Liberty Action of the Week: On the home front
- Liberty Action of the Week:
On the home front
by Mary Lou Seymour
While Bush continues his War of Aggression in Iraq (or, who knows, by the time you read this Iraq may have become part of the new American Empire and our military may be contemplating new countries to "liberate"), let's not forget the activities of his minions on the homefront, to put in place a police state under the guise of Homeland Security to protect us from terrorism. The draconian measures that were initiated as most of the country sleepwalked in shock in the wake of 9-11, and have continued to build for the past year and a half, are now escalating at a fever pitch.
You'd think that even the most complacent of the sheeple would grasp, even if dimly, the escalation of attacks on our personal freedoms, but, apparently not.
"With traffic-stalling vehicle checks on interstates, armed patrols inside subway tunnels and briefcase inspections at heartland statehouses, Americans encountered a new level of heightened security on the home front Thursday. Most seemed to take the inconvenience in stride." (Americans Face Check Points As War Begins, AP, 3/20/03)
Even the pretty darn blatant call for martial law by NJ Counter Terrorism chief Sid Caspersen, on March 16 ("If the nation escalates to 'red alert,' which is the highest in the color-coded readiness against terror, you will be assumed by authorities to be the enemy if you so much as venture outside your home") only caused an uproar in civil libertarian circles; where the ACLU denounced his statement as "essentially martial law," and North American Samizdat has awarded its Jack Booted Thug Award to Kommissar Sid, for "For taking off Big Brother's velvet gloves and declaring war on he people of NJ."
Obviously, our work is cut out for us. While our countrymen are glued to their TVs in rage and grief ... or vicarious thrill ... at the "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad, let's take action this week to remind them of a greater threat to our security and freedom than ANY hypothetical terrorist attach or WMD ... the steadily expanding police state at home.
On the congressional front, the draft "Domestic Security Enhancement Act" contains a multitude of new and sweeping law enforcement and intelligence gathering powers -- many of which are not related to terrorism -- that would severely undermine basic constitutional rights and checks and balances. Go to the ACLU "Stop the new Patriot Act" page to send an insant quick FAX to your Congresscritters on this enormous threat to our liberties at home.
Computer-Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System, or CAPPS II, a secretive new system for conducting background checks on all airline passengers, threatens to create a blacklist of Americans who cannot travel freely. This new government program would search secret intelligence and law enforcement databases and rate every airline passenger a red-, yellow- or green-level threat. Go to "Oppose the new airline passenger profiling system" to register your opposition to the blacklist.
While you're at it, send a LTE to your local and national media on these threats to our way of life. To easily find and contact local and national media use the Media Guide, a neat tool, powered by the Capitol Advantage system, where you can click on a state for list of media, choose by zip code, name of media, or even reporter or producer, choose up to 5 media at a time and compose a message to be sent to those media outlets.
At the same site, check out the Soapbox Alert, where you can get involved with your fellow citizens' issues, or even post your own issue, tailored so visitors can contact their Congresscritter or President for a small fee.
Finally, be prepared to defend your own rights at roadblocks and "terrorism checkpoints" and help inform and educate others of their rights (while we still have them).
Roadblocks Registry is compiling a registry of known and announced roadblocks, by state and county, as well as info on state legislation regarding roadblocks and publicity campaigns to eliminate roadblocks. If you know of any "terrorist checkpoints" in your community, be sure to add them to the registry.
Flex Your Rights has information on what to do at roadblocks, as well as a downloadable flyer (Adobe Acrobat format) for you to print, copy, and hand out to educate others.
For more information on your rights, R.J. Tavel's Freedom Law site has links to pro se materials on traffic stops, tickets, and right to travel, and, of course, there's the famous ACLU "bust card" ... no purse, wallet or glove box should be without it.
While we mourn the actions of our government's imperialism abroad, let's be sure to not slacken our efforts to prserve liberty on the homefront.
Til next week For Freedom!
PS: Don't forget, a buck or two in the "virtual hat" will keep this column alive.
PPS: This week's alternate actions, listed on the web site for this column, include "Bring Them Home Now", with posters, bumper stickers and signs to help you show your support for our troops by bringing them home where they belong; a Peace Poster Contest which could use some libertarian, anti-interventionist entries, and, the Moment of Silence action, to help spread the meme of peace and quiet in our troubled times. And we now offer even more alternate actions, and, a chance to discuss this column online in partnership with Liberty Forum! See the web page for details!
Yahoo! News - Americans Face Check Points As War Begins
Americans Face Check Points As War Begins http://news.yahoo.com/news? tmpl=story2&cid=519&u=/ap/20030320/ap_on_re_us/war_protecting_america_ 12
Red alert? Stay home <http://www.southjerseynews.com/issues/march/m031603e.htm>
ACLU:NJ Counter terrorism chief's Red Alert statement equals martial law <http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=12160&c=206>
JBT Award: NJ's Kommissar Sid <http://22.214.171.124/nas/jbt10.htm>
Stop the new Patriot Act <http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=11904&c=206>
Oppose the new airline passenger profiling system! <http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=12108&c=206>
Media Guide <http://congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/>
Soapbox Alert <http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issuesaction/soapbox/>
This week's Liberty Action of the Week on the Web <http://www.rationalreview.com/archive/mls/mls032503.html>
Liberty Action of the Week is edited by Mary Lou Seymour. Visit us on the web at <http://rationalreview.com>