How to Survive the Journey Ahead: A Graduation Message for a Terrifying Age

How to Survive the Journey Ahead: A Graduation Message for a Terrifying Age By John W. Whitehead “No matter who you are, no matter how strong you are, sooner or later, you’ll face circumstances beyond your control.” — Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones Those coming of age today will face some of the greatest obstacles ever encountered by young people. They will find themselves overtaxed, burdened with excessive college debt, and struggling to find worthwhile employment in a debt-ridden economy on the brink of implosion. Their privacy will be eviscerated…

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D Is for a Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy

D Is for a Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy By John W. Whitehead “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…

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Financial Tyranny: America Has Become a Pay-to-Play Exercise in Fascism

Financial Tyranny: America Has Become a Pay-to-Play Exercise in Fascism By John W. Whitehead If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street, If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat. If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat, If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet. Don’t ask me what I want it for If you don’t want to pay some more ‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman… And you’re working for no one but me. — George Harrison, “Taxman” We’re not living the…

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American Idiocracy: 50 Years Later, We’re Still Stranded in the Twilight Zone

American Idiocracy: 50 Years Later, We’re Still Stranded in the Twilight Zone By John W. Whitehead “We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”—Rod Serling Have you noticed how much life increasingly feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone? Only instead of Rod Serling’s imaginary “land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas,” we’re trapped in a topsy-turvy, all-too-real land of corruption, brutality and lies, where freedom, justice and integrity play second fiddle to…

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The Making of a Monster: We’re All Lab Rats in the Government’s Secret Experiments

The Making of a Monster: We’re All Lab Rats in the Government’s Secret Experiments By John W. Whitehead “But these weren’t the kind of monsters that had tentacles and rotting skin, the kind a seven-year-old might be able to wrap his mind around—they were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don’t recognize them for what they are until it’s too late.” — Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children The U.S. government, in its pursuit of so-called monsters, has itself become a…

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Don’t Shoot The Dogs: The Growing Epidemic Of Cops Shooting Family Dogs

Don’t Shoot The Dogs: The Growing Epidemic Of Cops Shooting Family Dogs By John W. Whitehead “In too much of policing today, officer safety has become the highest priority. It trumps the rights and safety of suspects. It trumps the rights and safety of bystanders. It’s so important, in fact, that an officer’s subjective fear of a minor wound from a dog bite is enough to justify using potentially lethal force, in this case at the expense of a 4-year-old girl. And this isn’t the first time. In January, an…

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Pity the Nation: War Spending Is Bankrupting America

Pity the Nation: War Spending Is Bankrupting America By John W. Whitehead “Pity the nation whose people are sheep And whose shepherds mislead them Pity the nation whose leaders are liars Whose sages are silenced And whose bigots haunt the airwaves Pity the nation that raises not its voice Except to praise conquerors And acclaim the bully as hero And aims to rule the world By force and by torture… Pity the nation oh pity the people who allow their rights to erode and their freedoms to be washed away…”…

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Forced Blood Draws & Implied Consent Laws Make a Mockery of the Fourth Amendment

Forced Blood Draws & Implied Consent Laws Make a Mockery of the Fourth Amendment By John W. Whitehead “The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official.”—Herman Schwartz, The Nation You think you’ve got rights? Think again. All of those freedoms we cherish—the ones enshrined in the Constitution, the ones that affirm our right…

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The Age of Tyrannical Surveillance: We’re Being Branded, Bought and Sold for Our Data

The Age of Tyrannical Surveillance: We’re Being Branded, Bought and Sold for Our Data By John W. Whitehead “We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about… Your digital identity will live forever… because there’s no delete button.”—Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt Uncle Sam wants you. Correction: Big Brother wants you. To be technically accurate, Big Brother—aided and abetted by his corporate partners in crime—wants your data. That’s what we have been reduced to in the eyes of the…

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Rule by Fiat: National Crises, Fake Emergencies and Other Dangerous Presidential Powers

Rule by Fiat: National Crises, Fake Emergencies and Other Dangerous Presidential Powers By John W. Whitehead “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”—Richard Nixon Who pays the price for the dissolution of the constitutional covenant that holds the government and its agents accountable to the will of the people? We all do. This ill-advised decision by President Trump to circumvent the Constitution’s system of checks and balances by declaring a national emergency in order to build a border wall constitutes yet another expansion of presidential…

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