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The destruction of The World Trade Center rang the death knell for The Constitution and, by default, The Bill of Rights. Our President told us to remain strong, unwavering in the face of such carnage. We were encouraged to go about our day to day lives, unchanging.
Yet while we were being spoon fed what was needed to keep us calmly grazing, our government went about subverting even the broadest interpretations of Constitutional Law. The Patriot Act was only the opening volley against The 4th Amendment and the privacies it affords us. Under it’s umbrella, virtually every alphabet agency on the Government roster has expanded it’s reach, it’s authority and it’s ability to scrutinize virtually every aspect of an individual’s life. All this in the name of “National Security”, and it’s only going to get worse. Technology and apathy are going to combine to create the most closely monitored society to ever live.
The sheep always say “If you’re not doing anything wrong.” They never stop to think, the people who want unfettered access to your everyday details, are the same people who determine what’s right and wrong. Having access to these “Metadata” will only result in government enacting new laws and regulations based on statistics gleaned from every aspect of your life – what you watch on TV, what you eat, your health, to determine the ideal lifestyle most conducive to whatever it is they expect in return.
It’s already begun, with smoking bans in outdoor public venues, to entire towns being “Smoke Free.” Any public smoking is punishable by a fine. Buildings I understand, with as concentrated as people can become in a structure, simple human courtesy says don’t smoke, but outdoors, in any setting, is too far for law to reach. Unless you’re on my shoulders, my cigarette isn’t bothering you outdoors, or having any impact on your health. Cigarettes are just a focal point for a much larger constitutional debate about my individual choice being usurped by government for my own good.
Subtly, since the 9-11 attacks, police departments across the country have militarized in the name of either the “War on Terror” or the equally ludicrous “War on Drugs.” Police routinely carry military assault rifles, wear military clothing, and drive mine resistant vehicles designed for the battlefield, not local law enforcement. Every week there’s a new incident of law enforcement crossing the line, and every day there’s a new citizen shot video showing abuses of all kinds at the hands of heavily armed thugs who think their authority is absolute. From the police sworn to protect and serve to the President himself, sworn to uphold the Constitution, the abuses are criminal.
“Immigration checkpoints,” some as far as 100 miles from the nearest foreign border, manned by federal agents, stop and question people like you and I every day, all day. A constant, government-sponsored, violation of the 4th amendment. My presence in an airport with a camera was questioned, 5 days before Christmas, at an arrival gate, by a T.S.A. agent. Another alphabet agency brought about because of 9-11 and the sheep’s reliance on government to make a perfectly safe system safer. Now we’re forced to endure scrutiny at the hands of someone who, in all likelihood, was serving fast food 6 months ago and thinks the Constitution is an old boat.
I can’t even say I want my children to enjoy the same rights I have, because I’ve already lost too many to count. I want my children, and my grandchildren, to enjoy the rights my grandparents enjoyed, and my grandfather fought to protect. I want everyone to be able to travel freely throughout these United States without fear of being stopped and questioned and forced to show documentation. I want them to feel secure and protected when they see a police officer, not intimidated and fearful. I want them to know they can protect themselves and their loved ones. I want them to feel like a citizen, not a subject.