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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Sen. Rand Paul: Mask mandates and lockdowns from petty tyrants? No, not again. Choose freedom

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2021

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/august/04/sen-rand-paul-mask-mandates-and-lockdowns-from-petty-tyrants-no-not-again-choose-freedom/

ritten by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Wednesday August 4, 2021
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Resist. 

They can’t arrest us all. They can’t keep all your kids home from school. They can’t keep every government building closed – although I’ve got a long list of ones they should.

We don’t have to accept the mandates, lockdowns, and harmful policies of the petty tyrants and feckless bureaucrats. We can simply say no, not again. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi — you will not arrest or stop me or anyone on my staff from doing our jobs. We have all either had COVID, had the vaccine, or been offered the vaccine. We will make our own health choices. We will not show you a passport, we will not wear a mask, we will not be forced into random screening and testing so you can continue your drunk with power rein over the Capitol.

President Biden — we will not accept your agencies’ mandates or your reported moves toward a lockdown. No one should follow the CDC’s anti-science mask mandates. And if you want to shutdown federal agencies again — some of which aren’t even back to work fully — I will stop every bill coming through the Senate with an amendment to cut their funding if they don’t come to work.

No more.

Local bureaucrats and union bosses — we will not allow you to do more harm to our children again this year. Children are not at any more risk from COVID than they are for the seasonal flu. Every adult who works in schools has either had the vaccine or had their chance to. There is no reason for mask mandates, part time schools, or any lockdown measures.

Children are falling behind in school, and are being harmed physically and psychologically by the tactics you have used to keep them from the classroom last year. We won’t allow it again.

If a school system attempts to keep the children from full-time, in-person school, I will hold up every bill with two amendments. One to defund them, and another to allow parents the choice of where the money goes for their child’s education.

Do I sound fed up to you? That’s because I am. 

I’m not a career politician. I’ve practiced medicine for 33 years. I graduated from Duke Medical School, worked in emergency rooms, studied immunology and virology, and ultimately chose to become a surgeon. 

I have been telling everyone for a year now that Dr. Anthony Fauci and other public health officials were NOT following science, and I’ve been proven right time and time again. 

But I’m not the only one who is fed up. I can’t go anywhere these days — from work, to events, to airports and Ubers, restaurants and stores, without people coming up to me thanking me for standing up for them.

For standing up for actual science. For standing up for freedom. For standing against mandates, lockdowns, and bureaucratic power grabs.

I think the tide has turned, and more and more people are willing to stand up. I see stories from across the country of parents standing up to teacher unions and school boards.

I see members of Congress refusing to comply with Petty Tyrant Pelosi.

We are at a moment of truth and a crossroads. Will we allow these people to use fear and propaganda to do further harm to our society, economy, and children?

Or will we stand together and say, absolutely not. Not this time. I choose freedom.

ritten by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Wednesday August 4, 2021
undefined

Resist. 

They can’t arrest us all. They can’t keep all your kids home from school. They can’t keep every government building closed – although I’ve got a long list of ones they should.

We don’t have to accept the mandates, lockdowns, and harmful policies of the petty tyrants and feckless bureaucrats. We can simply say no, not again. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi — you will not arrest or stop me or anyone on my staff from doing our jobs. We have all either had COVID, had the vaccine, or been offered the vaccine. We will make our own health choices. We will not show you a passport, we will not wear a mask, we will not be forced into random screening and testing so you can continue your drunk with power rein over the Capitol.

President Biden — we will not accept your agencies’ mandates or your reported moves toward a lockdown. No one should follow the CDC’s anti-science mask mandates. And if you want to shutdown federal agencies again — some of which aren’t even back to work fully — I will stop every bill coming through the Senate with an amendment to cut their funding if they don’t come to work.

No more.

Local bureaucrats and union bosses — we will not allow you to do more harm to our children again this year. Children are not at any more risk from COVID than they are for the seasonal flu. Every adult who works in schools has either had the vaccine or had their chance to. There is no reason for mask mandates, part time schools, or any lockdown measures.

Children are falling behind in school, and are being harmed physically and psychologically by the tactics you have used to keep them from the classroom last year. We won’t allow it again.

If a school system attempts to keep the children from full-time, in-person school, I will hold up every bill with two amendments. One to defund them, and another to allow parents the choice of where the money goes for their child’s education.

Do I sound fed up to you? That’s because I am. 

I’m not a career politician. I’ve practiced medicine for 33 years. I graduated from Duke Medical School, worked in emergency rooms, studied immunology and virology, and ultimately chose to become a surgeon. 

I have been telling everyone for a year now that Dr. Anthony Fauci and other public health officials were NOT following science, and I’ve been proven right time and time again. 

But I’m not the only one who is fed up. I can’t go anywhere these days — from work, to events, to airports and Ubers, restaurants and stores, without people coming up to me thanking me for standing up for them.

For standing up for actual science. For standing up for freedom. For standing against mandates, lockdowns, and bureaucratic power grabs.

I think the tide has turned, and more and more people are willing to stand up. I see stories from across the country of parents standing up to teacher unions and school boards.

I see members of Congress refusing to comply with Petty Tyrant Pelosi.

We are at a moment of truth and a crossroads. Will we allow these people to use fear and propaganda to do further harm to our society, economy, and children?

Or will we stand together and say, absolutely not. Not this time. I choose freedom.

Be seeing you


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Coming soon: America’s own social credit system

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2021

Last week, PayPal announced a partnership with the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center to “investigate” the role of “white supremacists” and propagators of “anti-government” rhetoric, subjective labels that potentially could impact a large number of groups or people using their service. PayPal says the collected information will be shared with other financial firms and politicians.

At what point does free speech — be it against biological males playing in girls’ sports, questioning vaccine side effects, or advocating for gun rights — make someone a target in this new system? When does your debit card get canceled over old tweets, your home loan denied for homeschooling your kids, or your eBay account invalidated because a friend flagged you for posting a Gadsden flag?

By Kristin Tate, opinion contributor — 08/03/21 09:00 AM EDT 2,366 The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/565860-coming-soon-americas-own-social-credit-system

The new domestic “War on Terror,” kicked off by the riot on Jan. 6, has prompted several web giants to unveil predecessors to what effectively could become a soft social credit system by the end of this decade. Relying on an indirect hand from D.C., our social betters in corporate America will attempt to force the most profound changes our society has seen during the internet era.

China’s social credit system is a combination of government and business surveillance that gives citizens a “score” that can restrict the ability of individuals to take actions — such as purchasing plane tickets, acquiring property or taking loans — because of behaviors. Given the position of several major American companies, a similar system may be coming here sooner than you think.

Last week, PayPal announced a partnership with the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center to “investigate” the role of “white supremacists” and propagators of “anti-government” rhetoric, subjective labels that potentially could impact a large number of groups or people using their service. PayPal says the collected information will be shared with other financial firms and politicians. Facebook is taking similar measures, recently introducing messages that ask users to snitch on their potentially “extremist” friends, which considering the platform’s bias seems mainly to target the political right. At the same time, Facebook and Microsoft are working with several other web giants and the United Nations on a database to block potential extremist content.

The actions of these major companies may seem logical in an internet riddled with scams and crime. After all, nobody will defend far-right militias or white supremacist groups using these platforms for their odious goals. However, the same issue with government censorship exists with corporate censorship: If there is a line, who draws it? Will the distinction between mundane politics and extremism be a “I’ll know it when I see it” scenario, as former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart described obscenity? If so, will there be individuals able to unilaterally remove people’s effective ability to use the internet? Could a Facebook employee equate Ben Shapiro with David Duke, and remove his account?

The implications of these crackdown efforts will be significantly more broad than just prohibiting Donald Trump from tweeting at 3 a.m. Young people cannot effectively function in society if blocked from using Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Uber, Amazon, PayPal, Venmo and other financial transaction systems. Some banking platforms already have announced a ban on certain legal purchases, such as firearms. The growth of such restrictions, which will only accelerate with support from (usually) left-wing politicians, could create a system in which individuals who do not hold certain political views could be blocked from polite society and left unable to make a living.  

The potential scope of the soft social credit system under construction is enormous. The same companies that can track your activities and give you corporate rewards for compliant behavior could utilize their powers to block transactions, add surcharges or restrict your use of products. At what point does free speech — be it against biological males playing in girls’ sports, questioning vaccine side effects, or advocating for gun rights — make someone a target in this new system? When does your debit card get canceled over old tweets, your home loan denied for homeschooling your kids, or your eBay account invalidated because a friend flagged you for posting a Gadsden flag?

Federal fingerprints aren’t directly on recent actions — yet. The creation of a “Digital Dollar” would put an exclamation point on a new social credit score. Working in conjunction with major tech companies, citizens not convicted of a crime could lose their ability to transact any business. In time, decentralized forms of money, such as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, may be the main means for dissidents to operate — as long as the federal government doesn’t move to squash them. If the Fed and members of Congress are skeptical of crypto now, its use by political undesirables could lead to a furtive effort to severely restrict or ban these currencies.      

Until and unless there is an organized pushback, our future could track with those of increasingly illiberal societies. Just last week, the British government announced its own version of a health social credit system. China’s system was announced only seven years ago. Considering the growth of algorithms and dependence on tech giants, the ability to track, censor and eventually punish ordinary citizens will be mindboggling by 2030. America’s descent into a 21st century Gilded Age directed by tech titans isn’t an inevitability. However, do you know anyone who would take a 5 percent Amazon coupon in exchange for a “call to action”? Or someone who would replace their Facebook profile picture to avoid being locked out? 

Peer pressure, trendy movements, and the ability to comply with the new system with the click of a mouse combine all of the worst elements of dopamine-chasing Americans. As it grows in breadth and power, what may be most surprising about our new social credit system won’t be collective fear of it, but rather how quickly most people will fall in line.

Kristin Tate is a libertarian writer and an analyst for Young Americans for Liberty. She is an author whose latest book is “How Do I Tax Thee? A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off.” Follow her on Twitter @KristinBTate.

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Running Towards a Cliff

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2021

“When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.”

C.S. Lewis

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Dark Clouds: Biden Pushes China-Style ‘Social Credit’ System

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2021

In televised remarks yesterday, President Biden urged private businesses and universities to institute a China-style “social credit” system whereby some individuals are denied basic rights and privileges if they hold “wrong” views on matters such as health and medicine. How far will this go? Also today, NIH Director urges parents to wear masks in front of their children…in the home! And, major European newspaper editor apologized to readers over his publications of hysterical Covid coverage.

“You can’t let things get too good so people can take care of themselves.”

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Defining Liberty – Doug Casey’s International Man

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2021

How many laws exist in the US today? The answer is that no one knows. It’s too complex to define. There are roughly 20,000 laws regarding gun control alone – and that’s just the federal laws. State, county and city laws also exist in abundance.

At that time, the Russian Ayn Rand, living in the US, stated,

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

https://internationalman.com/articles/defining-liberty/

by Jeff Thomas

Here we have a most interesting collection of signage. Some low-level civil servant who’s in charge of deciding what the motorist may do at this particular junction has become quite thorough in creating restrictions.

The motorist may not proceed, may not turn left or right, and, most interestingly, in the second sign from the bottom, may not reverse out. In essence, “You’re stuck here and whatever you do to get out, you’re in violation of the rules we’ve placed upon you.”

Of course, if we were to encounter this particular intersection, we might say, “That’s absurd – they can’t possibly hold me to this.”

But, interestingly, under the traffic laws, a policeman can cite us for violating the signage. If we’re lucky, he might agree that it’s absurd and give us a break, but his job is to enforce it, regardless of its absurdity. And if he enjoys his position of authority, as many in his position do, he just may choose to demonstrate his power.

And, if we defy him, we’re in real trouble.

How many laws exist in the US today? The answer is that no one knows. It’s too complex to define. There are roughly 20,000 laws regarding gun control alone – and that’s just the federal laws. State, county and city laws also exist in abundance.

The level of governmental dominance now exists to such a degree that literally everyone is a criminal, whether they know it or not. It’s been estimated that the average American commits about three felonies per day, in addition to many lesser crimes. If, for any reason, the authorities wished to victimize you, they’d find their task quite simple.

Yet, there’s a general assumption amongst those who simply accept the laws that are heaped upon their shoulders, that they were somehow “necessary,” that legislators only pass laws if they have no other choice.

In my estimation, this view is diametrically opposite to what is true. One of my own principles regarding governance is,

“It is the primary business of any government to grow its own power and wealth at the expense of its people.”

This is an important principle to understand, as it opens the mind to recognize that governments always move in a direction of increased control. Given enough time, governments will always create a state of despotism. And, historically, no government has ever reversed its level of control and introduced greater liberty.

It then follows that each country is in the process of becoming increasingly tyrannical. The only difference between them is the degree of tyranny that’s been achieved so far.

Liberty and governmental control are polar opposites. Yet, most people have a rather vague perception of the term “liberty” and might even find it difficult to define. This is unfortunate, as it means that, when liberty is lost, those same people will be unlikely to recognize the fact.

Here are two good working definitions of liberty, courtesy of the dictionary:

“The power or scope to act as one pleases.”

“The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.”

The first is interesting, as it suggests that liberty means each person doing exactly as he pleases. Doug Casey often offers a similarly simple, but more refined rule of life:

“Do as thou wilt, but be prepared to accept the consequences.”

The latter dictionary definition is probably in keeping with the perception of most Americans around 1800, but today’s American would caution that, “Ideally, that would be true, but without our current laws and regulations, there’d be chaos.

Libertarians would disagree and offer only two principles that they believe would largely negate the need for laws:

“Do all that you say that you’ll do and don’t initiate aggression against another person or his property.”

And, again, non-libertarian thinkers would shake their heads and assert that this would result in chaos. Americans have become indoctrinated to believe this through slow measures. As Thomas Jefferson said,

“Even under the best forms of Government, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

The key to governmental domination is that we tend to tolerate the loss of liberty if it’s taken away slowly.

In the US, liberty has been in decline, by my reckoning, for about one hundred years, but has been in rapid decline since 2001.

Of course, in all countries, at some point, the governmental domination becomes so intolerable that the people rise up. Revolution follows – a period of great upheaval and hardship. Eventually, a recovery begins and the entire process starts over.

It stands to reason that the best place to be is a country that has already recovered and is in the reconstruction stage – a time when liberty is at its greatest.

The US was in this stage in the nineteenth century – a period of great expansion and development.

However, by the mid-twentieth century, the rot had set in. America was past its peak and was ready to begin the final, and most rapid, period of decline.

At that time, the Russian Ayn Rand, living in the US, stated,

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

At the time Ms. Rand made this statement, she was largely dismissed. After all, Americans had never seen riot squads, dressed in black and heavily-armed, barging into homes without a warrant.

Authorities did not yet have the legal right to confiscate all of the possessions of an individual, based upon suspicion alone.

Yet, this is exactly what Ms. Rand warned against when she said, “the stage of total dominance is fast approaching.”

In reflection, we can have a laugh at the signage above, as it was clearly created by a low-level civil servant who was careless with his own puffed-up authority to the point of creating an absurdity.

But, in the larger picture, the signs are equally in place. Liberty in the US, at this point, is all but extinguished. And greater restrictions are being written every day.

The reader is left with a choice. He can either accept the signs that tell him he’s not allowed to go left, right, forward or back and wait until his government instructs him as to what he’s allowed to do, or he may say, “That’s it – I’m reversing out of here and finding a location where liberty is still in abundance.”

Editor’s Note: For too long, careless governments have used shortsighted strategies to prop up major world economies and prolong their time in power. This can only go on for so long…

In this urgent special report, Doug Casey and his team reveal why an unprecedented global financial disaster is now inevitable—and what you can do to protect yourself. Click here to download the PDF now.

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When Things Don’t Add Up | Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2021

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/when-things-dont-add-up/

James Howard Kunstler

It was only a week ago that the American Medical Association (AMA) declared that the category formerly known as “sex” must be removed from US birth certificates — replaced, one supposes, by a tacit “to-be-determined” status in the great Progressive rush to extract the human race from the animal kingdom. Of course, that’s only one skirmish in the great Woke Jacobin war on the moiling masses who clutter up planet Earth, cramping the style of its transhuman-seeking ubermanagers, Bill Gates, Bezos, Daszak, Zuck, Jack, Elon, Klaus & Company, et al.

But this was the old redoubtable, white-coated AMA, you understand, not some claque of screeching, size-16, “body-positive,” gender-cryptic freshman hopping up and down outside the Yale faculty lounge to gurn at the sherry-sipping toffs within. Amateur diagnosticians out there might recognize it as another symptom of the hebephrenic toxicosis infecting America’s elites, especially those who work in realms supposedly based on facts, figures, and the general effort to make sense of life in our mysterious universe.

This national freak-show-of-the-mind might account for the many recent instances of science talking out of its booty-hole, led by its very personification, Dr. Anthony (“The Science”) Fauci, proud papa of SARS-CoV-2 (stage-name: Covid-19), with all its fabulous HIV and monkeypox gain-of-function bells and whistles. Dr. Fauci’s mighty, 20-year effort to bring forth this gift to mankind happens to coincide neatly with the collapse of advanced techno-industrial economies, a frightful condition that was already causing enough trouble in the world before Covid-19 marched in. Some suspect that Covid-19 is a contrived cover for all that, perhaps even an attempt to manage the journey down.

The Covid 19 panic, which has been driving formerly civilized societies crazy for eighteen months, prompted the bringing-forth of The Science’s follow-up project: vaccines to stop the spread of the virus. Enter the scene, these vaxes did, like, a day-and-a-half after Covid-19 pirouetted onstage. Hmmmm. Could someone have been working on those vaxes backstage before the dread virus even premiered? Were patents issued for them pre-dating January, 2020? Seems so. But never mind that for now. The vaxes were rolled out to fanfares over a year ago and those moiling masses of America, the superfluous holders of bachelor’s degrees in Oppression Studies — for whom, sadly, the world had run-out of paying positions — lined up like kids at Santa’s throne in Macy’s on Black Sunday for their Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson jabs. Whew…! That was a close call!

Or was it? Naw, not even close, actually. Since now it turns out that the jabs don’t seem to work that well. The official story got murkier last week when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported internally to staff (it leaked) that “fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant at the same rate as unvaccinated people.” Whoopsie…. In a Delta variant outbreak on Cape Cod last month, three-quarters of the infected were fully vaxed-up patients. The story got darker because The New York Times, the usually-reliable mouthpiece for The Science and his allies in “Joe Biden’s” public health bureaucracy, let slip that, “The Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be spread by vaccinated people as easily as the unvaccinated.”

Wuh-oh…! A worm the size of an Amtrak Acela train has turned in the myocarditic heart of our nation’s capital. Things have changed overnight — didn’t they see it coming? — and now the government is freaking out as it appears to have some serious ‘splainin’ to do — and right on the heels, too, of an hysterical month-long campaign to persuade the remaining unvaxed millions to submit to the needle, climaxed by threatening the obdurate “hesitants” with taking away their employment and ability to participate in commerce and social life. All that sound-and-fury for what? For vaccines that don’t work… and which, quite possibly, could leave you seriously ill, even dead?

There’s one beguiling explanation I’ve heard — from Brandon Smith of Alt-Markets.us, and others — for that hysterical campaign of recent days to jab every last hold-out: the need to eliminate what’s called the “control group,” the bunch of people who, in any drug trial, are given no drug, or a fake shot (like saline), or a placebo (mindfuck agent) to see if the real thing actually works. The desperate effort couldn’t have been more idiotic, since there was no realistic hope of gulling the remaining unvaxed into getting a shot, and the effort only made the “Joe Biden” admin look even more dishonest and despotic.

This could be the beginning of the end for POTUS 46 and the Woke-Jacobin derangement he stole in on. The CDC numbers look so bad now, that Ol’ White “Joe” himself will have to step up to the mic and say something like: “We made a mistake with these vaccines. I hope you will forgive us.” Of course, he absolutely won’t rise to the occasion and say that, no way… and, anyway, the government (and POTUS 46) will not be forgiven because they’ve destroyed millions of livelihoods and tens of thousands of going businesses, and allowed a bunch of cities to get burned and trashed, and city-dwellers to be harassed and attacked by their Antifa/ BLM shock troops, and enabled roughly half the US population not-insane to be terrorized, mau-maued, and insulted by every Woke jape from the Drag Queen Reading Hour to Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 “insurrection” circus — with the janky 2020 election right in the middle.

Speaking of which election, evidence is likely to emerge soon that the numbers really don’t add up. And in a big way. The max-vax campaign may have been an attempted smoke screen for all that trouble coming down the line, but the max-vax move is obviously flopping now. And, by the way, do you suppose that the not-insane half of the nation has failed to notice that upward of half-a million people from other lands (all over the world!), many carrying Covid-19, have been jumping our border with Mexico… and that the US government has deliberately assisted them… and distributed them by bus, and even on airplanes, to distant points all over the USA… and now these government rogues have the nerve to put the squeeze on American citizens to vax up against a virus they are seeding around the country! Is it really too much to declare that this regime has got to go, and go as soon as possible?


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The Rutherford Institute :: A New State of Segregation: Vaccine Cards Are Just the Beginning | By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead |

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2021

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’ve been properly medicated, vaccinated or indoctrinated.

Government jails will hold you just as easily whether you’ve obeyed every law or broken a dozen. Government bullets will kill you just as easily whether you’re complying with a police officer’s order or questioning his tactics. 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.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/a_new_state_of_segregation_vaccine_cards_are_just_the_beginning

By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead

The things we were worried would happen are happening.”—Angus Johnston, professor at the City University of New York

Imagine it: a national classification system that not only categorizes you according to your health status but also allows the government to sort you in a hundred other ways: by gender, orientation, wealth, medical condition, religious beliefs, political viewpoint, legal status, etc.

This is the slippery slope upon which we are embarking, one that begins with vaccine passports and ends with a national system of segregation.

It has already begun.

With every passing day, more and more private businesses and government agencies on both the state and federal level are requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination in order for individuals to work, travel, shop, attend school, and generally participate in the life of the country.

No matter what one’s views may be regarding the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an unnerving proposition for a country that claims to prize the rights of the individual and whose Bill of Rights was written in such a way as to favor the rights of the minority.

By allowing government agents to establish a litmus test for individuals to be able to engage in commerce, movement and any other right that corresponds to life in a supposedly free society, it lays the groundwork for a “show me your papers” society in which you are required to identify yourself at any time to any government worker who demands it for any reason.

Such tactics can quickly escalate into a power-grab that empowers government agents to force anyone and everyone to prove they are in compliance with every statute and regulation on the books. Mind you, there are thousands of statutes and regulations on the books. Indeed, in this era of overcriminalization, it is estimated that the average American unknowingly breaks at least three laws a day.

This is also how the right to move about freely has been undermined, overtaken and rewritten into a privilege granted by the government to those citizens who are prepared to toe the line.

It used to be that “we the people” had the right to come and go as we please without the fear of being stopped, questioned by police or forced to identify ourselves. In other words, unless police had a reasonable suspicion that a person was guilty of wrongdoing, they had no legal authority to stop the person and require identification.

Unfortunately, in this age of COVID-19, that unrestricted right to move about freely is being pitted against the government’s power to lock down communities at a moment’s notice. And in this tug-of-war between individual freedoms and government power, “we the people” have been on the losing end of the deal.

Now vaccine passports, vaccine admission requirements, and travel restrictions may seem like small, necessary steps in winning the war against the COVID-19 virus, but that’s just so much propaganda. They’re only necessary to the police state in its efforts to further brainwash the populace into believing that the government legitimately has the power to enforce such blatant acts of authoritarianism.

This is how you imprison a populace and lock down a nation.

It makes no difference if such police state tactics are carried out in the name of national security or protecting America’s borders or making America healthy again: the philosophy remains the same, and it is a mindset that is not friendly to freedom.

You can’t have it both ways.

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.

See the rest here

ABOUT JOHN W. WHITEHEAD

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president The Rutherford Institute. His books Battlefield America: The War on the American People and A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State are available at www.amazon.com. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org. Nisha Whitehead is the Executive Director of The Rutherford Institute. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.

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Caitlin Johnstone: How long before we humans are being policed by robots? — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2021

“Steve Wright of Leeds Metropolitan University is an expert on police and military technologies, and last year correctly predicted this pack-hunting mode of operation would happen. ‘The giveaway here is the phrase “a non-cooperative human subject,”’ he told me:

“What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/530936-robot-police-dog-humans-elites/

By Caitlin Johnstone, an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

The elites are seeking to normalize the use of police robots by calling them ‘dogs’ – but the machines are the vanguard of a dystopian future that will see them cement their power in place forever.

Hawaii police are defending their use of pandemic relief funds for a robotic “police dog” made by Boston Dynamics which scans homeless people’s eyes to see if they have a fever.

“If you’re homeless and looking for temporary shelter in Hawaii’s capital, expect a visit from a robotic police dog that will scan your eye to make sure you don’t have a fever,” a new report from AP says. “That’s just one of the ways public safety agencies are starting to use Spot, the best-known of a new commercial category of robots that trot around with animal-like agility.”

“Acting Lt. Joseph O’Neal of the Honolulu Police Department’s community outreach unit defended the robot’s use in a media demonstration earlier this year,” AP reports. “He said it has protected officers, shelter staff and residents by scanning body temperatures between meal times at a shelter where homeless people could quarantine and get tested for COVID-19. The robot is also used to remotely interview individuals who have tested positive.”

This has understandably elicited criticism from civil rights advocates.

“Because these people are houseless it’s considered OK to do that,” Hawaii ACLU legal director Jongwook Kim told AP. “At some point it will come out again for some different use after the pandemic is over.”

This report comes just days after we learned that police in Winnipeg have also obtained a ‘Spot’ robot which they intend to use in hostage situations.

Winnipeg Free Press reports:

“The Winnipeg Police Service is set to acquire a pricey dog-shaped robot, to be used in hostage situations, that’s already been ditched by police in New York City.

“‘Spot’ is made by Boston Dynamics, which sells the device for US$74,500. Winnipeg police are spending $257,000 to acquire and use Spot. The 32-kilogram robot ‘has the ability to navigate obstacles, uneven terrain (and) situations where our traditional robot platforms can’t go into,’ said Insp. Brian Miln at a news conference Wednesday.”

Months earlier, the New York Police Department cancelled its lease of the same type of robot they obtained last year following public outcry. More from AP:

“The expensive machine arrived with little public notice or explanation, public officials said, and was deployed to already over-policed public housing. Use of the high-tech canine also clashed with Black Lives Matter calls to defund police operations and reinvest in other priorities.”

The company that makes the robots, Boston Dynamics, says it’s learned from the New York fiasco and is trying to do a better job of explaining to the public – and its customers – what Spot can and cannot do. That’s become increasingly important as Boston Dynamics becomes part of South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Company, which in June closed an $880 million deal for a controlling stake in the robotics firm.

To be absolutely clear, there is not actually any legitimate reason for any normal person to refer to these machines as a ‘robotic dog’, or a ‘high-tech canine’, or by a cutesy cliché name for a pet. These are robots. Robots that are being used by police forces on civilian populations. If the robots being used had two legs, or eight, they would not be able to apply such cuddly-wuddly labels, and public alarm bells would be going off a lot louder.

Which is of course the idea. As AP noted above, Boston Dynamics is acutely aware that it has a PR situation on its hands and needs to manage public perception if it wants to mainstream the use of these machines and make a lot of money. Because it’s a known fact that Westerners tend to be a lot more sympathetic to dogs than even to other humans; arbitrarily branding a quadrupedal enforcement robot a ‘dog’ helps facilitate this agenda.

On-the-ground robot policing is becoming normalized today under the justification of Covid-19 precautions in the same way police around the world have normalized the use of drones to police coronavirus restrictions, at the same time police departments are rolling out dystopian systems for predicting future criminality using computer programs and databases.

This is all happening as the French Army is testing these ‘Spot’ robots for use in combat situations, years after the Pentagon requested the development of a “Multi-Robot Pursuit System” which can “search for and detect a non-cooperative human subject” like a pack of dogs. New Scientist’s Paul Marks reported on the latter development back in 2008:

“Steve Wright of Leeds Metropolitan University is an expert on police and military technologies, and last year correctly predicted this pack-hunting mode of operation would happen. ‘The giveaway here is the phrase “a non-cooperative human subject,”’ he told me:

“What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed.

“We can also expect such systems to be equipped with human detection and tracking devices including sensors which detect human breath and the radio waves associated with a human heart beat. These are technologies already developed.”

These developments always elicit nervous jokes about Terminator movies and the idea of Skynet robots going rogue and enslaving humanity, but the far more realistic and immediate concern is this technology being used on humans by other humans.

For as long as there have been governments and rulers, there has been an acute awareness in elite circles that the public vastly outnumber those who rule over them and could easily overwhelm and oust them if they ever decided to. Many tools have been implemented to address this problem, from public displays of cruelty to keep the public cowed and obedient, to the circulation of propaganda and power-serving religious doctrines, but at no time has any power structure in history ever produced a guaranteed protection against the possibility of being overthrown by their subjects who vastly outnumber them.

The powerful have also long been aware that robot and drone technologies can offer such a protection.

Once the legal and technological infrastructure for robotic security systems has been rolled out, all revolutionary theory that’s ever been written goes right out the window, because the proletariat cannot rise up and overthrow their oppressors if their oppressors control technologies which enable them to quash any revolution using a small security team of operators.

Or, better yet, fully automated technologies which can fire upon civilians without the risk of human sympathy taking the side of the people. According to a recent UN report, a Turkish-made drone may have been the first ever to attack humans with deadly force without being specifically ordered to.

Live Science reports:

“At least one autonomous drone operated by artificial intelligence (AI) may have killed people for the first time last year in Libya, without any humans consulted prior to the attack, according to a U.N. report.

“According to a March report from the U.N. Panel of Experts on Libya, lethal autonomous aircraft may have ‘hunted down and remotely engaged’ soldiers and convoys fighting for Libyan general Khalifa Haftar. It’s not clear who exactly deployed these killer robots, though remnants of one such machine found in Libya came from the Kargu-2 drone, which is made by Turkish military contractor STM.”

So at this point, we’re essentially looking at a race to see if the oligarchic empire can manufacture the necessary environment to allow the use of robotic security forces to lock their power in place forever before the masses get fed up with the increasing inequalities and abuses of the status quo and decide to force a better system into existence.

What a time to be alive.

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Biden’s Rescue Act Targets Americans’ Freedoms | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2021

The Biden administration is bringing the same solution to America that previously failed in Afghanistan. After Barack Obama decided to “surge” U.S. troops into Afghanistan, the Christian Science Monitor noted in 2010, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) “created an atmosphere of frantic urgency about the ‘burn rate’—a measure of how quickly money is spent. Emphasis gets put on spending fast to make room for the next batch from Congress.” One Kabul-based analyst employee lamented, “As long as you spend money and you can provide a paper trail, that’s a job well done. It’s a perverse system.”

https://mises.org/wire/bidens-rescue-act-targets-americans-freedoms

James Bovard

Since the 1800s, surly Americans have derided politicians for spending tax dollars “like drunken sailors.” Until recently, that was considered a grave character fault. But Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act shows that inebriated spending is now the path to national salvation.

It was a common saying in America in the 1930s that “we cannot squander our way to prosperity.” But that was before the latest “best and brightest” crop took the helm of the federal government.

The rescue act is based on blind faith in government spending—the revival of the “Magic Bean School of Political Economy.” When he signed the bill on March 12, Biden declared, “We have to spend this money to make sure we have economic growth, unrelated to how much it’s going to help people.” The act’s $1.9 trillion price tag is proof of its beneficence. Biden boasted that he would be sending federal “stimulus” checks to more than 100 million Americans in the following ten days. The White House called the bill “the most progressive piece of legislation in history.”

The biggest fear in Washington is that federal agencies will not be able to throw tax dollars at citizens, businesses, and local and state governments quickly enough. The Washington Post frets that “the sheer volume of new programs threatens to swamp federal agencies.” This is the sixth federal COVID bailout since last spring, and “a slew of other efforts to help struggling businesses … have been trapped in the federal bureaucracy.”

The purpose of this rescue act is to rescue faith in Big Government. In his televised address, Biden declared that in order to “beat this virus,” Americans must “put trust and faith in our government to fulfill its most important function, which is protecting the American people…. We need to remember the government isn’t some foreign force in a distant capital. No, it’s us. All of us. We, the people.” At the time of Biden’s speech, the U.S. Capitol was surrounded by high fences topped with razor wire. Thousands of National Guard troops prowled the grounds of the Capitol and elsewhere in the District of Columbia to deter any unpleasantness from uppity citizens. Luckily, most of the Washington media continued to vouch that the political class was dutifully serving Americans behind closed doors.

Oversight

See the rest here

Author:

James Bovard

James Bovard is the author of ten books, including 2012’s Public Policy Hooligan, and 2006’s Attention Deficit Democracy. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, and many other publications.

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Psaki On COVID Rules: ‘We’re Not Going To Take Options Off Table’ Of What Experts ‘May Recommend’

Posted by M. C. on August 3, 2021

Psaki On COVID Rules: ‘We’re Not Going To Take Options Off Table’ Of What Experts ‘May Recommend’

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