“Emergencies have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.”
— Friedrich August von Hayek
“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.”
— Bob Dylan
Quarantine: a period, originally 40 days, of detention or isolation imposed upon ships, persons, animals, or plants on arrival at a port or place, when suspected of carrying some infectious or contagious disease.
Lockdown: A tool used in totalitarian countries to force large groups of people to comply with government mandated sanctions or systems.
Can you hear the steady hypnotic beat of boots marching in the background? Can you hear the shouts of cold hearted soldiers blunted to their own pain, because they know they’re in the act of violating everything that is holy? I do and it’s near. So get down on your knees, open your third eye and play the only card you’ve got left. Wait a minute. You think that’s a little hyperbolic? I mean, we’re not there yet are we? Let’s rewind briefly. No one can know the exact date, but conventional wisdom would predict that we’re at least 6-12 months away from that reality. And that reality is based on history, and the optics will change as we evolve alongside the cold detachment of technology. You may not see tanks rolling through the street, but rather armed guards standing outside football stadiums and rock concerts asking for vaccination papers. Totalitarianism comes in many shapes and sizes, and ours is shaping up as more of a medical dictatorship, which in my opinion, is the scariest kind. It is a violation of your very bodily freedom. Your body is now considered an asset controllable by the government.
Perhaps you’re thinking: “But movie theaters are opening! Everything’s ok! Yay! And Cuomo, they’re after him for killing all the elderly in nursing homes, finally. And if they catch him they’ll nab Gavin Newsom and Gretchen Whitmer and all the other evil perpetrators and our republic will have been saved, right?” Silly Americans. Have we missed the forest for the trees? Again? We as humans are constantly in the act of refusing the data that exists right in front of us if it makes us feel uncomfortable. So, we just make stuff up. For instance: the more masks you wear the healthier you will be. Or, once everyone is vaccinated we can get on with our lives. Here’s a dirty little secret: We can get on with our lives today, but for some reason we are waiting for permission. It is permission you will never get. Up is down, good is bad, and right is wrong these days. Pick your portal into the new world. I’ve picked mine, although in many ways it was picked for me the day I was born.
My father and his family were hidden during the Holocaust by a Ukrainian man who, as a righteous gentile, was doing what he felt was the only right thing to do. He sacrificed his safety and the safety of his family, so my family could have a chance to survive. And survive they did. As the child of two Holocaust survivors, the need to survive and shine a light on the obstacles to the very liberty that brought my family to safety and gave me the best life imaginable is essential. We are the children of a passing generation. We are the words that need to be spoken aloud. We are the whispers in the night asking for redemption. Again and again. To the children who didn’t grow up in the shadow of genocide, or of first generational parents who fled from communist countries and incessantly warned their children of the perils of communism, our words of warning may seem like paranoia. I assure you they are anything but. For generations our country spared us the grown up reality that the rest of the planet has had to endure, but we were warned that it couldn’t last forever. That one day it would be our turn, and that day is today. Don’t worry, you can probably bury your head in the sand for a little while longer, binge-watching Netflix, taking all your bi-annual gene therapy boosters (otherwise known as vaccines), getting tracked, tricked, traced, and wearing the 4 masks you’ll be eventually be mandated to wear everywhere. Sadly, you’ll have company. There will be lots of people just like you; afraid, numb, shameless, guiltless, and with pointless thoughts crossing your confused mind, knowing that once upon a time you lived the American dream. Some will have faint memories of riding that red Harley up the California coast past Malibu and partying while the pink sunset over the Santa Monica mountains melted your worries away. Listening to the Eagles soft harmonies in the background, just in time for that cheesy hot pizza to arrive, you sat in front the of the fire pit looking up at the crystal blue desert sky, mystified by the wonders of this American life.
I have been writing about the end of our democracy since May 2020. Although I knew within 14 days of the lockdown that something terrible had happened to us, I’ll admit it took me 6 full weeks to accept what was gelling in my mind and in our world.I think the reason why it took so long was because I was literally surrounded by people, social media and mainstream television all cheering on what is presumably the greatest tragedy to strike the American story- the loss of our liberty. It was like accidentally stumbling onto the set of The Handmaids Tale, but being the only one who knew it wasn’t real. Yes, you can freely choose which mask to cover your face with, what show to stream, and what vegetables to buy (for now), but that’s not freedom. It reminded me of being on a plane to Florida with my parents in 1986 when we saw the Challenger explode in mid-air as we flew near Cape Canaveral on our way to Miami at the exact time it took off. Someone kindly let me have their window seat for the launch.My heart sank when I saw it happen, yet everyone around me clapped and cheered. It was very confusing because we had learned all about it in science class before that trip, and I just assumed that what I observed was wrong. We are programmed in society to believe that if everyone around us believes something, as far-fetched and disconnected from reality as it is, then they are right and we are wrong. This time, 34 years later, I knew I wasn’t wrong. It’s been a year since the thick curtain of tyranny came down on our freedom and I actually completely gave up hope that anyone who resembled me in any way would step up to the plate and speak the truth. As a gay, Jewish artist from NY, I was struggling with the fact that all my peers were suddenly conservative white men from Texas. I just assumed that once on the fringe, always on the fringe. Until the other day, when I saw the most astonishing interview I’ve seen since day one of this nightmare. Better late than never.
FREEDOM: WHERE THE LEFT FINALLY MEETS THE RIGHT
Dr. Naomi Wolf, acclaimed liberal author, feminist, and one of my personal heroes, was interviewed by Tucker Carlson on Fox News and it was eye opening and, in many ways, heart-warming (link below). Generally, I run from anything that resembles mainstream media because it’s rarely more than pathogen porn these days, but a friend sent me this clip and I’m really glad I watched it. Not because Dr. Wolf was stating the obvious, but because she was doing so from the point of view of a revered liberal feminist icon and also because Carlson admitted it’s rare for someone like him to listen to someone like her. I myself, an ex- Democrat and politically homeless artist just assumed that there’s no one left in that world that is connected to sane rational thoughts anymore. Reading the headlines of the NY Times or the Washington Post is like reading Pravda in what was once the USSR. Sadly, here in the U.S. people still regard those papers as worthwhile news while in the Soviet Union everyone was keenly aware of its purpose as a tool for propaganda. I don’t care for politics much, it’s all such a Ponzi scheme. But now we are forced to take a stand, because we are not American children anymore. Dr. Wolf reminds us that there has been a failure in our education system over the past thirty years, and something as foundational as civics isn’t taught anymore. So most people under 40 don’t understand history and as a result they don’t understand freedom and why it is infinitely more important than any other attribute in a healthy society. Health, both mental and physical, is entirely dependent on access to freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and freedom to pursue a livelihood. Without freedom, all other aspects of the mind and body disintegrate along with family and social connections which are the very building blocks of health. This is why there has never been anything like a “lockdown” (except during wartime), in free and open countries. Why? Because it destroys societies. It destroys cultures. It is a weapon of mass destruction.
Dr. Wolf is capable of something no other high profile journalist or thought leader has succeeded in doing since the beginning of this tragedy. She is able to see what is going on through the lens of history, as opposed to the lens of blind hatred toward an opposing political party. She is using her intellect to refocus the current events: not against a backdrop of President Trump, but against the backdrop of the history of civil societies. She is NOT missing the forest for the trees, and she is the first prominent liberal to truly bridge the seemingly irreparable gap in society since the beginning of the Covid crisis, which is also when we entered what she describes in her book as “level 10”. Dr. Wolf’s acclaimed book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, details the ten step blueprint that every open country in history uses when they experience a coup and become a closed totalitarian society. Level 10, the final step, is the subversion of the rule of law. It’s when a country enters into a police state, which is how we live in much of the US today. The day we locked down was the abrupt closing of a chapter, the shutting down of a beautiful and free nation. One with a checkered past and an uncertain future. She reminds us that Germany was a modern, intellectual, artistically vibrant and tolerant society before the rise of the Nazi party. She also reminds us that every closed society followed the exact same blueprint, the exact same 10 steps we have repeated ourselves. It’s always the same.
The current mainstream population which spans the political spectrum (although the left have embraced destruction of liberty in a way that no one could have predicted) are behaving similarly to the 1930’s German civilians. I see genuinely good people who have become so overwhelmed by fear and terror (thanks to the news), that they are now frozen bystanders or willing participants in a world of inhumanity and corruption. I’ve long stopped expecting anything hopeful or intellectually relevant to emerge from that section of the political conversation. Dr. Wolf proved both Carlson and I wrong, and for the first time I saw something I haven’t seen years: a picture of what a unified American conversation could look like. Something deep inside me shifted and for that I am grateful. To be honest, I am stunned that it happened on mainstream news. It’s always our own internal judgement that blinds us to progress. She reminds us that once a country reaches a certain tipping point, then we are in a place where democracy can no longer heal democracy. She spoke these words 13 years ago after the release of the aforementioned book, and I believe we are at the tipping point now. We are here. We have tipped. If democracy can no longer heal democracy, then the question is, what can? The reason why Dr. Wolf is a more compelling figure to me than most other scholars on this particular subject is that she is not speaking as a liberal or as a conservative but as a patriot. She reminds us of something so important, and that is that there is no clause in the constitution that says you have all your liberties unless something we think is more important comes along, even an infectious disease. There have been many, many more dangerous diseases that have spread like wildfire around the planet, which you happily ignored, and we didn’t suddenly get put under house arrest permanently. There is no precedent for lockdowns in a free country. In fact, during the Spanish Flu sick people were given “fresh air” treatments, because they knew that fresh air was essential to boosting the immune system. We have not been under “quarantine” this past year, we have been stripped of our rights in a wildly undemocratic experiment. During our crisis, the government intervened with guidance that only further complicated peoples immunities, by restricting fresh air and sunshine.
At long last more prominent people are coming forward (other than the thousands of pedigreed scientists and doctors worldwide who have been dismissed, censored, and jailed for making sense).An article was published recently in the Lancet regarding the lockdown insanity. The first line of the article is,“We think government lockdowns cause substantial collateral health damage”.The number of deaths that could have been prevented from early cancer detection and treatment according to the article, will impact our society in ways we are only just beginning to comprehend. Lockdowns are the equivalent of throwing a 50,000 pound lead ball off the highest mountain top over the largest city and watching the destruction for years to come, surrounded by people cheering it on. Another surprising show of courage came from a group of European doctors who published their findings in PubMed, entitled: COVID-19 and the Political Economy of Mass Hysteria. In it, they state, “In this article, we aim to develop a political economy of mass hysteria. Using the background of COVID-19, we study past mass hysteria. Negative information which is spread through mass media repetitively can affect public health negatively in the form of Nocebo effects and mass hysteria. We argue that mass and digital media in connection with the state may have had adverse consequences during the COVID-19 crisis. The resulting collective hysteria may have contributed to policy errors by governments not in line with health recommendations”. Well that’s a very diplomatic way of stating that the collusion between government officials and mass media created what can be clearly evaluated from a medical perspective as a massive mental health crisis. It wasn’t a virus with a 99.97 % survival rate that crushed us, it was the unfounded terror drowning out all our rational thoughts and dividing us needlessly. In California, evidence is now mounting that Gavin Newsom’s cure WAS the disease.
MARXISM: IT IS STILL JUST PUTTING LIPSTICK ON A PIG
The American people bought wholesale the creepy notion that if you cared about other people, then you would happily forfeit all aspects of your own personal responsibility and liberty. This is straight up Marxism, but we bought it. Laziness, a broken education system, corrupt media, and intense fear is to blame.Don’t forget how the majority of Americans needed to be coerced, begged, and yanked into allowing civil rights to progress in the 1960’s. They didn’t want anything threatening their positions in society, and here we are again. Corrupt politicians, unethical and tired journalism, and corporate malfeasance on every level. Black and brown people are still fighting that fight today so buckle up. It could be a long ride back to freedom. Especially for those who have no idea it’s gone.I don’t associate the current BLM movement with a leap forward in civil liberties for minorities, in fact it seems more a trojan horse to distract and strip everyone EQUALLY of their rights. Clearly, it is in the DNA of humans to just go along with the herd. The group think. The survivalists in us that want acceptance at any moral cost. Unchecked emotions in the American culture over the Trump administration became the easy way to lure them into the boiling pot of martial law in a way no American could have predicted. No science, no legislation, no vote — BAM, you are under house arrest indefinitely because we said so. And, if you speak out, you are a traitor. Oh, and your good neighbors will snitch if our surveillance cameras fail. Another thing that is common when societies transition from open to closed, is repeated electricity and power grid failure. Anything to make citizens uncomfortable, and more likely to be obedient. We’ve been seeing this in California and Texas and throughout the country during the past three years, ramping up with intense velocity right around the November 2020 election.
Dr. Wolf has a point when she says we were so stunned by the immediate plunge into dictatorship that people were just blind-sided. She’s too kind though. I have observed all walks of life from left to right drink the pesticide ridden KoolAid. They all jumped on the mercurial bandwagon and are just now seeing there’s no easy way off. Once you willingly give over all your freedoms, good luck ever getting them back. There is no precedent for that happening in history, once they are gone, they are generally gone forever. This is why if the current political regime (ie, corporations who lease out the US government to the people 4 years at a time) wants to keep their dictatorial rule over the American people (and they do), they MUST take everyone’s guns away.They actually have to abolish the second amendment because it’s the second amendment that aspires to protect the others. It’s the thorn in any authoritarian regime’s side. Allowing people to defend themselves is a no no. Maybe we should reinstate civics in the schools? Perhaps fire up some adult classes too? Maybe…down the line, when book-burning, bit burning, de-platforming, and censorship are just bad memories reminding us of how naive and childlike we once were. For now, you’re going to have to create your own curriculum (while you still can choose your reading material) and I would absolutely start with Naomi Wolf’s book The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot. If you do, I advise taking a hard, icy look around you. You may just see the truth.
We are here because the war on terror meant we had to give up liberties. There’s always an outside existential threat in this mode of closing societies. I can feel Dr. Wolf’s frustration, as to why the entire country does not understand what due process is and why it matters. She discussed the dangers of having a paramilitary organization and surveillance of innocent people which is what emerged after 9/11 and the bullying tactics used by TSA (which are not unlike the tactics used by the Brown Shirts during Nazi Germany and the Blackshirts in Italy under Mussolini in the 20’s).This is EXACTLY what the founding fathers tried to protect us from. These are the patterns, the formulas, like a chord progression in music that gets used over and over again with a slightly new twist. They seem original but they’re just templates used by each and every empire throughout history. We are not unique. We are nothing new anymore.It shouldn’t matter what side of the illusory political spectrum you fall on. If you are a US citizen and believe in liberty, you are now verging on being an enemy of the state. In fact, liberty has almost become a dirty word. Don’t think for a second you can hide behind any left leaning liberal disguise, no one cares. It’s like learning there’s no Santa Claus, or that your favorite celebrity is a jerk. Left and right are undeniably two wings of the same bird.
The thing that has so many Americans confused is that generally when a democracy is overturned in favor of a closed totalitarian society, it happens because there is a despot. Someone who looks and sounds like Hitler, Mussolini, or Castro.A single front man who is enthusiastic, charismatic, and clever as hell. We don’t have that. We don’t today anyway. However is it possible, that we have had a spate of despots all sporting different costumes, and charismatically charming different parts of the herd, till we didn’t know whose side to cheer for? Am I red, blue, or nothing? Why does it matter? Who does social media think I am? What does The New York Times say? Did every leader since 9/11 play their part, like good old Hollywood grifters? I think the real bosses pulling the strings knew that this time around, they had it covered. They didn’t really need a charmer, just a body.They’re so close, they can smell it. However, they have to give us reckless freedom lovers what we want. Someone to call our president. A hero to save us from ourselves. I can almost hear them whispering in the night, at their tawdry bacchanalias’ in the private gated sprawling estates surrounded by the epic beauty of Northern California. Just be patient they comfort each other. Any day now. We are in full position, and the people… boy, those people. How dumb can they be? You can almost hear the roaring laughter coming through the intoxicating yarrow and Western redbud plants.By the way, in passing, one of the elders says to an up and coming statesman, “don’t forget that the people should never fully understand the healing properties of plants and prayer. NEVER”.
Dr. Wolf says, in a 2007 speech she gave, that prolonged isolation makes healthy, sane people insane. She spoke about this in the context of the human rights violations that had emerged from the Bush administration during our fight against terror, when innocent Americans could be tried by a military tribunal for anything, without due process, and then tortured. But if you examine this fact, about the psychology of normal healthy people, in the context of the lockdowns we are currently experiencing around the country and around the world, a new picture emerges. It all makes a little more sense. It’s like looking at a painting that has been hanging in your living room for years, and suddenly, a streak of light reveals an entirely new layer to it. Connecting the dots takes time and patience and a willingness to see more detail than you are comfortable with. The gruesome pack of noble hell raisers running our lives are going to have to move a little faster now, because it’s not just conspiracy theorists, conservatives, republicans, and freedom loving weirdos that are connecting the dots. It’s one of their own.Clearly, when she said “democracy can be saved if millions of people rise up”, she never saw 2020 coming. Or did she?
During her interview with Carlson, she speaks about the history of governments that create a military tribunal system and a prison system outside the rule of law like the George Bush operation during the Iraq war. She challenges her audience to come up with a government throughout history that didn’t ultimately use this type of prison system against its own people. I can’t think of one. Can you? Governments are made of people, and people are inherently greedy and power hungry, especially those that seek positions of power. Makes sense right?Suffice it to say, all men and women in power will ultimately seek power without boundaries and greed beyond humanity if given the opportunity. It used to be somewhat hidden from view, but this year they came right out and said, “I’m a rich dictator, backed by the very people that keep you up at night. You think you can freely elect or dismiss me, think again”.Serfdom is back and its been corrupting our cities, farmlands, and culture for decades.
So, we shrink back a little more, because, what can we, the little people do? We write our letters and sign our petitions. It isn’t enough is it? Imagine all the letters and petitions that went out in Germany during the 1930’s or Italy during the 1920’s. Imagine how many smart, kind, good hard working intellectually curious people there must have been in those societies and still it all went entirely tits up like nobody even tried. That’s not the truth though. There were heroes, and martyrs, and freedom fighters. Some fought to the death, some resisted, everyone played their part until the pressure got too great and the risks too high. Like where we are today. You wear your mask, get your sketchy shot and shut up like you’re told. Maybe you get a gold star, and the government sends you free money or repays your student loans. Maybe they don’t.Some of my more optimistic friends believe that this will all fade away just like it did after the 1918 Spanish Flu. This is entirely different because the constitution has been suspended this time around, we have social media crushing free speech, and EMF’s and other environmental toxins preventing normal cellular functions in otherwise healthy people thereby making recovering from ANYTHING that hits our immune system, a triumph. I see the good old American optimism always trying to get its point across, and it warms my heart, except when its planted in a bed of self-deception. Like, “they can’t mandate vaccines”. Or, “things are totally normal and open in Florida”. Or, “you can dine indoors as long as you get your temperature taken.” ( I just learned that a restaurant in Seal Beach, CA. is now only allowing in people who have received the Covid 19 vaccine. The temperature taking has just been a test- a way of gauging compliance and getting people used to having their bodies violated. What is next?) Others might say “the economy won’t crash because people are still buying houses like crazy”. The list goes on, and on, of scary buzzwords and mind numbing platitudes that the majority of this country unconsciously picks up from mainstream newspapers and media. Even the smart ones. Even the scholars. Even the old hippies.
THIS AMERICAN LIFE
Black and brown communities know something is eerily wrong, because the media and the corporate elites are paying extra special attention to their needs. It’s almost as if… they cared? Still, no one talks about the Native American communities and how this existential crisis is affecting them.Perhaps because there are no fires, no riots, and no police violence, it’s just not very newsworthy. Not glamorous enough for our corporate sponsored terrorist organizations that run around with cameras and lies until they shoe-horn a story that fits their narrative, true or not.In fact, when was the last time you heard anyone in the media ask how the Native Americans are doing in all this? How is this affecting them? They were the first enemy of the people, our first entanglement with genocide. I suppose it was only a matter of time before we became our own victims.Because once a country sets up a precedent of unlawful land grabbing and terror, it always turns on its own people at some point. And who are we kidding, the government we hire to protect us has consistently demanded more than they give. We finance their their drug operations, their offshore crimes, money laundering, and all we have ever asked for is to be left alone and live in peace.They absorbed the mafia, the Mexican drug cartels, the vaccine patents and still….they want more. Can they be stopped? Not if only a small handful of us try. We need millions, hundreds of millions. But if truth isn’t permitted on the news, then people won’t understand what they’re up against. That’s the game and they are winning.
I do believe that most of the people who work in our hospitals and healthcare system are truly good and mean well.I believe most of the people that work in the government at various levels are kind, and I also believe that most of the German population during the slaughter of 6 million Jews were also basically good people. I will go so far as to say most of the German Army were also not innately evil. However evil isn’t always a gene. It’s a situation. It’s a place in time. It’s where fear meets destiny and you do what it is that’s required. At least for most people. If you had any idea how many heroes were fighting with their whole being to keep you free today, you’d do everything differently from this moment on. You’d never look at the world in the same way again. Unfortunately, humans need to live through experience, not through warnings. Brilliant and thought provoking ideas can inspire a few to make a change, but living through something real is what breeds true courage in the face of darkness. What little faith I have left in the self-respect and humanity of my fellow Californians hangs in the balance for the recall of Governor Gavin Newsom. To keep that man in place, would be like begging for endless emotional abuse and tyranny.Out of 40 million people only 2 million care enough about their own life or the lives of those around them, to remove this cancer from further destroying the one place where freedom and dreaming were always deemed “essential”.
Dr. Wolf mentioned something in her 2007 talk that is incredibly relevant today. She said that in a closing society there starts to be a drumbeat of espionage, treason, domestic terrorism.Accusations, fingers pointing, the whole theater that we are seeing play out in in such dramatic and colorful ways is different than the usual democratic clap trap that people who need attention or higher news ratings whine about. It’s actually happening, and she raised the red flag about it 13 years ago. Shame on us for letting it get this far. Could we have changed the trajectory? Everything else just seemed so much more important than our freedom back then. I mean, “It’s America. The good guys will always win right? Like, normal people will always be ok.” Well, those are the lines that seemed believable once upon a time. Imagine if we could have told ourselves 13 years ago that if you don’t pull your head out of your ass it will one day be wrapped in a bunch of surgical masks every time you leave your house?! Who would have EVER fallen for that line? I mean, how many people really read Orwell or Huxley anymore? Who really believes in history?
I remember being little and asking my mother why we separate milk from meat during meals. It just seemed to create so much more work, with separate dishes and silverware. Her answer to me was: “because it’s not so bad!”I’m reminded of this every time I speak with someone who says they comply with what they’re asked to do because they think masks, social distancing, and vaccine passports are not so bad.
To all the unknown thought leaders, artists, healers, visionaries, and mystics — today is your day. Today is our day.Now is that moment, when you embody all that you are and embrace the role and challenge you’ve been given on this earth. It’s the dawning of a new cosmos, and the birth of something we can’t yet wrap our heads around. Come forward, leave the darkness of this world behind, and do what you were born to do.Together, we can reclaim all that is holy to the human spirit.
RIP America, 1776-2020
Like this post? Read more essays here