John Whitehead (Segment 3&4)
What I Don't Like About Life in the American Police State
By John W. Whitehead
July 14, 2014
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."―Edward Abbey, American author
There's a lot to love about America and its people: their pioneering
spirit, their entrepreneurship, their ability to think outside the box,
their passion for the arts, etc. Increasingly, however, as time goes
by, I find the things I don't like about living in a nation that has
long since ceased to be a sanctuary for freedom are beginning to
outnumber the things I love.
Here's what I don't like about living in the American police state: I
don't like being treated as if my only value to the government is as a
source of labor and funds. I don't like being viewed as a consumer and
bits of data. I don't like being spied on and treated as if I have no
right to privacy, especially in my own home.
I don't like government officials who lobby for my vote only to ignore
me once elected. I don't like having representatives incapable of and
unwilling to represent me. I don't like taxation without representation.
I don't like being bullied by government bureaucrats, vigilantes
masquerading as cops, or faceless technicians. I don't like being
railroaded into financing government programs whose only purpose is to
increase the power and wealth of the corporate elite. I don't like being
forced to pay for wars abroad that serve no other purpose except to
expand the reach of the military industrial complex.
I don't like being subjected to scans, searches, pat downs and other
indignities by the TSA. I don't like VIPR raids on so-called "soft"
targets like shopping malls and bus depots by black-clad, Darth Vader
look-alikes. I don't like fusion centers, which represent the combined
surveillance efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement.
I don't like being treated like an underling by government agents who
are supposed to be working for me. I don't like being threatened,
intimidated, bribed, beaten and robbed by individuals entrusted with
safeguarding my rights. I don't like being silenced, censored and
marginalized. I don't like my movements being tracked, my conversations
being recorded, and my transactions being catalogued.
I don't like how the presidency has developed into a neo-monarchy
replete with all the luxury and lasciviousness of the feudal lords of
I don't like politicians who spend most of their time running for
office, fundraising and enjoying being feted by lobbyists and
corporations alike. I don't like being kept at a distance from my
elected representatives, including the president (a.k.a. the Emperor). I
don't like free speech zones, roving bubble zones and trespass laws
that restrict Americans' First Amendment rights.
I don't like laws that criminalize Americans for otherwise lawful
activities such as holding religious studies at home, growing vegetables
in their yard, and collecting rainwater. I don't like the NDAA, which
allows the president and the military to arrest and detain American
citizens indefinitely. I don't like the Patriot Act, which opened the
door to all manner of government abuses and intrusions on our privacy.
I don't like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has
become America's standing army in direct opposition to the dire warnings
of those who founded our country. I don't like military weapons such as
armored vehicles, sound cannons and the like being used against the
American citizens. I don't like government agencies such as the DHS,
Post Office, Social Security Administration and Wildlife stocking up on
hollow-point bullets. And I definitely don't like the implications of
detention centers being built that could house American citizens.
I don't like the fact that since President Obama took office, police
departments across the country "have received tens of thousands of
machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces
of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers,
armored cars and aircraft."
I don't like America's infatuation with locking people up for life for
non-violent crimes. There are over 3,000 people in America serving life
sentences for non-violent crimes, including theft of a jacket, siphoning
gasoline from a truck, stealing tools, and attempting to cash a stolen
check. I don't like paying roughly $29,000 a year per inmate just to
keep these nonviolent offenders in prison.
I don't like having my hard-earned taxpayer dollars used against me.
I don't like the partisan nature of politics today, which has so
polarized Americans that they are incapable of standing in unity against
the government's abuses. I don't like the entertainment drivel that
passes for news coverage today.
I don't like the fact that those within a 25-mile range of the border
are getting a front row seat to the American police state, as Border
Patrol agents are now allowed to search people's homes, intimately probe
their bodies, and rifle through their belongings, all without a
I don't like public schools that treat students as if they were prison
inmates. I don't like zero tolerance laws that criminalize childish
behavior. I don't like a public educational system that emphasizes rote
memorization and test-taking over learning, synthesizing and critical
I don't like police precincts whose primary purpose—whether through the
use of asset forfeiture laws, speed traps, or red light cameras—is
making a profit at the expense of those they have sworn to protect. I
don't like militarized police and their onerous SWAT team raids.
I don't like Department of Defense and DHS programs that transfer
surplus military hardware to local and state police. I don't like
government programs that reward cops for raiding homes and terrorizing
homeowners. I don't like local police dressing and acting as if they
were the military while viewing me as an enemy combatant.
I don't like being treated as if I have no rights.
I don't like cash-strapped states cutting deals with private
corporations to run the prisons in exchange for maintaining 90%
occupancy rates for at least 20 years. I don't like the fact that
American prisons have become the source of cheap labor for Corporate
I don't like feeling as if we've come full circle back to a pre-Revolutionary era.
I don't like answering to an imperial president, who operates above the
law. I don't like the injustice that passes for justice in the courts. I
don't like prosecutors so hell bent on winning that they allow innocent
people to suffer for crimes they didn't commit.
I don't like the double standards that allow government officials to
break laws with immunity, while average Americans get the book thrown at
them. I don't like cops who shoot first and ask questions later. I
don't like police dogs being treated with more respect and afforded more
rights than American citizens.
I don't like living in a suspect society. I don't like Americans being
assumed guilty until they prove their innocence. I don't like the fact
that 38 states require that a property owner prove his innocence when
police have laid claim to it in a civil forfeiture proceeding, whether
or not that individual has done anything wrong.
I don't like technology being used as a double-edged sword against us. I
don't like agencies like DARPA developing weapons for the battlefield
that get used against Americans back at home. I don't like the fact that
drones will be deployed domestically in 2015, yet the government has
yet to establish any civil liberties protocols to prevent them from
being used against the citizenry.
Most of all, I don't like feeling as if there's no hope for turning things around.
Now there are those who would suggest that if I don't like things about
this country, I should leave and go elsewhere. And there are certainly
those among my fellow citizens who are leaving for friendlier shores.
However, I happen to come from a long line of people who believe in the
virtue of hard work and perseverance and in the principle that nothing
worthwhile comes without effort.
So I'm not giving up, at least not anytime soon. But I'm also not
waiting around for the government to clean up its act. I'm not making
any deals with politicians who care nothing about me and mine. To quote
Number Six, the character in the British television series The Prisoner: "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own!"
I plan to keep fighting, writing, speaking up, speaking out, shouting
if necessary, filing lawsuits, challenging the status quo, writing
letters to the editor, holding my representatives accountable, thinking
nationally but acting locally, and generally raising a ruckus anytime
the government attempts to undermine the Constitution and ride roughshod
over the rights of the citizenry.
As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State,
we're at a crisis point in American history. If we don't get up off our
duffs and get involved in the fight for freedom, then up ahead the
graveyard beckons. As Martin Luther King Jr. warned, "The hottest places
in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain
Voting Never Brought Freedom to Anyone
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 95, October 23, 2000
Why I'm Doing It
Voting Never Brought Freedom to Anyone
by Ernest Hancock
There is concern in the halls of government and the media that the
ongoing decline in voter participation reflects apathy. More likely, I
think, voters are figuring out how the system really works.
All people act in ways they perceive to be in their best interest.
Politics is about trying to convince voters it is in their best
interest to vote for candidates who claim to represent their
Is it working? For the voters best interests?
Libertarian philosophy operates on the belief that most of the
American people know that freedom is good for them — including
freedom from social and economic engineering imposed on them by swarms
of government agents sent to harass them and to eat out their
Since merely voting for more freedom and less government has
never produced anything of the sort, it is small wonder that this
method is losing credibility and being abandoned by a liberty-starved
I remember that it was the promise of less government that sent Ronald
Reagan to the White House with the overwhelming support of the people.
The promise of fundamental reforms sent people into the streets in
1992. In 1994 the promise of a contract with the American people, that
a new congress would reduce government, finally gave both houses to
In every case the American people were lied to, and the voters know
What could astute potential voters be told now that would convince
them they can make any real difference at the ballot box?
Even putting aside some major concerns: that vote-counting computers
are not isolated from outside communication and possible control; that
even court-ordered recounts of a computer-tabulated election are
not verified with a manual count; that tens of thousands of
unvoted ballots are mailed out and never accounted for; that the
justification for automation is speed — yet we still wait days and
weeks for final results; that legislation prevents simple
verification of the computer program with a manual comparison
after the election; that many potential voter's views are not
represented on a ballot tailored to provide special advantages to
parties that have been institutionalized as part of the government
(crippling competition before gets established); ... even with all
that aside, we have a populace that instinctively knows they are
irrelevant to the process.
As an advocate of freedom, I have found that the political process
allows an effective method of spreading the freedom message. For the
few short months that people may be paying attention, libertarians
have a chance to help them understand new questions that should be
Rather than, "Would local control of public education be preferable?"
Ask, "Do you support separation of Child and State?"
Rather than, "Which form of income tax is better?" Ask, "Do you
believe the government has a right to your income?"
Instead of, "Should we increase defense funding?" Ask, "Do you believe
we would reduce threats to the United States by no longer trying to
socially or economically control people around the world?"
Rather than, "How do we provide healthcare for children of the poor?"
Ask, "How much less would healthcare cost if the industry were
Instead of, "How do you propose to get handguns out of the hands of
criminals?" Ask, "How do you plan to eliminate victim disarmament laws
so people can protect themselves?"
The issues are influenced by the questions asked — and by exactly how
the questions are worded — by the media, the pollsters and the
This influence is now, however, being steadily displaced as
individuals use the internet to ask their own questions, and seek
answers from people who have first-hand knowledge.
Influence of government and traditional media has been dwindling to
the point where Libertarians will soon be begged to participate
in National Presidential Debates — so someone will watch them!
But by then, the freedom movement will have already taken to the
streets with growing numbers of individuals demanding to be left
alone, regardless of any vote totals — whether accurate or not.
Maricopa County Libertarian Party of Arizona — Chairman
Libertarian Candidate United States House of Representatives — District #4
Main Core (from Wikipedia):
Main Core is the code name of a database maintained since the 1980s by the federal government of the United States. Main Core contains personal and financial data of millions of U.S. citizens believed to be threats to national security. The data, which comes from the NSA, FBI, CIA, and other sources, is collected and stored without warrants or court orders.
The database's name derives from the fact that it contains "copies of
the 'main core' or essence of each item of intelligence information on
Americans produced by the FBI and the other agencies of the U.S.
The Main Core database is believed to have originated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 1982, following Ronald Reagan's Continuity of Operations plan outlined in the National Security Directive
(NSD) 69 / National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 55, entitled
"Enduring National Leadership," implemented on September 14, 1982.
As of 2008 there were reportedly eight million Americans listed in
the database as possible threats, often for trivial reasons, whom the
government may choose to track, question, or detain in a time of crisis.
The existence of the database was first reported on in May 2008 by Christopher Ketcham and in July 2008 by Tim Shorrock.