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Harlingen, Texas - I find this town very interesting. Compared to the other Texas towns I have traveled through, this is Shangri-La. Seeing as how I’m in a state that prides itself on holding true to its outdated and misguided law enforcement, I am pleasantly surprised to find that hooking up a little herbal persuasion came quite easily. It is my assumption that the closer to the border one gets, the more accessible the weed becomes, or at least, that has been my experience. As every Texas town so far, it is flooded with what they’re calling “Valley Schwag” a.k.a. Mexican dirt weed. It is amazing the amount one can acquire with very little money, ranging from $5 for about three grams, all the way to a pound for around $250. “Some of the schwag is not that bad for the price” a local named Paul De La Cruz tells me, “I myself roll about 2-3 cigarillos a day and the blunts usually contain about 2 grams of bud.” For most, the price break is too good to pass up but I am a green bud sort of man. To my surprise, I quickly found access to what they claimed was dro. I was skeptical due to my previous Texas encounters but damn it if it wasn’t chronic, and I mean fire. It did cost me 60 for an eighth but I was curious to see how it held up to Cali’s best. Survey says: Sensimilla wins out but damn good Harlingen! I give you a 8 on my chronic scale. Keep on Rollin!
Top Ten Signs We’re Living in a Police State

1. Whistleblowers Being Culled
Deceiving the people you work for and spreading their information to the masses in most cases is a no no. Except when you are exposing a gross injustice and or breach of rights by the very ones charged with said rights defense. Then it becomes your duty as an American to expose the true evil. We see people like Edward Snowden, who are fighting for our rights at the expense of their own, being cast as traitors when in reality they are the true patriots of today. 

2. There are cameras everywhere 
You can’t go anywhere today without being recorded. From the traffic lights to the ATM machine, to your home computer, to in store tracking, every move you make is watched and documented. I don’t know about you, but I don’t recall voting on these matters. They just sort of appeared, for our safety of course. As far as regulation goes, there are none. Our government can access these feeds at any point, for any reason, as long as it’s a matter of national security. Which I’m sure it always is.  And who exactly is watching the watchers?

3. Your vote no longer matters
Despite all the evidence that these machines are built to be tampered with, touch screen voting machines continue to be used as this obvious security breach goes purposefully overlooked. For years, researchers have spoken out about the many flaws built into these machines. They have found ways to reject ballots, swap votes or accept 50,000 votes from a precinct with just 100 voters. Ask yourself if your vote still counts...

4. The News Only Tells You What They Want You to Hear
It’s no secret that the news is no longer the inquisitive and impartial figure that it once was. This is unfortunately something that those of us smart enough to realize have come to accept. There are those who mindlessly allow their decisions to be made for them by whatever one sided story they choose to believe, but they are already lost. When one must rely on the pirate bloggers of the world to seek out the truth behind the lies, it becomes obvious that our nation is far different than the way they want us to see it. 

5. The Loss of Free Speech
The last thing the government wants, is those of us who see what’s coming, to speak our minds. They have worked too long and too hard to covertly manipulate the general population into feeling that they need more protection, which by default means a loss of everyday liberties. So we see people like Adam Kokesh being arrested and facing prison, who by admission, have extreme methods but have done nothing wrong if we still feel that Bill of Rights holds any true meaning anymore.

6. The Government Monitoring Your Phone and Location
I don’t think this topic even needs to be explained, but I will continue for those of you living under a rock. Edward Snowden, who I mentioned above, was labeled a traitor and arrested for treason for leaking information showing that the NSA was, and continues to, illegally track our phone activity and locations. This is undisputed and should scare all of us. 

7. A Never Ending War
A big red flag is the War on Terror or the War on Drugs.These are wars with ambiguous goals that can never be fully reached. There will always be another step or another threat. These perpetual wars will never end, nor were they meant to. They were manufactured to give justification to supposed temporary measures such as: massive government spending, spying on American citizens, suspension of civil liberties, and massive military expansion. 

8. “Temporary” Loss of Rights
The Patriot act, in the same way as the wars mentioned above, was never meant to be temporary as we were told. This is exactly how just about every totalitarian rule in history has begun. We are told an extreme measure is necessary for protection, or whatever reason is conjured up, and it may mean a loss of certain liberties (also undefined) that will be temporary. Only put in place until the threat is over. Now twelve years later, the poorly named Patriot Act is stronger than ever, assimilated into every aspect of our governmental actions. 

9. Prison Camps
Halliburton subsidiaries were given nearly $400 million to build detention centers in the United States, for the purpose of unspecified “new programs.” There is no other explanation to detention centers than they are built to detain. Obama was quoted saying  that these centers were for “Prolonged Detention” for those the government suspected might commit terrorist acts. Might being the key word there. The question is, are they for us or them?

10. Signing Statements
Instead of vetoing or signing a bill, there is third option made popular by the Bush administration. These signing statements, when used deceitfully, can be used to bypass the judiciary and undermine the rule of law as we know in the United States. It allows the president to pick and choose which laws he feels like following and which to ignore. For instance, here is one that stands out to me: 
Bill Passed - Dec. 30, 2005: US interrogators cannot torture prisoners or otherwise subject them to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.
Bush's signing statement: The president, as commander in chief, can waive the torture ban if he decides that harsh interrogation techniques will assist in preventing terrorist attacks.
Obama was public about his outrage toward Bush’s decision to use such actions before he was elected, calling them “an unconstitutional end-run around Congress.” Obama has taken the very same action as president.
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