Castles and Culture
For six years, Americans were glued to their televisions watching Downton Abbey, the award winning series created by Julian Fellows. The story spans 12 years, (1912-1925) of “gripping drama centered on a great English estate on the cusp of a vanishing way of life. … Americans fell in love with Downton Abbey’s Granthams and their family of servants and have followed them through sweeping change, scandals, love, ambition, heartbreak, and hope ever since. … Downton Abbey delivers wit, wisdom, passion, and a phenomenon that is, at its heart, utterly human.”1 A global audience of over 120 million people has viewed it, and it is one of the top-ever programs aired on PBS .2
“Stories sympathetic to virtue, preservation of property, and admiration of nobility and of wealth can be told beautifully and to wide audiences,” said Jerry Bowyer in the February 14, 2013, issue of Forbes Magazine. Likewise, in Vanity Fair David Kamp wrote, “In its clear delineation between the goodies and baddies, in its regulated dosages of highs and lows, the show is welcome counter-programing to the slow burning despair and moral ambiguity of most quality drama on television right now.” 3
So can Downton Abbey’s popularity tell us something about America? Something about preserving and keeping the greatness of America? Something about our own castles and their communities? Something about the state of the world?
America and Downton Abbey
Most Americans believe that home ownership is a goal that is part of the “American Dream,” and that our homes are sacred; they are our castles, our own version of Downton Abbey. As Bowyer points out, economic well being, wealth and nobility are part of that dream. Even the poorest in America yearn to own their own home with a backyard of grass and flowers, and most desire jobs that allow them to provide for their own needs. The fact that so many Americans were among those that watched the series reinforces hope for a future where individual home ownership can prevail, people are noble, and wealth creation is good – IF we can learn the lessons of Downton Abbey.
Not only does the “American Dream” consist of owning a home in a stable, crime-free neighborhood and caring community, but it also includes the presence of schools that succeed in the academic and moral education of our children, the right to choose individual transportation, and the existence of places of worship.
Is America embracing this as the dream of the future as well of the past? What is happening in America and the world that could erase and replace it and that could end this dream and make it a distant memory?
Smart Cities Network (SCN)
The U.S. Government’s Departments of Justice, State, Housing, Education, Agriculture, Health, Labor, Interior, and others have been working with the United Nations to create a number of programs, especially the Smart Cities Network where cities are planned and managed by the international progressive elites and technological experts. It comes dressed as countering “violent extremism,” promoting social justice and anti-racism; requiring equality in housing, education, health care and jobs; ensuring clean air and water; championing anti-hate speech and compassion and finally, it is always “for the children.”
SCN’s vision of America depends upon a number of things:
I. Abolish communities of like-minded citizens.
II. Collect “Big Data” or millions of points of information on all citizens and use to bring about an actual 1984/Brave New World.
III. Use emotional words to convince the citizens that it is for their safety, good health, and prosperity, and then get all agents of opinion – media, entertainment and education – on the same page.
IV. Bread and circuses – keep citizens so busy they do not see it coming.
V. Remove, expunge and marginalize the biblical moral underpinnings of America, shutting down citizen’s free speech, diverse opinions and discussion.
I. Abolishing Communities
Flooding America with people from non-Christian, non-democratic, illiterate countries and scattering them throughout the small towns of America is beginning to destroy America’s Norman Rockwell character and destabilize the communities. The Cloward-Piven strategy, “first proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.”4 Although most reflected in the Saul Alinsky’s spin-offs, ACORN, Project Vote, Living Wage and Open Borders movements, and first seriously tried in New York City, the Cloward-Piven strategy is being successfully used in the refugee resettlement movement.
In 1965, Senator Ted Kennedy revamped “the entire immigration system. It ended 40 years of low immigration, got rid of solid numerical caps and opened up chain migration into every overpopulated country in the world, exploding annual immigration numbers. … Massive expansion of the refugee programs in the late 1970s, opening up massive loopholes and encourage[ed] a domestic resettlement industry that became a major lobby for more and more overall immigration.5 His 1990 Immigration Act increased overall immigration by another 35%. … [and] also established the lottery whereby we randomly give away 50,000 green cards a year to people in countries picked because they have the least ties and cultural association with the United States, and which disproportionately are terrorist-sponsoring countries.”6
More than 50 years later, America no longer reflects the principles of western Judeo-Christian civilization, but has become a nation struggling to find itself. Until the 1965 Act, immigration was mostly from Europe, where the rule of law and Christianity resulted in the primacy of the individual over the state. That all began to change fifty years ago, particularly with the 50,000 per year (year after year) influx of immigrants from third world countries where governments are totalitarian and Sharia law prevails.
“With rapid growth since 1970 in the nation’s foreign-born population, its share of the U.S. population has been rising, from 4.7% in 1970 to 13.1% in 2013. This is below the record 14.8% immigrant share in 1890, but this could rise to 18% by 2065, according to new Pew Research Center projections.”7
How many of these migrants are embracing the principles and foundations of America? Or are we just settling for integration not assimilation? What is the difference and why does it make a difference?
Integration vs. Assimilation
Integration is “the intermixing of people who were previously segregated.”
Assimilation means “to make similar … to absorb groups of different cultures into the main cultural body.”
This difference becomes important when we examine the refugee resettlement and the Smart Cities movement.
Using labels for assimilation like Islamophobic, hate speech and intolerance makes it easier to ease America into a global world. So serious are some progressives that they even have a road map to create a global, open-borders America.
Obama’s “Welcoming America” Initiative
Former President Obama’s priority of changing communities is reflected in his federal initiative, Welcoming America and its “toolkit” for community organizers called “Stronger Together.” Using warm fuzzies, it identifies “the values at the core of the Welcoming movement: inclusion, cooperation, and building more prosperous, connected and successful communities.”8 A close read reveals a how-to manual that argues for immigrants with an emphasis on the economic benefits and the key value being the work ethic of the immigrant. The manual urges emotional pitches. “Remember that numbers (and facts in general) are almost never persuasive by themselves. They need to be placed in the context of the story you’re telling about immigration in your community and used to support values-based messaging. Numbers are important, but connecting with your audiences on an emotional level is even more important.”9 The four target audiences of a community are “elected officials, appointed officials, business community leaders and immigrant employers.” 10 Where are the moms and dads whose child’s school is suddenly flooded with non-English speaking immigrants from countries that do not have the same values as historic America?Assimilation is never mentioned, but integration is.
“This toolkit is intended to help advocates for immigrant integration connect with and enlist the support of people who are more interested in constructive conversations about shared prosperity than divisive arguments about immigration policy …”11 (Emphasis added.)
Welcoming America appeals to every American’s own immigrant roots, failing to point out different expectations today than in the past. Historically, past immigrants embraced the Judeo-Christian worldview of valuing the individual, not the group, loving your neighbor, not destroying them, the sanctity of life, not death, and the rule of law, not being ruled by men. Nowhere in the Welcoming America’s Stronger Together manual are these principles or values found. History has demonstrated that people bond through shared ideals and transcendent beliefs. This is what allows assimilation. But because progressives hate America’s Christian roots and its rule of law, assimilation is not on the table.
Welcoming America also tailors its appeal to economic gain for everyone, knowing this is a common desire among Americans.
A Case History
Noel is a small southwestern Missouri town (village, according to Wikipedia) of 1,800 individuals according to the 2010 Census. Noel is located in the southwest corner of Missouri (see map) and dubbed the “Canoe Capital of the Ozarks.” Considered by many as the western gateway to the Ozark mountains, Noel is a river valley town, located along the clear, smooth-running waters of the Elk River. The rolling Ozarks hills surround Noel on every side, and the distinctive Noel bluffs, carved out naturally by the Elk River centuries ago, give Noel a unique landscape that has drawn tourists ever since the city was founded over 100 years ago.
In the late 1990’s, however, Tyson opened a meat packing plant that drew many refugees, and it now relies on many Muslim workers. “Abdulkadir Abdullahi, a native of Somalia who came to the United States in 2009 … estimated 400 to 500 Somalians, along with some 60 to 70 Sudanese, now live in the town of Noel …”12 The official website for the town of Noel lists 733 residents as foreign born.13 “Radio station KBIA reported in 2013 that the 401 students at Noel Elementary School spoke 11 languages, and 88 percent qualified for free or reduced price lunch — up from six languages and 49 percent in 2008.”14 In a recent news story, “Mayor Lafley voiced frustration with Somali residents. He said they generally keep to themselves and, in his opinion, have failed to assimilate, unlike the Hispanics. Lafley said the refugees ‘want to practice their Sharia law here, and that’s one thing the city won’t tolerate.’ … Lafley said the city doesn’t have enough housing for the newcomers. As a result, he said, Somali residents have taken to living in commercial buildings, or live with numerous unrelated individuals in a single home, both in violation of city ordinance. He also said they tend to not clean up their property.”15
“‘There’s a lot of animosity in the town because the people that have come in don’t live by the same rules as … we’ve learned,’ Lafley said.” 16 In other countries such as Sweden, parallel communities (not even integration) are now acknowledged.
Where are the questions about the financial cost to this small town? Schooling costs alone for children that do not speak English is huge, as are the social costs. Teachers note more playground fights due to cultures that encourage settling differences with the fists, not compromise. What are the state costs for social welfare? Bureaucracy rules in the 53 pages of Missouri’s Department of Social Services Refugee Resettlement Program State Plan.
Is Assimilation Even Possible?
Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann spoke in January to the 28 th Educational Policy Conference in St. Louis. She focused on answering the question: Are Sharia Law and the U.S. Constitution Compatible? Here are some of her observations:
“In Steve Coughlin’s great book called Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad, he quoted Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson17 from 1955. He’d been a prosecutor for the Nuremberg Trials. This is what the Supreme Court Justice wrote about Islamic Sharia law, ‘In any broad sense, Islamic law offers the American lawyer a study in dramatic contrast. Even casual acquaintance and superficial knowledge – all that most of us at bench or bar will be able to acquire – reveal that its striking features [Sharia Islamic law] relative to our law are not likenesses but inconsistencies, not similarities but contrarieties. In its source, its scope, and its sanctions, the law of the Middle East is the antithesis of Western law.’
“It has no compatibility with the West. None whatsoever. …
“Your constitution guarantees for you a republican form of government. That’s your right. Sharia is just the opposite. It guarantees you will never have a right to deviate one jot or tittle from what is in Islamic Sharia law. …
How Does Sharia Deviate?
“The First Amendment. Think of the Bill of Rights. These are your rights as individuals and its limitations on our government. You have the right to freedom of speech. You have the right to petition your government for redress of grievances. You have the right to freedom of religion. What about Sharia? Under Sharia law, there’s no right to religion. Your right is one religion, and it’s Allah’s religion through the prophet Mohammad. There’s no deviation. As a matter of fact, if you decide to leave that religion, ‘Bye, bye, to you.’ Dead. That’s how it works under Sharia.
“The Second Amendment: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms. We kind of think that’s an important thing. … Not so much with Sharia. If you are a non-Muslim, not only do they believe in gun control for non-Muslims, they believe in sword control. They believe in weapon control. If you’re a non-Muslim, you’re getting nothing.
“The Third Amendment, which is you don’t have to quarter soldiers in your house. Under Islam, you are forced to take in, if you’re a non-Muslim, … Muslims in your house, and you have to keep them there for three days.
“The Fourth Amendment: To be secure against unreasonable search and seizure. Not so much if you’re an infidel; if you are a non-Muslim. That doesn’t apply to you.
“I can go on and on and on. As Steve Coughlin wrote when he was quoting Justice Jackson, ‘ there is absolutely NO similarity between our Constitution and Sharia law’ .
“Omar Ahmad, co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the top Muslim lobby group in D.C., said ‘Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.’ You think he’s got a plan? The CAIR spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper said, ‘I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.’ So, maybe not today, but we’re going to get there. That’s the goal. ”18
Bachmann’s point-by-point comparison of Sharia law and the U.S. Constitution brings to light the emerging platform for WWIII. Pastor Erwin Lutzer’s, book, The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent, traces the long history of conquest of the Muslims starting in the 600s with Mohammed. He says, “We have now reached a tipping point—the spread of Islam is rapidly altering the way we live.
These changes are cause for alarm,
or they endanger our freedoms
of speech and religion.”19
II. Big Data
In the 1960s, the U.S. federal government began a program of setting up a comprehensive data collection on its citizens. Computers in the 1960s were the size of diesel locomotives. Data was entered on punch cards and was limited in its scope, yet the Handbook series as it came to be called had a code for such finite information as the condition of the soft tissue of a student’s mouth. Imagine our surprise to find when researching the story of Noel, Missouri, to find on their website: “Average overall health of teeth and gums: Noel 42.3%, State of Missouri 46.9%”20 Translated, this means that the visits to their dentist or the lack of a visit by the citizens of Noel are being recorded in real time.
Data has only one reason for its collection, and that is the control of something or somebody by another. Does the average citizen need to consult his own life’s history to make a decision? Evidence is mounting that those who desire power over another need that data. What ever happened to the understanding of the Constitution on our private lives?
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads , “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Where is this data collection going? A recent example of government’s elitists desire to control our every move is reflected in a piece of legislation in Alabama (explained below). Notice how it continues the theme of Welcoming America: supplying and controlling labor for the workforce and supposed economic gain. (Is this what is happening in Noel, Missouri, and in other areas of refugee resettlement?)
“[China] compiles enormous amounts of data on citizens, beginning when they’re toddlers and continuing through their careers, and swaps this data back and forth among various government agencies for government purposes … Parents and citizens [of Alabama] are alarmed at two companion bills (SB 153 and HB 97) currently moving through the legislature to create a massive centralized warehouse of education and workforce data. This system would be called ANSWERS, or the Alabama Network of Statewide Workforce and Education-Related Statistics, which would be administered by a new Department of Labor bureaucracy called the Office of Education and Workforce Statistics (the ‘Office’).
“The reach of ANSWERS would be sweeping. Operated by the Office, the system would combine education data (beginning in pre K) and workforce data to provide information on the effectiveness of educational and workforce-training programs, and to assess ‘the availability of a skilled workforce to address current and future demands of business and industry.’ (The bills don’t explain how the government can predict the ‘future demands of business and industry’; the Soviet Union tried it, but without much success.)”21
This effort to control the workforce accelerated in the 1990s under the Clinton Administration with Workforce Education. (See its history inThe Long War and Common Core available from FRONT LINE or at Amazon.com.) Today, it is called College and Careers, and the Big Data collected with all levels of education bureaucrats works in tandem with the myriad of workforce training programs, state and national standards and assessments, and is dependent upon Big Data’s ability to be shared by every level of government, including ordinary researchers.
More than a year ago, The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss wrote an in-depth article on the amount of data collected on our children. Quoting parents Leonie Himson and Cheri Kiesecker, she said:
“During a February 2015 congressional hearing [Education and the Workforce Committee] on ‘How Emerging Technology Affects Student Privacy,’ Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin asked the panel to ‘provide a summary of all the information collected by the time a student reaches graduate school.’ Joel Reidenberg, director of the Center on Law & Information Policy at Fordham Law School, responded:
‘ Just think George Orwell, and take it to the nth degree. We’re in an environment of surveillance, essentially. It will be a extraordinarily rich data set of your life.’
“Most student data is gathered at school via multiple routes; either through student’s online usage or information provided by parents, teachers or other school staff. A student’s education record generally includes demographic information, including race, ethnicity, and income level; discipline records, grades and test scores, disabilities and Individual Education Plans (IEPs), mental health and medical history, counseling records and much more.”22 (Emphasis added)
This further validates reports of pre-school teachers documenting how a child is progressing on learning to use the bathroom (“Pee Reports”), pediatricians entering gun ownership under “mental status” and refusing to see the patient unless the questions are answered, and schools using surveys to collect data. Michael Cargill, a local (Pflugerville, Texas) talk show host called attention to a survey called “The Hawk 2015 Gun Survey,” [where] an estimated 100 students in a journalism class at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville, Texas, were given the survey in an attempt to start a dialogue on the Second Amendment.”23
In addition, for years, parents have complained about the invasive sexually provocative questionnaires asked of their children in school, many starting from the assumption that the middle schooler has already engaged in sex with questions such as “how many times have you had sex?”
What are Smart Cities? The editors of Technocracy News and Trends quote a 1938 definition of Technocracy, which is at the heart of all Smart Cities: “Technocracy is the science of social engineering, the scientific operation of the entire social mechanism to produce and distribute goods and services to the entire population.” Smart Cities are planned and managed by non-elected bureaucrats who have an agenda that has evolved out of the global warming movement. Their goals are to get as many citizens walking, biking and using public mass transit (limits where people can go on their own), using solar and wind powered energy and living in high-rise, high-density buildings with an ultimate allegiance to a global government, not a Constitutional Republic. But first, how did we get from data collection on children to Smart Cities? One expert pointed out:
“As technology has become more deeply embedded in school culture, student level data is being gathered at an accelerated rate. Tech companies are being given nearly unfettered access to student information via 1:1 devices, online resources and apps used by teachers in classrooms, digital textbooks, and the expansion of adaptive/personalized learning. Every keystroke, every search term, every bookmark, every internet site, every log-in to a standardized test, is gobbled up, chewed, and swallowed by Big Data.
“The proliferation of technology in classrooms has created serious concerns about the glut of data streaming out of classrooms and into the possession of multi-billion dollar corporations. Google, which has flooded classrooms with Chromebooks, has consistently been the subject of a myriad of litigation involving abusive privacy practices such as intercepting email communications, scanning email for the purposes of targeted advertising, and collecting and data mining children’s personal preferences. A class action filed in March 2016 alleges illegal collection and use of biometric information.”25
When you have access to millions of points of data on an individual, you have the potential to manipulate. According to Lisa Hudson, an attorney who writes about education-related topics and who is part of the grassroots fight against federal encroachment in the classroom, that data today includes:
“Biometric information [that] is the measurement of people’s physical and behavioral characteristics. It can include fingerprints, DNA, face, hand, and ear features, as well as typing rhythm, gait, voice recordings, iris scans, and gestures. Biometric information has been used by schools to track such things as attendance and food purchases. …
“Nothing, however, prohibits the use of our children’s fingerprints, DNA, heart rate, or iris scans by multi-billion dollar corporations. And nothing prevents private corporations from taking this information from students without parental consent. At a time when aspirin can’t be dispensed to a student without a signed release, a parent’s authority to protect their child from invasive surveillance is non-existent.”26
Smart Cities need this data to determine how well they are doing in their efforts to re-make the cities and to manipulate their citizens into meeting these goals. Since the federal government demands detailed reports on these efforts to remake towns, suburbs and cities, they require profiling of race, religion, national origin, gender identity and income and more and have already fined some communities (Westchester, New York, see subheading “Affordable Housing”) for not making their quotas.
How can a city or state sign a legal agreement promising to reduce carbon emissions by a certain amount upon a certain date? Cities and states consist of free people making individual decisions. How can these entities promise outcomes dependent upon these individual decisions? The only way is to convince the citizens this is for their own good or else count on them not caring. When government agents have access to massive and extensive data on every individual in their community, they learn how to manipulate taxing policies, and zoning and its enforcement to force the community to bend to their elitist plans. Most often the actions do not seem related to a master agenda. St. Louis County, Missouri, recently decided to restripe Baxter Road, an extremely busy street without shoulders for automobiles, to accommodate a bike path, which involved removing a lane of traffic.27 It did not make sense to further choke down the traffic, but the proposal fit with the plan to make all streets bikeable and further the efforts of eliminating car use.
California is currently facing the challenge of meeting carbon emission goals. Their dilemma: How do they coerce their citizens into living differently?
The LA Times’ Liam Dillion addressed this in his article “California won’t meet its climate change goals without a lot more housing density in its cities.”28
Lamenting that even working to put millions of electric cars on the roads, new dairy industry laws into place and obtaining half its power from solar and other renewables, California will still have to force “dramatic changes to how Californians live and travel.”
“The state has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. To do so, Southern Californians will have to drive nearly 12% less by that date than they did five years ago, … these driving reductions mean that Californians will have to walk, bike and use mass transit much more frequently than they do now. By 2030, residents will have to travel by foot four times more frequently than they did in 2012, alongside a nine-fold increase in bicycling over the same time, and a substantial boost in bus and rail ridership, climate officials say. Getting people out of their cars in favor of walking, cycling or riding mass transit will require the development of new, closely packed housing near jobs and commercial centers at a rate not seen in the United States since at least before World War II … State climate officials … [are] planning for a significant percentage of Californians to do so — and for many to abandon cars altogether. … That means even more closely packed housing than previously anticipated will be needed. … it will mean supporting redevelopment of some single-family neighborhoods [infill in subdivisions of multifamily and possible high rise units] … In late 2015, San Diego passed some of the nation’s toughest restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions, pledging to meet the state’s 2030 climate goals and allowing environmentalists to sue the city if those targets aren’t met. The city plan calls for greater density and transit improvements in existing urban neighborhoods with the hope that half of residents in those areas don’t drive to work. …” 29 (Emphasis added.)
Seeing that the goals are not being met, stronger enforcement seems to be the answer. “[Former state Senator Fran] Pavley favors strong state intervention to force the automobile, energy and agricultural industries to adapt to greenhouse gas regulations.” 30 Forcing companies to ignore market forces in favor of government demands is a mark of elitism, fascism and totalitarianism.
Ramping up the hammer, University of Southern California professor Marlon Boarnet said, “To be blunt, the state’s going to have to take some leadership … We’ve tried very strong municipal control, and in the case of Los Angeles, strong neighborhood control. And we’ve found that that doesn’t let us build the housing that we need in the locations that we need it.”31 Translated, take some leadership, MEANS use government force.
The Department of Housing under Obama used the Affordable Housing Act to make all communities reflect a government profile. Although still limited in its scope, public statements indicate the goal is to ultimately require specified percentages of poor vs. rich, old vs. young, white vs. non-white, heterosexual vs. LBGTQ, native born vs. refugee, and whatever is deemed possible exclusion. No federal money would go to the community unless it agreed to reconfigure itself along these mandates.
In Westchester County, New York “as a condition for the distribution of millions of dollars in [federal] … funds, [was required by] HUD … to analyze whether the zoning laws in some of its municipalities were exclusionary and, if so, to develop a plan to encourage these municipalities to change their laws. When the county did not comply to HUD’s satisfaction, HUD withheld the county’s funding, … The dispute between Westchester County and HUD stems from a 2009 affordable-housing settlement. The settlement require[d] Westchester to build 750 affordable-housing units in mostly white communities, and to produce an analysis of local zoning codes to pinpoint exclusionary practices.” 32 “HUD is using that agreement to stage a test-run of a new, nationwide HUD program designed to meld together urban and suburban municipalities.”33
Who defines exclusionary?
A Case of a Smart City
Kansas City, Missouri, refers to itself not only as a Smart City, but also calls itself a Cool City.
“‘Data is what makes it smart,’ said [Bob] Bennett [chief innovation officer of Kansas City, Missouri]. ‘Technology makes it cool, but data is what makes it smart.’ Smart cities are the ones, according to Bennett, who ‘strategically collect data, analyze it and use it to make decisions’.” 34
How does Kansas City use the data?
“Public officials believe wholeheartedly that collaboration with private actors through the city’s open data portal in improving government services is the recipe for success. The portal launched in 2013 but was revamped in 2014 due to Mayor Sly James’ open data policy – and has inspired third-party actors to take advantage of the available data and add their contributions to the city.
“Dominique Davison took that challenge to heart.
“Through Davison’s PlanIT Impact online tool, cities can compare municipal data with hundreds of federal data sets to make the best decisions on city planning and design. In order for continued growth of the city’s smart initiatives, infrastructure will need to be planned sustainably and responsibly.”35
An interesting article, titled “Personal data fuels smart city programs – Many citizens will be sharing information about themselves with municipal governments – in exchange for enhanced services,” observes:
“Citizens of smart cities will experience some of the benefits of sharing data passively, through government and commercial collaboration. But as this hyperconnectivity picks up pace, they will become more aware of the value of their personal data and will be willing to proactively exchange it for ‘in the moment’ value, Gartner says.
“What will help drive the data-sharing trend is the fact that the rapid pace of technological and societal change is giving government chief information officers a new sense of urgency and a willingness to experiment with smart city and open data initiatives, according to Gartner. If managed effectively, this shift will position governments at the core of technological innovation in society . … The process of data sharing is also being sped up by demands for efficiency and convenience. A result of these activities is that the volume of machine-readable data generated about how people interact with city governments is growing rapidly, creating a huge opportunity to develop open data portals that can increase efficiency, improve user experience, drive innovation, and generate revenue for government organizations.” 36 (Emphasis added.)
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things or IoT means internet-connected devices. “Soon everything we do, both online and offline, will be recorded and stored forever,” said security expert Bruce Schneier. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, told a Senate Intelligence Committee that “Smart devices incorporated into the electric grid, vehicles – including autonomous vehicles – and household appliances are improving efficiency, energy conservation, and convenience. However, security industry analysts have demonstrated that many of these new systems can threaten data privacy, data integrity, or continuity of services.”37 “In the future, intelligence services might use the [ Internet of Things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials. … Connected household devices are a potential treasure trove to intelligence agencies seeking unobtrusive ways to listen and watch a target, according to a study that Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society released last week. The study found that the signals explosion represented by Internet of Things would overwhelm any privacy benefits by users of commercial encryption.”38
Add to this exploding connection of data, the data that is already collected on students, real estate records, court documents, tax records, and credit reports, and you have billions of points of data on each individual that is necessary to fine tune a planned economy.
Wikileaks (March 8, 2017) released more details on the recently uncovered information on how Samsung Smart Televisions were being used to collect conversation and information on people in their homes when the televisions were not even on! “In 2015, Samsung warned users not to speak of ‘personal or sensitive information’ within listening distance of some of its smart TVs as that information ‘will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party’ after it emerged that, once activated, the voice control feature would ‘listen’ to what was being said and share it with Samsung or third parties.”39 (A step by step guide of how to change the settings on your television to protect your privacy is detailed in an article by Nicole Nguyen, BuzzFeed News reporter, “If You Have a Smart TV, Take a Closer Look at Your Privacy Settings.”40)
Smartphones measure precise details about location and user habits. According to chief executive of Unify ID, John Whaley, “We can tell what floor of a building you’re on. We can tell if you are inside or outside of a building. Just with a few seconds of your walking data, from your phone sitting in your pocket, we can actually identify you based on that.” 41
Whaley went on to say, “Your devices will recognize you. Your car will recognize you. Your house will recognize you, and so security will become much more seamless. It wasn’t possible just a few years ago. It’s because of a proliferation of sensors, the fact that they are all connected, and machine-learning technology.”42
Elite planners are in “technocracy” heaven.
Smart Cities, Strong Cities
and Violent Extremism
Early in 2016, Reuters reported that the Obama administration’s Justice Department was looking at “ways to toughen fight against domestic extremists.”43 Michael Steinbach, head of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, said “federal agents are ‘spring-loaded’ to open investigations into Americans who support groups on the State Department list of designated terrorist organizations.”44 This is not just Islamist terrorist groups, but potentially people who embrace “individual liberties” and honor “states rights,” according to a Department of Defense training manual obtained by Judicial Watch via a FOIA request that listed these categories (anti-abortion, against illegal immigration, Evangelical Christians, etc.) as likely to be members of government designated “hate groups.”45 As with the effort to identify who the terrorists are, and bowing to political correctness about not saying anything negative about Muslims, the focus is redirected and differences of opinions and observations are now labeled hate speech.
In October 2015, the Department of Justice announced a program to combat “violent extremism.” Called the Strong Cities Network (SCN), the plan calls for systematic efforts to “share experiences, pool resources and build a community of cities to inspire local action on a global scale.” This effort to remove local police in favor of global forces is evident in the examination of government documents relating to the U.S. Justice Department’s mandates upon the local police in Ferguson, Missouri. SCN “will include an International Steering Committee of approximately 25 cities … will convene an International Advisory Board … [and] will be run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue [ISD] …”46 Again, finite data will enable the ISD to “run” the SCN program.
“The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) is a London-based ‘think and do tank’ that has pioneered policy and operational responses to the rising challenges of violent extremism and inter-communal conflict. … ISD runs a wide-ranging programme of work on extremism which ranges from traditional research paper through to the facilitation of practitioners’ networks and the development of counter narrative tools. … In delivering their projects ISD partners with governments and leaders of the technology sector such as Google.” 47 (Emphasis added.)
Notice the need for Big Data – Google. And although one study mentions Al-Qaeda, the emphasis is on violent extremism with no initial mention of Radical Islamic Terrorism (RIT). Indeed, the Obama administration stripped all references to RIT from all its “counter-terrorism” training materials.
United Nations Origins of Smart Cities
Ever since the UN was formed following WWII, its goal has been global world government complete with taxing power. Numerous confabs around the world have been called to plan on how to get to that point. When Paul Erlich who warned in the 1970s of global cooling switched to global warming, the totalitarian environmentalists saw this as their ticket to power; global warming became the focus. Conferences focusing on housing – Habitat I, II and III – led to the latest plan called 2030, which refers to the year 2030, when supposedly the world will be made “perfect again.”
Circumventing states, the UN made its pitch to cities and communities to sign on to their pledges to reduce carbon emissions that were deemed the reason for a warming climate. When evidence began to surface that not all scientists agreed with global warming, the focus changed to climate change. (Who does NOT agree that the climate changes?) The Cornwall Alliance, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and various respected scientists have called out the climate change agenda as really an anti-fossil energy, anti-capitalist, pro-socialist movement to bring about UN-mandated global government.
III. Use Emotional Words
Post-Truth and Messaging
The latest Oxford dictionary selected post-truth as its most internationally used new word. It defines it as “an adjective relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals.”48
Need anymore be said as to the power of government, media, entertainment and schools to fashion a controlling agenda using emotionally charged words? When opinions that may offend someone are silenced by calling them hate speech, islamophobia or intolerance, the government, the media, the entertainment industry, and post-truth schools can prevail.
IV. Bread and Circus
“Bread and Circus” is a phrase used by Juvenal, a Roman satirical poet, to deplore the declining heroism of Romans after the Roman Republic ceased to exist and the Roman Empire began: “Two things only the people anxiously desire – bread and circuses.” The government kept the Roman populace happy by distributing free food and staging huge spectacles. Have we become a society that is “dining” on bread as we revel in “circuses?”
Although not true for all Americans, America’s love affair with professional sports and movies, shopping for the sake of shopping, and traveling demands an economic climate that requires two wage earners and leaves little time to reflect on where America is headed. America’s focus on the post-truths of life (the power of positive thinking) negates the reality of pain or discomfort, and instead promotes things such as the Prosperity Gospel. Thus, being informed through reading newspapers or delving into what your local government or school is doing has become, in many cases, unimportant. The thought is that “someone else will take care of that.” The attitude turns into, “life is short, so get the most out of it.” Add to this, removal of the Christian roots of America, and you have a formula made to order for progressives and a stage full of bread and circuses.
V. Removing Western Civilization’s
Churches, Schools and Universities
Michele Bachmann also addressed how America has reached the point where churches think Muslims and Christians worship the same god. She said,
“We have seen the sharpest drop in the number of people who self-identify as Christians in the last eight years in the history of the United States. Last year Pew Research did a study. They published it in July of 2015. It said there’s been a seven point drop in the number of Americans who self-identify as Christians. … it is primarily among the kids that are coming out of college. So when you have a drop in the number of people who are committed Christians, and when you have a dramatic increase in the number of people who are committed to Sharia Islam, and then [you have] young people who are sympathetic to Sharia Islam, because that’s what’s in Common Core today [it is bad]. Maybe they aren’t Islamic themselves, but they’re sympathetic. You see, in Europe, that’s all they need. A population that is sympathetic with Sharia Islam. And then they have their way.
“The gay community did the same thing. Remember the TV show, Will and Grace? Their whole modus operandi was this: ‘Hey, We don’t have to win everybody’s heart and minds. But, if we can just get 50-some year old women to shrug when the issue of same sex marriage comes up, we will have won the day.’ And that’s what they did.”49
Dr. Peter Wood documents how both the AP American History and European History have deleted much of the spiritual history of both Europe and America.50 When students are not even exposed to the biblical roots of America, much less all the great European and American leaders of freedom, how can they even know it is important. Numerous past issues of FRONT LINE have given in-depth documentation on what is happening in education, and the reader is again referred to The Long War and Common Core that touches on this effort.
Simple as One, Two, Three, Four!
One – Get yourself informed and get involved!
Two – Inform others before it is too late. Informing others means getting to know your neighbors, church members and community and opening your home to study/book/DVD discussions, or getting them started in your churches.
Three – Organize like the progressives do and get elected to the local school boards where these decisions can be reversed. Get like-minded people elected to your local governmental body where the Smart Cities, Strong Cities and refugee resettlement are being decided.
Four – Engage churches and synagogues in all of the above.
As to the more immediate threat, and the role of the Christian churches, Dr. Lutzer sees hope in recognizing the threat of Islam. Amazon’s description of his book says, “We have now reached a tipping point; the spread of Islam is rapidly altering the way we live. These changes are cause for alarm, for they endanger our freedoms of speech and religion. At the same time, this opens an incredible door of ministry for Christians, for Muslims normally do not have access to the gospel in their own lands. In The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent (see back page to order), readers will discover helpful answers to these questions and more:
How does Islam’s growing influence affect me personally?
In what ways are our freedoms of speech and religion in danger?
How can I extend Christ’s love to Muslims around me?”
The action is LOCAL! Yes, it is coming from the federal government and the United Nations, but stopping it is LOCAL! YOU MUST ENGAGE.
Let’s embrace, not erase and replace America’s, foundational principles of rule of law, Judeo-Christian worldviews and welcome all who come to our nation by teaching them these blessings.
1 Masterpiece, “About the Shoe 2011,” Downton Abbey, PBS9, www.pbs.org.
2 Wikipedia, “Downton Abbey.” (Accessed 3-1-17)
3 Kamp, David, “The Most Happy Fellowes,” Vanity Fair, www.vanityfair.com. (Accessed 3-1-17)
4 Poe, Richard, “The Cloward-Piven Strategy,” Discover The Networks.org, www.discoverthenetworks.org, 2005. (Accessed 3-2-17)
5 Beck, Roy, “Ted Kennedy’s Immigration Legacy – And Why Did He do it?,” NumbersUSA, www.numbersusa.com, September 2, 2009. (Accessed 3-2-17)
7 PewResearchCenter, Hispanic Trends, “Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to U.S., Driving Population Growth and Change through 2065,” “Chapter 5: U.S. Foreign-Born Population Trends, September 28, 2015. (Accessed 3-2-17)
8 “Stronger Together, Making the Case for Shared Prosperity through Welcoming Immigrants In Our Communities,” Welcoming America, www.welcomingamerica.org. (Accessed 3-3-17)
9 Ibid., p. 13.
10 Ibid., p. 5.
11 Ibid., p. 4.
12 Gounley, Thomas, “In the past decade, Somalis have congregated in this small southwest Missouri town, Springfield News-Leader, www.news-leader.com. (Accessed 3-3-17)
13 Noel, Missouri, City Data.com, www.city-data.com. (Accessed 3-3-17
16 Smith Rebecca, “Relations Improve, But Tension Remains for Immigrants in Southwest Missouri Town,” KBIA Live Radio, kbia.org, April 20, 2015. (Accessed 3-2-17)
17 Amazon describes author Gail Jarrow’s 2008 biography on Robert H. Jackson. He was on the “Supreme Court bench when it ruled on such significant cases as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka; and chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trial. Despite his remarkable accomplishments, Jackson never attended college or earned a law degree. Using primary sources … Jarrow tells the fascinating story of a lawyer and judge dedicated to the rule of law.”
18 Transcription of Michele Bachmann’s speech January 27, 2017, 28 th Educational Policy Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.
19 Lutzer, Erwin, “The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent,” Amazon.com. (Accessed 3-4-17)
20 Ibid., Noel, Missouri. (Accessed 3-3-17)
21 Smith, Eunie, “Alabama Workforce-Data Bills Threaten Student, Family Privacy,” Eagle Forum of Alabama, alabamaeagle.org, February 21, 2017. (Accessed 3-4-17)
22 Strauss, Valerie, “The astonishing amount of data being collected about your children,” The Washington Post, November 12, 2015.
23 Colton, Emma, “ ‘Invasive’ High School Survey Asks Students How Many Guns Their Families Have, Why They Have Guns,” The Daily Caller, September 30, 2015. (Accessed 3-4-17)
25 Hudson, Lisa, “Protecting Privacy at the Expense of Privacy,” Truth in American Education.com, January 30, 2017. (Accessed 3-4-17)
27 Shapiro, Mary, “Chesterfield hopes to take air out of plan for bike lanes on Baxter Road,” STL Today, November 8, 2016.
28 Dillon, Liam, “California won’t meet its climate change goals without a lot more housing density in its cities,” Los Angeles Times, www.latimes.com, March 6, 2017. (Accessed 3-7-17)
32 Lerner, Jane, “Appellate court sides with HUD in Westchester block-grant fight,” lohud, The Journal News, www.lohud.com, September 26, 2015. (Accessed 3-8-17)
33 CIR2, “HUD Tries to Silence County,” The Center for Individual Rights, www.cir-usa.org, May 20, 2016. (Accessed 3-8-17.
34 McCauley, Ryan, “Cool Cities Rely on Technology; Smart Cities Rely on Data and Partnerships,” Government Technology magazine, www.govtech.com, November 9, 2016. (Accessed 3-4-17)
36 Violino, Bob, “Personal data fuels smart city programs, ZDNet, www.zdnet.com. (Accessed 3-4-17)
37 Eidam, Eyragon, “Internet of Things Devices: Intelligence-Gathering Opportunity?” Government Technology magazine, www.govtech.com, February 10, 2016. (Accessed 3-7-17)
38 Ackerman, Spencer and Sam Thielman, “US intelligence chief: we might use the internet of things to spy on you,” the guardian, www.theguardian.com, February 9, 2016. (Accessed 3-7-17
39 Landi, Martyn, “Samsung ‘urgently’ investigating WikiLeaks claims that CIA and MI5 turned firm’s smart TVs into spy devices,” Mirror, www.mirror.co.uk, March 8, 2017. (Accessed 3-8-17)
40 Nguyen, Nicole, “If You Have A Smart TV, Take A Closer Look At Your Privacy Settings,” BuzzFeednews, www.buzzfeed.com, March 7, 2017.
41 Johnson, Tim, “Smartphones have you pegged, and for better or worse they’ll soon ID you,” PHYS.org, March 3, 2017. (Accessed 3-8-17)
43 Harte, Julia, Julia Edwards and Andy Sullivan, “U.S. eyes ways to toughen fight against domestic extremists,” Rueters, www.reuters.com, February 4, 2016. (Accessed 3-7-17)
45 “Judicial Watch Obtains Defense Department Teaching Documents Suggest ‘Extremists’ to Mainstream Conservative Views,” Judicial Watch, www.judicialwatch.org, August 8, 2013. (Accessed 3-8-17)
46 “Launch of Strong Cities Network to Strengthen Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism,” Justice News, The U.S. Department of Justice, www.justice.gov, September 28, 2015. (Accessed 10-1-15)
47 Wikipedia, “Institute for Strategic Dialogue. (Accessed 3-8-17)
48 “Post truth – Oxford dictionary,” www.google.com. (Accessed 3-8-17)
49 Ibid., Bachmann.
50 Wood, Peter, “The New AP History: A Preliminary Report,” National Association of Scholars, www.nas.org., July 1, 2014. (Accessed 3-8-17)