Thursday, December 9, 2010

When They Came for the Firemen...

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter". -George Washington

Free Speech is dead in Johnson City.  That is, if you are a professional fire fighter.  Tuesday night, the Village of Johnson City voted to modify the Rules and Regulations of the fire department to make it a punishable offense to criticize the Mayor and Board members.  this was done in response to alleged abusive behavior in the past.   Strangely, Hannon was unable to point to a single instance in which any fire fighter had acted in an insolent or abusive manner.

In keeping with other petty dictators such as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, Hannon has sought to consolidate his power through threats, intimidation and blatant violations of civil rights.  It is not surprising that he should continue his tyrannical plan by limiting free speech.  He initially tried to silence all citizens but found enough push back from citizens that the measure had to be withdrawn.  So now, he will attempt the suppression of opposition with baby steps.  But make no mistake,  he will be coming for other village employees should they get "uppity".  And Village residents will not be far behind.  With every taste of abuse of power, Hannon's appetite is increased.  It may only be about fire fighters today, but it will not end here.

And it seems likely that the fire fighter's union will go to court to try and stop this blatant violation of the constitution.  This will result in ever increasing legal bills for the Village.  And for what?  So that Hannon can be free of criticism?

The last time Hannon attempted such a power grab, the Press & Sun Bulletin had an editorial in which it admonished Hannon to have a thicker skin.  But this time it is strangely silent.  Are they now on Hannon's payroll?  Or are they too lazy or incompetant to tell the real story?  and what of citizens who have sat by while this tyrant continues to trample fundamental rights.  It is reminiscent of the Martin Niemoler timeless warning regarding oppressive regimes:

"When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out."
So we all must ask ourselves...when do we say once and for all; enough.  We as citizens of the Villlage of Johnson City better find an answer soon.  Before it is too late.

No comments:

Post a Comment