is scouring the web looking for certain words that might indicate possible terrorist intent. In fact the word “terrorist” is one of them and so is “pork” and many others. You can read all about it here.
The first thing that strikes me is what appears to be a total lack of US media, at least of the mainstream variety, reporting this. Some of the best coverage of the US government, sadly. comes from British journalists and the linked story is one of hundreds of examples. The increasing invasion of privacy in the name of protecting us from terrorists is something Americans as a whole should discuss. The complicity of both political parties in this is something worth investigating. Yet US media seems strangely silent.
The second thing is about simple reality. There is a risk in being a free society. We risk hearing opinions we don’t share or like. We risk the possibility that others may use freedom for illegal or dangerous ends. We risk the possibility that not all of our life will be safe, simple, or without challenge. There is danger in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, and freedom of ideas.
Yet the danger is not so great as the danger of an all-encompassing state promising us security in trade for our liberties. There is risk in liberty but it’s the risk of being free, of sharing our lives with free people, and finding a path for our lives on terms of our choosing. The net designed to snare one kind of fish also ensnares anything in its way and the state that declares it must spread its net wide and far to “protect” us can and will ensnare everything in its path and if not now, will set the stage for some later use not simply for the suspected but for everyone.
What we need now is not more of the state but more personal responsibility, personal morality, and personal commitment to the greater good. People themselves need to take the initiative required of members of a free society. If we cede our freedom, our individuality, our destiny to the state we get what we deserve. If we recover our dignity, our freedom, and our willingness to see beyond our narrow personal interests we can recover what has made this country great.