Congress just voted to extend the Patriot Act for another 90 days after not voting to extend it at all earlier in the week. Don't ask me why. Don't know, don't care. So far as I know, the Patriot Act hasn't captured a single terrorist, no one's been prosecuted under it, and it's simply been an excuse for the government to do things it really shouldn't be doing, like invading people's privacy without the protection of a search warrant.
It's another one of those (in hindsight) really stupid laws Congress passed in a panic after 9/11 -- you know, like the ones that make it necessary for you to take your shoes off, get a full-body x-ray scan, go without food, water and blankets on some flights, and require you to be at the airport three hours before your two hour flight. Just in case there's a need for a thorough cavity search, and so that some minimum-wage, government-union douchebag can go through your luggage and steal all the good stuff before it gets put on the plane, which is part of a total 'security regime' which has increased the cost of flying, made it a complicated, exhausting and ever-more unpleasant experience than it was before. And even for all this 'security' you still have to, occasionally, band together with your fellow passengers to put down an out-of-control drunk, or wrestle a Zippo from the hands of some doofus about to light the fuse in his BVD's.
Unless you're Muslim -- then for some reason they leave you the fuck alone with all this shit so as to not racially-profile you, this despite the fact that it's because of Muslims we have all this shit in the first place!
So let me get this straight; we have a bunch of odious laws and security procedures on the books which are a direct response to a terrorist attack perpetrated by Muslims, but if we applied the laws to Muslims, we'd be profiling them, and thus violating their civil rights? And then somehow it's not violating MY civil rights to peek into my bank accounts without permission, subject me to a full-body scan -- my other choice is to be groped -- on my next trip to Disney, and deny me a bag of beer nuts on my flight because I've never been part of a terrorist organization, nor ever tried to blow anything up, and neither has anyone I've ever known?
This makes sense...how?
Congress did after 9/11 what it always does after getting caught with it's pants down; it not only reacted to the event that just happened, it overreacted to events it could not predict, and so to cover it's ass (because that's the only thing most Congresscritters are really good at, besides spending money and mugging for the cameras) they tried to craft something that would 'protect America' (i.e. their useless jobs) forever. That it runs roughshod over the Constitution was no big deal -- Congress and the Courts do that all the time, anyway.
Truth of the matter is this: prior to 9/11, the government was already listening to terrorists on the telephone. It was already collecting information of suspected plots. It had data on who the players were, where they might be, and what they might be up to. They didn't have information that specifically gave them any hints about 9/11, but the authorities knew something was up. What was lacking on that day was not the government's ability to eavesdrop and snoop in advance of an attack so as to prevent it, but rather the ability to concentrate, analyze, and then quickly act upon, the information they already had.
The Patriot Act would not have stopped September 11th, and it didn't stop Maj. Hassan, the Underwear Bomber, the Times Square Bomber, or any other attack or attempted attack that we know of. It's about time the damn thing goes away, especially when we live in the Age of The Modern Progressive. There are some people on the Left who, armed with a Patriot Act, would simply scare the crap out of me. The people who usually complain the loudest about Civil Rights being violated are usually the ones who can be counted upon violate the rights of others in a New York Minute if it meant getting, oh, say a single-payer healthcare system, putting Dick Cheney on trial as a war criminal, or finding a reason to give the gold bars in Fort Knox and free plastic surgery to illegal aliens, or something similarly important or useful.
Every time I go through an airport security checkpoint, or have to show my ID to get on a train, or have my backpack searched before getting on the ferry, or can't get a driver's license or passport renewed because of all the stupid new restrictions, or watch the cops in riot gear and gas masks, and bomb-sniffing dogs, still patrolling the train stations and street corners 10 years after the fact, I get the distinct impression that Usama Bin Laden might have actually won, after all.
He's wandering the mountains of Pakistan free as a bird, and I have to practically get naked and bring a note from my mother, just to get on Amtrak, and if I refuse because it's a violation of my rights, I'm either going to jail or walking. Unless I have a headscarf, then they just pretend to hassle me and then put me on the next available flight.
I'm about to suggest a course of action that is so incredibly novel that I just know it has never occurred to anyone who is part of the so-called leadership of this country. Here's my easy-to-remember, 5-step plan, that doesn't require confusing color codes, where no one has to have a pelvic exam at the airport, and carry-on bags could still fly free. Some will point out that it might violate the civil rights of a particular group, but what the fuck; the Patriot Act did that, too, and besides, after Step 1, there won't be any Civil Rights to violate. Here goes:
1. Stop Muslim immigration to the West. If you wear a headscarf, pray to a dusty rock in the desert, have multiple wives, smell of a mixture of camel dung, successive weeks of armpit sweat and unwashed clothes -- with just a hint of gunpowder and sheep urine -- you're not allowed into the United States. Not to visit, not to live, not to work. If your name is Mohammed, you're automatically barred, and if your name has two Mohammed's in it, you're a candidate for immediate lethal injection.
If you're already here, we should just ask you to leave before you or one of your crazy relatives decides God said to bomb the local Dairy Queen, because that ice cream cone on the roof is somehow offensive to that scraped-off-the-bottom-of-my-shoe, sorry excuse for a 'religion' of your's.
See, if you don't let them in and don't let them become citizens, they have no civil rights to violate. Likewise, if you strip them of their citizenship and politely ask them to get the fuck out of the country. No muss, no fuss, no need for a Patriot Act.
2. In Iraq, Afghanistan and Our Relations with the Muslim World: kill everyone, poison the landscape for the next 50,000 years, and piss on everyone's grave before you leave. If anyone in the Muslim world has a problem with that, repeat the process. We have that power, and that we have not exercised it says more about the moral superiority of this country than it does about the so-called virtues of the Muslim world.
We don't have to take your 'feelings' and 'cultural sensitivities' into account in our dealings with you people. Because we're Americans, and you suck. In fact, we've done far too much of that 'outreach' bullshit, and the response has been 40 years of terrorism, 40 years of OPEC jerking us around, I've forgotten how many wars, 'incidents', police actions, and armed confrontations, I can't recall how many hostages have been taken and executed, how much American 'aid' has been squandered or stolen by Muslim leadership, and somehow, you people have the balls to say that we deserve death? The United States has done more on behalf of the Muslim World than the Muslim World ever did for itself, and our reward is to be attacked by cowards who won't fight on the battlefields, acting like thieves in the night, hiding behind women and children.
Fuck you all.
3. Make it a requirement that American politicians must pass a series of examinations in order to obtain a license to run for Congress, or higher office. I want literacy tests (even though a third of our Congresscritters would probably fail). I want to know they can add, subtract, and know what the fuck an isosceles triangle is. They have to pass an American History course -- and not the one they teach at Berkeley which is three-quarters lies and one-quarter some douchebag's 'feelings' -- but the real McCoy. They have to be subjected to an extensive series of x-rays in order to determine that, yes, this candidate does, indeed, have both a brain and a spine.
Once we have capable, qualified, intelligent people in the United States Congress, the sooner we can get rid of the mentality that a) passes something like the Patriot Act, and b) believes spending another trillion dollars we'll have to borrow (again) this year is somehow a deficit reduction program.
Oh, and then have them pass a law making every member of the political establishment have to stand in an airport security line with the rest of us at least once a week.
4. The American business community will simply have to step up to the plate, and begin to seriously invest in finding viable alternatives to the crude oil that we have to import from gritty, smelly little, goat-blowing buttholes named Mohammed. The Middle East only produces one commodity (pubic lice, syphilis, and terrorists don't count as commodities), and by finding an alternative to that single product, we can make the Muslim world irrelevant, poorer and starving to death all that much sooner. Get crackin', boys!
5. Empty the prison in Guantanamo Bay...by tossing the inmates into the Bay, itself. If these guys are too dangerous to be let out of jail, then why are they still alive? Normally, I would be dead-set against the death penalty for anyone (excepting democrats and child molesters, but that's redundant) but I'm also not supporting Achmed in a tropical paradise complete with Halal cuisine and his own Koran. Fuck 'em; I want 'em dead.
Do you think an American captured in what passes for their country would be kept alive at taxpayer expense for life? Getting fat at taxpayer expense? With excellent medical care, when there's people in this country who can't get any? Hell, NO! Make an example of the Gitmo Boys, an educational video, if you will.
Shwo the world what happens to you if you wind up in Gitmo; you get a cement block chained to your ankles, and slathered in bacon grease just before they toss you overboard, so that you can go to meet Allah in an unclean state. No 72 virgins for you!
See, all of that would be too easy, and wouldn't give anyone any power to fuck up everyone's life, which is why we had to have a Patriot Act in the first place, because it was never about keeping YOU safe, but always about keeping Congressman Dingleberry, and Senator Douchebag safe..in their jobs, even though they passed an extremely bad law, which was a direct assault upon the rights of every citizen.