Michigan county seizes home after one missed tax bill; makes $80K profit

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Posted on 19th September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Deborah Calley weeps as she discusses the seizure of her home.  (Source: WITI)

RICHLAND, MI — A disabled mother and her children were tossed from their home by the government after missing one property tax bill, despite owning the home free-and-clear.

Deborah Calley, a mother of two daughters, paid $164,000 cash for her dream home in 2010. The home was chosen because of convenient location and accessibility; a perfect location for her as she slowly recovers from debilitating injuries following a car accident a few years ago.

The family’s dream home became a nightmare when the Kalamazoo County government declared it to be foreclosed earlier in 2014, leaving the Calleys homeless. Local bureaucrats alleged that three years ago, Ms. Calley did not pay for the privilege to live in the county, a so-called “property tax.” Thus, the government stripped Calley of her home and property.

Ms. Calley is devastated, and claims that she had no idea about the missed property tax bill from 2011, and that she received no warning of the impending property seizure.

“When I paid the taxes in 2012 right there in Richland, no one said, ‘Oh, well you still owe money for 2011,’” said Ms. Calley to WITI. “So, I didn’t really have a clue. I thought I was right on time.”

The disabled mother is in disbelief that the government could take away property that she owned outright because of a tax bill totaling less than $2,000.

“If I had a mortgage, a bank never would’ve let that happen,” said Calley, referring to the single missed payment. “It was a mistake.”

“My life has been turned upside down because of this,” Ms. Calley sobbed. “I had to send my youngest daughter, who’s still in school, to live with her father so she can have a home, because I don’t know if I have a home anymore.”

Ms. Calley offered to pay back-taxes to settle the bill that the county alleges that she owes, but the profiteers of the seizure claim that it is now too late. Adding to the family’s grief is the fact that the foreclosed house has already been auctioned, with the highest bid totaling over $80,000. Barring judicial intervention, the county will keep the proceeds of the auction and the Calley family will get nothing.

The plight of the Calley family serves as a grim reminder of the fragility of property rights in America, and the true nature of property taxation. When citizens are obligated to pay perpetual sums of money to avoid the seizure of their rightly-owned property, they can never consider themselves anything greater than tenants on land controlled by the government.

Resistance is Futile: The Violent Cost of Challenging the American Police State

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Posted on 11th September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by John W. Whitehead

“Police are specialists in violence. They are armed, trained, and authorized to use force. With varying degrees of subtlety, this colors their every action. Like the possibility of arrest, the threat of violence is implicit in every police encounter. Violence, as well as the law, is what they represent.”—Kristian Williams, activist and author

If you don’t want to get probed, poked, pinched, tasered, tackled, searched, seized, stripped, manhandled, arrested, shot, or killed, don’t say, do or even suggest anything that even hints of noncompliance. This is the new “thin blue line” over which you must not cross in interactions with police if you want to walk away with your life and freedoms intact.

The following incidents and many more like them serve as chilling reminders that in the American police state, “we the people” are at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.”

For example, police arrested Chaumtoli Huq because she failed to promptly comply when ordered to “move along” while waiting outside a Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant for her children, who were inside with their father, using the bathroom. NYPD officers grabbed Huq, a lawyer with the New York City Public Advocate’s office, flipped her around, pressed her against a wall, handcuffed her, searched her purse, arrested her, and told her to “shut up” when she cried out for help, before detaining her for nine hours. Huq was charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Oregon resident Fred Marlow was jailed and charged with interfering and resisting arrest after he filmed a SWAT team raid that took place across the street from his apartment and uploaded the footage to the internet. The footage shows police officers threatening Marlow, who was awoken by the sounds of “multiple bombs blasting and glass breaking” and ran outside to investigate only to be threatened with arrest if he didn’t follow orders and return inside.

Eric Garner, 43 years old, asthmatic and unarmed, died after being put in a chokehold by NYPD police, allegedly for resisting arrest over his selling untaxed, loose cigarettes, although video footage of the incident shows little resistance on Garner’s part. Indeed, the man was screaming, begging and insisting he couldn’t breathe. And what was New York Mayor Bill De Blasio’s advice to citizens in order to avoid a similar fate? Don’t resist arrest. (Mind you, the NYPD arrests more than 13,000 people every year on charges of resisting arrest, although only a small fraction of those charged ever get prosecuted.)

Then there was Marine Brandon Raub, who was questioned at his home by a swarm of DHS, FBI, Secret Service agents and local police, tackled to the ground, handcuffed, and forcibly transported to a police station. Raub was then detained against his will in a psychiatric ward, without being provided any explanation, having any charges levied against him or being read his rights—all allegedly because of controversial song lyrics and political views posted on his Facebook page.

Incredibly, police insisted that Raub was not in fact under arrest. Of course, Raub was under arrest. When your hands are handcuffed behind you, when armed policemen are tackling you to the ground and transporting you across town in the back of a police car, and then forcibly detaining you against your will, you’re not free to walk away.

If you do attempt to walk away, be warned that the consequences will likely be even worse, as Tremaine McMillian learned the hard way. Miami-Dade police slammed the 14-year-old boy to the ground, putting him in a chokehold and handcuffing him after he allegedly gave them “dehumanizing stares” and walked away from them, which the officers found unacceptable. According to Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, “His body language was that he was stiffening up and pulling away… When you have somebody resistant to them and pulling away and somebody clenching their fists and flailing their arms, that’s a threat. Of course we have to neutralize the threat.”

As I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, this mindset that any challenge to police authority is a threat that needs to be “neutralized” is a dangerous one that is part of a greater nationwide trend that sets the police beyond the reach of the Fourth Amendment. Moreover, when police officers are allowed to operate under the assumption that their word is law and that there is no room for any form of disagreement or even question, that serves to chill the First Amendment’s assurances of free speech, free assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a casual “show your ID” request on a boardwalk, a stop-and-frisk search on a city street, or a traffic stop for speeding or just to check your insurance: if you feel like you can’t walk away from a police encounter of your own volition—and more often than not you can’t, especially when you’re being confronted by someone armed to the hilt with all manner of militarized weaponry and gear—then for all intents and purposes, you’re under arrest from the moment a cop stops you.

That raises the question, what exactly constitutes resisting an arrest? What about those other trumped up “contempt of cop” charges such as interference, disorderly conduct, obstruction, and failure to obey a police order that get trotted out anytime a citizen engages in behavior the police perceive as disrespectful or “insufficiently deferential to their authority”? Do Americans really have any recourse at all when it comes to obeying an order from a police officer, even if it’s just to ask a question or assert one’s rights, or should we just “surrender quietly”?

The short answer is that anything short of compliance will get you arrested and jailed. The long answer is a little more complicated, convoluted and full of legal jargon and dissonance among the courts, but the conclusion is still the same: anything short of compliance is being perceived as “threatening” behavior or resistance to be met by police with extreme force resulting in injury, arrest or death for the resistor.

The key word, of course, is comply meaning to obey, submit or conform. This is what author Kristian Williams describes as the dual myths of heroism and danger: “The overblown image of police heroism, and the ‘obsession’ with officer safety, do not only serve to justify police violence after the fact; by providing such justification, they legitimize violence, and thus make it more likely.”

How else can we explain why police shot a schizophrenic 30-year-old man holding a pellet gun over 80 times before his corpse was handcuffed? Mind you, witnesses reportedly informed the police that it was not a real gun, but the officers nonetheless opened fire about five minutes after arriving on the scene.

John Crawford was shot by police in an Ohio Wal-Mart for holding an air rifle sold in the store that he may have intended to buy. Oscar Grant, age 23, unarmed and lying face-down on the ground, was shot in the back by a transit officer in Oakland, Calif., who mistakenly used a gun instead of a taser to further restrain him. Ordered to show his hands after “anti-crime” police officers noticed him adjusting “his waistband in a manner the officers deemed suspicious,” 16-year old Kimani Grey was fired at 11 times, and shot seven times, including three times in the back. Reportedly, the teenager was unarmed and unthreatening.

Even dogs aren’t spared if they are perceived as “threatening.” Family dogs are routinely shot and killed during SWAT team raids, even if the SWAT team is at the wrong address or the dog is in the next yard over. One six-year-old girl witnessed her dog Apollo shot dead by an Illinois police officer.

Clearly, when police officers cease to look and act like civil servants or peace officers but instead look and act like soldiers occupying a hostile territory, it alters their perception of “we the people.” Those who founded this country believed that we were the masters and that those whose salaries we pay with our hard-earned tax dollars are our servants.

If daring to question, challenge or even hesitate when a cop issues an order can get you charged with resisting arrest or disorderly conduct, you’re not the master in a master-servant relationship. In fact, you’re not even the servant—you’re the slave.

This is not freedom. This is not even a life.

This is a battlefield, a war zone—if you will—governed by martial law and disguised as a democracy. No matter how many ways you fancy it up with shopping malls, populist elections, and Monday night football, the fact remains that “we the people” are little more than prisoners in the American police state, and the police are our jailers and wardens.

Police lock down California campus because of man carrying an umbrella

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Posted on 31st August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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See someone preparing for rain, say something.

Via Police State USA

“I don’t always bring an umbrella to work, but when I do, I get cuffed.”

Bill Craig holds his hands in the air when a SWAT team inspects his umbrella.  (Source: Bill Craig / Facebook)

SAN MARCOS, CA — A SWAT team was deployed and a university campus was locked down when someone suspected that a man carrying his umbrella was actually carrying a firearm.

The breathtaking overreaction occurred at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) on the rainy Wednesday morning of August 20th, 2014. Staff member Bill Craig, who has worked for the university for 17 years, was walking across campus to his office with his folded-up umbrella.

A paranoid campus busybody spotted Mr. Craig and assumed that his black umbrella was a rifle. The ignorant individual called the police to report a non-police officer bearing arms.

At 9:00 a.m., an order to “shelter in place” was issued, and students and staff members hunkered down as heavily armed police officers descended upon the campus.

“Immediately… the doors [were] locked and then they took all the chairs and all the tables and barricaded the doors,” said student James Collins to ABC 10 News. “People were kind of freaked out and you could tell that there was a nervous tension.”

Bill Craig, a 17-year staff member at CSUSM, displays the umbrella that caused a campus lockdown and police response.  (Source: Bill Craig / Facebook)

San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies — toting rifles of their own — spotted Mr. Craig, who matched the description of the “gunman,” and quickly “disarmed” him of his umbrella.

Photos showed Mr. Craig holding his arms straight in the air as a helmet-wearing officer aimed a rifle at him. Luckily the misinformed paranoia did not result in the staff member or a bystander getting shot by police.

The embarrassing mistake was acknowledged and the lockdown was lifted, but not before a dose of fear was instilled in the entire campus — fear that reinforces dependence on the government for security.

“Earlier this morning there was a report to University Police of a possible gunman at CSUSM,” read a statement released by the college later that afternoon. “The campus was immediately placed on lock down. Police performed a security sweep and determined that the suspect was not armed, but was a staff member carrying a large umbrella and carry bag. We are grateful for the quick response by our police officers to the perceived threat and to our campus community for their cooperation during the brief state of emergency.”

The folly of the situation — besides the comical misidentification — is that a society which values freedom wouldn’t have any reason to hassle a man with a real rifle. It is a non sequitor to assume that an armed man inherently represents an imminent threat to anyone else.

“The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” states the U.S. constitution, yet even a rumor of an openly carried firearm in some hoplophobic regions results in an enormous effort to suppress that rightful behavior. In a practical sense, these regions exist under a condition where only government agents may be armed — a hallmark of police states throughout history.

Mr. Craig maintained a sense of humor after the incident, writing online: “I don’t always bring an umbrella to work, but when I do, I get cuffed.”

10 George Orwell Quotes that Predicted Life in 2014 America

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Posted on 25th August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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 speakit

Written by Justin King | The Anti-Media

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George Orwell ranks among the most profound social critics of the modern era. Some of his quotations, more than a half a century old, show the depth of understanding an enlightened mind can have about the future.

1)  “In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”

Though many in the modern age have the will to bury their head in the sand when it comes to political matters, nobody can only concern themselves with the proverbial pebble in their shoe. If one is successful in avoiding politics, at some point the effects of the political decisions they abstained from participating in will reach their front door. More often than not, by that time the person has already lost whatever whisper of a voice the government has allowed them.

2)  “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”

Examining the nightly news in the run up to almost any military intervention will find scores of talking heads crying for blood to flow in the streets of some city the name of which they just learned to pronounce. Once the bullets start flying, those that clamored for war will still be safely on set bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of the carnage while their stock in Raytheon climbs.

toldyouso

3)  “War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”

It’s pretty self-explanatory and while it may be hard to swallow, it’s certainly true. All it takes is a quick look at who benefited from the recent wars waged by the United States to see Orwell’s quip take life.

4)  “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”

My most prized books are a collection of history books from around the world. I have an Iraqi book that recounts the glory of Saddam Hussein’s victory over the United States in 1991. I have books from three different nations claiming that one of their citizens was the first to fly. As some of the most powerful nations in the world agree to let certain facts be “forgotten,” the trend will only get worse. History is written by the victor, and the victor will never be asked if he told the truth.

Huffington Post journalist detained by military police in Ferguson, Missouri

5)  “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Even without commentary, the reader is probably picturing Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning. The revolutions of the future will not be fought with bullets and explosives, but with little bits of data traveling around the world destroying the false narratives with which governments shackle their citizens.

6)  “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.

Make no mistake about it; if an article does not anger someone, it is nothing more than a public relations piece. Most of what passes for news today is little more than an official sounding advertisement for a product, service, or belief.

ryangrim

7)  “In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer…

In every conflict, it is not the side that can inflict the most damage, but the side that can sustain the most damage that ultimately prevails. History is full of situations in which a military “won the battles but lost the war.

8)  “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”

Haditha. Panjwai. Maywand District. Mahmudiyah. These names probably don’t ring a bell, but it is almost a certainty that the reader is aware of the brutality that occurred in Benghazi. The main difference is that in the first four incidents, those committing the acts of brutality were wearing an American flag on their shoulder.

(Answer: D)

9)  “Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.”

Everyday there is a new form of censorship or a new method of forcing people into self-censorship, and the people shrug it off because it only relates to a small minority. By the time the people realize their ability to express disapproval has been completely restricted, it may be too late. That brings us to Orwell’s most haunting quote.

bootface

10)  “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

Once the people are indoctrinated with nationalistic beliefs, and the infrastructure to protect them from some constantly-changing and ever-expanding definition of an enemy is in place, there is no ability for the people to regain liberty. By the time all of the pieces are in place, not only is opportunity to regain freedom lost, but the will to achieve freedom has also evaporated. The reader will truly love Big Brother.

This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Justin King and TheAntiMedia.org

 

CHILD NEGLECT?

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Posted on 30th July 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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My parents would have been thrown in jail for life. I could roam anywhere within a few miles of my house at that age. We had ball fields and playground a quarter mile away and I had to walk across the creek and through a cemetery to get to Collingdale Park where we would play baseball, football, hockey and tennis. We would also crawl through sewer pipes and sled down steep hills. The horror!!! We live in a pussified police state.

POLICE STATE – SECURITY vs LIBERTY

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Posted on 29th July 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Boy scouts detained, searched by gun-wielding federal agents at Alaska-Canada border

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Posted on 24th July 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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 Via Police State USA

“He hears a snap of a holster, turns around, and here’s this agent, both hands on a loaded pistol, pointing at the young man’s head.”

Signage from the Alaskan border

ALASKA-CANADA BORDER — A group of boy scouts on a back-country excursion were detained, searched, and threatened with arrest after one scout took a photograph of a border patrol agent.  The Scoutmaster says that one of his scouts had a gun pointed directly at his head during the 4-hour ordeal.

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The incident occurred earlier this month, when Iowa-based Boy Scout Troop 111 took a drive up to Alaska to do some camping.  Their passage through the American border left the scouts traumatized.

As the four van-loads of scouts and leaders went through a federal checkpoint crossing into Alaska, one of the boys, eager to document his trip, got out his camera.  When a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent witnessed him taking pictures, things grew hostile.

Agents forced the occupants of the van to exit and submit to an extensive search.  They seized the boy’s camera, deleted the pictures, and threatened the minor with imprisonment.

“The agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and 10 years in prison,” said Jim Fox, Scoutmaster of Troop 111, in an interview with KCCI.

Meanwhile all of the occupants of the van were having their personal belongings shuffled through by federal agents.  Hostilities peaked when one scout reached for his luggage without permission.

“[The boy] hears a snap of a holster, turns around, and here’s this agent, both hands on a loaded pistol, pointing at the young man’s head,” Mr. Fox recalled.

Besides having their rights and privacy violated, and facing a near-death experience, the troop had its trip delayed unnecessarily for 4 hours.  Eventually, the 18 scouts and 3 leaders were allowed to drive off into Alaska and pursue their camping trip.

While there was no legal basis to threaten the boy with fines or imprisonment, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is apparently defending the detainment, telling KCCI that the picture was taken at a port of entry, which is federal property and a place where pictures are not allowed.  In other words, it was a place where the U.S. agents can ignore the constitution and suppress the freedom of speech.  The agency is also attempting to deny that a gun was drawn, which should be interesting, given that they are going against the credibility of a troop of 2 dozen boy scouts.

The fanatical suppression of photography can be better understood after realizing that the federal government inundates its agents with anti-terrorism propaganda, frequently demonizing innocent behaviors including taking pictures.  As one 2012 DHS/FBI release stated, “Terrorists and criminals may use photos or videos of potential targets to gain insight into security operations and details of facility operations, including traffic flow through and around facilities, opening times, and access requirements.” The document went on: “The following activities are consistent with suspicious photography: Photography or videography focused on security features, including cameras, security personnel, gates, and barriers.”

It is a foregone conclusion that abuses like this will only accelerate as politicians prepare to further militarize the border and advance the scope and power of enforcement agencies.  Be careful what you wish for.

Raising Up Compliant Children in the American Police State

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Posted on 29th April 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post By John W. Whitehead

“[The aim of public education is not] to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. . . . Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim . . . is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States…”Henry Mencken, American Journalist (April 1924)

How do you persuade a nation of relatively freedom-loving individuals to march in lock step with a police state? You start by convincing them that they’re in danger, and only the government can protect them. Keep them keyed up with constant danger alerts, and the occasional terrorist incident, whether real or staged. Distract them with wall-to-wall news coverage about sinking ships, disappearing planes and pseudo-celebrities spouting racist diatribes. Use blockbuster movies, reality shows and violent video games to hype them up on military tactics, and then while they’re distracted and numb to all that is taking place around them, indoctrinate their young people to your way of thinking, relying primarily on the public schools and popular culture.

After all, public education the world over has always been the vehicle for statist propaganda of one sort or another, whether it’s religion, militarism, democracy or totalitarianism, and America is no exception. In fact, today’s public schools, far from being bastions of free speech, are merely microcosms of the world beyond the schoolhouse gates, and increasingly, it’s a world hostile to freedom.

As I show in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, within America’s public schools can be found almost every aspect of the American police state that plagues those of us on the “outside”: metal detectors, surveillance cameras, militarized police, drug-sniffing dogs, tasers, cyber-surveillance, random searches, the list goes on. Whether it takes the form of draconian zero tolerance policies, overreaching anti-bullying statutes, police officers charged with tasering and arresting so-called unruly children, standardized testing with its emphasis on rote answers, political correctness, or the extensive surveillance systems cropping up in schools all over the country, young people in America are first in line to be indoctrinated into compliant citizens of the new American police state.

Zero tolerance policies, which punish all offenses severely, no matter how minor, condition young people to steer clear of doing anything that might be considered out of line, whether it’s pointing their fingers like a gun, drawing on their desks, or chewing their gum too loudly. Although the Obama administration recently called on schools to rethink how they discipline and punish students who misbehave, their guidelines to help schools re-evaluate their disciplinary policies fail to address the source of the problem: the quasi-prison atmosphere of public schools.

Surveillance technologies, used by school officials, police, NSA agents, and corporate entities to track the everyday activities of students, accustom young people to life in an electronic concentration camp, with all of their movements monitored, their interactions assessed, and their activities recorded and archived. For example, the Department of Education (DOE) has created a system to track, archive and disseminate data on every single part of a child’s educational career with colleges and state agencies such as the Department of Labor and the offices of Technology and Children and Family Services. The system relies on a database called inBloom, which is funded by corporate magnates such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. DOE has also received $40 million from various state and federal agencies to help fund the program.

Metal detectors at school entrances and police patrolling school hallways acclimatize young people to being viewed as suspects. Funded in part by federal grants, school districts across the country have “paid local police agencies to provide armed ‘school resource officers’ for high schools, middle schools and sometimes even elementary schools.” As the New York Times reports, “Hundreds of additional districts, including those in Houston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, have created police forces of their own, employing thousands of sworn officers.” The problem, of course, is that the very presence of these police officers in the schools results in greater numbers of students being arrested or charged with crimes for nonviolent, childish behavior. In Texas, for example, school police officers write more than 100,000 misdemeanor tickets a year, each ticket amounting to hundreds of dollars in court fines—a convenient financial windfall for the states. All too often, these incidents remain on students’ permanent records, impacting college and job applications.

Weapons of compliance, such as tasers which deliver electrical shocks lethal enough to kill, not only teach young people to fear the police, the face of our militarized government, but teach them that torture is an accepted means of controlling the population. It’s a problem that has grown exponentially as the schools have increasingly clamored for—and hired on—their own police forces. One high school student in Texas suffered severe brain damage and nearly died after being tasered. A 15-year-old disabled North Carolina student was tasered three times, resulting in punctured lungs. A New York student was similarly tasered for lying on the floor and crying.

Standardized testing and Common Core programs, which discourage students from thinking for themselves while rewarding them for regurgitating whatever the government, through its so-called educational standards, dictates they should be taught, will create a generation of test-takers capable of little else, molded and shaped by the federal government and its corporate allies into what it considers to be ideal citizens. Incredibly, despite the fact that the U.S. invests more money in public education (roughly $8,000 per child per year) than many other developed countries, we rank 27th in the world for school educational achievement.

Overt censorship, monitoring and political correctness, which manifest themselves in a variety of ways, from Internet filters on school computers to sexual harassment policies, habituate young people to a world in which nonconformist, divergent, politically incorrect ideas and speech are treated as unacceptable or dangerous. In such an environment, a science teacher criticizing evolution can get fired for insubordination, a 9-year-old boy remarking that his teacher is “cute” can be suspended for sexual harassment, students detected using their smart phones during class time can be reported for not paying attention in class, and those accused of engaging in “bullying, cyber-bullying, hate and shaming activities, depression, harm and self harm, self hate and suicide, crime, vandalism, substance abuse and truancy” on social media such as Twitter or Facebook, will have their posts and comments analyzed by an outside government contractor.

So far I’ve only mentioned what’s happening within the public schools. It doesn’t even begin to touch on extracurricular activities such as the Explorers program, which trains young people—“ages 14 to 21 who have a C average”—to be future agents of the police state. Explorers meet weekly, train for competitions and spend their weekends working on service projects. In one Border Patrol training exercise, teenagers as young as 14, suited up in military gear with lethal-looking airsoft guns, were “instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous lookout,” reports the New York Times. “Put him on his face and put a knee in his back,” a Border Patrol agent explained. “I guarantee that he’ll shut up.”

Then there’s the military’s use of video games and blockbuster movies to propagandize war and recruit young people. Thanks to a collaboration between the Department of Defense and the entertainment industry, the American taxpayer is paying for what amounts to a propaganda campaign aimed at entrenching the power of the military in American society. As author Nick Turse points out, “Today, almost everywhere you look, whether at the latest blockbuster on the big screen or what’s on much smaller screens in your own home – likely made by a defense contractor like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic or Toshiba – you’ll find the Pentagon or its corporate partners.”

What’s really unnerving, however, are the similarities between our own system of youth indoctrination and that of Nazi Germany, with its Hitler Youth programs and overt campaign of educational indoctrination. Now before I’m drowned out by howls of outrage, note that while I am not suggesting the United States is deliberately attempting to raise up a generation of Hitler Youth, our schools and society at large are teaching young people to march in lockstep with the all-powerful government—which may be just as dangerous in the end.

You don’t have to take my word for it. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum provides some valuable insight into education in the Nazi state, which was responsible for winning “millions of German young people … over to Nazism in the classroom and through extracurricular activities.” The similarities are startling, ranging from the dismissal of teachers deemed to be “politically unreliable” to the introduction of classroom textbooks that taught students obedience to state authority and militarism. “Board games and toys for children served as another way to spread racial and political propaganda to German youth. Toys were also used as propaganda vehicles to indoctrinate children into militarism.” And then there was the Hitler Youth, a paramilitary youth group intended to train young people for future service in the armed forces and government.

Hitler himself recognized the value of indoctrinating young people. As he noted, “When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side, and you will not get me on your side,’ I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to me already. A people lives forever. What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants however now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.’”

We’re certainly not doing ourselves or our young people any favors by allowing them to be indoctrinated into a police state mindset from early on, with no knowledge that they have any rights or any sense that they are the descendants of revolutionaries who stood up to tyrannical regimes.

If there is one glimmer of hope for this younger generation, it may be found in the unlikeliest of places: young adult literature, specifically dystopian literature, which is all the rage among young people today. Serial books such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Bone Season and The Giver all speak to a growing awareness among young people that the future awaiting them is far from secure, and that freedom ultimately rests in their ability to take on the powers-that-be.