Sunday, January 29, 2006

Fight for a better world than this

Today's Progressive Review contains three stories about the pathetic thuggery of our government. The first comes from Georgia, where the ACLU released files showing extensive spying by the FBI, Homeland Security, and other agencies on citizens who express opinions that differ from the government's -- even in the matter of diet. Vegans picketing outside a ham store were watched by an undercover Homeland Security detective. One of the protesters noticed him, however, and came over and wrote down his license plate number (a wise precaution with such stalking). The detective demanded the paper, which was refused, and the protester was taken to jail.

The ACLU is also fighting the "ideological exclusion" provision in the Patriot Act that denies visas to foreign scholars that the government doesn't like (or fears).

And then there's the secret "no-fly list," which prevents journalists, activists, politicians, and many other people, even babies and toddlers, from boarding planes. It is said that there are 80,000 names on the list. There is no way to find out if you're on it until you try to board your flight. There's no way to find out why you're on the list and no way to get your name removed. Senator Ted Kennedy and Representative John Lewis found that they were listed and had to make several phone calls to get themselves off. Most of us, however, lack their connections.

A four-year-old was stopped, and the braindead processors held him until higher-ups from the transportation security administration cleared him. He had to go through the same process again on the return flight.

French journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy recently toured the country, calling himeself a new Alexis de Tocqueville. It was de Tocqueville (Democracy in America, 1835) who coined the term "tyranny of the majority," but Lévy was determined not to see it. Another useful idiot for this bitter, scared, thuggish America is, for example, "eco-entrepreneur" Shea Gunther, proud to be "100% American" as he calls for debate and then censors all of it. There is a better America, but it is the enemy of the one we have.

Go saoraid!

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