Is The Safety Of The State Really Worth More Than The Truth? Brandon Smith Alt Market July 18, 2013
It’s a strange and terrible tragedy when a culture forgets its own history and identity. It is even more tragic when that culture becomes deluded enough to think it can replace its heritage from scratch; that it can conjure political and social reformations out of thin air, and abandon the centuries upon centuries of accomplishment and failures of generations past. To think that one can live without the lessons and principles of one’s ancestors is a disease – a mental disorder of the highest caliber. It is an insanity that leads to terrifying catastrophe. There is no such thing as “starting over” or “rising anew”. There is no such thing as pure and unadulterated “change”. All shifts in human civilization are a product of that which has come before, and therefore each of these shifts retains the ideas, accomplishments, and dreams of our forefathers. No matter how ingenious we think we are today, most grand schemes and wondrous plans for the world have already been discovered, rediscovered, and applied over and over again by industrious men, great men, and even nefarious men century after century. Unique ideas are very rare. The American Republic, as a sociopolitical structure, is such an idea. The concept of citizen self governance is extremely uncommon in the annals of humanity, namely because there has always been an establishment of elitists within any given epoch that have sought to destroy it. There have always been organizations of the power hungry who make it their mission to suppress free thought, and free peoples, and these organizations certainly exist today. Though we have been given an astonishing guide-map in the form of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the establishment attempts to sell us on a very different value system. In their world, true self governance is impossible, because only the elect will ever receive the political and monetary support
needed just to join the ranks of those who MIGHT be elected. The common man has no place within the halls of the federal oligarchy and the elite like it that way. In their world, leaders do not owe allegiance to the citizenry. They do not answer to the public. They do as they wish, whenever they wish, and as long as they can wrap their tyranny in the costumes of socalled patriotism, justice, or safety of the masses, they can continue uninterrupted. The system is THIER playground, not ours. Those people allowed to operate as government employees are treated as indentured servants of the state. Their first loyalties, the government claims, are not to Americans, but to the corporate apparatus that America has become. That is to say, they are supposed to protect the integrity of the system, before they protect the lives and liberties of the people. Barack Obama’s new CIA director John Brennan’s “Honor the Oath” campaign makes this position clear. In Brennan’s words, the oath government employees take is not to the Constitution, but to the “corporate culture of secrecy”: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/cia-cracks-down-its-own-stop-leaks Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s response to the Snowden leaks on NSA mass surveillance are also rather revealing in regard to how the establishment views the exposure of truths, especially when those truths involve the governments systematic targeting of innocent Americans. Feinstein stated: “I don’t look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it’s an act of treason,” the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee told reporters. The California lawmaker went on to say that Snowden had violated his oath to defend the Constitution. “He violated the oath, he violated the law. It’s treason.” http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/304573-sen-feinstein-snowdens-leaks-aretreason I would also point out that this same twisted viewpoint has been expressed by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Top Democrats and top Republicans want Snowden’s head on a platter. Now I can see a certain (but very selective) logic to the belief that defending the government structure from attack is the same as defending the American public from attack. Undoubtedly, an outside force seeking to undermine our safety and our freedoms should be stopped, and some out there believe we need watchmen to ensure this is done. However, what happens when the greatest threat to our way of life is coming from the watchmen themselves? The federal government was created by the Founding Fathers, begrudgingly, to serve one primary purpose: The defense of individual liberty. But what happens when the federal government no longer pursues this function? What happens when the government becomes the very enemy it was designed to defend us against? Has it not then violated the charter that made it legal in the first place? And if so, should it not then be exposed and disbanded as a broken tool, a useless piece of hardware that no longer does any good for the people overall? The problem is that the “watchmen” were institutionalized and bureaucratized. We were supposed to be the watchers and defenders, each and every one of us, but we handed over that power to elitist interests and secretive entities. We have handed over our eyes and our hands to men who care only for their own private societies, and not American society. We have fallen asleep on the job and dark minded doppelgangers have taken our place. Even so, this does not mean our responsibilities have disappeared. As the actions of a handful of
government whistleblowers including Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning have shown, the requirements of honor and conscience are not void simply because you now receive a government paycheck. In fact, for any government employee that considers themselves honest and principled, whistleblowing is not “treason”, as the White House would have us believe. Rather, it is a duty. There are two kinds of law. The first is Natural Law, or laws that follow the dictates of our hearts and our inborn moral compass. The Constitution that our nation was built upon is a perfect written representation of natural law. The second is self-serving law, or the laws that one group of people in power use to control another group of people without power. Most legal structures that exist in writing today are sadly a product of self-serving law. Legitimate treason is essentially the abandonment of the true well being of one’s culture in order to gain something for one’s self. Maybe the enticement is monetary, or maybe the enticement is to aid a foreign interest. Or, maybe it is to satisfy a dangerously selfish ideological ego. In any case, the end result is severe harm to one’s homeland. The question is, is it “treason” to tell the truth to the American people? Is the truth harmful to our culture, or is it just harmful to the establishment? Is the survival of the establishment irreconcilably intertwined with the survival of our society, or, is that only what they want us to think? If the establishment dies because it is revealed as corrupt, do we all die with it, or, could we carry on without it? As I pointed out before, without our heritage and our history, America fails to be. Without the lessons of the past, we are nothing. Our federal government today has separated itself from the people and elevated itself to a godlike position in our personal lives, as many despotic governments throughout history have done. Our leadership has formed alliances with private elitist interests and forsaken their responsibilities in an effort to cement their political dominance rather than protect the common good; the kind of action which has invariably led to the totalitarian monstrosities of the past. And, our government has deemed that which is moral “unimportant” or “dangerous”, and that which is immoral a matter of national security, and thus sacrosanct. We are now expected to maintain “faith” in the benevolence and good graces of government, and damn to hell the very voice within our souls. We are expected to pray for the continued longevity of the machine, and rage against anyone who might enlighten us to the evil within it. Many people who now work for the machine are not necessarily like the machine. They are not bent on the destruction of free civilization. They are not the enemy of life or the deeper good of man. But under the long cast shadow of tyranny, the path they have chosen eventually ends, and it will end with an incalculably difficult decision – to do what is right, or to do what is safe. To remember what it is our government is supposed to stand for, or forget all that came before. Loyalty is not and never has been unconditional – loyalty to government most of all. Loyalty to the system is dependent upon the nature of the system and the people who sit at its apex. The system must reflect the higher aspirations of the society it seeks to manage or protect. It must be held to the highest possible standard and be totally transparent in its nature. It is the job of government whistleblowers to make this possible. If they do not, then criminality will remain painfully felt but officially unconfirmed. Our country will continue to crumble into fascist oblivion, and all that will be left for the citizenry is revolution. We must remember what we believe in, and allow that to be enough. Our fears, our biases, our superficial desires; all are irrelevant. In the end, the only thing that matters is what we leave behind. For those within government today, this could mean a legacy of desperation and sadness, or a legacy of strength, truth, and enduring peace. Time is running out.
Poll: 34% of Americans Say First Amendment Too Extreme Kit Daniels Infowars.com July 18, 2013
44% also favor the government forcing journalists to give up their news sources A recent national poll shows that 34% of Americans believe the First Amendment “goes too far in the rights it guarantees.” The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, based at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, conducted the national survey of 1,006 American adults in May. That belief is up 13% compared to the results of the same survey conducted last year, the largest singleyear increase since the center started the annual surveys in 1997. “It’s unsettling to see a third of Americans view the First Amendment as providing too much liberty,” said First Amendment Center President Ken Paulson in a press release. “This underscores the need for more First Amendment education.” “If we truly understand the essential role of these freedoms in a democracy, we’re more likely to protect them.” For reference, the text of the First Amendment reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The survey also asked respondents other related questions: - When asked to name the five specific rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, only the freedom of speech was named by the majority of the respondents at 59%. Less than a quarter of the respondents, 24%, named freedom of religion. 14% recalled the freedom of the press and 11% remembered the freedom of peaceful assembly. Only 4% knew of their guaranteed freedom to petition the government. - 36% of respondents could not name any of the five specific rights listed in the First Amendment. - 31% agreed that musicians should not be allowed to sing songs with lyrics that might offend others. - 44% favor court orders requiring journalists to give up their news sources. - 80% agreed that the news media act as an independent “watch dog” over government on behalf of the people. “Americans remain generally supportive of First Amendment freedoms,” said Newseum Institute CEO Gene Policinski in a press release. “But the inability of most to even name the freedoms, combined with the increase of those who think the freedoms go too far, shows how quickly that support can erode.” “As a nation, we must better prepare our fellow and future citizens for the hard decision of defending core freedoms against those who would damage or limit them by violence or by law.” Unfortunately our core freedoms are already under attack. We reported last month that police arrested a San Diego man, Jeff Olsen, for writing anti-bank messages in washable chalk on a public sidewalk. Olsen said the messages he wrote, such as “Shame on Bank of America,” never used profanity. In 2010, media analyst and political activist Mark Dice even convinced people to sign a petition repealing the First Amendment. Americans sign petition to repeal the First Amendment VIDEO BELOW http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tznR4wPeS4M He followed up with even more satire last month when he asked beach goers to sign a petition banning Christian symbols from public view. Californians Petition to Ban Christian Symbols From Public View VIDEO BELOW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRmttUXUGfI&feature=player_embedded The First Amendment Center conducts the yearly surveys to gauge the public’s opinions and knowledge on issues affecting the First Amendment. The sampling error for this year’s survey is +/- 3.2% at the 95% confidence level, meaning that when sampling another group of Americans using the same methodology, there is only a 1 in 20 chance the results would differ by more than 3.2% in either direction. The Newseum Insitute operates a 250,000 square foot museum of news and journalism history, aptly called the Newseum, in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Congressâ€™ approval at 15 percent Alyssa Brown Gallup July 18, 2013 - Americans remain down on Congress, with 15% approving and 78% disapproving of the job it is doing. This approval rating is similar to the low levels seen this year, and is five percentage points above the all-time low of 10%, last recorded in August 2012.
Congress' approval rating remains stagnant at the low end of Gallup's historical trend. Approval has averaged 15% so far this year, far below the overall 33% average rating for the entire trend since 1974. The average for 2013 to date ties with 2012 for the lowest annual average on record. More generally, Americans' views of Congress have been depressed for the past few years, averaging 17% in 2011 and 19% in 2010. The highest yearly average was 56% in 2001, due to a spike in congressional approval after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Democrats Give Congress a Slightly Higher Rating Than Republicans Democrats are still slightly more likely than Republicans and independents to approve of Congress. Twenty-one percent of Democrats approve, compared with 12% of Republicans and 14% of independents. More broadly, Americans in all three groups have been displeased with Congress since it came under divided control after the 2010 midterm elections, with the exception of a temporary spike in Democrats' ratings prior to the 2012 elections.
Implications Congress' approval rating is at a dismal 15%, just five points above the all-time low. Some members of Congress are aware of the institution's poor standing with the American public and say they are trying to address it. For instance, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a speech earlier this week mentioned that partisan gridlock and not getting things done are driving Congress' low approval -- factors consistent with Gallup's recent findings on the top reasons Americans disapprove of Congress. Reid cited these factors to bolster his argument for a "nuclear option," which would have significantly reformed the ways in which Senate filibusters have delayed confirmation of President Barack Obama's executive-branch nominees. While the Senate reached a bipartisan agreement to avoid the nuclear option, Congress likely will need to reach many more bipartisan agreements in the months ahead to improve its approval rating. Congress' approval rating could benefit if it passes immigration reform, which the public broadly supports. Additionally, Congress could boost its standing with the public by avoiding partisan acrimony this fall during the debate to raise the debt limit. Survey Methods Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted July 10-14, 2013, with a random sample of 2,027 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is Âą3 percentage points. Interviews are conducted with respondents on
landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by region. Landline and cell telephone numbers are selected using randomdigit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday. Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, and cellphone mostly). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2012 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the 2010 census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
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