Freedom’s Last Ring
James E. Smith
From a Newsweek story on MSNBC:
“Security will require another type of sacrifice of freedoms. In the NEWSWEEK Poll, voters say they are willing to give up privacy in air travel, but they are more skeptical of other measures, such as surveillance of e-mail and phone conversations. By a 62-32 percent margin, they reject “special surveillance” of Arab-Americans. Yet even before last week’s attacks, the Senate intelligence committee had voted extra funds for Internet surveillance and “profiling” measures, and agitation for more is sure to mount.” (Emphasis Mine)
“Governments need enemies to justify their existence.” — Edward Abbey: The Monkey Wrench Gang
“Those who trade liberty for security will soon have neither.”– Benjamin Franklin
The most devastating effect (“impact” for those of you dedicated to the dumbing down of America) of this tragedy will be that the government will use this as an excuse to remove the last vestige of privacy and freedom from America. You may expect continual surveillance of personal movement. All travel, especially air travel, between regions or even states will be regulated and tracked. There will be a day when passports and permits will be required for internal movement in the US. “Ve must see your papers”
Before the fall of the Soviet Union, I stated that, in terms of freedom, they were becoming more like us and we more like them. Someday we would meet in the middle and cross. I did not expect it to be this soon.
The really terrible part about this is that it is unnecessary. It is all the result of our insatiable appetite for oil. Consider what we have spent to guarantee the constant flow of “black gold”. How much to support or suborn various countries in the region? How many lives have been sacrificed for this? How many more dollars/lives will we spend?
What if we had expended the same effort in resources and time to find and develop a substitute for oil as a fuel to move cars, boats and planes? There are many other demands for petroleum, of course. Almost everything we use, from paint to plastics is based in part on oil. Even so, by eliminating it as a fuel, the demand would be so much less that people would not have to die to ensure the supply.
Sure, the oil barons in this country and others would suffer. Many might have to trade their Mercedes for Buicks and their Lears for Cessnas. For one, that’s a sacrifice I would be willing to make. How about you, Mr. President?