Independence Day should be dearer to Americans than ever before. We should all reflect on what independence actually means to us, both individually and as a citizenry. Most Americans equate independence with freedom that accompanies a democracy. But the democracy that allows for freedom is dependent on upholding the very precious rights of each individual citizen. Nothing should diminish these rights, including the threat of terrorism. Instead, the rights of each of us should be non-negotiable in finding solutions to combat the evil that permeates terrorism on every level.

Currently, the federal government is initiating policy and legislation that could severely undermine our individual rights. Security has been the launch pad for numerous programs and processes that should be publicly scrutinized before implemented. Instead, a shadow government is operating with little or no challenge, and the media is turning a blind eye to it.

Independence means that we have the freedom as a nation to participate in our destiny. Be watchful, debate the issue of security versus freedom with your family and friends, define what security is for America, and then engage in determining what you will or will not tolerate in terms of its cost. Once you have asserted this much independence, the rest will fall into place.

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