LETTER:Time to return to ordinary way of life

Tim Borchardt

Today there are various thoughts on how to respond to the terrorist attacks. Some say let’s flatten Afghanistan and Iraq – turn them into parking lots. Some gather and sing songs of peace and worry about civilians in those countries. Others say they are scared and want more protection. They want to feel safe.

Using cries for more safety as an excuse, Congress and the president passed a new law that expands police powers to monitor and detain individuals suspected of terrorism, drug trafficking and other crimes. The new law allows for expanded wire taps, e-mail and Internet monitoring by law enforcement, detention of non-citizens for up to a week without filing charges, and secret searches of homes and businesses. All in the name of safety.

Since the birth of our country many people have given their lives so we could live as free people. Their vision of freedom would not include thousands of armed guards along our borders, in our airports and on our streets. That sounds like a country that used to have a wall. If we become so afraid that we are willing to trade our freedoms for the promise of more safety, we will be neither free nor safe. Terrorism will have won.

Here in Johnson County I would offer this suggestion to those who are afraid and want to feel safe again from the dangers the world has to offer – call up the sheriff to arrange rental of a cell in the county jail. You will have bars to keep out danger and you will have armed protection 24 hours a day. You will be safe.

I’m going to live my ordinary life doing ordinary things, as if it’s Sept. 10. To terrorists or anyone else who wants to take my freedoms, I would simply say this – I will live free. Nothing else will do.

Tim Borchardt

Iowa City