“Reasonable” people call it Authoritarianism for the sake of “reasonable” conversation. People who are more interested in describing the trend we have seen over the last eight years of “Authoritarian” rule (not governance) allow their alarm and disgust to utter words that once did seem alarmist and unreasonable in reasonable conversation. Words like totalitarianism, tyranny and even the dread and semi-forbidden word….. fascism. Or perhaps even worse….Police State. These words have previously been used in The Land of the Free as part of the Cold War propaganda effeort to describe countries and governments behind the Iron Curtain. The thrust of the propaganda effort of course, was to point to America as a bastion of all things free and just and right, particularly individual and human rights. America MEANS Freedom, especially individual freedom.
The totalitarian tendencies of the Law N’ Order Right Wing are in full flower under the Republican Reign of Terror, every foreign policy decision looks like a nail to their hammer and every expression of individual freedom at home must be beaten down as well. Handily for them, the nations various law enforcers from the Attorney General and the DOJ on down to the security guards at your children’s school who may soon be armed with tasers, need only surrender to their own innate ‘Authoritarianism’ now that the example and theme has been set. The fish rots from the head down and you can smell the stench of tyranny all over the formerly Land of the Free these days.
Free Speech has been reduced to a right that only exists in zones, when it used to stretch from sea to shining sea. If you exercise your right to free speech or assembly outside one of the First Amendment zones….
The 47,000-square-foot demonstration zone that protesters call the “freedom cage” will have a chain-link fence atop concrete barriers on three sides. The fourth side will be open to pedestrians on a street south of the Pepsi Center, where the convention will be held Aug. 25-28.
…..you get hauled to a warehouse and caged behind barbed wire and threatened with the new standard for controlling unruly citizens, the tasers that are now used not as a substitute for deadly force as they were approved to be, but at the drop of a hat. Despite the many abuses and deaths that are attributed to overzealous “Peace Officers” armed with their new and deadly toy. If this is not a description of a nascent Police State, (under the guise of fighting ‘terrorists’) I don’t know what is.
The full spectrum of police and military will also be on hand at the Democratic convention in Denver, many of these units coordinated by a “fusion center.” These centers are springing up around the country as an outgrowth of the post-9/11 national-security system. Erin Rosa of the online Colorado Independent recently published a report on the Denver fusion center, which will be sharing information with the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI and the U.S. Northern Command. The center is set up to gather and distribute “intelligence” about “suspicious activities,” which, Rosa points out, “can include taking pictures or taking notes. The definition is very broad.”
Civil rights advocates fear the fusion center could enable unwarranted spying on protesters exercising their First Amendment rights at the convention. Documents obtained by I-Witness Video, a group that documents police abuses and demonstrations, revealed that the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency were receiving intelligence about the protests at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. The growing problem is that legal, peaceful protesters are ending up on federal databases and watch lists with scant legal oversight.
Oh wait, yes I do know something that sounds even more like a Police State….how about imposing martial law on a whole neighborhood due to the actions of a relatively few residents?
Officers armed with military rifles have been stopping and questioning passers-by in a neighborhood plagued by violence that’s been under a 24-hour curfew for a week. On Tuesday, the Helena-West Helena City Council voted 9-0 to allow police to expand that program into any area of the city, despite a warning from a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas that the police stops were unconstitutional.
Police Chief Fred Fielder said the patrols have netted 32 arrests since they began last week in a 10-block neighborhood in this small town on the banks of the Mississippi River long troubled by poverty. The council said those living in the city want the random shootings and drug-fueled violence to stop, no matter what the cost.
A practice which the freedom loving Republitatarian John McCain would like to see implemented in “inner cities’ across the Land of the Free. Presumably, the beacon of freedom will shine forth from guard towers on the Sadr City-like walls in his ideal world, Sadr City-like walls, only in Detroit and the Bronx and Compton. Really, Mccain wants to bring “the Surge” to American inner (poor, black neighborhoods) cities to rid them of crime. Why alleviate the pressure of poverty that leads to crime when you can funnel money to the MIC right here in our own cities instead of having to launch pesky invasions?
This is not how things are done in a Free Country, this is not how America is supposed to be. This is a government and ruling class at war with it’s own citizens. This is a government and ruling class that knows how unhappy its citizens are with it, but instead of fixing what they are unhappy about, has decided to repress, distract and control them instead. This is a ruling class and government that has totally and in a totalitarian fashion stolen the rights of its citizens and robbed and replaced a government of, by, and for The People with government and ‘law enforcement’ dedicated to protecting itself from its own citizens. And rightly so, since the government and ruling class has stolen America from it’s People, and replaced it with a third rate, fascistic Banana Republic and wiped out 230 years of the fight for civil rights and freedom….all merely to line its own pockets and fulfill its pretensions of plutocracy. At YOUR expense….and at the expense of real freedom in The Land of the Free..