warns of police state
Group develops way to measure level of liberty worldwide
"Warning: Police states are known to be hazardous to your health."
Or, at least, that's what one pro-liberty group believes. And to help freedom lovers the world over keep track of where they stand in regards to the level of liberty that remains, the group has come up with a unique measuring "device" – a "Totalitarian Clock."
Based on the creation of The Doomsday Clock, which was developed in 1947 by the publication "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" to track the world's nuclear weapons threat, the Concerned Citizens Opposed to Police States, or CCOPS, has produced its clock to measure "the march of the police state, primarily in the U.S., but also in other English-speaking countries."
And, the group believes, it's getting late.
According to the group's website yesterday, the clock currently reads "9:45 p.m." The time is a reflection of the condition of freedom "between the ratification of the Bill of Rights (dawn of freedom) and a totalitarian police state (midnight)," says the group.
"While the atomic clock always hovers within a few minutes of midnight for the sake of drama, we decided to set a more realistic measure," said information on the website. Because of that approach, the nuclear Doomsday Clock has been adjusted "fewer than a dozen times in its 50-plus year history."
"With government growing rapidly and news of tyrannical developments racing across the Internet, we adjust our clock several times a month, as new developments require," the group added.
Hartford, Wis.-based Aaron Zelman is the group's executive director. He said CCOPS sets the time on the clock according to criteria he and co-author Claire Wolfe laid out in their book, "The People vs. The State."
"We keep our eyes out for news in 10 categories … and adjust the clock forward or backward, depending on the nature and significance of the news," Zelman writes.
Those categories are:
Zelman says there are two criteria used to determine the size of the move of the hands on the Totalitarian Clock – severity of the news and "how wide an impact it has."
For example, if a single act of brutality committed by a city police officer goes unpunished, he says, the clock might move forward one minute. But, if the U.S. Supreme Court "issues a judgment that OKs some form of Bill of Rights abuse as a national policy, the digital 'hands' might move forward five minutes, ten, or more."
"A law that decreases privacy or diminishes gun rights in California might jump the clock forward substantially because of the number of people affected and because California influences the rest of the nation," said information posted on the website.
With each change in time, CCOPS "summarizes" the news event that triggered the move and, on its website, the group provides a link to the original news story.
"We hope the CCOPS Totalitarian Time Clock will run steadily backwards toward the hour when the Bill of Rights once again governs America – when Americans once again value freedom over police-statist illusions of security," Zelman wrote. "But we're not holding our breath. Neither should you."
According to the group's mission statement, it and its members work "to oppose the formation of police states anywhere in the world."
"Opposing police states and preventing them from arising anew are powerful ways to protect every individual's rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness," the statement said.
Zelman, who is also executive director of another group, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, says the concept of using a clock was chosen because it's easy to understand.
"Americans have become what I call 'visual animals,'" he told WND. "In other words, if you can paint a picture for people, it helps them grasp the concept a little better."
He said though he has a number of books set to be published that "tell how horrible things are," he feels "if you can give people a picture, you're able to keep their attention a little longer."
Asked what events would cause him to move the clock forward to midnight, Zelman said, "We're not there yet, but a number of things – such as a treaty the destroys the Bill of Rights or massive gun registration schemes – would get us real close."
"If people can fight back, we're still not at midnight," he added.
Jon E. Dougherty is a staff reporter and columnist for WorldNetDaily, and author of the special report, "Election 2000: How the Military Vote Was Suppressed."
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