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IPFS News Link • Police State

Weaponizing the Body Politic

• by Stephan Salisbury and Nick Turse, March 05, 201

When I covered the Occupy Wall Street protests last fall, I just couldn’t stay focused, despite the fact that people from across the country and around the world were traveling to that block-long half-acre park of granite walls and honey-locust trees in lower Manhattan to build a new mini-society. It boasted free housing, free food, free medical care, free education, and free music. Every day in Zuccotti Park there were thrilling rap sessions and you could watch direct democracy in action as people came together to exchange ideas in provocative new ways. To steal a well-worn activist phrase, it looked like another world was possible.

And there I was, staring across the street. While it seemed like 99% of the 99% were captivated by the excitement in the park, I was transfixed by the police.
Day after day, I would cover Occupy Wall Street and day after day, I would get hassled by members of the New York City Police Department. They didn’t like it when I asked questions about their Sky Watch tower — a two-story-tall, Panopticon-like structure outfitted with black-tinted windows, a spotlight, sensors, and multiple cameras that spied on the park.

15 Comments in Response to

Comment by bayag
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Honestly, and with malice to no one, I really hope that someone would teach him how to argue.  When he makes a comment, he is always up there somewhere in the Moon. Somebody should pull him down to earth, teach him how to be realistic, and connects.

Comment by Anonymous75
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This "freedom jerk" annoys me. Everytime he opens his mouth and say "Freedom", it sounds like "murder" to me. Reminds me of 911, which we should watch, and be vigilant against in every tick of the clock while we look over our shoulders.

Comment by bayag
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Pussycat -- I learned a little bit of your background.  In your facebook, you indicated you were once a contestant in a beauty pageant, and now married to a Professor a bit older than you are. You still look young and pretty, with a brain to boot.  How did you come out to the open and bare your personal life, just to give Ernie a good pointer to start with, makes you irresistibly admirable!  Keep it up, baby ...!

Comment by PureTrust
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Oh wow! A whole bunch more of the kinds of comments that express the dying philosophy of Individualism! And from sources that are so against individual freedom, to boot.

Don't you just love it? "Freedom reigns here like the days of the old Wild West!" And the community of anti-freedom lovers just cant resist their urges to comment FREELY!

I know. I understand. It gets so stuffy in that box of communism, where everything is programmed for you to say, that stepping out of the box on Freedom's Phoenix, can be extremely refreshing and rewarding, at times.

So, come on, folks. Blast away with both barrels. For the moment, anyway, you are FREE! Don't you just love it?


Comment by Anonymous
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I like Ernie's passion for freedom. But I also hope that he must learn how to think progressively, not regressively. I don't believe the old adage that it is hard for old goats to learn anything ... but not when, as in love, passion for freedom drives an old goat to learn new tricks.

In nurturing a relationship and keep it afire, I taught my husband new tricks, although he believes he is "too old" for that! He had managed quite well. Now he had some new tricks of his own.

It is not hard for the Publisher to keep up with the time, I assure you. If there is a will, there is a way.



Comment by BrutusEctos
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A "highly" learned guy like JV is not alone watching this page. Don’t you ever make a mistake of insulting us like you are having some fun and believing that you are succeeding in doing it. Badmouths can neither touch us nor harm or hurt us.

It may surprise you to know that many of us are far removed from the gutter where dirty comments are oozing from, too high up here where we already are and cannot be reached by a spurting slime that comes from your mouth. In Southern Italy where my great ancestors came from, a dirty boccalone is stoned as a bischero. Here, we just ignore you… just to let you know.

Comment by panocha
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JV has written something too sophisticated for you. Your comment is not even connected to the issue. Highly educated minds do not function like computer -- duh ... Once minds are highly educated, they CANNOT be programmed like yours. You cannot cope up with it. Yours is just programmed to hate -- not to think or rationalize.Why don't you just stick to that "date" with me which you have in mind? You have not stated yet if you are running away from it like a headless chicken, have you?

Comment by PureTrust
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Hi, JV. I just wanted to thank you for using some of the last "shards" or maybe "shreds" of your part of the dying Philosophy of Individualism, to comment to Ernie in an individualistic manner. Or have you already installed your "group writers" to do the work for you?

I know, I know. One of these days the computers, themselves, will be able to write your comments for you. I hope by then I will be able to afford one of those advanced, collective computers.

Oh, that's right. No individualism. We won't have any individual computers, collective or otherwise. And if we did - a remnant from bygone years - we wouldn't know how to use them anymore. But even if we knew how to use them, the collective wouldn't let us use them... least not individually. I wonder how many individuals in the collective it would take to make a collective-style "Slavedom's Phoenix" website?

Welcome to the Borg. --- Are we having fun, yet?

Comment by BrutusEctos
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It has not yet seeped in quite well in some people's head that Anarchism is a DISCARDED philosophy and Austrian Economics is a FAILED theory sensible economist no longer believed since Keynes became the world's celebrated authority in the Science of Economics.

Comment by bayag
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JV, you have just proven that because the publisher says so, it is always correct.  How you proved him wrong amazes me!

Comment by Joseph Vanderville
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To Ernie: I am surprise to read your comment that you are still advocating the dying Philosophy of Individualism. Individual Anarchism has been discarded if not already has been dead long time ago … a philosophical principle that has been abandoned because it was unworkable in real life. There is no future there, as life moved from anarchy towards Order, which results in the formation of State and Government and to the modern world of political, economic and social sciences and technology to make the Delegated Power and the Representative Sovereign Authority of the people, much stronger, more efficient and much more deserving of the trust and support of the governed.

As if time stands still for you if you don’t leave this discredited philosophical belief. You have to drop it like a burning potato that you can't put a finger on. In my opinion, this is bad news because you are in politics, and you deserve a better future than Ron Paul does.

The problem is, you are still in that "State of Nature" kind of thinking. I am sure you are familiar with Hobbes’ Leviathan [1651] where he pointed out that in this obsolete "State of Nature" belief. "the life-sustaining needs and passions of individuals dictated their interactions with each other.

There was no governmental authority to settle disputes. Each individual acted as a "sovereign" – "an authority that answers to no one but itself. Food is generally scare, thus life was characterized by "incessant war of every man against every man". Life was, in Hobbes’ words, "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short".

According to you, "The fall of governments in general isn't a might or should thing... it's an already happened thing."

This is MISLEADING, or at least a bad calculation if not a FALSE declaration of knowledge. The Government is here to stay. You shall have been long gone, and the State and the Government will still be here, as the world's endless promise of the future.

May be you mean the Fall of a Regime – but not of the Government. The Fall of Government is commonly used as a euphemism in the overthrow of a King, a Ruler, President or "Administration" [i.e., Monarch, President and his Administration, Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the like]. President Obama and his Administration may "fall" in this coming presidential election, but the U.S. Government will not.

I must remind you that instead, what had already occurred or happened is NOT the Fall of Government, but rather the exit or demise of self-governing Libertarian Anarchism that introduced a society of chaos, mayhem and murder for survival, as well as the departure of the Philosophy of State of Nature that had been discarded in the dustbin of history. This is explained in more details in my book on Government and Statehood.

You try to project the Generation Next as abandoning the present dispensation because of frustration or protest, I assume [you are mumbling on this without clarity]. You did not explain why this new emerging population of ear-and-tongue-piercing, tattooed, drugged, promiscuous and sexually out-of-control young generation between 18-25 of age you were referring to, had "abandoned the institutions of the present for self reliance of the future." You are misstating the real facts. They are NOT abandoning the present – they are RECREATING a new world of their own "for self-reliance of the future". And that’s the kind of CHANGE you believed life is going to be. That change is from bad to worse. I don’t believe a "lost generation" of wrestlers [originals of Generation Next] can make the world any worse than it is now. But in time, good always prevails over bad. The artificiality of the bad and the ugly does not always last long.

The disapproving generation age 25+ which is the demographic whole of America is not going to just "die off" as you mistakenly declared. "… [E]ventually they just die off and are replaced naturally with a populace [Generation Next] constantly evolving towards humanity's ultimate ability to allow for the individual to use their absolute right to be absolutely alone. Sooner or later this is where we are headed, on or off this planet." It is impossible to step back in time and foolishly reclaim this imagined right "to be absolutely left alone…" That’s a bad case of myopia.

Your Libertarian dream back to this State of Nature where the individual is left alone to himself, is already done with – in fact gone hundreds of years ago. Nobody listens to it anymore.

Comment by normnip
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Hey, good writing! 

Comment by Ernest Hancock
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OhKaaaay commenters.... 

I would often make the comment in speeches during the Clinton years... "Can we hurry up and get to a police state.... so we can leave?". 

What you are advocating for is the end of this government. It can not sustain its legitimacy when the whole stated purpose for its existence is the protection of individual rights. Take that away and the reason for its existence go away. Soon, those who whine 'but what about the roads' will regularly get the response,... "Where we are going there aren't any roads"... they'll understand exactly what this means and the whiners won't have a clue.

The fall of governments in general isn't a might or should thing... it's an already happened thing.

I have been heavily criticized in years past for making the comment that voluntarists only have to wait for the supporters of the status quo to die off. There is nothing sinister about such a statement... its just a fact. Looking at the support for non-government solutions to problems and the understanding of how desperate the state will get in an attempt to rule/control and socially/economically engineer humanity is all that is needed to rationalize why so many of Generation Next has abandoned the institutions of the present for self reliance of the future.

The fear is being removed from Generation Next and it is _this_ that will prompt the central planners to act stupidly in an attempt to bring the livestock back into their pens.

Advocates of Global Control are guaranteeing a Worldwide LOV3olution and don't understand what is happening or why... and eventually they just die off and are replaced naturally with a populace constantly evolving towards humanity's ultimate ability to allow for the individual to use their absolute right to be absolutely alone. Sooner or later this is where we are headed, on or off this planet.

I am of the opinion that there isn't anyone or anything to 'conquer'... just avoid. Stop feeding the beast that is devouring you. Generation Next has already discovered this. And all of the yelling and deception and politicing around the world isn't going to change the increased realization that we have already outgrown the mental cage of government. I know that there are many/most that don't feel this way, but in time nature just takes its course and they are replaced.

Just the way it is.

Comment by panocha
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Brag, my man …you don’t have to be diplomatic when you want to call a “loony” – loopy or nutty. He doesn't deserve that courtesy. He is only one of those from the “lunatic fringe”. Like crawling insects, they are everywhere. Our pest-control cameras [our publicly installed terrorist recording videos] are scanning them 24hrs/day. This makes them uncomfortable. Restless, their “freedom” binge is out of control.


Comment by brag
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It is NOT police State, but State police watching you for your own protection.


The Sky Watch Tower you mentioned was constructed to spot terrorists or suspicious-looking visitors for your protection, my protection and for the protection of the general public. The structure was erected to watch and catch terrorists. It is in the innocent-looking crowd that terrorists lose themselves and detonate their bombs.  I thought you know.

So when you act “suspiciously”, “they” “trail” you, “take picture” of you, and “demand” your ID. If you don’t stop acting suspiciously, “they” will “confront” you “repeatedly” – I quoted your own words.


Only those who are against what “they” are doing, must be terrorists, terrorist suspects, and their sympathizers.  Since you are writing AGAINST what our security guys are doing, you must be one of those they ought to watch and catch