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This was originally a post in an open thread, but at the suggestion of Central Scrutinizer I have made it a diary:

In reading an article about a win against the un-American Patriot Act, a few paragraphs offered a chilling description of just how bad the PA is.  It is nothing less than an affront to our American values and our belief in liberty and justice for all.

"The provision we challenged [that the judge struck down]," says Jaffer, "allows the FBI to issue NSLs against 'wire or electronic service communication providers.' Telephone companies and Internet service providers [are included.]" As Judge Marrero noted, the FBI could also use an NSL "to discern the identity of someone whose anonymous web log, or 'blog,' is critical of the Government."

Jaffer adds that by requiring information from telephone companies and Internet providers, "The FBI could . . . effectively obtain a political organization's membership list, like the NAACP or the ACLU, [and could] obtain the names of people with whom a journalist has communicated over the Internet."

Furthermore - dig this - every National Security Letter comes with a gag order. The recipients are forbidden to tell any other person that the FBI has demanded this information, and can't even tell their lawyers that the long hand of the government is scooping up their data.

As Judge Marrero said in his decision, this omnivorous invasion of privacy is so broad that it mandates this gag rule "in every case, to every person, in perpetuity, with no vehicle for the ban to ever be lifted from the recipient."

Scary, huh?  You can't even tell your lawyer what is happening, so you are essentially completely powerless.  This is the kind of thing we fight against when it happens in other countries.  How in the hell is it happening in our own backyard?

This ruling will no doubt be appealed.  We need to keep a very public eye on this and take note of who is for and against this incredibly un-American piece of legislation.  We must make sure this attempt at undermining our civil liberties does not get swept under the rug.

Originally posted to up2date on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 03:23 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I know one thing. (none)
    I will not lose the fight against another patriot act, no matter what it takes.

    "In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners." -Albert Camus.

    by BrianL on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 03:22:17 PM PST

    •  bugs on the front page (3.00)
      Could this be a reason why Kos is putting bug pictures in the front page and not talking about the Ohio recount? Maybe he's already under a gag order.
      •  are you kidding? (none)
      •  Hmmm...a distinct possiblilty. (none)
        I imagine that if true, it will emerge as a theme.  We'll see more pictures of beetles and whatnot on the front page.
      •  No Laughing Matter (4.00)
        Kos lived in Chicago where there was a major infestation of the Asian Longhorn Beetle.  Efforts to fight the pest often have very real health and civil liberties costs.  Listen.  When I was a kid in Milwaukee Dutch Elm Disease was on the loose (on its way to destroying the 100 foot cathedral arches of elm trees on every street in my city).  The city forestry department responded by driving down every street with giant foggers spraying DDT up into the 100 foot canopies.  This killed all the birds, all the crickets, and it had endocrine disruption effects on many of the women and fetuses in the neighborhood.  Here in California an apple maggot infestation brought government pesticide applicators into people's yards, spraying highly toxic chemicals on their privately owned fruit trees against their will.

        When a major pest gets loose people get poisoned against their wills.  This is a civil liberties issue along with being a public health issue.

        I have little tolerance with the people on this blog who kiss Kos's ass because he's Kos.  But cut him a break; invasive non-indigeonous species is an important and much underappreciated issue.

        This aggression will not stand, man

        by kaleidescope on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 06:32:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Damn! Thanks Kaleidescope! (none)
          (sadly, I had a very hard time spelling your name)
        •  Alaskan forests (none)
          I was in alaska three years ago and a beetle infestation was devestating the massive forests up there.

          It's tragic, and very much worth discussing. But I've tried bringing up environmental issues here before and gotten little response, so I was happy to see something like that on the front page.

          •  freedom contamination (none)
            A lot can be said about food, air and water contamination caused by bugs, pesticides or a zillion other reasons. But for a liberal political blog I am surprised of Kos' choice, when there're other more timely matters that are in the minds of Kos' followers. Before the elections I only dared to talk about election fraud once, because I didn't want to scare anyone away from the polls. But now that it's over, I think it's time to investigate the American voting system and fix it so that we can trust in it in the future. The Patriot act is also a very timely subject, given that it may take away our freedom of doing exactly what we're doing here: expressing our opinions. You know which diaries are the most recommended, so it's not just my opinion.
        •  When did Milwaukee fog its trees (none)
          with DDT?

          Inquiring minds want to know.  I'm a former Milwaukee fetus with a birth defect.  Was in the oven in 1964-65.

          I remember that our house had big silver maples in front of it, and nearly everyone else had saplings.

          Well, here we are in mid-stream, still staring at that same horse's ass!

          by rhubarb on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:05:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Poison in the Sky (none)
            Don't know the exact year, but it was the early sixties.  That's all I remember.  If there were no elm trees on your street, then they probably didn't fog on your street.  On the other hand, they often planted maples in the wake of devastated elm trees.  And the fog spreads easily through drift if there's any wind.  

            This aggression will not stand, man

            by kaleidescope on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:23:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think DDT was still in fairly wide use then (none)
            As a kid, we went to NH in the summer for vacation.  I still remember being at a swimming pool when "the sprayer" would come. It was a truck that sprayed insecticides all over.  We would go into a 3-sided shelter while the srayer passed, and then go back into the pool. The smell was all over, so we obviously inhaled a lot.  This would have been somewhere between 1960-1965. They would spray several times each summer - I think for black flies, mainly.  Both my older sisters have had breast cancer, as did my mother and all her female cousins.  This was a family location for us so I know everyone was exposed.  I haven't read anything about correlation between such chems and breast cancer, and there are obviously many other possible causes, but there could be a connection.  
        •  aye (none)
          just ask the indians about invasions of non-indiginous species...

          Just another sheeple wondering what the flock everyone else is doing.

          by coffeegrrl on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 07:43:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Kos (none)
        speaking in code.

        "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 07:11:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  can't give in to fear (4.00)
      I suspect most of the Patriot Act "We're Watching You" malarky is just that: it's a scare tactic. In much the same way they scared a goodly majority of this country into voting for them again, they will try to scare us all into being good little citizens and not voicing our opinions.

      If they're looking to see who bought the Daily Show "Democracy" book or who watched F9/11 or who goes to peace marches or who blogs unfavorable information about them, they'd have, well, about half the country, wouldn't you think?

      I worried about this post 9/11, I'm sorry to say, and seriously considered not joining forum discussions or blogging because of it. But you know what? I am NOT going to be afraid of them. That's what they want me to do.

      •  Well put. (none)
        Keep talking, everybody.
      •  But that's the point (none)
        If they have half the country on bogus charges, they can pick on who they want nearly at will.  If they catch you at a protest, than can claim a pattern of illegal activity, etc...

        An experienced cop can write a driver a half dozen tickets if they look at him wrong.  This malarky is further encroachment such that it is no longer the rule of law but more like 'if in the opinion of the arresting officer'.

        [/beer ;)]

      •  Believe it. Just look up the name (none)
        Steve Kurtz and then realize that they had a trail of 3 years worth of emails they had been collecting before tragedy befell him earlier this year.

        "Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages." W.H. Auden

        by upstate NY on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 09:59:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hear you on this... (none)
          and of course, think this is the most reprehensible act of violation concerning the Patriot Act to date. However, there were more than words involved here- as I understand it the case is more about obtaining the bacteria they used than simply writing emails. Not that they had any right to do what they did. Not that the bacteria was harmful.
          •  At this point, it's not even about bacteria (none)
            and the email collecting hasn't been made public.

            They are going after him on mail fraud. The bacteria is irrelevant at this point since it is legal to obtain that bacteria. They are going after him because his colleague used university money obtained from a federal grant to obtain the bacteria. Unfortunately, he had the samples mailed directly to Kurtz in Buffalo instead of to Pittsburgh where the federal grant was based (at the U. of Pitt). This is illegal. Apparently, you can't do this. Even though academics collaborating on a project do this all the time.

            "Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages." W.H. Auden

            by upstate NY on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 10:58:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I'm affraid of them. (none)
  •  Thank you for posting this... (none)
    And keep us informed. I am suspecting that the next aim of this administration is the dissenters who operate online.
  •  we're fucked (none)
    recommended

    "Bush lied, thousands died, IMPEACH BUSH NOW!"

    by Sue in NH on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 03:25:56 PM PST

  •  This is very serious (4.00)
    Notice that they can go after anonymous bloggers who are merely "critical" to the government. That narrows it down to - well just about anyone. This is fascism pure and simple.
    •  It actually just narrows to you and me... (none)
      Since apparently my FBI is pretty long now, guess I'll share with the class:  My name is Will Twiner, I'm Starkville, MS and I'm an Anti-Murkan Bush hater.  I'm a Librul 'letist, and may possibly have enjoyed myself at one time or another (a sure sign of satanic inspiration!)

      "That government of, by, and for the people shall not perish from the Earth."

      by TheGryphon on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 05:38:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hello, my name is Juno and I am a blogger (none)
        I come from Utopian country of Mars right outside the lake boardering the Monument to Our Migration to Planet Earth (yup, that really IS a human face in those photos).  

        Me and my band of brothers and sisters all got together this last election and voted for John Kerry - that's how he got 55 million votes.  

        And...if you REALLY think it is a wise investment of taxpayer dollars, let alone the time of law enforcement officials to read my self-indulgent take on life, politics and my take on our fellow Martian-in-office George W Bush, all I can say is "Bring It On"!

        Gosh, I feel sorry for any FBI agent who literally has to sort through this stuff.  Must be the assignment you get when you couldn't get the dirt on the Fresno Peace First league.

  •  All of Congress should have read the Act before (none)
    they passed the f-ing thing.  All of the idiots that voted for it without reading it allowed this to happen.  Morons. All of them.

    Oh, and Bush, our new AG "Abu Martinez", Ashcroft, et al., they all obviously hate America because they spit on the Constitution daily.  See. I'm critical of our government.  Guess I'll be bugged now.  Screw them all.

    Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by LionelEHutz on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 03:35:24 PM PST

    •  This is it (none)
      This is how they are going to kill dissent once and for all. As it is the only place it exists in this country is online. We made hell for Bush during this campaign and now it's payback time.
      •  I don't think it's as bad as all that. (none)
        Our electronic comunications have always been wide open for anyone to snoop into, and archived, too.  I am not afraid--not yet.

        BTW . . . loved your work in "Joe's Garage."

        Well, here we are in mid-stream, still staring at that same horse's ass!

        by rhubarb on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:12:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What is the Dems' official line? (none)
      Or is there none? I read somewhere that Feingold (and Kerry too?) proposed some amendments to the Patriot Act. Will Kerry take a lead on this? There have been so many thread/posts on the Dems' political stance (or should I say, the lack of it). Now, here is one which I am sure will be approved by most Dems, moderate Repubs as well as those "fiercely independent westerners" that we keep hearing about.
    •  I am not sure that anyone would have predicted (none)
      that this act would extend to blogs. Certainly it puts a chill on what one feels comfortable in saying. Given that this is a fairly high profile site, it would not be surprising to know that it is monitored and that there might even be on-line participants with ulterior motives.

      Sounds paranoid, doesn't it?  

      •  I (3.50)

        The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. --  Thomas Jefferson

        by kwyzkl on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 05:03:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can I also get a prize? (none)
          Consider this particularly in regard to anonymity.

          That my be the only prize I get, before I'm carted off.

          •  You could be the winner (none)
            of a trip to sunny Guantanamo bay, Cuba! Affectionately dubbed "Gitmo" by it's colorful gang of muscleheaded enforcers, you'll be treated to a high tech concentration camp of unimaginable horrors, but don't worry, today's ultra-modern techniques won't spoil your good looks! Only the inner organs, as well as emotional and intellectual faculties will be destroyed. Residency program may be available.

            The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. --  Thomas Jefferson

            by kwyzkl on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 07:54:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  i predicted the refreshing open threads (none)
          but i get no prize =^(

          i found the post once but i am too lazy to do it again...

          "there is no fixed and constant authority, but a continual exchange of mutual, temporary, and, above all, voluntary authority and subordination."

          by Demosthenes on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:39:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  maybe the chill is the point? (none)
        i expect at this time the goal is mostly to chill free speech - but if we let our fears rule us, then we've given and let them win.

        our fear is our biggest enemy.  if we can over come it, we can over come just about anything.

        be strong!

      •  They don't need PATRIOT to monito... (none)
        posters in the Town Square. Email has always had a different  "reasonable expectation of Privacy" than a posting on a blog accessible to the public.

        Your Blunder War is showing.

        by ben masel on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 11:56:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Surprise - you may already be watched! (none)
        My company was up for some governmental-related contract work shortly after 9-11 (when I actually was feeling quite benevolent toward the admin)...and the person who had suggested us (big time intelligence community insider)told us straight out that we should NOT be sending OR ACCEPTING admin-critical electronic communication while we were under consideration.  "They are monitoring you, no joke," he said.  
        This is not paranoia, it's a fact.  I eventually decided I didn't care, as the admin spiralled into near Fascism.  But you know, we may pay the consequences.  Some of us who are on watch lists already for liberal activism (pro-choice, ACT UP, etc)are especially vulnerable.
        But it's true, they can't arrest half the country. Let's hope.

        "Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone."--Thomas Jefferson

        by hopesprings on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 03:18:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Congress Did Read It... (none)

      I believe the Patriot Act has a very interesting and convoluted history. The one that was actually voted on was changed the night before the vote from the version that was distributed to (at least) Democratic Congressmen to read. When they found out what they'd actually voted on, many were quite irate, but decided not to push it because they'd have been eviscreated by the news media and they were confident the sunset clause would prevent abuses.

      Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

      by RHunter on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 04:42:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  PATRIOT ACT Legislative History (4.00)
        (Going from memory here, stray factoids may be off)

        A few days after Sept. 11, the behemoth package was dumped on the Congress. We can thus assume it's contents had been drafted and debated within the Administration prior to the attacks.

        The Senate almost immediately approved the entire package as is.

        In the House, Judiciary Committee James Sensenbrenner balked, and insisted it go thru his Committee for line by line review. Both Parties have long tended to put their "Boyscout' types on Judiciary, as there's less pork than with most committees.

        Sensenbrenner and Ranking member Conyers agreed to try and draft a cleaned up Committee version.

        (My Rep, Tammy Baldwin, had her staff forward me the draft, as she had experienced my sharp eye for potential civil liberties problems in legislation in 6 years as my State Assembly rep prior to her elevation to the House.)

        After 2 weeks the Committee unanimously agreed on a revised draft. Still bad legislation, but with many of the most egregious provisions stripped. In this draft, the ACLU's top 5 Amendments were incorporated, and Tammy was able to add 4 of my top 5 suggestions.

        Meanwhile, the Senate approved a revised version, little different from the Ashcroft original, but with Sunsets added for many, but not all, provisions. This was the Draft Feingold comlained there was no time to read.

        Speaker Hastert now doublecrossed Sensenbrenner, bringing the Senate version, rather than the House Judiciary version, to a floor vote. We was screwed.

        Your Blunder War is showing.

        by ben masel on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 09:36:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Abu Martinez... (none)
      ... is a great name for him, but you forgot his middle initial. E for Enron

      OK, we need +6 in the Senate and +20 in the House in 2006. Put your game face on and get to work!

      by uffdalib on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 06:24:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is the link (4.00)
    to the story "Cuffing Bush and the FBI" by Nat Hentoff in The Village Voice.
    •  Yeah, but... (none)
      Judges are next.  According to Ashcroft they threaten National Security.

      Ashcroft says judges threaten national security by questioning Bush decisions

       WASHINGTON - Federal judges are jeopardizing national security by issuing rulings contradictory to President Bush's decisions on America's obligations under international treaties and agreements, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Friday.

      In his first remarks since his resignation was announced Tuesday, Ashcroft forcefully denounced what he called "a profoundly disturbing trend" among some judges to interfere in the president's constitutional authority to make decisions during war.

      "The danger I see here is that intrusive judicial oversight and second-guessing of presidential determinations in these critical areas can put at risk the very security of our nation in a time of war," Ashcroft said in a speech to the Federalist Society, a conservative lawyers' group.

  •  PLEASE check this out! (none)
    Wearing and displaying this line of products advertises our loss of free speech in an attention-getting way:

    Click here:
    http://www.cafepress.com/warposter/379783

    Good holiday gifts for the Leftie on your list!

  •  Kos language (none)
    Maybe we will need to come up with some sort of Kos language, similar to Klingon, that we can use in case of supoena or supression.  It doesn't have to be elaborate, but maybe a "The clock strikes at midnight" kind of code...

    We fight on. We fight for ourselves and the people who do not have a voice.

    by mlk on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 03:43:19 PM PST

  •  4242 (none)
    we need a national referendum....then we the people could vote crap like this down.

    any lawyers here?

    •  umm.... (none)
      You mean so the same people that voted to re-elect Bush can vote on this?

      lol....but I do see your point.  

      •  32423 (none)
        despite the dismal testament to america's intellect that was the 2004 "election," i hold out faith that not even bush voters are so delusional as to not see the patriot act as a danger to democracy.

        i just refuse to imagine it.  besides, if we were to get a national referendum on it, the spin wars would be deafening.  luckily, we still have this little thing called the bill of rights working in our favor.  several courts have already ruled sections of it unconstitutional.

        we need a national referendum process!

        •  Last poll I saw (none)
          40% thought it was good the way it was.
          33% wanted it BROADENED.

          Something like that. There's probably a link out there, somehwere.

          You ever tried reading the Patriot Act? It's mostl addendums and alterations of other acts. To go get those all and piece together the whole legal puzzle would be hard work. You know, work. That's hard. And it's hard, you know?

          The world's address
          a place that's worn
          a sad pun that reflects a sadder mess
          In case you haven't already guessed:
          The world's a dress.

          by Jaiwithani on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 04:31:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's why it's called the Patriot Act! (none)
          what will go through the minds of the sheeple:

          I'm a patriot
          The act is the Patriot Act

          Therefore, the act is good for me... I'll vote for it.
          ---------

          Scary, eh?

          Osama's followers think he has "moral values" too.

          by ragnark on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 05:32:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  my sister (none)
          doesn't get it. She says "but i don't have anything to hide" She just doesn't get it

          republican hypocracy has condemned God and Jesus to be as Dead as our Democracy

          by demnomore on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:17:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  admirable faith, this: (none)
          i hold out faith that not even bush voters are so delusional as to not see the patriot act as a danger to democracy

          admirable, but probably not very realistic.

          I have two sets of friends: the politically hyper-aware and the politically lost. The latter outnumber the former 2:1, and without exception the latter voted for Bush. When the Patriot Act came into being of course none among the lost had heard of it, so I undertook to explain. They couldn't understand why I was upset. They uttered such lunatic complacencies you'd have thought it was conscious satire: "Well, I don't care [if the government invades my privacy and yours six ways to Thursday] because obviously if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about. If it helps somebody catch a terrorist--good."

          And I've heard it over and over again ever since. The evils of the Patriot Act will difficult to impress upon a lot of folks, since a hell of a lot of folks don't even flinch--I mean nothing registers--when you tell them this thing is dangerous to democracy and show them, read articles to them, that explain exactly how.

          "Well, whatever, it doesn't pertain to me."

          Democracy! Democracy! "It doesn't pertain to me." It's a meaningless vocabulary word in some long-forgotten civics class. Worse, it's just plain gibberish! The majority of Americans, the last couple years have convinced me, have never given democracy a second thought.

          I have been feeling pessimistic about the electorate lately. Pardon my negativity.

          god bless our tinfoil hearts

          by aitchdee on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 08:46:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I live in Washington... (none)
          I'm sure there would be a national equivalent to Washington's Tim Eyman. There could be nothing worse than national initiative entrepreneur. Ask the people of Washington, Oregon and California about this idea.

          Yet another member of the "reality-based community"

          by cmk on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 09:48:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  How many people do you think... (4.00)
        factored the patriot act into their presidential vote when Kerry

        1. voted for it

        2. was only critial of how Ashcroft applied it

        I think there are alot of people out there who voted for Bush but don't like the patriot act.
        •  2134 (none)
          also, we should be out educating people on the patriot act whlie the push for the national referendum is happening.  pre-spin, if you will.  then once we have the referendum, we have a jump start on the campaign to repeal the patriot act.

          a girl can dream, can't she?

        •  Do you mean (none)
          the 5.5% of Wisconsin voters who went for Bush and Feingold?

          Your Blunder War is showing.

          by ben masel on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 09:38:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  5.5% (none)
            I'd imagined those 5.5% as FORGIVING Feingold for this vote.

            Feingold is a funny case. I'm not really sure how generalizable his candidacy is. You can't run a Feingold strategy if you aren't sufficiently Feingoldy. I'm not sure too many people are.

            •  The gun crowd (none)
              generally opposes the Patriot Act. In this context, Feingold's vote against the Assault Weapons Ban renewal, which he explained to them as reflecting a newfound appreciation of the role of the 2nd Amendment as an integral part of the Bill of Rights, did a lot more to earn their trust than a photo-op with a dead goose. In the Northwoods and Coolee counties Russ finished 10-12% better than Kerry.

              Your Blunder War is showing.

              by ben masel on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 11:45:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  How bout my mom (none)
            Dictionary "values" voter in this election. Her original leaning was Kerry because of Iraq. Saturday before the election she settled for Bush for 2 reasons #1 Abortion #2 Gay Marriage. As a discrete issue she is opposed to the Patriot Act.
  •  Tell me about it... (none)
    That's why when I'm on IRC or any IM network, when I have evil thoughts about |3U$H, I always write |3U$H like that, so no software care pick it up :-) (At least I hope not!)

    http://www.terratoday - environmental discussion!

    by bravedeer on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 04:00:27 PM PST

  •  Let's define Fascism, shall we? (none)
    From Merriam-Webster's Dictionary Online:

    Main Entry: fas·cism
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, fasces, group, from Latin fascis bundle & fasces fasces
    1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
    2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

    Definitely need to keep on eye on this. Thanks for the post!

    The only thing we have to lose is our democracy.

    by juniper on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 04:11:00 PM PST

  •  Kos should delete his server logs regularly (none)
    You don't need to keep an email address to post on dKos after the initial sign-up, but you could still match usernames to IP addresses by looking at the logs, and they can do an awful lot with IP addresses.
    •  For all we know (none)
      They track and record everything posted on liberal sites.  Considering everything else they have done, this would not suprise me.

      When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil. - James Carville

      by sgilman on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 04:25:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pointless (none)
        The best way to draw attention to a cause in an information-heavy society is to arrest it. Unless they grabbed us all at once, it'd be pointless. They won't imprison us - they will ignore and marginalize us. Therein lies the true danger, that everything we stand for comes to be percieved as "elitist" and "out-of-touch". They don't need a cage if they can keep us from being heard.

        I doubt this provision is being used against any of us, and I'm not going to worry about it because they're smarter than that. At the worst I see it being used to cover up a piece of news or leaked intelligence that could be damaging in the public eye - certainly not a good thing, and worth fighting, but not getting paranoid over.

        The world's address
        a place that's worn
        a sad pun that reflects a sadder mess
        In case you haven't already guessed:
        The world's a dress.

        by Jaiwithani on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 04:39:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe not all of us (none)
          but this blogger got caught up in an episode with the Secret Service/FBI.

          Excerpt:

          A couple of weeks ago, following the last presidential debate, I said some rather inflammatory things about George W. Bush in a public post in my LJ, done in a satirical style. We laughed, we ranted, we all said some things. I thought it was a fairly harmless (and rather obvious) attempt at humor in the face of annoyance, and while a couple of people were offended, as is typical behavior from me, I saw something shiny and forgot about it, thinking that the whole thing was over and done and nothing else would come of what I said.

          I was wrong.

          At 9:45 last night, the Secret Service showed up on my mother's front door to talk to me about what I said about the President, as what I said could apparently be misconstrued as a threat to his life. After about ten minutes of talking to me and my family, they quickly came to the conclusion that I was not a threat to national security (mostly because we are the least threatening people in the entire world) and told me that they would not recommend that any further action be taken with my case. However, I do now have a file with the FBI that includes my photograph, my e-mail address, and the location of my LJ. This will follow me around for the rest of my life, regardless of the fact that the Secret Service knows that I am not a threat.

          That might not have anything to do with the Patriot Act and I don't know what exactly had been said by this blogger, but it is scary nontheless.

        •  So, did the great American spirit (none)
          of freedom and democracy rise up in outrage when 1,800 protesters were arrested in NYC? I too used to think any illegal actions on the part of law enforcement would get so much negative public attention that the risk of exposure alone would keep them in check. Not any more.

          What God blesses a nation that slaps His name on the root of all evil?

          by newsouth on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 09:07:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  indymedia deletes server logs immediately - (none)
      some do not log IP addresses at all the fbi came and took their servers anyway
  •  Excuse my language but (4.00)
    Fuck you Bush.  You are a 21st century facist.  Go ahead a send your goons on me you can't stop be from voicing desent!
  •  Some one in the Democratic party needs to stand up (none)
    Someone needs in the Democratic party needs to stand up and call Bull Shit!

    This adminstration ignored all warnings and allowed the biggest national tragedy in our country to occur.  They refused to hold anybody accountable and they are now using fear to take away our cival liberties, not to protect us, but to silence us.  This is not our country, this isn't what our founding fathers faught for.  

    If this is how the republican party is going to treat our fundamental rights then they can take their ideas, roll them up and stick them where the sun doesn't shine.

    When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil. - James Carville

    by sgilman on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 04:22:51 PM PST

  •  Dkos: Enemies of the State (4.00)
    If this Patriot Act bushit gains any more ground.

    Patriot II evidently can even take away your citizenship and give you the Guantanamo treatment should one ever dare fall on the wrong side of the executive throne.

    And, IF (yes, I'm still delusional that this whole nightmare will will be overturned in days to come) and they-who-must-not-named get to select the Supreme Court. . . .

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 04:22:51 PM PST

  •  My theory (4.00)
    is that within five years the internet will be declared "Government Use Only".

    A terrorist attack here, a terrorist attack there. Then, a report that the terrorists are using the internet to coordinate their attacks and blammo, no more internet.

    Of course, my tin foil hat is on when I say this.

    J.C. on line one, D.O.D on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

    by Brian Nowhere on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 04:29:43 PM PST

    •  I earnestly hope you are wrong, (none)
      the Internet, and its free flow of ideas, is the best thing that has ever happened to knowledge:  all the information of the world at your fingertips.

      For them to withdraw this privilege would be tantamount to gagging us and imprison us, it would be like taking away a wheelchair from a physically-challenged person.

      "Let us realize that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
      --Dr. King, "Where do we go from here?" 1967

      by sersan on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 05:24:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They couldn't do that... (none)
      The Internet exists outside the US too.  The Japanese and the British and the Germans and the Chinese wouldn't care for that very much.  The best they could do is a "Chinese-style you can only visit these Government-Approved sites within the US" filter, and that wouldn't work very well.

      (Insert Democrat Here) for President in 2008!

      by teenagedallasdeaniac on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 06:40:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Government and commercial use. (4.00)
      You know all those big campaign contributors...? Well, they're totally dependent on the internet now, saving money on sales, and customer service, and supply chain management, and every other aspect of business they can funnel into a web page.

      There's no way they would let Bush turn the net off.

      Massacre is not a family value.

      by Canadian Reader on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 06:40:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We are the government (none)
      POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!

      "Democracy is coming ... to the U - S - A." - Leonard Cohen

      by Gearhead on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 11:19:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Note to Brian Nowhere: (none)
      The song about Bush on your website is not a productive contribution to the national political discussion.

      I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks in Sozadee CA.

      by The Messenger on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 05:42:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I kinda like it... (none)
        it's ballsy, that's for sure.

        We're all born, we live for a while and then we all must die. Nothing too militant in pointing out that this applies to POPTUS too.

        Oh, and I think the video is great because George W. Bush is an evil son of a bitch.

        Diebold Voting Machines-- because the one who counts the vote decides everything.

        by pacific city on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 01:09:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Government and Commerce (none)
      Of course. If they let the corporations stay, then no one will make a peep.
  •  Bastards (none)
    Freedom of speech in this country will be a thing of the past under Chimp&Co.

    If any of you are worried about some one finding your IP address, set up a proxy server.

    Here is a great site for setting one up.  I'm posting from Poland right now.  ;)

    http://www.stayinvisible.com/index.pl/home

    •  Thanks for the info (none)
      I'm definately looking into this option because I like to make things like this.

      GBMD Flash Animation

      hi-speed connection recommended to view.

      J.C. on line one, D.O.D on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

      by Brian Nowhere on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 04:46:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, Czesc! (sorry no Polish characters) (none)
      (n/t)
    •  use two proxy servers (none)
      then if one is compromised, all they know is that a proxy server is talking to another proxy server and you or another proxy server and the site... best way to go is 3-4 proxy servers, encrypted transmissions so that servers only know one link down and up the chain (not even the information they are carrying).

      "there is no fixed and constant authority, but a continual exchange of mutual, temporary, and, above all, voluntary authority and subordination."

      by Demosthenes on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:47:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Looking for a good geek (none)
        There have to be some tutorials around the web on this, or hasn't someone built a plugin for Firefox for this?  Any geeks in the audience if you could please show some mercy and bestow upon us your great knowledge and some links.  Please again.  Thanks.  
  •  I was wondering (none)
    when they'd going in on blogs,
    and am surprised they haven't closed us down.
  •  The First Rule of Patriot ACT NSL Club (none)
    ...you do not talk about Patriot Act NSL club...

    The Second rule of Patriot  ACT NSL Club...

    ...you do not talk about Patriot Act NSL club...

    This is your democracy on CONSTITUTION..

    :-)

    This is your democracy on Patriot ACT:

    :-X

  •  Obviously, we need to find a way to (none)
    communicate under the radar.
    Someone with programming skills could probably help with this.
    •  Just a thought... (4.00)
      I think that communicating OVER the radar, as loudly as possible, may be safer in the long run.

      I've been screaming for two decades now; started out inveighing against Reagan, doing pro-Sandinista stuff back in the 80s; I always expected to get a knock on my door from the pigs sooner or later. Didn't happen, and after a while, it occurred to me that by being loud and by being connected - making sure LOTS of people knew who I was and what I was about and what I was saying and what information I had - I might be making things easier on myself.

      utter visibility, utter transparency seems to work ok; I mean, hey, if Steve Earle and Harry Belafonte and Julian Bond can get away w/ saying what they do w/o repercussion...if WSWS, Revolutionary Worker, et. al. can publish for decades w/o interference/interruption - I think their visibility is their insurance policy. It's easier to squelch the invisible and anonymous, but take down somebody who's even moderately well known, even in small circles, and you create a mess and a stink. Which is what they really don't want.

      Not saying I'm absolutely right, just something to think about.

      •  More than visibility for protection (none)
        Visibility for reaction and perception.  Democrats are the party which will naturally fight for the civil liberties the founding fathers secured for all of us. We'll fight for the American way.  What America loving citizen would support the Patriot Act or oppose us as we tear it down?

        Out in the open it helps frame us as the party fighting for liberty and the American way.  Frankly, stupid crap like this from Bush helps us.

        This is a fight I am very happy to know I am on the right side.

      •  i'm not sure (none)
        ya, i'm not trying to create a war, but seems to be that mumia was pretty loud.  he had his only radio program, i believe.  the govt, or the police, figured out a way to put him away and cancel that radio program.

        "A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People." - Thomas Jefferson, The DoI, 1776

        by lostinbrasil on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 06:02:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's why (none)
        I always post under my legal name. If I'm ever in front of a Jury, I expect they'll grasp that lack of even a halfhearted effort to shield my identity refutes implications of criminal intent.

        Your Blunder War is showing.

        by ben masel on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:42:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (none)

      Marge Simpson: "That's a pretty lousy lesson." Bill Clinton: "Well, I'm a pretty lousy president."

      by nimc on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 05:29:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Freenet (none)
      Good point. There's always Freenet.
      Freenet is free software which lets you publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship. To achieve this freedom, the network is entirely decentralized and publishers and consumers of information are anonymous.
      I haven't used Freenet but am happy knowing in the back of my mind that it's an option.

      If Kos is ever shut down and things get really bad, remember this option.

  •  What would happen . . . (4.00)
    if each of us threatened the well being of our nation's highest elected official? Would we swamp the system's ability to respond?

    What would happen if we all flew our flags upside down? Would they pass a Constitutional Amendment making us criminals?

    What would happen if we all filed extensions for federal income tax? Would King George's treasury go bankrupt?

    What would happen if we all did anything?
    We could kick serious ass.

    Never let up.  

    NOTE TO SECRET SERVICE:  These are rhetorical We are not suggesting, condoning or promoting the anything of anyone, including Dear Leader. We are a pacifist. Please do not arrest us.

  •  FBI (4.00)
    I received a letter from the FBI advising me that my life is too boring and I keep putting their agents to sleep. They asked that I try to find something interesting to do with my time and that I should really pull up the old tomato plants to prepare the garden for spring.
    Two of the agents also said they liked the colors I chose for the bathroom, but they did advice me I should fix that drip.

    Well, Watson, we seem to have fallen upon evil days. -- Sherlock Holmes.

    by Carnacki on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 05:30:04 PM PST

  •  What exactly does (none)
    "critical of the government" mean?  I mean, there's how we feel, and how people like Timothy McVeigh feel.

    And maybe I shouldn't have posted this diary considering the content.

  •  If this was happening now, we'd know about it (none)
    Let's say hypothetically the government goes and shuts down your blog, collects IP data on all of the people who have posted comments there, and issues a gag order forbidding you to tell anyone about it. How long do you think it would take to before you went down to the local library or Internet cafe, signed up an anonymous account at Daily Kos, and wrote a diary about what happened. The diary would get recommended in an instant, and we'd all know about it. But the government could never connect it to you, the guy who just got gagged.

    Bottom line, if this were happening already, we'd know about it. As long as Kos is operating, we're ok.

    That doesn't mean we shouldn't be afraid of it happening soon.

  •  It never occurred to me (none)
    that I could be in danger of being disappeared by my own government.  Or imprisoned without due proces (or even a phone call).  Or declared an enemy combatant and handed over to another country for the sole purpose of  torture.

    What have we come to?  And how could we let it get so bad??  Will we ever be able to wake up the sleeping masses???

    I don't think we are in Kansas anymore, Toto.

    •  That is bad news. (none)
      It occurred to me last spring when there were some stories in the paper about that sort of thing happening.  If it hasn't occurred to you, as a member of this progressive and pretty well informed community, imagine how many of those 51% have no clue that stuff like this could happen.  Or in fact, has already happened to some people in this country.  I can't figure out if their heads are just firmly in the sand or if the media really is keeping this kind of stuff quiet.
  •  I love the Billy Bragg song (none)
    in which he sings
    "If you've got a black list
    I wanna be on it."

    The greatest blessing bestowed on a people is the absence of ignorance in public office. - Confucius

    by cavanaghjam on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 05:43:15 PM PST

  •  Okay well, I am critical of Bush (none)
    And I indulge in the longstanding American tradition of criticizing my government.  

    My family is full of Patriots, and I consider myself a patriot.  I love my country, I love my Constitution, I love my fellow Americans.  Being critical is one of the greatest joys of being an American, and always has been.  This means we are engaged in the process.  When we can no longer question the direction our policies take us, dispute the machinations of our government, or analyze the political landscape, then we are no longer America.

  •  Let 'em (none)
    Let them sic the FBI on us; we'll sic the CIA on them. Guess who wins?

    Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!

    by eoglesby on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 06:02:15 PM PST

  •  Question (none)
    Why are we still calling it the patriot act? When the colonists were fighting against the oppressive British laws they sure as heck didn't dignify them by calling them by their real names, especially if they had such uber-framed misnomers as the "Patriot" act. I.e., the Intolerable Acts.

    I read alot here about how we need to reframe this and that, well, the reframing starts here. This is framing 101.

    The problem is alot of the possible frames have already been coopted by the right (unpatriotic? unamerican?).

  •  I am glad this is receiving an active response (4.00)
    I am glad this is receiving such an active response.  It should.  This is an unbelievable abuse of power, and whether they will ever actually use it (assuming they haven't already) is almost beside the point.  They have granted themselves the power to do this, and they have (quite insidiously) removed any and all means of appeal.  If it wasn't in black and white, I would be tempted to dismiss this talk as ton foil hat fodder.  This can't happen in America, can it?

    But I did not post this solely to scare (though we are right to be scared).  I posted it as an opportunity.  Democrats did not fight this enough at its inception.  We should have.  The Patriot Act was not a major campaign issue.  It should have been.  We can't let it go a third time.  This is exactly the type of issue we should rally around.  It offers the perfect frame.

    All Americans should be offended at this gross attempt to nullify the constitution.  We, democrats, are the party which will naturally fight for the civil liberties the founding fathers secured for all of us.  We'll fight for the American way.  If we are the ones fighting for American civil liberties, what does that say about those who implemented and support the Patriot Act?

    If we lay low and fight back if and only if this affects some of us, they win.  We need to take on this fight now.  Our leaders will follow.  If you are reading this, write all of your representatives today.  Write at least one letter to an editor.  Make sure they know how insidious the Patriot Act really is.  Make sure they know we know how insidious the Patriot Act really is.  If they are not already on board, ask them why they are not fighting for American civil liberties at home.

    It has another advantage.  The more public it goes, the more moderate republicans and republican libertarians will be forced to take a stand.  The GOP is already fractured by the rise of the religious right.  This is the type of issue to split them in two.  Or three.

  •  Has it ever been used against a blogger ? (none)
    Not yet it seems.. But it's a matter of time:

    Secret service visits Blogger - Anti-Bush rant goes bad

    With all the hotheaded posts I read after this election, I just wanted to warn felow Kossacks of what heppened to another hotheaded dem blogger.

    No, it wasn't me. I knew better. Nevertheless, it's a true story and you guys deserve to be warned.

    NOTE!!!!
    Anti-Bush rant gone bad brings FBI to your doorstep. Worse, it can hurt kos too. So ZIP IT

    You think I'm kidding ? I kid you not

    This happened BEFORE Bush II - The attack of the fundie clones:

    Secret service visits Blogger - Anti-Bush rant gone bad

    Never EVER make a comment online that could in any way be misconstrued as a threat against any high-ranking official (or anyone for that matter)

    It always ends up in headaches, regardless wether you meant it or not

    anniesj: a word to the wise [Not me but story is TRUE - law]

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/anniesj/331112.html

    A couple of weeks ago, following the last presidential debate, I said some rather inflammatory things about George W. Bush in a public post in my LJ, done in a satirical style...

    I was wrong.

    At 9:45 last night, the Secret Service showed up on my mother's front door

    We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

    by lawnorder on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 07:06:45 PM PST

    •  If the Secret Service wants an Interview: (none)
      You have the Right to have an Attorney present. Use it.

      This is not just a technicality. While many (most?) Agents will be acting in good faith, even they will have cultural biases which may cause them to misconstrue your words, and report what they thought they heard.

      In Sept. 1996 I casually mentioned, as a guest on Wisconsin Public Radio, my intention to leaflet at a Gore appearance. Somehow this was reported to the SS as a plan to stage a "protest.

      Next day I got a call from a Madison Police Dept. officer informing me that the Secret Service wanted to "interview me." I agreed, but insisted that this occur in a public place, suggesting a coffee shop near the State Capitol. I tipped off a couple sympathetic reporters, who dressed out of character and sat at the next table. I brought my Attorney, and an openly displayed taperecorder.

      At first the Secret Service would not proceed with my tape running. when I explained my reluctance to proceed without a record, and told them that without it the interview was off, they relented.

      I explained that I planned only to leaflet, the local cop agreed that this was indeed my right, and offered what proved to be an ideal spot outside the building where the speech was to occur.

      Your Blunder War is showing.

      by ben masel on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:59:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  USA renamed to USB (none)
    United Soviets of Bush.

    Gag this Ashcroft/Gonzales!

    Come and get me copper!

    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 07:12:38 PM PST

  •  Hold on a second (none)
    The professed aim of the Patriot Act monitoring blogs is to find terrorist blogs.  Now, most terrorists aren't stupid enough to use/frequent public blogs, but I'm guessing their rationale is that young impressionable people 'susceptible to joining with the terrorists' might frequent liberal blogs to express their anger...or something like that.

    The Patriot Act means that the government might be reading dkos right now.  They can track us down personally, but they've always had those powers in cases of Internet conspiracies or sex offenders...just the Patriot Act scares us alot more because we percieve it as a war against dissenters.  Should they see us making percieved terroristic threats (Like when we discuss methods for attacking redstate megachurches, or other easy easy plots that prove Homeland Security still sucks and the ball is entirely in Al Qaeda's hands and the reason it hasn't been thrown has nothing to do with Homeland Security), or when they see one of us announce they wouldn't shed many tears if Bush died (and who would?)...well, they might go all Facist bonanza on us and track us down.  

    I don't think we need to be paranoid about it with secret codes or deleting history or anything that alienates the general public, but...if you see someone say something innocent, but might be percieved as over-the-line, and before long they disappear from the Internet without warning...raise a flag about it.  It's probably not malicious, but maybe we should have some sort of support group for checking on members offline...just in case.

    We shouldn't try and obstruct the Justice Department though.  If, god forbid, something were to happen and the trail were to lead back to Dkos, we want people to know we co-operated with the investigation.  If we got pissed about it, even if it felt like a completely bogus trail, the backlash would be something fierce.  It'd give them more of an excuse to shut us down.  If they try and suppress our free speech, they'd do it to us individually.  Since the Internet is so anonymous, they'd pretty much be dissappearing secret-police style for us.  That's why the support group might be a good idea.

    If the unthinkable (well, unthinkable before the Patriot Act) were to happen, and they basically declared war on liberal blogs...you know what, public opinion is still on our side.  We have alot of organization, and we'll fight back straight in the public eye.

    We should be vigilant, but not paranoid.

  •  I you look at (none)
    the inability of the US Military to secure Iraq, how in the hell could law enforcement deal with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dissenters. When the Sedition Act was passed, there were still only 13 states. They can enact it, but it would be nearly impossible to enforce.

    He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money--Benjamin Franklin

    by rcvanoz on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 07:47:23 PM PST

  •  asdf... (none)
    anyone know if this is dealt with in the SAFE Act, which Bush has threatened to veto if it passes.
  •  Massachusetts Ballot (none)
    Just curious if other state had a similar non-binding question like the below on their 2004 ballot:

    Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of: (1) a resolution asserting that the campaign against terrorism should not be waged at the expense of constitutionally protected civil rights and liberties of Massachusetts residents; (2) legislation barring the use of state resources or institutions to carry out actions that violate constitutional rights, or actions such as racial and religious profiling, conducting secret investigations without reasonable grounds, and maintaining files on individuals and organizations without reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct; and (3) a resolution urging the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to vote to repeal provisions in the federal USA PATRIOT Act and other laws that infringe on civil rights and liberties and to oppose any future legislation that infringes on civil rights and liberties?

    Er, I voted YES to the above, BTW.

    The only thing we have to lose is our democracy. And, no one in this administration is going to keep me from speaking my mind.

    by juniper on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:10:07 PM PST

    •  Cities did this (none)
      I remember several months ago there were a flurry of articles going around (mainstream media) about cities in the US that had passed laws saying that they would not comply with the Patriot Act. Cambridge, MA was one. Berkeley, CA too. There were a few others, I just can't remember. It would seem that people in MA decided to make it a State-wide thing. (I just moved here from CA and voted absentee there or I certainly would have voted YES for this.)

      Only bad witches are ugly.

      by angelama on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 10:14:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Alas (none)
        It was a nonbinding question that was only on the ballot in all or parts of 4 counties: Berkshire, Hampshire, Middlesex, and Norfolk (only the town of Brookline in the last). I had really wanted a chance to vote on it.

        Of course it passed overwhelmingly.
        Results here (all the way at the bottom)

        •  Thanks... (none)
          for clarifying that. I just moved from NYC to Mass. and wasn't sure how far reaching that question was on the ballot (I'm in Middlesex County). Was glad it passed as well as it did. Only hope it sticks in reality.

          The only thing we have to lose is our democracy. And, no one in this administration is going to keep me from speaking my mind.

          by juniper on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 10:08:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't mind being known (none)
    as a "malcontent," but I do mind any attempt to clamp down on access to information via the net.  Is it not possible to corral most American net users into little AOL-like ghettoes where information is rationed?

    If I lose the ability to circumvent crummy American media by surfing the net, then I'll feel as if my goose is cooked.

    Well, here we are in mid-stream, still staring at that same horse's ass!

    by rhubarb on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:17:15 PM PST

  •  My letter to the NYT (none)
    Dear Editorial Staff of the New York Times:
    Like many other readers, I had hoped that the Jason Blair scandal and the mea culpa from the Times on its coverage of the runup to the War in Iraq would induce your newspaper to provide higher journalistic standards.
    However, I must report that your recent story on the potential vote fraud in the 2004 elections failed any standard for journalistic fairness.  In the article, the Times did not investigate any viewpoint other than that antagonistic to the weblogs.
    If I were a college professor and was handed the article as a report from a student, I would postpone the inevitable "F" only to allow time for the the student to fully research the topic by actually investigating the premise of the online activists; namely, that massive voter fraud occurred in the 2004 election.
    Once that student actually researched the possibility that our electoral process was severely compromised could I give a passing grade...
    Sincerely,
    Micheal Allison
  •  Can Someone (none)
    please describe for me what being "critical of the government" actually means?  Taken to its extreme, does this mean opposition parties would also be illegal?  How about opposition radio, TV, and print?

    How then, would it be legal to hold debates, voting, or anything else that is fundamental to this country?  If I'm reading this thread correctly, then if true, it will be illegal to criticize the policies of the GOP, since they are in power.

    Is that correct?  And the Democrats are voting FOR this?

    We hold these truths to be self evident... All men are created equal...

    by Calee4nia on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:34:22 PM PST

    •  The Act doesn't actually make it a crime... (none)
      to be "critical of the government." It just lets Federal Agencies surveil and even "temporarily" detain you for it, without proving that that criticism actually constitutes a crime.

      Your Blunder War is showing.

      by ben masel on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 09:42:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  if you can be "detained" (none)
        does it matter if what you said was a crime?
      •  Then every American (none)
        would be elegible to be detained, since everyone has some gripe about some aspect of government.  Complain about the Alternative Minimum Tax, go to jail.

        So if a Republican complains about something like Social Security, said Republican can be "detained"?  Likewise if a Dem complains about naming a library after Reagan, said Dem can be "detained"?  

        It's that abitrary?  If so, its untenable.

        We hold these truths to be self evident... All men are created equal...

        by Calee4nia on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 11:52:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It can be read in a light (none)
          which is that arbitrary. We can only speculate as to whether they have not used the full powers to attack dissidents came from faer of the ensuing shitstorm, not just from Dems, but the libertarian right, or whether there's been acts of concience within the Administration.

          I once heard feingold suggest, when pushed over the Ashcroft confirmation vote, that he considered Ashcroft to be functioning as the brakes on the runaway abuse of Patriot powers in the Administration's inner debates. I've never dealt with Ashcroft in person, Russ has. If he's right, we may not long be cheering Ashcroft's departure.

          Your Blunder War is showing.

          by ben masel on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:18:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ironic (none)
    My husbands family came to the states as political refugees from Romania.  Now, it seems they're right back where they started from.  As far as my MIL is concerned, serves her right.  She voted for Bush.  Although, in a case of "you can take the girl out of Romania", she calls us to tell us to go to church because she believes the gov't tracks these things.  She as the very least we should turn on religious programming so that they'll know we watch it.

    "...Bush could kiss Osama bin Laden on national television and Karl Rove could spin it into a punch in the face." - Jim Hoover of Huntington Beach

    by fabooj on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 08:40:04 PM PST

  •  So, what happens (none)
    if you violate the stupid gag order by telling people about it?  Contempt of court sanctions? Compared to the draconian Patriot Act sanctions, this looks like the least of our worries.

    Anyone serves me with an NSL, I intend to not only tell my laywer and every trusted friend I know, but I'll scan it and post the NSL on my blog.

    And if they tell me I'm making it worse for myself, I will start chanting, "Jehovah! Jehovah!"

    Better to be in contempt of a fascist's gag order than to have your loved ones not have the slightest clue what happened when they take you to the gas ovens at Guantanamo.

    The real terrorists are not in Al Qaeda. They are the Vichy Regime in DC.

    by AdmiralNaismith on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 09:56:11 PM PST

  •  The Rain In Spain.... (3.50)
    Falls mainly on the plain.

    I SAID

    THE RAIN IN SPAIN FALLS MAINLY ON THE PLAIN!!!

    ::As I sit here on this park bench, reading the New York Times, smoking an American Spirit Cigarette, that I just lit with my Gold Zippo bearing the American Flag.::

    Oh yeah.... Then you say...

    "The snow in Leningrad falls mainly on the rooftops."

    OesDe veryoneE EtGe ItE???

    IgPe AtinLe Ise OoTe ImpleSe OrFe EmThe ToE EakBre. OmprendeCe?

  •  We're only bound by it if we agree to be (none)
    The reality of the next four years (at least) is that we're going to have to be willing to go to jail.  So things like gag orders will simply have to be defied.  Period.  

    There is always a choice.  But there is not always an easy choice. This government is most emphatically not our government.  And it is wrong.

    Thoreau had some pithy things to say about the responsibilities of honest citizens when government is wrong.

    "For young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today"

    by Roddy McCorley on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 11:10:03 PM PST

  •  From the Beatles (none)
    As far as Bushco concern over comments posted
    I say go for it and keep em busy
    "Why don't we do it in the road"
    - The Beatles
  •  If this is news (none)
    You have not been paying attention.

    Sorry folks, but this is not "new".

    Oct 2001

    Everything changed.

    "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a might fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

    by wild salmon on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 11:38:59 PM PST

  •  Real Patriots (none)
    That's us. Because we care about Due Process and Human Rights. I love America, they don't.

    I hope congress can restore American Values to this so-called Patriot Act.

    Resist fascism - while there's still a chance.

    Personally, I think Ashcroft was the worst of them and the scariest. He has unbelievable disdain for Rule of Law.

    If there was a Hitler-heart in the crowd, it's him. Let's hope he retires. Otherwise, I'll see you all in the liberal concentration camp.

    They'll print out this very posting on sand-paper and make me wipe my butt on it.

    Then they'll do the same with the Constitution.

    But really, they'll probably just want to make $.

  •  My mother keeps calling me (none)
    To warn me that the FBI is probably aware of my online writings and that we needed to watch out.  I thought it was basically tinfoil hat time for her (she is also positive there was another shooter on the grassy knoll, etc.) but I am not so sure now that we don't at least have to think about hte possibility.  

    It brings to mind a number of questions that I think we all have to answer in our own ways.

    1. How bad could this get for free speech?

    2. Can you assume that you are off the radar if your blog or online political activities are basically small-time?

    3.  If the answer to (2) is yes, should you take any comfort in that whatsoever, since it would still mean that free speech is only "free" as long as the government doesn't think anyone is listening to you?  

    Also, does anyone know what really happens if you do end up "on their radar screen"?  This is assuming you are merely being critical in what would be considered a responsible way, of policies and people.  I mean, say the Feds are keeping a file on you or whatever.  Where or how does it end up having an impact on your everyday life?  I'm not saying it doesn't.  I would just be interested in hearing the experiences of anyone this has happened to and what the real fallout was.  
  •  Now Checking Sleeves: Bush (none)
    Think like a fascist dictator who just stole the election.

    What is your biggest concern and/or fear?  What is the #1 threat to you and your powerbase?  Suppression of the truth, that's what.

    The thing that makes 2004 so different than 2000, is this beautiful beast called the blog has expedited information flow with a minimum of gestation.  Any little who down in whoville can break the big story.  And this time, we're all watching, reporting, taking screen captures and crunching poll numbers.  Increasingly louder drumbeats announce that a massive, coordinated electronic voting scheme has occurred. We're coming to a crossroads:

    * Vote Fraud  2004 is barking up a wrong tree.  There's nothing to it and we're wasting our time, money and lives on it.  OR
    *
    Vote Fraud 2004 is spilling out of the bottle and and further inquiry is bound to show something even more obvious than the NC absentee/election day disparity.

    I'm willing to believe the former, but 100% of my instincts say the latter.  My conclusion at this point is that Bush has to declare Martial Law somehow, or else his ass is grass.  Bush wants to silence us, there's been no doubt about that for many years.  What scares the crap out of me is right now, is he must silence us now and stop a clear counting of the votes.  

    I'm so worried that America is about to experience another domestic Bush event, one that will ratchet up the Patriot Act to investigate not just the obvious Muslims at the border, but you and I in our homes, and it will pass because Americans are not going to not trust their neighbors anymore.  There's gonna be a new set of scape-goats soon, their name starts with a D and there's already a token yankee to blame for it.  I know this is too much tinfoil for a lot of you, so be it.  It's a little over the top for me, too, but that victory was so surreal I think that because it actually happened, there's a suspension of disbelief that has set in, a condition that portends future manipulation. Anything that threatens to shatter that fragile image built on bytes is indeed a grave threat to the people in control. A threat to Bush is a threat to us, more distinctly now than ever.

    •  Geeze! This is a little alarming (none)
      "The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House," said a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to both the agency and to the White House. "Goss was given instructions ... to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president's agenda."
  •  When Good Bloggers Go Bad (none)
    Am I the ONLY person here who bothered to trace your link to the original Village Voice article?

    You quoted another blogger, who took sections of Nat Hentoff's article, "A Serious Setback to the Patriot Act," out of context. The link to Hentoff's article was contained in the blog you took this from.  And herein lies your problem.

    It appears you cut and pasted someone else's misleading edits of Hentoff's words, without reading Hentoff's article yourself.  Where I come from, that's called irresponsible.

    Here, for those of you who don't mind doing a little reading, is the full text of Nat Hentoff's article, placing your excerpts in their proper perspective:

    Liberty Beat, by Nat Hentoff
                 Cuffing Bush and the FBI
          A serious setback to the Patriot Act,      despite the victorious Bush's unstinting support

    November 12th, 2004 6:35 PM

    Bush's re-election ensures that he and John Ashcroft's designated successor, Alberto Gonzales, will press Congress hard to retain the Patriot Act in its entirety, and enact a Patriot Act II that will further disable the Constitution.

    There are two primary roadblocks to further assaults on our liberties. Despite continued Republican control of Congress, there is still a firm alliance there between civil-liberties Democrats and conservative Republican libertarians, especially in the Senate. That coalition will continue to oppose Bush's determination to fight the Patriot Act's "sunset clause," which permits reconsideration of parts of the act by December 2005.

    During the presidential campaign, Bush repeatedly urged Congress to ignore the "sunset clause" and enshrine the Patriot Act permanently. The Bill of Rights Defense Committee resolutions in nearly 400 cities and towns, and four state legislatures, will keep the pressure on Congress to resist this expansion of executive powers.

    Our second hope is the awakening lower federal courts, which are now challenging sections of the Patriot Act. But even if these judicial curbs on Bush and Ashcroft grow, any such victories can be overturned by the Supreme Court, to which Bush is going to make at least one appointment, and possibly more, by the end of his second term.

    These are obviously perilous times for constitutional freedoms. But attention should be paid to the strongest blow yet against Bush and the Patriot Act--the September 28, 2004, decision by Federal District Judge Victor Marrero in New York in John Doe, American Civil Liberties Union v. John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

    Judge Marrero struck down as unconstitutional on Fourth and First Amendment grounds section 505 of the Patriot Act that had greatly increased the government's capacity to secretly get large amounts of personal information by sending out National Security Letters, which do not require a judge's approval.

    During one of the presidential debates, Bush flatly told an untruth--as Ashcroft often has on this subject--when he said that any action taken under the Patriot Act requires a judicial order. No judge is involved in National Security Letters under the Patriot Act.

    The ACLU, which brought this lawsuit, explains that before the Patriot Act, a 1986 law allowed the FBI to issue these National Security Letters "only where it had reason to believe that the subject of the letter was a foreign agent." Section 505 of the Patriot Act, however, removed the individualized suspicion requirement and authorizes the FBI to use National Security Letters to obtain information about groups or individuals not suspected of any wrongdoing.

    "The FBI need only certify--without court review--that the records are 'relevant' to an intelligence or terrorism investigation." (Emphasis added.)

    Who decides what "relevant" means? The FBI, all by itself. That's why its headquarters are still named after J. Edgar Hoover. You can trust the FBI.

    Jameel Jaffer, a lawyer for the ACLU involved in this case, told me both why the National Security Letters are so dangerous, and what the effect of Judge Marrero's ruling will be--if it is upheld by the appellate courts all the way up.

    "The provision we challenged [that the judge struck down]," says Jaffer, "allows the FBI to issue NSLs against 'wire or electronic service communication providers.' Telephone companies and Internet service providers [are included.]" As Judge Marrero noted, the FBI could also use an NSL "to discern the identity of someone whose anonymous web log, or 'blog,' is critical of the Government."

    Jaffer adds that by requiring information from telephone companies and Internet providers, "The FBI could . . . effectively obtain a political organization's membership list, like the NAACP or the ACLU, [and could] obtain the names of people with whom a journalist has communicated over the Internet."

    Furthermore--dig this--every National Security Letter comes with a gag order. The recipients are forbidden to tell any other person that the FBI has demanded this information, and can't even tell their lawyers that the long hand of the government is scooping up their data.

    As Judge Marrero said in his decision, this omnivorous invasion of privacy is so broad that it mandates this gag rule "in every case, to every person, in perpetuity, with no vehicle for the ban to ever be lifted from the recipient."

    The scope of this court's setback to Big Brothers Bush, Mueller, and Ashcroft is underlined by Jaffer's point that if Judge Marrero's decision is upheld, it could "apply with equal force" to other dimensions of National Security Letters that allow the FBI to get personal information from financial institutions, including credit card companies and banks.

    Furthermore, the much publicized and dreaded section 215 of the Patriot Act, which gives the FBI authority to search your personal data from your visits to libraries, bookstores, and other sources of information, could also be overturned.

    In striking down the noxious National Security Letters section 505 of the Patriot Act, Marrero wrote: "Under the mantle of secrecy, the self-preservation that ordinarily impels our government to censorship and secrecy may potentially be turned on ourselves as a weapon of self-destruction . . . "

    Marrero then emphasized a truth that ought to be kept in mind as George W. Bush, having won the popular vote, unlike in 2000, uses national security even more forcefully against the Constitution. Judge Marrero warns:

    "Sometimes a right, once extinguished, may be gone for good." (Emphasis added.)

    But for now, as Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News Channel's resident--and admirable--constitutional analyst, says of the Marrero decision: "This stops the FBI from writing their own warrants."

    During the campaign, John Kerry said nary a word about National Security Letters.

    Tikkun Olam: Heal the world.

    by diamondpen on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 07:00:31 AM PST

  •  SPEAK, SPEAK, SPEAK (none)
    Don't let them, or anyone, chill your right to speak. Political speech is the MOST sacred, and most protected speech, according the 1st Amendement to the Constitution. Short of inciting a riot, political speech is categorically protected!!!!!

     

    Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism. -- Thomas Jefferson

    by Cranston Dem on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 09:35:18 AM PST

  •  Media Lockdown (Gag Order) re Vote Fraud? (none)
    See Mass Media In 'Lock Down' Not To Cover Vote Fraud


    On Friday I received a phone call from a good friend who works at CBS...

    ...She tipped me off that the news media is in a "lock-down" and that there is to be no TV coverage of the real problems with voting on Nov. 2nd. She said similar "lock-down orders" had come down last year after the invasion of Iraq, but this is far worse--far scarier. She said the majority of their journalists at CBS and elsewhere in NYC are pretty horrified--every one is worried about their jobs and retribution Dan Rather style or worse. My source said they've also been forbidden to talk about it even on their own time ...

    ...She said another friend of hers, a producer at MSNBC, said that an anchor by the name of Keith Olbermann had brought it up on his show on Friday eve and the axe came down. He's at least fighting back and talking about it on his "Blog", but she said that people there are worried that he's going to be fired by higher ups...

  •  Quick! (none)
    Hide your "I Am Atrios" shirts!
  •  What would make you (none)
     think that the subjects of these warrants are AWARE they are subject to them? It's been worse than you think for quite a while now..

    The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

    by cdreid on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:44:19 PM PST

  •  Let's not underestimate our own power here (none)
    Or the power of Markos himself.

    I run a small ISP and I looked into these provisions a good bit when the act passed.  It would not prohibit Kos from talking about given issues from what I understand.  But as has been stated multiple times above, it would preclude him from telling us that the Feds had our data.

    If I were the feds though, I would be mighty careful about going after dKos.  A high profile activist like Kos would be a risk to expose the request openly and take his lumps.  Jailing him would be a PR disaster.  They can't assume he would comply.

    He isn't a for profit corporation who will hand over the goods and clam up for fear of being shut down.  

    I don't know Markos, but I suspect that there is a good chance he would tell us and risk the jail time.  If I suspect this, the Feds do too.

    If I had to venture a tinfoil guess why Kos is silent on much of this I would say it is the same reason that Atrios is silent about it for the most part.  

    Atrios posted within days of the election that

    Something's Coming. The movement continues...stay tuned."

    If I were trying to lay low and keep the story underground that I was preparing to challenge the election results I wouldn't just want the mainstream media to clam up.

    Just a tinfoil thought though.

  •  This Young Blogger has a post (none)
    about a visit that the Secret Service gave her mother after a post election rant.  I guess it's already started.

    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. - Sir Winston Churchill

    by DreamOfPeace on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 05:23:56 PM PST

    •  It hasn't started yet... we've got time. (none)
      A point about that particular LJ, since I've seen this story before. The Secret Service is not reading everyone's LiveJournals and scouring message boards for anti-Bush sentiments.

      This person had someone report her LJ to the Secret Service as a suspected threat. Once a tip has been given, the Secret Service is required to follow up, no matter how silly the tip seems. She states in her own LJ how understanding they seemed- almost apologetic, from what I gathered. I'm sure they had better things to do, but they had to make a visit and give a talk. It's their job.

      As much as we secretly want to think America is slipping into a fascist state, it's not there yet. As long as we keep fighting it with level heads, rather than reactionary screaming and panic, it's got quite a long way to go before it gets that bad.

      •  Actually I never knew that they (none)
        had to follow every tip.  Good greif!

        Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. - Sir Winston Churchill

        by DreamOfPeace on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 06:13:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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