Art Pope’s North Carolina Digital Gestapo

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While Republicans in DC are busy passing important laws that no one cares about and don’t address any of our problems, the Koch Republic of Pope (formerly known as North Carolina) is busily establishing libertea lovers laws like making corporations tax free,   or repealing the Racial Justice Act  which in essence provides people on death row with a basis to appeal if racial bias played a role in their convictions, and basically anything else that amounts to a political orgasm for the Tea Party.

According to the State’s governor Pat McCrory  (aka Art Pope’s puppet)

Nearly every person on death row, regardless of race, has appealed their death sentence under the Racial Justice Act,” McCrory said in a statement Wednesday. “The state’s district attorneys are nearly unanimous in their bipartisan conclusion that the Racial Justice Act created a judicial loophole to avoid the death penalty and not a path to justice.

Right, there was never no racial bias in any case at all.  That’s why the previous governor, Democrat Bev Perdue, who also supports the death penalty,  vetoed previous attempts to repeal this law.

At the time, Perdue said it’s important the death penalty be given “fairly and that the process not be infected with prejudice based on race.”

Needless to say, the voter suppression laws  endorsed by freedumb loving Art Pope got the NAACP’s attention, not to mention civil libertarians and others who have the radical idea that all American citizens should have a right to vote.  Their weekly protests, dubbed “Moral Mondays” are peaceful (sans shotguns or signs saying “We didn’t come armed this time” and have resulted in arrests. This is because in the Koch Republic of Pope freedom means understanding that attacks on the basic principles of a free society are good for the corporation. If it’s good for the corporation, it’s good for everyone.

Sounds creepy enough right?  It gets creepier of the Civitas Institute collecting pictures and data of Moral Monday protestors and posting them on their website variety. Even creepier, The Civitas Institute is part of the Art Pope political machine via the foundation named for Pope’s late father.

The Civitas Institute decided it’s going to dedicate its investigative prowess to the Moral Monday protestors who constitute a much bigger threat to  freedumb in the Koch Republic of Pope than say Art Pope, who bought the government, is part of the government and is now using his extensive propaganda machine to intimidate anyone who challenges his government’s policies. Of course, since Pope owns The Civitas Institute, the odds that he’ll be investigated are non-existent.

In the name of investigating just who these protestors are and holding the short attention span of Fox fans, the website contains the following sections dedicated to their investigation:  Introduction  Pick the protestor game  (perhaps designed for the literacy challenged website visitor) the all-important protestor database  with more info available on the average protestor than on the average KRP lawmaker, Protestor facts and figures (comes with neat graphs too)  and the endlessly useful Anatomy of a Protestor  section designed to identify the traits associated with people who are defending the voting rights of all citizens regardless of race, political orientation or financial status.

Oh, you’ll just love their mission statement:

The vision of the Civitas Institute is of a North Carolina whose citizens enjoy liberty and prosperity derived from limited government, personal responsibility and civic engagement. (by which they mean only people who agree with them can enjoy freedom and are encourage to civilly engage.)

Of course, the Civitas Institute will claim it’s their right to post this information. Freedom of speech you know. (wink wink)

This is one of those 501 3 c groups dedicated to social welfare and have absolutely nothing to do with politics. According to Open Secrets, Civitas’ human handler, Clark Reimer,  gave money to North Carolina’s Republican Executive Committee.  Right, so this organization really is about social welfare and doesn’t have nuttin to do with politics or political parties or party politics.

Besides, transparency means knowing anything real or imagined about protestors, while shadowy politicians financed by dark money continue the important work of making their Empire more business friendly.

Of course, we also know this tactic. Extremists in the pro birth movement who advocate using violence to further their cause on their websites use it.  Names, pictures of abortion providers, abortion clinics etc. are provided for any wacko to do their bit for “the cause”.

Granted, part of Civitas’ agenda may be simply to mock the protestors, as “hippies” or “takers” in the current Tea Party nomenclature. Equally as certain is the likelihood that publishing identifiable information about protestors is a less than subtle means to intimidate them and possibly motivate the Bubbas with shotguns to help the protestors see the error of their ways and just stop with this nonsense.

When exploring their investigation of Moral Monday protestors, the first words that came to mind were “digital gestapo”.   There’s just something fascistic about a group of 1, owned by a powerful member of the government, professing to believe in freedom, posting pictures and other information about protestors (which even if true) is irrelevant – at least in the United States of America.   Your age, your occupation (or lack thereof) your race and whether you have a criminal record or not is irrelevant to whether or not you get to have an opinion about government policies.

By “sharing” this information with the probable visitors to the website, this organization is in reality, attempting to discredit both the protestors and the reasons they are protesting.  They are using that same us/them propaganda tactic that the right wing used in an effort to discredit Occupy Wall Street.  It’s the sort of tactic that was used in another time and in another country, in the name of branding their followers as the proverbial good people and opponents of their agenda as the proverbial bad people.

This is what North Carolina has turned into.  This is what happens when “conservatives” get control over all branches of government and also use their “freedom’ to intimidate opponents of the corporate owned government’s policies.

Image via Steve Brodner

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