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                                         The Bill Of Rights

Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and  effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

          OPINION       June 05

          Amendment IV: The right of the people....

      Regarding the right of individual privacy in a democratic society, and protection in general from far-right, paranoid control freaks, many of whom will no doubt rise into the heavens during "End Of Days," leaving the rest of us liberal nutsy-cuckoos behind to reflect on our leftist deviant sins.  And will I ever drink to that.   

       To begin with, 9/11 made the Taliban protectors of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan a legitimate target, while the invasion of Iraq with its deceitful and evolving rationales  is another matter entirely; what with non-existant WMDs, "Mission accomplished," Saddam harboring Al Qaeda, and the sudden idealistic need to democratize Iraq, with no mention of lucrative contracts for Hallibertan and the greed for oil to fill our guzzlers; for which our fine young soldiers are cut down almost daily.

 Now the concept of Homeland Security became a logical next step, followed by “The Patriot Act” which would seem on its surface to be the appropriate follow-up measure in ensuring our safety, yet there is cause for alarm folks, so watch your ass.

Our Yale graduate, g-dropping Texas-cowpoke Dubbya, and his neo-conservative pals, have suggested that dissenters, or merely questioners, of certain provisions of the "Act," are unpatriotic; just as it has been implied that those who question the motives of the administration for invading Iraq, are far-left traitors who are not supporting our troops. “You’re either with us or against us,” Bush said to us and the rest of humanity while smirking and twirling his colt 45s--this kind of undemocratic bushwhacking executing a chilling strategy worthy of a Texas land-baron dictatorship, in silencing the wussy media and political opposition.  But about watching your ass:

Certain provisions of The Patriotic Act are scary, so be careful what you read and stay away from hospitals, folks.  For instance:

Section 215 which refers to the information databases containing personal records and preferences in our medical facilities and libraries and other record keeping entities such as immigration files pertaining to particular groups, all of which are subject to intrusive search and seizure by investigative bodies. Interesting, isn't it, that while talking about spreading democracy elsewhere, there is an attempt to curtail some of it here.

And never leave your home, unless what has always been your sanctuary is protected by hidden monitors and a couple of snoop-eating rottweilers, because:

Section 213 allows investigators to surreptitiously enter and search a private citizen’s home, and to withhold telling the person immediately that his privacy has been invaded.

To add insult to injury, The Patriot Act caused it to be written into law that it is a criminal offense for a librarian and/or other record keepers, to inform a target of this intrusion by investigators. And:

Previously, folks, the CIA was never allowed to snoop domestically, but now other sections allow intelligence gatherers, and even members of the White House, to sniff around this most personal data like dirty little alley cats in garbage can heaven.  And keep it clean, folks, because this sniffing includes your e-mail and telephone, as well, even though these investigators may not be engaged specifically in terrorist information gathering. So:

In my opinion, the sometimes necessary suspension of certain individual rights in times of war should not be a cover for this kind of unwarranted nosing around; I therefore remind you of the first amendments to The Constitution--The Bill Of rights--specifically Amendment IV, above, which we have to keep telling ourselves, was not as some might have us believe, created to favor whacko far left crazies or east coast liberal elitist snobs, but rather created for we the great American unwashed, by the patriotic conservative men of the 18th century, who knew from hard experience that the rights of individuals must be secured and maintained, at all costs. Those in power today have sent our youngest and bravest (not themselves) to Iraq, while not allowing the flag-draped remains of these heroes  to be seen, no doubt believing that abstract numbers are easier to swallow than the stunning imagery of row upon row.

In contrast, our Founders, many of them far-from-perfect slave owners, were at least quite willing to risk their own lives and possessions in order to back up their risky commitment to democracy in the new America. And I'll certainly drink to that.

Uncle Sammy