It truly was nice of the Vice-President to give me a job promoting Patriot Minutes. He genuinely seemed to feel guilty about our misunderstanding over my project to condense the Constitution to two hundred words so Americans would actually read it. As you may remember, Dick Cheney and I got in an argument over whether my side deal to also edit the Bible was a separate document from the Constitution and thus two contracts. The Vice-President had spent most of the nineties driving very hard bargains with his principal client and I think it was difficult for him to get out of that mode.
In any case, we never got to the business about a separate Bill of Rights and they then made the mistake of getting one of Charlton Hestonâ€™s speechwriters to replace me. For the last four years, the President used that version of the Bill of Rights as his reference. Rather than actually condensing the document, the Heston speechwriter cut corners to bring his version under bid and edited all but the second amendment. Sadly, no one warned the President so he simply didnâ€™t know about the first or fourth amendments for instance. Even worse, the President had to depend on a Harriet Miers memo to explain separation of powers.
Should the urgent need to bypass FISA and the court system fail in the ever fickle court of public opinion, I get to sell America on Patriot Minutes. They already exist in another form.The premise behind Patriot Minutes is simple. Should you go to Safeway or any other major market, youâ€™ll be asked if youâ€™re a Safeway club member. Instead of paying exaggerated prices for items, you just pay regular retail if you let them track every single grocery purchase you make on their database.
Iâ€™m fairly protective of my own civil liberties, but Iâ€™ll do anything for a three percent discount. VRWC(Vast Right Wing Conspiracy) research has found that 98% of Americans will give up any semblance of privacy for about a 1.5% discount or even vague promises of a tax cut. The beauty of it though is that itâ€™s not really a discount at all. Theyâ€™re just charging you regular price, itâ€™s the people who want some semblance of privacy who pay extra.
Patriot Minutes are part of a cell phone â€śFreedom Planâ€ť that gives the government the right to tap all of your conversations in exchange for paying your normal monthly rate. If you decide to â€śRoveâ€ť, thus insisting that your calls from say Time Magazine reporters not be logged under the plan, you get surcharged for ten times your monthly rate. There is a setting on any cell phone that will keep you from â€śRovingâ€ť. This should never be confused with â€śRoeingâ€ť, you will find that you can not, for instance, call Planned Parenthood with your phone set to Rove.For the especially patriotic, they even have "raving minutes" for when you use your cellphone to jam talk show lines. This though is a small price to pay for freedom. I do have to admit that Iâ€™m not sure how the government proposes to translate all the conversations they get through Patriot Minutes. When I asked the vice-president about Sibel Edmonds and her claims that no one was translating most of those wiretaps when they happened to be in either Arabic or Turkish, he didnâ€™t have much to say.