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items tagged with surveillance

No Matter Who Wins the White House, the New Boss Will Be the Same as the Old Boss
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2015-04-23 11:38:58
“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” – Author Tom Clancy

The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us. Yet no matter who wins this next presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we – the permanent underclass in America – will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private.

Indeed, it really doesn’t matter what you call them – the 1 percent, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex – so long as you understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2017, the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to do so.

Consider the following a much-needed reality check, an antidote, if you will, against an overdose of over-hyped campaign announcements, lofty electoral promises, and meaningless patriotic sentiments that land us right back in the same prison cell.

Fact: For the first time in history, a majority of members of Congress are millionaires, and U.S. representatives and senator are, on average, 14 times wealthier than the average American. According to a scientific study by Princeton researchers, the United States of America is not the democracy that it purports to be, but rather an oligarchy, in which “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy.”

Fact: “Today, 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear, and armored vehicles,” reports Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the treasury. “Some have tanks.”

Fact: Thanks to an overabundance of 4,500-plus federal crimes and 400,000-plus rules and regulations, it is estimated that the average American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. According to law professor John Baker, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime. That is not an exaggeration.”


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Ted Rall: Privacy for Cops
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2015-04-17 18:17:18



Ted Rall: Not Even a Hint of Irony
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2015-03-12 15:41:35



Forced Blood Draws, DNA Collection, and Biometric Scans: What Country Is This?
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2015-03-04 14:35:56
“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway, and jail official. The framers would be appalled.” – Herman Schwartz, The Nation

Our freedoms – especially the Fourth Amendment – are being choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, Taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.

Forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, forced inclusion in biometric databases – these are just a few ways in which Americans are being forced to accept that we have no control over what happens to our bodies during an encounter with government officials.

Worse, on a daily basis, Americans are being made to relinquish the most intimate details of who we are – our biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.) – to clear the nearly insurmountable hurdle that increasingly defines life in the United States: We are all guilty until proven innocent.


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1984 and Counting
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Letters to the Editor

2015-02-10 14:53:43

Like most people, I was stunned to hear about the Edward Snowden incident and PRISM. That whole story was like an upside-down Escher painting. Snowden eventually immigrated to one of the most totalitarian, repressive nations on the planet. Isn’t that just the craziest thing?

The disclosure of federal eavesdropping was a revelation that certainly grabbed our attention. Just think: At this very moment my every keystroke is being monitored. And if I get a phone call the NSA might find out that Maria wants to get back together again, but just for tonight.

Seriously? I could give a damn about Big Brother. The government can read my mail for all I care. The Snowden affair was compelling news, yes, but the only people who should really be concerned are terrorists and drug dealers. Possibly the governor of Illinois.


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