I was born during the Cold War. It was us vs. the Ruskies. We were the good guys. Those in the Soviet Union were communists, prisoners in their own country, and they were bad.
I must be naive. I believed all that propaganda we were fed. I was taught to believe what Tommy Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence--
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Seems our government was spreading a bit of propaganda too. They told us how in the USSR the people were being spied upon by the dreaded, gestapo-like KGB. I went to bed at night glad that I didn't live there. I didn't want spies taking me or one of my family off somewhere in the middle of the night, disappearing without a trace, most likely being tortured while my friends were having a Push-Up ice cream, watching Gilligan's Island. Oh, how I loved the fudge swirl Push-Ups and Ginger on the island.
Moving forward to present day, it seems we're flooded with news and revelations on how the NSA has been spying on us and continues to do so. It's kind of funny, almost. Life in the U.S. is echoing Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy.
The NSA, FBI, CIA, DEA, and other 3-lettered groups that are so classified we don't even know that they exist, are breaking the law at every turn in trying to know what you and I are up to. Every call we make, every tweet we post, every stroke of our keyboards, every email we receive, every site we visit -- they're all monitored.
I'm not saying there aren't valid security reasons for this, but I'd like to know what they are. We have privacy laws.
Quick recap: First we find out the US spies on us domestically. Then the press accuses the 3-letter alphabet soup groups listed above and they reply, "Well, okay. You got us. But we only collected data on foreign phone calls into and out of the US. Otherwise, that wouldn't be legal."
Then we get Assange and Snowden and they prove that's wrong. So our NSA says, "Okay, well, we were just collecting telephone numbers, metadata. Calls weren't listened into, at least not domestically. That wouldn't be legal."
The comes Assange, Snowden and Manning who reveal secrets to demonstrate that's not true.
Then comes the confession from the NSA that, "You guys are good. You caught us with our pants down on this one. Okay, we have been listening in, but we weren't recording any of the calls. That would be illegal."
Well, the fearsome threesome becomes a foursome when Greenwald joins up with Assange, Snowden and Manning. Once again our agencies are proven to be lying. So then it's become, "Jeez. Let up a little. We did listen, we did record, we did so without warrants -- 'Hey, you're trying to talk all the fun out of the NSA.'"
This week it was revealed security concerns are invading our freedom of religious worship. Bigotry in big, bold, neon lights. The AP, through an article in Talking Points Memo reveals this.
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorism organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance.
Of course this was denied many times over the past 11 years, but I guess the standard 9/11 defense sounded reasonable. This is the Stop & Frisk city than until a court order to stop, invaded our freedoms with biased racial profiling.
The fact is with or without rights, justifications and laws permitting these spying and clandestined actions, we all have lost our unalienable rights. The government has seemingly avoided following the law and rules as set forth in our Constitution.
So what really separates us from the Red Scare of the '50s and '60s? Nothing. Everything we were told about the Soviet Union, the old USSR and how awful it was seems to be happening again -- but now to us.
At least they got health care. I'm not a socialist nor a communist. I'm a humanist. I believe in treating all with equal respect. I don't care what color, religion, sexual orientation, gender -- just do right by me and I'll do right by you. Don't lie to me and I won't lie to you.
With all of this said, maybe if the government just leveled with us, told the truth a bit more often, we might even trust them. In a June, 2013 Rassmussen Poll: only 24% Trust Federal Government to Do Right Thing Most or All The Time.
Can't they see the writing on the walls. We're going to come for them, armed with votes and in the case of the fanatics, second amendment weapons. It's time to end the craziness. Come clean. If you have to spy, tell us so. And do it. Go ahead. But every time you lie to us it's getting harder and harder to believe in you, or what might actually be the truth.