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Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act

The ACLU has joined with such unlikely bedfellows as the Americans for Tax Reform, the American Conservative Union in forming a new coaliton, Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances, to oppose the Patriot Act. The group will be chaired by former Congressman Bob Barr:

The new organization is urging Congress to thoroughly review the most intrusive and constitutionally suspect provisions of the Patriot Act. Specifically, the act allows federal agents to gather highly personal information -- including library, medical and gun purchase records-- without criminal suspicion, permits secret searches of homes and businesses with indefinite notification, and expands the definition of domestic terrorism to potentially include political protest.

"Checks and balances are absolutely essential, even and especially during times of threat," Barr said. "Our message is universal: liberty is not divisible, even in the face of terrorism, and we must not allow any part of it to be sacrificed in our efforts to defeat acts of terrorism."

Here are some interesting numbers:

The ACLU noted that pro-civil liberties resolutions have been passed in 375 communities in 43 states, including the state legislatures of Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont and New Hampshire. Most of the resolutions call upon Congress to bring the Patriot Act back in line with the Constitution. These communities represent approximately 56.2 million people.

Other groups participating: Citizens' Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the Second Amendment Foundation and the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons. The New York Times has more.

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  • Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 12:13:02 AM EST
    its not about fighting the system but using it to get something; the right wants its agenda and the left wants its agenda, and the only one looking for something is the guys that can get something out of the system, the little guys will just have to live in the coming mad-house that is the patriot act, the right and left show us what is what in the real world, both want power both want us dead.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 05:46:15 AM EST
    I have questions about this group, after hearing their press briefing on CSpan. When asked directly 'so are you trying to overturn portions of the Patriot Act?' one of the respondents said 'oh no' and said something about not trying to do too much/take on the world, doing things one step at a time. Their answer seemed evasive and, frankly, left me with questions about what they are really trying to do. The primary focus of this group seemed to be simply making sure gun-owners will still be able to own guns. After this press conference, I am hesitant to laud them so quickly as supporters of civil liberties, and will be watching them closely to see if this is a genuine group, or yet another fake 'rights' group made up by the GOP and intent on using a liberal-sounding name and issue to promote the anti-civil liberties agenda of the current administration.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 05:50:01 AM EST
    "...liberty is not divisible, even in the face of terrorism, and we must not allow any part of it to be sacrificed in our efforts to defeat acts of terrorism."
    so it took almost 3/4 years for them to figure something out thats been known since the formation of this republic, well i guess as long as they have come to their senses.
    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
    FREEDOM ain't FREE and oft times has to be reinforced with the blood of true patriots.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 06:05:17 AM EST
    Since we are now supposed to laud the joint effort of those on both sides of the political "divide" to reform the Patriot Act, can we at last admit that it was the creation of both sides of that divide and stop pretending that Bush and Ashcroft forced it on the nation?

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 06:16:43 AM EST
    Both sides are at fault justpaul, what spineless politician would dare speak the hard truth in the months after 9/11? The hard truth being liberty is the ultimate goal of our nation, not safety/security. As an aside, I like Bob Barr. We probably don't agree on much, but a friend to liberty is a friend of mine. Barr hasn't allowed the GOP to silence him in his defense of liberty.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 06:18:51 AM EST
    kdog, I'll take that as a "yes" in response to my question. I think it will be much easier to get to the truth and deal with the problems if we first admit where the problems came from.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 06:55:57 AM EST
    bob barr sucks http://www.tylwythteg.com/enemies/Barr/barr1.html

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 07:02:36 AM EST
    Who would have thought that Bob Barr--one of the chief Clinton Inquisitors--would oppose portions of the Patriot Act for being unpatriotic. It's these conservatives with a conscience that give me hope...hope that the GOP will divide and splinter into its own civil war.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 07:38:16 AM EST
    Agreed justpaul. The problem being our gov't is overwhelmingly stocked with corrupt, self-serving cowards.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 07:57:28 AM EST
    Specifically, the act allows federal agents to gather highly personal information -- including library, medical and gun purchase records-- without criminal suspicion, permits secret searches of homes and businesses with indefinite notification. I don't have a problem with any of the above. Our collective safety comes before any of this. The Patriot Act is here to stay, as it needs to be.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 08:04:02 AM EST
    mb...you are a coward. Freedom before safety through tyranny. Perhaps you'd be more comfortable in a totalitarian state, but not I.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 08:23:38 AM EST
    Hear, hear, outside. Justpaul, I fail to see how a fruitful discussion starts with "admit[ting] where the problems came from."

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 08:26:00 AM EST
    mb...you are a coward. Freedom before safety through tyranny. Perhaps you'd be more comfortable in a totalitarian state, but not I. A) You shouldn't call people you don't know names. You have no idea who I am, so spare me your deep insight on whehter I (or anybody) am a "coward". More to the point, it's just not a good idea. B) Spare me as well Orwellian physco-babble. We are hardly a "totalitarian" state, full Patriot Act in tact, and you know it. The safety of the nation comes first...period.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#14)
    by glanton on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 08:28:49 AM EST
    kdog writes: "The hard truth being liberty is the ultimate goal of our nation, not safety/security." moments later, MB writes: "Our collective safety comes before any of this." Which kdog then slams. Quite rightly. Where you come down on this argument says everything about your politics. "Stay alert, and stay with FOX!" Blech.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 08:40:05 AM EST
    mfox, Because it starts with honesty. Many of those opposed to the Patriot Act like to use it as a hammer to bash the administration, conveniently forgetting that it was congress, and specifically many Democrats in congress, who sponsored the act and voted for it. The idea is that maybe, just maybe, if we stop blaming all of the problems with the act on one or two people and face the reality that congress gave us this monster, we can then work to solve the problems in it. I'm sorry if you see this as taking away what has become a favorite toy of the left, but I think the truth is always a good starting point. It helps one to better judge the sincerity of those who scream about how bad the act is without ever mentioning that they gave it to us in the first place.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 08:53:24 AM EST
    I don't know you but from what you post mb. Saying safety is the most important thing would make Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin puke. Maybe you aren't a coward, but your statement is certainly cowardly, and the antithesis of everything this nation once stood for.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 08:56:35 AM EST
    mfox...I think justpaul raises an excellent point. Until we stop placing all the blame for this abomination of a bill at the feet of Bush/Ashcroft, nothing will change. Every legislator, whether 'R' of 'D', who signed this bill into law deserves nothing but scorn from those who cherish liberty. Bush/Ashcroft should shoulder some, if not most, of it, but we can't give Congress a free ride.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 09:02:40 AM EST
    mindless twerps like mb are the reason people like hitler, stalin, and bush are able to come into power. they're the kind of people who would follow jim jones, they need someone else to think for them.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 09:17:10 AM EST
    The safety of the nation comes first...period.
    we (the people) are the nation, and our safety is derived from our liberties, don't get it twisted. wasting your limited comments repeating your drivel that was dismissed the first time, as it is again, seems republicanish!

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 09:21:19 AM EST
    they're the kind of people who would follow jim jones
    ?is this the origin of the "kool-aid" metaphor/analogy/dig?

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 09:35:09 AM EST
    law enforcement who are on all our sides
    Not my side pal. They are under orders to arrest people like me.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#24)
    by Pete Guither on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 09:37:28 AM EST
    MB, it's not a matter of morality -- it's a matter of patriotism. Our country was founded on freedom -- it's in every one of our documents from the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution of the United States to the Bill of Rights. Taking away liberties for some kind of perceived safety is not only not effective, but it is unpatriotic -- a violation of who we are as a country -- and a dangerous road to walk for any who read history. I am very proud to live in one of those countries that stands up and says "We can be strong without taking away freedom." It's hard work, and not without risks, but worth it.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 10:08:13 AM EST
    the religious right is infinitely more dangerous to this country than the taliban or al-queda will ever be.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 10:29:18 AM EST
    For that matter...high fructose corn syrup is more of a danger than terrorism. I'm dead serious!

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 10:30:42 AM EST
    Disclaimer....I'm not saying we should declare war on high fructose corn syrup. That would be as silly as declaring war on terrorism or poverty.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#28)
    by Sailor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 11:06:12 AM EST
    MB - If you hate the constitution you hate america. Go live in some repressive regime if you don't like it here.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 11:12:31 AM EST
    No terrorism problem in China or North Korea mb. Little to no freedom either, but hey, safety first right?

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 11:14:35 AM EST
    MB - If you hate the constitution you hate america. Go live in some repressive regime if you don't like it here. Ridiculous. We adapt the Constiution to meet the needs of the present day. For instance, you tell me where in the Constiution it says abortion should be legal (something I am very much in favor of by the way). In the penumbra of the 13th/14th amendments? No, it doesn't say it anywhere. And yet we sensibly intepret the Constituion to adapt to situaitons of the modern day, and permit abortion. There is no abolute privacy right in the Constitution people. It is always balanced against other interests. The Constitution says I (and you) have the right to "Life". You balance our right to "Life" vs. privacy matters. But at the end of the day, when thousands or millions of lives are at issue, it's safety first people, civil liberties second. That is the reality of our times. And it is not going away. And with each terrorist attack on US soil, civil liberties will shrink more and more. And rightfully so....

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#31)
    by glanton on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 11:19:22 AM EST
    "and rightfully so...." So where do we end up, then, MB? According to what you're embracing we really have no choice but to emulate the people we're supposedly fighting in the first place. How terribly callow of you. Americans, especially ones who argue like you do, are very quick to shout we are the greatest nation on earth. Well with each shrinkage of our civil liberties, which you see as rightful, we become that much less great, period. We become instead a reactionary empire--and not the first, either. And we know what happened to Rome eventually....

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#32)
    by Sailor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 01:14:50 PM EST
    "safety first people, civil liberties second." So how does "sneak & peek" reconcile with "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. " AND "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. " AND "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. " If you want to change the constitution, get 2/3 of congress and the states to do it, not by some fly by night, unread, hysterical back door manuver. When we arrest and lockup all the america haters like MB we will all be safer.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#34)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 01:32:48 PM EST
    can you MB be classified as an enemy combatant, yes, you'd sure as hell get the gist of this issue then.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#35)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 02:34:56 PM EST
    Justpaul, right on target once more, thank you, sadly we are the real targets not bin laden. just wait and watch in the coming years of purgatory. when not if the boys come for me, i will ask to be shot by an Army Officer, after all i have it coming, and many of you will see a day when rights of people will be just a joke.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#36)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 04:02:26 PM EST
    Can someone in here who claims to have read the Patriot Act and calims that they used it as authority to detain Padilla cite me to where they said that in a filing before a court ? If you can't, then you lied. Bush lied about WMD, and you lied about the Patriot Act. No difference.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 04:45:41 PM EST
    Does M.B live in the U.S? Im starting to wonder.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#38)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 06:08:20 PM EST
    Considering America's history in general, and how its constitution has functioned specifically, I'm not surprised that people are suspicious of the Patriot Act. Even if there are legitimate provisions in the act, there is still a perception that it impinges upon civil liberties. That would be a major problem regardless of which party is in power. In the last twenty-five years, we've faced terrorism from within (Oklahoma City, Columbine, and Red Lake) and without (the USS Cole, the Beirut Marine compound, and two attacks on the World Trade Center). Time will tell if the Patriot Act will help mitigate additional threats or fall when authorities take its provisions too far. But understand this--it is a matter of when before the next attack, not if.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#39)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 06:45:07 PM EST
    oUtsIdEl@@kN: Yes indeed- That's where the "Kool Aid drinker" phrase came from. The Jonestown massacre in 1978.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#40)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 07:38:03 AM EST
    the religious right is infinitely more dangerous to this country than the taliban or al-queda will ever be. Priceless comment. Not just more dangerous but "infinitely" more dangerous. Insightful comments like this help me sleep at night, because I know that with you people barking your nonsense loud enough (and let's face it, you don't know another way), it will be a long (long) time before the Democrats get in back in chage. And by the way, I hate the religous right. Keep barking your blather morons. Loud and proud....

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 08:27:03 AM EST
    Bottom line...when I meet my maker, or just plain die, whether by bomb or old age, I want my liberty intact. As long as I die with liberty, and the ideals of this nation intact, I'll be a happy camper. FWIW...Death by terror attack is # 19,543 on my worry list.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#42)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 08:39:44 AM EST
    kdog, For reference sake, what is #19,542?

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#43)
    by Sailor on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:12:00 AM EST
    Key Provisions of PAII Ten Key Dangers of The Patriot Act Statement Number One: "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." Statement Number Two: "To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve." The first statement is a quote from Hitler's right hand man, Hermann Goering, explaining at his war crimes trial how easily he and his fellow Nazis hijacked Germany's democratic government. The second statement is a quote from Bush's right hand man, John Ashcroft, defending the Patriot Act The Patriot Act: Targeting American Citizens Now GFY you anonymous coward.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#44)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:34:29 AM EST
    # 19,542 is death by lightning strike, or is it running out of clean underwear? I get them all mixed up after # 100. Very good justpaul.

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#46)
    by Sailor on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 07:05:33 PM EST
    kinda funny that once the patriot act was posted that anonymous coward shut up;-)

    Re: Right and Left Join to Fight Patriot Act (none / 0) (#33)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Apr 08, 2005 at 01:34:58 PM EST
    It is too bad that many people talk about the Patriot Act without reading it. In my view, these people are solely responsible for Bush’s win. Not vote fraud. Not the Swiftboaters, but the people who insisted on talking about things that they were too lazy to read about. Judging by the comments above, many people still have not read it. If they had, they would have 1) provide specific provisions; and 2) explained why they are bad policy or why they are unconstitutional. But they did not. Instead, with your “sky is falling” attitudes, you make it seem like Viet Dinh and company found a way to get around the constitution, without actually considering 1) what constitutional minimums are; and 2) document has been interpreted or construed.