President Big Brother says don't worry about federal spying

"You can't have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience," he said, stressing that members of Congress and federal judges had also been aware of these secret programs. "You know, we're going to have to make some choices as a society."

Yes, we're going to have to make some choices. Us, not you. The first choice is to figure out who we were and who we are. We were once a people who prized individual liberty above all else. But we've given it up. We're tired.

We might as well admit it. What we've done, what we've given up, won't stop gnawing at us until we concede the truth of it.

We gave up freedom after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. President George W. Bush and Congress ceded it away. We were afraid and we gave it up. And President Big Brother, who campaigned against these Bush policies, has taken it to another level without much dissent from his adoring media.

We've been beaten down by a terrible economy. The Wall Street boys haul in profits. The rest of us struggle to pay the bills. And college students rush to study "Healthcare Management," eager to serve Obamacare for the promise of a steady paycheck.

We'll be told by pro-Obama and pro-Bush media mouthpieces not to worry, that those who shriek about the loss of freedom are irrational, perhaps even suspect.

We can listen to them, close our eyes and go to sleep.

Or we can remind ourselves who we were, and what we can be again.

I'd recommend another book, one that is prized by tea party people and the Occupy crowd, and should be treasured by all of us. It's a small booklet, subversive, perhaps even dangerous.

It was written by a now-forgotten people who wouldn't sacrifice liberty for security, and who once told the mighty king of England that they'd rather live free or die.

The authors didn't hide their work in a secret court. They wrote it out publicly, for everyone to see, starting with the words "We the people."

And they called it the Constitution of the United States.

jskass@tribune

Twitter @John_Kass

CHICAGO

More