Sunday, December 18, 2005

Watch List This

After the 2004 election, I went a little nutty. My husband tried to talk me down, but I was angry and frustrated, but more than that, I was frightened. I described it at the time as being assaulted by the light after having the blinders ripped from my eyes. When the will of the people is thwarted and an election is so clearly manipulated, democracy is dead. I cried and I raged until I found the positive outlet I needed in this blog. I do have to admit to feeling a little bit better, but I still have the nagging fear of being “one of the last Jews in Germany”. Many of them saw what was coming and acted on their fears, leaving their homeland behind and finding safety in other places around the world. I see the vilification of blacks, gays and liberals every day. I want to stay and fight, but I have made sure that each member of my family has an updated passport just in case. The trick is recognizing when the fight has turned from crucial to impossible.

Those of us who scan the news each day, looking for the stories buried on the back page or at the end of the newscast that give a glimpse into what is really going on, can’t help but be simultaneously amazed and overwhelmed.

A woman on public transportation in Colorado refuses to show her identification to police as they make their way through the bus, as they do each day, checking the IDs of all the passengers. Her refusal to produce her “papers” results in her being handcuffed and taken into the federal police station. This is America?

A group of Quakers organizing peaceful protests against military recruitment for the Iraq War, protest being a longstanding tradition in the Quaker community, is added to a Pentagon “threat list”. These are the threats to America’s security?

A local Oregon toy store is forced to remove a toy from their shelves by Homeland Security Agents. Apparently a knockoff Rubik’s Cube is a threat to our national security. How many signs do we need that our government is nothing more than the enforcement arm of Corporate America?

I don’t know the answer, but I know enough to question what I see happening around me. The Real ID Act, The Bankruptcy Bill, The Patriot Act, the secret “no fly” list, corporate controlled media; all of these things may seem harmless when viewed individually, but put them together and we see an overreaching plan to keep tabs on all of us, keep us in perpetual servitude to corporations, keep us in line with unlimited powers of investigation, keep us from traveling to express our displeasure with the government and keep us ignorant of what this administration is doing, all the while keeping us isolated from one another. It’s an evil and well-executed plan up to this point, how far does it have to go before we do something about it?

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