There are many more threads in this forum decrying the Welfare State (that, at least by Dutch standards, we've never been nor will be) than the Police State we've become in the US in real life. A headline in Huffpo led me this Time article about a man facing sixteen years for, well...you read: So documenting police misconduct is now a felony warranting greater severity of punishment than, say, home invasion or car theft or domestic violence? Did I wake up in a new, different country all of a sudden? Actually, that last sentence was a slim piece of hyperbole, because, thanks to the various and sundry blogs* I read (left, right and center in all their individual idiosyncrasies and personal POVs), I've found links to this blog becoming more and more frequently cited/posted. *Blogs come in many different formats and cannot be automatically discounted as legit news sources per se. My blog, The Spin Cycle, is part literary journal and part polemical screed and, though frequently entertaining, is not a legitimate news source and was never conceived as such. But others, from Politico and RCP to The Daily Beast act more as news dumps than anything else and read much like newspapers (not without the predictable biases), complete with editorials and op-ed pages; others, like Powerline, The Daily Dish and TPM are either edited or slanted (depending on one's perspective) platforms for the owner's POV, still using outside sources as springboards for discussion. Then there are single-interest blogs, where all content is based on a single subject, whether it be Cakewrecks or Sarah Palin or, in this case, the current efforts to make as many people as aware as possible of how shifts in law enforcement are eroding our First Amendment Rights. I went from finding PINAC almost hysterical in its assertions to finding them to be, perhaps along with The Smoking Gun, to be one of the best sources for raw and unfettered (so far) access to our slow and steady descent into a Police State, municipality to municipality, county by county, state by state. This is most definitely NOT a left/right issue; nor is it a hard/soft on crime issue. This is about how our rights as individuals in the US are increasingly at odds with the actions of law enforcement to the detriment of our rights. And although not pertaining specifically to the topic at hand, I will say that this will come to no surprise to those dedicated to protecting the Second Amendment, either, who've long felt that gun laws of any kind erode those rights as well: gun laws which, unsurprisingly, as very enthusiastically supported by the police as well, so I'll open up this thread to discussions relating to Second Amendment abuses, too, though I want this thread to focus primarily on member's responses to intrusive policing and overzealous prosecution of citizens who are operating within their rights as defined by the First Amendment. This is not about some vague "surveillance" of the citizenry at large though dubious wire-tapping and e-mail monitoring. This is about how three+ decades of politician's chants over "law and order" have effectively criminalized behaviors and activities we took for granted just a generation ago. Any ideas on how we can stem (and reverse) this pernicious tide of 24/7 hyper-aggressive policing in the US? And yes, my Individualist Anarchistic loathing and intense distrust of "Authority" (of all stripes) is plainly, obvious evident: I've never attempted to hide it here or anywhere else.