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.