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View Diary: House Votes to Make Patriot Act Provisions Permanent (61 comments)

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  •  I saw that on the news very late last night (none)
    It was suggested that the passage was eased through by the bombings in London.  How's that for knee-jerk legislation?

    Related: Washington DC is reserving the right to randomly search bags, backpacks, etc. of individuals utilizing public mass transportation.  I understand that there is a fine line between safety and security, but has anyone articulated how an individual who is searched is to handle tangential offenses?  For example - if I was carrying pot in my purse but no explosives, can I be arrested?

    A very slippery slope.  I don't think we should serve up our rights so willingly.

    The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

    by RenaRF on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 09:01:27 AM PDT

    •  as i understand it (none)
      You have the right to decline the search, but then you forego the privelege of riding the train/metro at that particular time. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I believe that's how it is working in the subways

      Regardless, that in no way mitigates the absolute violation of our rights. When a police officer stops you, and asks non-chalantly, "May I search your vehicle, Ma'am?" If you reply in the negative, the best he can do is write you up for whatever offense he stopped you for, and tell you to have a nice day. Declining to afford him the privelege of searching your vehicle is in no way construed as an implication of guilt, nor can it be used as ex post probably cause.

      I'm appalled, to say the least. They're allowed to gather "evidence" against you for crimes you haven't been accused of, and for which no sane judge would grant a warrant. I don't think that a reactionary, sensationalist policy that encourages the mindset of "If you don't have anything to hide, then why are you worried?" is beneficial or desireable in a free state. Likewise, I don't believe that the PA has made anything more than a negligible difference in our collective safety as a nation.

      "people should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people"

      by doinkicarus on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 09:09:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that's what everyone sells, isn't it. (none)
        I don't actually have anything to worry about.  I'm not a drug user, I don't carry a weapon, and searching my bad would turn up nothing more interesting than some pretty hair bobs.  I don't have anything to hide but I object to it on principle and I think I'd have a kitten if someone told me I couldn't ride the Metro as a result.  Say, for example, I didn't have a car nor money to call a cab.  Am I supposed to not go to work?  Lose my job?  Miss a meeting??  Ad nauseum ad infinitum?  Ridiculous.

        I am about as enamored of the "if you don't have anything to hide" mantra as I am of the "if you don't support the war in Iraq" mantra.  Those fuckers.  I can't believe this one slipped right by like that.

        The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

        by RenaRF on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 09:41:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Give me the pot (none)
      ...and you won't have to worry about it.

      Seriously, they haven't said anything about this, but I'll bet it essentially comes down to the law enforcement officer in question and how lenient he/she is, as to whether or not you would be arrested. Of course, even if you were arrested, I don't know if that would hold up in a court.

      They're doing this in NYC too.

      •  That's my point. (none)
        A cop can pull you over for speeding.  He can't search your person or your vehicle unless he has a specific reason (e.g., he smells pot) or you give him permission.

        If you are stopped randomly for a bag search with the intent of preventing terrorist activities and you consent to the search, have you surrendered your rights for whatever they find on you?  If you refuse the search (for whatever reason), what is their recourse?  They have no probable cause to search you if the searches are random.  So they do what if you refuse - deny you access to public transportation?

        The Patriot Act and the freedoms it gives the police seems ill-conceived to me and I don't understand why someone isn't spelling out, in the form of a re-enactment style documentary or whatever works, exactly what liberties you are surrendering and the possible outcomes for the average American.

        The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

        by RenaRF on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 09:20:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re-enactment documentary (none)
          That's a good idea. But I don't think this will come to a head until we have actual cases in dispute coming to the courts.

          Unfortunately, the public is more focused on security than liberty. It is a natural reaction, and one which we shouldn't be surprised about.

          But I think the founding principles of this country were about individual liberty, not security -- except personal security from intrusion by the government or other people. And if we as a nation are giving up those principles for the sake of security, then I'll America really is in decline, because we are abandoning the principles that make America, America.

    •  If that's all it takes (none)
      Yes, the July 7 bombings in London were horrible, but it's both chilling and discouraging to hear that a terrorist attack 3,000 miles away, which killed 1/50 of the number who lost their lives on 9/11, helped stampede Congress into renewing a law that was originally passed in panic--and under John Ashcroft's threat of another imminent attack.

      If, God forbid, we have another attack of the magnitude of 9/11, how much farther will this administration and the congressional leadership go? I shudder to think about it.

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