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November 20, 2002
Well, the Senate passed the

Well, the Senate passed the Homeland Security Act without ammendment, allowing for the government to create a vast database of information on US citizens, ranging from what books you took out of the library to what web sites you visit. People seem to think this is in the interest of National Security. I'm really starting to wonder what it is we think we're protecting anymore.

I sent various emails to my Senators and Representatives urging them to act resposibly on the Homeland Scarrrrey Act, as did some of my friends, but to no avail. I tell ya, it's getting scarier every day. I had a conversation with another friend last night about trading privacy and civil liberties for security. I tend to be pretty strongly in favor of protecting civil liberties, so we were discussing gun control. The obvious problem is that I don't like guns, but I like civil liberties. I don't think people should have guns, especially not stupid scary people, but then again I understand that it can be viewed as a civil liberty, and people who believe in it fight just as strongly for that right as I would for my right to read anything I want without anyone knowing or caring.

In the end, I think I'm for the Chris Rock Proposal. In one of his bits, he proposes that bullets should cost $5000. Right now they cost about 17 cents. If bullets cost $5000, Rock argues, people would be damn sure they had a good reason before they shot someone, and we'd have no more innocent bystanders getting popped. I think it's a great idea. I believe we should be careful to protect the rights of our citizens, and should generally fail on the side of more liberty, less security. But liberties come with responsibilities, and if it means you have to sell your car to get a single bullet, great. The right to have weapons would be preserved, but it would no longer be able to be taken lightly.

By the same token, people who buy monster truck SUVs that get 4 miles to the gallon should have to donate one of their kidneys to a needy family.

It always seems that the country is going down the tubes, of course. In my nascent quest to be a history buff, I've been reading about the Civil War (ours) recently. Now there was a serious difference of opinion. Arguable we have a very serious difference of opinion now too, as we probably have every single day since then, on one issue or another. Though I do wish our politics were as bald-faced now as they were then. Maybe we'd get more done, have more fruitful debates in Congress, if our representatives were getting in fistfights almost daily, challenging each other to duels (Jefferson Davis did that), and pulling guns on the Senate floor (Henry S. Foote). I mean, that's serious passion, and you gotta think they didn't get that riled up because some corporation gave them a nice campaign contribution, they really believed in whatever they were saying. So maybe that's the answer; arm Congress.

I'm lately embroiled in the nightmarish world of cell phone service shopping. And that's all I have to say about that.

More stuff that I should be reading:
UN Security Council
Bob Woodward
Bill Moyers

And about a million other things. Someone want to read all this stuff and give me the gist of it? Thanks.


Previous Comments

every breath you take...they'll be watching you.

your post inspired me to write a few letters to various elected officials, likely promoting my name on the "america's most suspected" list. but seriously, thanks for the reminder to to be an active citizen. it's important.

i was feeling real down about the state of things until i watched the tom jefferson thing on pbs. it gave me hope. then i watched the jimmy carter one. same effect. god bless pbs and men of faith (in something).

tom jefferson is a hottie. the whole package.

i could take issue with the guns as civil liberties thing. i think if i need a prescription for birth control pills, then i should need a prescription for a gun too, one that has passed inspections, one that fits my own particular gun needs. sigh.

Quit reading that shit and pick up the Wheel of Time series... write about that, pal. Your killing me...