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Ben and Liz » War On Terror
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Take a moment December 20, 2004

Posted by Liz in : General, War On Terror , comments closed

Christmas is almost here all ready… and what has been your attitude about it? All wrapped up in the stress of shopping and fighting with the crowds and traffic? I know I was a real scrooge for a good two months as the framing orders at work began to pile up around me to the point where we can’t move around the office without pushing something aside first. I was really stressed out and pulled a large amount of extra hours at work to get them all done. Now I just feel stupid for all that stress; for most part the framing is done.. .but who cares… Christmas is about celebrating Christ’s birth with family and friends. I got a stab to the gut to get that back in my head. Friday we found out that Justin, my new brother in-law and Stephanie’s new husband, has now been called to active duity and must go to serve our wonderful country. His Christmas with us is called short as he will be leaving Sunday for extra training before he goes overseas. Now every minute counts and our goal is to have the “best !@#$ Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny !@#$ing Kay” to quote from Christmas Vacation.

Christmas has always been a very special time for me and my family and is something we always look forward too. Christmas brings out the little kid and me and I just get so excited for head to toe. Heck I start counting down the days until next Christmas the day after Christmas. All the snow, card games, after Christmas shopping, and most importantly the family I only get to see once a year! For those who know me… Halloween means nothing compared to Christmas! lol. Right now though I have mixed feelings. It’ll be a Christmas where we put on our happy and brave faces while inside we are dreading the fact that Justin has to leave the next day to start training.

I don’t really know why I am typing all this and posting it on the website… maybe to say don’t take your family and friends for granted. We were told earlier that we had until late this summer before he went active. We planned on a nice big Christmas, for him being there for the birth of his first born son in Febuary along with what every random family event that happens now until then. So I guess I am just venting because it sucks!! Anyways, thanks for listening and please keep Justin, Stephanie and the rest of us in your prayers. It’s going to be the hardest Christmas and at the same time it will problably be one that we will all cherish and hold dear to our hearts while he is gone until he is back home safely in the arms of Stephanie, Joyanna, and his newly born son.

Those who can give up liberty don’t deserve it? August 12, 2004

Posted by Ben in : Government, Politics, War On Terror , comments closed

When the USA Patriot Act of 2001 passed in the Senate with only one vote to the opposition and in the House with only sixty-six votes in opposition (contrast that with the 357 ‘yeas’), the sentiment of many Americans, myself included, was that we could willingly (and sometimes gladly) allow our freedoms to be restricted, if for only a short while (through December 2005), in order that the safety of our country be maintained. In fact, we felt it was our patriotic duty to allow the government to restrict our freedoms.

A quote by Benjamin Franklin, however, makes me feel a bit shameful about this attitude. Taken from Poor Richard’s Almanac, the statement reads like this:

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

What a slap in the face coming from a well-known revolutionary and proofreader of the Declaration of Independence! Even in the face of war on home soil and tyranny by the King, Franklin felt that any self-imposed restriction of liberty in order to maintain safety was itself tyrannical, and he wanted nothing to do with it. In fact, no revolutionary did: tyranny by any government (or even by its citizens) was exactly what they fought against. Any restriction of liberty (with exception to restrictions that maintain the equal liberties of others) is tyranny. That is the point of the Declaration of Independence.

Can we who willingly have given up our freedoms and liberties in time of war call ourselves patriotic and deserving of the very liberty we have given up?

The Patriot Act of 2001 is a long document, and I don’t pretend to know much of what it says, but the folks over at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have an article analyzing the Patriot Act in respect to how it affects activities on the Internet. At the least, it’s an interesting read.