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Four More Years (5, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#36185732)

Of Tyranny.

Re:Four More Years (5, Insightful)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 2 years ago | (#36185762)

At least we can count on both the Republicans and Democrats to stop their partisan bickering for a moment, and reach across the isle in solidarity to screw the American public over.

Re:Four More Years (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 2 years ago | (#36185914)

Will this really pass in the senate? I'm hoping it wont.

Re:Four More Years (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36185996)

Of course it will. The President has all the necessary evidence.... er votes to make sure the Senate goes along quietly.

Re:Four More Years (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186160)

I'm very liberal and always end up voting democratic using the "Who seems like the lesser of two evils," standard. So you could say I'm usually more optimistic than many about the democratic senate.

I have no hope that the senate will block it.

I don't know if this is optimism or pessimism, but I suspect a few democrat senators will vote against it. Not enough to raise the issue with the apathetic public mind you, let alone block it's passage. Just enough to give their opponents ammo to say "Democrats are weak on security!" in the next election, giving them control of the senate as well. I'm similarly pessimistic that the republicans who take their place will actually do things that I agree with either. For example, they sure won't reduce spending (well, maybe things like planned parenthood and research grants, but they'll make it up in other things.)

Meet the New Boss (2)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186018)

... same as the old boss. And don't expect the Democrat Senate to vote it down or Obama to veto it, just because they're not Bush Republicans.

Re:Meet the New Boss (5, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186216)

He's not exactly the new boss. It's been years.

Anyway, how many voters outside the slashdot crowd are even aware the patriot act is still with us let alone oppose it? That doesn't excuse Obama or any of the Democrats, but it's never going to go away until more people start caring about it. Rather than bring up that saying year in year out, why not, oh, I don't know, do something to raise awareness about it?

I mean, I guess that doesn't get you slashdot karma...

Re:Meet the New Boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186322)

They are Bush Republicans, they just go by a different name.

Re:Four More Years (0, Flamebait)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186274)

For Christ's sake, you can still order chicken wings and and buy guns can't you? Where is this fucking tyranny? The law is used to monitor people with suspected terrorist ties! Come back to me when you're forced into a camp or the President sends the national guard in to shoot protesters. Treating shit like this as 'tyranny' only denigrates the people who actually live in tyrannical societies.

Re:Four More Years (4, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186532)

Do we really need to wait until it gets that bad? Can't we at least try to stop it before hand? They passed this once, they took over healthcare and now passing this again. perhaps we should see the signs of Tyranny and stop it in the beginning rather than wait for people to have to die.

When? (4, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#36185760)

So when do we get to question the necessity of this thing? The war in Iraq has been over for awhile (more or less, in theory, not that that had anything to do with the origins of the Patriot Act anyways) and now Osama bin Laden is dead. I realize that the government would like to keep it in effect forever just because of the power it grants them, but shouldn't they at least have to come up with some kind of new excuse by now?

Re:When? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36185806)

It going to get extended forever.... Like Syrian "state of emergency", which was in place for over 20 years.OR Egypt, when it was active since 1967 - 44 years!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_emergency#Egypt [wikipedia.org]

So yes, "Patriot Act", 10 years and counting!!

Re:When? (5, Insightful)

scotts13 (1371443) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186084)

It going to get extended forever.... Like Syrian "state of emergency", which was in place for over 20 years.

Here in Pennsylvania, we still pay a special tax enacted to pay for repairs following the Johnstown flood in 1889. Once they get hold of power OR money, they never let go. Ever.

Re:When? (5, Insightful)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186244)

And now you know why those of us who opposed the PATRIOT act when it was initially proposed opposed it. And were called terrorist sympathizers by FOX News and the like on top of it.

Nothing dies slower than a bad idea.

Re:When? (3, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186472)

And why everyone should appose progressive ideals no matter what party they come from.

Re:When? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186646)

Well, I'd say changing the spelling of 'oppose' to 'appose' is pretty radical, you radical loon! CUT HIS MIKE!!!!1

Re:When? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186528)

It going to get extended forever.... Like Syrian "state of emergency", which was in place for over 20 years.OR Egypt, when it was active since 1967 - 44 years!

scroll harder [wikipedia.org]

"During the Watergate scandal which erupted in the 1970s after President Richard Nixon authorized a variety of illegal acts, Congress investigated the extent of the President's powers and belatedly realized that the U.S. had been in a continuous state of emergency since 1950."

Re:When? (0)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36185972)

We haven't had a terrorist attack in this country since the law came into effect. I'm not saying correlation is causation, but I think claims that the law hasn't prevented at least one American death pretty dubious. They don't need a new 'excuse' because it's not being used to monitor the porn you're downloading and I assure you the Government has bigger fish to fry. Sure they may be snooping your traffic but the law says they can so any claims you make about it being a violation of your constitutional rights are useless.

Re:When? (5, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186110)

We haven't had a terrorist attack in this country since the law came into effect.

So if we do suffer another terrorist attack will they give up the Patriot Act as something that didn't work? Or will they demand more concessions? Are you suggesting that we can never regain lost rights, only lose more of them? (And i realize that that might be a political reality, but it seems like you may think that's the way it ought to be, which i disagree with.)

Sure they may be snooping your traffic but the law says they can so any claims you make about it being a violation of your constitutional rights are useless.

Uh, are you confused about your nomenclature, or are you actually unaware that a law can not circumvent a constitutional right? If i claim it's a violation of my constitutional rights and a lawyer can convince the Supreme Court that i'm correct, it doesn't matter how many laws have been passed about it. (Well, barring another Andrew Jackson of course.)

Re:When? (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186170)

I'm saying it never took away any of your rights in the first place. That's what the Supreme Court has said, or in effect said. I'm saying it's totally unrealistic that you can convince a court otherwise because no Executive is going to appoint a Judge who honestly thinks the Patriot Act goes to far, because that would require a reading of the Constitution that would nullify about every other law passed since the guilded age. I don't think it will protect us against every single attack, no, but I do think that it gives us a much better chance of disruption schemes that could seriously damage our economy.

Re:When? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186430)

We haven't had a terrorist attack in this country since the law came into effect.

Oh [wikipedia.org] really?

Sure they may be snooping your traffic but the law says they can

Was the Fourth Amendment repealed? No? Then the law is without authority.

ive got a slashdot article for you to read (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186494)

NSA CS man: government twisted my algorithm

its from a few days ago.

Re:When? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186542)

You mean, aside from the attempted bombing of Portland, Oregon? There's been a few others as well. I'd consider the Koran burning by that fringe church a terrorist event, given that it was designed purely to control policy through fear and intimidation.

Deaths, that's different from attacks. Has it prevented any deaths? Since we can't know what would have happened without the law, it's hard to be certain. And how do you define "deaths" in this context anyway? The number killed as a direct result of the incident? Do you include indirect as well? And how indirect is permitted? Do you adjust for the number who died in the incident but would have died within some reasonable margin (a year and a day is normal) from some other cause anyway?

Also, what do you define as terrorism? I'd consider the bombing of the Olympic games, the flying of an aircraft into the IRS building, the bombing of Federal offices, the Unabomber campaign, all the racial lynchings and murders that have gone on over the decades, etc, to all be acts of terrorism. Most of these happened prior to the Patriot Act, but:

(a) Can you honestly say the Patriot Act would have stopped a single one of them?
(b) You are aware that the total deaths due to these acts of terror outnumber those that happened in 9/11?

I'd also consider the NRA and NORAID funding of the IRA - these days, the "Real IRA" as the rest stopped the killing - to be acts of terrorism. Can you name me those who have been tried for terrorist-related activities under the Patriot Act?

Look at the slope from 1860 to present (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186150)

I realize that the government would like to keep it in effect forever just because of the power it grants them, but shouldn't they at least have to come up with some kind of new excuse by now?

Has the Federal Government ever backed away from more power, at least since the Jackson administration? There's not much you can do at the Federal level except watch it crumble under its own weight, but come join us in New Hampshire where we're fixing government from the bottom up. These folks will help you get here: http://freestateproject.org/ [freestateproject.org]

The more things change the more they stay the same (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36185778)

"Whenever a controversial law is proposed, and its supporters, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, use a phrase along the lines of 'Perhaps in theory, but the law would never be applied in that way' - they're *lying*. They intend to use the law that way as early and as often as possible."

- http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=169254&cid=14107454 [slashdot.org]

Obligatory stat (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#36185848)

SUVs kill many more Americans every year than died in the September 11 attacks. And yet we are willing to sacrifice our freedoms to ostensibly prevent terror but are not willing or wanting to do anything to prevent those monstrosities from killing a massive number of innocent people every year.

Re:Obligatory stat (4, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 2 years ago | (#36185934)

Or swimming pools.

In 2007, there were 3,443 fatal unintentional drownings in the United States, averaging ten deaths per day. An additional 496 people died, from drowning and other causes, in boating-related incidents.

http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html [cdc.gov]

Re:Obligatory stat (2)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186402)

3,443 in one year is quite a bit different than nearly that number in just a couple of hours.

Re:Obligatory stat (4, Insightful)

bug1 (96678) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186466)

If all that years drowning victims died in just a couple of hours, would swimming pools be more dangerous ?

Re:Obligatory stat (1)

AnotherBrian (319405) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186610)

Not really.
Sure 9/11 had vastly more deaths per hour, except over only couple hours in the year instead of 8760 hours.

omg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36185962)

...go pray at the apple store... as if hybrids dont crash...

Re:omg (0)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186114)

...go pray at the apple store... as if hybrids dont crash...

Which would you rather have crash into you, a giant SUV or a Prius? If you say SUV you are either suicidal or a liar. Statistics have shown that crashes involving at least 1 SUV are much more fatal than those that have 0 SUVs involved.

Re:Obligatory stat (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186010)

SUVs don't have the potential to be radioactive. SUVs don't have the potential to make the DOW crash. There is good reason the law is in place and it's not all about living out and Orwell nightmare despite what many think.

Re:Obligatory stat (2)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186526)

Our ancient reactors and outlaw bankers are 1000 times more likely to cause those than terrorists. Appropriately the PATRIOT Act is applied about 1000 times less to terrorism than to the narcotics black market.

Re:Obligatory stat (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186628)

A market which is the single greatest funding mechanism for world terrorism. And yes, bankers and old reactors are more likely to do damage and I would love to see them regulated similarly.

Re:Obligatory stat (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186062)

Like the federal funding for those businesses considered "too big to fail" , it's not about HOW you SCREWUP but the SCALE that matters.

Killing scattered individuals by the many tens of thousands (annually) is insignificant compared to the ~3000 killed in the (single incident) 9/11 attack.

Seriously folks, if you cant to talk about "the bazillions killed annually" why not badger the government to do something about the destruction of society caused by smokers/cigarettes/tobacco.

History shows clearly that somehow we always manage to vote in a pack of incompetent ,corrupt and/or morally bankrupt thugs who have their own private agenda and do not actually (collectively) care about managing the nation well.

Because if they (collectively) truly cared about it they how are they doing such an ASTOUNDINGLY bad job of it?

Re:Obligatory stat (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186186)

One big authoritarian measure that has taken place in Michigan recently is the banning of smoking in bars and restaurants. As a customer, I think it's great, no need to go home smelling like smoke if I feel like going to the bar. As a citizen, I'm ambivalent about it, there is employee health to consider, but also the right of the establishment to run it how they see fit (of course, the only stories I heard were about business picking up, so go figure).

Re:Obligatory stat (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186156)

But SUVs are patriotic. Anyone objecting to them must not be patriotic. Say... you're not objecting to SUVs are you?

Re:Obligatory stat (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186250)

Maybe if it was all in the same symbolic event, planned and perpetrated by Land Rover.

Though the US Government's response would be to shut down Toyota.

unpopular legislation (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#36185852)

Looks like for this and the tax breaks for billionaires our Congress is going to pretend it isn't permanent, but still make it last forever with endless extensions.

Kinda like copyrights too, I suppose. I was just referred to a site that had the individual tracks of "Gimme Shelter" so you could hear the details of what was going on, but this recording from 42 years ago had been pulled down because of the copyrights.

I'm trying so hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36185854)

I write letters, I sign petitions, I talk to my friends about this stuff, and I vote. But it's things like this that are starting to make me want to throw up my hands and say, "Fuck it.". Fuck you, congress critters. I truly hope that the bastards proposing and vote for this legislation rot in hell.

Unpatriotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36185884)

The most unpatriotic thing would be to ignore the existence of any flaws. Oh wait...

Get used to it (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36185902)

Powers like this, once given, are pretty much impossible to take back. Your assertions to violations of your constitutional rights don't matter, the Supreme Court is okay with the Patriot Act, it's a done deal. That said, it's not the end of the world, and none of you will ever be personally effected by this law and you know it and to claim otherwise is laughable.

Re:Get used to it (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186058)

The American people don't seem to mind. They keep voting in droves for either Democrats or Republicans. If they want something better, they should vote for someone else. Hell, if even a dozen seats in the Senate went to independents and even a hundred Reps, the whole thing would look a helluva lot different.

Re:Get used to it (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186122)

The winner take all system we have necessitates a two party system. Considering the Democrats have been around since Jackson and the Republicans since a few years before Lincoln, I'd say your expectations for something different are pretty unrealistic. It's not a Democrat or Republican thing, it's a two party thing and at no time in American politics has there been more than two viable parties at a time.

P.A.T.R.I.O.T. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36185908)

P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act.

It's an initialism, not a word. "Patriot" has nothing to do with the Act.

I really must learn to write the Congress Critter. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36185926)

"We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate." -- Jefferson

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." -- Jefferson

Do Not Question The Patriot Act (2)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#36185990)

Apparently Questioning the (claimed) continuing necessity of The Patriot Act has been declared UnPatriotic.


Re:Do Not Question The Patriot Act (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186088)

This isn't 2002, and the fact that neither party is trying to capitalize on this issue before and election (like the Republicans did before 2002) should give you some indication about how serious Congress actually takes the law. They aren't giving a shit what you think, probably because they believe that the law is necessary for the continued monitoring of suspected terrorists. What evidence do you have the the law has been ineffective? There hasn't been an attack in the 10 years since, and I'm extremely skeptical that the Patriot Act didn't play a large part in that. Do you really think otherwise?

Re:Do Not Question The Patriot Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186470)

OH YES, because we all know that if they caught even a SINGLE real 'terrorist' they would NEVER flaunt that fact to all the news outlets and scream about how the patriot acts worked exactly as intended. They'd obviously just keep it all a secret...I bet that in the last 9 years they've probably busted 50 plots and a hundred terrorists a year and keep it all in the dark so none of the other terrorists know this is going on. I feel so safe knowing that all this secret justice is happening. /ROLLEYES

Re:Do Not Question The Patriot Act (1)

kbolino (920292) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186502)

The issue is not over the effectiveness of the law. Speaking strictly in terms of correlation, the era of the PATRIOT Act had very few terrorist acts against American civilians, whereas the era prior to it had many more. No rational person can dispute that fact, although that does not establish causation, nor does it account for military deaths, nor deaths of non-Americans. So let's accept as a premise that the USA PATRIOT Act was in some way effective at preventing terrorism.

That doesn't make it constitutional. Now you could argue that the PATRIOT Act was necessary, the Constitution be damned, but that is the way of barbarians. Civilized people, whether the targets of terrorists or otherwise, establish rules and either follow them or change them as necessary. There is no reason why the Congress couldn't have passed a Constitutional Amendment essentially gutting the Bill of Rights in the almost ten years since the passage of the PATRIOT Act. But the fact that they haven't even tried, and nobody in the government cares about the obvious contradiction between what the Constitution says and what the law allows--not even the judicial branch, entrusted with the ultimate defense our liberties--is at the heart of the matter.

You can argue it's justified, and the Congress had to act in the immediate aftermath of September 11 to do "whatever is necessary" to protect and defend the United States, but then how can you justify this continuing violation of the Constitution? The document can actually be changed, and if this Act is so necessary, then by all means it should. So why hasn't it?

Re:Do Not Question The Patriot Act (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186662)

Your premise relyies solely on the assumption that the Patriot Act is indeed unconstitutional. I dispute that, and so does the Supreme Court. The document hasn't been changed because it doesn't need to be. I'm sorry you don't like it, but it's constitutional, get over it.

Unalienable Rights (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186028)

Not that it really matters any more. I doubt even the supreme court bothers to read the constitution or declaration of independence anymore.

People have undeniable human rights/liberties. And it doesn't matter if you are a citizen or not most of the time. If you are here legally or not.

The fourth amendment is very simple. It provides simple oversight, a paper trail and accountability. What is so difficult with getting rubber stamps? A judge in this manor represents little better than a notary.

Re:Unalienable Rights (1)

binary paladin (684759) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186082)

"People have undeniable human rights/liberties."

Says who, exactly? No one with any real enforcement power seems to agree.

Re:Unalienable Rights (1)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186270)

I recently got into a heated debate with someone who claimed to be a supporter of the democratic process. Then I started asking him why, and he indicated something along the lines of "it's legitimate because it's self rule". So I continued and asked if it was self rule when military action was taken and I didn't want it to be, or the RIAA took some action to get a law passed he didn't agree with, and so on. And eventually he admitted that he liked democracy when it worked, but when it didn't, he'd want to compel people to do what he thought was right.

Point being, even those who believe they believe in self-rule and personal human rights often don't. If I wanted to withhold taxes from some government undertaking, according to him, I'm not free to do so, and the fact that self-rule is violated be damned, because he wanted that project to happen. Such as publicly funded health care. Ask someone if it's right to compel one person to work for another's benefit, and they will say no. But that is what welfare programs are. That it is done collectively doesn't change that, it only masks it.

What do you think of that? Do you think it's possible to respect human rights to life, liberty, and property, and have a government? Full disclosure: I am a radical libertarian, and this is all part of a socratic dialogue to make you clearly state your definition of undeniable human rights. Personally, I believe very strongly those rights exist, and in my right to defend mine, but I often find most people do not.

Re:Unalienable Rights (0)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186386)

Oh radical libertarians, where would we be without you? I'm in a bad mood, please cheer me up with your views on Government.

Re:Unalienable Rights (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186456)

But this isn't democracy. Look it up. Who was asked to vote whether the troops went into Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan? This is Elective Oligarchy.

Re:Unalienable Rights (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186420)

Ugh. You've never read a brief on a Supreme Court case, have you? The fourth amendment is not 'very simple' as you might know if you had ever given any of your attention to the history of constitutional law.

Vote Democratic Party! (3, Funny)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186038)

We need to get more Democrats into office this next election to get rid of the Republican majority in the Senate so these evil bills won't get passed!

Re:Vote Democratic Party! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186086)

And the first nominee in the Naivety and Hope Spring Eternal:

We need to get more Democrats into office this next election to get rid of the Republican majority in the Senate so these evil bills won't get passed!

Re:Vote Democratic Party! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186280)

You need to vote outside of the two established parties. You're already getting a managed economy and a collectivist ethic, in any other country we call that socialism. Why not try a real socialist party on, see how it fits?

Re:Vote Democratic Party! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186320)

You need to vote outside of the two established parties. You're already getting a managed economy and a collectivist ethic, in any other country we call that socialism. Why not try a real socialist party on, see how it fits?

Because we're ALREADY broke and no longer have other people's money to spend - we've already run out.

Re:Vote Democratic Party! (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186512)

We're not broke, don't be thick. Most of our deficit is from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts, increased safety net spending from retiring baby-boomers and those pushed into economic hardship from lost jobs, and revenue decreases from the recession. Without those factors our deficit would be only 2% of GDP, and quite manageable. The wars will end, taxes can be increased, and the recession won't last forever.

And you thought Obama was different (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186094)

It is hilarious. The pattern is the same around the world. Every time there is an election the politicians from the different parties pretend to be on opposite side then when they get in to power they do exactly the same thing.

There is no democracy in this world. If your vote is one remove from the law which will govern you, separated by the impediment of a so called 'representative', you can forget the will of the people.

Re:And you thought Obama was different (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186224)

How is any of that undemocratic? Just because you disagree with what the elected officials pursue as a national security policy doesn't make their election invalid. Voters still go to the polls and pull the lever for one guy or the other and there isn't a damned thing undemocratic about it. It's a winner take all system, if you don't like it start a referendum to change the electoral system in your state. The system here is pretty damned transparent, even if your voters don't pay attention to it.

So how far are we willing to go (1)

jdbannon (1620995) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186118)

towards completely destroying America in order to make sure that America is safe?

Is it unpatriotic? (1)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186132)

Of course is is unpatriotic to question any security measures that a government feels it needs to do in a time of economic, political, and military crisis. Trains with people in them? Don't know what you're talking about... but I am sure the government has the best interest in our pure and noble society at heart... don't question, don't think - merely recognize if a government needs to violate your civil liberties to make you safe, it is done in your best interest.

DISCLAIMER: The above was sarcasm. I am not advocating that we distrust everything the government does and make it an "us versus them" situation - but when talking about surrendering liberties for security, we should be very careful. There is a time to scrutinize and question, and there is a time to sacrifice. However, I have always seen the victims of 9/11 as the sacrifice of a free and open society... but instead our society decided they would rather give up their freedoms in turn for feeling safe. In other words, they died for a lifestyle that our country no longer stands for.

I know they say it's throwing your vote away... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186198)

...but vote third party. The Republicans love this stuff, and deep down the Democrats clearly do as well.

Let's stop enabling them.

Patriot Act? (1)

clancey (21516) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186220)

It's more patriotic to question the so-called "Patriot Act" than it is to go along with the thing. The motives of those pushing this act forward should be questioned.

Patriot Act Renewal (3, Insightful)

hackus (159037) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186248)

Nobody is really surprised right?

All told, there is now about 2-3 Trillion in revenue going to a huge bureaucracy now that is supposedly protecting us from Mr. Goldstein. If any of you actually think that this will be peacefully dismantled, I you are living in a dream world.

Folks it is time to face the unpleasant facts, this government is not going to stop there, it will continue. If any of you out there are angry, I would advise you to be very very careful about what you say and do moving forward because we are way past the point of making any sort of changes using the voting box.

Meanwhile we will have endure:

1) Endless wars...Pakistan is now up to bat.
2) 1/3rd of the human population in the US on food stamps. At the rate it is increasing, half of all Americans will be on public assistance in just 4-5 years.
3) Rampant destruction of our currency by foreign interests.
4) Our cities crumbling, once shining jewels of industry and innovation and opportunity for the future of children, now destroyed by this government and its policies to the fascist corporate state. Our youth will know no security, will own no home and will have no food let alone a career.
5) Congress is plotting with the centralized agricultural fascists to make it illegal to grow food. This government has blown up levies and damns and has siphoned away millions to destroy private farmland to protect commercial real estate for the bankers. Meanwhile food prices have hit record all time highs in wheat, corn and more Americans everyday can't feed themselves.

The Europeans get it. The Icelander's got it. Americans unfortunately don't get it yet. I am left wondering when they will?

Maybe when half of the population is on food stamps, will that be what it takes?
Watch your kids die with rationed health care?
Maybe it is the 27 trillion in currency maniuplation illegally transferring the wealth of the country to the Black Nobility in Germany, Great Britain?
Maybe it will be the fact the brightest spotlight this year in jobs was McDonalds hiring 50,000 workers?
Or maybe watching our wife and kid be sexually molested in public by the TSA?

Or maybe, just maybe....it will be when the government declares everyone in the USA a terrorist if you disagree with these outcomes?


revolution? no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186578)

I prefer to be sedated on the couch, eating Doritos and smoking grass.

It's not going to take anything, load us up the next bowl of grass, puffing away in poor mans 3rd world paradise that was once the USA. Hey at least the Ganja is good, it comes from Canada!

Re:Patriot Act Renewal (5, Insightful)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186600)

1. Pakistan is not, nor never will be up to bat. They have nukes, and that's a good deterant. The military there knows they need us as we need them. Our combat in Afghanistan and Iraq will end, though we'll probably have an influence there for quite some time (as we should, we broke it, we should fix it) 2. The increased use in food stamps is due to continued economic stagnation of the middle and lower class. The recession will end, the numbers will go down. Food stamps are useful for creating economic growth. For every $1 of food stamps creates ~$1.40 in economic growth while the economy is slouched. 3. What? No. China is manipulating their currency to keep exporters in their country happy, which is why they have out of control inflation. We need our dollar to lose some value in order to increase exports here, and restore jobs (the lack of which is the main reason for economic troubles here, not debt). 4. Our cities are crumbling, that's why we need a renewed investment in infrastructure. It creates jobs and has a stimulating effect on local economies. It will cost us, but it will cost us more if we don't. 5. I don't take anyone who can say "Congress is plotting with the centralized agricultural fascists to make it illegal to grow food." seriously. I would love to see some evidence of this, because there is none. As for blowing up levies? Which is harder to replace and costs more money? Farmland, or cities? It was a tough choice, but the answer is clearly cities. Commodity prices always go up, that's the cost of countries like China and India entering the first world, and freak weather damaging crop output in the Ukraine. Also, rationed health care? What? I didn't realize it was a scarce good, and for many Americans rationing would be an improvement, as they have zero health care now. You're a fucking clown pal.

Re:Patriot Act Renewal (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186608)

Rampant destruction of our currency by foreign interests.

I realize the surname is unusual, but Bernanke is not foreign.

My countrymen disgust me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186252)

Anyone who voted for this abomination the first time should never have been allowed back into office. We're such sheep.

I find it interesting... (1)

Loopy (41728) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186258)

...that all of these complaints about the Patriot Act having no meaningful review in committee or otherwise before it was passed and ditto with the current extension didn't happen when Obamacare was passed with an admittedly unreviewed 2000+ pages of legislation.

"I love these members, they get up and say, 'Read the bill!' What good is reading the bill if it's a thousand pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?" -- John Conyers (D-MI)

Re:I find it interesting... (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186318)

Which is why you went over the Affordable Care Act with a fine toothed comb to search out what the law actually does right?

Will Obama Sign It? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186290)

The true test of Obama's character is whether he resigns this terrible law. He campaigned hard against the wiles of Bush and Cheney; let's see if he'll repeat the same behavior that he once eschewed.

The last paragraph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186300)

says it all. Eric Holder wants to keep it alive. And you thought you were voting for hope and change! Suckas.

patriotic acts (5, Insightful)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186330)

In the unsurpassed words of Hermann Goering as cribbed from http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/ [liberty-tree.ca]

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, 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 peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

That quote alone was worth winning the war, for which America was justifiably proud. Gosh it's hard to remember that far back.

All my life I struggled to identify myself on the liberal/conservative axis. It wasn't until I read Tibshirani and Hastings on PCA that I figured it out. The choice of principal component is often rather arbitrary when you have a cluster of aligned traits. In other words, the axis of ideology can be projected in many different ways, most of which are valid to the same approximate degree. When you subtract out whichever one you pick first, you've grabbed most of the explanatory power of the entire bundle.

One meme about conservatism is that it is more threat sensitive. I don't agree with that. Conservatism is more sensitive to threats from without. Liberals are more concerned from threats from within. In one case, you want to defeat the Nazis; in the other case your wish your own society not to become the Nazis by succumbing to the same Patriotic tendencies.

Re:patriotic acts (1)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186586)

s/Hastings/Hastie from my previous post. Hastings is one of my in-laws, when I was trying to comment on out-laws.

My hands were a bit preoccupied by Tibshirani having the syllable "shi" same as Satoshi which nearly tripped me up yesterday, because my brain is determined to spell Satochi.

Why does "shi" is Tibshirani look right, when "shi" in Satoshi looks like a complete put-on I pondered as my hands mangled Hastie's name.

"Highly Controversial" is a bit myopic (3, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186454)

Don't get me wrong, I'm with most of /. on here but you have to understand that it's not really all that controversial in the context of the vast majority of American voters -- i.e. in the context that ultimately counts. We tend to surround ourselves with people that are ideologically similar to ourselves (not a bad thing) but when we then mistake our particular choice for the populace at large we get a myopic view of the whole political spectrum (bad).

This isn't a partisan complaint. I used to live in rural Idaho and was shocked to be confronted by some (not all) residents there didn't realize how far to the left of them much of the rest of the country was. Similarly in Boston I am continually shocked not by the lefty politics but by the complete lack of perspective that some (not all) on the far left have regarding how far out of the mainstream they are.

I wouldn't for the world give up having a country with widely diverse viewpoints, which I think are essential to a healthy democracy -- I'm not out to make us all fickle and bland. Rather, I just want people to get a realistic handle on where there views on a particular topic fall relative to the other electorate. This is descriptive/empirical matter, not a normative/evaluative one -- it doesn't make you wrong to be to the left or right of 70% of the country on some topic but it is foolish not to be aware of where you stand.

See, http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1893/poll-patriot-act-renewal [pewresearch.org] for details on where Americans actually stand. Of course, I would still like to see it defeated, but I'm skeptical that will happen given the poll numbers -- after all, it is a representative government (modulo some unconstitutional elements enjoined by the courts) and even if the votes aren't directly related to poll numbers, there is strong coupling.

right and left are upset about the police state (3, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186524)

if you explained to the average person that part of the reason they are patting down babies at the TSA is because of the patriot act, they will begin to understand it.

if parts of the PATRIOT act applied to gun owners, they would be outraged.

parts of the PATRIOT act apply to librarians, they have been outraged.

everyone, in general, in america, supports their own civil liberties, and when they understand that civil liberties in general are under attack, they can come together once in a blue moon.

A challenge for the slashdot community (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186464)

Read it. The great majority of the PATRIOT ACT is common sense - things our law enforcement has done for decades (without issue) when pursuing drug lords. Many of the overreaching pieces were taken out long ago. The sensationalism of the tinfoilers around here never ceases to amaze me.

So wikileaks are terrorists and mafia? NSLs? etc? (4, Informative)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186540)

because thats what the PATRIOT ACT modification of the Computer Fraud and Abuse act says.

It is saying, essentially, that if you break certain parts of the Computer Fraud act, you are a terrorist. Not only are you a terrorist, but you can be prosecuted under RICO law, like a mafia member.

oh, and then there are the hundreds of thousands of national security letters sent by the FBI to libraries and ISPs. is that 'common sense'? how many terrorists have they caught that way?

Re:A challenge for the slashdot community (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36186638)

"Common sense" would be not having to pursue drug lords in the first place because if you didn't have radical and unpopular prohibition of drugs YOU WOULDN'T HAVE DRUG LORDS IN THE FIRST PLACE. (or the associated violence, the creation of most stronger and more dangerous drugs, the erosion of civil liberties, expansion of the police state, having to show ID and be entered in a database to buy cold medicine, the huge population of nonviolent convicts, etc.) That these things are used as justification for a law as disgusting as the Patriot Act only shows how far we've fallen.

The unthinking and unquestioning nature of statists and corporatists never ceases to amaze me.

Am I the only one (1)

CruelKnave (1324841) | more than 2 years ago | (#36186552)

. . . who hates acronyms that were obviously created before picking the words that the letters stand for? I mean, really. At this point, why bother with an acronym? You might as well just give the damn thing a real name.
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