Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Seemingly Innocuous Pieces of the Control Puzzle

You can run, but you can no longer hide. Given the proclivity for this administration to put in place initiatives that could be used by a government run amuck, several initiatives that could serve a president who wanted to move the United States toward participation in a one-world government are now in place:
White House Atrocities Prevention Board
President Obama’s National Security Adviser Samantha Power will head the new White House Atrocities Prevention Board, which is tasked with formulating a response to war crimes, crimes against humanity and mass atrocities.
Notorious left-wing radical Tom Hayden recently wrote Power sees war as an “instrument for achieving her liberal, even radical, values.”
The board’s creation was the culmination of Power’s efforts that last year defined preventing atrocities as a “core national-security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States.” The official White House statement marked the first time the U.S. government had made such a proclamation . . .
Power stated, “What we need is a willingness to actually put something on the line in sort of helping the situation. And putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import.”
Responsibility to Protect, or Responsibility to Act, as cited by Obama, is a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that can be revoked if a country is accused of “war crimes,” “genocide,” “crimes against humanity” or “ethnic cleansing.”
What would happen if this effort was directed toward United States citizens within our nation’s borders? For example, by a presidential proclamation that a particular group opposed to his policies resulting in designation as potential atrocity-causers. Speaking out against strong control by the government on such subjects as abortion, free speech, 2nd Amendment rights, etc. could trigger labeling as crimes against humanity. Some liberals might feel that conservatives were opposed to the extent that they were perceived as threats to good order and discipline.
Big Data Research and Development Initiative
The Obama administration has launched a “Big Data Research and Development Initiative” aimed at improving the tools and techniques required to access, organize and glean pertinent information from huge volumes of digital data. 
Six federal departments and agencies announced more than $200 million in new commitments to achieve the goals of the initiative, including the Defense and Energy departments, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the U.S. Geological Survey. 
NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], which gather large volumes of data, were not present at the event but will be in time, John Holdren, assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said March 29 at an event on big data in Washington, D.C. Many other agencies will be engaged in the big data initiative in the future, Holdren said
The ability to utilize technology is already developed enough that almost nothing remains private about citizen’s lives: banking records, verbal and electronic communications, and physical activities. The media continually portrays the violation of individual’s privacy by law enforcement. One has to refer to weekly TV dramas to see how far it has gone. The proliferation of video cameras in public areas enables tracking people like never before. Facial recognition software is employed to identify people in public places.
H.R. 347, the ‘Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011
Restrictions to the free speech guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution have now been implemented by the government with the complicity of both the legislative and executive branches of the government.
The White House has confirmed that Barack Obama has signed into law an update of restrictions around the White House, the vice president’s resident and other locations – a move critics say signals the “end to free speech.”
The bill states, “Whoever knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so; knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of government business or official functions; knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of government business or official functions, obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds; or knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds; attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished.”
Presidential candidate Ron Paul stated, “The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.”
“While the Trespass Bill may have started out with the best of intentions, it has ended up as the government’s declaration of zero tolerance for individuals exercising their First Amendment rights,” he said. . .
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley's blog page notes that the imprecise language, just as in the NDAA, creates risks and can most definitely be seen as a threat to our First Amendment right to Free Speech, Freedom of Assembly, and Freedom to Petition our government.
Protests in any place designated a protected location can now result in felony charges and incarceration; even when done innocently and without overt knowledge of the restriction.
Realization of the Total Surveillance State
John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute suggested that we might:
Imagine a robot hovering overhead as you go about your day, driving to and from work, heading to the grocery store, or stopping by a friend’s house. The robot records your every movement with a surveillance camera and streams the information to a government command center. If you make a wrong move, or even appear to be doing something suspicious, the police will respond quickly and you’ll soon be under arrest. Even if you don’t do anything suspicious, the information of your whereabouts, including what stores and offices you visit, what political rallies you attend, and what people you meet will be recorded, saved and easily accessed at a later date. It is a frightening thought, but you don’t have to imagine this scenario. We are only a few years away from the realization of this total surveillance society.
Congress has just passed a bill, the FAA Reauthorization Act, mandating that the Federal Aviation Administration create a comprehensive program for the integration of drone technology into the national air space by 2015. The FAA predicts that there will be 30,000 drones crisscrossing the skies of America by 2020, all part of an industry that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. This mandate is yet another example of the political power of the military-industrial complex, Congress’ disdain for the privacy of American citizens, and the rampant growth of government. With this single piece of legislation, Congress is opening the floodgates to an entirely new era of surveillance, one in which no person is safe from the prying eyes of the government. This may prove to be the final nail in the Fourth Amendment’s coffin.
There are battles regarding aerial surveillance which have yet to be fought. Formerly, satellites, high-flying aircraft and nosy old ladies in the apartment house across the street constituted the extent of surveillance one might expect in this nation. But now, the FAA has authorized the use of remote-controlled drones that are capable of watching and recording us pretty much anywhere within their operational flight envelope. So far, it still takes a court order to do this legally, but that does nothing to prevent irresponsible law enforcement, private investigators, and anyone else who obtains the technology to perform surveillance without legal authorization. Whitehead’s observation should give us all pause for thought.

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