No Matter Who Wins The White House, The New Boss Will Be The Same As The Old Boss

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“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms, and killing people. It’s not good at much else.”—Author Tom Clancy

The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us. Yet no matter who wins this next presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss; and we—the permanent underclass in America—will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private.

Indeed, as I point out in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it really doesn’t matter what you call them—the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2017, the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to do so.

Consider the following a much-needed reality check, an antidote if you will, against an overdose of overhyped campaign announcements, lofty electoral promises and meaningless patriotic sentiments that land us right back in the same prison cell.

FACT: For the first time in history, Congress is dominated by a majority of millionaires who are, on average, fourteen times wealthier than the average American. According to a scientific study by Princeton researchers, the United States of America is not the democracy that it purports to be, but rather an oligarchy, in which “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy.”

FACT: “Today, 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear and armored vehicles,” reports Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. “Some have tanks.”

FACT: Thanks to an overabundance of 4,500-plus federal crimes and 400,000-plus rules and regulations, it is estimated that the average American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. In fact, according to law professor John Baker, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime. That is not an exaggeration.”

FACT: The number of violent crimes in the country is down substantially, the lowest rate in forty years, while the number of Americans being jailed for nonviolent crimes such as driving with a suspended license is skyrocketing.

FACT: Despite the fact that women only make up 8 percent of the prison population, they are more likely to be strip searched, though not more likely to carry contraband.

FACT: Despite the fact that we have 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line, 16 million children living in households without adequate access to food, and at least 900,000 veterans relying on food stamps, enormous sums continue to be doled out for presidential vacations ($16 million for trips to Africa and Hawaii), overtime fraud at the Department of Homeland Security (nearly $9 million in improper overtime claims, and that’s just in six of the DHS’ many offices), and Hollywood movie productions ($10 million was spent by the Army National Guard on Superman movie tie-ins aimed at increasing awareness about the National Guard).

FACT: Since 2001, Americans have spent $10.5 million every hour for numerous foreign military occupations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. There’s also the $2.2 million spent every hour on maintaining the United States’ nuclear stockpile, and the $35,000 spent every hour to produce and maintain our collection of Tomahawk missiles. And then there’s the money the government exports to other countries to support their arsenals, at the cost of $1.61 million every hour for the American taxpayers.

FACT: It is estimated that 2.7 million children in the United States have at least one parent in prison, whether it be a local jail or a state or federal penitentiary, due to a wide range of factors ranging from overcriminalization and surprise raids at family homes to roadside traffic stops.

FACT: At least 400 to 500 innocent people are killed by police officers every year. Indeed, Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist. Americans are 110 times more likely to die of foodborne illness than in a terrorist attack.

FACT: Police officers are more likely to be struck by lightning than be made financially liable for their wrongdoing.

FACT: On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raided by SWAT teams.There has been a notable buildup in recent years of SWAT teams within non-security-related federal agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Education Department.

FACT: The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) facial recognition system, which is set to hold data on millions of Americans, will include a variety of biometric data, including palm prints, iris scans, and face recognition data. The FBI hopes to have 52 million images by 2015. NGI will be capable of uploading 55,000 images a day, and conducting tens of thousands of photo searches a day.

FACT: Comprising an $82 billion industry, at least 30,000 drones are expected to occupy U.S. airspace by 2020.

FACT: Devices are now being developed that would allow police to stop a car remotely, ostensibly to end police chases.

FACT: Everything we do will eventually be connected to the Internet. By 2030, it is estimated there will be 100 trillion sensor devices connecting human electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, etc.) to the Internet. Much, if not all, of our electronic devices will be connected to Google, which openly works with government intelligence agencies.

FACT: In 2015, mega-food corporations will begin rolling out high-tech shelving outfitted with cameras in order to track the shopping behavior of customers, as well as information like the age and sex of shoppers.

FACT: If knowledge is power, it’s no wonder Americans are in hot water. According to a study by the National Constitution Center, 41 percent of Americans “are not aware that there are three branches of government, and 62 percent couldn’t name them; 33 percent couldn’t even name one.”

FACT: The United States is one of the highest TV viewing nations. According to a Nielsen report, the average American over the age of two “spends more than thirty-four hours a week watching live television . . . plus another three to six hours watching taped programs.”

FACT: Only six out of every one hundred Americans know that they actually have a constitutional right to hold the government accountable for wrongdoing, as guaranteed by the right to petition clause of the First Amendment.

FACT: According to a Gallup poll, Americans place greater faith in the military and the police than in any of the three branches of government. However, when asked to name the greatest problem facing the nation, Americans of all political stripes ranked the government as the number one concern. In fact, almost eight out of ten Americans believe that government corruption is widespread.

Perhaps the most troubling fact of all is this: we have handed over control of our government and our lives to faceless bureaucrats who view us as little more than cattle to be bred, branded, butchered, and sold for profit.

If there is to be any hope of restoring our freedoms and reclaiming control over our government, it will rest not with the politicians but with the people themselves. When all is said and done, each American will have to decide for themselves whether they prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Revealed: How The New Host Of This Prestigious TV Politics Show Has Ranted About Republicans

Image Credit: New York Times/CBS News

For more than sixty years, “Face the Nation” has been a programming fixture on CBS. It’s one of the longest-running news/talk shows in the history of television, bringing political interviews, roundtable debates, and commentary to Sundays since 1954.

Without a doubt, being named moderator of “Face the Nation” is a distinct honor and a privilege — one just bestowed on John Dickerson, who will replace the retiring Bob Schieffer as host of the program on June 7th.

Image Credit: New York Times/CBS News

Image Credit: New York Times/CBS News

Dickerson — a former correspondent for TIME who spent 12 years covering politics for the magazine — is currently the political director of CBS News. So the move into the “Face the Nation” role would seem to be a natural one.

By the way, the president of CBS News, David Rhodes, just happens to be the brother of one of Barack Obama’s top White House aides, Ben Rhodes. But certainly, one would hope, that has nothing to do with his naming Dickerson to the top spot at “Face the Nation.”

John Dickerson is a glaringly transparent partisan who used to appear weekly on The Al Franken Show on the now-defunct Air America Radio Network, and he remains the chief political correspondent for the far-left Slate magazine.

As Breitbart points out, it was in a column that he wrote for Slate as President Obama was about to begin his second term that John Dickerson let drop any pretense of nonpartisan objectivity in his politics and cut loose with a full-throated attack on the GOP.

Dated January 18, 2013, that nasty, blatantly biased screed entitled “Go for the Throat!” urged Obama not to waste any more time trying to work with the GOP. Instead, Dickerson advised, the president should declare war on the Republicans.

A post on Newsbusters at the time described the harshly antagonistic piece as a “2,000-word battle plan disguised as a column.”

The newly-named “Face the Nation” host said Obama should “pulverize,” “destroy,” and “delegitimize” the Republicans in an effort to ram through his agenda, dismissing the concerns of millions of American voters.

The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat.

Newsbusters writer Tom Blumer also took note of Dickerson’s long-running political leanings that he has barely tried to conceal: “Dickerson’s biases have been obvious since 2003, when he co-authored a hit piece in Time Magazine trying to make something out of absolutely nothing in the Valerie Plame-Joe Wilson affair.”

So, one of the Sunday morning network news shows will soon have a new host with clearly-stated animosities toward Republicans–and an equally obvious bias in favor of progressive Democrats.

The #1 Sunday morning public affairs program for the first quarter of 2015 will welcome a new moderator named on the same weekend that Hillary Clinton jumped into the 2016 presidential race — a new moderator who assumes his powerful position just in time for that crucial contest to get into full swing.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Revealed: How Top Dems Hope This Pasta Dish Will Help Hillary Win The White House

Images Credit: YouTube/Wiki Commons

You’ve no doubt heard the familiar saying, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Now, in a variation on that old saw, top aides to Hillary Clinton are hoping that the way to the media’s heart is also through their stomachs.

It’s become clear over the last few weeks — ever since Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal erupted — that even left-leaning media types like reporters and editors at The New York Times weren’t going to reflexively look the other way and ignore issues that raise concerns about the former secretary of state’s electability in 2016.

With Hillary’s long-anticipated announcement expected to come midday on Sunday that she is officially in the race for president, serious efforts are underway to cozy up to the correspondents, analysts, and pundits whose coverage and opinions will play a crucial role in the race.

Politico has just published a revealing report detailing how a big campaign such as Mrs. Clinton’s sets about winning hearts and minds in the media. And even though one might think that “objective” reporters wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, get too close to the candidates they’re covering, well, you might think again.

“On Thursday night, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff John Podesta held a private dinner with campaign reporters at his Washington home, where he served his signature pasta puttanesca, as well as a pasta with a walnut sauce….”

The Politico piece notes how important it is to actively woo key media figures who have ranged from cool on Clinton to borderline hostile. And there’s no indication the reporters invited to be seen (as well as to be fed) have balked at the invitation from Clinton confidants and gatekeepers.

“On Friday night, Clinton strategist Joel Benenson will hold a similar dinner with reporters, correspondents and even some television anchors at his apartment in New York.”

Trying to win their way into the reporting graces of The New York Times, even Politico itself seems to be a key objective of Clinton aides and allies intent on improving rapport with reporters.

“To date, The New York Times alone has published more than 40 articles related to Clinton’s use of a private email account while secretary of state, and many other news outlets, including POLITICO, have come forward with revelations of their own.”

In a sign of the times as well as an acknowledgement of the political power of social media, Hillary Clinton is expected to announce her second bid for the White House in a highly produced YouTube video to be released around noon Eastern time on Sunday.

That means that, for many, Hillary 2016 will officially launch just after or just before church…and too late for the Sunday TV talk shows to get a crack at the candidate’s coming out message.

As an article in Reuters observes: “Clinton’s use of social media to announce her White House run amounts to the adoption of tactics deployed by Obama in 2008 to raise large sums through small donations and appeal to young voters.”

The Clinton camp is no doubt keenly aware of Hillary’s topple off the political pedestal from which she once held sway over her Republican rivals.

Western Journalism reported on Thursday the results of a new voter survey by the independent pollster Quinnipiac that showed Mrs. Clinton’s popularity has suffered significantly in the turbulent wake of emailgate.

“…Clinton’s lead is wilting against leading Republican presidential candidates in three critical swing states, Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, and she finds herself in a close race with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in each state….”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Obama Was A Bad Affirmative Action Hire…Don’t Make The Same Mistake Twice, America

Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

The announcements from Ted Cruz and Rand Paul that they are running for President in 2016 is causing huge excitement amongst the Tea Party set and an equal amount of angst with the “my turn” Republicans who gave us John McCain and Mitt Romney.

I like and admire both of them as well as Marco Rubio, who has not yet but probably will announce.

But I would be completely remiss in not sounding a note of caution.

What do these guys have in common with our current President?

They are all first term Senators.

And, candidly, there’s a big difference between what a Senator gets paid to do and what the President gets paid to do.

If you need a cautionary tale as to the pitfalls of a young, first term Senator as President, look no further than Barack Obama.

I’m not talking about ideology.

I’m talking about executive competence.

Obama never even ran a community organizing office before he became the leader of the free world.

And, in the immortal words of Dr. Phil, how’s that working out for us?

Before they became Senators, Cruz, Paul, and Rubio simply have no executive resume.

I, for one, would be a lot more interested in their presidential prospects if they would all go back to their respective states and run for Governor. Then, come see us after a term or two.

Governors have to deal with legislatures, bureaucracies, crime, public safety, education, welfare, and all of the other things you take for granted from your government.

Senators talk. And talk. And then, they talk some more.

The Senate is not Presidential prep school. It gives its members the mistaken impression that talking solves real problems.

The GOP has a pretty deep bench of executive talent this time around. Much more so than the Democrats.

As much as we may like the ideology expressed by the three Senators, the truth is that is all it is. Hope and change. None of them has a track record to point to.

And, let’s be brutally honest about our current President.

He was an affirmative action hire. If Barack Obama were white, he wouldn’t even be a first-term Senator.

His resume was so thin, that is the only way he could have been elected. That and 4,000,000 GOP voters staying home.

If we as a nation haven’t learned from the debacle of the past six years—and I’m not talking about ideology—than we’d better learn before we make that mistake again.

I don’t think any first-term Senator is qualified to become President.

Ideology is important.

But executive talent is much more important.

If Obama were at least competent, we would be looking at the last six years completely differently.

And, if we have not yet learned, prepare yourself for another four years of White House follies.

Photo credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Kick Open The Doorway To Liberty: What Are We Waiting For?

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“The greatness of America lies in the right to protest for right.”—Martin Luther King Jr.

Everything this nation once stood for is being turned on its head.

Free speech, religious expression, privacy, due process, bodily integrity, the sanctity of human life, the sovereignty of the family, individuality, the right to self-defense, protection against police abuses, representative government, private property, human rights—the very ideals that once made this nation great—have become casualties of a politically correct, misguided, materialistic, amoral, militaristic culture.

Indeed, I’m having a hard time reconciling the America I know and love with the America being depicted in the daily news headlines, where corruption, cronyism, and abuse have taken precedence over the rights of the citizenry and the rule of law.

What kind of country do we live in where it’s acceptable for police to shoot unarmed citizens, for homeowners to be jailed for having overgrown lawns (a Texas homeowner was actually sentenced to 17 days in jail and fined $1700 for having an overgrown lawn), for kids to be tasered and pepper sprayed for acting like kids at school (many are left with health problems ranging from comas and asthma to cardiac arrest), and for local governments to rake in hefty profits under the guise of traffic safety (NPR reports that police departments across the country continue to require quotas for arrests and tickets, a practice that is illegal but in effect)?

Why should we Americans have to put up with the government listening in on our phone calls, spying on our emails, subjecting us to roadside strip searches, and generally holding our freedoms hostage in exchange for some phantom promises of security?

As I document in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it doesn’t matter where you live—big city or small town—it’s the same scenario being played out over and over again in which government agents ride roughshod over the rights of the citizenry.

In such an environment, it’s not just our Fourth Amendment rights—which protect us against police abuses—that are being trampled. It’s also our First Amendment rights to even voice concern over these practices that are being muzzled. Just consider some of the First Amendment battles that have taken place in recent years, and you too will find yourself wondering what country you’re living in:

  • Harold Hodge was arrested for standing silently in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, holding a sign in protest of police tactics.
  • Marine Brandon Raub was arrested for criticizing the government on Facebook.
  • Pastor Michael Salman was arrested for holding Bible studies in his home.
  • Steven Howards was arrested for being too close to a government official when he voiced his disapproval of the war in Iraq.
  • Kenneth Webber was fired from his job as a schoolbus driver for displaying a Confederate flag on the truck he uses to drive from home to school and back.
  • Fred Marlow was arrested for filming a SWAT team raid that took place across from his apartment.

And then there were the three California high school public school students who were ordered to turn their American flag t-shirts inside out on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) because school officials were afraid it might cause a disruption and/or offend Hispanic students. Incredibly, the U.S. Supreme Court actually sided with the school and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, affirming that it might be disruptive for American students to wear the American flag to an American public school.

While there are all kinds of labels being put on so-called “unacceptable” speech today, from calling it politically incorrect and hate speech to offensive and dangerous speech, the real message being conveyed is that Americans don’t have a right to express themselves if what they are saying is unpopular, controversial, or at odds with what the government determines to be acceptable.

Whether it’s through the use of so-called “free speech zones,” the requirement of speech permits, the policing of online forums, or a litany of laws and policies that criminalize expressive activities, what we’re seeing is the caging of free speech and the asphyxiation of the First Amendment.

Long before the menace of the police state, with its roadside strip searches, surveillance drones, and SWAT team raids, it was our First Amendment rights that were being battered by political correctness, hate crime legislation, the war on terror, and every other thinly veiled rationale used to justify censoring our free speech rights.

By suppressing free speech, the government is contributing to a growing underclass of Americans who are being told that they can’t take part in American public life unless they “fit in.” Mind you, it won’t be long before anyone who believes in holding the government accountable to respecting our rights and abiding by the rule of law is labeled an “extremist” and is relegated to an underclass that doesn’t fit in and must be watched all the time.

It doesn’t matter how much money you make, what politics you subscribe to, or what God you worship: we are all potential suspects, terrorists, and lawbreakers in the eyes of the government.

In other words, if and when this nation falls to tyranny, we will all suffer the same fate: we will fall together. However, if it is possible to avert such an outcome, it will rest in us remembering that we are also all descendants of those early American revolutionaries who pushed back against the abuses of the British government. These people were neither career politicians nor government bureaucrats. Instead, they were mechanics, merchants, artisans, and the like—ordinary people groaning under the weight of Britain’s oppressive rule—who, having reached a breaking point, had decided that enough was enough.

The colonists’ treatment at the hands of the British was not much different from the abuses meted out to the American people today: they too were taxed on everything from food to labor without any real say in the matter, in addition to which they had their homes invaded by armed government agents; their property seized and searched; their families terrorized; their communications, associations, and activities monitored; and their attempts to defend themselves and challenge the government’s abuses dismissed as belligerence, treachery, and sedition.

Unlike most Americans today, who remain ignorant of the government’s abuses, cheerfully distracted by the entertainment spectacles trotted out before them by a complicit media, readily persuaded that the government has their best interests at heart, and easily cowed by the slightest show of force, the colonists responded to the government’s abuses with outrage, activism, and rebellion. They staged boycotts of British goods and organized public protests, mass meetings, parades, bonfires, and other demonstrations, culminating with their most famous act of resistance, the Boston Tea Party.

On the night of December 16, 1773, a group of men dressed as Indians boarded three ships that were carrying tea. Cheered on by a crowd along the shore, they threw 342 chests of tea overboard in protest of a tax on the tea. Many American merchants were aghast at the wanton destruction of property. A town meeting in Bristol, Massachusetts, condemned the action. Ben Franklin even called on his native city to pay for the tea and apologize. But as historian Pauline Maier notes, the Boston Tea Party was a last resort for a group of people who had stated their peaceful demands but were rebuffed by the British: “The tea resistance constituted a model of justified forceful resistance upon traditional criteria.”

The rest, as they say, is history. Yet it’s a history we cannot afford to forget or allow to be rewritten.

The colonists suffered under the weight of countless tyrannies before they finally were emboldened to stand their ground. They attempted to reason with the British crown, to plea their cause, even to negotiate. It was only when these means proved futile that they resorted to outright resistance, civil disobedience, and eventually rebellion.

More than 200 years later, we are once again suffering under a long train of abuses and usurpations. What Americans today must decide is how committed they are to the cause of freedom and how far they’re willing to go to restore what has been lost.

Nat Hentoff, one of my dearest friends and a formidable champion of the Constitution, has long advocated for the resurgence of grassroots activism. As Nat noted:

This resistance to arrant tyranny first became part of our heritage when Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty formed the original Committees of Correspondence, a unifying source of news of British tyranny throughout the colonies that became a precipitating cause of the American Revolution. Where are the Sons of Liberty, the Committees of Correspondence and the insistently courageous city councils now, when they are crucially needed to bring back the Bill of Rights that protect every American against government tyranny worse than King George III’s? Where are the citizens demanding that these doorways to liberty be opened … What are we waiting for?

What are we waiting for, indeed?

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom