Category Archives: essay

Minority Report: Fiction Has Become Reality

By John W. Whitehead

It was a mere ten years ago that Steven Spielberg’s action film Minority Report, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, offered movie audiences a special effect-laden techno-vision of a futuristic world in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful. And if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams will bring you under control.

The year is 2054. The place is Washington, DC. Working in a city in which there has been no murder committed in six years—due in large part to his efforts combining widespread surveillance with behavior prediction technologies—John Anderton (played by Tom Cruise), Chief of the Department of Pre-Crime in Washington, DC, uses precognitive technology to capture would-be criminals before they can do any damage—that is, to prevent crimes before they happen. Unfortunately for Anderton, the technology, which proves to be fallible, identifies him as the next would-be criminal, and he flees. In the ensuing chase, Anderton finds himself not only attempting to prove his innocence but forced to take drastic measures in order to avoid capture in a surveillance state that uses biometric data and sophisticated computer networks to track its citizens.

Seemingly taking its cue from science fiction, technology has moved so fast in the short time since Minority Report premiered that what once seemed futuristic no longer occupies the realm of science fiction. Incredibly, as the various nascent technologies employed by the government and corporations alike—iris scanners, massive databases, behavior prediction software, and so on—are incorporated into a complex, interwoven cyber network aimed at tracking our movements, predicting our thoughts and controlling our behavior, Spielberg’s unnerving vision of the future is fast becoming our reality.

Examples abound.

FICTION: In Minority Report, police use holographic data screens, city-wide surveillance cameras, dimensional maps and database feeds to monitor the movements of its citizens.

REALITY CHECK: Microsoft, in a partnership with New York City, has developed a crime-fighting system that “will allow police to quickly collate and visualise vast amounts of data from cameras, licence plate readers, 911 calls, police databases and other sources. It will then display the information in real time, both visually and chronologically, allowing investigators to centralise information about crimes as they happen or are reported.”

FICTION: No matter where people go in the world of Minority Report, one’s biometric data precedes them, allowing corporations to tap into their government profile and target them for advertising based on their highly individual characteristics. So fine-tuned is the process that it goes way beyond gender and lifestyle to mood detection, so that while Anderton flees through a subway station and then later a mall, the stores and billboards call out to him with advertising geared at his interests and moods. Eventually, in an effort to outwit the identification scanners, Anderton opts for surgery to have his eyeballs replaced.

REALITY CHECK: Google is presently working on context-based advertising that will use environmental sensors in your cell phone, laptop, etc., to deliver “targeted ads tailored to fit with what you’re seeing and hearing in the real world.” However, long before Google set their sights on context advertising, facial and iris recognition machines were being employed, ostensibly to detect criminals, streamline security checkpoints processes, and facilitate everyday activities. For example, in preparing to introduce such technology in the United States, the American biometrics firm Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI) turned the city of Leon, Mexico into a virtual police state by installing iris scanners, which can scan the irises of 30-50 people per minute, throughout the city.

Police departments around the country have begun using the Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System, or MORIS, a physical iPhone add-on that allows police officers patrolling the streets to scan the irises and faces of suspected criminals and match them against government databases.

FICTION: In Minority Report, John Anderton’s Pre-Crime division utilizes psychic mutant humans to determine when a crime will take place next.

REALITY CHECK: The Department of Homeland Security is working on its Future Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, which will utilize a number of personal factors such as “ethnicity, gender, breathing, and heart rate to ‘detect cues indicative of mal-intent.’” At least one field test of this program has occurred, somewhere in the northeast United States.

FICTION: In Minority Report, government agents use “sick sticks” to subdue criminal suspects using less-lethal methods.

REALITY CHECK: A variety of less-lethal weapons have been developed in the years since Minority Report hit theaters. In 2007, the Department of Homeland Security granted a contract to Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc., for an “LED Incapacitator,” a flashlight-like device that emits a dazzling array of pulsating lights, incapacitating its target by causing nausea and vomiting. Raytheon has created an “Assault Intervention Device” which is basically a heat ray that causes an unbearable burning sensation on its victim’s skin.

FICTION: A hacker captures visions from the “precog” Agatha’s mind and plays them for John Anderton.

REALITY CHECK: While still in its infancy, technology that seeks to translate human thoughts into computer actions is slowly becoming a reality. Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at UC Berkeley, and his research team have created primitive software capable of translating the thoughts of viewers into reconstructed visual images.

FICTION: In Minority Report, tiny sensory-guided spider robots converge on John Anderton, scan his biometric data and feed it into a central government database.

REALITY CHECK: An agency with the Department of Defense is working on turning insects into living UAVs, or “cybugs.” By expanding upon the insects’ natural abilities (e.g., bees’ olfactory abilities being utilized for bomb detection, etc.), government agents hope to use these spy bugs to surreptitiously gather vast quantities of information. Researchers eventually hope to outfit June beetles with tiny backpacks complete with various detection devices, microphones, and cameras.

These are but a few of the technological devices now in the hands of those who control the corporate police state. Fiction, in essence, has become fact—albeit, a rather frightening one.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He can be contacted at Information about the Institute is available at

Labor Day, A Celebration of an Empty Victory of Socialized Labor

By Daniel Downs

The history of Labor Day begins in the late 1800s. During this period, labor unions arose to defend American workers against systemic injustice. Unions empowered workers to fight for safe and humane working conditions and for livable wages. The success of the unions what the Labor Day is all about.

Thus celebrating the American worker is the collective expression of triumphant labor union socialism.

Labor union socialism was fueled by the rise of mass production factories, low wage labor, and unjust working conditions. Although socialism was not a necessary way to resolve conflict between management and workers, it was the means federal courts and some state officials supported. Thus, Labor Day is the continued celebration of the victory of workers over corporate bureaucrats.

How has the victory of labor union socialism benefited American workers? The direct and indirect results of unionization include minimum wage, child labor laws, worker safety laws, overtime pay, holiday pay, vacation pay, flex-time, and similar developments. Union politicians are still attempting to make health insurance mandatory as well.

Unionization of labor also has caused Americans some losses. Because unionization excludes non-members, low-wage labor has been maintained. It’s rationalized under the labor market. It’s obvious that some jobs are more productive and contribute more value to a company’s product and service. For example engineering design new products, manufacturing make those products, and sales convince people to buy them. Such jobs are more profitable than maintenance, data entry, or customer service. The demand for certain job skills over others makes those job skills more valuable. Therefore, jobs requiring high demand skills pay more than those in less demand. The same applies to products and services. Therefore pay scale often reflects those market values.

The primary source of operating finance for corporations is the sale of stocks and bonds. Yet, this method of operational finance diminishes the overall value of labor. It is the result of the liability to investors. Another way to look at it, businesses must payback their loans with interest to their lenders, which happen to be investment bankers, stock market traders, and other investors.

A predominate group of early Americans, Thomas Jefferson included, regarded that form of corporate finance as a leech sucking the financial life out of American workers. That group of early Americans attempted to limit legislative representation to agricultural entrepreneurs, industrial craftsmen (machinist, foundry, blacksmiths, etc), merchants, and …. They believed only natural labor and those that served them actually promoted the common good of all. Corporations were regarded as quasi-government institutions and investors as non-laborers. They simply used money of others to make more money which in turn took more money from those whose labor added to the productivity of all.

Nevertheless, the Hamiltonians eventual succeeded in making bankers and investors a class represented in government.

The underlying principle of the value and rights of workers is found in natural law. The product labor belongs exclusively to the worker, not to government or anyone else. That is also why natural labor was also tied the value of owning property, because it was the means of production. Labor added value to productive property, according to natural law. This product of labor to property belonged solely to the laborer and conferred property rights to him or her. A property deed originally was an official recognition of productive use of property. Whether the value added was by planting crops, vineyards, raising animals, or building a house and barns, the land, the produce, any trade were summed up under property rights and a deed secured those recognized rights.

Labor unions have been counterproductive. They employ an ideology contrary to natural law embraced by our founders. Labor union’s victory undermined what should have been achieved by application of law. The reality produced has been a conflict between worker and management, between laborer and laborer, and between citizens.

Thomas Jefferson wanted all Americans workers to earn a livable wage. Actually, Jefferson used high wages meaning able to enjoy financial independence and enough leisure to cultivate or maintain moral character and cultural skills as well as enjoy one’s social relations. Being dependents of corporate and government bureaucracies was not part of the plan.

In a society in which all are mostly dependents of corporations, unions, and government, many workers have lost their natural property rights. Labor Day will never be meaningful of the American worker until they regain the right to their product of their labor. As Thomas Jefferson put it, low wage labor is slave labor. If one’s labor does not produce ownership of the bare necessities of life like food, clothing, and transportation as well as ownership of one’s home secure from theft by criminals and government, then Labor Day is more a mockery of the American worker. It remains an allusion perpetuated by self-ingratiated elites and their talking heads.

Women Lawyer’s Perspective On Legitimate Rape

Rebecca Kiessling is a family law attorney who wrote several informative posts/articles about the origin and legal problems of legitimate and illegitimate rape in abortion and rape laws. Her articles show how liberals are distorting Congressman Akin’s “use of legitimate rape” for political advantage. In fact, Akin was not claiming some rapes to be legitimate but rather that it was his understanding that the medical profession made that distinction.

Kiessling’s post addressing the unfortunate remark by Congressman Akin is titled “Another Good100% Pro-Life Candidate Flubs on the Rape Question” and her article about the legal issues related to abortion and legitimate rape is titled “woman Who Cried Wolf: The Illegitimate Rape Claim Behind Roe v Wadw,” both are worth reading.

Persons, Families & Jobs

By Daniel Downs

It would be ease to say there are only two types of persons, two types of families, and two types of career paths. Anyone who would dare make those claims would be labeled naïve or plain dumb. In our complex society, a view such as there are some people who do well in life and those who do not, or, some people grow up in homes in which a can-do mentality infected every cell of their being as well as their future, while there are others whose surroundings are permeated by every form of can’t. Their life and happiness either thrive or shrivel with achievement, lack of success, or possibly over-achievement. And, then, there are those whose life work is realized and those who are always seeking to make it to the end of the next pay check. That is not to say ever person who achieves the American dream or realizes their life mission becomes rich or doesn’t have financial difficulties. A low to moderate income is not as big a deal to him or her as to the one who is lost in the black hole of modern culture alienated from his or her best self, a hopeful future, life enhancing relationships–or simply life purpose. However, living well is of paramount importance.

Living well could simply be defined as being born into a good family, growing up well, learning well, pursuing and achieving one’s life work, marrying a good partner, raising kids after one’s own image and likeness, not divorcing, maintaining good friendships, contributing to the good of others and society, living in right relationship with author of life, having hope for an eternal life with God, and having more good memories than painful ones at the end of life.

Of course, all of the above is too simplistic a definition of life for modern people living in such a complex society of great cultural diversity and political sophistication. Let’s face it; today even human nature is no longer something definable. At least that is what modern academies and other social institution now teach.1

What about jobs? What does a definition of life have to do with jobs? Let’s try to define jobs. Jobs enable people to pay bills. Jobs are what people must do in order to maintain sanitary, healthy and safe environments. The instruments used to maintain a complex society maintained are jobs. Jobs are statistical outcomes generated by the science of political economy. Jobs feed the machine of government and corporation, but machine continues to exist on a diet meaningless people. As such, jobs are dime-a-dozen sink-holes. They are the abode of the masses. Jobs may be necessary activities but they offer an exciting swirl in the black hole of modern culture’s progressive void. For some, jobs are necessary evils. Nevertheless, jobs are symbols of life led by the anti-Christ, merely a number of a man (or a woman).

Remember, your social security number. Few, if any, can buy or sell without it. Citizens of most nations also are required to have a similar national id number.

What the world needs now is not a devilish political economy that maximizes power, wealth, security, or other special interests of an unmoral and relatively few persons. What we all need is simply a society and culture that maximizes life—a life lived well. Such a simplistic society would probably look like human nature at its best.


May I suggest a starting point to begin the work of reconstructing for such a society? The founding fathers of our nation and most societies started with God. A real relationship with the non institutionalized and black-boxed God and His Christ might be the best way to start the process of recreating personal life, family, government, and culture.


1 Massimo Pigliucci, “Is There Such A Thing As Human Nature?” Science 2.0, November 18, 2008, accessed July 21, 2012,