Kiss the Founding Fathers, your freedom of speech, religion and due process goodbye. There are growing calls for the removal, restriction and banning of ideas, speech and history the State considers ‘dangerous’.
No point to adding any comment to the following news stories, which are the fruits of Fundamental Transformation, except to say that the massive support for the self-admitted Fabian Socialist/Communist Bernie Sanders makes sense when you come to grips with the fact we have lost the country.
What First Amendment? The State will tell you what is permitted speech from now on.
Not only has free speech become a four-letter word—profane, obscene, uncouth, not to be uttered in so-called public places—but in more and more cases, the government deems free speech to be downright dangerous and in some instances illegal.
The U.S. government has become particularly intolerant of speech that challenges the government’s power, reveals the government’s corruption, exposes the government’s lies, and encourages the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices.
Indeed, there is a long and growing list of the kinds of speech that the government considers dangerous enough to red flag and subject to censorship, surveillance, investigation and prosecution: hate speech, bullying speech, intolerant speech, conspiratorial speech, treasonous speech, threatening speech, incendiary speech, inflammatory speech, radical speech, anti-government speech, right-wing speech, extremist speech, etc.
Yet by allowing the government to whittle away at cherished First Amendment freedoms—which form the backbone of the Bill of Rights—we have evolved into a society that would not only be abhorrent to the founders of this country but would be hostile to the words they used to birth this nation.
Don’t believe me?
Conduct your own experiment into the government’s tolerance of speech that challenges its authority, and see for yourself.
Stand on a street corner—or in a courtroom, at a city council meeting or on a university campus—and recite some of the rhetoric used by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, John Adams and Thomas Paine without referencing them as the authors.
For that matter, just try reciting the Declaration of Independence, which rejects tyranny, establishes Americans as sovereign beings, recognizes God as a Supreme power, portrays the government as evil, and provides a detailed laundry list of abuses that are as relevant today as they were 240 years ago.
My guess is that you won’t last long before you get thrown out, shut up, threatened with arrest or at the very least accused of being a radical, a troublemaker, a sovereign citizen, a conspiratorialist or an extremist.
Try suggesting, as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin did, that Americans should not only take up arms but be prepared to shed blood in order to protect their liberties, and you might find yourself placed on a terrorist watch list and vulnerable to being rounded up by government agents.
“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms,” declared Jefferson. He also concluded that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Observed Franklin: “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”
Better yet, try suggesting as Thomas Paine, Marquis De Lafayette, John Adams and Patrick Henry did that Americans should, if necessary, defend themselves against the government if it violates their rights, and you will be labeled a domestic extremist.
“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government,” insisted Paine. “When the government violates the people’s rights,” Lafayette warned, “insurrection is, for the people and for each portion of the people, the most sacred of the rights and the most indispensable of duties.” Adams cautioned, “A settled plan to deprive the people of all the benefits, blessings and ends of the contract, to subvert the fundamentals of the constitution, to deprive them of all share in making and executing laws, will justify a revolution.” And who could forget Patrick Henry with his ultimatum: “Give me liberty or give me death!”
Then again, perhaps you don’t need to test the limits of free speech for yourself. One such test is playing out before our very eyes in Portland, Oregon, where radio “shock jock” Pete Santilli, a new media journalist who broadcasts his news reports over YouTube and streaming internet radio, is sitting in jail.
Santilli, notorious for his controversial topics, vocal outrage over government abuses, and inflammatory rhetoric, is not what anyone would consider an objective reporter. His radio show, aptly titled “Telling You the Truth…Whether You Like It or Not,” makes it clear that Santilli has a viewpoint (namely, that the government has overstepped its bounds), and he has no qualms about sharing it with his listeners.
It was that viewpoint that landed Santilli in jail.
In early January 2016, a group of armed activists, reportedly protesting the federal government’s management of federal lands and its prosecution of two local ranchers convicted of arson, staged an act of civil disobedience by occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon. Santilli, who has covered such protests in the past, including the April 2014 standoff in Nevada between the Bundy ranching family and the federal government over grazing rights, reported on the occupation in Burns as an embedded journalist, albeit one who was sympathetic to the complaints (although not the tactics) of the occupiers.
When asked to clarify his role in relation to the occupation, Santilli declared, “My role is the same here that it was at the Bundy ranch. To talk about the constitutional implications of what is going on here. The Constitution cannot be negotiated.”
Well, it turns out that the Constitution can be negotiated, at least when the government gets involved.
Long a thorn in the side of the FBI, Santilli was arrested by the FBI following its ambush and arrest of key leaders of the movement. He was charged, along with the armed resistors, with conspiracy to impede federal officers from discharging their duties by use of force, intimidation, or threats—the same charge being levied against those who occupied the refuge—which carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison.
Notably, Santilli is the only journalist among those covering the occupation to be charged with conspiracy, despite the fact that he did not participate in the takeover of the refuge, nor did he ever spend a night on the grounds of the refuge, nor did he ever represent himself as anything but a journalist covering the occupation.
Of course, the government doesn’t actually believe that 50-year-old Santilli is an accomplice to any criminal activity.
Read between the lines and you’ll find that what the government is really accusing Santilli of is employing dangerous speech. As court documents indicate, the government is prosecuting Santilli solely as a reporter of information. In other words, they’re making an example of him, which is consistent with the government’s ongoing efforts to intimidate members of the media who portray the government in a less than favorable light.
…That the government is choosing to target Santilli for prosecution, despite the fact that they do not recognize new media journalists as members of the mainstream media, signals a broadening of the government’s efforts to suppress what it considers dangerous speech and stamp out negative coverage.The message is clear: whether a journalist is acting alone or is affiliated with an established news source, the government has no qualms about subjecting them to harassment, arrest, jail time and trumped up charges if doing so will discourage others from openly opposing or exposing the government.
You see, the powers-that-be understand that if the government can control speech, it controls thought and, in turn, it can control the minds of the citizenry.
Where the government has gone wrong is in hinging its case against Santilli based solely on his incendiary rhetoric, which is protected by the First Amendment and which bears a striking resemblance to disgruntled patriots throughout American history.
Here’s what Santilli said: “What we need, most importantly, is one hundred thousand unarmed men and women to stand together. It is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal.”
Now compare that with the call to action from Joseph Warren, a leader of the Sons of Liberty and a principal figure within the American Revolution: “Stain not the glory of your worthy ancestors, but like them resolve never to part with your birthright; be wise in your deliberations, and determined in your exertions for the preservation of your liberties. Follow not the dictates of passion, but enlist yourselves under the sacred banner of reason; use every method in your power to secure your rights.”
Indeed, Santilli comes across as relatively docile compared to some of our nation’s more outspoken firebrands.
Santilli: “I’m not armed. I am armed with my mouth. I’m armed with my live stream. I’m armed with a coalition of like-minded individuals who sit at home and on YouTube watch this.”
Now compare that to what George Washington had to say: “Unhappy it is, though, to reflect that a brother’s sword has been sheathed in a brother’s breast and that the once-happy plains of America are either to be drenched with blood or inhabited by slaves. Sad alternative! But can a virtuous man hesitate in his choice?”
And then there was Andrew Jackson, a hothead if ever there was one. He came of age in the early days of the republic, served as the seventh president of the United States, and was not opposed to shedding blood when necessary: “Peace, above all things, is to be desired, but blood must sometimes be spilled to obtain it on equable and lasting terms.”
This is how freedom rises or falls.
There have always been those willing to speak their minds despite the consequences. Where freedom hangs in the balance is when “we the people” are called on to stand with or against individuals who actually exercise their rights and, in the process, push the envelope far enough to get called out on the carpet for it.
Do we negotiate the Constitution, or do we embrace it, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel, no matter how hateful or ugly it gets, and no matter how much we may dislike its flag-bearers?
Comedian Lenny Bruce laid the groundwork for the George Carlins that would follow in his wake: foul-mouthed, insightful, irreverent, incredibly funny, and one of the First Amendment’s greatest champions who dared to “speak the unspeakable” about race, religion, sexuality and politics. As Village Voice writer Nat Hentoff attests, Bruce was “not only a paladin of free speech but also a still-penetrating, woundingly hilarious speaker of truth to the powerful and the complacent.”
Bruce died in 1966, but not before being convicted of alleged obscenity for challenging his audience’s covert prejudices by brandishing unmentionable words that, if uttered today, would not only get you ostracized but could get you arrested and charged with a hate crime. Hentoff, who testified in Bruce’s defense at his trial, recounts that Lenny used to say, “What I wanted people to dig is the lie. Certain words were suppressed to keep the lie going. But if you do them, you should be able to say the words.”
Not much has changed in the 50 years since Bruce died. In fact, it’s gotten worse.
What we’re dealing with today is a government that wants to suppress dangerous words—words about its warring empire, words about its land grabs, words about its militarized police, words about its killing, its poisoning and its corruption—in order to keep its lies going.
As I document in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, what we are witnessing is a nation undergoing a nervous breakdown over this growing tension between our increasingly untenable reality and the lies being perpetrated by a government that has grown too power-hungry, egotistical, militaristic and disconnected from its revolutionary birthright.
The only therapy is the truth and nothing but the truth.
Otherwise, there will be no more First Amendment. There will be no more Bill of Rights. And there will be no more freedom in America as we have known it.
Speaking against the government is now an act of terrorism according to the Federal Government.
Many of us saw it coming a long time ago — increasing confrontation between liberty proponents and the corrupt federal establishment leading to increasing calls by political elites and bureaucrats to apply to American citizens the terrorism countermeasures designed for foreign combatants. It was only a matter of time and timing.
My stance has always been that the elites would wait until there was ample social and political distraction; a fog of fear allowing them to move more aggressively against anti-globalists. We are not quite there yet, but the ground is clearly being prepared.
Economic uncertainty looms large over our fiscal structure today, more so even than in 2008. Global instability is rampant, with Europe at the forefront as mass migrations of “refugees” invade wholesale. At best, most of them intend to leach off of the EU’s already failing socialist welfare structure while refusing to integrate or respect western social principles. At worst, a percentage of these migrants are members of ISIS with the goals of infiltration, disruption and coordinated destruction.
With similar immigration and transplantation measures being applied to the U.S. on a smaller scale (for now) the ISIS plague will inevitably hit our shores in a manner that will undoubtedly strike panic in the masses. I believe 2016 will be dubbed the “year of the terrorist,” and ISIS will not be the only “terrorists” in the spotlight.
While scanning the pages of mainstream propaganda machines like Reuters, I came across this little gem of an article, which outlines plans by the U.S. Justice Department to apply existing enemy combatant laws used against ISIS terrorists and their supporters to “domestic extremists,” specifically mentioning the Bundy takeover of the federal refuge in Burns, Oregon as an example.
“Extremist groups motivated by a range of U.S.-born philosophies present a “clear and present danger,” John Carlin, the Justice Department’s chief of national security, told Reuters in an interview. “Based on recent reports and the cases we are seeing, it seems like we’re in a heightened environment.”
“Clear and present danger” is a vital phrase implemented in this statement from Carlin and he used it quite deliberately. It refers to something called the “clear and present danger doctrine or test,” a doctrine rarely used except during times of mass panic, such as during WWI and WWII. The doctrine applies specifically to the removal of 1st Amendment rights of free speech during moments of “distress.”
What does this mean, exactly? “Clear and present danger” is a legal mechanism by which the government claims the right not only to prosecute or destroy enemies of the state, but also anyone who publicly supports those same enemies through speech or writing.
Recently, the prospect of allowing the Federal Communications Commission to target and shut down websites related to ISIS has been fielded by congressional representatives. Many people have warned against this as setting a dangerous precedent by which the government could be given free license to censor and silence ANY websites they deem “harmful” to the public good, even those not tied to ISIS in any way.
Of course, overt hatred of Islamic extremism amongst conservatives is at Defcon 1 right now, and with good reason. Unfortunately, this may lead constitutional conservatives, the most stalwart proponents of free speech, to mistakenly set the stage for the erasure of free speech rights all in the name of stopping ISIS activity. The greatest proponents of constitutional liberties could very well become the greatest enemies of constitutional liberties if they fall for the ploy set up by the establishment.
The Reuters article outlines the future implications quite plainly:
The U.S. State Department designates international terrorist organizations to which it is illegal to provide “material support.” No domestic groups have that designation, helping to create a disparity in charges faced by international extremist suspects compared to domestic ones.
It has been applied in 58 of the government’s 79 Islamic State cases since 2014 against defendants who engaged in a wide range of activity, from traveling to Syria to fight alongside Islamic State to raising money for a friend who wished to do so.
Prosecutors can bring “material support” terrorism charges against defendants who aren’t linked to groups on the State Department’s list, but they have only done so twice against non-jihadist suspects since the law was enacted in 1994. The law, which prohibits supporting people who have been deemed to be terrorists by their actions, carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.”
The Justice Department goes on to explain that they are “exploring” options to make “material support” charges more applicable to “domestic extremists.”
So what constitutes “material support?” Well, as mentioned earlier, John Carlin just told us. His use of the phrase “clear and present danger” denotes that 1st Amendment speech will be restricted, ostensibly because some speech will be labeled “material support” of terrorist organizations. The liberty movement, likely in the near future, is about to be outwardly defined by the establishment as a terrorist movement, and those who support it through speech will be designated as material supporters of said terrorism.
To be utterly clear, this could apply to any and everyone who promotes anti-government sentiments online, and will likely be aimed more prominently at liberty analysts and journalists. The argument for this move is rather humorous in my view — bureaucrats and others complain that it is “not fair” that Islamic terrorists are being treated more harshly than “white rural domestic extremists” and that material support laws should be enforced against everyone equally.
Yes, that’s right, the 1st Amendment is under threat because the Justice Department does not want to appear “racist.” At least, that is their public excuse…
Will this all take place in a vacuum? Of course not. Something terrible is brewing. Another Oklahoma City-stye bombing, perhaps. Or a standoff gone horribly awry. The standoff in Oregon continues without Ammon Bundy and is about to get worse in the next week according to my information (you will see what I mean). The point is, the narrative is being finalized in preparation for whatever trigger events may be in store, and that narrative closely associates ISIS with liberty activists as being in the same category.
“As law enforcement experts confront domestic militia groups, “sovereign citizens” who do not recognize government authority, and other anti-government extremists, they also face a heightened threat from Islamic extremists like the couple who carried out the Dec. 2 shootings in San Bernardino, California.”
This is why I have consistently argued against giving any extra-judicial powers to our already bloated federal system. I am a staunch opponent of Islamic immigration and terrorism, but some people are so desperate to fight one monster that they are willing to give unlimited powers to another monster thinking it will give their minds ease. These people are fools, and they are putting the rest of us at risk.
If you want to fight ISIS, then fight them yourself. Do not give the same government that helped create ISIS and then deliberately transplanted them to Europe and the U.S. even more legal authority over our lives to supposedly “stop” ISIS. This would be absurd.
In the meantime, I would point out that regardless of how the federal government wishes to label us, the liberty movement could not be more different from the Islamic State.
- We don’t enjoy covert funding and training from the government at large as ISIS does. (Though according to leftists, we all take our marching orders from the Koch Brothers).
- Most of us were born in this country and are rather attached to it.
- ISIS fights to dismantle traditional Western values. We fight to restore traditional Western values, and we will not only fight ISIS but also cultural Marxists and collectivists who share the same disdain for liberty.
- Many of us are far better trained than ISIS goons, so if anything, we are a more severe threat to the enemies of free society. (We actually look down our sights when we shoot rather than hiding behind cars with the rifle over our head and squatting like a constipated dog. We can also operate their AK-47s better than they can).
- We are as opposed to Sharia Law as we are to martial law. In fact, we see them as essentially the same unacceptable circumstance.
- We don’t cannibalize our enemies. (Who would want to take a bite out of Henry Kissinger’s spleen?)
- We might look down on the insane ramblings of today’s feminists, but at least we would not stone them, enforce female circumcision, then rape them, then throw acid in their faces, then slap a hijab on them and take away their driver’s licenses. So maybe, just maybe, we toxic masculine conservative barbarians aren’t as bad as they seem to think we are.
- We understand that black pajamas are not the best camouflage, but ISIS may have better fashion sense than we do.
- Our beards are all-American. Their beards are just plain creepy.
- They fight to be martyred. We fight to win.
When all is said and done, who is the greater threat to you and your freedoms? A psychotic theocrat that has taken his religion so far into the forbidden zone that any evil, no matter how heinous, is justified through the circular logic of zealotry? The criminal government that funded that psycho, trained him, slapped a rocket launcher in his hands and then gave him a free plane ride to your favorite shopping mall? Or, some weirdo that stores lots of food and gas masks in his basement and every once in a while talks to you about 9/11? Come on, think about it…