Rights being eroded
Two recent letters in The Morgan Messenger were related to our developing police state, most particularly to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. It now appears that anyone can be designated a “terrorist,” picked up and taken away with no recourse to the constitutional rule of law. The next step is proposed Bill H.R. 3166, the so-called Expatriation Act, which would strip anyone of U.S. citizenship if so-designated. We live in dangerous times.
Those who do not know history will neither see parallels to what happened in Weimar Germany preceding the rise of Adolph Hitler nor to the McCarthy era in the U.S., when people accused of being Communists were brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee or Senator Joseph McCarthy’s accusatory hearings, and ruined for life. Those were the most egregious attempts until now to silence our rights to free and open speech.
We are again being watched, followed, recorded and put under suspicion if we speak out and say things that some faction or other simply deems to be un-American. Slowly but surely (and even more quickly), we are being subjected to intrusive searches at airports, random stops on highways and other insults to our persons.
Banks must report “suspicious activities,” highway signs encourage us to “See something, say something,” and we are told it is all for “Homeland Security” (of Nazi terminology).
This may seem distant to those of us who live in a more rural location such as Morgan County, but the same things are happening here, as well. A few weeks ago, I was having supper with a few friends at a local restaurant. We were discussing where the nation seems to be headed (in context of the things mentioned above) and of the historical actions taken by people when governments become overwhelmingly oppressive. None of this was whispered in secret. If anything, we were probably loud enough to disturb people at other tables. We were certainly not doing anything that could be considered as subversive in an openly democratic republic.
However, we were repeatedly cell-phone-photographed, and probably recorded, by a Morgan County personality at a nearby table. This is the worst possible kind of un-American activity. It is used to play on people’s fears and to keep them quietly in line with currently accepted government policies. I find it to be thoroughly disgusting.
John C. Webster