World tyranny is accelerating at a pace not seen since Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Mussolini converged on the world stage. Their regimes were history’s prime examples, but there have been countless other dictators who have flourished, leading to the unfortunate conclusion that dictatorships are the rule, not the exception. Central to these power structures has been secrecy, intimidation, and the outlawing of basic human rights such as free speech, the right to peaceably assemble, the eradication of individuality in deference to the State, and extrajudicial arrests of their own citizens. The G8 and G20 Summits now represent a traveling tyranny that is emulating history’s most infamous. Activists would then be wise to consult history when developing an effective strategy to combat the increasing dehumanization.
It is just this type of activism that I encouraged in my October, 2009 article “Resistance is NOT Futile: The Rise of Resistance Journalism.” I spoke about knowing your Constitutional rights, stating them firmly, and putting authority in a position of violating your civil rights in a way that no court of law could endorse. However, in just the last 8 months since that article was posted, the laws of free speech and to peaceably assemble have been all but eradicated, and Constitutional protection is no longer available for those defined within the expanding label of “terrorist.” In fact, much of what I had suggested in my original article is now bound to get someone arrested without recourse. Even filming police can carry a sentence — in your own home! We see evidence of overt Fascism in The Gulf, as Coast Guard officers have become enforcers for British Petroleum, instead of protectors of the citizens affected by the tragedy. Winding up in jail doesn’t make someone very effective, nor is it wise council to encourage an endeavor that is bound to fail. Activism in the age of tyranny and terror must be cunning, wise, discrete, but still unflagging. I think it is time to look at the only form of activism that has consistently worked under the type of blatant tyranny we now face on a global scale: total non-cooperation.
- Authority (or legitimacy, belief in the right of some group or person to lead and give orders).
- Human resources (who and how many people obey and assist the power holder).
- Skills and knowledge (what kind and to what degree these are available to the power-holder).
- Intangible factors (religious, emotional, and belief systems).
- Material resources (economic, financial, transportation, and communications).
- Sanctions (or punishments, violent or nonviolent).
- Religious and moral leaders.
- All sections of the population in the case of human resources — people who cooperate, obey, and assist the regime.
- Specialists with particular abilities and capacities in the case of skills and knowledge.
- Acceptance of the pattern of submission and of beliefs which lead to obedience and help in the case of intangible factors.
- Cooperation in the functioning of the financial economic, transportation, and communications system in the case of material factors.
- Fear and submission in face of threatened punishments by the regime, and obedience by the police and military of orders to inflict repression on those who disobey or refuse to cooperate.
- Massive shut-downs of the society, general strikes, mass stay-at-homes, defiant marches, loss of control of the economy, transportation system, and communications, slow-downs and defiance by the civil service and police, disguised disobedience or outright mutiny by the military, or other activities will increasingly undermine the dictators’ own organization and related institutions.
- When the religious and moral leaders in the society denounce the regime as illegitimate.
- When the masses of the people are disobeying orders and noncooperating with the dictatorship.
- When journalists and broadcasters are defying censorship and issuing their own publications and programs.
- When the transportation system operates only according to the needs of the democratic forces.
- When the civil servants are ignoring the dictatorship’s policies and orders.
- When the police refuse to arrest democratic resisters.
- When the army has gone on strike.
Supreme Court backs off strict enforcement of Miranda rights
By David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau
The Supreme Court retreated from strict enforcement of the famous Miranda decision on Tuesday, ruling that a crime suspect’s words could be used against him if he failed to clearly invoke his rights clearly and, instead, answered a single question after nearly three hours of interrogation.
In the past, the court has said the “burden rests on the government” to show that a crime suspect has “knowingly and intelligently waived” his rights.
But in a 5-4 decision Tuesday, the court said the suspect had the duty to invoke his rights. If he failed to do so, his later words can be used to convict him, the justices said.
Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence
Thousands of census workers, including many temporary employees, are fanning out across America to gather information on the citizenry. This is a process that takes place not only every decade in order to complete the constitutionally-mandated census; but also as part of the continuing “American Community Survey” conducted by the Census Bureau on a regular basis year in and year out.
What many Americans don’t realize, is that census workers — from the head of the Bureau and the Secretary of Commerce (its parent agency) down to the lowliest and newest Census employee — are empowered under federal law to actually demand access to any apartment or any other type of home or room that is rented out, in order to count persons in the abode and for “the collection of statistics.” If the landlord of such apartment or other leased premises refuses to grant the government worker access to your living quarters, whether you are present or not, the landlord can be fined $500.00.
That’s right — not only can citizens be fined if they fail to answer the increasingly intrusive questions asked of them by the federal government under the guise of simply counting the number of people in the country; but a landlord must give them access to your apartment whether you’re there or not, in order to gather whatever “statistics” the law permits.
In fact, some census workers apparently are going even further and demanding — and receiving — private cell phone numbers from landlords in order to call tenants and obtain information from them. Isn’t it great to live in a “free” country?
Attorney General Eric Holder said for the first time today on ABC’s “This Week” that the Obama administration is open to modifying Miranda protections to deal with the “threats that we now face.”
“The [Miranda] system we have in place has proven to be effective,” Holder told host Jake Tapper. “I think we also want to look and determine whether we have the necessary flexibility — whether we have a system that deals with situations that agents now confront. … We’re now dealing with international terrorism. … I think we have to give serious consideration to at least modifying that public-safety exception [to the Miranda protections]. And that’s one of the things that I think we’re going to be reaching out to Congress, to come up with a proposal that is both constitutional, but that is also relevant to our times and the threats that we now face.”
America’s system of Miranda rights developed out of a 1966 Supreme Court ruling which found that the Fifth Amendment and Sixth Amendment rights of an alleged rapist and kidnapper, Ernesto Arturo Miranda, had been violated during his arrest and trial (Miranda was later retried and convicted).
The Court ruled that before being interrogated, a person in custody must (among other things) “be clearly informed that he or she has the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against that person in court,” and that they “must be clearly informed that he or she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning.”
Holder, who was making his first appearance on a Sunday morning news show, also declared that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attempted bombing of Times Square by Faisal Shahzad last week.
“We’ve now developed evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack,” Holder said. “We know that they helped facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it. And that he was working at their direction.”