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Letter to the editor: Remember Franklin's words amid domestic spying revelations

Remember Franklin's words amid domestic spying revelations

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? Father's Day 2013 the answer is no.

The world awoke to this truth when they learned the National Security Agency was tapping all forms of communication all of the time for all Americans. Other Americans knew earlier when the IRS selected them for special attention. I became aware when it became necessary to have a permit to speak in a Woodbury park. Today if I desired to speak in outrage over what has happened to our freedom I would need first to ask permission. These laws have emerged in the wake of Department of Homeland Security conferences which have advised local communities on how to make their communities safer.

Another Woodbury law, which restricts protest in residential areas, was also introduced in 2009 by the Woodbury Department of Public Safety. The police have no business helping to write our laws. Woodbury has done little to protest. In my opinion this may be cowardice and it is certainly a lack of understanding about freedom.

The Woodbury Department of Public Safety, the NSA and the DHS have combined to make Benjamin Franklin's quote come alive in 2013. "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." It is entirely possible that the NSA became aware of this commentary before you did by reading it from my computer. It is unlikely but certainly possible.

I ask you: "Does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? " Come and celebrate freedom at 7 p.m., July 4, at the Woodbury Veterans Memorial Park to hear how to support freedom in Woodbury (weather and speech permit permitting).

James Grinols - Woodbury

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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