Thursday, June 09, 2005


Bush Says: "The PATRIOT Act Makes America Safer"

Ok, maybe that is true but at what price? Just because it "makes us safer" that doesn't mean we should do it. I can think of a lot of other things that would make us safer but will not and maybe never should happen:

We could ban guns
We could stop traveling in cars
We could start executing all criminals
We could ban Fast Food
We could ban SUVs
We could stop selling alcohol
We could ban cigarettes
We could stop war
We could stop sun bathing
We could ban knives
We could stop swimming in the ocean
We could stop burning candles in our homes
We could ban sky diving
We could ban sex
We could ban red meat
We could ban religion
We could ban violent lyrics
We could ban violent movies
We could ban violent video games
We could ban "dangerous" dogs
We could stop immigration
We could allow the government to search us without warrants
We could allow the government to tap our phones and computers without warrants
We could allow the government to secretely search our homes and offices without notification
We could allow the government to arrest whomever they wanted
We could allow the government to detain people without charges for as long as they wanted
We could allow the government the right to investigate someone without probable cause
We could erase the 1st,2nd,4th,5th and 8th amendments
We could renew the PATRIOT Act but that just wouldn't be American would it?

Why do people bungee jump, sky dive, have sex in public places? It's not the act itself they desire it's the risk that comes with it. What is life without risks? Nothing we do is safe and without risks; Life is full of risks, full of danger and that cannot be eliminated. Just because something makes us safer doesn't mean it's the answer, especially when it comes at such a high price. What is life without liberty? What is America without liberty?

P.S. If you have been living in a cave and are unaware, the PATRIOT Act is up for renewal at the beginning of next year. At that point in time congress can renew, amend or scrap it all together. I realize that the PATRIOT Act has not affected me in any way, and has mostly only caused problems for terrorists and criminals, even though it was designed to just weed out terrorists. I especially don't mind the parts that deal with non-citizens, but I do think it changes the role of the government from watching over the people to watching the people. Plus, it has been abused and there is no way to guarantee that you or I will be immune from this abuse. I don't feel like it should be discarded all together but I don't think it should be renewed either. It's sort of like social security; you don't need to start over with an entirely new car, when all you need to do is get a new clutch and transmission.


alise cheney who doesn't know dick said...

I like the car comparison and I agree completely. As a librarian, I am required by law to hand over whatever records or equipment law enforcement demands, warranted or not. I may not ask questions and I may not inform the person that is being investigated that their records have been seized. There is a gag order.

Granted, I have never been approached by the CIA and most likely never will be. Also, I don't think that average Joe Public will be investigated without due cause. But the "what ifs" here are huge! We all know the Big Brother conspiracy theories, the 1984 stuff, and like it or not, that's what the language of the USA PATRIOT act (actually a ridiculously long acronym standing for:Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001)is setting us up for.

Clearly, this was written as a quick reaction to some seriously scary shit. Now that we have some perspective on the situation, shouldn't our lawmakers?

Toad734 said...

Yes they should



Son of Lilith said...

I responded on my blog to your question.

Excellent post Toad.

Sandi said...

Personally I scream for empeachment. But, yes I also agree that there are some parts of the Law that can be salvaged.

United We Lay said...

Buddha Blesses You

Donna said...

Toad, I agree mostly with your POV, but challenge one of your statements, believing you may not realize how deep the US Patriot Act goes.

You said: "I especially don't mind the parts that deal with non-citizens..."

As a non-citizen, living in ANOTHER country, your Patriot Act has had an effect on MY privacy. One of the effects of the Patriot Act is that the US gov't can access files of US corporations, including banks and credit card companies and health service providers. Since the US is the parent company to many Canadian companies, that means that Candians have no ability to prevent the US gov't from monitoring how and where we spend our Canadian dollars. And in British Columbia, our regressive provincial gov't hired a bloody US-based company to track health care costs, which means the US gov't can find out what drugs and operations I've had...too much. Way too much.

You can't support that, can you Toad?!

Donna said...

And more thing, for all you American citizens who can raise hell with your Congress members, in the last version of the Patriot Act, the pharma industry tried to sneak in a law that would require all Americans to receive "anti-terrorism vaccines" under threat of fine or imprisonment if they refused. Most of the vaccines considered anti-terrorist are experimental. You don't want that shit in your or your kids' bloodstream.

It's hard for anyone to read that frickin huge Act and sadly politicians are no better and knowing all the facts about what rights they're signing away than the average Joe.

Toad734 said...

No I do not support the US monitoring Canadian drug consumption habits. But that may be an issue of privacy that you need to address with your government. They have a responsibility to protect Canadian citizens, I do not.

What I was referring to were foreigners, especially illegal ones, on US soil. In other words if you are from Pakistan, your Visa has expired, and you send emails to known terrorist; I don't feel for you if they throw you in Guantanamo for 6 months and force you to watch Qurans getting flushed down the toilet.

What exactly is an anti-terrorism vaccine? Too bad all those people in the World Trade center didn't take that shot, man what a difference that would have made!

Donna said...

I wich it were that simple. The Canadian government has little to no power with the 500-lb gorilla of the US gov't. California has a bigger population than Canada...see why we're nothing to stomp on?

US gov't has effectively interfered with all kinds of Canadian policies, some of which we must blame our own conservative gov'ts for allowing - like the Friggin Free Trade Agreement. The fact is, Canadian gov't has zero power over your policies and your policies include power over corporations and those corporations have long arms outside of your country.

Re: anti-terrorist vaccines: the one that was being debated during the last round of the Security Act talks was for smallpox. Others being developed by US Military include Ebola and Marburg (read my post on that one), and a dozen others. I can track them down and name them if you really want to know...

Dr. Charles said...

true, it's not all about safety. the patriot act has alerted me to the liberties i always took for granted as they are taken away, one by one. sure we need law enforcement tools to track all sorts of bad dudes, but the abuses of the act are numerous already.

Joe Wiess said...

Hey John,
I tend to agree with you about the Patriot Act, but the plain simple truth is, that it grants the FBI/CIA the same ability to hunt terrorists that it gives them to hunt drug runners/dealers/mafia contacts.

Take for instance, the people in California that they arrested, you know the ones. The Ice Cream Truck driver that somehow had enough money to send his kid to an Al-Queda training camp to kill his fellow Americans.

As an Independant, I promise that if those jokers in Washington start to lose sight of the Declaration of Independance and the Consititution, I'll be the first to forcefully respond.

What some people (Mainly in washington) forget is that the government gets it's powers from the people, who get it from (Yes, John) God, not the other way around.

Personally, I'd like a government that keeps the best interests of "we, the people" in mind.

Toad734 said...

RE: Joe

Then I would advise against voting Republican in the next congressional and Presidential election. Most politicians don't really care about the people, they care about the lobbiest. This administration however, takes the cake.

United We Lay said...

The Patriot Act is reprehensible. How can these people call themselves Americans? Joe, those jokers have already lost sight. Have you read the Constitution since high school? Even more importantly, how familiar are you with the philosophies of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, and John Locke? Knowing more about these men, and their wives, will give you a better idea of the intent of the document. Being familiar with Supreme Court rulings will familiarize you with the interpretation.

This administration, if you have studied past adminsitrations, is the worst in American history. How can you support that?

Boiled Owl said...

Toad, love the new i.d. pix. "Smirk of the Sith"

Polanco. You are onto something. I'd like to see the top 10 reasons why GWB's administration is the worst in US History. I think you're probably right, but it would be great to see you nail it down so that your assertion is irrefutable.

Son of Lilith said...

You all will be happy to know that not EVERY body is willing to be gov't whore.

I work in a public library, and we are under strict orders from our director to not infringe the Patron Privacy policy without due cause (we can't just give them a list of patrons who checked out a book).

Case in point: a book was found at a murder scene and the police wanted to know who checked it out. All we could do, under our privacy policy, was contact the patron themself and tell them the police had their book.

I hate the Patriot Act. I'm wondering if Bush and Co. have read 1984. Of course, that's probably where they got the idea.

United We Lay said...

Boiled Owl -
I'll get right on it. Several historians have said so, and I have my own opinions, but I would love to make them beyond reproach. It dcould take a few days, though. Anything you think should be on the list?

Boiled Owl said...

Sure Polanco,
Being appointed president by the Supreme Court?
Starting a war with Iraq for no reason?
Trying to intervene in the Schaivo case.
The humiliation of War heroes, Max Cleland, John McCain and John Kerry for political gain.
The Bush relationship with the Saud family.
I'll keep thinking. Let's compare notes.

Toad734 said...

Um I have a couple:

More job losses than any president since the election
The whole SS mess
The expiration of the Brady Bill (Actually that is congresses fault not Ws)
Cut in Veterans pay and benefits
He consults with Biblical advisors on everything he does
The plundering of our budget surplus
"Outsourcing is good for the Economy"
The fear of science
The weakening dollar, Rising oil prices (dont think the two arent related)
Ridiculous tax cuts
The Bankruputcy Bill
The closing of more military bases
Refused to allow UN election inspectors to monitor our elections.
Appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions that any president in history.
He has had fewer TV confrences since any president since the advent of TV.
Cut in unemployment benefits
During his first year he took more vacations than any president in history while Al Queda was putting the finishing touches on 9/11.
Oh and 9/11

United We Lay said...

Ya'll have pretty much covered it, but I;m sure I can come up with a few more. I'll post it on my site in a few days.

BRUISER said...

Wait a second of you guys think Georgy Boy has read anything since that last kids book? Namely 1984? ..That'll be the day... Karl Rove on the other hand ... I believe he maybe working on his own version... a little updated... if this tailspin towards ultraconservatism is the Bush Administrations vision of a moral(heh, heh, heh)!HA!HA!) United(HAH!HAH!HAH!) States Of America ? Is Anybody Buying It Yet ...yes unfotunately Fear plays well to the disenfranchised.

trick said...

At least some of our congress has a little bit of sense - the "library provision" was removed by an amendment. Now we just need about a thousand more amendments to get rid of the rest of the provisions that violate our constitutional rights.

Chick said...

It's one of the most PREVENTABLE diseases...isn't it?