Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Liberty Again Denied - It is Sad How Little We Seem to Care

When I was growing up I knew the world wasn't perfect.  The government had plenty of problems.  And politicians were often more concerned about their egos than the good of the country.  And things like the McCarthy witch-hunts, Japanese internment, denying voting rights to blacks, Watergate were not far in the past.  But I never imagined how far the government would move to eliminate liberty.  I remember thinking how sad it was that perfectly fine books were banned in the past.  And yes, some silly little town here or there would remove books from libraries or schools.  That was sad but fairly minor.  But it seemed to me we now had finally learned how horrid our actions in things like the Japanese internment and McCarthy witch-hunts were.

Watergate was something plenty of politicians did to some degree or another but they had the sense to be ashamed and hide it.  That is different from endorsing and pushing policies to deny liberty to people.

I remember thinking how strange it was how concerned our founding fathers were with protecting us from government.  I understood why historically.  But it seemed like those days were long past.  Yes, occasionally government would overstep but that was getting cleaned up or just some corruption that is likely to always exist to some extent.

The sad fact is, today I am in the position of our founding fathers and much more worried about what the government will do to us that inspired by what the government provides us.  This is sad.  The types of behavior Homeland Security has been engaging in can be stopped if we elect people that care about liberty.  I am much more disappointed in the last 10 years than Watergate.  We are currently on par with Japanese internment and the McCarthy which-hunts.  That is in extremely sad place to be.  I think we are probably a step below those embarrassments but we are not far from them.

We need leaders that can steer us away from the path we have been taking.  I am scared for where we will be soon, if we don't find them.

Feds Falsely Censor Popular Blog For Over A Year, Deny All Due Process, Hide All Details...
Imagine if the US government, with no notice or warning, raided a small but popular magazine's offices over a Thanksgiving weekend, seized the company's printing presses, and told the world that the magazine was a criminal enterprise with a giant banner on their building. 
Then imagine that it never arrested anyone, never let a trial happen, and filed everything about the case under seal, not even letting the magazine's lawyers talk to the judge presiding over the case. And it continued to deny any due process at all for over a year, before finally just handing everything back to the magazine and pretending nothing happened. I expect most people would be outraged. I expect that nearly all of you would say that's a classic case of prior restraint, a massive First Amendment violation, and exactly the kind of thing that does not, or should not, happen in the United States.
But, in a story that's been in the making for over a year, and which we're exposing to the public for the first time now, this is exactly the scenario that has played out over the past year -- with the only difference being that, rather than "a printing press" and a "magazine," the story involved "a domain" and a "blog."

This type of behavior (ignoring liberty, acting like citizens and the constitution don't matter, acting like the governments our founding father's were afraid of) makes it extremely hard to give the government the benefit of the doubt in cases where the issues are more debatable.  I'll agree some issues the government has to deal with are challenging.  But if you want to have our understanding on the difficult choices and tradeoffs the government has to make you can't consistently trample on our rights for no reason.

Denying the first amendment rights should be an action the government takes in only the most extreme circumstances.  But instead we have a government that believes it should be free to deny first amendment rights consistently and if people fight really hard maybe the government will give in after awhile and no-one in government will care about the complete abdication of the bill of rights that is suppose to protect us from a government that could seek to act on the principle that might makes it right.  How any politician accepts seeing the constitution shredded like this is beyond me.  But then again it seems we don't elect people that care about what our founding father's did.  That is our fault.  And it is very dangerous.

"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak out for me."
Martin Niemoeller

Related: Freedom Increasingly at Risk - Society is being shaped for us while we are busy making other plans - Bikinis For Liberty - Tired of Incompetent Government Harassment

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