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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/29/19

The American Gulag: Brick by Brick, Our Prison Walls Get More Oppressive by the Day

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href="https://www.anneapplebaum.com/gulag-a-history/">The exile of prisoners to a distant place, where they can 'pay their debt to society,' make themselves useful, and not contaminate others with their ideas or their criminal acts, is a practice as old as civilization itself." Anne Applebaum, Gulag: A History

This is how freedom dies.

This is how you condition a populace to life as prisoners in a police state: by brainwashing them into believing they are free so that they will march in lockstep with the state and be incapable of recognizing the prison walls that surround them.

Face the facts: we are no longer free.

We in the American Police State may enjoy the illusion of freedom, but that is all it is: an elaborate deception, rooted in denial and delusion, that hides the grasping, greedy, power-hungry, megalomaniacal force that lurks beneath the surface.

Brick by brick, the prison walls being erected around us by the government and its corporate partners-in-crime grow more oppressive by the day.

Brick by brick, we are finding there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

Brick by brick, we are being walled in, locked down and locked up.

That's the curious thing about walls: they not only keep those on the outside from getting in, they also keep those on the inside from getting out.

Consider, if you will, some of the "bricks" in the police state's wall that serve to imprison the citizenry: Red flag gun laws that strip citizens of their rights based on the flimsiest of pretexts concocted by self-serving politicians. Overcriminalization resulting in jail time for nonviolent offenses such as feeding stray cats and buying foreign honey. Military training drillsshowy exercises in armed intimidationand live action "role playing" between soldiers and "freedom fighters" staged in small rural communities throughout the country. Profit-driven speed and red light cameras that do little for safety while padding the pockets of government agencies. Overt surveillance that turns citizens into suspects.

Police-run facial recognition software that mistakenly labels law-abiding citizens as criminals. Punitive programs that strip citizens of their passports and right to travel over unpaid taxes. Government agents that view segments of the populace as "subhuman" and treat them accordingly. A social credit system (similar to China's) that rewards behavior deemed "acceptable" and punishes behavior the government and its corporate allies find offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

These are just a small sampling of the oppressive measures used by the government to control and constrict the American people.

What these despotic tactics add up to is an authoritarian prison in every sense of the word.

Granted this prison may not appear as overtly bleak as the soul-destroying gulags described by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, but that's just a matter of aesthetics.

Strip away the surface embellishments and you'll find the core is no less sinister than that of the gulags of the Cold War-era Soviet Union.

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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 (more...)
 

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Zef Rose

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So be sure to get out and "vote". Be certain you participate in the dark ritual of "choosing" from the ones they pick first. Observe as they choose them for you. You can even pretend you picked them yourself.

Vote for the lesser of 2 evils, and ignore the many other candidates who display the smallest amount of common sense and concern for the public. Yes, get ready to send in your money to would-be candidates you know deep down will never win.

Then vote as usual for one of two, pre-chosen by the entities described above, and observe as no campaign promise is ever followed through.

Get a clue, pay attention, know that this is not a "democracy". It is already a hair's distance from full-on gulag. The US and the old Soviet Union are switching roles. Remember when we used to tease the USSR for their "propaganda"? It can NEVER happen here, can it?

We allow it. We vote for it no matter whose name is up there. Boycott the vote. I certainly will never again participate in the manipulative and futile ritual.

I have been boycotting the vote since the first Obama "win", when I really had it driven home to me that the electoral system in this country is a complete illusion to drive people into an insane dark ritual that does nothing for us, but makes the elites stronger with each "election".

Submitted on Thursday, Aug 29, 2019 at 5:46:17 PM

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b. sadie bailey

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i agree with you that voting for "president" puppet figureheads for the corporate plutocrat/oligarch, fossil fuel, and bankster elite is a sham - except regarding LOCAL politics - then it's important to vote because that is all we have and even that is a crap shoot. If people run for local office we can make a difference. if nobody good runs, then we get what we deserve - a self-absorbed selfish "selfie" culture devoid of any power to make a difference or even know what a populist uprising is.

Submitted on Thursday, Aug 29, 2019 at 8:21:55 PM

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b. sadie bailey

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Well written, researched, and well supported article, as depressing and unsurprising as these truths are and have been to some of us. We don't know the half of it - what's already been done or is being done right now to put the coffin nails into the coffin-lid freedom in any form.

Submitted on Thursday, Aug 29, 2019 at 8:27:43 PM

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Kenneth Lee

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Now that the "Imperial Presidency" has been put in place piece by piece by the past several administrations, local politics means less and less. Federal jurisdiction tells us whether or not a giant wall will separate us from our brothers and sisters to the south, determines the legality of marijuana use, abortion rights, same-sex relationships, gun issues, health 'care', foreign policy and military use. Even the individual state National Guard units are controlled by Washington, DC. Local politics is mostly a cruel joke played on all us us to make us feel like we actually have some control in this country.

The countries that have actual democratic governments elected BY THE PEOPLE are the same countries we are busy destroying: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, etc., etc. We don't elect our 'leaders' in the good ole' U.S. of A. We cast a 'popular' vote, which may or may not reflect who will be President, because that decision is actually made by the Electoral College. Those 538 people are all political insiders with deep ties and obligations to the party they represent. One thing the electoral college does, and was DESIGNED to do, is maintain the fake 'two-party' system in the U.S. With the Electoral College in place, there is actually NO logistical way for a third or fourth party to EVER gain any sort of foothold in politics. We need to accept the fact that a third-party vote is simply a gesture, and nothing more (by the way, I'm all in favor of 'gestures'). In many countries, especially those considered by 'us' to be '3rd-world', anyone who wants to run for office does so, and there is no constraint on party affiliations. In fact, in those same countries the person who gets the second-most votes becomes the vice-president. This actually ensures a more equitable and even-handed administration because differing viewpoints amongst the country's leaders HAVE to be considered and not cast aside as they are in the U.S.

So, if you are happy with your Imperial Presidency please keep casting your meaningless votes, watching the reality tv "debates", supporting your favorite candidates and signing petitions. Just remember the story of Charley Brown, Lucy and the football.

Submitted on Friday, Aug 30, 2019 at 4:43:39 PM

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Kenneth Lee

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Did you ever wonder why the place you go to cast your vote is called a "polling" place? If you were actually casting a vote that counted toward anything other than gathering opinions or 'testing the waters', shouldn't it be called a 'voting' place? Your vote for the Presidency in actuality has about the same effect as a vote for your favorite American Idol, the outcome of which is quite obviously pre-determined based on the relative profitability of the more popular contestants and ultimately determined by the management and record-label teams. The reality of the futility of our electoral 'process' is readily apparent, but we have been carefully propagandized and indoctrinated over the centuries to believe it is something else. Maybe it is time to break free of the indoctrination and STOP participating in something that we know deep down is a LIE.

I strongly suggest that anyone interested read up on the Electoral College. The origins of it and the reasons it still exists are quite fascinating and illuminative.

Submitted on Friday, Aug 30, 2019 at 5:23:08 PM

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