October 16, 2001
"A Man Who Trades Freedom for Security Has Neither"
Or, I'm pretty sure that's the quote. Gets the idea across, even if I didn't get it exactly. I think you know what's bringing this one up.
We're making a lot of changes. Well, not "we" but "the government." But we were dumb enough to elect them, so "we."
· We're not allowed to take pocketknives on flights any more. Of course, there's evidence that a lot of the hijackers also had hand-to-hand combat training of some kind. The only purpose the box cutters served was to be a highly visible means of huting people. Banning plastic butter knives isn't going to prevent hijackings. But this is just an inconvenience; and I'm just getting started.
· On the same token, a proven method isn't being explored that I know of. Bulletproof, locked doors on the cockpit? Nowhere on the horizon. You'd think a hijacking would be made difficult if the hijackers can't get to the pilot, but that's expensive. So it isn't getting done.
· Ashcroft's trying to get some legislation puxhed through the Congress that'll let them tap just about anybody's phone without getting a warrant. Oops, guess the Bill of Rights no longer applies, when Osama Bin-Laden's out there.
· The FBI is going to start going to ISPs and installing Carnivore machines to monitor traffic. Thing is, Carnivore monitors all traffic -- the subject of the tap and everyone else on the ISP. The FBI promises they won't use any more of the information than they're allowed to get. Forgive me if I'm skeptical.
There's more, but I'm running long already. And you can see where this is going. America has a long and distinguished history of persecuting people for the "common good." Goes all the way back to the witch-hunt in Salem in the 1600s. Runs right up through the interrment of Japanese people during World War II and the House Unamerican Activities Committee in the 1950s -- that would be how McCarthyism started. Never thought we'd be going through the same thing in the 21st century, did ya?