Monday, May 30, 2011
Demotivational Poster: Bitter Irony
Last Thursday, as Americans made their plans for Memorial Day weekend, President Obama signed a four-year extension to HR 3162, otherwise known as the USA PATRIOT Act (otherwise known as the bill that shoved the Bill of Rights right through the paper shredder).
So for four more years, the federal government can continue having the authority, or rather power, to perform warrantless wiretaps, library record searches, and secret military tribunals.
In an ideal society, Americans would have postponed their annual backyard barbeques or seaside excursions in order to flood the streets of Washington D.C. and protest the prolonged violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. But instead, Americans celebrated Memorial Day as they did every year, either unaware or uncaring that their constitutional rights have remained where they always were since 2001: in the dumpster.
As the Romans before the fall of the Empire were placated with “bread and circuses,” so too are Americans with national holidays such a Memorial Day—a day where Americans are supposed to remember fallen soldiers who gave their lives protecting our freedoms, but instead, spend it sunbathing or eating hotdogs or watching fireworks.
As with other national holidays, Americans have forgotten the true meaning of Memorial Day, squandering it with trivial celebrations. And in the wake of the Patriot Act extension, perhaps the true meaning is better off forgotten.