“If the freedom of speech be taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
Living in a representative republic means that each person has the right to take a stand for what they think is right, whether that means marching outside the halls of government, wearing clothing with provocative statements, or simply holding up a sign.
That’s what the First Amendment is supposed to be about.
Yet through a series of carefully crafted legislative steps and politically expedient court rulings, government officials have managed to disembowel this fundamental freedom, rendering it with little more meaning than the right to file a lawsuit against government officials.
In the process, government officials have succeeded in insulating themselves from their constituents, making it increasingly difficult for average Americans to make themselves seen or heard by those who most need to hear what “we the people” have to say.
Indeed, President Trump—always keen to exercise his free speech rights to sound off freely on any topic that strikes his fancy—has not been as eager to protect the First Amendment rights of his fellow citizens to speak freely, assemble, protest and petition one’s government officials for a redress of grievances.
Not that long ago, in fact, Trump suggested that the act of protesting should be illegal.
The president has also suggested demonstrators should lose their jobs or be met with violence for speaking out.
Mind you, this is the man who took an oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution.
Perhaps someone should have made sure Trump had actually read the Constitution first.
Most recently, the Trump Administration proposed rules that would crack down on protests in front of the White House and on the National Mall.
Imagine if the hundreds of thousands of participants in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which culminated with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, had been forced into free speech zones or required to pay for the “privilege” of protest.
There likely would not have been a 1964 Civil Rights Act.
What is going on here?
Clearly, the government has no interest in hearing what “we the people” have to say.
It’s the message that is feared, especially if that message challenges the status quo.
That’s why so many hurdles are being placed in the path of those attempting to voice sentiments that may be construed as unpopular, offensive, conspiratorial, violent, threatening or anti-government.
Yet the right of political free speech is the basis of all liberty.
It’s the citizen’s right to confront the government and demand that it alter its policies. But first, citizens have to be seen and heard, and only under extraordinary circumstances should free speech ever be restricted.
No government that claims to value freedom would adopt such draconian measures to clamp down on lawful First Amendment activities. These tactics of censorship, suppression and oppression go hand-in-hand with fascism.
Efforts to confine and control dissenters are really efforts to confine and control the effect of their messages, whatever those might be.
That’s the point, isn’t it?
The powers-that-be don’t want us to be seen and heard.
Haven’t you noticed that interactions with elected representatives have become increasingly manufactured and distant over the past 50 years? Press conferences, ticketed luncheons, televised speeches and one-sided town hall meetings held over the phone now largely take the place of face-to-face interaction with constituents.
Additionally, there has been an increased use of so-called “free speech zones,” designated areas for expressive activity used to corral and block protestors at political events from interacting with public officials. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have used these “free speech zones,” some located within chain-link cages, at various conventions to mute any and all criticism of their policies.
This push to insulate government officials from those exercising their First Amendment rights stems from an elitist mindset which views them as different, set apart somehow, from the people they have been appointed to serve and represent.
We have litigated and legislated our way into a new governmental framework where the dictates of petty bureaucrats carry greater weight than the inalienable rights of the citizenry.
With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called “government speech.”
Indeed, while lobbyists mill in and out of the homes and offices of Congressmen, the American people are kept at a distance through free speech zones, electronic town hall meetings, and security barriers. And those who dare to breach the gap—even through silent forms of protest—are arrested for making their voices heard.
On paper, we are free to speak.
In reality, however, we are only as free to speak as a government official may allow.
Free speech zones, bubble zones, trespass zones, anti-bullying legislation, zero tolerance policies, hate crime laws and a host of other legalistic maladies dreamed up by politicians and prosecutors have conspired to corrode our core freedoms.
Indeed, the Supreme Court has had the effrontery to suggest that the government can discriminate freely against First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum, justifying such discrimination as “government speech.”
If it were just the courts suppressing free speech, that would be one thing to worry about, but First Amendment activities are being pummeled, punched, kicked, choked, chained and generally gagged all across the country.
Protest laws are not about protecting the economy or private property or public sidewalks. Rather, they are intended to keep us corralled, muzzle discontent and discourage anyone from challenging government authority.
The reasons for such censorship vary widely, but the end result remains the same: the complete eradication of what Benjamin Franklin referred to as the “principal pillar of a free government.”
If Americans are not able to peacefully assemble for expressive activity outside of the halls of government or on public roads on which government officials must pass, the First Amendment has lost all meaning.
If we cannot stand silently outside of the Supreme Court or the Capitol or the White House, our ability to hold the government accountable for its actions is threatened, and so are the rights and liberties which we cherish as Americans.
Free speech can certainly not be considered “free” when expressive activities across the nation are being increasingly limited, restricted to so-called free speech zones, or altogether blocked.
If citizens cannot stand out in the open on a public sidewalk and voice their disapproval of their government, its representatives and its policies, without fearing prosecution, then the First Amendment with all its robust protections for free speech, assembly and the right to petition one’s government for a redress of grievances is little more than window-dressing on a store window: pretty to look at but serving little real purpose.
What most people fail to understand is that the First Amendment is not only about the citizenry’s right to freely express themselves. Rather, the First Amendment speaks to the citizenry’s right to express their concerns about their government to their government, in a time, place and manner best suited to ensuring that those concerns are heard.
The First Amendment gives every American the right to “petition his government for a redress of grievances.”
This amounts to so much more than filing a lawsuit against the government. It works hand in hand with free speech to ensure, as Adam Newton and Ronald K.L. Collins report for the Five Freedoms Project, “that our leaders hear, even if they don’t listen to, the electorate. Though public officials may be indifferent, contrary, or silent participants in democratic discourse, at least the First Amendment commands their audience.”
As Newton and Collins elaborate:
“Petitioning” has come to signify any nonviolent, legal means of encouraging or disapproving government action, whether directed to the judicial, executive or legislative branch. Lobbying, letter-writing, e-mail campaigns, testifying before tribunals, filing lawsuits, supporting referenda, collecting signatures for ballot initiatives, peaceful protests and picketing: all public articulation of issues, complaints and interests designed to spur government action qualifies under the petition clause, even if the activities partake of other First Amendment freedoms.
Even more critical than the right to speak freely, or pray freely, or assemble freely, or petition the government for a redress of grievances, or have a free press is the unspoken freedom enshrined in the First Amendment that assures us of the right to think freely and openly debate issues without being muzzled or treated like a criminal.
Just as surveillance has been shown to “stifle and smother dissent, keeping a populace cowed by fear,” government censorship gives rise to self-censorship, breeds compliance and makes independent thought all but impossible.
In the end, censorship and political correctness not only produce people that cannot speak for themselves but also people who cannot think for themselves. And a citizenry that can’t think for itself is a citizenry that will neither rebel against the government’s dictates nor revolt against the government’s tyranny.
The end result: a nation of sheep who willingly line up for the slaughterhouse.
Still, as Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas advised in his dissent in Colten v. Kentucky, “we need not stay docile and quiet” in the face of authority.
The Constitution does not require Americans to be servile or even civil to government officials.
Neither does the Constitution require obedience (although it does insist on nonviolence).
If we just cower before government agents and meekly obey, we may find ourselves following in the footsteps of those nations that eventually fell to tyranny.
The alternative involves standing up and speaking truth to power.
Jesus Christ walked that road.
So did Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and countless other freedom fighters whose actions changed the course of history.
Indeed, had Christ merely complied with the Roman police state, there would have been no crucifixion and no Christian religion.*
Had Gandhi meekly fallen in line with the British Empire’s dictates, the Indian people would never have won their independence.
Had Martin Luther King Jr. obeyed the laws of his day, there would have been no civil rights movement.
And if the founding fathers had marched in lockstep with royal decrees, there would have been no American Revolution.
In other words, if freedom means anything, it means that those exercising their right to protest are showing the greatest respect for the principles on which this nation was founded: the right to free speech and the right to dissent.
Clearly, the First Amendment to the Constitution assures Americans of the right to speak freely, assemble freely and protest (petition the government for a redress of grievances).
Whether those First Amendment activities take place in a courtroom or a classroom, on a football field or in front of the White House is not the issue. What matters is that Americans have a right—according to the spirit, if not always the letter, of the law—to voice their concerns without being penalized for it.
Frankly, the First Amendment does more than give us a right to criticize our country: it makes it a civic duty.
Let’s not confuse patriotism (love for or devotion to one’s country) with blind obedience to the government’s dictates. That is the first step towards creating an authoritarian regime.
One can be patriotic and love one’s country while at the same time disagreeing with the government or protesting government misconduct. As journalist Barbara Ehrenreich recognizes, “Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.”
Indeed, I would venture to say that if you’re not speaking out or taking a stand against government wrongdoing—if you’re marching in lockstep with everything the government and its agents dole out—and if you’re prioritizing partisan politics over the principles enshrined in the Constitution, then you’re not a true patriot.
Real patriots care enough to take a stand, speak out, protest and challenge the government whenever it steps out of line. There is nothing patriotic about the lengths to which Americans have allowed the government to go in its efforts to dismantle our constitutional republic and shift the country into a police state.
It’s not anti-American to be anti-war or anti-police misconduct or anti-racial discrimination, but it is anti-American to be anti-freedom.
Listen: I served in the Army.
I lived through the Civil Rights era.
I came of age during the Sixties, when activists took to the streets to protest war and economic and racial injustice.
As a constitutional lawyer, I defend people daily whose civil liberties are being violated, including high school students prohibited from wearing American flag t-shirts to school, allegedly out of a fear that it might be disruptive.
I understand the price that must be paid for freedom.
Responsible citizenship means being outraged at the loss of others’ freedoms, even when our own are not directly threatened.
The Framers of the Constitution knew very well that whenever and wherever democratic governments had failed, it was because the people had abdicated their responsibility as guardians of freedom. They also knew that whenever in history the people denied this responsibility, an authoritarian regime arose which eventually denied the people the right to govern themselves.
Citizens must be willing to stand and fight to protect their freedoms. And if need be, it will entail publicly criticizing the government.
This is true patriotism in action.
Never in American history has there been a more pressing need to maintain the barriers in the Constitution erected by our Founders to check governmental power and abuse.
Not only do we no longer have dominion over our bodies, our families, our property and our lives, but the government continues to chip away at what few rights we still have to speak freely and think for ourselves.
If the government can control speech, it can control thought and, in turn, it can control the minds of the citizenry.
My friends, let us not be played for fools.
The government’s ongoing attempts to suppress lawful protest activities are intended to send a strong message that in the American police state, you’re either a patriot who marches in lockstep with the government’s dictates or you’re a pariah, a suspect, a criminal, a troublemaker, a terrorist, a radical, a revolutionary.
Yet by muzzling the citizenry, by removing the constitutional steam valves that allow people to speak their minds, air their grievances and contribute to a larger dialogue that hopefully results in a more just world, the government is deliberately stirring the pot, creating a climate in which violence becomes inevitable.
When there is no steam valve—when there is no one to hear what the people have to say, because government representatives have removed themselves so far from their constituents—then frustration builds, anger grows and people become more volatile and desperate to force a conversation.
Then again, perhaps that was the government’s plan all along.
As John F. Kennedy warned in March 1962, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
The government is making violent revolution inevitable.
How do you lock down a nation?
You sow discontent and fear among the populace.
You teach them to be non-thinkers who passively accept whatever is told them, whether it’s delivered by way of the corporate media or a government handler.
You brainwash them into believing that everything the government does is for their good and anyone who opposes the government is an enemy.
You acclimate them to a state of martial law, carried out by soldiers disguised as police officers but bearing the weapons of war.
You polarize them so that they can never unite and stand united against the government.
You create a climate in which silence is golden and those who speak up are shouted down.
You spread propaganda and lies.
You package the police state in the rhetoric of politicians.
And then, when and if the people finally wake up to the fact that the government is not and has never been their friend, when it’s too late for peaceful protests and violence is all that remains to them as a recourse against tyranny, you use all of the tools you’ve been so carefully amassing—the militarized police, the criminal databases and surveillance and identification systems and private prisons and protest laws—and you shut them down for good.
Divide and conquer.
It’s one of the oldest military strategies in the books, and it’s proven to be the police state’s most effective weapon for maintaining the status quo.
How do you conquer a nation?
Distract the populace with screen devices, with sports, entertainment spectacles, political circuses and materialism.
Keep them focused on their differences—economic, religious, environmental, political, racial—so they can never agree on anything.
And then, when they’re so divided that they are incapable of joining forces against a common threat, start picking them off one by one.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, what we’re witnessing is just the latest incarnation of the government’s battle plan for stamping out any sparks of resistance and keeping the populace under control: censorship, surveillance, battlefield tactics, military weaponry, and a complete suspension of the Constitution.
About the Author
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute, where this article (You Want to Make America Great Again? Start by Making America Free Again) was originally published. He is the author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State and The Change Manifesto.
*Ascension Avatar note: Read anything by Lisa Renee regarding the false crucifixion of Yeshua Christ, who ascended naturally.
“When looking at the outer world with the aim of expanding our consciousness of it, we must also dig deep with open eyes. We must sideline the fear inherent in this sort of exploration, and allow many friendly and unfriendly truths to sink into one’s awareness of the world around us. In order to make the best choices for ourselves, this view must be as broad and as complete as possible.”
At its core, consciousness is the awareness of being aware. Which is extraordinarily relevant to today’s conversation about the internet censorship being openly carried out by big tech and big government.
You see, when looking at this from the microcosmic level, that is, exploring of the vastness of the inner worlds, increasing consciousness is about digging deep with open eyes to uncover the forces, drivers, baggage, patterns, and programming that influences one’s self. It’s about untangling all of this in order to evolve into one’s highest potential.
Extrapolating this to the macrocosmic, the adage ‘as above, so below — as within, so without,’ is key.
When looking at the outer world with the aim of expanding our consciousness of it, we must also dig deep with open eyes. We must sideline the fear inherent in this sort of exploration, and allow many friendly and unfriendly truths to sink into one’s awareness of the world around us. In order to make the best choices for ourselves, this view must be as broad and as complete as possible.
In 2013, author and researcher Graham Hancock introduced into the current zeitgeist the notion of a war on consciousness.
His perspective was centered around the war on drugs and the development of an international police state. In order to achieve this level of totalitarian control, our perspective must be restricted. And our perception of human potential must not be allowed to move beyond the current socio-economic and political realities.
Fast forward five years, and the West is witnessing a remarkable new offensive in the war on consciousness, this time in the arena of information awareness.
When a group of people gets together and conspires to deliberately restrict access to points-of-view, opinions, ideas, personalities and information, then those people are engaged in a struggle to control other’s perception of the world.
Their aim is to control awareness of the diversity of possibilities in how the world is perceived. To shut down imagination.
To control your consciousness of the world we all share.
Doing so allows them to herd everyone else onto the same playing field with the same rules.
This struggle is representative of the Archonic forces at play in our world. Meaning that at its root, the struggle is a spiritual one. It revolves entirely your individual courage to think beyond the corral, to transcend the thought diktat, and to fearlessly continue to explore ideas and truths which resonate with you and help you to make sense of the world.
This is about the struggle to maintain personal sovereignty of mind and spirit, because it is precisely this inner freedom and fearlessness that makes one impossible to control.
About the Author
Dylan Charles is the editor of Waking Times and co-host of Redesigning Reality, both dedicated to ideas of personal transformation, societal awakening, and planetary renewal. His personal journey is deeply inspired by shamanic plant medicines and the arts of Kung Fu, Qi Gong and Yoga. After seven years of living in Costa Rica, he now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and enjoys spending time with family. He has written hundreds of articles, reaching and inspiring millions of people around the world.
“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”
There are those who would have you believe that President Trump is an unwitting victim of the Deep State.
And then there are those who insist that the Deep State is a figment of a conspiratorial mind.
Don’t believe it.
The Deep State — a.k.a. the police state, a.k.a. the military industrial complex, a.k.a. the surveillance state complex — does indeed exist and Trump, far from being its sworn enemy, is its latest tool.
When in doubt, follow the money trail.
It always points the way.
Every successive president starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt has been bought — lock, stock and barrel — and made to dance to the tune of the Deep State.
Even Dwight D. Eisenhower, the retired five-star Army general-turned-president who warned against the disastrous rise of misplaced power by the military industrial complex was complicit in contributing to the build-up of the military’s role in dictating national and international policy.
Enter Donald Trump, the candidate who swore to drain the swamp in Washington DC.
Instead of putting an end to the corruption, however, Trump has paved the way for lobbyists, corporations, the military industrial complex, and the rest of the Deep State (also referred to as “The 7th Floor Group”) to feast on the carcass of the dying American republic.
Apart from tweets that are little more than sound and fury, Trump is not a man who is raging against the machine.
He is too much a part of the machine.
Indeed, as Reuters reports, “[President] Trump has gone further than any of his predecessors to act as a salesman for the U.S. defense industry.”
Despite claims to the contrary, Trump is not advocating for peace with Russia, or North Korea or any other nation.
He is selling us out to the war hawks.
The latest squawk over Iran is just more of the same chest-thumping, sleight-of-hand intended to play into the hands of a salivating military industrial complex for whom war is merely a means to a larger profit margin.
The war hawks have no beef with Trump.
Why should they? He’s giving them exactly what they want.
With Trump’s blessing, the military’s budget — with its trillion dollar wars, its $125 billion in administrative waste, and its contractor-driven price gouging that hits the American taxpayer where it hurts the most — will continue to grow.
Borrowing a leaf from his buddies in China, Russia and North Korea, Trump is even planning a $12 million military parade on November 10 to showcase the nation’s military might.
Follow the money.
It always points the way.
The corporations are getting richer, average Americans are getting poorer, the military is getting more militaristic, America’s endless wars are getting more endless, and the prospect of peace grows ever dimmer.
This is exactly how you keep the Deep State in power.
We’ve been losing our freedoms so incrementally for so long — sold to us in the name of national security and global peace, maintained by way of martial law disguised as law and order, and enforced by a standing army of militarized police and a political elite determined to maintain their powers at all costs — that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it all started going downhill, but we’re certainly on that downward trajectory now, and things are moving fast.
The “government of the people, by the people, for the people” has perished.
In its place is a shadow government, a corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country and calling the shots in Washington DC, no matter who sits in the White House.
Mind you, by “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats.
Rather, I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.
This is the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.
This shadow government, which “operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power,” makes a mockery of elections and the entire concept of a representative government.
So how do you recognize the Deep State when it rears its ugly head?
It’s the militarized police, which have joined forces with state and federal law enforcement agencies in order to establish themselves as a standing army.
It’s the fusion centers and spy agencies that have created a surveillance state and turned all of us into suspects.
It’s the courthouses and prisons that have allowed corporate profits to take precedence over due process and justice.
It’s the military empire with its private contractors and defense industry that is bankrupting the nation.
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It’s the private sector with its 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances, “a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government.”
It’s what former congressional staffer Mike Lofgren refers to as “a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies”: the Department of Defense, the State Department, Homeland Security, the CIA, the Justice Department, the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a handful of vital federal trial courts, and members of the defense and intelligence committees.
It’s every facet of a government that is no longer friendly to freedom and is working overtime to trample the Constitution underfoot and render the citizenry powerless in the face of the government’s power grabs, corruption and abusive tactics.
These are the key players that drive the shadow government.
This is the hidden face of the American police state.
Just consider some of the key programs and policies — manifestations of the police state complex — that continue to be advanced by the shadow government with the full support of its latest accomplice in the White House:
Domestic surveillance. The National Security Agency (NSA), with its $10.8 billion black ops annual budget, continues to spy on every person in the United States who uses a computer or phone. Yet the government does not operate alone. It cannot. It requires an accomplice. Thus, the increasingly complex security needs of our massive federal government, especially in the areas of defense, surveillance and data management, have been met within the corporate sector, which has shown itself to be a powerful ally that both depends on and feeds the growth of governmental bureaucracy. For instance, through its vast telecommunications network that crisscrosses the globe, AT&T provides the U.S. government with the complex infrastructure it needs for its mass surveillance programs.
On any given day, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. Local police have been outfitted with a litany of surveillance gear, from license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices to biometric data recorders. Technology now makes it possible for the police to scan passersby in order to detect the contents of their pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Full-body scanners, which perform virtual strip-searches of Americans traveling by plane, have gone mobile, with roving police vans that peer into vehicles and buildings alike — including homes. Coupled with the nation’s growing network of real-time surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, soon there really will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
Global spying. The NSA’s massive surveillance network, what the Washington Post refers to as a $500 billion “espionage empire,” is still spanning the globe and targeting every single person on the planet who uses a phone or a computer. The NSA’s Echelon program intercepts and analyzes virtually every phone call, fax and email message sent anywhere in the world. In addition to carrying out domestic surveillance on peaceful political groups such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace and several religious groups, Echelon has also been a keystone in the government’s attempts at political and corporate espionage.
Roving TSA searches. The American taxpayer is still getting ripped off by government agencies in the dubious name of national security. One of the greatest culprits when it comes to swindling taxpayers has been the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with its questionable deployment of and complete mismanagement of millions of dollars’ worth of airport full-body X-ray scanners, punitive patdowns by TSA agents and thefts of travelers’ valuables. Considered essential to national security, TSA programs will continue in airports and at transportation hubs around the country.
USA Patriot Act, NDAA. America’s so-called war on terror, which it has relentlessly pursued since 9/11, continues to chip away at our freedoms, unravel our Constitution and transform our nation into a battlefield, thanks in large part to such subversive legislation as the USA Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act. These laws completely circumvent the rule of law and the rights of American citizens. In so doing, they re-orient our legal landscape in such a way as to ensure that martial law, rather than the U.S. Constitution, is the map by which we navigate life in the United States. These laws will continue to be enforced no matter who gets elected.
Militarized police state. Thanks to federal grant programs allowing the Pentagon to transfer surplus military supplies and weapons to local law enforcement agencies without charge, police forces continue to be transformed from peace officers into heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks and weaponized drones. Having been given the green light to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts, America’s law enforcement officials, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace, continue to keep the masses corralled, controlled, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens.
SWAT team raids. With more than 80,000 SWAT team raids carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans by local police for relatively routine police matters and federal agencies laying claim to their own law enforcement divisions, the incidence of botched raids and related casualties continues to rise. Nationwide, SWAT teams continue to be employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances including angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession.
Domestic drones. The domestic use of drones has continued unabated. As mandated by Congress, there will be 30,000 drones crisscrossing the skies of America by 2020, all part of an industry that could be worth as much as $30 billion per year. These machines, which will be equipped with weapons, will be able to record all activities, using video feeds, heat sensors and radar. An Inspector General report revealed that the Dept. of Justice has already spent nearly $4 million on drones domestically, largely for use by the FBI, with grants for another $1.26 million so police departments and nonprofits can acquire their own drones.
School-to-prison pipeline. The paradigm of abject compliance to the state continues to be taught by example in the schools, through school lockdowns where police and drug-sniffing dogs enter the classroom, and zero tolerance policies that punish all offenses equally and result in young people being expelled for childish behavior. School districts continue to team up with law enforcement to create a “schoolhouse to jailhouse track” by imposing a “double dose” of punishment: suspension or expulsion from school, accompanied by an arrest by the police and a trip to juvenile court.
Overcriminalization. The government bureaucracy continues to churn out laws, statutes, codes and regulations that reinforce its powers and value systems and those of the police state and its corporate allies, rendering the rest of us petty criminals. The average American now unknowingly commits three felonies a day, thanks to this overabundance of vague laws that render otherwise innocent activity illegal. Consequently, small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community continue to have their farms raided.
Privatized Prisons. States continue to outsource prisons to private corporations, resulting in a cash cow whereby mega-corporations imprison Americans in private prisons in order to make a profit. In exchange for corporations buying and managing public prisons across the country at a supposed savings to the states, the states have to agree to maintain a 90% occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years.
Endless wars. America’s expanding military empire is continuing to bleed the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour). The Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. Yet what most Americans fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with enriching the military industrial complex at taxpayer expense.
Are you getting the message yet?
The current president, much like the previous president and his predecessors, is little more than a figurehead, a puppet to entertain and distract the populace from what’s really going on.
As Lofgren reveals, this state within a state, “concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue,” is a “hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.”
The Deep State not only holds the nation’s capital in thrall, but it also controls Wall Street (“which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater”) and Silicon Valley.
This is fascism in its most covert form, hiding behind public agencies and private companies to carry out its dirty deeds.
It is a marriage between government bureaucrats and corporate fat cats.
As Lofgren concludes:
“The Deep State is so heavily entrenched, so well protected by surveillance, firepower, money and its ability to co-opt resistance that it is almost impervious to change… If there is anything the Deep State requires it is silent, uninterrupted cash flow and the confidence that things will go on as they have in the past. It is even willing to tolerate a degree of gridlock: Partisan mud wrestling over cultural issues may be a useful distraction from its agenda.”
So let’s have no more of this caterwauling about Trump being victimized by the Deep State.
There is no conspiracy to do away with Trump.
He is doing too good a job at sowing division, creating distractions that keep Americans oblivious to the government’s ongoing power grabs, and helping to advance the profit-driven agenda of the Deep State.
Trump is no victim.
If you want to talk about the true victims of the Deep State, let’s talk about the men and women and children being shot and killed and brutalized and spied on and muzzled and jailed and robbed at gunpoint and treated as if they have no rights.
Let’s talk about the sorry state of our freedoms, which have continued their downward trajectory with no let-up.
Let’s talk about the fact that constitutional ignorance, corruption, ineptitude and cruelty are not unique to the Trump Administration. They have been hallmarks of the American police state.
So the next time you find yourselves mesmerized by Donald Trump’s latest tweets or theatrics or drawn into a politicized debate over the machinations of Congress, the president or the judiciary, remember: as I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, it’s all intended to distract you from the fact that you have no authority and no rights in the face of the shadow government no matter who is in office.
As long as government officials — elected and unelected alike — are allowed to operate beyond the reach of the Constitution, the courts and the citizenry, the threat to our freedoms remains undiminished.