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John W. Whitehead

2016: The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

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What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year this has been.

Endless wars. Toxic politics. Violence. Hunger. Police shootings. Mass shootings. Economic downturns. Political circuses. Senseless tragedies. Loss. Heartache. Intolerance. Prejudice. Hatred. Apathy. Meanness. Cruelty. Poverty. Inhumanity. Greed.

Here’s just a small sampling of what we’ve suffered through in 2016.

After three years of increasingly toxic politics, the ruling oligarchy won and “we the people” lost. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election. Donald Trump won the White House while the American people lost any hope of ending the corporate elite’s grip on the government.
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When It Comes to Fake News, the US Government Is the Biggest Culprit

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Let’s talk about fake news stories, shall we?

There’s the garden variety fake news that is not really “news” so much as it is titillating, tabloid-worthy material peddled by anyone with a Twitter account, a Facebook page and an active imagination.

Anyone with an ounce of sense and access to the Internet should be able to ferret out the truth and lies in these stories with some basic research. That these stories flourish is largely owing to the general gullibility, laziness and media illiteracy of the general public, which through its learned compliance rarely questions, challenges or confronts.

Then there’s the more devious kind of news stories circulated by one of the biggest propagators of fake news: the US government.

In the midst of the media’s sudden headline-blaring apoplexy over fake news, you won’t hear much about the government’s role in producing, planting and peddling propaganda-driven fake news—often with the help of the corporate news media—because that’s not how the game works.
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Not Guilty: The Power of Nullification to Counteract Government Tyranny

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How do you balance the scales of justice at a time when Americans are being tasered, tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, hit with batons, shot with rubber bullets and real bullets, blasted with sound cannons, detained in cages and kennels, sicced by police dogs, arrested and jailed for challenging the government’s excesses, abuses and power-grabs?

Politics won’t fix a system that is broken beyond repair.

No matter who sits in the White House, the shadow government will continue to call the shots behind the scenes.

Relying on the courts to restore justice seems futile.

Indeed, with every ruling handed down, it becomes more apparent that we live in an age of hollow justice, with government courts, largely lacking in vision and scope, rendering narrow rulings focused on the letter of the law. This is true at all levels of the judiciary, but especially so in the highest court of the land, the US Supreme Court, which is seemingly more concerned with establishing order and protecting government agents than with upholding the rights enshrined in the Constitution.

Even so, justice matters.

It matters whether you’re a rancher protesting a federal land-grab by the Bureau of Land Management, a Native American protesting an oil pipeline that will endanger sacred sites and pollute water supplies, or an African-American taking to the streets to protest yet another police shooting of an unarmed citizen.
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The Path to Total Dictatorship: America's Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup

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Unaffected by elections. Unaltered by populist movements. Beyond the reach of the law.

Say hello to America’s shadow government.

A corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country, this shadow government represents the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.

No matter which candidate wins the presidential election, this shadow government is here to stay. Indeed, as recent documents by the FBI reveal, this shadow government—also referred to as “The 7th Floor Group”—may well have played a part in who will win the White House this year.

To be precise, however, the future president will actually inherit not one buttwoshadow governments.

The first shadow government, referred to as COG or Continuity of Government, is made up of unelected individuals who have been appointed to run the government in the event of a “catastrophe.” COG is a phantom menace waiting for the right circumstances—a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, an economic meltdown—to bring it out of the shadows, where it operates even now. When and if COG takes over, the police state will transition to martial law.
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The Imperial President’s Toolbox of Terror: A Dictatorship Waiting to Happen

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Presidents don’t give up power.

Executive orders don’t expire at the end of each presidential term.

And every successive occupant of the Oval Office since George Washington, who issued the first executive order, has expanded the reach and power of the presidency.

The Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers. In recent years, however, American presidents have anointed themselves with the power to wage war, unilaterally kill Americans, torture prisoners, strip citizens of their rights, arrest and detain citizens indefinitely, carry out warrantless spying on Americans, and erect their own secretive, shadow government.

These are the powers that will be inherited by the next heir to the throne, and it won’t make a difference whether it’s a President Trump or a President Clinton occupying the Oval Office.
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A Few Uncomfortable Truths You Won’t Hear from the 2016 Presidential Candidates

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“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”—George Orwell

In the interest of liberty and truth, here are a few uncomfortable truths about life in the American police state that we will not be hearing from either of the two leading presidential candidates.

1) The government is not our friend. Nor does it work for “we the people.”

2) Our so-called government representatives do not actually represent us, the citizenry. We are now ruled by an oligarchic elite of governmental and corporate interests whose main interest is in perpetuating power and control.

3) Republicans and Democrats are not sworn enemies so much as they are partners in crime, united in a common goal, which is to maintain the status quo.

4) Presidential elections are not exercises in self-government. They are merely business forums for selecting the next CEO of the United States of America, Inc.

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The Election Has Been Hacked: The Dismal Reality of Having No Real Electoral Choices


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The FBI is worried: foreign hackers have broken into two state election databases.

The Department of Homeland Security is worried: the nation’s voting system needs greater protection against cyberattacks.

I, on the other hand, am not overly worried: after all, the voting booths have already been hacked by a political elite comprised of Republicans and Democrats who are determined to retain power at all costs.

The outcome is a foregone conclusion: the police state will win and “we the people” will lose.

The damage has already been done.

The DHS, which has offered to help “secure” the nation’s elections, has already helped to lock down the nation.
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Children of the American Police State: Just Another Brick in the Wall

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The nation’s young people have been given front-row seats for an unfolding police drama that is rated R for profanity, violence and adult content.

In Arizona, a 7-year-old girl watched panic-stricken as a state trooper pointed his gun at her and her father during a traffic stop and reportedly threated to shoot her father in the back (twice) based on the mistaken belief that they were driving a stolen rental car.

In Oklahoma, a 5-year-old boy watched as a police officer used a high-powered rifle to shoot his dog Opie multiple timesin his family’s backyard while other children were also present. The police officer was mistakenly attempting to deliver a warrant on a 10-year-old case for someone who hadn’t lived at that address in a decade.

In Maryland, a 5-year-old boy was shot when police exchanged gunfire with the child’s mother—eventually killing her—over a dispute that began when Korryn Gaines refused to accept a traffic ticket for driving without a license plate on her car.

It’s difficult enough raising a child in a world ravaged by war, disease, poverty and hate, but when you add the police state into the mix, it becomes near impossible to guard against the growing unease that some of the monsters of our age come dressed in government uniforms.
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Killer Instincts: When Police Become Judge, Jury and Executioner

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Any police officer who shoots to kill is playing with fire.

In that split second of deciding whether to shoot and where to aim, that officer has appointed himself judge, jury and executioner over a fellow citizen. And when an officer fires a killing shot at a fellow citizen not once or twice but three and four and five times, he is no longer a guardian of the people but is acting as a paid assassin. In so doing, he has short-circuited a legal system that was long ago established to protect against such abuses by government agents.

These are hard words, I know, but hard times call for straight talking.

We’ve been dancing around the issue of police shootings for too long now, but we’re about to crash headlong into some harsh realities if we don’t do something to ward off disaster.

You’d better get ready.

It’s easy to get outraged when police wrongfully shoot children, old people and unarmed citizens watering their lawns or tending to autistic patients. It’s harder to rouse the public’s ire when the people getting shot and killed by police are suspected of criminal activities or armed with guns and knives. Yet both scenarios should be equally reprehensible to anyone who values human life, due process and the rule of law.
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Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid, America: Political Fiction in an Age of Televised Lies

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Politics is entertainment
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It is a heavily scripted, tightly choreographed, star-studded, ratings-driven, mass-marketed, costly exercise in how to sell a product—in this case, a presidential candidate—to dazzled consumers who will choose image over substance almost every time.

This year’s presidential election, much like every other election in recent years, is what historian Daniel Boorstin referred to as a “pseudo-event”: manufactured, contrived, confected and devoid of any intrinsic value save the value of being advertised. It is the end result of a culture that is moving away from substance toward sensationalism in an era of mass media.

As author Noam Chomsky rightly observed, “It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.” In other words, we’re being sold a carefully crafted product by a monied elite who are masters in the art of making the public believe that they need exactly what is being sold to them, whether it’s the latest high-tech gadget, the hottest toy, or the most charismatic politician.
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