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The Police State Is Coming For “Religious Extremists”, “Evangelical Christians”, “Pro-Life” Activists And “Libertarians”

If you cherish faith, family and freedom, you might want to keep a low profile for a while.  The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 has been unveiled in Congress, and it has bipartisan support.  It is essentially “the Patriot Act on steroids”, and we are being told that it is almost certain that some version of the legislation will make it to Biden’s desk for him to sign.  Personally, I am very much against all forms of domestic terrorism, and a law which could help to prevent terror attacks from happening is going to sound like a good thing to a lot of people.  Unfortunately, it appears that this bill is meant to specifically target certain groups, and as you read this article you may discover that you are a member of one or more of those groups.

Those that drafted this new law say that it will help authorities go after “extremists”, and very few of us would consider ourselves to be one of those.

But the definition of an extremist has changed.  Tulsi Gabbard is one of the most prominent Democrats in the House of Representatives, and last year she ran for president.  But even though she is a Democrat, she is warning that this new law appears to be “a targeting of almost half of the country”

“What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this?” Gabbard said.

She said the proposed legislation could create “a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties, our freedoms in our Constitution, and a targeting of almost half of the country.”

It is fundamentally un-American to specifically target people for their religious beliefs, and so that is extremely alarming.

Gabbard is also warning that people with certain political perspectives are likely to be targeted as well

“You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally,” Gabbard said.

Wait a second.

I am a male.

I love freedom and liberty.

I am flying an American flag outside my house right now.

Am I going to be put on a list somewhere?

During a recent television interview, former CIA Director John Brennan said that the Biden administration will likely be focusing on “religious extremists”, “nativists”, and “even libertarians” as possible targets.

In what universe is saying something like that okay?

Even before this new legislation has gone through Congress, Joe Biden has already instructed his director of national intelligence to identify potential extremist threats

President Biden has asked the director of national intelligence to draw up a comprehensive threat assessment on domestic violent extremism in the country as the new administration seeks to tackle what it calls a “serious and growing national security threat.”

The move is one of several the White House press secretary announced Friday to address mounting concerns about domestic extremism, particularly in the wake of the violent insurrection more than two weeks ago by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol.

There is that word “extremism” again.

And new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has been using it repeatedly during her press briefings.

In the old days, we assumed that “extremists” were crazy terrorists and suicide bombers in the Middle East.

But now they are using that term to describe large numbers of people that live inside the United States.

That is extremely chilling.

And once “extremists” have been identified, we are being told that the White House National Security Council “will be tasked with building capacity to tackle and disrupt extremist networks”.

What does that mean and what will that look like?

If the Biden administration truly wanted to go after domestic terrorists, they aren’t hard to find.

In fact, a whole bunch of them attacked an ICE facility in Portland on Saturday night

Protests outside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Portland turned ugly on Saturday night as federal authorities threatened mass arrests for trespassing.

Dramatic videos posted on Twitter showed the crowd chanting: ‘No borders! No nations! Abolish deportations!’

You can watch footage of the battle that ensued right here.  According to the Daily Mail, insurgents in Portland have now been committing political violence for four days in a row…

It marked the four-straight day of protests in the city since Joe Biden’s inauguration as demonstrators make it clear that a new Democratic administration will not stop their campaign for social justice.

There they are Biden.

Go get them.

We also just witnessed a very frightening terror attack at a church in California

The FBI has launched an investigation after a bomb was thrown at an anti-LGBT church in California just weeks after the pastor received an arson attack threat.

Police and fire crews were called to the First Works Baptist Church at 2600 Tyler Avenue in El Monte in the early hours of Saturday morning to reports of an explosion.

The FBI said an improvised explosive device had been thrown at the building and it had also been covered in graffiti.

Sadly, these are not the sorts of “extremists” that the Democrats have in mind.

Instead, they appear to be very interested in identifying and “deprogramming” those that voted for Donald Trump…

A Democratic National Committee official, David Atkins, said on Twitter that “deprogramming” is needed for every one of more than 74 million people who voted for Trump on Nov. 3.

Limbaugh said they “are literally thinking of deprogramming conservatives.”

Of course it isn’t just the Biden administration that is focused on Trump supporters.  Countless private individuals have joined a growing nationwide effort to punish any individual or entity that was ever closely associated with Trump…

It’s why the left is cheering Big Tech’s embrace of cancel culture and pushing cable providers to stop airing One America News Network, Newsmax and other “conservative influencers.”

It’s why the so-called Trump Accountability Project, which seeks to prevent administrations officials from gainful employment, is not widely denounced for the thuggery that it is and why 250 publishing professionals feel comfortable circulating a “No Book Deals for Traitors” petition that says former Trump officials shouldn’t be allowed to publish their works. It’s also why Harvard students think it’s reasonable to circulate a letter demanding the revocation of degrees earned by Republicans who questioned the 2020 election, and why MoveOn.org demands that the Senate not give Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley any committee assignments.

Now that the Democrats have full power in Washington, it is open season on Trump and all of his supporters.

But the truth is that the vast majority of the civil unrest over the past year has been caused by radicals on the left, and it is only going to get worse in the months and years to come.

For the past 12 months, there has been political violence somewhere in America on an almost nightly basis.  But because leftists are involved 99 percent of the time, the corporate media generally ignores most of it.

You can’t just be against political violence when the other side does it.  I am very strongly against all of the rioting, looting, arson and vandalism that we have been witnessing.  The attacks on police stations, courthouses and federal buildings need to stop.

Sadly, it appears that the people committing most of the political violence will be handled with kid gloves by this new administration.

Meanwhile, those that have politically incorrect religious and political views will be demonized as “extremists” and will be specifically targeted under the new law that Congress is about to pass.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post The Police State Is Coming For “Religious Extremists”, “Evangelical Christians”, “Pro-Life” Activists And “Libertarians” first appeared on End Of The American Dream.

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“Enforcement” Outnumbers Protestors At The Capitol Before Inaguration

Cops outnumber protestors at the nation’s capitol in advance of the inauguration on Wednesday.  There is also allegedly a big show of force at many of the state’s capitols.

State capitols across the United States have been “reinforced” against a possible wave of pro-Trump armed protests after the FBI warned of “armed groups” preparing to descend on them. However, it’s become obvious that the situation on the ground tells a different story.

The massive number of military personnel and their presence are ominous and we are obviously not being told the entire truth.  There’s no need to outnumber the protestors to this extent unless there’s something else going on and it’s the cover story. Are people actually still buying the official narrative this time?

-UPDATED- Questions About The Chaos At The Capitol That Desperately Need To Be Answered

The Capitol Hill riot, which saw an unruly group of pro-Trump protesters run amuck in the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, has been the current springboard talking point to bring in a level of military never seen before.  Politicians (liars in suits aka, the ruling class) are warning of an undercurrent of right-wing “extremism” and “domestic terrorism across the country. Journalists and liberal pundits continue to openly talk of the need to “cleanse” the nation of “Trumpism,” using rhetoric not seen since the days of WWII.

Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday will take place in a locked-down Washington, DC, behind unprecedented security, including 20,000 National Guardsmen.  Some reports say there’s more military than that, however.

If this was simply to “arrest the deep state,” there wouldn’t be the need for this mass of troops. So what’s really going on? All I have, honestly, are speculations. There’s no evidence to back up anything yet, but my instincts say this is a cover story for something else much bigger and we all need to be prepared. Whatever is going on is preplanned. They brought in the military early enough that this should be obvious to people.

I would spend the day grabbing some “lead” if you can find any and maybe a few extra pounds of dried beans, and a case of water just in case.  Make any last-minute preparations and know that you did your best to ensure your family will be safe. Don’t succumb to fear, as we know these elitists and the ruling class feed off of the terrified masses. Continue to do the right thing to others, help people if you can, be kind (many may need this in the coming weeks), and most of all, stay away from ALL of the state capitols!

Keep your eyes and ears open. Be alert and aware and stay prepared. Gray-man skills could come in handy right now too.

The Gray Man Concept: Tips To Improve This Important Survival Skill

The post “Enforcement” Outnumbers Protestors At The Capitol Before Inaguration first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Civilian Control: The Pentagon Speaks

This article was originally published by Jacob Hornberger at The Future of Freedom Foundation. 

The Joint Chiefs of Staff have spoken. Issuing a remarkable memorandum to all members of the Armed Forces, the JCS have declared that Joe Biden will be the new president of the United States. The memo may have been not only one to military personnel but also to President Trump: No matter how convinced you are that the election was stolen from you, don’t even think about remaining in power because we will ensure your forcible exit from the White House.

Unfortunately, relatively few people, including libertarians, comprehend that the Pentagon, along with the CIA and the NSA and, to a certain extent, the FBI, are the part of the federal government in which ultimate power is being wielded. They are the ones who are ruling the roost in America. That’s why that memo is so important. It’s declaring how things will be.

This overwhelming power is usually exercised behind the scenes in order to make Americans feel comfortable that their government is different from other national-security governments. While the national-security branch of the government is driving the overall direction America will take, especially with respect to foreign affairs, it permits the other three branches to maintain the appearance of power. The idea is to convince Americans that the federal government operates the same as a national-security state as it did when it was a limited-government republic.

But it’s a lie, a very dangerous lie, one that unfortunately is lived by all too many Americans, especially those within the mainstream press.

If you haven’t read the book National Security and Double Government by Michael J. Glennon, you owe it to yourself to do so so. This is Glennon’s thesis — that the national-security establishment is the part of the federal government that is wielding and exercising the ultimate power within the governmental structure. At the same time, however, it permits the legislative, judicial, and executive parts of the government to continue appearing to be in charge.

Glennon is not some crackpot writer. He is a professor of international law at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. He has served as a consultant to various congressional committees, the US State Department, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. You can read a more complete biography here.

If Glennon is right — I firmly believe that he is — then it requires people, including libertarians, to reevaluate everything they understand about the country, especially foreign affairs.

Consider, for example, the many laments against America’s “forever wars.” It’s a popular mantra, including among libertarians. But what good does it do to complain about “forever wars” if the root cause of such wars is left in place, where it is in charge?

In other words, the national-security establishment needs those forever wars, just as it needed the Cold War. Any national-security state necessarily depends on fear, crises, chaos, and emergencies — or “threats” of such things to sustain its existence, its power, and its money. They will always find something for people to be afraid of, even if they have to instigate it. Communism, terrorism, drug dealers, illegal immigrants, Muslims, Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Iran, Syria, insurrectionists, revolutionaries, invaders, or whatever. Without such fearful things, people are apt to ask why they need a national-security state instead of a limited-government republic, which was the type of governmental structure on which America was founded.

What is the distinguishing characteristic of a national-security state, as compared to a limited-government republic? Power — raw, unadulterated power. With its vast military and arsenal of weaponry, along with extreme powers of assassination and surveillance, a national-security establishment has the means of imposing its will on government and on society. No one wields the countervailing power to resist.

This why precisely why our American ancestors opposed the creation of a national-security state or what they called “standing armies.” They understood that once such a governmental apparatus comes into existence, there is no practical way for the citizenry, even a well-armed citizenry, to oppose it. In fact, if the Constitutional Convention had proposed a Constitution that called into existence a federal government that was a national-security state, rather than a limited-government republic, there is no way that Americans would have approved the Constitution.

Practically from the beginning of the conversion to a national-security state, the other three branches have deferred to the overwhelming power of the Pentagon and its vast military-industrial complex, the CIA, and the NSA. All three of those branches have understood the nature of power.

For example, in the 1950s the Pentagon insisted that the Supreme Court grant it a state-secrets doctrine. Ordinarily, that is a legislative function; that’s the way things are ordinarily done in a democracy. The Supreme Court went along with what the Pentagon wanted, thereby circumventing the legislative process.

Consider assassination. The Constitution did not delegate such a power to the federal government. The Bill of Rights expressly prohibits the federal government from killing anyone without due process of law. Nonetheless, when the national-security establishment insisted on having the power to assassinate people, including Americans, the Supreme Court acceded to its demand.

Look at Gitmo, where people have been held for more than a decade without trial. Never mind that the Bill of Rights requires the federal government to grant people speedy trials. That doesn’t matter when it comes to the military and the CIA. The federal judiciary is not going to interfere.

Congress has proven to be just as deferential. For one thing, Congress is filled with people who could be considered to be self-designated assets of the national-security establishment. This especially includes military and CIA veterans. They are almost certain to go along with whatever the national-security establishment wants. For those who strenuously object, they encounter the threat of having military bases or projects in their districts canceled, in which case the mainstream media in their districts will go after them with a vengeance. And there is always the possibility of being “Hoovered” with the threat of having friendly assets in the mainstream press reveal compromising secrets about one’s personal life.

And woe to any president who takes on the national-security establishment. They all know this. That’s why there hasn’t been a president since John F. Kennedy willing to challenge them. For a while, it looked like Trump was going to do so but it wasn’t long before Americans saw that he too quickly fell into line.

It’s time for Americans to do some serious soul-searching and to ask themselves some penetrating questions: Is a root cause of America’s many woes the fact that it is a national-security state, just like China, Russia, and North Korea? Is it time to restore America’s founding system of a limited-government republic? Which governmental structure is more likely to lead to liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony?

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A Nation Imploding: Digital Tyranny, Insurrection and Martial Law

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. [Y]ou can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization…filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort … to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love… What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black.”—Robert F. Kennedy on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

This is what we have been reduced to: A violent mob. A nation on the brink of martial law. A populace under house arrest. A techno-corporate state wielding its power to immobilize huge swaths of the country. And a Constitution in tatters.

We are imploding on multiple fronts, all at once.

This is what happens when ego, greed, and power are allowed to take precedence over liberty, equality, and justice.

Just to be clear, however: this is not a revolution.

This is a ticking time bomb.

There is absolutely no excuse for the violence that took place at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Yet no matter which way you look at it, the fallout from this attempted coup could make this worrisome state of affairs even worse.

First, you’ve got the president, who has been accused of inciting a riot and now faces a second impeachment and a scandal that could permanently mar his legacy. While the impeachment process itself is a political beast, the question of whether President Trump incited his followers to riot is one that has even the best legal experts debating. Yet as First Amendment scholar David Hudson Jr. explains, for Trump’s rhetoric to be stripped of its free speech protections, “The speaker must intend to and actually use words that rally people to take illegal action. The danger must be imminent—not in the indefinite future. And the words must be uttered in a situation in which violence is likely to happen.”

At a minimum, Trump’s actions and words—unstatesmanlike and reckless, by any standards—over the course of his presidency and on Jan. 6 helped cause a simmering pot to boil over.

Second, there were the so-called “patriots” who took to the streets because the jailer of their choice didn’t get chosen to knock heads for another four years. Those “Stop the Steal” protesters may have deluded themselves (or been deluded) into believing they were standing for freedom when they stormed the Capitol. However, all they really did was give the Deep State and its corporate partners a chance to pull back the curtain and reveal how little freedom we really have. There is nothing that can be said to justify the actions of those who, armed with metal pipes, chemical irritants, stun guns, and other types of weapons, assaulted and stampeded those in their path.

There are limits to what can be done in the so-called name of liberty, and this level of violence—no matter who wields it or what brand of politics or zealotry motivate them—crossed the line.

Third, you’ve got the tech giants, who meted out their own version of social justice by way of digital tyranny and corporate censorship. Yet there can be no freedom of speech if social media giants can muzzle whomever they want, whenever they want, on whatever pretext they want in the absence of any real due process, review, or appeal. As Edward Snowden warned, whether it was warranted or not, the social media ban on President Trump signaled a turning point in the battle for control over digital speech. And that is exactly what is playing out as users, including those who have no ties to the Capitol riots, begin to experience lockouts, suspensions, and even deletions of their social media accounts.

Remember, the First Amendment is a steam valve. It allows people to peacefully air viewpoints, vent frustrations, debate and disagree, and generally work through the problems of self-governance. Without that safety mechanism in place, self-censorship increases, discontent festers, foment brews, and violence becomes the default response for resolving disputes, whether with the government or each other. At a minimum, we need more robust protections in place to protect digital expression and a formalized process for challenging digital censorship.

Unfortunately, digital censorship is just the beginning. Once you start using social media scores coupled with surveillance capitalism to determine who is worthy enough to be part of society, anything goes. In China, which has been traveling this road for years now, millions of individuals and businesses, blacklisted as “unworthy” based on social media credit scores that grade them based on whether they are “good” citizens, have been banned from accessing financial markets, buying real estate or traveling by air or train.

Fourth, you’ve got the police, who normally exceed the constitutional limits restraining them from brutality, surveillance, and other excesses. Only this time, despite intelligence indicating that some of the rioters were planning for mayhem, police were outnumbered and ill-prepared to deal with the incursion. Investigations underway suggest that some police may even have colluded with the rioters.

Certainly, the lack of protocols adopted by the Capitol Police bears an unnerving resemblance to the lack of protocols in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, when police who were supposed to uphold the law and prevent violence failed to do either. In fact, as the Washington Post reports, police “seemed to watch as groups beat each other with sticks and bludgeoned one another with shields… At one point, police appeared to retreat and then watch the beatings before eventually moving in to end the free-for-all, make arrests and tend to the injured.” Incredibly, when the first signs of open violence broke out, it was reported that the police chief allegedly instructed his staff to “let them fight, it will make it easier to declare an unlawful assembly.”

There’s a pattern emerging if you pay close enough attention: Instead of restoring order, local police stand down. Without fail, what should be an exercise in how to peacefully disagree turns ugly the moment looting, vandalism, violence, intimidation tactics, and rioting are introduced into the equation. Tensions rise, violence escalates, and federal armies move in.

All that was missing on Jan. 6 was a declaration of martial law.

Which brings us to the fifth point, martial law. Given that the nation has been dancing around the fringes of martial law with each national crisis, it won’t take much more to push the country over the edge to a declaration and military lockdown. The rumblings of armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., will only serve to heighten tensions, double down on the government’s military response, and light a match to a powder keg state of affairs. With tens of thousands of National Guard troops and federal law enforcement personnel mobilized to lock down Washington, DC, in the wake of the Jan. 6 riots and in advance of the Jan. 20 inauguration, this could be the largest military show-of-force in recent years.

So where do we go from here?

That all of these events are coming to a head around Martin Luther King Jr. Day is telling.

More than 50 years after King was assassinated, America has become a ticking time bomb of racial unrest and injustice, police militarization, surveillance, government corruption and ineptitude, the blowback from a battlefield mindset and endless wars abroad, and a growing economic inequality between the haves and have nots

Making matters worse, modern America has compounded the evils of racism, materialism, and militarism with ignorance, intolerance, and fear.

Callousness, cruelty, meanness, immorality, ignorance, hatred, intolerance, and injustice have become hallmarks of our modern age, magnified by an echo chamber of nasty tweets and government-sanctioned brutality.

“Despite efforts to curb hate speech, eradicate bullying and extend tolerance, a culture of nastiness has metastasized in which meanness is routinely rewarded, and common decency and civility are brushed aside,” observed Teddy Wayne in a New York Times piece on “The Culture of Nastiness.”

Every time I read a news headline or flip on the television or open up an email or glance at social media, I run headlong into people consumed with back-biting, partisan politics, sniping, toxic hate, meanness, and materialism. Donald Trump is, in many ways, the embodiment of this culture of meanness. Yet as Wayne points out, “Trump is less enabler in chief than a symptom of a free-for-all environment that prizes cutting smears… Social media has normalized casual cruelty.”

Whether it’s unfriending or blocking someone on Facebook, tweeting taunts and barbs on Twitter, or merely using cyberspace to bully someone or peddle in gossip, we have become masters in the art of meanness.

This culture of meanness has come to characterize many aspects of the nation’s governmental and social policies. “Meanness today is a state of mind,” writes professor Nicolaus Mills in his book The Triumph of Meanness, “the product of a culture of spite and cruelty that has had an enormous impact on us.”

This casual cruelty is made possible by a growing polarization within the populace that emphasizes what divides us—race, religion, economic status, sexuality, ancestry, politics, etc.—rather than what unites us: we are all human.

This is what writer Anna Quindlen refers to as “the politics of exclusion, what might be thought of as the cult of otherness… It divides the country as surely as the Mason-Dixon line once did. And it makes for mean-spirited and punitive politics and social policy.”

This is more than meanness, however.

This is the psychopathic mindset adopted by the architects of the Deep State, and it applies equally whether you’re talking about Democrats or Republicans.

Beware, because this kind of psychopathology can spread like a virus among the populace.

As an academic study into pathocracy concluded, “[T]yranny does not flourish because perpetuators are helpless and ignorant of their actions. It flourishes because they actively identify with those who promote vicious acts as virtuous.”

People don’t simply line up and salute. It is through one’s own personal identification with a given leader, party, or social order that they become agents of good or evil. To this end, “we the people” have become “we the police state.”

By failing to actively take a stand for good, we become agents of evil. It’s not the person in charge who is solely to blame for the carnage. It’s the populace that looks away from the injustice, that empowers the totalitarian regime, that welcomes the building blocks of tyranny.

This realization hit me full-force a few years ago. I had stopped into a bookstore and was struck by all of the books on Hitler, everywhere I turned. Yet had there been no Hitler, there still would have been a Nazi regime. There still would have been gas chambers and concentration camps and a Holocaust.

Hitler wasn’t the architect of the Holocaust. He was merely the figurehead. The same goes for the American police state: had there been no Trump or Obama or Bush, there still would have been a police state. There still would have been police shootings and private prisons and endless wars and government pathocracy.

Why? Because “we the people” have paved the way for this tyranny to prevail.

By turning Hitler into a super-villain who singlehandedly terrorized the world—not so different from how Trump is often depicted—historians have given Hitler’s accomplices (the German government, the citizens that opted for security and order over liberty, the religious institutions that failed to speak out against evil, the individuals who followed orders even when it meant a death sentence for their fellow citizens) a free pass.

This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls.

None of us who remain silent and impassive in the face of evil, racism, extreme materialism, meanness, intolerance, cruelty, injustice, and ignorance get a free pass.

Those among us who follow figureheads without question, who turn a blind eye to injustice and turn their backs on need, who march in lockstep with tyrants and bigots, who allow politics to trump principle, who give in to meanness and greed, and who fail to be outraged by the many wrongs being perpetrated in our midst, it is these individuals who must shoulder the blame when the darkness wins.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,” Martin Luther King Jr. sermonized.

The darkness is winning

It’s not just on the world stage we must worry about the darkness winning

The darkness is winning in our communities. It’s winning in our homes, our neighborhoods, our churches and synagogues, and our government bodies. It’s winning in the hearts of men and women the world over who are embracing hatred over love. It’s winning in every new generation that is being raised to care only for themselves, without any sense of moral or civic duty to stand for freedom.

John F. Kennedy, killed by an assassin’s bullet five years before King would be similarly executed, spoke of a torch that had been “passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Once again, a torch is being passed to a new generation, but this torch is setting the world on fire, burning down the foundations put in place by our ancestors, and igniting all of the ugliest sentiments in our hearts.

This fire is not liberating; it is destroying.

We are teaching our children all the wrong things: we are teaching them to hate, teaching them to worship false idols (materialism, celebrity, technology, politics), teaching them to prize vain pursuits and superficial ideals over kindness, goodness, and depth.

We are on the wrong side of the revolution.

“If we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution,” advised King, “we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.

Freedom demands responsibility.

Freedom demands that we stop thinking as Democrats and Republicans and start thinking like human beings, or at the very least, Americans.

Martin Luther King Jr. dared to dream of a world in which all Americans “would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

He didn’t live to see that dream become a reality. It’s still not a reality. We haven’t dared to dream that dream in such a long time.

But imagine…

Imagine what this country would be like if Americans put aside their differences and dared to stand up—united—for freedom…

Imagine what this country would be like if Americans put aside their differences and dared to speak out—with one voice—against injustice…

Imagine what this country would be like if Americans put aside their differences and dared to push back—with the full force of our collective numbers—against the evils of government despotism.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, tyranny wouldn’t stand a chance.

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Italian Government On Verge Of Collapse Amid Battle Over EU COVID Relief

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Under the leadership of Premier Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s government has enjoyed a degree of stability unseen in decades, as the technocratic former law professor – initially brought in to lead a government formed by two anti-establishment parties, the anti-migrant League and left-wing populist Five Star Movement – Conte has already survived the collapse of his original coalition. When League leader Matteo Salvini withdrew from the ruling coalition back in 2019, Conte managed to stave off another election by recruiting new allies from the opposition.

Since then, Conte has led Italy through two COVID-19 lockdowns, and as the country lumbers forward, with much of its economy still paralyzed, the PM has his work cut out for him if he wants to get the country’s debt burden under control without resorting to punishing austerity measures (which, at this point, would probably spark a full-tilt revolution in the streets of Italy’s largest cities).

But as Italy staggers out of another COVID-19-induced-lockdown, the ruling coalition is once again at the point of fracture. After Salvini quit the ruling coalition back in the summer of 2019, Conte struck a deal with Matteo Renzi, the former prime minister, who later broke off from the Democrats and formed his own centrist group.

Well, now that Italy has finally received the €196 billion-euro ($240 billion) windfall from the European Union COVID bailout package, parliament must vote on how to spend the money. But since nothing is ever easy in Italy’s politically fragmented government, disagreements over spending priorities are prompting Matteo Renzi, a junior partner in the coalition, to consider abandoning the government, and thrusting it into chaos just as the relief package is being finalized.

According to Bloomberg, Italian President Sergio Mattarella (in Italy, the president plays a caretaker role) has extracted promises from Renzi that the political infighting won’t impact the relief package.

The latest government plan uses EU money to earmark €223 billion euros for investment and other projects to boost the Italian economy, which was already weak even before the pandemic, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg.

Spending on infrastructure including railways, highways, ports, and logistics totals €32 billion, while investment to make Italy’s economy greener totals €69 billion. Health spending, meanwhile, has been raised to €19.7 billion in what Bloomberg described as a concession to Renzi. But Renzi and his lawmakers have demanded Conte share more power with his coalition partners while speeding up public works projects (and giving up control of the secret services).

COVID has already heaped on more debt, and although the EU money will undoubtedly help, Italy is still dipping into its own pockets to fund some of the recovery measures.

Source: Bloomberg

Should Renzi pull two lawmakers backing the coalition in the Italian Senate (which, for those who aren’t familiar, has 321 seats, with 315 of them being elected, and the 6 others appointed “senators for life”), Conte would need to see if he can drum up enough support from opposition lawmakers to former a new governing coalition. If Conte can’t find the votes, Mattarella would have no choice but to call another snap election.

Fortunately for Conte, nobody – not even Renzi & Co. – really wants a new election. Recent reforms have reduced the number of seats in both houses of the Italian Parliament by 1/3rd, which means another election would prematurely force dozens of politicians into early retirement. Perhaps that’s why we haven’t seen a major blowout in BTP-Bund spreads, though yields on the 10-year BTP have reached the highest level since Dec. 8 as the yield climbed by a few basis points early Tuesday.

The move has widened the spread over bunds by 3bps to 109bps.

Still, we’re not seeing much of a reaction in Italian bonds, probably because investors have confidence in Conte. He’s currently leading his second government, despite never having been elected himself. And nobody wants to risk an election at a time when polls suggest voters would turn once again to Matteo Salvini and the League, which remain popular throughout the country, even in provinces once considered bastions of progressive politics in Italy.

Nicola Zingaretti, leader of the Democratic Party and a member of Conte’s ruling coalition, said Tuesday during an interview on Sky.

It’s the latest sign that the surprising stability that permeated Italian politics during the pandemic, as Italy became for a time the worst-hit country in Europe, was an aberration, and that the shroud of national unity is already dissipating.

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Covid “Mutation” Stories Show That The Lockdowns Are Designed To Last Forever

This article was originally published by Brandon Smith at Alt-Market.us. 

For many months now I have been warning that the design behind the pandemic lockdowns is a perpetual one; meaning, the lockdowns are MEANT to last forever. We can see this in the very commentary of the establishment elites that are pushing for the mandates; their most frequent argument being that the pandemic restrictions are the “new normal”. This assertion is outlined by globalists like Gideon Lichfield of MIT in his article ‘We’re Not Going Back To Normal’. In it he states:

“Ultimately, however, I predict that we’ll restore the ability to socialize safely by developing more sophisticated ways to identify who is a disease risk and who isn’t, and discriminating—legally—against those who are.

…one can imagine a world in which, to get on a flight, perhaps you’ll have to be signed up to a service that tracks your movements via your phone. The airline wouldn’t be able to see where you’d gone, but it would get an alert if you’d been close to known infected people or disease hot spots. There’d be similar requirements at the entrance to large venues, government buildings, or public transport hubs. There would be temperature scanners everywhere, and your workplace might demand you wear a monitor that tracks your temperature or other vital signs. Where nightclubs ask for proof of age, in future they might ask for proof of immunity—an identity card or some kind of digital verification via your phone, showing you’ve already recovered from or been vaccinated against the latest virus strains.”

In my article ‘Waves Of Mutilation: Medical Tyranny And The Cashless Society’, I dismantled Lichfield’s arguments and outlined why the controls the establishment is attempting to put in place have been planned far in advance. The so-called “great reset” and “Fourth Industrial Revolution” has been in development since at least 2014 when the terms were first being injected into the mainstream economic media. The ideas of a cashless society, the “sharing economy”, biometric mass surveillance, social credit scores, etc, have all been part of the globalist agenda for decades. The coronavirus is merely a useful crisis for them to exploit as a rationale for the draconian measures they have always wanted.

The plan was so predictable that I even pointed out at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak that lockdowns would not end even if a working vaccination was developed because all they have to do is declare that a “new mutation” of the virus has been found which is resistant to existing treatments. Or, they could engineer a whole new virus and release it into the population in order to keep the Reset machine rolling forward.

Not surprisingly, just as news hit the wires that the barely tested and highly suspect Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were being released to the public, reports have begun to trickle in of “more infectious” Covid mutations found in places like the UK, India, and South Africa.

I’m not sure how much more transparent the elites can get.

Take the Pfizer vaccine now and you might receive an immunity passport for a few months, and then it will become void with every new mutation of the virus. So, you must then submit to ENDLESS vaccinations, many of them untested and potentially hazardous. As the former VP of Pfizer and other medical professionals have warned, these vaccines are like Russian Roulette and could cause an autoimmune response that leads to sterility or other harmful reactions.

The vaccines themselves are a conveniently short-lived solution even if they do work. They require multiple doses over the course of a month, and renewed vaccinations are to take place possibly every few months. Basically, it never ends. With the mutations and limited antibodies from the vaccines, the elites could keep the lockdowns and mandates in place for many years to come.

The World Health Organization is making it clear that vaccination will not necessarily be considered a solution to viral spread. Meaning, even if you are vaccinated you will still be considered a potential carrier and transmitter of Covid, therefore the lockdowns and mask mandates will not stop. This begs the question – What’s the point of the vaccine?

The WHO chief scientist cites the fact that there is not enough evidence to prove that the vaccines prevent transmission. By that logic, we could also argue that there is no evidence that the vaccines are 95% effective, or that they are safe in the slightest.

In the meantime, the WHO and our friendly neighborhood fascist Dr. Anthony Fauci are consistently spreading the narrative that the “worst outbreak” is yet to come. Gotta keep that fear train chugging forward on the track to the “Great Reset”, right?

For the people that actually believe that the covid crisis will end after mass vaccinations, I’m sorry to say, but you have been duped. Every single element of the establishment response and every public statement they make indicates that they plan to violate your civil liberties for a long time to come. Those promises of relief right around the corner? All lies. The claim that if you go along to get along everything will go back to normal? It’s a con. It is hollow rhetoric designed to make you shut up and submit to medical tyranny for just long enough that it becomes irreversible.

I suspect they are hoping they can condition the public over the next few years to simply adapt to the controls until we forget what life was like before the pandemic and the reset. It seems, however, that the globalist reset plan is not going very well.

The vaccines and the mutation news feel rushed, to say the least. Initially, the establishment said that it would take at least 18 months just to develop a vaccine for trials and testing, and that the lockdowns would continue well beyond that time frame until a majority of the population was shown to have immunity. Instead, they tossed out multiple vaccines within 6 months and the mutation narrative is already in the news.

I believe this is because resistance to the pandemic lockdowns is growing and the number of people refusing to take the vaccines appears to be high. As they say, the revolution will not be televised, but it is still impossible to hide completely.

In Europe, a huge percentage of the population (around 50% or more depending on the country) are hesitant to take the vaccine. In the US, polls show that at least 30% of the population will refuse outright, while 60% of people are hesitant about effectiveness.

Even large numbers of health care workers are refusing the vaccine, and these are the people with the most pressure to submit or face consequences.

Hilariously, the media is arguing that though there have been “some allergic reactions” to the shot, there is “no evidence of serious long term side effects”. Perhaps that is because there are NO STUDIES of the long-term effects and there were minimal trials before the vaccines were released? I mean, is this not basic logic? Do they really think we are that dumb?

So far it seems hundreds of millions of people are not that dumb. Surprisingly, even sheriffs and police across the country are openly refusing to enforce mandates and carry out color-of-law punishments against citizens that do not submit. This is really a huge obstacle for the globalists and their reset.

The virus has produced a 0.26% IFR (Infection Fatality Ratio) among anyone not in a nursing home with preexisting conditions. Over 40% of Covid deaths are attributed to elderly people that were already suffering from numerous ailments. Only around 10% of people that end up hospitalized for covid suffer from long term health concerns (more than three months). And, only around 15% of ICU beds are in use across the US, meaning that the claims of over-capacity and full hospitals were nothing more than fear-mongering all along.

Consider the fact that hundreds of thousands of people already die each year from infectious diseases like the flu and pneumonia and Covid starts to seem far less threatening. It is certainly not an excuse for medical lockdowns and Orwellian contact tracing measures.

On top of that, numerous studies are revealing that the lockdowns and the masks are completely ineffective in stopping the spread of the virus. The states and countries with some of the most strictly enforced mandates also tend to be the places with the highest infection spikes.

Because of this, it makes sense that many people are refusing to comply with the mandates. The media claims we are conspiracy theorists that believe the virus “doesn’t exist”; this is not the case. In fact, I have long suspected that the narrative that the virus “doesn’t exist” was a psyop or strawman that would be used against the liberty movement later to discredit our resistance to medical lockdowns.

Most of us are well aware the virus exists. Some of us have already dealt with it and recovered from it. What we are saying is that the CDC, the WHO, and the medical community’s OWN STATISTICS show that Covid is not a threat to more than 99% of the population. If we are to accept their stats as even remotely accurate, then Covid becomes a non-issue for most people.

Again, I will ask the question that the mainstream refuses to ask:

Why is 99% of the population being told they must sacrifice their jobs, their businesses, and their liberties in the name of making less than 1% of the population feel safer? Why not ask the 0.26% of the people under threat from the virus to volunteer to stay home so that the rest of us can get on with normal life? Why are we doing the opposite of what makes the most sense?

The answer is that the pandemic response is about dominance, not public health. People are starting to recognize this, and they are about to revolt.

So, the next logical step for the establishment if they really want to institute their reset agenda is to introduce a new threat. Meaning, they need a “mutation” of the virus or a completely new virus in order to create the kind of fear that is required to manipulate the public into going along with further control.

Will a new and deadlier virus be found? Maybe. In most cases, viruses tend to evolve into less deadly strains of the original. They also tend to balance out their rate of spread versus their rate of mortality. In other words, like any other creature, viruses evolve to survive, and a virus cannot survive if it kills off a majority of its potential hosts. So, they mutate to become more infectious, but invariably less deadly.

If a “mutation” does show up on the scene that is more deadly than the current form of Covid-19, then I would be highly suspicious of its origins. What is most likely is that that the elites are in a panic and they are using the mutation narrative as a propaganda tool to illicit terror and conformity in the public. There may be no mutation at all, or the mutations will have no significant bearing on the death rate.

Ironically, by rushing out the vaccines as well as the mutation stories, the elites have sabotaged themselves. They wanted to blitzkrieg the public with the lockdowns and they met heavier resistance than they expected. So, they put the vaccination program on a bullet train, and now the public is wary of being injected with a vaccine model that is barely tested. Now, they are promoting the mutation bogeyman and this only makes people question why they should take any vaccine at all? If the virus is going to continually mutate then why take a questionable vaccine that could be useless in a matter of months?

All the mutation narrative does is further expose what the true agenda is – What the elites want is never-ending lockdowns. There is no program to save lives or flatten the curve. The entire health argument is utter nonsense. Nothing that has been done so far supports the notion that public health is the priority. Instead, what we are seeing is a mad dash towards totalitarianism using Covid as the excuse, and the effort is failing.

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The Rich Got Richer During COVID-19. Here’s How American Billionaires Performed

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

We’ve all been affected by the pandemic-induced mayhem of 2020. But, as Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang noteswhen it comes to finances, some have fared far better than others.

While job loss persists for Americans making less than $20 an hour, the rich have gotten richer. More specifically, the most wealthy American billionaires have seen their net worth bounce back dramatically, thanks to strong stock market performance.

Here’s a look at who’s gotten richer since the market bottom in March 2020, and just how much their net worth has increased since then:

Billionaire Net Worth Growth in 2020

Between March’s market bottom and December 2020, the billionaires included on this list grew their wealth by 57% on average. Interestingly, that’s about 10 percentage points higher than the overall growth of the S&P 500 index during the same time period.

Elon Musk saw the highest increase during this period, with a $129 billion boost in net worth—that’s a whopping 523% in gains.

This makes sense considering the year Musk has had. Tesla’s market value has skyrocketed throughout 2020, and SpaceX’s long-term valuation doubled after making some monumental strides in the private space industry.

Jeff Bezos saw the second-highest growth in net worth with a $74 billion increase. This isn’t surprising, given that Amazon’s stock price has climbed 69% since the beginning of 2020.

But Amazon hasn’t been the only company to benefit from the accelerated e-commerce market—other retailers, like Nike, have also seen a significant boost in online sales this year as well.

Billionaire Wealth, in General, is Up

It’s not just the billionaires on this list that have increased their wealth. In fact, during the pandemic, billionaire wealth on average has increased 27% worldwide. Growth has been exceptionally strong in tech and healthcare.

Will things level out post-pandemic, or will the wealth gap continue to grow?

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2020: The Year the Tree of Liberty Was Torched

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“The people are unaware. They’re not educated to realize that they have power. The system is so geared that everyone believes the government will fix everything. We are the government.”—John Lennon

No doubt about it: 2020—a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for freedom—was the culmination of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad decade for freedom.

Government corruption, tyranny, and abuse coupled with a Big Brother-knows-best mindset and the COVID-19 pandemic propelled us at warp speed towards a full-blown police state in which nationwide lockdowns, egregious surveillance, roadside strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, censorship, retaliatory arrests, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, indefinite detentions, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, police brutality, profit-driven prisons, and pay-to-play politicians were accepted as the norm.

Here’s just a small sampling of the laundry list of abuses—cruel, brutal, immoral, unconstitutional, and unacceptable—that have been heaped upon us by the government over the past two decades and in the past year, in particular.

The government failed to protect our lives, liberty, and happiness. The predators of the police state wreaked havoc on our freedoms, our communities, and our lives. The government didn’t listen to the citizenry, refused to abide by the Constitution, and treated the citizenry as a source of funding and little else. Police officers shot unarmed citizens and their household pets. Government agents—including local police—were armed to the teeth and encouraged to act like soldiers on a battlefield. Bloated government agencies were allowed to fleece taxpayers. Government technicians spied on our emails and phone calls. And government contractors made a killing by waging endless wars abroad.

The American President became more imperial. Although the Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers, in recent years, American presidents (Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc.) claimed the power to completely and almost unilaterally alter the landscape of this country for good or for ill. The powers that have been amassed by each successive president through the negligence of Congress and the courts—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whoever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability. The presidency itself has become an imperial one with permanent powers.

Militarized police became a power unto themselves, 911 calls turned deadly, and traffic stops took a turn for the worse. Lacking transparency and accountability, protected by the courts and legislators, and rife with misconduct, America’s police forces continued to be a menace to the citizenry and the rule of law. Despite concerns about the government’s steady transformation of local police into a standing military army, local police agencies acquired even more weaponry, training, and equipment suited for the battlefield. Police officers were also given free rein to pull anyone over for a variety of reasons and subject them to forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, forced inclusion in biometric databases.

The courts failed to uphold justice. With every ruling handed down, it becomes more apparent that we live in an age of hollow justice, with government courts more concerned with protecting government agents than upholding the rights of “we the people.” This is true at all levels of the judiciary, but especially so in the highest court of the land, the U.S. Supreme Court, which is seemingly more concerned with establishing order and protecting government agents than with upholding the rights enshrined in the Constitution. A review of critical court rulings over the past two decades, including some ominous ones by the U.S. Supreme Court, reveals a startling and steady trend towards pro-police state rulings by an institution concerned more with establishing order and protecting the ruling class and government agents than with upholding the rights enshrined in the Constitution.

COVID-19 allowed the Emergency State to expand its powers. What started out as an apparent effort to prevent a novel coronavirus from sickening the nation (and the world) became yet another means by which world governments (including our own) could expand their powers, abuse their authority, and further oppress their constituents. While COVID-19 took a significant toll on the nation emotionally, physically, and economically, it also allowed the government to trample our rights in the so-called name of national security, with talk of mass testing for COVID-19 antibodies, screening checkpoints, contact tracing, immunity passports, forced vaccinations, snitch tip lines, and onerous lockdowns.

The Surveillance State rendered Americans vulnerable to threats from government spies, police, hackers, and power failures. Thanks to the government’s ongoing efforts to build massive databases using emerging surveillance, DNA, and biometrics technologies, Americans have become sitting ducks for hackers and government spies alike. Billions of people have been affected by data breaches and cyberattacks. On a daily basis, Americans have been made to relinquish the most intimate details of who we are—our biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.)—in order to navigate an increasingly technologically-enabled world.

America became a red flag nation. Red flag laws, specifically, and pre-crime laws generally push us that much closer towards a suspect society where everyone is potentially guilty of some crime or another and must be preemptively rendered harmless. Where many Americans go wrong is in naively assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or harmful in order to be flagged and targeted for some form of intervention or detention. In fact, all you need to do these days to end up on a government watch list or be subjected to heightened scrutiny is use certain trigger words (like cloud, pork, and pirates), surf the internet, communicate using a cell phone, limp or stutterdrive a car, stay at a hotel, attend a political rally, express yourself on social mediaappear mentally ill, serve in the militarydisagree with a law enforcement officialcall in sick to work, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious, appear confused or nervous, fidget or whistle or smell bad, be seen in public waving a toy gun or anything remotely resembling a gun (such as a water nozzle or remote control or a walking cane), stare at a police officer, question government authority, appear to be pro-gun or pro-freedom, or generally live in the United States. Be warned: once you get on such a government watch list—whether it’s a terrorist watch list, a mental health watch list, a dissident watch list, or a red flag gun watch list—there’s no clear-cut way to get off, whether or not you should actually be on there.

The cost of policing the globe drove the nation deeper into debt. America’s war spending has already bankrupted the nation to the tune of more than $20 trillion dollars. Policing the globe and waging endless wars abroad hasn’t made America—or the rest of the world—any safer, but it has made the military-industrial complex rich at taxpayer expense. The U.S. military reportedly has more than 1.3 million men and women on active duty, with more than 200,000 of them stationed overseas in nearly every country in the world. Yet America’s military forces aren’t being deployed abroad to protect our freedoms here at home. Rather, they’re being used to guard oil fields, build foreign infrastructure and protect the financial interests of the corporate elite. In fact, the United States military spends about $81 billion a year just to protect oil supplies around the world. This is how a military empire occupies the globe. Meanwhile, America’s infrastructure is falling apart.

Free speech was dealt one knock-out punch after another. Protest laws, free speech zones, bubble zones, trespass zones, anti-bullying legislation, zero-tolerance policies, hate crime laws, shadow banning on the Internet, and a host of other legalistic maladies dreamed up by politicians and prosecutors (and championed by those who want to suppress speech with which they might disagree) conspired to corrode our core freedoms, purportedly for our own good. On paper—at least according to the U.S. Constitution—we are technically free to speak. In reality, however, we are only as free to speak as a government official—or corporate entities such as Facebook, Google, or YouTube—may allow. The reasons for such censorship varied widely from political correctness, so-called safety concerns, and bullying to national security and hate crimes but the end result remained the same: the complete eradication of free speech.

The Deep State took over. The American system of representative government has been overthrown by the Deep State—a.k.a. the police state a.k.a. the military/corporate industrial complex—a profit-driven, militaristic corporate state bent on total control and global domination through the imposition of martial law here at home and by fomenting wars abroad. The “government of the people, by the people, for the people” has perished. In its place is a shadow government, a corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country and calling the shots in Washington DC, no matter who sits in the White House. Mind you, by “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats. Rather, I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law. This is the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry. This shadow government, which “operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power,” makes a mockery of elections and the entire concept of a representative government.

The takeaway: Everything the founders of this country feared has come to dominate in modern America. “We the people” have been saddled with a government that is no longer friendly to freedom and is working overtime to trample the Constitution underfoot and render the citizenry powerless in the face of the government’s power grabs, corruption, and abusive tactics.

So how do you balance the scales of justice at a time when Americans are being tasered, tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, hit with batons, shot with rubber bullets and real bullets, blasted with sound cannons, detained in cages and kennels, sicced by police dogs, arrested and jailed for challenging the government’s excesses, abuses, and power-grabs, and then locked down and stripped of any semblance of personal freedom?

No matter who sits in the White House, politics won’t fix a system that is broken beyond repair.

For that matter, protests and populist movements also haven’t done much to push back against an authoritarian regime that is deaf to our cries, dumb to our troubles, blind to our needs, and accountable to no one.

So how do you not only push back against the government’s bureaucracy, corruption, and cruelty but also launch a counterrevolution aimed at reclaiming control over the government using nonviolent means?

You start by changing the rules and engaging in some (nonviolent) guerilla tactics.

Take your cue from the Tenth Amendment and nullify everything the government does that flies in the face of the principles on which this nation was founded. If there is any means left to us for thwarting the government in its relentless march towards outright dictatorship, it may rest with the power of juries and local governments to invalidate governmental laws, tactics and policies that are illegitimate, egregious or blatantly unconstitutional.

In an age in which government officials accused of wrongdoing—police officers, elected officials, etc.—are treated with general leniency, while the average citizen is prosecuted to the full extent of the law, nullification is a powerful reminder that, as the Constitution tells us, “we the people” are the government.

For too long we’ve allowed our so-called “representatives” to call the shots. Now it’s time to restore the citizenry to their rightful place in the republic: as the masters, not the servants.

Nullification is one way of doing so.

America was meant to be primarily a system of local governments, which is a far cry from the colossal federal bureaucracy we have today. Yet if our freedoms are to be restored, understanding what is transpiring practically in your own backyard—in one’s home, neighborhood, school district, town council—and taking action at that local level must be the starting point.

Responding to unmet local needs and reacting to injustices is what grassroots activism is all about. Attend local city council meetings, speak up at town hall meetings, organize protests and letter-writing campaigns, employ “militant nonviolent resistance” and civil disobedience, which Martin Luther King Jr. used to great effect through the use of sit-ins, boycotts, and marches.

The power to change things for the better rests with us, not the politicians.

As long as we continue to allow callousness, cruelty, meanness, immorality, ignorance, hatred, intolerance, racism, militarism, materialism, meanness. and injustice—magnified by an echo chamber of nasty tweets and government-sanctioned brutality—to trump justice, fairness, and equality, there can be no hope of prevailing against the police state.

We could transform this nation if only Americans would work together to harness the power of their discontent and push back against the government’s overreach, excesses, and abuse.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the police state is marching forward, more powerful than ever.

If there is to be any hope for freedom in 2021, it rests with “we the people.”

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New York’s “Mask Squad” Gestapo Used To ENFORCE Social Distancing

The Health Department of New York state has put out an urgent appeal for what the NY Post called “Mask squad” staffers to go to Rockland and Orange counties “to perform COVID-19 community outreach and enforce mask and social distancing safety protocols amid fears of a second wave of the virus.” The Gestapo is on American soil.

The Health Department of New York which is now losing thousands of people every day due to its high taxes, draconian rules, and coercive regulations has decided they need to use force and violence to implement their New World Order totalitarian regime.

“The DOH is responsible for community outreach and enforcement of Executive Orders and regulations related to the use of face-coverings/masks and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the department said in a Monday email to employees in its office of health insurance programs.

“Staff is needed for immediate URGENT deployment to Orange and Rockland counties to assist with this critical public health and community enforcement effort,” the recruitment pitch to staffers in the agency’s office of health insurance programs obtained by the Post said. New York Post

The request asked staffers to volunteer for shifts in Orange and Rockland that run from Saturday, December 5 through Friday, December 11, and consequent weeks through New Year’s Day. Workers who volunteer for the Orange-Rockland mask squad will be eligible for overtime pay and responsible for assisting with the enslavement of humanity.

This still looks like it is going to continue to uglier as the tyrannical policies are rolled out to combat this hoax.

Health Department spokesman Gary Holmes said DOH employees have also been redeployed to help staff drive-through testing sites and enforce COVID-19 safety protocols at the airports. Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus welcomed state health Gestapo.

“We’re on it. We got it. But you can never say it enough and the repercussions of these numbers continuing to climb warrant a strong message of awareness and enforcement,” Neuhaus told The Post.

Remember, this is all about control. This has never been about health.  This push to get the New World Order installed and enslave all of humanity is underway. The only solution is to wake up, realize we all have to stand together, and stop believing anyone has a higher claim over your life or property than you do. This is a spiritual war and a war for our minds.  They will not stop until we have had enough.

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DOJ Quietly Amends Execution Protocols, Clearing the Way for Gas Chambers, Firing Squads

This article was originally published by Matt Agorist at The Free Thought Project. 

As the massive human experiment in tyranny, censorship, and fear — otherwise known as 2020 — comes to a close, it just wouldn’t be complete without some government agency exhuming the ghost of despotism’s past. In the cherry on top of the dumpster fire that is 2020, the Justice Department has quietly amended its execution protocols, no longer requiring federal death sentences to be carried out by lethal injection and clearing the way to use other methods like firing squads and poisonous gas.

This news comes on the heels of the fact that Attorney General William Barr restarted federal executions this year after a 17-year hiatus. Despite bipartisan resistance to this measure, the DOJ has executed more Americans in 2020 than they have in the previous five decades. 

Apparently, the feds have put so many people to death this year that they are seemingly bored with their methodology and have moved to bring back gas chambers and death by firing squads.

Last month, with very little coverage in the media, the DOJ’s amended rule was published in the Federal Register that allows the U.S. government to conduct executions by lethal injection or use “any other manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the sentence was imposed.”

But fret not, Land of the Free, the changes were done in an ostensible effort to support state’s rights — or something like that.

According to the Associated Press, a Justice Department official — who asked to remain anonymous — said the change was made to account for the fact the Federal Death Penalty Act requires sentences to be carried out in the “in the manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the sentence is imposed,” and some of those states use methods other than lethal injection.

The feds promise not to send convicts to gas chambers or firing squads unless the states allow it.

The official told the AP the federal government “will never execute an inmate by firing squad or electrocution unless the relevant state has itself authorized that method of execution.”

One of those states is Utah, whose Republican-controlled House voted 39-34 in 2015 to resurrect the use of Utah’s firing squads. Proponents of this method of state-sponsored murder claim that being shot to death by a group of marksmen is more humane than lethal injection.

To the contrary, the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center says that a firing squad is not a foolproof method because the inmate could move or shooters could miss the heart, causing a slower, more painful death.

One such case happened in Utah’s territorial days back in 1879 when a firing squad missed Wallace Wilkerson’s heart and it took him 27 minutes to die, according to newspaper accounts.

The real issue at hand, however, capital punishment, seems to be taking a back seat to all of this. For the state to claim the responsibility of justly ending life, it means that the state must never be wrong. Even the most ardent of statists will have to concede that an infallible state is but a terribly written fiction.

John Adams once wrote:

It is more important that innocence should be protected, than it is, that guilt be punished; for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world, that all of them cannot be punished…. 

When the state is more concerned about how to go about punishing the guilty, than protecting innocence, we have achieved peak oligarchy.

The National Registry of Exonerations at the University of Michigan Law School reported that 2,696 falsely accused prisoners were exonerated since 1989. Some of these people were set to die at the hand of the state for their convictions.

It is no secret that prosecutors will seek the maximum punishment for the maximum charge, and their conviction percentages are in the upper 90’s.

Does that mean that these prosecutors are flawless machines hell-bent on distributing some mythical immaculate justice? Or, does it actually mean that the entire system wishes more to hand out punishments, instead of seeking truth?

It is important to note that this is not a call for crimes to go unpunished, that would be irresponsible. However, the slaughter of innocence is a far more grave thought.

In criminal law, Blackstone’s formulation (also known as Blackstone’s ratio or the Blackstone ratio) is the principle that:

“It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”

In a perfect system, irrefutable evidence would exist in every conviction. But as the constant flow of articles on this site about cops framing innocent people illustrates, this system is far from perfect.

Until we strive for a more perfect system, the manner in which death is dolled out by the hand of incompetence, is of no significance, other than tyrants pumping their chests about new ways to kill.

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How to Celebrate Thanksgiving in the Midst of Toxic Politics and COVID-19 Lockdowns

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at the Rutherford Institute.

“War is over. If you want it.”—John Lennon

If ever there were a year filled with an abundance of bad news and a shortage of good news, 2020 would take the prize. Between the toxic political theater, pandemic scares, nationwide lockdowns that smack of martial law, a rollercoaster economy, and the ever-present menace of the police state, it’s been a hard, heart-wrenching, stomach-churning kind of year overrun with too much hate and too little tolerance.

It’s been a year in which tyranny took a few more steps forward, freedom got knocked down a few more notches, and politics and profit margins took precedence over decency, compassion, and human kindness.

Now we find ourselves at this present moment, overwhelmed by all that is wrong in the world and missing the fellowship of family and friends kept apart by COVID-19 restrictions and concerns.

No wonder this Thanksgiving finds so many struggling to reflect and give thanks for what is good. After all, how do you give thanks for freedoms that are constantly being eroded? How do you express gratitude for one’s safety when the perils posed by the American police state grow more treacherous by the day? How do you come together as a nation in thanksgiving when the powers-that-be continue to polarize and divide us into warring factions?

Here’s what I’ve learned from living in a small community (population 1500) for the past year: you don’t have to agree on politics, or subscribe to the same religious beliefs, or have the same demographic makeup in order to live peaceably with one another.

These small-town people don’t have a preponderance of fancy cars or advanced degrees or six-figure salaries or committees aimed at discussing problems to death, and yet they have mastered the art of getting along. They make no secret about their views on politics and religion and anything else on their minds, and yet they remain friendly—neighborly—respectful of those with opposing views, even when they wholeheartedly disagree.

Yes, America, there is life beyond politics and it can be wonderful if you just give it a chance.

Here’s what I suggest: this Thanksgiving, do yourselves a favor and turn off the talking heads, tune out the politicians, and take a deep breath. Then try this exercise in gratitude: find something to be thankful for about the things and people in your community for which you might have the least tolerance or appreciation. Instead of just rattling off a list of things you’re thankful for that sound good, dig a little deeper and acknowledge the good in those you may have underappreciated or feared.

When it comes time to giving thanks for your good fortune, put your gratitude into action: pay your blessings forward with deeds that spread a little kindness, lighten someone’s burden, and brighten some dark corner.

Engage in acts of kindness. Smile more. Fight less. Build bridges. Refuse to let toxic politics define your relationships. Focus on the things that unite instead of that which divides.

Do your part to push back against the meanness of our culture with conscious compassion and humanity. Moods are contagious, the good and the bad. They can be passed from person to person. So can the actions associated with those moods, the good and the bad.

Even with COVID-19 restrictions in place throughout the country, there is still so much good that can be done to help those in need.

Be a hero, whether or not anyone ever notices.

Acts of benevolence, no matter how inconsequential they might seem, can spark a movement.

Each of us has an inner hero we can draw upon in an emergency,” concludes psychologist Philip Zimbardo. “If you think there is even a possibility that someone needs help, act on it. You may save a life. You are the modern version of the Good Samaritan that makes the world a better place for all of us.”

All it takes is one person breaking away from the fold to change the dynamics of a situation. “Once anyone helps, then in seconds others will join in because a new social norm emerges,” notes Zimbardo.

This is what Zimbardo refers to as “the power of one.”

“If you find yourself in an ambiguous situation, resist the urge to look to others and go with your gut instinct,” advises Melissa Burkley in Psychology Today. “If you think there is even a possibility that someone is in need, act on it. At worst, you will embarrass yourself for a few minutes, but at best, you will save a life.”

In other words, don’t turn away from suffering. Even smiling at a stranger in these fearful times can be a revolutionary act.

All it takes is one person to start a chain reaction.

For instance, a few years ago in Florida, a family of six—four adults and two young boys—were swept out to sea by a powerful rip current in Panama City Beach. There was no lifeguard on duty. The police were standing by, waiting for a rescue boat. And the few people who had tried to help ended up stranded, as well.

Those on shore grouped together and formed a human chain. What started with five volunteers grew to 15, then 80 people, some of whom couldn’t swim.

One by one, they linked hands and stretched as far as their chain would go. The strongest of the volunteers swam out beyond the chain and began passing the stranded victims of the rip current down the chain.

One by one, they rescued those in trouble and pulled each other in.

There’s a moral here for what needs to happen in this country if we only can band together and prevail against the riptides that threaten to overwhelm us.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, there may not be much we can do to avoid the dismal reality of the police state in the long term—not so long as the powers-that-be continue to call the shots and allow profit margins to take precedence over the needs of people—but in the short term, there are things we can all do right now to make this world (or at least our small corners of it) a little bit kinder, a lot less hostile and more just.

It’s never too late to start making things right in the world.

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Iowa Governor Issues Lockdown Orders, Mandates Muzzles

Get this: the Iowa governor has ramped up lockdown orders and mandated muzzles for those pesky peasants living in that state, but admits there isn’t enough law enforcement to force compliance.

That means you have to willingly submit to your own enslavement. Because if everyone ignored these mandates, there’s nothing they could do. It is similar to the taxation issue.  If everyone refused to pay, there is nothing they can do. They know this.  That’s why they need to convince you to follow their orders.

Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa has announced more “mitigation measures” (enslavement) to fight the COVID-19 scamdemic and they went into effect Monday night (November 16) at midnight. In a statement Monday, she said the healthcare system is being pushed to the brink in unsustainable ways with one of every four hospital patients having the virus in Iowa, according to a report by KCII Radio. 

Fauci Warns: Wear Your Mask, Or We Will Lock You Down Again

Are Face Masks & COVID Rituals Occultist Symbols For Submission?

Reynolds edicts also include a ban on sports.  All youth and adult sports are suspended, however, high school and college sports can continue with the two spectators per participant rule and masks worn. Gatherings indoors are limited to 15 people, and gatherings outdoors are limited to 30 people. These draconian measures are in place until December 10.

Starting Tuesday, people must also wear masks in indoor public spaces if they are unable to social distance after 15 minutes. The mask mandates are becoming increasingly concerning, especially considering studies show they don’t work.

“This isn’t about mandates, this isn’t about the government — there isn’t enough law enforcement in the country to make sure every Iowan is wearing a mask when they should, there aren’t enough sheriffs in Iowa’s 99 counties to shut down every non-compliant bar,” she said. “If Iowans don’t buy into this — we lose. Businesses will close once again, more schools will be forced to go online, and our health care system will fail, and the cost in human life will be high. So now is the time to come together for the greater good, to look out for each other — not because you’re told to, but because it’s the right thing to do.”

So believe what the authorities say, and “buy into it” using her own words, or lose. It looks like either way, we lose. They have that tied up in a nice little bow, don’t they? This is coming for the remainder of the states that haven’t locked down yet either.  They will keep this facade going as long as they can and as long as they are getting away with it. As long as the police comply, just do their jobs and follow orders putting morality aside and as long as the public continues to take it without standing up to the enforcers, this will go on.

How much more are people willing to take?

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All The Focus Is On Another Lockdown

All of the focus of mainstream media right now is on how the United States “needs” another lockdown. While people plan to gather with family in less than a week to celebrate Thanksgiving, the ruling class and their elitist puppet masters are coming up with ways to ruin it using mainstream media to propagate the ideas.

As Vox wrote:

The US is losing the fight against Covid-19. The only way to win quickly is closing down.

The threat of total economic terrorism is upon us. Many states have already locked down again and banned Thanksgiving gatherings of more than a few people. This is not about health. If this was about health, the government would not be intentionally impoverishing people by shutting down their businesses and forcing them out of work. Poverty is a contributor to poor health.

The past few months have been an American experiment with Covid-19: Can the country keep bars, restaurants, gyms, and other businesses open while fighting the virus with milder measures, including some social distancing and widespread masking?

Six months after spring shutdowns ended, the answer is clear: The milder approach isn’t working.

With the milder measures failing us, it’s clear what needs to happen: To avert possibly hundreds of thousands of deaths in the months before a vaccine becomes widely available, the US needs to close down once again. That means temporarily shuttering in-person, indoor services at nonessential businesses, particularly bars and restaurants; restricting larger gatherings, including in private homes; and encouraging, or outright mandating, people to stay home as much as possible — only going out for food, work, exercise, health care, and other basics needsand limit their social interactions to their own households.Vox

What’s the solution? According to mainstream media and the ruling class and the elitists, we need a hardcore permanent lockdown.  We should submit to our own enslavement, fasten the chains around our necks, and let them lead us around like cattle. Like Fauci said: your job is to obey your master. 

Our COVID Police State Wants To Take Thanksgiving And Christmas Away From You Too

This is tyranny. It’s not coming. It’s here.  Trump hasn’t stopped it. Maybe he slowed it down some, but it’s nonetheless here. If we cannot open our eyes we are in for the dark winter we’ve been repeatedly promised by the political psychopaths who demand you comply. If you think it won’t happen again, you couldn’t be more wrong. We have said from the beginning that if these control freaks even think for a moment that they can get away with destroying more live with another lockdown, they will do it. Why? The more desperate you are financial, the more easily you’ll just take the vaccine, do what you’re told, be tracked and traced,  and get your pittance of universal basic income in the form of a digital dollar.

Greg Mannarino: “They Want People Desperate. People Aren’t Desperate Enough”

All of their agendas are coming together right now and mainstream media is the public relations department for the ruling class and their elitist masters. The one thing they fear is you.  They fear you waking up to the realization that you don’t need ANYONE’S permission to be free.

 

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Oregon & New Mexico Lockdown Again

The governors of both Oregon and New Mexico have given dictatorial commands that they expect the slaves in their respective states to obey. Governor Kate Brown of Oregon even said: “I’m not asking. I’m telling.”

These new orders in these two states are some of the most aggressive responses yet to the latest wave of alleged coronavirus infections.  If you believe the mainstream media, then the scamdemic has been “shattering records” across the United States, even as many of their counterparts in other states show little appetite for reimposing the hard-line restrictions of last spring.

Biden’s “COVID Advisor” Says U.S. Should Lockdown AGAIN For 4-6 Weeks

Isn’t it hilarious how people previously claimed that if Biden won the (s)election that this would all just disappear? (Not that he won, although the Associated Press or mainstream media has already given him the crown.) It will never go away for as long as the ruling class can use it to amass power over others. That should be obvious by now.

According to the AP,  Brown issued a command under which all businesses will be required to close their offices to the public and mandate work-from-home “to the greatest extent possible.” Oregon stores will remain open, however, gyms, museums, pools, movie theaters, and zoos will be forced to close, and restaurants and bars will be limited to takeout. Social gatherings will be restricted to six people as Thanksgiving approaches. There is also a new “West Coast travel advisory” which is telling those outside the states to quarantine for two weeks upon entry to Washinton, Oregon, or California.

The democrat governor warned that violators of her orders could face fines or arrest. If you are still under any delusion that you are free, it’s time to wake up.  “For the last eight months, I have been asking Oregonians to follow to the letter and the spirit of the law, and we have not chosen to engage law enforcement,” Brown said. “At this point in time, unfortunately, we have no other option,” she added blaming the public for literally being human.

Also interestingly, the Associated Press wants to threaten and remind us:

Both states had lockdowns earlier in the year, but the coronavirus is coming back with a vengeance across the country, and the U.S. is facing a long, dark winter.

Joe Biden Warns: A “Dark Winter” Is Ahead

Those Who Planned The Enslavement of Mankind Warn Of “A Dark Winter” For Us

The COVID-19 “Dark Winter” PsyOp: Question Everything…

Secret Models of “The Darkest Winter”

We have been repeatedly warned by the power-hungry psychopaths who will stop at nothing to ensure we enslave ourselves to their dictates. The dark winter is approaching.  Be prepared for as many scenarios as possible.

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Our COVID Police State Wants To Take Thanksgiving And Christmas Away From You Too

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

Haven’t they taken enough away from us already?  The deeply oppressive lockdowns that were instituted earlier this year plunged us into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, caused the cancellation of thousands upon thousands of important events, and sent the suicide rate absolutely skyrocketing.

Once those lockdowns were lifted the American people were greatly relieved, but now our COVID police state is back for more.  As I have been documenting over the last several days, new lockdowns are being instituted all over the country right now, and even our most cherished holidays are being targeted.

Let me start by discussing an interview that CNN’s Jake Tapper just conducted with Anthony Fauci.  Most Americans had assumed that once a vaccine was widely distributed that we wouldn’t need masks or social distancing anymore.

Well, according to Fauci that is not the case at all

Jake Tapper said, “Once somebody has been immunized … Once the process is complete, does that mean they can take off their mask, don’t have to social distance, and go about their lives as before?”

Fauci said, “I would recommend that is not the case. I would recommend you have an added area of protection. Obviously, with 90 plus percent effective vaccine, you could feel much more confident, but I would recommend to people to not abandon all public health measures just because you’ve been vaccinated.”

As I have repeatedly warned my readers, they intend to change the way that we live permanently.

During that same interview, they were discussing a timeline for vaccine distribution, and Tapper blurted this out: “Christmas is probably not gonna be possible.”

In other words, Americans should not plan to have a normal Christmas this year because we are going to be expected to stay home, wear masks, and keep members of our extended family away.

Of course, Thanksgiving is a lot closer than Christmas, and our COVID overlords are telling us that we can’t have a normal Thanksgiving either.  For example, this is what the head of the CDC is saying

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield held a call with the nation’s governors on Tuesday. CNN obtained audio of the chat, in which Redfield said: “What we’re seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings… Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it’s really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting.”

Needless to say, many of our top politicians are going to fall right in line with the directives that our “health authorities” have issued.  For example, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has issued new restrictions for the city of Chicago which begin on Monday

The order, which begins Monday, extends through Thanksgiving festivities. Residents are “strongly advised” to not have guests in their homes outside of essential workers — even family and close friends.

“Chicago has reached a critical point in the second surge of COVID-19, demanding that we undertake this multi-faceted and comprehensive effort to stop the virus in its tracks,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the release.

At least Lightfoot’s order is not as draconian as the mandate that California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered all Californians to follow this Thanksgiving.

If you can believe it, Newsom has decided to limit Thanksgiving to a two hour “outdoor event”

Celebrities have taken to social media to slam California Governor Gavin Newsom’s ‘ridiculously unenforceable’ Thanksgiving crackdown that bans singing and shouting and limits the holiday to a two-hour outdoor event.

‘If my Aunt comes over, can I throw her a slice of turkey from the window?’ mocked actor Rob Schneider as he blasted the ‘Emperor Newsom’.

The good news is that the American people are sick and tired of having their rights taken away and are starting to push back against absurd restrictions such as these.

The bad news is that the new lockdowns that are being instituted all over the U.S. will inevitably crash our economy again.

If they last long enough, some industries may be almost entirely destroyed.  For example, even before these new lockdowns we were being told that it would be a miracle if half of the hotels in New York City survive this pandemic

According to Vijay Dandapani, chief executive of the Hotel Association of New York City, if half the city’s 640 hotels survive it will be a “great” outcome. While occupancy rates have recovered from their worst point in April where occupancy was down more than 60% year on year, they remain 20% lower than for the same month in 2019, a level which means much of the debt backing the properties will be impaired (i.e., default). Should New York impose a new round of draconian lockdowns, it will only get worse.

But of course there are some businesses that are booming during this time.

For instance, psychologists and therapists are extremely busy treating those that are “feeling lonely and depressed”

Business is booming for Maria Mir. Under normal circumstances, she takes little time off in November and December; the holidays are her busy season. But this is 2020. Nothing is normal. And everyone seems to need her at once.

Mir is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She’s used to patients feeling lonely and depressed as Thanksgiving and Christmas near. But “this particular time is different,” she says. “Even people who haven’t felt lonely in the past are now feeling that isolation.”

This is yet another example that shows that elections really matter.

For years, the American people have been voting for psychotic control freaks all over the nation, and so now we shouldn’t be surprised that they are actually acting like psychotic control freaks during a major crisis.

We are being told that this is going to be a very “dark winter”, and just like we witnessed earlier this year many Americans are feverishly stocking up on food and other basic goods…

Concerns that rising cases will encourage people to buy in bulk and stock up on basic goods has prompted major grocery chains to take pre-emptive action and limit purchases.

Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the U.S., has imposed purchase limits on essential goods like bath tissue, paper towels, disinfecting wipes and hand soap, according to Fox Business.

If you have not done so already, I would very much encourage you to get stocked up as well.

These are such uncertain times, and I have a feeling that things are going to get even crazier in the weeks ahead.

If the case numbers keep rising, the restrictions placed upon us are just going to become even more cumbersome, and it definitely appears that we are in for a very rough start in 2021.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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Locked Up: How the Modern Prison-Industrial Complex Puts So Many Americans in Jail

Where you find the laws most numerous, there you will find also the greatest injustice.

There are no two ways about it: The United States of America and its 50 state governments love putting people in prison.

The U.S. has both the highest number of prisoners and the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the modern world at 655 adults per 100,000. (It’s worth noting that China’s incarceration statistics are dubious, and they execute far more people than the United States. Indeed, the so-called People’s Republic executes more people annually than the rest of the world combined.)  Still, that’s more than 2.2 million Americans in state and federal prisons as well as county jails.

On top of those currently serving time, 4.7 million Americans were on parole in 2016, or about one in 56. These numbers do not include people on probation, which raises the number to one in 35. Nor does it include all of the Americans who have been arrested at one time or another, which is over 70 million – more than the population of France.

For firearm owners, in particular, the growth in this “prison-industrial complex” is troubling because felons are forbidden from owning firearms and ammunition under the 1968 Gun Control Act. As the number of laws has grown and the cultural shift for police has gone from a focus on keeping the peace to enforcing the law, more and more Americans are being stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights (not to mention other civil rights like voting – as of 2017, 6.1 million Americans cannot vote because of their criminal records). All told, eight percent of all Americans cannot own firearms because of a felony conviction.

For American society as a whole, the prison-industrial complex has created a perverse incentive structure. Bad laws drive out respect for good laws because there are just so many laws (not to mention rules, regulations, and other prohibitions used by federal prosecutors to pin crimes on just about anyone).

How did we get here?

History of Incarceration in the U.S.

United States law is, of course, based on English common law. Thus, no history of incarceration in the United States can start without first discussing the history of incarceration in the Kingdom of England and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

In the old country idleness was the prevailing notion of the root cause of crime. Punishments often involved sending criminals to workhouses, which were quite distinct from the prisons we know today. Rehabilitation and reform weren’t strong currents in the English and later British penal systems until the 1700s. Reformers sought to improve the criminal and to make him not want to offend.

Another historical fact worth noting is that incarceration is a relatively recent innovation in punishment. Historically, criminals were punished by shaming, corporal punishment, mutilation, exile and death. The purpose was generally not to make the criminal better, but to deter him from offending again while simultaneously providing the community with some awareness of his crimes for the purpose of allowing them to take measures to protect themselves (for example, branding a “B” on the forehead of a burglar). Where criminals were incarcerated, it was generally a temporary measure prior to trial or post-trial punishment, not a punishment in and of itself.

Remember, a significant portion of early American settlers were convict laborers. This convict labor was not incarcerated, but rather freely mingled with the general population. For the safety of the non-criminal elements, they had to be quickly and easily identified. However, the early American colonies were in no position to expend resources to house, feed and clothe criminals who were not providing productive labor – which is why incarceration made about as much sense as cutting off a criminal’s hand. Only four types of criminals were prohibited from being shipped across the ocean from England: murderers, rapists, burglars, and witches.

Prison became the primary means of punishment for felonies in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Two systems emerged: One where prisoners were incarcerated alone and another where they were incarcerated in groups. For what it’s worth, most prisons were in the North. Throughout the South, crime was largely viewed as a northern problem. Rather than prison, the Antebellum South relied heavily on extra-judicial violence and honor culture to control crime.

Prison labor has been a feature of prisons going back to days of English and British colonial rule. However, the convict lease system changed this qualitatively in the late 1880s. At this point, prisons began to be paid for the labor of their convicts. Many times, convicts were put to work on plantations. Building railroads and coal mining were other common uses of convict labor during this period. Death rates were high. In Alabama, a full 40 percent of convicts used for leased labor died in 1870.

The convict lease system gradually died out. However, it was replaced with systems not terribly distinct from convict labor. The chain gangs and prison farms closely identified with southern punishment throughout the 20th Century are examples of what began to replace the convict lease system. While there were rumblings about bringing back the chain gang system in the 1990s, it never amounted to much.

Overcriminalization = Less Civil Liberties

One of the fundamental principles underpinning our Constitutional republic is that the citizenry should not accept “trust me” as an answer from the federal government. Yet in one of our most Orwellian of federal departments – the Department of Homeland Security – a surveillance state is growing as our private information “trusted” to the government is used against us.

This surveillance state is made possible by Fusion Centers, police intelligence agencies that allow different police agencies to share intelligence with one another. It is, in effect, the intelligence-gathering arm of the burgeoning police state. And the information gathered, received, analyzed and disseminated by local and state police agencies is then shared with the federal government.

Fusion Centers aren’t the only way police surveil citizens. Cell-site simulator devices – known as Stingrays – mimic wireless carrier cell towers to connect to nearby mobile phones and cellular data devices. These controversial devices can extract data, intercept communications, conduct denial-of-service attacks, find encryption keys, and more. It’s a serious threat to Americans’ privacy and civil liberties, first conceived during the War on Terror and now trickled down to local police departments and their militarized approach to enforcing the law.

Of course, while we’re assured that protections are being made for privacy and civil liberties, there is very little reason to trust the federal government.

It’s easy to blame the War on Some Drugs as the reason for the explosion in the prison population, however, this is simply not an adequate explanation. The real reason is a broad expansion in the total number of laws on the book and the vague manner in which they are written. What’s more, the concept of intent has largely disappeared from our national legal lexicon, meaning that simple mistakes are often enough to land a person in prison.

Sixty-six-year-old George Norris provides a case study. He was greeted by three pickup trucks filled with six officers outfitted in flak jackets. He was held for four hours while the police searched his house, eventually seizing 37 boxes of his things with neither warrant nor explanation. He was indicted for orchid smuggling under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and for (what else) making false statements to an officer about a simple paperwork error. While being held for trial, he shared a cell with an accused murderer. He was facing five years for the original charge and five years for conspiracy. Because he couldn’t afford his legal bills, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 17 months in prison.

Another broad example is civil-contempt imprisonment. In these cases, people are put in jail or prison for failure to, for example, respond to a bench warrant for an unpaid parking ticket. This is what Anthony W. Florence was arrested for while riding as a passenger in his family’s car with proof that he had paid the tickets. He spent seven days in jail where he was strip-searched twice. Guards also watched him shower and subjected him to a delousing. People have also been imprisoned for failing to pay debts in accordance with court-ordered settlements, which carries the specter of the return of debtors’ prisons with it.

The Principle of Minimum Necessary Force

Minimum necessary force is a concept dating back to Plato, but has recently found expression in Dr. Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life. Basically, the idea is that when someone wrongs another person, the correct course of action is always the one requiring the least force. This is why, for example, we can say that the Islamic practice of removing a thief’s hand is somehow objectively unethical – it is a punishment grossly out of proportion to the crime committed.

The secondary aspect to the principle of minimum necessary force is the notion that the best way to go about enforcing laws is to have as few as are necessary. While not strictly speaking “libertarian,” it’s sort of “libertarian adjacent.” Laws are, ultimately, a type of force. The more of them we have, the more force we have in society.

The present state of criminal justice in the United States violates both principles. Not only do we have far more laws than we need (asset forfeiture, for example), but the punishments are frequently far out of sync with the crime committed. Is prison time really an appropriate response to someone smuggling orchids into the United States?

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994

During his 1992 presidential campaign, then-candidate Bill Clinton was frequently attacked by his opponents as being “soft on crime.” He later won the endorsement of the 135,000-strong National Association of Police Officers by promising to put 100,000 new police officers on the streets. The result of Clinton’s desire to get tough on crime was the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, written by Joe Biden – though he actually gave credit to the National Association of Police Officers, saying: “You guys sat at that conference table of mine for a six-month period, and you wrote the bill.”

The 1994 crime act was a sweeping reform of police powers in the United States. It included provisions regarding immigration, so-called “hate crimes,” street gangs and séx offender registries.

Perhaps most of interest to our readers is the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. This was Title XI of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. This provision banned a number of semi-automatic weapons, both rifles and pistols. Studies have shown that this law did not have a significant effect on homicides committed with firearms. The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know by Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss found that “There is no compelling evidence that [the ban] saved lives.”

The assault weapons ban was subject to a sunset provision and expired on September 13, 2004. There have been repeated attempts in Congress to pass a new assault weapons ban, but all have been unsuccessful.

This was not the only provision of the Act. Title VI, known as the Federal Death Penalty Act, created 60 new capital offenses including narcotics trafficking and civil rights-related homicides.

Title IV was the Violence Against Women Act. This innocuous-sounding act made it more difficult for those accused of violence against women to defend themselves in court, which, also funneling more federal money to battered women’s shelters, created the National Domestic Violence Hotline and increased the power of restraining orders.

Likewise, the law stripped inmates of their eligibility for Pell Grants, increased privacy for driver’s license holders in public records databases, increased tracking of séx offenders, authorized the hiring of 100,000 additional police officers, expanded mandatory minimum sentencing, and created “boot camp”-style prisons for minors. Gang membership itself was criminalized. Drug testing was made mandatory for anyone on federal supervised release. “Three strikes” was made federal law as well.

The main impact of the law was a massive explosion in the number of incarcerated Americans. While crime declined sharply during the 1990s – 26 percent – not everyone agrees that the bill and the increased incarceration rate is due the credit. Some argue that all the bill did was incentivize incarceration by providing state and local governments with material benefits for increasing their incarceration rates. There were approximately one million Americans incarcerated in 1990. By 2000, that number had ballooned to approximately 1.5 million, peaking at nearly 2.5 million just before 2010.

For what it’s worth, the argument that most of these people are in jail for non-violent drug offenses is simply untrue. In 2016, 200,000 (less than 16 percent of all state inmates) were doing time for drug offenses. Compare this to the 700,000 incarcerated for violent crimes at the state level. In 2020, the Bureau of Prisons, which oversees federal inmates, tells a different story: 70,681 or 45.9 percent of federal inmates are doing time for drug charges, more than any other class of inmate. The lion’s share of inmates, however, are serving time in state rather than federal prisons.

The legacy of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 is a controversial one. It’s unclear whether or not it is responsible for the reduction of crime, but it’s crystal clear that it is responsible for a spike in the nation’s incarceration rate. Whatever one’s conclusion is on the matter, there is a certain irony to President Donald Trump running against the Act that Biden wrote – and Biden drawing a significant amount of support from people who want to abolish the police.

The Rise of Private Prisons

You cannot have a discussion on the prison-industrial complex without discussing private prisons. As of 2018, private prisons housed 8.41 percent of incarcerated persons in the United States. While private prisons date back to the colonial days, the modern privatized prisons as we think of them only date back to the 1980s. This was initially due to the explosion of the prison population and the resulting prison overcrowding that some have tied to the War on Some Drugs.

This spike in incarceration, however, is far more closely tied with the rise of private prisons. Between the years 1925 and 1980, the prison population in the United States remained constant as a proportion of the overall population. In 1983, however, two things happened: First, the first private prisons came into operation. Second, the prison population as a proportion of the overall population began to explode.

The first modern private incarceration company was Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), founded in 1983, and is currently known as CoreCivic. Their first contract was for a facility in Shelby County, Tennessee. This was the first time in American history when a government-run jail was contracted out to a private third party. The company made quick headlines when it offered to take over the entire prison system for the state for the sum of $200 million. The state, for its part, was quite ready to make a deal, but the backlash among the public, the prison guards union, and the state legislature ultimately squashed the deal.

This was hardly the end of the for-profit prison system. Fully 19 percent of all federal inmates are housed in privately owned and operated prisons. A comparatively lower 6.8 percent of all state inmates are housed in private prisons.

Since its founding, CoreCivic has seen a 200-percent increase in its profits. So it’s no surprise that the marketplace for private prison companies has become a bit crowded. Companies like the GEO Group, Inc. (formerly known as Wackenhut Securities), Management and Training Corporation (MTC), and Community Education Centers compete in a marketplace that took in $500 billion in 2011 alone according to Matt Taibbi’s book The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.

The book further points out that major Wall Street money has flowed into this industry. Wells Fargo alone has $100 million invested in GEO Group and another $6 million in CCA. Fidelity Investments, The Vanguard Group, General Electric and Bank of America are likewise heavily invested in private prisons.

Some other numbers give a bit of shape to the scale of private prisons: CoreCivic has 80,000 beds in 65 different facilities. The GEO Group has 49,000 beds spread out over 57 correctional facilities. Most private facilities are in the West and the Southwest, where state and federal prisons freely mingle with one another.

Private Prisons Are Not Safe

Private prisons are, by virtually every metric, a worse place to hang your hat than government prisons. A United States Department of Justice report in 2016 found that private prisons were less secure, less safe, and more punitive than government-run prisons. The DOJ stated that it would cease the use of private prisons. However, soon thereafter, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would renew its contract with CCA operation of the South Texas Family Residential Center, an immigration detention facility. Stock prices for private incarceration firms spiked upon the election of Donald Trump. President Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned the previous ban on private prisons.

The lax culture of safety and security in private prisons is not just a problem for the inmates. It’s also a problem for the people in the communities where the prisons are located. For example, three murderers escaped from a minimum/medium-security prison – Kingman Arizona State Prison – in Mojave, Arizona. This resulted in a murder, robbery and carjacking before the men were captured. State Attorney General, Terry Goddard, laid the blame at the feet of the private prison system, which he said was not adequate for the task of incarcerating these kinds of hardened criminals.

The state did an extensive report on this prison after the jailbreak, which found a number of problems with the privately-run prison:

  • The prison’s alarm system sent off so many false alarms that prison guards simply began ignoring them.
  • Eight of the floodlights used on the prison yard were burnt out.
  • Prison guards weren’t properly armed, nor were they properly trained with firearms.
  • 75 percent of all inmates in the facility did not have the appropriate identification.

While it’s certainly true that government-run prisons are far from perfect, and often have budgetary issues, it’s hard to ignore the potential corner-cutting that may have led to this escape and the subsequent deaths.

Then, of course, there was the “kids for cash” scandal. The short version of the story is that two judges in Pennsylvania were receiving kickbacks for sending children to private prison facilities. Millions of dollars were processed to the two judges for giving out prison time for such offenses as mocking an assistant principal on MySpace and trespassing in an abandoned building. The two judges were sentenced to a combined 45.5 years in prison. Every juvenile offender who appeared before the judges had their convictions overturned, and a class-action lawsuit is currently pending.

Unsurprisingly, cost-benefit analysis of private prisons tends to have a “both sides” feel about them. Studies funded by the industry frequently tout the cost benefits of private operation. Studies funded by state-funded institutions, such as universities, tend to paint private prisons as bloated and inefficient.

Prison Guard Unions and Private Prisons Lobbying Elected Officials

Anywhere government money is being spent or the state is picking winners and losers, there you will find lobbying. Like the military-industrial complex, private prisons are no exception to this rule. The two largest private prison corporations have put more than $10 million into electing favorable candidates since 1989, and more than $25 million into lobbying.

Marco Rubio is an excellent example of the power of the private prison lobby. He has very close ties to the GEO Group, the second-largest for-profit prison company in the United States. GEO was the recipient of a state contract for a $110 million prison during Rubio’s tenure as the Speaker of the House in Florida. This right after Rubio hired an economic consultant with close ties to the company, which has donated nearly $40,000 to his various political campaigns as of 2015. This makes him the politician with the closest financial relationship to the private prison industry.

The private incarceration industry has stepped up their lobbying game during the Trump Administration, with the GEO Group spending $1.3 million on lobbying between January and September 2017. That topped the total from the previous year, which was $1 million.

The timing of the increase in lobbying funds is worth considering. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was looking to build five new detention centers at the time. Unsurprisingly, companies started lobbying hard to be the ones to build and operate these new facilities. That’s over 54,000 beds. What’s more, ICE is the number-one customer for the GEO Group, which is based in Florida.

Rubio is hardly the only politician to receive funding from private prison companies that claim to never attempt to influence policy in any way other than trying to get contracts for private prison operation. Chuck Schumer has received over $100,000 in donations from both the GEO Group and CCA.

While private prison operations companies claim they do not attempt to influence public policy beyond trying to get those lucrative contracts, the same cannot be said for prison guard unions. The California prison guards union spent $100,000 in 1994 trying to get the three strikes law passed. This was the first of its kind, but quickly became the gold standard across the nation. 28 states have such laws as of 2018. The same union spent over $1 million to defeat Prop 5, which, if passed, would have reduced sentences for nonviolent crimes and created more drug addiction treatment resources in the state. Another $1 million was spent to defeat Prop 66, a measure designed to reduce the number of crimes carrying mandatory life sentences.

Modern Prison Labor

Because compulsory, unpaid prison labor is not prohibited by the United States Constitution, some have argued that prison labor is a continuation of chattel slavery.

However, prisoners are not owned by the state. What’s more, they are generally paid – albeit between $0.12 and $0.40 per hour. Prisoners, when taken as a whole, represent the third largest labor pool in the world. And while they engage in all kinds of labor, it tends to be manually intensive, low-skilled, deeply unpleasant and highly profitable for the corporations who are able to take advantage of it.

The days of prisoners making license plates and breaking rocks are long gone. Employers now receive a substantial tax credit ($2,400) for work-release labor. There’s even a euphemism for private companies who take advantage of prison labor – “Prison insourcing” – and it’s becoming increasingly popular with large firms. The list of organizations with significant prison labor includes popular brands like Whole Foods, Target, Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret, McDonald’s, IBM, Honda, Texas Instruments, Boeing, Nordstrom, Intel, Aramark, AT&T, BP, Microsoft, Nike, Macy’s, Wal-Mart and Sprint.

Prison labor is not without its benefits for the prisoners or for society at large. It can be a valuable outlet for prisoners, keeping them from getting into trouble and teaching them new skills. What’s more, many inmates have never had a legal job before. This means they have to learn the most basic aspects of holding down a job – like showing up on time, working with others as a team, and listening to instructions from a supervisor. Many studies show that prison employment leads to reduced recidivism rates.

While companies profit from prison labor, they’re also cleaning up in other ways. JPay, which began as a way to wire money to people on the inside, has seen rapid success with a monopoly on how prisoners’ friends and family can communicate with them inside some state prison systems. All told, JPay had contracts with 21 state correctional facility systems and a number of private facilities as of August 2018. With no paper mail allowed, JPay charges per electronic message – making the company millions, and making prisoners the ultimate captive audience.

Federal Prison Reform

Passed in 2018, the First Step Act was a bipartisan bill to save money by reducing prison sentences. It reduces mandatory sentences, cutting a collective 53,000 years off existing sentences over the next 10 years. It creates sentencing disparity between powder and crack cocaine, and reduces recidivism rates. And it decreases the “three strikes” penalty for drug felonies from life to 25 years.

But not everyone thinks this reform bill is a “first step” in the right direction. Since it doesn’t apply to local jails or state prisons, those skeptical of this new legislation have pointed out that it only affects about 10 percent of the country’s incarcerated population – hardly a dent. Many also disagree with the fact that this bill will release high-risk inmates and offenders.

Libertarian magazine Reason is in favor of more reform. A 2016 article asked the question “Should Felons Get Their Gun Rights Back?” The argument is roughly the same as that of restoring voting rights to felons: Once people have served their time and been released, society assumes that the ledger has been balanced. If someone cannot be trusted to own firearms once they have been released from prison (presumably because they are dangerous), why are they out on the street and not in a cell?

For those interested in Second Amendment freedom, all of this is important. In a sense, the gun grabbers are getting through our prison-industrial complex what they cannot get through either the legislature or the courts – a disarmed populace.

Locked Up: How the Modern Prison-Industrial Complex Puts So Many Americans in Jail originally appeared in The Resistance Library at Ammo.com.

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Martial Law Alert: Denver & Portland Declared “Riots,” National Guard Called In!

Things are going exactly how the elitists and the ruling class want them to. These riots will only worsen as the system drags out this vote and this is by design.

The secret election model predicted this scenario of chaos.  The elitists wanted chaos that will result in martial law, and they’ve got it. Out of this, will spring the New World Order regardless of who is chosen to “win” this election.

National Guard Put On Standby For The Coming Preplanned Chaos

Caravans of Denver police officers have deployed pepper balls and clashed with protesters who started a fire at the intersection of Washington and Colfax, according to FOX 31. FOX 31‘s Gergory Nieto added that a “handful of arrests” have reportedly been made. The protesters, who claim to be anti-fascist, carried a banner which read “Death to Fascism and the Liberalism that enables it” and were heard chanting “No Borders. No walls. No USA at all,” according to a video shared by the Daily Caller.

Police also shared photos of items that had been allegedly seized from protesters in Portland, Oregon, which include commercial-grade fireworks, hammers, and spray paint.

Racism is Dead! Racist Elk Statue Burns In Portland, Oregon

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s office announced that the National Guard has been deployed by Governor Kate Brown to respond to acts of violence as well as “maintain public order and ensure community safety.”

“Guard members are trained in crowd control and will be riding with local response teams. They are dressed in military-style garb, which is their uniform,” the Sheriff’s office said. “Oregon National Guard members are civilian community members helping to protect us. We don’t take this decision lightly.” This is an effort to desensitize the public to martial law. Remember who will be rolling out the coronavirus vaccine?

Trump: “The Military Is Ready To Deliver A Vaccine”

Protesters took to the streets in Seattle on Wednesday as well, as people demanded that every vote in Tuesday’s election be counted. Hundreds were protesting in both cities against President Donald Trump’s court challenges to stop the vote count in battleground states.

The promised election violence is here and the longer this election is dragged out, the worse this is likely to get. We all knew this was coming. Brace yourself, stay aware, stay alert, and stay prepared.

 

The post Martial Law Alert: Denver & Portland Declared “Riots,” National Guard Called In! first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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America After the Election: A Few Hard Truths About the Things That Won’t Change

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”—George Orwell

The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us.

Yet no matter who wins this presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we—the permanent underclass in America—will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private.

Indeed, it really doesn’t matter what you call them—the Deep State, the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military-industrial complex—so long as you understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2021, the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to do so.

In the interest of liberty and truth, here are a few hard truths about life in the American police state that will persist no matter who wins the 2020 presidential election. Indeed, these issues persisted—and in many cases flourished—under both Republican and Democratic administrations in recent years.

Police militarization will continue. Thanks to federal grant programs allowing the Pentagon to transfer surplus military supplies and weapons to local law enforcement agencies without charge, police forces will continue to be transformed from peace officers to heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks, and weaponized drones. “Today, 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear, and armored vehicles,” stated Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. “Some have tanks.”

Overcriminalization will continue. In the face of a government bureaucracy consumed with churning out laws, statutes, codes, and regulations that reinforce its powers and value systems and those of the police state and its corporate allies, we will all continue to be viewed as petty criminals, guilty of violating some minor law. Thanks to an overabundance of 4,500-plus federal crimes and 400,000-plus rules and regulations, it is estimated that the average American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. In fact, according to law professor John Baker, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime.” Consequently, we now find ourselves operating in a strange new world where small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community are finding their farms raided, while home gardeners face jail time for daring to cultivate their own varieties of orchids without having completed sufficient paperwork. This frightening state of affairs—where a person can actually be arrested and incarcerated for the most innocent and inane activities, including feeding a whale and collecting rainwater on their own property—is due to what law scholars refer to as overcriminalization.

Jailing Americans for profit will continue. At one time, the American penal system operated under the idea that dangerous criminals needed to be put under lock and key in order to protect society. Today, as states attempt to save money by outsourcing prisons to private corporations, imprisoning Americans in private prisons run by mega-corporations has turned into a cash cow for big business. In exchange for corporations buying and managing public prisons across the country at a supposed savings to the states, the states have to agree to maintain a 90% occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years. Such a scheme simply encourages incarceration for the sake of profits, while causing millions of Americans, most of them minor, nonviolent criminals, to be handed over to corporations for lengthy prison sentences which do nothing to protect society or prevent recidivism. Thus, although the number of violent crimes in the country is down substantially, the number of Americans being jailed for nonviolent crimes such as driving with a suspended license is skyrocketing.

Poverty will continue. Despite the fact that we have 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line16 million children living in households without adequate access to food, and at least 900,000 veterans relying on food stamps (mind you, these are pre-COVID numbers, which have only got worse during this pandemic), enormous sums continue to be doled out for presidential excursions (taxpayers have been forced to pay at least $100 million so that Donald Trump could visit his golf clubs and private properties more than 500 times during his four years in office).

Endless wars that enrich the military-industrial complex will continue. Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians, and incompetent government officials, America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour)—and that’s just what the government spends on foreign wars. That does not include the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the globe. Incredibly, although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world’s population, America boasts almost 50% of the world’s total military expenditure, spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined. In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. Yet what most Americans fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with enriching the military-industrial complex at taxpayer expense. Consider that since 2001, Americans have spent $10.5 million every hour for numerous foreign military occupations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Police shootings of unarmed Americans will continue. No matter what our party politics, race, religion, or any other distinction used to divide us, we all suffer when violence becomes the government’s calling card. Remember, in a police state, you’re either the one with your hand on the trigger or you’re staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. At least 400 to 500 innocent people are killed by police officers every year. Indeed, Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist. Americans are 110 times more likely to die of foodborne illness than in a terrorist attack. Police officers are more likely to be struck by lightning than be made financially liable for their wrongdoing. As a result, Americans are largely powerless in the face of militarized police.

SWAT team raids will continue.  More than 80,000 SWAT team raids are carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans for relatively routine police matters. Nationwide, SWAT teams have been employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances including angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession, to give a brief sampling. On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raided by SWAT teams. There has been a notable buildup in recent years of SWAT teams within non-security-related federal agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Education Department.

The government’s war on the American people will continue.  “We the people” are no longer shielded by the rule of law. While the First Amendment—which gives us a voice—is being muzzled, the Fourth Amendment—which protects us from being bullied, badgered, beaten, broken, and spied on by government agents—is being disemboweled. Consequently, you no longer have to be poor, black, or guilty to be treated like a criminal in America. All that is required is that you belong to the suspect class—that is, the citizenry—of the American police state. As a de facto member of this so-called criminal class, every U.S. citizen is now guilty until proven innocent. The oppression and injustice—be it in the form of shootings, surveillance, fines, asset forfeiture, prison terms, roadside searches, and so on—will come to all of us eventually unless we do something to stop it now.

Government corruption will continue.  The government is not our friend. Nor does it work for “we the people.” Americans instinctively understand this. When asked to name the greatest problem facing the nation, Americans of all political stripes ranked the government as the number one concern. In fact, almost eight out of ten Americans believe that government corruption is widespread. Our so-called government representatives do not actually represent us, the citizenry. We are now ruled by an oligarchic elite of governmental and corporate interests whose main interest is in perpetuating power and control. Congress is dominated by a majority of millionaires who are, on average, fourteen times wealthier than the average American.

The rise of the surveillance state will continue. Government eyes are watching you. They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet. Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line. Police have been outfitted with a litany of surveillance gear, from license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices to biometric data recorders. Technology now makes it possible for the police to scan passersby in order to detect the contents of their pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Full-body scanners, which perform virtual strip-searches of Americans traveling by plane, have gone mobile, with roving police vans that peer into vehicles and buildings alike—including homes. Coupled with the nation’s growing network of real-time surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, soon there really will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

The erection of a suspect society will continue. Due in large part to rapid advances in technology and a heightened surveillance culture, the burden of proof has been shifted so that the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty has been usurped by a new norm in which all citizens are suspects. This is exemplified by police practices of stopping and frisking people who are merely walking down the street and where there is no evidence of wrongdoing. Making matters worse are Terrorism Liaison Officers (firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees) who have been trained to spy on their fellow citizens and report “suspicious activity,” which includes taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs and buying items in bulk. TLOs report back to “fusion centers,” which are a driving force behind the government’s quest to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on American citizens.

Government tyranny under the reign of an Imperial President will continue. The Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers: to serve as Commander in Chief of the military, grant pardons, make treaties (with the approval of Congress), appoint ambassadors and federal judges (again with Congress’ blessing), and veto legislation. In recent years, however, American presidents have anointed themselves with the power to wage war, unilaterally kill Americans, torture prisoners, strip citizens of their rights, arrest and detain citizens indefinitely, carry out warrantless spying on Americans, and erect their own secretive, shadow government. The powers amassed by each past president and inherited by each successive president—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whoever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability. The grim reality we must come to terms with is the fact that the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned. More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, the U.S. government has become a greater menace to the life, liberty, and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us. This state of affairs has become the status quo, no matter which party is in power.

The government’s manipulation of national crises in order to expand its powers will continue. “We the people” have been subjected to an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security. Whatever the so-called threat to the nation—whether it’s civil unrest, school shootings, alleged acts of terrorism, or the threat of a global pandemic in the case of COVID-19—the government has a tendency to capitalize on the nation’s heightened emotions, confusion and fear as a means of extending the reach of the police state. Indeed, the government’s answer to every problem continues to be more government—at taxpayer expense—and less individual liberty.

The bottom line is this: nothing taking place on Election Day will alleviate the suffering of the American people. Unless we do something more than a vote, the government as we have come to know it—corrupt, bloated, and controlled by big-money corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups—will remain unchanged. And “we the people”—overtaxed, overpoliced, overburdened by big government, underrepresented by those who should speak for us and blissfully ignorant of the prison walls closing in on us—will continue to trudge along a path of misery.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, these problems will continue to plague our nation unless and until Americans wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones who can change things for the better and then do something about it. If there is to be any hope of restoring our freedoms and reclaiming control over our government, it will rest not with the politicians but with the people themselves.

After all, Indeed, the Constitution opens with those three vital words, “We the people.”

What the founders wanted us to understand is that we are the government.

There is no government without us—our sheer numbers, our muscle, our economy, our physical presence in this land. There can also be no police state—no tyranny—no routine violations of our rights without our complicity and collusion—without our turning a blind eye, shrugging our shoulders, allowing ourselves to be distracted, and our civic awareness diluted.

No matter which candidate wins this election, the citizenry and those who represent us need to be held accountable to this powerful truth.

The post America After the Election: A Few Hard Truths About the Things That Won’t Change first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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America After the Election: A Few Hard Truths About the Things That Won’t Change

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”—George Orwell

The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us.

Yet no matter who wins this presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we—the permanent underclass in America—will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private.

Indeed, it really doesn’t matter what you call them—the Deep State, the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military-industrial complex—so long as you understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2021, the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to do so.

In the interest of liberty and truth, here are a few hard truths about life in the American police state that will persist no matter who wins the 2020 presidential election. Indeed, these issues persisted—and in many cases flourished—under both Republican and Democratic administrations in recent years.

Police militarization will continue. Thanks to federal grant programs allowing the Pentagon to transfer surplus military supplies and weapons to local law enforcement agencies without charge, police forces will continue to be transformed from peace officers to heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks, and weaponized drones. “Today, 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear, and armored vehicles,” stated Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. “Some have tanks.”

Overcriminalization will continue. In the face of a government bureaucracy consumed with churning out laws, statutes, codes, and regulations that reinforce its powers and value systems and those of the police state and its corporate allies, we will all continue to be viewed as petty criminals, guilty of violating some minor law. Thanks to an overabundance of 4,500-plus federal crimes and 400,000-plus rules and regulations, it is estimated that the average American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. In fact, according to law professor John Baker, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime.” Consequently, we now find ourselves operating in a strange new world where small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community are finding their farms raided, while home gardeners face jail time for daring to cultivate their own varieties of orchids without having completed sufficient paperwork. This frightening state of affairs—where a person can actually be arrested and incarcerated for the most innocent and inane activities, including feeding a whale and collecting rainwater on their own property—is due to what law scholars refer to as overcriminalization.

Jailing Americans for profit will continue. At one time, the American penal system operated under the idea that dangerous criminals needed to be put under lock and key in order to protect society. Today, as states attempt to save money by outsourcing prisons to private corporations, imprisoning Americans in private prisons run by mega-corporations has turned into a cash cow for big business. In exchange for corporations buying and managing public prisons across the country at a supposed savings to the states, the states have to agree to maintain a 90% occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years. Such a scheme simply encourages incarceration for the sake of profits, while causing millions of Americans, most of them minor, nonviolent criminals, to be handed over to corporations for lengthy prison sentences which do nothing to protect society or prevent recidivism. Thus, although the number of violent crimes in the country is down substantially, the number of Americans being jailed for nonviolent crimes such as driving with a suspended license is skyrocketing.

Poverty will continue. Despite the fact that we have 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line16 million children living in households without adequate access to food, and at least 900,000 veterans relying on food stamps (mind you, these are pre-COVID numbers, which have only got worse during this pandemic), enormous sums continue to be doled out for presidential excursions (taxpayers have been forced to pay at least $100 million so that Donald Trump could visit his golf clubs and private properties more than 500 times during his four years in office).

Endless wars that enrich the military-industrial complex will continue. Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians, and incompetent government officials, America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour)—and that’s just what the government spends on foreign wars. That does not include the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the globe. Incredibly, although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world’s population, America boasts almost 50% of the world’s total military expenditure, spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined. In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. Yet what most Americans fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with enriching the military-industrial complex at taxpayer expense. Consider that since 2001, Americans have spent $10.5 million every hour for numerous foreign military occupations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Police shootings of unarmed Americans will continue. No matter what our party politics, race, religion, or any other distinction used to divide us, we all suffer when violence becomes the government’s calling card. Remember, in a police state, you’re either the one with your hand on the trigger or you’re staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. At least 400 to 500 innocent people are killed by police officers every year. Indeed, Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist. Americans are 110 times more likely to die of foodborne illness than in a terrorist attack. Police officers are more likely to be struck by lightning than be made financially liable for their wrongdoing. As a result, Americans are largely powerless in the face of militarized police.

SWAT team raids will continue.  More than 80,000 SWAT team raids are carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans for relatively routine police matters. Nationwide, SWAT teams have been employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances including angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession, to give a brief sampling. On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raided by SWAT teams. There has been a notable buildup in recent years of SWAT teams within non-security-related federal agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Education Department.

The government’s war on the American people will continue.  “We the people” are no longer shielded by the rule of law. While the First Amendment—which gives us a voice—is being muzzled, the Fourth Amendment—which protects us from being bullied, badgered, beaten, broken, and spied on by government agents—is being disemboweled. Consequently, you no longer have to be poor, black, or guilty to be treated like a criminal in America. All that is required is that you belong to the suspect class—that is, the citizenry—of the American police state. As a de facto member of this so-called criminal class, every U.S. citizen is now guilty until proven innocent. The oppression and injustice—be it in the form of shootings, surveillance, fines, asset forfeiture, prison terms, roadside searches, and so on—will come to all of us eventually unless we do something to stop it now.

Government corruption will continue.  The government is not our friend. Nor does it work for “we the people.” Americans instinctively understand this. When asked to name the greatest problem facing the nation, Americans of all political stripes ranked the government as the number one concern. In fact, almost eight out of ten Americans believe that government corruption is widespread. Our so-called government representatives do not actually represent us, the citizenry. We are now ruled by an oligarchic elite of governmental and corporate interests whose main interest is in perpetuating power and control. Congress is dominated by a majority of millionaires who are, on average, fourteen times wealthier than the average American.

The rise of the surveillance state will continue. Government eyes are watching you. They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet. Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line. Police have been outfitted with a litany of surveillance gear, from license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices to biometric data recorders. Technology now makes it possible for the police to scan passersby in order to detect the contents of their pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Full-body scanners, which perform virtual strip-searches of Americans traveling by plane, have gone mobile, with roving police vans that peer into vehicles and buildings alike—including homes. Coupled with the nation’s growing network of real-time surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, soon there really will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

The erection of a suspect society will continue. Due in large part to rapid advances in technology and a heightened surveillance culture, the burden of proof has been shifted so that the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty has been usurped by a new norm in which all citizens are suspects. This is exemplified by police practices of stopping and frisking people who are merely walking down the street and where there is no evidence of wrongdoing. Making matters worse are Terrorism Liaison Officers (firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees) who have been trained to spy on their fellow citizens and report “suspicious activity,” which includes taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs and buying items in bulk. TLOs report back to “fusion centers,” which are a driving force behind the government’s quest to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on American citizens.

Government tyranny under the reign of an Imperial President will continue. The Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers: to serve as Commander in Chief of the military, grant pardons, make treaties (with the approval of Congress), appoint ambassadors and federal judges (again with Congress’ blessing), and veto legislation. In recent years, however, American presidents have anointed themselves with the power to wage war, unilaterally kill Americans, torture prisoners, strip citizens of their rights, arrest and detain citizens indefinitely, carry out warrantless spying on Americans, and erect their own secretive, shadow government. The powers amassed by each past president and inherited by each successive president—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whoever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability. The grim reality we must come to terms with is the fact that the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned. More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, the U.S. government has become a greater menace to the life, liberty, and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us. This state of affairs has become the status quo, no matter which party is in power.

The government’s manipulation of national crises in order to expand its powers will continue. “We the people” have been subjected to an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security. Whatever the so-called threat to the nation—whether it’s civil unrest, school shootings, alleged acts of terrorism, or the threat of a global pandemic in the case of COVID-19—the government has a tendency to capitalize on the nation’s heightened emotions, confusion and fear as a means of extending the reach of the police state. Indeed, the government’s answer to every problem continues to be more government—at taxpayer expense—and less individual liberty.

The bottom line is this: nothing taking place on Election Day will alleviate the suffering of the American people. Unless we do something more than a vote, the government as we have come to know it—corrupt, bloated, and controlled by big-money corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups—will remain unchanged. And “we the people”—overtaxed, overpoliced, overburdened by big government, underrepresented by those who should speak for us and blissfully ignorant of the prison walls closing in on us—will continue to trudge along a path of misery.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, these problems will continue to plague our nation unless and until Americans wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones who can change things for the better and then do something about it. If there is to be any hope of restoring our freedoms and reclaiming control over our government, it will rest not with the politicians but with the people themselves.

After all, Indeed, the Constitution opens with those three vital words, “We the people.”

What the founders wanted us to understand is that we are the government.

There is no government without us—our sheer numbers, our muscle, our economy, our physical presence in this land. There can also be no police state—no tyranny—no routine violations of our rights without our complicity and collusion—without our turning a blind eye, shrugging our shoulders, allowing ourselves to be distracted, and our civic awareness diluted.

No matter which candidate wins this election, the citizenry and those who represent us need to be held accountable to this powerful truth.

The post America After the Election: A Few Hard Truths About the Things That Won’t Change first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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Police Lobby Groups Lie to Protect Qualified Immunity

Various police lobbies have aggressively opposed efforts to eliminate the qualified immunity defense. Along the way, they have told outright lies.

Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine that shields cops from civil (not criminal) liability for actions taken in the line of duty unless they violate constitutional or statutory rights “clearly established” by existing judicial precedent. No statute exists granting qualified immunity. It evolved over time based on a series of Supreme Court cases.

In 1982, Harlow v. Fitzgerald established qualified immunity for federal government officials and set the stage for the current definition of qualified immunity. The Court held that government actors are entitled to qualified immunity due to “the need to protect officials who are required to exercise discretion and the related public interest in encouraging the vigorous exercise of official authority.”

“Government officials performing discretionary functions generally are shielded from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.” [Empashis added]

In practice, courts analyze qualified immunity cases under a test established in Graham v. Connor (1989) to determine whether an officer violated a “clearly established” constitutional right. Ilan Wurman explained the test in a paper titled Qualified Immunity and Statutory Interpretation published by the Seattle Law Review.

“The test requires courts to undertake an objective analysis of the circumstances surrounding the use of force. Even if a court decides that the use of force was unreasonable and thus unconstitutional, the second step of the inquiry is the qualified immunity analysis: Was it ‘clearly established‘ that this kind of force in this kind of circumstance is unconstitutional? If not, the officer escapes liability.” [Emphasis added]

In simple terms, “clearly established” means a court has previously held that a specific action has already been deemed unconstitutional in essentially the same circumstances as the current case. Wurman argues that the “clearly established” test erects an extremely high hurdle to those trying to prove excessive force or a violation of their rights.

“The qualified immunity test poses an almost insurmountable analytical problem—the permutations are infinite. A given situation is rarely exactly like another. There will always be sufficient distinguishing facts to decide that there was no clearly established law.”

Police Lies

A strong push for justice system reform, including the elimination of qualified immunity, exploded in the wake of the death of Geroge Floyd. Colorado recently passed a law creating a state cause of action in state courts to sue police officers when they infringe on “any constitutional right secured by the bill of rights of the Colorado constitution.” The law specifically states that qualified immunity “is not a defense” to such civil action. Other states are considering similar legislation. Four separate bills have been introduced in Congress.

Unsurprisingly, law enforcement lobby groups have aggressively opposed ending qualified immunity. Cops like the legal doctrine for obvious reasons. It provides a Teflon-coated legal shield making it very difficult for any claim for damages to stick. In effect, it allows cops to act aggressively and violate people’s rights with impunity.

In their zeal to maintain their legal protections, some of these law enforcement lobbyists outright lie.

Cato Institute policy analyst Jay Schweikert chronicled some of the “misrepresentations” about qualified immunity made by law enforcement lobby groups.

One of the biggest whoppers is that eliminating qualified immunity would open the door for police officers to be thrown in prison just for doing their jobs. The National Association of Police Organizations (“NAPO”)  spun this yarn in a letter of opposition to the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act signed by the organization’s executive director and general counsel William F. Johnson.

“With the change to qualified immunity, an officer can go to prison for an unintentional act that unknowingly broke an unknown law. We believe in holding officers accountable for their actions, but the consequence of this would be making criminals out of decent cops enforcing the laws in good faith.”

This is an absurd statement. Qualified immunity has nothing to do with criminal liability. It only applies in civil cases.

As Schweikert points out, Johnson certainly knows this is B.S.

” It beggars belief to think that he is unaware that qualified immunity is a civil doctrine, not a bar to criminal prosecution.”

Johnson was also quoted in a Washington Times article.

“You’ve got federal lawmakers proposing a federal law that says that even when the federal law is so unclear as to be unknowable by any reasonable officer, that officer can still go to prison for an unintentional act that unknowingly broke an unknown law.” [Emphasis added]

Schweikert called the assertion “astounding.”

“One of the largest police organizations in the country is opposing qualified immunity reform based on the clearly erroneous assertion that the doctrine has anything to do with criminal prosecution,” he wrote.

Police lobbyists also claim that ending qualified immunity will subject cops who haven’t violated anybody’s constitutional rights to civil damages. This is untrue. The legal doctrine is a shield for officers who have violated a person’s rights. As Schweikert explains, “The doctrine of qualified immunity only matters when a public official has, in fact, violated someone’s federally protected rights. If a police officer hasn’t committed any constitutional violation in the first place, then they don’t need qualified immunity, because they haven’t broken the law at all.”

Nevertheless, police lobbyists often claim qualified immunity merely protects officers who have acted “reasonably” or who haven’t violated the law. A Massachusetts police union that represents Boston police officers made the following statement in opposition to reforms in their state.

“To be clear, Qualified Immunity is a bedrock protection extended to all public employees. Not just police officers. It does not protect bad cops. In fact, it only protects police officers who act reasonably and within the rules and regulations of their respective departments.”

It’s true that qualified immunity applies to all public officials, but Schweikert calls the last part of the statement “nonsense.”

“The claim that qualified immunity only applies when officers “act reasonably and within the rules and regulations of their respective departments” is a pure invention, directly at odds with actual case law.”

The Indiana State Police Association (“ISPA”) made a similar assertion in a statement in opposition to the “Reforming Qualified Immunity Act.”

“While there is no doubt that bad actors have brought this issue to the forefront, we believe that qualified immunity serves to protect all police officers legitimately performing their duties, and it allows the public to recover damages in cases where an officer has violated the person’s rights.” [Emphasis added]

Schweikert wrote that this isn’t just wrong.

“It is basically the exact opposite of what qualified immunity actually does. … Qualified immunity only matters when a public official has violated someone’s constitutional rights, but where a court finds that right was not ‘clearly established.’ Police officers who are ‘legitimately performing their duties’ — i.e., acting lawfully — do not need qualified immunity because, by definition, they’re not violating anyone’s rights in the first place.”

Here’s another statement, this one by Deputy Attorney General of the United States Jeffrey Rosen in an op-ed for the New York Post opposing qualified immunity reform.

“Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine that prevents law-enforcement officers and other officials from being personally subjected to civil lawsuits when they have acted lawfully and haven’t violated clearly established rights. . . . Officers should be — and are — held accountable when they violate the law. They shouldn’t also have to worry about being personally sued for doing their jobs, when they follow the law.” [Emphasis added]

Again, qualified immunity is not a protection for officers who have “acted lawfully.” As Schweikert points out, “The entire point of the doctrine is to protect officers who have broken the law, but where they violated rights that were not “clearly established.” As the Deputy Attorney General and a former adjunct law professor at Georgetown, Mr. Rosen surely knows better.”

Police organizations are among the most powerful lobbyists in the American political system and they almost always oppose reforms that would strengthen the protection of individual rights. They generally lobby against asset forfeiture reform, limits on surveillance, ending police militarization, barring enforcement of unconstitutional gun control and anything that will limit the growing national police state.

And as we have seen – they don’t hesitate to misrepresent the facts in order to block necessary reforms.

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The Border Patrol Is Monitoring Millions Of Americans’ Cellphones Inside Their Homes

This article was originally published by Mass Private I at Activist Post. 

The Feds are using the pandemic as an excuse to ID and track millions of innocent Americans’ cellphones inside their homes.

This past August, a Motherboard article revealed the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) had signed a $476,000 contract with Venntel, a cellphone data mining corporation.

Motherboard went on to explain why the Feds signing a contract with Venntel is so troubling.

The news highlights how law enforcement agencies continue to buy data that may in some cases require a warrant or court order to obtain.

What Motherboard is saying is that the CBP is using Venntel to monitor Americans’ cellphones without a warrant.

“This new contract raises even more concerns about the cozy and ongoing relationship between the federal government and these data brokers, which operate in the shadows and can amass mountains of sensitive personal data without any restrictions,” Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform said.

What makes this even more disconcerting is how law enforcement can use Venntel to monitor every cellphone in a ‘certain house.’

If you search a certain house, you’re only going to get three or four different signals out of there. I think from that standpoint, you could definitely try and identify specific people, the first [Venntel] source said. I think that was part of the goal in using it for government customers and things like that, is that you’re able to identify devices, and then you can do device searches to see where else they might have been, they added. A second person who has worked with the company [Venntel] said the data in a geofenced area is not going to contain 100 percent of devices in that location, and that identifying someone would be laborious.

Five U.S. senators were so horrified about law enforcement secretly monitoring millions of innocent Americans’ cellphones that they sent a letter to the CBP demanding an explanation.

As revealed by public contracts, CBP has paid a government contractor named Venntel nearly half a million dollars for access to a commercial database containing location data mined from applications on millions of Americans’ mobile phones. CBP officials also confirmed the agency’s warrantless tracking of phones in the United States using Venntel’s product in a September 16, 2020 call with Senate staff.

The letter asked what legal analysis did the Feds use to justify creating a national cellphone location tracking program?

.The senators also requested the inspector general investigate any legal analysis CBP’s lawyers performed before the agency started to use this surveillance tool and how CBP was able to begin operational use of Venntel’s location database without the DHS Privacy Office first publishing a Privacy Impact Assessment.

It is hard to imagine a more invasive national public surveillance program than what the CBP is conducting right now under our very noses.

The Feds don’t care if we know that they are secretly spying on our cellphones inside our homes

A recent Vice article revealed that the CBP is refusing to justify to Congress how it is legal to ID and spy on Americans’ cellphones inside their homes without a warrant.

“CBP officials confirmed to Senate staff that the agency is using Venntel’s location database to search for information collected from phones in the United States without any kind of court order,” the letter signed by Wyden and Warren, and addressed to the DHS OIG, reads. “CBP outrageously asserted that its legal analysis is privileged and therefore does not have to be shared with Congress. We disagree.”

As the Vice article pointed out, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is also using Venntel’s data to ID and monitor Americans’ cellphones without a warrant.

Allegedly, the CBP and the IRS cannot tell what nationality a particular person is based only on the information provided by Venntel, but they can track a particular person’s movements throughout the country.

The CBP’s admission that it is not restricting its personnel to only use Venntel near the border sends an unmistakable message to Americans everywhere: law enforcement treats everyone like a suspected criminal.

There simply is no justification for a so-called democratic country treating millions of its citizens like suspected criminals. Our country is on the precipice of becoming a full-blown surveillance state.

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Trump’s Plan to Expand the National Police-State

A draft report from the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice reveals the Trump administration’s plan to further expand the national police state, with an emphasis on supporting and expanding qualified immunity and facial recognition.

The president formed the commission via executive order in January. A federal judge recently blocked the release of the commission’s report due to a lack of diversity on the panel and evidence that it operated in secrecy in violation of public meeting laws.

The court order stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (NAACP LDF). The suit claimed the commission failed to provide proper notice of public hearing and that it gave too much influence to law enforcement interests in violation of laws dictating how federal advisory committees must operate.

According to a Reuters report, “The panel’s 18 commissioners include federal, state and local law enforcement representatives, but no civil rights advocates, defense attorneys or big-city police officials.”

Through an open records request, Reuters obtained a draft of the commission’s report, revealing a plan to further empower law enforcement in the United States. A New York Times op-ed declared, “The president’s commission was considering recommendations that could transform this nation into a dystopian police state.”

The report recommends increasing “due process” protections for police offers facing charges of misconduct, and called on the Justice Department to regularly affirm support for qualified immunity.

Federal courts created the qualified immunity legal defense and applied it across the U.S. through in incorporation doctrine. In practice, the federal courts have cemented a system in place that gives law enforcement officers almost complete immunity and allows them to violate any individual’s rights with virtual impunity. The problem isn’t a lack of due process for cops; it is a system that gives them almost unlimited protections. The commission’s recommendations not only affirms the system but would give even more power to police.

For instance, according to Reuters, “proposals included allowing officers accused of wrongdoing to view body camera footage before speaking to internal investigators.”

The report also calls for increased federal funding for facial recognition technologies even as many states are working to limit or ban their use.

The federal government has been developing a massive, nationwide facial recognition system for years. The FBI rolled out a nationwide facial-recognition program in the fall of 2014, with the goal of building a giant biometric database with pictures provided by the states and corporate friends.

In 2016, the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law released “The Perpetual Lineup,” a massive report on law enforcement use of facial recognition technology in the U.S. You can read the complete report at perpetuallineup.org. The organization conducted a year-long investigation and collected more than 15,000 pages of documents through more than 100 public records requests. The report paints a disturbing picture of intense cooperation between the federal government, and state and local law enforcement to develop a massive facial recognition database.

“Face recognition is a powerful technology that requires strict oversight. But those controls, by and large, don’t exist today,” report co-author Clare Garvie said. “With only a few exceptions, there are no laws governing police use of the technology, no standards ensuring its accuracy, and no systems checking for bias. It’s a wild west.”

There are many technical and legal problems with facial recognition, including significant concerns about the accuracy of the technology, particularly when reading the facial features of minority populations. During a test run by the ACLU of Northern California, facial recognition misidentified 26 members of the California legislature as people in a database of arrest photos.

With facial recognition technology, police and other government officials have the capability to track individuals in real-time. These systems allow law enforcement agents to use video cameras and continually scan everybody who walks by. According to the report, several major police departments have expressed an interest in this type of real-time tracking. Documents revealed agencies in at least five major cities, including Los Angeles, either claimed to run real-time face recognition off of street cameras, bought technology with the capability, or expressed written interest in buying it.

The federal government heavily involves itself in helping state and local agencies obtain this technology. The commission report recommends ramping it up even further.

The commission also wants to strip away privacy protections and make it easier for cops to access encrypted information on your phone.

Not only does the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice propose policies that will expand the ever-growing national police-state, but it also represents a further expansion of unconstitutional federal power. The federal government has no constitutional role in state and local policing. Police powers were among the powers supporters of the Constitution specifically said would remain with state governments.

The federal government has monopolized education, healthcare, environmental regulation, the economy, and more. Now it’s in the process of monopolizing law enforcement. Given the fed’s track record on everything else it controls, we should be wary of this movement to nationalize policing. It won’t end well.

 

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America Black Lives Matter brandishing Headline News Intelwars knife looting Obey Philadelphia Police State Protests racial tensions Rioting Shooting Twitter unprovoked murder Walter Wallace Jr. footage

Philadelphia Overrun By Rioting, Looting After Police Shoot Knife-Wielding Black Man

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge.

Yet another night of looting and rioting in America…

As Summit News’ Paul Joseph Watson reports, the rioters hit the streets after the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. in an incident being described as yet another unprovoked murder of a black man.

In reality, footage of the incident shows Wallace Jr. ignoring numerous warnings from police officers to drop the weapon as he advances on them before being shot.

NOTE – the tweet of the actual incident has now been deleted from Twitter

However, as we have seen multiple times over the past 5 months, Black Lives Matter agitators don’t let the facts get in the way of yet another chance to riot.

A female sergeant suffered a broken leg as she was struck by a speeding vehicle.

Other videos show BLM criminals looting a clothing store.

Another clip shows a police car on fire.

Cops were chased down the street by the mob, who threw projectiles at officers who weren’t wearing full protective riot gear.

“Get em, yeah! That’s what I like!” shouts the man filming the scene.

Another video shows riot cops being pelted with trash cans and other objects.

A total of 30 police officers were injured during the clashes.

 

 

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Coronavirus cases El Paso fines forced Headline News Infections Intelwars Medical Tyranny New York. tracked Police State quarantine Rockland County Texas traced

CV-1984: Tyranny in Texas As Police Show Up At El Paso Residents’ Doorsteps Ordering Quarantine

This article was originally published by Aaron Kesel at Activist Post

We all knew that the CV-1984 pandemic was going to cause the loss of our individual freedoms, liberties, and rights. But now tyranny has risen in Texas and police are showing up at the doorsteps of citizens deemed non-compliant with contact tracing measures in El Paso, Texas and ordering them to quarantine for 14 days.

Cases of CV are once again spiking in urban areas across Texas, but the state has done the unthinkable. Well, at least we thought, “this is America, what happened in China can’t happen here, right?” Wrong!

Police have turned to drastic measures to curb the spread of the virus across the U.S., not just in Texas, but the entire country is facing a loss of liberties.

This week, police officers were dispatched to the homes of residents who have tested positive in the Texas city of El Paso to order them to quarantine for 14 days. Those who disobey the order could find themselves brought before a judge or facing a $500 fine.

Similar draconian measures are being replicated across the US, with the country passing eight million infections on Thursday and epidemiologists warning that the nation is surging toward a “third wave” of coronavirus cases.

At least 41 U.S. states have seen a rise in new cases over the last two weeks alone, with the number of new daily infections being reported as 71,600, near record highs. Hospitalizations have similarly hit record highs in thirteen states, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Activist Post previously reported how Rockland County, New York was issuing subpoenas for CV contact tracing after residents refused to be tracked. Those residents were given a choice to be tracked or face a civil penalty of up to $2,000 a day.

As Activist Post has reiterated, measures being put into place now will likely remain long after the pandemic has stopped and the virus has run its course. That’s the everlasting effect that COVID-19 will have on our society.  The coronavirus is classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization – and it may very well be a legitimate health concern for all of us around the world – but it’s the government’s response that should worry us more in the long run.

You can watch the local news report on the worrying forced quarantine efforts in El Paso, Texas below:

The post CV-1984: Tyranny in Texas As Police Show Up At El Paso Residents’ Doorsteps Ordering Quarantine first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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