Monthly Archives: September 2015
Life is Becoming Criminalized
The other day at work, some well-meaning soul was so aroused by seeing two youngsters sitting in a car, who were visible on one of the countless security cameras every workplace has now, that he suggested we call the police. Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed, and the youngsters eventually left on their own accord.
This illustrated to me just how much society has changed over the past forty years. “If you see something, say something” has become the mantra of the day. Virtually any behavior now can be seen as suspicious. Any innocuous compliment can be construed as sexual harassment. Once innocent jokes can be considered hateful if someone claims to be offended.
A few months back, my brother and sister were having a conversation about the latest incident involving a neglectful parent leaving her toddler locked inside a car on a hot day. The consensus between them was that “we ought to do something,” and that something clearly would include severe punishment, most likely a long prison sentence. Surely, this is reprehensible parental behavior, but do we really want to start imprisoning parents for their neglect? There are a lot of parents who make mistakes, and some of those mistakes result in tragedy. Our already wildly over-crowded prisons are going to become even more swelled if we go down this path.
Cigarettes are still sold legally everywhere. And yet they have become impossible to smoke, unless the smoker is nowhere near someone who might claim to be offended by it. Smoking has been banned in virtually all public places. Seat belts weren’t even installed in most cars fifty years ago. Even after every car had them, many drivers and passengers opted not to wear them. Now if you’re caught without your seat belt on, you are summarily fined. Fifty years ago, children were thrilled to bounce up and down in the open beds of pickup trucks. Babies were held by an adult during passenger rides. Parents now must wonder how babies ever traveled in the days before car seats become mandatory.
All of these controls and regulations were sold to the public as a great benefit, to ensure public safety. But that safety has come at a great cost. Our personal liberties have all but eroded. One can be arrested now for saying the wrong thing, if someone overhears and claims to be offended. I define “reforms” as actions which clearly benefit the majority of the people. Do any of these nanny state-type “reforms” benefit anyone, except those who run the state?
In my area, I am noticing more and more stoplights where no “leading green” is permitted. In the past, almost every light had a “leading green,” in other words, it allowed a driver to turn left after checking to make sure that the opposing flow of traffic was clear. Evidently, our leaders don’t think we can determine such things for ourselves any longer, and thus drivers end up wasting minutes at a red light, when the way is completely clear and could be safely navigated. And I’m seeing more lights that don’t permit a right turn on red any more. Again, the state doesn’t trust individuals to make the most basic decisions on their own. And, of course, such rules open the floodgates for more tickets, and thus more revenue for the state.
This is where the Libertarian in me really kicks in. I hate this kind of mindless control over human behavior, this distrust in the people to live their own lives without recklessly endangering others. But the same state that institutes these draconian regulations for the “safety” of the people is increasingly growing impatient with the homeless, with some areas banning them from congregating in places, and even from receiving food from sympathetic citizens. This is the Authoritarianism we suffer under; an iron fist without any velvet glove.
In similar fashion, to “improve” efficiency, electronic time clock systems have been instituted in virtually every workplace now. The business world, like the state, is watching our every move, literally with their slew of surveillance systems, and figuratively fretful that a blue collar worker might gain five minutes on his employer. How did businesses ever manage all those decades, by trusting their workers to sign their time cards and accurately record their hours?
One wonders, in fact, how society as a whole ever got along without all these magnificent “reforms.” Was crime and workplace theft really that prevalent before security cameras became installed everywhere? Were there really that many accidents where suicidal motorists turned left into traffic at “leading green” lights? Were that many babies and toddlers killed in auto accidents, because they flew out of the hands of the adults holding them?
Whenever someone new in management arrives, in any work environment, the employees fear the “changes” he or she will bring. When was the last time a new boss took charge, and announced sweeping changes which brought new benefits to the staff, as well as a more relaxed, lenient atmosphere? Just as we have learned to fear any new laws or “reforms” emanating from our legislators, employees know instinctively that new management is going to feel compelled to “crack down” on the alleged abuses that the prior administration allowed.
Watch an old movie, and see how idealized little girls used to be. Grown men, unrelated to them, would beg for a kiss. “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” was a very popular song. Now, most of the public has a strong impulse to label such behavior as perverted, and is anxious to corral more of the apparently inexhaustible supply of pedophiles in the heartland. One can go online and search for any “sex offenders” in their neighborhood. The problem is, “sex offenders” can include people who are caught urinating behind a tree.
Meanwhile, all the child sex scandals I delineated in Hidden History go mostly unreported in the mainstream media, and mostly un-prosecuted by the same authorities who call Child Protective Services on parents who snap a photo of their child taking a bubble bath. Again, the response is to crack down on average people who might simply be acting the same way human beings have always acted, while ignoring real abuse being perpetrated by the rich and powerful.
Those of us who recognize that positive change, real reform, is desperately necessary, have grown to realize that the best we can do is swallow our idealism and hope that nothing gets done. Any change is certain to make things worse. Until the corruption is rooted out, at all levels of our civilization, this is the sad reality. And it’s shameful, and inexcusable, that it has come to this.
We are led by utter morons, from the local level of traffic planners to our national legislators. And it is not enough that they are glaringly incompetent and corrupt. They are also proud of what they’re doing, and cocksure that their authoritarianism is just what the public needs and wants. It’s actually surprising that no political candidate has adopted the campaign slogan, “Less Freedom! More Rules!” A more frightening thought to ponder is that such a slogan would probably find lots of enthusiastic supporters.
The United States already has more people imprisoned than any other country. With every new unnecessary law or regulation, we are building new cells, and grooming more “criminals.” How many criminals do our leaders suppose are out there in the general public? Once “hate” and “intolerance” have been sufficiently criminalized, how many citizens will be left unscathed? We all hate sometimes, and we are all intolerant sometimes. Ironically, those most anxious to punish “haters” and the “intolerant” push for it with a tremendous amount of hate and intolerance.
While our leaders were certainly corrupt fifty years ago, at least they were generally competent. The roads got plowed. The power didn’t go off in a strong wind. Public transportation ran on time. Now they are not only more corrupt, but inexpressibly incompetent. They put their hands down the pants of American travelers, but can’t guard our borders. This is the state we’ve allowed to be born and to flourish; taxation without benefit, protection from ourselves but not our leaders or the police, regulations that infringe upon liberty and improve nothing.
Please think about all this, the next time you’re tempted to call the police because your neighbor’s car has a dead inspection sticker, or their yard is too cluttered for your liking, or their grass is too high, or you smelled marijuana wafting over from their residence. Is this the way you want to be treated? Do you want the hard hand of the new authoritarianism to come down on you or your loved ones? If you permit this kind of tyranny to grow unfettered, it will find its way back to you, but then it will be too late for you to protest.
We need fewer laws, and fewer restrictions on personal behavior. The old chestnut “victim-less crime” needs to be remembered and quoted. There are plenty of things the government should be doing, plenty of reforms and changes it needs to institute. They are so wrong-headed in their approach, on all issues, that it defies all reason. You’d think that, by the law of averages, they’d get something right here and there. Once in a while, they should statistically do something that benefits the majority of the people. But they never, ever do.
Jonathan Swift wrote, hundreds of years ago, about the judges of his day, which he claimed were so addicted to corruption that they couldn’t be bribed to enact justice. I feel the same way about our leaders; they are so prone to corruption that they couldn’t be bribed to do the right thing. Not only could a random group of preschoolers do a much better job of running this country, a random group of death row inmates would probably be less corrupt and have more principles.
9/11 Fourteen Years Later
Fourteen years ago today, nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives when both the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were attacked by terrorists. The official narrative is that the terrorists were a group of nineteen Arabs armed with box cutters and plastic knives. The prevailing view in the anti- establishment world is that the terrorists were associated with the U.S. government.
While our leaders did absolutely nothing on the day in question, in response to hijacked planes being crashed into buildings, for some hour and a half, after it was over they reacted quite aggressively. The consensus was that 9/11 had “changed the world forever,” and that we were now battling an unclear, unidentifiable enemy, referred to conveniently as the “war on terror.”
According to the ACLU, some 762 “suspects” were arrested in the wake of 9/11, and none of them were found to have any ties to “terrorism.” Anyone named Mohammad became suspect in the public’s eye. An Arabic fellow I worked with at the time was absolutely terrified, and seriously considered changing his name to something that sounded less “terrorist.”
Less than a month after the attacks, the U.S. began bombing alleged “Taliban” and “Al Qaeda” targets in Afghanistan. When Bradley/Chelsea Manning exposed the atrocious behavior of U.S. troops there (as well as in Iraq), the response was not a hero’s parade or a Congressional Medal of Honor, it was instead a long prison sentence for whistle blowing.
On October 26, 2001, our Congress passed the completely unconstitutional Patriot Act. It is still difficult to tabulate all the violations of our civil liberties that stem from this odious legislation. In 2002, Congress approved the Homeland Security Act, which created the most monstrous bureaucracy imaginable- the Department of Homeland Security- and our rights became further eroded. The secret NSA spying grew out of this climate of secrecy, fostered by the approval of our leaders, and led directly to the disclosures of Edward Snowden, who like Manning was considered a traitor instead of a hero by much of the dumbed down, deluded public.
Iraq was invaded by U.S. forces in 2003, under the presumption that their leader Saddam Hussein had been involved in the 9/11 attacks. Eventually, it would be acknowledged that there was no evidence tying Iraq to 9/11, and Hussein’s mythical “weapons of mass destruction” were never found. Very few asked why such a diabolical dictator, having accumulated these deadly weapons, would fail to use them against an invasion by the world’s greatest military power. Exactly when was he planning to use them? What was he saving them for?
The 9/11 Commission served the same purpose as the Warren Commission had forty years earlier. Stacked with predictable, insider names, their conclusions were preordained. None of the myriad of questions raised by those denigrated as “truthers” were investigated or even honestly addressed.
I covered the events of 9/11 in some depth in my book Hidden History. We have yet to see a single unbiased documentary or news report aired on any television network, questioning the ludicrous official story. Even celebrities who have dared to question the impossible narrative, like Rosie O’Donnell and Charlie Sheen, have been mocked and ridiculed by the mainstream media. There are countless unanswered and unexplained aspects of the events of September 11, 2001. I will go over a few briefly.
Before September 11, 2001, no steel-framed high-rise building had ever been known to collapse from a fire. On 9/11, three did, including WTC Building 7, which was not struck by any planes or debris. Since 9/11, there have been no more such collapses. In 1991, a 38 floor building in Philadelphia was in flames for 18 hours, but never fell. A 2004 fire in a Venezuelan skyscraper raged on 26 different floors for more than 17 hours, but the building remained intact. In 2013, a high-rise in Chechnya burned for 29 hours without collapsing.
There are a multitude of photographic studies, still widely available on the internet, which show conclusively that the plane alleged to have struck the Pentagon simply couldn’t have done so. There should have been a great deal of debris seen in photos taken immediately afterward the crash. Instead, we see virtually nothing. Since the hole made from the impact of whatever hit the Pentagon is far too small to have been Flight 77, and there are no marks where the wings hit the building or any large chunks sheared off and left outside, we are left with an impossible resolution. If Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, what happened to the wings?
On this anniversary, the usual crowds will gather at New York’s Memorial Plaza. There will, as always, be an absolute absence of doubt about the official story. Such “negativity” will never be permitted at these ceremonies. The dead will be “honored” by an adherence to an impossible fairy tale. President Obama started his morning off by observing a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time when the first hijacked plane had hit the World Trade Center’s north tower. There will be no moments of skepticism, no moments of questioning the unending flaws in the official narrative, or the subsequent loss of our civil liberties.
The world did indeed “change forever” with the events of September 11, 2001. The already burgeoning authoritarianism in America greatly accelerated, resulting in the evolving police state we must presently endure. As President George W. Bush admonished us, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” In this new kind of “war,” every critic of the state, every individual or group that questions authority, becomes a potential “terrorist.” And we thought the old WWII veterans were unreasonable when they advised the hippies to “love or leave” America.
What has been constructed in the wake of 9/11 is more frightening than any images of crafty Muslims gathering secretly behind closed doors, plotting revenge in the name of Allah. Whether the constantly changing name of the enemy is Al Qaeda, Isis, Isil, or “Islamo-Fascists,” they don’t threaten our liberties, our rights, and our freedom the way our own leaders do.
Imagine life today, if the events of 9/11 had never occurred. No Patriot Act. No Homeland Security. No invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. No drones. No assassinations of American citizens, with the deplorable, ensuing boasting from the assassins. No smearing of any dissent with references to “terrorism” and how we must give up our liberties in order to stay secure. I believe Benjamin Franklin made an insightful remark about that a very long time ago.
If we can avoid getting caught up in the media-fueled emotion, it would be prudent to question what really happened that day. If we were lied to about the events of 9/11, that makes everything that resulted from those events at least as questionable. It’s a badge of honor to be a “truther,” or one who seeks the truth. If you aren’t a “truther,” then what are you?