Not So Smart: Judge Sides With ‘Smart Meters’ Over Privacy Rights
AFP Issue 37 & 38 is now out, and the front page features this story on smart meters. Log in to read now if you’re a digital subscriber, or click here for subscription options. A court of appeals judge in Illinois has sided with “smart meters” over privacy rights in a suit brought by the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness who argued collection of electric use data constitutes “an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as an unreasonable search and invasion of privacy” under the Illinois Constitution.
By Dave Gahary
In yet another blow to the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which provides American citizens guarantees “against unreasonable search and seizures,” the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit—overseeing courts in districts in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin—has ruled in favor of the City of Naperville, Illinois’s electric utility’s “smart meter” program against a group of concerned local citizens organized as the group Naperville Smart Meter Awareness.
The group sued, alleging the “smart meter” program revealed “intimate personal details of the city’s electric customers such as when people are home and when the home is vacant, sleeping routines, eating routines, specific appliance types in the home and when used, and charging data for plug-in vehicles that can be used to identify travel routines and history.” They alleged that the collection of this data constituted “an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as an unreasonable search and invasion of privacy under . . . the Illinois Constitution.”
Although the court ruled that “smart meter” collection of data “constitutes a search under both the Fourth Amendment and the Illinois Constitution,” they also ruled it was a reasonable search.
The Fourth Amendment reads, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The 13-page ruling issued on Aug.16 states that while other cities across the country allow residents to opt out of smart meters, “Naperville’s residents have little choice”: “If they want electricity in their homes, they must buy it from the city’s public utility. And they cannot opt out of the smart-meter program.”
The court also addressed the certainty that “smart meters” are searching the home:
The ever-accelerating pace of technological development carries serious privacy implications. Smart meters are no exception. Their data, even when collected at 15-minute intervals, reveals details about the home that would be otherwise unavailable to government officials with a physical search. Naperville therefore “searches” its residents’ homes when it collects this data.
But then the court even lent their support to “smart meter” technology:
Smart meters allow utilities to reduce costs, provide cheaper power to consumers, encourage energy efficiency, and increase grid stability. We hold that these interests render the city’s search reasonable, where the search is unrelated to law enforcement, is minimally invasive, and presents little risk of corollary criminal consequences.
The court did caution, however, that if Naperville began collecting “smart meter” data at intervals less than every 15 minutes, “our conclusion could change.” They also warned it could change “if the data was more easily accessible to law enforcement or other city officials outside the utility.”
In the end, the court ruled that since the city “conducts the search with no prosecutorial intent,” and the utility’s employees, not law enforcement, “collect and review the data,” the search is reasonable.
This ruling is sure to impact other concerned communities across this once-great nation, who are concerned about increasing infringement upon the liberties enshrined in perhaps the greatest contract between a government and its citizens ever crafted.
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.
Even Liberals Are Not Safe From Putsch Waged by Politically Correct Radical Left
Evergreen State College in Washington state is arguably the most liberal college in America. Yet there is nothing liberal about the radical left’s “rules” regarding what used to be called free speech. Just look what happened to this progressive professor who dared to ask, essentially, whether “reverse” discrimination is still discrimination.
By John Friend
Readers of this newspaper are no doubt aware of the stifling effects of political correctness and radical leftist ideologies on college campuses and major universities in America today. In an era of “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings,” and an increasing unwillingness of students, professors, and administrators to honor the cherished principals of free speech and thought—foundational principles of the university education system—those bold enough to think for themselves and question the prevailing political and intellectual consensus often find themselves at the mercy of unhinged mobs of radical leftists and cowardly university administrators.
Just ask Bret Weinstein, a former professor at Evergreen State College in Washington state, who is better suited than most to attest to the state of free speech, free intellectual and political inquiry, and political correctness that prevails on college campuses across the United States today. Weinstein, who resigned from Evergreen State along with his wife, Heather Heying, in September 2017 following controversy surrounding his criticism of a popular demonstration on campus and his wife’s support for his criticism, has served as a witness to the free speech crisis prevalent on so many college campuses today. To this day, the accomplished evolutionary biologist, who also happens to be a liberal, has been unable to find a job at a major university simply because he stood up to the PC police at his college.
In the early spring months of 2017, Weinstein, a popular biology professor and a staunch “antiracist,” sparked controversy when a private email he had sent to other college faculty critical of the “Day of Absence” demonstration was published online.
The “Day of Absence” demonstration is an annual event at Evergreen in which non-white students and faculty are encouraged to meet off campus for workshops focusing on diversity, inclusion, and other leftist ideals. In 2017, the demonstration was tweaked slightly, and white students, faculty, and staff at the college were asked to leave campus for the day to protest their supposed “white privilege.” Weinstein took issue with the proposed demonstration and explained his reasoning to fellow faculty and staff.
“On a college campus, one’s right to speak—or to be—should never be based on skin color,” Weinstein stated in the email, which was later leaked and published online, causing outrage in radical leftist circles on campus.
In late May 2017, groups of students upset with Weinstein’s letter and his criticism of the revised “Day of Absence” demonstration showed up at his classroom to admonish the professor. The students essentially shut down Weinstein’s class, disrupting the professor and his students, and demanded that he either apologize for his alleged “racist” email or resign from the college. Video of the students confronting and protesting Weinstein surfaced online, generating national headlines. Throughout the confrontation, Weinstein attempts to calmly and respectfully engage in a dialogue with the student protesters, who rudely ignore his pleas for a discussion by shouting the professor down, cursing at him, and demanding he resign.
“We don’t care what terms you want to speak on. This is not about you,” one student shouts at Weinstein during the confrontation. “We are not speaking on terms—on terms of white privilege. This is not a discussion. You have lost that one.”
The student protesters eventually left and barricaded themselves in the college library, finding refuge in the Trans & Queer Center/Unity Lounge on campus before outlining a list of demands that were later presented to college administrators. Incredibly, rather than defend and support one of their most popular and well-respected professors, Evergreen State College administrators and leaders caved in to the radical student protesters’ demands.
Weinstein and Heying later resigned from the college after filing a $3.85 million tort claim in July 2017. The claim contended the college failed to “protect its employees from repeated provocative and corrosive verbal and written hostility based on race, as well as threats of physical violence,” according to reports at the time. The couple settled with the college, which agreed to pay the couple $450,000 directly and $50,000 to the couple’s attorney.
“In making this agreement, the college admits no liability, and rejects the allegations made in the tort claim,” Evergreen State administrators wrote in an email to students and faculty shortly after the agreement was reached with Weinstein and Heying. “The educational activities of Day of Absence/Day of Presence were not discriminatory. The college took reasonable and appropriate steps to engage with protesters during spring quarter, de-escalate conflict, and keep the campus safe.”
Many supporters of Weinstein and Heying were outraged at the college’s handling of the situation. Weinstein testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, highlighting his experience at Evergreen State and exposing the tyrannical left running rampant on college campuses today who demand everyone abide by their leftist ideals or face suppression.
“Is there a free speech crisis on college campuses?” Weinstein rhetorically asked during his testimony before the House. “One can certainly make that argument, but that portrayal is at least as misleading as it is informative. What is occurring on college campuses is about power and control—speech is impeded as a last resort, used when people fail to self-censor in response to a threat of crippling stigma and the destruction of their capacity to earn.”
Since his resignation, Weinstein has joined the “Intellectual Dark Web,” a phenomenon this paper has reported on in previous editions. Weinstein has continued to stand up for intellectual freedom and freedom of speech, despite the hysterical left and their calls for censorship.
John Friend is a freelance author based in California.
Police Use Social Media to Snoop
A lawsuit brought by the ACLU in Memphis alleges cops set up fake accounts to spy on both left and right. This is far from the first time the Memphis PD has been caught spying on citizen activists and not the first time the ACLU has filed suit against the department.
By Dr. Edward DeVries
On his Facebook page, “Bob Smith” described himself as a “Protestant, anarchist, protester, and activist from Fayette County” who was “left of Bernie.” His “likes” included “Bernie Sanders, the Southern Poverty Law Center, I Love Being Black, and Red & Black Anarchists 2.”
Documents released by the City of Memphis in response to an ACLU lawsuit show that its police department has been systematically using fake social media profiles to surveil activists and that it has kept dossiers and detailed PowerPoint presentations on dozens of Memphis-area activists along with lists of their known associates.
It turns out that “Bob Smith” was a Memphis PD Facebook trap that began friending left-leaning activists as early as August 2015, according to a report by “The Appeal,” which had obtained screenshots of conversations from activists who had interacted with the “Bob Smith” Facebook account. The profile was used to gain their trust and acquire information about local organizing efforts.
One activist who received a friend request from “Smith” identified himself as Tim Ryan from Fayette County. Two months later he was charged with “criminal trespass” at a Black Lives Matter meeting where the undercover agent provocateurs who, as “Bob Smith,” had encouraged him to attend the event, were waiting for him.
Another local activist who had been in regular communication with “Bob Smith” was Keedran Franklin, organizer of the Memphis Coalition of Concerned Citizens and Memphis Black Lives Matter. He began to suspect “Smith” when he realized that, at local demonstrations he had discussed online with “Smith,” he was “the first person to be arrested,” according to his attorney, Scott Kramer. Attorney Kramer is also claiming that his client is being harassed by Memphis PD officers who are “sitting outside his office in unmarked cars waiting for him to leave.” Kramer also claims that “officers, who Franklin has never met, come up to him in public places and address him by name, ‘just to let him know’ that they [the officers] all know who he is.”
The lawsuit between the ACLU and the Memphis Police Department has also revealed that the largest Black Lives Matter page on Facebook actually belongs to a white, middle-aged man in Australia.
While the ACLU is only pursuing the police department’s spying on left-leaning activists and groups, evidence has also surfaced that the police have used the same strategies to surveil over 30 community organizations including a local university’s student union, Food Truck Sunday, the National Council of Churches, faith-based groups like Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, a number of local businesses including FedEx, the region’s largest employer, the county school district, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Council of Conservative Citizens.
This is not the first time that the Memphis Police have been caught spying on citizen activists. Their ongoing history of doing so goes back to the 1960s when the city was caught spying on Vietnam War protesters, city sanitation workers, the civil rights movement, and the personal activities of several associates of Dr. Martin Luther King. By 1976, the city’s “Domestic Intelligence Gathering Unit,” established by Mayor Henry Loeb III, had amassed a budget of more than $1 million a year (over $4 million today). That same year, University of Memphis student Eric Carter, who was active in anti-war organizing, discovered that his roommate was actually an undercover Memphis PD officer collecting information on his activities. A lawsuit by the ACLU against the City of Memphis followed, which resulted in a 1978 judgment against the city.
Memphis entered a consent decree in 1978 when it was revealed that cops had secretly created an entire division dedicated to surveilling citizens who hadn’t committed any crimes and then attempted to destroy the evidence of their surveillance at a city-owned incinerator. At the conclusion of that matter, the court ordered the city to refrain from surveilling or spying on citizens with relation to their political beliefs. It read in part: “The City of Memphis shall not, at any lawful meeting or demonstration, for the purpose of chilling the exercise of First Amendment rights or for the purpose of maintaining a record, record the name of or photograph any person in attendance.”
Now, 40 years later, the court has determined that the city’s current social media and Internetbased undercover operation, including creating fake social media accounts to find the friends and associates of political activists, violates the 1978 agreement against spying on protesters. U.S. District Judge Joe McCalla issued a 35-page order in which he said the city resumed spying after cops witnessed protests in other states and when Black Lives Matter began staging demonstrations to remove Confederate statues in Memphis. This spying, according to McCalla, violates at least part of the 1978 consent decree, specifically the part that barred the gathering of political intelligence. The trial began Aug. 20, and it will determine how many provisions of the decree have been violated by the city and what the appropriate punishment should be.
The city argues that their Internet-based surveillance techniques are not bound by the 1978 consent decree and that the ACLU and McCalla’s interpretation is “out of step” with the realities of modern policing. Memphis PD spokesperson Bruce McMullen said they were “not aware” of officers waiting outside of Franklin’s office and that “the consent decree was drafted before the Internet—before smartphones, body cameras, or any type of digital cameras. . . . MPD’s observance of posts made on social media is consistent with best practices of law enforcement agencies across the country and is nothing more than good police work.”
Memphis PD may call it “good police work”; this writer calls it an ever-growing and increasingly brazen police state.
A pastor and in-demand traveling speaker, Dr. Edward DeVries is the editor of the Dixie Heritage Newsletter and a contributing editor at THE BARNES REVIEW. He is the author of 30 books including the two-volume Glory in Grey. Some of his other titles include Sacred Honor, The Truth About the Confederate Battle Flag, Prayer is Simple, Every Member a Minister and Coaching Youth Baseball the Right Way. He is also the host of TBR RADIO’S “Dixie Heritage Hour.” Please check it out at www.BarnesReview.org.
Ban on Popular Internet Host an Onslaught on Free Speech
Social media’s attack on “Infowars” and Alex Jones has spurred the usual partisan debate rather than genuine dialogue. But, like him or not, the banning of anyone harms free expression for everyone.
By S.T. Patrick
In what may prove to be the best possible situation for Infowars and Alex Jones as brands, fiery talk show host Jones and his content have been banned from Facebook, Apple podcasts, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. After Apple removed the podcasts because it “doesn’t tolerate hate speech,” downloads of the Infowars app on the iPhone app store reportedly skyrocketed.
Twitter has chosen to piecemeal its censorship. It has recently applied a one-week tweeting ban to Infowars and Jones. When the piling on began, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended not banning Jones and Infowars altogether.
“The reason is simple,” Dorsey said. “He hasn’t violated our rules.”
While Twitter’s decision may just be a slower, more careful path that leads to an eventual full ban, Dorsey was correct that these sorts of bans should emanate from guidelines that are unemotional. The domino effect that occurred once the bans began also signaled some sort of permission and empowerment that began with the Facebook ban. The smaller multi-national social media corporations followed the lead of their Big(ger) Brother.
Immediately after the bans were enacted, the debates became discombobulated. Mimicking any current dialogue on the Trump administration, the political right became angered and wanted revenge as the political left became celebratory with the glee of a conquering tribe. Those two reactions are the only ones Americans seem to exhibit since the 2016 presidential election. The reactions oscillate between the two camps in accordance with the latest Trump tweet, administrative policy announcement, or Mueller indictment.
Talk radio and partisan cable news have created a political environment steeped in absolute equality rather than ideology. If a Republican politician is criticized for opening a dialogue with a former enemy, the self-assigned duty of conservative talk radio hosts is to provoke the indignation of its audience by giving three examples of a Democrat engaged in the same action without such public criticism. When a liberal cable news network is criticized for its blatant partisanship, the response of its supportive viewers will be to point out the coverage bias of the conservative network. In the former, the pros and cons of opening the dialogue is secondary to pointing out hypocrisy. In the latter, a serious examination of one network is ignored while the other network exists. Pointing out hypocrisy is the contemporary way to absolve an organization or an ideology from moral, political, sociological, and environmental wrongs.
The Infowars and Jones bans should have instantly spurred two national discussions: the right and responsibility of social media companies (based on communication of beliefs and ideologies) to censor those same ideas and the right of a private company to serve only consumers it chooses while banning others.
Leftists and mainstream Republicans who have defended Jones have been clear to point out that they don’t like him or don’t listen to him. This near-mandatory preface to the support of free speech also stems from a confused political environment where to back a concept or an idea is synonymous with backing the person, and to attack a concept or idea is to attack the person. In a political discussion that is open and honest, discussion of free speech could and should be had without having to detach oneself from any support of Jones.
MIT professor, self-proclaimed anarchist, and free-speech activist Noam Chomsky wrote, “What I’ve seen of what he does is outrageous, but unlike many civil libertarians here and especially in other countries, I don’t think that the right way to deal with ‘hate speech’ and crazed fabrications is to ban them; rather, to confront them, and to seek and confront the reasons why anyone pays a moment’s attention to them.”
The power of the people certainly resides in its ability to freely consume or avoid entertainment or information. Before begging for censorship from opinions that may offend or anger, one should exercise the power button on the technology that serves as the conduit. Turn off the television, change the radio station, un-follow the page on Facebook, and refuse to subscribe to a Jones podcast on iTunes.
Censorship feeds some psycho-emotional need to be right. If an entity is censored, the opponents of that entity feel validated in their ideologies. But what if the slippery slope argument is legitimate and all ideologies are at risk when one is at risk?
In discussing the pressure being put on some retailers such as Amazon not to carry some controversial books, Joseph Green, a free-speech purist who hosts “JoeGreenJFK.com,” wrote about the value of the better alternative books in 2016. “But we cannot have those books if we deny people the right to think, and write, in the public sphere. It is the cost of doing business in a free republic.”
Political science professor Joseph Uscinski told Global News, “The big corporations and the big government have censored (Jones’s) ideas. It’s only going to make them more alluring.”
The effects of the Jones censorship are multilayered. Will Jones have to tone down the screaming, frothing, and crying that emphatically dramatizes what can sometimes be good anti-authoritarian questions? Do the censorship’s effects on downloads of the Infowars app encourage Jones to go further? Will a real discussion be had regarding the relationship between liberal big tech CEOs and conservative consumers? Do the divisions caused by censorship debates take away attention from the violations of privacy rights, worker exploitation, and sexism that have plagued big tech?
The banning of Jones and Infowars can be explained away as an opening salvo to ban rabid Trumpism. A scarier, more worrisome explanation may be that it is the first open door to Euro-style censorship of ideas that many find offensive and uncouth. If either liberals or conservatives allow big tech companies to become the arbiters of those bans, everyone’s voice becomes a little more silent with every axe that falls.
S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is [email protected]
The Dems’ Tyrannical Plan to ‘Cleanse’ the Internet
Under a plan being promoted by Senate Democrats to “protect” Americans from so-called disinformation, tech companies would be forced to ban dissident thoughts lest the companies be held liable. Numerous social media sites seem to be leading the way even before regulations are developed.
By John Friend
Senate Democrats have outlined a tyrannical plan for combating so-called fake news and purported “foreign meddling” in America’s electoral process in a recently circulated memo calling for tougher regulation of the tech industry.
Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), a top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, released a memo that was recently obtained by “Axios,” a media outlet founded by a group of reporters formerly connected to Washington daily newspaper Politico, which offered recommendations to the government for combating disinformation, fake news, and other supposed problems posed by the rise of social media and large tech companies.
The white paper, entitled “Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms,” recommends that large social media platforms introduce mandatory location and identity verification tools which require users to authenticate their geographical origin and identity.
The paper also recommends that media platforms be held legally liable for “defamation, invasion of privacy, false light, and public disclosure of private facts” on their platform.
“The size and reach of these platforms demand that we ensure proper oversight, transparency and effective management of technologies that in large measure undergird our social lives, our economy, and our politics,” the paper argues. “The hope is that the ideas enclosed here stir the pot and spark a wider discussion—among policymakers, stakeholders, and civil society groups—on the appropriate trajectory of technology policy in the coming years.”
The release of the controversial memo comes as a number of conservative and independent media outlets face increasing levels of censorship by some of the largest tech companies operating today. American Free Press has certainly taken repeated hits from tech companies as well as banking giants going after AFP’s sales on the Internet. Many extreme right-wing websites, such as the “Daily Stormer,” as well as leading figures in the alt-right movement, such as Richard Spencer, have felt the tyrannical effects of online censorship and de-platforming.
Now, under pressure from a variety of subversive lobbying organizations, left-wing agitators, and even large corporations, some of the world’s leading tech firms and social media platforms have outright censored Alex Jones and his popular “InfoWars” media outlet.
Earlier this week, YouTube, Facebook, and Apple announced they were removing content related to Alex Jones and “InfoWars” from their platforms for so-called “hate speech” and other alleged violations of the platforms’ terms of service.
Additionally, libertarian and anti-war activists, including Scott Horton, the editorial director of “AntiWar.com,” and Daniel McAdams, the director of the Ron Paul Institute, had their Twitter accounts suspended.
Critics argue that tech giants have unfairly targeted conservatives and other right-leaning commentators and independent media outlets, though some left-wing groups and individuals have been hit hard as well.
In a powerful op-ed published by Fox News, Nigel Farage argued that the recent censorship of Jones “represents a concerted effort of proscription and censorship that could just as soon see any of us confined to the dustbin of social media history.”
“These platforms that claim to be ‘open’ and in favor of ‘free speech’ are now routinely targeting—whether by human intervention or not—the views and expressions of conservatives and anti-globalists,” the former British politician and leader of the UK Independence Party argued.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reaffirmed its support for a newly hired editorial board member with a long history of extreme anti-white statements posted to the Internet, which were recently exposed by social media users following the announcement of her hiring. Sarah Jeong, a technology reporter, was recently promoted to the Times’s editorial board. Her ugly social media posts, which denigrated and targeted white people specifically, are apparently acceptable to not only her employer but also the very same social media platforms shutting down and censoring conservatives for alleged “hate speech.”
Many have called on President Trump to act to ensure large social media outlets do not unfairly target their political opponents, which is clearly the intention of many of these companies.
John Friend is a freelance author based in California.
Veteran CIA Analyst Censored, Manhandled
Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern was physically thrown out of a Senate confirmation hearing for CIA director Gina Haspel for politely demanding answers on U.S. torture and Ms. Haspel’s role. The police state is alive and well when a 78-year-old man whose spent his life in public service is slammed to the ground, handcuffed, and physically assaulted for asking questions.
By Dave Gahary
If someone served their country by enlisting in the United States Army as an infantry and intelligence officer, and then followed that up by further serving that same country for nearly three more decades as a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst, one might think that such an individual would be accorded a modicum of respect when voicing his opinion at a Senate confirmation hearing for the nomination of the CIA director.
Well, maybe there was a time in this once-great nation’s history when any citizen could voice their opinion in “the People’s House,” but those days are long gone. This was painfully illustrated on May 9 when 78-year-old Raymond L. “Ray” McGovern attempted to have his voice heard at the confirmation hearing for Gina Cheri Haspel, President Donald Trump’s choice to head the CIA, and was manhandled by the tools of the current police state.
Haspel courts much controversy, mostly due to her ties to a CIA “black site” in Thailand—“Detention Site Green,” or “Cat’s Eye,” located inside a Royal Thai Air Force base—used to torture “war on terror” detainees. Holding prisoners in U.S. military custody requires informing the International Committee for the Red Cross, hence the desire for black sites.
According to Wikipedia, a “black site,” or secret prison, is a location where a “black project” is conducted, “a highly classified military or defense project publicly unacknowledged by government, military personnel, and contractors.” It is suspected that black sites have been located on all seven continents of the Earth.
McGovern, who served under seven presidents, from JFK forward, attended the televised confirmation hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building, and spoke to this reporter about his latest encounter with “democracy.”
“I sat in the audience not knowing exactly what I might do but fearing that it might be really hard to take. And it was,” he said. “The discussion was pretty appalling,” he explained. “The chair, who was pretty much hand-in-glove with the intelligence community that he’s supposed to be supervising, appraised [Haspel] up and down as not only moral but ethical.”
The hearing was broadcast on C-SPAN and ran for 153 minutes, and around 74 minutes into the hearing, it was Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D-Ore.) turn to grill the nominee. McGovern explained how the questioning went.
“ ‘You were in charge of the base there in Thailand, the black site, when [Abd al Rahim] al Nashiri was there,’” McGovern recounted Wyden’s testimony. “ ‘Did you supervise his waterboarding, yes or no, please?’ And Ms. Haspel said, ‘Senator, that’s classified. I wish I could tell you, but it’s classified.’ And Wyden had run out of time.
“Now I’m seething there,” McGovern said, “because the next question that Wyden would’ve asked was, of course, ‘Well, Ms. Haspel, could you tell us who classified that?’ And she would’ve had to say, ‘Well, I did, senator. I classified all the incriminating material that might prevent me from being approved as the next head of the CIA.’ ”
McGovern continued: “With Wyden out of time, I waited for the chair to come in and say, ‘Now, Ms. Haspel, it’s a yes or no question. We actually know the answer, and so do you. Would you let the American people who are tuned in now, would you let them know what the answer is?’ And, of course, she would’ve had to say, ‘Well, yes, Mr. Chairman, the answer is yes.’ ”
The former CIA analyst told AFP, “There’s a war crime, pure and simple. Now, she was allowed to defer that into executive session, and so the American people were deprived of the opportunity to hear that she was directly responsible for the waterboarding and other extreme techniques administered to al Nashiri in Thailand in 2002.”
McGovern, dressed smartly in suit and tie, could contain himself no longer, and at 131 minutes into the hearing, he made his move.
“There was a great, big policeman standing between me and Haspel,” McGovern said. “And so, I waited for him to go to the bathroom and went up there and interrupted one of the senators, and said, ‘I’m sorry to interrupt here, but, Senator Wyden, you deserve a direct answer to your question. It really is a yes or no, and she was guilty of supervising of waterboarding, and no legal opinion can make waterboarding. . . .’ ”
McGovern was quickly surrounded by four Capitol policemen, who took nearly 40 seconds to manhandle him out the door. “And then, of course, these very large Capitol Police descended on me [to prevent me] from saying anything else,” he explained. “Anytime I tried to say something else, they shouted out, as they’re instructed to, ‘Stop resisting, stop resisting!’ I suppose manufacturing evidence that I was resisting when in reality I was not under my own power, as soon as the four lifted me up and dragged me out.”
C-SPAN cameras were not in the hallway, but other video captured the way this almost octogenarian was dealt with for simply speaking his mind. A woman attending the hearing began filming and followed McGovern and the thugs out the doors.
“The saving grace was that there was a very gutsy, young woman with an iPhone filming the whole thing,” explained McGovern, “and even as I was dragged out of the place, lifted out, she followed, she got the whole thing on videotape. When she saw what they were doing to me and they took me down, she said, ‘Don’t hurt him. You’re hurting him.’ ”
The police smashed McGovern to the floor and continued to manhandle him even after he pleaded to them about the chronic dislocation of his left shoulder. In fact, in the video, you can hear an audible pop.
“I didn’t know she was there; thank God she was there,” said McGovern. “But if you’re gonna risk this kind of treatment at the hands of people who are just following orders, then it’s a good thing to have someone who will capture it on film, because number one, then it is on film, and number two, when the cops in charge see it, they have a choice whether they’re going to brutalize yet another person on film, or whether they’re going to stop the brutalization.”
McGovern was transported out of the building to spend 27 hours in a D.C. cellblock, not a pleasant position to be in. He explained why he exposed himself to these conditions.
“When we see this torture that [Haspel] was clearly responsible for,” he explained, “and we see the whitewash done by a committee—many of whose members were approving of those steps—now too embarrassed to backtrack and do the right thing, well, those are violations of the Constitution of the United States, international law, the UN Convention against Torture. And so, what are we to do? We’re to stand up and honor our oath. Now, does that oath that we took—I took it first when I got my commission in 1961—does it have an expiration date, like, ‘Warning, don’t consume this oath after 50 years’? No, there is no expiration date.”
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See the website erasingtheliberty.com for more information.
Antifa: Left Wing Fascism?
Kevin Barrett’s political incorrectness recently got him un-invited from a radio program. Here he argues, “The two biggest factors behind the demise of First Amendment America are the rise of identity politics, and the 9/11-launched “war on terror.” Identity politics has made political correctness into the monster it has become, but “the dirty little secret” the American public is finally realizing, in spite of mainstream media’s deception, is that, “It is not white identity advocates who are instigating the violence at these rallies, but their antifa opponents.”
By Kevin Barrett
On Thursday, March 8, I was informed that my scheduled appearance the next day on Portland’s KBOO community radio had been cancelled by station management—over the strong objections of the host, John Shuck. The reason? Portland’s antifa chapter, led by a graduate student named Alexander Reid Ross, had led a defamation campaign calling me an “anti-Semite,” “holocaust denier,” and “conspiracy theorist” who shouldn’t be allowed to speak.
Since when could mindless insults shout down free and fair debate based on logic and evidence? Since when did America become such a fearful place that non-mainstream ideas had to be silenced rather than refuted?
The two biggest factors behind the demise of First Amendment America are the rise of identity politics, and the 9/11-launched “war on terror.” Identity politics brought political correctness and the fear of offending this or that “disadvantaged” group. 9/11 and the war on terror destroyed America’s self-confidence, led to the shredding of constitutional liberties, and created a toxic atmosphere of fear and hysteria.
Trump’s “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) agenda was in many respects a reaction against America’s post-9/11 decline. In reaction to the prevailing leftist identity politics, heterosexual, white, working-class males began asserting themselves, often identifying with Trump and MAGA. Trump’s attacks on the U.S. decision to invade Iraq (“the worst decision ever made”) and his incoherent but provocative insinuations questioning the official version of 9/11 resonated with a broad segment of the population that vaguely sensed something in America had gone badly wrong.
Many leftists (as well as much of the centrist establishment) view the rise of the Trump-supporting alt-right as a national emergency. The most extreme among them have joined antifa.
Antifa shows little interest in critiquing or debating its opponents in order to explain why they are wrong. It is dedicated to shutting them down, silencing them, making sure they can’t be heard—using slanderous witch hunts, mindless name-calling, and even violence.
At universities all across America, antifa thugs are physically attacking speakers identified with the alt-right, and even brutalizing audiences who come out to hear them. The Chicago Tribune reported on March 14:
“At Michigan State University last week, anti-fascist protesters marched toward the venue where (Richard) Spencer planned to speak, intent on keeping his supporters out. Fights quickly broke out, and people were shoved to the ground, punched, and pelted with sticks and dirt. Some people wanting to attend Spencer’s speech were forced back. More than 20 people were arrested, most of them people protesting Spencer.”
This is the dirty little secret that is slowly leaking out to the American public: It is not white identity advocates who are instigating the violence at these rallies, but their antifa opponents. This was clearly the case at Charlottesville, where the police shut down the pro-Robert E. Lee statue rally, forced ralliers to exit through an antifa mob that had come primed for violence, and then disappeared as the provocateur-driven riot broke out. (For a detailed analysis of the events in Charlottesville, read Political Theater in Charlottesville, edited by Jim Fetzer and Mike Palecek, available from Moon Rock Books.)
How can self-styled anti-fascists be rioting in the street and attacking people to shut down free speech? Isn’t their behavior . . . well, fascist? After all, fascism is based on using mob violence to shut down opposition and install a tyranny of one party and one opinion that tolerates no dissent.
Antifa’s violent, authoritarian attack on free speech exemplifies the core essence of fascism. Other characteristics of historical fascism include: extreme glorification of the race or nation, scapegoating of internal and external enemies, militarism, and socialism, including an attempt to replace private bank-issued usury currency with national currency. On all but the last of these counts, Zionism represents by far the biggest and most dangerous fascist movement on Earth. Antifa, a subsidiary of Zionism, carries the Zionists’ fascist thuggery into the streets.
As an American loyal to our Constitution, and to our history as a tolerant “melting pot” of different cultures, religions, and worldviews, I am strongly opposed to most aspects of fascism. I loathe intolerance, authoritarianism, censorship, racism, extreme nationalism, militarism, and scapegoating. But I do think some fascists, such as America’s greatest 20th-century poet. Ezra Pound, were right in their critique of usury and their support for overthrowing the dictatorship of the international bankers. And I think much of the so-called alt-right consists of patriotic Americans—not fascists—who are gradually waking up to oppose the global Zionist dictatorship in the making sometimes known as the New World Order.
Oppose fascism; support free speech! I have challenged Alexander Reid Ross to debate me on the nature and history of fascism. Please urge him to accept my challenge. Email: [email protected] or Tweet https://twitter.com/areidross.
Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host. He lives in rural western Wisconsin.
PC Police Strike
A young woman has been removed from her Florida middle-school teaching job for expressing cultural views online-under a pseudonym-after the PC police at a far-left website made it their mission to get the woman fired. Political correctness had taken on a whole new significance in the U.S., as increasing numbers of Americans lose jobs and reputations due to speaking their minds, regardless of the First Amendment.
By John Friend
A 25-year-old middle-school teacher in Florida has been “removed from the classroom” following controversy sparked by an article published last weekend by the far-left “Huffington Post” commentary website highlighting the teacher’s politically incorrect social media posts and podcast program, it was recently reported.
Dayanna Volitich, who taught social studies at Crystal River Middle School in the Citrus County School District in Florida, used the online pseudonym “Tiana Dalichov” to post on social media, including Twitter, and to host her podcast program called “Unapologetic,” which addressed a number of controversial issues facing America and the wider world in a straightforward, honest manner. On the podcast, which has since been removed from the Internet along with her social media profiles, Ms. Volitich discussed a variety of complex and controversial issues, including mass immigration, state enforced diversity and multiculturalism, educational issues, and related topics.
Reporters from the Huffington Post went so far as to contact the school, which prompted an internal investigation ultimately resulting in the teacher’s ouster. Other Americans, including this reporter, have been targeted by malicious reporters in recent years in an effort to harm their professional careers and bring damage to their reputations, as was the case with Ms. Volitich.
“On Friday, March 2, 2018 the Citrus County School District was made aware of a concerning podcast by a Huffington Post reporter,” Sandra Himmel, Citrus County School District superintendent, announced on Sunday in an official statement posted on the school district’s Facebook page. “The reporter indicated they believed one of the persons participating in the podcast was a teacher at Crystal River Middle School. The human resources department was notified and an investigation was initiated immediately. The teacher has been removed from the classroom and the investigation is ongoing. Pursuant to Florida statute an open investigation and materials related to it are exempt from public record and cannot be discussed until the investigation is complete.”
Efforts by AFP to contact Ms. Volitich have thus far been unsuccessful.
In the Huffington Post article, the biased, left-leaning outlet published a number of screen shots of tweets “Tiana Dalichov” made in the past in an effort to demonize her and smear her as a “white supremacist” and “racist.” The tweets highlighted by the Huffington Post indicate Ms. Volitich was a critic of the dubious concept known as “white privilege,” an anti-white, Marxist perspective endlessly promoted and disseminated on college campuses and schools across the country. Ms. Volitich was also apparently interested in “the Jewish Question,” with one tweet noting that she was reading Dr. Kevin MacDonald’s book, The Culture of Critique.
In one tweet, which the Huffington Post and other leftists used to hysterically demonize Ms. Volitich and paint her as a radical “white supremacist,” she harmlessly stated: “It isn’t supremacist or hateful to prefer your own people over others.”
The Citrus County School District was quick to denounce Ms. Volitich following the publication of the malicious Huffington Post article, removing her from the classroom almost immediately.
“She does not speak on behalf of the Citrus County School District,” Scott Hebert, the executive director of educational services for the district, told the Huffington Post. “The views she’s listed [online] are really not in line with how our district operates.”
The ouster of Ms. Volitich demonstrates once again the perilous state of free speech in America today. Those holding controversial and politically incorrect opinions are regularly targeted by the hostile mass media and radical activist organizations such as antifa in an effort to censor their speech, harm their reputations, and, if possible, jeopardize their professional life.
John Friend is a freelance writer who lives in California.
What the FBI/FISA Memo Really Tells Us About Our Government
When the “biggest cheerleader” for maintaining the secretive FISA court knew just how abused the process really is, why would he and the rest of Congress want to keep it a secret from the citizens? And how much do they actually care about surveillance abuse of Americans?
By Rep. Ron Paul
The release of the House Intelligence Committee’s memo on the FBI’s abuse of the FISA process set off a partisan firestorm. The Democrats warned us beforehand that declassifying the memo would be the end the world as we know it. It was reckless to allow Americans to see this classified material, they said. Agents in the field could be harmed, sources and methods would be compromised, they claimed.
Republicans who had seen the memo claimed that it was far worse than Watergate. They said that mass firings would begin immediately after it became public. They said that the criminality of U.S. government agencies exposed by the memo would shock Americans.
Then it was released, and the world did not end. FBI agents have thus far not been fired. Seeing “classified” material did not terrify us, but rather it demonstrated clearly that information is kept from us by claiming it is “classified.”
In the end, both sides got it wrong. Here’s what the memo really shows us:
First, the memo demonstrates that there is a “deep state” that does not want things like elections to threaten its existence. Candidate Trump’s repeated promises to get along with Russia and to re-assess NATO so many years after the end of the Cold War were threatening to a Washington that depends on creating enemies to sustain the fear needed to justify a trillion-dollar yearly military budget.
Imagine if candidate Trump had kept his campaign promises when he became president. Without the “Russia threat” and without the “China threat” and without the need to dump billions into NATO, we might actually have reaped a “peace dividend” more than a quarter-century after the end of the Cold War. That would have starved the war-promoting military-industrial complex and its network of pro-war “think tanks” that populate the Washington Beltway area.
Second, the memo shows us that neither Republicans nor Democrats really care that much about surveillance abuse when average Americans are the victims. It is clear that the FISA abuse detailed in the memo was well known to Republicans like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes before the memo was actually released. It was likely also well known by Democrats in the House. But both parties suppressed this evidence of FBI abuse of the FISA process until after the FISA Amendments Act could be re-authorized. They didn’t want Americans to know how corrupt the surveillance system really is and how the U.S. has become far too much like East Germany. That might cause more Americans to call up their representatives and demand that the FISA mass surveillance amendment be allowed to sunset.
Ironically, Chairman Nunes was the biggest cheerleader for the extension of the FISA Amendments even as he knew how terribly the FISA process had been abused!
Finally, hawks on both sides of the aisle in Congress used “Russia-gate” as an excuse to build animosity toward Russia among average Americans. They knew from the classified information that there was no basis for their claims that the Trump Administration was put into office with Moscow’s assistance, but they played along because it served their real goal of keeping the U.S. on war footing and keeping the gravy train rolling.
But don’t worry: The neocons in both parties will soon find another excuse to keep us terrified and ready to flush away a trillion dollars a year on military spending and continue our arguments and new “Cold War” with Russia.
In the meantime, be skeptical of both parties. With few exceptions they are not protecting liberty but promoting its opposite.
Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.
Things Are Getting Worse, Not Better: Round Ups, Checkpoints and National ID Cards
Here in Amerika, things are getting worse—not better—as the nation inches ever closer toward totalitarianism, that goose-stepping form of tyranny in which the government has all of the power and “we the people” have none.
No one gets spared the anguish, fear and heartache of living under the shadow of an authoritarian police state.
That’s the message being broadcast 24/7 to the citizens and residents of the American police state with every new piece of government propaganda, every new law that criminalizes otherwise lawful activity, every new policeman on the beat, every new surveillance camera casting a watchful eye, every sensationalist news story that titillates and distracts, every new prison or detention center built to house troublemakers and other undesirables, every new court ruling that gives government agents a green light to strip and steal and rape and ravage the citizenry, every school that opts to indoctrinate rather than educate, and every new justification for why Americans should comply with the government’s attempts to trample the Constitution underfoot.
Here in Amerika, things are getting worse—not better—as the nation inches ever closer toward totalitarianism, that goose-stepping form of tyranny in which the government has all of the power and “we the people” have none.
With the government empowered to carry out transportation checks to question people about their immigration status within a 100-mile border zone that wraps around the country, you’re going to see a rise in these “show your papers” incidents.
That’s a problem, and I’ll tell you why.
We are not supposed to be living in a “show me your papers” society.
Despite this, the U.S. government has recently introduced measures allowing police and other law enforcement officials to stop individuals (citizens and noncitizens alike), demand they identify themselves, and subject them to patdowns, warrantless searches, and interrogations.
These actions fly in the face of longstanding constitutional safeguards forbidding such police state tactics.
Set aside the debate over illegal immigration for a moment and think long and hard about what it means when government agents start demanding that people show their papers on penalty of arrest.
The problem with allowing government agents to demand identification from anyone they suspect might be an illegal immigrant—the current scheme being employed by the Trump administration to ferret out and cleanse the country of illegal immigrants—is that it lays the groundwork for a society in which you are required to identify yourself to any government worker who demands it.
Such tactics quickly lead one down a slippery slope that ends with government agents empowered to subject anyone—citizen and noncitizen alike—to increasingly intrusive demands that they prove not only that they are legally in the country, but also that they are in compliance with every statute and regulation on the books.
This flies in the face of the provisions of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which declares that all persons have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents. At a minimum, the Fourth Amendment protects the American people from undue government interference with their movement and from baseless interrogation about their identities or activities.
Unless police have reasonable suspicion that a person is guilty of wrongdoing, they have no legal authority to stop the person and require identification. In other words, “we the people” have the right to come and go as we please without the fear of being questioned by police or forced to identify ourselves.
The Rutherford Institute has issued a Constitutional Q&A on “The Legality of Stop and ID Procedures” that provides some guidance on one’s rights if stopped and asked by police to show identification.
Unfortunately, even with legal protections on the books, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the average American to avoid falling in line with a national identification system.
We’re almost at that point already.
Passed by Congress in 2005 and scheduled to take effect nationwide by October 2020, the Real ID Act, which imposes federal standards on identity documents such as state drivers’ licenses, is the prelude to this national identification system.
Fast forward to the Trump administration’s war on illegal immigration, and you have the perfect storm necessary for the adoption of a national ID card, the ultimate human tracking device, which would make the police state’s task of monitoring, tracking and singling out individual suspects—citizen and noncitizen alike—far simpler.
Granted, in the absence of a national ID card, “we the people” are already tracked in a myriad of ways: through our state driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers, bank accounts, purchases and electronic transactions; by way of our correspondence and communication devices—email, phone calls and mobile phones; through chips implanted in our vehicles, identification documents, even our clothing.
Add to this the fact that businesses, schools and other facilities are relying more and more on fingerprints and facial recognition to identify us.
All the while, data companies such as Acxiom are capturing vast caches of personal information to help airports, retailers, police and other government authorities instantly determine whether someone is the person he or she claims to be.
This informational glut—used to great advantage by both the government and corporate sectors—is converging into a mandate for “an internal passport,” a.k.a., a national ID card that would store information as basic as a person’s name, birth date and place of birth, as well as private information, including a Social Security number, fingerprint, retinal scan and personal, criminal and financial records.
A federalized, computerized, cross-referenced, databased system of identification policed by government agents would be the final nail in the coffin for privacy (not to mention a logistical security nightmare that would leave Americans even more vulnerable to every hacker in the cybersphere).
Americans have always resisted adopting a national ID card for good reason: it gives the government and its agents the ultimate power to target, track and terrorize the populace according to the government’s own nefarious purposes.
National ID card systems have been used before, by other oppressive governments, in the name of national security, invariably with horrifying results.
For instance, in Germany, the Nazis required all Jews to carry special stamped ID cards for travel within the country. A prelude to the yellow Star of David badges, these stamped cards were instrumental in identifying Jews for deportation to death camps in Poland.
Author Raul Hilberg summarizes the impact that such a system had on the Jews:
The whole identification system, with its personal documents, specially assigned names, and conspicuous tagging in public, was a powerful weapon in the hands of the police. First, the system was an auxiliary device that facilitated the enforcement of residence and movement restrictions. Second, it was an independent control measure in that it enabled the police to pick up any Jew, anywhere, anytime. Third, and perhaps most important, identification had a paralyzing effect on its victims.
In South Africa during apartheid, pass books were used to regulate the movement of black citizens and segregate the population. The Pass Laws Act of 1952 stipulated where, when and for how long a black African could remain in certain areas. Any government employee could strike out entries, which cancelled the permission to remain in an area. A pass book that did not have a valid entry resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of the bearer.
Identity cards have also helped oppressive regimes carry out eliminationist policies such as mass expulsion, forced relocation and group denationalization. Through the use of identity cards, Ethiopian authorities were able to identify people with Eritrean affiliation during the mass expulsion of 1998. The Vietnamese government was able to locate ethnic Chinese more easily during their 1978-79 expulsion. The USSR used identity cards to force the relocation of ethnic Koreans (1937), Volga Germans (1941), Kamyks and Karachai (1943), Crimean Tartars, Meshkhetian Turks, Chechens, Ingush and Balkars (1944) and ethnic Greeks (1949). And ethnic Vietnamese were identified for group denationalization through identity cards in Cambodia in 1993, as were the Kurds in Syria in 1962.
Despite a belated apology and monetary issuance by the U.S. government, the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to declare such a practice illegal. Moreover, laws such as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) empower the government to arrest and detain indefinitely anyone they “suspect” of being an enemy of the state.
You see, it’s a short hop, skip and a jump from allowing government agents to stop and demand identification from someone suspected of being an illegal immigrant to empowering government agents to subject anyone—citizen and noncitizen alike—to increasingly intrusive demands that they prove not only that they are legally in the country, but that they are also lawful, in compliance with every statute and regulation on the books, and not suspected of having committed some crime or other.
It’s no longer a matter of if, but when.
You may be innocent of wrongdoing now, but when the standard for innocence is set by the government, no one is safe. Everyone is a suspect. And anyone can be a criminal when it’s the government determining what is a crime.
Remember, the police state does not discriminate.
At some point, it will not matter whether your skin is black or yellow or brown or white. It will not matter whether you’re an immigrant or a citizen. It will not matter whether you’re rich or poor. It won’t even matter whether you’re driving, flying or walking.
After all, government-issued bullets will kill you just as easily whether you’re a law-abiding citizen or a hardened criminal. Government jails will hold you just as easily whether you’ve obeyed every law or broken a dozen. And whether or not you’ve done anything wrong, government agents will treat you like a suspect simply because they have been trained to view and treat everyone like potential criminals.
Eventually, when the police state has turned that final screw and slammed that final door, all that will matter is whether some government agent—poorly trained, utterly ignorant of the Constitution, way too hyped up on the power of their badges, and authorized to detain, search, interrogate, threaten and generally harass anyone they see fit—chooses to single you out for special treatment.
We’ve been having this same debate about the perils of government overreach for the past 50-plus years, and still we don’t seem to learn, or if we learn, we learn too late.
All of the excessive, abusive tactics employed by the government today—warrantless surveillance, stop and frisk searches, SWAT team raids, roadside strip searches, asset forfeiture schemes, private prisons, indefinite detention, militarized police, etc.—started out as a seemingly well-meaning plan to address some problem in society that needed a little extra help.
Be careful what you wish for: you will get more than you bargained for, especially when the government’s involved.
In the case of a national identification system, it might start off as a means of curtailing illegal immigration, but it will end up as a means of controlling the American people.
Remember, nothing is ever as simple as the government claims it is.
The war on drugs turned out to be a war on the American people, waged with SWAT teams and militarized police.
The war on terror turned out to be a war on the American people, waged with warrantless surveillance and indefinite detention.
The war on immigration is turning out to be yet another war on the American people, waged with roving government agents demanding “papers, please.”
Where things start to get dicey is when the stakes get higher, when there’s money to be made, when there are lives on the line. All of these government-fueled wars—on drugs, on terror, on immigration—have given risen to whole industries (defense contractors, prison contractors, security contractors, etc.) devoted to profiting off them. And “we the taxpayers” are footing the bill.
It’s easy to point fingers at the Trump Administration, but this feeding frenzy started long before Trump ascended to the White House. He’s just a red herring—as journalist Glenn Greenwald puts it, “a shiny red herring—one that distracts from the failures, corruption, and malice of the very Establishment so invested in promoting it.”
We’re in trouble, and we’re all to blame: the government bureaucrats who are marching in lockstep with the regime just as much as the populace that obeys every order, that fails to question or resist or push back against government dictates that are unjust or unconstitutional or immoral, and that allows itself to become so focused on the political circus before them that they fail to heed the danger creeping up behind them.
The lessons of history are clear: chained, shackled and imprisoned in a detention camp, there is little chance of resistance. The time to act is now, before it’s too late. Indeed, there is power in numbers, but if those numbers will not unite and rise up against their oppressors, there can be no resistance.
You can’t live in a constitutional republic if you allow the government to act like a police state.
You can’t claim to value freedom if you allow the government to operate like a dictatorship.
You can’t expect to have your rights respected if you allow the government to treat whomever it pleases with disrespect and an utter disregard for the rule of law.
If you’re inclined to advance this double standard because you believe you have done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide, beware: there’s always a boomerang effect.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, whatever dangerous practices you allow the government to carry out now—whether it’s in the name of national security or protecting America’s borders or making America great again—rest assured, these same practices can and will be used against you when the government decides to set its sights on you.
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, is available from AFP at www.americanfreepress.net or 1-888-699-6397. Whitehead can be contacted at [email protected]
Republicans Pushing National Biometric ID Bill
It’s “deja vu all over again” as the issue of biometric national ID cards, which would be required in order to work, travel, receive benefits, or otherwise move about in America, has reared its ugly head yet again, and people paying attention are warning, “H.R. 4760 forces a new biometric national ID on every American citizen.” Stop this bill!
By Chuck Baldwin
The two major parties in Washington, D.C., have been playing “good cop, bad cop” with the American people for decades, and the charade is still working. The vast majority of voters seem totally oblivious to the fact that both parties are little more than puppets for the “man behind the curtain” (to borrow a line from “The Wizard of Oz”). After all is said and done, both parties are destroying constitutional government and liberty in America. They merely approach their duplicity from different directions. But both parties are taking the country down the same slippery slope to serfdom.
Democrats are the out-front bad guys on domestic/social issues such as abortion, gay rights, and gun control. Unfortunately, these are about the only issues conservative Christians pay much attention to. So, to them, Democrats are big, bad sinners and Republicans are spotless saints. But what Christians and most conservatives never seem to notice is that when it comes to the advancement of the warfare state and the promotion of the police state, Republicans are far and away the baddest of the bad. So, depending on what the “man behind the curtain” wants to push at the time, he knows he has both parties in his pocket to do his bidding.
When pushing a pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, pro-gun control agenda is on tap, the game is rigged for Democrats. And when pushing a perpetual war, police state agenda is on tap, the game is rigged for Republicans. No matter who wins, the “man behind the curtain” is always able to successfully push one part of his agenda or the other. So, now that Republicans are in power in Washington, D.C., perpetual war and a burgeoning police state is on tap. And, again, most conservatives and Christians will not even notice.
But for those who are interested in preserving whatever is left of America’s individual liberty, they need to be aware that the Republicans in D.C. are in the process of pushing a bill through Congress (Donald Trump would sign it in a heartbeat) that creates a biometric national ID card for every American.
Couched in anti-immigration language, Republican House members—the main sponsor of the bill is Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.-6)—have proposed H.R. 4760. The bill already has 82 cosponsors. The bill was introduced on Jan. 10.
H.R. 4760 forces a new biometric national ID on every American citizen. One would not be able to get a job, get a loan, open a bank account or board a plane without this national ID. And as is always the case, there is a total blackout in reporting on this bill by the mainstream media—including FOX News.
Republican leaders in Congress are once again plotting with Democrats to stab the American people and the U.S. Constitution in the back, on multiple key issues. Under the guise of getting “something” in exchange for providing amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants (and future Democrat voters) in Obama’s illegal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the establishment wing of the GOP is pushing a radical longtime goal of the bipartisan deep state: mandatory national biometric ID cards for all Americans. Privacy and liberty are under serious threat, critics warned.
The Orwellian national ID scheme, known as “E-Verify,” is ostensibly aimed at making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in the United States. Basically, as part of the program, which would become mandatory under the bill, every employer would be forced to buy a scanner and use it to check the legal work status of potential employees. On top of that, every worker would be forced to have a biometric ID issued by the federal government in order to be able to legally work. Without this national ID, employers would not legally be able to hire somebody.
But in reality, illegal immigrants are typically paid under the table anyway—many of them simply work as day laborers and get paid in cash at the end of the day. In light of that fact, the unconstitutional plot to mandate a national ID will do little to prevent unscrupulous employers from continuing to hire illegal immigrants, off the books. What the scheme will do, though, is force all law-abiding Americans to carry an unconstitutional national ID with all their information on it, including sensitive biometric data, just to be allowed to work. It will also give the feds a key new tool to monitor and control people.
There is a reason the leadership of both parties have supported the effort for many years. Indeed, even Obama, who did his best to help the United Nations flood America with Third World immigration under various guises, firmly supported the national ID plan, calling for a package containing it to be sent to him so he could sign it as quickly as possible. But now, instead of a Big Government liberal program to track Americans, the plot is being marketed as an ostensibly “conservative” measure to supposedly boost “border security” and limit illegal immigration.
A previous version of the scheme was actually sponsored by ultra-leftist open-borders advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). But with the GOP in firm control now, the controversial national ID provision most recently surfaced in the Republican-backed “Securing America’s Future” Act (H.R. 4760). Sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the bill has some 70 cosponsors less than two weeks after being introduced. And already, organizations such as NumbersUSA that portray themselves as pro-America, anti-amnesty are expressing a willingness to cave on amnesty as long as the national ID and E-Verify become law.
Former Congressman Ron Paul is also trying to sound the alarm about this Orwellian bill. Writing to his supporters at Campaign for Liberty, Dr. Paul warns:
This bill would give DACA recipients a 3-year renewable legal status while forcing a biometric National ID card on virtually everyone else.
That’s right—the statists want to control you. Just think about it. . . . Gun ownership. Employment history. Family and friends. Purchasing habits. Health records. Travel. Religious beliefs. Past political contributions. . . . Just imagine all these records and more on EVERY American citizen stored in a massive national database right at a federal government bureaucrat’s finger tips.
But that’s not all. Under the statists’ National ID scheme, you’d be forced to carry around your National ID card, tied to this massive database, chockfull of biometric identifiers like fingerprints and retina scans.
Without this ID, you won’t be able to legally hold a job—or likely even open a bank account or even board a plane!
You see, this National ID scheme is a key component of H.R. 4760. If passed, this dangerous scheme would require all Americans to carry an ID card that would:
Allow federal bureaucrats to include biometric identification information on the card, potentially even including fingerprints, retinal scans, or scans of veins on the back of hands, which could easily be used as a tracking device;
Be required for all U.S. workers regardless of place of birth, making it illegal for anyone to hold a job in the United States who doesn’t obtain an ID card;
Require all employers to purchase an ‘ID scanner’ to verify the ID cards with the federal government. Every time any citizen applies for a job, the government would know–and you can bet it’s only a matter of time until ‘ID scans’ will be required to make even routine purchases, as well.
Of course, you and I have seen this before. . . . For years now, statists in BOTH parties have been fighting to RAM their radical National ID-database scheme into law.
In fact, this scheme was a key portion of the infamous failed “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” bills BOTH parties tried to ram through during the Obama administration.
Now, using the momentum behind Trump’s tough talk on immigration and border security, I’m afraid the statists believe the best way to finally enact their National ID scheme is by promoting their bill on Capitol Hill as a “DACA fix” while they sell it to the GOP base as a border “security” measure.
Of course, that’s nothing more than a buzzword meant to trick Americans from all over the country into thinking that Congress is going to seal our southern border.
But in reality, it means something far different. [What] the “security” members of BOTH parties in the U.S. House want doesn’t target any U.S. border. Instead, it’s meant to create an all-out police state within them.
So, what Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans in Congress want to do is provide amnesty for illegals (1.8 million vs. the 800,000 proposed under Barack Obama—meaning another Trump campaign promise goes down the toilet), while strapping the American citizenry with a biometric national ID card, so WE can be tracked by Big Brother.
And, again, the national news media is hiding the bill from public scrutiny by completely ignoring it (which is what they always do to help an anti-freedom bill become law), and since Republicans are the ones promoting this bill, so-called conservatives and Christians are ignoring it also. More than that, many so-called conservatives and Christians are actively supporting the bill.
It’s the “good cop, bad cop” façade working to perfection.
If conservatives, constitutionalists, Christians, and civil libertarians do not awaken to this phony left/right, conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat dog and pony show that plays nonstop in Washington, D.C., freedom is not long for this country of ours.
H.R. 4760 doesn’t secure America’s borders; it puts the people who live inside America’s borders in a cage—a Big Brother, Orwellian, police state cage. It makes illegals legal and liberty illegal.
If you want to protect your children and grandchildren’s prospects of inheriting even a modicum of freedom, you will do everything you can to dissuade your congressman from supporting and voting for this horrific bill. A good place to start is finding out if your congressman is a cosponsor.
I shudder to think what America will look like a year after this bill passes.
WE MUST STOP H.R. 4760.
P.S. Since both parties in Washington, D.C. (including and especially Donald Trump) seem determined to turn America into a police state, it is urgent that every freedom-minded citizen educate themselves as to constitutional principles relating to police contacts.
Not long ago, my constitutional attorney son brought an outstanding lecture to help people know how to act constitutionally and safely when they are stopped, pulled over, or brought into contact with police officers. The address is simply entitled “Police Contact: How to Respond.”
Americans are more and more frequently falling victim to bad arrests and even physical harm at the hands of eager—but reckless—police officers. If a policeman believes you are guilty, being innocent may not be enough to keep you protected. There are many innocent people incarcerated in America’s prisons—or worse, killed by trigger-happy police officers. And oftentimes, citizens themselves help bring on this improper conduct through their own ignorance of the law or through their egregious misunderstanding of the proper way to interact with police officers.
This presentation focuses directly on the “Dos and Don’ts” of dealing with police contacts. Tim discusses how to—and how not to—react to police traffic stops and other contacts. He clearly and simply shows citizens their rights and duties under the Constitution and why it is so important that citizens understand these rights. This material will help citizens preserve liberty in their communities, and it will help policemen be better peace officers. It also might keep you out of jail—or out of the morgue.
Radio Host Pete Santilli Cops Plea to Avoid Possible Six-Year Sentence
Internet-radio host Pete Santilli’s surprising plea bargain could impact the other defendants’ cases in the ongoing Bundy proceedings, given his agreement with the prosecution’s description of events near Bunkerville when the BLM attempted to take Cliven Bundy’s cattle in March 2014.
By Mark Anderson
LAS VEGAS—Things have taken two sharp, rather unexpected turns regarding the upcoming trial in the Bundy proceedings in the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada. For one thing, Internet-radio personality Pete Santilli—one of the defendants in the next trial, which had been set to begin with jury selection on Oct. 10—“pled guilty today (Friday, Oct. 6) and was released pending sentencing,” his attorney, Chris Rasmussen of Las Vegas, confirmed for AFP by phone about 4:30 p.m. Eastern time that day.
Notably, the next trial involves the federal government trying cattleman Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, and Ryan Payne. Due to his plea arrangement, Santilli is, of course, no longer involved in this trial. Two other defendants, O. Scott Drexler and Eric Parker, who are being retried on some counts for a third time, will join the others in this second of three planned trials of all the defendants charged in the Bunkerville “standoff.”
The second surprising turn of events is that both the prosecution and defense sought and secured yet another delay in these complicated proceedings, this time due to fear that the highly emotional aftermath of the recent deadly shooting during a country music concert outside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas would adversely impact the attitudes and opinions of jurors for the time being.
As of this writing, the Oct. 10 date for jury selection has been postponed to on or around Oct. 30 and could be subject to change again, given the bumpy track record of these multiple-defendant trial proceedings—which the federal government has been largely losing so far. Santilli, who shot extended livestream video footage at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge building in eastern Oregon—prompting critics to allege that his “journalistic” coverage enabled the government to more closely monitor the ranchers who occupied the abandoned building in protest of onerous federal land controls—was jailed for his role in that affair.
Although cleared of Oregon-related charges, Santilli was kept behind bars and transferred to Nevada to stand trial because he had also taken part in the spring 2014 Bunkerville, Nev. “standoff.” That peaceful confrontation saw Cliven Bundy, his sons, and other supporters gather to protest the policies and conduct of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other federal agencies that unsuccessfully attempted to confiscate Bundy’s cattle over a grazing-fee dispute.
Regarding the Nevada events, Santilli pled guilty to a felony count of obstruction of justice, based on the government’s assertion that he used his own vehicle to impede the movement of a BLM truck during the attempted cattle impoundment.
Interestingly, Rasmussen believes the government may be willing to consider the prison time that Santilli has already served—behind bars since Jan. 26, 2016—as sufficient punishment for that felony charge. But a reading of the plea memo shared with AFP by Rasmussen shows that the government reserves the right to impose a longer prison term, possibly six years, when Santilli is sentenced, probably in January. Meanwhile, two pending defense motions—one to exclude Oregon-related evidence in the government’s Nevada case against Santilli, and another to challenge the government’s claim that Santilli could not excuse his Nevada actions because of his journalistic background—are now moot, Rasmussen added.
According to court documentation, Santilli’s acceptance of pleading guilty to this single felony-obstruction charge requires, under penalty of perjury, that he accept the following government-sourced statements as “true and correct,” regarding the “standoff” in southern Nevada:
“Beginning on or around March 28, 2014, federal law enforcement officers from the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service were engaged in the official duties of executing federal court orders to remove and impound cattle trespassing upon federal public lands in and around Bunkerville, Nevada, the cattle belonging to Cliven Bundy, a local rancher.
“Defendant Santilli knew that Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ammon, Dave, Mel, and Ryan, (collectively, ‘the Bundys’), and others associated with them, planned to thwart, impede and interfere with impoundment operations.
“On April 9, 2014, Defendant Santilli used force to prevent officers from discharging their duties by using his vehicle to block BLM law enforcement officers and civilian employees as they were performing their duties related to the impoundment. Defendant Santilli drove his vehicle straight toward a BLM law enforcement officer’s vehicle, preventing the officer and the rest of the convoy behind him from being able to move forward.
“The officer ordered Defendant Santilli to move out of the way but Defendant Santilli continued to block the convoy’s path. Defendant Santilli finally reversed his vehicle out of the path of the convoy only after the officer repeated the command several times.
“By using force to block the convoy, Defendant Santilli allowed others to surround the convoy and threaten the occupants of the vehicles by force of violence and fear, inducing the officers to leave the place where their duties were required to be performed.
“Defendant Santilli acknowledges that all of the above took place within the State and Federal District of Nevada.”
The maximum penalty for “Conspiracy to Impede or Injure a Federal Officer,” the formal name of this count against Santilli under 18 U.S.C. § 372, is six years’ imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, or both. But the plea memo shows that Santilli owes no restitution under this charge, nor will he be required to forfeit any of his assets—provided he meets the strict terms of his supervised release until he’s sentenced.
He must not violate any federal, state, or local laws, is restricted from any significant travel, and among other things must avoid any known association with anyone who’s breaking any law. Nor can Santilli possess a gun or any other item deemed a weapon by the government. Failing to show up for a hearing or other procedural matter would also result in this deal being dissolved.
Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at [email protected]
Mental Health Laws Used to Silence Critic
Pennsylvania powerbrokers have repeatedly abused the legal system to lock up a political opponent, according to a former civil rights attorney in Pennsylvania, by misusing a mental health act original intended to protect individuals with symptoms of mental illness.
By Dave Gahary
A law on the books in the Keystone State intended to apply to individuals with mental illness is now being used for a more sinister purpose: to involuntarily commit political opponents who pose a threat to the established power structure in the commonwealth’s capital.
Andrew J. Ostrowski, a former Pennsylvania civil rights attorney, found himself in the sights of the powers-that-be in Harrisburg, and learned the hard way how the 1976 Mental Health Procedures Act (MHPA) is being used to chill criticism of the power prism.
The MHPA “establishes procedures for the treatment of mentally ill persons” and “set[s] forth the Commonwealth’s policy and procedures regarding the provision of mental health services.” Article III of the act defines the requirements and limitations on involuntary emergency examination, treatment, and hospitalization of individuals who present a “clear and present danger to others.” That key phrase is defined as meaning “within the past 30 days the person has inflicted or attempted to inflict serious bodily harm on another and that there is a reasonable probability that such conduct will be repeated.”
Longtime American Free Press subscriber and supporter Dorene Shutz tipped off this reporter to Ostrowski’s recent kidnapping. “He is awake to the corrupt courts,” she explained.
On Aug. 26, this reporter spent most of the day with Ostrowski, Ms. Shutz, and other mild-mannered patriots at The Nationalist Times conference, and found all the participants to be scholarly truth-seekers. None who were present that day could ever be considered severely mentally ill and in need of involuntary treatment by even the most incompetent authority, but that says nothing of corrupt authority.
Ostrowski was born and raised in Lancaster, Penn., attended Millersville University, and “was in the first graduating class at Widener University” in Harrisburg.
“I trained for several years in the formal legal law firm environment,” he told AFP. He soon discovered, however, that his chosen profession as an “officer of the court” wasn’t what he thought it might be.
“I had been a practicing lawyer until 2010 when I ran into disciplinary issues,” he said, “and, as I distanced myself from the formal practice and started to look at these things, I started to see that there really was no basis for the licensing of the practice of law. The licensing of the practice of law really is an impediment to everybody’s access to justice, because your attorney is not free to advocate without risking his or her own property.”
On Aug. 23, Ostrowski filed a motion, attacking what he saw as a corrupt system.
“I filed what is called a motion for declaratory relief,” he explained, “which is a vehicle that gives you access to have declarations made that certain things are constitutional, not constitutional, lawful, and unlawful. And I did it to challenge the basis of the attorney law license. This . . . is a very significant motion that really would upset the entire judicial structure in this country.”
Sitting at his desk on Sept. 19, Ostrowski found out how significant it really was.
“I posted a notice on Facebook and sent out emails notifying people I was going on Facebook Live and, within 15 minutes of that, the police were at my door.”
Facebook Live allows a user to broadcast live video streams, requiring nothing more than a computer with a video camera and a Facebook account.
“I looked out the front window,” he said, “and there was a cop climbing over my railing to come around back, so I went around to the back door and locked it, and I went on Facebook Live. And then somehow, they got a key and they came in with gloves on and with their tasers pulled, three of them, a female and two males.”
The webcam captured the interaction between Ostrowski and the police, who entered his home without his permission. In the video, Ostrowski can be seen asking the officers to show him their warrant. Viewers see an officer telling him they have one but then forcing Ostrowski from his desk before the video ends.
“They did not have a proper warrant; they didn’t have any paperwork,” Ostrowski said. “I had to kind of—as passively as I could—resist them dragging me into an ambulance and throwing me in without seeing some paperwork.”
The short trip from his house to the ambulance was not without injury.
“I had bruises and a cut on my wrist from the handcuffs,” he said. AFP asked what happened next.
“I was taken in to the local emergency room where they process you,” he explained, “and then they sent me to [Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital] down in the Philadelphia suburbs. That was a horrific experience. It was clear that the agenda was, as expressed to me by the doctor, to get me on some kind of pharmaceuticals, and/or, if I refused or resisted, to have me placed long-term, and do it involuntarily. He specifically advocated for that in the hearing on Sept. 22.”
They held him there for seven days, two days longer than Section 302 of the MHPA ostensibly allows. Eventually a judge signed an order denying any commitment petition.
“They basically said I shouldn’t have been there,” explained Ostrowski. AFP asked if he had any recourse, as the judge’s ruling can’t erase the fact that he had been kept there against his will for all that time.
“Of course, yes,” Ostrowski said. “This is a gross violation of all my fundamental civil rights. There’s not one that you can discount from it, [except] maybe cruel and unusual punishment.” Alarmingly, this wasn’t the first time they came for Ostrowski, “all directly related,” he believes, “to my advocacy efforts.”
“This is the third time this year,” he explained.
Ostrowski contends that the abuse of this mental health law to truncate people’s due process rights is a clear problem.
“This is why AMERICAN FREE PRESS exists,” he said. “This is why The Nationalist Times exists. This is why you guys do what you do, because this stuff happens to real folks.”
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.
Congress Says White Groups Are Terrorists
Lawmakers have condemned peaceful protesters and demanded the president do the same, yet they remain silent about leftist violence perpetrated by groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
By John Friend
The Senate and House recently passed a joint resolution specifically condemning white nationalists and other so-called “hate groups”—including “neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists”— and urged President Donald Trump to speak out against such groups and devote federal resources toward addressing the purported “threat” posed by them.
The resolution, S.J.Res. 49, was introduced by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) with the support of Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Corey Gardner (R-Colo.) and others in the wake of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., a rally legally organized by leading members of the so-called alt-right that was sabotaged by a combination of state and local police, state of Virginia political officials, and a violent crowd of radical leftist counter-protesters.
The rally resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman who was among the counter-protestors when she was struck by a vehicle driven into a crowd by a young man who was there to support the alt-right. The circumstances surrounding the car crash and Ms. Heyer’s death remain murky. Some allege that the driver of the vehicle, James Alex Fields Jr., was violently attacked in his vehicle by counter-protesters shortly before he drove into the crowd.
Fields allegedly has had a troubled history, having been accused in the past of assaulting his own mother on two occasions, and was reportedly on medication to help manage his outbursts of anger. The joint resolution, which was approved by the Senate on Sept. 11 and by the House on Sept. 12, condemns “the racist violence and domestic terrorist attack” that took place during the Unite the Right rally, while completely ignoring and dismissing the violence committed by counter-protesters that day. It also offers condolences and support to the Heyer family and families of the state police officers killed when their helicopter crashed as it left the Charlottesville area and specifically rejects “white nationalism, white supremacy, and neo-Nazism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”
The resolution goes on to demand that President Donald Trump “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and white supremacy” and to devote federal resources “to address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States.” Days after the resolution was adopted, Trump signed and endorsed it, saying he rejected bigotry in all its forms. “No matter the color of our skin or our ethnic heritage, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God,” Trump declared in a statement following his endorsement of the resolution.
Shortly after signing the joint resolution, during a conference call with a number of prominent Jewish groups, Trump condemned those who spread anti-Semitism. “We forcefully condemn those who seek to incite anti-Semitism or to spread any form of slander and hate—and I will ensure we protect Jewish communities, and all communities, that face threats to their safety,” Trump stated during the call.
The president has come under fire for not denouncing the alt-right rally and its organizers quickly or forcefully enough. Never mind that the rally was legally organized and represented an entirely legitimate expression of the First Amendment. The highly distorted controlled media narrative immediately disseminated during and after the rally portrayed the alt-right rally attendees as unhinged, violent white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Klansmen who were determined to violently confront the leftist counter-protesters who mobilized across the city of Charlottesville in response to the rally.
In reality, the vast majority of the violence was initiated and instigated by the radical leftist counter-protesters themselves, who threw urine and feces not only at alt-right demonstrators but also at media and police officers.
In light of the joint resolution and Trump’s endorsement of it, many Americans are left wondering when a similar resolution will be adopted and endorsed that specifically denounces and rejects the radical left, which has for decades engaged in blatant acts of violence, intimidation and terrorism. In recent years, various leftist groups—Black Lives Matter, Antifa, radical communists, anti-capitalists and anarchists—have become increasingly bold and violent, particularly since Trump stepped onto the political scene.
Black Lives Matter activists have burned down and looted entire neighborhoods, while Antifa and other radical leftists have attacked Trump supporters, damaged and destroyed private property, and otherwise engaged in violence and mayhem in a variety of cities across the United States. Efforts are already under way to demand Trump declare Antifa a terrorist organization. So far, though, Trump and other federal officials have not made any decisive moves to condemn and reject the radical left, which truly does pose a threat to the safety and security of Americans.
John Friend is a writer who lives in California.
Company Wants Employees ‘Chipped’
Joining a high-technology office complex in Sweden, a Wisconsin company now says bio-chips can replace swipe cards, log in to computers, and order food. Distressingly, employees are lining up for the “convenient” implanted chip.
By Dave Gahary
Five years ago this week, when American Free Press was the first national newspaper to break the story on a San Antonio, Texas school attempting to force all 4,200 students “to wear radio frequency identification (RFID) microchips embedded in the student IDs worn around their necks,” it may have seemed to most readers the stuff of science fiction. Not only is the technology more advanced today, however, it’s gaining acceptance as well.
Although the teenage heroine in AFP roving editor Mark Anderson’s 2012 report—Andrea Hernandez—eventually won her battle based on religious beliefs that opposed being “chipped,” having microchips voluntarily injected subcutaneously is now a growing fad.
Around two years after AFP’s report, the BBC reported on a company that’s perfecting the art of chipping. In Sweden, a high-technology office complex—Epicenter—is offering chipping to any employee who wants it, and many are jumping at the chance. Even BBC reporter Rory Cellan-Jones—who wrote the Jan. 29, 2015 article entitled “Office puts chips under staff’s skin”—volunteered to have the device, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted in his hand, between his thumb and index finger. He explained the process in the article.
First, he massaged the skin between my thumb and index finger and rubbed in some disinfectant. The[n] he told me to take a deep breath while he inserted the chip. There was a moment of pain—not much worse than any injection—and then he stuck a plaster [an adhesive bandage] over my hand.
Eventually, all 700 employees working in the complex were to be offered the “opportunity” to be chipped.
The man implanting the chips—Hannes Sjoblad, who works for the Swedish “biohacking” company BioNyfiken—told the reporter:
We already interact with technology all the time. Today it’s a bit messy—we need pin codes and passwords. Wouldn’t it be easy to just touch with your hand? That’s really intuitive. We want to be able to understand this technology before big corporates and big government come to us and say everyone should get chipped—the tax authority chip, the Google or Facebook chip.
An Associated Press (AP) article updating Epicenter’s “progress,” reported that of the “more than 100 companies and some 2,000 workers . . . about 150 workers have them.” The report notes a company in Belgium “also offers its employees such implants, and there are isolated cases around the world where tech enthusiasts have tried this out in recent years.”
“The implants have become so popular,” reports AP, “that Epicenter workers stage monthly events where attendees have the option of being ‘chipped’ for free.”
Now the chipping craze has crossed the pond. As reported in the pages of USA Today on July 24, a “Wisconsin technology firm has begun offering employees microchip implants so they can [enter the company building without a swipe card] and purchase food at work.” The company, Three Square Market (32M)—which is partnering with BioNyfiken—“has over 50 employees who plan to have the devices implanted.”
According to a company press release, 32M “is offering implanted chip technology to all of their employees. Employees will be chipped at the 32M inaugural ‘chip party’ hosted at their headquarters in River Falls, Wisc. on Aug. 1, 2017. Employees will be implanted with a RFID chip allowing them to make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, log in to computers, use the copy machine etc.”
CEO Todd Westby states: “We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals. Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities etc.”
Vice President of International Sales Tony Danna added, “We see chip technology as the next evolution in payment systems.”
Fortunately for those neo-luddites among us, not everyone is as eager to step into this brave, new world. State lawmakers in Nevada heard testimony earlier this year regarding chipping.
Legislation introduced by state Sen. Becky Harris “would bar forcefully implanted tracking microchips,” reported the Reno Gazette-Journal on Feb. 13. Sen. Harris believes “the chips pose serious ethical concerns, such as who owns the information stored on the chip and who owns the chip itself.”
She’s also concerned that the chips could be “hacked,” allowing someone unauthorized access to the chip for an illegal purpose.
“There’s no cryptology or protection measures that we’re aware of that are placed on these chips, so it’s possible to hack the information contained within the chips,” she said. “It is possible that you could harass or stalk chipped individuals with the right type of reader.”
Sen. Harris also claims “the chips also pose a potential health problem, citing studies that found fibrosarcoma and sarcoma, a malignant cancerous tumor, at injection sites in animal testing.”
Humans morphing into cancerous cyborgs may have come to pass, but it’s not fazing certain portions of the younger generation. A 25-year-old employee who works for a company in the Epicenter complex, Sandra Haglof, is ready for the transformation.
Laughing, she told AP, “I want to be part of the future.”
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information.