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Friday, February 24, 2012

Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine

 SOTT.net

An excellent summation, at least from the political point of view, of where we are right now, how we got here, and the fact that the masses of humanity MUST wake up to the reality of the situation if the worst is to mitigated.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The State Is a Firing Squad

Strike The Root

Photobucket

by JGVibes.

 Although the common perception of human nature is very negative, the truth is that most people who aren’t mentally ill have a very difficult time committing acts of violence. Usually it takes a sizeable payment and a fair amount of manipulation to convince someone to act violently, and even then a tremendous amount of guilt typically follows regardless of the circumstances. This factor of personal guilt always came into play in executions, so over the years, they devised different ways of killing people that allowed for the executioner to become more and more detached from the physical violence. On a greater scale, we see this same kind of mentality today in the development of drone warfare.

As far as executions are concerned, one of the most effective methods of detaching the executioner from the act of murder is the firing squad. In a firing squad, a line of executioners unload their firearms on the prisoner, but some of the weapons are filled with blanks and others with live ammunition, so no one can be sure who it was that delivered the deathblow. Personally, I can’t even imagine taking part in one of these, but the anonymity seems to allow people to divert the responsibility in their own conscience, at least temporarily.

Interestingly enough, if we look at the compartmentalization that takes place within government agencies, they work in very much the same way. Everyone performs a specific task that is designated to them, and that task plays a minor role in a greater act of violence. Many times this role is so minor that the greater violence goes unnoticed by those who are carrying it out. I understand that the following analogy is not going to work exactly like a firing squad, with a line of shooters and one bullet. However, the idea is still the same: dispersing responsibility throughout a collectivized group, in order to downgrade the burden of guilt in the minds of those individuals who are carrying out acts that they know in their hearts are wrong.

Imagine a giant gun that has thousands of different gears and mechanisms, all of which require a team of people to manage. This gun is of course representative of the government. Every person in every team isn’t really sure of the big picture or the final consequences of their actions, but they get paid to do their very specific task, so they do so without asking too many questions. Very few of these people realize that they are playing a small but significant role in firing a bullet at an innocent person, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s what’s actually happening.

When comparing this description with how our government operates, we can see how extreme compartmentalization detaches people from the greater aggression that their job plays a part in committing. The endless paper trails, waiting periods, and various different bureaucratic offices act as the different gears and mechanisms in the giant gun from our earlier analogy. These different offices and tedious procedures work to distribute responsibility between so many different people that everyone is able to pass the buck onto someone else without ever coming to terms with the consequences of their actions.

When someone gets arrested for violating one of the thousands of preferential laws that put nonviolent people behind bars, they are handled by people who accept no responsibility whatsoever for results of their actions. Every step of the way from the arresting mercenary to the final executioner, every bureaucrat says the same thing, “I’m just doing my job.” They are not allowed to have an opinion about the moral values of the laws that they are enforcing and they are not trained to use their discretion when dealing with nonviolent code breakers.

This process of compartmentalization ensures that there will be no mercy for anyone who happens to be caught up in the system and allows for enforcers and bureaucrats to psychologically disengage with the effects that their everyday actions are having on the lives of others. When it comes down to it, not one victim of war, the police state, or the tax code has the liberty of being able to point out an individual who is responsible for their situation. Although there seems to be so many different people in charge of different things, no one is truly held accountable. When there is praise to receive, everyone in government lines up for their reward, but when something goes wrong, there is no one to be found, aside from those who are blaming and pointing fingers.

For the most part, everyone who keeps that state well-oiled and in working order is able to maintain a safe and healthy distance from all of the violence that is taking place. Most people are involved in filing paperwork, sending out letters and things of that nature. These people are very much still a part of the violence, but they aren’t directly on the front lines where they can see what’s going on. I’m not at all saying that all state employees are evil, I’m simply saying that their contribution is helping a violent machine run. Maybe they feel that they have no other options, maybe they think they are doing a great thing, but the fact still remains that they are accomplices to violence, whether they realize it or not.

Most of the people who are in these secondary roles sustain very little psychological trauma as a result of their involvement with government, but those on the front lines aren’t so lucky. This firing squad scenario may allow those on the front lines to deny personal responsibility for their actions, because unlike those with secondary roles, they are actually coming in contact with the people they are hurting, so they have a harder time escaping the shame and guilt that accompanies their position.

Even though the enforcers on the front lines always rationalize their actions or blame their transgressions on supervisors and legislators, deep down they usually have an extremely difficult time coping with the violence that they are forced to inflict on others, day in and day out. Eventually many of these people end up with severe depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, narcissism and other extreme psychological problems as a result of the physical encounters that they have had with other human beings.

This enforcement element of state power can be compared to the executioners in a firing squad who are packing live ammunition. Imagine being one of the executioners who feels that extra kick from the end of his rifle, which gives him the subtle indication that he has just taken a human life. Think about how you would spend the rest of your days attempting to rationalize and repress the reality of what you have done.

By allowing some the ability to commit violence without consequence for the sake of “solving problems,” we are simply setting a standard that problems actually can be solved with violence. On the other hand, if we hold everyone to the same standard of non-violence and handle disputes on a case by case basis, we will actually be encouraging peaceful interactions. Without the nebulous justifications of the state to fall back on, everyone would be forced to rely on their own conscience to make decisions and they would actually be held personally responsible for their actions.

If certain behaviors and social customs lead to psychological trauma and require a great deal of mental acrobatics to justify, then they are obviously unnatural and most likely detrimental to human health and wellbeing. The state itself is one of these erroneous social customs that are actually holding the human race back from a world of abundance and peaceful interactions. If new tactics are constantly being developed to shield people from the shame and guilt that comes along with their day-to-day activities, then there is obviously something very wrong about the way we are doing things.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dawn of the Drones: The Realization of the Total Surveillance State

Information Liberation

By John W. Whitehead


“To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is it's justice; that is it's morality.” – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, 19th century French philosopher
Imagine a robot hovering overhead as you go about your day, driving to and from work, heading to the grocery store, or stopping by a friend’s house. The robot records your every movement with a surveillance camera and streams the information to a government command center. If you make a wrong move, or even appear to be doing something suspicious, the police will respond quickly and you’ll soon be under arrest. Even if you don’t do anything suspicious, the information of your whereabouts, including what stores and offices you visit, what political rallies you attend, and what people you meet will be recorded, saved and easily accessed at a later date. It is a frightening thought, but you don’t have to imagine this scenario. We are only a few years away from the realization of this total surveillance society.



   Congress has just passed a bill, the FAA Reauthorization Act, mandating that the Federal Aviation Administration create a comprehensive program for the integration of drone technology into the national air space by 2015. The FAA predicts that there will be 30,000 drones crisscrossing the skies of America by 2020, all part of an industry that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. This mandate is yet another example of the political power of the military-industrial complex, Congress’ disdain for the privacy of American citizens, and the rampant growth of government. With this single piece of legislation, Congress is opening the floodgates to an entirely new era of surveillance, one in which no person is safe from the prying eyes of the government. This may prove to be the final nail in the Fourth Amendment’s coffin.
 
Attempts to integrate drone technology into the national air space were underway long before Congress put its stamp of approval on the FAA Reauthorization Act. In fact, the FAA authorized 313 certificates for drone operation in 2011, 295 of which were still active at the end of the year, although the agency refuses to say which organizations received the certificates and for what purposes they were used. However, we do know that the FAA had already approved drones for use by the Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Patrol (which uses the drones to conduct surveillance and counternarcotics missions), and certain state and local law enforcement operations. For example, in June 2011, a family of cattle farmers accused of stealing some cows were spied on with a Predator drone before being apprehended by police.

The fact that drones—pilotless, remote controlled aircraft that have been used extensively in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to assassinate suspected terrorists, as well as innocent civilians—are coming home to roost (and fly) in domestic airspace should come as no surprise to those who have been paying attention. The US government has a history of commandeering military technology for use against Americans. We saw this happen with tear gas, tasers, sound cannons and assault vehicles, all of which were first used on the battlefield before being deployed against civilians at home.

Thus, while 83% of Americans approve of the use of drones abroad, and 65% approve of using drones to assassinate suspected terrorists abroad, even if they are American citizens, it remains to be seen how those same Americans will feel when they are the ones in the sights of the drones. Needless to say, they won’t have to wait too long to find out.

While there are undoubtedly legitimate uses for drone technology, such as locating missing persons, there is no legitimate reason for the government to collect a constant stream of information on the whereabouts of Americans. However, if this drone program is implemented in the way that Congress intends, we will have drones armed with “less-lethal” weaponry, including bean bag guns and tasers, flying over political demonstrations, sporting events, and concert arenas. Eventually, these drones will be armed with the lethal weaponry that is currently being used overseas in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The power of these machines is not to be underestimated. Many are equipped with cameras that provide a live video feed, as well as heat sensors and radar. Some are capable of peering at figures from 20,000 feet up and 25 miles away. They can also keep track of 65 persons of interest at once. Some drones are capable of hijacking Wi-Fi networks and intercepting electronic communications such as text messages. The Army is currently developing drones with facial recognition software, as well as drones that can complete a target-and-kill mission without any human instruction or interaction. They are the ultimate killing and spying machines.

In addition to the privacy concerns, the safety of drone technology has been called into question. There have been a handful of high-profile crashes involving American drones abroad, including in Iran, the island nation of Seychelles, and most recently in Somalia. The Iranian government claimed they brought down the drone flying in their territory via a computer hack. This is two years after Iraqis were able to hack into the live feed of a few drones using “$26 off-the-shelf software.” Mind you, back in October 2011, the US military admitted that their drone fleet had been infected by a ‘mysterious virus.’ The faultiness of the drone technology and the fact that amateur hackers can access the controls and camera feeds are reason enough to ground these devices indefinitely.

Unfortunately, with the wars abroad winding down, America has become the new battleground in the war on terror, to the delight and profit of the military-industrial complex. In fact, with companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin making their influence felt among members of Congress (Boeing spent over $12 million lobbying in 2011, and Lockheed spent over $11 million), you can be sure that their technologies will continue to be purchased by the government, even when there is no need for them. Thus, in the same way that our domestic police forces are now armed with mini-tanks and grenade launchers taken from the military’s armory, it was simply a matter of time before drone technology made its way back home.

While most Americans are unaware of the electronic concentration camp which is slowly enveloping our society, a select few groups are working to push back against government control. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a lawsuit against the FAA, demanding the records of the drone certificates which the FAA has issued to various agencies, but it is unlikely that the implementation of this technology can be stopped. Based upon the government’s positions on wiretapping, GPS tracking devices, and Internet tracking technologies, it is also unlikely that our elected officials will do anything to protect the American people from the prying eye of the American government.

We can sit around waiting for some member of Congress with a conscience or some judge concerned about the coming tyranny to push back against the drone empire from within. However, until the American people succeed in raising their collective voices against this technological tyranny, the powers that be will continue on the path to total control, and the condition of our civil liberties will become more dire with every passing day.
__
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He is the author of The Change Manifesto (Sourcebooks).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

“Divided, We Are Hopelessly Sinking In Quicksand!”

The PPJ Gazette

People are a great deal like electrons.  When they get too close to each other, they are repelled by each other’s negative charge and can never come together, except in times of immense heat and pressure …. like in a Black Hole, or a world war ….. or the rise of tyranny.”    Ron Ewart


When the attack comes, whether foreign or domestic, people that are divided will run in all directions in a panic, just like the people did on the cruise ship that ran aground off the West Coast of Italy a week ago and sent the passengers scurrying in all directions, looking for anyway they could to exit the sinking cruise liner and save their lives.  There was no guidance and no plan, there was just pandemonium, an irrational human response that can lead to death.

Americans today, are not much different than the passengers on that stricken ship.  We are running in all directions with no guidance and no plan.  America is more divided now than it ever was and it will be our un-doing if we allow it to continue.  Without a course correction resulting from conservative unification, America will sink deeper into the quicksand of apathy, indifference and wholly desperate ideologies, with no chance of escape.

We are divided, even within our own ideologies.  Conservatives or liberals cannot agree between themselves on their ideas or visions of what America should be.   To make matters worse, politicians in either party are more interested in the reins of power than they are in the heavy responsibility of guiding this nation in accordance with the blue print laid out for us by the Founding Fathers in our constitution, a constitution for which millions of brave men and women gave their lives in its defense over these last 235 years since freedom was born, when a “shot was heard ’round the world.”

The difficulties we face as Americans come from the differences in those two ideologies and the direction that either ideology will take America.  One ideology is steeped in enabling weakness and dependency ….. for votes. The other is founded on individual strength, self-reliance and independence.  In all respects of the two opposing ideologies, the former must be funded by the latter as the strong among us always have the responsibility of supporting the weak among us, whether we would like to or not if government has its way.  The serious flaw in the former ideology (Progressivism) is that weakness and dependency will grow within it to a point at which there are more dependent people than there are independent people.  The flawed system breaks down when it reaches that point and maybe even before.  Those that are dependent on the system will fail with it and there will be no one to help them since the country will be broke.  It is already happening in Greece.

The strength of the latter ideology (Conservatism) is that it breeds independence and self-reliance.  The attributes of independence and self-reliance are the foundation of individual freedom.  Freedom cannot exist without them.  History has proven that a weak nation will eventually succumb to a stronger nation, or collapse from within.  A nation that becomes corrupt by fostering weakness and dependency for votes will disintegrate into bankruptcy and chaos; or conquered by a stronger, more determined force; or unwillingly merged into another nation. (think the one-world-order)
Europe’s model of socialism and rampant dependency has shown us that it never works and will always fail.  Is America destined to follow Europe into the same pit of despair?

If America is to be restored to the vision of the Founding Fathers as a free and prosperous nation, the only ideology that can accomplish it is the one that has in its foundation, the principles of self-reliance, independence, free choice, free markets and individual freedom.  Any other ideology is doomed to failure, national bankruptcy and eventually, enslavement.

However, in order for that one ideology to prevail, those that believe in that ideology must unite around the simple principles of self-reliance, independence, free choice and individual freedom.  Any other course will divide the ideology and render it impotent.

If we as Americans can’t agree on the basic principles that we are sovereign, free Americans that have declared our independence from all foreign nations and dictates and governed by a blue print called the Constitution and that the land we now occupy is sovereign land for all legal Americans subject to our laws, we have no hope whatsoever of solving the problems we face today.  Remember!  Our domestic enemies are those people in power, or those that lobby those people in power, who attempt to manipulate us like puppets and divert our attention away from the fact that we are sovereign, free citizens of this great and exceptional country called the United States of America.  We cannot expect to defeat a foreign enemy if we cannot vanquish a domestic enemy.

Our problems and our divisions exist because of the human failing that makes us focus on one single issue, while ignoring all the other very important issues that secure our freedom and liberty.  Many times that single issue has a great deal to do with what we are receiving in the form of government assistance.  Sometimes that single focus has to do with religious beliefs, or the abhorrence of war, or perceived unfair treatment, or discrimination due to race, creed, national origin, or the color of our skin.  Although these issues may seem very real to those involved, they tend to overshadow why we are Americans, why we are exceptional and why we have built the most powerful and most generous nation on earth.  It is because we are free, but we won’t be free much longer if we do not unite on some absolutely fundamental principles.

Divisions within any group can be overcome by first determining what issues upon which most of the group can agree and cast aside for the moment, those issues upon which they do not agree.  Since most people have good hearts and fair minds, the group can then form a strong bond around the agreed-upon issues.

But you ask, what does the group do about those issues for which there is no agreement?  That’s the tricky part.  If we lose sight of that which unites us and only focus on that which divides us, there is no hope of coming together and we are like the electron with a negative charge that repels all other electrons. 

In the hopes of uniting more of us on those simple principles, we have created a survey for groups of people to determine where they agree and how to forge a bond within the group over those agreed-upon issues.  We then discuss how to deal with those issues over which we do not agree.  That survey is part of a group of documents that we have created that we call the “20 Documents to Freedom“, or as we also call it, our “S-O-S Kit“.  It is a useful exercise for groups of 10 or more.   It grows even more useful if the results are shared with other groups that have taken the survey.

One might ask why does it take a disaster to bring Americans together?  Why was it that America rallied in solidarity after Pearl Harbor, to take on a World War and defeat two enemies on two different continents and two separate oceans?  Why was it that after 911 America came together in common purpose to “get” the culprits that would dare attack us?  Why was it that that coming together only lasted for about 4 to 6 months before we split up into thousands of fractions of self-interest and started attacking each other again?  Why is it that so many Americans are so ignorant of the problems we have created for ourselves and the foreign and domestic enemies and our so-called benevolent friends like the United Nations, that are taking huge bites out of our freedom and sovereignty?  Ignorance is not bliss it is suicidal.

Are we not Americans?  Then why is it we have been played like pawns by our government and special interests, such that we now fight with each other instead of challenging the enemy that we allowed to make us what we are?  Why is it we have allowed outside forces to manipulate us so that we look more like immature elementary children fighting in a school yard, than mature, clear-thinking, informed adults?  Why is it we have forgotten that the foundation of freedom is unalienable individual rights, free choice, free markets, independence, self-reliance and personal responsibility, that are supposed to be PROTECTED by government under the framework of our Constitutional Republic, not ERODED by government as it has been doing for 100 years or more under Progressivism?

But take heart!  There is a shift in the winds of politics and there still may be hope for America yet.  Since the 2009 town hall meetings turned ugly against Obama care and since the 2010 election when several Tea Party candidates were swept into the U. S. House of Representatives by the voters, the other side senses a movement in this country that is contrary to Progressivism, a false ideology that has been growing in America for over 100 years. In this power struggle of ideologies, Progressives will pull out all of the stops to defeat Conservatives. 

They will lie, cheat and manipulate elections to remain in power.  Propaganda advertising, to sway the naive among us, will be unrelenting.  Half the American population, that have been bought off for their votes, is behind and supports them.

The mainstream media idolizes and promotes them.  Our public schools and colleges indoctrinate our children with Progressivism, multi-culturalism and Collectivism with a vengeance.  It’s everywhere.  How on Earth can we stop them?

Ladies and gentlemen, “The Parallax Prophecies” predicts that if the conservative movement in America does not unite, en masse, behind the principles of freedom upon which they can agree and set aside those issues upon which they cannot agree, this protracted ideological battle that is raging throughout the land will continue indefinitely until what is left of America will be totally unrecognizable from the vision of those who planted the seeds of freedom in a diverse people, on a new continent, 11 score and 15 years ago. We either unite in freedom, or unconditionally surrender and sink ever deeper into a bottomless pit of shifting, oozing quicksand ….. never to rise again.

Rest assured, this writer will never surrender and we will keep pumping out words of freedom, hope and inspiration until our life ends, or we are silenced by those with whom we take issue.  Until then, watch for our informational and inspirational messages that emanate each week from ….. ”The Parallax Prophecies

Ron Ewart, President
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RURAL LANDOWNERS
P. O. Box 1031, Issaquah, WA  98027
425 837-5365 or 1 800 682-7848
http://www.narlo.org,

http://www.narloltd.com

Saturday, January 14, 2012

End of Nations: Canada, the US and the "Security Perimeter"

Global Research




American President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Harper have unveiled a new border security agreement that has received scant attention in the American media. However, far from being a new arrangement, what this accord represents is only the latest in a chain of usurpations of national sovereignty.


Find out more about the path toward the North American Union on this week's GRTV Backgrounder.


TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=3502


When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama announced the much-anticipated border agreement between the two countries at a press conference in Washington last week, those mainstream media outlets that bothered to cover the story at all compensated for the lack of details about what specifically is going to be accomplished by this accord by focusing on issues of no practical significance.


The Globe and Mail, for example, ran an entire article about how Harper and Obama’s personal “friendship” allegedly effected the deal, which was in reality and admittedly struck by bureaucrats in months of closed-door negotiations.


A variety of trade magazines and corporate websites released vague laudatory statements about the “streamlining” of the border.


But the story itself, which generated few headlines at all in the American media, was not about what specifically will change at the border so much as the border is increasingly being redefined as just one part of a broader security perimeter that in fact encompasses both the US and Canada.


The agreement in fact comprises two so-called “action plans,” one entitled Beyond The Border and the other the Regulatory Cooperation Council. The former plan focuses on border security with the explicit aim of creating a security perimeter that encompasses both countries. The latter is meant to harmonize regulations for business, facilitating cross-border trade.


The security agreement uses the threat of terrorism, crime and health securities to announce an increasing merger of the two countries’ border security, including an integrated entry-exit system that will involve full sharing of individuals’ biometric details between the two governments by 2014 and even the creation of integrated cross-border law enforcement teams with authority to collect intelligence and conduct criminal investigations on either side of the border.


The regulatory plan, meanwhile, aims to standardize agricultural regulations on such items as maximum pesticide residue limits as well as develop standards and regulations for potential future products and industries like nanotechnology.


Although the plans detail certain steps that can be or are being taken, the majority of the information is about agreed-upon shared values and the possibility of cooperation.


In light of the relative paucity of detail about these “action plans,” media outlets chose to illustrate the general points of the agreement with seemingly random examples, such as this one about breakfast cereals.


Keen-eyed observers of this trivial example of the effects might have noted a striking similarity to the way that Prime Minister Harper tried to deflect criticism of the Security and Prosperity Partnership agreement that sought to merge the governments, security forces and regulatory framework of the US, Mexico and Canada, back in 2007 by talking about jellybean regulations.


On one level, reducing these agreements to regulations on cereals and jelly beans marginalizes the legitimate criticism and fears about the erosion of national sovereignty implicit in these talks. It also serves to keep the public disinterested in the issues by painting them as dry and unimportant talks about bureaucratic affairs.


What this similarity in rhetoric unwittingly reveals, however, is how this latest agreement is in fact nothing new, and can only be properly understood as the latest point in a continuing process of merging the bureaucratic, regulatory and military functions of Canada and the US that has in fact been taking place for a decade.


In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the two countries began work on reshaping the nature of the world’s longest undefended border. This resulted in the Canada-US Smart Border Declaration, an agreement signed in December 2001 that contained much of the same rhetoric as the recent agreement, including vows to coordinate security and law enforcement efforts in the name of facilitating the flow of people and goods between Canada and the States.


This led into the Security and Prosperity Partnership, a trilateral framework between the governments of the US, Canada and Mexico that began a process of regulatory integration. Formally launched in 2005, the SPP quickly caught the attention of the public on both sides of the border, and as freedom of information requests shed more light on the process, including the almost total domination of the partnership in closed-door meetings by big business, the SPP’s annual summit quickly became a flashpoint for political activism.


In the light of public scrutiny, the SPP was shelved in 2009, but many of its initiatives and recommendations continue on behind the scenes. SPP documents, for example, show how Canada’s controversial no-fly list was in fact part of a trilateral agreement, with the 2006 report to leaders in fact mandating the program’s June 2007 launch date.


Meanwhile, the military merger of Canada and the US has proceeded in its own series of mutual agreements, beginning with the creation of NORTHCOM, the United States Northern Command, in 2002, which charged the US military with the protection of the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mexico and Canada.


In February of 2008, the Canadian and American militaries signed an agreement allowing troops of either country to cross the border and carry out operations in the other country in the event of an emergency, such as civil unrest.


In 2010, the two countries signed the shiprider agreement, allowing the operation of specially designated vessels to patrol the shared waterways of the two countries by joint crew, consisting of both Canadian and American law enforcement. This agreement is cited in the new border proposal as an example of how cross-border policing can be implemented.


Now, with increasing “cooperation” between cross-border law enforcement, Canadians will be expected to allow American officials to pursue their investigations of suspected criminals on Canadian soil. And the process of harmonization means that Canada may even be expected to allow the use of drone surveillance, an idea presently being used by the US to patrol the Canadian border and even to pursue criminal investigations of American citizens far away from the border.


Although there are many individual aspects of this latest accord that are worrying, from the militarization of the border to the harmonization of regulatory frameworks to allow for the lowest common denominator in food standards and other areas, to the increasing sharing of information about citizens between the two countries, perhaps the most worrying aspect is the project itself. As many have warned, these seemingly bland border proposals, a story so dull that it has barely been covered at all by the American press, may in fact be used to slip in a North American Union through the gradual merging of the two countries’ bureaucratic systems.


The most insidious part of this process is that it is not subject to legislative oversight of any kind, and is taking place in behind-the-scenes discussions between high-level bureaucrats outside of the glare of public scrutiny, a point that is readily conceded by the proposals’ proponents.


Last week I had the chance to talk to Paul Hellyer, the former deputy Prime Minister of Canada, about this agreement, and whether the border security threat that the US is using to justify the process is in fact a ploy to obscure an underlying agenda, the drive to merge Canada and US in a de facto union.


Regardless of whether this particular agreement bears fruit for those seeking to bring the two countries into a closer union, or whether it is just another waypoint on the road of a much longer and more detailed process, the very real concerns about the erosion of national sovereignty implicit in this deal is one that those in power are eager to see avoided. So far, they are being aided in that quest by a media that chooses to avoid the hard questions about this series of agreements to the extent that they cover them at all.


As always, the power belongs in the hands of the people. Without significant pushback from the public, however, the momentum of these border agreements might be enough to make the North American Union an inevitability. Alternatively, the public can fight back by making this into a key political issue and informing others of the potential threat to the survival of both the US and Canada as sovereign nations.