It has become obvious to many of us that there has been a profound shift in the conduct of our government, particularly during the Bush administration. This shift has brought increased pressure and harassment against those of us who are trying to make a positive difference in the world.
This shift has brought violations of free speech, violations of free press, violations of free associations, violations of free trade, violations of free travel, violations of ... well, I think you get the picture ... all in the name of national security. Things that were considered acceptable and normal in a democratic society only a few months ago are now bringing seizures of property by Homeland Security, arrest and disappearances of independent reporters, and a spiraling environment of fear and surveillance by what is rapidly becoming the most oppressive government in the world.
This means the environment for activists like you and I is becoming increasingly dangerous, which is typical in a society on the verge of collapse. The sad thing is, it doesn't have to happen, but can only be prevented if the government backs off from this campaign of terrorism. Yes, I said it, the United States government has, itself, become a force of terrorism in the world, particularly against its own citizens. Those who don't believe me had best start paying attention to what is happening.
Another part of the threat is, it is not just at the national level that this is happening. Local governments are joining in. Just last September (2007), a student at UCLA was tasered for trying to get a straight answer out of John Kerry. And this was after John Kerry told them it was alright, that he was willing to answer the question. Considering that tasers have been proven to be potentially lethal, this act was irresponsible, dangerous, and oppressive to the student's right to participate in an open-to-the-public event.
The Bush administrations invocation of "free speech zones" that isolate officials from any signs of protest against their policies was expanded in March (2008) to force "Free Tibet" protesters away from the path of the Olympic torch. In Denver, in preparation for the Democratic National Convention, the police department already has an area chosen for a "free speech zone" that all but guarantees convention goers won't be "inconvenienced" by hearing anything from the protest groups. They are already spreading word that even passing out protest fliers may (read will) result in arrest for trespassing ... including the otherwise open-to-the-public sidewalks around the convention center.
Censorship has also raised its ugly head, particularly if the subject matter has to do with global warming or anything that might threaten the strangle hold the oil and coal industry have on our economy. James Hansen, a noted and respected scientist with NASA, was the subject of a recently published book, Censored Science by Mark Bowen, that reveals his reports and those of other NASA scientists regarding global warming issues have been officially censored for years. Just this past week (July 2008), we have learned that Vice-President Dick Cheney's office intentionally removed EPA testimony about the health impact of global warming from the congressional record, citing concern over the science involved, a decision made by NON-scientists who have done ZERO research.
Individually, the myriad of events may seem insignificant, but when viewed in the broad spectrum of events, a disturbing and dangerous pattern emerges, screaming, as the title of this post says ...