Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Hark! The Sound of Jackboots marching!

We’re like frogs in a pot of water that is being gradually brought to a boil; the temperature change is slow enough that, by the time we notice hot the water is, it’s too late—we’re nearly dead. There isn’t any one day where the government says “Welcome to the Police State.” No fanfare, no major announcement. It’s bit by bit, piece by piece, degree by degree.

We’ve been warned. We’ve seen the erosion of the Bill of Rights. We’ve all heard Bush The Dimmer and Cheney the Mean tell us what’s happening. But there are the little goodies that come along: the diversions of Christmas shopping, planes crashing and nearly-crashing, celebrities getting married and divorced. Just enough stuff to keep us diverted.

Here’s another indication of how close the water is to boiling:

* Feds pay a visit to a library user

Agents' visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior
By Aaron Nicodemus, Standard-Times staff writer
New Bedford (MA) Standard Times

NEW BEDFORD -- A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited
by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a
copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The
Little Red Book."

Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn
Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told
them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth
library's interlibrary loan program.

The student, who was completing a research paper on
Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism
and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request,
leaving his name, address, phone number and Social
Security number. He was later visited at his parents'
home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of
Homeland Security, the professors said.

The professors said the student was told by the agents
that the book is on a "watch list," and that his
background, which included significant time abroad,
triggered them to investigate the student further.


Contact Aaron Nicodemus at

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