Reason Writers on the Air: Radley Balko Discusses SWAT Teams and Police Militarization on Russia Today


This week, Reason Senior Editor Radley Balko discussed SWAT teams and police militarization on Russia TV's The Alyona Show.

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  1. Great segment. Too bad it’s only on The Alyona Show (no disrespect to her, but I imagine far fewer Americans will see this than say, 60 Minutes).

  2. Alonya? I hardly know ya!

    1. You are a disgusting pig. I’m reporting you to Feministing. For fisting.

      1. Am I doing the fisting, or receiving the fisting? Either way, your mother’s coming with me.

        1. You get to fist mom after I’m done with her. Sloppy seconds for you, loser.

          1. Be gentle. It is Moms, you know.

      2. Breaking news: aggressive men more successful, feminists shocked.

        1. When was the last time a Liberal Progressive woman with power dated a man beneath her status? Excepting Steadman Graham, of course. Possibly Guy Ritchie as well, but then Madonna never could master movies like she could the music world.

          You never hear of Gloria Steinem’s poor, broke boyfriends. And Jane Fondle? You think she married Ted Turner for his personality (no doubt divorced him for it)?

          1. Bang on bro.

            In an unrelated comment, I will add though that I saw an attractive, well dressed woman with a stereotypical, neck bearded, dread-locked, awful flared jeans wearing trance douche yesterday. The horror.

            1. attractive, well dressed woman

              Was she also well spoken? (racist!)

              1. And clean too! 🙂

          2. O ye, of little faith

            1. HA! Do you have advice for Paul Krugman?

          3. What about K-Fed, dumbass?

            On an unrelated note, my Dick Towel hat arrived today!

            1. Britney Spears is not a Liberal Progressive woman with power. She is generally regarded as a Anna Nicole Smith tart that can (arguably) sing and dance. Though she, her sister, and most of the other tarts seem to come from the Disney Tart Manufacturing Center, AKA The Mickey Mouse Club. I know this because Tulpa told me. Apparently, it is a hobby of his.

              I’m pleased as punch you got your hat, Epi. Is it twink bait?

              1. Dude, that’s totally homophobic, you butt pirating fudge packing rump ranger.

                1. Ha, what she said.

                  1. She was talking to you dipshit!

            2. AWESOME!HILARIOUS!

              Anybody willing to use Kool Keith in their marketing campaign is probably alright.

              7.8 internets points go to whoever watches the video.

              1. Because it is Sunday here is some ammo for your space doodoo pistol.

        2. Feminists are so funny. Articles like that just remind me of how much I like men, but they use it as something else to be pissed off about. Gender roles, oh noes!

          1. Notice the “Decoding your Don Draper and Liz Lemon Fantasies” link up top. It must be horrible to hate yourself for being attracted to men who act like men.

            1. Don’t think Dagny has a problem with self-loathing. More specifically, she appears not to suffer from it.

            2. I saw that, but only to look at Jon Hamm. The Jezebelles say they like hot men, but they don’t really.

              They are the female equivalents of that douchebag at the bar who calls you a bitch as soon as it’s clear you’re not into him. It would really suck to not actually like the people you’re sexually attracted to.

          2. Thank you. I respect women enough that I do not WANT them to be men! I expect the same graciousness in return. I love women so much that I think it is okay for them to be women and I enjoy being the occasional neanderthal.

            1. The concept of individualism must be a difficult one for you to grasp.

              1. … STFU if you can’t read. Thanks.

                1. I can read; you still don’t seem to grasp the idea of individualism.

                  1. Jezebel article says, “men shouldn’t act this way, women shouldn’t act this way,” and I say people should be free to be themselves, even if they fall into gender stereotypes. Never did I say women have to act a certain way. You still need to learn to read.

          3. Gender roles, oh noes!

            I got your gender roles right here!
            *grabs crotch, shakes*

            Now swoon!

  3. Anyone else find it weird that a presenter on a Russian government channel would deplore police terror and corruption?

    1. No. What they’re discussing is happening in the United States. If they were to talk about police brutality in St. Petersburg, I’d find that unusual.

      (However, during the Soviet era, they sometimes allowed news articles about corruption or other issues as a prelude to removing those in charge of said issues. So if there’s ever a RT show about police corruption in Vladivostok, for example, soon afterward, they’ll probably be a piece about the police chief of Vladivostok being replaced.)

    2. No joke. All well and good talking about police stupidity in the US, but quite frankly Russia has no room to talk. If Balko thinks this is going to win libertarians any converts in the US, he’s pissing into the wind.

    3. Russia Today isn’t run by the Russian government. I find it weird that you assume that it is.

      1. How much of the Russian media can you say is truly independent of the Russian government, and who reads it?

  4. Wow, thats some pretty scary stuff dude when you think about it. Wow.


    1. $25 billion to whoever kills the Anonybot. I’ll even throw in a tip if you make it something extra painful.

      1. Hey Billy, while you’re tossing around your loose change, how’s about you off a few of our trolls, and some of their enablers while you’re at it? Thanks a bunch.

        1. they write the only interesting shit on this site. Read a book, if you don’t want interaction.

          1. I’ve been catching up on Paul Krugman lately, and it is quite interesting. Stimulating reading actually.

  5. There’s also the recent(?) Russian trend of killing almost as many hostages as they save during those situation where SWAT and Commando raids are perfectly appropriate.

  6. I grew up in communist Czechoslovakia in 70s and 80s and this interview brought a strong sense of D?j? vu to me. Russian TV program painting a horror picture of US life with a help of clueless westerner. Granted, Alyona is more charming than the Bolshevik stiffs from the 80s USSR TV shows, but the attitude is remarkably similar. Out of context images blown out of proportion to advance a narrative of terrible life in the US. Particularly rich coming from a TV station allowed functioning in Putin’s Russia. Now to be clear: I agree with Radley’s position on the drug war. I think it is disastrous and counterproductive. My only point here is that the audience for this show is mostly Russians and his words will be used to strengthen Putin’s regime. Just watch her pressing the talking points during the interview. Radley, next time you give an interview to a Russian TV, please challenge the hostess on her brain dead talking points.

    1. Dobry den, pleased you made it here.

      You most likely know communism never ended, or was even dismantled, it simply has gone mainstream, the only workable route to world socialism. Same faces in power now as before.

      Peter Onion knows, I like his Czech Right Bloc “party for removal of politicians.” You may remember him from his 5 times imprisoned in communist Czechoslovakia.

      I agree with you on the drug war, it’s tearing America apart yet they just go on.

      D?t si p?va! Like Bill Clinton who stopped in Praha on his way back from licking the hands of communist masters you can always say: “ne?lukoval jsem” 😉

  7. Quick off-topic observation:

    I’m not sure which group of people gets more giddy and full of themselves: Conservatives, when a would-be Islamic terrorist attempts an attack on our soil; or Liberals, when a gargantuan ecological disaster happens. It’s really a toss-up.

    I will say, though, it’s equally disgusting.

    1. Loss of Liberty or Icky Gunk, Hmmmm, A or B, A or B.

      I’ll stick with the ick.

  8. That was brilliant. I take back every nasty thing I\ve said about Balko. It all started with that fucking Reagan

    1. Try FDR, Harry Anslinger’s buddy, you ignoramus.

      1. Go suck Ron Paul’s cock, you market fundamentalist fuck.

        1. Read your history, Max. Harry Anslinger is a major villain, and far predates Reagan.

          1. Notice how the spittle flies from Max’s mouth as he types the phrase “market fundamentalist”… it’s a clear indication of a raging, deep-seated psychosis.

            Either that, or he’s fucking insane.

          2. Anslinger and his Liberal Democrat politician and newspaper publishing friend William Randolph Hearst were the fathers of the war on marijuana. Their motives were rooted in racism against Blacks and Hispanics.

            Of course an imbecile like Max would never know that. For that matter there isn’t much if anything at all Max knows about anything since discovering the once purposely lost and almost always unsought after secrets of perfect ignorance.

            Oppositions to some of the other drugs date back even earlier than the Anslinger/Hearst team effort. Temperance movements got rolling in the second quarter of the 19th century, Opiates prohibition in this country began in San Francisco around 1875 (also racially motivated), cocaine in the early 20th century (once again racially motivated).

            Otherwise drug prohibitions can be traced back as far as the middle ages with the first being attributed to Islam and followed after by Christian ones motivated by intolerance towards other religions such as witchcraft.

            No doubt Nixon and Reagan both ratcheted up the war, but so did Clinton and Obama as well. It’s hardly some kind of sport belonging to one or the other party or any individual. Politicians have found the drug war a great way to amplify their power while diminishing that of our own, so it’s very unlikely they will abandon such a tool anytime soon. Especially with so many involved in the industry who have found easy profits in it. Judges, lawyers, prison guards, police, rehab workers, so on, and so forth. All these people and many more love the status quo. They’d have to get jobs if the drug war ended, and it’s hard to imagine many of them would tolerate that kind of abuse.

            1. Great reminder, but the Drug Worriers won’t ever cop to it.

              And kudos to Radley for going the distance – even on obscure foreign TV shows – to point out where we’re headed… no thanks to President HopiChangi.

          3. Don’t be an enabler.

        2. that was funny, if vulgar

  9. …I can understand Russian. I’m a genius!

    1. You are stratospheres above Paul Krugman in intellect.

  10. Where is TJKing?

  11. Fuckers! Next time warn me when you are going to show highlights of that fucking raid, please. I couldn’t get to the mouse fast enough, and it ruined my fucking Sunday.

  12. No one has ever answered my question about why reason writers frequently appear on “Russia Today”.

    I mean, it just seems to be a non-sequitur. WTF? Russia? Huh? Whats that about? Is it something to do with … I dont know… is there some particular reason its’ not “Taiwan Now”, or “Argentina Weekly” or “Zimbabwe Journal”… I’m clearly missing something.

    1. My guess is that:
      1. They’re relatively new, if obscure, in the US.
      2. They have a large Washington desk (like Al Jazeera English).
      3. They view themselves as outsiders (and they are) and thus are more willing to shed light on things that more mainstream US-centric channels refuse to do.

      1. Thanks, that makes more sense.

        Particularly that they have a DC desk. I just thought it was weird that Russians seem to have any particular interest in free-minds and free markets, given their historical track record, and the fact that russian media hasnt exactly been known for its adversarial position vis a vis the state. Well, aside from the journalists who are occasionally, you know, executed and stuff for being critical of state policy.


    2. Once again, getting libertarian ideas out wherever possible is a good thing.

  13. This was pretty frightening. Not the SWAT stuff. That is totally fucked up. This little slut using Balko for the RT propaganda machine. As fucked up as the war on drugs policy is, the raids still require some semblance of due process. Not much solace for the dogs, but Balko already has enough outlets to make the point that SWAT should not be used except for violent situations. He doesn’t need to go on this piece of shit excuse for journalism.

    As an aside, the littel whore tries to connect, and by implication slander, our troops to the SWAT raids with a comment that it is “standard procedure” to go in Iraq and Afghanistan and “shoot the dogs”. Muslims don’t have dogs as pets. They think they are unclean. But even if they did, our troops are never going in on drug busts. There are usually people with AK47s on the other side of the door. So, fuck their dogs!

  14. Muslims don’t have dogs as pets. They think they are unclean.

    Nah, dogs are shit eaters – and so the Moslems are afraid of being bitten. But hell, even dogs won’t eat some things.

  15. Is Balko being used here for propaganda purposes? Sure. Would they be able to use him in this way if US police weren’t actually acting like dumbass cowboy stormtroopers? No. It’s a problem that needs fixing no matter where it is reported.

    1. plus alyona is pretty hot.

      1. Meh. She’s not all that. Smart gal though. She’s multilingual (Russian, English and Spanish). Poor posture too. I wouldn’t surprise me if she has slight kyphosis or scoliosis.

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