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Ben Franklin's bifocals Monday, August 29, 2005

Daimler motorcycle
[1885 - First motorcycle, made by Gottlieb Daimler, patented]
Harley motorcycle

Next Step?

Our elected representatives seem determined to extend the USA Patriot Act, that was passed with far too little debate and scrutiny in the atmosphere of fear and hysteria that gripped the nation and its Congress in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. Perhaps it was too much to hope for that they might reflect for a moment on the essential nature of our democracy, and appreciate that some vulnerability to terrorism is a cost of doing business in an open society. Prithee that such a misguided pursuit of safety at all costs does not succeed in making this country so secure that no free man can stand to live here any longer. As a wise man once observed:

The next step [in a Fascist movement] is to fascinate fools and muzzle the intelligent, by emotional excitement on the one hand and terrorism on the other.

Bertrand Russell

As to the name of the Act itself, another wise man once observed:

The person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.

Mark Twain

William's Whimsical Words:

Maybe we can borrow enough money from our children and grandchildren to increase the number of police, federal agents, soldiers, and CIA operatives so that every person in the US is under continuous surveillance. Quis custodes ipsos custodiet?

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