Tinfoil Tuesday: While you were sleepingMarch 20th, 2012
There was a time in my life when I used to love wild conspiracy theories about the growth of a totalitarian police state. I used to claim, with tongue in cheek, that Arnold Schwarzenegger was chosen as the gubernatorial candidate of California because his appearance as a reprogrammed benevolent cyborg in Terminator 3, just weeks before his campaign, would soften the public’s objections to voting machines. Or, that Starbucks Coffee, with its numerous references to sirens and lotus eaters of Greek Mythology must surely contain some neurological toxin designed to pacify the masses for the Illuminati. But now it’s hard to imagine anything the State wouldn’t do to trample the few remaining liberties that are left uninfringed. At best the US Constitution appears to have taught the tyrants to be more creative in their subterfuge. Ten years ago 9/11 provided the pretense for the Patriot Act, which was openly criticized and widely protested for years. Obama was even elected in part because of his campaign promise to repeal it. Yet by today’s standards the Patriot Act seems quaint. These days the tyrannical laws roll out so fast I hardly have time to write a blog post on one before the next one. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if a new tyrannical law hits the headlines before I even finish this post. So, this Tinfoil Tuesday, rather than focusing on a single paranoid fantasy about one news story we’re going to have to do a quick round-up of all the growth in tyranny we simply haven’t had time to cover.
1) While you were sleeping congress drove the final nail in the coffin of freedom of speech by voting 388-to-3 in favor of making it a federal offense to protest government. A provision in H.R. 347 (a.k.a. the “Trespass Bill”) was presented as making protests at the White House illegal, but it actually criminalized protests anywhere the Secret Service or any person under their protection is located, whether you know they are there or not. Currently that means the President, former Presidents, their families, Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, foreign heads of state and a number of miscellaneous US officials. In other words, it’s now a federal crime to glitter-bomb Rick Santorum, or engage in any kind of political protest at primary debates, Democratic or Republican National Conventions, G8 and NATO summits and potentially even Super Bowls. But here’s the kicker… they don’t actually have to inform you where these free speech free zones are. So, don’t be surprised if the next move is expanding the list of bureaucrats who enjoy the special status of Secret Service protection.
2) While you were sleeping Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the US military can execute American citizens without trial because, “‘due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same.” So basically the Constitutional guarantee of ‘due process’ is not a right to a fair trial, as it’s been understood since its inception. It’s simply a right to some process of some kind to be determined the sociopath calling the hit. Holder did not explain how ‘due process’ is ensured without ‘judicial process.” I guess they’ll simply assume anyone accused of terrorism is guilty, declare their capture “unfeasible” and presto! Who needs a judicial branch? Of course, when FBI Director Robert Mueller was asked by Rep Tom Graves from Georgia if this executive power only applies to US Citizens overseas or if it applies to US Citizens at home he said, “Uh, I’m not certain whether that was addressed or not.” In other words… it’s just a matter of time.
3) Regular readers probably know that one of my favorite Tinfoil Topics is unmanned aerial drones, specifically the drones patrolling US airspace. Predator Drones are like the black helicopters of the next generation of conspiracy theorists, except they aren’t exactly secret and believing in them doesn’t make you paranoid. First I speculated that they’d have them flying over US cities. Then when that story broke and they told us they were unarmed I predicted that they’d be arming them before long. Well guess what… While you were sleeping the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Texas added an aerial drone to their arsenal and Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel said that adding a tear gas dispenser or a gun that shoots “non-lethal rubber bullets” would be “advantageous.” What that tells us is that the discretion whether or not to arm these drones being given out to local law enforcement is with the local law enforcement. There’s no federal policy mandating that they stay unarmed. I’ll bet there’s already a dozen departments who armed their drones and just didn’t tell anyone.
Are you awake yet? Can it be any more obvious? When Obama approved the National Defense Authorization Act he essentially suspended Habeas Corpus for US Citizens. Now they are laying the legal groundwork to impose the death penalty on US Citizens without a trial, while simultaneously creating the infrastructure to carry out the death penalty on US Citizens from the sky. So, go out and protest if you dare.
And of course, as predicted, in the time it took me to write this post news of new tyranny has reached me from Twitter. Now it seems that Obama has signed an Executive Order that some are calling a “declaration of peacetime martial law.”
So, here’s what I want to know. If it’s exponentially easier for them to expand the size and power of the State than it is for us to reduce it by political means, doesn’t that mean that we can no longer prevent the growth of a tyrannical police state with the political process?
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