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Rubbing it in

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Message Bia Winter
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First, a little historical Perspective:
Back in 2004 we had the wisdom and foresight in our little Maine town of Mount Vernon to reject certain parts of the USA "Patriot"Act, parts that are an obvious abuse to the civil liberties of all Americans as described in the Bill of Rights and our Constitution.

Against the prevailing argument that these violations of our Privacy Rights would only affect "Criminals and Terrorists", our townspeople, including our staunchest Conservatives, reasonably argued that "If they've got it, they'll surely USE it" (especially true in a repressive regime like Bush/Cheney!) . The Resolution against the "Patriot" Act passed by overwhelming show of hands vote at our annual Town Meeting. We became the 356th town (and one of the smallest in the nation, which included big cites like New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles), to pass such a resolution.

As the realities of what we were warning against became clearer and more imminent, with Bush's many "Signing Statements" negating Congress; with the Neocon-stuffed complacent Judiciary looking the other way; and with new revelations of widespread illegal spying on innocent Americans' phones, internet, medical records, financial records and more, I suggested it was time to proudly display our Resolution in the lobby of the Town Office to remind people of our excellent and historic decision to resist these encroachments on our Liberties. I sent the town a nice framed copy. After all, it was with the hasty, ill-conceived, little understood and even less researched "Patriot"Act that all these abuses of power started!

When asked why he had the foresight to vote against it among so many others in Congress who were stampeded into signing it, Dennis Kucinich simply said "I took the time to READ it!"

Later, I found out it that framed copy of our town's resolution was deep-sixed in a drawer there, and as far as I know, it still is. The reason, I was told was that , OK, we won, but "Let's not rub their noses in it"!

"Rub what in?"
I asked, aghast, "That our Townsfolk wisely voted against a blatantly unconstitutional and landmark intrusion into our Privacy Rights ?
...and Whose Nose are we talking about, anyway? The obedient but short-sighted Sheeple who didn't see this coming, or the few powerful town Fascists who are deeply in denial about how far we've sunk towards Dictatorship?

Is it George Bush and Dick Cheney they are afraid of? Is that who the members of the House who just voted to allow this spying to go on unchallenged, and give Bush and the compliant Telecoms retro-active Immunity for their ongoing participation in this, are afraid of? Will the Senate again be cowed into submission by these Neocons?

Is this why the cowards won't impeach these criminals in the White House? Another version of, "We know, they've been very bad, ...wrecked our country, actually, but Ooooh, let's not rub their noses in it!"

Well, I say it's high time we rubbed it in, real hard, to get it through their thick priviledged skins. Nothing short of a sustained and determined popular effort will do it anymore, as we slide inexorably towards another war and a Dictatorship where we once had a Democracy and a Constitution that guaranteed our "inalienable" Rights.

Already Bush declares that we have NO legal recourse to censor him, and calls himself the "Unitary Executive" now (a fancy name for Dictator!) whose powers supercede all others that were intended as checks and balances. Are we going to sit back and take Cheney's insolent "So!?" for an answer? (we already know how he feels about Congress and public opinion.)

NOW is the time to contact your senators and vote this new FISA bill down. Also, tell Snowe and Collins to support the grass-roots effort in Maine to reject the "Real ID" standards as un-constitutional (Your papers please, your DNA, .. your chip under your skin like some dog!).

Once Bush starts bombing Iran later this year, we'll be all set for a police state, and then, People, we will have no further recourse to restore our Freedoms or maybe even our elected Democracy. Congress must IMPEACH them both before it's too late. For those who say there is not enough time left, the answer is,

                                    IT CAN'T WAIT!

THERE is the Rub, as they say!

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Bia Winter is an Artist/Writer from Maine, and has been an activist and letter-writer since the 60's. In 2004 she received the Roger Baldwin Award from the Maine American Civil Liberties Union for furthering Democracy after she got a Resolution (more...)
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