Monday, December 19, 2005

"The most common characteristic of all police states is intimidation by surveillance. Citizens know they are being watched and overheard. Their mail is being examined. Their homes can be invaded"
- Vance Packard
We find out this week that Bu$h is allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on Americans (domestic spying) without warrants (something the New York Times had known about for a year, but didn't print until LAST WEEK), free to do as they wish with the approval of the the president himself. Bu$h said in his press conference today that he alone has the power to do what he wants, as described in the CONSTITUTION, in order to "protect our country." Unfortunately, there IS no such act or part of the Consitution that allows for the President of this country to authorize spying on American citizens without going through the judicial system. There simply isn't.
Bu$h incorrectly believes he can do anything he wants SOLELY because he is the President of this country. That is not democracy, that is totalitarianism. Dictatorship. Ripping the fourth amendment to shreds is NOT something this man and his political whores have free reign over. If they DO , then we are through as a country. If we (if YOU) aren't thoroughly OUTRAGED by this destruction of OUR Constitution, then we are not Americans. Today, this country is staring down the barrel of a police state and whether or not we allow this President to pull the trigger on us is tantamount to the survival of our democracy.
The government does NOT have the unchecked authority to do as they wish with our constitutional rights. In the Senate, those with half a brain filibustered the extension of the Patriot Act realizing what a frightening piece of legislation this Act truly is. Allowing the government the authority to come into your house and look around (sneak and peak) taking with them what they want and never having to tell you? Does that sound right to you? Listening in on your phone calls, both international AND domestic, obtaining the information pertaining to your computer activities (reading your emails, tracking what sites you visit, what you look at, what you purchase, who you IM and who IM's you), investigating all your credit card activities, what you check out at the library, obtaining your medical records and financial records, reading your MAIL, even FOLLOWING and SPYING on you. Is this what you want as an American? All this power in the hands of the government in the name of "keeping America safe?" Bu$h believes himself to be dictator, a KING, a ruler unconstrained by law.
Those of you who fall for his line of "protecting us from terrorists" as an excuse for destroying our Constitution are the most ignorant individuals in this country. Do you believe that they are ONLY spying on the muslims (cuz I know if that were the case, then you'd be fine with it)? You're wrong. The FBI has already admitted to spying on war protesters and peace activists in our own country. A college student at Dartmouth was visited by the Secret Service after requesting a book by Mao Tse-Tung from his college library. Writers of political blogs have received similar visits from the government. Where does this stop? Do you believe that YOU are safe because YOU haven't done anything wrong? Well what exactly is considered "wrong?" And if they want to listen to your phone calls so what, you STILL haven't done anything wrong? How do you know this? You have absolutely no idea what criteria they are looking for. No idea. And don't pretend you do.
Are you really willing to sacrifice your liberty, your RIGHTS, for so called "safety?" What comes next? If we say "OK, I will allow you to spy on me and my family and friends" because you fear for your safety THAT MUCH, then what will they take from you next in the name of safety? What rights will they THEN proceed to take from you without asking, knowing that you fell for their fear tactics in the past?
Will they put armed mercenaries/soldiers in the streets (like in New Orleans) to protect your "safety?" Will they establish checkpoints randomly throughout the country and frisk us before entering our malls and sports stadiums and public gatherings? Will they announce a curfew for our cities? Are you really ready to open your arms and welcome the coming marshal law that could very well be imposed against us by our KING? When do YOU speak up? When they come to take your gun? When a family member is dragged off to a dentention center for having an innocent conversation or exchanging an email with someone on "their" watchlist? Will you demand answers and action then? Will you let it get to that point? Or will you stand NOW and fight for you RIGHTS as an American citizen? This is not Stalin's Russia. WE are not supposed to have a KGB, but we do. It just has another acronym.
The attacks on 9/11 have been used against us as a weapon, swung in our direction to beat home the idea that without THIS PRESIDENT in charge, we are doomed. The belief that the only thing standing between US and complete annihilation from a WMD is our glorious, uber-patriotic President and his similarly patriotic cohorts in the House of Representatives. That is how they won the 2004 election and that is precisely how they continue to erode our Constitutional rights right out from under us without so much as a peep from the population. They scare you into submission. If we do not fight this, we have lost. Our country has essentially been taken over by an enemy that is determined to bring us to our knees. We can either bow to their actions and submit, or we can choose to follow the revolutionary spirit of our ancestors and fight for our rights.. The same spirit that ignited the first American Revolution is on the winds, beckoning us to once again save our young country from tyranny. "The British are coming, the British are coming!"
"Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety"
- Benjamin Franklin