"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." -- James Madison - (1751-1836)

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. " :
Ayn Rand in "The Nature of Government"

"Throughout history there have been tyrants and murderers. And for a while they seem invincible, but always they fall. Always."-Mahatma Gandhi

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings: Helen Keller

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is , more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime ; he is a good citizen driven to despair.--H.L Mencken

"When even one American-who has done nothing wrong-is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth-then all Americans are in peril" Harry S. Truman

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943

"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed: Ayn Rand - (1905-1982) Author - Source: Atlas Shrugged, Francisco's "Money Speech"

"Loss of freedom seldom happens overnight. Oppression doesn't stand on the doorstep with toothbrush moustache and swastika armband -- it creeps up insidiously...step by step, and all of a sudden the unfortunate citizen realizes that it is gone." ~ Baron Lane

U.S. Constitution - R.I.P.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Police State Takeover Of Schools, By Steve Watson

Schools have become hi-tech prisons. Children all across America and the UK are being conditioned to accept that they are not free and that they must submit to draconian laws and measures for their own safety. Soon enough children will not even know what it is like to act as a private individual within society. Don't believe this? Read on.

All over the United States and Britain children are increasingly being subjected to measures that wouldn't look out of place in maximum security prisons.

Everyday we post reports from mainstream news sources documenting this disturbing trend.

Today The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that schools across America are banning backpacks that are made of non see-through materials .

If students walking between classes want to use a backpack, it must be made of clear plastic or mesh so its contents can be seen at a glance. Cloth backpacks can be carried into the school in the morning but must be stored in lockers.

So the students should all now feel much safer due to the fact that they can all see each other's personal items right? Wrong.

The move has unleashed a torrent of protest from some Wissahickon students, who say high schools are coming to resemble "prisons or police states," in the words of one. Brandon Hemmen, a senior, said the clear bags will make it easy for thieves who already rip off students every day. And "bags will get mixed up; we'll have to use name tags," he added. "This is wrong. They can't take all our freedoms away."

But they can, because we let them…the majority of us keep sending our kids to these government schools anyway, allowing them to be treated like criminals and learn to accept such abuse. Those that speak out against it are labeled with some “disorder” and drugged into submission. And, for all that, they are not even given a proper education…kids are graduating from college today unable to pass achievement tests given to 8th graders 50 years ago. My children are no longer participating in the insanity…we homeschool these days, as I am determined to raise children capable of independent thought, rather than dumbed down sheep bleating for the Nanny State to run their lives.

The article quoted here is one that is well worth reading in full…you will surely be shocked at the long list of abuses within the public schools that the author has compiled…scary stuff if you have children in these places every day.

Incarceration Nation: The Rise of a Prison-Industrial Complex, by Andrew Bosworth

"I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator" -Mother Jones

Consider this disturbing fact: the United States now has the world's highest incarceration rate outside of North Korea. Out of 1,000 people, more Americans are behind bars than anywhere in the world except in Kim Jong-Il's Neo-Stalinist state. The US has a higher incarceration rate than China , Russia, Iran, Zimbabwe and Burma - countries American politicians often berate for their human rights violations.

Well over two million Americans are behind bars. Let us agree that violent criminals and sex offenders should be in jail, but most Americans are not aware that over one million people spend year after year in prison for non-violent and petty offenses: small-time drug dealing, street hustling, prostitution, bouncing checks and even writing graffiti. Texas, with its boot-in-your-butt criminal justice system, is now attempting to incarcerate people who get drunk at bars - even if they are not disturbing the peace and intend to take a taxi home.

Somewhere along the line, the Lone Star State becomes the Lock-Down State: Rodney Hulin, a 16 year old in Texas, was caught setting a dumpster on fire and sentenced to 8 years in an adult prison. Despite pleading to be removed to another section, prison officials found no reason to extract him from the general population (despite Rodney's official pleas). He was then repeatedly raped and infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS. He ended the nightmare by hanging himself in his cell...

Just why is the system so eager to lock up American citizens for so incredibly long for minor crimes? Perhaps one would think it a misguided attempt to make our streets safer. Or perhaps the more cynical would consider the political mileage these folks get out of a tough on crime image. Well, while political gain is certainly a factor, financial considerations are by far the greatest influence. As the old saying goes, follow the money...straight back to the corrupt politicians who claim to represent the people.

The Founding Fathers would be rolling in their graves even faster than they already are if they knew that prisons are now lucrative corporations. These "McJails" receive money from government on a per-prisoner, per-day basis. No doubt, had the framers of the Constitution imagined that future Americans could descend to such depths they would have banned the commercialization of prisons outright.

Not surprisingly, the executives of these for-profit prisons sponsor "tough-on-crime" legislation and even line the pockets of politicians who back "mandatory sentencing" laws. For-profit prisons even get to write new mandatory sentencing laws to guarantee the raw material (the rabble of society) for an emerging prison-industrial complex.

In a Great Leap Backward, American politicians have also repealed two federal laws (the Hawes Cooper Act and the Ashurst-Sumner Act) that virtually outlawed prison labor, making it a felony to move prison-made goods across state boundaries. Stamping state license plates for cars was generally acceptable, but these Acts tried to end the leasing out of prisoners to private companies - they tried to eliminate prison-plantations and "factories with fences."

And, to make it even better, a vast number of these prisoners in the corporate gulag system have never had their cases heard by a jury of their peers as the United States Constitution calls for, they are coerced into accepting plea deals. How many people are railroaded into these for profit forced labor hell holes because they cannot afford adequate legal representation and are bullied into pleading to something they did not do?

Of course, we'll never know how many prisoners are even guilty. They have been locked up through mass "plea bargaining" agreements. Originally conceived a the exception to the rule, plea bargaining has become a conveyor belt for prisons, running against the grain of the Fifth Amendment's right to a fair trial and, more specifically, to the US Constitution, Article III, Section 2: "The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury."

While might be a time and a place for plea bargaining, it has become a scam in which prisons are basically guaranteed a minimum flow of prisoners. Here's the deal: Plead guilty to a lesser crime (to something you might not have done) and go to jail for 3 years - or risk a trial and the chance of doing 15 years. It's a no-brainer.

While many have the image in their heads of the prisoner who lives well on the taxpayer dime, meals and housing provided, relaxing in front of the cable TV, the reality is much different than the propaganda machine would have you believe. Prisoner abuse and torture was not invented by American guards in Iraq....rather a homegrown talent, exported from the prisons back home.

Oh...and lets not forget the added benefit of conditioning citizens to accept storm-trooper style police action on the streets...all for our own good of course....to protect and serve, right?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Flagged down: Activists arrested in row over protest flag, allege abuse by Buncombe deputy

After knocking on the door, the couple answered it and, after being shown the statute, said they complied and took the flag down. Scarborough then asked for their identification.
“The flag covered our whole front porch; he comes up with this printout about the law and tells us that we can’t attach things to the flag, that we’re desecrating it,” Deborah Kuhn said. “We tell him we’re not meaning to desecrate it — all we had was a picture of [President] Bush with ‘out now’ on it and a note saying this was not a sign of distress or disrespect. We did this because the country is in distress and we don’t know what to do.”
Then, she said, Scarborough “started talking arrest, so we took the flag down. He kept wanting to see our ID. We refused. We said, ‘Why should we show you our ID — are you arresting us?’; so we walked back into the house and closed the door.”
There, the accounts diverge. According to Deborah Kuhn, Scarborough “tried to force the door, but we got it closed and locked it with the deadbolt. He then kicked it, punched the glass out, unlocked our door and came after us.”
The sheriff’s office report states that “the man [Mark Kuhn] refused to identify himself and slammed the door on the officer’s hand, breaking the glass pane out of the door and cutting the officer’s hand.”
However, the Kuhns’ account is backed up by Jimmy Stevenson, who was working with Ace Hardwood Floors nearby and asserts that he saw Scarborough break down the door.

Isn't it lovely that we can count our "public servants" these days to display thuggish, criminal behavior....this is the way they do business these days...to protect and serve...what a joke. This type of abuse is becoming routine in communities across our nation. When did ordinary Americans consent to being treated like criminals for walking peacefully down a public street?..."your papers please". When did we become such a spineless society that it is perfectly acceptable to most of us that the police act like Hitler's storm troopers, kicking down doors and using extreme violence to control tax-paying citizens? How long will it be before they are at your door?...Oh, that's right...one only needs to worry if they have something to hide...they don't drag innocent, taxpaying citizens away in the dead of night do they...Not in the land of the free. We live in a fascist police state these days. When will the sheeple of this country demand that the state respect the rule of law that they purport to represent?

Tales of Angst, Alienation and Martial Law: Roasting Marshmallows on the American Reichstag Fire to Come, by Phil Rockstroh

In this summer of angst and grim foreboding about what further assaults against common sense and common decency the Bush Administration might inflict upon the people of the world, how many times during the day do those of us — still possessed of mind, heart and conscience — take pause, hoping we’ve seen the worst of it, then, fearing we haven’t yet, attempt to push down the dread rising within us, so that we might simply make it through the day and be able to rest at night? Accordingly, those who have been paying attention are aware that the outward mechanisms of martial law are in place. We shudder knowing that Bush has issued an executive decree that grants him dictatorial power in the event of some nebulously defined national emergency. In addition, the knowledge nettles us that a vast network of internment camps bristle across the length of the U.S., standing at wait for those who might raise objections to the fascistic fury unloosed by the American empire’s version of the Reichstag fire.

Unfortunately, we continue to allow these corrupt politicians to remain in office...not just the Busco clan, but the demofascists who claim to be the "opposition". The only quarrel these groups of criminals truly have with one another is which group will be in charge of the dictatorship....none are interested in preserving our freedom.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Torture Two-Step

Bush's new torture order and its loopholes, By Phillip Carter

In an executive order signed and published Friday afternoon, President Bush purported to end the reign of torture. The order clearly forbids "torture" and "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment." Except that it all depends on what the definition of torture is. The order does nothing to repudiate earlier interpretations of the Bush administration, which narrowed "torture's" scope to allow coercive interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, water boarding, and extraordinary rendition, among others. Instead of proscribing torture, it adds yet another layer to the legal regime supporting those earlier policies. And it further opens up new loopholes for creative lawyers in the CIA and Pentagon. The end result is a policy that misses a historic opportunity to correct the excesses of the last six years.

The Threat of Martial Law is Real

By Dave Lindorff07/27/07 "ICH"

The looming collapse of the US military in Iraq, of which a number of generals and former generals, including former Chief of Staff Colin Powell, have warned, is happening none too soon, as it my be the best hope for preventing military rule here at home.

From the looks of things, the Bush/Cheney regime has been working assiduously to pave the way for a declaration of military rule, such that at this point it really lacks only the pretext to trigger a suspension of Constitutional government. They have done this with the active support of Democrats in Congress, though most of the heavy lifting was done by the last, Republican-led Congress.

The first step, or course, was the first Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed in September 2001, which the president has subsequently used to claim-improperly, but so what? -that the whole world, including the US, is a battlefield in a so-called "War" on Terror, and that he has extra-Constitutional unitary executive powers to ignore laws passed by Congress. As constitutional scholar and former Reagan-era associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein observes, that one claim, that the US is itself a battlefield, is enough to allow this or some future president to declare martial law, "since you can always declare martial law on a battlefield. All he'd need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack inside the U.S."

This story makes the incredible barrage of "terrorist threat" propaganda we've been treated to lately on the corporate "news" much more ominous....can you say "FALSE FLAG" attack?

"I Helped MI5. My Reward: Brutality and Prison"

When Bisher al-Rawi agreed to work for the British government, he thought he was doing the right thing. He spent four gruelling years at Guantanamo Bay for his efforts. In this remarkable interview he breaks his silence and tells his extraordinary story to David Rose.

James Bond used to interview informants in nightclubs and luxury hotels. Le Carré's George Smiley preferred park benches, or safe houses in Belgravia. But when Bisher al-Rawi met the men from MI5, they chose somewhere more prosaic: a table in the basement of the Kensington High Street McDonald's, just to the left of the stairs. 'I always had a Filet-o-Fish,' al-Rawi says drily. 'They would only drink. One supposes they didn't like the food.'

It wasn't the only difference between Britain's real and fictional spies. Having risked his life and reputation to tell MI5 about Islamic radicalism in London in the months after 9/11, al-Rawi has told The Observer the sensational story of his betrayal.

A secret telegram was sent from the British Security Service to the CIA, in which they told the Americans that al-Rawi was carrying a timing device for a bomb - in reality, an innocuous battery charger from Argos - on a business trip to Gambia. Al-Rawi, the telegram added, was an 'Iraqi extremist' associate of the preacher Abu Qatada, later described as Osama bin Laden's ambassador to Europe and now in a British jail

It did not, however, mention the fact that al-Rawi had been seeing Qatada at the request of MI5.

The usual reward for collaborating with the State....welcome to the Fourth Reich

The Militarization of Our Police