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Friday, January 22, 2010

Three Key Lies of Big Government and the National Security State

Perception is NOT Reality

 This falsehood is pushed by the elitist, social Darwinian. The phrase reeks of corporate public relations propaganda and the Madison Avenue peddlers of personal insecurity. On an individual level, deciding to perceive our own life in a positive and optimistic light can have its shallow benefits, if only temporarily. Of course, the reality of a person's circumstances, if viewed by an impartial and unattached set of eyes, is what it is. In a digital media age, governmental and corporate leaders use human psychology against the passive viewer, with slick talking heads to spin ideas, filter out uncomfortable truths, and shape their desired perceptions. Indeed, it requires an active (if not rebellious) mind to withstand the perpetual motion of the corporate PR machine. Remember the hubris of former White House chief-of-staff Karl Rove, who admitted:
"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." 
 Ignorance is NOT Bliss

Unfortunately, a large number of us subconsciously live with the original statement as a kind of personal philosophy. Society is run for the benefit of a very few, the government is corrupt, our birthright is being stolen, and civil society is breaking down. People know this, but it scares them and they simply do not want to deal with it. Ignorance is Slavery! This is the context in which English poet Thomas Gray wrote Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College:
 "Yet ah! why should they know their fate?
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies.
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise."
Gray's statement is a satirical warning to his countrymen. Ironically, we formerly free and democratic people have come to live in a world in which we delegate our just and sovereign authority to the bureaucratic state, Law Enforcement, and distant panels of experts. In the post-democratic West, the global elite are happy to oblige in running every facet of our lives.

The Ends DO NOT Justify the Means

The quintessential Machiavellian notion tends to be the foundational idea for tyrants and control freaks, big and small. Wrapped in visions of a Utopian society, the oligarchs sadistically believe in their right to power at the expense of all other interests. The leadership in domestic law enforcement agencies accept this concept wholeheartedly. For them, better some innocent men be imprisoned than any "criminal" live free. Similarly, their actions prove that they believe they should be above the law to more effectively enforce that law upon civilians. Our rights have become a serious obstruction to the will of the strong arm of the law. Of course, if we lose our liberties, there is no society worth protecting; only the local warlords who repress their fiefdom so that the powers that be can better rob their victims.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tyranny!: The Numbers Don't Lie

Attempting to quantify the nature or extent of the existing police state is not an easy task. How does one judge corruption, political repression, domestic surveillance, etc. After all, there is no international index of unjust laws, corrupt cops, paid-off judges and the like. There are a number of projects on the web that look at the raw data and try to do just that. I attempt to collate them here, and, in conclusion, you make your own judgement.

Total Number of Police (by Country)
Source: The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)
  1. India 1,032,960
  2. United States 941,139
  3. Mexico 495,821
  4. Italy 322,433
  5. Germany 250,104
  6. Japan 231,700
  7. Thailand 215,450
  8. Turkey 165,833
  9. United Kingdom 152,576
  10. France 124,284
Number of Prisons (by Country)
Source:The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)
  1. Malaysia 26,294
  2. Hong Kong 10,593
  3. Papua New Guinea 9,474
  4. Latvia 8,110
  5. Kuwait 2,566
  6. United States 1,558
  7. Oman 1,164
  8. Russia 739
  9. Turkey 504
  10. Mexico 448
Number of Prisoners (by Country)
Source: The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)
  1. United States 2,019,234
  2. China 1,549,000
  3. Russia 846,967
  4. India 313,635
  5. Brazil 308,304
  6. Thailand 213,815
  7. Ukraine 198,386
  8. South Africa 181,944
  9. Mexico 172,888
  10. Iran 163,526
Number of Prisoner per capita (by Country)
Source: International Centre for Prison Studies - World Prison Brief
  1. United States 715 per 100,000 people
  2. Russia 584 per 100,000 people
  3. Belarus 554 per 100,000 people
  4. Palau 523 per 100,000 people
  5. Belize 459 per 100,000 people
  6. Suriname 437 per 100,000 people
  7. Dominica 420 per 100,00 people
  8. Ukraine 416 per 100,000 people
  9. The Bahamas 410 per 100,000 people
  10. South Africa 402 per 100,000 people
The Electronic Police State (by country)
Source: Cryptohippie, Inc.'s report called the Electronic Police State, a 2008 ranking of government high tech mass surveillance against its own people. 52 nations are graded on a scale of 1 to 4 (1=most free, 4=least free), in 17 different pertinent categories.
  1. China 3.58/4.00
  2. North Korea 3.47/4.00
  3. Belarus 3.29/4.00
  4. Russia 3.17/4.00
  5. United Kingdom 3.17/4.00
  6. United States 3.11/4.00
  7. Singapore 3.11/4.00
  8. Israel 3.05/4.00
  9. France 3.05/4.00
  10. Germany 3.05/4.00
Erosion of Civil Liberties in Developed, Democratic States (by country) ie. Lowest Scores
Source: Data from the Economist Intelligence Unit's Index of Democracy 2008, Interpreting column V data on Civil Liberties among economically developed Full-Democracies (Rankings 1 to 10, with 10 being most free).
  1. South Korea 8.24/10
  2. United States 8.53/10
  3. Slovenia 8.82/10
  4. United Kingdom 8.82/10
  5. Italy 9.12/10
  6. France 9.12/10
  7. Austria 9.12/10
  8. Portugal 9.41/10
  9. Greece 9.41/10
  10. Belgium 9.41/10
Now, if you as an American, are comfortable with an 8 out of 10 when it comes to our guaranteed civil rights, well than go in peace. There are many "flawed democracies" and developing nations that receive higher marks than us here in the Land of the Free, and the Home of the brave! For example, India may have a dysfunctional government, but it receives a 9.41 in protecting civil liberties. Amazingly, Mexico receives an 8.82 rating!
Make of it all what you will. If you want to pat yourself on the back, read Freedom House's Freedom in the World (66% funded by the US government). It paints a rosy, if not downright ignorant, picture of personal freedoms in today's United States. The statistics seem to prove that the good old USA has made a big business out of the criminal justice system. Particularly when viewing the stats on prisoners per capita, it would seem as if our huge government is nearly as oppressive as the states it admonishes for human right violations.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Police State Profiteers

We are all aware of the infamous military-industrial complex warned about in President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address. The results more than a half century later are evident by the government and media obsession over an unending string of bogeymen: shadowy networks of covert terrorists, and irrational rogue states plotting our moment of destruction that draws nearer every passing minute. The war profiteers and their financiers own our politicians and the mainstream media, and as a result we have never benefited from any peace dividend, even twenty years after the end of the cold war!
Of course, the 9/11 attacks (and the Department of Homeland Security) have lain the way for unprecedented levels of spending on domestic security. Those who have studied the 9/11 operation understand by now that, whatever went down on that cloudless Tuesday morning, there was a lot more going on than what was written in the 9/11 Commission Report and dutifully parroted by the corporate media. The fear, confusion, and downright panic that followed that fateful day behooved any attempt to discuss the nature of the attack and the impossibility of the Afghan cave dwellers to have single handedly forced the NORAD stand down and caused the WTC7 implosion, as well. Within three years of the attack, I knew that the terrorist threat had been outrageously overstated. Even under the tight scrutiny of FBI/CIA surveillance, if any single terrorist cell in the United States existed they would need to strike something within a three year period to show their followers that they indeed were still at war, and had not been absolutely decimated. If the threat was as grave as the likes of Dick Cheney would have us believe in the days after the attack (you know, Mr. "It's not a matter of if, but when" the next attack is coming), then al-Qaeda would have struck somewhere.
That said, DHS is helping to fund the full-body scanners in our airports, massive surveillance networks in even small cities, LRAD sonic weaponry (already used on non-violent protesters), armored vehicles for our police departments, license plate readers on our streets, and on, and on, and on. Quite a blossoming industry has grown up around the police state that we are all to live for the rest of our lives! And you should know who is providing all this gear to the authorities (at federal taxpayer's expense, of course). As our economy continues to fall, be aware that the less-lethal weapons won't be to protect you from the violent criminals, they will protect the criminals in government from you! Yes, peaceful protest will be banned as unauthorized assembly, and you will be forced to disperse by all types of fun little toys. The banks, and the Fortune 500 have their tentacles deeply into the domestic control grid trough. Innumerable small start-up companies have grown quickly to provide local authorities with vast and advanced public surveillance capabilities. The list of players is large enough to fill a whole book, but below is a primer of some of the largest and most outrageous proliferators of anti-liberty technology.

Private Security:

Xe (Formerly Blackwater)
As dirty as their past has been, my concern isn't as much what Xe has done (although they apparently ran around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina much like they did in Baghdad), but what they may do in the future. Suppose Interpol, who now has diplomatic immunity operating within the US, contracts out some work to these psychopaths- that's one frightening thought. As ugly a choice this group is,(what are the alternatives? DynCorp? Maybe, KBR?) our ostensibly liberal government is still giving them hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts! Call me a kook, but these guys are so spooky, they are like a private arm of the CIA.

Headquarters: Moyok, NC
2009 Revenue: $669 million

Corrections Corp. of America
The largest and most profitable private prison company in the land. The Heritage Foundation seems to favor this option for criminal rehabilitation. In a time where ever-expanding law turns everyone into a criminal of some sort, this is just too easy a way for corrupt cops, judges, and "businessmen" to require quotas to fill those beds and make the shareholders happy. If we could keep non-violent offenders out of prison, maybe it could be a possibility.

Headquarters: Nashville, TN
2008 Revenue: $1.598 billion

Think Tanks

Rand Corporation
The Rand Corporation is a policy research center set up in the shadow of WWII by the US Army and the Douglas Aircraft Co., and unsurprisingly received start-up capital from the Ford Foundation. Over the decades, they have put forward a myriad of outrageous and profoundly un-American ideas for federal, state, and local governments. They masquerade as a harmless non-profit advisory body, but it is clear that they work at the behest of powerful corporate interests, the military-industrial complex, and the international socialist power structure. They undermine our Constitutional republic, and most recently have proposed a federal militarized police "stabilization force" to be used against US citizens. Make no mistake, they seek to protect the ponzi-scheming banksters (and the politicians that they own) from outraged Main St. Americans.

Headquarters: Santa Monica, CA
2008 Revenue: $230.07 million

Mass Surveillance

Affiliated Computer Services
Unless you have been hiding under a rock, chances are you have seen the massive increase in photo enforcement systems around where you live. ACS, recently acquired by Xerox, has jumped on the police state bandwagon enthusiastically, producing red-light and speed cameras to law enforcement agencies across the nation. We all know that this trend is less about safety, and more about revenue generation for irresponsible government. Photo enforcement companies customarily receive upwards of one-third of the revenue generated from each ticket. For this reason, look for the Fortune 500 to flock towards this type of investment, with capital gains guaranteed by government force. What happened to the right to face our accuser? Disgusting parasites!

Headquarters: Dallas, TX
2008 Revenue: $6.16 billion

Federal Signal Corp. (PIPS Technology)
PIPS, Federal Signal's public safety subsidiary, is among America's leaders in Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology, big brother's newest toy for obtaining total surveillance over our roads. Thanks to Federal Signal, we are all guilty until proven innocent when traveling. For now, the public is assured that ALPRs will help track down stolen vehicles and indicted fugitives. But the technology will evolve to electronically verify your insurance, and even to identify "scofflaws" with unpaid parking tickets. Imagine what a corrupt government can do with the proliferation of this technology. They could determine that your travel is unessential, or that you have not obtained a permit to be in a certain part of town. This dragnet approach to Total Information Awareness is an affront to the Fourth Amendment.

Headquarters: Oak Brook, IL
2008 Revenue: $1.2 billion

L3 Communications
Perhaps the fastest growing police state profiteer (and military-industrial-complex member), L-3 has been swallowing up corporations left and right. Now, they are front and center in the controversial naked full-body-scanners going into 200+ airports across the United States. Another violator of our Fourth Amendment protections (no, being viewed in the nude by the TSA is not reasonable), L-3 is rolling out their Millimeter Wave Airport Passenger Screening System, called the Pro Vision, costing the taxpayers between $130k-$170k apiece. We absolutely must reject sending our wives and children through these monstrosities.

Headquarters: New York, NY
2008 Revenue: $13.96 billion


Taser International
Apparently, every cop across the land (please, let me know if I'm wrong) absolutely loves carrying the portable electroshock torture device. Despite having killed hundreds of Americans, usually due to trigger happy law enforcement officers, Taser International has succeeded in flooding the market with the police's favorite pain compliance weapon on the market today (so much for the Eight Amendment). Ostensibly developed as an alternative to the use of deadly force, just glancing at the news shows that tasers are used as a way to paralyze unarmed individuals who supposedly resist arrest or flee from custody, as punishment for arguing, as a tool of political repression against dissenters, and sometimes as some kind of sick joke! I call for a class action lawsuit on behalf of the victims of Taser Inernational, to liquidate the assets of these sadistic S.O.Bs!

Headquarters: Scottsdale, AZ
2008 Revenue: $92.845 million

American Technology Corp.

In 2009, we saw the first use of sonic weaponry against Americans during the G-20 in Pittsburgh in late September. The highly militarized police stomped around that city declaring all congregations as unauthorized assemblies, and drove through residential neighborhoods blasting people with the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD). Designed by American Technology Corp., the LRAD has been used against pirates and Iraqi insurgents. During a time when corrupt government authorities fear "flash mobs" and increasing dissent among the populace, the LRAD can disperse large crowds by broadcasting extremely loud, shrill tones.

Headquarters: San Diego, CA
2009 Revenue: $15.8 million

The fourth largest defense contractor in the US, Raytheon is indeed producing weaponry that can be of dual use: against a foreign enemy or against those inhabitants of Northcom (namely, you and I). The Active Denial System (ADS) has been coming down the pike for awhile now, but it has been demonstrated domestically for use by law enforcement. The "pain ray" is a type of directed energy weapon that could supposedly reduce injuries like those suffered from rubber bullets or billy clubs. It's like a taser, but its use would leave no visible marks on ones body, only the memory of pain in your psyche. This has an extreme risk of abuse by the sadists in uniform, who could force false confessions and effectively end the right to petition, and gain a redress of grievances from politicians by immediately disbanding demonstrations.

Headquarters: Waltham, MA
2008 revenue: $23.174 billion

More to come...

If we are to tip the scales back in favor of liberty and the Bill of Rights, we must first act locally. If photo enforcement has become prevalent in our community, we must go to the city council and tell them that we demand our right to face our accuser! It will not require 51% of the people to shut these systems down, although I would certainly welcome a referendum on the matter. Take a look at the police state map on this blog. If your local cops have abused the people with their tasers, you must lobby for them to be banned in your town! If any of the above corporations have offices near you, set up flash mobs and demonstrations against their profiteering. We are free human beings, and we will not be forced pay for our own oppressive slave grid!