On a clear, sunny September morning in the first year of the new millennium, a small group of radical Islamic terrorists, armed with nothing more than box cutters and a suicidal longing for dark-eyed virgins, hijacked four jetliners and used them to murder over three thousand innocent people. In reaction, the United States government declared a “War on Terror,” embarking on a ten-year imperialist adventure that has so far cost the American taxpayers over one trillion dollars, in addition to causing the direct and indirect deaths of tens of thousands of men, women, and children in foreign lands (the vast majority of whom had nothing to do with the events of that September day). Adding further insult to injury, Congress saw fit to pass a series of highly repressive laws here at home, which have endangered, if not outright destroyed, many of the most cherished constitutional liberties of our own citizens.
America is a nation born of revolution. Most of the individual rights and protections laid out in the Constitution were put there, not as part of some abstract philosophy of just governance, but rather in direct reaction to the harsh treatment the American colonists had endured at the hands of the despotic British monarchy and the soldiers it sent from overseas to enforce its decrees. Articles such as Amendment IV, which states;
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…
were enacted expressly to prevent the kinds of arbitrary and malicious acts perpetrated by the “Redcoats” or “Lobsterbacks” (as British soldiers were mockingly called) against colonial citizens in the course of trying to stifle dissent against the King’s rule. The same goes for Amendment V;
No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,
The Middle Ages in Europe are often romanticized as being a time of castles, jousts, and chivalry, with brave knights setting off on noble quests to battle against evil, and to rescue beautiful princesses held in captivity. Such ideas form the staple fare of many a classic cartoon for children. But in reality, the Middle Ages are synonymous with the Dark Ages – a time of rampant warfare, ignorance, plague, and injustice, when the vast majority of people worked as serfs, slaving away their days in servitude to advance the interests of their feudal lords and masters.