It seems odd to me that we would call September 11 Patriots Day when the day commemorates the single event in American history that will be remembered as the day we lost our freedom. Ever since that day we've faced slowly eroding freedoms and continued loss of our civil rights by a larger and more aggressive federal government than was ever conceived by the framers of the Constitution, the original Patriots.
As embodied by that abomination to civil liberty, the USA Patriot act and the illegal holding of American citizens without due process, our government has us goose-stepping down a road that can lead to nothing but fascism. We've abandoned our belief that people are most secure when they are free to be responsible for their own security in favor of a "please take care of me, I'm afraid of the big-bad-world" attitude. We've substituted the illusions of security, in the form of more federal agencies, more intrusions into our personal business and effects and aggressive posturing and out and out invasion as a foreign policy, in place of the kind of security that comes from being prepared both personally and as a nation to defend ourselves. We now rely on the military and quasi-military police agencies to protect us from everything from invasion to natural disaster and everything inbetween, like drugs, guns, gay marriage, offensive speech and the odd rash. And we are willing to take a very offensive, aggressive "pro-active" stand to do so. We've allowed ourselves to fall into the trap of false patriotism, that of "America, right or wrong;" our founding fathers would be sadly disappointed. True patriotism comes from a love of country so deep that it can recognize the error of our ways openly and honestly and take the hard road, make the hard choices required to bring us back to the vision of hope and liberty we once held dear.
How did this happen? I would reply "a little at a time." It started with the first pork-barrel spending project. By substituting the judgment of the congress in place of our own in matters of what amount to charity, we have allowed the erosion of the most fundamental of our rights. So fundamental the framers didn't even mention it specifically but only in adjunct to the rights guaranteed by the fourth and fifth amendments, the right to private property.
Each time the federal government votes to give some of your money, your private property, to someone else no matter how deserving, they reinforce the concept that you don't really own your house, or your car, or any of your personal possessions. You think you do because you have a deed to a house, title to a car and clothes on your back but if you fail to give to "Uncle Sam" whatever he wants, no matter how unreasonable or excessive you'll soon see how much of what you have you really own. If the government has the power to take part of your money, whether in income tax, sales tax, property tax, gas tax or any other of a hundred different taxes, it has the power to take all of your money. If the government can take it, you don't own it. Said another way, if you own it and they take it without your consent, they've stolen it.
That they take our money without our consent is bad enough. That they waste and squander it is absolutely criminal.
The recent events in the gulf coast states bear me out. We've been told we need FEMA to provide a response to disasters because people are so greedy they would never help people in need. The government has to take our money under threat of force so it can be given to those that they determine need it because we're not responsible enough to do it ourselves. And even if we could be trusted to give, the job is too big for people to do it without the federal government controlling and organizing everyone's efforts. I think it's been shown quite clearly that both assumptions are wrong.
Not only have Americans given more to the Katrina relief efforts than anyone ever imagined, proving what I've said for years that Americans can always be counted on to be among the most generous people on the face of the Earth, but the botched, ineffective and evenly deadly job FEMA and other federal, state and local agencies and bureaucracies did will pale in comparison to the hundreds and even thousands of stories of the individual bravery and heroism of volunteers that will continue to come out in the months to come.
The victims of Katrina didn't need a government debit card, they needed the help of people, real Americans, with rescue, evacuation, temporary housing and food. They didn't need a federal agency slowing down response times by
forcing fire-fighters from around the country that had volunteered in this time of need to spend days in sexual harassment awareness training. And they certainly didn't need a Mayor, Governor and a President in a seemingly never-ending pissing contest over who screwed up the most. News flash for our "leaders": WHEN THE CHIPS WERE DOWN, YOU ALL SUCKED!!