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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bill Maher Gets It: In previous wars, we sacrificed our underwear. Now it's just our civil rights.

Us to George — sure, whatever
In previous wars, we sacrificed our underwear. Now it's just our civil rights.

By Bill Maher


March 16, 2007

STOP SAYING President Bush hasn't asked us to sacrifice anything for the war. He's asked us to sacrifice something enormous: our civil rights. To which the American people have responded: "Sure, whatever."

He's asked us to sacrifice the pride and joy that comes from knowing people all over the world look up to you. Yeah, what can you do? And he's asked us to sacrifice our future, because that's where all the real bombs he's planted — economic, environmental and security-related — are going to go off. Have a great weekend, everybody!

In previous wars, Americans on the home front were willing to give up a lot. During World War II, people even pretended Bob Hope was funny.

Women donated their silk undergarments to be made into parachutes — can you imagine nowadays Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan doing without underwear?

OK, bad example.

But the point is, we have sacrificed — we just sacrifice different things.

Bush took from us the things he knew we didn't care about: our privacy and our morality. He let us keep the money.

And it is morality when the chief law enforcement officer in this country tells Congress he doesn't believe in habeas corpus and is cool with torture and the practice of "disappearing" people. Alberto Gonzales even admitted to abusing the Patriot Act — is it even possible to abuse the Patriot Act?

When I heard that Bush was reading my e-mails, I'm sure I had the same reaction you did: "George Bush can read?"

This administration has gone through our phone records, credit card statements, our mail and our Internet logs — I feel like I'm on "Cheaters."

I mail myself a copy of the U.S. Constitution every morning just in the hope they'll open it and see what it says.

We have sacrificed a lot; it's just that we don't care that the NSA is listening to our phone calls. And that's especially tough for me, because I'm dating a girl named Jihadi Madrasa.

Six-tenths of the Bill of Rights, that's not something? Search and seizure, warrants, self-incrimination, trial by jury, cruel and unusual punishment.Here's what we have left: guns, religion and they can't make you quarter a British soldier. If Prince Harry invades Plattsburg, he has to bring a tent

A couple of months ago, Jim Lehrer questioned Bush about sacrifice. He asked if he'd ever institute a draft or raise taxes to pay for our national dream of making Iraq a Shiite theocracy. The president said this was World War III and a fight for our very survival, so a bunch of fresh troops and cash would probably just get in the way.

The president also said that Americans were already sacrificing. He said they "sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night."

Yeah, if there's one thing Americans will not tolerate on their television screens, it's images of violence. I sure hope they don't start to show up in movies and video games.

Why isn't anyone asking the tough questions, like: "Is torture necessary?" "Who will watch the watchers?" and "When does Jack Bauer go to the bathroom?" Seriously, it's been five years. Is he wearing one of those astronaut diapers?

The great thing Ronald Reagan did was, he made us feel good about America again. Well, now we're a country that's tortured a lot of random people.

Do you feel good about America now? I'll give you my answer, and to get it out of me, you don't even have to hood me, hold my head underwater and have a snarling guard dog rip my face off. No, I don't feel very good about that.

It's been said that evil happens when good men do nothing. And as the Democrats prove, it also happens when mediocre people do nothing.


BILL MAHER is host of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher." Originally appeared in the LATimes

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