Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Freedom Is A Myth: We Are All Prisoners Of The Police State’s Panopticon Village, by John W. Whitehead

You are being watched and controlled by the surveillance state and its corporate partners. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“We’re run by the Pentagon, we’re run by Madison Avenue, we’re run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don’t revolt we’ll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche…. As long as we go out and buy stuff, we’re at their mercy… We all live in a little Village. Your Village may be different from other people’s Villages, but we are all prisoners.”— Patrick McGoohan

First broadcast in Great Britain 50 years ago, The Prisoner—a dystopian television series described as “James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka”—confronted societal themes that are still relevant today: the rise of a police state, the freedom of the individual, round-the-clock surveillance, the corruption of government, totalitarianism, weaponization, group think, mass marketing, and the tendency of humankind to meekly accept their lot in life as a prisoner in a prison of their own making.

Perhaps the best visual debate ever on individuality and freedom, The Prisoner (17 episodes in all) centers around a British secret agent who abruptly resigns only to find himself imprisoned, monitored by militarized drones, and interrogated in a mysterious, self-contained, cosmopolitan, seemingly tranquil retirement community known only as the Village.

The Village is a virtual prison disguised as a seaside paradise: its inhabitants have no true freedom, they cannot leave the Village, they are under constant surveillance, their movements are tracked by surveillance drones, and they are stripped of their individuality and identified only by numbers.

The series’ protagonist, played by Patrick McGoohan, is Number Six.

“I am not a number. I am a free man,” was the mantra chanted on each episode of The Prisoner, which was largely written and directed by McGoohan.

In the opening episode (“The Arrival”), Number Six is told that he is in The Village because information stored “inside” his head has made him too valuable to be allowed to roam free “outside.”

Throughout the series, Number Six is subjected to interrogation tactics, torture, hallucinogenic drugs, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation, and various forms of social indoctrination and physical coercion in order to “persuade” him to comply, give up, give in and subjugate himself to the will of the powers-that-be.

Number Six refuses to comply.

In every episode, Number Six resists the Village’s indoctrination methods, struggles to maintain his own identity, and attempts to escape his captors. “I will not make any deals with you,” he pointedly remarks. “I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

 

To continue reading: Freedom Is A Myth: We Are All Prisoners Of The Police State’s Panopticon Village

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New US Law Blurs the Line Between Hate Speech and Hate Crime, by Michael S. Rozeff

It was a huge mistake to make “hate” an aggravating element  of crimes beyond the traditional state of mind requirements known as mens rea, especially when the “hate” is only certain types of hate. Now hate speech, which was formerly not a crime, is becoming a hate crime. From Michael S. Rozeff at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Eleven years ago, this essay argued against hate-crime laws. One argument read “People can eventually be accused of hate crimes when they use hateful speech. Hate crimes laws are a seed that can sprout in new directions.” This has now come to pass, I am sorry to say. This week, the Congress passed S. J. Res. 49, and President Trump signed it, making it part of the U.S. legal code.

The law rejects “White nationalists, White supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups…” But why? Because of their ideas? Because of their expression of these ideas? No government that stands for freedom and free speech, whose charge is to protect rights, should be singling out specific groups by name and by law declaring them as outlaws or threats because of their philosophies. If they have committed a crime, such as defamation of character or incitement to riot or riot itself, then charge them and try them. But American government has no legitimate authority to single out some of its citizens in this way. This, furthermore, is an exceedingly bad precedent. Who’s next?

The resolution is too specific, but it’s also dangerously vague. The term “other hate groups” has no known definition. Suppose that this term is defined by a group like the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC currently names 917 groups as hate groups (see here for a list). Their criteria are not restricted to violent actions. They comprise SPEECH. They say “All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” They are very clear about this: “Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.”

This Congressional resolution is a declaration that certain kinds of groups, some named but many, many others open to inclusion, are to be attacked by the U.S. government. The law urges “the President and the President’s Cabinet to use all available resources to address the threats posed by those groups.” The term “threats” in the first paragraph is vague, dangerously vague. However, the very next paragraph singles outfree speech actions when “hundreds of torch-bearing White nationalists, White supremacists, Klansmen, and neo-Nazis chanted racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant slogans…” The same sentence joins this with violent actions “…and violently engaged with counter-demonstrators on and around the grounds of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville…”

To continue reading: New US Law Blurs the Line Between Hate Speech and Hate Crime

A Master’s Degree in Whitewashing Islam, by Bruce Bawer

A master’s thesis in Norway that trashes the only reliable source of information about Islam in Norway sails through. From Bruce Bawer at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • I routinely find the website Document.no to be more reliable on the facts than the state-owned TV and radio stations or any of the big private (but, in many cases, state-supported) dailies.
  • The idea that there are Muslims who seek to turn Europe into an Islamic colony is, of course, no “conspiracy theory.” Jihad and the caliphate are core Islamic doctrines. For over a decade, however, Norwegian academics and intellectuals have accused those commentators, who face up to the reality of these doctrines, of “peddling paranoia.”
  • I wonder if anyone asked how a statement of opinion can violate “fundamental human rights.”

In Norway, where the mainstream media systematically bury or whitewash news stories that might reflect badly on the nation’s misguided immigration policies, its failed integration policies, or on Islam, a handful of small but heavily trafficked websites serve a vital function: getting out information that is being suppressed and providing a forum for opinions that are being silenced.

Perhaps the most prominent of those websites is Document.no, founded in 2003 by Hans Rustad, who still serves as editor and publisher. It is an intelligent, serious, and responsible site, whose contributors tend to know more about the above-mentioned subjects — and to be better writers — than the staffers at the major Oslo newspapers. I have yet to read a bigoted word by a contributor to Document.no, and I routinely find the site to be more reliable on the facts than the state-owned TV and radio stations or any of the big private (but, in many cases, state-supported) dailies.

For countless Norwegian citizens, Document.no is essential reading. For the nation’s cultural elite, however, it is anathema — a major chink in an otherwise almost solid wall of pro-Islam propaganda.

So it is no surprise to learn, via Universitetsavisa, the student newspaper at the University of Oslo, that a Religious Studies student there, Royer Solheim, has written a master’s thesis on Document.no, in which he describes it as a locus of “hate rhetoric,” “Islamophobia,” and “conspiracy theories.” Nor is it a surprise that he was graded an A.

To continue reading: A Master’s Degree in Whitewashing Islam

 

Let’s Make America Free Again: 230 Years After the Constitution, We’re Walking a Dangerous Road, by John W. Whitehead

It’s disheartening to realize how much of the Bill of Rights has been eviscerated. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life.”—Osama bin Laden (October 2001)

Ironically, we mark the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the same week we celebrate the 230th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution.

While there has been much to mourn since 9/11, there has been very little to celebrate.

Here is what it means to live under the Constitution today.

The First Amendment is supposed to protect the freedom to speak your mind (the media, as well), worship, assemble, and protest nonviolently without being bridled by the government. Despite the clear protections found in the First Amendment, Americans continue to be censored, silenced and prosecuted for challenging government misconduct and corruption.

The Second Amendment was intended to guarantee “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Essentially, this amendment was intended to give the citizenry the means to resist tyrannical government. Yet while gun ownership has been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as an individual citizen right, Americans remain powerless to defend themselves against SWAT team raids and militarized government agents armed to the teeth.

The Third Amendment prohibits the military from entering any citizen’s home without “the consent of the owner.” Yet with the police increasingly training like, acting like, and arming themselves like military forces, we now have what the founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.

The Fourth Amendment prohibits the government from conducting surveillance on you or touching you or invading you, unless they have some evidence that you are guilty of a crime. Unfortunately, the Fourth Amendment has been all but eviscerated by an unwarranted expansion of police powers that include strip searches, surveillance and home invasions.

The Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment work in tandem. These amendments supposedly ensure that you are innocent until proven guilty, and government authorities cannot deprive you of your life, your liberty or your property without the right to an attorney and a fair trial before a civilian judge. However, in our suspect/surveillance society, these fundamental principles have been upended.

To continue reading: Let’s Make America Free Again: 230 Years After the Constitution, We’re Walking a Dangerous Road

The Four-Wheeled Patriot Act, by Eric Peters

Eric Peters compares the war on autonomous cars to the war on terror. From Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Whenever Congress does something unanimously (or nearly so) you can rest assured it’s in their interests, not ours.

The USA Patriot Act comes to mind.

Another is the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution Act – aka the SELF DRIVE Act – which was rubber stamped through Congress the other day. This is the law that exempts automated cars from the safety requirements that apply to autonomous cars – that is, the cars which are independentof government control and controlled by us.

Just as the Patriot Act was written, not to “fight terrorism,” but to make it easier for government to terrorize us, by circumventing or simply ignoring the Bill of Rights.

Same operating principle behind both.

There is irony – and malevolence – here.

Irony, because the same government that endlessly croons about “safety” – when it suits – is willing to back burner safety when it suits. If a car company dared to even suggest that it might be a good idea to install air bag Off switches in new cars (and it would be a very good idea, if safety is a concern, given how dangerous air bags are; not can be, but are) that company would be the focus of great abuse if not threatened prosecution.

Meanwhile, the SELF DRIVE Act will exempt automated cars from the necessity – under laws that apply to autonomous cars – of having things like steering wheels and brake pedals and other controls by which a human might intervene to save himself in the event the automated car makes a mistake.

It is presumed automated cars will never make a mistake, that their systems and technology are immune to defects, wear and tear and so forth.

You know. Like air bags are.

It’s not very “safe.”

And yet, it slid through Congress like shit through a goose.

It’s worth noting that no one is suggesting commercial airliners – which already have the ability to fly themselves, including take-off and landing – do so without human pilots standing by to step in just in case. Much less have cockpit controls removed and the now ex-pilots told to go watch a movie back in Coach.   

Why is it acceptable to do exactly that with machines that are more dangerous, en masse, than airliners simply by dint of numbers? There are only a few thousand airliners flying on any given day.

How many millions of cars are out there?    

 

To continue reading: The Four-Wheeled Patriot Act

The War on Some Drugs, by Doug Casey

What would happen if all currently illegal drugs were legalized? How come the only “experiments” that are allowed in public policy are those that make the government more expansive and powerful, not less so. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

Drugs are a charged subject everywhere. They’re a “hot button” topic. Everyone has a strong opinion, often irrational, that seems to come from deep in the most reactive recesses of their collective minds.

Longtime readers know that although I personally abstain from drugs and generally eschew the company of abusive users, I think they should be 100% legal. Not just cannabis. All drugs.

The most important reason is moral and ethical. Your primary possession is your own body. If you don’t own it, and don’t have a right to do whatever you want with it, then you in fact have no rights at all. That’s the main reason why the drug war itself is criminal, and morally insane. The economic, medical, practical, and many other reasons to repeal prohibition are important, but strictly secondary.

Few people consider how arbitrary, and historically recent, the current prohibition is; until the Harrison Act was passed in 1914, heroin and cocaine were both perfectly legal and easily obtainable over the counter.

Before that, very few people were addicted to narcotics, even though narcotics were available to anybody at the local corner drugstore. Addicts were just looked down on as suffering from a moral failure, and a lack of self-discipline. But since there was no more profit in heroin than in aspirin, there was no incentive to get people to use it. So there were no cartels or drug gangs.

Drugs are no more of a problem than anything else in life; life is full of problems. In fact, life isn’t just full of problems; life is problems. What is a problem? It’s simply the situation of having to choose between two or more alternatives. Personally, I believe in people being free to choose, and I rigorously shun the company of people who don’t believe that. Drug addicts have a problem; drug “warriors” have a much more serious problem.

To continue reading: The War on Some Drugs

Globalists Will Throw Antifa To The Wolves To Further Their Agenda, by Brandon Smith

With their black garb and hoods and violence at two-bit demonstrations and taboo speaker events, you have to figure Antifa is somebody’s useful idiots. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

In numerous interviews and articles, including my essay ‘Globalist Strategy: Use Crazy Leftists And Provocateurs To Enrage/Demonize Conservatives‘, I have warned leftists that they are being exploited by globalists as a means to drive conservatives towards greater centralization under Trump and the federal government and that if they continue on the path they have embraced, a totalitarian response may be imminent.

I have also made it clear to conservatives that cultural Marxist groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter as they exist today are paper tigers; they are not physically or strategically capable of backing up the viciousness of their ideologies. Meaning, a totalitarian response is not warranted (a totalitarian response is NEVER warranted) and would in fact only help the globalists in their long term efforts to destroy our Constitutional principles.

To summarize, the goal of the establishment is to use extreme leftist groups like a short stick to prod the real tiger — conservative movements. The goal, I believe, is to enrage liberty champions to the point that they are willing to “bend the rules” and rationalize the abandonment of their morals in order to defeat what they think is a great evil. Like all morally relativistic shifts in society, there is always the claim that it is for “the greater good of the greater number”, or, “the other side is much worse, therefore we are justified in our tyranny…”.

In the end, groups like Antifa will be thrown to the wolves, because the globalists do not intend for them to “win” any engagement with conservatives. This was never the plan.

If you want to measure the speed at which our nation is destabilizing under this agenda, it is helpful to watch how quickly government institutions and politicians abandon or turn on the leftists. The faster they do so, the more likely it is that a major crisis event is in the making.

To continue reading: Globalists Will Throw Antifa To The Wolves To Further Their Agenda