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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Bad Laws

I want to start today’s post off with this GREAT ARTICLE! The article was sent to me by The Wizard Of Odds, a math geek who runs a gambling odds website. He is a consultant for the gaming industry, and has the best odds site I have been able to find.

Anyway, apparently he used to work for the Social Security Administration – as a math geek. The article is kind of long, but it is excellent. It tells you what the situation is with Social Security, WITHOUT a political bias or spin. The article is all about the math – and math has no political party. 2 plus 2 equals 4 no matter who the president is.

Now on to stuff I am going to write about. Many other blogs have discussed the Patriot Act, and what it means. Here is what I think.

I think that making laws as powerful as the Patriot Act is because of fear is a bad idea. I like some of the things in the act, such as inter-agency cooperation. Frankly, I was alarmed to find out that federal agencies did not share information. But there are other provisions of the law that have no place in America.

Groups like the ACLU have attacked the act so viscously because it contains some very scary things. Republicans have fought right back, saying things like “The ACLU is soft on terrorism”. Fear tactic. Plain and simple. They are taking advantage of the fact that people are afraid to deflect the issues.

Another thing that bothers me is the name chosen for the law. Who named it The Patriot Act? People in congress who wanted to pushed through at all costs. They picked a cool sounding name at a time when Americans were firmly behind the President to do something about September 11. Everyone had car flags, and flag pins. Then came the Patriot Act. Who would oppose the law? UN-patriotic people, that’s who! People who support Osama! People who hate America! Like so many blind sheep, politicians lined up to cast a very patriotic vote.

The law allows the government to urinate on several key parts of the Bill Of Rights, in the name of “fighting terror”. One part that can be urinated on is the right to have access to an attorney. If a person is held under the Patriot Act, they do not have to be given access to anything. They can be held in secret (so as to not allow other “terrorists” to know they have been arrested) and for an indefinite amount of time. The person does not even have to be told why they are being held. And of course, the government can withhold “classified” information from the defense. And a jury can not be allowed access to “classified” information, so the trial can be held by a military tribunal, in secret, without being able to prepare a defense.

Some would say that all this does not matter, because nobody is being snatched off the street. I say that nobody is being snatched off the street YET – at least not that we know of. And if they were, we would not know because it would be a secret. And what happens when the Justice Department decides that opposing the President is a potential “terrorist” act? Maybe this will not happen today, but it could happen in 20 years.

Lets not forget that ALL oppressive regimes start off with little steps. When Hitler was elected to power in Germany, the first thing he did was chip away at EVERYONE else’s power. At some point he outlawed all other political parties. He set up the SS, and used the secret police to terrorize anyone who disagreed with him. All this was done in little steps, and ALL “for the good of the German People”. The lesson? Beware of politicians that chip away at your rights, or try to consolidate government power under one party. Even the smallest step in this direction should be opposed by the people at any and all costs.

So should we allow the government to have the power to have secret police, secret jails, and secret courts? Should we allow the government to arrest people without having to provide and proof or demonstrate any reasonable cause? Should we allow the government to have the power to make parts of the Bill Of Rights optional? Are we 100% sure that these powers will NOT be abused in the future?

I say no. These powers have no place in a free society. Keep the good parts of the bill, and toss out the rest. Or better yet, let the whole thing die and start over from scratch. Without the secret jails and secret courts.


Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Your last sentence reflects my opinion. This "Patriot" Act is too flawed to be continued. Start over.

Blogger actonbell said...

Bravo! great post. It's scary that our gov't would even think of arresting people without telling them why, then denying them the right to a lawyer. And I'll make sure to copy that article. Ekim's a math geek, too, and will love it-thanks!

Blogger actonbell said...

oh, I meant to add, about social security--the article mentions raising taxes, which I agree must happen, and I hope that means raising the ceiling--people making more than $90,000 a year should pay in 6%, just like everyone else.

Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Very informative post. Thank you for the article.

In my opinon, as worded, this Act is designed to do more harm than good in America.

Blogger GodlessMom said...

The Patriot Act was named by the same people who came up with the Clear Skies program. Doublespeak at it's best.

I agree with you completely and I'm more than a little creeped out by the whole thing. What I don't understand is why don't more people see it as a threat? Are they really that blinded by the word "Patriot?" Scary.

Blogger GodlessMom said...

I just watched a clip from CSPAN of Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the chairman of the judiciary committee going on a rant and walking out on the Patriot Act hearings. It is worth watching if you get a chance. I found it at, just scroll down and click on his picture.


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