By Bill Maher
Last week we saw some more pictures of towns devastated by severe weather – this time in America, so it counts more. In Illinois, six people are dead and more than one hundred injured after a series of tornadoes touched down. Hundreds of homes were completely destroyed. Seven counties were declared disaster areas. Two in Michigan are also dead.
Thank God this was done by, well, God, and for reasons only known to Pat Robertson. Because we’ll pick up the pieces and file insurance claims and rebuild and move on with our lives. Yet if the exact same amount of damage were done by some sort of jihadist group or another pair of psychopath brothers, we’d militarize local police forces across the country and hand what’s left of the 4th Amendment over to the NSA to shred. We’d hold vigils and sing “God Bless America.” Republicans would agree to not hate Obama for, like, 12-24 hours.
I’m just asking: are there good reasons why we to react to one so much differently than the other? I can think of a couple – you’d want to find out who did this and then go kill them, for instance. But not too many others. Or to put it another way, what’s the difference between a Jihadist gunman who shoots up a mall and a regular American nutcase who does? Answer: about $100 billion in funding for Homeland Security.
Even recently, it felt like we’d finally reached the point where we’d realized that we’d overreacted after 9/11 and that we let our wars and our post-9/11 security state get out of hand. But it’s one thing to realize that. It’s another thing entirely to be able to dial all of that overreach and spending back. It’s now money in the budget, and jobs, and bureaucracy. And we’re never going to see that money or those 4th Amendment rights again.