For me, it started when we stopped calling our country “America” and started calling it the “Homeland.” And much like a frog being boiled, it all happened so gradually, some American still haven’t noticed. From New York magazine:
NYPD spying is not quite as dystopian- and science fiction-seeming as a database of citizens’ eye pictures. A handful of people arrested recently in New York City, including a few Occupy Wall Street protesters, are complaining that cops are insisting that the accused allow the department to photograph their irises, despite the fact that the security measure is supposed to be voluntary. “[An officer] said: ‘It’s not really optional. It’ll take you longer to get out of here if you don’t do it,'” one protesters claims. The department’s spokesperson, Paul Browne, says unsurprisingly that he’s never heard of such a thing.
The iris pictures were enacted in 2010 in an effort to stop prisoners from escaping their arraignments, but some lawyers complain that the program was never officially announced or commented on, and that “eye data could place the innocent under a lasting cloud of suspicion.” Just recently, according to attorney-in-chief Steven Banks of the Legal Aid Society, officers have slowed the arrest process for those not consenting to the iris portraits.
Now, a new strategy is being deployed to yank the rug from under occupations in four cities: legal power. Politicians have recently passed laws in Honolulu and Charlotte, N.C., that with a stroke of the pen made the occupations illegal, enabling police to sweep them away. Two more occupations, in Boise, Idaho, and Nashville, may be nearing the end as their respective state legislatures are on the verge of outlawing the democratic villages that for months have been thriving next to edifices of power. Critics charge that the anti-Occupy laws reveal how the law is not an objective code that treats everyone equally, but an arbitrary weapon wielded by the powerful.
Well! This is heartening news. Can it be that reality is sinking in, and voters are starting to pay attention to the sheer craziness of the Republican agenda?
While positive ratings for Congress remain at an all-time low, more voters than ever see the Republican agenda in Congress as extreme.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 35% of Likely Voters say it would be more accurate to describe the agenda of Republicans in Congress as mainstream, while 52% feel extreme is a more accurate description. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on February 8-9, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.