“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” –First Amendment to the US Constitution.
“In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight. It was the police patrol, snooping into people’s windows.” From the book 1984 – by George Orwell
The assault on our personal freedoms has accelerated by both parties. A seemingly innocuous bill was passed and signed into law on March 8th by President Obama. HR. 347 titled the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act. This bill was passed by the Republican controlled house by the overwhelming margin of 399 to 3. (The no votes were from Presidential Candidate Ron Paul R-TX, Paul Brown R-GA and Justin Amash R-MI, God bless them). The news of this passage was barely mentioned by the media except for a brief discussion by Judge Andrew Napolitano on the Fox News Channel and Talk Radio.
So why am I so upset about a bill whose stated purpose is to improve Federal Buildings and Grounds? Its real purpose is to quash peaceful protests. This law is supposed update a previous law: Section 1752 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which restricted areas around the president, vice president, and others under secret service protection. The change enacted was that federal prosecutors need only to show that protesters “knowingly” entered a protected area that they knew was restricted, even if you didn’t know it was illegal to enter the space. Under the old law the government had to show that protestors entered the restricted space “willfully and knowingly” enter a restricted space.
The new law also makes it easier for the government to criminalize protest. It is now a federal offense; with up to 10 years in federal prison to protest anywhere the Secret Service might be guarding someone. Another issue with the law is it’s almost impossible to determine what constitutes “disorderly or disruptive conduct”. The authorities have wide latitude to designate any type of protest as to “impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions”.
This law seems to violate our founders’ intent of the first amendment of the constitution that gives citizens the right to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. This bill isolates the executive branch and the leaders of congress from citizens exercising this right. Polls over the last decade show that more and more people feel alienated by their representatives in the federal government this law will exacerbate this feeling. In my opinion this bill seems to makes citizens who want to peaceably protest a mere nuisance to their “Federal Overlords.”
A senior official in the State Department told the National Journal recently that;” The war on terror is over.” I don’t really believe that but one would guess the Obama Administration is busy setting its sights on a new domestic enemy. The FAA was forced recently in response to a freedom of Information lawsuit to reveal 63 launch sites across the U.S. for Spy Drones. These unmanned flying drones which may have been designed to kill terrorists – are being launched from locations in 20 states. Among the registered owners are 19 universities and colleges these include Cornell and the University of Connecticut. The vast majorities of these domestic spy drones are owned and operated by the Federal Government agencies such the DHS, DOE, and FBI etc. One could understand why the Federal Government would want these drones stationed on our borders by why are the majority in the interior of the country? It is ironic that George Orwell might have foreseen this in his book 1984, sixty four years ago.
The actions of the Federal Government including the monitoring of social media websites , Expansion of the TSA checkpoints on our highways and limitation of free speech rights over the last two administrations which has accelerated over the last two years makes one ponder what does the Government fear? If the Obama administration truly believes the overseas war on terror is over what or who does this administration fear?
-I fear it is our freedom and I will pray to the almighty every day that I am proven incorrect!
-Just my opinion D.B.