Jim Hightower Weighs in on Keene’s BEARCAT

BEARCATFrom the Sheboygan Press:

During a recent city council meeting, the mayor of Keene, New Hampshire leaned over to a council member and whispered excitedly: “We’re going to have our own tank.”

Yes, the tank (or, more specifically, the “armored personnel vehicle”) is the latest must-have toy for mayors and police departments. Even in this picture-perfect and tranquil New England town of about 23,000 residents, officials hurl common sense to the wind at the very thought of having such a cool ride parked in front of town hall. Maybe they’ll even get to drive it in the next Fourth of July parade. Never mind that Keene has no crime that would warrant rolling out a tank.

Nonetheless, thanks to such richly funded boondoggles as the “war on drugs” and the “war on terrorism,” the federal government is throwing money at cities and states to militarize their various police forces. Thus, Keene was granted $285,000 by the Department of Homeland Security to buy its very own “Bearcat,” an eight-ton combat vehicle.

Of course, corporations that peddle such pricey hardware testily insist that Keene needs a tank. A sales executive for Lenco Industries, which makes the Bearcat, snapped to an inquiring reporter: “I don’t think there’s any place in the country where you can say, ‘That isn’t a likely terrorist target.’ Wouldn’t you rather be prepared?”

The sensible people of Keene, however, aren’t swallowing the fearmonger pill, and they’ve forced the town council to reconsider. Local businesswomen Dorrie O’Meara says she hasn’t met a single person who’s in favor of having “this militaristic thing in Keene.” She calls the tank “completely unnecessary. But it’s more than that,” she adds. “It’s just not who we are. It’s about what kind of town we want to be.”

Wherever you live, take heart in the Keene example. Reject the corporate nonsense and insist on being the town you want to be.

Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. Distributed via OtherWords.org

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  1. We as a state have thrown down the gauntlet to the Federal Government saying if they were to declare Martial Law in any state then we would secede. So now they come tempting us with a grant, which is actually our own money from taxes, to buy a device that can help them achieve their ends. This does not pass the smell test.

  2. You got ME sold!…

  3. In a nutshell, AL , I was thinking the same thing. The money acquired for this has already been taken as taxes, therefore taxpayers not having say on where it goes.

  4. Cry cry cry. Boo hoo hoo, Now stomp your feet and throw a tantrum you idiots!

  5. Seriously, don't you fucking people have ANYTHING BETTER TO DO!?!?! I don't maybe a job?

  6. Average NH Resident: "… Seriously, don’t you fucking people have ANYTHING BETTER TO DO!?!?! I don’t maybe a job? "


    And here you are, repeatedly posting on forums. Maybe you should go do some overtime at work so you don't have to be here bitching and moaning just like everyone else, and complaining about everyone else bitching and moaning.

  7. Go protest a crossing guard, alex.

  8. anon wrote: "… Go protest a crossing guard, alex…."


    I'd rather not, as I think it is largely a complete waste of my time, as there are more pressing problems in the world.

    Rest assured, however, that I consider all public servants a problem. It doesn't matter how seemingly innocuous a given position is, or how ostensibly necessary a given public service job may seem to some, that necessity is not a blank cheque to accomplish the job by any means possible. And it is the means, not the end, which is in dispute.

    These people can remedy the issue any time they like with but a modest change to the means by which they go about it. And if they do that, then they will be able to keep on doing the job they are doing, and virtually nobody is going to have a problem with it. They choose to continue to be obstinate, and so there will continue to be friction until such time that they make that simple remedy.

  9. Waaaaa. My name is Alex and I'm mad 'bout stuff. Waaaaa

  10. Waaa,,, look at me, I am a guy using the nom de plume, Average NH resident, and I am mad about a bunch of people on the Internet who I hate so much that i actually go out of my way to find their forum and post comments on, complaining to them about all my vague and cryptic gripes. Cuts both ways.

    I'd actually attempt to be serious, but unfortunately you leave little room for such a discussion by your own actions, because from all the comments on this forum that I have seen from you, all your gripes are exceedingly vague.

    Your hit and run comments such as: "I hate you guys" … "leave.. get out" … "You are destroying our government" … "Our government was great before you guys came here" (Really? It was? Exactly what strength prescription rose colored glasses are you wearing to make such a claim. Those must be some strong glasses).

    And then of course there is the cryptic, "leave the state and go back to Mass…" comment. A possibly telling tip-off that you may be some kind of Republican who apparently is confused in thinking that firearms liberties and reducing the scope of government is an attribute common to Massholes. Oh wait… it's not. Quite the opposite. So let me read between the lines and infer what that stupid incoherent Mass. comment was -really- about. Let me guess…. you hate faggots, and you staunchly oppose gay marriage, and so you blame Free Staters for this, even though it was overwhelmingly passed by your own politicians.

    Perhaps if you spent a little more time clarifying what the specific source of objection is, that would help.

Care to comment?