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Civil liberties in the news

  • U.S. passports are now going to be issued with biometric information encoded on data chips

  • The government wants to create a database of individual records for all who enroll in colleges and universities

    (Both links go to the New York Times' web site.)

    I also finally followed up on the case of Dudley Hiibel, a Nevada man who essentially lost the right to remain silent prior to arrest in a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling on June 21st of this year.

    So, you can be arrested for not giving your name, and they can verify it anyway on the spot by scanning your passport.

    O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    -"The Star Spangled Banner"


    Banner waving? Check.
    Home of the brave? Yep, there are still some brave folks here. Another check.
    Land of the free? Post 9/11, with articles like the above, not so much. Not like it was, anyway.

    I wrote an editorial, as did practically every journalist on the planet, on September 12th, 2001. I closed it with the following:

    There is no shelter from the aftermath in this sober new century . . .
    There are unnerving words of warning that the numerous conveniences, freedoms, and liberties that many of us often take for granted may slip away during such a time . . .
    The absence of this America and its ideals might well be far more chilling than its presence.


    Over three years later, my prediction continues to be correct. I wish I hadn't been right.

    It is my opinion that, for as long as this climate of repression exists, the terrorists have won.

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