Published on 13 Jun 2019
Published on 13 Jun 2019
May 21st, 2019
The dystopian future George Orwell warned us all about in his iconic novel, 1984 has quickly become our reality. Widespread facial surveillance in the “land of the free” is an “imminent reality.”
A tech privacy report, that has been swept under the rug by the mainstream media has declared that Americans are about to live through the very world Orwell wrote of. Georgetown researchers are warning Americans about a sophisticated real-time face surveillance system that’s about to become an “imminent reality” for millions of citizens across the country. Ground zero, though, appears to be Detroit.
The “America Under Watch” report is a warning that authorities in select U.S. cities may soon be able to pick you out from a crowd, identify you, and trace your movements via a secret network of cameras constantly capturing images of your face. Mass surveillance of every single human being living in the U.S. has become a nightmarish dystopian reality.
DataWorks says it offers software which “provides continuous screening and monitoring of live video streams.” The system is also designed to operate on “not less than 100 concurrent video feeds.”
According to the research team’s report, live footage is captured by cameras installed around Detroit as part of Project Green Light, a public-private initiative to deter crime (and violate the privacy rights of everyone) which launched in 2016. The expanse of the police department’s facial recognition policy last summer, however, means the face recognition technology can now be connected to any live video, including security cameras, drone footage, and body-worn cams.
You’ve been warned. This technology will not remain limited to Detroit. Illinois, meanwhile, is home to one of the most advanced biometric surveillance systems in the country. The report added that the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the Chicago Transit Authority have had face surveillance capabilities since “at least 2016.”
Similar facial surveillance is now also, apparently on the horizon for other large cities, including New York City, Orlando, and Washington D.C. Oddly enough, San Francisco, known for its authoritarian control of the public, became the first US city to ban facial recognition software used by police and other municipal agencies last week.
This report has prompted the authors, Clare Garvie, and Laura M. Moy, to call for a “complete moratorium on police use of face recognition” to give communities a chance to decide whether they always want to be monitored in their streets and neighborhoods.
The American mainstream media is also doing their “due diligence” by hiding this report and it’s obvious why they have done so. The U.S. could very soon resemble communist China with the citizens having no rights and limited ability to even ask the government for permission, while the government does whatever they want with the power willingly handed to them by the ignorant masses.
“We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”—Rod Serling
Have you noticed how much life increasingly feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone?
Only instead of Rod Serling’s imaginary “land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas,” we’re trapped in a topsy-turvy, all-too-real land of corruption, brutality and lies, where freedom, justice and integrity play second fiddle to political ambition, corporate greed, and bureaucratic tyranny.
It’s not merely that life in the American Police State is more brutal, or more unjust, or even more corrupt. It’s getting more idiotic, more perverse, and more outlandish by the day.
Somewhere over the course of the past 240-plus years, democracy has given way to idiocracy, and representative government has given way to a kleptocracy (a government ruled by thieves) and a kakistocracy(a government run by unprincipled career politicians, corporations and thieves that panders to the worst vices in our nature and has little regard for the rights of American citizens).
In Georgia, political organizers posted a “Black Media Only” sign outside a Baptist Church, barring white reporters from attending a meeting about an upcoming mayoral election.
In Arizona, a SWAT team raided a family’s home in the middle of the night on the say-so of Child Protective Services, which sounded the alarm after the parents determined that their 2-year-old—who had been suffering a 100-degree fever—was feeling better and didn’t need to be admitted to the hospital.
In Virginia, landlords are requiring dog-owning tenants to submit their pets’ DNA to a database that will be used to track down (and fine) owners who fail to clean up after their dogs poop in public.
In Texas, a police officer who allegedly gave a homeless man a sandwich with dog feces won’t be held accountable for his actions.
In Illinois, Chicago police used a battering ram and a sledgehammer to crash into a family’s home with weapons drawn, terrorizing the young children gathered for a 4-year-old’s birthday party, only to find that they were at the wrong house.
In Kansas, a 61-year-old back man in the process of moving into his new house found himself held at gunpoint and handcuffed by police, who refused to believe he was a homeowner and not a burglar.
If you’re starting to notice a pattern here, it speaks to the fact that nearly 50 years after Serling’s creative brainchild, The Twilight Zone, premiered on national television, we’re still fumbling around in the dark, trying to make sense of a world dominated by racism, cruelty, war, violence, poverty, prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, injustice and a host of other social maladies and spiritual evils.
The Twilight Zone was an oasis in television wasteland: a show that captured imaginations; challenged moral hypocrisy and societal prejudices; and railed against inhumanity, racism, prejudice, the mechanization of human beings by way of their technology, tyrants of all shapes and colors, a passive populace, war, injustice, the surveillance state, corporate greed.
Fifty years later, with so much having changed legally, technologically and politically, so much still remains the same. Fear is the same. Prejudice is the same. Ignorance is the same. Hate and war and tyranny are unchanged. Police officers are still shooting unarmed citizens. Bloated government agencies are still fleecing taxpayers. Government technicians are still spying on our communications. And American citizens are still allowing themselves to be manipulated by their fears and pitted one against the other.
All of these themes can be found in The Twilight Zone.
Serling, a truth-teller who pulled no punches when it came to calling out the evils of his day, channeled his moral outrage into storytelling. As his daughter Anne explained, “The Twilight Zone was more than just the strangest show on TV, with the best theme song, but back in the 50’s Rod Serling was serving up social commentary through science fiction.”
That social commentary disguised as entertainment tackled some of the most pressing issues of Serling’s day. “It dealt with human issues which I guess is why it’s lasted so long, because it dealt with racism and mob mentality and scapegoating and things that are still very, very prevalent and relevant today sadly,” said Anne. “We don’t seem to be able to move ahead and change.”
Serling would have no shortage of material to draw from today, given the government’s greed for money and power, its disregard for human life, its corruption and graft, its pollution of the environment, its reliance on excessive force in order to ensure compliance, its covert activities, its illegal surveillance, and its blatant disdain for the rule of law.
“I can tell you [my dad] would be absolutely apoplectic about what’s happening in the world today. And deeply saddened,” said his daughter Anne Serling. “There are moments that I’m glad he’s not here to see.”
It boggles the mind how relevant The Twilight Zone and its unique brand of truth-telling are to an age in which truth has become a convenient fiction for those in power, what researchers refer to as “Truth Decay.”
As a report from the Rand Corporation explains, “Truth Decay is defined as a set of four related trends: increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data; a blurring of the line between opinion and fact; an increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact; and declining trust in formerly respected sources of factual information.”
Serling would have had a lot to say about the lies that masquerade as truth today.
I’m not sure that Serling would have been surprised by current events, though. After all, this was the man who concluded that people are alike all over: that was the kernel of truth in one of Serling’s episodes about a pair of astronauts who journey to Mars only to find that while they may have landed on an alien planet, inhabited by alien creatures, the ignorance, fear and prejudice of the “foreigner” was the same.
So many truths, packaged in 156 episodes that aired from 1959 to 1964.
Serling took pride in the writing, penning 92 of the 156 episodes himself. For the rest, he enlisted some of the best writers of the 20th century to lend their talents to Zone episodes: Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, Earl Hamner, to mention a few. As such, the Twilight Zone became the embodiment of great story-telling.
If you want to watch something that fuses time and space into reality by way of a fictional setting, then I suggest that you tune into The Twilight Zone.
Director Jordan Peele has taken Serling’s material out for a new spin in a reboot airing on CBS All Access, but if you haven’t experienced the original series, do yourself a favor and spend some time with them.
There are so many to choose from, but the following are 12 of my personal favorites:
Time Enough at Last: Mild-mannered Henry Bemis (Burgess Meredith), hen-pecked by his wife and brow-beaten by his boss, sneaks into a bank vault on his lunch hour to read. He is knocked unconscious by a shockwave that turns out to be a nuclear war. When Bemis regains consciousness, he realizes that he is the last person on earth.
I Shot an Arrow into the Air: Three astronauts survive a crash after their craft disappears from the radar screen. They find themselves on what they believe to be a dry, lifeless asteroid. Only five gallons of water separate them from dehydration and death. And temperamental crew member Corey (Dewey Martin) goes to great lengths to ensure his survival.
The Howling Man: During a walking tour of Europe after World War I, David loses his way and comes to a remote monastery. He is turned away but passes out, and the monks take him in. David regains consciousness and hears a bizarre howling. He eventually finds a man in a jail cell who the monks say is the Devil himself, kept in his prison by the “staff of truth.”
Eye of the Beholder: Janet lies in a hospital bed, her face wrapped in bandages, hiding the hideous face that has made her an outcast all her life. This is her eleventh hospital visit and the last allowed by the government. The faces of the doctors and nurses are also hidden by shadows and camera angles. Janet’s bandages are finally removed, and the medical staff retreat in disgust.
The Invaders: A haggard woman (Agnes Morehead) hears a strange sound on the roof. She climbs up to see a miniature flying saucer and tiny spacemen who invade her home. Their small ray guns sting, but she fights back.
Shadow Play: Adam (Dennis Weaver) is on trial, and the judge gives him the electric chair. Adam chortles that it’s all a joke, a recurring nightmare in which all the participants are bit players in a scripted play. But will anyone listen?
The Obsolete Man: Romney (Burgess Meredith) is a God-fearing librarian in a totalitarian state in which books and religion have been banned. Romney is judged obsolete by the government chancellor but is granted several requests before he dies. He chooses to have a television audience watch his execution. Forty-five minutes before he is to die, he invites the chancellor to his room and locks them both inside.
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet: Robert (William Shatner) boards an airplane after having been discharged from a mental hospital for a nervous breakdown. He looks out his window during the flight and sees a weird creature on the wing. Alarmed, he alerts others. However, when they look out, the creature disappears. Robert eventually realizes that what he sees is a demon trying to dismantle the plane so it will crash. Robert decides to act.
Living Doll: Erich (Telly Savalas) is angry at his wife for buying his stepdaughter an expensive doll. Erich has a nasty disposition and soon discovers that the doll has a life of its own and it dislikes him. In fact, the doll tells him so. Talky Tina says emphatically “I hate you” and “I’m going to kill you.”
The Masks: On his deathbed, Jason Foster calls his four heirs to his side on a Mardi Gras evening. Each heir has a character flaw—self-pity, avarice, vanity or cruelty. Foster demands that each wear a mask he has fashioned for them. If they refuse to keep the masks on until midnight, they will be disinherited. The masks are hideous, and the heirs do not want to don them. But out of greed, they slide them onto their faces.
It’s a Good Life: Peaksville, Ohio, a small community, has been “taken away” from the so-called normal world—ravaged by 6-year-old “monster” Anthony (Billy Mumy). By mere thought and/or wishes, Anthony can make things and people disappear or turn into hideous creatures. All of the adults kowtow to his every desire.
To Serve Man: The Kanamits—nine-foot-tall, large-headed creatures—come to Earth from outer space, bringing gifts, spouting peace and promising to end famine. After some initial resistance by earthlings, the world relents and humans become entranced by the visitors. However, government agent Mike (Lloyd Chambers) soon discovers a sinister and shocking plot being hatched by the Kanamits.
The Twilight Zone was a paradox.
Although the series is often seen as science fiction, ultimately it was not science fiction.
Whatever weird or far out setting may have been involved in a particular episode, the focus was always on the angst, pain and suffering we face in the so-called “real” world. As author Marc Scott Zicree writes:
The Twilight Zone was the first, and possibly only, TV series to deal on a regular basis with the theme of alienation—particularly urban alienation…. Repeatedly, it states a simple message: The only escape from alienation lies in reaching out to others, trusting in their common humanity. Give in to the fear and you are lost.
Fifty years after the original The Twilight Zone series questioned whether we can maintain our humanity in the face of authoritarian forces trying to reduce us to mindless automatons, we’re still struggling with the demons of our age who delight in fomenting violence, sowing distrust and prejudice, and persuading the public to support tyranny disguised as patriotism.
Yet as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we don’t have to be stranded in this alternate universe, this twilight zone of tyranny, brutality and injustice.
We still have the power to change our circumstances for the better.
However, overcoming the evils of our age will require more than intellect and activism. It will require decency, morality, goodness, truth and toughness.
As Serling concluded in his remarks to the graduating class of 1968:
“Toughness is the singular quality most required of you… we have left you a world far more botched than the one that was left to us… Part of your challenge is to seek out truth, to come up with a point of view not dictated to you by anyone, be he a congressman, even a minister… Are you tough enough to take the divisiveness of this land of ours, the fact that everything is polarized, black and white, this or that, absolutely right or absolutely wrong. This is one of the challenges. Be prepared to seek out the middle ground … that wondrous and very difficult-to-find Valhalla where man can look to both sides and see the errant truths that exist on both sides. If you must swing left or you must swing right—respect the other side. Honor the motives that come from the other side. Argue, debate, rebut—but don’t close those wondrous minds of yours to opposition. In their eyes, you’re the opposition. And ultimately … ultimately—you end divisiveness by compromise. And so long as men walk and breathe—there must be compromise.”
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at http://www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at email@example.com.
John W. Whitehead’s weekly commentaries are available for publication to newspapers and web publications at no charge. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain reprint permission.
With permission from
by Harry Cockburn, guest writer
Jan 9, 2019
Officials say aim is to make it ‘difficult to move’ for those deemed ‘untrustworthy’
Millions of Chinese nationals have been blocked from booking flights or trains as Beijing seeks to implement its controversial “social credit” system, which allows the government to closely monitor and judge each of its 1.3 billion citizens based on their behaviour and activity.
The system, to be rolled out by 2020, aims to make it “difficult to move” for those deemed “untrustworthy”, according to a detailed plan published by the government.
It will be used to reward or punish people and organisations for “trustworthiness” across a range of measures.
A key part of the plan not only involves blacklisting people with low social credibility scores, but also “publicly disclosing the records of enterprises and individuals’ untrustworthiness on a regular basis”.
The plan stated: “We will improve the credit blacklist system, publicly disclose the records of enterprises and individuals’ untrustworthiness on a regular basis, and form a pattern of distrust and punishment.”
For those deemed untrustworthy, “everywhere is limited, and it is difficult to move, so that those who violate the law and lose the trust will pay a heavy price”.
The credit system is already being rolled out in some areas and in recent months the Chinese state has blocked millions of people from booking flights and high-speed trains.
According to the state-run news outlet Global Times, as of May this year, the government had blocked 11.14 million people from flights and 4.25 million from taking high-speed train trips.
The state has also begun to clamp down on luxury options: 3 million people are barred from getting business class train tickets, according to Channel News Asia.
The aim, according to Hou Yunchun, former deputy director of the development research centre of the State Council, is to make “discredited people become bankrupt”, he said earlier this year.
The eastern state of Hangzou, southwest of Shanghai, is one area where a social credit system is already in place.
People are awarded credit points for activities such as undertaking volunteer work and giving blood donations while those who violate traffic laws and charge “under-the-table” fees are punished.
Other infractions reportedly include smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games and posting fake news online.
Punishments are not clearly detailed in the government plan, but beyond making travel difficult, are also believed to include slowing internet speeds, reducing access to good schools for individuals or their children, banning people from certain jobs, preventing booking at certain hotels and losing the right to own pets.
When plans for the social credit scheme were first announced in 2014, the government said the aim was to “broadly shape a thick atmosphere in the entire society that keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful”.
As well as the introduction in Beijing, the government plans a rapid national rollout. “We will implement a unified system of credit rating codes nationwide,” the country’s latest five-year plan stated.
The move comes as Beijing also faces international scrutiny over its treatment of a Muslim minority group, who have been told to turn themselves in to authorities if they observe practices such as abstention from alcohol.
Hami city government in the far-western Xinjiang region said people “poisoned by extremism, terrorism and separatism” would be treated leniently if they surrendered within the next 30 days.
As many as a million Muslim Uighurs are believed to have been rounded up and placed in “re-education” centres, in what China claims is a clampdown on religious extremism.
With permission from
September 11, 2018
“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”
Life in a post-9/11 America increasingly feels like an endless free fall down a rabbit hole into a terrifying, dystopian alternative reality in which the citizenry has no rights, the government is no friend to freedom, and everything we ever knew and loved about the values and principles that once made this country great has been turned on its head.
We’ve walked a strange and harrowing road since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties.
We have gone from a nation that took great pride in being a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade the citizenry to march in lockstep with a police state.
Osama Bin Laden right warned that “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.”
These past 17 years have proven Bin Laden right in his prediction.
What began with the passage of the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse.
The citizenry’s unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for the phantom promise of safety and security has resulted in a society where the nation is being locked down into a militarized, mechanized, hypersensitive, legalistic, self-righteous, goose-stepping antithesis of every principle upon which this nation was founded.
This is not freedom.
This is a jail cell.
Set against a backdrop of government surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, eminent domain, overcriminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches, roving VIPR raids and the like—all of which have been sanctioned by Congress, the White House and the courts—our constitutional freedoms have been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded.
Our losses are mounting with every passing day.
Free speech, the right to protest, the right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, a presumption of innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability and transparency in government, privacy, press, sovereignty, assembly, bodily integrity, representative government: all of these and more have become casualties in the government’s war on the American people, a war that has grown more pronounced since 9/11.
Since the towers fell on 9/11, the American people have been treated like enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, and denied due process.
In allowing ourselves to be distracted by terror drills, foreign wars, color-coded warnings, underwear bombers and other carefully constructed exercises in propaganda, sleight of hand, and obfuscation, we failed to recognize that the true enemy to freedom was lurking among us all the while.
The U.S. government now poses a greater threat to our freedoms than any terrorist, extremist or foreign entity ever could.
While nearly 3,000 people died in the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government and its agents have easily killed at least ten times that number of civilians in the U.S. and abroad since 9/11 through its police shootings, SWAT team raids, drone strikes and profit-driven efforts to police the globe, sell weapons to foreign nations, and foment civil unrest in order to keep the military industrial complex gainfully employed.
No, the U.S. government is not the citizenry’s friend, nor is it our protector, and life in the United States of America post-9/11 is no picnic.
In the interest of full disclosure, here are some of the things I don’t like about life in a post-9/11 America:
I don’t like being treated as if my only value to the government is as a source of labor and funds.
I don’t like being viewed as a consumer and bits of data.
I don’t like being spied on and treated as if I have no right to privacy, especially in my own home.
I don’t like government officials who lobby for my vote only to ignore me once elected. I don’t like having representatives incapable of andunwilling to represent me. I don’t like taxation without representation.
I don’t like being bullied by government bureaucrats, vigilantes masquerading as cops, or faceless technicians.
I don’t like being railroaded into financing government programs whose only purpose is to increase the power and wealth of the corporate elite.
I don’t like being forced to pay for wars abroad that serve no other purpose except to expand the reach of the military industrial complex.
I don’t like being subjected to scans, searches, pat downs and other indignities by the TSA.
I don’t like VIPR raids on so-called “soft” targets like shopping malls and bus depots by black-clad, Darth Vader look-alikes.
I don’t like fusion centers, which represent the combined surveillance efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement.
I don’t like being treated like an underling by government agents who are supposed to be working for me. I don’t like being threatened, intimidated, bribed, beaten and robbed by individuals entrusted with safeguarding my rights. I don’t like being silenced, censored and marginalized. I don’t like my movements being tracked, my conversations being recorded, and my transactions being catalogued.
I don’t like free speech zones, roving bubble zones and trespass laws that restrict Americans’ First Amendment rights.
I don’t like the NDAA, which allows the president and the military to arrest and detain American citizens indefinitely.
I don’t like the Patriot Act, which opened the door to all manner of government abuses and intrusions on our privacy.
I don’t like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has become America’s standing army in direct opposition to the dire warnings of those who founded our country.
I don’t like military weapons such as armored vehicles, sound cannons and the like being used against the American citizens.
I don’t like government agencies such as the DHS, Post Office, Social Security Administration and Wildlife stocking up on hollow-point bullets. And I definitely don’t like the implications of detention centers being built that could house American citizens.
I don’t like the fact that police departments across the country “have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”
I don’t like America’s infatuation with locking people up for life for non-violent crimes. There are thousands of people in America serving life sentences for non-violent crimes, including theft of a jacket, siphoning gasoline from a truck, stealing tools, and attempting to cash a stolen check.
I don’t like paying roughly $29,000 a year per inmate just to keep these nonviolent offenders in prison.
I don’t like having my hard-earned taxpayer dollars used against me.
I don’t like the partisan nature of politics today, which has so polarized Americans that they are incapable of standing in unity against the government’s abuses.
I don’t like the entertainment drivel that passes for news coverage today.
I don’t like the fact that those within a 25-mile range of the border are getting a front row seat to the American police state, as Border Patrol agents are now allowed to search people’s homes, intimately probe their bodies, and rifle through their belongings, all without a warrant.
I don’t like public schools that treat students as if they were prison inmates. I don’t like zero tolerance laws that criminalize childish behavior. I don’t like a public educational system that emphasizes rote memorization and test-taking over learning, synthesizing and critical thinking.
I don’t like police precincts whose primary purpose—whether through the use of asset forfeiture laws, speed traps, or red light cameras—is making a profit at the expense of those they have sworn to protect. I don’t like militarized police and their onerous SWAT team raids.
I don’t like Department of Defense and DHS programs that transfer surplus military hardware to local and state police. I don’t like local police dressing and acting as if they were the military while viewing me as an enemy combatant.
I don’t like government programs that reward cops for raiding homes and terrorizing homeowners.
I don’t like being treated as if I have no rights.
I don’t like cash-strapped states cutting deals with private corporations to run the prisons in exchange for maintaining 90% occupancy rates for at least 20 years. I don’t like the fact that American prisons have become the source of cheap labor for Corporate America.
I don’t like answering to an imperial president who operates above the law.
I don’t like the injustice that passes for justice in the courts.
I don’t like prosecutors so hell bent on winning that they allow innocent people to suffer for crimes they didn’t commit.
I don’t like the double standards that allow government officials to break laws with immunity, while average Americans get the book thrown at them.
I don’t like cops who shoot first and ask questions later.
I don’t like police dogs being treated with more respect and afforded more rights than American citizens.
I don’t like living in a suspect society.
I don’t like Americans being assumed guilty until they prove their innocence.
I don’t like technology being used as a double-edged sword against us.
Most of all, I don’t like feeling as if there’s no hope for turning things around.
Now there are those who would suggest that if I don’t like things about this country, I should leave and go elsewhere. Certainly, there are those among my fellow citizens who are leaving for friendlier shores.
However, I’m not giving up on this country without a fight.
I plan to keep fighting, writing, speaking up, speaking out, shouting if necessary, filing lawsuits, challenging the status quo, writing letters to the editor, holding my representatives accountable, thinking nationally but acting locally, and generally raising a ruckus anytime the government attempts to undermine the Constitution and ride roughshod over the rights of the citizenry.
Our country may be in deep trouble, but all is not yet lost.
The first step begins with you.
Get educated. Know your rights. Take time to read the Constitution. Study and understand history because the tales of those who seek power and those who resist them is an age-old one. The Declaration of Independence is a testament to this struggle and the revolutionary spirit that overcame tyranny. Understand the vital issues of the day so that you can be cognizant of the threats to freedom. Stay informed about current events and legislation.
Get involved. Become actively involved in local community affairs, politics and legal battles. As the adage goes, “Think nationally, act locally.” 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. Getting involved in local politics is one way to bring about change.
Get organized. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and tap into your resources. Play to your strengths and assets. Conduct strategy sessions to develop both the methods and ways to attack the problem. Prioritize your issues and battles. Don’t limit yourself to protests and paper petitions. Think outside the box. Time is short, and resources are limited, so use your resources in the way they count the most.
Be creative. Be bold and imaginative, for this is guerilla warfare—not to be fought with tanks and guns but through creative methods of dissent and resistance. Creatively responding to circumstances will often be one of your few resources if you are to be an effective agent of change. Every creative effort, no matter how small, is significant.
Use the media. Effective use of the media is essential. Attracting media coverage not only enhances and magnifies your efforts, it is also a valuable education tool. It publicizes your message to a much wider audience.
Start brushfires for freedom.Take heart that you are not alone. You come from a long, historic line of individuals who have put their beliefs and lives on the line to keep freedom alive. Engage those around you in discussions about issues of importance. Challenge them to be part of a national dialogue. As I have often said, one person at a city planning meeting with a protest sign is an irritant. Three individuals at the same meeting with the same sign are a movement. You will find that those in power fear and respect numbers. This is not to say that lone crusaders are not important. There are times when you will find yourself totally alone in the stand you take. However, there is power in numbers. Politicians understand this. So get out there and start drumming up support for your cause.
Take action.Be prepared to mobilize at a moment’s notice. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re located or what resources are at your disposal. What matters is that you recognize the problems and care enough to do something about them. Whether you’re 8, 28 or 88 years old, you have something unique to contribute. You don’t have to be a hero. You just have to show up and be ready to take action.
Be forward-looking.Beware of being so “in the moment” that you neglect to think of the bigger picture. Develop a vision for the future. Is what you’re hoping to achieve enduring? Have you developed a plan to continue to educate others about the problems you’re hoping to tackle and ensure that others will continue in your stead? Take the time to impart the value of freedom to younger generations, for they will be at the vanguard of these battles someday.
Develop fortitude. What is it that led to the successful protest movements of the past headed by people such as Martin Luther King Jr.? Resolve. King refused to be put off. And when the time came, he was willing to take to the streets for what he believed and even go to jail if necessary. King risked having an arrest record by committing acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. A caveat is appropriate here. Before resorting to nonviolent civil disobedience, all reasonable alternatives should be exhausted. If there is an opportunity to alter the course of events through normal channels (for example, negotiation, legal action or legislation), they should be attempted.
Be selfless and sacrificial.Freedom is not free—there is always a price to be paid and a sacrifice to be made. If any movement is to be truly successful, it must be manned by individuals who seek a greater good and do not waver from their purposes. It will take boldness, courage and great sacrifice. Rarely will fame, power and riches be found at the end of this particular road. Those who travel it inevitably find the way marked by hardship, persecution and strife. Yet there is no easy way.
Remain optimistic and keep hope alive. Although our rights are increasingly coming under attack, we still have certain freedoms. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we can still fight back. We have the right to dissent, to protest and even to vigorously criticize or oppose the government and its laws. The Constitution guarantees us these rights. In a country such as the United States, a citizen armed with a knowledge of the Bill of Rights and the fortitude to stand and fight can still be a force to be reckoned with, but it will mean speaking out when others are silent.
Practice persistence, along with perseverance, and the possibilities are endless. You can be the voice of reason. Use your voice to encourage others. Much can be accomplished by merely speaking out. Oftentimes, all it takes is one lone voice to get things started. So if you really care and you’re serious and want to help change things for the better, dust off your First Amendment tools and take a stand—even if it means being ostracized by those who would otherwise support you.
It won’t be easy, but take heart. And don’t give up.
With permission from
July 20, 2018
“Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours…. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”
— Neil Postman
Americans have a voracious appetite for TV entertainment, and the Trump reality show—guest starring outraged Democrats, power-hungry Republicans, and a hodgepodge of other special interest groups with dubious motives—feeds that appetite for titillating, soap opera drama.
After all, who needs the insults, narcissism and power plays that are hallmarks of reality shows when you can have all that and more delivered up by the likes of Donald Trump and his cohorts?
Trump is inclined to denounce any news agencies and reports that paint him in a less than favorable light as “fake news,” which leaves only the Fox News channel to carry the president’s torch for media integrity.
Yet as John Lennon reminds us, “nothing is real,” especially not in the world of politics.
In other words, it’s all fake, i.e. manufactured, i.e. manipulated to distort reality.
Indeed, the political scene in the United States has devolved over the years into a carefully calibrated exercise in how to manipulate, polarize, propagandize and control a population.
This is the magic of the reality TV programming that passes for politics today.
As long as we are distracted, entertained, occasionally outraged, always polarized but largely uninvolved and content to remain in the viewer’s seat, we’ll never manage to present a unified front against tyranny (or government corruption and ineptitude) in any form.
The more that is beamed at us, the more inclined we are to settle back in our comfy recliners and become passive viewers rather than active participants as unsettling, frightening events unfold.
Reality and fiction merge as everything around us becomes entertainment fodder.
We don’t even have to change the channel when the subject matter becomes too monotonous. That’s taken care of for us by the programmers (the corporate media).
“Living is easy with eyes closed,” says Lennon, and that’s exactly what reality TV that masquerades as American politics programs the citizenry to do: navigate the world with their eyes shut.
As long as we’re viewers, we’ll never be doers.
Studies suggest that the more reality TV people watch—and I would posit that it’s all reality TV, entertainment news included—the more difficult it becomes to distinguish between what is real and what is carefully crafted farce.
“We the people” are watching a lot of TV.
This doesn’t bode well for a citizenry able to sift through masterfully-produced propaganda in order to think critically about the issues of the day, whether it’s fake news peddled by government agencies or foreign entities.
Look behind the political spectacles, the reality TV theatrics, the sleight-of-hand distractions and diversions, and the stomach-churning, nail-biting drama, and you will find there is a method to the madness.
We have become guinea pigs in a ruthlessly calculated, carefully orchestrated, chillingly cold-blooded experiment in how to control a population and advance a political agenda without much opposition from the citizenry.
This is mind-control in its most sinister form.
Truth is often lost when we fail to distinguish between opinion and fact, and that is the danger we now face as a society.
Given the preponderance of news-as-entertainment programming, it’s no wonder that viewers have largely lost the ability to think critically and analytically and differentiate between truth and propaganda, especially when delivered by way of fake news criers and politicians.
While television news cannot—and should not—be completely avoided, the following suggestions will help you better understand the nature of TV news.
1. TV news is not what happened. Rather, it is what someone thinks is worth reporting. While viewers are often inclined to take what is reported by television “news” hosts at face value, it is your responsibility to judge and analyze what is reported.
2. TV news is entertainment. There is a reason why the programs you watch are called news “shows.” It’s a signal that the so-called news is being delivered as a form of entertainment. Although the news items spoon-fed to you may have some value, they are primarily a commodity to gather an audience, which will in turn be sold to advertisers.
3. Never underestimate the power of commercials, especially to news audiences. In an average household, the television set is on over seven hours a day. Most people, believing themselves to be in control of their media consumption, are not really bothered by this. But TV is a two-way attack: it not only delivers programming to your home, it also delivers you (the consumer) to a sponsor.
4. It is vitally important to learn about the economic and political interests of those who own the “corporate” media. Even those “fake” news outlets denounced by Trump are enjoying significant sales and ratings boosts as a result of Trump’s so-called war on the media. In other words, to a dying news industry, the Trump presidency has been great for business.
5. Pay special attention to the language of newscasts. TV by its very nature manipulates viewers. One must never forget that every television minute has been edited.
6. Reduce by at least one-half the amount of TV news you watch. Do not form your concept of reality based on television.
7. Watching TV news gives the illusion of participation in American life. Americans should beware of letting others—whether they be television news hosts, political commentators or media corporations—do their thinking for them.
As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, a populace that cannot think for themselves is a populace with its backs to the walls: mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all.
It’s time to change the channel, tune out the reality TV show, and push back against the real menace of the police state. If not, if we continue to sit back and lose ourselves in political programming, we will remain a captive audience to a farce that grows more absurd by the minute.
This article will demonstrate how the United Kingdom has steadily become a police state over the past twenty years, weaponizing its institutions against the people and employing Orwellian techniques to stop the public from seeing the truth. It will demonstrate, contrary to official narratives, that both overall levels of crime and violent crime have been increasing, not decreasing, as the size of the state in the UK has gotten bigger. It will also expose how the Labour government under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010, deliberately obscured real crime data with estimated crime rates based on survey data as opposed to the real numbers. I will demonstrate that, contrary to popular opinion perpetuated by progressive myths, life was much safer in Britain during the era of classical laissez-faire from the 1850s to 1911.
In his 10 years in power from 1997 to 2007, Tony Blair passed an astonishing 26,849 laws in total, an average of 2,663 per year or 7.5 a day. The Labour Party continued this madness under Gordon Brown who broke the record in 2008 by passing 2,823 new laws, a 6% increase on even his megalomaniac predecessor. In 2010, Labour’s last year in power before handing over the reigns to the Blairite social radical, David Cameron, there was a 54% surge in privacy cases brought against public bodies, and the Cabinet were refusing freedom of information requests at a rate of 51%. The vast number of new laws under Labour does not count the 2,100 new regulations the EU passed in 2006 alone, which apparently is average for them.
Many of these vast changes under Blair and Brown were in the area of criminal law. By 2008, Labour had created more than 3,600 new offences. Many of these, naturally, were red-tape regulations. To give you an idea:
There are many more. However, there were also some more serious breaches of civil liberty.
One common tactic of the Blair government was to use a moral panic to pass radical new legislation. For example, in 2006, he passed the Terrorism Act that overturned habeas corpus and gave the British police the right to detain anyone for any reason for 90 days. At the time, this got widespread public support because of the recent 7/7 bombings in London. This means that, in the UK, the police can arrest you without you necessarily having committed a crime if they can brand your activities as “terrorist” or “extremist.” Although these laws were ostensibly brought about to combat Islamic terrorism, the ever-expanding definitions of “far right” and “extremist” demonstrate how they can be weaponised against the British people.
I’ve been noticing videos going viral the last few days, with , about Muslim women bravely fighting to free…
Another area in which the Labour government used moral panic cynically to overturn longstanding common law principles was the murder of Stephen Lawrence, which they used to eliminate the double jeopardy rule and, as per the MacPherson report, to put an end to colour-blind policing.
Recently there have been an increased number of cases in which the British state has encroached on civil liberties in a near-openly tyrannical way. The Count Dankula case, for example, in which a man was arrested for “hate speech,” then tried and made to pay a fine for telling off-colour jokes about the Nazis on Youtube. Then there was the young woman who was found guilty of being “grossly offensive” for posting Snoop Dogg lyrics on her Instagram account. And, most recently, the political activist Tommy Robinson was arrested and tried in mere hours for recording outside a courtroom. In each of these cases, despite some protests against the legal rulings, the media broadly sided with the courts, citing the technicalities of the law – in the former two cases section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 (another Blair special) – and brand anyone who would protest “far right” or “extremist.”
“Gaslighting” is a word from the world of psychology; it is a technique of manipulation to achieve power. Here are eleven warning signs:
The British state has become increasingly Orwellian in its gaslighting of the British public since at least 1997 with near-total complicity from the media. In a recent article for Quillette, I argued that this has been the case in both Britain and the USA for years.
This has especially been the case in the area of crime. During a period in which both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party have become increasingly statist and interventionist on both an economic and civil level, we have been continually told that one of the positive effects of ever-increasing government control is that society is becoming more peaceful. This is the narrative, for example, of Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. In 2005, The Guardian told us that since 1995 overall crime had decreased by 44%. Almost a decade later the same publication wondered out loud what could be causing the continued decline in crime rates in the UK. And just a few years after that, they had changed their tune completely decrying sudden increases in violent crime and blaming this on cuts in police numbers. In the first few months of 2018, the shocking increases in instances of violent crime in Sadiq Khan’s London, which in the past year has seen rises of 31.3% in knife crime, 78% in acid attacks, 70% in youth homicides, 33.4% in robberies, 18.7% in burglaries, 33.9% in theft and 30% in child sex crime. But this story told by The Guardian – of a general trend down in crime over the past twenty years followed by a sudden and inexplicable spike – is simply not true, as I will demonstrate in this paper.
In 1997, Tony Blair famously ran on a platform of being ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’. Unfortunately for him, the reality of empirical crime data had stubbornly refused to comply with his anointed vision through his first years in power. “New Labour” were famous for the efficiency of their propaganda machine. American readers will no doubt be aware of Mr. Blair’s complicity in making exaggerated claims about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” in the run up to the war in Iraq, but few readers – British, American, or otherwise – will know that the Blair government was also lying about the extent of crime in Britain. The Labour Party, who were so much about media perceptions and political spin, needed to find a way to show on paper that their “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” agenda was making good on its promise. So, in 2003, Tony Blair permanently changed the way crime is reported in the UK by introducing the National Crime Recording Standard’ (NCRS). Up until that point, crime in the UK was reported using hard data drawn from actual arrests and convictions from the police. However, from that point onwards, the official statistics were to be drawn from the British Crime Survey which estimates crime based on a survey of 50,000 people aged 16 or over. This works much like how television companies produce estimates for their show ratings. So that means that the statistics you see quoted in newspapers like The Guardian are not hard figures, but estimates drawn from surveys. Whatever the merits of this method, it produced a graph for the Blair government that looked like this:
This change ostensibly came about because – as part of the “tough on the causes of crime” part of their pledge, Labour wanted to count victims as opposed to the total number of offenders. Of course, this takes a huge number of crimes out of the data. For example, as it was introduced in 2003, because only over 16-year olds could be interviewed, crimes against minors were not registered in the official statistics. Also, because interviews had to take place in private properties, street crime habitually would not show up in these numbers. Of course, so-called “victimless” crimes – fraud or online crime – do not show up in this data either. Once you start to account for some of these caveats, it becomes more obvious why this extraordinary change in methodology would produce a downwards trend in the data. In fact, it was explicitly designed so that, because of these changes, it could not be compared with numbers before 2002.
In 2007, Ken Pease and Graham Farrell estimated that the survey data could be underestimating violent crime by as much as 82%, with the real number of victims closer to 4.4 million than 2.4 million. This massive margin of error means that the real crime rate becomes a matter for debate as opposed to a question of hard evidence. It seems to me that this was a deliberate choice by the Blair government. Hence, we now find the BBC wondering about what the real crime rate might be. And this is where the true extent of the Orwellian nightmare of the Blair and Gordon Brown years dawns: by making the crime rate an estimate neither political party can reliably point to the facts, and it always becomes a question of one difficult to substantiate narrative against another. “Post-truth” did not start with Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump – Tony Blair was doing it from the minute he stepped into office.
However, real numbers of convicted offenders are still recorded and kept, although they are somewhat difficult to obtain. In the run-up to the 2010 British election, Conservative MP and Shadow Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, requested the real numbers from the House of Commons library which duly produced a series of independent reports. Incidentally, once the leader of the Tories, David Cameron, became prime minister in 2010, Chris Grayling became the Secretary for Justice and, to my knowledge, was happy to let this little detail slide and continue with the survey-based methodology. It is funny how power can change the incentives for action.
In any case, the numbers that Grayling requested are damning for anyone who claims that either overall crime or violent crime decreased in the UK between 1997 and 2010.
The population of the UK was about 58 million people in 1997. In 2008, that had increased to 62 million, an increase of 6.87%. In that same period male violent crime convictions in England and Wales increased by around 63.92% from 49,153 in 1997 to 80,574 in 2008. So violent crime convictions increased by more than ten times the growth of the population.
Increases like this can been seen across virtually every category of crime. Convictions for persons under 18, for example, increased by 60.18% from 12,806 in 1997 to 20,513 in 2008, in keeping with the average increase in violent crime, this is ten times the rate of population growth in the same period. Knife crime practically doubled during the Blair years, from 3,360 offenders in 1997 to 6,368 in 2008. In 1998 there were 5,542 robberies, in 2008 there were 8,475. From the year 2000 to 2008, the total number of arrests for any offence went up from 1.2 million to 1.4 million, an increase of about 17%.
For the claim to be true that violent crime went down 44% during the 00s in the UK, it would have to be at a time when violent crime convictions went up 64%. For the claim to be true that overall crime went down in from 1997 to 2008, it would have to be at a time when overall convictions for crime went up by 17%. Both claims seem extraordinary: how could there be a rise in convictions without a corresponding increase in crime? The methodology that measures victims through estimates from survey data clearly is not getting this correct.
If we use recorded convictions in this way, as opposed to estimates, we can make meaningful comparisons to the past as Peter Hitchens does in The Abolition of Liberty. As we have seen, the total number of convictions in England and Wales for 2008 was around 1.47 million for a population of 62 million people, around 2.25% of the population. According to Hitchens the comparable number in 1861 at the height of laissez-faire was 88,000 for a population of 20,066,224, or around 0.44% of the population. In 1911, before Leviathan and the welfare state had really had a chance to grow, the number was 97,000 for a population of 36,075,269, or around 0.27% of the population. The claim that crime has risen because of government cuts to the numbers of police also cannot stand since in 1911 there were 51,203 officers whereas by 2009 there were 144,353 officers. The increase in police officers from 1911 to 2009 therefore is 181.92% compared with an increase of 71.86% in total population. So the size of the repressive apparatuses of the state have increased greatly, and with it the total number of criminals.
It is clear that with less personal freedom and a bigger and more invasive state comes less personal responsibility and greater lawlessness. It is also clear that as the British state has become more top-down in orientation than in its common-law past, it has levied increased coercive legislative power against the British people it supposedly serves. The state is now behaving in an openly Orwellian manner with near-explicit contempt for the public.