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The Federal Coup to Overthrow the States and Nix the 10th Amendment Is Underway

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

I don’t need invitations by the state, state mayors, or state governors, to do our job. We’re going to do that, whether they like us there or not.”—Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf’s defense of the Trump Administration’s deployment of militarized federal police to address civil unrest in the states

This is a wake-up call.

What is unfolding before our very eyes—with police agencies defying local governments in order to tap into the power of federal militarized troops in order to put down domestic unrest—could very quickly snowball into an act of aggression against the states, a coup by armed, militarized agents of the federal government.

At a minimum, this is an attack on the Tenth Amendment, which affirms the sovereignty of the states and the citizenry, and the right of the states to stand as a bulwark against overreach and power grabs by the federal government.

If you’re still deluding yourself into believing that this thinly-veiled exercise in martial law is anything other than an attempt to bulldoze what remains of the Constitution and reinforce the iron-fisted rule of the police state, you need to stop drinking the Kool-Aid.

This is no longer about partisan politics or civil unrest or even authoritarian impulses.

This is a turning point.

Unless we take back the reins—and soon—looking back on this time years from now, historians may well point to the events of 2020 as the death blow to America’s short-lived experiment in self-government.

The government’s recent actions in Portland, Oregon—when unidentified federal agents (believed to be border police, ICE and DHS agents), wearing military fatigues with patches that just say “Police” and sporting all kinds of weapons, descended uninvited on the city in unmarked vehicles, snatching protesters off the streets and detaining them without formally arresting them or offering any explanation of why they’re being held—is just a foretaste of what’s to come.

One of those detainees was a 53-year-old disabled Navy veteran who was in downtown Portland during the protests but not a participant. Concerned about the tactics being used by government agents who had taken an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution, Christopher David tried to speak the “secret” police. Almost immediately, he was assaulted by federal agents, beaten with batons and pepper-sprayed.

Another peaceful protester was reportedly shot in the head with an impact weapon by this federal goon squad.

The Trump Administration has already announced its plans to deploy these border patrol agents to other cities across the country (Chicago is supposedly next) in an apparent bid to put down civil unrest. Yet the overriding concerns by state and local government officials to Trump’s plans suggest that weaponizing the DHS as an occupying army will only provoke more violence and unrest.

We’ve been set up.

Under the guise of protecting federal properties against civil unrest, the Trump Administration has formed a task force of secret agents who look, dress and act like military stormtroopers on a raid and have been empowered to roam cities in unmarked vehicles, snatching citizens off the streets, whether or not they’ve been engaged in illegal activities.

As the Guardian reports, “The incidents being described sound eerily reminiscent of the CIA’s post-9/11 rendition program under George W Bush, where intelligence agents would roll up in unmarked vans in foreign countries, blindfold terrorism suspects (many of whom turned to be innocent) and kidnap them without explanation. Only instead of occurring on the streets of Italy or the Middle East, it’s happening in downtown Portland.”

The so-called racial justice activists who have made looting, violence, vandalism and intimidation tactics the hallmarks of their protests have played right into the government’s hands

They have delivered all of us into the police state’s hands.

There’s a reason Trump has tapped the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for this dirty business: these agencies are notorious for their lawlessness, routinely sidestepping the Constitution and trampling on the rights of anyone who gets in their way, including legal citizens.

Indeed, it was only a matter of time before these roving bands of border patrol agents began flexing their muscles far beyond the nation’s borders and exercising their right to disregard the Constitution at every turn.

Except these border patrol cops aren’t just disregarding the Constitution.

They’re trampling all over the Constitution, especially the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits the government from carrying out egregious warrantless searches and seizures without probable cause.

As part of the government’s so-called crackdown on illegal immigration, drugs and trafficking, its border patrol cops have been expanding their reach, roaming further afield and subjecting greater numbers of Americans to warrantless searches, ID checkpoints, transportation checks, and even surveillance on private property far beyond the boundaries of the borderlands.

That so-called border, once a thin borderline, has become an ever-thickening band spreading deeper and deeper inside the country.

Now, with this latest salvo by the Trump administration in its so-called crackdown on rioting and civil unrest, America itself is about to become a Constitution-free zone where freedom is off-limits and government agents have all the power and “we the people” have none.

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP), with its more than 60,000 employees, supplemented by the National Guard and the U.S. military, is an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, a national police force imbued with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies.

As journalist Todd Miller explains:

In these vast domains, Homeland Security authorities can institute roving patrols with broad, extra-constitutional powers backed by national security, immigration enforcement and drug interdiction mandates. There, the Border Patrol can set up traffic checkpoints and fly surveillance drones overhead with high-powered cameras and radar that can track your movements. Within twenty-five miles of the international boundary, CBP agents can enter a person’s private property without a warrant.

Just about every nefarious deed, tactic or thuggish policy advanced by the government today can be traced back to the DHS, its police state mindset, and the billions of dollars it distributes to local police agencies in the form of grants to transform them into extensions of the military.

As Miller points out, the government has turned the nation’s expanding border regions into “a ripe place to experiment with tearing apart the Constitution, a place where not just undocumented border-crossers, but millions of borderland residents have become the targets of continual surveillance.”

In much the same way that police across the country have been schooled in the art of sidestepping the Constitution, border cops have also been drilled in the art of “anything goes” in the name of national security.

In fact, according to FOIA documents shared with The Interceptborder cops even have a checklist of “possible behaviors” that warrant overriding the Constitution and subjecting individuals—including American citizens—to stops, searches, seizures, interrogations and even arrests.

For instance, if you’re driving a vehicle that to a border cop looks unusual in some way, you can be stopped. If your passengers look dirty or unusual, you can be stopped. If you or your passengers avoid looking at a cop, you can be stopped. If you or your passengers look too long at a cop, you can be stopped.

If you’re anywhere near a border (near being within 100 miles of a border, or in a city, or on a bus, or at an airport), you can be stopped and asked to prove you’re legally allowed to be in the country. If you’re traveling on a public road that smugglers and other criminals may have traveled, you can be stopped.

If you’re not driving in the same direction as other cars, you can be stopped. If you appear to be avoiding a police checkpoint, you can be stopped. If your car appears to be weighed down, you can be stopped. If your vehicle is from out of town, wherever that might be, you can be stopped. If you’re driving a make of car that criminal-types have also driven, you can be stopped.

If your car appears to have been altered or modified, you can be stopped. If the cargo area in your vehicle is covered, you can be stopped.

If you’re driving during a time of day or night that border cops find suspicious, you can be stopped. If you’re driving when border cops are changing shifts, you can be stopped. If you’re driving in a motorcade or with another vehicle, you can be stopped. If your car appears dusty, you can be stopped.

If people with you are trying to avoid being seen, or exhibiting “unusual” behavior, you can be stopped. If you slow down after seeing a cop, you can be stopped.

In Portland, which is 400 miles from the border, protesters didn’t even have to be near federal buildings to be targeted. Some claimed to be targeted for simply wearing black clothing in the area of the demonstration.

Are you starting to get the picture yet?

This was never about illegal aliens and border crossings at all. It’s been a test to see how far “we the people” will allow the government to push the limits of the Constitution.

We’ve been failing this particular test for a long time now.

It was 1798 when Americans, their fears stoked by rumblings of a Quasi-War with France, failed to protest the Alien and Sedition Acts, which criminalized anti-government speech, empowered the government to deport “dangerous” non-citizens and made it harder for immigrants to vote.

During the Civil War, Americans went along when Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus (the right to a speedy trial) and authorized government officials to spy on Americans’ mail.

During World War I, Americans took it in stride when  President Woodrow Wilson and Congress adopted the Espionage and Sedition Acts, which made it a crime to interfere with the war effort and criminalized any speech critical of war.

By World War II, Americans were marching in lockstep with the government’s expanding war powers to imprison Japanese-American citizens in detainment camps, censor mail, and lay the groundwork for the future surveillance state.

Fast-forward to the Cold War’s Red Scares, the McCarthy era’s hearings on un-American activities, and the government’s surveillance of Civil Rights activists such as Martin Luther King Jr.—all done in the name of national security.

By the time 9/11 rolled around, all George W. Bush had to do was claim the country was being invaded by terrorists, and the government was given greater powers to spy, search, detain and arrest American citizens in order to keep America safe.

The terrorist invasion never really happened, but the government kept its newly acquired police powers made possible by the nefarious USA Patriot Act.

Barack Obama continued Bush’s trend of undermining the Constitution, going so far as to give the military the power to strip Americans of their constitutional rights, label them extremists, and detain them indefinitely without trialall in the name of keeping America safe.

Despite the fact that the breadth of the military’s power to detain American citizens violates not only U.S. law and the Constitution but also international laws, the government has refused to relinquish its detention powers made possible by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Then Donald Trump took office, claiming the country was being invaded by dangerous immigrants and insisting that the only way to keep America safe was to build an expensive border wall, expand the reach of border patrol, and empower the military to “assist” with border control.

That so-called immigration crisis has now morphed into multiple crises (domestic extremism, the COVID-19 pandemic, race wars, civil unrest, etc.) that the government is eager to use in order to expand its powers.

Yet as we’ve learned the hard way, once the government acquires—and uses—additional powers (to spy on its citizens, to carry out surveillance, to transform its police forces into extensions of the police, to seize taxpayer funds, to wage endless wars, to censor and silence dissidents, to identify potential troublemakers, to detain citizens without due process), it does not voluntarily relinquish them

This is the slippery slope on which we’ve been traveling for far too long.

As Yale historian Timothy Snyder explains, “This is a classic way that violence happens in authoritarian regimes, whether it’s Franco’s Spain or whether it’s the Russian Empire. The people who are getting used to committing violence on the border are then brought in to commit violence against people in the interior.

Sure, it’s the Trump administration calling the shots right now, but it’s government agents armed with totalitarian powers and beholden to the bureaucratic Deep State who are carrying out these orders in defiance of the U.S. Constitution and all it represents.

Whether it’s Trump or Biden or someone else altogether, this year or a dozen years from now, the damage has been done: as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we have allowed the president to acquire dictatorial powers that can be unleashed at any moment.

There’s a reason the Trump administration is consulting with John Yoo, the Bush-era attorney notorious for justifying waterboarding torture tactics against detainees. They’re not looking to understand how to follow the law and abide by the Constitution. Rather, they’re desperately seeking ways to thwart the Constitution.

As Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe recognizes, “The dictatorial hunger for power is insatiable.

This is how it begins.

This is how it always begins.

Don’t be fooled into thinking any of this will change when the next election rolls around.

EDITOR’S NOTE: While most are distracted with which puppet they will vote for when the international banking cartel has already chosen, tyranny has descended on Americans, and even most “patriots” are cheering the authoritarianism. One way or another, all ruling classes will eventually become tyrannical. History repeats itself, and we have so far, been too stuipd to learn this.

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beijing burning barrels China consulate closure escalation global equity markets Headline News Houston Intelwars material burning Military Moran Ortagus political provocation suspicious fire tensions rise Texas United States violations Wan Wenbin War Washington WWIII

China Furious After US Abruptly Orders Closure Of Houston Consulate Sparking “Unprecedented Escalation”

EDITOR’S NOTE: In addition to coronavirus lies and totalitarianism, it appears we’re staring WW3 in the face. Buckle up, folks, and be ready. False flag or not, this is ramping up already heightened tensions with China.

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Following a suspicious document fire that necessitated a visit from the local police yesterday, Washington has turned the tensions with Beijing up to ’11’ by ordering the immediate closure of the Chinese consulate.

Apparently, the incident occurred just as the US was ordering the abrupt closure of China’s consulate in Houston, citing a need to protect American intellectual property and data. The decision, which rattled global equity markets, has been decried as a dramatic escalation in bilateral tensions as Beijing condemned the order as an outrageous violation of international law. Spokespeople for the Chinese government also slammed the decision as outrageous and unprecedented.

Washington’s order, which according to WSJ was issued just yesterday, marks an “unprecedented escalation” and “a political provocation unilaterally launched by the US,” according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, who addressed the issue during his regular press briefing in Beijing.

“China urges the US to immediately rescind its erroneous decision, otherwise China will undertake legitimate and necessary responses.”

Even Hu Xijin, the typically long-winded editor of the Global Times, could only manage a surprisingly brief “that’s crazy”.

State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus didn’t specify which specific actions, if any, inspired Washington’s decision, though she did say: “President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations.”

“The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs and other egregious behavior.”

So far, details from official sources are scant. However, it’s probably worth remembering the scene from yesterday’s ‘document fire’ incident: the Houston police and fire departments responded Tuesday night to a reported document fire at the Chinese Consulate. Footage taken from the building next door shows what appears to be barrels with burning material inside of them.

Seems like a totally normal and non-suspicious reaction to a closure order.

State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus didn’t specify which specific actions, if any, inspired Washington’s decision, though she did say: “President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations.”

“The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs and other egregious behavior.”

So far, details from official sources are scant. However, it’s probably worth remembering the scene from yesterday’s ‘document fire’ incident: the Houston police and fire departments responded Tuesday night to a reported document fire at the Chinese Consulate. Footage taken from the building next door shows what appears to be barrels with burning material inside of them.

Seems like a totally normal and non-suspicious reaction to a closure order.

Stocks slumped during the Asian trading session; the offshore yuan also slumped against the greenback.

 

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Left-wing Philly mayor throws out hundreds of citations handed out to Black Lives Matter protesters

Democratic Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is throwing out hundreds of citations handed out to protesters over the past month in the wake of the George Floyd killing, PhillyVoice reported.

What are the details?

Philadelphia’s Law Department and Office of Administrative Review previously recommended that the city drop most civil citations handed out during the height of protest activity, the outlet said, adding that while they don’t carry criminal charges, such citations typically come with fines. For Philly protesters, they also came with arrests and time in jail until violations could be processed, PhillyVoice said.

“My decision to waive these violations is not a statement on the validity of the individual citations,” Kenney said, according to the outlet. “Rather, it is a recognition of the core concerns that caused thousands to demonstrate on the streets of Philadelphia. In waiving these notices, I recognize that those issues are vitally important, that the pain of those marching is very real, and that their message — black lives matter — needs to be heard every day until systemic racism is fully eradicated from this city and nation.”

The two most common civil citations from the protests were failure to disperse and curfew violations, PhillyVoice said, adding that the fines are $50 and $25, respectively.

Civil citations for disorderly conduct and related offenses, as well as all curfew violations, will be waived if they occurred between May 30 and June 30, the outlet said.

Criminal arrests and charges — e.g., looting or burglary — will still be pursued and prosecuted, PhillyVoice said.

Those who’ve received civil violations and haven’t paid fines yet don’t need to take any further action, the outlet said, adding that those who’ve paid fines can get refunds.

Between May 29 and June 25, police handed out 80 citations for disorderly conduct, 316 for curfew violations, 21 for defiant trespass, 338 for failure to disperse, and one for vandalism, PhillyVoice said.

City Solicitor Marcel S. Pratt told the outlet that taking action on such citations “would have served no useful purpose, and we are glad that the mayor approved our recommendation that they be waived.”


People Defy Philly’s Citywide Curfew and Loot Stores | NBC10 Philadelphia

youtu.be

(H/T: The Police Tribune)

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Facebook Removes Record Number Of ‘Hate Speech’ Posts

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at Zerohedge. 

Facebook has released its biannual Community Standards Enforcement Report which shows the number of controversial posts the company has removed from the platform. As Statista’s Niall McCarthy shows below, the social media giant deleted a record number of hate speech posts with 9.6 million pieces of content taken down between January and March 2020 compared to 5.7 million in the prior period. 4.7 million posts were removed that originated from organized hate groups in the first quarter of this year which is an increase of more than 3 million on Q4, 2019.

Infographic: Facebook Removes Record Number Of Hate Speech Posts | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

Facebook attributed the increase in hate speech removals to technology improvements for automatically identifying images and text.

In a statement, the company said that “we’re now able to detect text embedded in images and videos in order to understand its full context, and we’ve built media matching technology to find content that’s identical or near-identical to photos, videos, text and even audio that we’ve already removed.”

The report shows that 88.3 percent of all hate speech content was removed before users reported it in Q1.

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CDC civil rights comply Coronavirus COVID-19 economic ramifications enslaved food crisis Great Depression Headline News human rights Intelwars lockdown mass surveillance Obey pandemic Riots shutdowns social unrest tracked tracking unemployment violations

You Are Being Tracked: More Than You Were Before

The United States government has rolled out incredibly totalitarian measures that amount to human rights violations in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  Unfortunately, long after this pandemic is a distance memory, the authoritarian controls will still be in place.

Local governments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received the anonymized data about people in areas of “geographic interest,” with the aim being to create a portal of geolocation information for 500 cities across the country. The development follows reports of other countries using cellphone data to monitor citizens and see if they are complying with curbs on movement, and elimination of income in order to defeat the viral outbreak.

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European mobile carriers have reportedly been sharing data with health authorities in Italy, Germany, and Austria, while at the same time respecting Europe’s privacy laws. Earlier this month, Israel passed emergency measures that allow security agencies to track the smartphone data of people with suspected COVID-19 and find others they may have come into contact with.

Even if you end up making it through this pandemic without getting sick, the economic ramifications are going to be immense and it’s expected that the government will use the implemented mass surveillance and tracked to squash riots.  It’s likely that this pandemic will affect you for much longer than the virus will. The mainstream media is calling those who care about people’s livelihoods “greedy,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  If people cannot feed their families, the social unrest and riots that could result from this lockdown may be overwhelming and could result in a massive amount of suicides and homicides.  The mainstream media can continue to ignore that fact all they’d like, but people will get violent if they get hungry.

Pandemic-related unemployment and shutdowns are a recipe for social unrest, reported Reason.  That’s a huge concern as forecasters expect the U.S. unemployment rate in the months to come to surpass that seen during the depths of the Great Depression.  If that happens, the fallout from the shutdown will be worse than the deaths during this pandemic. Expect these totalitarian measures being put in place now to be used to control the public when they can’t make a living anymore.

 

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