Recommended reading for this week: Overkill:The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America. Written by Radley Balko and published by the Cato Institute, it's a study of the militarization of equipment, procedures and attitudes in use with American law enforcement, as well as the forces driving it and the consequences resulting from it. The driving argument is that while there is a legitimate purpose to SWAT teams and the like (e.g. hostage situations, counter-terrorism, etc.), such units are increasingly being used in applications—mostly routine drug searches—for which the level of force they wield is inappropriately high. Compounding the problem is a less than meticulous approach on the part of police, public prosecutors and judges when it comes to requesting and issuing search warrants in connection to suspected drug offenses, resulting in a disturbingly large number of "wrong door" raids and civilian casualties. It makes for, well, terrifying reading.