“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy.”
Many of you may not remember this famous speech from the award-winning movie “Network” released in 1976. The quote above shouted out from the silver screen by a brilliant Australian born actor Peter Finch playing the role of Newscaster Howard Beale. Finch suffered a fatal heart attack in 1977 one year after acting in the film that would lead him to win the first ever posthumous Oscar for best actor. He is remembered as a hard-drinking, hell-raising womanizer for his performances on and off the screen.
I have watched the newscast scene from Network at least 10 times on YouTube, Finch reciting every line of Howard Beale’s speech to perfection. A gut-wrenching fictional portrayal of a news anchor exercising his first amendment rights, while engaging in a civil protest.
The film contained great satire and called attention to the oligarchy that exist today in America. Oligarchy is like corporatism. In our society powerful moneyed corporations serves as the organs of political representation and influence, and exercise control over private individuals.
Little has changed since 1976 and as we move forward to 2018 and people still feel mad as hell. More and more protests and acts of civil unrest flood television but are these “acts” what they are portrayed to be? The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allowing people the constitutional right to freedom of speech. The First Amendment covers, religious expression, the press, the amendment “prohibits” Congress from stopping peaceably assembles in public, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” But this right, as with other constitutional rights, is not absolute.
The First Amendment was written into the Constitution of the United States of America in 1789 and revised in 1992.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
I want call to attention the outer limits of civil protest. Can protestors use physical violence, property damage, fire, explosives, and still be protected under the First Amendment as guarantee of free speech? The limits have been tested over and over through ideologically driven demonstrations.
Many of the military battles in history have been performed by mercenary warriors who perform their job of battle for a fee and company profit motivation. In many cases, the professional soldier is hired to serve an army with little concern for ethics or lawfulness. Private military defense contractors are common for governments around the world. A recent example is that of Blackwater who worked for the US Government. Individual warriors who sign formal contracts for organizations such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), can earn up to $750 dollars per day, earning them $22,500 per month. There are hundreds of companies who provide mercenary warriors for a fee around the world. Military leaders may find cost efficiency and protect civilian lives by hiring mercenary warriors. When the war is over, the cost factor ceases.
Private companies now hire mercenary warriors to carry out civil and uncivil protest to advance their employer’s economical or ideological agenda. Money, profit motivation, sensational performances, and violence has replaced civil debate, ethics, and of course, rights that exceed those provided under the first amendment. There are no outer limits, including, violence and murder. Fingers are pointed in all directions, while the special interest agents and billionaires spend millions to forward their own agendas but remain silent in the background. The news media and advertisers absolutely love all this outrage and violence because it drives ratings and profits. Manufacturing consensus and outrage in America for profit is now the new normal, no matter how phony the process is.
The common folks who are working hard to function in this system are mere pawns. They are easily drawn into the outrage because they see the actions as a threat to their way of life and own ideology. However, if individuals became aware that they were responding to outburst of rage under false pretenses, they may feel a little exploited, and less than intelligent.
The “Fabian strategy” named after the Roman general during the 3rd century BC, Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucous, is the chosen method. Engage in low level pulsations of damage to your advisory, then retreat, and do this over and over until your enemy grows fatigued. Ultimately you win? Manufacturing outrage, and psychologically breaking down the opposition is the chosen method to win.
What is occurring today, in many cases, is criminal based RICO violations disguised as peaceful demonstrations protected by first amendment rights. Written into federal law referred to as The Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations Act, commonly referred to as RICO Act, or RICO. Under the law, the meaning of racketeering activity is set out at 18 U.S.C. § 1961. United States federal law provides for criminal penalties and criminal penalties for civil causes of actions for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. There are 25 crimes covered under the RICO act. One is for Violent Crimes. Rico predicate offenses include racketeering activity.
The currently amended act includes the following violations relating to activities discussed in this article. This partial list includes: violent crimes, extortion, racketeering, arson, robbery, bribery, theft, embezzlement, fraud, murder, racketeering, activates dealing with obscure matters, and obstruction of justice.
Most people have heard of “Antifa” the antifascist organization that has been linked to the communist party. They are paid to demonstrate and turn violent when convenient. Similar organizations have been popping up all over the United States. When there is a conservative leaning march, Antifa will show up and cause disruptions, usually through violent acts.
Private companies operate for profit by assembling professional paid protesters & agitators, to show up to demonstrations that turn into riots. Different groups with different agendas will pay hard cash for a group of protesters who, for a fee, will whip up a radical frenzy in the form of protests, rallies, flash mobs, etc. Another use of groups of paid for mobs may for political demonstrations, political promotional gatherings, paparazzi, televised events, and inventive PR stunts.
The Beverly Hills firm has now been sued by under RICO laws, a law originally intended to target organized crime syndicates. Zdenek Bakala claims the company has been used to run an extortion campaign against him. Bakala has accused Prague investment manager, Pavol Krupa of hiring “Crowds on Demand LLC” a privately-owned company to pay protesters to march near his home. They were told to call and send emails to the Aspen Institute and Dartmouth College, where Bakala serves on advisory boards, urging them to cut ties to him. Bakala alleges that Krupa has threatened to continue and expand the campaign unless Bakala pays him $23 million. Hire thugs for $10,000 and demand $23 million to stop the campaign. Pretty good payday, I would say?
The lawsuit comes amid growing interest in the business of being a “paid protester” and other forms of “astroturfing,” A UCLA professor by the name of Edward T. Walker has written a book called “Grassroots for Hire: Public Affairs Consultants in American Democracy.” He invented the above term “Astroturfing.” This term is used to define organized activity that is intended to create a false impression of a widespread, spontaneously arising, grassroots movement in support of some issue while disparaging the opposition such as a political opponent, or party, or issue. The concealed and controlled underlying truth about the purpose of the uprising is kept out of the sight for anyone who seek truth through honest debate.
Extortion or better known to some as a “shakedown”, is a common method of extracting benefits or advantage, in business or in politics. It is the preferred method to extract money, property, services, unearned benefits, power, and influence over individuals, companies, or political advisories. Of, course the perpetrators always rely on the fallback of the first amendment. The result is that racketeers demand payments or settlements from specified parties with almost unlimited criminal forces who are hired to carry out the “job”, always attempting to appear within the scope of perceived borderline of legal activities. Would you take a “job” or hire others to work for you in activities which include threat of violence, threat of force, threat of media exposure, threat of expansive media blackmail, buying influence, extraction of money, destroying careers, families, and associates.
Sabotage has become as common as apple pie in America. Deliberately destroying, damaging, vandalizing, or obstructing anything possible for profit, political, or ideological gain. How many hard-working tax payers that go to work every day, not aware that this is the beginning of a civil war that will disrupt the functions of our country, and our way of life. Out of the ashes, the intention is to replace with a statist socialist society, where government bureaucrats’ control everything.
Rackets or racketeering are carried out as planned and organized criminal acts. They usually form a business as a front, but engage in borderline legal, or illegal extortion of money, favors and power. The perpetrators offer a service that appears legal but has an underlying fraudulent existence. National science of personal accountability and self-sufficiency is totally disregarded. In most cases they are protected by powerful political interest, crony business interest, or media interest. Many racketeer’s burrow themselves into legal entities, political organizations, and socially significant organizations. The underlying criminal actions of threat, murder, arson, physical violence, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, personal and institutional corruption, are all kept a secret.
It is easy to suggest, but hard to implement the habit of paying less attention the constant drum beat of sensational performances designed to upset you, and have you give up or submit to tyrants of our society. The threat is real, and yes there is a quiet revolution going on that threatens our freedoms and our way of life for ourselves, our children, and their children.
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