than 16 sentences being in this article covering the perspective against the ACLU/Cato Institue/Mother Jones/Truthout/Chomsky et al perspective, because it's currently more popular. And it's not like our choice is "put in US close to police state" vs "add nothing about that debate". Whenever someone gets the 'undue' objection which makes sense (this is one such case), the onus is on me to come up with the additional content to solve the problem, so I guess I'll get around to that in the next couple of days, assuming Ripper doesn't, but I'd certainly appreciate your help.

However, I'm not sure the undue charge applies here (maybe it does, I'm not sure). Either way, I support having the "US ain't close to a police state" perspective get at least 16 sentences as well.

It's my understanding UNDUE only applies when we're dealing with a "superminority position" (I'm not sure, I might be wrong). I don't think we're dealing with a superminority opinion here. It's my understanding that it's not the case that we can't ever have a 20-49% opinion get more representation on a page without a comparable amount of the 51-80% opinion. Byelf2007 (talk) 13 September 2012

per your request, I have added some specificity to the "a lot". in addition, your understanding of UNDUE is not correct. UNDUE applies to all mainstream academic points of view, with minority academic viewpoints being presented as minority and ultra minority not being represented at all. Non academic "popular" viewpoints need to be handled as just that - non-academic viewpoints. -- The Red Pen of Doom 20:52, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification on undue.
The thing about not having too much focus on western governments is also a good point. I think I might leave most of the heavy lifting to you and Ripper on this, but I might have some more proposals in the coming days. Byelf2007 (talk) 13 September 2012

The problem as I see it is NOT that the proposal and info assembled about the US becoming a police state is invalid, rather the other portions of the Police State page are underdeveloped. I know MUCH more can be said about the USSR, China, Nazi Germany, and a whole host of other past and modern day police states such as North Korea and some middle eastern countries. I can help with some of this 'maturing' of the other sections but like I've said previously my 'expertise' is of Western Countries specifically the US, so this is where my desire and talents will reside for the most part. So although UNDUE may be applicable here I think the page as a whole needs a great deal of work and I am far better at what I have been trying to help with; the US section. However I'm willing to touch up and add to the other sections IF that will allow the US section to be added as proposed... is this an attainable goal? (talk) 21:03, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Sure. Honestly, I'm not really all that interested in making proposals/contributing to the article on this issue, so much as I'm interested in discussing it with contributors, and 'stirring the pot' so to speak. Byelf2007 (talk) 15 September 2012

For the most part, I think the claims are notable enough for inclusion. They aren't necessarily accurate, but they do exist. However, when putting DUE and FRINGE into the equation, it must be short and concise at the present time. If we were to expand to give in-depth coverage to current and historical police states (for example, historical coverage of Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, and Fascist Italy as well as modern coverage of communist countries like North Korea, dictatorships and modern police states like Iran, Russia, and China) well as give similar coverage to other Western claims/countries, I'd be more than fine with four or five paragraphs on it. At that point, there could be room for response from people who disagree with the claims as well. But as of right now, eight sentences/two paragraphs is more than reasonable to summarize and cover the claims. Toa Nidhiki05 19:58, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Just to give my official opinion here in this section, I think around four paragraphs is acceptable for commenting on the page as it is. When the page is updated to include detailed examples of known/undisputed police states then I think my proposal below is what should be on there modified for any problems that the community may find with it of course. I would be extremely concerned that 4 or even 8 sentences is not near enough to give an accurate representation the view that America is becoming a police state, and since America is the top or one of the top viewers of this website the viewpoint shouldn't be overly condensed. Once again I am willing to volunteer to work on updating the other police states if that will allow full coverage of the US police state section. Jack T. Tripper (talk) 22:41, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Agree that an expansion of the article is a good way of enabling inclusion of the material. Another way might be to start separate articles. There is a prohibition against POV-forking, but if we frame them as, for instance, Freedom in the United States, I think it will be ok.
By the way, the section about fictional police states is also a bit undue. A clean-up may change the situation, but perhaps a separate article could be considered here, too? --Jonund (talk) 17:57, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

question about process[edit]

it appears that the question about process has been answered between here and the user's talk page.

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I'm fairly new to wiki editing and have never seen this request for input before... is the input suppose to take place on this page or is there another place where conversations are occurring on the issue? If so please direct me to that url. If not how long does it usually take for comment? What happens if nobody comments? Could we all agree to keep the US section limited but to include the relevant claims that effectively portray the minority opinion say, 16 sentences? Which when the other police states are properly written will still be a very minor part of the page overall. Also I've thought of a few more claims to put in the 16 sentences, such as the Citizens United ruling claiming corporations have the rights of people and examples such as private prisons have agreements with states to keep the prisons 95% full thus private business has merged with the government to large degrees and Mussolini defined fascism (a type of police state) as a merger of corporations and the state, which appears to be occurring at this time in America. Jack T. Tripper (talk) 18:38, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

I have subsectioned this and will respond on your talk page. -- The Red Pen of Doom 18:41, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
"is the input suppose to take place on this page" Yes.
It looks like there's consensus for 16 sentences yea. Byelf2007 (talk) 17 September 2012
there has been only 1 additional outside view so far, so it is really to early to claim that 3 people make a "consensus", particularly when the outside view says essentially "the content is not UNDUE if the rest of the article were appropriately covering the topic". that lack of appropriate coverage in the rest of the article is, I hope, something that we all can agree upon.-- The Red Pen of Doom 18:58, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but there's no apparent objection to 16 sentences with that other stuff to address the UNDUE concern. Also, if someone just says "I don't like that" without explanation, then I'd say that's not a challenge to consensus. I don't recall seeing a "don't have the 16 sentences under any context". Byelf2007 (talk) 17 September 2012
I objected to sixteen - I proposed eight at max, with two paragraphs max total. Sixteen is far too many considering how little coverage goes to actual police states and legitimate concerns with UNDUE. Toa Nidhiki05 19:11, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Lets remember that the RfC is supposed to be about getting a larger sample of outside editors' opinions and not just the inside hacks repeating ad nausuem the same arguments and positions that they had been expressing ad nauseum before the RfC which were leading to no progress in reaching a consensus. Please make your statement above, once, and then try to let other editors make their comments. -- The Red Pen of Doom 19:18, 17 September 2012 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't really appreciate being called a 'hack' - I was responding to Byelf's comment. Toa Nidhiki05 19:54, 17 September 2012 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I was intending "inside hack" as a descriptor for the general RfC process wiki-wide and not a reference to any specific editor on this page and I apologize if you you took it as such.

I do not see that you have officially added a position to the RfC itself above, and I would encourage you to do so if you have one.

This section began with an editor's general question about the process itself, and I think that between here and xir user page, that question has been answered. Does anyone mind if this section is closed? -- The Red Pen of Doom 20:06, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Couldn't we increase the amount of content for all the other things so 16 sentences works? Byelf2007 (talk) 17 September 2012
I am hoping to stop by a library sometime this week and find some basic sources. The online stuff I have found seems very aimed at looking as specific actions as evidence of "police state" and it is hard to take that material and go backwards to the subject as a whole. -- The Red Pen of Doom 19:28, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good. Since we're probably talking about a large amount of new content in order to get the U.S. thing up to 16 sentences without causing UNDUE problems, I think it might be ideal if we went for 12 (halfway between 8 and 16). I'm concerned that 8 sentences on that topic will not be enough to provide the reader with a clear/not misleading account. Byelf2007 (talk) 17 September 2012

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

[1] ===additional question about process===

How long do we wait? (talk) 17:44, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

The default is 30 days. Wikipedia:RFC#Ending_RfCs. If we land on a consensus before then, we can end it at any time.
I think that is part of the consensus that I see growing: if the article were to more adequately cover the general and traditional application of "Police State", then the current level of content regarding individual examples in the western countries would not be UNDUE.
Although I still have not yet had the opportunity to get to a library and see what kinds of general sources about the topic exist to bolster the meat of the article. -- The Red Pen of Doom 18:09, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
  • No, it should not An article about a police state should not be filled with examples of peoples opinions on how one incident in their eyes is bringing about a police state. I see such examples all the time in the UK press, and I feel quite certain the UK is not a police state. The article should focus on actual police states, as for the fictional ones, Orwell is mentioned, but why not Metropolis? The first film on a police state surely warrants a line. Darkness Shines (talk) 05:23, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

What makes you so certain that the UK is not a police state? What about the US? Do you not see the evidence that they are displaying signs of being a police state? (talk) 17:15, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

You can personally think whatever you want, but the article must accurately represent the majority view of the subject. -- The Red Pen of Doom 17:21, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

* Yes, the article should contain a lot of details about "western" government actions which have been been individually described as moving countries such as the United States in direction of being/becoming "police states" BUT This section needs some serious re-write, references to the actual laws, etc, false claims deleted (there are some) with a subsection of each act/law/govt decision described as opinion where people can add opinion and special interest articles. This will nullify the UNDUE argument - as the reader can look at the laws - then what happened, and the opinions on the items, with the references for further reading. Most of the text in this section is unsourced (WP:CITE) there are no sources to the actual laws enacted (WP:REF), and the passages that are sourced link to tabloid op-ed pages and opinion writers, with the wiki entries claimed as fact ...WP:RELIABLESOURCES, WP:NPOV. :That being said I think the idea of citing examples of "police state like" movements for the history of the US government is something of encyclopedic value - but if included it should cover the period from day one of the country to present, with space for future laws or occurences. If the entries talk about a law, or proposed laws (bills) then a reference must be made to the actual bill or law itself - any executive orders and any judicial decisions, (which are all available at the Library of Congress Website) - so there is absolutely no reason to not cite the reference document when adding content about a law, executive order, or judicial interpretation/decision.

Thus I propose The Examples of Police State-like Attributes Western Claims" section, US Cite each law/executive order/judicial decision (of a breach of said law) include a brief laymans synopsis with a reference to the actual law/bill/exec order/judicial decision. THEN indented under each one clearly marked "Opinion/Press" (or something to that effect) anyone can throw in whatever (cited) stuff/opinion etc published on that particular action. Edit: Entire US section was WP:PLAG and WP:COPYVIO, deleted and provided a starting point.Patriot1010 (talk) 03:00, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
sorry this probably could have been avoided, if i had actually just looked at the sourcing of the content - 90% of the UNDUE content appears to utterly fail basic content policies of WP:OR particularly WP:SYN, and WP:RS. -- The Red Pen of Doom 11:58, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Well don't be to hard on yourself - but doing a RfC definitely helps get more eyes on it! I'd also like to add as some others have - is that since this is the English version of wikipedia, one is naturally going to have more western "stuff." I would also recommend that a char limit be set otherwise it creates the environment where people soapbox, (especially those with a fringe view of reality). Patriot1010 (talk) 02:27, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
  1. ^ "Bill Summary & Status 112th Congress (2011 - 2012) H.R.347". The Library of Congress. 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 

Refinement of Proposal[edit]

While we wait for others to chime in on the request for comment let me present what I think should be included in the US section. I would appreciate if this as a whole is analyzed (assuming it may be entered after the page is updated with other police state information), and additionally what is most important here and should be included in the condensed version, lets see if we can get this into four paragraphs to see if this is a reasonable size condensate, to be included until we get to the entire page updated. I have taken out all RT references, and have added Byelfs latest recommendations. Thank you ahead of time.

  • Constitutional claims

Numerous organizations and legal experts argue that since 9/11 various legislation has been passed that partially or fully nullifies elements of the rights of American citizens found in the Bill of Rights.[1] [2] The ACLU also argues that the Patriot Act violates a number of personal freedoms, including allowing agents to breaking into a house and search it without the owners knowledge and they never have to tell the people who own the property that it was searched, this practice is called "sneak and peaks" and the ACLU says, "There are significant flaws in the Patriot Act, flaws that threaten your fundamental freedoms by giving the government the power to access to your medical records, tax records, information about the books you buy or borrow without probable cause, and the power to break into your home and conduct secret searches without telling you for weeks, months, or indefinitely."[3][4] These practices have been used more than 11,000% more on non-terrorist related investigations than on investigations related to terrorists,[5] including against drug dealers and political protesters.[6] Furthermore, the ACLU argues that legislation such as the NDAA violates the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments and is conscripted to allow for the indefinite detention of and killing of American citizens even without trial, and the Act is facing fierce opposition from the public and legally, currently (September 2012) there are nine states that have challenged the law in court and a New York Judge, (Forrest), has been successful in placing an injunction on the law, however the Obama legal team and administration refuse to confirm that they will abide by the courts ruling, reporter Tangerine Bolen who is a plaintiff in the case states that the government could be in contempt of court saying, "Obama's attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA's section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest's injunction, in other words, they were telling a US federal judge that they could not, or would not, state whether Obama's government had complied with the legal injunction that she had laid down before them”. [7] [8][9] [10] Free speech zones have been used at a variety of political gatherings in the United States with the stated purpose of protecting the safety of those attending the political gathering, or for the safety of the protesters themselves, however critics suggest that such zones are "Orwellian" (see List of fictional police states) and are a clear violation of the First Amendments right to speech and assemble peaceably. [11] Critics say that if Free Speech Zones exist as regions where the Constitutionally protected First Amendment is valid this means there are areas where the First Amendment has been removed, clearly violating the First Amendments right and intent. [12] America has made torture legal, and has tortured individuals hundreds of times, including waterboarding which we tried and executed Japanese for the exact same crime in WWII as a war crime this is against the Constitution and International Law and Treaties and is a sign of a police state atmosphere, especially since those that ordered the torture have skirted prosecution. [13] [14] Similarly, 'black sites' have been exposed where US Military detainees are taken to be interrogated in countries where torture is routinely done, this is morally wrong obviously but it is also illegal and indicative of police state like activity. [15] [16] Additionally Obama has asserted that there is a "kill list", an issue brought to the forefront after three American citizens were killed in a drone strike ordered by the US Government, and President Obama is butting heads with Congress on the legality of Americans being on a "kill list". [17] [18]

  • Militarization of police

There has been a steady increase in the police being aided by and resemble increasingly the practices of the military including using their weapons and tactics.[19][20] Established in 1878 the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the use of the military for law enforcement and policing activities but this law has been continually violated as the military has been used for years for things such as DUI checkpoints and serving warrants in conjunction with the local or state police. Since 1990 the police have been militarized increasingly and Federal funding has helped this process with large discounts for military gear for the police,[21] and after 9/11 this militarization has quickened at a concerning rate.[22] This militarization of the police force manifests as using military equipment, military style weapons such as assault rifles[23] armored vehicles (often purchased from the military),[21], blimps, helicopters, planes as well as the most recent addition, drones, all of which may be armed.[24] [25] Two American lawmakers have stated on the record that, in their opinion, Section 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA) legalizes or authorizes martial law in the United States, additionally Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado) stated "These provisions raise serious questions as to who we are as a society and what our Constitution seeks to protect...Section 1031 essentially repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by authorizing the U.S. military to perform law enforcement functions on American soil."[26]

  • Other police state attributes

Critics accusing the America of becoming a police state point to the prison population which is higher in total number of prisoners and prisoners per 100,000 people than any other country, the USA is merely 5% of the world population yet it contains about 1/4 of the worlds prison detainees, despite having populations much smaller than other countries such as China (which is a claimed police state).[27]. Furthermore private prisons have been allowed to operate and have agreements and contracts with states that grantee the prison will remain 90% full, this is an obvious collusion of a corporation with a state, and is called a civil rights disaster because mandating a percentage of people in prison puts a strain on the legal system potentially forcing judges and prosecutors to modify their sentencing to ensure the prison is filled. [28] Similarly, the court case of Citizens United has made the ruling that corporations are legally equal to people, thus allowing, among other things unlimited donations for use in elections which is dangerous to a free democracy because corporations have far more money than individual donors making candidates susceptible to being controlled by big business. [29] Americas election process has been criticized in the past because lobbyists pay politicians to persuade the politician to vote a certain way, and because of this the US political system has been called Crony Capitalism and the Citizens United case lends credence to this accusation. Additionally, Benito Mussolini has been quoted as saying about fascism (a type of police state), " Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power," and it is clear to see that there is a merging of corporate influence and power in the American political system. [30] An electronic police state is said to be present in America by organizations that rate countries on an electronic police state scale, including in the annual document called "The Electronic Police State" where in the latest release the USA is ranked as the top, most advanced, Western government to be an electronic police state, followed closely by the United Kingdom [31] The USA is an extremely high tech spying operation capable of monitoring all electronic communications and data in real time and stores the information, and operates multination spying systems such as ECHELON, and there are fusion centers locally where data is collected on the American people and disseminated to various National Security, Law Enforcement, Military and sometimes Business Agencies, [32] also whistle-blowers claim that every American is being spied on including all internet activity, phone calls, texts, emails, banking and travel information and are compiling and saving this data, blatantly in violation of the 4th Amendment. [33] There is an entire army brigade assigned solely to the United States, USNORTHCOM, (something that has never happened before in the country's history), and there is a civilian force called Infragard, which uses business people, civilians and others to spy on clients, and members of the community and report to the FBI [34], having over 40,000 members it has been criticized by the ACLU saying there "is evidence that InfraGard may be closer to a corporate (Terrorism Information and Preventing System) TIPS program, turning private-sector corporations - some of which may be in a position to observe the activities of millions of individual customers - into surrogate eyes and ears for the FBI", other critics call this the equivalent of the East German Stasi. [35] Another claim that the US could be becoming a police state is the control over travel and the media, specifically the TSA has been criticized for its procedures of forcing passengers to endure a 'Naked body scanner' or 'Invasive pat down' (which includes touching of the gentiles of travelers, including children, which in itself is a crime in all states) if they refuse to go through the potentially harmful body scanner, and the TSA have spread from the airport to highways, trains, and other means of transportation [36] [37], and critics say the media is unbiased being influenced by government similar to the 1950's Operation Mockingbird and there are proven instances of the government paying journalists to report on certain stories from a particular viewpoint. [38] [39] Disarming the population is key to having a police state as an armed populace is more likely to be able to throw off the chains of tyranny, and previous police states of Hitler, Stalin, Pol-Pot and Mao all implemented disarmament as part of their reign.[40] There have been many attempts to disarm and limit the American populaces Second Amendment Right to own firearms, one of the most recent examples being the UN Small Arms Treaty of 2012, and when that treaty failed to be enacted a Programme of Action Against Small Arms called “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects” which is compared by a New American article to a "wholesale national expansion of the "Fast and Furious" operation that bore no fruit and resulted in the death of a US border patrol officer" among thousands of other deaths [41]. Gun confiscation has already occurred in one modern American city; in hurricane Katrina the citizens of New Orleans, including those that had plenty of food and water and were in 'high and dry' areas were stripped of their firearms illegally [42]. The "Fast and Furious" operation was carried out by the US Government in which guns were sent to violent drug gangs in the US and to Mexican drug gangs resulting in the killing of many people including Border Patrol agents. This incident was seen by many as a False Flag to demonize the Second Amendment allowing for the passage of very restrictive gun control, but the operation was unsuccessful in this regard when it came out that the ATF, FBI, DEA, ICE and even members of the US Government in the highest echelons including US Attorney General Eric Holder and possibly President Obama knew of the plan to give known violent drug cartels the weapons, and the allowance of tons of cocaine and marijuana to flow back into the United States to be distributed in US cities[43]. Some cities such as New York and Chicago have succeeded in banning types of commonly used guns such as handguns[44]. Groups such as the Oath Keepers, which are serving military and veterans of war, police and others who have taken an Oath to defend and protect the Constitution understand the risk of and the reality that elements of the US Government want and are actively trying to severely limit and end the Second Amendment, thus The Oath Keepers have vowed to uphold the Oath they took to 'protect and defend the Constitution'. The Oath Keepers know that protecting the rights of US Citizens to own and use firearms is paramount to a free society not controlled as a police state and they say they will disobey orders to disarm Americans and fight to protect these rights from being violated by overreaching governments.

Jack T. Tripper (talk) 19:37, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

With all due respect,
First, your entry contains not only complete falsehoods, but is blatent plagarism, WP:PLAGIARISM and copied word-for-word from K. Nilsen's OP-ED entitled "Police/Nanny State" on the whose mission statement is "We Are Change is a citizens based grassroots peace and social justice movement working to reveal the truth behind the events of September 11th as well as the lies of the government and corporate elite who remain suspect in this crime." You can sum up the author's rant with "Some fringe organizations believe 9/11 was a cover-up for the US police state to advance its police state." [45] (note the reference to the article you cut and pasted)
Second, Wikipedia is not your soapbox. WP:NOTSOAPBOX You have a place on a blog, use that if you want to just cut and paste walls of text, located here:
Third, I am deleting the above from the article - if you want to summarize and source it, great.
Fourth, if you want to bring up points on the Constitution, laws, judicial reviews, and events, please cite the Constitution and/or the law, and please refrain from writing things you have no clue about, such as the Posse Comitatus Act "prohibits the use of the military for law enforcement and policing activities" - it does not - there are very specific laws that regulate that, (and if you actually read the reference, you'll note that in the example cited, the Sheriff requested military in a support role - which any Sherriff in the United States can do). Of course if there was a protest about that - by al means, provide a quick summary and cite the source.
Fifth, I agree that a history of events, laws, decisions relevant to moving towards or away from a Police State makes for a good and interesting article, but for God's sakes summarize points (if I want more info, ill click your reference article) - and speaking of references you need that too. Thanks Patriot1010 (talk) 02:50, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

...the above was written first and the oped and WACW article was taken from here on the Talk page. (talk) 15:16, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Just to absolutely clear all of those where written by the same person who put it on the TALK page here first but put it on other sites as well since it didn't look like this was going to go up on the main wiki page. I don't think any rules have been broken, they were written here and passed along to other websites that would post the full thing since it became apparent it wouldn't be featured here in full on the main wiki page, the material did NOT originate on ANY webpage first, it was ALL written HERE on the TALK page and then moved to other pages to reach an audience since it wasn't going to be put on the wiki page, is there anything wrong with this? (talk) 18:14, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

There is if the other sites got their information from here and are not properly attributing the original source as required by the CC-BY-SA license. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 18:20, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
And if the other sites got their information/content from Wikipedia, then there is no doubt that we cannot use them as sources for anything in the article. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 18:24, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Where was there a link to use them as a source? (talk) 14:40, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ Patriot Act blurred in the public mind. Retrieved 9-10-12.
  2. ^ Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional. Retrieved 9-10-12.
  3. ^ [Analysis of Specific USA PATRIOT Act Provisions: Authority to Conduct Secret Searches ("Sneak and Peek"), Electronic Privacy Information Center. Accessed September 5, 2012.
  4. ^ Reform the Patriot Act Retrieved 9-10-12.
  5. ^ Patriot Act Used to Fight More Drug Dealers than Terrorists. Retrieved 8-6-12.
  6. ^ How the USA PATRIOT Act redefines "Domestic Terrorism". Retrieved 8-6-12.
  7. ^ NDAA Case: Indefinite Detention Injunction Does Irreparable Harm, Obama Admin. Lawyers Argue. Retrieved 9-12-12.
  8. ^ Hedges, Chris (18 May 2012). "A Victory for All of Us". Truthdig: Drilling beneath the headlines. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Republican Party Denounces NDAA | The Guardian Express
  10. ^ Bohm, Allie (14 June 2012). "And Now Rhode Island". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Bailey, Ronald. Orwellian "Free Speech Zones" violate the constitution. Reason, February 4, 2004. Retrieved on January 3, 2007.
  12. ^ McNulty, Rebecca. Fla. College Student Successfully Fights Campus 'Free Speech Zone'. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Student Press Law Center, June 28, 2005. Retrieved January 3, 2007.
  13. ^ [ Reaching the 9/11 Generation]. Retrieved on 9-18-2012.
  14. ^ Holder Decision to Drop CIA Torture Investigation Criticized. Retrieved on 9-18-2012.
  15. ^ [ AP News Brief]. Retrieved on 9-18-2012.
  16. ^ [ Obama Administration Outsources Torture: Can US Ever End Human Rights Abuses?]. Retrieved on 9-18-2012.
  17. ^ [ Congress Wants to See Obama's "License to Kill"]. Retrieved on 9-18-2012.
  18. ^ [ Seceret US Memo Made Legal Case to Kill a Citizen]. Retrieved on 9-18-2012.
  19. ^ Posel, Susanne. Specialized Military Police Deployed in America During Civil Unrest. Retrieved on 8-3-2012.
  20. ^ Taylor, Lawerence. Here Come the Feds: Marines at DUI Roadblocks. Retrieved on 8-3-2012.
  21. ^ a b Police 'Tank' Purchase Riles New Hampshire Town. Retrieved on 8-3-2012.
  22. ^ A Decade After 9/11, Police Departments Are Increasingly Militarized. Retrieved on 8-3-2012.
  23. ^ Council approves rifles for WPD. Retrieved on 8-3-2012.
  24. ^ Pentagon plans blimp to spy from new heights. Retrieved on 9-18-2012.
  25. ^ Groups Concerned Over Arming Of Domestic Drones. Retrieved on 8-3-2012.
  26. ^ Smith, Dave NDAA 2012: Ron Paul Warns Bill Would Legalize Martial Law Retrieved on 8-3-2012.
  27. ^ U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations. Retrieved 9-10-12.
  28. ^ Private Prison Company to Demand 90% Occupancy. Retrieved 9-17-12.
  29. ^ Liptak, Adam (2010-01-26). "O'Connor Mildly Criticizes Court's Campaign Finance Decision". The Caucus Blog (New York Times Company). 
  30. ^ Benito Mussolini Quotes. Retrieved 9-17-12.
  31. ^ [ Publications of interest (Electronic police state)]. Retrieved 9-17-12.
  32. ^ Recommendations for Fusion Centers. Retrieved 9-4-12.
  33. ^ NSA Whistleblower Explains How the U.S. Government Is Spying on Every Single Electronic Communication You Have. Retrieved 9-4-12.
  34. ^ []. Retrieved 9-10-12.
  35. ^ What is Infragard? Anonymous hackers attack Dayton, Ohio Chapter of FBI partner website. Retrieved 9-10-12.
  36. ^ House Resolution Calls for End to Invasive TSA Searches. Retrieved 8-6-12.
  37. ^ The TSA Is Coming To A Highway Near You. Retrieved 8-6-12.
  38. ^ [ The merger of Journalists and government officials]. Retrieved 9-10-12.
  39. ^ David Wise and Thomas Ross (1964). Invisible Government. 
  40. ^ []. Retrieved 9-17-12.
  41. ^ [ UN Promotes Another Gun-Grabbing Program]. Retrieved 9-18-12.
  42. ^ Forcibly Disarming Law-Abiding Americans during Disaster: It Can Happen to You. Retrieved 9-4-12.
  43. ^ [ Fast and Furious]. Retrieved 9-17-12.
  44. ^ City to Revamp Gun Control Ordinance After Loss in Court. Retrieved 9-4-12.
  45. ^ Nilsen, K. "Police/Nanny State". Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
I'd like us to move forward w/ putting in a lot more U.S. content. Byelf2007 (talk) 21 November 2012
I think a lot of material about the U.S. would make this general article too U.S. oriented. There is currently an article Human rights in the United States which might be a better location for large amounts of detailed information.Ghostofnemo (talk) 11:07, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Cuba police state accustations without sourcing[edit]

The single source used to place information on Cuba in the article did not once mention the term police state or any similar term. Please do not coatrack this article with which ever information you please. Also, the source was quite out of date, Cuba has zero journalists in prison and Turkey is the nation with the most according to RSF. [2] [3]. Furious Style (talk) 21:35, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

I see that this section needs updating given the release and/or exile of the journalists in question. I cannot agree, however, that Cuba's repressive, police state tactics have been fully resolved (see,43441.html), and I do not think it is necessary for an article to use the term "police state" for it to serve as legitimate sourcing. Apostle12 (talk) 22:43, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Support the removal of the incident - in fact the whole section of lists of "examples" is a piss poor way to create an actual encyclopedic entry about "police states". -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:48, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

New section "Features of police states"[edit]

I searched the web to find a concise, complete list of objective attributes of police states, but was unable to find one. This section is admittedly original research, but if anyone can find such a list or lists, please add then as references. Without such a list, it becomes difficult to differentiate a "normal" state from a police state. Ghostofnemo (talk) 11:11, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

It is very problematic that the list recently added headed "Features of police states" is completely uncited as it smacks of original research. We really need some reliable secondary sources that lists these features as citation, otherwise it will have to be removed. --Saddhiyama (talk) 11:40, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
The first, fourth, fifth and seventh paragraphs of the article are also completely unsourced. Should they also be deleted? Ghostofnemo (talk) 12:07, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
If no sources can be found to back up their claims they eventually should be deleted (and as per WP:OTHERSTUFF and common sense it is never a good excuse to add more unsourced information to an article on the grounds that it already contains unsourced information). --Saddhiyama (talk) 12:11, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Also the citation that you added as an unsigned opinion piece from a partisan organisation does not qualify as an reliable source, so it can't be used to source your general claims in that way. --Saddhiyama (talk) 12:17, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
The second citation is again yet another opinion piece. The opinion of John W. Whitehead is probably notable enough to include in a section about US (purely as his opinion), but again it cannot be used to support general claims about police states as you do.
Please add a citation for each item on the list, don't just add citations to the bottom of the list, since that will make it impossible to discern which of the many claims in the list it supports. I will give you a couple of days to find some reliable secondary sources for each of the listed features. By that time any uncited or non-reliably cited items on the list will be deleted. --Saddhiyama (talk) 12:26, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Please stop adding opinion pieces as citations, you are simply wasting your time. You haven't added a single acceptable reliable source to back up general claims in the way you attempt. Try and find some scholarly work that speak of police states in general terms and define their characteristics. --Saddhiyama (talk) 12:33, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Mostly news sources, the ACLU, academics. There seems to be a consensus about what the features of a police state are. Are there any particular features that you feel are inaccurate? Do you have sources that disagree with these features? Ghostofnemo (talk) 12:50, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes I have a problem with most of the features listed, in that they are not exclusively endemic to police states but can be features of many types of states. However you are the one making the claims in the article, so per WP:BURDEN you are the one that needs to present sources that support them. You have provided no scholarly sources, you have provided a lot of different opinion-pieces or single case news stories. Extrapolating to general claims from these would constitute WP:SYNTH. That is why you will need to provide some scholarly sources that discuss and defines police states in general terms and which supports every single listed feature on your list. This is pretty basic Wikipedia procedure. --Saddhiyama (talk) 13:01, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
All of these sources discuss police states and their attributes. Can you provide details as to which source you object to, or which feature of police states is unsourced, and why you feel these particular references or features are unacceptable? It sounds as if you want the entire list removed for some reason. Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:19, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
I do indeed want the entire list removed, because it is unsourced. I have a problem with all your citations for the reasons mentioned (and mentioned again) above. --Saddhiyama (talk) 13:37, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Also, you seem to have put a lot of time and energy into sourcing that last feature on the list, even though most of the sources you have listed there doesn't actually support or mention anything about elections (and of course suffers from being unreliable opinion-pieces or single-case news items or studies which cannot be used for general claims). It would be nice if you took the time to find citations (and again, preferably better and more general) for the rest of the claims in the list. --Saddhiyama (talk) 13:41, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

I just finished placing the references in the correct locations (each source mentions multiple features of police states, so at the end was logical, but I accepted your suggestion). Why would you want to remove this list? Don't you think an objective list of traits of police states helps distinguish police states from normal states? I think it improves the article. What do other editors of this article think? Ghostofnemo (talk) 18:25, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Since no scholarly sources describing police state in general terms have been found, I have deleted the list as being in breach of WP:OR. --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:12, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

The OR policy says "reliable sources" not "scholarly sources" and includes "mainstream newspapers" as reliable sources. Also, ask yourself this: Was the deleted material factually inaccurate? Does your deletion improve the quality of the article? I could redo this entirely and use the criteria used by the freedom ranking groups, but those are primary sources. Ghostofnemo (talk) 06:45, 29 October 2013 (UTC) Since you are not objecting to the accuracy of the material, but just to the quality of the (numerous) sources cited, I've undeleted this section and added a "cite check" tag. Ghostofnemo (talk) 07:10, 29 October 2013 (UTC) Added two academic references. Ghostofnemo (talk) 10:25, 29 October 2013 (UTC) These are hard to find because most of the academic material on-line is graduate level research papers, and this list is Political Science 101 material that mostly appears in proprietary textbooks for undergraduate students. Ghostofnemo (talk) 10:30, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
Have you ever actually read the policies? Try WP:SYNTH: "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources." This is the worst form of transgression of this policy I have ever seen. Each inferior citation you throw at the growing bunch only makes it worse. I am going to take this matter to the Wikipedia:No original research/Noticeboard. --Saddhiyama (talk) 10:27, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't feel this is synthesis. The topic of the article is Police states and the cited references discuss attributes of police states. Feel free to take this to any forum you like - I feel your removal of well sourced material is highly questionable. Ghostofnemo (talk) 10:33, 29 October 2013 (UTC) And it's clearly not OR since there are a wealth of references now. Your re-tagging the material as unsourced is rather strange. Ghostofnemo (talk) 10:37, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
Note to other editors: this issue is now being discussed at Ghostofnemo (talk) 06:00, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

I have deleted the list as original research as per the consensus on the noticeboard. --Saddhiyama (talk) 16:28, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

I've challenged your consensus claim and deletion here: Ghostofnemo (talk) 01:13, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
As an alternative approach, I've paraphrased the criteria used by one "freedom rating" group to determine how free or unfree a society is. Ghostofnemo (talk) 02:56, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, my bold attempt at a resolution has been immediately deleted without discussion: Why is it that this reliably sourced, neutrally worded list of objective indicators has been repeatedly deleted, but at the top of the next section the completely unsourced assertion that "it is impossible to objectively determine whether a nation has become or is becoming a police state" is allowed to stand unchallenged? Just a little strange, in my opinion. Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:53, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
The citation used to source your new list does not mention that the features listed are particular of police states. The features listed in the Freedom House source are merely indicators of the degree of freedom in a society. So again to claim that they are particular indicators of a police state would make it original research. Also please take your time to familiarise yourself with Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle. --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:40, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
The revised edit includes the following line before the list: "Factors which are considered when determining the degree of freedom in a society include things such as:" It is talking about the degree of political freedom, which agrees precisely with the reliable source supplied. How can other editors discuss this edit if it has been deleted? Please see WP:ROWN. Ghostofnemo (talk) 11:40, 22 November 2013 (UTC) Here is the diff of your deletion Please note that states that score low on this index are labeled "unfree" which means they are police states. There is already a map based on this source in the article which makes this point. Ghostofnemo (talk) 12:30, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
OK, I think I understand the problem. The term "police state" is not a scientific term, it's an epithet or insult. That's why there are so few academic sources that use the term "police state". But it is easily understood that a police state is a state "where basic political rights are absent, and basic civil liberties are widely and systematically denied" (per a RS quoted in the article). We can also call them "unfree states", "authoritarian regimes", "despotisms", etc. Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:04, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
The Freedom House source is not an acceptable source, and the fact that it has already been used as a source in this article is not a valid excuse per WP:OTHERSTUFF, since as far as I can see every single instance of its use in this article constitutes OR as well. This article is a mess of unsourced dubious claims and OR, it is badly in need of a trimming, even a stubification, at least every single image in this article needs to be removed, but until that happens, there is absolutely no reason why more OR-crud should be added by you or any other editor. And no, your personal interpretation of what a police state is is completely irrelevant to this article, although highly revealing about your lack of knowledge about the subject itself. --Saddhiyama (talk) 01:14, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

All of my edits have been reliably sourced, neutrally worded, and relevant to the article. You had better cool your jets a little, start assuming good faith, and exhibit a little more civility. You don't own this article. Please see WP:OWN Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:09, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

No none of your edits have been reliably sourced, that is the issue here and on WP:NOR. The fact that you still try to pretend that they have is just further evidence of your WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. --Saddhiyama (talk) 21:07, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

The last version (now deleted) does not claim to be "describing police states". It claims to be a list of indicators used to determine how free or unfree a state is. Unfree states are clearly another term for police states. Paraphrasing is not OR. Ghostofnemo (talk) 00:46, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

You are just grasping at straws now. No, "unfree states" is not another term for police states. "Unfree states" includes a whole range of different types of governments. Paraphrasing is indeed not necessarily OR, but, as our article paraphrase states: "Paraphrase may attempt to preserve the essential meaning of the material being paraphrased. Thus, the (intentional or otherwise) reinterpretation of a source to infer a meaning that is not explicitly evident in the source itself qualifies as "original research," and not as paraphrase". And of course that is what you did by reinterpetating "unfree states" as "police states". And that is also what has been done in all the other instances where that source has been similarly used in the article. --Saddhiyama (talk) 11:08, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I disgree. Freedom House is defining unfree states as states "where basic political rights are absent, and basic civil liberties are widely and systematically denied." Which is also the definition of a police state. I've made a proposal for an WP:RFC here: It's a bit annoying to be having this discussion at two different locations. If you agree to my Rfc proposal, we should post it on this page. Ghostofnemo (talk) 11:33, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I am not going to stop your forumshopping. Approaching a third venue to present your original research in is not going to make it less annoying, and you are basically just including more and more editors in your timewasting process. Don't be surprised at any WP:BOOMERANGs coming your way. --Saddhiyama (talk) 12:14, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Refimprove and OR tags[edit]

I have renewed the refimprove and OR tags recently removed from the article, since the problems they refer to are still very much present in the article. The article is a mess of original research and unsourced claims. For example all the images using the Freedom House study is original research, since that study doesn't mention police states, only the level of freedom in nations. The "Enlightened Absolutism" section provides no sources that connects this term with "Police state" and as such is also original research. The "History of usage" section contains one citation (not counting the irrelevant "electronic police state" citations, from which I removed some blatant original research), and while that citation is a good one, the section need a lot more citations for the specific claims made about the usage and history of the term. The "Examples of Police state" section also needs citations for 3/5 of the examples mentioned being police states.

All in all, even considering the relative briefness of the article, it is so problematic that I am tempted to suggest stubbing the article by removing all the unsourced material as well as the OR. That would in my opinion make a much better foundation for improvement than the current mess. --Saddhiyama (talk) 10:56, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

As a first step to improve the article, I suggest that relevant, reliably sourced, NPOV contributions from other editors NOT BE SUMMARILY DELETED. Just a suggestion. I've tried to help, but I give up. The Freedom House material is highly relevant. An "unfree state" is obviously a police state. Ghostofnemo (talk) 02:21, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Deletion/restoration of maps[edit]

"Authoritarian regimes" shown on maps are clearly synonymous with "police states". Ghostofnemo (talk) 12:29, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

the term "police state" is widely known and free to use. if the researchers had intended their work to reflect "police state" they certainly could have actively used the term. they didnt. for us to assume "synonymous" would then render this page a POV fork of Authoritarianism and be evidence that this should be a redirect and not a stand alone article. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 00:22, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
and you are going against the overwhelming consensus of just a few months ago [4] . Please stop your nonsense. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 06:49, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Instead of deleting reliably sourced material that is clearly relevant to the article, why not supply reliably sourced alternative rankings that you feel are less biased? The Economist, Freedom House, etc. are clearly reliable sources, but this doesn't mean they don't have a world view. Low freedom ranking equals police state. What other possible definition could there be? Is it logically possible to have an unfree state that is not a police state? This is "Paris is the capital of France" obvious. Ghostofnemo (talk) 14:02, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Here is a diff of the most recent deletion of reliably sourced, relevant, NPOV material from the article: Ghostofnemo (talk) 14:07, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
it is NOT appropriately sourced as everyone has been indicating. The sources do not discuss "Police state" when they have ample opportunity to do so if they wanted and felt it was appropriate to the context of their material. Taking content out of the specific context of the sources is not allowed. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 14:09, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I suggest we try a Request for Comment WP:RFC on the "Politics, government, and law" issue area. Ghostofnemo (talk) 14:14, 26 March 2014 (UTC) Here is a possible description of the issue: The section "Rating systems", which includes the two maps to the far right on this version of the article has been deleted repeatedly, the stated reason being that "police state" and "authoritarian regime" refer to two distinct and different things. Do you feel this section is relevant to the article "Police state", reliably sourced and neutral in point of view, or do you agree that it should be deleted because it doesn't belong in this article? Ghostofnemo (talk) 14:24, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

The entire "Rating systems" section of the article Police state has been repeatedly deleted. It includes the text, references, and two maps which appear to the far right in this version of the article Do you feel this section and these maps are relevant to the article, reliably sourced and neutral in point of view, or do you feel all this material should be deleted because it doesn't belong in the article? Ghostofnemo (talk) 09:57, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

  • oppose inclusion of those items - the creators of those lists and studies were very clear in what they were looking and what they were measuring and why they were looking at what they looked at. They were not looking at / measuring indications of "police state". for us to translate their work from their context into a context that is not what their work was about is a violation of WP:SYN. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 18:18, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
    • and commenters may wish to be aware that this was discussed at the No Original Research notice boards a few months ago. [5] -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 19:32, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. That section is not properly referenced. It cites four sources, three of which do not even mention "police state", while one just mentions Eritrea being a police state. Connecting those sources and their claims with the "police state" would be an original research, which is prohibited. To include the "rating systems" section, we need some sources about the rating of police states, which I do not see. Vanjagenije (talk) 11:29, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Agree with the above editors that including this would constitute original research. AIRcorn (talk) 21:07, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment If multiple human rights organizations and publications are cited which label certain states as "unfree" or "authoritarian", how can it be original research? If this material is deleted, we have no objective basis whatsoever for the concept of "police state" - it becomes just an insult that is thrown around without any precise meaning. I'm not saying there is only one, objective yardstick, but at least this was a start. Ghostofnemo (talk) 15:23, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think I have made my case against Ghostofnemos repeated and inherent OR tendencies above. Nothing has changed since then. --Saddhiyama (talk) 22:10, 17 April 2014 (UTC)