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No Tinfoil: We Have Been Living in a Dictatorship

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On Monday the Department of Justice posted nine memos containing stunningly un-American legal opinions that were kept secret during the Bush years. These memos were used to justify a shocking expansion of executive power and to nullify most of our Constitutional rights. Scott Horton of the Harpers Magazine writes:

We may not have realized it at the time, but in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship. The constitutional rights we learned about in high school civics were suspended. That was thanks to secret memos crafted deep inside the Justice Department that effectively trashed the Constitution. What we know now is likely the least of it.

Finally, the truth breaks into the mainstream media. Some of us did realize it, Scott; but I’m glad you’re writing about it now. I just hope you keep your eyes and ears open, because I’m not so sure that President Obama won’t try to hang onto some of these powers. Continue reading

I Refuse to Be Invisible; I Will Not Be Silenced.

constitution_quill_pen

On election night I followed the returns on The Confluence. I simply couldn’t stand to watch television or even listen to Fox News on my XM radio receiver. Watching the electoral votes pile up for Barack Obama, I just felt numb. I went to sleep knowing that I cannot do what I did after Reagan was elected or after the debacle in 2000.

Back in the ’80s, I simply shut off the media and ignored politics completely. I went into my shell, read books, went to movies and just tried to stay sane as my country was dismantled before my eyes. Even though I tried not to pay attention to what was happening in Washington D.C., I saw the results of Reagan’s policies as homeless people appeared in the streets of Boston and surrounding towns. Early in the morning, even in the dead of winter, I saw people sleeping in their cars in a Star Market parking lot in Porter Square and a big open space next to Memorial Drive near Harvard Square.

After the debacle in Florida in 2000 and George W. Bush’s appointment by the Supreme Court, I again shut of the TV and refused to read newspapers for awhile. But this time I couldn’t shut it all out. What was happening was just too scary. Especially fter 9/11, I had to pay attention. What I saw was a bloodless coup by large, multinational corporations. I realized that my country was really an oligarchy now. Elections are only a pretense, a sop to the masses to make us feel as if we actually have something to say about what happens in our country. Continue reading