Battlefield America with John W Whitehead

Justice Denied: The Government Is Not Going to Save Us

The U.S. Supreme Court will not save us. The Supreme Court was intended to be an institution established to intervene and protect “we the people” against the government and its agents when they overstep their bounds. Yet Americans can no longer rely on the courts to mete out justice. In the police state being erected around us, the police and other government agents can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts. Whether it’s police officers breaking through people’s front doors and shooting them dead in their homes or strip searching innocent motorists on the side of the road, these instances of abuse are continually validated by a judicial system that kowtows to virtually every police demand, no matter how unjust, no matter how in opposition to the Constitution. The bottom line is this: no one is coming to save us: not the courts, not the legislatures, and not the president.

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Show Notes

Young v. Borders

“Appeals Court: Officer Who Shot and Killed Innocent Man in His Own Home Cannot Be Sued,” Slate

“Police fatally shot nearly 1,000 people, and 46 officers were killed, nationwide in 2017,” The Washington Post

“Constitutional Q&A: Knock-and-Talk Police Tactics,” The Rutherford Institute

“Here’s How Many People Police Killed in 2017,” The Root

“Police Arrest Man In Fatal ‘Swatting’ Prank,” NPR

“‘Swatting’ didn’t kill a man, police did,” Salon

“Prosecutors won’t bring charges against white NY cop who fatally shot a mentally ill former Marine,” PIX 11

“Ex-cop acquitted in fatal shooting of unarmed man at hotel,” New York Post

“Donald Trump is the emperor with no clothes—and the media’s playing along,” Quartz

“Jeff Sessions has done more damage in his first 100 days than his boss,” Quartz

“1968’s chaos: The assassinations, riots and protests that defined our world,” The Washington Post

Justice Denied: The Government Is Not Going to Save Us

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Nervous About Traffic Stops? I Am. You Should Be, Too

We’ve all been there before. You’re driving along and you see a pair of flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror. Whether or not you’ve done anything wrong, you get a sinking feeling in your stomach. You’ve read enough news stories, seen enough headlines, and lived in the American police state long enough to be anxious about any encounter with a cop that takes place on the side of the road.

For better or worse, from the moment you’re pulled over, you’re at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.” This is what I call “blank check policing,” in which the police get to call all of the shots. So if you’re nervous about traffic stops, you have every reason to be. Trying to predict the outcome of any encounter with the police is a bit like playing Russian roulette: most of the time you will emerge relatively unscathed, although decidedly poorer and less secure about your rights, but there’s always the chance that an encounter will turn deadly.

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Show Notes

Rutherford Institute Sues Police Over 'Broken Taillight' Traffic Stop That Resulted in Driver Being Punched, Beaten, Arrested and Hospitalized

“Traffic stops,” Bureau of Justice Statistics

“You really can get pulled over for driving while black, federal statistics show,” The Washington Post

“Cars Most Likely To Get A Ticket,” Forbes

“Federal Appeals Court: Driving With Upright Posture and Acne Is Sufficient Evidence For Traffic Stop,” Truth in Media

“Federal Appeals Court Declares Air Fresheners Suspicious,” The Newspaper

Heien v. North Carolina (2014)

“South Carolina Officer Is Charged With Murder of Walter Scott,” The New York Times

“Black Man Samuel Dubose Shot in Head by Cincinnati Cop Ray Tensing,” NBC News

“Dashboard Video Shows South Carolina State Trooper Shooting Allegedly Unarmed Driver,” People

“Police dashcam shows South Carolina cop shoot 70-year-old Vietnam veteran as the man reached in the back of his truck for his cane during routine traffic stop,” Daily Mail

“Florida deputy stops black man on bike, shoots him 4 seconds later,” Chicago Tribune

“Sandra Bland death: New details only make case murkier,” CNN

“Sandra Bland's family 'infuriated' at video of her arrest,” CNN

“Here's what drivers, police are allowed to do during traffic stops,” Newsnet5

“Police fatally shoot black man they say took ‘shooting stance’ in San Diego suburb, sparking protests,” The Washington Post

“Man shot dead by Metro cops was wanted on felonies in Arizona,” Las Vegas Sun

“Police must pay $6.5 million after killing man holding water nozzle,” Los Angeles Times

“Chicago Police Fatally Shoot 2, Raising New Questions for a Force Under Scrutiny,” The New York Times

“Alabama man who rushed police officer with metal spoon after stun gun had no effect is shot and killed: police,” Daily News

“New Details Released On Bartow Officer-Involved Shooting,” Cartersville Patch

“Naked man shot, killed by police,” CBS 46

“Multiple officers open fire, kill man in Baltimore County,” The Washington Post

“Man shot to death by L.A. County deputy was not a carjacking suspect, officials say,” Los Angeles Times

“Officer involved in fatal Midtown shooting booked into jail,” WXIA

“Tulsa Police Shoot, Kill Unarmed Black Man, DOJ Investigating,” ABC News

“N.C. Trooper Investigated in Fatal Shooting of Deaf Motorist,” The New York Times

“Deputy shoots and kills unarmed homeless man, prompting investigation,” Los Angeles Times

“WWII vet's death a textbook case of excessive force, but no hashtag for him,” Chicago Tribune

Nervous About Traffic Stops? I Am. You Should Be, Too

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Financial Tyranny: ‘We the People’ Are the New Permanent Underclass in America

Americans can no longer afford to get sick and there’s a reason why. That’s because a growing number of Americans are struggling to stretch their dollars far enough to pay their bills, get out of debt and ensure that if and when an illness arises, it doesn’t bankrupt them. This is a reality that no amount of partisan political bickering can deny. Many Americans can no longer afford health insurance, drug costs or hospital bills. They can’t afford to pay rising healthcare premiums, out-of-pocket deductibles and prescription drug bills. They can’t afford to live, and now they can’t afford to get sick or die, either.

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Show Notes

Helaine Olen, “Even the Insured Often Can’t Afford Their Medical Bills,” The Atlantic

Mark Betancourt, “The Devastating Process of Dying in America Without Insurance,” The Nation

Robert Pear, “Why Do Health Costs Keep Rising? These People Know,” The New York Times

Ester Bloom, “Here’s how much the average American spends on health care,” CNBC

Dan Mangan, “Most popular Obamacare plans cost average of 34 percent more for 2018,” CNBC

Zachary Tracer, “Rising Health-Insurance Costs Are Eating Into Employees’ Paycheck Gains,” Bloomberg

Dan Mangan, “We spend more than any developed country on healthcare and have less to show for it,” CNBC

Laurie Meisler, “Americans Die Younger Despite Spending the Most on Health Care,” Bloomberg

Lauren Gelman, “10 Wildly Overinflated Hospital Costs,” Reader’s Digest

“10 Ridiculously Overpriced Hospital Costs,” MBA Medical

Jayne O’Donnell, “Feds’ Obamacare site does biggest business yet, while about half of people can pay $0,” USA Today

Robert Pear, “Health Law Tax Penalty? I’ll Take It, Millions Say,” The New York Times

Kathryn Vasel, “6 in 10 Americans don’t have $500 in savings,” CNN

Ester Bloom, “Here’s how many Americans have nothing at all saved for retirement,” CNBC

Jim Powell, “John Locke: Natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property,” FEE

Dennis Hevesi, “Irwin Schiff, Fervent Opponent of Federal Income Taxes, Dies at 87,” The New York Times

Melissa Block, “A History Of The Income Tax,” NPR

Linda Greenhouse, “Supreme Court Ruling Supports Tax Protester,” The New York Times

U.S. Debt Clock

Drew Desilver, “5 facts about the national debt,” Pew Research

Uri Friedman, “Fighting Terrorism With a Credit Card,” The Atlantic

Jack Moore, “The Cost of War for the U.S. Taxpayer Since 9/11 Is Actually Three Times the Pentagon’s Estimate,” Newsweek

Gillian Kiley-Brown, “Post-9/11 U.S. war costs will soon top $5.6 trillion,” Futurity

Jeanne Sahadi, “The financial cost of 16 years in Afghanistan,” CNN

Linda J. Bilmes, “Iraq and Afghanistan: The US$6 trillion bill for America’s longest war is unpaid,” The Conversation

Alex Ward, “Trump is sending more than 3,000 troops to Afghanistan,” Vox

Dwight D. Eisenhower, “The Chance for Peace” (Apr. 16, 1953)

Financial Tyranny: ‘We the People’ Are the New Permanent Underclass in America

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Don’t Call the Cops If You’re Autistic, Deaf, Mentally Ill, Disabled or Old

Life in the American police state is an endless series of don’ts delivered at the end of a loaded gun: don’t talk back to police officers, don’t even think about defending yourself against a SWAT team raid (of which there are 80,000 every year), don’t run when a cop is nearby lest you be mistaken for a fleeing criminal, don’t carry a cane lest it be mistaken for a gun, don’t expect privacy in public, don’t let your kids walk to the playground alone, don’t engage in nonviolent protest near where a government official might pass, don’t try to grow vegetables in your front yard, don’t play music for tips in a metro station, don’t feed whales, and on and on. Here’s another don’t to the add the growing list of things that could get you or a loved one tasered, shot or killed: don’t call the cops.

Sometimes it’s dangerous enough calling the cops when you’re not contending with a disability. Unfortunately, the risks just skyrocket when a disability is involved, especially if you are autistic, hearing impaired, mentally ill, elderly, suffer from dementia, disabled or have any other condition that might hinder your ability to understand, communicate or immediately comply with an order.

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Show Notes

Steve Silberman, “The Police Need to Understand Autism,” The New York Times

Kent Erdahl, “Australian woman's death at hands of police called homicide,” USA Today

Shaun King, “Black Indianapolis man shot by cops after calling police to report robbery,” Daily News

Peter Eisler, Jason Szep, Tim Reid and Grant Smith, “Shock Tactics,” Reuters

David M. Perry and Lawrence Carter-Long, “Media coverage of law enforcement use of force and disability,” Ruderman Family Foundation

Michael Burns, “Jury exonerates police for treatment of autistic man,” Greenville News

Cleve R. Wootson Jr., “Police used a Taser on a grandfather, who's now in intensive care. They say it was for his safety,” The Washington Post

Christian Boone, “Mom of Georgia Tech student shot by police speaks out,” Atlanta Journal Constitution

James Doubek, “Oklahoma City Police Fatally Shoot Deaf Man Despite Yells Of 'He Can't Hear,'” NPR

Stephen Greenspan, “The Preventable Death of Ethan Saylor,” Psychology Today

Bill Chappell, “North Miami Officer Is Arrested Over Shooting Of Therapist During Standoff,” NPR

Artemis Moshtaghian, “Dallas school police use handcuffs to restrain 7-year-old boy,” CNN

Russell Contreras, “Things to know one year after APD shooting of James Boyd,” Albuquerque Journal

Liam Stack, “N.C. Trooper Investigated in Fatal Shooting of Deaf Motorist,” The New York Times

Amiel Fields-Meyer, “When Police Officers Don't Know About the ADA,” The Atlantic

Wesley Lowery, Kimberly Kindy, Keith L. Alexander, Julie Tate, Jennifer Jenkins, Steven Rich, “Distraught People, Deadly Results,” The Washington Post

“Police immune over arrest of mentally ill woman,” Chicago Tribune

Brandy Zadrozny, “Protecting Your Mentally Ill Child From the Cops,” The Daily Beast

Tim Prudente, “Police Get Schooled On Special Needs Interactions,” The Baltimore Sun

Steve Silberman, “Making Encounters With Police Officers Safer for People With Disabilities,” The New York Times

Don’t Call the Cops If You’re Autistic, Deaf, Mentally Ill, Disabled or Old

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

How Freedom Dies

It is easy to be distracted right now by the circus politics that dominate the news headlines. But stop being distracted. Don’t be fooled, not even a little, no matter how tempting it seems to just take a peek. Why? We’re being subjected to the oldest con game in the books, the magician’s sleight of hand that keeps you focused on the shell game in front of you while your wallet is being picked clean by ruffians in your midst. This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls.

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Show Notes

Sean O’Hagan, “One angry man,” The Guardian

John W. Whitehead, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State

H.L. Mencken, “Bayard vs. Lionheart,” Baltimore Evening Sun (Jul. 26, 1920) as cited in Roger Cohen, “The Man Who Would Not Be President,” The New York Times (Nov. 18, 2016)

Christopher Ingraham, “How police took $53,000 from a Christian band, an orphanage and a church,” The Washington Post

Les Christie, “The other foreclosure crisis: Losing a home over $400 in back taxes,” CNN Money

Brad Heath, “DEA regularly mines Americans' travel records to seize millions in cash,” USA Today

Andrew Dugan, “Majority of Americans See Congress as Out of Touch, Corrupt,” Gallup

Norah O’Donnell, “Dialing for Dollars,” CBS News

Isaac Arnsdorf, “The lobbying reform that enriched Congress,” Politico

Christopher Ingraham, “Congress to constituents: ‘Show me the money,’” The Washington Post

Jon Schwarz, ““Yes, We’re Corrupt”: A List of Politicians Admitting That Money Controls Politics,” The Intercept

Brian Christopher Jones, “Don’t Be Silly: Lawmakers ‘Rarely’ Read Legislation and Oftentimes Don’t Understand It . . . But That’s Okay,” Penn State Law Review, Vol. 118

Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” The Atlantic

Reuters, “US spending three times more on prisons than schools: Federal report,” Raw Story

Jason M. Breslow, “New Report Slams “Unprecedented” Growth in US Prisons,” PBS Frontline

Steven Nelson, “Single Mother 'Arrested for Grass' After Not Mowing,” U.S. News

Donna Murch, “Paying for Punishment,” Boston Review

Jennifer Golbeck, “All Eyes On You,” Psychology Today

Kim Zetter, “DHS Launches ‘Minority Report’ Pre-Crime Detection Program,” Wired

Jillian York, “The chilling effects of surveillance,” Al Jazeera

“Fatal Force,” The Washington Post

Sam Brodey, “SWAT Teams Keep Killing Innocent People in Their Homes,” Mother Jones

Bonnie Kristian, “The troubling rise of SWAT teams,” The Week

“Baltimore police conducted more than 60 illegal strip searches, some in public – DoJ,” RT

Rebecca Klein, “Set to Stun,” The Huffington Post

Tom Coburn and Adam Andrzejewski, “Why Does the IRS Need Guns?” The Wall Street Journal

Emily Heil, “Mark Twain on Congress: idiots, criminals, dumber than fleas,” The Washington Post

Morris Berman, Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire

Etienne de La Boétie, “The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude: How Do Tyrants Secure Cooperation?”

This Is How Tyranny Rises and Freedom Falls: The Experiment in Freedom Is Failing

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Policing for Profit: Jeff Sessions & Co.’s Thinly Veiled Plot to Rob Us Blind

Under the guise of “fighting crime,” Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top law enforcement official, gave police the green light to rob, pilfer, steal, thieve, swipe, purloin, filch and liberate American taxpayers of even more of their hard-earned valuables (especially if it happens to be significant amounts of cash) using any means, fair or foul. In this case, the foul method favored by Sessions & Co. is civil asset forfeiture, which allows police and prosecutors to “seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime.” Under a federal equitable sharing program, police turn asset forfeiture cases over to federal agents who process seizures and then return 80% of the proceeds to the police. (In Michigan, police actually get to keep up to 100% of forfeited property.) This incentive-driven excuse for stealing from the citizenry is more accurately referred to as “policing for profit” or “theft by cop.”

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Show Notes

“Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture,” Institute for Justice

“Illinois Traffic Stop Of Star Trek Fans Raises Concerns About Drug Searches, Police Dogs, Bad Cops,” The Huffington Post

“Asset seizures fuel police spending,” The Washington Post

“Law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did last year,” The Washington Post

“Law that lets police seize assets – $2.6 billion in 2015 – raises questions,” The Orange County Register

“'Innocent until proven guilty' should mean what it says,” USA Today

“DEA regularly mines Americans' travel records to seize millions in cash,” USA Today

“Justice Thomas Defends Victims of ‘Policing for Profit,’” National Review

“Texas police shake down drivers, lawsuit claims,” CNN

“Illinois Traffic Stop Of Star Trek Fans Raises Concerns About Drug Searches, Police Dogs, Bad Cops,” The Huffington Post

“Highway robbery? Texas police seize black motorists' cash, cars,” Chicago Tribune

“Tennessee Asset Forfeiture Bill Seeks To Abolish Abusive Police Practice,” Huffington Post

“Hidden cameras reveal airport workers stealing from luggage,” CNN

“Tea, Taxes, and the Revolution,” Foreign Policy

Martin Luther King, Jr., “The Power of Non-violence”

Policing for Profit: Jeff Sessions & Co.’s Thinly Veiled Plot to Rob Us Blind

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

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

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, and so on). The American Police State has become 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.

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Show Notes

“The Prisoner Reboots the Panopticon for 21st Century,” Wired

“Patrick McGoohan: The spy who started it all,” Los Angeles Times

“R.I.P. Patrick McGoohan, the Prisoner's TV Visionary,” Wired

Panopticon

“What does the panopticon mean in the age of digital surveillance?” The Guardian

“Philip K. Dick Warned Us About the Internet of Things in 1969,” Slate

“BCA agreed to FBI terms on secret cellphone tracking,” Star Tribune

“Judge Gorsuch on arrest warrants and Doppler radar devices,” The Washington Post

“How many times have the cops photographed your license plate?” Washington Examiner

“9 Ways You’re Being Spied On Every Day,” The Huffington Post

“New surveillance cameras will use computer eyes to find ‘pre crimes’ by detecting suspicious behaviour and calling for guards,” Daily Mail

“DOJ budget seeks funds for police body cameras, immigration judges,” The Hill

“Your Samsung SmartTV Is Spying on You, Basically,” The Daily Beast

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish, Panopticism. In Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison

“On whistleblowers and government threats of investigation,” The Guardian

“Sessions, Coats push for permanent renewal of controversial surveillance law,” The Hill

“Merciful release,” The Guardian

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

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Do You Even Know Your Rights?

Donald Trump wants to make America great again. I, for one, would prefer to make America free again. “We the people” have the power to make and break the government. We are the masters and they are the servants. Clearly, our national priorities need to be re-prioritized.

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Show Notes

Al-Jazeera interview, (21 October 2001), as reported in "Bin Laden's sole post-September 11 TV interview aired" CNN

Abraham Lincoln, “The Gettysburg Address,” (Nov. 19, 1863)

“Americans know surprisingly little about their government, survey finds,” Annenberg Public Policy Center

“Exercising the Right to Be Ignorant,” Los Angeles Times

“Can You Pass the Citizenship Test?” National Review

“Noted with Interest,” The Washington Post

“First Amendment Schools,” Center for Survey Research and Analysis

“Elected Officials Score Lower than the General Public,” American Civic Literacy Program

“[Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, et al.,] Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Fix the Site of the University of Virginia,” The Founders’ Constitution: Volume 1, Chapter 18, Document 33

“From Thomas Jefferson to Uriah Forrest, with Enclosure, 31 December 1787,” Founders Online, National Archives

“From Thomas Jefferson to William Charles Jarvis, 28 September 1820,” Founders Online, National Archives

Let’s Make America Free Again: 230 Years After the Constitution, We’re Walking a Dangerous Road

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Zombies R Us: ‘We the People’ Are the Walking Dead of the American Police State

Despite the fact that we are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack; 11,000 times more likely to die from an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane; 1,048 times more likely to die from a car accident than a terrorist attack, and 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist, we have handed over control of our lives to government officials who treat us as a means to an end—the source of money and power. We have allowed ourselves to become fearful, controlled, pacified zombies. Zombies also embody the government’s paranoia about the citizenry as potential threats that need to be monitored, tracked, surveilled, sequestered, deterred, vanquished and rendered impotent.

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Show Notes

“Director George Romero, creator of the modern zombie, is dead at 77” Vox

Movie 'Zombie Killers,' filmed in Pennsylvania, to premiere in Bethlehem, The Morning Call

The Real Villains of Fear the Walking Dead, The Atlantic

Why The Walking Dead Is So Brutal — and So Popular, Time

Fear Makes People Stupid, Zero Hedge

How TV Zombifies and Pacifies Us and Subverts Democracy

Lockdown Nation, Pacific Standard Magazine 

The Pentagon Has a Plan to Stop the Zombie Apocalypse. Seriously, Foreign Policy

The Department of Defense is prepared for a zombie attack, New York Post

Zombies R Us: ‘We the People’ Are the Walking Dead of the American Police State

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Mass Shootings: America’s Culture of Violence Turns Deadly

Why do these mass shootings keep happening? Mass shootings have taken place at churches, in nightclubs, on college campuses, on military bases, in elementary schools, in government offices, and at concerts. The Las Vegas shooting is the deadliest to date. Could it be, as some have speculated, that these shootings are all part of an elaborate plan to incite fear and chaos, heighten national tensions and shift us that much closer to a complete lockdown?

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 Show Notes

 “Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence,” Moyers & Company

“Expert: Las Vegas shooter may have used trigger crank,” USA Today

“America’s Deadly Gun Addiction, by the Numbers,” Wired

“The Las Vegas attack is the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history,” CNN

“I Was a Teenage Gun Nut,” The Atlantic

“Gun Deaths Are Mostly Suicides,” The New York Times

“Militainment, Inc.: Militarism & Pop Culture,” Media Education Foundation

“The United States is No. 1 — But in What? Military Expenditure, Weapons Export and International Violence,” Centre for Global Research

“U.S. Military Spending Dwarfs Rest of World,” CNBC

“In the Wake of the Las Vegas Shooting, There Can Be No Truce with the Second Amendment,” The New Yorker

“Gun violence in America, explained in 17 maps and charts,” Vox

“Why are mass murders so uncommon in Japan?” Quartz

“Pentagon Video Warns of “unavoidable” Dystopian Future for World’s Biggest Cities,” The Intercept

“How US gun culture compares with the world,” CNN

“Dozens of Civilians Killed When U.s. Bombed a School and a Market in Syria,” The Intercept

“Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation” (January 17, 1961)

“The greatest sci-fi movies of the 1950s,” Den of Geek

“25 years later, how ‘Top Gun’ made America love war,” The Washington Post

“The Army gives you superpowers!” Salon

“You’re watching Pentagon propaganda: “American Idol,” “Ice Road Truckers” and the truth about your favorite shows,” Salon

“Documents expose how Hollywood promotes war on behalf of the Pentagon, CIA and NSA,” Medium

“The Pentagon’s strengthening grip on Hollywood,” Salon

“DoD paid $53 million of taxpayers’ money to pro sports for military tributes, report says,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mass Shootings: The Military-Entertainment Complex’s Culture of Violence Turns Deadly

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

What Country Is This? Forced Blood Draws, Cavity Searches and Colonoscopies

Forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, forced inclusion in biometric databases: these are just a few ways in which Americans are being forced to accept that we have no control over our bodies, our lives and our property, especially when it comes to interactions with government agents.

Such is life in America today that individuals are being threatened with arrest and carted off to jail for the least hint of noncompliance, homes are being raided by police under the slightest pretext, property is being seized on the slightest hint of suspicious activity, and roadside police stops have devolved into government-sanctioned exercises in humiliation and degradation with a complete disregard for privacy and human dignity.

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Show Notes

“How the Supreme Court Came to Embrace Strip Searches for Trivial Offenses,” The Nation

“Utah hospital to police: Stay away from our nurses,” The Washington Post

“‘Disturbing Video’ Shows Cops Forcibly Drawing Blood of DUI Suspects — And It’s Legal,” The Blaze

“Spring woman claims constitutional violation in body cavity probe,” Houston Chronicle

“Video of roadside vaginal search revives calls for charges against cops,” Vice News

“Texas Cops Spent 11 Minutes Searching a Woman's Vagina, Found No Drugs,” Reason

“N.M. Man Sues Over Multiple Anal Cavity Searches,” FindLaw

“Cops Strip Search Mom, "Forcibly" Pull Tampon Out of Her for Maybe Rolling Through Stop Sign,” Broward Palm Beach NewTimes

“Female US cop caught on tape giving two women body cavity search during routine traffic stop... and 'using the SAME gloves on both'” Daily Mail

“Texas trooper being sued in Irving body cavity search case has been suspended,” The Dallas Morning News

“4 Milwaukee police officers charged in strip-search case,” Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

Cox v. Sampson County School Board

“Ga. Tech Fan Claims Strip Search Over Sandwich,” WSBTV

 Florence v. Burlington

“Flashlight that can smell your breath: Police use high-tech torch on drivers to detect alcohol,” Daily Mail

“'No Refusal' DUI checkpoints raise questions,” USA Today

“Supreme Court ruling on blood draws could have big impact on drunken driving cases,” Journal-Sentinel

“Federal Funds Fuel Nationwide Increase in “No Refusal” Blood-Draw DUI Checkpoints,” Ben Swann

“Off-duty cops collect DNA samples at Alabama roadblocks,” Daily Caller

“Forget Fingerprints: Law Enforcement DNA Databases Poised To Expand,” NOVA Next

“JFK Airport officials filter fecal matter in search for drugs,” The Washington Times

“To Track Militants, U.S. Has System That Never Forgets a Face,” The New York Times

Some Who Decline an Optional Iris Photo Are Kept Longer in Jail, Critics Say,” The New York Times

“Iris scans are the new school IDs,” CNN Money

“Eye Scan Technology Comes to Schools,” ABC News

“The Boring and Exciting World of Biometrics,” NovaNext

“State photo-ID databases become troves for police,” The Washington Post

What Country Is This? Forced Blood Draws, Cavity Searches and Colonoscopies

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Trump: Now an Agent of the American Police State

If you thought the militarized police response to Ferguson and Baltimore was bad, brace yourselves. Many police, including beat cops, now routinely carry assault rifles. Combined with body armor and other apparel, many officers look more and more like combat troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thanks to President Trump, this transformation of America into a battlefield is only going to get worse. To be fair, Trump did not create this totalitarian nightmare. However, he has legitimized it and, in so doing, has also accelerated the pace at which we fall deeper into the clutches of outright tyranny.

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Show Notes

“Battlefield Main Street: Pentagon Project Lets Police Forces – Even in Small Towns – Arm Themselves With Military Gear,” The Daily

“Congress Quietly Passed a Bill Allowing Warrantless Searches of Homes—Only 1% Opposed It,” The Free Thought Project

“Trump to Fully Restore Military Surplus Transfers to Police,” The New York Times

“Trump lifts ban on military gear to local police forces,” USA Today

“From Mayberry to Ferguson, the rise of the modern cop,” The Washington Post

“Local Cops Ready for War With Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons,” The Daily Beast

“America’s police are looking more and more like the military,” The Guardian

“West Lafayette police acquire military vehicle,” Indy Star

“The cops at Ohio State have an armored fighting vehicle now,” The Daily Caller

“Police Are Getting the Military’s Leftover Armored Trucks,” The New York Times

“Drawing Down: How To Roll Back Police Militarization In America,” The Huffington Post

“Seattle police department has network that can track all Wi-Fi enabled devices,” Raw Story

“Little oversight seen in military surplus giveaways,” Associated Press

“The militarization of U.S. police forces,” Reuters

“Does military equipment lead police officers to be more violent? We did the research,” The Washington Post

“The Shocking Tales of 11 of the Most Over the Top US Police Paramilitary Raids and the Innocent People They Victimized,” Alternet

“Why Are Police Unions Blocking Reform?” The New Yorker

“The USA as a Failed State: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s ‘Between the World and Me,’” Counterpunch

Battlefield America Is the New Normal: We’re Not in Mayberry Anymore

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Freedom for the Speech We Hate: The Legal Ins and Outs of the Right to Protest

We are witnessing a politically correct philosophy at play, one shared by both the extreme left and the extreme right, which aims to stifle all expression that doesn’t fit within their parameters of what they consider to be “acceptable” speech. There are all kinds of labels put on such speech—it’s been called politically incorrect speech, hate speech, offensive speech, and so on—but really, the message being conveyed is that you don’t have a right to express yourself if certain people or groups don’t like or agree with what you are saying.  Hence, we have seen the caging of free speech in recent years, through the use of so-called “free speech zones” on college campuses and at political events, the requirement of speech permits in parks and community gatherings, and the policing of online forums. Clearly, this elitist, monolithic mindset is at odds with everything for which America is supposed to stand.

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Show Notes

James Madison, “FEDERALIST NO. 10 (1787)”

Benjamin Franklin, “Silence Dogood, No. 8,” The New-England Courant (Jul. 9, 1722)

 “Constitutional Q&A: The Right to Protest,” The Rutherford Institute

Second Amendment

 First Amendment

United States v. Schwimmer, U.S. Supreme Court (1929)

Texas v. Johnson, 491 US 397 - Supreme Court 1989

 DeJonge v. Oregon

 Lloyd Corp., Ltd. v. Tanner

 City of LaDue v. Gileo

 United States v. Grace

 Ward v. Rock Against Racism

 Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western N.Y.

Snyder v. Phelps

Lewis v. Wilson

 Helms v. Zubaty

 Acosta v. City of Costa Mesa

 Gilles v. Blanchard

 Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Comm. Sch. Dist.

 Boardley v. U.S. Dept. of the Interior

 Forsyth County, Ga. v. Nationalist Movement

 Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham

 Thomas v. Chi. Park Dist.

 Hague v. Comm. for Indus. Org.

 Jones v. Parmley

 Cole v. Arkansas

 Chesney v. City of Jackson

United States v. Masciandaro

Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Concealed Carry”

Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Open Carry”

“Supreme Court Turns Down Case on Carrying Guns in Public,” The New York Times

“The Competing Messages:  The Protests; Demonstrators Steer Clear Of Their Designated Space,” The New York Times

“Chilling First Amendment Activity,” Medium

“Protesters Flood Streets, and Trump Offers a Measure of Praise,” The New York Times

“To fight bigotry and hate, don’t muzzle it. There’s a better way,” The Washington Post

Freedom for the Speech We Hate: The Legal Ins and Outs of the Right to Protest

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Tear Gas, Guns and Riot Squads: The Police State’s Answer to Free Speech Is Brute Force

Forget everything you’ve ever been taught about free speech in America. It’s all a lie. There can be no free speech for the citizenry when the government speaks in a language of force. What is this language of force? Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality. This is not the language of freedom. This is not even the language of law and order. Unfortunately, this is how the government at all levels—federal, state and local—now responds to those who choose to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble in public and challenge the status quo.

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Show Notes

The Militarization of American Police, The Leonard Lopate Show

 “Police Are Using Military Weapons to Occupy Ferguson, Missouri,” Slate

Kettling

 “The lessons of Baltimore, and Ferguson, and too many places,” Los Angeles Times

“Victory in Unlawful Mass Arrest During 2004 RNC the Largest Protest Settlement in History,” NYCLU

“Militarized Police Are Cracking Down on Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters,” The Nation

 “KKK rally peaceful, police tear gas protesters afterward,” C-Ville Weekly

“Protesters Surround KKK Gathering In Charlottesville,” NPR

“Right to protest also means freedom from militarized police,” USA Today

“Does military equipment lead police officers to be more violent? We did the research,” The Washington Post

“Will the Growing Militarization of Our Police Doom Community Policing?” COPS

“Police fire tear gas at crowd protesting Charlottesville KKK rally,” Roanoke Times

“‘Comply or Die’ policing must stop,” Daily KOS

“I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me,” The Washington Post

“Contempt of cop, America’s defiance revolution,” CBC News

“How To Break Up a Peaceful Protest Peacefully,” Forbes

Tear Gas, Guns and Riot Squads: The Police State’s Answer to Free Speech Is Brute Force

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Saint or Sinner, Government Eyes Are Watching Every Move You Make

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 see who you are or what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line. Indeed, simply by liking or sharing this article on Facebook or retweeting it on Twitter, you’re most likely flagging yourself as a potential renegade, revolutionary or anti-government extremist—a.k.a. terrorist. Yet whether or not you like or share this particular article, simply by reading it or any other articles related to government wrongdoing, surveillance, police misconduct or civil liberties is enough to get you categorized as a particular kind of person that needs to be spied on just in case you decide to challenge the government in any way. Chances are you have already been assigned a color-coded threat score—green, yellow or red—so police are forewarned about your potential inclination to be a troublemaker.

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Show Notes

“On whistleblowers and government threats of investigation,” The Guardian

 “The CIA is investing in firms that mine your Tweets and Instagram photos,” The Intercept

 “The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat ‘score,’” The Washington Post

 “Exposing Bush’s historic abuse of power,” Salon

 “Social Media Usage: 2005-2015,” Pew Research Center

 “Philip K. Dick Warned Us About the Internet of Things in 1969,” Slate

 “BCA agreed to FBI terms on secret cellphone tracking,” Star Tribune

 “Judge Gorsuch on arrrest warrants and Doppler radar devices,” The Washington Post

 “How many times have the cops photographed your license plate?” Washington Examiner

 “DEA using license-plate readers to take photos of US drivers, documents reveal,” The Guardian

 “9 Ways You’re Being Spied On Every Day,” The Huffington Post

 “New surveillance cameras will use computer eyes to find ‘pre crimes’ by detecting suspicious behaviour and calling for guards,” Daily Mail

 “A FINGERPRINT SCANNER THAT CAN CAPTURE PRINTS FROM 20 FEET AWAY,” Popular Science

 “Police radar gun that shows if you’re texting?” C-Net

 “First came the Breathalyzer, now meet the roadside police “textalyzer,”” Ars technica

 “DOJ budget seeks funds for police body cameras, immigration judges,” The Hill

 “A fight over access to video from LAPD body cameras is shaping up,” LA Times

 “Your Samsung SmartTV Is Spying on You, Basically,” The Daily Beast

 “FBI Taps Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects,” The Wall Street Journal

Saint or Sinner, Government Eyes Are Watching Every Move You Make

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute