Culture & Society ---
I have been unhesitatingly critical of some of the policies of the United States, including those of President Obama and his administration, and one of the things that is particularly special is that I live in a country in which I have the freedom to do so. However, what is particularly chilling is that more and more I am being cautioned by family members and friends to "be careful". Unbelievable! But I am sure that the authorities here have bigger fish to fry than to be concerned about someone as insignificant as I. Now when you think about it, that such thoughts concerning my well-being should even cross the minds of anyone living in this country is indeed startling. That is the kind of reaction that one might come to expect if he or she were living in a totalitarian state, not here in the United States. But I have got to be honest with you...there seems to be unnerving signs that this is exactly the direction in which this great country seems to be heading, and that, if it is the case ought to give us cause for concern.
One such sign is the recent revelation of NSA's spying on American citizens, with the Government's justifying such action, and the Supreme Court's endorsing it. Not only does it appear that we are fast becoming a surveillance state, we are also fast becoming (or already are) a police state. And what is more is that it is becoming more difficult to distinguish law enforcement officers from soldiers, as the former have become heavily militarized. Also of concern is the brutal suppression of dissent. Remember the short-lived Occupy Wall Street movement? Remember also the recent suppression of protests in Ferguson, Baltimore, and New York City following police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner? Others signs that seem to suggest that we might be heading down the path to Totalitarianism include increased laws against routine behavior and the criminalizing of such behavior, the restricting of civil liberties under the guise of fighting an amorphous enemy - terror, the propaganda of our exceptionalism compared to the rest of the world, and the constant push for war. I hope to God I am not right.