Let’s Do Something About It
After an incredibly intensive campaign, all I can say is that I’m glad it’s over 🙂 I’m no great supporter of Obama, but of course, I’m glad he’s won. Romney would have been much worse.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Our country is going in the wrong direction in many ways. I read somewhere that this election was a battle between a member of the 1% and a servant to the 1%, and I think that’s right. The 1% definitely have gotten richer and more powerful under Obama.
The Occupy movements that surged last year might have fizzled out, but the anger and desperation of much of our community is still there. As things get worse and worse for the middle class – and let’s be clear, the pie is fixed, the more the rich have, the less we do -, the greater the likelihood for social disruption.
Obama’s government is getting ready for it. Already, police departments all over the country – even in the allegedly liberal Bay Area – are becoming para-militarized. They are acquiring weapons and vehicles – like the Ballistic Armored Tactical Transport (BATT) – which are used in situations of extreme internal disturbances.
They are also creating a full surveillance society. Right now many Police Departments in the Bay Area are using so-called license plate cameras (but which actually photograph wide areas around cars) to keep a record of the movements of every person who drives or rides in a car. Hundreds of pictures are taken of each car a year, and are then stored indefinitely, allowing the police to easily track the movements of citizens, know where they go, find their secrets (let’s not forget about the FBI files on Martin Luther King). That’s not enough, however. Currently the San Leandro Police Department (SLPD) is using traffic cameras to record the movements of cars, and wants to install surveillance cameras throughout town. The details of what they’ll do with them have not been released. Meanwhile, the Alameda County Sheriff Department is acquiring an unmanned drone that will allow them to spy inside buildings.
The para-militarization of the police also requires training, so police officers have started to conduct joint tactical exercises with the military.
The pretext, of course, is “fighting crime” – just like the pretext for doing away with habeas corpus and due process rights is “fighting terrorism” – but let’s not be naive. This technology, in the hands of para-militarized police forces, is to be used for social control.
I know to many people this may seem like silly conspiracy theory. If I suggest that you look at what happened in Germany in the 1930’s (and Eastern Europe afterwards), you may recall Godwin’s Law. But at least take pause and think about it.
I’ll leave this very long status report (which I’ll probably also share as a blog posting) with the words of wisdom of pastor Martin Niemöller:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.