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A Badge of Shame: The Government’s War on America’s Military Veterans

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By John W. Whitehead
November 5, 2018

For soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, coming home is more lethal than being in combat.” ― Brené Brown, research professor at the University of HoustonNot all heroes wear the uniform of war.

In the United States, however, we take particular pride in recognizing as heroes those who have served in the military.

Yet while we honor our veterans with holidays, parades, discounts at retail stores and restaurants, and endless political rhetoric about their sacrifice and bravery, we do a pitiful job of respecting their freedoms and caring for their needs once out of uniform.

Despite the fact that the U.S. boasts more than 20 million veterans who have served in World War II through the present day, the plight of veterans today is America’s badge of shame, with large numbers of veterans impoverished, unemployed, traumatized mentally and physically, struggling with depression, suicide, and marital stress, homeless, subjected to sub-par treatment at clinics and hospitals, and left to molder while their paperwork piles up within Veterans Administration offices.

Still, the government’s efforts to wage war on veterans, especially those who speak out against government wrongdoing, is downright appalling.

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Victory: Court Dismisses Case Against Disabled Veteran Arrested After Lawful Purchase of Canned Iced Tea, Aerosol Bug Spray & Razor Blades

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For Immediate Release: September 28, 2018

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — In a victory for common sense and moderation in how police carry out security protocols, a general district court has granted The Rutherford Institute’s request to dismiss the government’s case against a disabled war veteran who was arrested and charged with a crime after he lawfully purchased cans of Arizona iced tea, aerosol bug spray, a light bulb, and razor blades, all of which were on the City of Charlottesville’s list of temporarily prohibited, potentially “dangerous” items.

HELP US KEEP FREEDOM ALIVE
John Miska, a disabled war veteran, was charged with violating a City ordinance prohibiting potentially “dangerous” items. Incidentally, the veteran’s guns (not among the list of prohibited items) caused no alarm. In throwing out the charges against Miska, the court ruled that the provision of the ordinance used to justify Miska’s arrest is overbroad and unreasonable and, therefore, unenforceable.

Elliott M. Harding of Harding Counsel PLLC, assisted The Rutherford Institute with Miska’s case.

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AMERICAN POLICE STATE

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The Rutherford Institute

AMERICAN POLICE STATE

Risk of Police-Involved Death by Race/Ethnicity and Place

Inked With a Skull in a Cowboy Hat, L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Describes Exclusive Society of Lawmen at California Station

Former Deputy Who Made Child Porn Gets Probation Instead Of Prison Time

Salem Police: Deputy Stole Guns From Dead Man’s Home While on Duty

Policeman Confronts Reporter For Taking Photos of Him Detaining Homeless Man

Police Called Multiple Times on Girl Selling Homemade Cookies

Family Begs For Answers After Veteran Dies In Police Custody—Claim His Organs Are Missing

Cincinnati Police Use Taser on 11-Year-Old Girl Accused of Stealing From Supermarket

Cops Go To Wrong House, Kill Innocent Man, Receive A Free Pass From Local Grand Jury

Girl, 11, Shocked With Police Taser at Cincinnati Kroger

WATCH: Cop Attacks Handcuffed, Blindfolded Man for No Reason, Injuring Him—Not Guilty

State Police Testing Saliva Swab to Catch Stoned Drivers

Arkansas Officer Fired After Telling Group of Black Men They ‘Don’t Belong’ in His City

OVERCRIMINALIZATION

80-Year-Old Grandma Thrown in Jail For Smoking Pot In Her Own Home to Treat Her Arthritis

Dial T for Tyranny: While America Feuds, the Police State Shifts Into High Gear

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By John W. Whitehead
April 30, 2018

“Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.” — Professor Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Discourse in the Age of Show Business

What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater. And what political theater it is, diabolically Shakespearean at times, full of sound and fury, yet in the end, signifying nothing.

Played out on the national stage and eagerly broadcast to a captive audience by media sponsors, this farcical exercise in political theater can, at times, seem riveting, life-changing and suspenseful, even for those who know better. READ MORE HERE!

Crimes of a Monster: Your Tax Dollars at Work

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By John W. Whitehead

April 16, 2018

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“This is true whether you’re talking about taxpayers being forced to fund high-priced weaponry that will be used against us, endless wars that do little for our safety or our freedoms, or bloated government agencies such as the National Security Agency with its secret budgets, covert agendas and clandestine activities. Rubbing salt in the wound, even monetary awards in lawsuits against government officials who are found guilty of wrongdoing are paid by the taxpayer.”

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“Is ours a government of the people, by the people, for the people, or a kakistocracy rather, for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools?”— James Russell Lowell, 19th century American novelist…..

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Say No to “Hardening” the Schools with Zero Tolerance Policies and Gun-Toting Cops [SHORT]

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The Rutherford Institute

Commentary


By John W. Whitehead
March 13, 2018

 

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“Nowadays, students are not only punished for minor transgressions such as playing cops and robbers on the playground, bringing LEGOs to school, or having a food fight, but the punishments have become far more severe, shifting from detention and visits to the principal’s office into misdemeanor tickets, juvenile court, handcuffs, tasers and even prison terms.

These outrageous incidents are exactly what you’ll see more of if the Trump Administration gets its way.”

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Just what we don’t need: more gun-toting, taser-wielding cops in government-run schools that bear an uncomfortable resemblance to prisons.

Microcosms of the police state, America’s public schools already contain almost every aspect of the militarized, intolerant, senseless, overcriminalized, legalistic, surveillance-riddled, totalitarian landscape that plagues those of us on the “outside.”

Now the Trump Administration wants to double down on these totalitarian echo chambers.

The Justice Department, headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has announced that it will provide funding for schools that want to hire more resource officers. The White House has also hinted that it may repeal “Rethink School Discipline” policies, heralding a return to zero tolerance policies that treat children like suspects and criminals, especially within the public schools.

As for President Trump, he wants to “harden” the schools.

What exactly does hardening the schools entail?

More strident zero tolerance policies, greater numbers of school cops, and all the trappings of a prison complex (unsurmountable fences, entrapment areas, no windows or trees, etc.).

Just when you thought this administration couldn’t get any more tone-deaf about civil liberties, they prove once again that they have absolutely no regard for the Constitution (especially the Fourth Amendment), no concept of limited government, and no concern for the growing need to protect “we the people” against an overreaching, overbearing police state.

America’s schools today are already about as authoritarian as they come. More

Rutherford Institute Challenges Police Use of License Plate Readers as Mass Surveillance Tool to Track Citizens Not Suspected of a Crime

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This press release is also available at www.rutherford.org.

RICHMOND, Va. — The Rutherford Institute has asked the Virginia Supreme Court to prohibit police from using license plate readers as mass surveillance tools to track citizens whether or not they are suspected of a crime. In filing an amicus brief in Neal v. Fairfax County Police Department, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that Fairfax County’s practice of collecting and storing license plate reader data violates a Virginia law prohibiting the government from amassing personal information about individuals, including their driving habits and location.

Mounted next to traffic lights or on police cars, Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR), which photograph up to 3,600 license tag numbers per minute, take a picture of every passing license tag number and store the tag number, date, time and location of the picture in a searchable database. The data is then shared with law enforcement, fusion centers and private companies and used to track the movements of persons in their cars. There are reportedly tens of thousands of these license plate readers now in operation throughout the country. It is estimated that over 99% of the people being unnecessarily surveilled are entirely innocent. The Virginia Supreme Court will hear arguments today in Neal v. Fairfax County Police Department.

The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Neal v. Fairfax County is available at www.rutherford.org.

“Incredibly, Americans cannot even drive their cars without being enmeshed in the government’s web of surveillance. We’re on the losing end of a technological revolution that has already taken hostage our computers, our phones, our finances, our entertainment, our shopping, our appliances, and now, it’s focused its sights on our cars,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “By subjecting Americans to surveillance without their knowledge or compliance and then storing the data for later use, the government has erected the ultimate suspect society. In such an environment, there is no such thing as ‘innocent until proven guilty.’” More

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