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Rule By Brute Force: The True Nature Of Government

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Rule By Brute Force: The True Nature Of Government
Photo Credit: Mint Press News

John W. WhiteheadGuest Writer

“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”—Ayn Rand

The Torch Has Been Passed To A New President

All of the imperial powers amassed by Barack Obama and George W. Bush—to kill American citizens without due process, to detain suspects indefinitely, to strip Americans of their citizenship rights, to carry out mass surveillance on Americans without probable cause, to suspend laws during wartime, to disregard laws with which he might disagree, to conduct secret wars and convene secret courts, to sanction torture, to sidestep the legislatures and courts with executive orders and signing statements, to direct the military to operate beyond the reach of the law, to act as a dictator and a tyrant, above the law and beyond any real accountability—have been inherited by Donald Trump.

Whatever kind of president Trump chooses to be, he now has the power to completely alter the landscape of this country for good or for ill.

He has this power because every successive occupant of the Oval Office has been allowed to expand the reach and power of the presidency through the use of executive orders, decrees, memorandums, proclamations, national security directives and legislative signing statements that can be activated by any sitting president.

Those of us who saw this eventuality coming have been warning for years about the growing danger of the Executive Branch with its presidential toolbox of terror that could be used—and abused—by future presidents.

The groundwork, we warned, was being laid for a new kind of government where it won’t matter if you’re innocent or guilty, whether you’re a threat to the nation or even if you’re a citizen. What will matter is what the president—or whoever happens to be occupying the Oval Office at the time—thinks. And if he or she thinks you’re a threat to the nation and should be locked up, then you’ll be locked up with no access to the protections our Constitution provides. In effect, you will disappear.

Our warnings went largely unheeded.

First, we sounded the alarm over George W. Bush’s attempts to gut the Constitution, suspend habeas corpus, carry out warrantless surveillance on Americans, and generally undermine the Fourth Amendment, but the Republicans didn’t want to listen because Bush was a Republican.

Then we sounded the alarm over Barack Obama’s prosecution of whistle-blowers, targeted drone killings, assassinations of American citizens, mass surveillance, and militarization of the police, but the Democrats didn’t want to listen because Obama was a Democrat and he talked a really good game.

It well may be that by the time Americans­—Republicans and Democrats alike—stop playing partisan games and start putting some safeguards in place, it will be too late.

Already, Donald Trump has indicated that he will pick up where his predecessors left off: he will continue to wage war, he will continue to federalize the police, and he will operate as if the Constitution does not apply to him.

Still, as tempting as it may be, don’t blame Donald Trump for what is to come.

If this nation eventually locks down… If Americans are rounded up and detained based on the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or their political views… If law-and-order takes precedence over constitutional principles…

If martial law is eventually declared… If we find that there really is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide from the surveillance state’s prying eyes and ears… And if our constitutional republic finally plunges headlong over the cliff and leaves us in the iron grip of totalitarianism…

Please, resist the urge to lay all the blame at Trump’s feet.

After all, President Trump didn’t create the police state.

He merely inherited it.

Frankly, there’s more than enough blame to go around.

So blame Obama. Blame Bush. Blame Bill Clinton.

Blame the Republicans and Democrats who justified every power grab, every expansion of presidential powers, and every attack on the Constitution as long as it was a member of their own party leading the charge.

Blame Congress for being a weak, inept body that spends more time running for office and pandering to the interests of the monied elite than representing the citizenry.

Blame the courts for caring more about order than justice, and for failing to hold government officials accountable to the rule of law.

Blame Corporate America for taking control of the government and calling the shots behind the scenes.

Most of all, blame the American people for not having objected louder, sooner and more vehemently when Barack Obama, George W. Bush and their predecessors laid the groundwork for this state of tyranny.

But wait, you say.

Americans are mobilizing. They are engaged. They are actively expressing their discontent with the government. They are demanding change. They are marching in the streets, picketing, protesting and engaging in acts of civil disobedience.

This is a good development, right? Isn’t this what we’ve been calling on Americans to do for so long: stand up and push back and say “enough is enough”?

Perhaps you’re right.

Perhaps Americans have finally had enough. At least, some Americans have finally had enough.

That is to say, some Americans have finally had enough of certain government practices that are illegal, immoral and inhumane.

Although, to be quite fair, it might be more accurate to state that some Americans have finally had enough of certain government practices that are illegal, immoral and inhumane provided that the ruling political party responsible for those actions is not their own.

Yes, that sounds about right. Except that it’s all wrong.

We still haven’t learned a thing.

Imagine: after more than eight years in which Americans remained largely silent while the United States military (directed by the Obama Administration) bombed parts of the Middle East to smithereens—dropping nearly three bombs an hour, and left a trail of innocent civilian deaths in its wake—suddenly, Americans are outraged by programs introduced by the Trump Administration that could discriminate against Muslim refugees. Never mind that we’ve been killing those same refugees for close to a decade.

Certainly, there was little outcry when the U.S. military under Obama carried out an air strike against a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan. Doctors, patients—including children—and staff members were killed or wounded. There were also no protests when the Obama Administration targeted Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen in Yemen, for assassination by drone strike. The man was killed without ever having been charged with a crime. Two weeks later, Obama—the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize—authorized another drone strike that killed al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, also an American citizen.

Most recently, picking up where President Obama left off, President Trump personally authorized a commando raid on a compound in Yemen suspected of harboring Al Qaeda officials. Among those killed were “at least eight women and seven children, ages 3 to 13,” including Nora, the 8-year-old sister of the teenager killed by Obama years before.

Likewise, while most Americans failed to show much opposition to the government’s disregard for Americans’ bodily integrity, shrugging their collective shoulders dismissively over reports of their fellow citizens being subjected Americans to roadside strip searches, virtual strip searches, cavity searches and other equally denigrating acts, hundreds of thousands mobilized to protest policies that could be advanced by the Trump administration that might demean or deny equal rights to individuals based on their gender or orientation or take away their reproductive planning choices. Similarly, while tens of thousands have gathered annually for a March for Life to oppose abortion, many of those same marchers seem to have no qualms about the government’s practice of shooting unarmed citizens and executing innocent ones.

This begs the question: what are Americans really protesting? Is it politics or principle?

Or Is It Just Trump?

For instance, in the midst of the uproar over Trump’s appointment of Steven Bannon to the National Security Council, his detractors have accused Bannon of being a propagandist  nationalist, and a white supremacist. Yet not one objection has been raised about the fact that the National Security Council authorizes secret, legal, targeted killings of American citizens (and others) without due process, a practice frequently employed by Obama.

The message coming across loud and clear: it’s fine for the government to carry out secret, targeted assassinations of American citizens without due process as long as the individuals advising the president aren’t Neo-Nazis.

Of course, this national hypocrisy goes both ways.

Conveniently, many of the same individuals who raised concerns over Obama’s “lawless” use of executive orders to sidestep Congress have defended Trump’s executive orders as “taking us back to the Constitution.” And those who sounded the alarm over the dangers of the American police state have gone curiously silent in the face of Trump’s pledge to put an end to “the dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America.”

We can’t have it both ways.

As long as we continue to put our politics ahead of our principles—moral, legal and constitutional—“we the people” will lose.

And you know who will keep winning by playing on our prejudices, capitalizing on our fears, deepening our distrust of our fellow citizens, and dividing us into polarized, warring camps incapable of finding consensus on the one true menace that is an immediate threat to all of our freedoms? The U.S. government.

In her essay on “The Nature of Government,” Ayn Rand explains that the only “proper” purpose of a government is the protection of individual rights. She continues: “The source of the government’s authority is ‘the consent of the governed.’ This means that the government is not the ruler, but the servant or agent of the citizens; it means that the government as such has no rights except the rights delegated to it by the citizens for a specific purpose.”

When we lose sight of this true purpose of government—to protect our rights—and fail to keep the government in its place as our servant, we allow the government to overstep its bounds and become a tyrant that rules by brute force.

As Rand explains:

“Instead of being a protector of man’s rights, the government is becoming their most dangerous violator; instead of guarding freedom, the government is establishing slavery; instead of protecting men from the initiators of physical force, the government is initiating physical force and coercion in any manner and issue it pleases; instead of serving as the instrument of objectivity in human relationships, the government is creating a deadly, subterranean reign of uncertainty and fear, by means of nonobjective laws whose interpretation is left to the arbitrary decisions of random bureaucrats; instead of protecting men from injury by whim, the government is arrogating to itself the power of unlimited whim—so that we are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”

Rule by brute force.

That’s about as good a description as you’ll find for the sorry state of our republic.

SWAT teams crashing through doors. Militarized police shooting unarmed citizens. Traffic cops tasering old men and pregnant women for not complying fast enough with an order. Resource officers shackling children for acting like children. Citizens being jailed for growing vegetable gardens in their front yards and holding prayer services in their backyards. Drivers having their cash seized under the pretext that they might have done something wrong.

The list of abuses being perpetrated against the American people by their government is growing rapidly.

We are approaching critical mass.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it may already be too late to save our republic. We have passed the point of easy fixes. When the government and its agents no longer respect the rule of law—the Constitution—or believe that it applies to them, then the very contract on which this relationship is based becomes invalid.

So What Is The Answer?

Look to the past if you want to understand the future.

Too often, we look to the past to understand how tyrants come to power: the rise and fall of the Roman Empire; Hitler’s transformation of Germany into a Nazi state; the witch hunt tactics of the McCarthy Era.

Yet the past—especially our own American history—also teaches us valuable lessons about the quest for freedom. Here’s Rand again:

“A free society—like any other human product—cannot be achieved by random means, by mere wishing or by the leaders’ “good intentions.” A complex legal system, based on objectively valid principles, is required to make a society free and to keep it free-a system that does not depend on the motives, the moral character or the intentions of any given official, a system that leaves no opportunity, no legal loophole for the development of tyranny. The American system of checks and balances was just such an achievement. And although certain contradictions in the Constitution did leave a loophole for the growth of statism, the incomparable achievement was the concept of a constitution as a means of limiting and restricting the power of the government. Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals—that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government—that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizens’ protection against the government.”

You want to save America? Then stop thinking like Republicans and Democrats and start acting like Americans.

The only thing that will save us now is a concerted, collective commitment to the Constitution’s principles of limited government, a system of checks and balances, and a recognition that they—the president, Congress, the courts, the military, the police, the technocrats and plutocrats and bureaucrats—work for us.

About the Author

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute, where this article first appeared. He is the author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State and The Change Manifesto.

The views in this article may not reflect editorial policy of Collective Spark.

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TV Preacher Kenneth Copeland Claims To “Blow” Coronavirus Away In Ridiculous Sermon

”I blow the wind of God on you. You are destroyed forever, and you’ll never be back!”

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Photo Credit: TMU

(TMU) — As the U.S. finds itself the global epicenter of the deadly coronavirus, it’s no surprise that many Americans have turned to religion to seek solace in the face of a pandemic that’s become nearly biblical in scope.

And while many Christian churches and religious leaders have defied state lockdown orders to gather their congregants at churches, evangelical leaders like prosperity preacher Kenneth Copeland have been comfortable giving sermons through their usual medium—on television.

However, the controversial pastor’s latest antics have been raising eyebrows after he claimed he could take down the coronavirus by channelling the “wind of God” through his very own lungs.

Telling his TV audien ce that the pandemic would be “over much sooner than you think” because “Christian people all over this country praying have overwhelmed it,” Copeland deployed his latest trick in the fight to contain the deadly disease.

Surrounded by members of his church and sermonizing to an empty room, he began invoking the almighty, saying:

“Wind, almighty, strong, south wind, Heat: Burn this thing, in the name of Jesus. I say, you bow your knees. You fall on your face.”

Before blowing at the camera, the Forth Worth-based preacher proclaimed:

I blow the wind of God on you. You are destroyed forever, and you’ll never be back. Thank you, God. Let it happen. Cause it to happen.”

Copeland, who has been in the business for 52 years through his Kenneth Copeland Ministries Mega-Church, has been accused of being a shameless snake-oil salesman who spouts untruths for the sake of raising tithes.

The religious leader—who has his own private jet, airstrip, and hangar—is estimated to have a net worth of roughly $760 million.

In recent weeks, Copeland told viewers who generously continue paying tithes amid record-shattering unemployment rates that they can cure themselves of the novel virus simply by touching their screens while watching his programs.

Last month, the pastor “executed judgment” on CoViD-19, declaring the disease “finished” and “over” while claiming he made the U.S. “healed and well again.” Copeland also demanded “a vaccination to come immediately.”

Copeland has scandalized critics with claims that the public response to the coronavirus has been over-hyped and based on fear, describing the disease as a “very weak strain of flu” without offering proof of the claim.

In a Facebook Live broadcast of his Victory News report last month, the pastor said:

“It (coronavirus) is so weak their symptoms are almost alike.

Some people had it and didn’t even know it. They just haven’t found the way to knock that thing in the head yet.”

Standing Against Coronavirus

Join us tonight as Kenneth Copeland, Gene Bailey and Greg Stephens discuss the Coronavirus/COVID-19. They will break down the facts regarding the virus, dispel the fear and mass hysteria, and build your faith in the power of the WORD of God to protect and heal.

Kenneth Copeland Ministries paylaştı: 11 Mart 2020 Çarşamba

Earlier, the pastor said that those who attend his services can be healed in person, adding:

“If we have to pass out thermometers, if we find one with a fever, let’s get him healed right there … What do you do if you get it? Big deal.”

A fervent supporter of Donald Trump—whom he describes as a “King”—Copeland has also claimed that the president’s detractors have “opened the door” for the virus through their alleged “displays of hate” against him.

Copeland’s latest stunt comes amid a wave of prominent Christian preachers defying warnings from local governments and health officials to stop holding mass events at their churches and risk becoming outbreak clusters.

In California’s Sacramento County, home of the seat of state government, the Bethany Slavic Missionary church has been found to be linked to upwards of 70 cases of coronavirus, making the Pentecostal Mega-Church one of the largest outbreak clusters in the United States.

Meanwhile, Florida Pentecostal pastor Rodney Howard-Browne held a number of services in defiance of warnings from doctors and health authorities to stop potentially spreading the disease, which he called a “phantom plague” before he was finally arrested for flouting rules on social distancing.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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A Tiger At The Bronx Zoo Just Tested Positive For Coronavirus

The tiger and six other animals were infected by an asymptomatic caretaker.

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A Tiger At The Bronx Zoo Just Tested Positive for Coronavirus
Photo Credit: Truth Theory

(TMU) — A four-year-old tiger named Nadia at New York City’s Bronx Zoo has tested positive for coronavirus, the novel virus that causes CoViD-19.

The Malayan tiger is the first known instance of a tiger being infected as well as the first anima to test positive for the virus in the United States.

Nadia and her sister Azul, along with five other tigers and lions, developed symptoms like “a dry cough” and loss of appetite but are “expected to recover,” according to the zoo.

One of the animals first began showing symptoms on March 27. Only four-year-old Nadia was tested. She did not have a fever at the time.

Dr. Paul Calle, the zoo’s chief veterinarian, said that Nadia was tested “out of an abundance of caution” and to “contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus.”

The zoo reports that the animals were infected by a human caretaker that was asymptomatic.

In a news release, the Bronx Zoo said:

Appropriate preventive measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them, and the other cats in our four WCS zoos, to prevent further exposure of any other of our zoo cats.”

The zoo has been closed to the public since March 16. The employee alleged to have infected the animals is currently doing okay, according to zoo officials.

While a small number of animals have been tested, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that there are currently no known cases of coronavirus in pets or livestock in the United States.

Dr. Jane Rooney, a veterinarian and a USDA official, explained:

There doesn’t appear to be, at this time, any evidence that suggests that the animals can spread the virus to people or that they can be a source of the infection in the United States.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommend those infected with the coronavirus limit their interactions with animals.

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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The Upcoming ‘Super Pink Moon’ Will Be The Biggest And Best Of 2020

Peaking on April 7 and 8, the pink moon is expected to be the brightest supermoon of 2020.

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Mummified Woman Found Buried In Siberia Wearing Foal-Skin Stockings And Copper Cross
Photo Credit: Pexels

(TMU) — The Full Pink Supermoon will be peaking on April 7 and 8, depending on where in the world you find yourself.

Expected to be the brightest Supermoon of 2020, this special moon comes at a time when millions across the globe won’t have the freedom to travel to find the perfect viewing spot away from city lights. We hope city dwellers are able to enjoy the light of this moon from the safety of their homes and take comfort in the fact that many cities are enjoying clearer skies as a result of millions of vehicles not being on the roads.

The first full moon of spring, also known as the Paschal Moon in the Christian calendar and used to calculate the date for Easter, will be visible after sunset and reach its peak illumination at 10:35pm, EDT.

But don’t expect the moon to actually be pink. Instead it will be its usual color, just brighter and bigger, especially when it’s close to the horizon at moon rise or moon set.

According to The Farmer’s Almanac, full moons are named after the seasons or events usually happening during the season. As such, the Pink Moon is named for the first spring flowers that cover the ground like a pink carpet, called Wild Ground Phlox or Moss Phlox (Phlox subulata). Native to North America, these flowers often bloom around April’s full moon.

Native American tribes, Anglo Saxons, and Germanic regions named the months after seasonal features often associated with nature in the Northern Hemisphere. Many of the Native American names were used by the Colonial settlers and are still used today. Other names for the April full moon include the Sprouting Grass Moon, Fish Moon, Hare Moon, and Egg Moon (birds start laying eggs).

According to timeanddate.com, a Supermoon occurs when the full moon or new moon’s approach is closest to Earth, its “perigee,” often called a Supermoon.

Their website explains that Supermoon is not an official astronomical term:

“It was first coined by an astrologer, Richard Nolle, in 1979. He defined it as ‘a New or a Full Moon that occurs when the Moon is at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in its orbit’. It is not clear why he chose the 90% cut off in his definition.’’

At this unprecedented time when the people of the world face a common, unseen enemy, whether you can bask in the light of this Supermoon or even just get a brief glance at it, take the opportunity to blow it a kiss of victory and peace to share with the world.

The third Supermoon of 2020 is just a month away, on May 7. Perhaps by then we’ll be able to venture outside to find that special spot to moon gaze!

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Brooklyn Landlord Cancels Rent For Hundreds Of Tenants So They Can Buy Food Instead

The world needs more people like this!

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Brooklyn Landlord Cancels Rent for Hundreds of Tenants So They Can Buy Food Instead
Photo Credit: TMU

(TMU) — A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, which is double the record-breaking number seen the week before.

While some steps have been taken to help mitigate the economic hardships related to the pandemic, such as the recent stimulus package that was passed by the U.S. government, many critics feel that the bill was insufficient for low wage workers.

The unprecedented shut down of the economy has deepened the poverty crisis in the country, and local food banks have seen an overwhelming increase in demand as people begin to worry about where their next meals are going to come from.

Mortgage forgiveness is common in many areas across the country, but rent forgiveness remains controversial. However, some generous landlords have taken it upon themselves to offer help during this difficult time.

Mario Salerno, of Brooklyn, New York, owns 18 apartment buildings, and has told his renters to not worry about paying rent during the shutdown and to spend their money on groceries instead.

Salerno told the New York Times that he has put signs up telling his tenants to wash their hands and help their neighbours.

The Brooklyn landlord said he has about 200 to 300 tenants in total and estimates that he will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in income during the month of April.

Mario Salerno, a landlord in New York City (Williamsburg) waived April rent for all 200 of his tenants. I crave this kind of content so badly…❤️ Not all heroes wear capes…💪🏾

Ashlee Marie Preston paylaştı: 3 Nisan 2020 Cuma

And in Los Angeles, California, a group of homeless mothers calling themselves “reclaimers” have moved into abandoned homes throughout the city to keep themselves safe from the virus while contributing to the public health effort of social distancing and staying healthy, which would be far more difficult for them to accomplish on the streets.

It is not clear how many reclaimers there are or how many houses they currently occupy but their numbers are continuing to increase as the conditions become more serious in the region and as media reports about the group and their efforts spread.

By John Vibes | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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