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John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead’s aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties has earned him numerous accolades and accomplishments, including the Hungarian Medal of Freedom. His concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him, in 1982, to establish The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization in Charlottesville, Va. Whitehead serves as the Institute’s president and spokesperson. His thought-provoking commentaries call people to action and address a wide range of contemporary issues from faith to politics and television to constitutional rights. He is also a frequent commentator on a variety of issues in the national media, as well as the editor of the award-winning pop culture magazine, Gadfly. Whitehead's book A Government of Wolves will be published in June 2013. Please visit On Target to view Whitehead's weekly video commentaries. He also blogs daily about the emerging police state at http://agovernmentofwolves.com/
Tuesday, April 12, 2016(4 comments)
Fleecing the American Taxpayer: The Profit Incentives Driving the Police State
If there is an absolute maxim by which the federal government seems to operate, it is that the American taxpayer always gets ripped off. Not only are American taxpayers forced to "spend more on state, municipal, and federal taxes than the annual financial burdens of food, clothing, and housing combined," but we're also being played as easy marks by hustlers bearing the imprimatur of the government.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016(3 comments)
The Slippery Slope: It's Not Just the Unborn Being Denied Rights Under the Constitution
When presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declares that unborn babies do not have constitutional rights, she's providing us with a glimpse into an increasingly troubling mindset among government officials who believe that the government not only has the power to determine who is deserving of constitutional rights in the eyes of the law but also has the authority to deny those rights to an American citizen.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016(47 comments)
From Democracy to Pathocracy: The Rise of the Political Psychopath
Electing a psychopath to public office is tantamount to national hara-kiri, the ritualized act of self-annihilation, self-destruction and suicide. It signals the demise of democratic government and lays the groundwork for a totalitarian regime that is legalistic, militaristic, inflexible, intolerant and inhuman. So why do we keep doing it over and over again?
Thursday, March 24, 2016(4 comments)
Crucified for the Crime of Extremism: Jesus Died in a Police State
Those living through this present age of militarized police, SWAT team raids, police shootings of unarmed citizens, roadside strip searches, and invasive surveillance might feel as if these events are unprecedented, yet the characteristics of a police state and its reasons for being are no different today than they were in Jesus Christ's lifetime: control, power and money.
Monday, March 21, 2016(3 comments)
Fascism, American Style
If Donald Trump is a fascist--as nearly half of Americans surveyed believe--then so is every other politician in office or running for office in America who has ever prioritized money and power over human beings.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016(3 comments)
America's Gestapo: The FBI's Reign of Terror
The FBI, the nation's largest law enforcement agency, rivals the NSA in resources, technology, intelligence, and power. Yet while the NSA has repeatedly come under fire for its domestic spying programs, the FBI has continued to operate its subversive and clearly unconstitutional programs with little significant oversight or push-back from the public, Congress or the courts.
Monday, February 22, 2016(12 comments)
Welcome to the Age of Authoritarianism
We have moved beyond the era of representative government and entered a new age--the age of authoritarianism. Even with its constantly shifting terrain, this topsy-turvy travesty of law and government has become America's new normal.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 The People vs. the Police State: The Struggle for Justice in the Supreme Court
With every vacant seat on the Supreme Court and in key judgeships around the country, we are witnessing a transformation of the courts into pallid, legalistic bureaucracies governed by a new breed of judges who have been careful to refrain from saying, doing or writing anything that might compromise their future ambitions.
Monday, February 8, 2016 Dangerous Speech: Would the Founders Be Considered Domestic Extremists Today?
Try suggesting, as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin did, that Americans should not only take up arms but be prepared to shed blood in order to protect their liberties, and you might find yourself placed on a terrorist watch list and vulnerable to being rounded up by government agents.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016(2 comments)
Circus Politics: Will Our Freedoms Survive Another Presidential Election?
Who needs bread and circuses when you have the assortment of clowns and contortionists that are running for the White House?
Truly, politics in America has been reduced to a three-ring circus complete with carnival barkers, acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, lion tamers, animal trainers, tight rope walkers, freaks, strong men, magicians, snake charmers, fire eaters, sword swallowers, knife throwers, ringmasters and clowns.
Saturday, January 16, 2016 What Happens to a Dream Deferred? Ask Martin Luther King Jr.
More than 50 years after King was assassinated, his dream of a world without racism, militarism and materialism remains distant. Indeed, the reality we must contend with is far different from King's dream for the future: America has become a ticking time bomb of racial unrest and injustice, police militarization, surveillance, government corruption and ineptitude, blowblack from a battlefield mindset and endless wars.
Monday, January 11, 2016(1 comments)
The State of the Nation: A Dictatorship Without Tears
The state of our nation under Obama has become more bureaucratic, more debt-ridden, more violent, more militarized, more fascist, more lawless, more invasive, more corrupt, more untrustworthy, more mired in war, and more unresponsive to the wishes and needs of the electorate. Most of all, the government, already diabolical and manipulative to the nth degree, has mastered the art of "do what I say and not what I do" hypocrisy.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015 What's in Store for Our Freedoms in 2016? More of Everything We Don't Want
We in the emerging American police state find ourselves reliving the same set of circumstances over and over again: egregious surveillance, strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, government spying, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, etc. What remains to be seen is whether 2016 will bring more of the same
Monday, December 14, 2015(1 comments)
Reclaiming the Christmas Spirit: Ten Great Christmas Movies to Help You Shake the Police State Blues
After months of gloom and doom, we're just a few weeks away from Christmas, struggling to latch onto that spirit of joy, excitement, innocence, magic and hope we had as children. Even so, it takes a monumental effort to get past the Grinches and Scrooges who can you make you feel like yours is anything but a wonderful life. Here are ten of my favorite Christmas movies to help restore your faith in humanity.
Monday, December 7, 2015(13 comments)
Does Fear Lead to Fascism? A Culture of Fear and the Epigenetics of Terror
Fear, as history shows, is the method most often used by politicians to increase the power of government. Even while President Obama insists that "freedom is more powerful than fear," the tactics of his administration continue to rely on fear of another terrorist attack in order to further advance the agenda of the military/security/industrial complex.
Monday, November 16, 2015(4 comments)
To France from a Post-9/11 America: Lessons We Learned Too Late
For those who remember when the first towers fell on 9/11, there is an unnerving feeling of dej vu about the Paris attacks. What remains to be seen is whether France, standing where the United States did 14 years ago, will follow in America's footsteps as she grapples with security, freedom and justice.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015(19 comments)
The Deep State: The Unelected Shadow Government Is Here to Stay
America's next president will inherit more than a bitterly divided nation teetering on the brink of financial catastrophe when he or she assumes office. He will also inherit a shadow government, one that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country. To be precise, however, the future president will actually inherit not one but two shadow governments.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015(22 comments)
The Real Issues You Won't Hear from the 2016 Presidential Candidates This Election Year
We now have less than one year until the 2016 presidential election. Despite the dire state of our nation, however, you can rest assured that none of the problems that continue to undermine our freedoms will be addressed in any credible way by the presidential candidates--certainly not if doing so might jeopardize their standing with the unions, corporations or the moneyed elite bankrolling their campaigns.
Monday, October 26, 2015(2 comments)
Fear of the Walking Dead: The American Police State Takes Aim
The zombie narrative plays to our fears and paranoia. Yet while dystopian stories used to reflect our anxieties, now they reflect our reality, mirroring how we as a nation view the world around us, how we as citizens view each other, and most of all how our government views us.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015(3 comments)
Things Are Getting Scary: Global Police, Precrime and the War on Domestic 'Extremists'
*Are you afraid that the government is plotting to confiscate your firearms?
*Do you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will soon declare martial law?
*Do you display an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper stickers on your car?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the police.
Monday, October 12, 2015(2 comments)
How Do You Prepare a Child for Life in the American Police State?
In an age dominated with news of school shootings, school lockdowns, anpolice shootings of unarmed citizens (including children), I find myself wrestling with the question: how do you prepare a child for life in the American police state?
Monday, October 5, 2015(2 comments)
'Neutralizing' John Lennon: One Man Against the 'Monster'
John Lennon, born 75 years ago on October 9, 1940, was a musical genius and pop cultural icon. He was also a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the U.S. government will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.
Monday, September 28, 2015(1 comments)
'Minority Report' Is 40 Years Ahead of Schedule: The Fictional World Has Become Reality
We are a scant 40 years away from the futuristic world that science fiction author Philip K. Dick envisioned for Minority Report in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, and if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams will crack a few skulls to bring the populace under control.
Monday, September 14, 2015(11 comments)
Public School Students Are the New Inmates in the American Police State
In the American police state, you're either a prisoner (shackled, controlled, monitored, ordered about, limited in what you can do and say, your life not your own) or a prison bureaucrat (police officer, judge, jailer, spy, profiteer, etc.). When you're a child in the American police state, life is that much worse.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015(3 comments)
Sheep Led to the Slaughter: The Muzzling of Free Speech in America
With every passing day, we're being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called "government speech."
Tuesday, August 25, 2015(19 comments)
The Raping of America: Mile Markers on the Road to Fascism
Such is life in America today that individuals are being threatened with arrest and carted off to jail for the least hint of noncompliance, homes are being raided by police under the slightest pretext, and roadside police stops have devolved into government-sanctioned exercises in humiliation and degradation with a complete disregard for privacy and human dignity.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015(2 comments)
We Are the Government: Tactics for Taking Down the Police State
How do you not only push back against the police state's bureaucracy, corruption and cruelty but also launch a counterrevolution aimed at reclaiming control over the government using nonviolent means? You start by changing the rules.
Monday, August 10, 2015(2 comments)
Don't Be Fooled by the Political Game: The Illusion of Freedom in America
Being a citizen in the American corporate state is much like playing against a stacked deck: you're always going to lose. The game is rigged, and "we the people" keep getting dealt the same losing hand. Incredibly, no matter how many times we see this played out, Americans continue to naively buy into the idea that politics matter, as if there really were a difference between the Republicans and Democrats (there's not).
Tuesday, August 4, 2015(13 comments)
They Live, We Sleep: A Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy
What most Americans perceive as life in America--privileged, progressive and free--is a far cry from reality, where economic inequality is growing, real agendas and real power are buried beneath layers of Orwellian doublespeak and corporate obfuscation, and "freedom," such that it is, is meted out in small, legalistic doses by militarized police armed to the teeth.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015(2 comments)
Drivers, Beware: The Costly, Deadly Dangers of Traffic Stops in the American Police State
Trying to predict the outcome of any encounter with the police is a bit like playing Russian roulette: most of the time you will emerge relatively unscathed, although decidedly poorer and less secure about your rights, but there's always the chance that an encounter will turn deadly. The most common reason for a citizen to come into contact with the police is being a driver in a traffic stop.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015(4 comments)
The American Nightmare: The Tyranny of the Criminal Justice System
While President Obama said all the right things about the broken state of our criminal justice system, he failed to acknowledge that prosecutors, judges and police bear the burden of our failed justice system, along with the legislatures and corporations who have worked with them to create an environment that is hostile to the rights of the accused.
Monday, June 29, 2015 The Emergence of Orwellian Newspeak and the Death of Free Speech
As a society, we've become fearfully polite, careful to avoid offense, and largely unwilling to be labeled intolerant, hateful, closed-minded or any of the other toxic labels that carry a badge of shame today. The result is a nation where no one says what they really think anymore, at least if it runs counter to the prevailing views. Intolerance is the new scarlet letter of our day.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 Keeping Government Bureaucrats Off the Backs of the Citizenry: The Supreme Court Responds
In one swoop, on June 22, 2015, a divided U.S. Supreme Court handed down three consecutive rulings affirming the right of raisin farmers, hotel owners and prison inmates. However, this push back against government abuse, government snooping and government theft only came about because some determined citizens stood up and took a stand against tyranny.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015(9 comments)
Slave or Rebel? Ten Principles for Escaping the Matrix and Standing Up to Tyranny
The more things change, the more they stay the same. It's a shell game intended to keep us focused on and distracted by all of the politically expedient things that are being said--about militarized police, surveillance, and government corruption--while the government continues to frogmarch us down the road toward outright tyranny.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015(4 comments)
Free Speech, Facebook and the NSA: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Whatever recent victories we've enjoyed--the Second Circuit ruling declaring the NSA's metadata program to be illegal, Congress' inability to reauthorize Section 215 of the Patriot Act, even the Supreme Court's recognition that free speech on the internet may be protected--amount to little in the face of the government's willful disregard of every constitutional safeguard put in place to protect us from government abuses.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 The NSA's Technotyranny: One Nation Under Surveillance
The police state is about to pass off the baton to the surveillance state. Having already transformed local police into extensions of the military, the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the FBI are preparing to turn the nation's soldier cops into techno-warriors.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015(3 comments)
'We the People' Need to Circle the Wagons: The Government Is on the Warpath
In an age of overcriminalization, government officials are constantly telling Americans what not to do. Yet it used to be "we the people" telling the government what it could and could not do. Indeed, the three words used most frequently throughout the Bill of Rights in regards to the government are "no," "not" and "nor."
Tuesday, May 5, 2015(2 comments)
In a Cop Culture, the Bill of Rights Doesn't Amount to Much
In the cop culture that is America today, the Bill of Rights doesn't amount to much. Unless, that is, it's the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights (LEOBoR), which protects police officers from being subjected to the kinds of debilitating indignities heaped upon the average citizen.
Monday, April 20, 2015(19 comments)
Battlefield America: The War on the American People
The malls may be open for business, the baseball stadiums may be packed, and the news anchors may be twittering nonsense about the latest celebrity foofa, but those are just distractions from what is really taking place: the transformation of America into a battlefield.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015(3 comments)
Kick Open the Doorway to Liberty: What Are We Waiting For?
I'm having a hard time reconciling the America I know and love with the America being depicted in the daily news headlines, where corruption, cronyism and abuse have taken precedence over the rights of the citizenry and the rule of law.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015(8 comments)
Jesus Died in a Police State
It is fitting at a time when the nation is grappling with moral questions about how best to execute death row prisoners, whether police should be held responsible for shooting unarmed citizens, and to what extent we allow the government to dictate, monitor and control every aspect of our lives, that we remember that Jesus Christ died at the hands of a police state.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015(2 comments)
The Only Truly Compliant, Submissive Citizen in a Police State Is a Dead One
Americans of every age and skin color are being taught the painful lesson that the only truly compliant, submissive and obedient citizen in a police state is a dead one. It doesn't matter where you live--big city or small town--it's the same scenario being played out over and over again in which government agents, hyped up on their own authority and the power of their uniform, ride roughshod over the rights of the citizenry.