In the first half, veteran journalist Cheryl Chumley shared her viewpoint that America has veered toward a police state, with various abuses of power sanctioned by the government. One example of this is the rise of civil forfeitures-- a confiscation of assets by the state in which citizens are sometimes unfairly targeted. She gave an example of a Maryland man who was driving in Louisiana in an area frequented by drug traffickers and was pulled over. Because he was carrying a large amount of cash in his car, he and his wife were put in jail overnight, and their child was taken away from them for the night. Though they were never charged with a crime, it took them two months to get their money back, she reported.
"My basic premise is that we're losing sight of the fact that we are a nation where our rights come from God not government," and the more people believe that our rights and freedoms are granted at the whim of government, the more we'll see encroachments, she remarked. We are seeing the police become increasingly militarized, Chumley stated. One instance of this was in the aftermath of the Boston bombing, where police in Watertown were yanking residents out of their homes at gunpoint, and handcuffing people without charges, she cited. "A lot of people would say that was a cause that demanded action like that but at the same time...it's an example of what a police state really looks like," she noted. Chumley also touched on Orwellian technology such as drones being used to track and surveil citizens.
In the latter half, lecturer on new technologies, health and earth science related issues, Dr. Nick Begich, talked about the planned shutdown of Project HAARP, as well as technology used to control the human mind. The Air Force actually announced a year ago that it was dropping HAARP (the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program at a site near Gakona, Alaska, which uses an antenna array to study and interact with the ionosphere), but DARPA picked it up for the last year, and we may see that kind of patched funding continue, he said. Physics professor Dennis Papadopoulos recently published an op-ed piece arguing to save HAARP as a valuable scientific tool, Begich reported.
It's been more than 18 years since Begich first started to write about and study Project HAARP, and indeed better technology could have arisen since then, he noted. With its defense applications and other sinister associations, "HAARP became a hallmark for all things suspect in new technologies," yet now it's joined by many other technologies such as those involved in surveillance that are cause for concern, he commented. Light and sound devices can be used to entrain the brain into certain desired or programmed states, though this type of technology can also be used by advertisers to put consumers in a more suggestive state. Regarding recent shooting rampages, Begich suggested that video gaming may play a part in the shooters' mentality, as the games are designed to stimulate certain regions of the brain.