newprotest.org: SLOW WEEK

SLOW WEEK

March 09, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
This has been a slow week for blogging for me. I've been doing a TON of writing, but none of it for my main blog. I wrote a bit on my Datsun 510, since I track all the work I do on the car. Most of my writing, however, has been at work -- I recently launched the subscription-based communications application to an audience of about 2,200 employees in the Pacific Northwest. So far, the launch has been a success, but it's kept me quite busy. Having to regularly write compelling content for a 2000+ employee audience can be a bit of work... especially when you're trying to train the audience to adopt a new communications philosophy.

Anyhow, here's a post I planned to write a few days ago but never got around to it:

FEAR OF EVERYTHING

A couple of nights ago, I was listening to NPR to a story on China's crackdown on criticism 50 years ago.

From the article:

A half-century ago, Chairman Mao called on Chinese to speak their minds and offer constructive criticism of the Communist Party's work. But when they did, at least 50,000 were branded "rightists." Many lost their careers; some lost their lives.

It's crazy to think that something like that ever actually happened. It seems like something straight out of Orwellian fiction, and yet there it is. And with Putin's Russia moving away from democracy and towards stricter state control, it doesn't seem too crazy to think that we could see such actions happening in Russia in the near future. A new Soviet Union, perhaps.

And what about the United States? With the new definition of terrorism under the USA Patriot Act, it seems that United States citizens are not much safer than folks in China and Russia.

Boingboing's Cory Doctorow:
In a chilling analysis of the PATRIOT Act, the ACLU points out that the new definition of "domestic terrorist" redefines any US criminal as a terrorist, exempt from due process and an open trial. "Domestic terrorists" can have their assets seized without a hearing, have their educational records pulled, and a host of other nasties. "Terrorism" is now officially meaningless: as far as the PATRIOT Act is concerned, if you do anything the government doesn't like, you're a terrorist. When you put it that way, it seems even less likely that we'll win the "war on terrorism."

Not very comforting.
np category: politics
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