Governor Martin O'Malley

Former Governor O’Malley Preaches Virtues Of Technocrat Governance

The former Governor of Maryland and Mayor of Baltimore believes that Smart City technology is the wave of future ‘evidence-based’ governance. In short, cities should better model themselves after Silicon Valley ‘entrepreneurs’ and ‘innovators.’ ⁃ TN Editor

Western democracies have some catching up to do with consumer expectations. According to a 2015 study completed by the Pew Research Center, 65% of Americans go online to find information they need about their government — but only 11% report finding the government effective at sharing data.

If Amazon, Uber, and a host of other companies can provide better service thanks to the new technologies of the Information Age, why can’t our governments? If the GPS system in my car can navigate me to the quickest route through traffic congestion and fender benders, why can’t my government use these same technologies to better anticipate these routine accidents?

Technology isn’t the problem. The technology is proven. Nor is cost a barrier; the availability of these new technologies is widespread and relatively inexpensive. The problem is the great human variable of leadership.

Old habits die hard. And over the course of time, public administration has developed a very slow, cautious, and risk-averse approach to embracing new technologies — the tyranny of “the way we have always done it” in public service.

In Silicon Valley, people who keep trying new things — even though they sometimes fail — are called innovators and entrepreneurs. The operative myth in government, however, is that people who try new things and fail are fired or voted out of office. What many people remember most vividly about the implementation of Obamacare was not its successful passage, but in many states, its failed launch.

But a new way of leading and governing is emerging. And it is rising up from cities.

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Europe’s Big Fail: Technocrat Government Erodes Democracy

Several European nations have adopted Technocrat-run governance and none have met expectations. However, when the economy again turns south, there will be populist demand for even more Technocrats. ⁃ TN Editor

The EU’s economy has essentially been flat over the past year. The slump in manufacturing is deepening. Companies are cutting work hours and issuing profit warnings. The dominant mood in the European and international markets today is anxiety. Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, announced on 14 August that its GDP had contracted by 0.1% in the second quarter of 2019 compared with the previous three months.

This has left many analysts to conclude that Europe is heading for an outright recession.

Whenever there is an economic or political crisis on the horizon, there is one particular pattern…societies often look for a technocratic government to solve their problems. This happened in several European countries in the wake of the 2008 recession and the Eurozone crisis. Caretaker technocrat-led administrations have been historically popular in crisis-prone democracies, particularly in Southern and Eastern Europe.

There are several examples of technocratic cabinets in Italy, Greece, and Bulgaria that were appointed in times of economic difficulties to avert imminent economic disasters. Technocratic cabinets are also often appointed following a major crisis caused by a political scandal or when parties fail either to establish or to keep a partisan cabinet. In Finland, for example, several technocratic cabinets followed the break‐up of a ruling coalition. Since the establishment of the Czech Republic as an independent country in 1993, three of its cabinets were technocratic.

In today’s UK, the mother of parliamentary democracy, there are calls that the post-Brexit shake-up must include apolitical experts who should sort-out the political mess that began in 2016 when Britons voted in favour of leaving the EU. And yet, more than three years on and the Parliament still finds the EU’s terms for the exit to be unacceptable. With the EU showing little willingness to renegotiate, Boris Johnson, the UK’s new prime minister, is pulling his country closer to the cliff of a “no-deal Brexit”, which the Parliament is opposing.

In today’s Europe, traditional political parties are no longer liked or trusted by voters the way they used to be. One reason is that many politicians often cannot deliver after overpromising. Coming to power, they face difficulties in solving major problems and have no political courage to outline either difficult or unpopular choices to their base. Their partisan cabinets often fail to respond to challenges or deal with the consequences.

In the current economic and political climate in Europe, one may expect calls for technocratic cabinets to raise. There will be arguments and the accelerated expectations that apolitical experts can outperform partisan cabinets. Some will even argue that technocrat-led caretaker governments are among the most advanced forms of power-sharing between elected politicians and experts in contemporary European democracies.

I have my share of a technocratic experience. As an international attorney, I left the private sector in 2015 when I was called to join the so-called technocrat-led government of post-revolutionary Ukraine to serve as the First Deputy Minister of Economy. There were several other such technocrats in the Ukrainian government. Some, like me at the time, were expats who had been granted Ukrainian citizenship. The expectation then was, just as it is with any technocratic administration, that the non-partisan experts may set and enact policies that were independent of parties, their political decisions, and elected party representatives.

Those expectations had failed.

More often than not, politicians put unelected and unempowered experts in front to face the public only to hide the politicians’ own incompetence and lack of courage to take political responsibility for not being able to deliver. In the meantime, the politicians continue pulling the strings, not allowing the experts to govern on one hand, and on the other, they let the technocrats assume the responsibility for the politicians’ failures.

From that perspective, technocratic governments erode democracy and keep bad politicians in power. Although such governments have sometimes been long-lasting, they are illegitimate and democratically dysfunctional. They are a symptom of high levels of state exploitation by irresponsible leaders and political parties. Their occurrence in Europe is part of a broader sense of malaise in Western democracy where, instead of being bailed out, politicians need to be held responsible and accountable.  Any claims for having a successful record to defend such technocratic governments and their legitimacy disregards their unfavourable legacy and political conditions to which they are contributing.

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New Lebanon PM Seeks To Install 18-Member ‘Technocrat Cabinet’

Technocrat rule is not just seen in Europe, China and India: The Islamic world is also strongly attracted to Techno-populism and Technocrat governance. In Lebanon’s case, even Hezbollah approves. ⁃ TN Editor

Informed ministerial sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Friday that Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab is about to form an 18-member cabinet, free of politicians, and capable to meet the demands of the popular movement.

On Friday, Diab held his second meeting this week with President Michel Aoun to discuss the form and content of his next government.

Observers consider the announcement as a “drawback” from the techno-political cabinet that Aoun and his two Shiite allies, Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, were attached to form.

“The Aoun-Diab meeting was good. The two men discussed the distribution of ministerial portfolios and the names of some suggested figures to be appointed ministers,” the sources explained.

They denied reports saying that Diab plans to announce his cabinet in the next hours.

Earlier on Friday, Aoun hoped that with the new government, the situation will gradually start to improve and overcome the crisis, and Lebanon will return to its prosperity.

During a meeting with Commander of the Lebanese Army, General Joseph Aoun, accompanied by a delegation from the leadership, the President said, “Today, we live in a period of austerity at the individual level and on the level of the state and its institutions, but this is required at present to help overcome the current crisis.”

Meanwhile, Hezbollah also commented on the developments.

“Hezbollah supports a government comprised of competent specialist candidates who enjoy integrity and loyalty to the nation and whose concern is to save the country and its economy,” Hezbollah’s Mount Lebanon and North representative Sheikh Mohammed Amro said after visiting Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai to extend greetings on the holy season.

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Technocrats: To Fix Government, Speed Up Implementation Of Technology

The Technocrat’s hammer is ever-advancing technology and every perceived problem in the world is a nail. Thus, Technocrats liken themselves to the saviors of the world, if only we would let them run free to create Utopia.

This is a completely false and dangerous notion. Technology that is only understood by a small Technocrat elite quickly becomes the paradigm for command-and-control. This article answers its headline, Is Automation the Key to an Effective Government Workforce? ⁃ TN Editor

New technologies are poised to automate everything from infrastructure to traditionally human jobs, and some fear a coming robot takeover. But the real problem is it isn’t happening fast enough.

The U.S. economy is on the precipice of an unrelenting wave of automation that will eliminate a massive number of jobs and destabilize our society, according to Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang and his growing throng of supporters. Indeed, this concern is shared by many policymakers who have turned a critical eye toward Silicon Valley, asking whether technological innovation is worth the effort. This past year has seen a steady stream of policymakers publicly castigating the tech industry for not doing enough to protect privacy, respond to fake news, combat hate speech and protect children.

While some of these critiques are valid, even if overblown, in this heated environment, it is easy to lose sight of the real problem, which according to a new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is that automation isn’t happening fast enough, and achieving faster automation is an urgent societal imperative necessary to address less-than-stellar productivity growth. Higher productivity will be necessary to make U.S. companies more competitive globally, boost reshoring of work back to the U.S., reduce government spending and raise living standards. For example, an aging population means that there will be more retirees, so unless the remaining workers become more productive, overall output will shrink — resulting in less tax revenue for government agencies even as demand for social services remains high.

The remedy to this problem is greater automation, driven by digital transformation, in both the public and private sectors. There are two steps to this process. First, organizations need to modernize their IT infrastructure. In practice, this means replacing legacy applications and expensive data centers with cloud computing solutions. While state and local governments are investing heavily in the cloud, many are putting most resources in private cloud solutions, which don’t offer the same scalability and cost benefits of the public cloud.

Second, organizations must consider how to leverage emerging data-driven technologies, like machine learning, robotic process automation and chatbots, to create strategic changes in how they produce value. For example, some cities use digital twins — virtual models of their infrastructure combined with real-time data feeds from sensors — to allow first responders to run simulations of emergency scenarios and enable city planners to predict environmental and energy changes of proposed developments.

The problem for many agencies is that even as they consider digital transformation, they don’t focus on achieving productivity gains, i.e., becoming more efficient at producing government services. Indeed, this lack of focus on productivity creates a compounding problem where government agencies are slow at adopting new technologies, and then even slower at using the new tech to become more efficient. But a look at the workforce of many government agencies shows that even as IT budgets are growing, there are few signs of disruption.

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California Sinks Into Third World Status As PG&E Cuts Power To Millions

As California’s largest utility PG&E spins out of control, citizens are regressing to violence, prompting the company to erect concrete barricades around its facilities to ‘protect its employees.’

This is the long-term result of regulatory mismanagement and corporate malfeasance. The ultra-leftist leadership in California has literally turned the Golden State into a banana republic that is a national disgrace. ⁃ TN Editor

Officials at Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Wednesday called for the public to let employees do their jobs safely amid frustrations with a widespread California power shutdown, after authorities reported that a bullet was fired at one of the energy provider’s vehicles.

The plea came the same day that police say a threatening letter was reported at a PG&E facility, as the utility switched off electricity to hundreds of thousands of people. The planned outage – the biggest in the state’s history, announced as a measure to reduce wildfire risk – comes as PG&E faces massive liabilities for starting a blaze that killed 85 people and destroyed the town of Paradise last year.

“We realize and understand the impact and the hardship as the result of this decision that we’ve made,” Sumeet Singh, vice president of PG&E’s Community Wildfire Safety Program, said at a news conference. But employees and contractors “have families that live in your communities, they have friends that are members of your communities,” Singh added. “So let’s just ensure their safety as well as they are doing this work in the interest of your safety.”

Power companies worried about California’s devastating wildfires are increasingly turning to planned shutdowns. PG&E says this latest, unusually disruptive measure, which could last several days, was prompted by the dry winds like those that helped fuel disastrous fires before. The outages have upset customers, closed schools and workplaces and raised fears that people who rely on electricity for medical needs could be caught unprepared.

Some have questioned this week’s shutdown, which PG&E expects to affect 800,000 people, as excessive. About 650,000 customers were expected to lack power Wednesday evening, according to the company.

“This cannot be something that can be acceptable nor long term,” state Sen. Jerry Hill, a Democrat, told the Los Angeles Times, saying power shutdowns should be “surgical.” “This is Third World, and we are not,” he added.

Lawmakers have also accused PG&E of fueling the risks that prompted the shutdown with poor management and maintenance. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said at a news conference Wednesday that he was outraged by the outage “because it didn’t have to happen.”

Affected residents who spoke to The Washington Post blamed PG&E, too.

“It’s ridiculous, all political,” one Napa Valley man, Gregg Bowman, said. “This company is so screwed up.”

PG&E officials are quick to acknowledge people’s anger but maintain that they are prioritizing people’s safety and balancing dueling threats.

“There are risks of keeping the power on when there are really dangerous fire conditions, and there are risks with turning the power off,” PG&E spokesman Jeff Smith told The Post. “We’re constantly weighing those two factors.”

While PG&E responded to the alleged attack on a company vehicle with calls for customers’ understanding, law enforcement has not announced a motive.

A PG&E employee was driving a truck Tuesday evening in Northern California’s Colusa County – before the electricity cutoffs – when a bullet shattered one of the vehicle’s windows, the California Highway Patrol told The Associated Press. The driver was not hurt, according to the AP.

CHP is investigating the incident, which occurred north of the town of Maxwell as the staffer headed southbound on Interstate 5, according to authorities. A white pickup may have pulled up beside the PG&E truck before the shooting, CHP Officer J. Sherwood told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Singh expressed particular concern over the vehicle’s reported targeting.

“When you see a marked PG&E vehicle or contractors that are working on our behalf, again just a reminder, they are no different than our customers, and their families and their kids go to the same schools that our customers do,” he said.

Other incidents were raising security concerns elsewhere in the state where PG&E serves about 16 million customers.

Police in Oroville increased their patrols around PG&E properties Wednesday after an “angry customer” egged an office and left a “threatening note,” a department spokeswoman said. The extra patrols will continue for as long as the power outage lasts, she said.

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Hong Kong

Elite US Institutions Cave To China’s Political Demands

Entanglement with China has allowed it to pressure the West to bow to its demands for censorship and accept its aggressive oppression of Hong Kong protestors.

Meanwhile, protestors in Hong Kong are waving American flags, singing our national anthem and begging for Western support to help throw off the yoke of Technocrat oppression. ⁃ TN Editor

 

America’s elite institutions are catering to communist China.

The NBA provided the latest example Sunday night, when league commissioner Adam Silver apologized for Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Rockets star James Harden followed suit and apologized to China for Morey’s tweets.

The Brooklyn Nets’ new billionaire owner, Joseph Tsai, slammed Morey in a Facebook post Sunday night. Tsai, the co-founder of Chinese internet titan Alibaba, described Morey’s tweet as “so damaging to the relationship with our fans in China,” adding that “the hurt that this incident has caused will take a long time to repair.”

China Daily, the communist government’s propaganda arm, used the NBA’s conciliatory reaction to warn other companies to learn “a lesson: The big Chinese market is open to the world, but those who challenge China’s core interests and hurt Chinese people’s feelings cannot make any profit from it.”

The NBA isn’t alone in bowing to communist China.

American universities have allowed the Chinese government to fund centers called Confucius Institutes that provide the communist regime with avenues to infuse pro-China propaganda into American academia. Eighty-nine Confucius Institutes were operating in the U.S. as of September 2019, according to the National Association of Scholars.

Hollywood has self-censored for years in order to ensure access to the Chinese market. The U.S. government published a report in 2015 detailing how filmmakers tailor their messaging to appease Chinese audiences and—more importantly—Chinese government censors.

“U.S. filmmakers self-censor scenes, dialogue, images, and themes they fear will jeopardize their film’s chance of receiving Chinese approval for import,” stated the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s report, titled, “Directed by Hollywood, Edited by China.”

“For a type of movie, particularly the global blockbusters, they are not going to go and make something that the Chinese would reject for social or political reasons,” Peter Shiao, the CEO of an “independent Hollywood-Chinese coproduction studio,” told the commission.

MGM Studios digitally altered the 2012 remake of “Red Dawn” to change the invading army’s nationality from Chinese—as was the case during filming—to North Korean.

The Walt Disney Company threatened to boycott Georgia in May if a pro-life law took effect, even though the company apparently has no issue doing business with the Chinese regime, which is a notorious human rights violator. (RELATED: IHOP Boycotts Tucker Carlson But Not Saudi Arabia)

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Constitution

Know The Constitution Or Get Ready For No Constitution

Technocracy and its Technocrat practitioners have always hated the U.S. Constitution and are doing everything in their power to effectively destroy it. When the turmoil reaches epic proportions, it will be ultimately suspended altogether. ⁃ TN Editor

“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.”—Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

It’s been 230 years since James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—as a means of protecting the people against government tyranny, and what do we have to show for it?

Nothing good.

In America today, the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned.

We can pretend that the Constitution, which was written to hold the government accountable, is still our governing document, but the reality of life in the American police state tells a different story.

“We the people” have been terrorized, traumatized, and tricked into a semi-permanent state of compliance by a government that cares nothing for our lives or our liberties.

The bogeyman’s names and faces have changed over time (terrorism, the war on drugs, illegal immigration, etc.), but the end result remains the same: in the so-called named of national security, the Constitution has been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded to such an extent that what we are left with today is but a shadow of the robust document adopted more than two centuries ago.

Most of the damage has been inflicted upon the Bill of Rights.

A recitation of the Bill of Rights—set against a backdrop of government surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, eminent domain, overcriminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches (all sanctioned by Congress, the White House, the courts and the like)—would understandably sound more like a eulogy to freedoms lost than an affirmation of rights we truly possess.

Here is what it means to live under the Constitution today.

The First Amendment is supposed to protect the freedom to speak your mind, assemble and protest nonviolently without being bridled by the government. It also protects the freedom of the media, as well as the right to worship and pray without interference. In other words, Americans should not be silenced by the government. To the founders, all of America was a free speech zone.

Despite the clear protections found in the First Amendment, the freedoms described therein are under constant assault. Increasingly, Americans are being arrested and charged with bogus “contempt of cop” charges such as “disrupting the peace” or “resisting arrest” for daring to film police officers engaged in harassment or abusive practices. Journalists are being prosecuted for reporting on whistleblowers. States are passing legislation to muzzle reporting on cruel and abusive corporate practices. Religious ministries are being fined for attempting to feed and house the homeless. Protesters are being tear-gassed, beaten, arrested and forced into “free speech zones.” And under the guise of “government speech,” the courts have reasoned that the government can discriminate freely against any First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum.

The Second Amendment was intended to guarantee “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Essentially, this amendment was intended to give the citizenry the means to resist tyrannical government. Yet while gun ownership has been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as an individual citizen right, Americans remain powerless to defend themselves against SWAT team raids and government agents armed to the teeth with military weapons better suited for the battlefield. As such, this amendment has been rendered null and void.

The Third Amendment reinforces the principle that civilian-elected officials are superior to the military by prohibiting the military from entering any citizen’s home without “the consent of the owner.” With the police increasingly training like the military, acting like the military, and posing as military forces—complete with heavily armed SWAT teams, military weapons, assault vehicles, etc.—it is clear that we now have what the founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.

The Fourth Amendment prohibits government agents from conducting surveillance on you or touching you or invading you, unless they have some evidence that you’re up to something criminal. In other words, the Fourth Amendment ensures privacy and bodily integrity. Unfortunately, the Fourth Amendment has suffered the greatest damage in recent years and has been all but eviscerated by an unwarranted expansion of police powers that include strip searches and even anal and vaginal searches of citizens, surveillance (corporate and otherwise) and intrusions justified in the name of fighting terrorism, as well as the outsourcing of otherwise illegal activities to private contractors.

The Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment work in tandem. These amendments supposedly ensure that you are innocent until proven guilty, and government authorities cannot deprive you of your life, your liberty or your property without the right to an attorney and a fair trial before a civilian judge. However, in the new suspect society in which we live, where surveillance is the norm, these fundamental principles have been upended. Certainly, if the government can arbitrarily freeze, seize or lay claim to your property (money, land or possessions) under government asset forfeiture schemes, you have no true rights.

The Seventh Amendment guarantees citizens the right to a jury trial. Yet when the populace has no idea of what’s in the Constitution—civic education has virtually disappeared from most school curriculums—that inevitably translates to an ignorant jury incapable of distinguishing justice and the law from their own preconceived notions and fears. However, as a growing number of citizens are coming to realize, the power of the jury to nullify the government’s actions—and thereby help balance the scales of justice—is not to be underestimated. Jury nullification reminds the government that “we the people” retain the power to ultimately determine what laws are just.

The Eighth Amendment is similar to the Sixth in that it is supposed to protect the rights of the accused and forbid the use of cruel and unusual punishment. However, the Supreme Court’s determination that what constitutes “cruel and unusual” should be dependent on the “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society” leaves us with little protection in the face of a society lacking in morals altogether.

The Ninth Amendment provides that other rights not enumerated in the Constitution are nonetheless retained by the people. Popular sovereignty—the belief that the power to govern flows upward from the people rather than downward from the rulers—is clearly evident in this amendment. However, it has since been turned on its head by a centralized federal government that sees itself as supreme and which continues to pass more and more laws that restrict our freedoms under the pretext that it has an “important government interest” in doing so.

As for the Tenth Amendment’s reminder that the people and the states retain every authority that is not otherwise mentioned in the Constitution, that assurance of a system of government in which power is divided among local, state and national entities has long since been rendered moot by the centralized Washington, DC, power elite—the president, Congress and the courts. Indeed, the federal governmental bureaucracy has grown so large that it has made local and state legislatures relatively irrelevant. Through its many agencies and regulations, the federal government has stripped states of the right to regulate countless issues that were originally governed at the local level.

If there is any sense to be made from this recitation of freedoms lost, it is simply this: our individual freedoms have been eviscerated so that the government’s powers could be expanded.

Yet those who gave us the Constitution and the Bill of Rights believed that the government exists at the behest of its citizens. It is there to protect, defend and even enhance our freedoms, not violate them.

It was no idle happenstance that the Constitution opens with these three powerful words: “We the people.” As the Preamble proclaims:

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION for the United States of America.

In other words, we have the power to make and break the government. We are the masters and they are the servants. We the American people—the citizenry—are the arbiters and ultimate guardians of America’s welfare, defense, liberty, laws and prosperity.

Still, it’s hard to be a good citizen if you don’t know anything about your rights or how the government is supposed to operate.

As the National Review rightly asks, “How can Americans possibly make intelligent and informed political choices if they don’t understand the fundamental structure of their government? American citizens have the right to self-government, but it seems that we increasingly lack the capacity for it.”

Americans are constitutionally illiterate.

Most citizens have little, if any, knowledge about their basic rights. And our educational system does a poor job of teaching the basic freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For instance, when Newsweek asked 1,000 adult U.S. citizens to take America’s official citizenship test44% were unable to define the Bill of Rights.

A survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that a little more than one-third of respondents (36 percent) could name all three branches of the U.S. government, while another one-third (35 percent) could not name a single one. Only a quarter of Americans (27 percent) know it takes a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto. One in five Americans (21 percent) incorrectly thinks that a 5-4 Supreme Court decision is sent back to Congress for reconsideration. And more than half of Americans do not know which party controls the House and Senate.

A survey by the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that only one out of a thousand adults could identify the five rights protected by the First Amendment. On the other hand, more than half (52%) of the respondents could name at least two of the characters in the animated Simpsons television family, and 20% could name all five. And although half could name none of the freedoms in the First Amendment, a majority (54%) could name at least one of the three judges on the TV program American Idol, 41% could name two and one-fourth could name all three.

It gets worse.

Many who responded to the survey had a strange conception of what was in the First Amendment. For example, 21% said the “right to own a pet” was listed someplace between “Congress shall make no law” and “redress of grievances.” Some 17% said that the First Amendment contained the “right to drive a car,” and 38% believed that “taking the Fifth” was part of the First Amendment.

Teachers and school administrators do not fare much better. A study conducted by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis found that one educator in five was unable to name any of the freedoms in the First Amendment.

In fact, while some educators want students to learn about freedom, they do not necessarily want them to exercise their freedoms in school. As the researchers conclude, “Most educators think that students already have enough freedom, and that restrictions on freedom in the school are necessary. Many support filtering the Internet, censoring T-shirts, disallowing student distribution of political or religious material, and conducting prior review of school newspapers.”

Government leaders and politicians are also ill-informed. Although they take an oath to uphold, support and defend the Constitution against “enemies foreign and domestic,” their lack of education about our fundamental rights often causes them to be enemies of the Bill of Rights.

So what’s the solution?

Thomas Jefferson recognized that a citizenry educated on “their rights, interests, and duties”  is the only real assurance that freedom will survive.

As Jefferson wrote in 1820: “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of our society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

From the President on down, anyone taking public office should have a working knowledge of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and should be held accountable for upholding their precepts. One way to ensure this would be to require government leaders to take a course on the Constitution and pass a thorough examination thereof before being allowed to take office.

Some critics are advocating that students pass the United States citizenship exam in order to graduate from high school. Others recommend that it must be a prerequisite for attending college. I’d go so far as to argue that students should have to pass the citizenship exam before graduating from grade school.

Here’s an idea to get educated and take a stand for freedom: anyone who signs up to become a member of The Rutherford Institute gets a wallet-sized Bill of Rights card and a Know Your Rights card. Use this card to teach your children the freedoms found in the Bill of Rights.

If this constitutional illiteracy is not remedied and soon, freedom in America will be doomed.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we have managed to keep the wolf at bay so far. Barely.

Our national priorities need to be re-prioritized. For instance, some argue that we need to make America great again. I, for one, would prefer to make America free again.

As actor-turned-activist Richard Dreyfuss warned:

Unless we teach the ideas that make America a miracle of government, it will go away in your kids’ lifetimes, and we will be a fable. You have to find the time and creativity to teach it in schools, and if you don’t, you will lose it. You will lose it to the darkness, and what this country represents is a tiny twinkle of light in a history of oppression and darkness and cruelty. If it lasts for more than our lifetime, for more than our kids’ lifetime, it is only because we put some effort into teaching what it is, the ideas of America: the idea of opportunity, mobility, freedom of thought, freedom of assembly.”

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Google Whistleblower

The Whistleblower Who Exposed Google’s Deep Conspiracy To Overthrow The U.S. Government

Zachary Vorhies discovered the pure evil intent of Google when he realized that it intended to overthrow the U.S. government. He put his career on the line to expose hundreds of internal Google documents. ⁃ TN Editor
 

A Google insider who anonymously leaked internal documents to Project Veritas made the decision to go public in an on-the-record video interview. The insider, Zachary Vorhies, decided to go public after receiving a letter from Google, and after he says Google allegedly called the police to perform a “wellness check” on him.

Along with the interview, Vorhies asked Project Veritas to publish more of the internal Google documents he had previously leaked. Said Vorhies:

“I gave the documents to Project Veritas, I had been collecting the documents for over a year. And the reason why I collected these documents was because I saw something dark and nefarious going on with the company and I realized that there were going to not only tamper with the elections, but use that tampering with the elections to essentially overthrow the United States.”

In June of 2019, Project Veritas published internal Google documents revealing “algorithmic unfairness.” Vorhies told Project Veritas these were documents that were widely available to full-time Google employees:

“These documents were available to every single employee within the company that was full-time. And so as a fulltime employee at the company, I just searched for some keywords and these documents started to pop up. And so once I started finding one document and started finding keywords for other documents and I would enter that in and continue this cycle until I had a treasure trove and archive of documents that clearly spelled out the system, what they’re attempting to do in very clear language.”

Shortly after the report including the “algorithmic unfairness” documents was published, Vorhies received a letter from Google containing several “demands.” Vorhies told Project Veritas that he complied with Google’s demands, which included a request for any internal Google documents he may have personally retained. Vorhies also said he sent those documents to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

After having been identified by an anonymous account (which Vorhies believes belongs to a Google employee,) on social media as a “leaker,” Vorhies was approached by law enforcement at his residence in California. According to Vorhies, San Francisco police received a call from Google which prompted a “wellness check.”

Vorhies described the incident to Project Veritas:

“they got inside the gate, the police, and they started banging on my door… And so the police decided that they were going to call in additional forces. They called in the FBI, they called in the SWAT team. And they called in a bomb squad.”

“[T]his is a large way in which [Google tries to] intimidate their employees that go rogue on the company…”

Partial video of the incident was provided to Project Veritas. San Francisco police confirmed to Project Veritas that they did receive a “mental health call,” and responded to Vorhies’ address that day.

“Google Snowden moment”

Project Veritas has released hundreds of internal Google documents leaked by Vorhies. Among those documents is a file called “news black list site for google now.” The document, according to Vorhies, is a “black list,” which restricts certain websites from appearing on news feeds for an Android Google product. The list includes conservative and progressive websites, such as newsbusters.org and mediamatters.org. The document says that some sites are listed with or because of a “high user block rate.”

Read full story here…




When Big Tech And Big Government Partner To Track Everyone Everywhere

Who is leading whom? The Technocrats of Big Tech can lead government around by the nose, because they have the ultimate tools of scientific social engineering and the government does not. ⁃ TN Editor
 

George Orwell was a brilliant individual.  A man of incredible insight – and foresight.

In his unfathomably predictive novel 1984, Orwell warns of Big Brother:

“(O)stensibly the leader of Oceania, a totalitarian state wherein the ruling party Ingsoc wields total power ‘for its own sake’ over the inhabitants.

“In the society that Orwell describes, every citizen is under constant surveillance by the authorities, mainly by telescreens.…The people are constantly reminded of this by the slogan ‘Big Brother is watching you’: a maxim that is ubiquitously on display.

“In modern culture, the term ‘Big Brother’ has entered the lexicon as a synonym for abuse of government power, particularly in respect to civil liberties, often specifically related to mass surveillance.”

As brilliant as Orwell was, something continuously struck me as incorrect as I read 1984.

Orwell’s government – was extraordinarily competent in its totalitarian imposition of technological power.

In Reality – no government in the history of man has ever been even remotely close to that competent.

For Orwell’s Big Brother dystopia to become Reality – Big Government would need private sector help.

Enter private sector Big Tech.

Big Tech has delivered much of the technology Orwell envisioned.  As but one of many examples – Orwell’s telescreens:

(D)evices that operate as televisions, security cameras, and microphones….(T)elescreens are used by the ruling Party in the totalitarian fictional State of Oceania to keep its subjects under constant surveillance, thus eliminating the chance of secret conspiracies against Oceania.”

We’re already all the way there – via Big Tech.

How Google and Amazon Are ‘Spying’ on You:

“The study found that digital assistants (Google Home and Amazon Echo) can be ‘awake’ even when users think they aren’t listening….

“(T)he devices listen all the time they are turned on – and Amazon has envisioned Alexa using that information to build profiles on anyone in the room….

“Amazon filed a patent application for an algorithm that would let future versions of the device identify statements of interest, such as ‘I love skiing’, enabling the speaker to be monitored based on their interests and targeted for related advertising.

“A Google patent application describes using a future release of it smart Home system to monitor and control everything from screen time and hygiene habits, to meal and travel schedules and other activities.

“The devices are envisioned as part of a surveillance web in the home to chart a families’ patterns….”

This is ALL insanely creepy.

Big Tech is…insanely big.

Microsoft (Market Cap: $1.1 trillion)

Amazon (Market Cap: $942 billion)

Google (Market Cap: $775 billion)

Facebook (Market Cap: $550 billion)

These four spying companies – are currently worth a combined $3.7 trillion.  Our nation’s entire economy – is $19.4 trillion.

Which means these four companies – all by themselves – are worth 19% of the United States.

But it’s Big Tech doing the spying – not Big Government.

Anyone who looks at Big Tech’s all-encompassing spying ability and thinks Big Government is capable of doing anything remotely similar – hasn’t paid attention to the past 10,000 years of human history.

The ONLY way Big Government can impose Big Brother – is to partner with Big Tech.

Uh oh.

The Role of Tech Companies in Government Surveillance

Tech Companies Concede to Surveillance Program

Four High-Tech Ways the Federal Government Is Spying on Private Citizens:

“Right now, the government is tracking the movements of private citizens by GPS, reading private citizens’ emails, and possibly even reading what you’re saying on Facebook.”

Big Tech once offered at least token resistance to Big Government’s demands – at least after being outed for acquiescing to Big Government’s demands.

Facebook, Amazon, Google Call for Government Surveillance Reform:

“It first gained attention after the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. Congress is in the process of weighing reforms for the program. It must vote to renew Section 702 before the end of the year, otherwise it will expire.

“The letter, addressed to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asks Congress to consider several reforms to the program to ensure greater transparency and privacy protections.”

We can now officially refer to those – as the Good Old Days.

Why would Big Tech fight Big Government – when they can get paid to join them?

And the Big Government-Big Tech surveillance state – is getting closer and closer to home.

In fact – just outside…and inside it.

Amazon’s Helping Police Build a Surveillance Network with Ring Doorbells:

“Police departments across the country, from major cities like Houston to towns with fewer than 30,000 people, have offered free or discounted Ring doorbells to citizens, sometimes using taxpayer funds to pay for Amazon’s products.

“While Ring owners are supposed to have a choice on providing police footage, in some giveaways, police require recipients to turn over footage when requested….

“(T)he sheer number of cameras run by Amazon’s Ring business raises questions about privacy involving both law enforcement and tech giants….(C)ritics have pointed out the retail giant’s (other) ventures with law enforcement, like offering facial recognition tools….

“More than 50 local police departments across the US have partnered with Ring over the last two years, lauding how the Amazon-owned product allows them to access security footage in areas that typically don’t have cameras — on suburban doorsteps….

“‘What we have here is a perfect marriage between law enforcement and one of the world’s biggest companies creating conditions for a society that few people would want to be a part of,’ said Mohammad Tajsar, staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California.”

That’s the outside of your home.  Here’s the in….

The Government Just Admitted It Will Use Smart Home Devices for Spying:

“If you want evidence that US intelligence agencies aren’t losing surveillance abilities because of the rising use of encryption by tech companies, look no further than the testimony…by the (then) director of national intelligence, James Clapper….

“Clapper made clear that the internet of things – the many devices like thermostats, cameras and other appliances that are increasingly connected to the internet – are providing ample opportunity for intelligence agencies to spy on targets, and possibly the masses. And it’s a danger that many consumers who buy these products may be wholly unaware of….

“Privacy advocates have known about the potential for government to exploit the internet of things for years. Law enforcement agencies have taken notice too, increasingly serving court orders on companies for data they keep that citizens might not even know they are transmitting. Police have already been asking Google-owned company Dropcam for footage from cameras inside people’s homes meant to keep an eye on their kids.”

Orwell got the tech right – just not Big Government’s ability to create it for totalitarian ends.

Freedom has allowed for the free markets – that allowed the rise of the private sector Big Tech Orwell thought Big Government would produce.

And now Big Tech and Big Government are partnering – to end that freedom.

Well…for we plebeians, anyway.

I’m sure Big Tech and Big Government will be just fine.

Read full story here…




An Age of Insanity When an Ex-Barmaid Has a National Voice

 It is a disturbing experience to listen to the rambling comments of 30-year old ex-barmaid, Alexander Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). As you listen to the ignorance, inaccuracies, and naïve views, you understand why the Founding Fathers limited the age of eligibility for President to 35. The question is why do her views receive so much attention?

The answer is because a group of technocrats saw an opportunity to push non-issues onto the stage without the danger of association. It is a technique seen as essential for control in today’s insane world. It is called plausible deniability and Obama was probably as good a practitioner as any to date.

If you lack the abilities required to wangle your way to the top or prefer to control from the shadows, then a public figure is an alternative. Obama started as such, a person chosen by George Soros and created by Valerie Jarrett. He was only supposed to serve one term but became enamored of the power and privilege of the job. In Obama’s third year Soros announced he would not support him for a second term. By that point, Obama decided to run and only succeeded because three million Republicans refused to vote for Romney.

The Democrats have no clear political leader or even a potential leader on the horizon. The ones who are apparently considering the position are so far left that they guarantee a loss at the next election. A large number of Democrats will not vote or even vote for Trump. A report said that some 30% of attendees at his recent rally in Grand Rapids Michigan are registered Democrats. They also have no policies because Trump usurped their traditional sectors of American society and their issues.

AOC is one of hundreds of thousands of people with web sites on which they regularly post commentaries. Her comments are not extraordinary or outside of the ordinary, whatever that is on the internet. The first thing that took her above the mob was an election to Congress, but that raises the same questions. What made her stand out above the large number of Democrats in her New York district? The level of ignorance in all aspects of politics, history, and economics was on display after her election. It was undoubtedly worse before she was elected, which makes the question of how she ran for office more pressing.

AOC introduced the Green New Deal (GND), but it is not new because it is a retread of the climate actions set out in Agenda 21. It is equally obvious that AOC had no part in its production and didn’t understand it. So, why is she talking about it and displaying her ignorance? Simple, she is a puppet of technocrats who want the issues on the front page because it is about using the environment as a global threat that they claim needs total government control. They know from polls that the public is not interested. They know Trump trumped all their traditional issues. Enter, AOC with shallowness and blind ambition which is so ignorant as not even to realize she is ignorant. The perfect dupe as one article reported.

More interestingly, the Democrats have shoved AOC out in front as the spokes-maven for all of their most ambitious and hare-brained socialist ideas. The latest is a so-called “Green New Deal.” The plan would have the US completely dependent on non-fossil fuel by the year 2030.

 

These people know that in the age of political correctness that they created it is very difficult to challenge a woman from a minority presented as epitomizing the American dream. A woman whom the publicity said fought her way out of impossible situations and did it in the face of white male supremacy. AOC is the modern equivalent of Joan of Arc (1412-1431). Nobody ever asks why Joan, an 18-year-old woman, ended up in uniform fighting against the English. Joan was a pawn of the French King, Charles VII, who was losing to the English and wanted a negotiated peace without loss of status. He apparently used her as a person more likely to negotiate peace with the English than a man.

As we see with all these AOC type stories, people, but especially women, are picked out for a cynical political purpose. This exploitation was on full display during the Justice Kavanaugh debacle. They trotted on to the stage a steady stream of women to play a part like Joan, with what they genuinely believed was an important nation saving function. Now, only a year later, they are on the rubbish heap of history. It is unlikely they will receive the forgiveness of an inquiry, like Joan did, and achieve the honored position as a savior of their country. All they got was their Warhol 15 minutes of fame, which consisted of deer blinking in the headlights of cynicism.