Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Freedom in Crisis

I don't want to be an alarmist--but I am concerned about our civil freedoms being squeezed more and more every day.

I read this somewhat frightening article about the TSA Now Storming Public Places 8,000 Times a Year.  I am concerned about the information presented in this article. The potential for abuse is astounding.

Here are the opening paragraphs from the article:

Americans must decide if, in the name of homeland security, they are willing to allow TSA operatives to storm public places in their communities with no warning, pat them down, and search their bags.  And they better decide quickly.

Bus travelers were shocked when jackbooted TSA officers in black SWAT-style uniforms descended unannounced upon the Tampa Greyhound bus station in April with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and federal bureaucrats in tow.

And the article goes on--but I think what I extracted sets the stage for my concern--

Conducting these types of activities, not in response to any specific threat, borders upon unreasonable search and seizure--and a violation of our 4th Amendment rights.  Sorry--that is how I feel. 

The vision of black uniformed, jackbooted, military-style personnel swooping into a public place is an image that I compare with what I have read about WWII and Germany.  Are we really trying to control our "free" society?

Are we as free as we believe we are? Do you have your personal identification papers on you?

No--it is clear that we have ceded away many of our rights and there is a move afoot to further limit our rights.  Years ago, there would have been a huge public outcry if a small army of government agents descended upon a public place without suspicion of wrong doing.  Now, we barely bat an eye-lash and chalk it up to security.

A recent poll placed Maryland at the very bottom of personal freedoms in a ranking of the 50 states. New Hampshire (land of "Live Free or Die") ranked highest.

Where is the boundary line? The line between liberty and police state? Between reasonable and unreasonable search and seizure?

Between the Constitution and totalitarianism?

Coming soon to your home? The men in black? We've read the stories in the news already.

I bet I'm on TSA's list now.

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