Emergency rule emergency? How authorities are invoking crises to exercise unprecedented power

Days after the 2008 election, Rahm Emanuel famously issued what’s known today as Rahm’s rule.

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” said Emanuel, then chief of staff to President-elect Barack Obama. “And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

Emanuel argued the 2008 financial crisis afforded the Obama administration a window to promptly address problems that had previously been deferred indefinitely pending the long-term ripening of political consensus.

Fourteen years later, Emanuel’s now-famous phrase on crises has become standard practice in Washington, D.C., as officials in power regularly use what they deem “emergencies”— from viral pandemics to purported threats to democracy — to push controversial measures and restrictions on civil liberties that otherwise might fail due to pushback.

This trend was recently highlighted by President Biden declaring the COVID-19 pandemic over while still maintaining the national emergency declaration on the pandemic as his administration used COVID-19 to justify major executive action.

“The pandemic is over,” Biden recently told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in an interview. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape.”

However, the Biden administration has yet to lift the public health emergency that was first declared in 2020 for COVID-19. That declaration has allowed the White House to use the National Emergencies Act to activate special executive powers, such as restricting hours of operations at U.S. ports of entry.

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Canada wants to make financial aspects of Emergencies Act permanent

Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland wants to make permanent the invasive financial surveillance system introduced as part of the “Emergencies Act” to crush the civil liberties protests.

Freeland had announced the initial powers earlier this week to freeze the bank accounts of those who support the protests.

“As of today, all crowdfunding platforms, and the payment service providers they use, must register with FINTRAC and must report large and suspicious transactions to FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada),” Freeland said at the time. “This will help mitigate the risk that these platforms receive illicit funds; increase the quality and quantity of intelligence received by FINTRAC; and make more information available to support investigations by law enforcement into these illegal blockades.

“This is about following the money. This is about stopping the financing of these illegal blockades. We are today serving notice, if your truck is being used in these illegal blockades your corporate accounts will be frozen.”

Under the Emergencies Act, banks are required to freeze accounts without the need for a court order.

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Biden Quietly Extends the Federal National Emergency Declaration Related to COVID Beyond Termination Date of March 1st – Provides No End Date

The man-made crisis continues.

Old senile Joe Biden sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi noting that he is extending the National Emergency related to COVID well beyond its current termination date set for March.

The Conservative Treehouse reports:

Joe Biden informed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that he intends to extend the federal National Emergency declaration beyond its termination date in March. [STATUTE HERE]

By statute the State of a National Emergency expires one year after initial declaration. That meant the COVID National Emergency declaration was scheduled to end March 1st.  However, the statute allows the extension if the executive office informs the legislative branch within the 90-day window prior to expiration.

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Trudeau To Unleash Never-Before-Used ‘Emergency Powers Act’ To Counter Protests As US-Canada Bridge Reopens

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has learned that Prime Minister Trudeau “will inform the provinces he will invoke the Emergencies Act to give the government extra powers to deal with the protests across the country. But in a meeting with the Liberal caucus, the PM said there were no plans to deploy the military.” 

The move follows a meeting Sunday of the federal cabinet and its Incident Response Group (IRG).

Trudeau tweeted late Sunday that the IRG discussed “further actions the government can take to help end the blockades and occupations.”

Earlier that day, Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair told CBC’s Rosemary Barton Live that the federal government has discussed invoking special emergency powers to deal with ongoing protests in Ottawa.

Blair described the attitude around invoking the Emergencies Act as “appropriate caution” rather than “reticence.”

As CBC concludes, the law gives the federal government carte blanche to cope with a crisis, including the ability to enact emergency powers that allow it to prohibit travel within a specified area or remove personal property, while imposing fines or jail time on people contravening new orders.

This is basically the ability to unleash ‘selective’ martial law on Canadians.

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Despotism Is The New Normal: Looming Threats to Freedom in 2022

“Looking at the present, I see a more probable future: a new despotism creeping slowly across America. Faceless oligarchs sit at command posts of a corporate-government complex that has been slowly evolving over many decades. In efforts to enlarge their own powers and privileges, they are willing to have others suffer the intended or unintended consequences of their institutional or personal greed. For Americans, these consequences include chronic inflation, recurring recession, open and hidden unemployment, the poisoning of air, water, soil and bodies, and, more important, the subversion of our constitution.”—Bertram Gross, Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America

Despotism has become our new normal.

Digital tyranny, surveillance. Intolerance, cancel culture, censorship. Lockdowns, mandates, government overreach. Supply chain shortages, inflation. Police brutality, home invasions, martial law. The loss of bodily integrity, privacy, autonomy.

These acts of tyranny by an authoritarian government have long since ceased to alarm or unnerve us. We have become desensitized to government brutality, accustomed to government corruption, and unfazed by the government’s assaults on our freedoms.

This present trajectory is unsustainable. The center cannot hold.

The following danger points pose some of the greatest threats to our collective and individual freedoms now and in the year to come.

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New EU Law Would Allow Seizure Of Private Property During Pandemic Emergencies

The European Union is reportedly drafting legislation that would allow Brussels to take private property in the event of a pandemic emergency.

In an unpublished New Year message to his staff, the EU’s Intermarket Commissioner, Thierry Breton has laid out his plans for the creation of a “Single Market Emergency Instrument” which will include a “toolbox of measures” in order to guarantee the “security of supply during a crisis”.

The proposed measures are likely to be put forward during the spring and could include export controls and new powers that allow the EU to collect data from businesses on their production process, their stockpiles and supply chains for their products, POLITICO reports.

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North Carolina Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Have Reined In Emergency Executive Powers

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill on Monday that proposed to restore checks and balances to his executive powers, which have been extended amid the CCP virus pandemic.

“North Carolina is emerging from a global pandemic with lives saved and a strong economy because of effective statewide measures to protect public health under the Emergency Management Act,” the Democrat said on his veto.  “Critical decisions about stopping deadly diseases, or responding to any other emergency, should stay with experts in public health and safety, not a committee of partisan politicians.”

Cooper declared a state of emergency in response to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic in March 2020, a decision that heralded a year of lockdowns throughout the state and country.

The Emergency Powers Accountability Act (EPAA), or House Bill 264, would have required Cooper to get “concurrence of the Council of State” before “exercising certain authorities.”

The Council of State consists of bipartisan senior executive offices such as the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner, and the Secretary of State.

The bill would have created a definition for the concurrence of the Council of State under the EPAA, which would clarify how Cooper proceeds in seeking concurrence before acting.

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