Tag Archives: obama

From Russia, With Love: Vladamir Putin’s Op-Ed Piece to Americans

Yesterday, on 9/11 no less, an article was ran in the New York Times by the President of Russia Vladamir Putin regarding the events unfolding in Syria.

In the article President Putin was almost flawless. He came off even keeled, thoughtful, moral, and was able to simultaneously give President Obama a nice poke in the side.  The article was part truth, part propaganda, and part “fuck you” to Obama. Frankly, I can’t believe that the administration allowed it to slip through their filters and find its way in the New York times at all.

The closing paragraph stood out most:

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

In a single paragraph Putin manages to make Obama look like a fool – like an elitist out of touch with the rest of the world at a time when the whole world is watching.

War in Syria and US Intervention

To anyone watching it is clear that the was in Syria isn’t about Syria and certainly is not about the citizens living there. It’s a carefully crafted game of Geopolitics involving the United States, Russia, and their respective allies. Both sides want control of the region and the transportation of natural resources. Almost no one really cares about chemical weapons or people dying – that is a facade. Chemical weapons are only a mask to hide the true motives driven by geopolitics.

The truth is that the civil war in Syria has been going on for years and there is proof that chemical weapons have been used in the region before (like here). Thousands of Syrians have already died – and it would be hypocritical for the United States to suddenly care about that now. Why? Because we have helped overthrow democratically elected governments before in the name of US interested.

For example, in 1973 in Chile the United States helped fund the assassination of President Allende. Subsequently began 17 years of harsh dictatorship, marked by arbitrary imprisonment, torture and imprisonment, repression of labor unions and denial of basic human rights [1].

So what has intervention really ever done for the people we are “helping”? Not much. Putin calls out this point too:

It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”

My Point?

My point is that maybe the United States should stop policing the world by force. Maybe we should focus on peace and diplomacy. That’s all.

Read about the concept of blow-back.

Affirmative Action: Self-Perpetuation of Racism based on Differences in Skin Pigmentation

Affirmative action broke on the scene to right a wrong. To level the playing field after years of oppression based on race and ethnic background that  plagues American history. Affirmative action was meant to blur and eventually erase the line created by socio-economic divisions created absent American values of freedom and liberty. BUT – is affirmative action still relevant in 2013 or does it perpetuate the idea that all people are not equals because of skin color?

Black & White

I’m a white man – but unlike a lot of white people in America I grew up in a black neighborhood in South Atlanta. I grew up poor and witnessed (and sometimes experienced) how racism, social expectations, and history can make life tough. All because you are a certain skin color, dress a certain way, and learn a different set of acceptable social norms.

Inequality exists not because their skin was black, specifically, but because society had set a certain standard for being black. And moreover, some black people set a certain expectation for themselves. It’s a subconscious and cultural phenomena that is almost impossible to notice unless you witness it first hand. It’s the common phenomena of rising to meet the expectations (or lack there of) expected from you.

If you are expected to “act black” you do. Just like if you are expected to be a gentlemen, become a lawyer, doctor, graduate college, or be a nobody – one usually rises (or falls) to the occasion.

So I do not deny, that even today, there are numerous cultural and historical factors that when combined act as a weight that make it difficult to be a person of color in the United States. Like the famous anecodote by Maya Angelou – the difficulties of racism are like a cage. No one bar serves to cage you, just like no one factor prevents an individual from being successful. It is when those factors combine – to form many bars of the cage – that trap you. Such is America, but still, does affirmative action really help?

Does Affirmative Action actually Help?

Most people who understand that many minorities are still hindered by the unseen forces of American society would argue that Affirmative Action is necessary. It makes things equal. But I disagree. From my view Affirmative Action, in 2013, serves to maintain the status-quo. Not to change it.

Affirmative Action is government sanctioned racism. It recognizes that people are different based on skin color and it plants a seed of racial inferiority in the soil of American societal foundations. It validates young black people’s idea that they are different. That they need special treatment to be successful. It validates the idea that their culture is more violent, poor, less successful, and incapable of being as successful as non-minorities.

While Affirmative Action attempts to address the social injustices faced by minorities it instead suggest certain individuals are less capable of conquering adversity. That certain groups need or deserve more help from the Government to be equals. It validates and sanctions a negative stereotype. What’s worse – it suggest that those minorities who have earned their place at the table of success did so because they were helped. They were given a hand-out so their successes are somehow less valid than everyone else’s.

For these reasons, among others, I think Affirmative Action in 2013 is counter productive.

8 Reasons Obama’s Presidency has failed

There are a lot of fans of the Obama Administration, but at this point I think there are just too many problems to ignore. Here are 8 issues I find especially troubling.

UPDATE: Washington post confirms the Government is pulling data from at least 9 separate sources including Google.

1. The NDAA – allowing for indefinate detention of U.S. citizens without trial.

2. CISPA – Would allow the Government to legally monitor all traffic and share information with ISPs. New evidence shows that they are already doing this, at least partially, (see #7 below) they just want to make it official!

3. Guantanamo Bay – still open, being expanded on.

4. Fast and Furious – The US Government caught red handed dealing arms to Mexican drug cartels.

5. Benghazi – 4 U.S. citizens killed in a terrorist attack.  “Stand down” orders were given to nearby U.S. Military responders, the administration knowingly lied about what happened, and all mere months before President Obama’s second election.

Note: Obama recently appointed Susan Rice as National Security Advisor (she lied about Benghazi over and over again). The interesting thing about this appointment is that it does not require Senate approval. Was he sending a message? I think so.

6. The IRS scandal – evidence of the direct targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.

7. The Government Spying on us – leaked papers recently proved that the US Government is tracking, logging, and data mining, all cell phone data.

8. The largest spy data center ever built – big enough to log every phone call conversation, every email, and every chat. Read about it here or here.

Big Government Part 1: Privacy vs. Security

On September 11, 2001 at 8:46am Flight 11 was rammed into WTC 1 at 446 mph. At that moment everything changed for America. The great nation and we people contemplated our own vulnerability. We were afraid. We were angry. We never wanted something like this to happen again.

Just over a month later on October 26, 2001 the Bush Administration exploited the fear and confusion among the American people to pass the most privacy-intrusive legislation in world history: The Patriot Act of 2001. Which begs a second question: How did they write AND pass such a comprehensive piece of legislation so quickly? (But maybe that’s another discussion.)

Surveillance State

Since 2001 it has become “common sense” that Americans will have to give up a piece of their privacy for the sake of “National Security”. The Government has since then installed at least 30 million surveillance cameras, built the largest spy data center on the planet, purchased a number of aerial surveillance drones, and more.

It is now fact that all of our emails, our voice conversations, and public actions are logged, tracked, and archived.

And in spite of Government surveillance capability tragedies such as the Sandy Hook and Auaura, Colorado shooting and the Boston Marathon Bombing happened. But instead of questioning the effectiveness of privacy related policy most popular media sources have demanded more surveillance.

Safety vs. Big Brother

I am not an advocate of the “Government is out to get you” school of thought, but I do question the appropriateness and effectiveness of the Government’s public safety tactics and installation Orwellian Big Brother style society. And while I do not foresee the Government becoming a Stalinist dictatorship (and least not anytime soon) – I do see a cultural shift of Government reliance – which I think is detrimental and dangerous.

For example, after the Boston Marathon Bombings local and federal authorities used the security cameras and surveillance data to identify and locate Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. In some ways this was proof positive that surveillance brings justice – but did it?

After the initial bombing Boston was shut down for nearly a week. Businesses closed, people were not allowed to leave their homes, and police were searching private homes at will for the suspects. People lived in a police state for days AND it cost the city billions.

So which was worse for Boston – the bombing or what followed? I would argue that the terrorist tactic wasn’t to blow up as many people as possible (the bomb was light for terrorist standards), but to exploit the Government’s security tactics in effort to disrupt society and cost them a lot of money. If so, it work.

I’m honestly happy we caught the terrorists, but when we deal with situations in such a manner the terrorist accomplish their goal – MAYHAM. Hardly anyone wants to discuss this though.

Big Data

Another problem with all of this surveillance is management.

I have worked as an IT security consultant for the last five years and I have experienced first hand the challenges of big data. There are various security and access concerns, storage issues, questions about how to mine, sort, and search data – and it’s all very, very expensive.

The amount of data the Government is allowed to collect is an immediate red flag. Who is accessing my data? What are they doing with it? How do we know China isn’t stealing it? Why are they allowed to have my data? Who is checking up on the Government? And how much is it costing the tax payer? And is it worth it?

Why We Need Privacy

Do you remember when you were a kid and you wanted nothing more than to go in your room and shut the door? Every now and again your Mom would walk in unannounced and you would shout “Knock first!”

What about if you found out your parents were listening in on your phone calls or reading your texts? I cringe just thinking about it.

Were you plotting little terrorist attacks or rubbing paint all over the carpet? Probably not. You probably weren’t doing anything wrong, but the idea of someone eavesdropping on your private life seemed awful.

Similarly, all of America deserves its privacy. We want privacy because there are certain aspects of our personal lives that belong to us. There are certain aspects of being free that include no one knowing about it. It is a fundamental part of humanity. A part of humanity that if ignored will lead to hostility and resentment.

That’s part of the problem with Big, Intrusive, Governments.

Featured Image Photo Credit

DC5

Bombings, Shootings: What Radicalizes Young People?

The last few months have been marked by three events that stand out vividly in my mind.

1. The Aurora, Colorado movie theater mass shooting.
2. The Sandy Hook elementary school mass shooting.
3. The Boston Marathon Bombing.

Each of these three incidents have been remarkably similar in nature. Each of them were:

1. Perpetrated by young middle-class men.
2. Each involved mental radicalization eventually driving young men to perform acts of violence.
3. The victims were random (suggesting the action was to prove a point, not to kill a target).

With these patterns identified we have to ask ourselves what’s going on and why are young men radicalizing. Why are they so dissatisfied with current affairs that they are driven to acts of violence and terrorism? What clicked in their mind that they felt justified in harming innocent people?

Insanity?

They cop-out is to say that these people are just insane. They are crazy and that’s why they did it. End of case. But I don’t think that’s a fair analysis.

Even the media paints a portrait of insanity. We constantly hear key words like: “insane”, “mental health problems”, and “history of mental health”, but by all accounts these young men were not insane at all.

I recall interviews with families and friends after each event. What did people have to say about each of these guys? They were normal!

1. Friends and family of Aurora, Colorado shooter (James Holmes) as a normal guy: here and here
2. Friends and family of Sandy Hook shooter (Adam Lanza) as a normal guy: here
3. Boston Marathon bomber (Jahar, suspect # 2) described as a normal and popular guy: here and here

The way these events took place imply almost anything but insanity. Each of these events were carefully crafted and planned. This wasn’t the work of a person who suddenly lost their mind. Each of these events were the work of a methodical planner. A planner who performed these acts based on facts and emotion which did not dissipate. These were the acts of men who had come to terms with their ideology which allowed each perpetrator in question to justified their behavior and actions.

This was radicalization, not insanity.

Radicalization

To understand and prevent future acts of violence like these perhaps we should stop sweeping the truth under the rug. Perhaps we should stop labeling these young men as “crazy” and try to understand their motive. Try to understand why others might do the same thing.

Are the dissatisfied with the current state of affairs? Why? Have they been radicalized by extremist books, literature, or other media? Why did they listen to it? Why did they find themselves agreeing with extremist viewpoints? Is this blow-back or something else?

Mental Health, Media, and Other Factors

There are many factors that come in to play when talking about a person willing to take the lives of a group of innocent people. They have to fit a certain mental profile. They must be dissatisfied with life to a point that calls them to action. They must have gotten these ideas from somewhere, it seems.

The Media

Something a lot of people aren’t talking about is the media’s role in all this. Is it possible that the media’s constant highlighting of radical actions inadvertently promote such behavior? By desensitizing young people to such events that it makes committing such an act seem more possible? Is the media making radicalization sexy? I think there is some truth to this idea.

Society and Mental Health

We also need to carefully monitor what societal and mental factors prompt a young person to take actions like this. How do they build the courage to take a life(s)? Is this some combination of desensitization of murder, unhappiness with life, and mental predisposition? I don’t know the answer.

The one think I do know is that everyone should be asking themselves a lot of questions. What are we doing wrong? Why are people doing this? What factors drives a young person to such measures?

I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to blame anyone. The perpetrators are the guilty. What I’m trying to say is that it is too easy to just call them crazy and forget about it. To truly fix the problem we need to find the root cause. We need to examine what makes ordinary and even upstanding young men (by accounts of friends and family) turn to violence and radicalization. If we can figure this out – we can solve the problem.

Liberty

Police State or State of Insanity?

Below is a video of a man in Texas who was arrested and disarmed by officers after someone called the police. Watch the video and let’s discuss.

Two Sides

In my attempt to remain level headed I want to examine both sides of the story here.

The Officer 

On one side we have the police officers. They received a call about a man carrying a rifle while walking down a Texas road. Their heart begins to pound because anytime you have to respond to a man with a gun your life could be in danger. Guns do have the potential to kill and when entering in a situation as such one must be prepared.

The police see the man and an intimidating weapon and a slight panic sets in. They ask the man to turn over his weapon and he gives them an attitude. This automatically makes the situation worse. The cops stop following protocol and act in self interest. Their first concern is disarming a man who seems aggressive – this isn’t by the book, but things are moving so fast that it’s easy to see why mistakes are made.

Gun violence has been all the talk on the news and in precincts everywhere. Tensions are high and protecting life is top priority.

The Armed Citizen

The man is a veteran and purposely chose rural Texas as a place to call home. He chose rural Texas because he believed that values he holds dear are upheld here. He has been desensitized by weapons after carrying one for several years in Afghanistan. He is a proud man and fought to defend the rights of all Americans and he wants to exerciser his to the utmost – that includes legally carrying a gun.

When the officer stops him he feels violated. This is America. This is Texas. He is just a man protecting himself and his son. The officer, who is a little panicked, tries to grab the citizen’s weapon away. This is it – unacceptable – this is exactly the kind of fascism and lawlessness the former soldier fought for to protect. It is inexcusable that any man try to take those rights away – the ones he was literally willing to die for.

The citizen is infuriated. This stamps on everything he believes in – and his son is there to watch.

Clarity

When you see it from both sides it kind of becomes obvious why there was so much conflict. Both sides had a good point, but both failed to realize the other had their own perspective. I would even go as far as to say that perhaps neither were wrong completely, but both failed to see the other person’s point of view. Both were hyper aware of the gun and less aware of the situation. The cop was trying to protect his own life (as far as he knew) and the citizen was trying to protect his rights and beliefs (which he was obviously very passionate about).

How the Media has distorted Judgement

When I first watched this video I felt a lot of emotion. Then as I contemplated it – I realized a lot of those emotions were not my own. They were implanted by the media. They were thoughts and ideas that someone else told me to think. Carefully formulated rhetoric designed by the anti-gun and pro-gun lobbies to persuade judgement. It seems like this has affected almost everyone’s ability to judge the situation without bias.

We know the ideas: Guns are bad. People with guns kill people. Universal background checks. Common-sense laws. The Government is bad. The Government wants to take guns away so they can control us. Blah blah blah.

Maybe what we need to do is sit down and rethink this whole issue. Forget the guns and think PEOPLE. We need to educate people. We need to change the culture. People are both the problem and solution.

Side Note: The New Vietnam?

I also see a frightening pattern regarding returning veterans. Will this be a new pattern? Returning vets realizing they fought in Iraq based on a lie the Government sold based on Nuclear weapons that didn’t exist. A war that was never declared and never ended? Will proud vets return home to a population that quickly dismissed their cause and doesn’t appreciate their sacrifice? In the end I can see nothing good from the kind of endless war we’re in. History forgotten is quickly repeated.

Politics

Extremist’s are Cowards

The far right and left, in my opinion, are the worst society has to offer. They are arguably worse than criminals. Why? Because their ideas are poison, a hindrance to society itself. Their very ideas are the ones that spark conflict, war, death, and the inflexibility that prevents problem solvers from developing solutions. Extremists adhere to a script they didn’t even write, one they didn’t concoct themselves, because they’re too uncreative and too intellectually immature to recognize anything beyond their pathetic screenplay for life.

Extremists are bad because they refuse to see the world as anything but black and white. Their only goal is to exert their ideas above all others. Not to seek truth because their truth was already decided for them by someone else. There in lies the very problem and lack of solutions.

You are Just Another Market

Extremists cater to an audience or have been brainwashed by a talking head on the tele-screen. The ideas they spout sell ideas and draw attention. It is sensationalism. Unproductive ideas and concepts that provide no benefit except that of ad sales and controversy. Whether it is the left selling environmental or anti-war bumper stickers or the right selling “prepper” seeds and guns – the end game is the same and the same groups of wealthy elite prosper.

Extremist are Cowards

Extremists are cowards because they lack the ability or courage to admit when they are wrong. They associate with only people who are agreeable and purposely avoid those whose ideas conflict with their own. This process leads to a vicious circle of self gratification. A proverbial circle-jerk of extremist who have polluted their own gene pool with fickle, inconsistent ideas.

Extremists are ironically satisfied with the status-quo. The Irony lies in the fact that most believe themselves to be true individualists, but are anything but.  Whether the “hipster” or the “redneck” they both confine themselves to the strict set of cultural codes assigned to them. Extremism is the complete opposite of freedom. Extremism is a prison.

So here’s looking to you. You right and left wing bloggers.

Note: This work was created as a joint venture between Atticus and Holden. A result of a collection of brilliant ideas brought to light via Google chat conversations. 

DC Zoo 5

Conservatives: Stop the Hypocracy on Gay Marriage!

I love my fellow conservatives. I will chit-chat and agree all day long about the values of personal liberty, defense of the constitution, limited Government, and balanced budgets. I honestly believe that these values are what makes America great. I think our sense of personal freedom and individualism is why we are so unique. It’s why we make the best movies, have the best tech gadgets, and why the rest of the world often looks to us for innovation.

What I dislike is how many Conservatives cherry pick their own philosophy to fit their personal beliefs. Are you conservative or are you only conservative when it fits your own personal gain and ideology? Let me provide an example.

A while back I was doing some research on local politicians (I live in Georgia) and ran across Representative Paul Braun (pictured above). Mr. Braun says all the things that makes my conservative heart flutter. In one interview he says:

“That’s what I’ve been doing in Congress, trying to push the government back to constitutionally limited government as our Founding Fathers meant it. That’s what I am all about.

I voted against [the budget] because it doesn’t even cut spending. It just slows the growth from a 5 percent growth to a 3.4 percent growth. This is just intolerable as far as I’m concerned, so what I’ll be doing is proposing specific cuts…

I am a Bible-believing Christian,” he said. “I also realize that people have other beliefs than I do and that’s fine. In fact, I respect their beliefs, but the thing we all can believe in is that we’ve just got to stop all of this out-of-control spending. No matter what your religious beliefs are, we’ve got to deal with this tremendous debt that’s unsustainable.”

I can handle this. He wants to cut spending and limit Government. While he may have his own religious beliefs he “respects [other's] beliefs”. No problem. Right? Wrong!

Conservative Hypocracy!

Like so many conservative Rep Paul Braun preaches the limited Government conservative ideology, but is more than willing to use Government to impose his own beliefs on others AT THE EXPENSE OF TAX PAYERS! Here are two examples:

1. In May 2009, Broun proposed failed legislation that would have proclaimed 2010 “The Year Of The Bible”. He also introduced a bill to ban the sale or rental of sexually explicit materials on U.S military installations.

2. In 2008, Broun and 91 co-sponsors introduced H.J.Res.89, a proposition for the Federal Marriage Amendment. The proposed amendment to the United States Constitution would define marriage as “as consisting only of the union of a man and a woman.” Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and eight other senators introduced a proposition for the amendment with S.J.Res.43 on June 25.

Hypocracy is a Pattern

Rep Braun demonstrates the lack of ideological consistency that is a major pattern in the conservative community.  If you want to preach individuality, limited Government, and personal freedom then it should be FOR ALL PEOPLE – not just the ones who fall into your religiously defined moral code.

Conservatism is about individuality and liberty, not about stifling the pursuit of happiness for a group of people who just so happen to be attracted to the same sex. The Government should stay out of people’s personal lives or any contract between two consenting adults – especially when it involves matters of the heart.

If anyone should support Same Sex Marriage – on principal alone – it should be conservatives.

war

North Korea and the Possibility of Nuclear War

The U.S. will be adding 14 new ground based interceptors in response to threats made by North Korea. This comes at a time when the white house claims they can’t even afford public tours. So I have to ask myself what’s going on here.

I have two key theories:

1. This is an excuse for additional military spending and continued weaponization of the country. North Korea is the new “terrorist threat” in an new fearmongering tactic to prevent American’s from complaining about increases in military spending while public services continue to be cut. Simply, a new threat to justify cutting teaching jobs while maintaining the bloated military, or

2. Is the situation with North Korea much, much more serious than we thought?

Liberty

TSA Opt-Out Experience: “Sir, the agent will touch your groin and buttocks.”

I am westward bound. Thirty-thousand feet above the earth’s surface with nothing, but my thoughts and a laptop I have been allowed to temporarily utilize to curb my boredom – that is until the pilot indicates I have to “shut down all approved electronic devices”.

The TSA

Before arriving at this cozy little window seat a lot happened. I was obediently herded from the airport entrance, through check-in, and to security. In an orderly fashion I obeyed the TSA overlords and moved in a single file line toward the security checkpoint. As instructed I handed over my identification and carefully removed anything that could be utilized for terrorist activities.

Such items for removal include my belt, watch, shoes, and jacket. All electronics, liquids, and my personal hygiene items must be emptied into a bin for closer examination. Now barefoot, I must agree to a full body scan of my entire skeletal structure – I must prove I am not harboring any items of ill will – all to guarantee safety, of course. The giant body scanner stands before me.

The Opt-Out Experience

Since I value my personal liberty and would rather my body not be bombarded with protons, electrons, back-scatter rays, or magical beams – none of which I fully understand – I choose to opt out and accept the fully body pat-down. This of course brings a certain amount of public criticism and shame. I am being a difficult slave so an appropriate amount of public humiliation must follow – per protocol I’m convinced.

Loudly: “Sir, you are aware that by opting out an agent will be touching your groin and buttocks?” I confirm.

Another agent, sarcastically: “Sir, you know this machine doesn’t cause cancer, right?”

Me: “Yes, sir. I’m aware of these facts and I would still like to opt out.” I’m a black sheep now. Time for the pat-down. For everyone’s safety, of course.

I’m pulled aside. A few slaves look at me uncomfortably. They can’t be sure I’m not a trouble maker. My actions have confused the herd. I have separated myself from those obediently following the rules set forth by the system.

The Pat-Down

My baggage is laid before me, but I cannot touch it. Not until they are sure I am not a criminal – a terrorist. Like a convicted felon I hold my arms to the side, palms up, as instructed. The TSA agent inspects my hands, rubs my thighs, groin, back, chest, and buttocks. No surface of my body is untouched. The agent then takes his gloves to a magical machine which confirms no traces of terrorist residue have made their way to his hands during pat-down. (I wonder how much that machine costs? Our tax dollars at work – nothing wasted.)

A few seconds later the TSA agent returns and allows me to be on my way. I thank the agent for his time with a smirk.

Some slaves feel degrading and I see why, but this does not phase me. I smile and thank each agent for their time as I gather my things. I decide the experience was free and public body massage. A normal person may have been humiliated – fuck it – I am happy to oblige.

All of this inconvenience, humiliation, forfeiture of your rights, and submission of your personal information (down to a scanned blueprint of your body) in the name of safety. In effort to combat against a terrorist threat we slaves are apparently too stupid and too naïve fully to understand.

I can’t help but ask myself: “Is our sacrifice of personal space and privacy worth it? Is the precedence we have established justifiable?” The answer is no. Undeniably no.

Forfeiture

We have to be careful what we get used to. I mean this sincerely. We are experiencing a slow yet steady forfeiture of our basic rights as human beings – not just as Americans – but as flesh and blood human organisms. Our right to move about has been encroached. Our right to personal privacy – even in the most intimate way – has been thrown out. Taxes slowly increase (we now work almost 6 months a year to pay taxes alone). We are monitored continuously – via email, photograph, surveillance cameras and drones, and innumerable registrations.

And perhaps worst of all, if the Government finds reason to label you a terrorist (in which the rules of obtaining such a label have not been explained to the public) the Government can legally hold you without trial, forever, and kill you.

All this in the name of public safety? How long will this excuse suffice? Where do we draw the line?