Thanks Thom for bringing so many buried issues to the attention of people, lets all hope (or pray) whichever an individual is comfortable with... that "We the People" wake up and make it US Constitutional Law that Corporations are NOT persons and Money is certainly NOT speach.
I wonder how elections would turn out if all our Citizens who had some minor felony conviction for say, marijuanna could be "pardoned" and their voting rights restored? A Question Thom, do you know how large the lobys' budget is for Private Prision Corporations? I believe that privatizing Defense, Prision and Medical Industries is not in the best interests of anyone EXCEPT the Lobyists, Contractors and some of our current Politicians.
We are already living in a "Police State", just try to reason with almost ANY Officer of the Law or Private Security Person. They may have started with good motives and I was certainly brought up to honor and respect ALL THOSE who risk their lives for the "Public Good", however their is NOW an embeded culture of coverups and lies that is endemic in the system of most municiple police departments (as I have seen it upclose and personal and as the US DOJ Administrators have agreed "Off the Record").
My parents were Civil Servants from WWII until their deaths during the Nixon Administration and I was taught it was "Their HONOR to serve the citizens of this country, not the US Goverment." Tom, I have heard you speak with longing for the days when decisions about our safety and security were in the hands of Civil Servants, not Goverment Contractors... and I agree up to a point, but after devoting their entire lives to serving this country my parents died of different mysterious causes on the same day, (just a short time after Nixon came to office). These hardworking, patriotic Americans hadn't "leaked" any secret files or caused any harm that I can find (although I was a minor at the time).
Anyway, with the culture I see entrenched in "OUR" Goverment... it can be deadly dangerous to be a patriotic civil servant with a security clearance. I don't think the situation has improved since the 70's, it is just buried more deeply in goverment secrets "We the People" can't see. I would be honored to write the whole story, including what it was like to live in SE Asia during 1966-72 or wait at the San Antonio International Airport for my Father to get back from the Pentagon with General Westmoreland.
The Ford Family has faithfully served the people of the United States with Military and/or Civil Service since the Civil War era, but my ancestors would be deeply ashamed of the many unnecessary atrocities commited during the supposedly "enlightened age" in the name of our citizens and disturbed to the point of patriotic fervor by the indescriminate appropriation of all our individual liberties by the powers granted to this supposed "Department of Homeland Security".
I hope that I've posed a few questions and raised issues that some of you may find interesting, I'd be glad to answer polite inquiries and debate issues for which I have painful first hand knowledge of facts.