We Are the Enemy: Is This the Lesson of Ferguson?

Ferguson

If you dress police officers up as soldiers and you put them in military vehicles and you give them military weapons, they adopt a warrior mentality. We fight wars against enemies, and the enemies are the people who live in our cities—particularly in communities of color.—Thomas Nolan, criminology professor and former police officer Should police officer Darren Wilson be held accountable for the shooting death of unarmed citizen Michael Brown …continue…

Are ‘We the People’ Useful Idiots in the Digital Age?

UsefulIdiot_Gadfly_585

Back in the heyday of the old Soviet Union, a phrase evolved to describe gullible western intellectuals who came to visit Russia and failed to notice the human and other costs of building a communist utopia. The phrase was “useful idiots” and it applied to a good many people who should have known better. I now propose a new, analogous term more appropriate for the age in which we live: …continue…

The Devil’s Bargain

Bureaucracy_Gadfly_585x585

Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be …continue…

The FBI: America’s Secret Police

Gadfly_FBI_AmericasSecretPolice585x585

We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.—President Harry S. Truman Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Intimidation tactics. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment schemes. These are the hallmarks of every authoritarian …continue…

Zombies Are Us: The Walking Dead in the American Police State

Gadfly_Zombies-Are-Us_585x585

Fear is a primitive impulse, brainless as hunger, and because the aim of horror fiction is the production of the deepest kinds of fears, the genre tends to reinforce some remarkably uncivilized ideas about self-protection. In the current crop of zombie stories, the prevailing value for the beleaguered survivors is a sort of siege mentality, a vigilance so constant and unremitting that it’s indistinguishable from the purest paranoia.— Terrence Rafferty, …continue…

Hollow Justice and Courts of Order in an Age of Government-Sanctioned Tyranny

“The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of the people.”—Justice William O. Douglas Justice in America makes less sense with each passing day. A Michigan couple that has been raising chickens in their backyard as a source of healthy food for their family could get up to 90 days in jail for violating a local ban on backyard hens. A Kentucky prison …continue…

Shielded from Justice: The High Cost of Living in a Police State

“It’s been over five months since the night a SWAT team broke into the house in which we were staying…We were staying with relatives and my whole family was sleeping in one room. My husband and I, our three daughters and our baby (nicknamed “Baby Bou Bou”) in his crib. Dressed like soldiers, they broke down the door. The SWAT officers tossed a flashbang grenade into the room. It landed …continue…

The Latest Teacher’s Union

teacher_Fotor

Today’s society doesn’t truly know the great struggles that teachers had to go through to obtain a union. It would be fair to say that teachers are one of the most underappreciated groups of professionals in our country. However the country places great responsibility on them, like teaching our children and in some cases raising our children. We don’t seem to realize that teachers are people too! These servants of the public have a right to earn a living, to be respected as human beings and not just as fourth class servants. We seem not to understand this concept at times.

READ MORE.

America’s Dirty Little Secret: Sex Trafficking Is Big Business

OldSpeak_SexTrafficking

“For every 10 women rescued, there are 50 to 100 more women are brought in by the traffickers. Unfortunately, they’re not 18- or 20-year-olds anymore. They’re minors as young as 13 who are being trafficked. They’re little girls.”—25-year-old victim of trafficking “Children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day.”—John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children The mysterious disappearance of 18-year-old Hannah Graham on September …continue…

The Music of the Gaming World: Evolution and Influence

Video Games Final

Once a minor detail, video game music has come to be a key part of the overall experience, to the point where some people even choose games because of the composers who worked on them. This music has also come to have a significant impact on other kinds of musical culture, but how did this happen? Is it simply a side effect of the massive growth in the popularity of games themselves or have other technological and cultural factors played a part?

READ MORE.