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If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance

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Published on: Thursday, February 21, 2013

By Brian J. Karem

A little five-year-old girl and her family in Pennsylvania had to recently get the help of a shark-like attorney after the little girl got suspended from school for “terroristic threatening” another little girl when she pretended to shoot her with her pink toy gun.

A pink bubble gun that blows soapy bubbles – no less – was the cause for the commotion.

It’s just the latest as people overreact to real violence in America by trying to eliminate the pretend violence in America.

If that makes sense to you, then you’ve got me brother and sister. I’m at a complete loss for words.

I was also rendered speechless as a large rock fell to earth in Russia and a reverend that shall remain nameless said it was “God’s Will.”

You know that had to be coming.

I wish, among other things, some common sense would fall on the earth somewhere – anywhere.

Common sense isn’t at all common.

In fact, one could say we’re just fresh out these days.

Take a look at our cover story. An agency funded by the federal government is collecting information on the residents of Maryland and every other state in the union.

This agency can keep the information it gathers from automatic license plate readers and perhaps other information – for at least a year and some fear indefinitely.

The agency reports to no one and is only marginally policed by Congress.

It has a license to investigate, but does not rely on warrants or due process.

It violates not only every single civil liberty we hold dear, but apparently is proud to do so.

Its protectors tell us it is a needed tool in the war against terrorism.

I think not.

Common sense tells us a government allowed to investigate us without cause can cause its own demise.

A people so paranoid it allows such a thing to happen is a people short on common sense and long on fear.

We are those people.

For the problems with increased government scrutiny, be it from the so-called “Patriot Act” or other liberty destroying moves by the government hasn’t produced the fear of one’s own government we should have when we allow the government to indiscriminately snoop upon the average citizen with little or no just cause.

As the lady who told me in a beauty salon last week, “What do I care as long as I am safe?”

Far be it from me to go quoting Benjamin Franklin. I’ve said it enough about those who care so much for their safety they’ll sacrifice their liberty.

Those who are at least vaguely familiar with the opinions in this column have also heard me openly question the government and the fact we seem to live in a police state.

But now, fundamentally, I must confess with all I’ve witnessed I’m beginning to question our sanity as a nation.

Kids would rather sit on headphones eating up AAA batteries while playing first-person shooter games on the computer as they play with their friends in the virtual world rather than actually “hang out” with their friends in the real world.

People would rather be in a fictional cocoon of safety rather than take a chance in the world.

If you’re a kid and you point a pink soap bubble gun at another child, then you’re labeled a terrorist?

Meanwhile, science is a magic that we can dismiss with a faith in a religion and everything we see and experience can be explained away with God’s vengeance or good humor.

You know, this isn’t the first time a culture on the planet earth has dealt with its problems in this fashion and it’s not the first time we’ve seen people sacrifice their civil liberties.

I wasn’t around, but I read about the Middle Ages in an antiquated vessel called a history book.

It wasn’t on a “Kindle” or on “Wikapedia,” but that history book also taught me about the Age of Enlightenment.

I’m still waiting for that in this lifetime.


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