Friday, July 11, 2008

Increasing Surveillance in the Name of Freedom

Firstly, let's figure out what we have the freedom to do in the United States. Do we have the freedom to say anything we want? Do we have the freedom to earn, shop, spend and consume? Do we have the freedom to be indifferent, to love, hate and breed? Do we have the freedom to think, play, work, and worship? Do we have the freedom to to steal, kill, lie, and cheat? Do we have the freedom to live the American dream, pursue happiness, health, wealth and justice?
All of the above? None of the above?

Universally, I would check "none of the above". After all, all citizens are not granted, relatively speaking, all of the aforementioned freedoms. Our "freedoms" are bestowed incrementally, based on wealth, power, status, race, religion, sexuality, gender etc. Assuming a distribution of freedom(s) exist, ranging from "none of the above" (totally disenfranchised American) to "all of the above" (Bush, Cheney), most people reading this blog would probably find themselves closer to the "Bush Cheney" end of the spectrum...however, maybe not for long.

President Bush's “They hate us for our freedoms!” rhetoric makes sense as he himself and those who travel in his circle seem mostly exempt from external control of any kind. However, could it be that all his "freedom" talk is intentional? Perhaps, in an effort to distract us from the blood curdling scream emanating from the "pot" marked liberty...the "pot" he is gradually bringing to a boil, in hopes that the people liberty serves to protect are too stupid to realize.

“Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other. -- President George W. Bush, during an address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American people, United States Capitol, Washington, DC, September 20, 2001.

"See, we love—we love freedom. That's what they didn't understand. They hate things; we love things. They act out of hatred; we don't seek revenge, we seek justice out of love." -- Oklahoma City, Aug. 29, 2002

"This is a nation that loves our freedom, loves our country." -- Washington, D.C, May 17, 2002
It's clear the Bush Administration is redefining liberty in the context of defense and security. Briefly, they are taking away our civil liberties in order to preserve what our founding fathers intended, the right for all men to be free. Their generosity knows no bounds as any potential "gold-mine" could become the target of their anti-liberty tactics to spread freedom.

Currently, the U.S. and the European Union are negotiating a "binding international agreement" regarding the transatlantic sharing of personal information; however, privacy and legal issues may prevent President Bush from signing this legislation into law before the end of his term. Europeans believe there are not enough safeguards against the possibility of the use of their personal data for reasons other than international security, not to mention, the lack of reliable procedures in place when people face the consequences laid out in the agreement in error.

Even more disturbing is Obama's sudden support of the FISA bill, a bill he promised to filibuster if necessary in the democratic primaries. More on him later.

"Nationalizing standards for drivers' licenses and birth certificates, and linking them together via a national database, creates a national ID system pure and simple."
-- Ron Paul


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