Sunday, March 05, 2006

Mark Steyn on the Patriot Act

The only thing better than reading Steyn's columns is hearing him on Hugh Hewitt's radio show on Thursday afternoons. Here's his latest, at the beginning of which he discusses the Patriot Act:

I had to sign a tedious business contract the other day. They wanted my corporation number -- fair enough -- plus my Social Security number -- well, if you insist -- and also my driver's license number -- hang on, what's the deal with that?

Well, we e-mailed over a query and they e-mailed back that it was a requirement of the Patriot Act. So we asked where exactly in the Patriot Act could this particular requirement be found and, after a bit of a delay, we got an answer.

And on discovering that there was no mention of driver's licenses in that particular subsection, I wrote back that we have a policy of reporting all erroneous invocations of the Patriot Act to the Department of Homeland Security on the grounds that such invocations weaken the rationale for the act, and thereby undermine public support for genuine anti-terrorism measures and thus constitute a threat to America's national security.

And about 10 minutes after that the guy sent back an e-mail saying he didn't need the driver's license number after all.

Doesn't that sound just like "the research" that's often quoted in education circles but just as often doesn't exist?

2 comments:

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

Shhhhhh! "Research" is a dirty word. I hate research. It can be spun anyway you want it.

TangoMan said...

Darren,

I caught your comment over at Joanne's about the NYT article ;) I take it you haven't had much exposure to the femisphere. It's one of my favorite places to argue. If you like causing blood pressure to spike I could point you to some really unhinged forums that could use some more reason injected into their world.