1. You live in a low-crime neighborhood. Nevertheless, you come out of your house one day to discover police conducting a random checkpoint 100 yards from your driveway. (Report of a friend)

2. You’re not allowed to take your own money out of the country without reporting it to the central government. (Any amount over $10,000 must be reported.)

3. If you transport more cash than the government thinks you should have, even within the borders of the country, your money can be taken away from you permanently without any proof you’ve done anything wrong. (Civil asset forfeiture statutes)

4. The government can take your private property and give it to more politically connected individuals and companies so they can build golf courses, casinos, hotels, and even parking lots. (U.S. Supreme Court: Kelo vs New London, Connecticut)

5. Police shut down a children’s lemonade stand because the nine-year-old and 11-year-old operating it failed to get a city business permit. (Salem, MA 2005)

6. An adult operating another street-vending business turns out to be the person who ratted on the boys.

7. Strangers are encouraged to inform against complete strangers on thin evidence. (Port Watch, Highway Watch, etc.)

8. Cable installers, mail deliverers, trash collectors and other workers are encouraged to inform against the residents they allegedly serve.

9. Banks, postal clerks, car dealers, jewelers, coin dealers, and stock brokers are encouraged (even required) to inform on customers who spend “too much” cash, even though there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

10. Children are encouraged to inform against parents. (D.A.R.E. Program)

11. Anyone, anywhere, at any time can be wiretapped without a warrant (Bush administration policy). Congress does nothing to stop the illegal activity.

12. Government agencies can (and do) keep extensive dossiers on millions of harmless citizens. Congress does nothing to stop the illegal activity.

13. Your tax payments add up to as much as your take-home pay.

14. The chief architect of the administration’s legal policy claims that the government has a virtually unlimited authority to torture anyone—even to the point of crushing a child’s testicles in order to get the child’s parents to talk. At the same time, the government denies that such activities actually constitute torture. (John Yoo, December 2005)

15. A journalist spends a record-setting 170 days in jail (and counting) for refusing to turn over a video of a public demonstration. (Josh Wolf case)

16. The historic confidentiality between doctors and patients, lawyers and clients, and even priests and penitents in the confessional is replaced by government reporting requirements or direct eavesdropping.

17. The government claims the right to hold prisoners for years without criminal charges, in violation of the Bill of Rights. When lawyers attempt to defend those prisoners pro bono, a government spokesman tells the law firms’ corporate clients they should threaten to fire the attorneys from their lucrative corporate accounts. (Pentagon spokesperson Charles “Cully” Stimson)

18. A prosecutor brings charges against a 16-year-old boy that would result in a mandatory 90-year prison sentence for having a handful of pornographic images on his computer that were almost certainly placed there by a malicious program that turned the computer into a “zombie” in the service of a hacker. When the prosecution’s case falls spectacularly apart and draws national media attention, the prosecutor’s office then attempts to smear the boy via a highly deceptive editorial. (Matt Bandy case, 2006)

19. A 12-year-old and a 13-year-old have sex with each other. Instead of this being considered a behavioral problem for their families to deal with, each child is criminally charged as a child molester—and each is named as the other child’s victim. Each may have to register as a sex offender for life. This mind-boggling state of affairs is upheld on appeal. (Utah Supreme Court, 2006)

20. Teachers, parents and responsible students are forbidden to defend children effectively against violent attack by madmen. (Various state and federal laws including Gun-Free School Zones)

21. Children are suspended, and in some cases even face criminal charges, for bringing butter knives, G.I. Joe miniature rifles, aspirin or cough drops to school. (Dozens, if not hundreds, of cases around the nation.)

22. You can go to prison for 55 years on a first-time marijuana-selling offense, even though the judge himself calls the sentence “unjust, cruel, and irrational.” The actual sentence is one day for selling marijuana and 55 years for having a gun strapped to your ankle while you do it. You will serve far more time in prison than most murderers, rapists and airplane hijackers. (Weldon Angelos case)

23. You can get five- to 15-year “sentence enhancements” added to your punishment for a completely non-violent crime because you owned a gun that was locked in a trunk or stashed in a glove compartment, or even because you’re a former felon who picked up a single .22 cartridge while laying carpet. (Project Exile; Project Safe Neighborhoods)

24. Your country imprisons a larger percentage of its population than Russia, Rwanda, Uganda, China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq or Zimbabwe. The majority of those people are in prison for non-violent offenses.

25. Your country has a “prison industry” that even has paid lobbyists perpetually asking the government for more and bigger lockups. Corporations make billions by imprisoning non-violent offenders. Small towns that once would have thrived on logging, fishing, millwork, tourism, shopping or other productive work now boast of being the latest site of another new state or federal prison.

26. Your nation’s money supply, which is constitutionally required to be silver and gold, is turned over to a private corporation (the Federal Reserve Bank). This corporation is not subject to government audit. Over the next century, all precious-metal content or backing is gradually removed, and your country’s currency loses more than 95 percent of its value. Anyone who points out these verifiable facts is dismissed as a wing-nut.

27. Social workers try to persuade high-income parents to accept welfare for their newborns, and then write negative comments in their hospital files, accusing them of being neglectful parents, when they refuse government “help.” (Account of a friend)

28. You are caring for your own grandchild and state workers show up, demand to “inspect your premises,” interview your neighbors, and pressure you to accept welfare, Medicaid, food stamps and other tax-paid welfare-state benefits that you don’t need and don’t want. (Account of a friend)

29. Government numbers are placed upon newborns before they even leave the hospital. The sole purpose? Tracking every citizen from birth to death.

30. Government tracking numbers are required before a citizen is allowed to drive, work, marry, hunt, fish, open a bank account, purchase stocks, obtain a professional license, buy insurance or die.

31. Governments routinely surveil citizens via cameras, databases, fingerprinting, DNA gathering, body searches, full-body x-rays, vehicle searches and other means, but any citizen attempting to keep a similar eye on the activities of “public servants” is considered suspect and may even be arrested.

32. A respectable suburban woman is hauled to jail because she failed to have seatbelts on her children while driving slowly down a backroad looking for a lost toy. The woman sues and the U.S. Supreme Court says that it is okay to jail otherwise law-abiding people for minor infractions. (Gail Atwater case)

33. You are forced to obey secret laws—even though it is logically impossible to obey them, since you have no idea what they require or even if they exist. Federal courts uphold this bizarre situation. (John Gilmore case)

34. You are locked up without trial and told that you’re not allowed to see the evidence or know the identities of the witnesses against you. (Jose Padilla case)

35. A nerdy Oxford scholar attending a conference of historians is thrown to the pavement for jaywalking and demanding to see a police officer’s ID. Photos show the startled academic on the ground surrounded by eight police officers and a circle of yellow tape. No one seems to think this event is unusual. (Atlanta, January 2007)

36. A man is accused of violating the National Firearms Act for peaceful possession of a full-auto rifle and a short-barreled shotgun. The trial judge denies the man his only defense—which is that the NFA is unconstitutional and therefore, according to the historic judgment of Marbury v. Madison, void. (Hollis Wayne Fincher case, currently ongoing)

37. Armed, masked men kick down your door in the middle of the night and you can’t tell if they’re criminals or police.

38. You hope they’re criminals, because at least you have some chance to defend yourself against criminals without being killed or going to prison.

39. All of this goes on while the president of the country prattles on and on about “defending freedom.”

40. All of this goes on while millions of people yawn and wonder what’s on the other channel.

More information (including links) can be found here.

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