Tag Archives: government

Police State or State of Insanity?

Below is a video of a man in Texas who was arrested and disarmed by officers after someone called the police. Watch the video and let’s discuss.

Two Sides

In my attempt to remain level headed I want to examine both sides of the story here.

The Officer 

On one side we have the police officers. They received a call about a man carrying a rifle while walking down a Texas road. Their heart begins to pound because anytime you have to respond to a man with a gun your life could be in danger. Guns do have the potential to kill and when entering in a situation as such one must be prepared.

The police see the man and an intimidating weapon and a slight panic sets in. They ask the man to turn over his weapon and he gives them an attitude. This automatically makes the situation worse. The cops stop following protocol and act in self interest. Their first concern is disarming a man who seems aggressive – this isn’t by the book, but things are moving so fast that it’s easy to see why mistakes are made.

Gun violence has been all the talk on the news and in precincts everywhere. Tensions are high and protecting life is top priority.

The Armed Citizen

The man is a veteran and purposely chose rural Texas as a place to call home. He chose rural Texas because he believed that values he holds dear are upheld here. He has been desensitized by weapons after carrying one for several years in Afghanistan. He is a proud man and fought to defend the rights of all Americans and he wants to exerciser his to the utmost – that includes legally carrying a gun.

When the officer stops him he feels violated. This is America. This is Texas. He is just a man protecting himself and his son. The officer, who is a little panicked, tries to grab the citizen’s weapon away. This is it – unacceptable – this is exactly the kind of fascism and lawlessness the former soldier fought for to protect. It is inexcusable that any man try to take those rights away – the ones he was literally willing to die for.

The citizen is infuriated. This stamps on everything he believes in – and his son is there to watch.

Clarity

When you see it from both sides it kind of becomes obvious why there was so much conflict. Both sides had a good point, but both failed to realize the other had their own perspective. I would even go as far as to say that perhaps neither were wrong completely, but both failed to see the other person’s point of view. Both were hyper aware of the gun and less aware of the situation. The cop was trying to protect his own life (as far as he knew) and the citizen was trying to protect his rights and beliefs (which he was obviously very passionate about).

How the Media has distorted Judgement

When I first watched this video I felt a lot of emotion. Then as I contemplated it – I realized a lot of those emotions were not my own. They were implanted by the media. They were thoughts and ideas that someone else told me to think. Carefully formulated rhetoric designed by the anti-gun and pro-gun lobbies to persuade judgement. It seems like this has affected almost everyone’s ability to judge the situation without bias.

We know the ideas: Guns are bad. People with guns kill people. Universal background checks. Common-sense laws. The Government is bad. The Government wants to take guns away so they can control us. Blah blah blah.

Maybe what we need to do is sit down and rethink this whole issue. Forget the guns and think PEOPLE. We need to educate people. We need to change the culture. People are both the problem and solution.

Side Note: The New Vietnam?

I also see a frightening pattern regarding returning veterans. Will this be a new pattern? Returning vets realizing they fought in Iraq based on a lie the Government sold based on Nuclear weapons that didn’t exist. A war that was never declared and never ended? Will proud vets return home to a population that quickly dismissed their cause and doesn’t appreciate their sacrifice? In the end I can see nothing good from the kind of endless war we’re in. History forgotten is quickly repeated.

Extremist’s are Cowards

The far right and left, in my opinion, are the worst society has to offer. They are arguably worse than criminals. Why? Because their ideas are poison, a hindrance to society itself. Their very ideas are the ones that spark conflict, war, death, and the inflexibility that prevents problem solvers from developing solutions. Extremists adhere to a script they didn’t even write, one they didn’t concoct themselves, because they’re too uncreative and too intellectually immature to recognize anything beyond their pathetic screenplay for life.

Extremists are bad because they refuse to see the world as anything but black and white. Their only goal is to exert their ideas above all others. Not to seek truth because their truth was already decided for them by someone else. There in lies the very problem and lack of solutions.

You are Just Another Market

Extremists cater to an audience or have been brainwashed by a talking head on the tele-screen. The ideas they spout sell ideas and draw attention. It is sensationalism. Unproductive ideas and concepts that provide no benefit except that of ad sales and controversy. Whether it is the left selling environmental or anti-war bumper stickers or the right selling “prepper” seeds and guns – the end game is the same and the same groups of wealthy elite prosper.

Extremist are Cowards

Extremists are cowards because they lack the ability or courage to admit when they are wrong. They associate with only people who are agreeable and purposely avoid those whose ideas conflict with their own. This process leads to a vicious circle of self gratification. A proverbial circle-jerk of extremist who have polluted their own gene pool with fickle, inconsistent ideas.

Extremists are ironically satisfied with the status-quo. The Irony lies in the fact that most believe themselves to be true individualists, but are anything but.  Whether the “hipster” or the “redneck” they both confine themselves to the strict set of cultural codes assigned to them. Extremism is the complete opposite of freedom. Extremism is a prison.

So here’s looking to you. You right and left wing bloggers.

Note: This work was created as a joint venture between Atticus and Holden. A result of a collection of brilliant ideas brought to light via Google chat conversations. 

Conservatives: Stop the Hypocracy on Gay Marriage!

I love my fellow conservatives. I will chit-chat and agree all day long about the values of personal liberty, defense of the constitution, limited Government, and balanced budgets. I honestly believe that these values are what makes America great. I think our sense of personal freedom and individualism is why we are so unique. It’s why we make the best movies, have the best tech gadgets, and why the rest of the world often looks to us for innovation.

What I dislike is how many Conservatives cherry pick their own philosophy to fit their personal beliefs. Are you conservative or are you only conservative when it fits your own personal gain and ideology? Let me provide an example.

A while back I was doing some research on local politicians (I live in Georgia) and ran across Representative Paul Braun (pictured above). Mr. Braun says all the things that makes my conservative heart flutter. In one interview he says:

“That’s what I’ve been doing in Congress, trying to push the government back to constitutionally limited government as our Founding Fathers meant it. That’s what I am all about.

I voted against [the budget] because it doesn’t even cut spending. It just slows the growth from a 5 percent growth to a 3.4 percent growth. This is just intolerable as far as I’m concerned, so what I’ll be doing is proposing specific cuts…

I am a Bible-believing Christian,” he said. “I also realize that people have other beliefs than I do and that’s fine. In fact, I respect their beliefs, but the thing we all can believe in is that we’ve just got to stop all of this out-of-control spending. No matter what your religious beliefs are, we’ve got to deal with this tremendous debt that’s unsustainable.”

I can handle this. He wants to cut spending and limit Government. While he may have his own religious beliefs he “respects [other’s] beliefs”. No problem. Right? Wrong!

Conservative Hypocracy!

Like so many conservative Rep Paul Braun preaches the limited Government conservative ideology, but is more than willing to use Government to impose his own beliefs on others AT THE EXPENSE OF TAX PAYERS! Here are two examples:

1. In May 2009, Broun proposed failed legislation that would have proclaimed 2010 “The Year Of The Bible”. He also introduced a bill to ban the sale or rental of sexually explicit materials on U.S military installations.

2. In 2008, Broun and 91 co-sponsors introduced H.J.Res.89, a proposition for the Federal Marriage Amendment. The proposed amendment to the United States Constitution would define marriage as “as consisting only of the union of a man and a woman.” Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and eight other senators introduced a proposition for the amendment with S.J.Res.43 on June 25.

Hypocracy is a Pattern

Rep Braun demonstrates the lack of ideological consistency that is a major pattern in the conservative community.  If you want to preach individuality, limited Government, and personal freedom then it should be FOR ALL PEOPLE – not just the ones who fall into your religiously defined moral code.

Conservatism is about individuality and liberty, not about stifling the pursuit of happiness for a group of people who just so happen to be attracted to the same sex. The Government should stay out of people’s personal lives or any contract between two consenting adults – especially when it involves matters of the heart.

If anyone should support Same Sex Marriage – on principal alone – it should be conservatives.

North Korea and the Possibility of Nuclear War

The U.S. will be adding 14 new ground based interceptors in response to threats made by North Korea. This comes at a time when the white house claims they can’t even afford public tours. So I have to ask myself what’s going on here.

I have two key theories:

1. This is an excuse for additional military spending and continued weaponization of the country. North Korea is the new “terrorist threat” in an new fearmongering tactic to prevent American’s from complaining about increases in military spending while public services continue to be cut. Simply, a new threat to justify cutting teaching jobs while maintaining the bloated military, or

2. Is the situation with North Korea much, much more serious than we thought?

TSA Opt-Out Experience: “Sir, the agent will touch your groin and buttocks.”

I am westward bound. Thirty-thousand feet above the earth’s surface with nothing, but my thoughts and a laptop I have been allowed to temporarily utilize to curb my boredom – that is until the pilot indicates I have to “shut down all approved electronic devices”.

The TSA

Before arriving at this cozy little window seat a lot happened. I was obediently herded from the airport entrance, through check-in, and to security. In an orderly fashion I obeyed the TSA overlords and moved in a single file line toward the security checkpoint. As instructed I handed over my identification and carefully removed anything that could be utilized for terrorist activities.

Such items for removal include my belt, watch, shoes, and jacket. All electronics, liquids, and my personal hygiene items must be emptied into a bin for closer examination. Now barefoot, I must agree to a full body scan of my entire skeletal structure – I must prove I am not harboring any items of ill will – all to guarantee safety, of course. The giant body scanner stands before me.

The Opt-Out Experience

Since I value my personal liberty and would rather my body not be bombarded with protons, electrons, back-scatter rays, or magical beams – none of which I fully understand – I choose to opt out and accept the fully body pat-down. This of course brings a certain amount of public criticism and shame. I am being a difficult slave so an appropriate amount of public humiliation must follow – per protocol I’m convinced.

Loudly: “Sir, you are aware that by opting out an agent will be touching your groin and buttocks?” I confirm.

Another agent, sarcastically: “Sir, you know this machine doesn’t cause cancer, right?”

Me: “Yes, sir. I’m aware of these facts and I would still like to opt out.” I’m a black sheep now. Time for the pat-down. For everyone’s safety, of course.

I’m pulled aside. A few slaves look at me uncomfortably. They can’t be sure I’m not a trouble maker. My actions have confused the herd. I have separated myself from those obediently following the rules set forth by the system.

The Pat-Down

My baggage is laid before me, but I cannot touch it. Not until they are sure I am not a criminal – a terrorist. Like a convicted felon I hold my arms to the side, palms up, as instructed. The TSA agent inspects my hands, rubs my thighs, groin, back, chest, and buttocks. No surface of my body is untouched. The agent then takes his gloves to a magical machine which confirms no traces of terrorist residue have made their way to his hands during pat-down. (I wonder how much that machine costs? Our tax dollars at work – nothing wasted.)

A few seconds later the TSA agent returns and allows me to be on my way. I thank the agent for his time with a smirk.

Some slaves feel degrading and I see why, but this does not phase me. I smile and thank each agent for their time as I gather my things. I decide the experience was free and public body massage. A normal person may have been humiliated – fuck it – I am happy to oblige.

All of this inconvenience, humiliation, forfeiture of your rights, and submission of your personal information (down to a scanned blueprint of your body) in the name of safety. In effort to combat against a terrorist threat we slaves are apparently too stupid and too naïve fully to understand.

I can’t help but ask myself: “Is our sacrifice of personal space and privacy worth it? Is the precedence we have established justifiable?” The answer is no. Undeniably no.

Forfeiture

We have to be careful what we get used to. I mean this sincerely. We are experiencing a slow yet steady forfeiture of our basic rights as human beings – not just as Americans – but as flesh and blood human organisms. Our right to move about has been encroached. Our right to personal privacy – even in the most intimate way – has been thrown out. Taxes slowly increase (we now work almost 6 months a year to pay taxes alone). We are monitored continuously – via email, photograph, surveillance cameras and drones, and innumerable registrations.

And perhaps worst of all, if the Government finds reason to label you a terrorist (in which the rules of obtaining such a label have not been explained to the public) the Government can legally hold you without trial, forever, and kill you.

All this in the name of public safety? How long will this excuse suffice? Where do we draw the line?

People are no longer Free Thinkers

It never fails to amaze me how easily people are fooled by propaganda. Especially if said propaganda aligns with the beliefs an individual already holds. I find case after case of this on Facebook. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t find Facebook terribly scientific nor do I care for it much; however, I do find it a useful tool to check the pulse of people’s thinking. Especially people whose views are being shaped by popular media sources.

A prime example was today when I logged in and found literally a dozen of my connections sharing an article supposedly written by Bill Cosby. (You can read the entire article here.) The article goes on to critisize social programs, “spread the wealth” ideaology, lazy people, and even Muslims. I immediately knew this couldn’t by something legitimately accredited to Bill Cosby – especially publicly.

I did a quick Google search and quickly found dozens of sites (including Bill Cosby’s personal website) saying the article was a fake. So why was everyone else so easily fooled, so apt to propagate the lie, and too lazy to fact check? Was it because it so easily confirmed their own beliefs?

This is a pattern. People immediately accept whatever falls in their lap as complete truth. People are no longer free thinkers – rather they are sheep-sponges who obediently fall in line, absorb, and spread any information provided to them in which they find convenient.

A respected pop-culture icon and black leader, like Bill Cosby, spouting popular conservative ideals was just too delicious to pass up – thus it spreads like wildfire on social networks. A few items of hate speech, sprinkled in with a few lines of truth, and suddenly the entire message is accepted at once. The lies and hate are absorbed in the blood stream as inconspicuously as they landed on everyone’s homepage.

My biggest fear is that my peers have forgotten how to think for themselves, how to distinguish a lie from the truth. They are now good slaves propagating whatever they hear or see on whatever screen is in front of them. That is dangerous.

Blowback from Drone Attacks: Kidnap Americans

I recently read this memo written by Al-Qaida. The memo lists 22 tactics to manage and avoid drone attacks.

The most disturbing part of the memo is the proposed kidnapping of American citizens. Al-Qaida’s goal is to cause enough outrage over drone attacks and the supposed retaliatory kidnappings to prompt a response from the public demanding the end of drone tactics.

Via Al-Qaida:

There is the golden solution that shortens the long distances and through which we can bring back the pressure of the American public opinion in a more active way depending on the strategy of kidnapping in exchange for the drone strategy and we should not stop until they stop their strategy which will enable all the supporter of jihad to take part in defeating Petraeus and his new strategy. We start kidnapping Western citizens in any spot in the world, whether in the Islamic Maghreb, Egypt, Iraq or any other easy kidnapping places and the only demand is the halt of attacks on civilians in Yemen which is a just and humanitarian demand that will create world support and a public opinion pressure in America as they are being hurt again. We, therefore, aim at the core of the nation’s strategy which if failed, America, will accordingly collapse. We also are taking part in laying a block in the promising Islamic State in the Arab peninsula.

Al-Qaida demand that the US bring and end to drone attacks on civilians in Yemen and see this request as a “just and humanitarian demand that will create world support”. I think that is a legitimate request. However, Al-Qaida doesn’t seem to realize that with kidnappings they will simultaneously lose any gained public relations benefits.

Harming innocent individuals and families while also flaming the fears of the public is a bad tactic and seems contradictory to their overall mission. Perhaps they should read about passive resistance techniques use by Gandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Overall the whole memo is kind of frightening and sobering.

Surveillance: How the average Citizen is giving away their power

I’ve often wondered if the type of surveillance the American people are subjected to (and somehow remain ignorant to or just blissfully ignore) will effect politics of the future. Think about it.

Most average people use Twitter, Facebook, and are probably writing on blogs. Their information has been mined, stored, sorted, and archived. They are trapped. We same people will be running for political office and may attempt to become leaders of free society.

What will the impact of the self-documentation and self-incrimination of our entire life result? The embarrassing pictures, the Facebook rants when you were 17, your changing political philosophy, etc. Think about it – even if you carefully monitor your own social network computers can automatically detect your face in photos friends upload.

Will an average citizen be able to run for and win public office or will this type of information surveillance lead to a self-eliminating elitist favored political system.

Elites in Political Office

This is an idea that concerns me. If in the near future the average American has forfeited enough personal information on the internet and via surveillance to incriminate themselves to the point of non-electablility will the “average Joe” eliminate themselves from the election pool?

What this my leave is elitist candidates who have been carefully groomed from birth to act as our political leaders. Chosen by the elites to act in their interest and elected by the people simply because a normal person has too much baggage floating around on the internet. Kind of an interesting thought.

TSA Harrasses Poor Elderly Women

I intend to opt out. I always do. It’s not that I think going through the body scanner will give me cancer or that I’m claustrophobic – it’s because I think the TSA is a bloated and ridiculous government institution. Thus, I decide to demonstrate civil disobedience by forcing some poor agent to waste his time rubbing his hands all over my body to ensure I am not planning on blowing up an airplane

The Dangerous Old Lady

Today was different though. There was an elderly Japanese women about a half dozen people in ahead of me. By the way she was looking around I could tell she was nervous. A lot had changed since the last time she was in the airport. She was nervous and unsure about the new procedures instituted by Homeland Security.

Her turn quickly came to enter the body scanner. We have to be sure she’s not a terrorist. Take away her walker, take off her shoes, and shove her through the line with the rest of the heard. It’s mandatory.

The scanner beeped. She moved back. Everyone is irritated – in a hurry. She looks confused. A second attempt, the scanner peeps. “Empty your pockets ma’am.” The TSA agenda holds his hand out making a cup shape indicating she should fill his palms with whatever is causing the alarm to be unsatisfied. She has no idea what to do.

Coins. Coins. Coins.

The poor old women reaches in her pockets and pulls out a few coins and soon the TSA agent is satisfied and instructs her to try again. The alarm sounds again. The process continues several times. Meanwhile a long line of frustrated people is building.

The TSA agents finally decide to put us through the normal “X-Ray scanner”. We heard through like good slaves and I’m happy I don’t have to opt out. I save a few minutes – though I was slightly looking forward to some poor soul feeling me up for a couple of minutes.

I gather my things: shoes, belt, laptop, coat, and everything else that might be used by a terrorist. On my way down the stairs headed toward my gate I see an upset old women escorted by a TSA agent. The TSA agent’s head is down, almost ashamed. The poor old women can barely walk so the agent is helping her move along at a slowly with her arms wrapped around her waist. Looks like she finally made it through, but not with her dignity.

My Problem with the TSA

I don’t hate TSA agents as people, but I hate the entire organization’s institution of groupthink policy. No individual agent is allowed to use a bit of common sense or human decency. They obey the rules like sheep even when it’s obviously wrong. They follow orders.

I’m reminded of the stories told by former Nazis or the Youth Soldiers under Communist China when later in life they recount their stories, the things they did to people, and can’t believe it. They were “following orders”. They “thought they were doing the right thing”. Caught in the moment, brainwashed, told by those in power it’s their mission – so they violated human rights.

Of course I’m not saying the TSA agents are Nazis, but their thinking is the same. Do they even realize how ridiculous it is – the amount of dignity and liberty they are stealing from the people. They have an ounce of power and plan to use it – some of them abuse it. Sometimes I wonder if we will look back on history and examine the noble sounding institution “Homeland Security” and realize that was the beginning of the end for liberty in America.

I don’t want to sound like an insane person, a radical, but a quick examination of history shows this pattern again and again. Noble sounding institutions formed under the guise of “protecting” the people – to take a way a few freedoms for the common good – which eventually develop into the very institutions that enslave the people.

Warrantless wire taps, body scanners, internet spying, indefinite detention without trial, kill lists, drone attacks, disarmament, taxation, the list goes on. Taken as a whole it’s easy to understand why many people do not trust their Government. Should they?

The PodTruth Show: Episode # 2 – Data Liberation!

Atticus and Holden discuss big Government and the fight to liberate data, taxi drivers, executive orders and a swap a few stories about about life.

Direct link to the .mp3 file.

Subscribe to the PodTruth Show via RSS feed or iTunes.

The PodTruth Show Episode #2