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  1.    #1  
    Hey all,

    ... just little old lurker me...

    I'd like to get your thoughts on the recent Patriot Act flap. Sen. Russ Feingold is my senator and just got re-elected. During his campaign, I was called to ask for my support. When I asked the caller why the Senator was the only one to vote against the Patriot Act (really wanted to know, not picking a fight), I got the standard pat answer "because he read it." I guess that kind of answer satisfies the faithful but I had to continue. I asked if that inferred that the other 99 of his colleagues didn't read it (of course it did implicitly but he wouldn't want to be explicit about it). Then, I asked about which of the law's tenets were most egregious. Again, I got another scripted answer regarding oversight.

    Now, I took the time to read the law (long and boring) and I referenced a couple of passages from memory. This call-dude had no idea what I was talking about but promised I would get a call to answer my questions. As a credit to their cause, I did get a call from the Senator's state campaign. I got the same scripted answers and another admission that this caller hadn't read the law. Later, I got a copy of the law in the mail from Sen. Feingold with a letter thanking me for my interest.

    The question I've got burning in my head:

    When voting against the Patriot Act and explaining his reasoning, Sen. Feingold has often cited the potential for civil liberty abuses. The law has been in effect for four years now (give or take). Can anyone provide a good list of the ACTUAL civil liberty abuses that have taken place as a result of the law?

    Some may point to the recent news about the President's authorization for wiretapping. That issue is not related to this law.

    I look forward to responses from all sides.

    Thanks for reading a self-identified lurker's question...
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  2. #2  
    Don't hold your breath. know of no confirmed cases of the abuse of any of the provisions of the Patriot Act. If there had been any is there any doubt that the Left in this country would be howling endlessly about them?

    Nothing in the Patriot Act is beyond what is already allowed under the law for organized crime or drug investigations. There may be abuses at some point in time, but no more so that with any other law enforcement operation.

    Russ revels in his role as a maverick. Now he's running for President.
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  3. #3  
    While you're mulling over the pros and cons of the so called Patriot Act, keep this in mind:

    Agents' visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior

    NEW BEDFORD -- A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."
    Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.
    The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.
    The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.
    "I tell my students to go to the direct source, and so he asked for the official Peking version of the book," Professor Pontbriand said. "Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring inter-library loans, because that's what triggered the visit, as I understand it."
    Although The Standard-Times knows the name of the student, he is not coming forward because he fears repercussions should his name become public. He has not spoken to The Standard-Times.
    The professors had been asked to comment on a report that President Bush had authorized the National Security Agency to spy on as many as 500 people at any given time since 2002 in this country.
    The eavesdropping was apparently done without warrants.
    The Little Red Book, is a collection of quotations and speech excerpts from Chinese leader Mao Tse-Tung.
    In the 1950s and '60s, during the Cultural Revolution in China, it was required reading. Although there are abridged versions available, the student asked for a version translated directly from the original book.
    The student told Professor Pontbriand and Dr. Williams that the Homeland Security agents told him the book was on a "watch list." They brought the book with them, but did not leave it with the student, the professors said.
    Dr. Williams said in his research, he regularly contacts people in Afghanistan, Chechnya and other Muslim hot spots, and suspects that some of his calls are monitored.
    "My instinct is that there is a lot more monitoring than we think," he said.
    Dr. Williams said he had been planning to offer a course on terrorism next semester, but is reconsidering, because it might put his students at risk.
    "I shudder to think of all the students I've had monitoring al-Qaeda Web sites, what the government must think of that," he said. "Mao Tse-Tung is completely harmless."
  4. #4  
    Cool...man I wish we had had that level of aweness before 9/11. Thanks for that uplifting post!!
  5. #5  
    All hearsay. Wouldnt even hold up in court.
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  6. cardio's Avatar
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    #6  
    Very good. The student asked for information that is considered possibly militant in nature, add the fact the student spent considerable time overseas and our gov't checked out the need for the information (direct translation) just to make sure it is legit. Do you really get offended by these steps taken to protect your freedom and security?
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  7. #7  
    Da....just curious, I assume you find this article very concerning. Do you have any alternatives to effectively monitor building terrorist threats and plots?
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Very good. The student asked for information that is considered possibly militant in nature, add the fact the student spent considerable time overseas and our gov't checked out the need for the information (direct translation) just to make sure it is legit. Do you really get offended by these steps taken to protect your freedom and security?
    Yes. Sacrificing freedom and privacy for safety is no solution.
  9.    #9  
    Chilly.

    Fact 1: A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago.
    Fact 2: The student told Professor Pontbriand and Dr. Williams that the Homeland Security agents told him the book was on a "watch list."

    If that ain't BIG BROTHER, I don't know what is.

    ... visiting and watching ... what's next?
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  10. #10  
    OK. I've considered it. This is complete unsourced crap.

    The issue commented on about the eavesdropping is a program of electronic intercepts conducted by the NSA of INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS. The ability to check business records (including library records) is a provision of the Patriot Act that REQUIRES A COURT ORDER.

    The facts in the story are completely at odds with the items the author wishes to condemn. I will be waiting patiently for the follow-up story where it is revealed to have been a hoax. I'm also prepared to eat my words when more (any?) evidence shows up.

    And as an aside, "Mao Tse-Tung is completely harmless." Any guesses as to where the profs' political preferences lie???
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  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Yes. Sacrificing freedom and privacy for safety is no solution.
    So we should stop airport screening, in your opinion???
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  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Yes. Sacrificing freedom and privacy for safety is no solution.
    Freedom and privacy mean nothing if you are dead. I applaud the Dep of Homeland Security. A red flag should have been waived on this one...
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  13. #13  
    Keep in mind too that these "wire taps" were not done on domestic calls. This is just the liberal media once again trying to conjure up any news they can to take attention away from progress in Iraq. The liberals have painted themselves into a corner where any good news in Iraq is bad news for them- and vice versa. 11m Iraqi voters making up about 70% of the population last week is not good news for democrats- hence this wire tap crap.
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  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by robber
    Freedom and privacy mean nothing if you are dead. I applaud the Dep of Homeland Security. A red flag should have been waived on this one...
    Better to live in a police state? I think you'll agree there have to be limits to gov't intrusion into privacy.
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Yes. Sacrificing freedom and privacy for safety is no solution.
    OK, I'll play your game. What would your solution be to prevent future acts of terrorism? The rules are that you can not infringe on anyones rights, no airport screening, no background checks, no mandated wait time to purchase weapons, you know basic rights.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Better to live in a police state? I think you'll agree there have to be limits to gov't intrusion into privacy.
    An example of a police state would be Saddam Hussein's Iraq, which we toppled. We are not a police state. A resonable person can tell the difference.
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  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Better to live in a police state? I think you'll agree there have to be limits to gov't intrusion into privacy.

    I do agree, but the instance referenced here is not even close. How do you expect to prevent another issue in the future?
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  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    While you're mulling over the pros and cons of the so called Patriot Act, keep this in mind:

    Agents' visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior

    NEW BEDFORD -- A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."
    Hahaha. I was going to post the link below as an example of people getting a little too uptight, but you did it for me! Thanks.

    http://www.boingboing.net/2005/12/18...visit_stu.html

    Though BB is often very liberal in things, they are really good about admitting when they've overreacted.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by robber
    I do agree, but the instance referenced here is not even close. How do you expect to prevent another issue in the future?
    Where do you draw the line? Shall the gov't have a direct line to your hard drive to cut down on sneak & peek costs??
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Where do you draw the line? Shall the gov't have a direct line to your hard drive to cut down on sneak & peek costs??
    Not my hard drive. Just yours.
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