What you lost and how you lost it

The Bible says: when it looks like the end, run for the hills. I began wondering how that could possibly help, in the twenty-first century. Maybe a lot. After ten years, it’s clear the government is waging its war for its own members, not for you and me. The enemy they’re promoting by attacking various peoples isn’t after us, it’s after them. We’re supposed to believe we’ll get mowed down by terrorists on their way to Washington – so we’d better stand tough.

It’s a new day. ‘Standing tough’ means never saying anything you’ll be sorry for. But you don’t know what that might be. You do know: saying things is a lot more fun than ever. You can write instant letters to new friends. You can write instant letters to old friends. You can share the moment. You can share the moment with old friends you haven’t heard from in fifty years. You can spill your guts. This is fun.

This is also the property of somebody else as soon as you write it, and it’s all directed through a massive government content filter looking for comments suggesting you’re with the enemy. Or maybe that old friend is, and forgot to mention it to you.

We’re told our national survival depends on being endlessly alert; the new war requires watching everyone – everyone – for clues of the attack before it comes. To experiment with this, try writing your old friend some satirical prose about being part of an imminent Al Qaeda strike on Houston. You see, freedom means safety from observation. It really does. Freedom means the absence of suspicion. It really does. Freedom means liberty. And yours is lost.

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