| 2004-04-01 11:28, by Julie Solheim-Roe|
Imagine you fell asleep ..oh, let's say, only five years ago.
Imagine you awoke this week in January, 2004.
Keep in mind, as you read on, you have no idea of all that
has changed while you slept those five years.
Keep in mind too that the questions I'm going to ask you are only the short list and the ones, which may affect you most immediately upon your awakening.
How would you feel about the changes you'd see and hear?
Who would you choose to believe about what has happened while you slept?
With whom would you want to associate now?
Who would you feel you could trust?
How would you feel when you discovered your job had been "outsourced" while you slept?
How would you feel when you discovered the home you owned is no longer yours due to the revocation of The Posse Comitatus Act?
What would you think when you discovered while sitting in your car at a traffic light that you are being filmed by a constantly running video camera which is also constantly being
monitored by a government official "somewhere" in an undisclosed (to the public) location.
Five years ago you knew there were cameras in stores to help prevent shoplifting.
But, now, cameras are posted on almost every building outside to observe and film you wherever you walk.
Hard to believe, isn't it?
What would you think when seeing our military acting as police in your city or small town?
What would you think of the new laws, which eliminated our personal privacy?
What would you think of the new laws, which allow government officials to take you from your home, or from a store or just while you may be walking on a sidewalk, and question you and hold you in a place where you don't have access to a phone.
And refuse to let you contact your family or friends to tell them where you are for an indefinite period of time that can stretch into years?
What would you think of the new laws, which eliminated all of the freedoms you had five years ago?
Who would you seek for guidance in understanding where you would "fit in" now?
Remember, you've lost five years. You have a lot of catching up to do.
You'll need to do some serious research just to find out
why we have a president who was not elected.
why our Congress has betrayed us.
why our soldiers are in Afghanistan and Iraq now.
why we have a president who is the first in our history to not attend funeral services for our fallen soldiers.
why this president declared a ban on news photographers taking pictures of returning wounded and dead soldiers.
why those who disagree with the government are being silenced, sometimes forcefully.
why everything we buy contains RFID tags, which surveils us wherever we go.
why the government taps our land phones and cell phones and Internet sites at will.
why our cars are equipment with GPS satellite tracking devices.
why the tires on our cars are also equipment with tracking devices.
why our neighbors have been recruited to report on each other to government officials if they see, what seems to them, to be "suspicious" or "potentially" terrorist activities.
Why well-educated and patriotic Americans have allowed a small group of men to alienate us from each other and former allies in many countries around the world.
And, to turn our land of the free into a land filled with people in constant fear.
Well, at least those who are not in denial are afraid and for sound reasons.
There is now a Fear in the people in our country of being seen with anyone the government has target as a "possible" terrorist.
of being seen reading books the government "suspects" means you are a threat to them.
of being heard disagreeing with the government's new laws.
of being deported though you were born and reared in America.
When you fell asleep
most of us believed that our Congress was our defense against any president and his administration exercising absolute power.
When you fell asleep
you knew we had a government system for checks and balances via our Constitution and it's amendments to prevent a dictatorship in America.
When you fell asleep
most of us thought our votes counted.
Now it's 2004 and you are awake and finding a world you probably cannot believe is real.
But, it's real all right.
And, because you are awake, you are again counted in the population.
And, you are at any moment subject to being "designated" a "potential threat" to the government.
Will you be counted as one who stays awake or one in fear, who pretends to still be sleeping?
Hard choices in 2004 for us all.
By Linda Gale Nolen