Column Date 2006-02-12

Tannen's Total Terrorist Protection PLan

You don’t have anything to hide, do you?

You’re a patriotic, law-abiding American citizen?

Good. We’re on the same side.

So you should be delighted to learn that I have come up with a plan to give you total protection from terrorists. (Homeland Security is probably going to suggest this any day now, but I beat them to the punch.)

How will I do this?


I’ll soon be sending my congressman an exciting new initiative I call Patriot Act III (nicknamed “Freedom’s Best Buddy”). This bold plan will allow Homeland Security to put a high-definition TV surveillance camera in every room, in every home in America.

Be happy! You’ll find it easy to love this new security breakthrough.

Our trained intelligence agents won’t miss a thing: when we see people on their knees, praying toward Mecca, you can be sure we’ll be keeping close track of them.

When we hear anyone talking about the Constitution, and especially the Bill of Rights, we’ll be monitoring them 24/7.

When we find potential troublemakers, like Quakers and others, who seem to be unhappy with some new presidential powers, you bet we’ll keep an eagle eye on them.

When we spot possible terrorists wearing inappropriate or inflammatory t-shirts, our cameras will be able to zoom in on every word on the shirt, to see if it’s un-patriotic.

And you know you can trust your government: we promise not to let anybody else see the tapes we make of you and your family discussing your medical problems, or arguing over finances, or making love. We wouldn’t ever do that. Cross our hearts and hope to die.

Here’s even more good news: at no extra cost, the TV surveillance cameras will also include a special device that actually lets you vote in the privacy of your own home. It’s easy: you just look up at the camera and, in a loud, clear voice, state which candidates you want to vote for. It will be completely confidential, of course. And you can depend on our advanced voting computers to never make a mistake.

You probably have some questions, like: isn’t it expensive to put TV surveillance cameras in every home? And how will we pay for this? Glad you asked.

No, it’s not that expensive. We’ve negotiated a very favorable contract with Halliburton to provide these surveillance cameras below cost! They offered us this price for only 24 hours, and we grabbed it. Their operators were waiting for our call.

We’ll pay for all this in the normal way, of course: we’ll be asking Washington for additional cuts in welfare, food stamps, child care and Medicaid.

And we’re sure every red-blooded U.S. representative will go along with “Tannen’s Total Terrorist Protection Plan”. After all, elections are coming up, and the fight to keep America secure is Job #1, right?

So relax. Be safe. And be thankful you live in this bastion of freedom and democracy.

God Bless America.

©2006 Peter Tannen