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Activist Post: Government of the Rich, by the Rich and for the Rich: It’s Time for ‘Militant Nonviolent Resistance’

Activist Post: Government of the Rich, by the Rich and for the Rich: It’s Time for ‘Militant Nonviolent Resistance’.

John W. Whitehead
Activist Post

“[E]verywhere, “time is winding up,” in the words of one of our spirituals, “corruption in the land, people take a stand, time is winding up.”—Martin Luther King Jr.

We now live in a two-tiered system of governance. There are two sets of laws: one set for the government and its corporate allies, and another set for you and me.

The laws which apply to the majority of the population allow the government to do things like sending SWAT teams crashing through your door in the middle of the night, rectally probing you during a roadside stop, or listening in on your phone calls and reading all of your email messages, confiscating your property, or indefinitely detaining you in a military holding cell. These are the laws which are executed every single day against a population which has up until now been blissfully ignorant of the radical shift taking place in American government.

Then there are the laws constructed for the elite, which allow bankers who crash the economy to walk free. They’re the laws which allow police officers to avoid prosecution when they shoot unarmed citizens, strip search non-violent criminals, or taser pregnant women on the side of the road, or pepper spray peaceful protestors. These are the laws of the new age we are entering, an age of neo-feudalism, in which corporate-state rulers dominate the rest of us, where the elite create the laws which can result in a person being jailed for possessing a small amount of marijuana while bankers that launder money for drug cartels walk free. In other words, we have moved into an age where we are the slaves and they are the rulers.

Unfortunately, this two-tiered system of government has been a long time coming. As I detail in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the march toward an imperial presidency, to congressional intransigence and impotence, to a corporate takeover of the mechanisms of government, and the division of America into haves and have nots has been building for years.

Thus we now find ourselves at a point where, for the first time in history, Congress is dominated by a majority of millionaires who are, on average, 14 times wealthier than the average American. Making matters worse, as the Center for Responsive Politics reports, “at a time when lawmakers are debating issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps and the minimum wage, which affect people with far fewer resources, as well as considering an overhaul of the tax code,” our so-called representatives are completely out of touch with the daily struggles of most Americans–those who live from paycheck to paycheck and are caught in the exhausting struggle to survive on a day-to-day basis.

Indeed, although America is supposed to be a representative republic, these people– who earn six-figure salaries and inhabit a world exempt from parking tickets, where gym membership is free and health care is second-to-none, where you only have to work two, maybe three days a week and get 32 fully reimbursed road trips home a year, travel to foreign lands, discounts in Capitol Hill tax-free shops and restaurants, free reserved parking at Washington National Airport, free fresh-cut flowers from the Botanic Gardens, and free assistance in the preparation of income taxes–neither represent nor serve the American people. They have instead appointed themselves our masters.

While Congress should be America’s representative body, too many of its members bear little resemblance to those they have been elected to represent. As Dan Eggen reports for The Washington Post: “The new figures underscore a long-standing trend of wealth accumulation in Congress, which is populated overwhelmingly with millionaires and near-millionaires who often own multiple homes and other assets out of reach for most of the voters they represent.”

Many of our politicians live like kings. Chauffeured around in limousines, flying in private jets and eating gourmet meals, all paid for by the American taxpayer, they are far removed from those they are supposed to represent. Such a luxurious lifestyle makes it difficult to identify with the “little guy”–the roofers, plumbers and blue-collar workers who live from paycheck to paycheck and keep the country running with their hard-earned dollars and the sweat of their brows.

The unfortunate but simple fact is that the rich sit perched at the top of the government. As Joseph Stiglitz writes for Vanity Fair:

Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent. When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift–through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price–it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy. Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work.

Sadly, electoral politics have been so thoroughly corrupted by corporate money that there is little chance, even for a well-meaning person, to affect any real change through Congress. Whether it be the Oval Office or the halls of Congress, the road to the ballot box is an expensive one, and only the wealthy, or those supported by the wealthy, are even able to get to the starting line.

Just consider the 2012 presidential election cycle. Both parties spent $1 billion each attempting to get their candidate elected to the presidency. This money came from rich donors and corporate sponsors, intent on getting their candidate in office. Once in office, these already privileged wealthy bureaucrats enter into a life of even greater privilege, unfortunately at the expense of the American taxpayer. It doesn’t even seem to matter whether they’re Democrats or Republicans–they all take full advantage of what one news report described as “a mountain of perks that most Fortune 500 companies couldn’t begin to rival.”

Even President Obama’s closest advisers are millionaires, including those on his 15-member cabinet. It is not unusual for some of them to own vacation homes, such as Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, who owns a “summer home worth more than a million dollars.”

And then there are the lobbyists, the source of much corruption and exchanging of money in Washington. With an estimated 26 lobbyists per congressman, it should come as no surprise that once elected, even those with the best of intentions seem to find it hard to resist the lure of lobbyist dollars, of which there are plenty to go around.

This lobbying is in turn buoyed by a congressional lifestyle which demands that our representatives spend the majority of their time fund raising for campaigns, rather than responding to the needs of their constituents. In November 2012, the Democratic House leadership offered a model daily schedule to newly elected Democrats which suggests a ten-hour day, five hours of which are dominated by “call time” and “strategic outreach,” including fund raisers and correspondence with potential donors. Three or four hours are for actually doing the job they were elected to do, such as attending committee meetings, voting on legislation, and interacting with constituents.

When half of one’s time is devoted to asking for money from rich individuals and special interests, there is no way that he can respond to the problems which pervade the country. Even well-meaning Congressmen face a Catch-22 where they are pushed to fundraise to secure their seats, but then once in office, it is basically impossible for them to do their jobs. The full ramifications of this are laid out by Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC):

Any member who follows that schedule will be completely controlled by their staff, handed statements that their staff prepared, speaking from talking points they get emailed from leadership… It really does affect how members of Congress behave if the most important thing they think about is fundraising. You end up being nice to people that probably somebody needs to be questioning skeptically… You won’t ask tough questions in hearings that might displease potential contributors, won’t support amendments that might anger them, will tend to vote the way contributors want you to vote.

What we are faced with is a government by oligarchy–in other words, one that is of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. Yet the Constitution’s Preamble states that it is “we the people” who are supposed to be running things. If our so-called “representative government” is to survive, we must first wrest control of our government from the wealthy elite who run it. That is a problem with no easy solutions, and voting is the least of what we should be doing.

“What they don’t want,” noted comedian George Carlin, is “a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests.”

A population of citizens capable of critical thinking? That’s a good place to start, and it’s a sure-fire way to jumpstart a revolution. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Wise men established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity should look up again at the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began.”

Inspiring words, but what do they really mean for those of us laboring under the weight of an overreaching, militarized, corrupt government that grows increasingly so with each passing day?

How can we change this state of affairs? The government is too big, too powerful, and its overlords too entrenched to willingly give up any of its power or wealth. The wisest option is to employ the tactics of past protest movements such as the Bonus Army, the Civil Rights Movement, and the 1960s anti-war movement, all of which used sleep-ins, sit-ins and marches to oppose government policies, counter injustice and bring about meaningful change.

For example, in May of 1932, more than 43,000 people, dubbed the Bonus Army—World War I veterans and their families—marched on Washington. Out of work, destitute and with families to feed, more than 10,000 veterans set up tent cities in the nation’s capital and refused to leave until the government agreed to pay the bonuses they had been promised as a reward for their services. The Senate voted against paying them immediately, but the protesters didn’t budge. Congress adjourned for the summer, and still the protesters remained encamped. Finally, on July 28, under orders from President Herbert Hoover, the military descended with tanks and cavalry, beating some protesters senseless and setting their makeshift camps on fire. Still, the protesters returned the following year, and eventually their efforts not only succeeded in securing payment of the bonuses but contributed to the passage of the G.I. Bill of Rights.

Similarly, the Civil Rights Movement mobilized hundreds of thousands of people to strike at the core of an unjust and discriminatory society. Likewise, while the 1960s anti-war movement began with a few thousand perceived radicals, it ended with hundreds of thousands of protesters, spanning all walks of life, demanding the end of American military aggression abroad.

What these movements had was a coherent message, the mass mobilization of a large cross section of American society, what Martin Luther King Jr. called a philosophy of “militant nonviolent resistance” and an eventual convergence on the nation’s seat of power—Washington, DC—the staging ground for the corporate coup, where the shady deals are cut, where lobbyists and politicians meet, and where corporate interests are considered above all else.

It is no coincidence that just prior to his assassination in April 1968, King was plotting “to build a shantytown in Washington, patterned after the bonus marches of the thirties, to dramatize how many people have to live in slums in our nation.”

King’s advice still rings true: “We need to put pressure on Congress to get things done. We will do this with First Amendment activity. If Congress is unresponsive, we’ll have to escalate in order to keep the issue alive and before it. This action may take on disruptive dimensions, but not violent in the sense of destroying life or property: it will be militant nonviolence.”

The balance of power that was once a hallmark of our republic no longer exists. James Madison’s warning that “the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elected, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny” has, regrettably come to pass.

Clearly, it’s time for a mass movement dedicated to change through “militant nonviolence.” If not, the shadow of tyranny that now hangs over us will eventually destroy every last semblance of freedom.

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor,” Martin Luther King Jr. warned in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” “It must be demanded by the oppressed.”

John W. Whitehead is a civil liberties and human rights attorney and founder of the Rutherford Institute where this article first appeared. He is also the author of several books.

Activist Post: Florida Police Have a New Toy: A U.S. Military Surplus Battle Wagon

Activist Post: Florida Police Have a New Toy: A U.S. Military Surplus Battle Wagon.

“If you see my SWAT team roll up in this, it’s over, so just give up” 

Lily Dane
Activist Post

A Florida police department has a new toy – a U.S. military surplus battle wagon.

The six wheel, 30-ton armored Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (or MRAP) is in “lightly used condition” and only has 5,000 miles on it. It is worth $700,000, but the department got it for $2,000. What a deal!

Fort Pierce Police Chief Sean Baldwin told WPTV that he hopes the vehicle remains parked:

Hopefully, we’ll never need the MRAP, but knowing that it is ready to roll is comforting.

Fort Pierce Police posted an ominous warning to citizens on their Facebook page:

Chief Baldwin has some advice for anyone that may find themselves facing the MRAP on the wrong side of the law. ‘If you see my SWAT team roll up in this thing… it’s over, so just give up.’

Yes, how comforting.

 

Guess how the department got the vehicle?

Officer Keith Holmes got it through the generosity of the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the military to transfer excess military vehicles to law enforcement agencies (among all of theother wonderful things the NDAA allows the government to do).

Over $4.2 billion worth of property has been transferred to law enforcement since the program began, in the ongoing effort to militarize US police.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office helped get the vehicle painted for free, so the sides say “Police” and “Fort Pierce.”

Why Is Homeland Security Taking Control of Local Police?

Why Is Homeland Security Taking Control of Local Police?.

A key plank of the Obama administration platform seems to be the conversion of the local police into a fifth branch of the U.S. armed forces.

The means of accomplishing this goal is the doling out of millions of dollars from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to police departments and sheriffs’ offices around the country.

Cash-strapped local law enforcement gobbles up the federal “grants,” purchasing military-grade vehicles, weapons, ammunition, and surveillance technology that would make the National Security Agency (NSA) proud.

For a list of the largesse and an inventory of the incredible equipment it finances, we rely on local media reports.

The Journal News from Albany, New York reports:

To help local emergency preparedness capability, local governments and police departments across the state have received $80 million in grants, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today.

The grants help support and expand local government and police departments’ ability to respond and react to emergencies. The majority of funding is distributed through the $75 million annual state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant, Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl reports.

According to the story, the DHS money will go to fund “Technical Rescue and Urban Search and Rescue, Bomb Squad Initiative, the Explosive Detection Canine Team Grant Program, and the Critical Infrastructure Grant Program.”

In San Juan, Texas, DHS money is buying the police department an intelligence-gathering robot. Local newspaper, The Monitor, reports:

The San Juan Police Department has added a robot named Raven to its crime fighting arsenal.

Raven was purchased in early November at a cost of $27,000, paid for with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security, said San Juan police Chief Juan Gonzalez.

“Raven is a great asset to our department,” Gonzalez said, referring to the black, shin-high, tank-like robot designed to enter hard-to-reach places. “He is equipped with a set of cameras, infrared cameras and audio equipment that gives us eyes and ears in difficult situations such as a hostage situation.”

While Raven has already been used to gather intelligence in a drug raid last month, San Juan police got a chance to fully interact with the robot in the days before Thanksgiving when the department ran a series of exercises to test the capabilities of Raven and of the Law Enforcement Emergency Regional Response Team, or LEERRT — the regional SWAT team based in San Juan.

The San Juan Police Department’s website looks more like an advertisement for an elite military unit rather than for the cops from a town of less than 36,000.

Apart from armored personnel vehicles and war-worthy weapons, perhaps the most popular item purchased with DHS grant money is facial recognition software.

San Diego State University’s Police Department is the proud new owner of this powerful surveillance technology. The school’s newspaper The Daily Aztec reports:

Facial recognition technology, previously limited to soldiers in Afghanistan and FBI agents, is now being used by civilian law enforcement agencies throughout San Diego County. According to documents acquired by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit focused on digital and privacy rights, the San Diego State Police Department is one of the agencies using this new technology. SDSUPD currently only has one officer in the program. However, he is the most active officer in the county, with more than 200 photos analyzed from January to October of this year.

The program to bring facial recognition technology to San Diego law enforcement is called TACIDS—short for Tactical Identification System. It’s a pilot program from the San Diego Association of Governments developed and purchased using grants from the federal government’s National Institute of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, according to The Center for Investigative Reporting.

TACIDS works through Samsung tablets and Android smartphones that were distributed to specific officers (SDSUPD uses a tablet). Most of the 25 participating agencies were given one or two devices, although the sheriff’s department received the most with 64, while the San Diego and National City police departments received 27 and 26 respectively.

Notice that the story practically brags about the fact that a college police department is going to have gear more appropriate in the battlefield than on campus.

Maybe the author of the piece in The Daily Aztec is saying more than he meant to.

Is there a chance that the Department of Homeland Security is funneling all this money and materiel to local police to prepare them to quell popular uprisings? One expert thinks that may be the case.

Jim Fitzgerald worked for eight years as a vice and narcotics squad detective in Newark, New Jersey, before joining the staff of The John Birch Society. He is point man for the conservative organization’s “Support Your Local Police” initiative.

In an interview with The New American, Fitzgerald said there is “virtually no use” for the military-grade equipment being bought by local law enforcement with DHS grant money.

“The only reason to have this equipment is to use it,” Fitzgerald said, and it is likely it would be used against local citizens who have risen up and created some sort of civil disorder.

DHS, Fitzgerald believes, may be anticipating these riots and looks to them as a justification for the militarization of the police.

“They [DHS grants] are not good, not healthy, and not constitutional,” Fitzgerald adds.

The question that remains is how long citizens will accept the arming of their local police until they rise up in resistance and, as DHS probably has orchestrated, are targets of all the tactical weaponry, ammunition, and monitoring technology.

From license plate readers to facial recognition software, from surveillance cameras to cellphone signal trackers, the Department of Homeland Security is providing police with all the gadgets, hardware, and software necessary to keep everybody under surveillance, without the targeted public ever realizing that it’s the Capitol, not the cops, that are behind the monitoring.

Local police who participate in the program will have access to a shockingly broad array of personal information of citizens. Facial recognition technology, license plate readers, and stop light camera video feeds will all be funneled to a Regional Operations Intelligence Center where FBI, police, and DHS agents can watch the live feeds.

In fairness, most police chiefs and sheriffs are unaware of any larger, more sinister DHS program to foment riot as a pretext for quelling it.

But whether these lawmen realize it or not, when they accept federal gadgets and grants, they are surrendering their independence and their citizens’ civil liberties.

Perhaps the most important argument against the federalization of local police departments is that there is not a single syllable of the Constitution authorizing any such federal participation in law enforcement. If the power isn’t granted to the federal government in the Constitution, then authority over that area remains with the states and the people as described in the Tenth Amendment.

Self-serving bureaucrats inside the U.S. government are tirelessly trying to obliterate local police forces answerable to local citizens and promote the consolidation movement as a step toward federalization of law enforcement. These proponents of regional and national police forces desire nothing less than the eradication of all local police departments and sheriffs’ offices, the surrender of state and municipal sovereignty, and the conversion of police into federal security agents sworn not to protect and to serve their neighbors, but to protect the prerogatives of politicians.

 

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state.  He is the host of The New American Review radio show that is simulcast on YouTube every Monday. Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at jwolverton@thenewamerican.com

Related articles:

Obama Flooding U.S. Streets With “Weapons of War” for Local Police

Local Police Increasingly Subordinate to Homeland Security Department

DHS Creates New Fusion Centers, Taking Control of Local Police

 

Battlefield America | project chesapeake

Battlefield America | project chesapeake.

By: Tom Chatham

Those that are aware of the machinations unfolding in America today see a potentially deadly situation beginning to unfold. The talk of detention camps and foreign soldiers being prepositioned. The Stalinist purge of many top ranking military officers and arming of government agencies to insane levels. The slow deterioration of our industrial capability and ability of families to feed themselves. The erosion of civil liberties and government attacks on patriotic Americans. The massive spy network established to contain and control the population. The failure to guard our borders and dismantling of our military. All of these actions lead in one direction.

For those who think that a financial collapse causing the loss of their savings and livelihood are the worst that could happen, they might want to consider this possibility.

The global elite that have their hand on all the switches know how individualistic and enterprising many Americans are. If this country were destroyed economically and our infrastructure were destroyed we have the ability to rebuild it all over time. Many of the global players know that a small core of Americans can never be subjugated and could cause many problems for years to come if left to their own devices. In a country as big as America it would be almost impossible to round up all of them so something more drastic may be needed.

Let us not forget the goal of some to return the Earth to a population of 500 million. This means the eradication of 6.5 billion people. Why would Americans think they are exempt from this depopulation event.

It has been said before that the goal of an economic collapse would be to not only take America down to third world levels but even lower so Americans would have no chance to rebuild and cause the globalists any serious problems in the future. Even with a collapse much of our infrastructure and knowledge and raw materials would still be available to rebuild.

The goal of Agenda 21 is to return large portions of the land to wilderness and eliminate the human element in these places. When you start to look at the things that some want to happen here a frightening picture begins to form.

– Destroy economy and peoples wealth
– Destroy infrastructure and return land to wilderness
– Destroy peoples ability to rebuild
– Destroy population to return to sustainable global levels

The only things under human control that could do all of these things is a global pandemic of biblical proportions or a major world war. Either or both could be in the works at this time.

The elite have made no secret that they wish to destroy American hegemony at all costs. A pandemic would certainly accomplish many of the goals listed but it is not guaranteed. Even some survivors would be capable of rebuilding some of the nation and that possibility is not acceptable.

The other option is a major war. As any person who knows the history of WWII and the destruction of Europe knows, destruction of people and materials through warefare is very effective. The end of WWII saw the U.S. as the most powerful nation left standing because we came out of it relatively unscathed. Our vaults were full of gold and our factories were second to none.

That cannot be allowed to happen again in America so the next war must bring total destruction to this land.

America will likely be exposed to an attack so fierce that nothing will remain to rebuild. A force that occupies the nation and systematically reduces the population through a series of initiatives from bullets to chemical weapons to starvation will help to accomplish the Agenda 21 result. If the globalists really want to reduce the world population do you really think they will leave all Americans standing?

They will destroy or remove any and all equipment that allows people to survive and care for themselves long term. They will remove any resources that they can use and destroy the rest. Essentially a scorched earth policy will unfold in America that leaves a barren wilderness unable to sustain any large group of people. When that is accomplished the destroyers will likely go home to some large degree. The mineral resources here are well known and can be extracted any time the globalists want in the future.

When they are done all that will remain of this nation will be a vast wilderness with a few scattered people with no ability to confront the globalists. It will be much as it was when the Europeans fist set foot here.

For those willing to sacrifice and do the hard work it may still be possible to salvage the nation from this destruction. For those with the indomitable spirit to go on and rebuild it is possible for this phoenix to rise again from the ashes. But for that to happen, some things will have to be preserved from the destruction to allow a new start.

– raw materials such as scrap metal and chemicals
– knowledge in the form of professionals and books
– equipment for building in the form of machining equipment
– basic medical equipment
– equipment for casting and refining
– equipment to make copper wire
– farm equipment and implements that can be duplicated
– livestock that can be bred and expanded
– seed stocks that can be grown and processed
– equipment to process fibers for cloth and rope
– electrical equipment such as generators and communications gear

No one person could store all of these things so it must fall on multiple groups with various knowledge and abilities to preserve this core of technological abilities. These items would have to be literally buried to escape detection and destruction for the duration of the event. That is possible if done in time and right now time grows short.

For many it would be easy to hide some resources for later use to rebuild and enjoy a rustic lifestyle without all of the technology. The only problem with that is eventually you may be faced with the spectre of the destroyers returning and any lone homesteads with little technological means would be easy prey for another assault. The only way to rebuild and expand with the ability to defend is to establish communities that are connected and technologically capable.

The scenario laid out here is not a happy one but it is survivable if actions are taken in time. Only the hardiest of individuals would likely live through something like this but they are the ones that history calls nation builders. To dismiss this scenario as impossible is to do so at your own peril should events come to pass. Something is impossible until it’s not.

 

Obama Creates List of Cyber Targets & Militarizes Internet Surveillance – Susanne Posel | Susanne Posel

Obama Creates List of Cyber Targets & Militarizes Internet Surveillance – Susanne Posel | Susanne Posel.

 

Pentagon Engaging in a Power Grab Against the Civilian Leadership | Washington’s Blog

Pentagon Engaging in a Power Grab Against the Civilian Leadership | Washington’s Blog.

 

SWAT team: ‘Boston bomber’ possibly not shot

SWAT team: ‘Boston bomber’ possibly not shot.

 

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