Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Enforce the Law to Change the Law

President Grant - NOT the one I was named for
(That was Heber J.)
Now we compare President Obama to the troubled President, but great Civil War Hero, Ulysses S. Grant. Arguably, Grant was the man who saved the Union by the shedding of blood to free the Slaves, along with Lincoln who shed his own blood in that cause (the myth of the 'lost cause' be danged!). But that's not what we're going for here.

We are all becoming unglued because the government is collecting mega-data on our Verizon cell phone calls. I don't think they are actually reading our Facebook postings over our shoulders to watch our cat videos. But it's the cable news crisis du jour forgetting that we already knew about it all as part of the national security laws including the deceptively-named "Patriot Act." It even connects directly to the big NSA facility under construction right here in Utah where the data will be stored on big flash drives and analyzed by security techno-guys and gals graduating from their moms' basements and much video game training (OK, mostly guys).

Anyway, I appreciate the progress President Obama has accomplished in ending the War in Iraq, targeting those who actually attacked us, winding down Afghanistan, discontinuing torture, and diffusing the war on terror before we sink into a centuries-long futile conflict with Islam like the Crusades (oh, yes, I went there). But there is only so much he can do with a Congress opposed to and blocking pretty much anything he attempts, like closing Guantanamo. So, there's always the President Grant strategy.

In Grant's first inaugural address, he said:
Laws are to govern all alike—those opposed as well as those who favor them. I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.
Grant's problem (well, besides the binge drinking and corrupt friends & relatives) was that he deferred too much to Congress. His party even controlled - unlike president Obama's problem with a recalcitrant House of Representatives and an annoying minority of Americans who dislike his mere existence. So it will be be interesting if the Congress can get their act together to recognize that previous Congresses, Republicans and Democrats alike, with went a little too far with the misnomered patriot act and other homeland fear-mongering.

So, keep on collecting the mega-data. Maybe we'll find it obnoxious enough to require Congress to change a few laws.

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