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our neighbourhood under seige; the decimation of society as we know it

please come and stay a while in my beautiful neighbourhood -space

the library closes early in the summer, but don't ask me why. i haven't enquired as to the twisted reasoning behind this fact, and judging by the level of service and quality of the library itself in this rooted town i don't know that it would be worth my while. so here we are in a relatively small town, a mere 100.000 souls, and the best place to offer summer activities and educational opportunities locks its doors. when i was a kid, i remember, we always had library activities and contests throughout the summer, but why should i expect anything comparable when living in a college town that's about 95 times bigger than my home town? is this why we consistently have the lowest aptitude test scores in the world? more and more this country succeeds in disappointing me, and i become more cynical and unpatriotic. if we were to base intelligence on the amount of time spent in front of a tv or the ability to play nintendo®, we just might come out on top. i read somewhere a while back about a study someone did on the level of brain activity measured while watching the telly. within a few minutes of watching, the brain essentially shut itself off--the level of measurable activity was astonishingly low. and this is what we offer our children rather than leaving the library open later during the summer. so we wonder why our children grow up disturbed--gee, it's not that big of a leap, is it? we have the capability to use 10% of our brains, and we're not even attempting that. if, perish the thought, i ever have children, i can't imagine letting them neglect their minds in such a way--i'll have my own bloody library.

oh they want to knock us down 'cos they think we're scum -space

welcome to my neighbourhood, the police state. be careful how you cross the street--they'll throw you to the ground, cuff you and haul you away to the pokey where they can hold you for 48 hours before charging you with a crime. oh, and if you're walking with your friends, be careful because you're in a gang now--can't you tell? when did it become illegal to hang out with friends, to gather on the streets, to have peaceful assembly? what gives them the right to take away our constitutional rights as outlined in that document of documents? the day has come, dear friends, when we can't walk down our own street in our own neighbourhood without feeling the heavy eye of surveillance. yes, my peace loving community has been tagged, identified, photographed and booked as "subversive" and "anarchistic". this, therefore, is why, when you come to visit me i ask you to walk alone. this is why, when you come to visit me, i ask you to wear colourful clothing--please don't wear black because you'll be singled out, guaranteed. when you come to visit me walk with a purpose and don't look around too much--you might look furtive and suspicious. welcome to my beautiful neighbourhood--watch your back.

but we will all be waiting when the bulldozers come -space

when a group of people is singled out by the government, for any reason, they tend to band together to protect their interests. it's been happening ever since society began, in all animal societies--when a lion stalks the buffalo, the buffalo draw their herd together with the strongest on the outside to protect their young. now that the entire community is a target, is it so hard to believe that they draw together? is it so hard to believe that they will fight back even harder under duress? ah, duress, what a wonderful word to describe the situation we see unfolding before us. webster's dictionary defines duress as follows: (1) forcible restraint or restriction; (2) compulsion by threat--specifically unlawful constraint. i find that definition to be very apt here. when law abiding citizens who just happen to live in this community, who just happen to prefer wearing black, who may just agree with the "anarchistic" undertones that ebb and flow throughout the community (and by the word "anarchistic" i'm referring to a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government), when these people are unable to walk the streets in their own neighbourhood without feeling oppressed, this is when the embers of rebellion spark into flame. so, of course, the government is impelled to increase their presence in the neighbourhood, which in turn increases the feeling of oppression, and it all falls into a dreaded downward spiral until it reaches its breaking point. step back, and look at what has been created here. step back, and understand that everything can be perfectly fine if you'd just give it a chance. can't you see that we won't strike back if we're not incited to do so?

in a neighbourhood like this it's hard to survive -space

we stand on the simplest of notions. when this country was founded, a bill of rights was written, ratified and understood as inalienable. have you read it? do you ever get the feeling that you don't have many of the rights outlined therein? we have sat by idly as a society as the government has mutated and (d)evolved into the beast to which we now pay homage with our hard-earned wages--the time has come to make some changes, and the time has passed for subtlety. we need to educate ourselves because, as noted at the beginning of this essay, society has ceased to do so for us. we must learn the letter of the law and stand firm on our constitutional rights as human beings. last time i checked we were still human and still protected by the same laws that protect the rest of our society. i hereby supplicate every citizen, resident and passer-by to read and understand the ten primary amendments of the constitution that form our original bill of rights. with this knowledge we can stand together. with this knowledge we can overcome tyranny. with this knowledge we can rise from the abyss in which they have tried to bury us. we stand on our knowledge, on the simplest of notions, on what this country was meant to stand for, and you can no longer ignore us.

but you'd better come prepared 'cos they won't take us alive -space

the first amendment states very clearly that congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. the fourth amendment allows the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects , against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. has the language become so unclear that we cannot count on our government officials, those to whom we entrusted our rights upon election, to uphold these rights? i'm not a literary scholar, but as far as i can tell the authors of the bill of rights did not mince words. that sounds pretty bloody clear to me--what about you? do you understand these rights as they have been written? we will continue to utilize our freedom of speech and of the press. we will continue to peaceably assemble. we will petition the government for a redress of grievances when our persons, houses, papers and effects cease to be secure but upon probable cause. understand where we stand, and you will understand us. when grover cleveland, in october 1886, accepted the statue that is the symbol of freedom to all the world, he said, "we will not forget that liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected." let us remember that liberty made her home here in this country--the whole country is the altar upon which she stands, and it has been neglected for far too long.

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