By Doug Newman – email me
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Posted at Free Republic, Freedom4um, Free Thought Project, Liberty Crier and Popular Liberty.
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Sometimes I just want to pimp slap people.
Last summer, I was at dinner during a sales convention. The conversation didn’t get political until someone mentioned the NSA.
There is one in every crowd. Someone piped up and said, “They can spy on me all they want. I am not doing anything wrong.”
They sang this song in Germany in 1933. And they sang it with unprecedented gusto in the months following 9/11, all in the name of “security” and “keeping us safe”.
We were at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the world’s second largest hotel. Nothing in the post-9/11 “national security” apparatus would prevent a terrorist from walking in, setting off a bomb, and killing hundreds or even thousands of people.
The more important questions are: How do you know you are doing nothing that could be construed as wrong by some state functionary? How do you know you are not breaking some law somewhere? And why are you so implicitly trusting that your government would never do anything evil with the information it has collected on you?
This is not purely an academic matter. The practical implications are profound.
I give you several examples.
1. Niakea Williams went to her son’s St. Louis-area elementary school one day to pick up her son, who has Asperger’s. The school was put on lockdown and Mrs. Williams was escorted out in handcuffs.
2. Adrionna Harris was almost expelled from her middle school in Virginia Beach after taking a razor blade away from a fellow student who was trying to harm himself.
3. Read what Houston police did to this man who gave 75 cents to a homeless person.
4. A little known Denver parking ordinance can get you a $25 fine even if you haven’t exceeded the two-hour limit.
5. Police in Iowa City, Iowa, seized $50,000 from this couple without charging them with a crime.
6. Alberto Willmore lost his teaching job in Manhattan over a totally bogus marijuana arrest. Even though he was never convicted of anything, he was unable to get his job back.
7. Norman Gurley was arrested in Lorain County, Ohio, because a compartment in his car could have been used to transport drugs.
8. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed 80-year-old Eugene Mallory in his own bed during a meth raid. No meth, or any other illegal drugs, was discovered.
9. Paul Valin contacted police to report that he found a backpack full of what he believed to be meth-making equipment 15 miles from his home near Des Moines. As a result, the DEA placed his house on its list of meth labs.
10. Ryan Holle of Pensacola, Florida, lent his roommate his car on night in 2004. As a result, Holle is currently serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for pre-meditated murder.
11. New York police seized Gerald Bryan’s cash in a nighttime raid in 2012. Even though Bryan was cleared of any wrongdoing, the stolen cash was deposited in the NYPD pension fund.
12. Robert Duncan is currently serving two years in a California prison, even though the business in which he worked was legal in California.
13. Jordan Wiser spent 13 days in jail after Jefferson, Ohio, police found a pocketknife during a warrantless search of his car.
14. During a school lockdown in Clarksville, Tennessee, David Duren-Sanner gave police permission to search his car as he had “nothing to hide”. Police found a fishing knife. Duren-Sanner, who previously had never been to the principal’s office, was suspended for 10 days and then sent to an alternative school for 90 days.
15. Look what happened to these parents in Napa, California, even though the medical marijuana prescriptions they had were completely legal.
16. Eileen Ann Bower of suburban Pittsburgh had her newborn child taken from her for 75 days because of a false positive drug test.
17. Jerry Hartfield of Bay City, Texas, has spent the majority of his life in prison, even though his conviction was overturned in 1980.
18. Jason Dewing of upstate New York was found guilty of violating a law that did not exist.
19. Don Miller of Waldron, Indiana, had his home raided by FBI agents who seized hundreds of cultural artifacts from around the world. Miller was neither arrested nor charged with anything.
20. This San Diego couple was pepper-sprayed and tasered by police who had erroneously identified their vehicle after being stolen.
21. The good news is that Brian Aitken of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, had his prison sentence commuted. The bad news is that he was originally sentenced to seven years behind bars for possessing two legally purchased guns.
22. This special needs student in McDonald, Pennsylvania, was charged with felony wiretapping for recording other students who were bullying him mercilessly.
23. Abner Schoenwetter of Miami served over six years in prison for – you can’t make this stuff up – violating Honduran fisheries law.
24. Read what happened to John Filippidis of Hudson, Florida, when he was pulled over by state police while driving unarmed through Maryland.
25. In a case of mistaken identity, Lewis James of Durham, North Carolina, “was handcuffed and later jailed under a $1.425 million bond” after he had contacted the police to notify them of a dead body in the middle of the road. As someone put it on Facebook, “Don’t call the cops. Ever. Even if you find a dead body. Just don’t ever call the cops.”
26. Read what happened to Diane Avera of Meridian, Mississippi, when she went to Alabama to buy Sudafed, even though she did not know that this was illegal.
27. Andy Johnson of Uinta County, Wyoming, faces EPA fines of $75,000 per day for building a pond on land that he owns.
28. Douglas Zerby of Long Beach was shot and killed by police while watering his lawn because some idiot neighbor thought the hose nozzle was a gun.
29. Darien Roseen was arrested and had his vehicle searched by sheriff’s deputies in Payette County, Idaho, simply because his Colorado license plates led them to believe that he could have been carrying marijuana.
30. Brian Banks of Long Beach spent five years in prison and five more years as a registered sex offender as a result of a rape conviction. And then his accuser changed her story.
These are not “isolated incidents.” There are no doubt countless other examples of people who were doing nothing wrong, yet were harshly punished.
Also, consider the following:
• The Internal Revenue Code is 73,955 pages and millions of words long. No one has read it cover-to-cover and no one knows every aspect of it. Yet if anyone violates any of its provisions it can mean fines, prison or even death.
• We are often told that “ignorance of the law is no defense.” To the right is a picture of the Yale Law Library. Do you know every law contained within these tomes?
- Read what various emissaries of the Amerikan police state have done to these veterans who went all over the world to “fight for our freedom.”
• Seventy-two types of Americans are classified as terrorists in various government documents. Senator Harry Reid has now added a seventy-third category.
• Read how police have used asset forfeiture laws to seize millions of dollars from people without charging them with any crimes.
- Read this list of eight ways people commit felonies without even knowing it.
- • Read this article and pay special attention to these words from former NSA official William Binney: “The problem is, if they think they’re not doing anything that’s wrong, they don’t get to define that. The central government does.”
• Read how the Innocence Project has helped exonerate over 300 wrongfully imprisoned people, many of whom were on death row.
• Attorney Harvey Silverglate argues that the average American commits three felonies a day without even knowing it.
• This Ford executive claims that, thanks to GPS, “we know everyone who breaks the law.”
• Although it has been estimated that there are over 3000 types of federal criminal offenses, no one knows the exact number for sure.
So, do you still feel you have nothing to fear?
Fascinating article from The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Why Privacy Matters Even If You Have ‘Nothing to Hide'”.
Yale Law School Professor Stephen Carter writes that the sheer volume of laws on the books in America “puts us all in (the) same danger as Eric Garner“, who was killed by the NYPD for selling untaxed cigarettes.
If, thirty years ago, anyone had said that the USA would be like this by now, he would have been thought a lunatic.
There are plenty of actual lunatics today, but they are running the asylum that they’ve made of the USA:
“In 1960, when I came out of prison, as an ex-convict I had more freedom under parolee supervision than there’s available to an average citizen in America right now… God almighty, what have we done to each other?” ~ country music singer Merle Hagga
“Ask not what your government can do for you. Ask what your government can do to you.” ~ Doug Newman
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“If Uncle Sam has nothing to hide, Uncle Sam has nothing to worry about.” ~ Doug Newman
“A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.” ~ Bertrand de Jouvenal
“The ‘security’ of police states is like the ‘peace’ of the graveyard.” ~ author unknown, but said by somebody in the 60s
Thank you Doug. Excellent blog. Keep up the good work sir.
Great article Doug! well put together with plenty of examples. It really shows how any of us could become a victim of our own government.
Reblogged this on a12iggymom's Blog.
Mr. Newman does not have a clue, if he does not feel safe in the MGM Grand.
The NSA has nothing on the average Vegas hotel/casino when it comes to surveillance. Vegas hotel/casinos have every single square inch of public places inside and out under constant surveillance.
It started in the casinos to catch card counters and dealers working with people to scam the casino then grew from there. Many have been doing this for well over 40 years and Vegas wrote the book on profiling people. If they see anyone acting even remotely suspicious, security is on them like stink on (you know what) in a heartbeat.
A Vegas casino is probably one of the safest places you could ever be in.
Cameras can record crimes but they cannot prevent crimes. And all the interior cameras in the world would not prevent someone from standing outside the MGM or the Luxor or wherever, detonating a bomb and killing lots of people.
There are outliers. Look up the River Run Riot in Laughlin (Hell’s Angels vs. Mongols) – they have that one on video, too.
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I’m so excited! I just stumbled across your blog from a LibertyCrier post, and it’s excellent.
Looking forward to reading through your archives.
It grates on me like nails on a chalkboard–the idiotic, simpering, boot-licking phrase “Well I’M not doing anything wrong so…”
You foolish child; the Jews in Germany weren’t doing anything wrong, either.
Statism is a religion–intentionally so. The psychopaths in government arrange to deify themselves; it’s their nature. But their power comes entirely from the mewling masses who grant their consent.
Reblogged this on Two on a Rant and commented:
There was so much work put into compiling this, I had to reblog it. There are many different political and religious beliefs, all are vulnerable to this kind of action. Left, right, indifferent or unsure, no matter who you are there is no such thing as “safe” and “doing something wrong” depends greatly upon who is in power.
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Throw in the NSA, the pervasive, shameless lies and the emotional burnout of the populace…scary
Reblogged this on Dylan Bleier.
Diane Avera of Meridian story has bad link. It is a dupe of the previous.
Thank you for notifying me of this. I just updated the link.
If you read Civil Disobedience by Thoreau, written less than 100 years after the Revolution, you wouldn’t be surprised by any of this. Barely a generation removed from defeating the biggest imperialists in the world, and we had already sold out!
“Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force; like fire it is a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” George Washington.
Excellent all the things you’ve printed here and many of us are aware of it. We are a police State with them no acting as criminals themselves.Patriots for America are marching to D.C. May16, 2014 for a Constitutional Emergency”. All are invited that can attend. Vets , Militia and people from all walks of life will be there. It’s not a call to arms but a Call to Restore our Country back to Constitutional Law and removal of some at the top. Obama being #1. This is following the Constitution that gives us the right to remove abusive Govt. You can see it yourself by going to their website. See it and spread the word. This is our last chance to have Freedom or all be enslaved. http://www.patriotsforamerica.ning.com God bless.
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Reblogged this on CLINGERS… BLOGGING BAD ~ DICK.G: AMERICAN !.
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Just the thought of all those folks who told me the VERY SAME THING when I tried to educate them on what is wrong with this country.
The other cop-out was: “If you don’t like it, just move out of the country!”
These two statements I have heard time and again, from so many worthless people!
Glad to have found your blog. This article was featured on InfoWars, and also says a lot of commonsense to the argument against “big-brother-isms”. Consider me a new follower.
Thanks. Returning the favor on the “follow”.
Are you saying you are looking to follow mine???
Mine is about Spiritual freedom, as well as freedom in general. I am rather antagonistic towards the doctrinal, “establishment church”. However, I feel this may be just as compatible with your message(s) on freedom.
The freedom of conscience and spirit is just as vital. Just ask our pre-Christian, Pagan ancestors about it, when they were be conquered by another man’s church. – The message is the same: The individual was granted his/her rights by his/her Creator – by whichever and whatever he/she seem this Creator.
Thank you for your very fast reply.
– Rev. Dragon’s Eye
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Here’s another example – We were happily married, and raising our three kids; our oldest son was in 2nd grade. Our son didn’t come home from school one day; when I called, the secretary told me – “CPS is with him.” They were called by the school and kept our son locked in a room, questioning him for OVER FOUR HOURS, not allowing him anything to eat or drink or go to the bathroom, until he wet his pants. That was all the ‘proof’ they needed that he was abused. 4 years later, after a lawsuit that we won against them, we discovered that the principal had ‘spanked’ our son so hard that he had left bruises – and in a preemptive move, he called CPS and accused us instead.
You don’t have to be ‘doing nothing wrong’, all it takes is one guilty bureaucrat and another group of bureaucrats to sustain him.
Terribly sorry to read about this.
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I’ve always been leery of ‘setup crimes’: not quite so much thru police, rather someone who would ‘plant’ or plot something I’d loose in a court trial process. – whatnot!.?
Improper innocence justice judgment.
You know what I mean on this one (? !)
So you could say that I am quite cautious rightly so, though not enough I suppose, concerning this scenario.
Why,? because proven it has happened in a staggering ongoing amount of actual occurrences, ruining lawful peoples lives.
THANK YOU. VERY VERY MUCH.
Basically what this article tells us is that our society is WAY too litigious. We need less lawyers and more freedom. Fact is, there is a law for almost everything. The real delusion is that we are a free society. Thanks to politicians (a chunk of whom were former lawyers) and lawyers our freedom has gone out the window and getting worse by the day. Didn’t even bother to celebrate Independence Day. What’s to celebrate these days. We operate our lives between laws and are lucky to find freedom in between. Our freedom is what channel to watch and which criminal should I vote for. Real freedom. A complete fraud!
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