President Obama extended provisions of the Patriot Act by another year today. Not surprisingly, provisions to protect the privacy of American citizens were not part of the package.
Funny how so many Americans and people in Congress rant and rave against “big government” and state they want their government to leave them alone, and yet not a peep is heard from those same people when a law like this gets enacted, or in this case, extended.
Interestingly, the vote has been disguised in the House as a vote on “Senate Amendements”, which isn’t surprising given how many Democrats voted for it. Only 87 Democrats voted against the extension, while 162 voted for it. As you will see in the link, only 10 Republicans voted against it, but this should be of no surprise. Their hypocrisy is revolting. They call for limited government when it comes to things like health care, or education, and yet want all the government we can get when it comes to foreign policy and spying on American citizens.
This is yet another example of how the MSM creates and perpetuates fear in the American public that reveals itself in “our” willingness to give up our personal liberties for the illusion of safety. Let’s be honest: Only a very small percentage of people in this country may actually need to worry about being victims of terrorism. And whether or not they need to is probably debatable. I am not saying there are not terrorists out there plotting to do “us” harm, but I think the threat is grossly exaggerated. Nor am I suggesting those of us not in harms way should not care about terrorism. I just do not think our government should be given carte blanche to spy on us; seems like the wrong approach to the problem. The point is that so many legislators will not vote against this because of their own fear of being branded “unpatriotic” or feeling the wrath of voters come November.
Perhaps some other time I will elaborate on that last point. By the way, I know it is nearly 11 p.m. on a Saturday night and I should be doing something other than reading the news and blogging, but my wife is about 650 miles away so cut me some slack.