Re: Freedom vs security
Good on you, Dillon.
The SF author, Larry Niven (of whose stories I am quite fond), proposed what he called "Niven's Law":
"The product of Freedom and Security is a constant"
Increase one, you decrease the other.
The USA goes on and on in the Propaganda Mill^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Media about being "the Land of the Free" - a point probably disputed by anyone in the USA who is not a rich, white, heterosexual male - yet their "freedom" is forever being quashed by the governments eagerness to suspend the constitutional rights of the people in the interests of "security".
Not a new thing either - ask the Japanese Americans rounded up in Concentration Camps during WWII or those who lived through Senator "Are you Now or Have You Ever Been?" and "When I Hear 'Freedom of Speech', I Say 'Commie'!" McCarthy and his House UnAmerican Activities Committee's Witch Hunts.
"The Land of The Free" has been a myth for years. There is no difference between various US administrations over the years and various other dictatorships - wire taps, opening mail (a felony if done by anyone but the insanely large number of spooks the USA has), firing upon protesting students, Gestapo-like midnight arrests, interrogations etc etc etc.
The alacrity with which the Bush Administration was suggesting suspension of constitutional rights "to prevent this happening again" in the wake of the 11/9 (I use a civilised date system) disaster is a testament to how little they treasure their people and how much of a lie their "freedom" really is.
I pity the citizens of the USA, doomed to be born in a nation that has an obsession with Military Might and spooks and an unrelenting willingness to turn those forces against its own population.
While the US-gov is to be reviled and despised for its inherent filth and corruption, the good, honest citizens of the USA are to be pitied because so many of them actually believe the propaganda and believe that their right to bear arms makes them "Free" and protects them from a dictatorship.
How has the "2nd Amendment" prevented their emails, phones and mail from being opened? In what way does owning firearms protect them from being arrested at midnight by duly-appointed officers of the law (shoot back, you're a cop killer) under orders to "arrest and detain on suspicion of terrorism"?
They believe they are free, they believe they are safe from dictatorship, yet they live under one - the government may change, but the policies remain.
The only difference between Bush and McCarthy is that Bush has better toys at his disposal.
The USA is not and has not been free - not in all the 43 years I've been alive, and not for a long time prior to that.
Their Constitution might as well be burned for all the good it does them. Due Process? Innocent until proven guilty? Freedom of speech?