The meeting that had been scheduled for Aug. 18th, 2022 has been cancelled.
We’ll see you next month.
The meeting that had been scheduled for Aug. 18th, 2022 has been cancelled.
We’ll see you next month.
In the video below, Dr. Joseph Alton from Doom and Bloom Medical talks about the passage of California’s bill AB-2098 which allows the state medical board to revoke the licenses of physicians who go against the convention wisdom on issues set by “standards or care.” Could such a law be coming to a nanny state near you?
Here is the latest intelligence update from S2 Underground.
00:00 – Introduction
01:00 – Suspicious Fires
01:36 – Kinetic Incidents – Northeast
02:18 – Kinetic Incidents – Southeast
03:57 – Kinetic Incidents – East Central Midwest
05:41 – Kinetic Incidents – West Central Midwest
06:11 – Kinetic Incidents – Southwest (NSTR)
06:32 – Kinetic Incidents – West
07:30 – Significant Governmental Actions
22:04 – International Issues
31:36 – Closing
Just a few reminders for everyone who’s just become aware of us, in order to keep these briefings from being several hours long, we can’t cover everything. We’re probably covering 1% of the world events when we conduct these briefings, so please remember that if we left it out, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unimportant. Also, remember that we do these briefings quite often, so we might have covered an issue previously that you might not see if you are only watching our most recent videos. We’re also doing this in our spare time, so again we fully admit that these briefings aren’t even close to being perfect; we’re going for a healthy blend of speed and quality. If we were to wait and only post a brief when it’s “perfect” we would never post anything at all. So expect some minor errors on the slides here and there. If there is a major error or correction that needs to be made, we will post it here in the description, and verbally address it in the next briefing, whenever that is. We do not have a set schedule for when these videos are published…when we get enough info that we think is worth it, we brief it. If we were bound to a schedule we would be obligated to provide fluff for the days where there isn’t anything worth commenting on. Also, thanks for reading this far. It is always surprising the number of people that don’t actually read the description box to find more information.
DISCLAIMER: This content is purely educational and does not advocate for violating any laws. Do not violate any laws or regulations. This is not legal advice. Consult with your attorney.
In Resistance is Crucial to the Advancement of Liberty, the Tenth Amendment Center discusses the importance of resisting the consolidation of power in government. Consolidation of power is the most destructive danger to liberty. In the United States, the Constitution separated federal power into three branches – the legislative, executive, and judicial – and much power was left to the individual states. Resisting that consolidation is the most important thing a citizen can do to preserve liberty, and the government knows it. The government is so frightened of resistance that they recently declared the electrical symbol for resistance shown above a domestic terrorism symbol, because it fears any threat to the consolidation of power.
As is now obvious to the open-eyed observer, the federal government has absorbed most of the state power and the distinctions between branches are becoming more and more blurry. The various federal administrative agencies are ostensibly part of the executive branch, but watching the previous administration fight with congress over control of the agencies shows just how blurred the lines have become. Congress delegates most lawmaking to these administrative agencies in order to dodge responsibility for laws, and the executive has little control over the agencies actions or even over who heads the agencies.
Additionally, the recent talk about expanding the Supreme Court and limiting the current life tenure of justices to some shorter period, is an attempt not just to politicize the court but to bring it under the sway of both the Congress and national political parties. What better way to control the justices than to control their future job prospects? A limited term justice must find a job after leaving the bench, and it today’s environment of blacklisting, boycotting, and otherwise threatening political opponents, a former justice will have to have toed the party line or otherwise ingratiated themselves with powerful figures in order to get that coveted professorship or corporate law position.
While there are definitely cracks in the federal edifice and signs of failure and opposition, there’s no telling how powerful or destructive the federal government may become before falling apart.
Patrick Henry told us that “government is no more than a choice among evils.”
Thomas Paine held the same view. In Common Sense, he wrote, “Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”
What makes government become intolerable?
That was the term the founding generation used to describe a centralized government with vast power and control – the kind of government we have today.
During the Virginia Ratifying Convention, Patrick Henry warned against consolidation.
“Dangers are to be apprehended in whatever manner we proceed; but those of a consolidation are the most destructive.” [Emphasis added]
He went on to predict that consolidation would, “end in the destruction of our liberties.”
History proved Henry correct.
If consolidation ends in the destruction of our liberties, the key to regaining liberty is “un-consolidation,” or to use an actual word — decentralization.
Political decentralization devolves and distributes political power. This promotes competition in the political marketplace, with various jurisdictions opposing and checking growing power in others.
Most people intuitively understand the problems inherent in economic monopolies. With no competition, a monopolist can easily abuse its customers. It can limit selection. It can raise prices. It can get away with crappy customer service.
Now, think of the federal government as a monopoly. Because that’s exactly what it is.
We need to break the monopoly if we want to regain liberty. We need to decentralize, disperse and minimize political power in order to shrink government to, as Paine put it, “its best state … a necessary evil.”
This strategy requires letting go of centralized political power. That includes resisting the temptation to try to wrest control of the overreaching consolidated government and impose liberty from on high.
This is a difficult concept to grasp in an American political culture that operates almost exclusively through the consolidated government in Washington D.C. People always tend to think in terms of grabbing and wielding political power. This will always fail because political power is the problem.
But a lot of people argue that you need political power to force decentralization. As one person put it, “The great paradox is that in order to diffuse power, you must first acquire it.”
This is wrong.
The paradox is that forcing a diffusion of power is actually a centralization of power. In order to diffuse power, you must first resist it.
“The right of the people, therefore, to resist an unconstitutional law, is absolute and unqualified, from the moment the law is enacted.”
He called resistance “a constitutional right.”
“And the exercise of the right is neither rebellion against the constitution, nor revolution—it is a maintenance of the constitution itself, by keeping the government within the constitution.”
At the Tenth Amendment Center, we talk a lot about resisting overreaching federal power through state and local action. This leads people to believe they have to consolidate power at the state or local level. Having political allies in state and local government certainly helps, but it’s not necessary. And it’s certainly not the first step.
It starts with people resisting.
Think about the nullification of federal marijuana prohibition. Before California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, there were a lot of people who were willing to violate the “law” and use cannabis anyway. It was that groundswell of resistance that led to political changes at the state level. Rosa Parks offers another example. Her willingness to say, “No!” to an unjust law sparked more widespread resistance that eventually led to political change.
Necessity forced the American colonist to adopt a strategy of resistance. They had no political power – and there was no way they were ever going to gain any in faraway London. They had two choices – resist or submit.
They chose to resist.
The Sugar Act in 1764 sparked resistance and it ramped up significantly with the passage of the Stamp Act in March 1765.
The Stamp Act required all official documents in the colonies to be printed on special stamped paper. This included all commercial and legal documents, newspapers, pamphlets, and even playing cards. As historian Dave Benner explained in his article on the Stamp Act, the standard American position held that the act violated the bounds of the British constitutional system. Objecting to the notion that Parliament was supreme, and could impose whatever binding legislation it wished upon the colonies, the colonies instead adopted the rigid stance that colonists could only be taxed by their local assemblies. They claimed this principle stretched all the way back to 1215 and the Magna Carta.
Resistance started with protests. Patrick Henry drafted a series of resolutions. In the seventh, He asserted, “the Inhabitants of this Colony, are not bound to yield Obedience to any Law or Ordinance whatever,” outside of those passed by the colonial assemblies.
John Dickinson wrote, “IF you comply with the Act by using Stamped Papers, you fix, you rivet perpetual Chains upon your unhappy Country. You unnecessarily, voluntarily establish the detestable Precedent, which those who have forged your Fetters ardently wish for, to varnish the future Exercise of this new claimed Authority.”
John Hancock was perhaps most emphatic, declaring, “The people of this country will never be made slaves of by a submission to the damned act.”
Patriots throughout the 13 colonists blocked the distribution of stamped paper, forced stamp agents to resign, and effectively made that act impossible to enforce. Ultimately, mass resistance and noncompliance forced Parliament to repeal the hated law.
“Rather than hoping the next election will produce preferable results or waiting for the courts to weigh in on controversial law, the patriots took a fierce stand against an odious law. In doing so, they inspired tireless masses to their cause, brought about a reversal of policy without representation in Parliament, and changed the world as we know it.”
The problem is this strategy is scary, hard, and often requires sacrifice. Many people felt the heavy hand of the law in the early days of the movement to nullify marijuana prohibition. Rosa Parks went to jail. And the British ultimately drug American colonists into a war.
On the other hand, politics is relatively easy. You just gain power and then impose your will. But this is the antithesis of liberty. And at some point, the political pendulum will swing away from you as it always does and people you hate will control that power.
There is no easy path to liberty. As Thomas Paine wrote, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”
Ammoland has an article citing an ATF agent’s resignation, complaining over the increasing politicization of prosecution through the Department of Justice. While one person’s letter cannot cover the entire range of agents’ beliefs, it is still unlikely that this agent’s complaints are unique. The entire resignation letter is posted at the original article linked just below.
A leaked resignation letter provided to AmmoLand News shows the ATF agency in turmoil over political pressure.
Brandon M. Garcia was a career Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) special agent until he resigned over the politicization of the federal agency and the Government’s attempt to divide people.
Garcia sent a lengthy six-page resignation letter (embedded below) laying out his reasons for leaving the Bureau after 18 years of service. He explains that he didn’t do the job for money or “fun.” He wanted to put violent criminals behind bars. But lately, he doesn’t feel like he knew what the mission was anymore. He was asked to do things that didn’t make sense, and when he asked “why,” he was always told because “they” said so.
“I don’t know what the mission really is anymore, but I don’t like it. For the past couple of years, I have found myself asking “why” a lot more often. As of late, the answer is typically because “they” said so. I still don’t know who “they” are. But I seem to disagree with whoever “they” are on pretty much everything,” Garcia wrote in his resignation letter.”
The former Special Agent highlights how crimes across the country are prosecuted differently depending on if the state is a “red” state or a “blue” state. He explains that agents are expected to set aside their personal and political beliefs but says that the same standard doesn’t apply to the entire Department of Justice. He claims other ATF employees are struggling with the same realization.
Garcia claims that the “woke left” is running the country. He specifically targets the DOJ Civil Rights Division. He insinuates the low morale at the ATF and in law enforcement, in general, is because of the anti-law enforcement movement that he feels is being pushed by the administration and Joe Biden’s Attorney General. Merrick Garland. He says the DOJ was using COVID as a “scapegoat.” He points out that the last time that morale was as low as it is now was under the Obama administration, which was also hostile to law enforcement. He also points out that each administration celebrates diversity unless it is the diversity of thought.
“The last time morale was this low with ATF was probably 2013-2016. Coincidentally, that was also the last time we had an administration openly criticize law enforcement,” Garcia wrote. “Both administrations preached diversity, or rather “celebrate” it, but then expect everyone to have the same liberal opinion.”
The now former Agent wrote that he believes the country is more divided than ever, pushing people to extremes, and leaving those in the middle to suffer. He thinks the Government is “adding fuel to the fire.” Garcia thinks that the ATF’s leadership isn’t fighting for agents. According to him, the leadership is just going along with the administration not to lose their job. Biden demoted former ATF Acting Director Marvin Richardson for not going far enough with the new final rule surrounding the redefinition of a firearm.
Garcia believes that the ATF focuses too much on “the gun.”
He claims the recent actions by the ATF show that it is aligned with the left and says he doesn’t want to investigate the gun. He wants to investigate the criminal. He claims that the ATF used the failed vaccine mandate to increase the ATF’s budget to concentrate on “the gun.” He claims that the ATF “catered” to Biden’s dislike of guns. He says that most ATF agents are pro-gun and anti-criminal. He states that ATF agents didn’t become agents to go after law-abiding citizens for non-compliant firearms or to argue what a gun is or is not.
“Did our leaders forget that ATF agents are law enforcement? Most agents are pro-gun. All agents should be anti-criminal. We did not become ATF agents so we could collect data, ensure firearms are in compliance, seize trigger groups, argue about what a firearm is or is not, seize firearms for reasons other than prosecuting criminals, or spend countless hours inputting data to justify someone else’s existence in HQ. We became ATF agents so we could work the streets and smack evil in the mouth. We took this job because we are willing to risk it all and hope that we can make the streets just a little bit safer for the law abiding, upstanding citizens of the USA. At least that’s why I became an ATF agent,” Garcia wrote.
Garcia talks about how the Biden administration talks about guns and violent crime in the same sentence and pushes for banning certain types of firearms, but in blue states, those charged with gun crimes are only given a slap on the wrist.
He also states that violent crimes committed with firearms are usually “pled down to non-violent crimes, and the defendant again avoids prison.”
He also believes that banning guns wouldn’t stop crime. Garcia logically points out that criminals do not obey the laws. He doesn’t think criminals will stop using firearms no matter what the law says. He believes that banning guns will only affect law-abiding citizens.
The former Special Agent believes that the administration is targeting the conservative population. Garcia points out that very few people were charged with rioting during the summer of 2020, but hundreds have been arrested for the January 6 event for just being there. He even insinuates that pallets of bricks and frozen water bottles were planted at the scene of the 2020 summer riots.
“We can probably agree that law abiding citizens do not commit gun crime. I think that we can probably also agree that the majority of gun owners tend to be more conservative than liberal. So essentially, gun control will only affect law abiding, conservative citizens. Therefore, the Government is only punishing the conservative population. Similarly, in the summer of 2020, rioters were allowed to burn cities, assault the police, and terrorize citizens with little to no consequence. However, the chaos associated with January 6 has resulted in hundreds and hundreds of prosecutions. The vast majority of the defendants have been convicted of simply being there. They didn’t even have pallets of bricks or frozen water bottles staged at the scene, let alone Molotov cocktails for them to throw at the police. Still, 18 months later, the left continues to be absolutely obsessed with it,” Garcia said.
Garcia calls out President Joe Biden for blaming January 6 on Trump. He highlights Biden was saying you can’t be “pro-insurrection and pro-cop.” He insinuates that Biden and the Democrats are not “pro-cop.” he says that the administration changed the definition of “hypocrisy” like they changed the definition of “vaccine.”
“Where was the support of law enforcement from the Democratic party during the presidential campaign? For at least the past 10 years, the Democratic party and the DOJ Civil Rights Division has consistently justified criminal behavior, advocated for decriminalization, and scrutinized the officer’s actions when an officer was assaulted. That is the equivalent of asking a domestic violence victim what they did to cause their spouse to beat them up,” Garcia wrote.
During the January 6 event, a Capitol Police Officer shot and killed Ashli Babbitt. Garcia surmised if the protestors and Babbitt were left-wing, then the liberal media would crucify the officer, making sure he would never have worked again. He believes the DOJ is the “driving force behind this double standard.” He calls for equal treatment under the law.
He claims that politicians do not care about the truth. He says that they only care about public opinion. Garcia claims that the majority of the population supports law enforcement. He says most criminals dislike cops but that the Democrats are trying to appease the criminal population.
Garcia also takes issue with the amount of “violent federal defendants released following their detention hearing.” He says the system was broken. The agent blames the revolving door of prison as the reason for the rise of violent crime over the past few years.
Garcia says guns are not the problem. He believes that the problem is not holding criminals accountable for their actions. The former agent doesn’t think seizing firearms will combat violent crime. He believes that more violent criminals should be locked up and accuses legislators and members of the judicial system with neglecting their oath to uphold the Constitution.
He ends by saying he believes in God, I believe “in The Constitution, and I believe that bad guys belong in prison.” He doesn’t think the Government believes in those anymore.
Project Veritas has published an FBI memo titled Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide which purports to show the symbols of anti-government and anti-authority violent extremists. Unfortunately it shows a plethora of very common symbols, including anything referencing the Second Amendment of the US Constitution and the historic Gadsden flag.
Project Veritas released a newly leaked document today provided by an FBI whistleblower, which shows how the Bureau classifies American citizens it deems to be potential “Militia Violent Extremists” [MVEs].
In the document, the FBI cites symbols, images, phrases, events, and individuals that agents should look out for when identifying alleged domestic terrorists.
The “Unclassified/Law Enforcement Sensitive” document says it is for “FBI Internal Use Only.”
Of note, under the “Symbols” section, is a prominent citation of the Second Amendment, where it explains that “MVEs justify their existence with the Second Amendment, due to the mention of a ‘well regulated Militia,’ as well as the right to bear arms.”
Right below that, under the “Commonly Referenced Historical Imagery and Quotes” section, Revolutionary War images such as the Gadsden Flag and the Betsy Ross Flag are listed. Each flag displayed in the document comes with a brief description of what it means.
Under the “Common Phrases and References” section of the leaked document, Ashli Babbitt is cited as a person that MVEs consider to be a Martyr.
The same document also refers to Ruby Ridge, Waco, and even Timothy McVeigh, tying in traditional American ideas and symbols with radical and/or violent events in the past.
In the following video, S2 Underground talks about shortwave/HF radio and how to use it during emergencies, disasters, and other scenarios. In the US, authorization to transmit on HF comes mostly with the General level amateur radio license, though there are some limited allocations for the Technician class to use CW/morse code. If you’re already involved with an emergency radio group like AmRRON, then you may already be familiar with a lot of the topics he discusses, but if you haven’t been involved with communications at all, then this may give you a good overview.
00:00 – Introduction
04:10 – The Emergency Itself
08:10 – The Nature of the Communication
10:26 – MARS Mod
14:24 – Mobility and Fitness
18:40 – Data Modes – RTTY
23:26 – Sending Images
28:37 – JS8Call
31:56 – Winlink
35:41 – Comm Scheduling
41:42 – Encryption
42:58 – Thinking Big
47:15 – Closing Thoughts
See also S2 Underground’s follow up video on HF radio:
Thomas Spoehr is director of the Center for National Defense at the Heritage Foundation. He served previously for over 36 years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Lieutenant General. The following is adapted from a talk delivered on July 20, 2022, at the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship on Hillsdale’s Washington, D.C. campus, as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.
Complaints by veteran soldiers about younger generations who lack discipline and traditional values are as old as war itself. Grizzled veterans in the Greek phalanx, Roman legions, and Napoleon’s elite corps all believed that the failings of the young would be the ruin of their armies. This is not the chief worry of grizzled American veterans today. The largest threat they see by far to our current military is the weakening of its fabric by radical progressive (or “woke”) policies being imposed, not by a rising generation of slackers, but by the very leaders charged with ensuring their readiness.
Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, traditions, and requirements of the institution they are trying to change. The push for it didn’t begin in the last two years under the Biden administration—nor will it automatically end if a non-woke administration is elected in 2024. Wokeness in the military has become ingrained. And unless the policies that flow from it are illegal or directly jeopardize readiness, senior military leaders have little alternative but to comply.
Woke ideology undermines military readiness in various ways. It undermines cohesiveness by emphasizing differences based on race, ethnicity, and sex. It undermines leadership authority by introducing questions about whether promotion is based on merit or quota requirements. It leads to military personnel serving in specialties and areas for which they are not qualified or ready. And it takes time and resources away from training activities and weapons development that contribute to readiness.
Wokeness in the military also affects relations between the military and society at large. It acts as a disincentive for many young Americans in terms of enlistment. And it undermines wholehearted support for the military by a significant portion of the American public at a time when it is needed the most.
Let me give some examples of what I mean by wokeness.
In 2015, then Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus rejected out-of-hand a Marine Corps study concluding that gender-integrated combat formations did not move as quickly or shoot as accurately, and that women were twice as likely as men to suffer combat injuries. He rejected it because it did not comport with the Obama administration’s political agenda.
That same year the Department of Defense opened all combat jobs in the U.S. military to women, and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter committed to “gender-neutral standards” to ensure that female servicemembers could meet the demanding rigors involved in qualifying for combat. Since then, the Army has been working for a decade to put in place the gender-neutral test promised by Carter. But after finding that women were not scoring as highly as men, and under fierce pressure from advocacy groups, the Army threw out the test. Now there is no test to determine whether any soldier can meet the fitness requirements for combat specialties.
In 2015, near the end of his second term, President Obama initiated a change to the Pentagon’s longstanding policy on transgender individuals in the military. Before that change could take effect, the incoming Trump administration put it on hold awaiting future study. Subsequent evidence presented to Secretary of Defense James Mattis—including the fact that transgender individuals suffering from gender dysphoria attempt suicide and experience severe anxiety at nine times the rate of the general population—raised legitimate concerns about their fitness for military service.
This led the Trump administration to impose reasonable restrictions on military service by those suffering gender dysphoria. But only hours after his inauguration in January 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that did away with these restrictions and opened military service to all transgender individuals. Since then, the Biden administration has decreed that active members of the military can take time off from their duties to obtain sex-change surgeries and all related hormones and drugs at taxpayer expense.
Along similar lines, the Biden administration has recently ended support for a longstanding policy prohibiting individuals infected with HIV from serving in combat zones. The policy had been based on sound science tied to the need for HIV medications and the danger of cross-infection through shared blood.
Physical fitness has long been a hallmark of the U.S. military. But in recent years, fitness standards have been progressively watered down in pursuit of the woke goal of “leveling the playing field.” The Army, for instance, recently lowered its minimum passing standards for pushups to an unimpressive total of ten and increased its minimum two-mile run time from 19 to 23 minutes. The new Space Force is considering doing away with periodic fitness testing altogether.
Back in 2016, Navy Secretary Mabus decreed that Navy sailors would no longer be known by traditional job titles such as “corpsman,” adopting instead new gender-neutral titles such as “medical technician.” The resulting blowback was so severe from enlisted sailors who cherished those historic titles that the Navy was forced to reverse the changes. But wokeness has a way of coming back, and last year the Navy released a training video to help sailors understand the proper way of using personal pronouns—a skill Americans have traditionally mastered in grade school. The video instructs servicemembers that they need to create a “safe space for everybody” by using “inclusive language”—for instance, saying “hey everybody” instead of “hey guys.” Can the return of gender-neutral job titles be far behind?
Much of the emphasis of wokeness today is on promoting the idea that America is fatally flawed by systemic racism and white privilege. Our fighting men and women are required to sit through indoctrination programs, often with roots in the Marxist tenets of critical race theory, either by Pentagon diktat or through carelessness by senior leaders who delegate their command responsibilities to private Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion instructors…(article continues)
From Gun Owners of America
Oppose the Biden Administration’s Attempt to Ban Lead Ammunition on Federal Lands
Please Contact the U.S. Department of the Interior and Oppose the Lead Ammunition Ban!
Joe Biden is once again attacking our right to keep and bear arms, and this time he is also attacking America’s hunting traditions.
That is why Gun Owners of America is jumping into the fight, and we need you with us.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), run by radical gun-grabbing Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, is proposing to ban lead ammunition and fishing tackle on certain federal lands by 2026.
We have seen anti-gun and anti-hunting radicals do this at the state level in places like California where urban elites want to ban hunting and fishing.
They claim their bans protect wildlife, but the science on these matters is inconclusive at best, and studies have not proven that lead shot or fishing tackle present a widespread threat to people or wildlife.
California and some European countries banned lead ammunition years ago, and there has been no improvement in lead exposure among wildlife. It is clear that lead in the environment is coming from sources OTHER THAN LEAD AMMUNITION.
In fact, the “science” mentioned in the Federal Register is so weak the proposed ban wording claims lead shot and tackle “may” cause harm. By using the word “may,” the government is admitting they want to ban something they can’t prove is harmful.
Lead shot and bullets have been used by Americans for generations, and there is no clear evidence this ammunition causes widespread harm to humans or wildlife populations.
Every year, new science emerges that suggests a connection between lead poisoning in wildlife and alternative sources of lead in the ecosystem. In short, we just don’t have strong evidence to prove that lead ammunition is harming wildlife because there are so many lead sources in nature.
Gun Owners of America expects this is the start of a national ban on lead ammunition which will increase costs and decrease participation in America’s Centuries-Old Hunting Tradition.
We need you, and your friends, to click the links in this alert and make a formal comment on the Federal Register telling the Biden Administration you oppose any restrictions on lead ammunition.
Please use one or both of the methods below to contact the U.S. Department of the Interior. Tell them you are writing to oppose the National Lead Ammunition Ban proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Certified Wildlife Biologist®
National Director, Hunter Outreach
John and Nisha Whitehead at the Rutherford Institute write about the growing digital authoritarianism around the world and the subsequent death of privacy for everyone. It’s not just happening in places like China or the middle east. Surveillance happens in the US on a massive scale. Private social media platforms sell their users’ information to any buyer, and censor their users based on advice from the government. The NSA engages in widespread surveillance of US citizens as well as foreigners. There are consumer reporting companies which gather information about you and sell it in order to provide tenant screening, employment screening, social media screening, employment and income reporting and verification, check and bank screening, fact checking for insurance purposes, medical checking for when you try to purchase insurance related to your health, utilities history, retail product returns and even gambling screening. The types of surveillance are nearly endless and mostly available to anyone with the money to purchase it, much less the government.
“There are no private lives. This a most important aspect of modern life. One of the biggest transformations we have seen in our society is the diminution of the sphere of the private. We must reasonably now all regard the fact that there are no secrets and nothing is private. Everything is public.” ― Philip K. Dick
Nothing is private.
We teeter on the cusp of a cultural, technological and societal revolution the likes of which have never been seen before.
While the political Left and Right continue to make abortion the face of the debate over the right to privacy in America, the government and its corporate partners, aided by rapidly advancing technology, are reshaping the world into one in which there is no privacy at all.
Nothing that was once private is protected.
We have not even begun to register the fallout from the tsunami bearing down upon us in the form of AI (artificial intelligence) surveillance, and yet it is already re-orienting our world into one in which freedom is almost unrecognizable.
AI surveillance harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and widespread surveillance technology to do what the police state lacks the manpower and resources to do efficiently or effectively: be everywhere, watch everyone and everything, monitor, identify, catalogue, cross-check, cross-reference, and collude.
Everything that was once private is now up for grabs to the right buyer.
Governments and corporations alike have heedlessly adopted AI surveillance technologies without any care or concern for their long-term impact on the rights of the citizenry.
As a special report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace warns, “A growing number of states are deploying advanced AI surveillance tools to monitor, track, and surveil citizens to accomplish a range of policy objectives—some lawful, others that violate human rights, and many of which fall into a murky middle ground.”
Indeed, with every new AI surveillance technology that is adopted and deployed without any regard for privacy, Fourth Amendment rights and due process, the rights of the citizenry are being marginalized, undermined and eviscerated.
Cue the rise of digital authoritarianism.
Digital authoritarianism, as the Center for Strategic and International Studies cautions, involves the use of information technology to surveil, repress, and manipulate the populace, endangering human rights and civil liberties, and co-opting and corrupting the foundational principles of democratic and open societies, “including freedom of movement, the right to speak freely and express political dissent, and the right to personal privacy, online and off.”
The seeds of digital authoritarianism were planted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, with the passage of the USA Patriot Act. A massive 342-page wish list of expanded powers for the FBI and CIA, the Patriot Act justified broader domestic surveillance, the logic being that if government agents knew more about each American, they could distinguish the terrorists from law-abiding citizens.
It sounded the death knell for the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights, especially the Fourth Amendment, and normalized the government’s mass surveillance powers.
Writing for the New York Times, Jeffrey Rosen observed that “before Sept. 11, the idea that Americans would voluntarily agree to live their lives under the gaze of a network of biometric surveillance cameras, peering at them in government buildings, shopping malls, subways and stadiums, would have seemed unthinkable, a dystopian fantasy of a society that had surrendered privacy and anonymity.”
Who could have predicted that 50 years after George Orwell typed the final words to his dystopian novel 1984, “He loved Big Brother,” we would come to love Big Brother.
Yet that is exactly what has come to pass.
After 9/11, Rosen found that “people were happy to give up privacy without experiencing a corresponding increase in security. More concerned about feeling safe than actually being safe, they demanded the construction of vast technological architectures of surveillance even though the most empirical studies suggested that the proliferation of surveillance cameras had ‘no effect on violent crime’ or terrorism.”
In the decades following 9/11, a massive security-industrial complex arose that was fixated on militarization, surveillance, and repression.
Surveillance is the key.
We’re being watched everywhere we go. Speed cameras. Red light cameras. Police body cameras. Cameras on public transportation. Cameras in stores. Cameras on public utility poles. Cameras in cars. Cameras in hospitals and schools. Cameras in airports.
We’re being recorded at least 50 times a day.
It’s estimated that there are upwards of 85 million surveillance cameras in the U.S. alone, second only to China.
On any given day, the average American going about his daily business is monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways by both government and corporate eyes and ears.
Beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it will all be recorded, stored and used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government’s choosing.
Yet it’s not just what we say, where we go and what we buy that is being tracked.
We’re being surveilled right down to our genes, thanks to a potent combination of hardware, software and data collection that scans our biometrics—our faces, irises, voices, genetics, microbiomes, scent, gait, heartbeat, breathing, behaviors—runs them through computer programs that can break the data down into unique “identifiers,” and then offers them up to the government and its corporate allies for their respective uses.
As one AI surveillance advocate proclaimed, “Surveillance is no longer only a watchful eye, but a predictive one as well.” For instance, Emotion AI, an emerging technology that is gaining in popularity, uses facial recognition technology “to analyze expressions based on a person’s faceprint to detect their internal emotions or feelings, motivations and attitudes.” China claims its AI surveillance can already read facial expressions and brain waves in order to determine the extent to which members of the public are grateful, obedient and willing to comply with the Communist Party.
This is the slippery slope that leads to the thought police.
The technology is already being used “by border guards to detect threats at border checkpoints, as an aid for detection and diagnosis of patients for mood disorders, to monitor classrooms for boredom or disruption, and to monitor human behavior during video calls.”
For all intents and purposes, we now have a fourth branch of government: the surveillance state.
This fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other government agency save the military. It is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. It operates beyond the reach of the president, Congress and the courts, and it marches in lockstep with the corporate elite who really call the shots in Washington, DC.
The government’s “technotyranny” surveillance apparatus has become so entrenched and entangled with its police state apparatus that it’s hard to know anymore where law enforcement ends and surveillance begins.
The short answer: they have become one and the same entity. The police state has passed the baton to the surveillance state, which has shifted into high gear with the help of artificial intelligence technologies. The COVID-19 pandemic helped to further centralize digital power in the hands of the government at the expense of the citizenry’s privacy rights.
“From cameras that identify the faces of passersby to algorithms that keep tabs on public sentiment online, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tools are opening new frontiers in state surveillance around the world.” So begins the Carnegie Endowment’s report on AI surveillance note. “Law enforcement, national security, criminal justice, and border management organizations in every region are relying on these technologies—which use statistical pattern recognition, machine learning, and big data analytics—to monitor citizens.”
In the hands of tyrants and benevolent dictators alike, AI surveillance is the ultimate means of repression and control, especially through the use of smart city/safe city platforms, facial recognition systems, and predictive policing. These technologies are also being used by violent extremist groups, as well as sex, child, drug, and arms traffickers for their own nefarious purposes.
China, the role model for our dystopian future, has been a major force in deploying AI surveillance on its own citizens, especially by way of its social credit systems, which it employs to identify, track and segregate its “good” citizens from the “bad.”
Social media credit scores assigned to Chinese individuals and businesses categorize them on whether or not they are worthy of being part of society. A real-name system—which requires people to use government-issued ID cards to buy mobile sims, obtain social media accounts, take a train, board a plane, or even buy groceries—coupled with social media credit scores ensures that those blacklisted as “unworthy” are banned from accessing financial markets, buying real estate or travelling by air or train. Among the activities that can get you labeled unworthy are taking reserved seats on trains or causing trouble in hospitals.
In much the same way that Chinese products have infiltrated almost every market worldwide and altered consumer dynamics, China is now exporting its “authoritarian tech” to governments worldwide ostensibly in an effort to spread its brand of totalitarianism worldwide. In fact, both China and the United States have led the way in supplying the rest of the world with AI surveillance, sometimes at a subsidized rate.
This is how totalitarianism conquers the world.
While countries with authoritarian regimes have been eager to adopt AI surveillance, as the Carnegie Endowment’s research makes clear, liberal democracies are also “aggressively using AI tools to police borders, apprehend potential criminals, monitor citizens for bad behavior, and pull out suspected terrorists from crowds.”
Moreover, it’s easy to see how the China model for internet control has been integrated into the American police state’s efforts to flush out so-called anti-government, domestic extremists.
According to journalist Adrian Shahbaz’s in-depth report, there are nine elements to the Chinese model of digital authoritarianism when it comes to censoring speech and targeting activists: 1) dissidents suffer from persistent cyber attacks and phishing; 2) social media, websites, and messaging apps are blocked; 3) posts that criticize government officials are removed; 4) mobile and internet access are revoked as punishment for activism; 5) paid commentators drown out government criticism; 6) new laws tighten regulations on online media; 7) citizens’ behavior monitored via AI and surveillance tools; 9) individuals regularly arrested for posts critical of the government; and 9) online activists are made to disappear.
You don’t even have to be a critic of the government to get snared in the web of digital censorship and AI surveillance.
The danger posed by the surveillance state applies equally to all of us: lawbreaker and law-abider alike.
When the government sees all and knows all and has an abundance of laws to render even the most seemingly upstanding citizen a criminal and lawbreaker, then the old adage that you’ve got nothing to worry about if you’ve got nothing to hide no longer applies.
As Orwell wrote in 1984, “You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”
In an age of too many laws, too many prisons, too many government spies, and too many corporations eager to make a fast buck at the expense of the American taxpayer, we are all guilty of some transgression or other.
No one is spared.
As Elise Thomas writes for Wired: “New surveillance tech means you’ll never be anonymous again.”
It won’t be long before we find ourselves looking back on the past with longing, back to an age where we could speak to whomever we wanted, buy whatever we wanted, think whatever we wanted, go wherever we wanted, feel whatever we wanted without those thoughts, words and activities being tracked, processed and stored by corporate giants, sold to government agencies, and used against us by militarized police with their army of futuristic technologies.
Tread cautiously: as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, 1984 has become an operation manual for the omnipresent, modern-day AI surveillance state.
Without constitutional protections in place to guard against encroachments on our rights when power, AI technology and militaristic governance converge, it won’t be long before Philip K. Dick’s rules for survival become our governing reality: “If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.”
New Report ‘Crime in Washington 2021’ Damning Proof of Gun Control Failure is written by Dave Workman at Ammoland News. It reports on the failure of Washington State gun control laws to deter crime.
In the midst of a continuing pattern of rising crime in Washington State, a new report released by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) does two things, one of them completely unintentional.
The report says there were 325 murders last year in the state, “an increase of 5.9 percent since 2020.” It is the highest number of murders recorded since WASPC began collecting data in 1980.
What the data also demonstrates is that restrictive gun control initiatives pushed through by a billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group based in Seattle have failed to make communities safer, essentially putting the lie to any promises or predictions made by their proponents.
Translation: Gun control advocates misled Evergreen State voters. Their forecasts and arguments were wrong, just as Northwest gun rights leaders said they would be.
According to the Crime in Washington 2021 report, “In 2021, Violent Crimes showed an increase of 12.3% with 29,238 offenses reported; compared to 26,036 offenses reported in 2020. There were 325 murders in 2021; this is an increase of 5.9% compared to 307 murders in 2020.”
That’s even more homicides than the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report listed for 2020, the most recent year for which FBI data is available. The Crime Report is released in late September each year. For 2020, the FBI listed 298 homicides, of which 177 were committed with firearms. That was up from the 209 murders, including 141 involving guns, posted in the 2015 Crime Report.
The new WASPC report “compiles data from 232 state, county, municipal and tribal agencies,” according to KOMO News. It “is designed to give residents information on what is happening in their communities. It covers a wide variety of crime, an issue people living in Seattle say is getting out of hand.”
The report came as news from neighboring Oregon confirmed Initiative Petition 17, which seeks to ban so-called “large capacity magazines” and require Oregonians to get a permit before they can purchase a firearm, has qualified to appear on the November ballot.
New Ban Push
A new report from KING5, the Seattle Times, Washington State University’s Murrow College of Communications and the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public says 61 percent of survey respondents would support a ban on so-called “assault weapons.” However, because the Supreme Court granted certiorari to a challenge of the ban in Maryland—in a case brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and others—and then remanded the case back to the lower court for further consideration based on the June decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, such a ban could be held unconstitutional sometime during the next two years as the case is reconsidered.
According to KGW, the WA Poll was conducted by SurveyUSA among 825 participants, which seems a pitifully small number, considering the WASPC report says there are now 7,772,506 Washington residents.
“People living in western Washington were also more likely to support a ban,” KGW reported. “A total of 65% strongly or somewhat support the idea of an assault weapon ban. Meanwhile, 48% of people from eastern Washington opposed a ban, with 35% being strongly opposed.”
Further reinforcing the notion that Democrats have become the party of gun prohibition, the poll found, “Democrats largely supported the idea, with 75% saying they strongly support a ban and 16% saying they somewhat support it. Though there was some support for a ban from Republicans, more than 50% said they were opposed, with 44% being strongly opposed.”
There is no small irony here, because the National Shooting Sports Foundation just released a new estimate on the number of modern semi-auto sporting rifles (MSRs) now in private hands. According to NSSF, the number of MSRs now in circulation is 24,446,000, which is an increase of more than 4.5 million rifles since the organization last made an estimate in 2020.
Almost simultaneously, anti-gun Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairing the House Judiciary Committee, made a startling admission during a hearing on H.R. 1808, the bill to ban so-called “assault weapons.” When Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) asked if the bill is designed to ban “weapons in common use,” Nadler unequivocally answered, “Yes, that is the point of the bill.”
The admission ignited a lively discussion on Twitter.
It was during this hearing that David Hogg, who became a poster boy for gun control after the 2018 high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., was ejected from the hearing room. According to Fox News, Hogg disrupted the hearing by accusing House members of inaction on gun control. As he was escorted out by security officers, Hogg reportedly declared, “You are perpetuating violence…stop these things now.”
The push to pass gun control legislation now may unintentionally signal fear from Democrats that they are likely to lose the majority on Capitol Hill in November, thus stopping efforts to place additional restrictions on gun owners, and derail Joe Biden’s gun control agenda.
Episode 174. I’m joined former CIA contractor K of Combat Studies Group to talk NYC’s latest nuclear attack PSA and their advocacy of the public to pack go bags in the event of an attack. We break down personal considerations for survival, gear selection, and beating the constant state of psychological warfare being imposed upon us.
In this video, the guys at military/firearms channel Garand Thumb talk about the actions of Mr. Dicken who stopped a mass shooting in a mall in Greenwood, IN by engaging with and shooting the assailant from forty yards. Are you training with your carry weapon?
ow to stop a Mass Shooter. Here at Garand Thumb we believe very strongly in the actions of Mr. Dicken and in the carrying of concealed handguns. Mr. Dicken’s actions ultimately saved many lives. There is much to learn from what occurred.
00:00 How to Stop a Mass Shooter, The Dicken drill
2:37 Your life will likely be peaceful, but it may not be
4:00 Elisha Dicken conceal carried as soon as he could
5:00 You don’t need to be a LEO or Military to be tactically sound
9:12 Long shots are easy if you train
In Radio Contra episode 172, NC Scout talks to ‘Madman Actual’ an intelligence specialist about dangers out of China.
Episode 172. I’m joined by former US Army and NSA Signals Intelligence collection specialist ‘Madman Actual’ to discuss the FBI’s revelation that Huawei does in fact pose a very serious threat to the US. But how much of a threat? We also discuss the role Baofengs may play, and why Sat Phones are not a viable option.