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  1.  (1966.1)
    The NYPD is pulling out all the stops to beef up safety of the subways. On Thursday it launched a new anti-terror effort called "Operation Torch," but the cost of the program is raising some eyebrows.

    The NYPD's new firepower consists of cops with Mp5 submachine guns, rifles, body armor and bomb-sniffing dogs.

    Starting Thursday, five or six teams a day will patrol the major transit hubs in the city in the new program, all thanks to a 50 percent increase in a Homeland Security grant.

    "Times Square, Grand Central, Penn Station … the locations you would expect, but not only those locations. The assignments will vary and will be following no discernible pattern," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

    Many straphangers were thrilled to see the city going all the way to protect its citizens.

    "It's a very good idea," Patricia Knight Williams said. "It's like a deterrent. It's going to make me feel safer, much safer, yes it will. It's a good idea."


    ...

    That last bit is just too eerie not to emphasize.

    Is this entirely new? I was in NYC in 2007 and got hit by bag searches and armed cops. The machine guns are a new touch.

    All this going on with no specific information about terror threats. If something really gets threatened do they roll out tanks and landmines?
  2.  (1966.2)
  3.  (1966.3)
    Is there something they're not telling us? Besides, y'know, the usual enormous pile of secretive bullshit?
  4.  (1966.4)
    "It's like a deterrent. It's going to make me feel safer, much safer, yes it will. It's a good idea."


    Last time I was at a major airport, I saw two guards with AR-15 rifles walking the sidewalk outside a terminal. Guns aren't really a hot-button issue with me, but all I could think was "One day soon, some sort of horrible mistake is going to come from this sort of bullshit".

    Do I feel safer? Like Hell.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonk.Eastman
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2008 edited
     (1966.5)
    The funny thing is, I live here.

    I'm uptown Manhattan, and we never see that kind of ordnance unless it's being used by the 34th Precinct on some unsuspecting shmuck over in the Heights.

    All that shit is for the Financial District and The Greater Metropolitan Tourist Hub and Franchise Food Court aka Times Square.

    I work in Rockefeller Center, and all I notice is more cops.

    And it's all to keep the dickholes from Wisconsin and France from getting their wallets snatched.

    Trust me.
    •  
      CommentAuthorChrisSick
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2008
     (1966.6)
    Shit like this is the reason why when I considered moving back from the Wrong Coast to the East Coast I'd rather move back to Philadelphia with its 400 murders last year over New York City with its view that they're best at all things culture and their general push at turning the city into a theme park for assholes from the Midwest instead of letting it be an actual living city with real culture and interesting things including occasional problems like crimes rate and drug use. Sorry, little weird thing I have, connect it to David Simon bitching about how there's more murders on television shows set in New York City than there are actual murders in Manhattan and that New York City no long knows shit about urban living compared to real, damaged cities like Philadelphia or Baltimore.

    Independence Hall, for the foreigners in the audience, that's where the Constitution of the United States of America was written, doesn't need police in riot gear with fully automatic weapons to guard it.
    • CommentAuthorDon Kelly
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2008
     (1966.7)
    I think it's a mistake to presume that mayors and police chiefs in other cities don't drool when they see things like this. I'm from NY and did a lot of damage during the Guiliani years. Ahhhh, the 90's when Manhattan underwent either a renaissance or morphed into a police state depending on the color of your skin.

    The history of people trading safety for freedom is long. Here on the wrong coast we have ubiquitous cameras, pilot programs investigating the effectiveness of remote controlled flyers, a voter approved DNA databank to assist the authorities, and burgeoning crime as development displaces our poor and gangs. I've experience enough of it the last few months that I'm starting to feel like Tommy Lee Jones. "I had two dreams last night."

    Guess LA's becoming a real city.

    One day soon I'll click on an entry on Digg. It will for a photo entitled "Irony." It will depict an armed battalion guarding Independence Hall. Guess we'll comfort ourselves knowing we have the Internet and our snark.
    • CommentAuthorDon Kelly
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2008
     (1966.8)
    p.s. Did they ever catch the guy who bomb the recruiting station in Times Square?
  5.  (1966.9)
    @Don
    Nope. A good friend of mine patrols that area (granted he was home by then) for the NYPD. He's a little paranoid with all the new safety percautions and he is convinced something strange is going on,and the higher ups and the big wigs are not saying shit.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 29th 2008 edited
     (1966.10)
    @orwell

    Did you get the feeling that the last three sentences were said in a Mr. Burn's-like manner while rubbing his hands or twirling the tip of a mustache?

    @spiral

    I'm always skeptical of when people in authority say, "Well, we've thwarted this attempt on such and such." Why would it be so hard at that point to provide documentation and proof to back up that claim since you've stopped whatever horrible thing has happened?
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeApr 29th 2008
     (1966.11)
    What will the guns and cameras do? Will they stop the guy with a clear liquid explosive in a water bottle?

    The only thing that will stop terrorism is eliminating the root sources.

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