Friday, February 12, 2010

So-called PATRIOT Act to be renewed?

Bad enough when they create lousy laws under the pressure of perceived national emergencies. Far worse when they want to re-enact such laws in the light of a new day when experience proves the law is abusive . . . and it is clear that members of Congress intend to use the law for nefarious purposes!

"Liberal" or "conservative," how about sending a message to our Congresspeople: "Time to abandon the so-called PATRIOT Act!"?

This from the Campaign for Liberty:
We’ve all heard the defenses. How the Patriot Act was needed to combat “terrorism.” How it would protect civil liberties while increasing security.

How it would not be abused.

These lies have all been clearly exposed. For eight years, the American people have ignored the wisdom of our founding fathers and traded freedom for security – and, as predicted, we are losing both as a result.

And now, Congress and the White House are set to reauthorize the so-called Patriot Act. . . .

If we do not stop this reauthorization, we’ll see a whole lot more of what we’ve gotten over the last eight years:

  • Federal law enforcement on fishing expeditions, searching telephone, email, medical, financial, and other records looking for a needle in a haystack – and abridging the freedom of law abiding citizens everywhere.
  • Warrantless searches and roving wiretaps, paying telephone providers for access to TRILLIONS of phone records and ignoring Fourth Amendment protections.
  • Broad powers for the Treasury Department to demand private banking information and use the Patriot Act as a pretense to interfere with the free market.
  • Vast amounts of electronic data on virtually every American swept up by insider arrangements and purchases from phone companies, airlines and other businesses afraid to say no to a government “request.”
As you well know, this isn’t some conspiracy theory. This is happening all around us. . . .

One of the most egregious abuses of the Constitution, using the Patriot Act as its basis, is so-called National Security letters, used commonly by the FBI.

It has been estimated that the FBI has used these NSLs – which allow access to records WITHOUT any court or search warrant – at least 50,000 times since 2001.

Just one example, noted in BusinessWeek in 2005, showed that the FBI had issued tens of thousands of NSLs and had obtained one million financial, credit, employment, and health records from the customers of targeted Las Vegas businesses. Selected businesses included casinos, storage warehouses and car rental agencies.

And that’s just one case.

Our federal government is out of control, and every day we see it attempting to abridge more of our constitutional rights.

We know they’d take away our Second Amendment rights in a heartbeat if they could, and we must also remain vigilant to this threat.

They’re spending us and our children into poverty, with crushing trillion dollar deficits.

And they’re allowing the out of control Fed to ruin the dollar and push forward toward the collapse of our currency and way of life.

All of these are vital fights.

But none are more critical at the moment than taking back our freedoms from the statists and power-hungry federal thugs who use the Patriot Act to dig into every aspect of American lives under the false pretense of making us safer.

We cannot be a free nation and have this un-American law on the books.

Liberty-minded Americans from the left and the right are outraged. But outrage alone won’t be enough. Every single one of us must take action today.

Campaign for Liberty has a three point plan to get as many senators as possible to vote against the Patriot Act:

  • Your Petitions, and hundreds of thousands like them, will be delivered to the Senate, showing the tidal wave of opposition to the Patriot Act. . . .
  • Editorials and Op-Eds across the country to help swing the tide of public opinion to oppose this dangerous abuse of power.
  • TV and Radio Ads in targeted states. . . .
Public pressure works. . . .

The time is now to turn our attention to stopping the Patriot Act in its tracks.
Why now in particular?

Because, writes John Tate, president of Campaign for Liberty, "[Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid plans to sneak the Patriot Act re-authorization through the Senate . . . as part of [the] $85 billion . . . 'Jobs Bill.' "

And Reid has until the end of this month to act.

"Unless you and I act today," writes Tate, "the Patriot Act will be reauthorized for another five years or more without hardly a peep or a dissent."

Some senators, he says, are willing to fight, "But no one will take this on unless there is a shout of opposition from the American people."
That’s why I urge you to let your senators hear from you today. Please click here to sign our Liberty Petition, demanding your senators allow the Patriot Act to expire.
I should note: the link Tate provided in the email I received is coded to send a message to the senators from my state, Colorado.

If you click through and then look at the top of your web browser, you will see a simple code that shows which state's senators will receive your message. The code for Colorado (CO), for example is right here:

If you live in another state--New York, for example--replace the CO with the two-letter abbreviation for your state (NY). You will then have an appropriate petition for your senators.

My opinion: I think it's worth signing the petition. Maybe it will do no good. But maybe it will.

Check it out to see if you'd like to participate.
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