Source – motherjones.com – “…Mayday’s leaders hoped this unprecedented show of public disaffection would raise the “spectre of social chaos,” knocking Nixon off course and forcing him to bring all the troops home from Southeast Asia. For months, posters with the Mayday motto had been pasted on walls and bulletin boards at hundreds of universities, […]AMERIKA: An Embattled President. A Mass Movement. A Military Used Against Citizens. We’ve Been Here Before (Flashback)
***the video is 4 months old now***
– sadly it’s fast becoming “normal” to many.
In this clip from the “Medical Martial Law 2020” edition of The Corbett Report podcast, James warns against normalizing the chaotic events that are unfolding across the globe right now. The house is on fire, and we will never put the fire out unless we acknowledge that fact. via This is NOT Normal — The […]This is NOT Normal — The Corbett Report
“It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freeman of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.”—James Madison
We have become one nation under house arrest.
You think we’re any different from the Kentucky couple fitted out with ankle monitoring bracelets and forced to quarantine at home?
“In some areas of the world, payment systems that require palm scanning or face scanning are already being tested. We have entered an era where biometric security is being hailed as the “solution” to the antiquated security methods of the past. We are being promised that the constant problems that hackers are causing with our […]What Will You Do When You Can No Longer Buy Or Sell Without Submitting To Biometric Identification? (LINK)
There’s a need for an updated quote from the book Nineteen Eighty-Four
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” ~George Orwell
It wouldn’t take much effort
***who is up to the challenge?***
The future is so dim, I wonder if wearing shades will help, to keep me anonymous…no, probably not.
Let’s face it, if you take a call or make a call; you must always assume there is a “third” party on the line listening. Paranoid? Heck no! They admit to listening to and recording your phone calls.
Your Phone Is Listening and it’s Not Paranoia
Thanks to Brother Nathanael for sending me the vid. Enjoyed it.
Reminds me of the movie..Minority Report a little bit; reminds me of other movies too…is it art imitating life, or life being produced in art?
I hope those “fee removals” come to Georgia.
I hate paying extra NOT to have that meter.
Remember: if you are going to be a criminal, think about what you’re doing… because while we can NOT lie to the police, they can (legally) lie to us.
It’s all about control.
If the alphabet boys can get someone to do something with just a few words. Imagine what they can get you to do, if they really put some effort in it.
HaHaHa HaHaHa HaHaHa HaHa Ha Ha
I’ll let YOU run with this
THE ANATOMY OF SLAVESPEAK
© Copyright 1997 By Frederick Mann, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The original title of this report was “Gulliver’s Travels and Alice in Wonderland.” Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, was a most advanced freethinker, centuries ahead of his time. He questioned all aspects of religion and politics, particularly in his book A Tale of a Tub. Swift’s best-known classic Gulliver’s Travels is much more than a children’s book; it’s an advanced political analysis. Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, was a mathematician and philosopher — and political analyst. The two ‘Alice-books’ can be regarded in part as political tracts disguised as children’s books. This report is an essential aid to understanding the “Spooner-insight” — see The Constitution of No Authority by Lysander Spooner.
“My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,” said Alice very politely; but she added to herself, “Why, they’re only a pack of cards, after all. I needn’t be afraid of them!” [emphasis added]
…The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, began screaming, “Off with her head! Off with–”
“Nonsense!” said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.” – Joseph Stalin
“Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us.” – Robert Anton Wilson, Introduction to The Tree of Lies (by Christopher S. Hyatt. Ph.D.)
The first thing I want you to realize is that the primary tool or WEAPON terrocrats use to subjugate, control, and dominate their victims is WORDS. By “terrocrat” I mean “coercive political agent” or “terrorist bureaucrat.” A terrocrat is always an individual human being.
Please think about this issue. How often has a terrocrat stuck a gun in your face and said, “Pay your taxes or else?” Compare this to the number of times terrocrats have sent you pieces of paper with words on them, telling you what to do or what not to do — and what penalties you may be subjected to, if you don’t obey?
Now, please stretch your imagination and imagine a world in which nobody takes the words of terrocrats seriously. They say, “We are the government,” and everyone laughs at them and asks, “Government? — what’s that?” And, whatever they reply, they are greeted with more laughter.
Then they say, “Our word is law; and you must obey.” Everyone just laughs at the terrocrats and asks, “Law? — what’s that?” Again, whatever they reply, they are greeted with more laughter.
How much power would terrocrats have in such a world?
I don’t care how much thought you have to put into this, but it’s absolutely vital that you understand that the primary means terrocrats use to subjugate, control, and dominate their victims is words.
Actually, there are three kinds of “things” terrocrats use to control their victims. The first is violence. The second is money. And the third is words. By violence, here, I mean actual physical violence. (Threats of violence are almost always expressed in words.)
How often has a terrocrat used actual violence to control you? Were you physically dragged into school, or were you coerced by words to go to school? Has any terrocrat ever used actual physical violence to make you pay taxes, or were you coerced by words to pay up?
Have you ever been arrested? If so, in what proportion did the cop use actual physical violence compared to words. Did he tell you to put your hands behind your back, or did he force your hands behind your back without saying anything? Notice that even during most arrests, cops use more words than actual physical violence to control their victims.
Have you ever been to court? To what proportion do the terrocrats and lawyers use words in court compared to actual physical violence?
Have you ever been to jail? To what proportion do the terrocrats use words in jail compared to actual physical violence?
How much power would terrocrats have in a world in which everyone says “NO!” to them and laughs at whatever they say? Can you begin to appreciate that the power of terrocrats depends largely on victims accepting terrocrat words and obeying them?
What about money? To what extent do terrocrats use money to subjugate, control, and dominate their victims? Well, they say their “law” (words) is that you must use their money; you’re not allowed to print your own. And doesn’t their money largely consist of pieces of paper with words (and a few pictures) on them? In the absence of words, could terrocrats use money to control people? And don’t their “legal tender laws” consist entirely of words?
In their book Powershift the Tofflers indicate how power has progressively shifted first from those who command violence to those who command money, and second to those who command information. And doesn’t information consist mostly of words?
What I want you to get, to grasp, to understand is that the power of terrocrats depends more on words than on anything else. Of course, their words have to be accepted, believed, and obeyed by the vast majority of victims. But what would happen if a critical mass of enlightened, emancipated former victims were to reject terrocrat words, were to stop believing them, were to attack and ridicule them whenever appropriate, and were to carefully and judiciously stop obeying them?
Some of the ideas in this report may be threatening to your current knowledge. In his classic book Nineteen-Eighty-Four, George Orwell coined terms like “thoughtcrime” and “crimestop.” If your current knowledge is “legal,” then some of the ideas presented here are “thoughtcrimes.” From the terrocrat perspective, attacking and ridiculing their words is no doubt a thoughtcrime.
Your mind may find it difficult to deal with some of these ideas. Orwell wrote:
“Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to [an “authority”], and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.”
So, please don’t let crimestop stop you!
Benefits of Understanding Slavespeak
Once you understand political Slavespeak (the language used to establish and maintain master-slave relationships), you become very aware of how those who don’t understand Slavespeak can be dominated, subjugated, and controlled by words — essentially enslaved by words. Correspondingly, you become impervious to external control through words. In other words, you enjoy more freedom — you have more options available to you.
If you’re active in promoting freedom, you’ll see that most current freedom-promoting activities, while they may yield short-term benefits, are unlikely to bring about any significant expansion of freedom in the long term. The reason for this is that the most basic way tyrants and terrocrats wield their power is a “control-via-words” mechanism. Most current freedom-promoting activities don’t attack this basic mechanism; in fact, they tend to reinforce and perpetuate it.
Understanding Slavespeak enables you to discard activities you may otherwise waste your precious time on. It enables you to focus on activities most likely to benefit you, while at the same time having the greatest potential for reducing the power of terrocrats, at least insofar as terrocrat actions infringe on your personal life and affairs.
A further benefit of understanding Slavespeak is that you’ll become more aware of how people, generally, are manipulated through words. It will become much more difficult for others to manipulate you.
Understanding and transcending Slavespeak improves your perception of the world and enables you to act or behave more effectively in relation to it. In his article Toward Understanding E-Prime, Robert Anton Wilson wrote:
“It seems likely that the principal software used in the human brain consists of words, metaphors, disguised metaphors, and linguistic structures in general. The Sapir-Whorf-Korzybski Hypothesis, in anthropology, holds that a change in language can alter our perception of the cosmos. A revision of language structure, in particular, can alter the brain as dramatically as a psychedelic. In our metaphor, if we change the software, the computer operates in a new way.”
“If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.” – Frank Herbert, The Dosadi Experiment
“The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves.” – Dresden James
“Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
What Nietzsche Said
“There are still peoples and herds somewhere, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states.
The state? What is that? Well then! Now open your ears, for now I shall speak to you of the death of peoples.
The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth; “I, the state, am the people.”
It is a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
It is destroyers who set snares for many and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred desires over them.
Where a people still exists, there the people do not understand the state and hate it as the evil eye and sin against custom and law.
I offer you this sign: every people speaks its own language of good and evil: its neighbor does not understand this language. It invented this language for itself in custom and law.
But the state lies in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it says, it lies — and whatever it has, it has stolen.
Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth. Even its belly is false.
Confusion of the language of good and evil; I offer you this sign of the state. Truly, this sign indicates the will to death! Truly, it beckons to the preachers of death!
Many too many are born: the state was invented for the superfluous!
Just see how it lures them, the many-too-many! How it devours them, and chews them, and re-chews them!
…It would like to range heroes and honorable men about it, this new idol! It likes to sun itself in the sunshine of good consciences — this cold monster!
It will give you everything if you worship it, this new idol: thus it buys for itself the luster of your virtues and the glance of your proud eyes.
It wants to use you to lure the many-too-many. Yes, a cunning device of Hell has here been devised, a horse of death jingling with the trappings of divine honors!
Yes, a death for many has here been devised that glorifies itself as life: truly a heart-felt service to all preachers of death!
I call it the state where everyone, good and bad, is a poison-drinker: the state where everyone, good and bad, loses himself: the state where universal slow suicide is called — life.”
What Hubbard Said
“ON CONTROL AND LYING
THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them. When you find an individual is lying to you, you know that the individual is trying to control you. One way or another this individual is trying to control you. That is the mechanism of control. This individual is lying to you because he is trying to control you — because if they give you enough misinformation they will pull you down the tone scale so that they can control you. Conversely, if you see an impulse on the part of a human being to control you, you know very well that that human being is lying to you. Not “is going to,” but “is” lying to you.
Check these facts, you will find they are always true. That person who is trying to control you is lying to you. He must tell you lies in order to continue control, because the second you start telling anybody close to the truth, you start releasing him and he gets tougher and tougher to control. So, you can’t control somebody without telling them a bunch of lies. You will find that very often Command has this as its greatest weakness. It will try to control instead of leading. The next thing you know, it is lying to the [illegible]. Lie, lie, lie, and it gets worse and worse, and all of a sudden the thing blows up.
Well, religion has done this. Organized religion tries to control, so therefore must be lying. After a while it figures out (even itself) that it is lying, and then it starts down tone scale further and further, and all of a sudden people get down along this spring-like bottom (heresy) and say, “Are we going into apathy and die, or are we going to revolt?” And they revolt, because you can only lie to people so long.
Unfortunately there is always a new cycle of lying.”
– L. Ron Hubbard, Technique 88
What Is Slavespeak?
“It is illusions and words that have influenced the mind of the crowd, and especially words — words which are as powerful as they are chimeral, and whose astonishing sway we shall shortly demonstrate,” wrote Gustave le Bon in his classic The Crowd, a century ago.
In The Second Sin Thomas Szasz wrote, “Man is the animal that speaks. Understanding language is the key to understanding man; and the control of language, to the control of man.” Alfred Korzybski, founder of General Semantics indicated that, “Those who control symbols control humanity.”
“Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us.” – Robert Anton Wilson
The language used to subjugate, control, and dominate others I lump together as “Slavespeak.” Slavespeak is similar to the word Newspeak, invented by George Orwell and described in his book Nineteen-Eighty-Four. I use Slavespeak in essentially the same way Orwell used Newspeak, except that Slavespeak covers more words than I think Orwell would have regarded as Newspeak. Slavespeak includes words like: “state,” “government,” “law,” “king,” “constitution,” “queen,” “president,” “prime minister,” “nation,” “country,” “anthem,” etc. Slavespeak, as I use the term, has developed over many centuries. I’ve also expanded what I mean by Slavespeak beyond politics.
I specifically use political Slavespeak in the sense of Orwell’s ‘B vocabulary’:
“The ‘B vocabulary’ consisted of words which had been deliberately constructed for political purposes: words, that is to say, which not only had in every case a political implication, but were intended to impose a desirable mental attitude upon the person using them… the ‘B’ words were a sort of verbal shorthand, often packing whole ranges of ideas into a few syllables… even in the early decades of the Twentieth Century, telescoped words and phrases had been one of the characteristic features of political language; and it had been noticed that the tendency to use abbreviations of this kind was most marked in totalitarian countries and totalitarian organizations… the intention being to make speech, and especially speech on any subject not ideologically neutral, as nearly as possible independent of consciousness… ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centers at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word ‘Duckspeak’ meaning ‘to quack like a duck.'” [emphasis added]
Political Slavespeak consists of terrocrat words — words that give terrocrats advantages over their victims; words that — if accepted, believed, and used — put victims at a disadvantage.
“Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us.” – Robert Anton Wilson
If a terrocrat can persuade a victim to accept his Slavespeak words, he automatically subjugates his victim. If a victim accepts the Slavespeak words of a terrocrat, he automatically positions himself as a subject in relation to the terrocrat — and the terrocrat gains power over him.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.” [emphasis added]
– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass
Slavespeak is not limited to the political domain. It includes all language that may put an individual at a disadvantage in relation to others and to the world in general. Slavespeak probably occurs in most domains of human endeavor:
An example of philosophical Slavespeak is the notion of “absolute truth.” Dr. Michael Hewitt-Gleeson of The School of Thought calls it the “Plato Truth Virus.” I strongly recommend that you do his “Brain Freebie” course.
“Nobody likes me,” “Women always betray me,” and “You make me angry” are examples of psychological and emotional Slavespeak.
Al Siebert’s book Peaking Out: How my Mind Broke Free from the Delusions of Psychiatry presents a trenchant description of how psychiatric Slavespeak operates and its consequences. Siebert was awarded a fellowship for post-doctoral psychiatric training at the Menninger Foundation. He dared to question “incontestable psychiatric dogma” and outlined some breakthrough ideas to his “psychiatrist teachers.”
They were not amused. They had him committed to a psychiatric hospital as a mental patient. The book includes a narrative of Siebert’s real-life experiences as an institutionalized mental patient. It also tells how Siebert saw through the delusional belief system which controls the minds of psychiatrists. A key quote:
“Then their white coats, the diplomas, their titles are cues that keep them in a hypnotic-like trance. Their perceptions of others, the special language they use, the labels they give to patients — all are programmed responses, just like with cult members.”
After Siebert left the psychiatric ward and the Menninger Foundation, he had a tremendous peak experience — the kind of peak experience described by psychologist Abraham Maslow. As Siebert was driving south out of Topeka, he suddenly had the feeling that for the first time in his life he was totally free.
“It was glorious! It was a new feeling. Up until then my mind had been controlled by illusions and I hadn’t known it.
I started yelling, ‘I’m free! I’m free! My mind is totally free! I can feel it!’
I shouted as loud as I could, ‘My mind is freeeeeeee!” [Siebert’s emphasis]
Freeing your mind from illusions and delusional belief systems can be one of the most liberating things you can experience. It can also be one of the most powerful things you can experience. This report can serve as a starting point for systematically ridding your mind of the major illusions which the vast majority of humans suffer from — particularly in the political domain.
A key phrase in the Siebert quote above is “up until then my mind had been controlled by illusions and I hadn’t known it.” Becoming aware that your mind is controlled by illusions is a major step in freeing yourself from Slavespeak.
Economic Slavespeak consists of language that keeps people trapped in economic failure or poverty. At age 16, I discussed my possible future career with my father. At one point I said, “Well, I could always go into business.” He replied, “You’ll never succeed in business!” — economic Slavespeak. Had I accepted his “economic curse” as valid, it would have condemned me to failure in business.
All religious language which places the individual who accepts it at a disadvantage I regard as religious Slavespeak.
The article in question (The Anatomy Of Slavespeak) can be found here: http://www.mind-trek.com/reports/tl07a.htm
There’s more to read, just follow the link below…
Downloaded from the Personal Empowerment Resources Web-Site: http://www.mind-trek.com/
So I finally took the plunge and purchased an Echo Dot.
My wife looks at it, looks at me, looks at it, and then says, “you bought a spying device?”
Well sure, it’s not like it’s the first controversial (spying) piece of technology that has been brought in this house; cellphone, iPad, xbox, to name just a few.
To be honest, we both agree that Amazon Echo and Google Home “spy” on us (many things do). Why then, did I buy such a device?
When you can’t beat technology, you might as well embrace it.
This one, it seems, will find its way into a box in the back of the closet.
*** if the wife ain’t happy… as they say.
Big Brother is here, in more ways than one can imagine
When I was asked to monitor my media usage for a 24-hour period, it came as no surprise to me that I spend more than just a couple hours every weekday looking at either my phone or laptop screen. What can I say, I am a college student in the U.S. in 2018. I check my phone when I have five minutes to kill, I have never set foot in a travel agency to book flights when I could easily do it online, and I can’t remember the last time I wrote a paper without using thesaurus.com.
What surprised me more than my usage of technology was the ease at which it might all be traced and surveilled. I frequently use Google Maps and Apple Maps when I am going somewhere, to the point where although I have never set a home address, after a few months of living…
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*** left-wing or right-wing, doesn’t really matter, it takes two wings for a bird to fly *** gaaah
It’s amazing how much of our current technology has been predicted by Science Fiction authors. Surveillance was predicted in 1939.
The dystopian concept of Big Brother originated withGeorge Orwell’s1984, leading to the term “Orwellian” entering everyday practice to describe a totalitarian state characterized by surveillance, misinformation, and propaganda. In the novel, telescreens are used to watch a person’s every move — a blatant act of surveillance, as the government’s total control has removed any idea of privacy.
You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.
Interestingly, technology has gotten around the “except in darkness” idea with the advent of night vision.
In 1942, only three years after 1984 was published, closed-circuit television (CCTV) was used for the first time to monitor the launch of a…
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Sad to say 1984 is here and now
“Citizens. You are being watched. It is now safe to cross the street.” The simulated voice from the cross walk camera sounded both melodious and ominous.
“I think it’s creepy how the government is allowed to put up surveillance cameras everywhere.” Joan was complaining to her co-worker Fran as the two of them continued their lunch hour walk.
“It’s to keep us safe. No one can carry a gun or a knife anywhere without being seen.”
“But even in the bathrooms? It’s embarrassing.”
“Only robots using algorithms to detect dangerous activity are watching. Besides, you can’t have everything. To be safe, you have to give up something.”
“I can’t even make love to my husband anymore without feeling guilty. Why do they have to be in our bedrooms, too?”
The two women stopped as they were approached by a police officer.
“I’m Officer Jill Conrad. Our…
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This program was pulled (in Europe) this past September, but here in good ol’ USA, it was only a few weeks ago. The episode; King Willy***
(the whole series, not just the one episode, was actually “jerked off” the network here)
Maya the Bee is an animated children’s show about a talking bee named Maya and her adventures with various other anthropomorphic insects, mostly bees. It’s also, according to some very concerned parents, a filthy, filthy peddler of smut.
Although the series has been out since 2012, Variety reports that one mother named Chey Robinson spotted something recently in season one, episode 35. And that something is a very faint line drawing of a penis on a log … in the background … for about half a second.
Two Navy aviators who used their EA-18G Growler to draw a giant sky penis over Washington State have been disciplined, according to Navy officials.
The unidentified lieutenants went before a Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board, but the Navy declined to disclose the details, citing the administrative nature of the actions.
“The board is convened to evaluate the performance and potential for continued service as an aviator,” Naval Air Forces spokesman Cmdr. Ronald Flanders said Friday. “The Air Boss or any other senior aviator can apply disciplinary measures.”
My money sits in a bank, and is (for what it’s worth) federally insured. Bitcoin (and others) sits where, and is insured by what? ***
A former pastor from Michigan discovered the hard way that informing people of their rights under the law as jurors doesn’t sit well with the U.S. government when a judge sentenced him Friday to eight weekends in jail, six months of probation, and fines — all for passing out pamphlets discussing jury nullification.
Keith Wood contends passing out the information is well within his constitutional rights to inform potential and selected jurors that, enshrined in the Bill of Rights lies the potent ability to find a defendant not guilty if the law in question is unjust, flawed, or otherwise untenable — even if the accused indeed technically violated.
Jury nullification thus arguably acts as citizens’ access to checks and balances: When legislators craft worthless, harmful, inequitable, or just plain ‘bad’ laws, jurors can, in essence, refuse to enforce any punitive measures — refusing to find a person guilty of breaking a law that never should have been inked into the books.
This tool shines most prominently when used consistently to thwart oppressive policy. Illustrative of this principle is continued federal prohibition of cannabis and transformed public sentiment, as anti-marijuana propaganda falls apart at its politicized roots for the incarceration nightmare it created — among many others. Jurors faced with a choice in guilt of sending a nonviolent drug offender to prison might instead find the concept of incarcerating this petty ‘criminal’ who had done no harm to another unethical and ill-conceived — and choose instead a finding of not guilty to compensate for the unjust law.
Read *more* by clicking the link:
On September 17, 1787 on the final day of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin was approached by a woman as he walked out of Independence Hall.
“Well Doctor, what have we got– a republic, or a monarchy?” she asked.
It was a burning question on everyone’s mind: what form of government would the Constitutional delegates establish for the new country?
Franklin didn’t hesitate. “A republic– if you can keep it.”
(The exchange was noted by Maryland delegate James McHenry and included in the Records of the Federal Convention of 1787.)
Franklin’s answer spoke volumes.
The Constitutional Convention had just ended, and it had been a bitter four months as the delegates fought and argued over every single word in the draft.
Factions had developed. Some delegates wanted a federal government with absolute power. Others wanted fewer guaranteed liberties for individuals.
Franklin knew that the representative government he had worked so hard to establish was incredibly fragile, and that it could easily slip away.
It was the same fight two years later when the 1st United States Congress fought over whether or not to establish a Bill of Rights.
As one delegate wrote, “Bill of Rights– useful, but not essential.”
Once again, after months of bitter arguments, Congress finally reached a compromise in September 1789, approving ten Constitutional amendments that guaranteed certain freedoms for the people.
More than two centuries later it’s clear that most of what they worked to achieve has completely changed.
The First Amendment, which ensures that Congress can make no law restricting freedom of speech, press, religion, and peaceable assembly, has become almost a punch line.
Ironically the greatest assault on Free Speech today doesn’t even come from government, but from university students who protest against any ideas they find offensive.
Violence on university campuses is now common as students come out of their Safe Spaces to physically obstruct and violently impede controversial speakers.
Any statement that doesn’t conform to their very narrow agenda is now considered hate speech.
And it’s the students themselves who want any sign of dissent banned, and more mandatory indoctrination of their newspeak ideology.
Then there’s the Second Amendment, which guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
This one seems to be under fire on a regular basis, with mainstream media from Rolling Stone to Vanity Fair calling for its outright repeal.
The Third Amendment guarantees that no soldier shall be quartered in any home without the consent of the owner.
This seems almost a quaint, obsolete historical reference at this point given that the US military hasn’t had to be housed among the civilian population… ever.
So, OK, great. The Third Amendment is still in-tact.
Then there’s the Fourth Amendment, which ensures “the Right of the People to be secure in their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.”
Forget it. The federal government spends tens of billions of dollars each year to illegally spy on EVERYONE, including Americans and American allies. This one is a total joke.
The Fifth Amendment is a big one.
It ensures that no one can be held to answer for a crime, including a felony, without grand jury indictment.
This protection died a few years ago when Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which authorized the military detention of US citizens on US soil, no due process required.
The Fifth Amendment also famously protects against self-incrimination, ensuring that an individual cannot be called as a witness against himself.
This provision is also gone, considering that legal precedent now exists for police to force you to give up your mobile phone or computer password.
The Sixth Amendment guarantees due process, that in a criminal trial, “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury. . .”
This is now a complete farce given the widespread use of top-secret FISA courts, military detention facilities, and drone-strike assassinations.
The Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial if there’s a dispute over property that exceeds $20.
Now, the $20 threshold might be a little bit outdated (not that there’s any inflation!)
But considering that the government has stolen billions of dollars worth property from Americans through Civil Asset Forfeiture in recent years, all without a trial, it seems the Seventh Amendment isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
Then there’s the Eight Amendment, which protects against “cruel and unusual punishment.”
I thought about this one the other day when I was walking through the terminal at DFW International Airport.
A sign caught my eye that as prominent displayed on an emergency exit door, warning passers-by that opening the door was a violation of the law and subject to up to one year in prison.
I was dumbfounded. A year in prison for opening a door?
People go to jail and do hard time for smoking certain plants (but not others), failing to file tax forms, and a number of completely obscure and innocuous crimes.
There were four federal crimes when the Constitution was ratified. Today there are thousands. On any given day you and I probably commit several of them without even knowing. And each comes with absolutely insane penalties.
The reality is that you cannot even apply for a passport anymore in the Land of the Free without being threatened with fines and imprisonment.
Last were the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, which were supposed to limit the power of the federal government in favor of the states and the people.
Those went out the window a LONG time ago, especially after 9/11.
Look, don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting that America is some vicious, brutal dictatorship. It’s not.
But anyone who has the courage to be honest and objective can see the obvious decay.
Benjamin Franklin’s warning is coming true. And the trend is accelerating.
Oh, but IT can talk***
The old cliche “If these walls could talk…” is taking on new meaning in the world of the Internet of Things.
Smart walls that actually talk aren’t on the market yet. But your connected home is capable of listening, remembering and divulging more about you than you may have imagined, explains researcher Charles Givre, a data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton. (Yep, the same company that employed whistleblower Edward Snowden.)
In a talk at the Make Data Work conference in New York, Givre described what IoT devices Nest Thermostat, the Automatic Car dongle and the Wink hub learned about him as he used them as designed.
“‘Smart’ devices collect and broadcast a lot of information beyond what you might expect. In aggregate, this information can reveal a great deal about the device’s owner.”
This information includes:
- Your Facebook and Twitter handles
- What other connected devices you have in your home and when they were connected
- Your home’s location
- Your internet service provider
- When you are home
- All the trips you take in your car (depending on your privacy settings)
- Possibly your religion (if you, like Givre and Walter from The Big Lebowski, “don’t roll on Shabbos“)
Givre pointed out that most of the information is transferred securely but is stored in the cloud. Anyone who has access to your email address and password could reach it all.
At this point, connected homes are rare enough that it’s probably more convenient for thieves to physically stake out your home to note your comings and goings. But given the explosion of connected home technology, it’s just smart security to make sure your important passwords are unique, strong and unable to be guessed by anyone. This basic step — and thinking ahead about securing your connected home — is the best you can do, now that you’re aware just how much your connected home knows about you.
The makers of IoT devices also need to do due diligence to protect the sensitive data their devices are collecting — especially since government regulation isn’t erring on the side of consumers privacy.
“The Federal Trade Commission put out a report this year with best practices about how companies should notify their customers about data retention,” ProPublica‘s Lauren Kirchner reports. “Device makers say that customers can opt in or out of sharing their personal information with developers and third-party apps.”
So your connected devices may be talking to others without you even realizing you have the choice.
“If these walls could talk…”, shouldn’t you at least have a chance to decide whom they talk to?
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