Consider the U.S. government’s role in:
1. Vast surveillance of whole populations
The destruction of protections in the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution against unreasonable search and seizure are even more extensive than we learned one year ago. In a May 2014 interview witih NBC News, Edward Snowden said the government has:
All of your private records. All of your private communications, all of your transactions, all of your associations, who you talk to, who you love, what you buy, what you read, all of these things can be seized and then held by the government and then searched later for any reason, hardly without any justification, without any reason, without any real oversight, without any real accountability for those who do wrong.
2. Denying women access to birth control & abortion
Two recent Supreme Court decisions have elevated the rights of private corporations and anti-abortion protesters to discourage women, by refusing insurance coverage and by direct interference in front of abortion clinics. Sunsara Taylor, of StopPatriarchy.org, says that because of these rulings,
Women across this country can be denied the ability to safely and affordably prevent unplanned pregnancies because of the Dark Ages religious beliefs of their employers. This will make birth control prohibitively expensive for huge numbers of women at a time when access to abortion is undergoing record and ominous restrictions. This comes just days after the Supreme Court struck down a ‘buffer zone’ law in Massachusetts that had prevented anti-abortion fanatics from approaching women within 35 feet of the entrance to an abortion clinic. That law was passed in the context of hateful and vicious harassment hurled at women and staff entering abortion clinics, and was enacted in the immediate wake of the murder of two women working at abortion clinics in Massachusetts in 1994 in order to increase the physical safety of abortion providers.
Merle Hoffman, CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center, calls on YOU to join her in becoming a Freedom Rider for women’s lives by donating, sending a statement or photos, or coming down to be in Texas for the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas.
3. Detention & Deportations of Thousands of Children
Violence and economic desperation in Central America is driving tens of thousands of children, along with their mothers, to cross the US border without papers. Instead of kindness and care, they are getting held in military detention, and many, deported by the Obama administration, which has deported more people than the Bush regime did. Revolution newspaper reported:
The migration of tens of thousands of impoverished, desperate children has triggered what Barack Obama and other political leaders have had to admit is a humanitarian crisis. This crisis engulfs South Texas and is sending shockwaves through the entire Southwestern U.S., echoing into Mexico and beyond. But these ruling class figures—of all stripes—are not taking responsibility for this crisis. Instead, they are blaming, persecuting, and clamping down on the victims of the workings of their system that have driven people to the desperate measure of sending their unaccompanied children on a perilous trek to what they hope will be safety.
Thanks to Outernational featuring Tom Morello for their song “Deportees”
4. USA #1 in Mass Incarceration
Foreign Policy reports today on US prison rates, implying that being the biggest jailer on the globe may be a foreign policy problem:
No other nation jails so many people for so long. Among countries with the world’s largest prison populations, the United States leads with 2.2 million behind bars. And the countries that immediately trail the global champion of freedom are either much larger or terrible human rights offenders. China comes in second, Russia third.”
5. And then there’s indefinite detention, Guantanamo, Bagram, targeted killing & special operations, support of military regimes across the globe, and the failure of this system to do serious policy change to stop the global destruction of the environment.
Thanks to The Onion for pointing out the dangers of excessive flag-waving in U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths:
It has come to our attention that, due to the inherent risks and hazards it poses, the American flag is simply unfit for general use,” said Annin & Company president Ronald Burman, who confirmed that the number of flag-related deaths had noticeably spiked since 2003. “I would like to strongly urge all U.S. citizens: If you have an American flag hanging in your home or place of business, please discontinue using it immediately.”
Studies conducted by the Annin & Company research and development department revealed that faulty U.S. flags have caused more than just injuries and deaths. During the mid-1950s, the flags were found to have the bizarre side effect of causing fear, paranoia, and hysterical behavior among millions of Americans. This was dismissed as an isolated event until September 2001, when similar symptoms reemerged on a massive scale.
As hazardous as the flags may be on their own, Annin & Company officials claimed the products become even more dangerous when used in conjunction with other common household items.
“When combined with alcohol, excessive patriotism, grief, or well-intentioned but ultimately misguided ideals, U.S. flags transform into ticking time bombs, just waiting to go off,” Burman said.