The release of the Freeh Report last week was a clear pronouncement of “unrestrained exercise of power!”
Last Monday (July 9) at the monthly borough council meeting, the spectacle of tyranny surfaced too.
The harsh ugliness of the opening comments by the Columbia Borough council president (above, center photo) mirrored the intent that other tyrants have demonstrated. When the council president opened the meeting with, “There’ll be no recording of this meeting. Anybody caught recording this meeting will be asked to leave.”
The intent of this announcement is the same slippery slope practiced by despots and tyrants for centuries.
Despotic leaders, as the ones shown above (top to bottom, left to right: Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad and Kim Jong-Il) cemented their ascendency to power and maintained a death grip over the people they were supposed to serve by restricting their rights to know. What happened in their governments was not something they reasoned that mere citizens should know. By establishing filtered information on what citizens could see and hear in government-throttled media sources, they hoped to maintain absolute control. In the end it never works out that way.
In Pennsylvania, The Sunshine Law specifically states that public meetings may be recorded, “The Sunshine Act allows persons attending public meetings to record the proceedings with recording devices.” Click on the picture below and go to page 10 to read the portion of the Law that addresses recording devices. It also states “Persons who attend and verbally participate in public meetings must expect to have their statements recorded.”In order to prevent the introduction of “arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power,” we strongly submit that all citizens, beginning with the president of the council, read The Sunshine Act; the Constitutions of the United States and Pennsylvania and, specifically, the first Amendment to the United States Constitution.
This phrase from The Bible (John 8:32) is also worth reading: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
On another note, next week this nation will celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law that makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities.”