It's been eleven years since the WTC attacks.
In those years, we've fundamentally changed as a country. We now have laws and rules in place that, had we been told about 11 years and a day ago, would have brought laughter, wary looks, and quietly muttered lines about "Tin foil hat wearing conspiracy kook."
If, 11 years and a day ago, I'd have told you that you'd be required to remove your shoes and be subjected to a scan of your entire body before you were allowed to board an airplane, you'd have thought I was crazy.
If, 11 years and a day ago, you were told that the Federal Government could monitor your emails and phone calls without a warrant, detain you without charge based on those emails, and you would have no recourse for those actions, you'd have blown me off with a comment about how I've read 1984 just one too many times.
If, 11 years and a day ago, I said that it wouldn't be long before the government would be able to search library records to determine what books you were reading, or search your internet providers records to find out what websites you visit, and do this all without a warrant, you'd shake your head in disbelief, mention something about First Amendment rights, and walk away.
Yet, 11 years and a day later, here we are.
We've changed as a country and as a society. We spent far too much effort trying to be un-offensive and "multi-cultural" and "inclusive." We find ourselves constantly apologizing to someone or another for some perceived insult, whether it be a spoke word, or failing to honor an obscure holiday, or even for acts that didn't happen -- Remember the kerfluffle about the non-existent act flushing a Koran down a toilet?
We've tried to teach people that it's OUR fault for failing to embrace our enemies, as if all the ills and problems and violence could simply be stopped if we had a big group hug.
We've capitulated, we've taken a conciliatory tone when challenged, and we've given up our ways for the sake of global appreciation.
Not me. I refuse.
I will not change my way of life. I will continue the path I set years ago. I will keep on keeping on. I'll eat bacon and eggs, I'll drive a car that gets lousy gas mileage. I'll spend money on things that I don't NEED, but that I WANT. If I was home, I'd take the guns out for a little dance, sling some lead down range. I'll browse the interwebz for pictures of scantily clad women with big fake breasts. I'll drink a couple beers. I'll speak my mind on whatever topic perks my interest. I'll criticize my government, insult my politicians, and bitch and moan about things as I wish. I will continue to be polite and deferential to women and my elders.
Today, I'm going to go about my life as I would have done 11 years and 1 day ago.
And if you don't like it, you can kiss my big hairy Polish ass.
Edit: Apparently, I'm in good company, as several of my friends feel the same way.