August 29, 2002

Ruh-roh: 'WTF' had a visit from the US Gov'mint today! Just fyi, I am not planning on taking any 'vacation' for the rest of the year.

Snipped from Alan Bisbort's column, here

George W. Bush has declared war, but it is not on the enemy you may have been led to believe it is. The enemy, in fact, may be you. That's right. If you believe in freedom of assembly, presumption of innocence until guilt is proven, the right to clean air, clean water, decent health care and privacy, then there is a distinct possibility that you may qualify for Bush's enemies list.

Just pick up any daily newspaper published in the United States. Though the stories all read the same -- a "popular," duly-elected president tirelessly pursues terror and malfeasance on the golf courses of Maine and ranches of Texas -- the headlines tell a different tale: "Bush Rolls Back Rules on Privacy of Medical Data," "Bush Gives Public Lands to Loggers," "Cheney Spotted in Public: Sees Shadow, Predicts Six More Weeks of Nuclear Winter," etc.

On and on, day after day, these items pile up. From the first day in office, the Bush administration has set its hard-line course and has refused to budge. Now, they have declared war on the American people.

This was never more obvious than on Aug. 22, when, as part of his "working vacation," Bush showed up in Portland, Ore. to raise a million bucks for a Republican senatorial candidate. He used Air Force One to make this fund-raising trip. Nothing could be more essential to national security than to pump up the Republican Party's war chest.

Though Bush has tried hiding out on his Texas ranch, and Dick Cheney continues to inhabit an underground bunker in an "undisclosed location" (presumably offshore, near where Halliburton's profits are shielded from taxes), this administration will sooner or later have to face the American people.

But so far, in every situation where they can't cordon off the unwashed citizenry who have the temerity to disagree with their policies, protesters have shown up. That's why the Portland event was a watershed for anti-Bush sentiment the way the Seattle protests in Nov. 1999 galvanized the anti-globalization movement.

Not only did the size of the crowds force the mainstream media to cover the protest, but the violent overreaction of the police conveyed an unmistakable message about the lengths this administration will go to to shield itself from democracy. In Portland, a peaceful assemblage only began chanting, "We are not the enemy!" when the riot police began to move against them. What kind of a democracy has riot police already in place for a fund-raising political event? These hair-trigger police shot pepper spray, water jets, and rubber bullets at protesters. What kind of democracy does this to its own citizens?

To sum up, American citizens, exercising their freedom of assembly, were pepper-sprayed, beaten with batons, hosed down, and shot with rubber bullets all for the convenience of those who coughed up a million bucks to have dinner with a never-elected president. More firsthand accounts are available at

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