Getting tough with the sudafedayeen, Part II

I'm feeling safer already.

The Patriot Act has just passed overwhelmingly, which means that all patriotic Americans will now have to show ID in order to buy cold medicine:

The U.S. Senate voted 89-10 to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act today and the bill includes provisions, co-authored by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, that will put certain cold medications behind the drugstore counter.

The Talent-Feinstein Combat Meth Act restricts access to products that contain ingredients used in producing methamphetamine. Those include cold medications with pseudoephedrine, ephedrine and phenylpropanoline.

"This is a major victory. It is the biggest breakthrough in combating the nationwide spread of methamphetamines in over a decade. All across the country cold medicines with pseudoephedrine will be placed behind the counter. But the fight is not over. This bill will not make the epidemic go away overnight, but it is still an important step,'' Feinstein said.


It's too little, too late, I'm afraid. But it's only fair to concede that this is Monday morning quarterback thinking. It's all too easy to look at today's sudafed problem with the wisdom we've gained since 9/11.

We have learned so much! I'll never forget when those towers fell on 9/11. It was all because we let down our guard. In the pre-9/11 era of innocence, sold everywhere, right under our stuffed noses, were the precursors. Ruthless and savage killers with strange names. Like "pseudoephedrine." "Ephedrine." "Phenylpropanoline." Just thinking of it gives me goose bumps.

How could we have been so insufferably naive?

But will this bill be enough? I wonder. Not to, um, toot my own horn, but I was one of the first in the blogosphere to endorse this crackdown, and call for a Precursor Ingredient Czar:

Easily available cold medicine is the direst threat we face, and it must be stopped by any means necessary.

Unless something is done quickly the sinister sudafedayeen will gain a toehold through the well-known propensity of Americans to develop cold symptoms during the winter months. This might cause some of the runny-nosed, sniffling sissies in our midst to question the need for these restrictions, and we can't give up now -- not when there are signs that we're winning. The more laws there are, the more laws we need, because clever criminals will always try to figure out a way to do things legally.

Again, while we're obviously safer now, can we really be sure that enough is being done?

AFTERTHOUGHT: By engaging in satire I do not mean to trivialize the Patriot Act. How could I? Feinstein and company have already shown that no satire can possibly compete with what passes for real life.

MORE: My thanks to the Philadelphia Inquirer's blog, Blinq (aka Daniel Rubin) for linking this post!

posted by Eric on 03.02.06 at 09:50 PM


I'm sponsoring a bill to keep spoons under lock and key: a major step in the fight against crack cocaine.

Dennis   ·  March 2, 2006 11:59 PM

Wait. Now I need a prescription to buy pseudoephedrine?

Bloody hell.

B. Durbin   ·  March 3, 2006 1:11 AM

Take away the cold pills and the meth cookers just turn to stealing tanks full of anhydrous ammonia, a fertlizer found in huge quantities in the farming areas.

Heffalump   ·  March 3, 2006 8:40 AM

Reminds me when I went to buy supplies when I joined the school newspaper in 7th grade. They wouldn't let me buy rubber cement without a parent present. Cuz, you know, I might take up huffing rubber cement.

Beck   ·  March 3, 2006 9:21 AM

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