"A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty."--James Madison
America is a ticking time bomb.
All that remains to be seen is who--or what--will set fire to the fuse.
We are poised at what seems to be the pinnacle of a manufactured breakdown, with police shooting unarmed citizens, snipers shooting police, global and domestic violence rising, and a political showdown between two presidential candidates equally matched in unpopularity.
The preparations for the Republican and Democratic national conventions taking place in Cleveland and Philadelphia provide a foretaste of how the government plans to deal with any individual or group that steps out of line: they will be censored, silenced, spied on, caged, intimidated, interrogated, investigated, recorded, tracked, labeled, held at gunpoint, detained, restrained, arrested, tried and found guilty.
Make no mistake, the government is ready for a civil uprising.
Indeed, the government has been preparing for this moment for years.
A 2008 Army War College report called on the military to prepare for "widespread civil violence inside the United States" arising from another terrorist attack, "unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters."
Subsequent reports by the Department of Homeland Security to identify, monitor and label right-wing and left-wing activists and military veterans as extremists (a.k.a. terrorists) have manifested into full-fledged pre-crime surveillance programs.
Meanwhile, the government has been amassing an arsenal of military weapons for use domestically and equipping and training their law enforcement and administrative "troops" for war. There are now at least 120,000 armed federal agents carrying such weapons who possess the power to arrest.
Rounding out this profit-driven campaign to turn American citizens into enemy combatants (and America into a battlefield) is a technology sector that is colluding with the government to create a Big Brother that is all-knowing, all-seeing and inescapable.
All of this has taken place right under our noses, funded with our taxpayer dollars and carried out in broad daylight without so much as a general outcry from the citizenry.
It's astounding how convenient we've made it for the government to lock down the nation.
The events of recent years--the invasive surveillance, the extremism reports, the civil unrest, the protests, the shootings, the bombings, the military exercises and active shooter drills, the color-coded alerts and threat assessments, the fusion centers, the transformation of local police into extensions of the military, the distribution of military equipment and weapons to local police forces, the government databases containing the names of dissidents and potential troublemakers--have all conjoined to create an environment in which "we the people" are more distrustful and fearful of each other and more reliant on the government to keep us safe.
Of course, that's the point.
The powers-that-be want us to feel vulnerable.