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June 10, 2019

Tread cautiously: the fiction of George Orwell has become an operation manual for the omnipresent, modern-day surveillance state. It’s been 70 years since Orwell—dying, beset by fever and bloody coughing fits, and driven to warn against the rise of a society in which rampant abuse of power and mass manipulation are the norm—depicted the ominous rise of ubiquitous technology, fascism and totalitarianism in 1984. Who could have predicted that 70 years after Orwell typed the final words to his dystopian novel, “He loved Big Brother,” we would fail to heed his warning and come to love Big Brother.

June 10, 2019

Tread cautiously: the fiction of George Orwell has become an operation manual for the omnipresent, modern-day surveillance state. It’s been 70 years since Orwell—dying, beset by fever and bloody coughing fits, and driven to warn against the rise of a society in which rampant abuse of power and mass manipulation are the norm—depicted the ominous rise of ubiquitous technology, fascism and totalitarianism in 1984. Who could have predicted that 70 years after Orwell typed the final words to his dystopian novel, “He loved Big Brother,” we would fail to heed his warning and come to love Big Brother.

June 05, 2019

Those who seek to exercise their First Amendment rights during encounters with the police are increasingly finding that there is no such thing as freedom of speech. This is the painful lesson being imparted with every incident in which someone gets arrested and charged with any of the growing number of contempt charges (ranging from resisting arrest and interference to disorderly conduct, obstruction, and failure to obey a police order) that get trotted out anytime a citizen voices discontent with the government or challenges or even questions the authority of the powers-that-be.

June 05, 2019

Those who seek to exercise their First Amendment rights during encounters with the police are increasingly finding that there is no such thing as freedom of speech. This is the painful lesson being imparted with every incident in which someone gets arrested and charged with any of the growing number of contempt charges (ranging from resisting arrest and interference to disorderly conduct, obstruction, and failure to obey a police order) that get trotted out anytime a citizen voices discontent with the government or challenges or even questions the authority of the powers-that-be. 

May 29, 2019

Everywhere you turn, people are so addicted to their internet-connected screen devices—smart phones, tablets, computers, televisions—that they can go for hours at a time submerged in a virtual world where human interaction is filtered through the medium of technology. This is not freedom. This is not even progress. We are living in a virtual world carefully crafted to resemble a representative government, while in reality we are little more than slaves in thrall to an authoritarian regime, with its constant surveillance, manufactured media spectacles, secret courts, inverted justice, and violent repression of dissent.  So consumed are we with availing ourselves of all the latest technologies that we have spared barely a thought for the ramifications of our heedless, headlong stumble towards a world in which our abject reliance on internet-connected gadgets and gizmos is grooming us for a future in which freedom is an illusion. This is technological tyranny and iron-fisted control delivered by way of the surveillance state, corporate giants such as Google and Facebook, and government spy agencies such as the National Security Agency.

May 29, 2019

Everywhere you turn, people are so addicted to their internet-connected screen devices—smart phones, tablets, computers, televisions—that they can go for hours at a time submerged in a virtual world where human interaction is filtered through the medium of technology. This is not freedom. This is not even progress. We are living in a virtual world carefully crafted to resemble a representative government, while in reality we are little more than slaves in thrall to an authoritarian regime, with its constant surveillance, manufactured media spectacles, secret courts, inverted justice, and violent repression of dissent.  So consumed are we with availing ourselves of all the latest technologies that we have spared barely a thought for the ramifications of our heedless, headlong stumble towards a world in which our abject reliance on internet-connected gadgets and gizmos is grooming us for a future in which freedom is an illusion. This is technological tyranny and iron-fisted control delivered by way of the surveillance state, corporate giants such as Google and Facebook, and government spy agencies such as the National Security Agency.

May 20, 2019

Based on the current political climate, things could very well get much worse before they ever take a turn for the better. The only way we’ll ever achieve change in this country is for the American people to finally say “enough is enough” and fight for the things that truly matter. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your political ideology is. If you have something to say, speak up. Get active, and if need be, pick up a picket sign and get in the streets. And when civil liberties are violated, don’t remain silent about it. Wake up, stand up, and make your activism count for something more than politics.

May 20, 2019

Based on the current political climate, things could very well get much worse before they ever take a turn for the better. The only way we’ll ever achieve change in this country is for the American people to finally say “enough is enough” and fight for the things that truly matter. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your political ideology is. If you have something to say, speak up. Get active, and if need be, pick up a picket sign and get in the streets. And when civil liberties are violated, don’t remain silent about it. Wake up, stand up, and make your activism count for something more than politics.

May 13, 2019

Trying to predict the outcome of any encounter with the police is a bit like playing Russian roulette: most of the time you will emerge relatively unscathed, although decidedly poorer and less secure about your rights, but there’s always the chance that an encounter will turn deadly. Indeed, the most common reason for a citizen to come into contact with the police is being a driver in a traffic stop. On average, one in 10 Americans gets pulled over by police, who have been given free range to pull anyone over for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, traffic stops aren’t just dangerous. They can be downright fatal.

May 13, 2019

Trying to predict the outcome of any encounter with the police is a bit like playing Russian roulette: most of the time you will emerge relatively unscathed, although decidedly poorer and less secure about your rights, but there’s always the chance that an encounter will turn deadly. Indeed, the most common reason for a citizen to come into contact with the police is being a driver in a traffic stop. On average, one in 10 Americans gets pulled over by police, who have been given free range to pull anyone over for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, traffic stops aren’t just dangerous. They can be downright fatal.

May 07, 2019

What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater. Played out on the national stage and eagerly broadcast to a captive audience by media sponsors, this farcical exercise in political theater can, at times, seem riveting, life-changing and suspenseful, even for those who know better. Such that it is, the realm of political theater with all of its drama, vitriol and scripted theatrics is what passes for “transparent” government today, with elected officials routinely performing for their audiences and playing up to the cameras, while behind the scenes, those who really run the show are putting into place policies which erode our freedoms and undermine our attempts at transparent, accountable, representative government.

May 07, 2019

What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater. Played out on the national stage and eagerly broadcast to a captive audience by media sponsors, this farcical exercise in political theater can, at times, seem riveting, life-changing and suspenseful, even for those who know better. Such that it is, the realm of political theater with all of its drama, vitriol and scripted theatrics is what passes for “transparent” government today, with elected officials routinely performing for their audiences and playing up to the cameras, while behind the scenes, those who really run the show are putting into place policies which erode our freedoms and undermine our attempts at transparent, accountable, representative government.

April 30, 2019

Police sexual misconduct is a systemic problem, and the dangers arise every time police are dispatched: traffic stops, domestic abuse calls, minor offenses, drug arrests, police interactions with teenagers, investigations into sex trafficking. Rather than being part of the solution, America’s police forces—riddled with corruption, brutality, sexual misconduct and drug abuse—have increasingly become part of the problem. In a number of cases, victims of sex trafficking report that police are among those “buying” young girls and women for sex. While the problem of cops engaged in sex trafficking is part of the American police state’s seedy underbelly that doesn’t get addressed enough, equally alarming is the number of cops who commit sex crimes against those they encounter as part of their job duties, a largely underreported number given the “blue wall of silence” that shields police misconduct. Young girls are particularly vulnerable to these predators in blue. When you add sex crimes against grown women into the mix, the picture becomes even more sordid. 

April 30, 2019

Police sexual misconduct is a systemic problem, and the dangers arise every time police are dispatched: traffic stops, domestic abuse calls, minor offenses, drug arrests, police interactions with teenagers, investigations into sex trafficking. Rather than being part of the solution, America’s police forces—riddled with corruption, brutality, sexual misconduct and drug abuse—have increasingly become part of the problem. In a number of cases, victims of sex trafficking report that police are among those “buying” young girls and women for sex. While the problem of cops engaged in sex trafficking is part of the American police state’s seedy underbelly that doesn’t get addressed enough, equally alarming is the number of cops who commit sex crimes against those they encounter as part of their job duties, a largely underreported number given the “blue wall of silence” that shields police misconduct. Young girls are particularly vulnerable to these predators in blue. When you add sex crimes against grown women into the mix, the picture becomes even more sordid. 

April 23, 2019

Children, young girls—some as young as 9 years old—are being bought and sold for sex in America. The average age for a young woman being sold for sex is now 13 years old. Sex trafficking—especially when it comes to the buying and selling of young girls—has become big business in America, the fastest growing business in organized crime and the second most-lucrative commodity traded illegally after drugs and guns. It is estimated that at least 100,000 children—girls and boys—are bought and sold for sex in the U.S. every year, with as many as 300,000 children in danger of being trafficked each year. Some of these children are forcefully abducted, others are runaways, and still others are sold into the system by relatives and acquaintances. On average, a child might be raped by 6,000 men during a five-year period of servitude. This is not a problem found only in big cities. It’s happening everywhere, right under our noses, in suburbs, cities and towns across the nation.

April 23, 2019

Children, young girls—some as young as 9 years old—are being bought and sold for sex in America. The average age for a young woman being sold for sex is now 13 years old. Sex trafficking—especially when it comes to the buying and selling of young girls—has become big business in America, the fastest growing business in organized crime and the second most-lucrative commodity traded illegally after drugs and guns. It is estimated that at least 100,000 children—girls and boys—are bought and sold for sex in the U.S. every year, with as many as 300,000 children in danger of being trafficked each year. Some of these children are forcefully abducted, others are runaways, and still others are sold into the system by relatives and acquaintances. On average, a child might be raped by 6,000 men during a five-year period of servitude. This is not a problem found only in big cities. It’s happening everywhere, right under our noses, in suburbs, cities and towns across the nation.

April 16, 2019

When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals. In the current governmental climate, where laws that run counter to the dictates of the Constitution are made in secret, passed without debate, and upheld by secret courts that operate behind closed doors, obeying one’s conscience and speaking truth to the power of the police state can render you an “enemy of the state.” That list of so-called “enemies of the state” is growing. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is merely the latest victim of the police state’s assault on dissidents and whistleblowers. Indeed, it is fitting that we remember that Jesus Christ—the religious figure worshipped by Christians for his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection—paid the ultimate price for speaking out against the police state of his day.

April 16, 2019

When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals. In the current governmental climate, where laws that run counter to the dictates of the Constitution are made in secret, passed without debate, and upheld by secret courts that operate behind closed doors, obeying one’s conscience and speaking truth to the power of the police state can render you an “enemy of the state.” That list of so-called “enemies of the state” is growing. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is merely the latest victim of the police state’s assault on dissidents and whistleblowers. Indeed, it is fitting that we remember that Jesus Christ—the religious figure worshipped by Christians for his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection—paid the ultimate price for speaking out against the police state of his day.

April 09, 2019

We’re not living the American Dream. We’re in the grip of a financial nightmare. “We the people” have become the new, permanent underclass in America. We get taxed on how much we earn, taxed on what we eat, taxed on what we buy, taxed on where we go, taxed on what we drive, and taxed on how much is left of our assets when we die, and yet we have no real say in how the government runs, or how our taxpayer funds are used.  All the while the government continues to do whatever it likes—levy taxes, rack up debt, spend outrageously and irresponsibly—with little thought for the plight of its citizens. 

April 09, 2019

We’re not living the American Dream. We’re in the grip of a financial nightmare. “We the people” have become the new, permanent underclass in America. We get taxed on how much we earn, taxed on what we eat, taxed on what we buy, taxed on where we go, taxed on what we drive, and taxed on how much is left of our assets when we die, and yet we have no real say in how the government runs, or how our taxpayer funds are used.  All the while the government continues to do whatever it likes—levy taxes, rack up debt, spend outrageously and irresponsibly—with little thought for the plight of its citizens.