Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I'm the ghost with the most, babe.

I know you'll share my relief at the renewal of the Patriot Act. It's comforting to know that we Americans will continue our 200+ year experiment in pursuit of pseudo-liberty and quasi-freedom. Nothing drives those islamafascists crazier than the thought we in the United States so loudly proclaim the fact that we are free-ish. My wife can now go to the library and, with the oversight of the Intelligence and Law Enforcement Branches of the Federal Government, check out a book. All without having to wear a burka. Take that, Osama!

I do have a few small quibbles with the law, however. Take this quote:

"The issue is not concluded," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa. He said he plans more legislation and hearings on restoring House-rejected curbs on government power.

Now I don't know if Senator Specter is familiar with a little television show we humble citizens like to call "Schoolhouse Rock," but it he'd seen the episode called "I'm just a Bill" he realize his statement just doesn't hold up. I'm pretty sure that once the President takes up his pen (or in the case of the current White House occupant, a crayon) and signs a bill it becomes what we like to casually refer to as "a law." Mr. Patriot Act will be singing and tap dancing down the steps of the capitol building shortly.

Perhaps Senator Specter is referring to the possibility of introducing a nebulous future bill that could amend the Patriot Act towards restoring some of our civil liberties and freedoms or, if you like, towards making us less free-ish. Who is Specter trying to kid? It'd just "sit there on capitol hill." No, there would be no singing and dancing for Mr. Amend the Patriot Act. He'd just grow slowly old and wrinkled followed by a retirement to a Florida rest home, filling his days with bingo and shuffleboard and regailing his fellow retirees with stories of how "he could've been a contender." It would be an ignoble end for this bill.

But the best statement of support for the Patriot Act is reserved for Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky who drags out this oft-used warning:

"Civil liberties do not mean much when you are dead."

Bunning and others who echo his sentiment have an excellent point, but I wonder why they stop at liberties. Here's a short list of some other things I came up with that won't mean much when you are dead:

  • Watching your caloric intake. You are going to lose weight regardless of what you do.
  • Shaving or clipping your nails. They're going to keep growing. Just give it up.
  • The Winter Olympics. They're meaningless now and will be just as meaningless then.
  • The Oscars. Okay, you may still care about who hosts.

The list of what we won't care about after we're dead is practically endless. In fact our only annoyance will probably be the living. What ghost would want those that are still breathing and laughing and free-ishly skipping around in their vicinity?

Thankfully there's an answer. You just say his name three times and all your problems with the living will go away. Trust me.


Anonymous said...

I have no fear of any law I don't intend on breaking.

Anonymous said...

I agree Pa've. But I AM afraid of government being empowered with the ability to spy on me, pry into my private life, or restrict my civil liberties without serious oversight. The temptation for abuse is just too great. Don't think so? Would you really be so smug if there was a Democratic senate, a Democratic congress, a Democratic president, and a judiciary dominated by left leaning thinkers?

Anonymous said...

Also - just curious - would you be supportive of a law that says Liberals are not allowed to gather in public places? How about a law that says black people should not be allowed to vote? How about a law that makes smoking illegal? Would you break any of those laws if they were enacted? Would you fear them?

Anonymous said...

Well, I am niether black, nor liberal, but I smoke like a chimney.

Oh, we had our freedoms back in the day, but isn't it the liberals who want to choke the living daylights out of smokers?

Alan Colmes with a cigar, never, but Rush Limbaugh and Arnold Swartzeneggar, you betcha.

Anonymous said...

My point is that your response to the post was an extreme generalization. "I have no fear of any law I don't intend on breaking." Is an oversimplification of a complicated reality. You SHOULD fear some laws you don't intend on breaking. Sure, blacks can vote, but if you are an arab American you can be arrested and dropped into a black hole without any oversight, due process, or proper consideration of the facts - based on the opinion of military or intelligence or government personel. I'm not afraid of being arrested for terrorism, but I am afraid of an institution that has the power to dissapear people without transparancy and oversight. You should be too.

Anonymous said...

Of the prisoners at Gitmo, only a small percentage are from the USA. Only during world war 2 when we had a democrat in power did the government see fit to herd off thousands of japanese citizens. I don't see Bu8sh herding up thousands of Iraqis, yet. But there may be a need for it. Think about what is happening in Europe, France, Denmark...

Anonymous said...

I'm glad it's only a small percentage of Americans that are illegally incarcerated without due process.

Franklin D. Roosevelt certainly did sign the order that put all our Japanese American citizens into camps, but I think it was a bonehead move (even though he was a Democrat). In fact nearly everyone thinks it was a bonehead move these days. Except Republicans like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulture. But then those people are "fringe" and "extreme," which is why Coulture speaks at the Republican National Convention. And if there are riots here - we should certainly put the perps into camps without any legal recourse. These special circumstances call for it. In fact these circumstances are so darn special we might need to nuke San-Francisco.

Don Snabulus said...

It is turning out that a disturbingly large percentage of the people at Guantanamo were turned in by neighbors seeking revenge rather than any legitimate terror concerns.

All we need is some good, old American due process to find the difference. If our gov't asserts that they have terrorists, let us see the proof. If there is no proof, then you can't call them terrorists. This applies not only to Guantanamo, but the entire archipelago of secret prisons we've sprinkled around the world.

(I was worried one of my trolls would escape my site. I was correct to worry. It is like being stalked by the Cable Guy.)