The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot

Remember when the Patriot Act was passed, back in the dark ages in 2001?

Anyone in government classes at the time is probably familiar with the raging debates that accompanied it. Essentially, the Patriot Act dramatically expanded governmental powers over civilians. So far expanded, indeed, that some parts of it seem rather questionable, constitution-wise. However, citizens were assured that after the immediate crisis had passed, the act would expire, never to be discussed again.

Almost five years later, the Senate has voted, yet again, to extend the Patriot Act–at this point, “emergency measures” are going to enter common law, supposedly for our protection against terrorists. Many clauses in the act were made permanent, and others extended for another period of time (presumably when the time period expires, the Senate will again vote to maintain the act). I note that both California senators, sellout pussies that they are, voted yes on the extension–only 10 senators voted against it, including both Vermont senators, giving me yet another reason to move to Vermont.

What are you willing to sacrifice for your safety? I believe that ultimately legislation like the Patriot Act is supportive to terrorism–way to let Osama know he’s jerking your chain there, Senate. The Patriot Act, like most of the overbloated legislation that moves through the gut of our government, also has some sneaky riders which have nothing to do with terrorism, and everything to do with senatorial pet projects (like methamphetamine, which, for the record, is something I oppose). Restricting our civil liberties is a great way to “let the terrorists win,” and I’m not sure what purpose it serves, ultimately, in the war on terror. Come now, children. Do you really thinking making terrorism illegal will make it stop? We would be better served dedicating money, time, and personpower to international relations, which lies at the root of our problems. Alas, the United States appears to be in a state of withdrawal from the world: a dangerous personal choice, I tell you, Mr. Bush, for you to be making for millions of Americans.

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