The United Police States of America:
While the leaders of the Eurozone governments continue to force austerity and privatization on its member states at the direction of the IMF and Washington, and while protesters are being gunned down in the streets of the Middle East, it is evident that a war is being waged against democracy across the globe. Whether it is Greece and Italy, whose governments are
ruled by unelected economists and bankers, or it is Egypt, whose military refuses to release its grip on control, democracy is being denied. As we have so clearly learned in the past few months, the United States is no different. The 1% has no interest in our freedoms and no plans to relinquish control of our government. As has been evidenced repeatedly, the government of this country is practicing what it has preached in other countries throughout our tarnished, shameful history of supporting oppression. The United States has a well documented history of installing illegitimate regimes that allow for the complete transformation economies into disastrous ‘free market’ beasts that socialize debt to the people via taxation and austerity measures while reaping gluttonous profits from the privatization of everything, from education to the post office to the mines and oil fields to the labor force. This has been the means of conquest since the late 1960’s, as it became
necessary during the Cold War to develop more subtle methods of warfare. Our government mastered these techniques and with them, have brought most of the world under the combination of the debt weapon and the police state.
Here in the United States, we have seen a slow erosion of our rights and liberties. It has come in ways that have been largely unnoticed through the legislative process. Passing laws that require permits for protests is unconstitutional, as I’m pretty sure Jefferson, Franklin, Washington and the rest didn’t intend for me to have to seek permission to speak my mind. Yet it is with these Gossamer threads that they first begin to restrict democracy, instilling in the population the idea that they ‘must’ have a permit.
Other attacks on our liberties have been less subtle. The Patriot Act dropped like a lead curtain in the early days after September 11. It came down with such chilling speed, one cannot help but wonder how long it had been waiting in the wings for the right opportunity to enact it. With it, the government broadly expanded the use of domestic spying while shrinking our rights to and expectations of, privacy. The result is a government who can, simply by declaring you a threat, have a private ‘security contractor’ go into your email and web history to see everything you’ve been doing. They can listen in on your conversations, read your personal texts and track your movements. The Patriot Act seems to have been developed not to keep us safe from an over-hyped enemy, but to be used as a tool with which to monitor and crackdown on dissent. If you doubt that, take a look on top of the stoplights next time you drive through Osage Beach or Camdenton. Look at the cameras there. They aren’t ‘red light’ cameras, those were found unconstitutional by the Missouri Supreme Court. Tell me why they are there.
The coordinated efforts to silence the press has also been tried in the regimes we have supported abroad and, as Egypt and Yemen and the rest of the Arab Spring has shown us, it is having the opposite of the desired effect. The police here are making obvious their intent to restrict members of our media from covering their handling of protesters. While we see Egypt, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen in the news, it is hard to make an argument for allowing the police to hide their actions against protesters in this country. It is unconstitutional, it is being directed by our government, and it is traditionally followed with increasing brutality, if the people do not resist this behavior and decry its use.
Currently, Congress who have failed the 99% so spectacularly, seem to have figured out how to pass a law that will allow them to shut down social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and for that matter, ANY internet site it deems to be infringing on ‘intellectual property’ rights (yes, it’s intentionally vague). That’s right, shut down. As in, turn off. Can you imagine how handy that will be when, say, the NYPD are ordered to evict Zuccotti Park again? Turn off social media sites temporarily under the
guise of files being illegally shared or some other violation of ‘piracy’ laws they could invent as a reason to throw the switch. China’s police state has total control over its internet, for example. See how handy that tool is? Remember, the San Francisco Bart Transit Police already shut off cell phone access during a protest in order to disrupt communication and transmission of video earlier this year. They are working to pass the SOPA act through the House and its partner the IP Act in the Senate. This will then give the government complete control over what we see, read, who we talk to and how we talk to them.
As we are witnessing increasing hostility on the side of the police toward protesters, we cannot ignore the chains that appear to have been slipped around our own democracy. We are seeing a coordinated effort by the 1% who control our government to silence the voices of the rest of us. They are threatened by what it is we have to say. We are beginning to rise from our slumber as we see our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, pepper sprayed on a college campus and we feel the
tug of the chains they have given us and hear the lies they tell us to make it ok. We hear them say somehow the kids deserved it. Just like the old lady, I suppose. The pregnant woman too, and all the rest.
We are waking from our lethargy as we see Egypt back on the news, their citizens victims of a massacre, shot dead in the streets by the military rule our government supports. We feel again the strain of their chains on our democracy as a cold certainty begins to dawn in us. If they support it there…
One link at a time, one lie at a time, their chains are giving way.