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AT IT AGAIN; Making the World Safe for... ?


This past Thursday, April 28th, Congress began hearing testimony to consider whether to renew certain provisions of the Patriot Act, which was originally enacted after September 11th 2001.  The provisions are set to "sunset" later this year, and among them is the "bookstores and libraries" measure.  "What's that ?," you say.  Well, currently the U.S. government may canvas for lists of books purchased and read by patrons of either bookstores or libraries, without their knowledge.  Civil libertarians have argued that such intrusions are a gross violation of privacy and should be curtailed to court orders after due consideration by a judge.

Bush administration officials counter with affirmations like;

"Libraries should not be carved out as safe havens for terrorists and spies. We know for a fact that terrorists and spies use public libraries..."

Well, why not, give 'em the lists I say, why not ?  Maybe, just maybe people at the Justice Department and at Homeland Security, will be enthused to read some of the books themselves, and thereby augment their perspective on knowledge.  Can't hurt, can it ?  Lord only knows, that increasing knowledge is what this nation needs... but on second thought, let's dwell on this for a moment;

"We know for a fact that terrorists..."

Aren't those words familiar ? Yeah, I remember now, Dick Cheney said the same thing, as he waved his right index finger in the air, gesticulating his thoughts, to confirm to Americans watching on their TV sets at home, that the government knew, KNEW for a FACT, that Saddam Hussein, had weapons of mass destruction, and he was going to use them !  'We have to stop him now, we can't wait for  mushroom cloud proof.'  Yeah, remember that ?

So we are supposed to think that libraries and bookstores are teeming with spies and terrorists.  What are they doing, hiding in the stacks ? Gathering evidence on kids' reading habits ?  Drawing up plans for attacking America by looking up what exactly ?  The way testimony is being presented, one would think that other foreign nations don't have libraries or bookstores that could be used by terrorists and spies, before they come to America.

"We know for a fact that terrorists and spies use libraries..." 

Gee, maybe the government has a point there.  No really ! Maybe they do.  Terrorists and spies must know how to read, after all they must have gone to terrorist and spy school, right ?  You know what, spies and terrorists are human beings.  Now wait a minute, don't get me wrong, what I mean is they have human form like everyone else; they walk, run, talk, eat, sleep, and... you know, other things like the rest of us... right ?  Well, if they walk amongst us like the G-men say, well, what the hell, then let's look for them everywhere, why stop at libraries ? 

They eat, so put cameras in restaurant parking lots, we are sure to catch them going for 'sit-downs' with fellow terrorists at some restaurant,  somewhere.  Just to be safe, put cameras outside every damn restaurant, across the country.  If they can't eat, then they can't do much of anything else.  Same thing for supermarkets,  you can be sure spies must love supermarkets, they can figure out what American eating habits are like, and what better place to trade messages, than at aisle nine, next to the dog food.  Hardly anybody there early in the morning or late at night, right ?  You know I m right.

And what about hardware stores, with all that 'fertilizer' and tools, that could be used for heaven knows only what.  'Get them cameras outside all hardware stores, canvasing every customer that goes in and out.'

But, there is one place you are sure to catch every damn terrorist and spy in the country, and no G-man is doing anything about that.  If they eat and drink, then they gotta liberate them gasses, so let's check out those bathrooms.  Yeah, 'get them cameras into every bathroom in America, let's make 'em safe for Democracy.'  Sure, forget the libraries, go for the bathrooms !




Posted  April 30, 2005

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