Thursday, June 09, 2005

Freedom for Security (The Patriot Act)

One of my favorite Conservatives, Judge Andrew Napolanto has a book out called "Constitutional Chaos." It is about the problems with the Patriot Act.

From a book review on Amazon.com

"But in this sensational new book, Napolitano sets the record straight, speaking frankly from his own experiences and careful, thorough investigation and revealing how government agencies will often arrest without warrant, spy without legal authority, imprison without charge, and kill without cause. "

He talks about the Federal Agents being able to issue their own search warrants. They can also seize bank accounts and make it a crime if you make it public, even to a lawyer.

Are we giving up freedoms to gain security? I don't mind giving up convenience, such as more searches at airports, but please don't let the government become Orwellian.

With the vote coming up on the floor in Congress soon, let's make sure we let our congressmen know that we expect them to insure no rights will be given up for the sake of security.

Here is the URL of the Patriot Act: Patriot Act

And here is the URL (Fox News), of the few provisions that Conservatives are worried about: Fox News


I'm for 99% of Patriot Act, but am worried about possible abuse of power down the road.

Remember Government is by definition "Force". See my George Washington quote at the top of my page.


Am I all wet? Am I worried about nothing? The one thing that does worry me about my stance is that the ACLU is against these provisions, (and more).

I never thought I would be in agreement with even the slightest area with the ACLU. The ACLU is one of the worst things that ever happened in the U.S.A.

I heard a rumor that ACLU stands for Atheists, Communists, and Liberals Union. Is this true?

Maybe I am too concerned?

Some one please reassure me or straighten me out!

20 Comments:

At 3:56 PM, Blogger gethky said...

Hope you don't mind that I copied your post in my "Sampler" blog where I have collected other great works from such serious, high-minded bloggers as yourself.

 
At 6:49 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

I don't mind at all. :)

 
At 9:23 PM, Blogger stc said...

The answer is, how concerned are you about your constitutional rights to privacy, due process, etc. We all agree to give up some of our rights in the wake of 9/11, but as you yourself said, now that time has passed, how do we feel about the matter? I for one want the government to be very sure before they act. Does that mean I want them handcuffed? No, I want them to be honest and careful. Aren't most federal agent already? Yes, but so are most soldiers and look what happened at Abu Graib and Gitmo. It takes real leadership to make things like the Patriot Act work for all, and I'm sorry, but Bush is no leader. He surrounds himself with too many people who want to take away our freedom and ignores people like Colin Powell, who could have given him better advice. So yes, you should be scared, but not of the ACLU, who work only for the people and not for special intrest groups. Think American (that is you and me) Civil (that's here at home) Liberties (that's our rights) Union (you and me again). Think about this, "Humans are the only animals who ignore their instincts". What does your gut tell you?

 
At 10:04 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

stc,

stc said.."We all agree to give up some of our rights in the wake of 9/11,..."

No, I don't want to give up any of my rights. Maybe be more inconvenienced, but I don't want to give up any of my rights.

Thinking with our brain and our feelings,(instincts),is the best of both worlds.

Some think that if it "feels good" then do it. I think this is extreme. Religiously we are supposed to overcome animal instincts like the urge to commit adultery, steal, lie, etc.

I think the ACLU is extreme. It wants to force private organizations like the Boy Scouts to compromise its principals and force them to accept any and all members.

I think people should be able to have exclusive organizations, like the Masons, Elks Lodge, Boy Scouts, etc, with out the fear of interference of government, as long as they are not like the KKK, where they were mistreating those who were excluded.

It was the Religious citizens who protested the KKK the loudest.


The Boy Scouts have no ill agenda against those who do not share their beliefs.

Forcing group rights on people is the same as removing individual rights.

 
At 5:09 AM, Blogger bhlogger said...

The ACLU describes itself thusly:

"The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty. We work daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Our job is to conserve America's original civic values - the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees:

Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.

Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.

Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.

Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs."

O'Reilly had this to say about the ACLU:

"Remember, it is the American Civil Liberties Union which is now behind all abortion on demand, euthanasia, and coming soon perhaps, infanticide for impaired babies."

From Media Matters:

O'Reilly has previously referred to the ACLU as "terrorists," and has said the group is more of a threat to freedom than Al Qaeda. He has also claimed that "Hitler would be a card-carrying ACLU member. So would Stalin. Castro probably is. And so would Mao Zedong."

http://mediamatters.org/items/200504200001

Being a card-carrying member of the ACLU, I'm offended and ticked off by that idiotic comment. I also have to wonder why comments like this don't raise as much outrage as Howard Dean's recent comment about some Republicans never working an honest day in their lives.

The Right has come along way in portraying the ACLU as an organization carrying out the devil's work. I say that organized religion and the purposes for which this administration uses it, is much worse than anything the ACLU does.

 
At 8:03 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Bhlogger,

I think the ACLU is only in it for the money. They got 1 Million from the city of San Diego and many more millions in most other suits.

The ACLU is also inconsistent. It said it was targeting the Scouts because of separation of Church and State.

But the First Amendment allows for freedom of association and even the 9th court of Appeals has upheld that groups can hold different viewpoints and still be protected.

The ACLU said it was singling out the Scouts because of its viewpoints.

They attacked the Boy Scouts by making the City of San Diego not renew their lease, while all along the city of San Diego leases land to 123 nonprofit organizations beside the Scouts, including The Salvation Army, the Jewish Community Center and a couple of Protestant churches.

I guess they constantly irritate me because they clearly want this country to have atheism as its national religion and are bent upon removing any vestige of our great heritage of Judeo-Christian beginnings.

One of the main reasons the founding fathers came here was to escape religious persecution to have freedom "of" religion, not freedom "from" religion.

The ACLU won't rest until it removes "In God we trust" from our heritage, so we can substitute Atheism for Theism.

There are only two choices we can make about this nations core identity and beliefs.

Either we get our "Rights" from a creator, ("that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"), or we are just some random event that has little significance, and there are no "unalienable" rights.

Either we are a nation that recognizes that there is a God or we say that there is no God. It's like being pregnant; there is no middle ground.

Even Agnostics fall on the side of the Atheists. When you ask them do you believe in God, "yes" or "no", they say, "Well I can't say "yes."

Making this one choice does not mean that this nation is "making laws that "establish" or "promote" a single religion, because we all know that there are thousands of religions that believe in God.


Either we recognize a "single" religion that recognizes "no God" or we recognize thousands of religions that recognize many different versions of God.

But choose we must, because the ACLU is a vehicle for change and profit. They want to change us to a single Agnostic religion instead of allowing us to continue to have a foundation of many different religions.

This is my main problem with the ACLU. It attacks religion under the guise of being secular.

Secular does not mean "anti-religious", it means, "not relating to a religion or a religious body.

Atheism is a belief, a belief that there is no God, which makes it a religion.

From the dictionary.."The doctrine that there is no God or gods." A doctrine is a religious dogma.

Again we can be secular as long as we do not promote a single religion.

When the ACLU stops attacking all religions but one, Atheism, I might take another look at them.

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Bhlogger,

O'Reilly's references to the ACLU as "terrorists" and referneces to Hitler and Stalin are just as misplaced as those who compare GULAG to GITMO.

There are reasons why we have over 150,000 words in our dictionary. Words mean a lot. Throwing around words that take meanings to the MAX, just make them loose their importance.

O'Reilly is not one I agree with on a consistant basis. He is in it for the money, and has many inconsistant views.

 
At 9:36 AM, Blogger bhlogger said...

Good afternoon, FAR. There's nothing like a turkey sandwich and a good debate at lunch time. :-)

The ACLU is a non-profit organization that operates on membership dues, donations and grants from private foundations. No profit to be had.

I don't believe that the ACLU wants to make this country an athiest country. At least, *this* particular ACLU member does not. Had organized relgion not overstepped its bounds and encroached upon the private lives on America's citizens, then the ACLU and other organizations like it would not be necessary.

The ACLU says this about religion:

"The right of each and every American to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all, is among the most fundamental of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The Constitution's framers understood very well that religious liberty can flourish only if the government leaves religion alone."

Bhlogger says this about religion:

The government of the United States of America has no business telling me what religion I should or should not practice, whether it's Christianity or Satanism, or that I should practice any religion at all. It has no business creating or enforcing laws that would force a religion's beliefs into my private life.

You said:

"Either we recognize a "single" religion that recognizes "no God" or we recognize thousands of religions that recognize many different versions of God."

I do not agree. Our government does not have to endorse or deny any religion. Our government's roll has nothing and should not have anything to do with religion. The American people's views on their own religions or lack there-of, is their own business, it's as simple as that.

I've always been squeamish about organized religion. In the small Texas town where I grew up it seemed like the nastiest, most hateful gosips in town were in church every Sunday. It's like they used their religion as a shield. As if they could be as awful and as hateful as they wanted to all week long but as long as they went to church on Sunday it was okay. History shows us how many innocent people have been killed in the name of God. I liken the right-wing Christian extremists to the jihadists in the Middle East. Extremism is never good, no matter what side you're on.

The Tom Delays and the Bushes of the world want me to be a God-fearing Christian. They don't want me to be gay, have an abortion under ANY circumstance and they don't want me to watch Tinky Winky. They constantly do things that are in direct violation of God's will, yet they claim to be Christians who know what's best for other Americans.

I will worry about my own soul... I don't need any government to do that for me.

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Bhlogger,

Bhlogger said.." religious liberty can flourish only if the government leaves religion alone."

I agree. The ACLU attacks religion.

Most Americans support some forms of abortion. I think that "just because I don't want a baby", is not a good reason to terminate what very well could be a life.

I believe in Civil Unions. Keep the government out of the bedrooms and the boardrooms, or any other place where private exchanges might occur between consenting adults.

Bhlogger said..."It has no business creating or enforcing laws that would force a religion's beliefs into my private life."

I agree completely. What single religion is being forced? There are over 1200 different Christian religions, and many more others that are not being forced on anyone.

Blogger said.."I do not agree. Our government does not have to endorse or deny any religion."
I agree because it does not endorse any single religion, but we do have to choose, because there is no middle ground between Atheism and Theism.

Again which religion do you think it endorses? Baptists, Methodists, Jews, Catholics, Islam?

Blogger said..."As if they could be as awful and as hateful as they wanted to all week."

People are not religion. They are human. The P.C. way for people to judge is to judge or criticize actions, not people.

It is O.K. to criticize actions, but not O.K. to judge people, even the ones who are hateful.

Robbery is wrong. Robbers are our brothers and sisters and we can still love them and not love the things they do.

I love everyone, but don't love some things they do. No one should hate. It is a destructive force and only harms the one with the hate.

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

P.S.

Non-profit is deciving. If each lawyer is paid a million dollars a year and the balance sheet shows no profit, then it qualifies as non-profit. They can still be in it for the money and be non-profit.

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger bhlogger said...

You said: I agree. The ACLU attacks religion.

Only when religion attacks Americans.

You said: What single religion is being forced? There are over 1200 different Christian religions, and many more others that are not being forced on anyone.

We'll be here an awfully long time if we single out every single religion. I'm not sure how anyone could deny that Christian beliefs are being forced on Americans. Republicans are trying to reverse Roe v. Wade using religion as a foundation for why it's wrong. The pledge of Allegience requires a child to stand up in school and pledge allegience to God, no matter what religion they are. If you say that America should make room for all religions then you should know that making a Muslim child or a Jahovah's Witness either 1) stand up with their classmates and say the Pledge or 2) remain seated and probably get beaten up at recess... well, that's not a fair choice for a child.

You said: because there is no middle ground between Atheism and Theism

Not true. There are many people out there trying to find their spiritual path. I was one of them not so long ago. Those people should be allowed to have their middle ground in a country that was built on the premise that we could practice any religion or none at all.

You said: Again which religion do you think it endorses? Baptists, Methodists, Jews, Catholics, Islam?

This administration endorses Christian religions.

You said: People are not religion. They are human. The P.C. way for people to judge is to judge or criticize actions, not people.

But you are judging the ACLU. Organized religion an organization as well.

You said: Non-profit is deciving. If each lawyer is paid a million dollars a year and the balance sheet shows no profit, then it qualifies as non-profit. They can still be in it for the money and be non-profit.

Not if they expect to continue receiving grants. I work for a non-profit. If you do stuff like you just mentioned, you won't be helping folks for very long.

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger stc said...

Wow, that got to be some spirited debate. I just popped over to show FAR a quote I stole concerning France, in relation to our discussion about European work ethic. "(The French) are trying to achieve economic prosperity and growth, while reducing inequalities and protecting the vulnerable, to survive intact in a global environment of ferocious competition." Trying to meld 1000 years of history and culture into the modern world takes time. I like the idea of of prosperity and growth while protecting the vulnerable. That would be my ideal for America. Not so much reducing inequities because that is up to the individual. Anyway, that is what I had to say about that.

About the ACLU and religion, FAR, I too do not understand why the country, the government must choose between theism and atheism. Secularism denies neither, allows all. To my mind this is what the ACLU strives for, a land where Atheist and Theist can peacefully co-exist.

The problems between the ACLU and the Boy Scouts has escaped my attention. Can you point me to a post that explains the matter?

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger rightsideblogger said...

Oh boy... where to start. First FAR very nice posting, I will be adding you to my site and will see what I can do about getting you in the Western Allience.
That said, your fears of the ACLU are well placed. Here is a little history on the ACLU... Bhlogger you may want to pay attention here.

The ACLU has from the very begining started with good ententions. Since the inception though it was eyed by the American Communist Party. Dure the Red Scare, many Communist leaders fled to other organizations in order to hide. Many went to the ACLU. They do use Civil Liberty protection as a front. Bhlogger, I believe you are member of the ACLU for the right reasons, but the ACLU is no longer the Union for the people. For example, the ACLU gets involved in choice dealings, it does not fight for anything unless it will tug at the strings, and give you a warm fuzzy feeling. Case and point, Terry Schiavo. They did not fight for her rights or her family's rights to believe in Christianty and that starving her to death was not merrcy killing. They stood on sidelines on this issue. Why? Because stepping in to save her life, would go directly against their view of abortion, or the killing of a human being.

The ACLU is one of the largest national supporters of the Democrat Party. Why? Becuase the Democrat Party fights for large government, a socialist society (handouts for everyone), and that is exactly the idea the Communist Party has in mind.

In regards to Bhlogger and singling out which religion is being forced upon our nation, you said, "We'll be here an awfully long time if we single out every single religion." You answered the question, there is NO SINGLE religion being FORCED. If you have a list of more than one, then that means that there is not one being forced upon the nation. Therefore by definition there is NO STATE RUN RELIGION. And therefore the First Admendment is not being violated by this President or any other.

As far as the Patriot Act goes, we are in a war, the fighting has largly been fought off of our soil since 9/11/01. That is due in large part to the fact that we have taken the fight to them (the terrorists and those that hide them). As recent events in Lodi Ca have shown us, there are still terrorist cells living in the United States of America, waiting for the phone call to execute their orders. We have been more secure in the last couple of years then we were when Clinton was in the White House. The last couple of days is proof. If our FBI and CIA had the capabilities they do now, then there is a possibility that 9/11 would never have happend. We will never know what these men in Lodi would have planned or had planned, and to me that is good thing. It shows that the Patriot Act works.
That being said, I don't think the Act should be made permanent with out some safe gaurds, such has when we win the War on Terror, the majority of the stipulations will be removed. But we can not get rid of it all and tie the hands of the agencies that do the basic duties of the government, protect the citiztry from envaders both foriegn and domestic.

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger bhlogger said...

Hi Right Side. :-)

Wow. I should pay more attention to who I send my money to. I had no idea I was a member of a Communist organization!

As far as the Democratic Party and socialism goes, those aren't Democratic beliefs at all. We don't want hand outs for everyone. But we also don't want handouts in the form of tax breaks to the wealthiest people in the country. You're right... we are at war (although war has never actually been "declare" it most certainly IS a war). Which is why I find it strange that the President has insisted on continuing with his tax cuts. How can we wage a war and protect our borders AND cut taxes? It just doesn't make sense to me. I am admittedly no economist, but this seems like a no-brainer to me.

You said: " answered the question, there is NO SINGLE religion being FORCED."

Not yet. But this administration is trying its best.

On to the war. I notice that alot of right-leaning folks have been saying that Bush took the war to them instead of them bringing it to us. But I have to ask... what did Iraq have to do with 9/11? From everythign I've been reading and seeing, nothing. As a matter of fact, bin Laden and Hussein didn't care for each other. Did Iraq harbor terrorist? Maybe. But so did we! Unknowingly. Did Iraq pose a danger to us? No! There is more danger now than there ever was. Case in point... if there *were* WMD in Iraq as the President and his admin. said there was (over and over again) where are they now?

As far as the Patriot Act goes, I'll be honest... not really sure what all in encompasses. But if it infringes upon our rights then I, too, think that those particular part of the bill should at the very least keep the sunset clauses.

But I have to ask you... when will we ever know when the war is over? This is the only war I can think of that doesn't have a defined ending. We haven't spent ONE DAY on the lower levels of the terror alert chart. It's a handy political tool, as we saw in the last election.

 
At 6:31 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Bhlogger,

Bill Clinton's Administration was for "Regime Change" in Iraq. He signed a policy stating such.

Clinton's policy of Regime Change became the policy of the Bush Administration.

When Bush and Tony Blair went to the United Nations in September 2002, they went to get the inspectors more cooperation from Saddam by passing UN Resolution 1442.

This was because as you can see in the Resolution URL below, the UN and just about every one else saw Iraq as at threat to world peace, due to, among other things, his possession of WMD's.

And I quote... "Recognizing the threat Iraq’s non-compliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security,"

http://www.state.gov/p/nea/rls/15016.htm

So, we went to war because he continued to ignore the UN Resolutions even knowing that we had a signed policy of desiring Regime Change and knowing that the whole world thought that he had WMD.

Bhlogger asked.."what did Iraq have to do with 9/11?"

The 9/11 report said that Iraq was co-operating with the terrorists by allowing Al-Zawahiri and others to hide and train there.

They said there was no operational support, but that there was support.

As far as whether or not there were WMD, we may or may not find out. Everyone knows you cannot prove a negative. We do have satellite photos of large truck movements to Syria and Iran.

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger bhlogger said...

Good evening, FAR. :-) Happy TGIF... thought it would NEVER get here.

Onward!

"Bill Clinton's Administration was for "Regime Change" in Iraq. He signed a policy stating such.

Clinton's policy of Regime Change became the policy of the Bush Administration."

But... but... that wasn't the reason we were given for this war. We were told relentlessly that Iraq had WMD and was an immediate threat. Others told us different. The inspectors that went in... that Wilson guy who's CIA wife, Plame, was outed by Novak in retaliation for saying that the information about Iraq trying to buy uranium was based on information from the Gulf War.

Then, when no WMD were found, we were told that Saddam was a bad man and Iraq is better off. Well perhaps so... but that wasn't the administration's rationale for the war.

And speaking of which, does anyone know why we never declared war? I mean, this IS a war. I'm honestly asking, because I don't know the answer. :-)

Anyway...

If we have satellite photos of truck movement to Syria and Iran and IF those are the missing WMD, then I definitely do NOT feel safer.

You said: "The 9/11 report said that Iraq was co-operating with the terrorists by allowing Al-Zawahiri and others to hide and train there."

They used the US as a training ground, too. We taught the 9/11 hijackers how to fly. :-(

Look, I'm glad Saddam is no longer in power. I hope that the people of Iraq can make democracy work for them and I hope one day the US will be applauded for its efforts around the world. But I must admit that if the President would have said to us "Saddam is a bad guy. He's killing his own people. It's going to be a costly war and our men and women in the armed forces are going to die. But we must remove Saddam from power and bring democracy to Iraq, no matter the cost to us."

Well... I don't think I would have supported that.

And my other question still stands: How will we know when the war on terror is over? Or will we always be at war from now on?

 
At 7:14 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Bhlogger,

Very good response, and two very good questions.

First, I don't think the President did a good enough job of selling the Regime Change part of the reason to go to Iraq, but he did say it on several occasions, one being in September of 2002, if my understand is correct.

Question 1 - Why have we not declared war?

We have not declared war since WW II. In Korea it was declared a "Police Action."

In Viet Nam it was the "Gulf of Tonkin" Resolution, and in Iraq it was Resolution 1441 that was approved by the Congress.

Question 2 - When will we know that the war is over?

It will be over when the Wahabis say "Uncle" and believe me they will. I think it will take about 7 - 10 more years, but then what do I know?

I truly think the President is doing what he and his advisors think is best and they are privy to a whole lot more intelligence than we have.

That being said, I worry if the alternatives may be worse and I fear that we may not stay the course long enough to prevent us pulling out like we did in Viet Nam.

For those of us who fought in Viet Nam, (I was there in 1968), when we had the war won, we decided to bend to the public opinion and pull out. After that 3 million people were slaughtered. See the documentary "The Killing Fields."

P.S.,

I do so respect you, stc, and Bubba for your amicable discussions.

Rational, Intelligent people can disagree and debate. I just know you all are very nice people.

I learn so much when I try my best to see more than one view.

 
At 11:35 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

stc,

stc said, "The problems between the ACLU and the Boy Scouts has escaped my attention. Can you point me to a post that explains the matter?"

Sure...

http://www.goodnewsetc.com/054MIN2.htm

 
At 12:52 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Stc,

Stc said.."About the ACLU and religion, FAR, I too do not understand why the country, the government must choose between theism and atheism. Secularism denies neither, allows all. To my mind this is what the ACLU strives for, a land where Atheist and Theist can peacefully co-exist."

The ACLU does not attack a single religion like Islam, Methodist, Baptist, etc. It attacks all religions except Atheism, which it equates with secularism. They are not the same. That is why we must choose.

Where ever it finds "any" religious sign, like a reference to God, (no particular religion), it wants to strike it out to make it "no God" or Atheist.

Can you at least see part of what I am saying? Am I not eloquent enough?

Isn't it clear that a reference to "God" does not promote any single religion, but religion in general?

There is only one religion that I can think of that promotes "no God." Atheism.

That is what the ACLU is promoting.

You might say unintentionally, but the result is the same.

 
At 1:13 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Let me add this to help make it more clear.

Secular does not mean "anti-religious", it means, "not relating to a religion or a religious body." - American Heritage Dictionary

Atheism is a belief, a belief that there is no God, which makes it a religion.

From the American Heritage Dictionary.."The doctrine that there is no God or gods." A doctrine is a religious dogma.

The Founding Fathers wanted a Secular (not relating to a particular religion) government, but at the same time recognizing religion in general.

The ACLU wants to get rid of religion in general except for the "no God" religion by removing God from the pledge, our coins, the Court House, etc.

 

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