I am listening to Peter Watts' Sofanauts interview where he tells the story of his being beaten up by US border officials, then being charged with assault and convicted of "resisting" authority (a felony offense). When you consider that he thinks that he was lucky in that he's white and educated, so he only got a suspended sentence, a fine, and a ban on traveling to the USA, it's frightening. We have, in the search of some unachievable "national security" let loose on our borders a bunch of thugs whose Word Is Law and who can beat you up and throw you in jail just because they want to do so, and not only are they aren't punished for it, they are applauded by a bunch of idiots who are convinced that It Can't Happen to Them. It isn't going to make me stop traveling internationally — yet — but it certainly makes me worry. The problem, of course, is that those It-Can't-Happen-to-Me people believe it completely, and when it does happen to them, it will be too late, and when the weight of Authority lands on one of them, their so-called friends will say, "He must have done something wrong." When is it going to end?
Worst of all, it doesn't really seem to matter who we elect, since the government likes to increase its authority no matter who is in charge. Also, anyone who might dare campaign on a platform that included reversing some of the excesses would have his/her opponent scream, "Soft on Terrorism!" and the terrified populace would vote for less freedom and more "safety."
More and more, it looks like we let the terrorists win.