Close your eyes.
Imagine you are George Winston.
It is 1984.
You are concerned about Big Brother watching you.
The technology of control scares you.
The clock is striking thirteen.
Hey! Hey! Hey! She was just walking down the street, and they come blasting, chased by the heat. The kid is playing outside while he is asleep, and now one is lost with memories left to keep. And some days I can’t even watch the news. It’s killing me to see the good guys lose. ‘Cause guns are not the things of play. This weapon claims lives and …continue…
“The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself…Almost inevitably, he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.”—H.L. Mencken, American journalist It’s vogue, trendy and appropriate to look to dystopian literature as a harbinger of what we’re experiencing at the hands of the government. Certainly, George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm have …continue…
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”—Patrick Henry Imagine living in a country where armed soldiers crash through doors to arrest and imprison citizens merely for criticizing government officials. Imagine that in this very same country, you’re watched all …continue…
“[I]f the individual is no longer to be sovereign, if the police can pick him up whenever they do not like the cut of his jib, if they can ‘seize’ and ‘search’ him in their discretion, we enter a new regime. The decision to enter it should be made only after a full debate by the people of this country.”—U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas The U.S. Supreme Court …continue…
Reflections of a sculptor.
I am a magazine junkie. Love the things and find it hard to part with a lot of them. One day, it reached a point where I felt I was swimming in magazines and I needed to sort through them and part with some. I took up the task flipping through pages to decide which ones I could part with. I came upon a picture of Nelson Mandela gazing out of his cell. He had a wonderful peaceful look on his face. The article went on to tell how Mandela taught prisoners forgiveness. I was so moved. As a sculptor, I thought of doing a relief and putting it on my wall. I put the magazine away.
A few days later, a call for entry came in the mail from an art gallery asking artists to create a 3-D sculpture focused on identity. The intent was to create something autobiographical that would engage the viewer emotionally.
“Why should anyone trust a government that has condoned torture, spied on at least 35 world leaders, supports indefinite detention, places bugs in thousands of computers all over the world, kills innocent people with drone attacks, promotes the post office to log mail for law enforcement agencies and arbitrarily authorizes targeted assassinations? Or, for that matter, a president that instituted the Insider Threat Program, which was designed to get government …continue…
“A government which will turn its tanks upon its people, for any reason, is a government with a taste of blood and a thirst for power and must either be smartly rebuked, or blindly obeyed in deadly fear.”—John Salter How many children, old people, and law-abiding citizens have to be injured, terrorized or killed before we call a halt to the growing rash of police violence that is wracking the …continue…
Just in time for Memorial Day, we’re once again being treated to a generous serving of praise and grandstanding by politicians and corporations eager to go on record as being supportive of our veterans. Patriotic platitudes aside, however, America has done a deplorable job of caring for her veterans. We erect monuments for those who die while serving in the military, yet for those who return home, there’s little honor to be found.
Living in a free society means not having to look over your shoulder to see whether the government is watching or fearing that a government agent might perpetuate violence upon you.
Unfortunately, as I detail in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, subjected as we are to government surveillance, body scanners, militarized police, roadside strip searches, SWAT team raids, drones, and other trappings of a police state, “we the people” do not live in a free society any longer.
Not only are we no longer a free people but we have become a fearful people, as well, helped along in large part by politicians eager to capitalize on our fears. As Julie Hanus writes for Utne: “Since the 1980s, society at large has bolted frantically from one panic to the next. Fear of crime reduced us to wrecks, but before long we were also howling about deadly diseases, drug abusers, online pedophiles, avian flu, teens gone wild, mad cows, anthrax, immigrants, environmental collapse, and—let us not forget—terrorists.”