Tag Archives: Washington D.C.

40 Hard Questions That The American People Should Be Asking Right Now

Repost from infowars.com: http://www.infowars.com/40-hard-questions-that-the-american-people-should-be-asking-right-now/

The Economic Collapse 
December 29, 2011

If you spend much time watching the mainstream news, then you know how incredibly vapid it can be.  It is amazing how they can spend so much time saying next to nothing.  There seems to be a huge reluctance to tackle the tough issues and the hard questions.  Perhaps I should be thankful for this, because if the mainstream media was doing their job properly, there would not be a need for the alternative media.  Once upon a time, the mainstream media had a virtual monopoly on the dissemination of news in the United States, but that has changed.  Thankfully, the Internet in the United States is free and open (at least for now) and people that are hungry for the truth can go searching for it.  Today, an increasing number of Americans want to understand why our economy is dying and why our national debt is skyrocketing.  An increasing number of Americans are deeply frustrated with what is going on in Washington D.C. and they are alarmed that we seem to get closer to becoming a totalitarian police state with each passing year.  People want real answers about our foreign policy, about our corrupt politicians, about our corrupt financial system, about our shocking moral decline and about the increasing instability that we are seeing all over the world, and they are not getting those answers from the mainstream media. If the mainstream media will not do it, then those of us in the alternative media will be glad to tackle the tough issues.  The following are 40 hard questions that the American people should be asking right now….

#1 If Iran tries to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, what will that do to the price of oil and what will that do to the global economy?

#2 If Iran tries to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, will the United States respond by launching a military strike on Iran?

#3 Why is the Federal Reserve bailing out Europe?  And why are so few members of Congress objecting to this?

#4 The U.S. dollar has lost well over 95 percent of its value since the Federal Reserve was created,  the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was created and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has a track record of incompetence that is absolutely mind blowing.  So what possible justification is there for allowing the Federal Reserve to continue to issue our currency and run our economy?

  • #5 Why does the euro keep dropping like a rock?  Is this a sign that Europe is heading for a major recession?

    #6 Why are European banks parkingrecord-setting amounts of cash at the European Central Bank?  Is this evidence that banks don’t want to lend to one another and that we are on the verge of a massive credit crunch?

    #7 If the European financial system is going to be just fine, then why is the UK government preparing feverishly for the collapse of the euro?

    #8 What did the head of the IMF mean when she recently said that we could soon see conditions “reminiscent of the 1930s depression“?

    #9 How in the world can Mitt Romney say with a straight face that the individual health insurance mandate that he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts was based on “conservative principles”?  Wouldn’t that make the individual mandate in Obamacare “conservative” as well?

    #10 If the one thing that almost everyone in the Republican Party seems to agree on is that Obamacare is bad, then why is the candidate that created the plan that much of Obamacare was based upon leading in so many of the polls?

    #11 What did Mitt Romney mean when he stated that he wants “to eliminate some of the differences, repeal the bad, and keep the good” in Obamacare?

    #12 If no Republican candidate is able to accumulate at least 50 percent of the delegates by the time the Republican convention rolls around, will that mean that the Republicans will have abrokered convention that will enable the Republican establishment to pick whoever they want as the nominee?

    #13 Why are middle class families being taxed into oblivion while the big oil companies receiveabout $4.4 billion in specialized tax breaks a year from the federal government?

    #14 Why have we allowed the “too big to fail” banks to become even larger?

    #15 Why has the United States had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976?

    #16 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of all jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.  How in the world could we allow that to happen?

    #17 If the United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, then why don’t our politicians do something about it?

    #18 If you can believe it, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have permanently closed down since 2001.  So exactly what does that say about our economy?

    #19 Why was the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall made in China?Wasn’t there anyone in America that could make it?

    #20 If low income jobs now account for 41 percent of all jobs in the United States, then how are we going to continue to have a vibrant middle class?

    #21 Why do the poor just keep getting poorer in the United States today?

    #22 How can the Obama administration be talking about an “economic recovery” when 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty?

    #23 Why has the number of new cars sold in the U.S. declined by about 50 percent since 1985?

    #24 How can we say that we have a successful national energy policy when the average American household will spend a whopping $4,155 on gasoline by the end of this year?

    #25 Why does it take gigantic mountains of money to get a college education in America today?  According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, total student loan debt in the United States will surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark in early 2012.  Isn’t there something very wrong about that?

    #26 Why do about a third of all U.S. states allow borrowers who don’t pay their bills to be put in jail?

    #27 If it costs tens of billions of dollars to take care of all of the illegal immigrants that are already in this country, why did the Obama administration go around Congress and grant “backdoor amnesty” to the vast majority of them?  Won’t that just encourage millions more to come in illegally?

    #28 Why are gun sales setting new all-time records in America right now?

    #29 Why are very elderly women being strip-searched by TSA agents at U.S. airports?  Does that really keep us any safer?

    #30 The last words of Steve Jobs were “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.“  What did he mean by that?

    #31 How in the world did scientists in Europe decide that it was a good idea for them to create a new “killer bird flu” that is very easy to pass from human to human?

    #32 If our founding fathers intended to set up a limited central government, then why does the federal government just continue to get bigger and bigger?

    #33 Are we on the verge of an absolutely devastating retirement crisis?  On January 1st, 2011 the very first of the Baby Boomers started to reach the age of 65.  Now more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will be turning 65 every single day for the next two decades.  So where in the world are we going to get all the money we need to pay them the retirement benefits that we have promised them?

    #34 If the federal government stopped all borrowing today and began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the U.S. national debt.  So does anyone out there actually still believe that the U.S. national debt will be paid off someday?

    #35 If the U.S. economy is getting better, then why are an all-time record 46 million Americans now on food stamps?

    #36 How can we say that we have the greatest economy on earth when we have a child poverty rate that is more than twice as high as France and one out of every four American children is on food stamps?

    #37 Since 1964, the reelection rate for members of the U.S. House of Representatives has never fallen below 85 percent.  So are the American people really that stupid that they would keep sending the exact same Congress critters back to Washington D.C. over and over and over?

    #38 What does it say about our society that nearly one-third of all Americans are arrested by the time they reach the age of 23?

    #39 Why do so many of our politicians think that it is a good idea to allow the U.S. military to arrest American citizens on American soil and indefinitely detain them without a trial?

    #40 A new bill being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would give the U.S. government power to shut down any website that is determined to “engage in, enable or facilitate” copyright infringement.  Many believe that the language of the new law is so vague that it would allow the government to permanently shut down any website that even links very briefly to “infringing material”.  Prominent websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube would be constantly in danger of being given a “death penalty”.  The American people need to ask their members of Congress this question: Do you plan to vote for SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act)?  If the answer is yes, that is a clear indication that you should never cast a single vote for that member of Congress ever again.

    So do you have answers to some of the questions posted above?

    Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….


Studies question effectiveness of sex offender laws

Why anyone would ever be surprised by this is a mystery. Law Can Not deter crime. The less of it the better. Most people know what is right and wrong. Adding endless penalties to try and deter them is unjustifiable. The problem is a system that is motivated by politics rather than letting a judge determine what sentence should be imposed. 

There are probably no more sex crimes today than ever but we are setting ourselves up for bigger problems when everyone is a sex offender including the 6th grade boy who snaps a girls bra in the lunch line. You Are All Criminals as far as your government is concerned. They pass thousands of new laws every year. Believe me when they want you they will already have you tried and convicted.

If you are a believer, it will probably be for a capital offense…that’s death penalty for those who don’t know. Hve a Good day in Amerika.

August 30, 2011

Two studies in the latest issue of the Journal of Law and Economics cast doubt on whether sex offender registry and notification laws actually work as intended.

One study, by J.J. Prescott of the University of Michigan and Johan Rockoff of Columbia University, found that requiring sex offenders to register with police may significantly reduce the chances that they will re-offend. However the research also finds that making that same registry information available to the broader public may backfire, leading to higher overall rates of sex crime.

Meanwhile, another study by University of Chicago Ph.D. student Amanda Agan finds no evidence that sex offender registries are at all effective in increasing public safety.

Prescott and Rockoff—Do Sex Offender Registries and Notification Laws Deter Crime?

Using data from 15 states over more than 10 years, Prescott and Rockoff examine the evolution of sex offense rates as states passed and began to enforce their registration and notification laws. Registration laws require that sex offenders check in with and provide information to the police following their release from prison, whereas notification laws make sex offender information available to the public, often via the Internet. The researchers analyze sex offender registration and notification laws separately, which is important because the laws are designed to work in very different ways.

Prescott and Rockoff find that a registration requirement without public notification reduces reported sex crime substantially, most likely through better police monitoring and more effective apprehension of recidivists. For a state with an average-sized registry, a registration requirement reduces crime by about 13 percent from the sample mean. The drop in crime gets larger as registries grow larger, indicating that registry laws lower crime by discouraging registered offenders from re-offending, as opposed to discouraging potential first-time offenders.

In contrast, public notification laws, such as the listing of released offenders on the Internet, may actually undo some or all of a registry’s crime-reducing power. While Prescott and Rockoff discover that the threat of being subjected to notification deters some potential first-time sex offenders from committing crime, released offenders appear to become more likely to do so. In fact, adding public notification to an average state’s registration law leads to slightly higher levels of total reported sex crime. Taken as a whole, the research shows that while police registration discourages sex offender recidivism, public notification actually encourages it.

Why would public notification encourage sex offenders to re-offend? Perhaps because they have little else to lose. In particular, notification can make the threat of prison less effective. According to Prescott and Rockoff, their findings suggest that “convicted sex offenders become more likely to commit crimes when their information is made public because the associated psychological, social, or financial costs make a crime-free life relatively less desirable.”

J.J. Prescott and Jonah E. Rockoff, “Do Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior?” Journal of Law and Economics 54:1

Amanda Agan—Sex Offender Registries: Fear Without Function?

Agan finds no evidence that sex offender registries are effective in increasing public safety.

Her study used three different types of analysis to test the effectiveness of sex offender laws. First, she compared arrest rates for sex crimes in each U.S. state before and after registry laws were implemented and found no appreciable changes in crime trends following the introduction of a registry.

Second, Agan tested whether registries discourage convicted offenders from re-offending. To do that, she looked at data on over 9,000 sex offenders released from prison in 1994. About half of those offenders were released into states where they needed to register, while the other half did not need to register. She could then compare crime rates in the two groups.

She found little difference in the two groups’ propensity to re-offend. In fact, those released into states without registration laws were slightly less likely to re-offend.

“The results show that an offender who should have had to register appears to behave no differently, or possibly worse, than on who did not have to register,” she writes. “If anything, registered offenders have higher rates of recidivism.”

Third, Agan looked at census blocks in Washington D.C. to see if higher numbers of sex offenders in a given block correspond to higher rates of sex crime arrests. She found that crime rates in general, and sex crimes in particular, do not vary according to the number of sex offenders in the area.

The block-by-block analysis was designed to assess “the potential effectiveness of registries by considering whether where offenders live is predictive of where they offend,” Agan writes.

“The results show that knowing where a sex offender lives does not reveal much about where sex crimes, or other crimes, will take place,” she writes. That result calls into question the rationale for creating registries in the first place.

She concludes that sex offender registries do little to increase public safety, “either in practice or in potential.”

Amanda Y. Agan, “Sex Offender Registries: Fear without Function?” Journal of Law and Economics 54:1.

Provided by University of Chicago


FDA uses KGB-style techniques to infiltrate raw dairy networks

FDA

NaturalNews exclusive: FDA wages secret war on raw milk farmers using KGB-style spying and infiltration techniques

Thursday, August 25, 2011
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com(See all articles…)

(NaturalNews) After weeks of investigation, NaturalNews can now reveal that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is waging a clandestine war on raw milk dairy farmers through a network of government spies who are coached on infiltration and social engineering techniques. Resembling the Stasi East German police or KGB of the former Soviet Union, these undercover FDA agents meet each month for a “spying roundtable”phone conferencecalled theRaw Milk Callduring which techniques of infiltration are openly discussed and encouraged.

NaturalNews can now reveal that the majority of these undercover FDA agents are women, who are more easily able to infiltrate the raw dairy community with techniques ofsocial engineering(see below).

The existence of this elaborate spying operation has been confirmed by NaturalNews through three different sources, all of which demanded anonymity as they fear being targeted by the FDA with armed raids, false arrest and destruction of their property, as we recently witnessed with the Rawesome Foods raid. One source told NaturalNews they feared the FDA would stage a Waco-style siege of their farm and invent some justification to assault their farmhouse and shoot them and their family. Yes, this is how much freedom has been lost in America today, wherefarmers are afraid to speak out for fear they might be killed.And yet, it’s not paranoia: They have legitimate reason to fear their own government is targeting them for termination.

Through these sources, NaturalNews has learned the FDA coaches its network of spies to engage in KGB-style social engineering techniques in order to win the trust of the very people it then targets for armed raids and arrest. Those techniques include:

• FDA agents visiting local farmers’ markets and gathering names of possible raw milk providers to be targeted.

• FDA agents calling those targets and trying to convince them to sell raw dairy products by telling “sob stories” of how they have a baby that can’t breastfeed, and they need raw goat’s milk to keep the baby alive. (This is why most undercover FDA agents are women — they make more convincing social engineers when it comes to issues like finding goat’s milk to feed babies.)

• FDA agents engage in name-dropping of others in the raw dairy community in order to imply trust. In California, for example, they might say, “I spoke with Mark McAfee at Organic Pastures, and he told me to talk to you.” This technique impresses the target, thinking they have been recommended by a big name in the raw dairy industry. In reality, the whole story is fiction and is just used by FDA spies to try to ensnare other raw dairy producers.

• FDA is building a secret government database of raw dairy customers. This is accomplished by training its spies and agents todemand the confiscation of customer listsfrom raw dairy farmers. Such lists are then delivered to FDA headquarters in Washington D.C. where they are added to a growing database of names,email addressesand sometimes even home addresses. It is not known what the FDA ultimately plans to do with this list.

• FDA pays huge sums of cash each month to various state agriculture departments, then sends top-level FDA infiltration agents to those states to train state-level agents in these same clandestine techniques. As one example, NaturalNews has learned the FDA currently pays the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture more than $80,000 a month for it to spend on these raw dairy spying and infiltration schemes. Shortly after the program was launched, FDA flew several of its top agents to Wisconsin to walk the local farmers’ markets with spies-in-training agents, teaching them spying and infiltration techniques in what was essentially a “Raw milk spy camp.”

• FDA agents have been well trained and schooled on runningelaborate entrapment schemeswhich are operated with the sole purpose of persuading small, local raw dairy farmers to break the law or violate FDA regulations so that the FDA can justify an armed raid on their farm operation.

• Many millions of dollars (NaturalNews could not get accurate numbers on the total expenditures) are being spent by the FDA on these spying and infiltration programs. None of these programs are reported to Congress. None are reported to the press. These are entirely “dark operations” conducted behind the scenes, with no official announcements, and with no desire to attract publicity of any kind. They are, essentially,secret warsbeing conducted against America’s farmers, with no congressional approval whatsoever.

• NaturalNews was told that FDA head Margaret Hamburg is not only authorizing these secret spying operations, but that she tooka personal rolein structuring the operations so that they would not be made public. NaturalNews has not yet been able to confirm this allegation, since obviously the FDA outright refuses to return our phone calls, insisting on operating entirely in secret.

• As part of its secret spying and social engineering effort, the FDA also runs anational farmer intimidation programwhere FDA agents dressed in what look like FBI or “agency” uniforms just show up at farmers’ homes and engage inverbal intimidationin order to dissuade farmers from producing or marketing raw dairy products. This is done without a warrant and completely outside the law. Farmers are routinely told thatif they talk about this, they will be targeted with armed raids.

• One farmer was told, “If you go public with this, we will come back and have your entire herd destroyed by claiming your cows are infected with mad cow disease.” This is a classic secret police-style intimidation technique, and it explains why so few raw dairy farmers have been willing to step forward and go public with their stories. One sheep farmer was already targeted and had his entire flock of sheepmurdered by the FDAworking in conspiracy with state agriculture officials, under the false pretense that the sheep were infected. This particular instance is covered in the film Farmageddon, at http://www.FarmageddonMovie.com

• FDA officials have stated, during these monthly “Raw Milk Calls,” that their goal is the complete destruction of the raw dairy industry in the United States, and that achieving this goal was a top priority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

• FDA has also stated that it plans to use the increased funding provided to it under the Food Safety Modernization Act toexpand its secret spying and infiltration networkand train even more spies to entrap and intimidate raw dairy farmers.

• Many of the people now attempting to join raw milk buying clubs and meet-up groups are actuallyundercover FDA agentswho are gathering names, emails, addresses and other “evidence” to be used to justify future armed FDA raids. National lists are being drawn up and prioritized to create “hit lists” of farms to raid under the Food Safety Modernization Act.

• Salaries and bonuses of clandestine FDA employees are raised based on the “performance” of how many raw dairy operations are shut down, how many customer names are confiscated, successful raw milk “buys” and other key milestones of oppression and tyranny that are set by the FDA. In this way, FDA agents are financially rewarded based on the number of American farmers they crush.

The FDA’s secret war reveals how the U.S. government is headed toward total police state tyranny

That this situation exists in the United States today is a disturbing and powerful commentary onthe runaway power of regulatory agencieswhich have essentially built their ownlawless kingdomsof power, subject to no law and no checks or balances.

The FDA, in particular, simplywrites its own lawwithout any congressional approval whatsoever. It wages its own secret wars, runs its own spy network and is essentially rising up to become its ownsecret police organization(or terrorist group). None of this has ever been approved by Congress. The head of the FDA is not elected by the voters. And President Obama is either unaware that all this is going on or refuses to do anything about it. (President Bush did nothing about it, either, and you can bet that unless the next President is Ron Paul, this same look-the-other-way attitude will continue at the White House).

The FDA, notably, far from protecting Americans from dangerous foods and drugs, now seesthe people as the enemyand spends an inordinate amount of its time and money waging secret spying campaigns and plotting armed raids against innocents. If this rise to power continues, the FDA will effectively becomethe KGB of agriculture, eventually wielding its own firearms and running terror-style hit-and-run assaults on people engaged in small-scale organic farming, gardening or raw dairy production. This is, essentially,all-out war against the American people, and it’s all being funded by your taxpayer dollars and carried out with the full tolerance of the President himself.

President Obama could put a stop to this if he wanted to. The FDA could be reeled in and de-funded. It could be split into two separate agencies: Foods, and then Drugs as a separate agency. Congress could pass a “food freedom rights” law that guarantees the protection of farmers (of course, the FDA would probably just ignore it, as the agency respects absolutely no law whatsoever).

The growing revolt against the FDA’s war on innocents

NaturalNews has learned, through its own network of informants, that the most likely outcome of all this is agrowing citizens’ revolt against FDA tyranny. While this revolt is so far focused on peaceful protest and non-violent resistance against the FDA’s secret war on Americans, it is my personal belief that at some point we will witness an escalation where FDA agents who are discovered and “outed” wind up shot in the head, or farmers begin to fight back and defend their farms against FDA raids through the use of firearms — which is, of course, their right.

That’s the whole point of the Second Amendment, of course: To give the citizens of America a fighting chance against oppressive government. This is why the right to own firearms was specifically placed in the Bill of Rights, just after the right to Free Speech. It was not put there as a right to go hunting or to engage in “sport” shooting. It was written there specifically as a way for the citizens to protect themselves from government tyrants who, throughout history, have always — always! — overstepped their bounds to become tyrannical, oppressive regimes that end up using guns against innocent citizens.

It is only the mass armament of the People that creates the ultimate “balance” of keeping government power in check. When the FDA enforces its criminal agenda through the threat of guns, it is up to the People to invoke their own Second Amendment protections in response and present an armed, lawful, protective resistance against tyranny that tells the FDA, “If you continue down this path, you will be fired upon.”

I believe we are very close to entering the age ofa shooting warbetween farmers and the FDA. I would encourage the FDA agents who are no doubt reading this to strongly consider: Is your war against raw milk worthrisking your life?

Here at NaturalNews, we do not want to see this situation devolve into a shooting war, and yet, asPresident John F. Kennedy famously said: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Unless the FDA backs off from these secret police tactics, in other words, the agency can expect to be dealing with a whole new problem: Lead poisoning. This is the FDA’s own fault, of course. When farmers are stripped of their God-given right to produce honest food and sell it to their neighbors, and when they are treated like criminals and terrorists by an out-of-control, rogue federal agency that respects no law and no rights, it is only a matter of time before some of these farmers are driven to the point of shooting back. And I dare say, farmers are far better shots than FDA agents.

Help us end this insanity by leaking intel

NaturalNews has already received information hinting that even many agents within the FDA are fed up with the agency’s illegal war on farmers. If you work for the FDA, or with the FDA, or participated in FDA raids in any way, and if you have intelligence that needs to be made public to help end this secret war, NaturalNews will protect your anonymity, just as we have the other sources who provided intelligence for this story.

You may submit tips to us at: http://www.naturalnews.com/newstips/NewsTips.asp

Our goal is to see the FDA’s war exposed, to see Congress take action to halt the FDA’s actions, and to see the rights of farmers protected under law. We do not wish to see this escalate into the violence that now seems likely.

Obviously, do not submit tips to us from your work computer, because that can be tracked. Use an internet cafe so that your IP address cannot be tracked by anyone. Do NOT include your real name, and if you give us an email address, make sure it is an anonymous email that would not link back to your actual name or work location. Remember: The government is also tracking and reading your emails, so take all necessary steps to protect your privacy and safety. We are, after all, dealing with a terrorist organization in the FDA. The FDA may stop at nothing to protect its power and continue waging its war on American farmers.

NaturalNews is actively gathering and distributing intelligence on this situation, publicizing the truth that the FDA wants to keep secret — that it is waging a clandestine, illegal war against America’s farmers, using Stasi-style, or KGB-inspired secret police tactics combined with the threat of violence to crush resistance. This isa campaign of terrorismbeing waged against innocent farmers in America, and it is a sign of a government out of control… a government which, in many ways, has becomean enemy of the Peopleand an enemy of freedom.

The FDA wants MORE power

And the FDA is just getting warmed up. Once the new funding from the Food Safety Modernization Act kicks in, this agency promises to unleash an army of new agents to sweep across the countryside, detaining gardeners and small farmers, demanding “show me your papers!” Meanwhile, its agents will be terrorizing, intimidating and threatening everyone except the big agriculture giants which are always exempt from government scrutiny (even though they are the ones causing all the food safety problems in the first place).

If the FDA is not stopped, it is positioned to rise up as the most dangerous government-run terrorist organization America has ever seen. Already responsible for the death of at least 100,000 Americans each year who die from taking FDA-approved medications, this agency is now hell bent ondestroying an entire food-producing industrywhile exploiting the most insidious tactics of intimidation and oppression that have ever been used throughout the world’s most criminal regimes: Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler and others.

We are watching the history of tyrannical government oppression repeat itself here, and just as Mao murdered hundreds of thousands of intellectuals, and Hitler gassed millions of Jews, the FDA is determined to silence and destroy the livelihoods of countless American farmers who are only guilty of “weapons of mass nutrition.” (http://counterthink.com/Rawesome_Foods.asp)

May God help us all. What we need to see right now is the Dept. of Justice conducting anarmed raid on the FDA, arresting all the top FDA officials and charging them withcriminal conspiracyto deprive American farmers of their rights.

Only then can we see justice served in America… and the rights of a free people protected under law.

Sources for this story

This story is triple-sourced. The identity of the sources shall remain protected by NaturalNews, as they rightfully fear for their lives. The FDA has already indicated it will engage in mob hits and terrorist-style actions to censor those who speak out.


Drunk Driving and ‘Pre-Crime’?

by Eric Peters
EricPetersAutos.com

Pre-crime used to be a sci-fi literature concept. But it’s already our everyday reality. The fallout from the shooting in Tucson is going to make that very clear, very soon.

But first, consider “drunk” driving.

There was a time, long ago, when a driver had to actually cause an accident – or at least, do something tangible that gave evidence of actually impaired driving, such as weaving over the double yellow or limping along at suspiciously slow speed. This was the probable cause needed by a cop to pull the suspect over.

Fair enough.

Then in the ’90s we got (courtesy of Clintigula) the criminalization of drinking– irrespective of our actual driving. The mere presence of trace amounts of alcohol in one’s blood became sufficient to arrest a person for “drunk” driving – even though all the person did was run afoul of a notoriously unreliable Breathalyzer machine.

It did not matter that people process alcohol differently; that some people are much better drivers even with a little booze in their systems than others are completely sober. And more besides.

Result?

Most people now equate having “x” amount of alcohol in your system – in ever-declining percentages – with “drunk driving.” It is an epic victory of demagoguery and propaganda.

And it is also by definition an example of pre-crime. You haven’t done anything – but you’re in trouble because of what you might do.

Many readers will clamp shut their brains right about now and accuse me of defending mayhem and irresponsibility – which is proof they’ve bought into the pre-crime argument at the deepest level possible.

The merest potential connection; the flimsiest hint of possibility, no matter how tenuous or stretched. It’s now all you need to be regarded as having actually done something.

And to be treated accordingly.

Having implanted itself deeply in the American mindset, we shall soon see an expansion of the principle.

Already, less than a week after the fruitcake in Tucson did his thing, we have lawmakers equating criticism of the government or its representatives with acts of violence against the government and its representatives. It does not matter that the fruitcake did his deed because he’s a fruitcake, or that we have laws on the books to prosecute actions such as murder.

Soon, what will matter is what you think – and more, what others (those in power) think your thoughts might lead to.

To give voice to a sentiment such as “the government is corrupt and something needs to done,” will amount to evidence of advocating violence – perhaps even of committing violence – much as a motorist who has consumed an arbitrary amount of alcohol is ipso facto a drunk driver.

Consider: You are liable to arrest for “drunk driving” in America today even if you aren’t driving at all. You merely have to be in your car – even if you’re in the passenger seat and the car is parked. People who have had one too many and decided to sleep it off in their car have been arrested for DWI just the same as if they had been straddling the double yellow at 65 MPH with a gin and tonic in one hand and their left leg hanging out the window.

The courts have said that drinking “x” amount of alcohol not only defines “impairment” – it also amounts to intent to drive drunk, whether you’re driving or not. And that intent – imputed, perceived, ginned-up out of nothingness – is what matters.

Is it really a great leap to imagine that political speech – hatriolic speech, as it is being styled – will soon be treated the same way? That to say or even to think something – anything – that smacks of criticism of government and its flunkies will shortly be regarded as tantamount to shooting people?

Gun laws – and the TSA – already operate on this principle.

You have no record of criminal misconduct or mental illness. You’re a taxpayer, a responsible citizen. Yet in several states (and of course, Washington, D.C.) you’re assumed to have criminal intent, and thus, denied the right to own a firearm. If you possess one anyway – even if you have done nothing with it to harm or even threaten to harm another person – then you’re subject to being cuffed and stuffed just the same as if you had actually used it to threaten or harm others.

Pre-crime again.

The TSA subjects people at random – and en masse – to rough and humiliating searches, including invasive physical pat downs, just like cops do to felony suspects. Not because of anything they’ve actually done or even hinted they may do but only because the TSA apes impute “terrorist intent” to anyone who desires to travel by commercial airplane.

Ipso facto.

Just like having a drink before you drive makes you a “drunk” driver – no matter how good your actual driving happens to be.

We’ve upended perhaps the most basic concept of Western jurisprudence – that for there to be a crime, or wrongdoing, there must be an actual criminal act, or wrongdoing.

But a society that embraced the tar baby of pre-emptive wars should not be surprised to wake up one day to find it is now also snuggling the concept of pre-crime – with all its consequences. God bless America. Land of the Free.

January 15, 2011

Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website.

Copyright © 2011 Eric Peters

Throw it in the Woods?



Of Urgent Concern To All Who Claim To Love Freedom of Speech!!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Bradley Manning Support Network Condemns Unjust Detainment of Activist

MEDIA:
Mike Gogulski, Steering Committee, Bradley Manning Support Network press@bradleymanning.org

Washington, DC, November 10, 2010 – Last week, David House, a developer working with the Bradley Manning Support Network, was detained and had his computer seized by the FBI when returning from a vacation in Mexico. He committed no crime, nor was he ever alleged to have committed a crime. He was questioned extensively about his support for alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning, who has been imprisoned at Quantico for over 160 days.

This invasive search is of great concern to all Americans who value the Constitutionally-protected rights to free speech and free assembly. The campaign to free Bradley Manning – which has garnered the support of tens of thousands of individuals from across the United States and the world – is rooted in a belief that government transparency is key to a healthy democracy. Our network stands firm in support of alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning and has raised over $80,000 for his defense. If he is a source for documents published by WikiLeaks illuminating the campaign of disinformation about US foreign wars, then Manning deserves the gratitude of the entire nation.

House sent an email to the Network describing his detainment, saying that, “My computer, video camera, and flash drive were confiscated, leaving me in a tough spot in terms of research obligations; the reason for the seizure, said the officials, was ‘border search.'”

The FBI denied House’s requests to have a copy of his research data. This seems to be part of a disturbing trend of intimidation and property seizure being carried out against activists critical of US policies, including the detainment and laptop seizure of activist Jacob Applebaum in July and the September 24th FBI raids against antiwar and social justice activists.

House has not been charged with a crime.

“I try to be as even-handed as possible, but based on the subject of the search I can’t help but feel that this constitutes a form of intimidation,” wrote House in an email to the Network, “I feel as though the DHS has turned to harassing the friends and supporters of Bradley Manning in a potential attempt to disrupt our abilities to run a legal defense network.”

The Bradley Manning Support Network denounces this recent attempt by the FBI to intimidate its supporters. Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime, and neither is standing up for Bradley Manning.

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