Q: When is an American citizen not a citizen?

A: Whenever the government or local law enforcement officials say they aren’t you commie pinko Taliban loving terrorist!

I am also working on a knock-knock joke, it goes something like this: knock, knock. Who’s there? …Later that day at camp X-ray…

Yeah, so my jokes just aren’t funny, but then again the USA Patriot act is not the most inspirational piece of legislation. I decided today to run a search through Google with the words USA Patriot incarceration harassment intimidation and see what it spit out, the following is a VERY brief selection…

Take the tale of Ahmed Koko, a naturalized citizen who came to America via Morocco;  after seven different visits by federal agents after September 11th, 2001 asking him about his involvement with or knowledge of terrorism the last one went like this:

One week into the war in Iraq, an immigration agent and FBI agent entered Koko’s home—without his permission, Koko says. After verifying his identity and citizenship, the agents first refused to show him their identification. The FBI contends the agents had already done so before Koko invited them in.

“The right thing is they are supposed to show me their names. What if I want to press charges? I need to see their stuff,” Koko said.

He called the police. A spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded, then arrested Koko on charges of resisting arrest without violence because he was disruptive. Koko said he became emotional after deputies asked to search his house. He admits he refused to sit down as ordered but said he was demanding access to his phone to call a lawyer.

What the hell was he thinking? Doesn’t he know that the FBI does not have to identify themselves or produce a warrant to enter his home even if he is a citizen? That is just part of the beauty of the Patriot. He is lucky that he just got to spend a night in jail for asserting that he had rights instead of an indeterminate period of detention. He should save his money to get a lawyer for his deportation hearing

And just what do you think they are teaching Oakland High School students about free speech in our wonderful land of freedom? Well letŒs take a look and see shall we?

For years the classroom has been the setting for the free expression of ideas, but two weeks ago certain ideas led to two students being taken out of class and grilled by the United States Secret Service.

It happened at Oakland High. The discussion was about the war in Iraq. That’s when two students made comments about the President of the United States. While the exact wording is up for debate, the teacher didn’t consider it mere criticism, but a direct threat and she called the Secret Service.

But here is my absolute favorite part of the story:

“When one of the students asked, ‘do we have to talk now? Can we be silent? Can we get legal council?’ they were told, ‘we own you, you don’t have any legal rights,’” Felson says.

I am not sure what the students said, but I am sure that I have probably said worse. How about this Bush is a war criminal, the current administration stole the election from the American people, or maybe our president is more of a threat to my freedom than Saddam Hussein. I may go out to the library later today and check out books on the FBI watch list just to stick my thumb in the government֒s eye because dissent is not wrong, even if the current climate has made it dangerous.

And for my third and final entry (for today at least), you might be aware that Denver isn’t just an omelet, it is McCarthyism run amok. For those of you thinking about moving to the Mile High city remember this:

Since 1999, Denver cops have produced spy files on 3,200 individuals and 208 organizations. On one occasion, they raided the offices of the Denver Justice and Peace Committee and made off with lists that contained the names of 984 people.

“It’s not the department’s intent to dampen either free speech or lawful political activity,” a Denver police spokesperson said. “This is raw data. It is not data that implies criminal activity.”

But let’s be honest: What are people really supposed to think when the local police department files this “data” in a category called “criminal extremist”? (By the way, in case you’re keeping score, the official Nobel Peace Prize tally in the Mile High City is this: criminal extremists, 2; Denver police, 0.)

There were hundreds of pages I could have poured through in an effort to find more interesting information, but I found these all on the first page of results. How much more is out there that I didn’t even scratch the surface of, and most importantly, how much is out there that is classified by our government because they dont want you too see what they are up to until it is too late? The Republican congress is trying to make the USA Patriot act permanent because it is currently set to expire in 2005, if you care at all about your freedom write your representatives, work to get your city to join the 100 cities that have already passed resolutions limiting or suspending the Patriot act, get active. Unless you WANT to begin every story you tell your grandchildren about a free and fair America with “Once upon a time…”

1 thought on “Q: When is an American citizen not a citizen?

  1. Hey, Once again you hit the nail on the head!
    I happen to live in the crap hole mile high city and what you say is true! Our kids are also forced by law to say the “Pledge of Allegence” in class. patriotism should be a profound heartfelt belief, not forced like a cold war communist oath! The truth is, making kids say the pledge has nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with shoving christianity down the throats of our childeren! I love this country with all my heart, but many do not believe in thier god and should not be forced to! I guess they had to do something since they failed at posting their ten commandments in our schools. if you are thinking of moving to Denver, unless you are a christian fudamentalist psycho, you won’t fit in!

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