By Suzanne Deakins
Moving into 2017 we are faced with a lot of dangerous ideas. Not the least in the present equation of worry is the new President who seems to be determined to display a kind of prejudice that is frightening. His very presence on the national level has unleashed a tsunami of hate and prejudice of the worse kind on every minority group.
There is more than just the danger of losing what I consider our basic rights at stake. In the wake of 9/11 the Patriot Act was established. This act by Congress was supposed to give law enforcement the ability to share information to help avoid acts of terrorism.
This new act allowed agencies to snoop on our emails, record and listen to phone calls, investigate our financial records without a court order. It allows the law enforcement such as the FBI to collect all kinds of personal records, such as the use of the library, Internet sites visited, and much more. It uses abstractions to defines terrorism and acts of terrorism thus leaving the definitions up to those enforcing the laws and allowing law enforcement to come to their conclusions. Terrorism is so ill-defined that it allows any act that seems to be endangering (note the seems to be) U.S.A. security to be an act of terrorism. This could mean such acts as gathering to protest a government action, writing an article such as this that would cause concern, etc. The U. S. freedom of expression has been put in jeopardy by this act.
The security laws that have been enacted have allowed our lawmakers and enforcers to commit acts of inhumanity on fellow citizens and citizens of other countries. The prevention of terrorism and enforcement of national security has left us in a place of 180 degrees from our beginnings of a democracy. Where law was supposed to protect our freedoms, our lawmakers now enact laws to take away our freedoms in a guise of protecting us.
On November 30, 2015, it was revealed that the FBI had been collecting, Internet complete browser history including IP addresses of anyone you corresponded with, any on line purchases you made and the list goes on including any subscriptions you have over the Internet and others who take the same subscription. The FBI has collected screen names, account numbers, etc. I am assuming this would also include medical records posted in your accounts with groups such as Providence Medical, and of course a record of all telephone numbers stored on line including your phone.
It is a slippery slope a government travels when it begins to take away freedoms in the name of national security. History is full of the violence enacted upon citizenry when it disapproved or felt differently than the leaders. The Patriot Act allows payment for those reporting to the government anyone or group they deem as a potential or actual terrorist.
January 2nd, 2017 the Republican Party voted to significantly curtail the power of the independent ethics office. This was one more nail in the coffin of freedom for our citizens.
The LGBTQ community is easily seen as an alternative. It may be seen and is perceived by individual citizens as a threat. The answers to rectifying this situation is not violence against leaders. We must think differently than those leaders who have enacted upon this country these harmful laws that are silently stripping away our freedoms. You cannot solve or resolve a problem by the same thinking and actions that created it. The 2020 campaign starts now. Get involved helping to generate solutions that will bring true freedom to all people. Volunteer your help and money to help defeat the growing decline of freedom. No one person holds an answer; it is our combined efforts where we stop classifying each other regarding political parties, genders, and nationalities. Freedom taken from one group is taken from us all. We are one consciousness, mind, and body of humanity. Our differences are nothing more than the infinite variety of life expressing itself.