"The Wondering Jew"
Jul. 27, 2005 - 17:10 MDT
Still it flops back and forth. An article in today's Rocky Mountain News by Holly Yettick tells about a bit of action (positive I hope) here in town yesterday. In full :
Mock Funeral Held For Bill Of Rights
Activists carry casket to Capitol, call for Patriot Act changes
"The eulogy was delivered Tuesday on the 16th Street Mall. Pallbearers carried the casket to the Capitol steps. A mournful bagpipe played."
"It was a typical funeral procession. Almost. Only the mourners were not sobbing. They were shouting political slogans. The bagpipe player was an office manager for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado. And the Bill of Rights was in the casket."
"The Patriot Act put it there," said Cathryn L. Hazouri, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado. Hazouri and activists from other loccal groups organized the lunchtime rally to support changes to the Patriot Act."
"It is time for Americans to come together and let Congress know that we expect them to protect our rights and freedoms," Hazouri said."
"The Patriot Act was enacted in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The U.S. House on Thursday made permanent 14 of the 16 provisions in the law that were set to expire at the end of this year."
"The remaining two provisions -- giving the government the power to demand business and library records and to conduct roving wiretaps -- would have to be reconsidered by Congress in 10 years."
"The Senate is reconsidering several versions of the reauthorization. One, approved unanimously Thursday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, would impose greater restrictions on the government's powers."
"The ACLU of Colorado calls this "a step in the right direction" that "still fails to fully protect the Bill of Rights."
"A competing Senate bill passed last month by the intelligence committee goes in the opposite direction. It strengthens the act by allowing the FBI to demand records in terrorism investigations without a judge's order and and to have SOLE discretion in monitoring the mail of some terrorism suspects."
"That version has the backing of the Bush administration, but not the ACLU."
"We wanted the senators to know that Coloradans belileve that the Patriot Act must be reformed," Hazouri said."
"As the funeral for the Bill of Rights ended, Gordon Baily, 53, of Port Orchard, WAsh., walked by with other attending his family reunion. He suggested that he had read on the internet a new use for the document in the casket."
"We're not using it right now, so we might as well let Iraq have it," he said."
I'm not sure just where we stand as a populace now. For a time it appeared to me that the government could, without a judge's oversight demand records of most anything, receive them, and the organizations who had the records were forbidden to let the person or persons the records concerned know that the government had been looking them over. Is that still the case ?
And who makes the decision that Joe Blow is a terrorism suspect ? ? ? ? Can we all be open to being suspected of being terrorists ?
I wonder too, how soon our National Driver's Licenses will be foisted on us. Our passports to citizenship ? How wide will the black magnetic strip be on the back of that and just how much private information will be on it ?
I also wonder just how much of a data base of information that should be private is in the hands and being used by our government now ?
I'm still fuming a bit over an e-mail forwarded to me by a friend. It set forth some tenets that I subscribe to but made the mistake of saying that the "liberal bed-wetters," are all against them. Well now dammit, what the heck, I consider myself liberal on the conservative side -- if there is such a thing. Or maybe I should say a citizen with a bit of common sense, and I resent the inflammatory type comments made in that e-mail. I would guess those folks would all be for the most restrictive additions to the Patriot Act, due to the threat of terrorism.
As far as terrorism is concerned I see no insurance even with making the Patriot Act tighter yet -- that would guarantee there would be no terrorist attack. Our failure to keep the INS on it's toes and with adequate financial backing among other loopholes on keeping track of ? visitors ? to our country has left us wide open to who ever wishes to do us harm, but makes the purchase of a bit more Sudafed than will be used for a week a possible matter for Federal investigation.
Our Bill of Rights seems to be in critical condition, I wonder, does it still have a pulse DOCTOR ? . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 comments so far