The U.S. government remains the greatest threat to our freedoms.
The systemic violence being perpetrated by agents of the government has done more collective harm to the American people and our liberties than any single act of terror.
More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, the U.S. government has become a greater menace to the life, liberty and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us.
For those of us who have managed to survive 2015 with our lives intact and our freedoms hanging by a thread, it has been a year of crackdowns, clampdowns, shutdowns, showdowns, shootdowns, standdowns, knockdowns, putdowns, breakdowns, lockdowns, takedowns, slowdowns, meltdowns, and never-ending letdowns.
Despite all of this humbuggery, however, there are still a few steps you can take to enjoy the season and hopefully make this world a better place in the face of weaponized drones, far-reaching surveillance and a government that with every passing day is coming to resemble authoritarian regimes of old. While it’s not possible to solve all of the world’s problems right away, here are some practical steps each of us can take to recapture the true spirit of Christmas.
“The game is rigged, the network is bugged, the government talks double-speak, the courts are complicit and there’s nothing you can do about it.”—David Kravets, reporting for Wired Nothing you write, say, text, tweet or share via phone or computer is private anymore. As constitutional law professor Garrett Epps points out, “Big Brother is watching…. Big Brother may be watching you right now, and you may never know. Since 9/11, our …continue…
In the words of Billy Idol, “It’s a nice day to start again. It’s a nice day for a white wedding.” Beautiful snow. Crisp hope. New beginnings. Innocent love. All to be obliterated by rocks falling from heaven, and all that white now crimson.
Three lives are shattered. Sanctuary obliterated. Questions unanswered. The enemy remains unseen, a shadow of doubt, and the dead disappear under a veil of mystery. Dark magic is at hand.
GQ Qi (Jack Yang) is a talented and handsome actor who can’t seem to get a break. That is until he lands a coveted role on a television sitcom. The only problem—the role is for a character named Kung Pao, a Chinese foreign exchange student. Not only is his name offensive but also the lines and mannerisms assigned to him. Fed up with the blatant stereotyping, GQ foils a plan to expose the executive producer of the show, Mitch Lebowitz (Bruno Oliver). He enlists the help of a production assistant, Kelvin Kim (Raymond Lee), but once again GQ can’t catch a break because the role is so coveted that Kim turns against GQ for an opportunity to replace him as the star.
Of what is nothing made but a bed of wild
And idle flowers? The fractal petal bent
Around the cusp of the crown of the god-child
Swelling its red bloom from the carcass, spent
The years in its proclamation ebbing
the tide in blackness, spewed roaring and naked
to wash ashore from stars forgotten, dwelling
in the wet sand a fortnight to awaken
as a god-child and king, long dead in great despair
Michael Persall is finally following his dream of making of music for a living after realizing just how delicate life could be when his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer his senior year of high school. He has an EP out right now titled This and That, but this is not his first attempt of following his dream. While publicized as his debut EP, This and That is actually his second EP. “I removed the first one from the Internet because well, it just wasn’t good at all,” Persall said. In am industry-dominated world, not many artists would dare doing what Persall did for the sake of excellence. Continue reading to learn what else Persall does in order to create quality music and check out one of his singles from This and That, “Twice.”
“Police are specialists in violence. They are armed, trained, and authorized to use force. With varying degrees of subtlety, this colors their every action. Like the possibility of arrest, the threat of violence is implicit in every police encounter. Violence, as well as the law, is what they represent.”—Kristian Williams, activist and author If you don’t want to get probed, poked, pinched, tasered, tackled, searched, seized, stripped, manhandled, arrested, shot, …continue…
Party Politicians love the hurt
Don’t feel anything, they will never learn
Money they push down, they push down
I’m the one “to represent you all”
Polls going up, representatives ring’ doorbells
But there is no love, there is no love
Throw the truth back ‘til we believe you
What was striking about this year’s State of the Union address was not the sheer arrogance of the president’s remarks, the staged nature of the proceedings and interactions, or the predictable posturing of the rebuttals, but the extent to which the members of the various branches of government—President Obama, Congress, the Supreme Court, and the assorted government agencies—are just one big, brawling, noisy, semi-incestuous clan.
Watching these bureaucrats, both elected and appointed, interact in the unguarded moments before the event, with their hugging and kissing and nudging and joking and hobnobbing and general high spirits, I was reminded anew that these people—Republicans and Democrats alike—are united in a common goal, and it is not to protect and defend the Constitution.