09 February 2011

PATRIOT act

I was heartened to see a few Tea Party types (though other than Ron Paul, and presumably Rand Paul in the Senate, none of the major well-known names from this movement's base of support) actually lived up to their billing and helped to vote down a quick-step renewal.

I was not heartened to see that the renewal bill will still pass easily, it will just take a couple more weeks now.

None of the provisions up for a vote are necessary on some cost-benefit analysis in terms of the actual security they may provide and all are prone to substantial levels of abuse by government authorities (regardless of which party administration controls these levers of power).

In the UK provisions like these are indeed likely to be repealed and rolled back as the invasive and unnecessary "security" measures that they are. Here in the US, despite years of bitching by left-leaning Democrats during the Bush years about these tyrannical or fascist looking laws and efforts for government power, we now get much silence and a few consistent figures (one of whom, Feingold, was just voted out in the last election) trying fruitlessly to fight back against a naked authoritarian power grab that resulted in the wake of a deliberate attack on American soil. In our haste for security, we may have immeasurably damaged it in another way by making violable our inherent rights as citizens and decent human beings.
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