I pondered for quite a while about how to write this without sounding like an anarchist or a hippy. Please excuse me if I fail miserably.
On this, the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, I can't help but call your attention to the fact that we have yet to regain any of the freedom we lost in the aftermath of that tragedy. In October 2001 Congress passed the so-called "USA PATRIOT Act" ostensibly to fight terrorism and under the promises that: a) It was temporary, and b) It would only be used against terrorists. Sadly, the government has used it, not only to investigate terrorists, but to place surveillance cameras on our street corners, monitor our private communications, invade our library and medical records, install full body scanners at airports, and have TSA agents cop a feel, and with two subsequent laws, has effectively rendered it permanent.
This is where I must point a finger at the tyrants who voted for and signed it. Louise Slaughter voted for it twice, including the time that made it permanent. Hillary Clinton voted for it twice as well. Kirsten Gillibrand voted to make it permanent. Barack Obama signed the third bill making it permanent.
I have to wonder, given the lack of continued discourse on the matter, if anybody still cares about the massive chunk of freedom we lost or people have just started to take it for granted. Where is the outrage over these tyrants voting to flush liberty down the drain? Where is the outrage over Orwellian government surveillance cameras on an increasing number of street corners in cities around the country? Of course, that's probably not fair. After all, when George Orwell wrote 1984 he got two very important things wrong. One was the year. The other was his overwhelming sense of optimism. He never could have imagined that any government would have access to the technology to fully automate the spying process.
The parting thought I wound like you to take with you after leaving this site is that we lost more than 3,000 innocent people on 9-11. We lost America. We used to be a country that put freedom above all else. We used to be willing to accept some danger as part of the price of living in a free country, but now the American public has become a bunch of cowards. We let the government take away our freedom of speech, because of the terrorists. We let the government monitor our Internet communications and even postal mail, because of terrorists. We let the government watch everywhere we go through omnipresent surveillance cameras, because of terrorists. We tolerate decade long wars; full body scanners; no medical privacy; no right to protest in, "described national security areas," or within 1,000 feet of a national dignitary, because of terrorists. With that, I suggest amending the Star Spangled Banner by replacing, "the land of the free and the home of the brave," with, "the land of enslaved and the home of cowards."
"A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." — Alexander Hamilton
"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." — John Adams