Thursday, February 05, 2004


The pressident is right now giving a speech in the port of Charleston SC about a whole bunch of things. Most of the speech is fluff and he is not saying anything anyone does not know. But somehwere in the speech he said something like ". . . and congress must renew the Patriot Act. . ." At that point the audience broke in to applause, and then the president continued.

Now, I am kind of agnostic on the Patriot Act. Perhaps law enforcement needs it temporarily to deal with some important terrorist threats. Perhaps there is a chance of abuse. Actually there is definitely a chance of abuse, and perhaps a non-trivial chance. But who knows. Maybe ist is just a way for our little-government Republicans to act like Big-government totalitarians.Who knows. Either way, no one I know has been affected yet. And I know some pretty scketchy people.

Regardless of how you feel about the Patriot Act, it strikes me as the oddest thing to break out in spontaneous applause over it. As an American is is either something I would oppose, or something I would sit through in silence while I reflect on the sad fact that we are in a state that we may need certain liberties suspended. When the president feels it must be extended, you sadly nod that we have to give away our valued way of life, even for only a few years, and in only a few ways. This is hardly a time for applause.

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