Saturday, June 19, 2004

Okay, one last post, and then I'm off. With regards to the whole "one nation under surveillance" meme, I think that the biggest critics of the Patriot Act are the ones least informed on it. I remember talking months ago about this to a friend of mine who mentioned something about implanting us all with microchips (huh?). On asking her to explain herself, her response was something to the effct of 'well I read the Constitution, damnit.' Okay. Didn't really understand the relevance of this, but, as I've later seen, it's a pretty popular answer.

Anyway - I have a challenge:

Here is a copy of the US Constitution with all the amendments and a bonus edition of the Declaration of Independence.

Here is a copy of the US Patriot Act.

Let's get these documents read before we debate them, okay?, rather than rely on other groups' or individuals' commentaries on them? Otherwise, with all due respect, please just shut up.

1 comment:

PubliusK said...

I, like your friend, have read the U.S. Constitution. More than once. I have not read all of the US Patriot Act. Take a look at it yourself. It's pretty dry reading and there is an awful lot of reading to do.

But I have read significant parts of it when the need or desire has suited me. I think that I have read enough of it to be considered 'more knowledgeable than most'. I am also a critic. Other notable and indeed knowledgeable critics include Newt Gingrich, Bob Barr and Dick Armey. It offended Mr. Armey and Mr. Barr enough to motivate them to associate with the ACLU in order to fight it's most intrusive provisions and to educate the public. 250 cities and towns in the U.S. have also passed resolutions criticizing this act. While I know what you get when you assume, I will take the risk anyway and assume that these folks are not among your 'least informed'.

I agree that a good portion of this act was needed and is useful. We are indeed embroiled in a war on terrorism that we cannot extricate ourselves from without a lot of pain. Okay. So then why isn't it called the Making it Easier to Fight Terrorism Act? Or the Tools that We Need to Win the War on Terrorism Act? Because those who wrote it know it for what it is and figure that if you wrap the flag around it, it's safe. If you oppose this act, or the administration that wrote it, then you are not a Patriot.

I'll end with a quote from one of my favorite Patriots: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty."

Keep writing. I enjoy it very much.