Wednesday, August 11


It's been bothering me a lot lately that it's "all terra all the time." This constant state of fear that BushCo uses so effectively to advance their agenda and win elections, and our response to it, are going to haunt us in future years, and we're witnessing the fallout even now. Our losses are already considerable -- nearly 1,000 American lives, civil liberties, trust of our leaders, confidence in our future, the world's admiration and respect. We've even lost that wonderful God's-in-His-Heaven-all's-right-with-the-world feeling as the fam heads off to DisneyWorld or the Big Game -- we have to have a discussion on whether or not it's "safe" to go to large public assemblies.

Yesterday I actually heard a Dallas talk-radio host advising his listeners to pack guns and blow away any suspicious-acting Middle Eastern males. His name is Darrell Ankarlo, and although he's your usual wingnut yahoo, he's not Michael Savage. To be fair and balanced, I have to tell you that he stressed that he's not advocating we all become vigilantes, oh no! He's definitely going to cooperate with the authorities while he's blowing a hole through some guy's forehead. He just doesn't believe (and it appears that his callers agree) we can afford to wait to find out if that weird-looking briefcase is really a bomb, so we have to take action. Is this what Bush-Cheney have brought us to?

When I was a little girl growing up in Florida between two strategically important military bases, the Cuban missile crisis scared us to death for a couple of weeks. My mother bought tons of canned food and water jugs and hid them in the "dirty clothes closet" (don't ask). One day (still during the crisis) I noticed she'd moved it all into the kitchen. When I asked why she replied, "Oh you know, I just got to thinking. What if we WERE bombed and a neighbor came begging at the door. Was I going to lie and say we didn't have any food? Of course not. So I didn't see any point in hiding it. I just couldn't live that way. If the bombs fall, I'd rather die with my neighbors."

Now THAT's a more American (and Christian!) attitude.

Holden at First points us to this:

To understand the nature of our domestic response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, we must understand the nature of government. Government naturally expands, and any crises – whether real or manufactured – serve to justify more and more government power over our lives. Bureaucrats have used the tragedy of 9/11 as an excuse to seize police powers sought for decades, such as warrantless searches, Internet monitoring, and access to bank records. It should be no surprise that the recently released report of the 9/11 Commission has but one central recommendation: bigger government and more spending at home and abroad.

Every new security measure represents another failure of the once-courageous American spirit. The more we change our lives, the more we obsess about terrorism, the more the terrorists have won. As commentator Lew Rockwell of the Ludwig von Mises Institute explains, terrorists in effect have been elevated by our response to 9/11: "They are running the country. They determine our civic life. They shape our private life. They decide how public resources are spent. They may dictate who gets to be the next president. It should be obvious that the government doesn't object. Not at all. The government benefits, by getting ever more reason for ever more money and power."

Every generation must resist the temptation to believe that it lives in the most dangerous time in American history. The threat of Islamic terrorism is real, but it is not the greatest danger ever faced by our nation. This is not to dismiss the threat of terrorism, but rather to put it in perspective. Those who seek to whip the nation into a frenzy of fear do a disservice to a country that expelled the British, fought two world wars, and stared down the Soviet empire.

Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.


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