Showing posts with label Privacy and Security issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Privacy and Security issues. Show all posts


Independence – What would you do if you didn’t have it?

As its July 4th, Independence Day, this week in the United States, I sit back and think of how many people don’t even think about having independence. People today just think it’s a given that it’s there and don’t think – what would their life be like if they didn’t have it? 

Governments - Independence versus Communist Rule

As the United States has celebrates its 237th birthday, did you know that this special day wasn’t a federal holiday until 1870? Yes, that’s correct! Congress didn’t make it a holiday until 1870, but wasn’t a paid holiday until 1941. Unbelievable but true. Then there are some other people that say that America wasn’t anactually independent until August 2, 1776. Why is this? This is because the Declaration of Independence wasn’t fully signed until August 2nd.  Then why does America celebrate it on that day? It’s because Congress, in a closed session, actually passed the wording of the document, The Declaration of Independence, on that day and only 3 people (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin), to my knowledge, signed it.

On the other hand, those who live in Communist Rule countries know little about the Independence that the US forefathers wrote about.  Some people, who live there, don’t think about what they could be gaining (freedom of speech to name just one freedom) by not living in their country, and that’s because they are used to living this way and that’s fine by them. Much of what they say and do in these regions of the world is controlled by the government. Some people can and do like living this way and others who are tired of living this way move to countries which they do have their independence.

History IS important

In fact, back in the late 1800’s many people immigrated from one of these countries to places like the US. My ancestors were many of them that took this time to leave the countries of their birth and moved to a country, as young as it was, showed what they considered safer, secure and more of a promise than the one they knew. One of the common says “Stay with the evil you know or the devil you don’t know” comes to mind. For some, this was a huge change for them as they left everything they knew and loved behind – including loved ones.
I know from speaking to my grandmother, who immigrated to the US when she was a young girl, that she didn’t know what to expect but knew it had to be better than what they were living in. Then she saw the Statue of Liberty and said that it was huge and beautiful she knew that she was finally safe. I didn’t entirely understand what she was saying, until this year when I started to research the conditions when she left Poland with her mother and meet up with her father after they cleared Ellis Island. Recently, I spoke to my father about them coming to the US, and it opened my eyes to exactly what the family went through before they arrived at Ellis Island and my respect went up another notch.  If only I could have been a bit older to completely understand when my grandmother was alive, I could have sat there talking to her for days.

As for which government is better, is a bit of a mix feeling and thoughts when I sat thinking about it. In a way both are pretty good with the government being a large mother and father to the people rather than the mother and fathers of the independent state being the ones to regulate what happens. That being said, I don’t feel I could probably live with a government dictating to me what I could and could not do.

That being said, with the recent privacy issues being released by Edward Snowden, regarding the government’s surveillance, people are concerned about this issue. I’ve heard and read about people saying it goes against laws and liberties and what makes the US the US. This I can understand, however, this has happened before – remember back in World War 2? – and it goes along those lines, I believe, the government is taking this stand.

In the past nearly 10 years, we have had 3 major buildings terrorized, countless near attacks and recently the Boston Marathon bombing. If you think back to what you felt each time these things
2013 Boston Bombing
happened, is the reasoning behind why the government is trying to do the surveillance that they are. Do I like it? No, however, I understand that when I was calling into the US from Australia, I knew there were people listening in as you can hear the clicks and hesitations that tell me someone else is on the line but I know if that’s what they have to do to keep my friends and family safe, then that’s what they do. My life is not that exciting for them to listen into, but if they want to be extremely bored by my life then leave them to it. Because compared to what my grandmother and great grandparents went through, a few listening in clicks are a lot better than having someone I love killed by someone that they could have stopped.
My grandmother, Jean, in the 1980's.

So this week when you think of the US and their free liberties, also think of those who don’t have those liberties. Some of them want those liberties but don’t have the means or will power to get them unlike my ancestors. Each year when this holiday comes around, I think of what my grandmother’s face would have looked like as she sailed past the Statue of Liberty and how she felt so safe and NEVER give that up – NEVER give up my US citizenship. I did make that promise and I WILL keep it because it means even more now, today, then it did when she asked me to give that promise. 
secure that she asked me, her granddaughter, before her death to promise and swear that whatever I did in life, to

So what will you think about on this day of Independence?