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Old 06-11-2005, 02:06 AM   #51
SRHowen
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Rant Alert!!!!!

Anyone here lived in Europe for any amount of time? Not on a base--
They live with bombs, and terrorists everyday. Police in Germany can literally yank you out of your car--through the window and beat hell out of you if they want. Ever visited a European jail? YIKES (no I didn't spend time in one went to one for a story I did) In Germany you can't have a gun, you can be stopped and asked for papers to tell who you are, where you live, and your citizenship--they set up check points where you can your car can be searched with no reason at all.

Has it saved them from terror attacks? No, they are far more prevalent in Europe than here on any given day. So their freedom is taken but it hasn't stopped the terror.

I could site several examples from my almost 5 years there--didn't live on a base, drove a German licenced car, had a International Driver's permit. They don't have the freedoms we do--are they safer--yes, in some ways. Even in a pretty good sized city people walked around at night without much fear. You rarely heard of children being taken off the street. But, those things I think were more fear of police and jails than any anti freedom laws. And you can't sue anyone there because you teased their dog and got bit--you teased the dog it was your fault dumb bell.

But all their the government must know laws have not stopped terror attacks.

Our nation is fast becoming a place where freedoms are being taken away, all in the name of "It's not my fault" it has to be someone else's. And this goes right along with thinking that it's ok, even good to let the government take "some" freedoms to take care of us because we are to dumb to do it ourselves--heck, we can't even figure out coffee is hot or a wet floor is slippery.

The PA is wrong for that reason. We lived in a safe bubble, that won't happen here that stuff only happens in Europe or the middle east. So things were ignored. The PA isn't going to help any more than what was already known--it can only take freedoms from us that once gone require revolution to bring back--but wait, with the PA how would we even do such a thing? It could turn into a nasty circle that ends up curtailing everything we do.

I don't much care for Texas--sorry Brady. It's hot where I am, I hate big bugs, and I miss snow--but one of the reasons we are buying a house here--at least this state does allow some freedoms other states have taken away.

Got bit by one of my non-domestic cats--happened once in another state. Bit bad enough I needed stitches. In other state--your cat did this? The doc tried to make me bring the cat to be tested for rabies (killed so they could) and he called the police. MY OWN CAT BIT ME! But the law says if it is a mean animal etc etc--I told him to go to hell. But he really made a mess for me and the permits I needed --lord!

Here I registered my "exotic" cats and that was it. Inside? Yes, they don't go out at all. Vaccinated for Rabies? Yup, here's the vet's number and their papers. Ok, long as they are inside and don't go out, you are fine. Oh and if they do go out, and they are a cougar they have to have a top on the fence and yadda yadda.

So I go into the ER, arm streaming blood--doc says--Holly cow, big cat. I say yup. He says --your cat or wild cat? Mine--Ocelot. Huh, good thing it didn't get you with all four teeth. Stich stich stich. Stick--antibiotic and tetnis shot. That's it.

I look at the PA like that--it will curb freedoms in the name of protections we don't need until the goverment has a right to tell us how many squares of TP we can use after taking a dump.
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Old 06-11-2005, 02:07 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by robeiae
That freedom is not simply a "right" we are entitled to, but is something we must earn. Unfortunately, I find that most see it as a "right," though I do not think you do

Rob
Agreed. I am reminded of the story about Ben Franklin leaving the convention hall. Someone asked him "What do we have, a republic or a monarchy." His reply was "A republic if you can keep it."

(note I might have butchered the story, but I think that was the main idea)

Not only must we earn it, we must continually work to keep it. Freedom comes at great cost. It would be far easier to have a government that does all of our thinking and feeling for us. We must work to keep that which the Founders entrusted to us.

Someone, maybe Jefferson, said that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom (or maybe liberty). I wholeheartedly agree. It is something so precious that we must constantly stand guard over it. Like a lot of things, you don't get it unless you are willing to defend it.

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Old 06-11-2005, 02:17 AM   #53
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I don't much care for Texas--sorry Brady. It's hot where I am, I hate big bugs, and I miss snow--but one of the reasons we are buying a house here--at least this state does allow some freedoms other states have taken away.
That's cool. I was born next door in a certain Frenchified state. But I'm glad you are staying. You are right about some of our state freedoms. Our Bill of Rights in Texas is actually much more protective of the citizen than the Federal bill of rights is. I quote one example:

Article One of our state constitution is our Bill of Rights. Section 29 reads as follows:

Sec. 29: Provisions of Bill of Rights Excepted From Power of Governments, Forever to Remain Inviolate

"To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this "Bill of Rights" is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate, and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void."

Of course, that doesn't stop the Reichstag in Austin from passing bills contrary to this provision every session, but hey, at least the cheerleader bill failed.
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Old 06-11-2005, 02:34 AM   #54
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Brady, I almost added arson in the very first volley, then decided to save it for you. No kidding.
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Old 06-11-2005, 03:01 AM   #55
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You know, Arson can be used as a terrorist tool. For example, the plot to burn New York City in November of 1864.......

Of course, these days, fires started in several buildings simultaneously would be a serious headache for the FD, but it probably would not result in an entire city being razed, as was the intent in 1864.

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Old 06-11-2005, 05:12 AM   #56
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The Patriot Act isn't new...

...and not the brainchild of Dubya's men.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillence Act of 1978 allowed for most everything in the Patriot Act of 2001.

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/

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Old 06-11-2005, 05:24 AM   #57
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You can go further back than that.

Espionage Act of 1917

Sedition Act of 1918

The problem is the government rather than any specific individual.

But if FISA was effective, why the need for the PA in the first place?

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Old 06-11-2005, 08:17 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson
I can think of two 1300 foot towers that might still be standing if there had been a Patriot Act in September, 2001.
I can think of two 1300 foot twoers that might still be standing if we didn't have a history of interfering with the ME in the first place.

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Just because nothing like 9/11 has happened since, doesn't mean it the Act isn't needed. In fact, it's likely that the presence of PA has prevented a reoccurance.
I disagree. The reason there hasn't been another terrorist attack of the Radical Islamic kind, is because they don't have to go as far to kill Americans, now. They've all gathered in Iraq, where we're hunting for WMD/Bringing Democracy/Deposing a Dictator/Fighting the War on Terrorism/Empire Building/Fighting for Oil/Whatever reason it is this week.

The terrorists in Iraq, incidently were mostly elsewhere, until we invaded. So I suppose the "War on Terrorism" is working, after a fashion.

Of course, our invasion of Iraq is probably the best recruitment the Alqaida and the like ever hoped to have.
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Old 06-11-2005, 08:39 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson
The whole purpose of the Patriot Act is to beef up intelligence sharing and law enforcement. This is what they've done and are now being demonized for it.
It's not that it needed "beefed up". It's a problem with communication. No part of law enforcement, from the beat officer, to the spooks hovering over our elected officials, the FBI, the CIA, National Security, yadda, yadda, yadda...will willingly share information with the other. It's a sad fact that has been the case forever.

Let's also not forget the unconscionable errors made by these same elected officials, when presented with the information. It's already an established fact that Bush delibewrately ignored the fact that some of the information given him about 9/11 that didn't fit in with his agenda.

Face it, he didn't -want- to find out what really happened, and deal with who was really behind it. He just grabbed on anything, no matter how tenuous, that would let him justify an illegal war.

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So we should just lay down and do nothing? After all, nothing we can do can stop them. I'm just glad people in charge of our government don't have that defeatist attitude.
Does it have to be all or nothing? Because that's exactly what that comment sounds like from here.

And no, we don't just "lay down and do nothing". That's a crock. What we -DO- is deal with it at the source. The US can stop interfering in the policies of the ME, and they can stop sleeping with the enemy. Namely Saudi Arabia.

And how about we get back to looking for Osama? Why did we stop in the first place? And can someone -please- explain how we can lose an over 6 foot tall Saudi who needs dialasys on a regular basis? Especially since we had our eyes on him constantly until recently?

Oh, that's right...because Saddam had WMD.

Wait a minute. No he didn't. But he was a nasty dictator, so we needed to get rid of him.

But he wasn't a threat. Oh, yeah, we needed to bring democracy to the Iraqis. Give them freedom.

But at the same time, let's just take away the freedom of the US citizens.
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Old 06-11-2005, 08:41 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson
Do you REALLY think this is the intended goal of our government? Granted people have died -- all volunteers -- and certainly we are in turmoil, but I can't believe that is the purpose for which the act was created. That is a very cynical view of leaders that I simply cannot share.
No. Honestly? I think the -intended- goal of our current government is to create a Fascist state. And they're doing a darn fine job of it.

And sorry if I -do- seem overly cynical. But I'm seeing way too much going on that is ugly, and dangerous.
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Old 06-11-2005, 08:43 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by tjwriter
I was referring to the first attack. The first attack accomplished its goals of doing what it has done to America. I believe that another attack has not occurred because the first one is still affecting us. Years later, we are still in turmoil about it, though the effects may not be solidly visible.
I'm afraid I have to agree with you, TJ. The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 succeeded in their goals beyong their wildest dreams. They created terror for the entire nation. And they had the help of our own government to do it, with the PA, Homeland Security, and the Rainbow Alert.

And am I the only person who noticed that the rainbow alart would jump up to high every time Bush's ratings went down?
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Old 06-11-2005, 08:47 AM   #62
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Roger, first off, please don't think I'm angry at you, or picking on you. You just happen to be the only one arguing for the PA, so you're the current target. It's not you I'm angry with, it's our Commander in Thief, and his puppeteers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson
Still, you cannot prove that the Patriot Act didn't prevent further terrorism. (I'll further stipulate that I can't prove that it has.) But let me argue by analogy.

Should I give up my heart medicine just because I haven't had a heart attack?

I take a cholesterol lowering drug. I can't prove that it has prevented a heart attack, and I can't prove that it hasn't. It's not without risks, however. This drug could destroy my liver. But I continue to take it because my doctor (who is far more knowledgable than I) thinks I should. I don't blindly take his word, but I still follow his recommendation. We monitor it constantly.

I'm saying we should take the same attitude with the Patriot Act. People in positions of knowledge think we should have it. We should follow that recommendation, but continue to ask for verification.
Let me try it thisa way. No, you don't give up your medicine just because you haven't had a heart attack. But neither do you go to the extreme of getting a heart transplant, either. The PA is the equivalent of the heart transplant for a mild case of arrythmia.

Or, it's the equivalent of using a nuclear warhead to debug your house.
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Old 06-11-2005, 08:49 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson
People in positions of knowledge think we should have it. We should follow that recommendation, but continue to ask for verification.
You -do- realize that most of the people who voted for the PA didn't even read it, don't you?
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Old 06-11-2005, 08:53 AM   #64
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And am I the only person who noticed that the rainbow alart would jump up to high every time Bush's ratings went down?
I didn't notice it at the time, but now that I think back on it, I would have to say that you are on to something there.

Be Afraid! Paranoia is Patriotic!

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Old 06-11-2005, 09:08 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by LiamJackson
The issue isn't "does this stuff work". At issue is the fine, nearly indistinguisable line between legitimate use and general abuse. You want to see an example on a more mundane scale? Research the "Terry Stop." Does it have a positive effect in combating crime. Sure! Is it easy to abuse? Damn tootin'. The Patriotic Act carries signigicantly more risk of abuse in matters that may or may not have anything to do with Global Terrorism.
And -that- is where I have a major problem with the PA. The ease in which it can be abused.

Sorry, but it's human nature, that power corrupts most people. And absolute power will corrupt absolutely everyone who gains it.

Quote:
Allow the Patriot Act to expire today, imprision the first fifty bureaucrats who allow inter-agency fueds to impede investigations and endanger national security. That would be a true Patriot Act.
Now -that- I can get behind!

Really, the problems need to be stopped at the sources. But first, they need to find out what those sources are.

And there are a couple other things you mentioned that will illustrate exactly what I mean, so bear with me...

Quote:
You're sure those are all non-violent pot smokers, victims of a tyrannical drug policy. Okay, here's a little graph for you from the Buearu Of Prisons, and DoJ.
Question...how many of those violent offenders are in prison for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and more times? How many of them were originally non-violent drug offenders, that learned how to be violent criminals in the prison system?


As for immigration...yes, "sealing up" our borders would be next to impossible. But I think one of the easiest solutions to illegal immigration from the south (therefore eliminating, or at least drastically reducing, one major problem we seem to have), is instead of stiffening up the southern border, try coming down much harder on the corporations who hire these people? If it hurts them too much when they get caught hiring illegal aliens, then they'll stop. And logically, if they stop, the job sources for the illegals will dry up, thus making it no longer attractive to sneak in, yes?

INS is already in place, and doing their jobs, but it's no more than a slap on the wrist for the employers, so they get rid of the illegal workers for a bit, and a couple weeks later, after they pay their fines, they hire them back, or hire a new crop. It doesn't hurt them where it needs to...in the pockets...deeply in their pockets. The fines they have to pay are like pocket change to them. It's the equivalent of what I can find in the cushions of my couch.

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The country jumped on a half-assed solution in response to a terrible incident. The threat isn't gone, but it is diminished to the point we now have window of opportunity to reexamine our goals and strategies. Contact your elected officials and demand that they stop the bullshit over who gets a Domestic Preparedness Center of Excellence sticker.
I disagree that it's been diminished. With our actions in Iraq, I believe the threat has increased. But I don't think it's going to come from any "brown-skinned" person, or from foreigner.

The next one on US soil is going to be even uglier, and it's going to be domestic.

Quote:
You think our elected folks have a real grip on all this? People, they're still fighting over the "revised acceptable IDLH of radiological beta, gamma and neutron sources, and the standardization of chemcial breakdown limits on mask seals inside 3rd generation Interspiro airpaks. Say that 10 times, real fast. (NIOSH and OSHA folk better start looking over both shoulders. The world as they know it is about to change)
I'm afraid I only understood the question, to which the answer is a resounding NO. The rest was all greek to me.
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Old 06-11-2005, 09:20 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by BradyH1861
I didn't notice it at the time, but now that I think back on it, I would have to say that you are on to something there.

Be Afraid! Paranoia is Patriotic!

Brady H.
Shades of "1984"?
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Old 06-11-2005, 09:26 AM   #67
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You know, I only recently read 1984. I read it in an afternoon and I couldn't sleep at all that night. It was way too real, or at least it has the potential to be way too real.

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Old 06-11-2005, 09:34 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradyH1861
Are you referring to Congress? If so, I wasn't aware that being elected to office meant that you were more intelligent than anyone else. A position of power, yes. A position of knowledge, not necessarily.

Brady H.
I didn't say intelligence. I said knowledge. My doctor isn't significantly more intelligent than I, but he does have more knowledge about his specialty.

So too, do the various governmental branches and agencies have more knowledge than I do. Most of us get our knowledge distilled through CNN or Fox News and we choose to believe either depending on our own political affiliations and beliefs.

I'm just saying that they are in a better postion to know the truth. Sometimes they're wrong. More often they're right.
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Old 06-11-2005, 09:44 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson
I didn't say intelligence. I said knowledge. My doctor isn't significantly more intelligent than I, but he does have more knowledge about his specialty.

So too, do the various governmental branches and agencies have more knowledge than I do. Most of us get our knowledge distilled through CNN or Fox News and we choose to believe either depending on our own political affiliations and beliefs.

I'm just saying that they are in a better postion to know the truth. Sometimes they're wrong. More often they're right.
Okay. I'll go along with that to a certain extent. I would agree that certain governmental branches and agencies have more knowledge than the rest of us, at least the guys and gals actually out there doing the work. I thought that you meant Congress only.

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Old 06-11-2005, 10:00 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drgnlvr
Roger, first off, please don't think I'm angry at you, or picking on you. You just happen to be the only one arguing for the PA, so you're the current target. It's not you I'm angry with, it's our Commander in Thief, and his puppeteers.
drgnlvr, believe me, I don't think you're picking on me or angry at me. This is just a debate, a reasoned discourse.

However, please don't feel that I'm picking on you if I say that calling our President the "Commander in Thief" and saying that his intention is to "create a Fascist state" rather descends into name-calling and sloganing.

I disagree with the unstated, but underlying assertion, that this is all George W. Bush's idea. I maintain that we would have a Patriot Act regardless of who was in the Whitehouse. Furthermore, we would still be in Iraq if Bill Clinton was still in office. There are historical forces at work here that are larger than any one man or political party.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kappapi99
...and not the brainchild of Dubya's men.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillence Act of 1978 allowed for most everything in the Patriot Act of 2001.

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/

KP
This rather makes my point here and also gives me hope. Just because similar legislation has come and gone does not mean that it wasn't needed at the time. It just means that the time has passed. I believe this will happen to the current Patriot Act. Desperate times require desperate measures. When the desperate times go away, so do the measures.

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Originally Posted by drgnlvr
And -that- is where I have a major problem with the PA. The ease in which it can be abused.

Sorry, but it's human nature, that power corrupts most people. And absolute power will corrupt absolutely everyone who gains it.
This is quite true, but it's true for ANY legislation in ANY government of ANY size, right on down to City Hall. It is up to an informed citizenry and court system to keep it in check. I'm not saying that the Patriot Act is perfect or immune to abuse. However, I don't believe it is an unmitigated evil that will inevitably send us down the slippery slope to dictatorship.

I have faith in our system regardless of who is in office.
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Old 06-11-2005, 10:04 AM   #71
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Question...how many of those violent offenders are in prison for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and more times? How many of them were originally non-violent drug offenders, that learned how to be violent criminals in the prison system?
I'm not sure I understand the relevancy of the question to the Patriot Act issue. I've known many, many drug offenders who've done time without "learning" to commit criminal acts on their fellow inmates and/or staff. Most, in fact, do the time and re-enter society without taking up manslaughter as a hobby. I think a thorough search of the FBI Crime Index may answer many questions on this issue.

As for the recidivism rate, many violent criminals are repeat offenders and are "re-caught". It consumes just as much time, manhours (peoplehours?) and resources to catch a repeat offender as a first timer, and in many cases, more.

In the case of most violent offenders, the question isn't how he came to shoot a convenience store clerk over a carton of Salems. That's an entirely different issue. The real question as it relates to PA is why is the offender who just pulled a inconceivable 22 months (Yeah, 22 months) for 2nd degree murder prior to moving into your neighborhood? Boy, all that vicious jail time really showed him, right? Why is the prematurely released offender loose again to divert already strained resources from the business of securing "home?"

The answer to the why is, because he took an offered plea bargain from some "elected" prosecutor (elected official) eager for a quick and dirty conviction rate, without having to spend time and dollars in a trial. This offender kills someone and is back on the street before you can earn an online degree and the cycle begins anew. Crazy. Just crazy.

The point being, with the numbers of crimes reported, and actions taken by local law enforcement, there leaves damn little time to watch 500+ commercial airports, 340+ seaports, thousands of miles rail, highway, seacoasts, hard borders, and tens of thousands of soft and hard infrastructure targets.

Oh, and as for info sharing, local and county NCIC terminals overheat every single day of the week, as info is disseminated in a 100 different directions.The bottlenecking generally comes from these sources: State Police agencies, FBI, CIA, ICE, Customs Legacy, and Border Patrol. Why? Funding issues! Cities and counties don't have dogs in that fight. Their appropriations generally come from other sources, so they don't have to play the "look at me" game in order to secure additional funding. That's not to say a couple of major cities won't break off intel-sharing, especially if a prior joint effort failed or resulted in litigation. But the real intel problem starts with the entities who have the most to gain or lose in terms of fiscal budgets.

If the position is that we need a reallocation of resources, again, put the heat on politicians. It's already working by degrees. ICE and Border patrol are undergoing mergers, for the first time in history, real cooperation is being offered and accepted between municple and federal agencies. I can site ICE and it's south Florida operations as a prime example.

But if you want a real and permanent fix at the grass roots level, (city and county) you're going to have to start with elected prosecutors and judges. Law enforcement has become less than a public service entity and more of a tool of the judiciary. You really want to know why a certain attitude or agenda seems to exist in certain communities? Most times, you have to look no further than your prosecuting attorney's office.

You've got some people carrying badges who have no business in the profession. Thanks to the media, and internal efforts, the number of whackos is on the decline. Arguable, perhaps, but I stand by the statement. Still, you have that percentage, who really should be shaking fries at Happy's Burger Palace. The last thing they need is prosecutor revving them up, while in hot pursuit of a non-mainstream agenda. And prosecutors DO dictate which cases are pursued and, very often, with the degree of aggressiveness.
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Old 06-11-2005, 10:06 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson
I maintain that we would have a Patriot Act regardless of who was in the Whitehouse. Furthermore, we would still be in Iraq if Bill Clinton was still in office. There are historical forces at work here that are larger than any one man or political party.
I agree. After all, both parties voted for it. And I think if Kerry had won in 2004, we'd still be in Iraq too. I fear we will be there for some time to come. The Goddess of History will alone be the judge of whether these actions in these very uncertain times were right or not.

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Old 06-11-2005, 10:16 AM   #73
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Oh, and Roger, I can site several instances in which certain aspects of the PA have worked as intended. You won't read about every instance of smuggled raw radiological materials being confiscated at a facility like Port Everglades, but it happens, and far more frequently than the public knows. Many times, the intel resulting in that confiscation was gathered through means not available or legal prior to the PA.

I could even make an argument for a "special circumstances" extension or emergency reinstatement of the PA, in the event of another major incident of domestic terrorism. (Provided, there is a hard, fast time limit. So you're not totally alone in your views. However, I am firmly convinced that the Patriot Act poses far more threat than remedy, over the long haul.

Regardless, I respect your opinion. *salute*
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Old 06-11-2005, 10:19 AM   #74
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As do I *another salute*

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Old 06-11-2005, 12:11 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson
drgnlvr, believe me, I don't think you're picking on me or angry at me. This is just a debate, a reasoned discourse.

However, please don't feel that I'm picking on you if I say that calling our President the "Commander in Thief" and saying that his intention is to "create a Fascist state" rather descends into name-calling and sloganing.
And that's fine. But as long as I still have some freedom, I'm going to feel free to call him the "Commander in Thief"

Quote:
I disagree with the unstated, but underlying assertion, that this is all George W. Bush's idea. I maintain that we would have a Patriot Act regardless of who was in the Whitehouse. Furthermore, we would still be in Iraq if Bill Clinton was still in office. There are historical forces at work here that are larger than any one man or political party.
Oh, I have no doubt there would be -something-...just not sure if it would be the PA. And keep in mind, all those other acts that passed in history, expired, and were not renewed. The politicians are now discussing whether to renew the PA, and exclude the sunset clase, thus making it permanent. Not a good idea, IMO.

As far as being in Iraq...no, I -don't- think we would be in Iraq if someone else was in office. We might still be in Afghanistan...but you'll notice I haven't said anything about that. Because we had a valid reason for going there. This is where the terrorists groups were holing up. Remember?

Why did we abandon Afghanistan, and suddenly invade Iraq? We practically had Bin Laden in our grasp, and we were routing out the terrorists involved in 9/11. We just suddenly dropped it like it was diseased, and went to Iraq. Why? For WMD we had no hard proof existed? To depose a dictator? Why haven't we done that elsewherew in the world? Why aren't we dealing with China, and North Korea, who -IS- a threat?

Honestly, remember, the people running the show, and pulling Bush the Younger's strings are the same people who were running the show when Bush the Elder was in office...when we invaded Iraq before (although we had a more legit reason...sorta. At least the reason didn't change every week).

Think about what we stand to gain if we conquor Iraq, and make no mistakes about it...this is precisely the plan.

It's nothing more than Empire building, and if you follow the money, you'll see that's what it is.

The Iraqis are not the enemy. The Iraqi's were NOT involved in 9/11. The people who were involved were Saudi. And if you dig a little deeper, and you follow the money, you'll see that the puppetmasters in the white house are puppets, too...and the Saudis are pulling their strings. We're sleeping with the enemy, and the guards at the gate are asleep.

Quote:
This rather makes my point here and also gives me hope. Just because similar legislation has come and gone does not mean that it wasn't needed at the time. It just means that the time has passed. I believe this will happen to the current Patriot Act. Desperate times require desperate measures. When the desperate times go away, so do the measures.
Right. These are the same people who buried the National ID act (and the nice little clause with that, that allows Homeland Security full authority when it comes to sealing our southern border...to the point that they do not have to answer to anyone...period...not even the Supreme Court. This means, if someone is murdered in the process, their death will be erased from the records for all the justice that will be served.), in an appropriations bill for our GIs in Iraq, and the Tsunami victims, that -NO- Legislator would vote against if he wanted to keep his job. And we don't have the line-item veto. How convienient.

And you want to trust these people? I cannot, and will not put my faith in ANYONE who would be that sneaky.

I never trusted any politician...but the people in charge right now, terrify me.

Quote:
This is quite true, but it's true for ANY legislation in ANY government of ANY size, right on down to City Hall. It is up to an informed citizenry and court system to keep it in check. I'm not saying that the Patriot Act is perfect or immune to abuse. However, I don't believe it is an unmitigated evil that will inevitably send us down the slippery slope to dictatorship.
And how do the "people" keep it in check, if -all- the politicians pass bills that the people never get a chance to vote on, nor protest against. You -do- recall that the PA2 was passed without a word, in the middle of the night, right? It wasn't even leaked to the press before it was sent to the floor.

Quote:
I have faith in our system regardless of who is in office.
And, no offence, but IMO you're placing your faith in the wrong people. These people are not just self-serving liars...they're power-hungry, empire-building, terrifying despots. Any organization that is -that- sneaky, that often, is dangerous. And we're not talking about "pet projects" (ie; pork) getting slipped into a popular bill. This is where all politicians are self-serving liars. We're talking MAJOR changes to policy, and complete shredding of the Constitution.

We're talking a massive loss of freedoms that are gaining speed as this monster rolls down hill.

At what point do we say, "Enough", and put on the brakes? How much freedom do we have to lose before we take to the streets?

You know, let's take the example health care. I suffer from seasonal allergies. When spring rolls around, I need to make sure I have my meds, or I'll be stuffy, sneezing, and my ears will itch. If I ignore the season, and think I can get through it just fine without the meds, I will, inevitably, end up with a sinus infection. If I ignore that, thinking I can just suffer through it, it will become massive, with bloody noses, upper resperatory congestion, even asthma attacks. And if I keep ignoring it, I end up in the hospital getting industrial strength anti-biotics IV.

So what makes more sense? Ignoring it, and only dealing with it when I have no choice (ending up in the hospital), or making sure I have my allergy meds when Spring starts, and staying on top of it?

Frankly, I hate taking medication. I'd prefer not to, if I can avoid it. But taking the meds is less of a pain in the azze than ending up in the hospital, nearly dead (and yes, that did happen once...I learned my lesson).

It's the same thing with our freedoms. We can't just ignore some of them going bye-bye, because they're little freedoms, not all that important "in the grand scheme of things". All our freedoms are just as important as the other. If one goes, it starts the ball rolling down hill, and anything that rolls down hill gathers speed.

We need to stop it, NOW. Not later when there's no more threat, because that day will never come. There will always be a threat somewhere.

And I've ranted enough.

At least for now.
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