There are certainly serious assaults on First Amendment freedoms underway, but the problem with prematurely characterizing America as a police state is that it plays right into the Bush/Rove/Ashcroft strategy of instilling fear in the public.
Before your Mom, brother, or friend votes in November, they really should read one, two, or all of these books, beginning with Mark Crispin Miller's "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order." Tell your family and friends about these books! Buy these books for them! E-mail this list to everyone you know, and print it as a flyer to post in your local cafe or hand out in front of a bookstore. There's enough time before the election for a little good reading to make a big difference. So go for it; make a difference!
...Current Government Employees to Blow Whistle on Bush's Iraq War Deceptions ~ Interview with Daniel Ellsberg, former government employee who released the "Pentagon Papers," conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris