Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Liberty and Security

                I do not often agree with anything that Shannyn Moore writes in her column for the Anchorage Daily News; in fact, I usually have a difficult time reading any of her column because she leans so far left.  I not only read a recent column, but I found myself agreeing with some of it!  I also found myself wondering why I was not paying more attention to what our government was doing in 2001.

                Moore wrote, “We all remember the 2001 attacks on this country and how 40 days after September 11 the 363-page USA PATRIOT Act was introduced and voted on by the House on the same day.  The next day the Senate voted, and within 72 hours of introduction then-President George W. Bush signed it into law.  [What were they/we thinking:  Introducing and voting on a bill in one day in the House, the Senate voting the next day, and the President signing it by the end of the third day!  That definitely was not long enough to know what was in the bill!]

                “That should be the day we have memorial services.  The death of freedom.  And it wasn’t even hard fought.  Congress, in some sort of pathetic paternal power grab, didn’t even read the bill it voted on.  [Sounds like the health bill known as Obamacare:  it was signed on Christmas Eve when everyone wanted to be home with their families.]

                “Those outraged by the affront to our Constitution by the bill were told to join the Taliban, that they hated America and wanted us less safe and that `if you’re not doing anything wrong you’ve got nothing to hide.’  Did Congress vote because it just likes the title?  Ironically its acronym stands for “United (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.’  [This sounds so terrible now that we have an administration that is taking advantage of it.]

                “How is anyone shocked?  The tool box was developed years ago with the blessing of folks fraught with fantasies of a white-hatted government taking care of them.  Instead of acknowledging mistakes made, they swallowed the shiny hook `they hate us for our freedom’ and `went shopping.’

                “A 29-year-old computer programmer, Edward Snowden, blew the whistle on just how invasive the National Security Agency and FBI were going with their surveillance.  Mr. Snowden was reporting an assault on our Fourth Amendment right against the illegal search and seizure – and now Attorney General Eric Holder is conducting a manhunt for him.  Even though there have been no charges filed against him, Homeland Security has warned airlines about letting him on flights. 

                “Are you kidding me?  The Obama administration has taken the ball from Bush and Cheney and run yards toward the goal line.  More people have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act by Obama than any other administration – and at the same time the NSA is data mining citizens with no warrant.”

                I was “asleep” twelve years ago and was not paying much attention when Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act.  Now that I am more awake I understand that Bush simply laid much of the ground work for things Obama now pushes.  Even though many Americans are waking up, there are still millions who have no idea what is happening and why they should be concerned.  For example, how many people are aware of the national discussions about immigration and amnesty?  Only immigration bills that are good for Americans should be considered, and yet Congress is being pressured to pass an amnesty bill.  Why?

                Americans should not be shocked at what we are seeing at present, but we are.  Many of us trusted our government and did not oversee our representatives in Washington.  We allowed our leaders to take away some of our freedom in the name of security. When will we learn?  When will we insist that our representatives actually read the bills before they vote on them? 

                Benjamin Franklin understood the importance of protecting freedom, even at the expense of security.  He apparently spoke about this topic numerous times because several statements are attributed to him.

                “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

                “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”

                “He, who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.”

                “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.”

                “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.”

                “If we restrict liberty to attain security, we will lose them both.”

                “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

                “He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.”

                “Those who would trade in their freedom for their protection deserve neither.”

                “Those who give up their liberty for more security neither deserve liberty nor security.”

                I do not know if Franklin actually made all these statements or if they are all variations of one statement.  It appears obvious though that he understood that people could give away all their freedoms and still not be secure.  Over the years, our government has taken more and more of our freedoms in the name of security.  We need to plainly and loudly tell our representatives:  “NO MORE!  Freedom is more important to us than anything, including security!”

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