I’ve got to assume that what we needed has passed the Senate (and will eventually in the House) since the New York Times website  headline reads: “Senate Passes Bill to Expand U.S. Spying Powers”. I usually figure I’m getting what I need when the Times tries to make it sound bad.
Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, who spoke on the Senate floor for more than 20 hours in an unsuccessful effort to stall the wiretapping bill, said the vote would be remembered by future generations as a test of whether the country heeds “the rule of law or the rule of men.”
But with Democrats defecting to the White House plan, he acknowledged that the national security issue had won the day in the Senate, even among many of his Democratic colleagues. “Unfortunately, those who are advocating this notion that you have to give up liberties to be more secure are apparently prevailing,” Mr. Dodd said. “They’re convincing people that we’re at risk either politically, or at risk as a nation.”
Thanks, Chris. We’re good here.
Look, I really appreciate Dodd and others in Congress doing providing serious consideration with this bill to ensure that Americans retain their rights. However, my rights won’t mean a hill of beans if my town is wiped out by some kind of terrorist attack. I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic, but this is real. We can give up a few thousand or so lives for the sake of a pristine form of liberty, or we can accept the balancing act that is required to ensure law enforcement has an opportunity to keep us (and our families) safe. That’s part of why we pay them.
I don’t see this as an Orwellian nightmare. It’s part of the reality of life in the 21st century. I recognize there can be some abuse, and that needs to be policed as well, but this law is not going to make that issue any worse. And the phone companies should never be held responsible for what the government legitimately tells them to do. Leave them out of it.
My fear will be when the next president comes in. The electorate is going to have to work hard to ensure we maximize the conservative base in Congress this year, and regardless, we will need to be that much more vocal about the importance of this law. 9/11 never again.