Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Look Around! Common Law Works. Government Statute Doesn’t.

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from Daily Bell:

How can something be considered a crime if there is no victim?

This is a problem. You can go through life making sure you don’t hurt anyone, and still break the law. Wouldn’t that be great if you could simply base your actions on common sense and respect for the standards of a community?

Instead, people must also make sure they don’t do anything labeled wrong by the government. Of course, it is impossible to know all the laws which the government has created. And what they call wrong is not always intuitive, nor offensive.

Government statute law goes beyond the resolution of disputes between individuals and groups. In contrast, the whole point of common law was to settle disputes in non-violent ways.

Now, there are third-party enforcers trolling around looking for a statute that has been broken. There doesn’t have to be a victim. No one has to have been wronged by the legal breach. They actually create conflict instead of resolving it. Their actions often lead to violent altercations, rather than deescalating disputes.

In an essay called “The Obviousness of Anarchy,” John Hasnas discusses the origins of common law, and how it was born out of anarchy. He says that clearly, no society can exist without governance. Part of the definition of a society is that it is somewhat organized and held together by common traditions. But that does not necessarily mean government, as the term has come to be understood.

In arguing for anarchy, I am arguing that a society without a central political authority is not only possible but desirable. That is all I am doing, however. I am not arguing for a society without coercion. I am not arguing for a society that abides by the libertarian non-aggression principle or any other principle of justice. I am not arguing for the morally ideal organisation of society. I am not arguing for utopia. What constitutes ideal justice and the perfectly just society is a fascinating philosophical question, but it is one that is irrelevant to the current pursuit. I am arguing only that human beings can live together successfully and prosper in the absence of a centralised coercive authority. To make the case for anarchy, that is all that is required.

Read More @ http://www.thedailybell.com

Vicious Ugly Face of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

by Richard Sauder, Event Horizon Chronicle:

The theme of my blog is the Event Horizon, the point at which the pace of events and change quickens and gets faster and faster and faster, until things get so cockeyed that you hardly know which end is up, the world is spinning and whirling all around you, left becomes right, up is down, black is white– and things become so furious, the crescendo of insanity howls and shrieks all around you, the world seems to lose all normal sense, people act out in all sorts of strange and bizarre ways, there are more and more abnormal weather events, earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars, floods, economic crises, and more — there may even by mind-numbing mass mortality events.

It seems more than you can take in or bear, and still it keeps coming.

Well, my friends, I think we re now entering into the outer bands of the Event Horizon.  The ride is likely to get bumpier from here on, for at least the next few years.

The recent hurricanes in the USSA and the Caribbean islands, along with the recent spate of major earthquakes in Mexico, and elsewhere along the Ring of Fire, suggest that we have crossed over the threshold into the beginning of the Event Horizon.

I won’t even get into the growing likelihood of nuclear warfare between the USSA and North Korea (and perhaps other countries, as well) and the increasingly bizarre, erratic behavior of the so-called “President” of the USSA, Donald Trump. The man is a blithering idiot, and please, don’t even try to tell me that he is playing 3-D political chess.  At this point I doubt that he is even competent to play with Tinker toys or play dough.

What’s Going On In Texas? (and Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands?)

Over the last few days and weeks, many of the Caribbean islands and also the Texas Gulf Coast and nearby inland regions of Texas, most of the state of Florida  and the USSA Territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (in the Caribbean) have been slammed, even devastated by hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Let’s look at Houston. Hurricane Harvey destroyed up to one million cars in its rampage in Texas. There is no meaningful public transport in Houston, which is a stereotypical car town, so how are people getting to work? Arethey getting to work? Does their place of work still exist, or is their workplace usable or safe?

The Houston business press reports that 134,500 residences were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey (while not mentioning how many businesses were destroyed or damaged). Let’s arbitrarily say that the average household contains 3 people (some will have one person, some will have four or five) — so a back of the envelope guesstimate suggests that about half a million people (or more?) were forced out of their houses and apartments because their domicile was either destroyed or badly damaged by water and wind and they temporarily had to relocate due to mud, mold, mildew, ripped off roof, etc. and emergency repairs underway until the residence is once again habitable, if it is repairable.

Where are these several hundreds of thousands of people now? Where are they living? What are they doing? It’s a very large number of people.

They have lost their cars. They have lost their apartments or houses. Many have lost their employment. Are half a million people in camps? Have they been disappeared? Are they living under plastic sheets by the side of the road and sleeping on cardboard? Without a car and a house how do they survive in a car-necessary-city? There is a yawning silence about these questions from the mainstream news media in the USSA.

But here is one example from the British press — note well — the British press, not the USSA press. A five member family had to flee their apartment due to flooding, but are nevertheless being required to pay rent — and late fees! — for an apartment they cannot live in. The husband cannot work because of flooding and they have few options. Indeed, the article says that 180,000 Houston-area homes have been badly damaged. I get the feeling that the situation in Houston and the surrounding area is far worse than the USSA government is admitting. That family can probably be multiplied by 100,000 fold. My guesstimate of half a million victims of the storm and flooding in Texas may even be far too low.
 
Watch the following YouTube videos about recent hurricane related events in coastal Texas. The report of armed, rogue “contractors” and federal agents intentionally flooding Houston neighborhoods without first evacuating the inhabitants is most troubling, as is the report about flushing the many dead bodies in the flood waters (some with bullet wounds) out to sea, as is the report of FEMA prison barges being brought into the Port Arthur area, just to the east of Houston. Watch the video about the FEMA barge and note the view of the interior. It is clearly a large, maximum security jail.

It appears that extremely ugly events are going down in Texas about which the USSA government and its partners in crime, the mainstream news media, are silent.

FEMA CIA, DEA, FBI Hunting- MURDERING PEOPLE !!! WITNESS !!!

My Time At Hurricane Harvey
 

FEMA BARGES In TEXAS Are JAILS!! (watch it — look inside)

Similarly, we are hearing very little out of Florida, though a week and a half ago, there were reports that 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the homes in the Florida Keys were “destroyed” or suffered “major damage.” Given that 10,000 people reportedly defied evacuation orders to remain in the Florida Keys, 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of them would have had their homes totally destroyed or heavily damaged, while they were in them. So what was the real death toll in the Keys? Obviously, your odds of physical survival are extremely problematic if your house is totally destroyed or heavily damaged while you are in it. I’ve got questions which neither the news media nor government are answering. 

I have been unable to find hard numbers, or any numbers at all, for the total numbers of damaged and destroyed houses in Florida due to Irma, though many houses were reported under water in Naples, and there was heavy damage in Saint Augustine and record flooding in Jacksonville. It is as if there were a hard news vacuum on what really happened in Florida.

And what is going on in Puerto Rico? We know very little, other than that the entire island of 3.5 million people has completely lost electrical power in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and that the electrical grid will not be restored for weeks, or even months.

Read the rest of the article @ EventHorizonChronicle

Photos: Sioux Tribe Says Elder Beaten and Tased by Cop While Trying to Visit Dying Mother

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by James Holbrooks, The Anti Media:

South Dakota — The Yankton Sioux Tribe is claiming police used excessive force to prevent one its tribal elders, 64-year-old Raymond Cournoyer Sr., from seeing his dying mother in a nursing home last weekend. Cournoyer was detained following the incident with police and wasn’t able to see his mother before she passed.

Cournoyer, who spoke to Argus Leader on Tuesday, says he spent most of Saturday at the nursing home and that his mother was doing well, so he left that evening and returned home. He says the call he got from sister telling him to rush back to the city of Wagner to say his goodbyes was unexpected.

According to the Grand Forks Herald, an affidavit from the South Dakota Highway Patrol says one of their troopers clocked Cournoyer, a resident of Lake Andes, doing 72 in 65 mph zone. Cournoyer’s refusal to pull over prompted the trooper to call for backup from the Wagner Police Department when the vehicle crossed into those city limits.

The trooper followed Cournoyer to the nursing home. The Yankton Sioux Tribe released a statement to the press, and its claims of what happened next were summed up by the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan:

“After verbally informing the officer of his intention to be at his mother’s side during her final moments and then taking a few steps, Cournoyer was allegedly grabbed from behind and pushed against his vehicle. At that point in time, the tribe claims a member of the Wagner City Police Department arrived on scene and slammed Cournoyer to the ground face first and tazed him. Both officers then placed Cournoyer in handcuffs, the tribe said.”

The tribe further claimed that the Wagner police officer, Eli Kuhlman, who fired the taser, was a recent hire and uncertified. Argon Leader confirmed that claim with Wagner’s city attorney. Kuhlman had been with the six-person force for less than a year and had that full year to complete officer certification.

In fact, Cournoyer’s daughter Philomena, who was a witness and posted photos of the encounter to Facebook, wrote in her post that she had to put her own skills to use that night due to the officer’s inexperience:

“I just thought I would share this as well, I am the one who had to remove the taser prongs that were stuck in his skin after they tased him. They police officer didn’t know how to remove them. If the officer is too incompetent to remove the taser after firing it how is he even allowed to use it?”

Speaking to Argus Leader, Chiara Cournoyer described her sister Philomena as a trained medical technician with a goal of becoming a tribal police officer.

Philomena further claimed in her post that the reason her father wasn’t able to say his goodbyes is that the officers made the family wait outside the nursing home for 45 minutes while they talked over what to charge Raymond with.

According to the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the eventual charge was eluding law enforcement. That agency has since claimed in a press statement that the behavior of its trooper, Weston Fischer, was justified that night:

“South Dakota Highway Patrol has reviewed the actions of our trooper during this incident, and the trooper’s actions were professional and within South Dakota Highway Patrol policy. The South Dakota Highway Patrol did not request DCI investigation, but we have and will fully cooperate with it.”

The aforementioned investigation into the incident, being conducted by the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), came at the request of the city of Wagner police chief, Argus Leader confirmed.

As of Friday, whether or not charges will be brought against the officers remains unclear. In an update on the case on Thursday, Argus Leader reported that that if charges are indeed filed, they won’t be handled by the county prosecutor.

Read More @ TheAntiMedia.com

Look Around! Common Law Works. Government Statute Doesn’t.

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by Joe Jarvis, Daily Bell:

How can something be considered a crime if there is no victim?

This is a problem. You can go through life making sure you don’t hurt anyone, and still break the law. Wouldn’t that be great if you could simply base your actions on common sense and respect for the standards of a community?

Instead, people must also make sure they don’t do anything labeled wrong by the government. Of course, it is impossible to know all the laws which the government has created. And what they call wrong is not always intuitive, nor offensive.

Government statute law goes beyond the resolution of disputes between individuals and groups. In contrast, the whole point of common law was to settle disputes in non-violent ways.

Now, there are third-party enforcers trolling around looking for a statute that has been broken. There doesn’t have to be a victim. No one has to have been wronged by the legal breach. They actually create conflict instead of resolving it. Their actions often lead to violent altercations, rather than deescalating disputes.

In an essay called “The Obviousness of Anarchy,” John Hasnas discusses the origins of common law, and how it was born out of anarchy. He says that clearly, no society can exist without governance. Part of the definition of a society is that it is somewhat organized and held together by common traditions. But that does not necessarily mean government, as the term has come to be understood.

Read More @ thedailybell.com

Public School Accuses 5 Year Old of Making Terrorist Threats

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from Daily Bell:

When I was in kindergarten, I found a knife in the pocket of a hand-me-down jacket I was wearing for the first time. I gave it to my teacher, and I don’t remember her reacting at all. She gave the knife to my parents when they picked me up at the end of the day. And that was that.

I used to run around at recess at that age with the other kids, and use bent sticks as fake guns. We shot at each other, rolled down hills dying from fake bullet wounds, and used pinecones as grenades. Looking back that sounds a little bit morbid, but I think I ended up fine. I didn’t torture small animals nor did I become a serial killer. In fact, I never killed anything bigger than a bug until a few weeks ago when I slaughtered some chickens for the first time.

I’m pretty confident that some of my 5-year-old artwork in school included death and destruction. But that was decades ago. Now, kids are labeled terrorists for acting like kids.

It’s no wonder kids pretend the way they do with the violent focus of the media. You probably couldn’t insulate your kid from bombs and bloodshed if you tried. I wouldn’t be surprised if they discussed it in the kindergarten class.

Yet a 5-year-old was suspended for making a terrorist threat. The tuition-free public charter school in Modesto California said the five-year-old intentionally made threats meant to intimidate and harass.

The kid, Jackson, told the teacher he couldn’t take off his backpack because there was a bomb in it, and it would explode if he did. Sounds like a hero to me.

Read More @ thedailybell.com

Clapper: ‘Conceivable’ Trump Was Picked Up in Conversations With Manafort

by Susan Jones, CNSNews:

“Is it possible the president was picked up in a conversation with Paul Manafort?” CNN’s Don Lemon asked former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Wednesday night.

 

“It’s certainly conceivable,” Clapper responded.

 

“Is it likely?” Lemon asked him.

 

“I can’t say,” Clapper responded. “I wouldn’t want to go there, but I will say it’s – it’s possible.”

 

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Yet, Clapper previously has said that he is unaware of any FISA-authorized wiretapping of Trump Tower or the Trump campaign.

 

Lemon began the Wednesday night interview by asking Clapper to comment on an exclusive CNN report that government investigators obtained a FISA court warrant to wiretap Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, both before and after the election, including times when Manafort was communicating directly with the president.

 

‘What’s your reaction to that?” Lemon asked Clapper.

 

“Well, I can’t comment on a specific FISA order,” Clapper said. “I said some things about this on “Meet the Press” on the 5th of March, and I stand on that statement. I can’t – I can’t confirm or deny.”

 

Read More @ cnsnews.com

Spanish Police Storm Government Buildings Trying To Stop Independence Referendum

by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:

Spanish national police have stormed ministries and buildings belonging to Catalonia’s regional government to put a stop to the region’s independence referendum.  In the early morning hours, armed officers arrived at various Catalan ministries, including the economics department, foreign affairs department, and social affairs department, and made arrests in an effort to stop Catalan independence.

The Guardia Civil, which acts with the authority of Madrid’s interior ministry, is searching for evidence regarding the planned October 1st referendum on Catalan independence, which Spain’s Constitutional Court has declared illegal. The Catalan president has accused the Spanish government of effectively suspending the region’s autonomy and declaring a de facto state of emergency.

Police officers raided Catalan government offices on Wednesday and arrested 12 senior officials in a bid to stop an independence referendum being held in less than two weeks’ time. Pro-independence crowds have since formed outside the regional ministries in support of the provincial government and in protest against the raids and searches and attempts to stop the independence referendum.

According to The Guardian, Carles Puigdemont, the president of Catalonia described the raids as a “co-ordinated police assault” that showed that Madrid “has de facto suspended self-government and applied a de facto state of emergency” in Catalonia.

Tensions between Madrid and Barcelona have also escalated in recent days as the government of the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, strives to ensure that the controversial independence vote does not take place on October 1st, while the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, appears to back those hoping to vote for their independence. The mayor tweeted: “Searching public bodies and arresting officials is a democratic scandal. We defend Catalan institutions.”

Yet, the Spanish government is using whatever force necessary at this point to prevent the independence referendum.

On Wednesday morning, Spain’s interior ministry announced it was cancelling leave for all the guardia civil and national police officers tasked with preventing the referendum. In a statement, it said the affected officers would have to be available between 20 September and 5 October, but added the period could be extended if necessary.

The raids come a day after the guardia civil confiscated referendum documents from the offices of a private delivery firm in the Catalan city of Terrassa. More than 1.5 million [sic] referendum leaflets and posters have also been seized. –The Guardian

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

Entire Volume of CIA Files On Lee Harvey Oswald, Set to Be Released in October, Has ‘Gone Missing’

by Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project:

Volume 5 of the CIA’s Lee Harvey Oswald 7-volume collection, may never be turned over, even though the law requires it to take place by October 26th of this year.

Countless concerned individuals are still searching for answers surrounding the mysterious death of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy. The official narrative, that a lone former Marine named Harvey Oswald assassinated him, is widely disputed.

All available documents from all government entities are required by the Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 to be released on October 26th of 2017. But if history repeats itself, the Central Intelligence Agency may not release an entire volume of documents on Oswald, known as “volume 5.”

As Sputnik reports, the release in July of 3,810 CIA and FBI documents on the assassination by the Assassination Records Review Board threw up a number of revelations that JFK researchers have hungrily devoured and enthusiastically publicized. For instance, the mayor of Dallas at the time of Kennedy’s assassination, Earle Cabell, was a CIA asset in the 1950s, and his brother, Charles Cabell, a high-ranking CIA official until 1962.

The release in October has been highly anticipated by those seeking answers. However, thanks to a deliberate fudging or records, or a conveniently timed clerical error, an entire volume may never see the light of day.

Inside Langley Air Force Base’s CIA Headquarters is an office known as the Office of Security. The Office of Security maintains its own top-secret archives known as the Office of Security Archival Holdings and is a separate archive from the agency’s more frequently used facility located in Alexandria, VA known as the Agency Archival Record Center.

As late as 1977, the entire 7-volume collection of documents was intact, having been checked out by Russ Holmes in the Office of General Counsel and noted the 7-volume series was all together, not missing any volumes. But when the CIA was asked to turn over the volume of documents on Oswald, the hitman in the assassination, it seems the agency stonewalled a bit, like a shell game according to independent investigator Malcolm Blunt.

Blunt described the stonewalling:

This huge search by CIA did not surface Oswald’s security files and the Assassination Records Review Board (AARB) remained uninformed about their existence. Not until 1997 when an ARRB staffer stumbled across evidence that two previous congressional investigations had access to these files did CIA “discover” them.

The AARB eventually received the 7-volume set of documents on Oswald in 1998, but staffers quickly realized there was one volume missing—volume 5.

An agency explanation was offered that volume 5 could have been consolidated into Volume 4, or Volume 6 for example. Eventually, the agency concluded, according to Blunt, Volume 5 of Oswald’s Security file may never have existed.

So far, 2017 has been a year of anticipation for JFK conspiracy theorists as they await the release of all files surrounding the assassination of one of the country’s most beloved presidents. One group, known as the Citizens Against Political Assassinations, is chomping at the bits to get to volume 5 and others. They believe the official government narrative is full of holes and needs to be investigated.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Freedom Is a Myth: We Are All Prisoners of the Police State’s Panopticon Village

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by John Whitehead, via Washington’s Blog:

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

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

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

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

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

Number Two, the Village administrator, acts as an agent for the unseen and all-powerful Number One, whose identity is not revealed until the final episode.

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

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

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

Number Six refuses to comply.

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

Yet no matter how far Number Six manages to get in his efforts to escape, it’s never far enough.

Watched by surveillance cameras and other devices, Number Six’s getaways are continuously thwarted by ominous white balloon-like spheres known as “rovers.” Still, he refuses to give up. “Unlike me,” he says to his fellow prisoners, “many of you have accepted the situation of your imprisonment, and will die here like rotten cabbages.”

Number Six’s escapes become a surreal exercise in futility, each episode an unfunny, unsettling Groundhog’s Day that builds to the same frustrating denouement: there is no escape.

As journalist Scott Thill concludes for Wired, “Rebellion always comes at a price. During the acclaimed run of The Prisoner, Number Six is tortured, battered and even body-snatched: In the episode ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ his mind is transplanted to another man’s body. Number Six repeatedly escapes The Village only to be returned to it in the end, trapped like an animal, overcome by a restless energy he cannot expend, and betrayed by nearly everyone around him.”

The series is a chilling lesson about how difficult it is to gain one’s freedom in a society in which prison walls are disguised within the trappings of technological and scientific progress, national security and so-called democracy.

As Thill noted when McGoohan died in 2009, “The Prisoner was an allegory of the individual, aiming to find peace and freedom in a dystopia masquerading as a utopia.”

The Prisoner’s Village is also an apt allegory for the American Police State: it gives the illusion of freedom while functioning all the while like a prison: controlled, watchful, inflexible, punitive, deadly and inescapable.

The American Police State, much like The Prisoner’s Village, is a metaphorical panopticon, a circular prison in which the inmates are monitored by a single watchman situated in a central tower. Because the inmates cannot see the watchman, they are unable to tell whether or not they are being watched at any given time and must proceed under the assumption that they are always being watched.

Eighteenth century social theorist Jeremy Bentham envisioned the panopticon prison to be a cheaper and more effective means of “obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.”

Bentham’s panopticon, in which the prisoners are used as a source of cheap, menial labor, has become a model for the modern surveillance state in which the populace is constantly being watched, controlled and managed by the powers-that-be and funding its existence.

Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide: this is the new mantra of the architects of the police state and their corporate collaborators (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Instagram, etc.).

Government eyes are watching you.

They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet.

Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line.

When the government sees all and knows all and has an abundance of laws to render even the most seemingly upstanding citizen a criminal and lawbreaker, then the old adage that you’ve got nothing to worry about if you’ve got nothing to hide no longer applies.

Apart from the obvious dangers posed by a government that feels justified and empowered to spy on its people and use its ever-expanding arsenal of weapons and technology to monitor and control them, we’re approaching a time in which we will be forced to choose between obeying the dictates of the government—i.e., the law, or whatever a government official deems the law to be—and maintaining our individuality, integrity and independence.

When people talk about privacy, they mistakenly assume it protects only that which is hidden behind a wall or under one’s clothing. The courts have fostered this misunderstanding with their constantly shifting delineation of what constitutes an “expectation of privacy.” And technology has furthered muddied the waters.

However, privacy is so much more than what you do or say behind locked doors. It is a way of living one’s life firm in the belief that you are the master of your life, and barring any immediate danger to another person (which is far different from the carefully crafted threats to national security the government uses to justify its actions), it’s no one’s business what you read, what you say, where you go, whom you spend your time with, and how you spend your money.

Unfortunately, George Orwell’s 1984—where “you had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized”—has now become our reality.

We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed and controlled by our technology, which answers not to us but to our government and corporate rulers.

Consider that on any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

A byproduct of this new age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior.

This doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.

Stingray devices mounted on police cars to warrantlessly track cell phones, Doppler radar devices that can detect human breathing and movement within in a home, license plate readers that can record up to 1800 license plates per minutesidewalk and “public space” cameras coupled with facial recognition and behavior-sensing technology that lay the groundwork for police “pre-crime” programspolice body cameras that turn police officers into roving surveillance cameras, the internet of things: all of these technologies add up to a society in which there’s little room for indiscretions, imperfections, or acts of independence—especially not when the government can listen in on your phone calls, monitor your driving habits, track your movements, scrutinize your purchases and peer through the walls of your home.

As French philosopher Michel Foucault concluded in his 1975 book Discipline and Punish, “Visibility is a trap.”

This is the electronic concentration camp—the panopticon prison—the Village—in which we are now caged.

It is a prison from which there will be no escape if the government gets it way.

As Glenn Greenwald notes:

“The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what [government officials] do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called privateindividuals. This dynamic – the hallmark of a healthy and free society – has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That’s the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable.”

Even now, the Trump Administration is working to make some of the National Security Agency’s vast spying powers permanent.

Read More @ WashingtonsBlog.com

In Florida, You Can’t Use Your Own Solar Panels in a Crisis

by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:

When it comes to the U.S. economy, the “con” part offers the best description of the current relationship between business, government and the preyed upon consumer. The way things work in early 21st century America is large businesses bribe politicians in a variety of ways at both the local and federal level, and the end result is laws that are designed to increase corporate profits at the expense of the wellbeing and freedom of the American public. Politicians end up with financial war chests to run their next campaign, while bureaucrats see a lucrative opportunity to swing through the ever spinning revolving door should they play ball with lobbyists and their patrons. Yes, there’s always some degree of corruption within any society of humans, but there are peaks and valleys in such cycles. I’d argue we are somewhere in the peak corruption phase.

Today’s article focuses on one of the most highly regulated industries in the country, electric utilities. It’s one of the most boring businesses in America. I know this because it fell under the umbrella of my responsibilities during my last Wall Street job, and I could barely read a utilities research report without immediately falling asleep. Nevertheless, as you’ll see in today’s piece, the industry still finds a way to generate large profits while simultaneously harming the people it’s supposed to service.

When I think about solar panels, it’s not just the use of a renewable resource I find appealing, but also the potential to take energy generation into your own hands; something that can prove quite useful in a major global crisis, or even something more minor like Hurricane Irma’s impact on Florida. The latter could’ve been a lifesaver for some Florida residents recently, but a local electric utility has done everything in its power to deny its customers such freedom.

Here’s some of what we learned about this situation from a fascinating article published by the Miami New TimesWhy Didn’t FPL Do More to Prepare for Irma?

 

Hurricane Wilma, the last ‘cane to hit South Florida, tore through the area in 2005 and killed power to 3.24 million of FPL’s then-4.3 million customers (75 percent of the grid). Many of those customers had to wait up to two weeks for power to return. Since then, the company has spent more than $2 billion supposedly girding itself against the next storm, according to a Sun Sentinel piece published before Irma hit.

But after Irma, which by most reports brought only Category 1-strength winds to South Florida, by some measures the company did even worse. Despite all of those upgrades, an even larger percentage of FPL’s customer base — 4.4 of 4.9 million customers, almost 90 percent — lost electricity this past weekend.

FPL and its parent company, NextEra Energy, have for years heavily influenced state and local politics through donations, making billions in profits each year ($1.7 billion alone in 2016) thanks to favorable state laws that are sometimes literally written by the power company’s own lobbyists.

FPL’s lobbying wing has fought hard against letting Floridians power their own homes with solar panels. Thanks to power-company rules, it’s impossible across Florida to simply buy a solar panel and power your individual home with it. You are instead legally mandated to connect your panels to your local electric grid.

More egregious, FPL mandates that if the power goes out, your solar-power system must power down along with the rest of the grid, robbing potentially needy people of power during major outages.

“Renewable generator systems connected to the grid without batteries are not a standby power source during an FPL outage,” the company’s solar-connection rules state. “The system must shut down when FPL’s grid shuts down in order to prevent dangerous back feed on FPL’s grid. This is required to protect FPL employees who may be working on the grid.”

Astoundingly, state rules also mandate that solar customers include a switch that cleanly disconnects their panels from FPL’s system while keeping the rest of a home’s power lines connected. But during a disaster like the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, FPL customers aren’t allowed to simply flip that switch and keep their panels going. (But FPL is, however, allowed to disconnect your panels from the grid without warning you. The company can even put a padlock on it.)

The law winds up forcing residents to remain reliant on the state’s private power companies. For now, solar-panel owners can still get something out of the law, in that the “net-metering” provision lets you sell excess power back to the company. The provision also lets power companies charge a $400 or $1,000 application fee for consumers who want to install systems more powerful than 10 kilowatts.

But if power companies had their way, the net-metering law would vanish tomorrow. Both FPL and its trade association, the Edison Electric Institute, have spent millions trying to kill that net-metering law and instead win the right to charge you for installing your own solar-panel system. In 2016, FPL spent more than $8 million on Amendment 1, a ballot initiative that industry insiders admitted was written to trick customers into giving up their rights to solar power.The law’s language would have paved the way for Florida to kill net-metering rules.

This past April, the Energy and Policy Institute caught an FPL lobbyist straight-up drafting anti-solar laws for Fort Myers state Rep. Ray Rodrigues, who also took a $15,000 campaign contribution from FPL this year.

Thanks to power-company influence, one of America’s sunniest states lags far behind the rest of the nation when it comes to solar adoption.

Read More @ LibertyBlitzkrieg.com

VIDEO: Undercover Cop Handcuffs Innocent Man, Steals All of His Cash, Then Tells Him to Get Lost

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by Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project:

San Diego, CA — A man is saying San Diego Police robbed him of nearly $800 after they stopped, handcuffed and frisked him outside of a local bar early Saturday morning. However, police claim that they have no idea what happened to his money.

Bret Checketts detailed the incident in a Facebook post:

“They put their hands on me and grappled me, took my wallet and went through it, of which $780 of cash was taken from my wallet. I’m unable to pay my rent and have no idea when it will be returned to me if it will be. I was put in hand cuffs for over 20 minutes with no reason given, once they went through my whole wallet , felt me up one side and down the other, went through my pockets and wrote down my drivers license info on a police report, they released me and would not tell me what the Fuck just happened.”

Checketts had the wherewithal to record the incident, at least until his phone’s memory maxed out and stopped recording. But the interaction was long enough to reveal the officers were less than forthcoming with their reasoning for detaining Checketts.

One by one, Checketts took photos of all of the officers involved. They said they could not comment on their reasons for stopping him but told his friends he “matched the description” of a suspect they were looking for at the time.

Checketts identified the officers and described what he was doing in the moments leading up to what many of his friends are now calling legalized theft:

“San Diego Police Officer Daniel Riis, badge #6474, and Officer Robert Stinson felt it acceptable to detain me for no reason this morning. I had 2 Officers ask to talk to me while I was talking to 2 girls, friends of mine in town from sacramento, while minding my own business and doing nothing wrong.”

The young man told The Free Thought Project that he is innocent of any wrongdoing and added that he was never charged. He claimed he was simply stopped, detained, handcuffed, and had the cash taken from his wallet.

“No law broken. No reason for handcuffing me. No explanation whatsoever. This is asanine. Unacceptable. Untolerable. I want answers! I want an apology. The officers involved need to be suspended. Other parties took video of the whole incident. I will be launching an investigation and lawsuit. This will be made right!”

Checketts also questioned how what happened to him was legal if he had not been guilty of any wrongdoing.

“If I have done absolutely nothing wrong, how can police handcuff me, go through my person, take my money and give me no explanation. I called PD and was told by a supervisor sitting at his desk with his computer that he had no information to offer me and he hung up on me.”

He said his friends explained that what happened to him is called “civil asset forfeiture,” and is essentially legal theft by police of citizens’ property. As TFTP has reported, civil asset forfeiture is now responsible for stealing more possessions belonging to citizens than all US robberies combined.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

WATCH: Police ‘Protect’ Society by Stealing Man’s Money for Improperly Selling Hot Dogs

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by Rachel Blevins, The Free Thought Project:

UC Berkeley Police were filmed taking the money out of a hot dog vendor’s wallet as they gave him a ticket for not having a permit.

The University of California Berkeley Police were recently featured in a video that shows their officers serving local citizens by protecting them from the dangers of—a hot dog vendor without a permit.

The video was posted on Facebook by Martin Flores, with the caption, “The sadness to observe UC Berkeley Police give a hotdog vendor a ticket and his hard earned money taken away #Justice4Juan.”

“That’s not right man, that’s not right,” Flores said as he used his phone to record a UC Berkeley police officer issuing a ticket to a hot dog vender outside of a football game at the California Memorial Stadium.

“That’s how it works,” the male officer responded. “Take it to a judge, and the judge can decide whether or not it’s right.”

The officer then took the money out of the vendor’s wallet, and when he began to protest in Spanish, the officer told him to “Back up.”

“You’re going to take his hard-earned money?” Flores asked. The officer replied, “Yep.”

“People can drink on campus at football games with no tickets, but a hard-working man selling hot dogs, earning a living, gets his money taken away and a ticket,” Flores remarked.

“He doesn’t have a permit,” the officer replied as he rifled through the vendor’s wallet. “Yep. This is law and order in action.”

In response the claim from Flores that officers were targeting a hot dog vendor, while there were other people around who were breaking the law that they were ignoring, they insisted that Flores should have called them, and that they would look into his claims “later.”

As others on the scene watched the officer extort Juan the hot dog vendor, one man began to chime in with comments such as, “You must have voted for Trump,” Good cop, way to go, good job,” and “Nice work dude, you protected the public.”

Flores, who graduated from UC Berkeley in 1996, said he was “disappointed” as an alumnus, to see the campus in its current state. The officer quickly replied, “Well, I’m disappointed in you … I don’t believe you’re using critical thinking right now.”

In response to the injustice, Flores has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Juan. The page’s description states:

“This is the official go fund me account for Justice4Juan the hotdog vendor at UC Berkeley. The funds raised will be utilized to cover legal and personal loses. In addition, funds in excess are to cover other vendors who have been robbed of their hard earned living through citations and removal of their carts. It is my goal to locate Juan in Berkeley. Any and all help to support and locate him is welcome. On Saturday, September 9, 2017 I took my children to enjoy a Cal Berkeley football game. We had a great time. After the game I promised them that I would support the hotdog vendors by buying food from them. I captured this video as we were interrupted by UC Berkeley Police officer. Thank you for your compassion to support this effort.”

The GoFundMe page has a goal of $10,000, and over $3,800 has been raised by over 250 people in the last 7 hours.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Contempt & the Rule of Law – You Have ZERO Rights!!!!!

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by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:

We are supposed to live in a free society, but we do not. A federal judge claims the same power as the former king and he can sentence you to die in prison without a lawyer, trial, or even a charge.

The majority of Federal judges are the most ruthless people you will ever encounter. They have ZEROrespect for human rights and on this point I seriously disagree with Trump and his undying support for the law enforcement divisions in this country. If you have not been exposed to the Judicial System, you are clueless.

The US government relies on the contempt power claimed by judges asserting right as if they were pre-revolution judges of the kind. The prosecutors are keeping a former police officer in prison until he dies because he claims not to be able to remember the code to decrypt two hard drives under investigation.

Francis Rawls, the former sergeant in the Philadelphia police department, has spent nearly two years in prison for contempt of court after refusing to provide the passcode for two hard drives the Feds took from his home back in 2015 during an investigation into child abuse images.

Rawls claims he can’t remember the passcode for the two drives, encrypted using Apple’s FileVault system. The government says that he’s stalling because he fears that the contents could see him in serious trouble with his former employers. That’s speculation, but what happened to the 5th Amendment since the mere possession of a file is a crime?

Sure, we may have no sympathy for this particular issue. However, the precedent is set and they can do this to you for taxes. They government can claim you have an account in Bangladesh and you say you do not. The judge then throws you in prison for life until you tell them the location of something that may not even exist. They need not prove anything any more, they rely on the judge claiming he has inherent power to effectively kill you. What next – off with your head?

Read More @ ArmstrongEconomics.com