Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Papers Please

On the way to school this morning we were listening to a story about the new Arizona illegal immigrant law...you know...the one where police can ask for proof of citizenship of anyone they think might be here illegally....

From the mouth of Oliver Pierce, age 13.."there is nothing more fascist than a police officer going up to someone for no reason and asking for their papers."

As least 13 year olds know the makings of a police state when they see one.

Maybe I am just cranky from packing all day or because I got a ticket this morning or maybe Oliver is right.

We had a Republican administration that was intent on running the Constitution through the shredder and its Democratic successor had done nothing to repair the damage. We are subject to full body scans at airports, our emails and phone conversations are sifted, filtered, and scanned. In public places we are filmed, taped, and watched. The authorities have access to our every movement through the interaction of our cell phones with cell phone towers. We detain people without according them the rights of prisoners of war while denying them the protections once offered by our Constitution.

Coercive interrogation is another phrase for the word torture. Rendition is another word for kidnapping. We have secret courts, we have secret warrants, we have secret trials...

Our government tells us that these measures are needed to keep us safe. There is now a bill poised to go before Congress that would strip the citizenship of anyone "affiliated" with a foreign terrorist organization as defined by the State Department...(see link). We used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave...not the cowering and cringing.

My son doesn't want to be safe...he would rather be free...and so would I.

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