Last year, it appeared that the police-state nature of our government had only reached as far north as Boston, with the warrantless, KGB-style house-to-house searches for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

But one year later, two different stories on the front page of the April 16 Portland Press Herald tell a different story.

A reportedly distraught, suicidal man is shot and killed by police, with witnesses claiming he never pointed his gun in the cops’ direction (“Husband didn’t point gun before police fired, Windham widow says”).

Right next to that is a story about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“Maine gun store may be shut for refusing to let ATF copy records”).

After being thwarted from copying pages upon pages of a gun store owner’s records, ATF is now trying to revoke his license, even though no criminal charges have been filed and no evidence has been shared with the owner or his attorney.

Meanwhile, in Nevada, the federal government worked furiously to provoke a Ruby Ridge-style showdown with an elderly rancher. The man’s herd is supposedly endangering the poor desert tortoise. Now, isn’t that the same Nevada desert where the government has detonated countless nuclear bombs?

And I won’t even go into the myriad abuses of power in the Chris Dorner manhunt case in Los Angeles.

People, you are asleep. Wake up, America, before it is too late (if it’s not already).

Peter Howe