It was on September 11th, a year and one day ago, that among my first thoughts after learning of the attacks was that our government, my government, the government of the United States of America would use these attacks as an excuse to obliterate as many of our freedoms as they could possibly get away with.
It seems to be an absolute of all governments that they can not resist seeking to usurp as much power as possible. To strip their citizens, those from whom their very power is sourced, of as many rights as they can possibly get away with.
Messrs Bush and Ashcroft have certainly not disappointed.
Currently a U.S. citizen rots in a jail cell without due process. A U.S. citizen, arrested on U.S. soil has been handed over to the military, stripped of the most fundamental rights of due process, denied the right to an open trial, denied the right to appeal to the civilian courts, denied the rights that this country guarantees to all of its citizens. He is denied these rights because we have a President and an Attorney General who apparently do not believe in the American Constitution, who apparently do not believe in the America judicial system. They seem to fear our courts, they seem to fear our democracy, so they take acts which appear to me to be subversions of both institutions. All in a good cause of course.
It's always a good cause that strips us of our freedoms. Take a look at H.R. 3162, the USA Patriot Act, passed by roughly 83% in the congress and 98% in the senate. After looking at the provisions of this act can one reasonably conclude other than the Senate and House have violated their oaths of office (Congress/Senate)? Can one look at H.R. 3162 and not see a direct attack upon the American Constitution?
Given the provisions of H.R. 3162 I must admit that I am just a tiny bit scared of writing this Blog entry. I realize that the chance that anything will happen to me because of it is vanishingly small but still I know that most likely somewhere deep inside a government web crawler is a little red flag attached to this page. Hopefully the weighting algorithm they use to decide which pages deserve further scrutiny won't mark this one. But still, I am forced to wonder. This is what is called a 'chilling effect'.
Which brings us finally to the point of this entry, Insurance.
As I have previously discussed, one must be vigilant in paying up one's freedom insurance. Might I suggest the ACLU? To get a really good idea of why the ACLU is a great place to send your freedom insurance premium please read their booklet on what they have been doing since 9/11/2001. I don't always agree with everything the ACLU does but I sleep a lot better knowing they are around. Give, give early and give often.