One of my favorite blogs is Blithering Idiot written by a woman (“teacher, mom, wife, sister, aunt, friend, and a Gemini”) who does indeed blither but is far from idiotic.
Her June 8 blither made me shudder at my own idiocy in quietly acquiescing to the tenets of the Patriot Act – those very tenets that the GOP/TeaParty/Fox and yes, even Progressives/Liberals are now finding wildly offensive.
Here’s her “blither” – long, but shudderingly to the point:
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety -Benjamin Franklin
Hey Ben, ever heard of nukes?
Please tell me who exactly I’m supposed to be mad at?
Be furious, you say, at Obama for spying on us. How dare he! He is evil! This an ourage! Impeach! Impeach!
Okay but here’s the thing.
He is following the law we Americans ignored and acquiesced to back in 2001.
Remember, after 9-11, we Americans were shitting the bed over the terrorists nuking us in the middle of the day so we said, “Go ahead government, do what ya gotta do.”
Yup, we said that kids. You did and I did and we did. We did it through our silence. We gave the all clear.
Christ, when a dog gets abused we can get a whole country to write emails to politicians and march into the streets but this one? This one we gave a pass.
Please don’t deny it.
Make us take our smelly shoes off before we get on a plane? Sure.
Profile Muslims? Absolutely.
Spend gazillions of dollars for Homeland Security and screw our basic needs at home like education, research, etc. Fine.
Do it! Just do it!
But today, on June 8, 2013, some of you are incensed. Oh yes, you are screeching about the 4th Amendment and how this president is destroying it.
The funny thing is, I don’t really remember you guys, the ones who are pissed off at Obama, being annoyed with Bush when he enacted this Patriot Act stuff.
In fact, I’ve seen and read plenty that proves you kinda liked it when old Georgie did it. You said it was “necessary” to combat the terrorists who were bound and determined to kill every American so that they could get their 52 virgins in heaven or some such thing.
That includes Congressmen, reporters, talking-heads, and YOU…and ME.
I didn’t like the Patriot Act then and don’t now. However, I don’t recall writing emails to my legislators or marching, well, mostly because no one marched so I’d look pretty stupid out there by myself.
But anyway, if you are all up in arms today (just as you presumably were not all up in arms over back in 2003), how about we also manage to bring forth a little anger for the Republicans in Congress who just loved the Patriot Act when it was passed and has been re-authorized every 5 years who are now just stunned and outraged by its use?
Let’s try asking Rush. O’Reilly, and Hannity and the sniveling turds on Fox who are today just choleric over the latest revelation of government overreach where they get off changing horses in mid-stream?
While we are at it, this getting all prickly I mean, who am I, are we, supposed to be pissed at over the “targeting” of “Tea Party” groups at the IRS?
That awful Obama! Why he is “out to get” his enemies and this whole “scandal” is because he told the IRS to do this…well…maybe not in words, but he used his secret mooslim decoder-ring to flash signals to the Cincinnati office to do it. Impeach, I tell ya! Impeach!
Really? Why again is that? Because ( once again) we have had hearings (are having hearings), and so far, there hasn’t been a shred of evidence, not only linking this to Obama, but to anyone in the White house (unless you count the secret mooslim telepathy Obama uses to force his minions to destroy his enemies with).
Should I be mad at the IRS workers?
Why? Because they were in essence, doing their job, trying to enforce the law (yes, in an “unfair” way), which hundreds of groups took total advantage of after Citizens United. No one was denied their precious tax-exempt standing except PROGRESSIVES folks. If they were being sinister and heavy-handed and had a mission to seek and destroy the Tea Party groups, they did a crappy job of it. Couldn’t they even deny one group? They suck.
How about instead I be angry at the Tea Party groups who engorged themselves using our tax code? Remember, the people who hate paying taxes wanted to pretend they weren’t being political and trying to elect people who would reduce their taxes.
These groups who are NOT supposed to be engaging primarily in political activities who most certainly are doing NOTHING but engaging in politcal activities and want to be able to do it without revealing donors and paying taxes.
I mean like really, you think that Karl Rove is mostly engaging in “social welfare” with his tax exempt groups? Uh-ok.
Benghazi? Mad about Benghazi?
Oh do puleeze inform me about who the hell did supposedly what and who the Hades I’m supposed to be enraged at?
Please tell me again exactly WHY I’m supposed to hate him for this again? Because after 50 billion “hearings” at taxpayers expense, talking-head mannequins on the nightly “news” programs who practically slobber and drool when they talk about this episode in history, and Facebook friends who cannot articulate a single, proven act or lack of acts that hasn’t been explained by the military and others in the agencies who looked into this, I am still at a loss.
Actually, how about I get pissed off at the TEAPUBLICANS? The Teapublicans, who REJECTED a bill that would INCREASE funding for security at overseas embassies.
The word hypocrisy springs to mind in an awful lot of these instances.
As far as the NSA controversy is concerned, the honest to God truth is that a part of me says that those “in the know” have seen the data and honestly cannot make a decision to end this surveillance state because they believe it would allow a terror attack that could conceivably wipe out a city (dirty-bombs), or take down a jet-liner, or release poison into a subway system.
A part of me is also appalled that the Fourth Amendment is basically null and void since 9-11 and the Patriot Act.
Another part of me says hold your nose and justify data-mining for the safety and security of the country. After all, they are looking for terrorists wishing to do us harm and not concerned with how many cat pictures I post on Facebook.
But the third part of me (I’m divided into thirds) feels what I felt a long time ago. The Patriot Act signaled the end of an era where we used to feel we had privacy protections. But that’s not the only thing. You use a computer right? Why do you think the ads on the right side of your Facebook pages seem tailored to what you buy? You do realize there are little cookies that come with every click on a web-site. You do realize that corporations have for years been buying and selling all there is to know about you to other companies, right? Did you give your permission to them to do that? Probably not, but we’ve just rolled over and accepted that this is the way things are in the age of cyberspace.
Crap, I bet there’s a guy in China or Iran who is watching my every click at this very moment, let alone Obama, who I bet some idiots are actually picturing in their minds (?) with some rockin’ Beats slung over his massive ears and his nose pressed up against a computer screen watching our every move.
I don’t know how else to express this thought but to just say it. We seem to be getting mad at the wrong people or the wrong thing. How about we get mad at ourselves for once?
We can have security or we can have total privacy, but we can’t have both, said President Obama, and he is right.
But I think you smart ones know that.
If we put the genie back into the bottle, and repeal the Patriot Act, chances are, we may not foil a major attack on Americans somewhere. There just might be a disaster somewhere on our soil and we need to understand that right here and right now.
We need to be grown-ups and realize that. We need to be real about it. We need to decide right now what direction we want to go in. If…when…it happens, we can’t start wailing that our government is not protecting us. Nope. Those days are over if that happens.
We need to be honest with each other and ourselves, which is something I’ve seen very little of lately.
And when it comes to getting ourselves worked up into a lather over what’s going on in Washington, perhaps, just perhaps, we should be irritated at ourselves first.
We Americans are as much to blame as anyone in government. We find it so easy to point fingers at them but WE THE PEOPLE aren’t holding up our end of the bargain. We want it both ways to Sunday. We want to be for it before we are against it.
I can include myself. And you?
Well now. Are you shuddering? At yourself? Think about it.