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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Kill the Culture, Destroy a Nation

Kill the Culture, Destroy a Nation

What Was Behind Trump’s Recent Threats Against Iran’s Culture and Other High Level Sites?

During the Gulf War of the 1990′s, U.S. troops in Baghdad looted important museums, destroyed historical artifacts, some were even found outside of the museums and on the side of roads, many of ancient artifacts and pieces of artworks were stolen. For example, in the city of Hillah, several museums were looted. Then when the George W. Bush Jr. regime came to power in 2000, they blamed Iraq for the September 11 attacks afterwards and accused Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of harboring “weapons of mass destruction” which of course, all turned out to be another manufactured lie by Washington that began another war on Iraq and then the looting of Iraq’s museums continued. There was an estimated 35,000 small and large artifacts that was stolen from the National Museum of Iraq, a tragedy for where the ‘cradle of civilization’ began.

Just last month, if you remember, U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened Iran in a barrage of tweets that his regime “have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” and that they “Will Be Hit Very fast And Very Hard” so much for his support of the Iranian people Trump had claimed in the past. Trump did not follow through with his threats, perhaps slightly disappointing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But first, we must ask ourselves, why did empires of the past including the Mongol empire who invaded Iraq in 1258 that begun the destruction of Iraq’s priceless artifacts? There were revolutionary movements throughout history who also chose to commit ‘Cultural genocide’ by destroying ancient artifacts, artworks, history books and even force the people to speak the invading empire’s language.  By destroying a people’s culture you erase their history, language, art, everything that makes them who they are. Destroying a people’s culture allows the powers that be to shape the present according to their liking, and then the future belongs to them, not to the people who they conquered.  Ancient artifacts for example, embody beliefs, ideas, and sometimes they can even represent the characteristics of a people’s history. Milan Kundera, a Czech-born writer who was living in exile in France once wrote something that described what was behind Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sinister plan. “The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was… The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” Powerful words.  Frantz Fanon, a psychiatrist and political philosopher from the French colony of Martinique in the Caribbean authored a groundbreaking book into the depths of colonialism titled ‘The Wretched of the Earth’ which is reminiscent of what Israeli settlers practice in reality today:

The settler makes history and is conscious of making it. And because he constantly refers to the history of his mother country, he clearly indicates that he himself is the extension of that mother-country. Thus the history which he writes is not the history of the country which he plunders but the history of his own nation in regard to all that she skims off, all that she violates and starves


However, it’s fair to say that Trump’s threat of attacking Iran’s cultural sites on his twitter rant runs much deeper. In regards to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, there are several documents and statements that have been made by hard-line Israelis that wanted to destroy Arab culture, history and identity and at the same time, jeopardize the future of education for children in the Middle East who will not know anything about their past since the creation of the state of Israel. Back on October 28, 1956, Menachem Begin, a former leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, founder of the Likud Party and Israel’s sixth Prime Minister was quoted as saying “You shall have no pity on them until we shall have destroyed their so-called Arab culture, on the ruins of which we shall build our own civilization.” Despite that fact that on December 1948, the United Nations had passed ‘Resolution 194′ that essentially called for the return of Arab refugees and that “holy places, religious buildings, and sites in Palestine should be protected and free access to them assured, in accordance with existing rights and historical practice.”

In June 1967, three days after The Six-Day War, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) destroyed the 770-year old Moroccan Quarter known in the Arab world as The Harat al-Magharibah (The Moroccan Quarter) in the Old City of Jerusalem in order to occupy the sanctuary and construct it for Jews only. The Moroccan Quarter was originally founded by the son of Saladin in the late 12th century. Israel’s efforts was to expand the alley and create a new path to the Western Wall so that Jews can have easy access to pray to the newly conquered area. IDF actions was the start of a long campaign to eliminate Arab culture and replace it with Israel’s perception of its historical and cultural footprint in the region especially Jerusalem. The Institute for Palestine Studies headquartered in Ramallah published an article on the history of the Moroccan Quarter back in 2000 titled ‘The Moroccan Quarter: A History of the Present’ explains how the Israeli government has re-constructed the Arab section of Jerusalem which has taken place in different forms since 1948:

‘Western Propaganda is Paid for in Syrian Blood’

Israeli attempts at re-configuring Arab Jerusalem have been varied over the past half-century. Appropriating the built form in Palestinian owned areas of the city has most often meant seizing Arab structures, homes, and neighborhoods, emptying them of their Arab inhabitants, and substituting new histories, new communities, and new meanings in place of old.

Entire neighborhoods and thousands of Arab homes were taken over by the nascent Jewish state in 1948. Occasionally, however, the Israeli state has sought to demolish and to physically erase particular areas of Palestinian habitation that obstruct Israeli visions for exclusive rule in what mainstream Zionism regards as Israel’s “eternal” and “unified” capital

According to the study “The Harat al-Magharibah (the Moroccan Quarter), first constructed over 700 years ago in the age of the Ayyubids and Mamluks, was on the eve of the June 1967 War home to approximately 650 people and 100 families. The neighborhood as demolished by the Israeli state in the days immediately after it conquered East Jerusalem.” The study also concluded that “This former space represents a site where practices of ethnic cleansing and wholesale dispossession have been combined with Israeli discourses of “the sacred” as well as others which promote exclusivist, transhistorical notions of Jewish entitlement to the city.” The study also described what were the characteristics before 1948:

The Character of the Neighborhood before 1948 The structures that comprised this neighborhood over the course of seven centuries were familial, religious, and social and were built mainly of stone and brick. Clustered densely together, these modest one and two story buildings enveloped a network of narrow alleyways that snaked through this largely poor neighborhood.

Its population became increasingly diverse in the centuries after the quarter‘s inception. Historically, most families resident in this quarter traced a genealogy back to the Maghrib. Pilgrimage or oppression in former lands brought many to Jerusalem. Over the course of several centuries, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Arabs from Palestine and elsewhere also took up residence in this quarter

Today, part of the Israel-Palestinian conflict is the destruction of Palestinian cultural history and replace it with Israel’s historical claims in Palestine from more than 2,000 years ago. However, Palestinian culture and history was not the only target of Israel.  It seems that the Islamic State (ISIS) is taking its marching orders to destroy Arab culture from Israel as they also destroyed numerous archaeological sites with explosives and even bulldozers that deliberately targeted important cultural sites in Iraq and Syria.  ISIS is doing what the Israeli hardliners would want and that is to destroy Arabic culture, history and its identity and deprive future generations of that knowledge. According to one of Israel’s mainstream news websites, Haaretz from December 7th, 2014, ‘UN Reveals Israeli Links With Syrian Rebels’:

The observers have continued to file reports to New York, which were relatively mundane; but their content changed in March 2013, when Israel started admitting injured Syrians for medical treatment in Safed and Nahariya hospitals. The Syrian ambassador to the UN complained of widespread cooperation between Israel and Syrian rebels, not only treatment of the wounded but also other aid



Soon After, the destruction of Syrian cultural and historical sites began. One example I would like to point out was the incident on May 2015, a site called Palmyra, located in the desert in the eastern part of Damascus which was in essence a historical part of the Roman Empire. At one point in history, Palmyra was a wealthy metropolitan city and at its peak around the 3rd century, Queen Zenobia lead a rebellion against the Roman Empire but failed to win its freedom. Rome re-conquered Palmyra and then was destroyed by Rome’s army in A.D. 273. By the 20th Century, Palmyra became one of Syria’s main tourist attractions. The Islamic State invaded the modern town of Palmyra and its ancient ruins and practically destroyed it. ISIS even executed Khaled al-Asaad, a Syrian archaeologist who managed excavations and hung his headless body on a column (a tactic to put fear on civilians). Another site destroyed by the terrorists with explosives was The Temple of Baal Shamin which was a 1,900-year-old ancient temple. The destruction of Dura-Europos, a fortress founded in 303 B.C was another site that also sacked. It was called Dura by the Seleucids on the intersection of an east-west trade routes along another trade route close to the Euphrates. Dura controlled the river crossing on the route between the cities of Antioch and Seleucia on the Tigris. Dura was also considered border city that included Hellenistic, Parthian and the Romans built above the right bank of the Euphrates river and in close proximity to the village of Salhiyé in Syria. By 113 B.C., the Parthians had conquered the city and occupied Dura until 165 A.D. although there was a brief occupation by the Romans around 114 A.D. Under Parthian rule, Dura became an important provincial administrative center until the Romans decided to invade and permanently occupy Dura-Europos by 165 A.D. and expanded their territories reaching the eastern Mesopotamia, but was later destroyed by the Sassanians in 257 A.D.

Besides the fact that different cultures have intermingled at one point or another over the centuries, many interesting findings have been made including temples, inscriptions and tombs which many were looted by the US and Israeli backed terrorists during the height of the Syrian Civil War. According to ‘The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two (1954 and 1999) Protocols’ under ‘Article 4 – Respect For Cultural Property’ clearly states the following:

The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect cultural property situated within their own territory as well as within the territory of other High Contracting Parties by refraining from any use of the property and its immediate surroundings or of the appliances in use for its protection for purposes which are likely to expose it to destruction or damage in the event of armed conflict; and by refraining from any act of hostility, directed against such property

Raphael Lemkin, a lecturer on comparative law at the Institute of Criminology of the Free University of Poland and Deputy Prosecutor of the District Court of Warsaw wrote ‘Acts Constituting a General (Transnational) Danger Considered as Offences Against the Law of Nations.’ One of the sections ‘Acts Of Vandalism: Destruction of the culture and works of art’ described as an act of vandalism:

An attack targeting a collectivity can also take the form of systematic and organized destruction of the art and cultural heritage in which the unique genius and achievement of a collectivity are revealed in fields of science, arts and literature. The contribution of any particular collectivity to world culture as a whole forms the wealth of all of humanity, even while exhibiting unique characteristics.

Thus, the destruction of a work of art of any nation must be regarded as acts of vandalism directed against world culture. The author [of the crime] causes not only the immediate irrevocable losses of the destroyed work as property and as the culture of the collectivity directly concerned (whose unique genius contributed to the creation of this work); it is also all humanity which experiences a loss by this act of vandalism.

In the acts of barbarity, as well as in those of vandalism, the asocial and destructive spirit of the author is made evident. This spirit, by definition, is the opposite of the culture and progress of humanity. It throws the evolution of ideas back to the bleak period of the Middle Ages. Such acts shock the conscience of all humanity, while generating extreme anxiety about the future. For all these reasons, acts of vandalism and barbarity must be regarded as offenses against the law of nations

A people’s culture, history and identity is what makes a nation. If an invading force has its way, destroying the culture would serve as a stepping stone that would solidify their complete conquest of the land they occupy. Trump is already ignorant of culture and history just like the majority of the elected officials in Washington. Looking back at what Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin said in 1956, Trump is obviously taking advice from Netanyahu and the Israeli hardliners.

Kill the Culture, Destroy a Nation

What Was Behind Trump’s Recent Threats Against Iran’s Culture and Other High Level Sites?

During the Gulf War of the 1990′s, U.S. troops in Baghdad looted important museums, destroyed historical artifacts, some were even found outside of the museums and on the side of roads, many of ancient artifacts and pieces of artworks were stolen. For example, in the city of Hillah, several museums were looted. Then when the George W. Bush Jr. regime came to power in 2000, they blamed Iraq for the September 11 attacks afterwards and accused Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of harboring “weapons of mass destruction” which of course, all turned out to be another manufactured lie by Washington that began another war on Iraq and then the looting of Iraq’s museums continued. There was an estimated 35,000 small and large artifacts that was stolen from the National Museum of Iraq, a tragedy for where the ‘cradle of civilization’ began.

Just last month, if you remember, U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened Iran in a barrage of tweets that his regime “have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” and that they “Will Be Hit Very fast And Very Hard” so much for his support of the Iranian people Trump had claimed in the past. Trump did not follow through with his threats, perhaps slightly disappointing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But first, we must ask ourselves, why did empires of the past including the Mongol empire who invaded Iraq in 1258 that begun the destruction of Iraq’s priceless artifacts? There were revolutionary movements throughout history who also chose to commit ‘Cultural genocide’ by destroying ancient artifacts, artworks, history books and even force the people to speak the invading empire’s language.  By destroying a people’s culture you erase their history, language, art, everything that makes them who they are. Destroying a people’s culture allows the powers that be to shape the present according to their liking, and then the future belongs to them, not to the people who they conquered.  Ancient artifacts for example, embody beliefs, ideas, and sometimes they can even represent the characteristics of a people’s history. Milan Kundera, a Czech-born writer who was living in exile in France once wrote something that described what was behind Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sinister plan. “The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was… The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” Powerful words.  Frantz Fanon, a psychiatrist and political philosopher from the French colony of Martinique in the Caribbean authored a groundbreaking book into the depths of colonialism titled ‘The Wretched of the Earth’ which is reminiscent of what Israeli settlers practice in reality today:

The settler makes history and is conscious of making it. And because he constantly refers to the history of his mother country, he clearly indicates that he himself is the extension of that mother-country. Thus the history which he writes is not the history of the country which he plunders but the history of his own nation in regard to all that she skims off, all that she violates and starves


However, it’s fair to say that Trump’s threat of attacking Iran’s cultural sites on his twitter rant runs much deeper. In regards to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, there are several documents and statements that have been made by hard-line Israelis that wanted to destroy Arab culture, history and identity and at the same time, jeopardize the future of education for children in the Middle East who will not know anything about their past since the creation of the state of Israel. Back on October 28, 1956, Menachem Begin, a former leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, founder of the Likud Party and Israel’s sixth Prime Minister was quoted as saying “You shall have no pity on them until we shall have destroyed their so-called Arab culture, on the ruins of which we shall build our own civilization.” Despite that fact that on December 1948, the United Nations had passed ‘Resolution 194′ that essentially called for the return of Arab refugees and that “holy places, religious buildings, and sites in Palestine should be protected and free access to them assured, in accordance with existing rights and historical practice.”

In June 1967, three days after The Six-Day War, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) destroyed the 770-year old Moroccan Quarter known in the Arab world as The Harat al-Magharibah (The Moroccan Quarter) in the Old City of Jerusalem in order to occupy the sanctuary and construct it for Jews only. The Moroccan Quarter was originally founded by the son of Saladin in the late 12th century. Israel’s efforts was to expand the alley and create a new path to the Western Wall so that Jews can have easy access to pray to the newly conquered area. IDF actions was the start of a long campaign to eliminate Arab culture and replace it with Israel’s perception of its historical and cultural footprint in the region especially Jerusalem. The Institute for Palestine Studies headquartered in Ramallah published an article on the history of the Moroccan Quarter back in 2000 titled ‘The Moroccan Quarter: A History of the Present’ explains how the Israeli government has re-constructed the Arab section of Jerusalem which has taken place in different forms since 1948:

‘Western Propaganda is Paid for in Syrian Blood’

Israeli attempts at re-configuring Arab Jerusalem have been varied over the past half-century. Appropriating the built form in Palestinian owned areas of the city has most often meant seizing Arab structures, homes, and neighborhoods, emptying them of their Arab inhabitants, and substituting new histories, new communities, and new meanings in place of old.

Entire neighborhoods and thousands of Arab homes were taken over by the nascent Jewish state in 1948. Occasionally, however, the Israeli state has sought to demolish and to physically erase particular areas of Palestinian habitation that obstruct Israeli visions for exclusive rule in what mainstream Zionism regards as Israel’s “eternal” and “unified” capital

According to the study “The Harat al-Magharibah (the Moroccan Quarter), first constructed over 700 years ago in the age of the Ayyubids and Mamluks, was on the eve of the June 1967 War home to approximately 650 people and 100 families. The neighborhood as demolished by the Israeli state in the days immediately after it conquered East Jerusalem.” The study also concluded that “This former space represents a site where practices of ethnic cleansing and wholesale dispossession have been combined with Israeli discourses of “the sacred” as well as others which promote exclusivist, transhistorical notions of Jewish entitlement to the city.” The study also described what were the characteristics before 1948:

The Character of the Neighborhood before 1948 The structures that comprised this neighborhood over the course of seven centuries were familial, religious, and social and were built mainly of stone and brick. Clustered densely together, these modest one and two story buildings enveloped a network of narrow alleyways that snaked through this largely poor neighborhood.

Its population became increasingly diverse in the centuries after the quarter‘s inception. Historically, most families resident in this quarter traced a genealogy back to the Maghrib. Pilgrimage or oppression in former lands brought many to Jerusalem. Over the course of several centuries, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Arabs from Palestine and elsewhere also took up residence in this quarter

Today, part of the Israel-Palestinian conflict is the destruction of Palestinian cultural history and replace it with Israel’s historical claims in Palestine from more than 2,000 years ago. However, Palestinian culture and history was not the only target of Israel.  It seems that the Islamic State (ISIS) is taking its marching orders to destroy Arab culture from Israel as they also destroyed numerous archaeological sites with explosives and even bulldozers that deliberately targeted important cultural sites in Iraq and Syria.  ISIS is doing what the Israeli hardliners would want and that is to destroy Arabic culture, history and its identity and deprive future generations of that knowledge. According to one of Israel’s mainstream news websites, Haaretz from December 7th, 2014, ‘UN Reveals Israeli Links With Syrian Rebels’:

The observers have continued to file reports to New York, which were relatively mundane; but their content changed in March 2013, when Israel started admitting injured Syrians for medical treatment in Safed and Nahariya hospitals. The Syrian ambassador to the UN complained of widespread cooperation between Israel and Syrian rebels, not only treatment of the wounded but also other aid



Soon After, the destruction of Syrian cultural and historical sites began. One example I would like to point out was the incident on May 2015, a site called Palmyra, located in the desert in the eastern part of Damascus which was in essence a historical part of the Roman Empire. At one point in history, Palmyra was a wealthy metropolitan city and at its peak around the 3rd century, Queen Zenobia lead a rebellion against the Roman Empire but failed to win its freedom. Rome re-conquered Palmyra and then was destroyed by Rome’s army in A.D. 273. By the 20th Century, Palmyra became one of Syria’s main tourist attractions. The Islamic State invaded the modern town of Palmyra and its ancient ruins and practically destroyed it. ISIS even executed Khaled al-Asaad, a Syrian archaeologist who managed excavations and hung his headless body on a column (a tactic to put fear on civilians). Another site destroyed by the terrorists with explosives was The Temple of Baal Shamin which was a 1,900-year-old ancient temple. The destruction of Dura-Europos, a fortress founded in 303 B.C was another site that also sacked. It was called Dura by the Seleucids on the intersection of an east-west trade routes along another trade route close to the Euphrates. Dura controlled the river crossing on the route between the cities of Antioch and Seleucia on the Tigris. Dura was also considered border city that included Hellenistic, Parthian and the Romans built above the right bank of the Euphrates river and in close proximity to the village of Salhiyé in Syria. By 113 B.C., the Parthians had conquered the city and occupied Dura until 165 A.D. although there was a brief occupation by the Romans around 114 A.D. Under Parthian rule, Dura became an important provincial administrative center until the Romans decided to invade and permanently occupy Dura-Europos by 165 A.D. and expanded their territories reaching the eastern Mesopotamia, but was later destroyed by the Sassanians in 257 A.D.

Besides the fact that different cultures have intermingled at one point or another over the centuries, many interesting findings have been made including temples, inscriptions and tombs which many were looted by the US and Israeli backed terrorists during the height of the Syrian Civil War. According to ‘The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two (1954 and 1999) Protocols’ under ‘Article 4 – Respect For Cultural Property’ clearly states the following:

The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect cultural property situated within their own territory as well as within the territory of other High Contracting Parties by refraining from any use of the property and its immediate surroundings or of the appliances in use for its protection for purposes which are likely to expose it to destruction or damage in the event of armed conflict; and by refraining from any act of hostility, directed against such property

Raphael Lemkin, a lecturer on comparative law at the Institute of Criminology of the Free University of Poland and Deputy Prosecutor of the District Court of Warsaw wrote ‘Acts Constituting a General (Transnational) Danger Considered as Offences Against the Law of Nations.’ One of the sections ‘Acts Of Vandalism: Destruction of the culture and works of art’ described as an act of vandalism:

An attack targeting a collectivity can also take the form of systematic and organized destruction of the art and cultural heritage in which the unique genius and achievement of a collectivity are revealed in fields of science, arts and literature. The contribution of any particular collectivity to world culture as a whole forms the wealth of all of humanity, even while exhibiting unique characteristics.

Thus, the destruction of a work of art of any nation must be regarded as acts of vandalism directed against world culture. The author [of the crime] causes not only the immediate irrevocable losses of the destroyed work as property and as the culture of the collectivity directly concerned (whose unique genius contributed to the creation of this work); it is also all humanity which experiences a loss by this act of vandalism.

In the acts of barbarity, as well as in those of vandalism, the asocial and destructive spirit of the author is made evident. This spirit, by definition, is the opposite of the culture and progress of humanity. It throws the evolution of ideas back to the bleak period of the Middle Ages. Such acts shock the conscience of all humanity, while generating extreme anxiety about the future. For all these reasons, acts of vandalism and barbarity must be regarded as offenses against the law of nations

A people’s culture, history and identity is what makes a nation. If an invading force has its way, destroying the culture would serve as a stepping stone that would solidify their complete conquest of the land they occupy. Trump is already ignorant of culture and history just like the majority of the elected officials in Washington. Looking back at what Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin said in 1956, Trump is obviously taking advice from Netanyahu and the Israeli hardliners.


The United States Supports the Mujahedeen-e Khalk (MEK) Terrorist Organization MEK is considered by Trump as Iran's ‘government in exile’

The United States Supports the Mujahedeen-e Khalk (MEK) Terrorist OrganizationMEK is considered by Trump as Iran's ‘government in exile’


The United States continues to support the Mujahedeen-e Khalk (MEK), despite the fact that that terrorist organization is losing popularity, not that it ever had very much anyway, around the world. The group remains basically based in Albania, a nation that allowed about 4,000 of its members into the country at the insistence of the U.S. government. As Dr. Olsi Jazexhi has stated, “The Americans imposed them (MEK) on Albania and since Albania is a very fragile state, they had to accept”.

But what of other nations? The MEK’s foothold in Spain was lost when it supported the far-right VOX party. It has been barred from rallying in Germany, and France forbid its annual Villepinte rally. MEK members have lost access to European Union Parliament members.

Even the mighty U.S. has officially cooled its rabid support for the anti-Iran terrorist group. Following the assassination of General Qassam Soleimani by the U.S. in January, the murderous U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, ordered diplomats at all U.S. missions not to have contact with ‘Iranian opposition groups’.

Regardless of Pompeo’s statement, the group continues to have high-profile U.S. supporters, including former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, who famously proclaimed in 2017 that the MEK and its minions would be celebrating in the streets of Tehran before the fortieth anniversary of the Iranian Revolution in February 2019. That anniversary, and yet another, came and went without any MEK celebrations anywhere in Iran, let alone in the nation’s capital.



Another famous and infamous U.S. citizen, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to U.S. President Donald Trump, calls the MEK a ‘government in exile’.  Apparently, Giuliani has lost the ability to discern truth from falsehood, fantasy from reality; this is not surprising, considering who employs him. All reputable polls of Iranians, in Iran and around the world, do not support his bizarre assumption that Iranians support the MEK; on the contrary, overwhelming evidence indicates that they oppose the MEK’s goals and tactics.

American-Killing Terror Cult: US Delists Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK)

And to call the MEK a ‘government in exile’ is ludicrous. Consisting of a few thousand aging anti-Iran terrorists, and perhaps a limited number of younger recruits, the organization is not seen as a ‘government in exile’ by anyone but the delusional Giuliani. He also made this amazing statement: the MEK is “…a group that should make us comfortable with regime change.” This statement is incredible in a variety of ways: 1) the U.S. should not be in the business of overthrowing governments (e.g. ‘regime change); 2) who is the ‘us’ that Giuliani says should be comfortable with the MEK as a potential governing body in Iran? Certainly not the Iranians; 3) this is a group that, until 2012, the U.S. designated as a terrorist organization. It is responsible for the deaths of at least 12,000 Iranians. So is Giuliani saying that he would be ‘comfortable’ with a nation of 81,000,000 people run by terrorists? Perhaps so, since he himself works for the head of the largest terrorist organization in the world.

With diminishing support in Europe, and even the U.S. putting the official breaks on contact with the MEK, how does it stay afloat? NBC News reported that it is likely that the MEK id financed by Israeli intelligence. That would make sense, since Israel, like the U.S., is a brutal, repressive regime, in violation of countless international laws, and forever violating the rights of the Palestinians in the most unspeakable ways. And since the U.S. supports Israel with $4 billion annually, one can be confident that some of that money is finding its way to the MEK.

So with fading support, and funding probably coming from Israel, and thus, at least indirectly, from the U.S., what is the MEK to do? Hapless Albania must continue to house them, against the wishes of Albanians, but their leaders are in a U.S. chokehold, so they don’t have much choice. The U.S. wants the MEK nearby in case it needs their terrorism for some reason; the U.S. is not averse to having some other country do its dirty work: witness the U.S.-financed Saudi slaughter of Yemenis, as just one example. And should the Albanian government decide to act as its people want, rather than as the U.S. demands, would the MEK then turn its terrorism on them? Albania has certainly been put between a rock and a hard place by the U.S., which doesn’t care in the least about it or the Albanian people; the whole nation is just a pawn in an international chess game that the U.S. is playing, that no one else is interested in.

The Iranian Revolution, which overthrew the U.S. installed and supported Shah, just celebrated its forty-first anniversary, despite all the efforts of the U.S. to defeat it. One must remember that the democratically-elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh was overthrown by the U.S. government in 1953, and then the Iranian people had to endure twenty-six years of oppression and torture under the U.S. puppet who did exactly what he was told by the U.S.; his repression of the Iranian people was unimportant to the U.S. government. It is unlikely that such an overthrow, if attempted, would be successful again. So instead of direct overthrow, the U.S. attempts to harm the people through sanctions, expecting them to rise up, overthrow the government, and usher in the MEK to repress the people and do the U.S.’s bidding. This is the fantasy that Giuliani, Bolton, Trump, Pompeo and their cohorts dream about, but as has been mentioned, reality and the Trump Administration barely have a nodding acquaintance with each other.

The government of Iran will continue to strengthen its defenses, as it works to strengthen its economy with products other than oil. The U.S. will continue its bizarre rantings about Iran and terrorism, trying to hide the fact that it, not Iran or any other nation on the planet, is the major sponsor of terrorism around the globe. And the Iranian people will continue to demonstrate the remarkable resiliency that has made their nation great.

*

The United States Supports the Mujahedeen-e Khalk (MEK) Terrorist OrganizationMEK is considered by Trump as Iran's ‘government in exile’


The United States continues to support the Mujahedeen-e Khalk (MEK), despite the fact that that terrorist organization is losing popularity, not that it ever had very much anyway, around the world. The group remains basically based in Albania, a nation that allowed about 4,000 of its members into the country at the insistence of the U.S. government. As Dr. Olsi Jazexhi has stated, “The Americans imposed them (MEK) on Albania and since Albania is a very fragile state, they had to accept”.

But what of other nations? The MEK’s foothold in Spain was lost when it supported the far-right VOX party. It has been barred from rallying in Germany, and France forbid its annual Villepinte rally. MEK members have lost access to European Union Parliament members.

Even the mighty U.S. has officially cooled its rabid support for the anti-Iran terrorist group. Following the assassination of General Qassam Soleimani by the U.S. in January, the murderous U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, ordered diplomats at all U.S. missions not to have contact with ‘Iranian opposition groups’.

Regardless of Pompeo’s statement, the group continues to have high-profile U.S. supporters, including former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, who famously proclaimed in 2017 that the MEK and its minions would be celebrating in the streets of Tehran before the fortieth anniversary of the Iranian Revolution in February 2019. That anniversary, and yet another, came and went without any MEK celebrations anywhere in Iran, let alone in the nation’s capital.



Another famous and infamous U.S. citizen, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to U.S. President Donald Trump, calls the MEK a ‘government in exile’.  Apparently, Giuliani has lost the ability to discern truth from falsehood, fantasy from reality; this is not surprising, considering who employs him. All reputable polls of Iranians, in Iran and around the world, do not support his bizarre assumption that Iranians support the MEK; on the contrary, overwhelming evidence indicates that they oppose the MEK’s goals and tactics.

American-Killing Terror Cult: US Delists Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK)

And to call the MEK a ‘government in exile’ is ludicrous. Consisting of a few thousand aging anti-Iran terrorists, and perhaps a limited number of younger recruits, the organization is not seen as a ‘government in exile’ by anyone but the delusional Giuliani. He also made this amazing statement: the MEK is “…a group that should make us comfortable with regime change.” This statement is incredible in a variety of ways: 1) the U.S. should not be in the business of overthrowing governments (e.g. ‘regime change); 2) who is the ‘us’ that Giuliani says should be comfortable with the MEK as a potential governing body in Iran? Certainly not the Iranians; 3) this is a group that, until 2012, the U.S. designated as a terrorist organization. It is responsible for the deaths of at least 12,000 Iranians. So is Giuliani saying that he would be ‘comfortable’ with a nation of 81,000,000 people run by terrorists? Perhaps so, since he himself works for the head of the largest terrorist organization in the world.

With diminishing support in Europe, and even the U.S. putting the official breaks on contact with the MEK, how does it stay afloat? NBC News reported that it is likely that the MEK id financed by Israeli intelligence. That would make sense, since Israel, like the U.S., is a brutal, repressive regime, in violation of countless international laws, and forever violating the rights of the Palestinians in the most unspeakable ways. And since the U.S. supports Israel with $4 billion annually, one can be confident that some of that money is finding its way to the MEK.

So with fading support, and funding probably coming from Israel, and thus, at least indirectly, from the U.S., what is the MEK to do? Hapless Albania must continue to house them, against the wishes of Albanians, but their leaders are in a U.S. chokehold, so they don’t have much choice. The U.S. wants the MEK nearby in case it needs their terrorism for some reason; the U.S. is not averse to having some other country do its dirty work: witness the U.S.-financed Saudi slaughter of Yemenis, as just one example. And should the Albanian government decide to act as its people want, rather than as the U.S. demands, would the MEK then turn its terrorism on them? Albania has certainly been put between a rock and a hard place by the U.S., which doesn’t care in the least about it or the Albanian people; the whole nation is just a pawn in an international chess game that the U.S. is playing, that no one else is interested in.

The Iranian Revolution, which overthrew the U.S. installed and supported Shah, just celebrated its forty-first anniversary, despite all the efforts of the U.S. to defeat it. One must remember that the democratically-elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh was overthrown by the U.S. government in 1953, and then the Iranian people had to endure twenty-six years of oppression and torture under the U.S. puppet who did exactly what he was told by the U.S.; his repression of the Iranian people was unimportant to the U.S. government. It is unlikely that such an overthrow, if attempted, would be successful again. So instead of direct overthrow, the U.S. attempts to harm the people through sanctions, expecting them to rise up, overthrow the government, and usher in the MEK to repress the people and do the U.S.’s bidding. This is the fantasy that Giuliani, Bolton, Trump, Pompeo and their cohorts dream about, but as has been mentioned, reality and the Trump Administration barely have a nodding acquaintance with each other.

The government of Iran will continue to strengthen its defenses, as it works to strengthen its economy with products other than oil. The U.S. will continue its bizarre rantings about Iran and terrorism, trying to hide the fact that it, not Iran or any other nation on the planet, is the major sponsor of terrorism around the globe. And the Iranian people will continue to demonstrate the remarkable resiliency that has made their nation great.

*


Will Censorship Prevail Over The First Amendment?

Will Censorship Prevail Over The First Amendment?

I remember when censorship in America was a limited phemonenon.  It applied during war time—“loose lips sink ships.”  It applied to pornography.  It applied to curse words on the public airwaves and in movies.  It applied to violence in movies.  There could be violence, but not the level that has become common.

Today censorship is ubiquitous.  It is everywhere.  In the United States censorship is both imposed from above and flows from the bottom up.  Censorship is imposed from above by, for example, TV and print media, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and by laws in 28 states prohibiting criticism and participation in boycotts of Israel and by President Trump’s executive order preventing federal funding of educational institutions that permit criticisms of Israel. Censorship flows from the bottom up by, for example, people of protected races, genders, and sexual preference claiming to be offended. 

The ubiquitous censorship that today is characteristic of the United States has shut down comedians. It has shut down criticism of non-whites, homosexuals, transgendered, feminists, and Israel. Official explanations are shielded by labeling skeptics “conspiracy theorists.”  The ubiquitous censorship in the United States is an extraordinary development as the US Constitution guarantees freedom of expression and a free press.

We owe journalist Abby Martin appreciation for reminding us of our right to free speech.  Aby is suing the state of Georgia, one of 28 states that have violated the Constitutional protection of free speech.

Abby was scheduled
 to give the keynote speech at a conference at Georgia Southern Univeristy.  She discovered that in order to speak publicly at a Georgia college she had to sign a pledge of allegience not to criticize Israel.  Her refusal to sign resulted in the conference being cancelled.
Here we have the state of Georgia blocking free speech because it will not support the Israeli position on Palestine. 

Think about this for a moment. More than half of the 50 states that comprise the United States have passed laws that are clear violations of the US Constitution.  Moreover, these 28 states have imposed censorship in behalf of a foreign country.  Americans have gags stuck in their mouths because 28 state governments put the interest of Israel higher than the First Amendment of the US Constitution. When government itself is opposed to free speech, what becomes of democracy and accountable government?
Why would 28 states legislate against the US Constitution?  One explanation is that the state governments were bought by the Israel Lobby with money under the table, by promises of political campaign donations, or by threats of financing rival candidates.  How else do we explain 28 state governments imposing censorship in behalf of a foreign country?
Abby Martin is one person who will not stand for it.  She has brought a lawsuit that—if the US Supreme Court is still a protector of the First Amendment—will result in the 28 state laws and Trump’s executive order being overturned.  The protection of Israel against boycotts parallels state laws passed in the 1950s that prevented Martin Luther King’s movement from boycotting businesses that practiced racial segregation. These laws were overturned by the Supreme Court.

The outcome of Abby Martin’s suit will tell us whether the US Constitution is still a living document.


Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World OrderDonate and support Dr, Roberts Work.
Will Censorship Prevail Over The First Amendment?

I remember when censorship in America was a limited phemonenon.  It applied during war time—“loose lips sink ships.”  It applied to pornography.  It applied to curse words on the public airwaves and in movies.  It applied to violence in movies.  There could be violence, but not the level that has become common.

Today censorship is ubiquitous.  It is everywhere.  In the United States censorship is both imposed from above and flows from the bottom up.  Censorship is imposed from above by, for example, TV and print media, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and by laws in 28 states prohibiting criticism and participation in boycotts of Israel and by President Trump’s executive order preventing federal funding of educational institutions that permit criticisms of Israel. Censorship flows from the bottom up by, for example, people of protected races, genders, and sexual preference claiming to be offended. 

The ubiquitous censorship that today is characteristic of the United States has shut down comedians. It has shut down criticism of non-whites, homosexuals, transgendered, feminists, and Israel. Official explanations are shielded by labeling skeptics “conspiracy theorists.”  The ubiquitous censorship in the United States is an extraordinary development as the US Constitution guarantees freedom of expression and a free press.

We owe journalist Abby Martin appreciation for reminding us of our right to free speech.  Aby is suing the state of Georgia, one of 28 states that have violated the Constitutional protection of free speech.

Abby was scheduled
 to give the keynote speech at a conference at Georgia Southern Univeristy.  She discovered that in order to speak publicly at a Georgia college she had to sign a pledge of allegience not to criticize Israel.  Her refusal to sign resulted in the conference being cancelled.
Here we have the state of Georgia blocking free speech because it will not support the Israeli position on Palestine. 

Think about this for a moment. More than half of the 50 states that comprise the United States have passed laws that are clear violations of the US Constitution.  Moreover, these 28 states have imposed censorship in behalf of a foreign country.  Americans have gags stuck in their mouths because 28 state governments put the interest of Israel higher than the First Amendment of the US Constitution. When government itself is opposed to free speech, what becomes of democracy and accountable government?
Why would 28 states legislate against the US Constitution?  One explanation is that the state governments were bought by the Israel Lobby with money under the table, by promises of political campaign donations, or by threats of financing rival candidates.  How else do we explain 28 state governments imposing censorship in behalf of a foreign country?
Abby Martin is one person who will not stand for it.  She has brought a lawsuit that—if the US Supreme Court is still a protector of the First Amendment—will result in the 28 state laws and Trump’s executive order being overturned.  The protection of Israel against boycotts parallels state laws passed in the 1950s that prevented Martin Luther King’s movement from boycotting businesses that practiced racial segregation. These laws were overturned by the Supreme Court.

The outcome of Abby Martin’s suit will tell us whether the US Constitution is still a living document.


Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World OrderDonate and support Dr, Roberts Work.


Compliance 101: Gun-Toting Cops Endanger Students and Turn the Schools into Prisons

Compliance 101: Gun-Toting Cops Endanger Students and Turn the Schools into Prisons













“Every day in communities across the United States, children and adolescents spend the majority of their waking hours in schools that have increasingly come to resemble places of detention more than places of learning.”—Investigative journalist Annette Fuentes
Just when you thought the government couldn’t get any more tone-deaf about civil liberties and the growing need to protect “we the people” against an overreaching, overbearing police state, the Trump Administration ushers in even more strident zero tolerance policies that treat children like suspects and criminals, greater numbers of school cops, and all the trappings of a prison complex (unsurmountable fences, entrapment areas, no windows or trees, etc.).
The fallout has been what you’d expect, with the nation’s young people treated like hardened criminals: handcuffed, arrested, tasered, tackled and taught the painful lesson that the Constitution (especially the Fourth Amendment) doesn’t mean much in the American police state.
For example, in Florida, a cop assigned to River Ridge High School as a school resource officer, threatened to shoot a student attempting to leave school for a morning orthodontist appointment.
In Kentucky, a school resource officer with the sheriff’s office handcuffed two elementary school children with disabilities, ages 8 and 9. A federal judge made the sheriff’s office pay more than $300,000 (of taxpayer money) to the families, ruling that the handcuffing of  the students “was an unconstitutional seizure and excessive force.”
Welcome to Compliance 101: the police state’s primer in how to churn out compliant citizens and transform the nation’s school’s into quasi-prisons through the use of surveillance cameras, metal detectors, police patrols, zero tolerance policies, lock downs, drug sniffing dogs, strip searches and active shooter drills.
If you were wondering, these police state tactics have not made the schools any safer.
Rather, they’ve turned the schools into authoritarian microcosms of the police state, containing almost every aspect of the militarized, intolerant, senseless, overcriminalized, legalistic, surveillance-riddled, totalitarian landscape that plagues those of us on the “outside.”
Two years after President Trump announced his intention to “harden” the schools, our nation’s children are reaping the ill effects of gun-toting, taser-wielding cops in government-run schools that bear an uncomfortable resemblance to prisons.
America’s schools are about as authoritarian as they come.
From the moment a child enters one of the nation’s 98,000 public schools to the moment he or she graduates, they will be exposed to a steady diet of:
  • draconian zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior,
  • overreaching anti-bullying statutes that criminalize speech,
  • school resource officers (police) tasked with disciplining and/or arresting so-called “disorderly” students,
  • standardized testing that emphasizes rote answers over critical thinking,
  • politically correct mindsets that teach young people to censor themselves and those around them,
  • and extensive biometric and surveillance systems that, coupled with the rest, acclimate young people to a world in which they have no freedom of thought, speech or movement.
Young people in America are now first in line to be searched, surveilled, spied on, threatened, tied up, locked down, treated like criminals for non-criminal behavior, tasered and in some cases shot.
In my day, if you talked back to a teacher, or played a prank on a classmate, or just failed to do your homework, you might find yourself in detention or doing an extra writing assignment after school.
That is no longer the case.
Nowadays, students are not only punished for minor transgressions such as playing cops and robbers on the playground, bringing LEGOs to school, or having a food fight, but the punishments have become far more severe, shifting from detention and visits to the principal’s office into misdemeanor tickets, juvenile court, handcuffs, tasers and even prison terms.
Students have been suspended under school zero tolerance policies for bringing to school “look alike substances” such as oreganobreath mints, birth control pills and powdered sugar.
Look-alike weapons (toy guns—even Lego-sized ones, hand-drawn pictures of guns, pencils twirled in a “threatening” manner, imaginary bows and arrows, even fingers positioned like guns) can also land a student in hot water.
Even good deeds do not go unpunished.
One 13-year-old was given detention for exposing the school to “liability” by sharing his lunch with a hungry friend. A third grader was suspended for shaving her head in sympathy for a friend who had lost her hair to chemotherapy. And then there was the high school senior who was suspended for saying “bless you” after a fellow classmate sneezed.
In South Carolina, where it’s against the law to disturb a school, more than a thousand students a year—some as young as 7 years old—“face criminal charges for not following directions, loitering, cursing, or the vague allegation of acting ‘obnoxiously.’ If charged as adults, they can be held in jail for up to 90 days.”
These outrageous incidents are exactly what you’ll see more of if the Trump Administration gets its way.
Increasing the number of cops in the schools only adds to the problem.
Thanks to a combination of media hype, political pandering and financial incentives, the use of armed police officers (a.k.a. school resource officers) to patrol school hallways has risen dramatically in the years since the Columbine school shooting.
Indeed, the growing presence of police in the nation’s schools is resulting in greater police “involvement in routine discipline matters that principals and parents used to address without involvement from law enforcement officers.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, these school resource officers (SRO) have become de facto wardens in elementary, middle and high schools, doling out their own brand of justice to the so-called “criminals” in their midst with the help of tasers, pepper spray, batons and brute force.
In the absence of school-appropriate guidelines, police are more and more “stepping in to deal with minor rulebreaking: sagging pants, disrespectful comments, brief physical skirmishes. What previously might have resulted in a detention or a visit to the principal’s office was replaced with excruciating pain and temporary blindness, often followed by a trip to the courthouse.”
The horror stories are legion.
One SRO was accused of punching a 13-year-old student in the face for cutting the cafeteria line.
That same cop put another student in a chokehold a week later, allegedly knocking the student unconscious and causing a brain injury.
In Pennsylvania, a student was tasered after ignoring an order to put his cell phone away.
When 13-year-old Kevens Jean Baptiste failed to follow a school bus driver’s direction to keep the bus windows closed (Kevens, who suffers from asthma, opened the window after a fellow student sprayed perfume, causing him to cough and wheeze), he was handcuffed by police, removed from the bus, and while still handcuffed, had his legs swept out from under him by an officer, causing him to crash to the ground.
Young Alex Stone didn’t even make it past the first week of school before he became a victim of the police state. Directed by his teacher to do a creative writing assignment involving a series of fictional Facebook statuses, Stone wrote, “I killed my neighbor's pet dinosaur. I bought the gun to take care of the business.” Despite the fact that dinosaurs are extinct, the status fabricated, and the South Carolina student was merely following orders, his teacher reported him to school administrators, who in turn called the police.
What followed is par for the course in schools today: students were locked down in their classrooms while armed police searched the 16-year-old’s locker and bookbag, handcuffed him, charged him with disorderly conduct disturbing the school, arrested him, detained him, and then he was suspended from school.
Not even the younger, elementary school-aged kids are being spared these “hardening” tactics.
In almost every case, these undeniably harsh methods are used to punish kids—some as young as 4 and 5 years old—for simply failing to follow directions or throwing tantrums.
Very rarely do the kids pose any credible danger to themselves or others.
Unbelievably, these tactics are all legal, at least when employed by school officials or school resource officers in the nation’s public schools.
This is what happens when you introduce police and police tactics into the schools.
Paradoxically, by the time you add in the lockdowns and active shooter drills, instead of making the schools safer, school officials have succeeded in creating an environment in which children are so traumatized that they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, anxiety, mistrust of adults in authority, as well as feelings of anger, depression, humiliation, despair and delusion.
For example, a middle school in Washington State went on lockdown after a student brought a toy gun to class. A Boston high school went into lockdown for four hours after a bullet was discovered in a classroom. A North Carolina elementary school locked down and called in police after a fifth grader reported seeing an unfamiliar man in the school (it turned out to be a parent).
Police officers at a Florida middle school carried out an active shooter drill in an effort to educate students about how to respond in the event of an actual shooting crisis. Two armed officers, guns loaded and drawn, burst into classrooms, terrorizing the students and placing the school into lockdown mode.
If these exercises are intended to instill fear and compliance into young people, they’re working.
As journalist Dahlia Lithwick points out: “I don’t recall any serious national public dialogue about lockdown protocols or how they became the norm. It seems simply to have begun, modeling itself on the lockdowns that occur during prison riots, and then spread until school lockdowns and lockdown drills are as common for our children as fire drills, and as routine as duck-and-cover drills were in the 1950s.”
The toll such incidents take on adults can be life-altering, but when such police brutality is perpetrated on young people, the end result is nothing less than complete indoctrination into becoming compliant citizens of a totalitarian state.
Schools acting like prisons.
School officials acting like wardens.
Students treated like inmates and punished like hardened criminals.
This is the end product of all those so-called school “safety” policies, which run the gamut from zero tolerance policies that punish all infractions harshly to surveillance cameras, metal detectors, random searches, drug-sniffing dogs, school-wide lockdowns, active-shooter drills and militarized police officers.
Unfortunately, advocates for such harsh police tactics and weaponry like to trot out the line that school safety should be our first priority lest we find ourselves with another Sandy Hook.
What they will not tell you is that such shootings are rare.
As one congressional report found, the schools are, generally speaking, safe places for children.
In their zeal to crack down on guns and lock down the schools, these cheerleaders for police state tactics in the schools might also fail to mention the lucrative, multi-million dollar deals being cut with military contractors such as Taser International to equip these school cops with tasers, tanks, rifles and $100,000 shooting detection systems.
Indeed, the transformation of hometown police departments into extensions of the military has been mirrored in the public schools, where school police have been gifted with high-powered M16 rifles, MRAP armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and other military gear. One Texas school district even boasts its own 12-member SWAT team.
According to one law review article on the school-to-prison pipeline, “Many school districts have formed their own police departments, some so large they rival the forces of major United States cities in size. For example, the safety division in New York City’s public schools is so large that if it were a local police department, it would be the fifth-largest police force in the country.”
The ramifications are far-reaching.
There can be no avoiding the hands-on lessons being taught in the schools about the role of police in our lives, ranging from active shooter drills and school-wide lockdowns to incidents in which children engaging in typically childlike behavior are suspended (for shooting an imaginary “arrow” at a fellow classmate), handcuffed (for being disruptive at school), arrested (for throwing water balloons as part of a school prank), and even tasered (for not obeying instructions).
Instead of raising up a generation of freedom fighters—which one would hope would be the objective of the schools—government officials seem determined to churn out newly minted citizens of the American police state who are being taught the hard way what it means to comply, fear and march in lockstep with the government’s dictates.
So what’s the answer, not only for the here-and-now—the children growing up in these quasi-prisons—but for the future of this country?
How do you convince a child who has been routinely handcuffed, shackled, tied down, locked up, and immobilized by government officials—all before he reaches the age of adulthood—that he has any rights at all, let alone the right to challenge wrongdoing, resist oppression and defend himself against injustice?
Most of all, how do you persuade a fellow American that the government works for him when, for most of his young life, he has been incarcerated in an institution that teaches young people to be obedient and compliant citizens who don’t talk back, don’t question and don’t challenge authority?
Peter Gray, a professor of psychology at Boston College, believes that school is a prison that is damaging our kids, and it’s hard to disagree, especially with the numbers of police officers being assigned to schools on the rise.
Students, in turn, are not only finding themselves subjected to police tactics such as handcuffs, leg shackles, tasers and excessive force for “acting up” but are also being ticketed, fined and sent to court for behavior perceived as defiant, disruptive or disorderly such as spraying perfume and writing on a desk.
Clearly, the pathology that characterizes the American police state has passed down to the schools.
Now in addition to the government and its agents viewing the citizenry as suspects to be probed, poked, pinched, tasered, searched, seized, stripped and generally manhandled, all with the general blessing of the courts, our children in the public schools are also fair game for school resource officers who taser teenagers and handcuff kindergartners, school officials who have criminalized childhood behavior, school lockdowns and terror drills that teach your children to fear and comply, and a police state mindset that has transformed the schools into quasi-prisons.
Don’t even get me started on the “school-to-prison pipeline,” the phenomenon in which children who are suspended or expelled from school have a greater likelihood of ending up in jail. One study found that “being suspended or expelled made a student nearly three times more likely to come into contact with the juvenile justice system within the next year.”
By the time the average young person in America finishes their public school education, nearly one out of every three of them will have been arrested. Nearly 40 percent of those young people who are arrested will serve time in a private prison, where the emphasis is on making profits for large megacorporations above all else.
Indeed, this profit-driven system of incarceration has also given rise to a growth in juvenile prisons and financial incentives for jailing young people. In this way, young people have become easy targets for the private prison industry, which profits from criminalizing childish behavior and jailing young people.
None of these tactics are making our communities or schools any safer, and they’re certainly not contributing to environments in which learning flourishes. Incredibly, despite the fact that the U.S. invests more money in public education (roughly $13,000 per child per year) than many other developed countries, we rank around the middle of the pack in science, math and reading, and behind many other advanced industrial nations.
Without a doubt, change is needed, but that will mean taking on the teachers’ unions, the school unions, the educators’ associations, and the police unions, not to mention the politicians dependent on their votes and all of the corporations that profit mightily from an industrial school complex.
As we’ve seen with other issues, any significant reforms will have to start locally and trickle upwards.
For starters, parents need to be vocal, visible and organized and demand that school officials 1) adopt a policy of positive reinforcement in dealing with behavior issues; 2) minimize the presence in the schools of police officers and cease involving them in student discipline; and 3) insist that all behavioral issues be addressed first and foremost with a child’s parents, before any other disciplinary tactics are attempted.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if you want a nation of criminals, treat the citizenry like criminals.
If you want young people who grow up seeing themselves as prisoners, run the schools like prisons.
If, on the other hand, you want to raise up a generation of freedom fighters, who will actually operate with justice, fairness, accountability and equality towards each other and their government, then run the schools like freedom forums.
Remove the metal detectors and surveillance cameras, re-assign the cops elsewhere, and start treating our nation’s young people like citizens of a republic and not inmates in a police state penitentiary.

Compliance 101: Gun-Toting Cops Endanger Students and Turn the Schools into Prisons













“Every day in communities across the United States, children and adolescents spend the majority of their waking hours in schools that have increasingly come to resemble places of detention more than places of learning.”—Investigative journalist Annette Fuentes
Just when you thought the government couldn’t get any more tone-deaf about civil liberties and the growing need to protect “we the people” against an overreaching, overbearing police state, the Trump Administration ushers in even more strident zero tolerance policies that treat children like suspects and criminals, greater numbers of school cops, and all the trappings of a prison complex (unsurmountable fences, entrapment areas, no windows or trees, etc.).
The fallout has been what you’d expect, with the nation’s young people treated like hardened criminals: handcuffed, arrested, tasered, tackled and taught the painful lesson that the Constitution (especially the Fourth Amendment) doesn’t mean much in the American police state.
For example, in Florida, a cop assigned to River Ridge High School as a school resource officer, threatened to shoot a student attempting to leave school for a morning orthodontist appointment.
In Kentucky, a school resource officer with the sheriff’s office handcuffed two elementary school children with disabilities, ages 8 and 9. A federal judge made the sheriff’s office pay more than $300,000 (of taxpayer money) to the families, ruling that the handcuffing of  the students “was an unconstitutional seizure and excessive force.”
Welcome to Compliance 101: the police state’s primer in how to churn out compliant citizens and transform the nation’s school’s into quasi-prisons through the use of surveillance cameras, metal detectors, police patrols, zero tolerance policies, lock downs, drug sniffing dogs, strip searches and active shooter drills.
If you were wondering, these police state tactics have not made the schools any safer.
Rather, they’ve turned the schools into authoritarian microcosms of the police state, containing almost every aspect of the militarized, intolerant, senseless, overcriminalized, legalistic, surveillance-riddled, totalitarian landscape that plagues those of us on the “outside.”
Two years after President Trump announced his intention to “harden” the schools, our nation’s children are reaping the ill effects of gun-toting, taser-wielding cops in government-run schools that bear an uncomfortable resemblance to prisons.
America’s schools are about as authoritarian as they come.
From the moment a child enters one of the nation’s 98,000 public schools to the moment he or she graduates, they will be exposed to a steady diet of:
  • draconian zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior,
  • overreaching anti-bullying statutes that criminalize speech,
  • school resource officers (police) tasked with disciplining and/or arresting so-called “disorderly” students,
  • standardized testing that emphasizes rote answers over critical thinking,
  • politically correct mindsets that teach young people to censor themselves and those around them,
  • and extensive biometric and surveillance systems that, coupled with the rest, acclimate young people to a world in which they have no freedom of thought, speech or movement.
Young people in America are now first in line to be searched, surveilled, spied on, threatened, tied up, locked down, treated like criminals for non-criminal behavior, tasered and in some cases shot.
In my day, if you talked back to a teacher, or played a prank on a classmate, or just failed to do your homework, you might find yourself in detention or doing an extra writing assignment after school.
That is no longer the case.
Nowadays, students are not only punished for minor transgressions such as playing cops and robbers on the playground, bringing LEGOs to school, or having a food fight, but the punishments have become far more severe, shifting from detention and visits to the principal’s office into misdemeanor tickets, juvenile court, handcuffs, tasers and even prison terms.
Students have been suspended under school zero tolerance policies for bringing to school “look alike substances” such as oreganobreath mints, birth control pills and powdered sugar.
Look-alike weapons (toy guns—even Lego-sized ones, hand-drawn pictures of guns, pencils twirled in a “threatening” manner, imaginary bows and arrows, even fingers positioned like guns) can also land a student in hot water.
Even good deeds do not go unpunished.
One 13-year-old was given detention for exposing the school to “liability” by sharing his lunch with a hungry friend. A third grader was suspended for shaving her head in sympathy for a friend who had lost her hair to chemotherapy. And then there was the high school senior who was suspended for saying “bless you” after a fellow classmate sneezed.
In South Carolina, where it’s against the law to disturb a school, more than a thousand students a year—some as young as 7 years old—“face criminal charges for not following directions, loitering, cursing, or the vague allegation of acting ‘obnoxiously.’ If charged as adults, they can be held in jail for up to 90 days.”
These outrageous incidents are exactly what you’ll see more of if the Trump Administration gets its way.
Increasing the number of cops in the schools only adds to the problem.
Thanks to a combination of media hype, political pandering and financial incentives, the use of armed police officers (a.k.a. school resource officers) to patrol school hallways has risen dramatically in the years since the Columbine school shooting.
Indeed, the growing presence of police in the nation’s schools is resulting in greater police “involvement in routine discipline matters that principals and parents used to address without involvement from law enforcement officers.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, these school resource officers (SRO) have become de facto wardens in elementary, middle and high schools, doling out their own brand of justice to the so-called “criminals” in their midst with the help of tasers, pepper spray, batons and brute force.
In the absence of school-appropriate guidelines, police are more and more “stepping in to deal with minor rulebreaking: sagging pants, disrespectful comments, brief physical skirmishes. What previously might have resulted in a detention or a visit to the principal’s office was replaced with excruciating pain and temporary blindness, often followed by a trip to the courthouse.”
The horror stories are legion.
One SRO was accused of punching a 13-year-old student in the face for cutting the cafeteria line.
That same cop put another student in a chokehold a week later, allegedly knocking the student unconscious and causing a brain injury.
In Pennsylvania, a student was tasered after ignoring an order to put his cell phone away.
When 13-year-old Kevens Jean Baptiste failed to follow a school bus driver’s direction to keep the bus windows closed (Kevens, who suffers from asthma, opened the window after a fellow student sprayed perfume, causing him to cough and wheeze), he was handcuffed by police, removed from the bus, and while still handcuffed, had his legs swept out from under him by an officer, causing him to crash to the ground.
Young Alex Stone didn’t even make it past the first week of school before he became a victim of the police state. Directed by his teacher to do a creative writing assignment involving a series of fictional Facebook statuses, Stone wrote, “I killed my neighbor's pet dinosaur. I bought the gun to take care of the business.” Despite the fact that dinosaurs are extinct, the status fabricated, and the South Carolina student was merely following orders, his teacher reported him to school administrators, who in turn called the police.
What followed is par for the course in schools today: students were locked down in their classrooms while armed police searched the 16-year-old’s locker and bookbag, handcuffed him, charged him with disorderly conduct disturbing the school, arrested him, detained him, and then he was suspended from school.
Not even the younger, elementary school-aged kids are being spared these “hardening” tactics.
In almost every case, these undeniably harsh methods are used to punish kids—some as young as 4 and 5 years old—for simply failing to follow directions or throwing tantrums.
Very rarely do the kids pose any credible danger to themselves or others.
Unbelievably, these tactics are all legal, at least when employed by school officials or school resource officers in the nation’s public schools.
This is what happens when you introduce police and police tactics into the schools.
Paradoxically, by the time you add in the lockdowns and active shooter drills, instead of making the schools safer, school officials have succeeded in creating an environment in which children are so traumatized that they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, anxiety, mistrust of adults in authority, as well as feelings of anger, depression, humiliation, despair and delusion.
For example, a middle school in Washington State went on lockdown after a student brought a toy gun to class. A Boston high school went into lockdown for four hours after a bullet was discovered in a classroom. A North Carolina elementary school locked down and called in police after a fifth grader reported seeing an unfamiliar man in the school (it turned out to be a parent).
Police officers at a Florida middle school carried out an active shooter drill in an effort to educate students about how to respond in the event of an actual shooting crisis. Two armed officers, guns loaded and drawn, burst into classrooms, terrorizing the students and placing the school into lockdown mode.
If these exercises are intended to instill fear and compliance into young people, they’re working.
As journalist Dahlia Lithwick points out: “I don’t recall any serious national public dialogue about lockdown protocols or how they became the norm. It seems simply to have begun, modeling itself on the lockdowns that occur during prison riots, and then spread until school lockdowns and lockdown drills are as common for our children as fire drills, and as routine as duck-and-cover drills were in the 1950s.”
The toll such incidents take on adults can be life-altering, but when such police brutality is perpetrated on young people, the end result is nothing less than complete indoctrination into becoming compliant citizens of a totalitarian state.
Schools acting like prisons.
School officials acting like wardens.
Students treated like inmates and punished like hardened criminals.
This is the end product of all those so-called school “safety” policies, which run the gamut from zero tolerance policies that punish all infractions harshly to surveillance cameras, metal detectors, random searches, drug-sniffing dogs, school-wide lockdowns, active-shooter drills and militarized police officers.
Unfortunately, advocates for such harsh police tactics and weaponry like to trot out the line that school safety should be our first priority lest we find ourselves with another Sandy Hook.
What they will not tell you is that such shootings are rare.
As one congressional report found, the schools are, generally speaking, safe places for children.
In their zeal to crack down on guns and lock down the schools, these cheerleaders for police state tactics in the schools might also fail to mention the lucrative, multi-million dollar deals being cut with military contractors such as Taser International to equip these school cops with tasers, tanks, rifles and $100,000 shooting detection systems.
Indeed, the transformation of hometown police departments into extensions of the military has been mirrored in the public schools, where school police have been gifted with high-powered M16 rifles, MRAP armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and other military gear. One Texas school district even boasts its own 12-member SWAT team.
According to one law review article on the school-to-prison pipeline, “Many school districts have formed their own police departments, some so large they rival the forces of major United States cities in size. For example, the safety division in New York City’s public schools is so large that if it were a local police department, it would be the fifth-largest police force in the country.”
The ramifications are far-reaching.
There can be no avoiding the hands-on lessons being taught in the schools about the role of police in our lives, ranging from active shooter drills and school-wide lockdowns to incidents in which children engaging in typically childlike behavior are suspended (for shooting an imaginary “arrow” at a fellow classmate), handcuffed (for being disruptive at school), arrested (for throwing water balloons as part of a school prank), and even tasered (for not obeying instructions).
Instead of raising up a generation of freedom fighters—which one would hope would be the objective of the schools—government officials seem determined to churn out newly minted citizens of the American police state who are being taught the hard way what it means to comply, fear and march in lockstep with the government’s dictates.
So what’s the answer, not only for the here-and-now—the children growing up in these quasi-prisons—but for the future of this country?
How do you convince a child who has been routinely handcuffed, shackled, tied down, locked up, and immobilized by government officials—all before he reaches the age of adulthood—that he has any rights at all, let alone the right to challenge wrongdoing, resist oppression and defend himself against injustice?
Most of all, how do you persuade a fellow American that the government works for him when, for most of his young life, he has been incarcerated in an institution that teaches young people to be obedient and compliant citizens who don’t talk back, don’t question and don’t challenge authority?
Peter Gray, a professor of psychology at Boston College, believes that school is a prison that is damaging our kids, and it’s hard to disagree, especially with the numbers of police officers being assigned to schools on the rise.
Students, in turn, are not only finding themselves subjected to police tactics such as handcuffs, leg shackles, tasers and excessive force for “acting up” but are also being ticketed, fined and sent to court for behavior perceived as defiant, disruptive or disorderly such as spraying perfume and writing on a desk.
Clearly, the pathology that characterizes the American police state has passed down to the schools.
Now in addition to the government and its agents viewing the citizenry as suspects to be probed, poked, pinched, tasered, searched, seized, stripped and generally manhandled, all with the general blessing of the courts, our children in the public schools are also fair game for school resource officers who taser teenagers and handcuff kindergartners, school officials who have criminalized childhood behavior, school lockdowns and terror drills that teach your children to fear and comply, and a police state mindset that has transformed the schools into quasi-prisons.
Don’t even get me started on the “school-to-prison pipeline,” the phenomenon in which children who are suspended or expelled from school have a greater likelihood of ending up in jail. One study found that “being suspended or expelled made a student nearly three times more likely to come into contact with the juvenile justice system within the next year.”
By the time the average young person in America finishes their public school education, nearly one out of every three of them will have been arrested. Nearly 40 percent of those young people who are arrested will serve time in a private prison, where the emphasis is on making profits for large megacorporations above all else.
Indeed, this profit-driven system of incarceration has also given rise to a growth in juvenile prisons and financial incentives for jailing young people. In this way, young people have become easy targets for the private prison industry, which profits from criminalizing childish behavior and jailing young people.
None of these tactics are making our communities or schools any safer, and they’re certainly not contributing to environments in which learning flourishes. Incredibly, despite the fact that the U.S. invests more money in public education (roughly $13,000 per child per year) than many other developed countries, we rank around the middle of the pack in science, math and reading, and behind many other advanced industrial nations.
Without a doubt, change is needed, but that will mean taking on the teachers’ unions, the school unions, the educators’ associations, and the police unions, not to mention the politicians dependent on their votes and all of the corporations that profit mightily from an industrial school complex.
As we’ve seen with other issues, any significant reforms will have to start locally and trickle upwards.
For starters, parents need to be vocal, visible and organized and demand that school officials 1) adopt a policy of positive reinforcement in dealing with behavior issues; 2) minimize the presence in the schools of police officers and cease involving them in student discipline; and 3) insist that all behavioral issues be addressed first and foremost with a child’s parents, before any other disciplinary tactics are attempted.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if you want a nation of criminals, treat the citizenry like criminals.
If you want young people who grow up seeing themselves as prisoners, run the schools like prisons.
If, on the other hand, you want to raise up a generation of freedom fighters, who will actually operate with justice, fairness, accountability and equality towards each other and their government, then run the schools like freedom forums.
Remove the metal detectors and surveillance cameras, re-assign the cops elsewhere, and start treating our nation’s young people like citizens of a republic and not inmates in a police state penitentiary.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

7 Reasons to Oppose Red Flag Guns Laws

7 Reasons to Oppose Red Flag Guns Laws

The Associated Press reports Congress is seriously considering red flag gun laws.

These laws, also called “extreme risk protection orders,” allow courts to issue orders allowing law enforcement to seize firearms from people who’ve committed no crime but are believed to be a danger to themselves or others.

President Trump has signaled his backing of bipartisan Senate legislation sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

“We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms and that if they do those firearms can be taken through rapid due process,” Trump said in a White House speech.

Red flag laws have garnered support from several conservative intellectuals, as well, including David French of National Review and Ben Shapiro.

Here are seven reasons red flag laws should be opposed, particularly at the federal level.

1. There’s No Evidence Red Flag Laws Reduce Gun Violence
Most people haven’t heard of red flag laws until recently—if they have at all—but they aren’t new.

Connecticut enacted the nation’s first red flag law in 1999, followed by Indiana (2005). This means social scientists have had decades to analyze the effectiveness of these laws. And what did they find?

“The evidence,” The New York Times recently reported, “for whether extreme risk protection orders work to prevent gun violence is inconclusive, according to a study by the RAND Corporation on the effectiveness of gun safety measures.”

The Washington Post reports that California’s red flag went basically unused for two years after its passage in 2016. Washington, D.C.’s law has gone entirely unused. Other states, such as Florida and Maryland, have gone the other direction, seizing hundreds of firearms from gun-owners. Yet it’s unclear if these actions stopped a shooting.

With additional states passing red flag laws, researchers will soon have much more data to analyze. But before passing expansive federal legislation that infringes on civil liberties, lawmakers should have clear and compelling empirical evidence that red flag laws actually do what they are intended to do.

2. Congress Lacks the Authority
The Founding Fathers clearly enumerated the powers of the federal government in the Constitution. Among the powers granted in Article I, Section 8 are “the power to coin money, to regulate commerce, to declare war, to raise and maintain armed forces, and to establish a Post Office.”

Regulating firearms is not among the powers listed in the Constitution (though this has not always stopped lawmakers from regulating them). In fact, the document expressly forbids the federal government from doing so, stating in the Second Amendment that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

3. We Have Federalism
Unlike the federal government, whose powers, James Madison noted, are “few and defined,” states possess powers that “are numerous and indefinite.”

Indeed, 17 states and the District of Columbia already have red flag laws, and many more states are in the process of adding them. This shows that the people and their representatives are fully capable of passing such laws if they choose. If red flag laws are deemed desirable, this is the appropriate place to pursue such laws, assuming they pass constitutional muster. But do they?

4. Red Flag Laws Violate Due Process
The Constitution mandates that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

Seizing the property of individuals who have been convicted of no crime violates this provision. Gun control advocates claim due process is not violated because people whose firearms are taken can appeal to courts to reclaim their property. However, as economist Raheem Williams has observed, “this backward process would imply that the Second Amendment is a privilege, not a right.”

Depriving individuals of a clearly established, constitutionally-guaranteed right in the absence of criminal charges or trial is an affront to civil liberties.

5. Red Flag Laws Could Lead to More Violence
In 2018, two Maryland police officers shot and killed 61-year-old Gary Willis in his own house after waking him at 5:17 a.m. The officers, who were not harmed during the shooting, had been ordered to remove guns from his home under the state’s red flag law, which had gone into effect one month prior to the shooting.

While red flag laws are designed to reduce violence, it’s possible they could do the opposite by creating confrontations between law enforcement and gun owners like Willis, especially as the enforcement of red flag laws expands.

6. It’s Not Just the “Mentally Ill” and Grave Threats Who Are Flagged
In theory, red flag laws are supposed to target individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others. In practice, they can work quite differently.

In a 14-page analysis, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island explained that few people understand just how expansive the state’s red flag law is.

“It is worth emphasizing that while a seeming urgent need for [the law] derives from recent egregious and deadly mass shootings, [the law’s] reach goes far beyond any efforts to address such extraordinary incidents,” the authors said. Individuals who find themselves involved in these proceedings often have no clear constitutional right to counsel.

“As written, a person could be subject to an extreme risk protective order (ERPO) without ever having committed, or even having threatened to commit, an act of violence with a firearm.”

Though comprehensive information is thin, and laws differ from state to state, anecdotal evidence suggests Rhode Island’s law is not unique. A University of Central Florida student, for example, was hauled into proceedings and received a year-long RPO (risk protection order) for saying “stupid” things on Reddit following a mass shooting, even though the student had no criminal history and didn’t own a firearm. (The student also was falsely portrayed as a “ticking time bomb” by police, Jacub Sullum reports.) Another man, Reason reports, was slapped with an RPO for criticizing teenage gun control activists online and sharing a picture of an AR-15 rifle he had built.

Individuals who find themselves involved in these proceedings often have no clear constitutional right to counsel, civil libertarians point out.

7. They’re Basically Pre-Crime
As I’ve previously observed, red flag laws are essentially a form of pre-crime, a theme explored in the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie Minority Report, based on a 1956 Philip K. Dick novel.

I’m not the only writer to make the connection. In an article that appeared in Salon, Travis Dunn linked red flag laws “to the science fiction scenario of The Minority Report, in which precognitive police try to stop crimes before they’re committed.”

That government can prevent crimes before they occur may sound like sci-fi fantasy (which it is), but the threat posed to civil liberties is quite real.


If this sounds far-fetched, consider that the president recently called upon social media companies to collaborate with the Department of Justice to catch “red flags” using algorithmic technology.

The idea that governments can prevent crimes before they occur may sound like sci-fi fantasy (which it is), but the threat such ideas pose to civil liberties is quite real.

Compromising civil liberties and property rights to prevent acts of violence that have yet to occur are policies more suited for dystopian thrillers⁠—and police states⁠—than a free society.

It’s clear that laws of this magnitude should not be passed as an emotional or political response to an event, even a tragic one.


THE TRUTH MUST BE TOLD
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Please take a moment to consider this. Now, more than ever, people are reading FREEDOM OR ANARCHY Campaign of Conscience for news they won't get anywhere else. But advertising revenues have all but disappeared. Google Adsense is the online advertising monopoly and they have banned us. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have blocked and shadow-banned our accounts. But we won't put up a paywall. Because never has the free world needed independent journalism more.

Everyone who reads our reporting knows the Freedom Report covers the news the media won't. We cannot do our ground-breaking report without your support. We must continue to report on the global jihad and the left's war on freedom. Our readers’ contributions make that possible.

FREEDOM OR ANARCHY Campaign of Conscience Report's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our work is critical in the fight for freedom and because it is your fight, too.

Please contribute to our ground-breaking work here.Please contribute to our ground-breaking work here please send all contributions to Joseph F Barber 5309 Murfreesboro Rd La Vergne,TN,37086 suite,1113

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7 Reasons to Oppose Red Flag Guns Laws

The Associated Press reports Congress is seriously considering red flag gun laws.

These laws, also called “extreme risk protection orders,” allow courts to issue orders allowing law enforcement to seize firearms from people who’ve committed no crime but are believed to be a danger to themselves or others.

President Trump has signaled his backing of bipartisan Senate legislation sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

“We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms and that if they do those firearms can be taken through rapid due process,” Trump said in a White House speech.

Red flag laws have garnered support from several conservative intellectuals, as well, including David French of National Review and Ben Shapiro.

Here are seven reasons red flag laws should be opposed, particularly at the federal level.

1. There’s No Evidence Red Flag Laws Reduce Gun Violence
Most people haven’t heard of red flag laws until recently—if they have at all—but they aren’t new.

Connecticut enacted the nation’s first red flag law in 1999, followed by Indiana (2005). This means social scientists have had decades to analyze the effectiveness of these laws. And what did they find?

“The evidence,” The New York Times recently reported, “for whether extreme risk protection orders work to prevent gun violence is inconclusive, according to a study by the RAND Corporation on the effectiveness of gun safety measures.”

The Washington Post reports that California’s red flag went basically unused for two years after its passage in 2016. Washington, D.C.’s law has gone entirely unused. Other states, such as Florida and Maryland, have gone the other direction, seizing hundreds of firearms from gun-owners. Yet it’s unclear if these actions stopped a shooting.

With additional states passing red flag laws, researchers will soon have much more data to analyze. But before passing expansive federal legislation that infringes on civil liberties, lawmakers should have clear and compelling empirical evidence that red flag laws actually do what they are intended to do.

2. Congress Lacks the Authority
The Founding Fathers clearly enumerated the powers of the federal government in the Constitution. Among the powers granted in Article I, Section 8 are “the power to coin money, to regulate commerce, to declare war, to raise and maintain armed forces, and to establish a Post Office.”

Regulating firearms is not among the powers listed in the Constitution (though this has not always stopped lawmakers from regulating them). In fact, the document expressly forbids the federal government from doing so, stating in the Second Amendment that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

3. We Have Federalism
Unlike the federal government, whose powers, James Madison noted, are “few and defined,” states possess powers that “are numerous and indefinite.”

Indeed, 17 states and the District of Columbia already have red flag laws, and many more states are in the process of adding them. This shows that the people and their representatives are fully capable of passing such laws if they choose. If red flag laws are deemed desirable, this is the appropriate place to pursue such laws, assuming they pass constitutional muster. But do they?

4. Red Flag Laws Violate Due Process
The Constitution mandates that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

Seizing the property of individuals who have been convicted of no crime violates this provision. Gun control advocates claim due process is not violated because people whose firearms are taken can appeal to courts to reclaim their property. However, as economist Raheem Williams has observed, “this backward process would imply that the Second Amendment is a privilege, not a right.”

Depriving individuals of a clearly established, constitutionally-guaranteed right in the absence of criminal charges or trial is an affront to civil liberties.

5. Red Flag Laws Could Lead to More Violence
In 2018, two Maryland police officers shot and killed 61-year-old Gary Willis in his own house after waking him at 5:17 a.m. The officers, who were not harmed during the shooting, had been ordered to remove guns from his home under the state’s red flag law, which had gone into effect one month prior to the shooting.

While red flag laws are designed to reduce violence, it’s possible they could do the opposite by creating confrontations between law enforcement and gun owners like Willis, especially as the enforcement of red flag laws expands.

6. It’s Not Just the “Mentally Ill” and Grave Threats Who Are Flagged
In theory, red flag laws are supposed to target individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others. In practice, they can work quite differently.

In a 14-page analysis, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island explained that few people understand just how expansive the state’s red flag law is.

“It is worth emphasizing that while a seeming urgent need for [the law] derives from recent egregious and deadly mass shootings, [the law’s] reach goes far beyond any efforts to address such extraordinary incidents,” the authors said. Individuals who find themselves involved in these proceedings often have no clear constitutional right to counsel.

“As written, a person could be subject to an extreme risk protective order (ERPO) without ever having committed, or even having threatened to commit, an act of violence with a firearm.”

Though comprehensive information is thin, and laws differ from state to state, anecdotal evidence suggests Rhode Island’s law is not unique. A University of Central Florida student, for example, was hauled into proceedings and received a year-long RPO (risk protection order) for saying “stupid” things on Reddit following a mass shooting, even though the student had no criminal history and didn’t own a firearm. (The student also was falsely portrayed as a “ticking time bomb” by police, Jacub Sullum reports.) Another man, Reason reports, was slapped with an RPO for criticizing teenage gun control activists online and sharing a picture of an AR-15 rifle he had built.

Individuals who find themselves involved in these proceedings often have no clear constitutional right to counsel, civil libertarians point out.

7. They’re Basically Pre-Crime
As I’ve previously observed, red flag laws are essentially a form of pre-crime, a theme explored in the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie Minority Report, based on a 1956 Philip K. Dick novel.

I’m not the only writer to make the connection. In an article that appeared in Salon, Travis Dunn linked red flag laws “to the science fiction scenario of The Minority Report, in which precognitive police try to stop crimes before they’re committed.”

That government can prevent crimes before they occur may sound like sci-fi fantasy (which it is), but the threat posed to civil liberties is quite real.


If this sounds far-fetched, consider that the president recently called upon social media companies to collaborate with the Department of Justice to catch “red flags” using algorithmic technology.

The idea that governments can prevent crimes before they occur may sound like sci-fi fantasy (which it is), but the threat such ideas pose to civil liberties is quite real.

Compromising civil liberties and property rights to prevent acts of violence that have yet to occur are policies more suited for dystopian thrillers⁠—and police states⁠—than a free society.

It’s clear that laws of this magnitude should not be passed as an emotional or political response to an event, even a tragic one.


THE TRUTH MUST BE TOLD
Your contribution supports independent journalism

Please take a moment to consider this. Now, more than ever, people are reading FREEDOM OR ANARCHY Campaign of Conscience for news they won't get anywhere else. But advertising revenues have all but disappeared. Google Adsense is the online advertising monopoly and they have banned us. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have blocked and shadow-banned our accounts. But we won't put up a paywall. Because never has the free world needed independent journalism more.

Everyone who reads our reporting knows the Freedom Report covers the news the media won't. We cannot do our ground-breaking report without your support. We must continue to report on the global jihad and the left's war on freedom. Our readers’ contributions make that possible.

FREEDOM OR ANARCHY Campaign of Conscience Report's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our work is critical in the fight for freedom and because it is your fight, too.

Please contribute to our ground-breaking work here.Please contribute to our ground-breaking work here please send all contributions to Joseph F Barber 5309 Murfreesboro Rd La Vergne,TN,37086 suite,1113

Email:jfbarbertradesmen@yahoo.com

Phone: 760-261-9122