Anti-American Rhetoric Pervades Even Conservative Denominations

On an episode of Issues Etc. examining pop culture apocalypticism, Lutheran Minister Jonathan Fiske admonished that believers need to get away from an American Republican view of Christianity that we are meant to live a good life here and now to a ripe old age after which we go on to our eternal reward in Heaven.

Interesting how the default term to denigrate these days out of the mouths of so many professional relgionists is “America”.

Furthermore, is his enunciation of the term “Republican” also invoked to besmirch the ideological proclivity of those assembling under the banner of the GOP to believe that the path towards the broadest swath of prosperity for the greatest number is to be found in individuals for the most part left alone to pursue their own well being, dreams and callings?

Does Rev. Fiske intend to cast as much aspersion upon an American Democratic view of Christianity that instead sees the path to a society approaching something akin to justice as one where the individual is nothing more than a cog in whatever group one happens to be a part of for the purposes of the government dispersing its largess to favored demographics and constituencies?

Furthermore, is the desire to maximize pleasure and evade misery necessarily a distinctively American characteristic?

Or is it that America through the blessings of the Almighty has been more successful than most regimes in achieving this most desirable yet elusive state of affairs?

For one will find that the average Third Worlder (unless brainwashed by the likes of fanatic Islam) is usually as averse to pain as most Westerners.

It is just that their respective society has not been as successful in alleviating these vicissitudes.

Often those given towards ostentatious verbalized declarations of their own piety articulate a willingness to welcome increased suffering.

However, was it not the God such souls claim as their primary loyalty the one that imbued part of His creation with that mysterious quality known as life along with a desire to see that distinct gift continued for as long as possible?

Though it may be ended as a result of a wide variety of intervening contingencies, if the believer strives to live by these principles God has established in the social sphere, won’t the odds be in your favor for a life characterized by a bit less trouble?

After all, does not Scripture urge one to honor your mother and father so that your days upon the Earth might be long?

That text even admits it is a Scripture that dangles before the hearer a carrot in order to encourage compliance.

By Frederick Meekins

 

Pope Downplays Islamist Invasion

In an interview downplaying the Islamist invasion of the West, Pope Francis assured in a La Criox interview that he has seen “Muslims come to venerate the Virgin Mary and St. George.”

That doesn’t cut it.

Unless you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved, you are still going to Hell no matter how highly you think of His earthly mother.

She was, after all, a sinner in need of a savior like every other human being.

In the same interview, the Pope went on to assert that the state must be secular and that the ones that are confessional in nature in that they adhere to an established creed end badly.

So, as a sovereign state of its own, does this assessment also apply to the Vatican?

Will those of a mindset similar to Ian Paisley or Jack Chick at their most militant be invited to establish a print shop on Vatican territory as a symbol of this dedication to pluralism?

by Frederick Meekins

Didn’t Pious Ideologues Lay Foundation Of Trumpism?

Syndicated Columnist Cal Thomas has published a commentary critical of presidential candidate Donald Trump titled “The itching ears of Trump fans”.

In the piece, Thomas astutely points out where the billionaire’s bold promises often lack specifics as to how the proposals could be implemented in a way that would minimize the disruption from an uncooperative opposition as epitomized by the Occupy movement and BlackLivesMatter not above the use of what most Americans would categorize as violence in the attempt to sway public opinion and policy.

But did not Thomas himself play a part in paving the way for the ascent of Trumpism?

In “Blinded By Might”, Cal Thomas admonished how the truly devout ought to dichotomize their worldviews to separate what constitutes spirituality from what constitutes competent political leadership or governance.

Now that droves of Evangelicals and Roman Catholics have flocked to a candidate that might not abide by Biblical behavioral norms in his personal life but who not only speaks bluntly about the nation’s problems but in a manner that does not act like everything wrong in the world is America’s fault, theologians and even conservative pundits that set this ball in motion nearly twenty years ago stand gapping in dumbfounded amazement.

In his commentary, Thomas levels condemnation at Donald Trump for speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

But isn’t Thomas a bit guilty of this himself?

In referencing the cruel things Trump’s disturbingly fanatic supporters have called Thomas, the witty correspondent confesses being called “old” probably hurt worse than even being called a sack of excrement.

But of that particular verbal put down, Thomas writes, “Remember when age used to go with wisdom unless proven otherwise?”

Yet any other time in his desire to gain the favor of the media elite, Thomas has mocked both Tea Party gatherings and Trump rallies for being composed primarily of elderly White faces.

But one cannot get much more elderly and White than Cal Thomas.

Does he intend to consistently live by the principles he now professes by surrendering the place he does occupy in the media or the no doubt hefty check he receives for doing so?

By Frederick Meekins

The Morality Of Stem Cell Research

In light of the suffering endured by beloved celebrities such as Christopher Reeve and Michael J. Fox, many Americans have been swayed as to the propriety of stem cell research as a potential cure for alleviating some of the most horrible conditions imaginable such as paralysis, Parkinson’s, and cancer. However, as with many of the other things set before him promising comfort and prosperity, the believing Christian must weigh the costs and benefits on the scales of Biblical truth before he can either accept or reject what this technology may have to offer.

Thus far we know the following. Medical science has determined that stem cells posses the potential of being altered into other kinds of cells. This could potentially make them useful in curing various kinds of diseases.

The controversy arises over the source from which these cells are harvested. One possible source are mature stem cells obtained from adults. This extraction does not harm the donor. The drawback is, however, that it is believed it may not be possible to manipulate mature stem cells into becoming the different kinds of cells doctors and scientists may need to treat all the conditions begging for medical attention.

On the other hand, it has been suggested that stem cells obtained from embryos may be a more fruitful source. These may prove easier to alter since they have not yet matured. The main drawback, however, is that the embryo must be destroyed in order to obtain the stem cells for research and experimentation.

This debate has become one of the foremost issues in contemporary American politics as both sides make a number of compelling ethical claims. On the one hand, advocates of embryonic stem cell research often suffer from afflictions those of reasonably good health cannot possibly understand at this given point in our lives. It is only natural that they and their loved ones would want research into what could be the most effective cure. Yet on the other hand, there are concerns about the destiny of the embryo from which the stem cells are taken since the fertilized egg is a self-contained genetically distinct living human organism.

The foremost ethical principle bearing on this dispute is the sanctity of human life. Interestingly, in this case the principle is being invoked by both sides of the debate. Thus, one almost needs the wisdom of Solomon in attempting to apply the concept in a judicious manner.

Since the suffering are beings made in the image of God, medical science does have a duty to do what it can to ease the misery of the profoundly ill. That said though, society in general and the medical establishment in particular must go out of its way to defend innocent human life that cannot protect itself.

It is against the law to destroy an eagle egg which is essentially an unborn eagle. Then why should it then be permissible to kill an unborn child since it is a principle Biblical in origin traditionally accepted throughout Western society that a human being is infinitely more valuable than any animal? For if His eye is on the sparrow, then I know He’s watching me.

Furthermore, with all the efforts by activists lobbying for funding for embryonic stem cell research, it is doubtful that most of the public is being told the entire picture regarding these developments in medical science.

According to columnist Charles Krauthammar, who is himself a paraplegic and a trained physician, in a column from October 15, 2004 titled “Anything to get elected” posted at Townhall.com claims of those such as John Kerry and John Edwards that hold out the hope of such miracle cures only if Americans vote for the right candidates, “In my 25 years in Washington, I have never seen a more loathsome display of demagoguery.” Krauthammar goes on to point out that it could be another generation before scientists are anywhere close to finding a cure for paralysis and that NIH stem cell researcher Ronald McKay has admitted that “stem cells as an Alzheimer’s cure are a fiction but that people need a fairytale.”

Furthermore, even if embryonic stem cells prove more malleable than their adult counterparts, we might not like the results. According to a LifeNews.com story by Steven Ertelt titled “Embryonic Stem Cell Research Causes Tumors”, University of Rochester researchers found that, while stem cells injected into the brains of rats to ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s did help a number of the rodents, a number of the cells began growing in a manner that would have led to tumors.

Apart from the harm that might befall the recipients of the procedure, it would still remain morally dubious even if it returned the patients to robust health and vitality. Writing in another column entitled “Stem Cell Miracle?: An Advance This Side Of Bush’s Moral Line” appearing in the January 12, 2007 Washington Post, Charles Krauthammar admits that, even though he himself supports abortion and does not believe life begins at conception, he is leery of what may result should some kind of restriction not be placed on embryonic research. Krauthammar warns, “You don’t need religion to tremble at the thought of unrestricted embryo research. You simply have to have a healthy respect for the human capacity for doing evil in pursuit of the good. Once we have taken the position of many stem cell advocates that embryos are discardable tissue with no more intrinsic value than a hangnail, then the barriers are down. What is to prevent us from producing not just tissues and organs but humanlike organisms for preservation as a source of future body parts on demand?”

This possibility has been explored in a number of imaginative contexts such as “Gene Rodenberry’s: Earth Final Conflict”, where one episode depicted human bodies not quite allowed to develop consciousness kept in a state similar to suspended animation until their organs were needed. In “The Island” starring Ewan MacGregor, clones were kept in a guarded facility until their parts were needed by their genetic progenitors.

The fundamental guiding principle of medicine is to do no harm. That lofty ideal ought to apply to both the patient seeking services as well as the individual from which the cure could very well be extracted.

By Frederick Meekins

Trump Critics Often Fail To Understand World As It Actually Exists

The title of the cover story of the 3/5/16 issue of the Spectator is “America Turns Nasty: The Rise Of Trump & The Souring Of A Superpower”. The title is accompanied with a caricature of Donald Trump dressed as the Statue of Liberty.

But instead of lifting aloft the famous torch, Trump is instead thrusting the most expressive of digits erect into the air. To clarify for those feigning a sense of shocked innocence, that is of course a reference to the middle finger.

Interesting it is America in general and Trump supporters in particular that are blamed for turning nasty and sour. Apparently the title is a reference to the spreading sense of irritation experienced on the part an increasing number of Americans fed up with having to take responsibility for the expanding number of deadbeats and human detritus in the world.

Donald Trump has indeed verbalized a few things that could have gone unsaid such as remarks directed towards Carli Fiornia, John McCain, and Hedi Cruz. However, many of his other quips were actually quite measured in terms of the domestic and international developments that provoked them.

For example, many were no doubt shocked when Trump suggested banning Muslims from entering the United States. His proposal could have perhaps been worded more artfully as banning admission of migrants and travelers from countries either known for supporting terrorists or unsuccessfully interdicting such violent nihilists within their respective borders.

Such a rhetorical miscalculation is still not as nasty as flying hijacked jetliners into prominent landmarks. Nor are Trump’s remarks as nasty as slaughtering an unsuspecting member of the military along the side of the road and making a broadcast pronouncement regarding such an atrocity while still soaked in the victim’s blood.

Others are even more outraged at Trump’s proposal to build a wall across the border with Mexico for the purposes of curtailing the riffraff compromising the territorial and demographic integrity of the United States. But shouldn’t even greater outrage be directed towards incidents such as the case of one particular illegal alien that was released as a result of an alleged bureaucratic mix up that is now accused of a murder spree as a serial killer?

Those whose brains are so wired to crave social acceptance and approval over the innate survival instinct will moan that such crimes are committed by only a minuscule percentage of unauthorized transborder migrants. Supposedly most aren’t all that different than any other human being simply striving and struggling to make their way through life.

That is irrelevant. If you are awakened in the middle of the night by someone rummaging through your refrigerator that you did not give permission to be there, should such intruders be allowed to remain if they are otherwise nice people? In such instances, is it also somehow immoral if you decide to have someone kicked off the premises because at one time you did not use to own the house?

A number of uterosupremacists are outraged over a number of remarks made by Donald Trump pertaining to WOMMMMENNN (spelled that way in phonetic solidarity with the way in which prominent activists seem to pronounce the term). But if you are outraged over the things Trump has said in regards to a particular segment of the population no one is allowed to criticize or contradict just because their particular genetic architecture is built upon two X chromosomes, by default aren’t you obligated to support the broad principles of Trumpian realist foreign policy?

For example, Donald Trump has been condemned for categorizing Islamists and radical Muslims as being bad. How can such a political and religious movement be categorized as anything but such when contemplating its prospects and intentions for WOMMMENNN (as well as men while we are at it)?

For example, perhaps those obsessed with mammography as about the only form of cancer detection elevated to the level of a civil sacrament ought to be reminded that, in certain ISIS-controlled territories, women have had their breasts hacked off by these ghoulish demoniacs for the offense of not belonging to the regime’s sanctioned religion.

At times, the verbal formulations of Donald Trump are a bit gruff and over the top. However, the United States has not faired so well as of late under the leadership of those that elevate ostentatious manners over prosperity and even survival in a world where those gaining the upper hand often don’t care so much about what fork to eat the salad with as they do about the rusty knife they intend to use for the severing of heads.

By Frederick Meekins

 

Intellectually Excavating Indiana Jones Unearths Epistemological Artifacts

As a discipline, archaeology examines the artistic and technological remains of various cultures in the attempt to learn more about them. Often from these objects, students learn about more than the subject’s material nature but also insight into the beliefs and paradigms important to the human species at a particular time.

Probably the most prominent representative of the discipline in public culture is none other than Indiana Jones, with Stargate’s Dr. Daniel Jackson coming in at second. As a narrative itself created at a particular point in time, the Indiana Jones movies themselves can be placed under investigation to unearth what our own culture has believed at various points in recent history as well as the ideas shaping those having such influence over our own society.

Through comparing “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and the other films of the Indiana Jones saga, especially with “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade”, one can detect the shifts taking place all around us as to what the broader popular culture perceives as foundational truth. For example, though the films should not be seen as a systematic theology upon which to base one’s faith, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Last Crusade” had at their base Judeo-Christian assumptions in that artifacts connected with this tradition, namely the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail (the cup used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper) were actual historic objects and, since these objects in legend exude a power that cannot be explained by conventional science, one assumes they are connected to the divine.

In the latest film of the series, “Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull”, ultimate wisdom and power is not seen as originating in a traditional conception of God as in “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” or “Last Crusade” or even in spirits as in “Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom”. Rather in the latest installment, the source of enlightenment happens to be those entities with the bulbous heads and lanky limbs we have come to know as extraterrestrials whose crystalline skulls in this story can serve as powerful tools through which to augur the future, communicate with these beings, and to gain control of the world. Though an entertaining story, it may have considerable basis in reality — or at least in the worldviews of its high level producers.

For example, the opening scene with Indy trouncing through the military hanger is set in none other than Area 51 and the top secret project he alludes to working on 10 years prior to the events of the story is none other than the Roswell crash. Some might flippantly dismiss these as urban legends that have taken on lives of their own beyond the significance of any incidents that may have occurred in these locations that now fire the imagination. However, it is pretty hard to ignore the Nazca lines which were not discovered by modern man until the discovery of flight and the existence of a tribe of Indians that mutilated the shape of their skulls to make themselves appear as if they were from beyond this earth.

Even these can be dismissed as historical or anthropological curiosities as human beings have believed or done some rather bizarre things since nearly the dawn of time. The thing is that there are those among the influential who would imbue intelligences from beyond this earth with a metaphysical prominence going above that which you would bestow upon someone from another country as being different from but frankly no better ontologically than you ultimately.

While a highly creative individual, to Steven Spielberg, these creatures are much more than imaginative characters or plot elements. Rather, the acclaimed director has had an interest and belief in the paranormal throughout much of his life beyond that of a mere narrative device and he has been reported to have had a number of encounters with the unexplained.

In the movie, the quest was not so much to verify whether or not transterrestrial life simply existed as a biological fact but rather that enlightenment was somehow obtained from these beings and as such they were worthy of the adoration and devotion once reserved for God Himself. As the public comes to embrace this worldview more and more, we are beginning to see a shift from viewing beings like this in a solely naturalistic context of beings from another planet not all that unlike our own to, as in the case of “The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull” as coming from a realm transcendent to our own from what could be referred to as another dimension.

Thus, in essence, in terms of our paradigms, the Western mind has come full circle to an extent but on a less sure footing than when it set out on the quest to comprehend the cosmos in which we find ourselves. It use to be believed that nonhuman intelligences originated from another realm (initially Heaven but tossed out when they followed Lucifer/Satan into rebellion). Then as the West increasingly fell under the spell of what Francis Schaeffer termed “modern modern science” (meaning science opposed to the existence of the spiritual realm), such entities were believed to come from other planets

However, as the New Age movement has become so entrenched that it is no longer new anymore and prefers even fancier titles such as “cosmic spirituality”, now it seems our alleged betters along the path of evolutionary consciousness take on the best and worst depending upon one’s perspective. For example, in the latest Indiana Jones adventure, no longer are the gods of the dawning order disembodied spirits we cannot see but rather they posses physical form we can relate to even if it differs vastly from our own. And yet even though they are like us, they also come from a place apart from and above our own so as to avoid banality by providing us with the hope of a somewhere possessing a transcendence we can still aspire to.

Those watching “Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull” can feel free to do so with a clear conscience as it is primarily an entertaining adventure story. However, as with the protagonist of this series, viewers should take with them the assorted philosophical equipment necessary to avoid the pitfalls and traps they are likely to encounter as they undertake an expedition into this realm where imagination intersects belief.

By Frederick Meekins

Like Unto the Beast: National ID System Poses Threat to Liberty

In A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens says of the days of the French Revolution, “It was the best if times, it was the worst of times…” The same could be said of the policies and proposals being considered in response to the kamikaze attack upon the United States by fanatical Islamic terrorists.

While the Bush administration is to be commended for taking steps to address the oozing international threats allowed to fester over the course of the past several presidencies, the President would be wise to gauge with a degree of skepticism the crackpot schemes crawling out of the woodwork in the rush to formulate a response to this profound tragedy befalling the nation.

Often the shackles of tyranny do not initially appear as binding chains, but rather as a comforting blanket designed to take the chill out of the concerns of the moment. It is only after more careful reflection that they are revealed for what they really are.

One proposal being bantered about to placate fears regarding terrorism is the possibility of implementing a national ID card. Such a system could result in concealed repercussions those calling for this system are reluctant to discuss.

Before Americans could find the time to organize their thoughts and feelings regarding the nature and meaning of this profound calamity, a ream of so-called policy analysts and technology experts burst onto the national scene endeavoring to convince the American people as to our need for a national ID system.

Michael Cherkasky, president of Kroll, Inc. Security Consultants, told the New York Times that each American could be issued a computerized smart card allowing authorities to immediately ascertain the identity of individuals at specified security checkpoints. It’s argued these cards could cut down on crime and possibly prevent another terrorist attack.

What those clamoring for the implementation of this technology often fail to point out is that the drawbacks of the program likely outweigh any potential benefits.

These cards would provide more than name, address, and mugshot of their respective holders. The New York Times notes these computerized cards would collect information as to one’s location, financial activity, and just about any other kind of electronic information you could possibly imagine — including the speed at which you are traveling down the highway, according to the September 19th report.

Some of this stuff is none of the government’s business, even if there is a need to conduct a rigorous campaign against the threat of terrorism. Such a card would end up penalizing perfectly legitimate activities by bringing them to the attention of authorities.

For example, what’s going to happen to armchair scholars and researchers interested in the study of violent revolutionary phenomena from an academic social science perspective when these otherwise harmless bookworms check out a library book on terrorism or weapons of mass destruction? I should not be sent to jail for investigating a Tom Clancy novel detailing acts similar to those perpetrated by the September 11th terrorists.

Some may dismiss this as an overreaction, but it is not a farfetched scenario. During the late 1980’s, the FBI operated an intelligence program targeting the library records of readers daring to express a bibliographic interest in Eastern Europe. And as recently as the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, prosecutors sought to subpoena a list of the reading materials purchased by that particular bawdy intern.

Just think how much more widespread and incriminating such a program would be in an environment of heightened security with the information readily available in a single database. Frankly, if the stuff has been deemed appropriate enough to sit on a library shelf, it’s nobody’s business who checks it out, whether it’s the Pope and Billy Graham or Bin Ladin and Hussein themselves.

The problem is not so much that this information alone would be used to nab terrorists, saboteurs or other murderous malcontents, but rather that it would be used in pursuit of other libertyinhibiting agendas aimed at social engineering.

For example, if all commercial transactions and economic exchanges are to be cataloged in a gargantuan database, what’s to stop the government from penalizing those of us who eat too many Big Macs or who buy more sugary snacks than we should at the local supermarket? What’s to stop the government from rationing gas or denying a car loan to individuals who bureaucrats deem to go on too many extraneous daytrips? Even worse, what’s to prevent this information from being used by employers and insurance companies against overweight or sickly employees or beneficiaries?

Of course, in the eyes of some, such concerns don’t really matter. Representative Mary Bono (whose primary qualification for office was having been married to Sonny) told CNSNews.com on September 20, 2001, “When we consider ourselves to be at war, people are going to have to recognize that some of our freedoms are going to be gone.”

You can rest assured though that, as with most of the statutory impositions it inflicts upon the American people, Congress will no doubt weasel its way into exempting itself from many of the proposed counter-terrorism measures, since (in its own eyes at least) our representatives are too important to be confined by such rigors. Bet the likes of Ted Kennedy or Barney Frank will never endure the humiliation of being tossed in a jail cell and body cavity searched (something Frank might enjoy, on second thought) or have their life savings confiscated thanks to a glitch occurring in this technology, which some will no doubt imbue with near-religious infallibility and reverence.

This proposed system of ID has very little to do with preventing terrorism and everything to do with imposing yet another layer of bureaucratic control upon the lives of the American people. Such a conclusion is borne out by the positions taken by House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt regarding specific proposals designed to stem the tide of terrorist violence.

Enthusiastically endorsing the need for a national ID system, this Congressional leader is reported by Matt Drudge as saying, “We are in a new world. This event will change the balance between freedom and security.” Yet this Missouri Democrat has no intention of tipping the scales in favor of security when it comes to saving lives, as Gephardt vociferously opposes plans to arm pilots to defend against highjackers.

The attitude of the British government regarding the ID issue is particularly revealing. While at one time standing as one of the few defenders of liberty in the world, Great Britain now speaks with a duplicity that would make the Soviet Union cringe.

While purporting to be a totally voluntary program, the British Sunday Mirror reports that without an ID, its subjects there cannot board an airplane, buy gasoline (as if that will do anything to stop terrorism), open a bank account, or get a job. Such draconian stipulations remind us of that chilling passage in Revelation 13:17 foreboding: “…no man might buy or sell, save he have the mark.”

Matt Drudge also quotes British Home Secretary David Blunkett as saying on the BBC that we cannot be hamstrung by an excessively “legalistic” interpretation of human rights. In other words, we are going to end up losing our most fundamental constitutional axioms when “Congress shall make no law” no longer means Congress shall make no law.

All that said, the blame does not lie solely with those holding public office or employed in the allied policy professions such as media or public interest research. At present, President Bush wisely concluded that a national ID would have negligible impact in curbing terrorism. However, such discernment stands in marked contrast to the nearly 70% of those polled by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press clamoring for this technology, ready to trade away their birthright of liberty like Esau for a pottage of illusory security.

What do the panic stricken think will be solved by electronic security cards? How is it going to prevent another round of mass murders? Most of the attackers and those aiding in this atrocity were foreigners of dubious moral backgrounds to begin with and should have never been let in in the first place.

It’s also argued that a national ID would produce the spin-off benefit of curbing all forms of illegal immigration, not just those with a propensity towards suicidal martyrdom. With the concessions made to multiculturalism over the past several years and the obsequious praise lavished upon certain immigrant groups for undermining traditional American culture, does anyone honestly believe that the U.S. government will use these ID’s as a catalyst to deport illicit émigrés?

As is being done at certain banks that waive documentation requirements to allow illegals to open special accounts and in states granting them drivers’ licenses, the Federal Government will probably grant the ID’s willy-nilly, without any proof of legality whatsoever, to members of certain ethnic groups with whom politicians of either party are rushing to curry favor. Just don’t get caught on an airplane if you happen to belong to a group without the same degree of clout in the voting booth.

To put it bluntly, the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks were partly the fault of a number of government agencies and certain components of the travel industry in the sense of their failing to exercise proper vigilance against threats they very well knew existed. Immigration authorities should have barred this human slime from desecrating the sovereign soil of the United States. A number of other reports emphasized that traditional antagonisms between the FBI and the CIA might have prevented the flow of intelligence needed to foil such a plot and prevent such a cataclysmic loss of life. Other than tightening security at transportation centers, certain government buildings, and clamping down on the riffraff crossing the borders, there is no reason to punish the American people for a shortcoming not their own.

Benjamin Franklin once noted that those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither freedom nor security. The terrorists have succeeded in taking away our sense of security. Now there are those within the government and among the people who would take away our freedom as well.

By Frederick Meekins