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beware the government

Remember the old saw, "When the government fears the people, you have liberty. When the people fear the government, you have tyranny"? Well, a recent discussion in arian1's LJ, I got to remembering the WTO police riots in Seattle. Started looking for some essays I wrote to the papers out there during that time, but couldn't find 'em darnit; I'll have to figure out how to get messages out of my old email account. Anyway, here's a sort of primer as a prelude to discussion of the coming Fascist States of America:

When I was a kid, I knew a bunch of cops who were very nice, except for an evil sheriff. One cop used to give me rides on his motorcycle. In college, mostly good experiences, too. So when the WTO chaos happened because of the cops, I was pretty upset, because it hit me in my faith in government. Suddenly I became aware that those in power can do what-the-fuck-ever they want, and what can We the People do to stop them?

The police created the "riots" during the WTO in Seattle, and I wrote a number of editorials to the Seattle papers after those power-drunk cops decided to unleash all their faggot-hatred against my neighbors, like a few of these things I witnessed:
  • Cops using a beanbag shotgun to shoot the guy coming home from shopping, arms full of groceries, for no apparent reason. Except they didn't like how he looked.

  • Cops pepper-spraying my neighbor, a young woman terrified of the chaos the police were creating, as she walked toward her car to escape the cop-created chaos. They also threatened her life if she didn't obey.

  • The two college girls tricked into opening their car windows so the police could mace / pepper-spray them inside their car. Why? Because they were in charge and felt like fucking with people.

  • Cops firing tear-gas into restaurants as they entered our neighborhood.

  • Cops tear-gassing hundreds of people who were peacefully protesting the fucking fascist police takeover of our neighborhood, shooting them with rubber bullets, night-sticking them, and so on. Why? Because they were singing "Silent Night" in solidarity with all their neighbors being attacked by the fucking cops.

  • Dozens of other incidents. 'Nuff said.

This is when I lost faith in the police as a force upon which to rely. I learned that they are no better than the average person (and remember, the average person elected Bush...), but better-armed and in power. One presumes this incident reflected only on individual bad cops, not an overall government plan.

Now imagine if the government decides to go Fascist. I've watched with growing dread as the Bushies chip away at our liberties while growing their own Executive powers over the people. They could track your phone calls and the books you check out from the library. They could track your internet use. They could arrest you without warrant and hold you in a secret prison indefinitely while torturing information out of you... and if you didn't have any information, they could keep you forever until you figure out what they want to hear and regurgitate their prompted information.

Oh, wait; the current administration is doing this now. This is why I fear our government: I saw how bad things can get if a few dozen cops get drunk on their power and create a riot of citizen-abuse. What does it mean that the Bush administration has decided to use this kind of tendency toward abusing power on a broader scale? This secret abuse of power is much scarier than the in-your-face abuse in Seattle: The Bush Fascist agenda is, for all intents and purposes, invisible. You can't fight what you don't see. And the right-wing-controlled media doesn't seem to care.

Why "conservatives" and "Republicans" support the current government creep completely stymies me. I mean, didn't the Republican party originally want smaller government? Yet it's now the party of deciding what people get to do; it's the party that is sanding away at the Constitution. I'm amazed that gun-rights-supporters still back the NeoCons... the Bushies are trying to institute a Fascist state, and they will eventually want to remove the liberty of personal firearms, as well. But first they need to erode all of our other freedoms. Is it any surprise that they started by taking over the media?

Look at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, a company that specializes in monopoly control of a huge variety of US and international media, taking advantage of this control to promote his right-wing agenda. If you listen to any of his NeoCon mouthpiece talking-heads (on FOX "news" for example), you'll hear that idiotic and inaccurate phrase over and over... because they know if you repeat lies often enough, people will accept them.

To see an example of how the NeoCons control the news, simply compare how they covered the huge myriad of scandals perpetrated by the Bush Administration to Clinton's lynching in the media over his little consensual fling with an aide. Republicans have been getting away with murder and the news media doesn't care; Clinton gets a blowjob and suddenly they can't get enough of it. Bush permanently fucks America's standing in the world, gets us mired in an interminable war over his daddy's enemy in Iraq (while ignoring the real issue in Afghanistan), behaves unethically in almost every way imaginable, and rubs shit all over the US Constitution, and the news says... *cricket* Oh, sorry; actually they spout his spin.

Did you see how the news recently covered Nancy Pilosi's commendable trip to Syria to try to finally DO something to improve Bush's Iraq debacle? They just barfed out the press kits distributed by the NeoCons. I can't believe Bush (that is, his puppet-masters) would have gotten elected if it weren't for right-wing news coverage and NeoCon-spawned spin. Remember Bush's first presidential debates? The guy looked like a deer in the headlights and had no answer to just about any question. He looked like an idiot. Yet the news media spun it as, "Bush did better than expected, therefore he won the debate!"

Yup, the "liberal media" at work: The Fascists even spin the spin... they get people to believe that the media is controlled by those who oppose them, further eroding the people's freedom and liberty. This is how one builds a Fascist state: Take over the media, take over the corporations, take over the police force, take over the law-making body (though we finally have hope now, with the NeoCons losing their majority), then, viola! The Fascist state now exists. Oh, and it really helps get people to go along with your agenda if you fill them with fear of the "other" - Hitler used Jews and so forth; the NeoCons who control Bush use "terrorists"; can you imagine a better phrase to induce fear in your people than "the war on terror"? Note how quickly Bush rushed off for his photo-op at Virginia Tech (terror on our doorstep!) while he didn't show up at the Katrina devastation for a long, long time.

They (NeoCons, Bushies, whomever controls the Federal government lately) are setting us up, and our only real hope is the Democrats' slim majority... that scares me, too. I mean, have you watched the Democratic party lately? Yeah.

This is all terrifying. If you let yourself fear what they want you to fear - diverting your fear from the real danger - them - you're helping them build the Fascist States of America.

Okay, taking a breather now.
Chris

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Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
arian1
Apr. 18th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
I am such an instigator.
mckitterick
Apr. 18th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
Yep, go you!
clevermanka
Apr. 18th, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
For me, the most terrifying thing is I have no idea what to do at this point. Voting, letter-writing, phone calls, it all seems to have no effect whatsoever.

What do I do? I'm not afraid per se, I'm just at a loss for action.
mckitterick
Apr. 18th, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
I know. It's frustrating to feel so powerless.
(Deleted comment)
chronovore
Apr. 24th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
I saw that there is actual movement toward impeaching Cheney now; I am feeling somewhat invigorated.
mckitterick
Apr. 24th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC)
Starting with Cheney is smart: Get him out before Bush to ensure that he doesn't just assume the mantle. That would be worse.
chronovore
Apr. 24th, 2007 05:53 am (UTC)
Yup. And doubly-scary when you think of how much he actually WANTS it. I mean, most people don't remember that The Grinch /ran/ for the office.
mckitterick
Apr. 24th, 2007 06:02 am (UTC)
Didja see this creepy video?

*shudders*
chronovore
Apr. 25th, 2007 05:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, that was pretty weird.
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Apr. 18th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean. This post came out of a debate I was having with a conservative friend who is blind to what's going on because the right-wingers are so good at spin and controlling the media debate.

Your theory about a Second Civil War sounds creepily probable. I'll go read that post now....
chronovore
Apr. 24th, 2007 05:57 am (UTC)
The thing is, The Right is not so much good at spin and controlling the media, as it is benefiting from a symbiotic relationship with the media itself. News is only a business (as it ever has been), and the big businesses that helped put these goons in power are the owners of the companies who set policies at their news agencies as well. Rupert Murdoch is out to rule the world, even indirectly.

There also seems to be a tacit agreement to not expose the Emperor's lack of clothes, for fear of total lack of access to the news that the emperor provides. I wonder if we even have a Woodward/Bernstein possibility in this era.
geekmom
Apr. 18th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
You know, you're going on a list for just posting that right now.
mckitterick
Apr. 18th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
It kinda creeped me out that I tried responding to this only to discover that my LJ was down for maintenance....
arian1
Apr. 18th, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
I will say one thing though. Everyone likes to rag on the cops till you need one :)
mckitterick
Apr. 18th, 2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, hey, I wasn't ragging on the cops! I was simply using that incident as an example of the power police had that weekend, even when not told to bust heads by a police state. Imagine how much worse if Gonzales gets to dictate whose heads get busted? The cop on the street will buy whatever crap the Bushies are selling.
chronovore
Apr. 24th, 2007 05:59 am (UTC)
Cops do a dangerous job, and are rarely appreciated as much as they should be. However it never excuses an abuse of power, or operating outside the rules that they're there to enforce.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )