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The cowards in Congress left the Patriot Act virtually unchanged from it's current form as it comes it for renewal. Your congressmen voted to allow the government to continue to remove the pretense of civil liberties. Thomas Paine said:
Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.
Are we reaching the "intolerable" point? I think we're getting there. This article in the WaPo give a decent run down on what happened.
One problem I have is that I know our congressman, Ben Chandler, will vote for it. I like Ben, I really do, but his votes aren't terribly progressive on much of anything. He's going to vote for this just like he voted for the RealID legislation. The only real good point in this bill came from the inclusion of some judicial oversight, but I think that was more lip service than anything.
Our civil liberties and our right privacy, covered in the 4th amendment are always up for grabs. We do have an expectation to be safe but we need to be protected from our own government as much as the terrorist and other foreign adversaries. They say constantly we have to protect our way of life and they're right, we do. But our own government has done more to infringe upon and remove our rights than any foreign power ever did.
To quote Ben Franklin, "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
posted by Stithmeister @ 9:01 AM
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Not cowardice, interest. It is ALWAYS in a government's interest (and the interest of those people who hold that government's offices) to have more knowledge and more control of the masses from whence they derive their livings and power.
That's why the Constitution was ratified on the promise of the first ten Amendments being added - the strongest possible legal defense against the private interests of the governing body. (The strongest "non-legal" defense was a few years earlier, called 'Revolution'.)
Once the Patriot Act was in place, and ratified/hallowed by use, and had even some measure of acceptance, it was permanent.
Undoing encroachment on liberties is equivalent to unscrambling eggs.
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I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.
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