Monday, November 12, 2007

American Democracy at Stake

We have had a president and attorney generals that have redefined torture. The current Attorney General nominee, Mukasy, will not say that waterboarding is torture and is illegal. Blackwater is our outsourced paramilitary, who seem to be immune to law.
We have been practicing rendition to our secret prisons and our not so secret ones.
We have laws that allow wiretapping, allow the president to declare any one--that is ANY ONE, citizen or not, an enemy combatant and relieve them of their rights of due process and freedom.
Early on after 9/11 the president declared "If you are not with us, you are against us" Thus. trying to silencing dissent as unpatriotic. Six years later, the media hardly covers any protests, and most protests are contained in "Free Speech Zones" far from any person or persons they might be trying to persuade, or inform. (Persuasion has been the means of peaceful discourse, or change--it is the reason why we have the first amendment rights of free speech, association and assembly).
The media pays more attention to the utterance of the "N" word by a "so-called celebrity" then they do to the fact that more soldiers died in Afghanistan this past month then since we went there in search of Osama. Thanks to Rosie O'Donnell for this insight Saturday at the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute Feminist conference.

I could go on ..but we know the grievances, we need to act.

Naomi Wolf outlined the 10 slippery steps from democracy down to dictatorship; and we are well down that staircase to hell. The 10 steps are:
Invoke and External and Internal Threat:
Establish Secret Prisons;
Develop a Paramilitary Force;
Surveil Ordinary Citizens, Infiltrate Citizens' Groups, Arbitrarily Detain and Release Citizens, Target Key Individuals;
Restrict the Press;
Cast Criticism as "Espionage" and Dissent as "Treason";
and Subvert the Rule of Law.

Citizenship is not a spectator sport--exercise your rights or they will disappear.

Naomi Wolf's The End of America : A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot (Chelsea Green, 2007)

Frank Rich's 11/11/07 NYT Column


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