Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Civil Society? It starts with taking responsibility.

Today we are witness to a remarkable event and that should make us wake up to what has been going on around us. Today, Google has made an unprecedented plea to the public to speak out against SOPA. Wikipedia has actually shut down for the day to protest, and they're not alone. The threats to our civil liberties, and without civil liberties we will have no civil society, have gotten so profound that even a newspaper as conservative as the Washington Post has printed an opinion piece entitled 10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free. In the name of "the war on terrorism" which is really a war on American rights, our inalienable rights have been whittled away by the same so-called leaders who have declared war upon the American Middle Class. And conservative Americans applaud them while running like lemmings to the cliff.

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) is famous for the following quote, and although he was speaking of his experiences in Nazi Germany, it is appropriate to repeat what he said here as it applies to our situation more than ever,
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me."

Benjamin Franklin (Remember him? He was an American Revolutionary and Freemason) said "He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security."


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