We have enemies, to be sure, and who knows what the new year will bring, but I just wanted to throw out one perspective to consider in all of this. While I was growing up, we expected that the world might end in a great flash at any moment. The red scare had convinced many Americans that the Russians wanted to destroy us, and for fear or ideology they probably did. As opposed to the situation today, the enemy was not limited to suicide bombers, stolen nuclear fuel, or bathtub chemistry. We were facing an enemy who had top notch scientists, budgets equal to our own, fleets of ships, submarines, aircraft, and who at the peak of the cold war had something like 30,000 nuclear missiles with most of them pointed at us and our allies. The threat was not that we might lose some building, bridges, or even a city, we believed, and probably correctly so, that the entire planet would be destroyed in a few hours - maybe days or weeks - but for all practical purposes, nothing would survive anywhere. Not only did we know that the enemy had tried to put nuclear weapons in Cuba - our own backyard - we also knew that tensions were often high and that the decision to launch a first strike, which was certain to be followed by a retaliatory strike, might be based on some sort of mathematical game in which we were the expendable masses. Most of us understood that it was a numbers game and all that it would take to end humanity was one nut with his finger on the red button. Nothing that I see today even comes close to equaling the threat posed by the Soviets and the cold war. Obviously we need to respond in a reasonable way to an enemy who wishes us harm, but these guys are a bunch of clowns compared to the Soviets. And there is absolutely no reason to sacrifice rights and liberties to rhetoric and fear mongering. There is nothing new under the sun including the cries for more security at the expense of rights protected by the Constitution. In my opinion, the greatest threat to all Americans comes from within our own borders - blind and unquestioning patriotism, unchecked rhetoric, and the use of fear as a political tool. These are the real enemies to what we are. The world has always been hanging by a thread and it will probably continue to do so for many generations to come. But once we give up rights that were paid for in blood, we may not get them back for decades if ever. And the problem with giving up rights is that we can easily give up more than we know until it’s too late. One last thought: Keep in mind that 911 was over four years ago - longer than we were engaged in WWI or WWII. The war on terror will probably last for decades.