The Rutherford Institute is leading the charge in warning against a rapidly growing—and increasingly out-of-control—American police state.
With over an estimated 80,000 SWAT raids per year, an increase in fatal (and often-times unnecessary) police shootings, and a routine dependence on militarized weapons and vehicles, local police departments are beginning to act like and resemble a standing army.
The American police force, however, is not a branch of the military, nor is it a private security force for the reigning political faction. It is an aggregation of the countless local units that exist for a sole purpose: to serve and protect the citizens of each and every American community. In recent years, however, there has been an increasing militarization of the police. It has not occurred suddenly, in a single precinct; it cannot be traced back to a single leader or event—rather, the pattern is so subtle that most American citizens are hardly even aware of it. Little by little, police authority has expanded, one weapon after another has been added to the police arsenal, and one exception after another has been made to the standards that have historically restrained police authority. When analyzed as a whole, this trend toward militarization is undeniable, and it is one that could have serious implications for American liberty if left unchecked.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” — Amendment 1, United States Constitution
Raleigh, NC — The state of North Carolina is one of the least affected states in the country with regard to the current COVID-19 outbreak. With just over 5,000 confirmed cases and only 108 deaths related to the virus, many citizens are growing wary of the state’s lockdown order and are demanding things go back to normal.
On Tuesday, more than 100 protesters took the the city streets of Raleigh, North Carolina to voice their desire to reopen the the state’s economy. They were quickly met with police action but the well-organized protesters stood their ground through multiple threats.
According to the News and Observer, the protest was organized by ReopenNC, a private Facebook group organized last week that wants people to make their own stay-at-home decisions to avoid exposure to COVID-19 as the worldwide pandemic continues. The group surpassed 28,000 members on Tuesday afternoon.
When the protest began, the Raleigh police department put out a tweet that is sure to go down in history books as they declared the Constitutional right to peaceably assemble, otherwise known as the First Amendment — “non-essential.”
During the protest, the police department filmed their officers ordering the crowd to disperse as their commands fell on deaf ears.
“You are in violation of the executive order,” said a police captain. “You are posing a risk to public health. If you do not disperse, you will be taken and processed at Wake County jail.”
Every 15 minutes during the protest, roughly 50 cars honked their horns in unison.
“You should be ashamed of yourself,” said one protester.
“Are you goons of Cooper or servants of the people?” said another, in reference to governor Roy Cooper’s executive order.
“We are in violation of Comrade Cooper’s order,” said Leonard Harrison of Mebane. “If I get locked up today, I’m OK with that. As North Carolinians, we need to get back to work.”
After multiple threats of arrest and police force, most of the protesters finally began to disperse — only under duress.
One person did get locked up, however, and that was Monica Faith Ussery, 51, of Holly Springs. She was charged with violating the executive order to stay at home.
“I have a right to peacefully assemble,” she said as officers led her away, her hands bound with a zip tie. “God bless America.”
After the protest on Tuesday, the Raleigh police posted video of it online.
They were met with massive backlash. Nevertheless, Raleigh police and the governor’s office doubled down on their decision.
“Some people want to completely obliterate these restrictions,” Governor Cooper said . “It would be a catastrophe. The numbers are very clear that the interventions that we’ve entered into — social gatherings, limitations on bars and restaurants, the stay at home order — those kinds of things are working.”
As the Observer reports, in a statement Tuesday night, the Raleigh Police Department stood by its tweet as well as officers’ obligation to enforce the stay-at-home order during “these unprecedented times and unusual circumstances.” They said there’s no exemption spelled out in state and Wake County stay-at-home orders for protesting like there is for other “essential” activities.”
“But more important is the health and wellness of all who live in our community, including the officers who must engage in circumstances such as these,” the statement said. “We simply want everyone to be safe during this very serious public health crisis.”
The protest was not in vain. According to reports, it sparked a conversation among officials on how to proceed with possible future protests as well as reopening the economy.
In an email to The News & Observer, Raleigh police said they are “having ongoing conversations with Wake County officials and the Wake County District Attorney’s Office on the scope and enforcement” of both the local stay-at-home order and the statewide order.
The Raleigh Police Department added in its statement:
The Wake County District Attorney is the individual who decides charging language for failure to adhere to the Governor’s Orders and the Wake County Proclamation, when charging is appropriate, and what charges individuals may face for violating either one of these orders.
As more people grow tired of watching their life savings diminish and their local economies turn to dust, rest assured that more protests like this one are inevitable. Instead of brute force and fear, it may be time to rethink the solution to COVID-19.
No one here is discounting the severity of the coronavirus. However, multiple experts have stated that social distancing and lockdowns may be a temporary fix and may only be serving to suppress the virus.
“I think they did an amazing job of knocking the virus down,” said Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, in regard to China’s lockdown. “But I don’t know if it’s sustainable. What have the Chinese really accomplished? Have they really contained the virus? Or have they just suppressed it?”
Doom is a mathematical certainty of this prolonged economic scenario in which we currently find ourselves. There is fight and there is flight when it comes to all situations, especially COVID-19. Running from it in flight mode is sending us back to food lines and doing possible irreversible damage to America’s economy. I don’t know what the fight mode looks like yet, but it’s high time we start discussing it.
Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Minds.
HERE COMETH THE ROBODOCTOR AND THE PROTECT AND SERVE CROWD
Sometimes I have to wonder if all those suspicious deaths of “natural doctors” or “homeopathic” doctors, or whatever one wishes to call them, are being done simply to remove the human component of medicine altogether. And sometimes I have to wonder if our “culture” couldn’t possibly become more inhuman, or rather, anti-human. A state legislature applauds what to my mind is for all intents and purposes an infanticide bill; another state governor crows about it. The United States isn’t becoming an ugly anti-human place; it already is. Ugliness is promoted across the board, in the arts, in courtesy and manners, everywhere; life is excoriated, cruelty celebrated and applauded. A Catholic boy shows up to school after Ash Wednesday service, and the teacher wipes off the ashes because they might offend someone. Why not just get rid of the perpetually offending Christians with their ashes and crucifixes by putting them in camps?
Could we possibly become more callous and ugly?
I’m afraid we can, for consider these two stories that several people sent to me (and thanks to you all!):
It doesn’t get any more ridiculous than this folks (from the first article):
The family of a California man is outraged after a hospital used a robotic “doctor” to break the news to their elderly loved one that he is dying from chronic lung disease.
The incident took place on March 3, when a nurse wheeled in a machine with a screen showing a doctor into 78-year-old Ernest Quintana’s hospital room at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center emergency department in Fremont, California.
“The nurse came around and said the doctor was going to make rounds and I thought ‘OK, no big deal; I’m here,” his granddaughter Annalisia Wilharm told USA Today.
Instead of a human being, the nurse wheeled in the robot, who informed Quintana and his family that they have run out of options for medical treatment and wanted to put him on a morphine drip to ease the pain until his passing.
And there’s this from the second article:
Though it’s unclear exactly what the hospital thought was happening in the room, according to Newsweek, “The officer said that the department had received a call from someone who said they smelled weed coming from Sousley’s room.” Officers ultimately found no marijuana or any illegal substance during the search, but did reportedly find CBD Oil (Cannabidiol oil), which is legal.
“If we find marijuana we’ll give you a citation,” an officer threatened as another family member tried to plead with police, saying Sousley’s extreme pain means that doctors allow him a variety of medications. Sousley denied smoking marijuana or ingesting ground-up plants, but acknowledged he uses THC containing capsules for pain management.
The family was visibly upset at the spectacle of multiple police rifling through the sick man’s things. “It’s the only choice I got to live, man,” Sousley told the officers in the video. “We’re Americans. I was born here, it’s my right to live.”
Things got tense when officers demanded to search a bag that Sousley said was filled with his medications and end of life related personal items. He said didn’t want police to “dig through that,” according to the video. “It has my final-day things in there, and nobody’s gonna dig in it,” Sousley said. “It’s my stuff.”
“My final hour stuff is in that bag” — he pleaded, but officers still insisted, and then proceeded to search through it.
Ironically Missouri voters late last year voted to legalize medical marijuana, a law which has yet to take effect (until July 4, 2019). USA Today presents one of the more outrageous moments of the video where police actually acknowledge this, but shrug it off and say “then it’s still illegal”, below:
At one point in the video, Sousley references the legal status of medical cannabis in the state. Last November, Missouri voters overwhelmingly chose to create a medical cannabis system, but the state will not be taking any applications for cannabis patient ID cards until July 4.
Referencing marijuana, Sousley says in the video “medically in Missouri, it’s really legal now. They just they haven’t finished the paperwork.”
“Okay, then it’s still illegal,” one of the officers replies.
“But I don’t have time to wait for that,” Sousley says “What would you do?”
The officer says he refuses to engage in “what if” games.
Shame on the nurse for wheeling in a “robodoctor”, shame on those “to protect and to serve” sorts for raiding a dying man’s hospital room because some twits in a legislature decided to make a plant illegal, and to legalize it on such and such a day, and then hiding behind the letter of the law to kill its spirit.
But beyond that, the pattern seems clear: corporate medicine teams up with bully government, and the people or any sense of common decency and humanity be damned. Dying family member? Wheel in the robodoctor to give them the bad news. Have complaints about our behavior? Contact the customer (non)service department, spend hours punching in numbers on the phone trying to find the right department and a human to talk to, and eventually wind up talking to a human in Nepal with an accent thicker than molasses. “So sorry you had bad experience. Thank you for calling our customer service hotline!”
What’s to be done? I honestly don’t know. Part of me hopes that the local communities in which these incidents happened will find out the names of the people involved, and just start shunning them. “You can’t buy your groceries here,” and “you’re not welcome in this coffee shop” and hopefully, if any of these people are local church goers, it’s time for the revival of the example of St. Ambrose of Milan, who once publicly sermonized against the emperor, with the emperor present. And if that doesn’t work, a good old fashioned excommunication of the “you’re not welcome here until you change your ways” sort of thing.
But as I say, in the final analysis, I really don’t know what is to be done about this sort of behavior, nor this constant championing of the ugly and inhuman in our culture. What is to be done about this growing anti-humanity pro-ugliness movement that poses in cute and trendy politically correct garb, or, like the Bolivar police officer doing his job of protecting and serving, hides an inhumane and empty soul behind the letter of the law?
Which brings me to why I’m writing this blog, because I want to know what is to be done about all of this, but I have no idea what. Perhaps you do. And if you do, I’d like to hear about it. Because we’ve got to start thinking and talking about this, and trying to come up with solutions.
They’re drooling over this one. All the scenarios they’ve been working on converge very neatly if they pull what they’re threatening “might happen” this Fourth of July weekend.
If you listen to these two so-called warnings by these insiders you’ll hear the same talking points carefully repeated but all based on vague suppositions and strangely weak and no doubt made up facts and statistics. The “ex” CIA guy goes so far as to say he won’t be surprised if next week they’ll be sitting there talking about an attack that happened over the weekend, although they both reference “multiple attacks”, a type of false flag spree we’ve long discussed as a potential tool to ramp up the police state.
Here’s a few of the clear objectives of their multi-pronged plan based on their own words and actions leading up to this weekend:
–Their on-going idea is to further inflate the image of domestic as well as worldwide terror, while furthering their police state clampdown. This would ramp it up big time. Even if nothing happens, they get this same reaction as well as more forces in place and evaluate America and the world’s reactions.
–False flags are being exposed continually and awareness has grown exponentially. The official story of 9/11 has been completely debunked and staged so-called terror events have become almost ludicrous to a massively growing amount of people worldwide. They likely feel they need to shore up public sentiment in the favor of the terror narrative.
–Displacing any kind of patriotic celebration, the biggest of which is the 4th of July celebrating America’s independence, with one of terror is a social engineering traumatic mind control trick. They often do these during Christmas for the same purpose. They’ve already accomplished must of this just through propaganda: message: independence equals terror.
–The Feds are establishing more “command centers” around the county – “just in case” of course. Those will be permanent and there will be a lot more in addition to their fusion centers and military outposts already in place.
— Ramp up the big bad common enemy meme by demonizing Islam, generating more backing for their entire middle east war and genocide campaigns.
–Syria is being fingered as the source for this “radicalization” via the internet, and again we’re supposed to just take their word for it. The move on Syria is on and they need to make sure Americans are on board.
— Keep an eye on this “radicalization” via the internet talking point as it’s their latest term and fear mongering axe to grind in order to establish draconian controls over the web and further suppress the free flow of real information. Notice it’s all based on vagaries and hype.
–Oh, that’s right, Jade Helm just happens to be starting in just over a week. What a coincidence. Maybe after something drastic happens Americans will stop bitching about their rights being taken away and homes and towns invaded and guns confiscated — after all, ISIS is behind every rock and tree recruiting and building bombs. Mustn’t leave any protection or pressure cookers lying around that could be used by the enemy.
What insanity. May the Americans catch on for once that they’re being played!
From FOX News, of course…
FBI setting up command centers to monitor terrorist threats over July 4 weekend
The FBI is establishing command centers around the country to monitor any potential terrorist threats around the July 4 weekend, a federal law enforcement source told Fox News.
The source said while there is no specific, credible threat surrounding the holiday, its symbolic nature offers a potential target for terror groups like ISIS. Authorities are particularly concerned about soft targets like shopping malls and other areas where there are large gatherings of people and rather light security, according to the source.
Information from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies will be sent to the command centers so officials can gauge the threat level and respond quickly.
Another law enforcement source told Fox the FBI’s strategy has shifted toward getting ISIS supporters off the streets as soon as possible, given that it’s hard to predict when one might go operational. This could include arresting individuals on lesser charges and then building a broader case once that person is in custody.Source
Here’s the CBS story with the other stooge talking with CFR reps disguised as newspeople:
Stay alert, but don’t fear or react irrationally if something does happen, now or at any time. There has been a long lead up to all of this so I’m assuming you’ve made conscious preparations.
I’m not predicting anything, they are. I just want to lay out what drives these psychopaths so you’ll be better prepared.
Be well. When we call them out on their plans it can head things off at the pass, but nothing’s guaranteed in a world gone haywire.
Is something really big about to happen? For months, people have been pointing to the second half of this year for various reasons. For some, the major concern is Jade Helm and the unprecedented movement of military vehicles and equipment that we have been witnessing all over the nation. For others, the upcoming fourth blood moon and the end of the Shemitah cycle are extremely significant events. Yet others are most concerned about political developments in Washington D.C. and at the United Nations. To me, it does seem rather remarkable that we are seeing such a confluence of economic, political and spiritual events coming together during the second half of 2015. So is all of this leading up to something? Is our world about to change in a fundamental way? Only time will tell. The following are 7 key events that are going to happen by the end of September…
Late June/Early July – It is expected that this is when the U.S. Supreme Court will reveal their gay marriage decision. Most believe that the court will rule that gay marriage is a constitutional right in all 50 states. There are some that believe that this will be a major turning point for our nation.
July 15th to September 15th – A “realistic military training exercise” known as “Jade Helm” will be conducted by the U.S. Army. More than 1,000 members of the U.S. military will take part in this exercise. The list of states slated to be involved in these drills includes Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California, Mississippi and Florida.
July 28th – On May 28th, Reuters reported that countries in the European Union were being given a two month deadline to enact “bail-in” legislation. Any nation that does not have “bail-in” legislation in place by that time will face legal action from the European Commission. So why is the European Union in such a rush to get this done? Are the top dogs in the EU anticipating that another great financial crisis is about to erupt?
September 13th – This is Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar – the last day of the Shemitah year. Many are concerned about this date because we have seen giant stock market crashes on the last day of the previous two Shemitah cycles.
On September 17th, 2001 (which was Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar), we witnessed the greatest one day stock market crash in U.S. history up until that time. The Dow plummeted 684 points, and it was a record that held for exactly seven years until the end of the next Shemitah cycle.
On September 29th, 2008 (which was also Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar), the Dow fell by an astounding 777 points, which still today remains the greatest one day stock market crash of all time.
Now we are approaching the end of another Shemitah year. So will the stock market crash on September 13th, 2015? Well, no, because that day is a Sunday. So I guarantee that the stock market will not crash on that particular day. But as Jonathan Cahn has pointed out in his book on the Shemitah, sometimes stock market crashes happen just before the end of the Shemitah year and sometimes they happen within just a few weeks after the end of the Shemitah. So we are not just looking at one particular date.
September 15th – The 70th session of the UN General Assembly begins on this date. It is being reported that France plans to introduce a resolution which would give formal UN Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state. Up until now, the United States has always been the one blocking such a resolution, but Barack Obama is indicating that things may be much different this time around.
September 25th to September 27th – The United Nations is going to launch a brand new sustainable development agenda for the entire planet. Some have called this “Agenda 21 on steroids”. But this new agenda is not just about the environment. It also includes provisions regarding economics, agriculture, education and gender equality. On September 25th, the Pope will travel to New York to give a major speech kicking off the UN conference where this new agenda will be unveiled.
September 28th – This is the date for the last of the four blood moons that fall on Biblical festival dates during 2014 and 2015. This blood moon falls on the very first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, it will be a “supermoon”, and it will actually be visible in the city of Jerusalem. There are many that dismiss the blood moon phenomenon, but we have seen similar patterns before. For example, a similar pattern of eclipses happened just before and just after the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans in 70 AD.
Perhaps none of this alarms you. But when you add everything above to the fact that the elite definitely appear to be feverishly preparing for something, a very alarming picture emerges.
For example, due to fears that a “natural disaster” could interrupt their operations in New York, the New York Fed has been working hard to build up a satellite office in Chicago.
What kind of “natural disaster” could possibly be so bad that it would cause the entire New York Fed to shut down?
By themselves, perhaps those moves would not be that big of a deal. But let’s add all of the weird movements of military vehicles and equipment that we have been witnessing lately to this discussion. I included this list from Intellihub in a previous article, but I believe that it bears repeating…
On March 13th, Intellihub founder Shepard Ambellas detailed photos and documentation of nearly 40 U.S. Army soldiers, wielding training rifles and dressed in full combat gear, participating in an urban warfare style training drill just outside the Texarkana Regional Airport perimeter.
In the middle of April, a report out of Big Springs, Texas revealed that a train full of military equipment and over a dozen helicopters had arrived in the town ahead of Jade Helm 2015.
Photographs taken in Corona, California a few days later added to the Jade Helm speculation after they showed a MRAP full of what looked to be U.S. Marines driving down the 1-15 freeway. “In broad daylight with not a care in the world”
On April 24th a shocking report on Intellihub News detailed armed troops seen confronting angry protesters in a “professional news package”of riot control training released by the military
“A massive buildup, a lot of movement and its undeniable at this point,” read the headline on April 25th after a convoy was seen in Oroville, California that stretched as far as the eye could see.
Moving into May, photographs taken in Indiana showed a massive military convoy heading down the freeway. The photos, taken by a concerned citizen, show the convoy heading west on I-70 for reasons unknown.
Two days later, video footage, this time out of Texarkana, Arkansas, highlighted a convoy of Humvees driving down the highway as well as a trainload of military vehicles that was seen shortly after.
In mid May, Intellihub reporter Alex Thomas published a detailed report that confirmed that the military was indeed training to take on the American people, this time in the form of domestic house to house raids.
The next day a new report, also by Alex Thomas, proved that Marines were actually practicing for the internment of American citizens.
On May 18th, a train full of hundreds of military Humvees was spotted, further revealing the increased military buildup across the country leading into Jade Helm 2015. The train was heading towards Cleveland for unknown reasons although a possible connection to planned upcoming protests had been mentioned.
This past week a massive military war game simulation called Raider Focus was announced. The war game will include the largest military convoy seen on the roads of Colorado since World War II.
On may 23th, Intellihub News reported on pictures sent to ANP that show a 1/4 mile long military train convoy near the Colorado Wyoming border.
Finally, a report published this week detailed a stunning propaganda move by the military involving a New Jersey school and the worship of the military on the streets of America. “As parents, teachers, and students looked on with joy, Marines from the Special-Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force landed helicopters on the baseball diamond of a New Jersey school.”
What does all of this mean?
It is hard to say. We have imperfect information, so it is difficult to come up with perfect conclusions.
But what I will say is that I believe that the second half of 2015 is going to be extremely significant. I believe that events are about to start accelerating greatly, and I believe that life in America is about to change dramatically.
What Battlestar Galactica Can Teach Us About the Militarization of Police
“There’s a reason you separate the military and the police. One fights the enemy of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.”
In Battlestar Galactica there’s a scene where President Laura Roslyn and chief military Commander William Adama debate how to respond to the potential rioting of civilians. In the absence of a police force capable of handling the situation, Roslyn wants the military to police the civilians. Adama tells her the military won’t be her cops.
“There’s a reason you separate the military and the police,” he says. “One fights the enemy of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.”
It’s difficult to imagine a more succinct warning for what’s unfolding in Missouri right now. The images coming out of Ferguson show police who are militarizing their policing tactics because they believe they cannot maintain law and order through regular policing. Police cars and batons have been traded for armored vehicles, tear gas, and assault weapons.
It is worth asking: Do Americans consider this behavior within the acceptable range of police enforcement?
This unfolding military-style policing highlights how difficult it is to determine what reasonable limits we should expect from our civilian police forces. Police do not possess absolute authority, nor do they wield the powers of the military. Yet many ordinary people are unsure what limits are, or should be, in place to restrict police behavior—or what lines should be drawn to protect citizens from the police.
Recent events have proved Adama is right.
The phrase “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” reflects the growing disparity between what citizens consider acceptable behavior from our police forces and what police forces often consider to be within their power.
For the past two weeks, we have seen images of police in camouflage aiming assault rifles at citizens, arresting journalists, and using tear gas on protesters. It is worth asking: Do Americans consider this behavior within the acceptable range of police enforcement?
Pew recently asked this question, and the response shows a clear division: Among African Americans, 65 percent of respondents said police response in Ferguson has “gone too far,” and 32 percent of white respondents agreed. So there’s no consensus on what the limits of police behavior should be. This makes determining the limits of American policing complicated.
Perhaps this is why popular culture so frequently explores these questions. The militarization of civilian police and the role of protests in police states are subjects that arise regularly in movies and television—especially in science fiction.
Here are four scenes that question the corrupting power of police authority.
1. Battlestar Galactica
In “Water,” the second episode of Season 1, a sleeper Cylon (Cylons are the robots that destroyed human civilization) who is secretly embedded on the central military battleship (Galactica) places explosives near the water tanks. The bombs detonate, the holding tanks explode, and 60 percent of water reserves are lost. The lost water means that one-third of the civilian population will run out of water in two days. Adama, the military commander, immediately orders the civilian ships to begin emergency water rationing.
The second in command predicts this action will create riots. “Civilians don’t like hearing they can’t take a bath, wash their clothes, or drink more than a thimble a day,” he warns. And he turns out to be right.
President Roslyn implores Adama to police the riots with military forces:
President Roslyn: Rioting broke out on the cruise ship when they reduced water rations. We need to demonstrate an ability to maintain order, and we need to do it now. Commander Adama: We don’t have extra manpower for fleet security. Roslyn: You have the only armed, disciplined force available. Adama: Yeah, but I’m not going to be your policeman. There’s a reason you separate the military and the police. One fights the enemy of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people. Roslyn: I appreciate the complexity of the issue, and I won’t let that happen.
Over the next four seasons of Battlestar, the role of the military in civil society is explored in exceptional detail. The show, which debuted in 2004, addresses the rise of terrorism and the control of Homeland Security, a fear of foreign peoples, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, restrictions on the press, and military-style policing.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
In the Hunger Games series, the people of Panem already live in a militarized police state. Order is maintained by “Peacekeepers” through any means necessary, including lethal force and public execution.
On a “victory tour” after winning the Hunger Games, victors Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark pay tribute to a young girl named Rue from District 11, who aided Katniss in the competition before she was eventually killed by another player.
In a show of solidarity, a man from District 11 makes the three-fingered salute, an illegal hand-gesture Katniss used in the Games. Soon, the rest of the district follows suit. The police, recognizing the dissent unfolding, seek to quell any further disobedience.
They drag the elderly black man who sparked the dissent in front of the crowd. Then, the cops shoot him.
The brief moments of rebellion that unfold in this moment are seen through the eyes of Katniss, and her horror of this execution reveals much what The Hunger Games are built on: the abuse of power, the subjugation of the poor, and the division of people by race and employment. These divisions are upheld by a police force with absolute power and enforced on people who have become enemies and slaves.
The Dark Knight
It is hard to imagine a stronger justification for the abuse of power over citizens than the beating and torture of a “bad guy” in custody.
In a very real sense, the central question of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy is about the very same question William Adama raises: How far we are willing to let our protectors go to keep us safe?
The Dark Knight Trilogy is filled with scenes that warn against the militarization of police forces. Batman Begins starts with police (paid by the mob) using brutal tactics to patrol the streets; The Dark Knight Rises ends by asking what it means to protect a city and its people from a madman.
But no scene raises the point more clearly than the interrogation (torture, really) of the Joker by Batman in The Dark Knight. It is hard to imagine a stronger justification for the abuse of power over citizens than the beating and torture of a “bad guy” in custody.
The Joker has abducted two people: District Attorney Harvey Dent, and Dent’s fiancee, Rachel Dawes. He has since been arrested by Gotham PD. To find out what the Joker has done with Rachel and Harvey, Police Chief Jim Gordon has locked the Joker in an interrogation room and handed the room over to the Batman.
“You have all these rules,” the Joker says, taunting Batman. “The only way to live in this world is without rules.” The Joker rightly predicts that Batman will go apeshit on him.
Batman reaches so far beyond the dictates of acceptable superhero behavior (at one point spying on every Gotham resident simultaneously) that even his allies question whether he has lost his moral tether to his position as hero.
Others have noted these themes in The Dark Knight trilogy. The philosopher Slavoj Zizek has considered how the series engages an era of anxiety over capitalism, terrorism, and the Occupy movement. He notes the irony of handing over the protection of society to a mega-rich arms dealer moonlighting as a moral authority figure.
But Zizek also notes the necessary “event” underlying the actions of the series, which is the power of the people reclaiming authority over society, wrested out the hands of villains and heroes.
In Minority Report, a film based on Philip K. Dick’s 1956 short story, the police have access to a group pre-cognitive psychics who can predict murder. The Pre-Crime unit of the police force uses this information to stop murders before they occur. With absolute authority, they capture murderers before they act, place them into a catatonic state, and imprison them underground.
But herein lies the same old question about the limits of law enforcement: If you arrest a murderer before a murder is committed, did you not just arrest an innocent civilian?
If it didn’t happen, how can you be guilty? What right do the police have to seize an innocent man?
Early in Minority Report, this question is addressed by Detective John Anderton of the Pre-Crime unit, and Danny Witwer, a Department of Justice official sent to investigate the program.
Witwer asks whether the police have the right to arrest a man before his crime is committed. In response, Anderton rolls a ball off the edge of his desk. Witwer catches it.
Anderton: Why did you catch it? Witwer: Because it was going to fall. Anderton: You’re certain? Witwer: Yes. Anderton: But it didn’t fall. You caught it. The fact that you prevented it from happening doesn’t change the fact that it was going to happen.
Thus the authority of the Pre-Crime unit is established. The question of individual guilt has been determined in the minds of the guilty before they even reach the crime scene.
The police are meant to serve and protect. But here, preventative lock-up is used as a tool to keep the “inevitably guilty” off the streets and away from the law-abiding public, in a justice system that provides police an almost absolute authority to clean up the streets. That hardly sounds like science fiction.
The protests underway in Ferguson have already begun to calm, and the images of dramatic military policing will in time fade from our screens. But the importance of such moments in the public imagination should not likewise disappear.
We are constantly faced with the civic and moral questions surrounding police forces. Anytime, the events in Ferguson could unfold in the lives of American citizens anywhere.
Which makes wrestling with these questions all the more necessary.
Science fiction has long been a place to wrestle with collective social complexities. As we remember what happened in Ferguson, let’s also draw from the stories that caution us against turning our civil rights over to an unrestricted power.
Karma is coming for the elite in a big way. As the Powers That Be head toward a devastating defeat in their war plans for Syria, signs are emerging that their rule over humanity is rapidly diminishing.
Over the last decade the global elite have been on a mad dash to consolidate power over the world. It’s always been their plan like some evil villain in a comic book, but after 9/11 the plan went into overdrive and then turbo charged during the financial crisis of 2008.
Yet it’s doomed to fail because humans are meant to be guided by their own free will, not controlled like livestock. The more the elite try to control humanity, the more entropy occurs. Entropy, for those who don’t know, is the lack of order or predictability; a gradual decline into disorder.
Although the elite still enjoy a huge wealth advantage over the masses, they are now resigned to behaving like tyrants to maintain control. This, in turn, exposes their dark side which has been cleverly concealed for ages. Not anymore.
People are waking up in droves, at least as fast as the elite can build their full-spectrum prison matrix. Let them try. To paraphrase Victor Hugo, “No army can stop an idea whose time has come.”
Here are ten signs that the elite are losing control over the people
1. Official lies no longer effective: The lies they tell simply don’t work anymore. There was a time when official lies, especially about war and peace, were believed. Because, after all, how evil would it be to lie about such things? Generally people want to believe they are being told the truth when life and death is at stake. The boy who cried wolf has cried one too many times. Even if they told the truth at this point, very few would believe them.
2. No confidence in politics: US politicians have a paltry approval rating. The trust in government is at all-time lows here and around the world. Mainstream polls show only 10% of the public has confidence in Congress. In other words, 90% don’t believe in them to be competent to govern.
Watch this Town Hall exchange below where a man threatens US Senator John McCain with arrest for treason to his face. This would have never happened just a year or two ago:
3. No confidence in media: The most recent polls show that 77% of the population no longer trusts corporate TV news. Is it any wonder why the establishment media failed to sell the lies about the alleged Syria chemical event? With all their monopoly might over the airwaves, they can no longer claim that black is white simply because officialdom says so.
4. Bankers rejected: Hungary recently became the first country to follow Iceland’s lead by shedding international bankers (IMF) and is considering pursuing prosecution of past prime ministers who enslaved the people with debt.
Look for this trend to continue even if nations decide to default to break free.
5. Vatican abruptly cleaning up its act: Under the previous Pope, Pope Benedict, scandals erupted from the Vatican ranging from covering up pedophile priests to money laundering and fraud. Benedict, in an unprecedented move, abruptly retired to make way for a seemingly much more likable Pope Francis. Pope Francis by all measures is working furiously to reclaim the church’s peaceful and humble reputation. Whether this is genuine or a PR move, it’s telling that the church was forced into such a drastic turnaround to save itself from losing all credibility.
6. Mutiny among soldiers: Finally. Soldiers, who are outlawed from making political statements, are steadily speaking out against US military adventurism. As Einstein famously said “The pioneers of a warless world are the young men (and women) who refuse military service.”
7. Militarized police state: One of the darkest signs that the elite are losing their grip on power is the construction of the militarized police state specifically trained to combat domestic civil unrest. Local cops with tanks and other combat gear are working with Feds at Fusion centers, active Army units are on American soil for the first time in history, the NSA spy grid is being used by the IRS and DEA, and the elimination of due process for Americans under the NDAA are just some of the tyrannical moves made to secure the elite criminals from public backlash. They’re clearly scared, and they should be given what they’ve done to the American people and the Constitution.
8. Serious secession movements everywhere: A state seceding from a larger political entity used to be an ultra-fringe concept, until now. In America, secession movements are winning over the public in parts of Colorado and California. In Europe, serious secession movements are happening in Spain and Scotland, as well as several EU nations flirting with the idea of dropping out of the euro. Decentralization = Entropy!
9. GMO food being rejected everywhere: Control the food and you control the people. True in theory, but much more difficult in practice. GMO leaders like Monsanto are being exposed. All of their economic and political strength cannot defeat the spread of knowledge about the dangers of pesticide-soaked Frankenfoods. GMO fields are being burned in protest in America and around the world, informed nations continue to reject their products, and labeling laws are gaining traction.
10. Cannabis liberation: Many reading this will think marijuana legalization is a superficial development. However, it is a major signpost that the elite’s grip is fading. Enormous resources have been spent to keep cannabis illegal. Cannabis has been a powerful medicine for physical, mental, and spiritual health throughout the ages. This single plant represents a huge threat to the power structures and their industries, hence its seemingly senseless illegality. The approaching global reversal of the tyrannical policy of prohibition is the first of many concessions to come.
The executive order, signed on Friday, once again expands the powers of the Department of Homeland Security — this time to include the handling of communications during a national security event or natural disaster. The order also allows for DHS to re-establish communications “through the use of commercial, government, and privately owned communications resources, when appropriate.”
The secretary of homeland security, in coordination with the secretary of defense, would also “serve as the federal lead for the prioritized restoration of communications infrastructure and coordinate the prioritization and restoration of communications, including resolution of any conflicts in or among priorities.”
In addition to further empowering DHS’ role in the federal government, the order also establishes several new committees and outlines the roles of various major executive branch agencies and offices, including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, DHS, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, General Services Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.
Now, I understand why our conservative friends are a bit miffed. I’m right there with them. However, I’m curious where they have been on the whole issue if the signature had read “George W. Bush”? I bet the chorus wouldn’t be nearly as loud.
Personally, I’m never comfortable with laws that give the government broad reaching powers in the event of an “emergency”, particularly when there are no pre-existing conditions on what actually constitutes an “emergency”. I know, I know, I sound paranoid. Someone reading this think I believe Obama will use all this authority to seize control of the government and make himself dictator for life or something.
Well, you’re going to be disappointed. While I disagree with President Obama on just about every point of policy I can think of to some degree, I don’t think he’s interested in becoming a dictator…at least not as he understands the term. I think he’s making a decision that he believes will be in the best interests of the nation. That just happens to be a position I disagree with.
The list of terrifying executive orders are out there for anyone who cares to look. They’ve been inked by both Democrats and Republicans, and I honestly believe that all were conceived in the belief that they were absolutely necessary. There was no world conspiracy at work to slowly turn the United States into a totalitarian dictatorship in an instant. That’s the stuff of fiction.
However, on a long enough timeline, someone will use them that way. I don’t think it’ll be Obama. I don’t even think it would be Romney if here were to win. (I think we all know it wouldn’t be Gary Johnson should the improbable happen and he win)
Eventually though, someone will. It will be some kind of emergency that will trigger a panic, something like another 9/11 type event. This one might just be a false-flag. It might be a real event that the government could have stopped, but didn’t. Or – and this is far more likely – it could be a real event that catches everyone unaware. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that these executive powers will be activated, and just like that we are in a world we won’t recognize.
Again, this won’t be tomorrow. It will probably not be in our lifetimes either. The thing is, I’m not comfortable with placing power in the hands of a select few. And the fact that Congress, who we elect to actually make laws (for better or worse) isn’t even responsible for this one? Sorry, but this is always going to make me nervous.