The land of the free. As I read more and more of those stories I can’t help but wonder at how things changed. I am from a formerly-eastern-europe-soviet-bloc country (Poland) and these kinds of oppressive techniques sound very familiar. The haziness of procedures, lack of basic rights, intimidation, no accountability of state officials — we’ve seen all that until 1989. At the time, while the communist regime was imposed on us, the USA seemed like heaven: transparency, procedures, basic rights, free speech, accountable officials. Look at where we are today. I can’t even imagine being held captive without arrest for hours, being questioned about the purpose of my trip, about my religion and habits, all while travelling within my country. When entering the country, the passport clerk has exactly two options: let me in, or call the police and get me arrested on the spot. I feel free and I am happy to live in a free country, together with people who because of the past oppressive Soviet regime are quite sensitive to abuses of power. At the same time, the U.S. is rapidly degenerating into something that isn’t quite the sinister oppressive regime, but getting close to the point where it could become one, if a wrong leader gets elected. It’s scary. And the worst thing is — American people got so used to the idea of living in a free country, that they do not even admit the thought that things are going the wrong way. Most people don’t see the signs.