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I wanted to provide you with an update on the status of the Patriot Act. The House and Senate are in conference to resolve the differences between their separate versions of the bill to renew and, in some cases, expand the Patriot Act. The House version contains far more egregious provisions than the Senate version, and I voted against it in the House. Among other things, the House bill does little to limit the government's ability to snoop into library and bookstore records to ascertain the reading habits of law abiding citizens, has no clarification on the use of "national security letters" (it has recently been reported that these letters are being used to excess), and a near-permanent ten-year extension of the Act. The Senate version is only slightly better.

The conference committee had its first meeting Thursday and the Republicans are seeking to rush to an agreement and a final vote on the bill later this week. I am fighting against efforts to pass a bill that does not place checks and balances on the Patriot Act, but I need your help. This could be our last chance to put the brakes on the Patriot Act.

On my website, I have devoted a page to the Patriot Act with detailed information about the bill, reports from privacy groups, recent news articles, a letter to the editor form, and links to other sites where you can take action today. Please visit the site, write your local papers, and do whatever you can to help fight against this disastrous bill.

Originally posted to Congressman John Conyers on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 12:07 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks (4.00)
    ...for the heads-up.
    •  As always, thank you... (4.00)
      Rep. Conyers, your tireless efforts to stop the Bush administration and Republican congressional leaders from destroying America never go unnoticed here at DailyKos. If only every Democratic representative was as courageous as you.
      •  more civil liberties eroded and we'll be renamed (4.00)
        'The CCP of the American Police States.' Any wonder Vermont and Hawaii want to secede.

        Let's stop feeding greed. In fact, propose we make it a commandment: The greedy shall not be fed.

        by idredit on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 01:28:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right. Face it. Our Govt is run by evil men (4.00)
          This is the first time in my 50 years that I genuinely distrust my own Govt. Of course, Rep Conyers and  few dozen others are exceptions and heroes .  The rest are out to bust us over the head with their legislation.

          I would love to see their list of books that trigger a red flag. I'll bet all the 'Liberul' books are on it.

          The Ass-pins are turning. In 2006, don't forgive and don't forget.

          by CitizenOfEarth on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 03:57:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ain't that the truth...w/o jokes. n/t (none)

            -- In Your Face From Outer Space

            by mike101 on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 04:37:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yep (none)
            You and me both  And to think that I used to be a repug.  I will say that this is not my father's repug party. I wish he were still alive so I could turn him into a Democrat.  

            Fascism will come to America in the guise of National Security - Jim Garrison

            by elveta on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 06:17:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not just liberal books (none)
            Any book that is popular and goes against the conservative view. Carter's new book could be one as well as End of Faith or even the odd Unitarian Universalsit books. Hell, they could even track literature like fantasy, SF, and others.

            A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

            by Tux on Tue Nov 15, 2005 at 12:33:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  What's wrong with a police state? (4.00)
      Hell, what good are civil liberties for?

      To protect the little people against the government?

      Well, these things have to come to an end, especially in an era where the Middle and Lower Classes are getting squeezed for the sake of the elites that control America and its government and might want to organize to somehow fight back, either peacefully or non-peacefully.

      We can't have the "little people" fighting back.

      America is only for the rich and powerful, after all.  Just read the Federalists like Adams, Hamilton and Jay.  They'll pretty much tell you that this is the way things were meant to be.

      Things like the Patriot Act help ensure that the current order stays that way and that the government can always keep its tabs on, and perhaps even squelch, dissent.

      The good Republicans in Congres understand that.  When will the rest of you?

      Look, when you all understand that America exists only for the benefit of the elites, and that "democracy" and "dissent" are real threats to this order of affairs, you'll understand that the Patriot Act is a GOOD THING.

      Get in line, people!!!

  •  I wonder if this kind of thing (4.00)
    will stop libertarians from voting Republican. I wonder if Democrats will start listening to Rep. Conyers and stop this assault on our liberties.

    For me, the scariest thing about the Patriot Act is the multitude of slippery slopes we have started sliding down. From illegal searches to government spying on citizens that would make Orwell cringe, we are heading down a dark and ugly path that, with the advent of spying technology, will only get uglier.

    How far are Republicans from declaring all political opposition enemy combatants?

    •  No, because according to (none)
      some libertarians I've read on this site, Dems are just as bad because we support cigarette bans near entry ways to public places.


      The Right is killing America

      by grushka on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 12:24:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Just as bad" (none)
        I love that.

        I think they're really just Republicans saying they're libertarians because they think that means we'll listen to them.

        But even the actual Libertarian Party seems to care more about the second amendment that the rest.

      •  Here's one stat: (4.00)
        2000+ Muslim men (many were Americans) charged with conspiracy to commit or linked with terrorism.  


        Johm Ashcroft spent millions of dollars on WHAT??  To GET GEORGE BUSH RE-ELECTED?!?!?

        horse shit.  that's what everybody is smelling who doesn't see the difference has the Dems & Rethugs right now.

        not saying all Republicans are thugs.  most I feel are decent people.  & hell yeah, Dems needed (& need) a good ass kicking.

        but for LOGIC's sake get your head out of that horse's butt if you can't see any difference b/c sooner or later you're gonna get kicked.

        •  You are more generous than I (4.00)
          As far as I am concerned there is no such animal as a decent Republican in the current climate. A Republican is either a facist or an apolgist for fascists.

          I would however still put  Republican one place above a Libertarian on the food chain. Libertarians are sort of like Republicans just even more selfish.

          'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

          by stevej on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 03:55:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  A little more than that (4.00)
         Despite what you may about smoking laws and drug laws they have been used to wedge open the door that the Patriot Act came thru. People don't like smoking so they have no problems with banning it, allowing people to be fired over it, and treating those who choose to smoke as second-hand citizens. I can't imagine how anyone can look at our drug screening policies as civil liberty violations. People who are asked to urinate in cups when there are no indications that they are impaired is just a suspicion looking for a crime. Having your car pulled over and searched with drug dogs because your left turn blinker isn't working doesn't pass the smell test either. IMHO, the Patriot Act is just the next step in the long march away from personal freedom that our country has been on for a long time.
        •  The difference being, (none)
          of course, the Harm Principle, ala John Stuart Mill. Second hand smoke has been proven to be very bad for you. But we still allow smoking. You just have to find a way to do it that doesn't hurt anyone else. Same with drugs. You want to do drugs, fine with me, just don't do them in a way that could harm others.

          Basically, I really don't care what people do as long as they don't hurt me.

          The problem with the Patriot Act is that it tries to pre-emptively stop harm by restricting freedom. This has many problems, not the least of which is what happens when the government is wrong about someone. That's why we have the 4th amendment (and the fifth, et al) - to not allow the Government to intrude in hopes of finding a crime, like your drug testing example.

          •  I agree with you (none)
             The "harm principal" can apply in both of my examples, but does not necessarily apply in all of the cases where law has been used. The reason that I mentioned them is the arguments that libertarians make aren't alway as easy to toss off as the previous comment implied.
          •  Being a libertarian-minded individual... (none)
            I think you're glossing over the real differences.

            • Your initial analogy on Second Hand smoke is good, but the science backing the harm claim is not so good - it's junk science by a lot of folks with an axe to grind.  Even in the airline attendants cases, the epidemiology is just not that good; that danger is dogmatically accepted by smoking opponents.  Most people would agree that inhaling any smoke is not good for you, but it's like the fear of airplane crashes - the risk may not be any worse than what you inhale from your car's tailpipe walking around the back of the car.

            • You punt on the drugs issue - the original commenter is quite right - you may not personally care who does drugs, but the government most certainly does, and until the WoT, the WoD was the spearhead for giving LE free reign over our civil liberties.  Yes, the 4th has been gutted, and the recent SCOTUS ruling that dog-sniffs are "not searches in the meaning of the fourth" but can create the PC to allow officers to then get past the fourth is the effective destruction of the Fourth.  
            •  Well, that was a fake punt... (none)
              I believe in making all drugs legal. You don't get much more libertarian than that.

              As for second hand smoke, you're just wrong. I use the same argument about why we can regulate tailpipe emissions. They harm me. The harm may be small, but it's cumulative, and like with so many things, second hand smoke hurts children the most.

              Furthermore, second hand and side-stream smoke contains all kinds of nasty chemicals. We regulate many of them when they come out of smokestacks. Why not out of your cigarette?

              Basically, I think the Democrats can win over libertarians by fighting for freedom on things that it's a lot harder to prove harm on, like someone doing drugs, or what I read at the library, or a reasonably person owning a gun.

              Also, pre-emptive strikes at people who meet some profile also have inherent problems when it comes to effectiveness. You wind up with a lot of false positives when you arrest someone because he's reading about Che Guevera.

              •  A debate I can't win, but... (none)
                montpellier is right about it mostly being junk science.  I see that you linked to the EPA's website for reference.  The EPA's report on second-hand smoke that they released back in the 90's has been proven wrong.  The numbers they report are just flat out falsehoods.  Call me a "tin-foiler" or whatever but I've done the research.  Yes, smoke in most forms is bad for you to some degree, but like montpellier stated, it's not going to accumulate enough to cause major harm.  At least if you compare it to the air you breath in most major urban areas nowdays.

                So, how about a compromise instead of outright banning it in every public place (such as L.A., I hate that I can't smoke in a bar or club)?  Leave it up to individual establishments to decide whether to ban or section off smoking as they do in a lot of other places.  It's called choice.  If you don't like the smell of smoke (let's be honest, that's what a lot of the fuss about) or you truly believe it's going to give you cancer at some point in your life for being around it, then don't go there!  Not trying to "flame," I just think I deserve to have some rights on this issue as well as non-smokers.

                "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." -Gandhi

                by midvalley on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 02:12:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hey, I'm an x smoker (4.00)
                  and I really don't care if you're smoking near me, assuming the ventilation is good. I've always seen this as an architectural/engineering problem. Most buildings, especially old ones, don't have good ventilation.

                  The point of linking to the EPA is that the damage to children is greater.

                  Also, there is the difference between second-hand, or what comes back out after your lungs have filtered it, and side-stream. A lot of the time, second hand is used for both, and in some of the studies that you aren't linking to, they only study the breathed smoke, not the side-stream.

                  •  Beating a dead horse: I am an ex-smoker too... (none)
                    ..well, I still have a cigar on the weekend.

                    My stance comes from looking at the numbers - I'm a chemist by training - and we have a well understood and accepted approach to impurities - we just call 'em insignificant factors and drop them from equations.  That is, certain concentrations of any compound/molecule/atom are so vanishingly small as to not contribute significantly - certainly orders of magnitude less than the error terms in any measurements.  

                    The second hand smoke study methodologies don't really even deal with the ppm question well.  Yes, I'm sure you can find some really nasty stuff in high concentration RIGHT NEXT TO THE BURNING ember.  How often is a smoker holding the tip of the cigarette under your nose (and I mean close enough to singe your nosehairs)? Since the human nose is one hell of a chemical detector, I'd be interested in seeing just some concentration numbers for a given compound in a real-world test.  That is, put a cigarette on one side of a building entranceway, and then, say 10 ft. away, put a detector.  Just show me the benzene (major cig. carcinogen) numbers that the dector picks up.  Is it enough to even differentiate from the background noise?  I don't know for sure either, but I'm betting you can't even pick it up.  

                    When you find that people breathing low concentrations of 'side stream' smoke have higher disease rates than people who breath the same smoke directly at far higher concentrations something is way wrong - it points to there being a negative correlation with smoke particle concentration.  I think that the data have been massaged and methodology badly flawed.  Either that, or smoke isn't causing the disease at all.  

                    The second-hand smoke research is somebody seeking data to support their conclusions - real science doesn't work that way.  We collect data, and then see what theory is suggested.  Then we do a negation test, if possible.  In this case, the express purpose of such studies is to get around the libertarian argument - basically deliberately creating a compelling interest for regulation.    

                    I still firmly believe there are environmental factors out in our air, unregulated, which FAR exceed side-stream tobacco smoke, as carcinogens.   I definitely support regulating this stuff, on the basis of what presents a meaningful threat, based on objective science (vs. results-oriented).

                    The EPA report was debunked.  This is junk science by would-be prohibitionists, who seek to operate like the anti-abortion death-by-a-thousand-cuts state regulations, and the BS spun by the NIDA on behalf of the DEA claiming pot is way more potent these days and therefore dangerous.  

                    I don't think I should have a cigar in my kid's nusery when I have a kid, and I won't light up indoors around you or yours.  Outside you may smell it, but the concentrations are WAY too low to be meaningful.  

                    In a vaccum I agree with you: the harm principle must be invoked - that is what creates compelling interest on the government's part for intervening and regulating my state of nature freedoms - I think we are both reasonably libertarian on that and agree.  

                    I don't believe second hand smoke rises to the standard.

                    Crack Cocaine, like predatory lending, probably does.  

                    These are judgement calls - not black and white.  I stick by my statements.  

              •  because one is the behaviour of a person (none)
                The other the act of a commercial i.e. publicly responsible entity.

                "Furthermore, second hand and side-stream smoke contains all kinds of nasty chemicals. We regulate many of them when they come out of smokestacks. Why not out of your cigarette?"

                A company is soliciting the public and are responsible for whatever they produce. I ain't tryin' to do nothing to nobody. I'm just walking around trying not to hurt anyone. if I hurt someone I fix it. I'm Accountable and responsible.

                In closing I leave you with one word: Dow

                "The pen is mightier than the sword, but only at a range of greater than five feet" Malaclypse the Younger

                by buhdydharma on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 05:01:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Compare Feingold and Kerry returns (4.00)
      from 2004, with the distribution of Ed Thompson's 10% as a Libertarian ior WI Governor in 2002, and you'll find that libertarians will indeed vote for Dems who are outspoken against such abusive legislation as PATRIOT.

      A Senator YOU can afford
      $1 contributions only.
      Masel for Senate
      1214 E. Mifflin St.
      Madison, WI 53703

      by ben masel on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 12:45:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's to a Judiciary Committee... (4.00)
    ...under Chairman Conyers in 2007.

    Yeah yeah, I know, the Rapture is coming.

    by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 12:18:27 PM PST

    •  Why not President? n/t (4.00)
      •  He IS President Conyers ! ! ! (none)
        Jeez Effing Christmas, how many times do I have to 'splain this?????

        Okay.  :::Kate calms down ... sorta:::  See, I saw what Scalia did and thought, hey, I can, too.  I'm an American just like he is, so I WILL.

        I elected John Conyers President.  Period, the end, whole shebang right there, okay?

        And he's doing a fantastic job, people!  He doesn't even cost as much as wazhizname.

        So, I'm telling you one last time:  Make it PRESIDENT CONYERS and leave it alone.

        The Big C does the job, does it well, and keeps on doing it.  Yell "YEY, HEY" and don't think twice.

        The man's the man.  And he's even nice.  But even if he weren't, he'd still be the best.  Yes?  Yes.

        So there you go.  Good news at last, right here on dKos.

        "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

        by KateCrashes on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 05:36:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  will get to work (4.00)
    Thanks for the update. I'll get busy with LTEs, etc.

    Interesting to know that the Republicans are seeking to rush to an agreement and a final vote on the bill later this week.

    Because, as we all know, on matters of national security it is best to make hasty decisions. It prevents too much thought on the matter, and thought is, of course, contrary to national security.

    When you stop being paranoid, that's when they get you.

    by astraea on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 12:19:22 PM PST

  •  Rep Rockin Conyers... (4.00)
    Thank You for this. I also wanted to thank you for your amazing speech that you gave at Rosa Parks funeral. That must have been one of the most incredible days of your life. She was your mentor. I had no idea until I heard you speak that Rosa got you involved into running for office and then worked with you. You deserved one of the medals that Bush handed out last week. Carol Burnett recieving one, but not our National Treasure Rep John Conyers. You are an inspiration to all. We know how much you love this country and that as you fight for us and the truth, we know that you know that the Truth will always set us free. btw/ I was embarrassed for our very own Rep Minority Leader Pelosi who refered to Ms. Parks several times at the funeral as Ms. Rosa PARK. Keep leading us and the reward will be greater than any of us can imagine.  

    *This site is slower than Bush's reaction on 9/11.*

    by Chamonix on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 12:20:43 PM PST

  •  keep up (none)
    keep up the good fight comrade.. err I mean sir, we as a nation are becoming way too close to the soviet state of the 60-80s for my liking.
  •  Congressman Conyers, (4.00)
    thanks for the post. I would like to point out that the link:

    Center for Democracy and Technology
    Comparison of House and Senate Bills doesn't seem to work. Are you able to have someone at your office update and put up a working link to that apparently important file?

    Actually, a comparison to the existing PATRIOT Act would also be useful (unless this is contained in the pdf file above).

    thank you.

    •  Thanks for pointing out the dead link (4.00)
      I have asked my webmaster to fix the link and will see what I can do about producing the other document you requested.  Perhaps it would be most useful to compare the conference report, when it is completed, with the existing Patriot Act.  
      •  Metrics for good gov't (none)
        Congressman, thank you again for all that you do.

        My question is about measuring the effectiveness of the Patriot Act.  

        How many terrorists have been caught by this legislation?

        How much information about terrorists has been gained?

        Are there other standards by which to judge the practical value of this legislation?

        I ask because it seems to me that a critical question is being overlooked here.  And it relates to the sunset provisions on most of this statute.  Shouldn't the standard for renewal of the Patriot Act -- legislation that all will stipulate infringes the liberties of Americans to some degree -- be a clear and convincing showing by the Bush Administration and law enforcement that continued implementation of law has enormous benefits for our national security?

        The facts, as I understand them, demonstrate that the Patriot Act has resulted in almost no substantial improvement in our security situation.  Isn't it obvious to the Congress that the Bush Administration MUST demonstrate the effectiveness of this legislation in order to win further approval?  Why is it that every Democratic Congressperson is not screaming bloody murder on this?

    •  Dead Link (4.00)
      The Comparison of House and Senate Bills link now works.  Thank you again for pointing that out.  If I come across the other comparison study that you are looking for, I will let you know.
      •  Congressman Conyers... (none)
        check this out.

        A "national security letter" has been issued on me!

        Currently, multiple phones that I use are being tapped, my bank records have been taken, my credit cards, business records and educational records have been requested by the FBI and all because I am posting on this site and speaking out against bad policy.

        I checked my phone once last year and once this year by making bogus calls to see if I would get a reaction and I am sure I am being surveyed.

        I believe that I have been getting surveyed since around last August. My Email has also been confiscated.

        The administration has sent out for wide consumption transcripts of personal phone calls I have had with my girlfriend, friends, family members and business associates.

        The administration has sent out information that I have viewed or purchased porn that I have not in order to discredit me. I used my credit card online and someone else got the number and used it and I reported it and they know it. Furthermore, they used this data and combined it with the fact that I have viewed some soft core porn to try to make me out to be immoral or of bad character or something similar and thus try to discredit me.

        They are also surveying all of my online hits so I cannot even fully use my search engine for legitimate searches, because if I hit a site as part of a search that is pornographic in nature they will try to use that to make me sound like a hypocrite.

        I also know that they are sending my personal information to groups outside of congress including radical extremist right wing groups.

        I also believe that they are taking some of my writings and trying to use it to distort my views on the issues, which I have been very candid about.

        While I know I am being monitored I do forget sometimes and it is an absolute pain trying to avoid using modes of communication that cannot or is not being monitored.

        Another problem is that everyone who has been issued an NSL regarding me is under a gag order and cannot discuss it with me. I am clearly not a terrorist, but I have no way to contest the fact that I am being monitored under the Patriot Act.

        What should I do? Your help in this matter would be much appreciated. Thank you

        "The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without." Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by RichardG on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 04:37:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  now thats what I call responsive representation (4.00)

        "The pen is mightier than the sword, but only at a range of greater than five feet" Malaclypse the Younger

        by buhdydharma on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 05:11:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks Congressman (none)
        The link from your Patriot Act page works, but the one you posted in the comment here still doesn't. Here is the correct link for the benefit of the reader: LINK.

        Rep. Conyers, it will very helpful if you could let us know an expected timeline for the events to come (I understand that these event will unfold in the next few days), namely:

        1. when is the conference report expected to be completed, and made publicly available.
        2. when is that version expected to be brought up for house and senate votes.
        3. when is the Congress going into recess for the upcoming holidays (i recall the senate vote on jul 29th in the last hours of the session before the recess).

        Also, would it be possible for your staff to post daily updates (detailed congressional actions report) on this critically important subject?

        Thanks for your relentless efforts on behalf of all of us.

        •  Timeline (4.00)
          It is difficult to predict when the conference report will be completed, because that timing is up to the Republicans, but it will likely be on the House floor within a day of its completion.  We have heard the intention is to wrap it up this week.

          The Congressional recess seems like it may come later this year.  There are still a number of spending bills to complete.  I believe the target date may be just before Christmas.

          Visit the Patriot Act page of my website and I will ensure it is updated regularly.

  •  Thanks for doing what you can (4.00)
    To stop this insane bill. It's more worthy of a dictatorship than the United States of America. It still boggles my mind that it ever passed in the first place, let alone is being renewed. God help us!
  •  I'm on it! (4.00)
    Thank you for your devotion to DEMOCRACY.  You model behavior indicative of a true patriot.  This nation owes you a debt of gratitude. Keep fighting the good fight.  We are with you all the way!

    Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.-Einstein

    by fooj on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 12:38:02 PM PST

  •  I wish that Democrats made a point to talk about (4.00)
    the Patriot Act when they go on TV.

    If Americans knew that none of their civil liberties exist under the Patriot Act, then maybe there would be more outrage.

    Thank you Mr. Conyers, you are a hero to us all.

  •  I Can't Stand It (4.00)
    Waking up every day to find one's own countrymen so vigorously scheming to press through their latest strategy for making us less free, less secure, less compassionate and less empowered is simply exhausting.

    It's like having your right hand trying day and night to punch you in the face of its own accord.

    I can't stand it.

    So will do, Congressman, but right about now it feels like trying to keep the Titanic afloat with a thimble and a wet mop.

  •  Who's on the Conference Cmtee? (4.00)

    A Senator YOU can afford
    $1 contributions only.
    Masel for Senate
    1214 E. Mifflin St.
    Madison, WI 53703

    by ben masel on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 12:48:19 PM PST

    •  $1: I love it!!!!!!!! (4.00)
      A Senator YOU can afford
      $1 contributions only.
      Masel for Senate
      1214 E. Mifflin St.
      Madison, WI 53703

      Gonna have to check out where ?he/she? stands on issues!

      IWT News
      Independent World Television

      by m16eib on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 02:37:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Conferees (4.00)
      There are many conferees in the House, but the Judiciary Committee and Intelligence Committees have jurisdiction over the majority of the bill.  The Conferees from those committees are:  Chairman Sensenbrenner, Reps. Coble, Lamar Smith, Gallegly, Chabot, Chairman Hoekstra, and Rep. Wilson.  Democrats are: Me, Reps. Berman, Boucher, Nadler, Bobby Scott, and Harman.

      The Senate has appointed the following Members as conferees:  Chairman Specter, Sens. Hatch, Kyl, Dewine, Sessions, Chairman Roberts, Sens. Leahy, Kennedt, Rockefeller and Levin.

  •  Done! (none)

    The future ain't what it used to be. Yogi Berra

    by x on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 12:58:40 PM PST

  •  please stop using the Acronym (4.00)
    This just adds to the cognitive dissonance (anything with Patriot in the name MUST be Good for the Country) WHen referring use the FULL Name of this UnPatriotic Act Against the American Peoples' Civil Liberties

    Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act

    Bush/Cheney04 Because it takes 8 years to Destroy the Country Download GeckosAgainstBS song

    by demnomore on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 12:59:08 PM PST

  •  An Enemy of the State (4.00)
    I want you to read what happens to you when you become an Enemy of the State.
  •  Mr. Conyers, (none)
    thank you so much.  I sure do admire you.
  •  This isn't just a renewal of the Act (4.00)
    The House bill, in particular, contains provisions of the "Patriot II" Act, a Justice Department draft that was leaked to the Center for Public Integrity nearly three years ago. You can find it on the Center's website.

    Since then, congressional Republicans have been trying to enact Patriot II provisions in piecemeal fashion: e.g., a broader definition of "financial institution", the Real ID Act, and the death-penalty provisions in the Patriot Act renewal.

    I have just one question for GOP members of Congress: why on Earth are you so eager to cede your legislative powers to another branch of government? This make no sense.

  •  Thank you for standing up (4.00)
    to the Fascist wannabes. As a librarian I particulary dislike the section that allows them to subpoena your library records and bookstore purchase records--it will ahve a dampening affect ont he freedom to read and to think.

    Expect Ann Coulter to say you hate America.

    Real Americans know you love this country.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 01:44:28 PM PST

  •  Thank you for the heads up! (none)
    Why is it that I get better representation from you, Congressman Conyers, than I do from any of my own House Reps from Connecticut?

    (Yay! I have Nancy Johnson... She WAS planning on campaigning in '06 on her signature bill: The Medicare reform that has been dubbed a disaster for anyone needing medication...)

    Do you have a clone that can run in district 5 of Connecticut? Even one of your toe-nail clippings would have to be better than some of the options I have seen around here.

    Oh well? At least I have Senator Dodd. A decent option for the Senate. I feel sorry for the other half of Connecticut that has to look at the name "Lieberman" in that little Dem box.

    IWT News
    Independent World Television

    by m16eib on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 02:31:54 PM PST

  •  Huzzah (none)
    Thank you sir, for taking the time to spread this valuable message.

    Having corresponded on this issue over the last year with my Congresswoman, Nydia Velazquez, I am certain you will find her a valuable ally.  Please keep us posted if there is anything more we can do.

  •  Good but (4.00)
    Why not repeal it? FBI et al fucked up badly and let 9-11 occur. Best to hold them responsible than remove our privacy just because we're Americans. For too long, Democrats have agreed to allow this semi-fascist law exist and it's time to remove it. FBI and others can still do thier job but they just need to do it better.

    A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

    by Tux on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 03:04:23 PM PST

  •  I thought there were 435 of you (none)
    Thank you Congressman; again.

    What do members of the Repub. leadership say when they bump into Pres. Bush? "Pardon me."

    by mungley on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 03:07:55 PM PST

  •  Rep. Conyers, (none)
    considering all hard work you do, I am glad to do as you ask.  It is the least I can do.  My letter has been submitted.

    Thank you for fighting for the people.

  •  September 14, 2001 (4.00)
    Anyone remember this date?  It is the Friday of the week of the attacks of September 11.  I bring it up for one reason:  By September 14, we knew just about everything there was to know about the attackers.  We had their names.  We had their nationalities.  We knew where they had lived.   We knew where they had taken flight lessons.  

    We knew all these things without the benefit of any of the provisions of the Patriot Act.

    And what have we learned since then?  We've learned about warnings from foreign intelligence agencies that were ignored.  We've learned about warnings from the CIA that were ignored.  We've learned about warnings from the FBI that were ignored.  We've learned about warnings from the NSA that were ignored.  We've learned about warnings from the FAA that were ignored.  We've learned about warnings from the YMCA that were ignored.  (Okay, I made that last one up.)

    Have we convicted a single terrorist with these swell new powers?  Nope.  (Do you really think six guys playing paintball in Ithaca, NY really count?)  Just the opposite.  We have in fact prevented terrorists in other countries from being convicted because our fine secretive administration doesn't want to share classified material that might have convicted those terrorists.  (I guess if we share classified material with German prosecutors, there won't be anything left for Robert Novak.)

    So what do we have to show for surrendering our civil liberties?  Nuthin.  Heck, I don't think we've even leaned on any librarians yet.

    Ben Franklin famously said those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither.  And that's exactly what we've gotten from the Patriot Act -- neither.
    (FYI, I have posted these thoughts on this site before, should they look familiar.  Or maybe I'm not the only one who is thinking this way.)

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 04:05:56 PM PST

  •  If only Congress has READ the USAPA (none)
    before they passed it- we might not have to be lobbying against further erosion of our civil liberties.

    I appreciate your efforts Senator, someone in Congress need to try to keep our Bill of Rights intact.

    One of my favorite people once said:

    Those who sacrifice liberty for the sake of security, deserve neither.

    Or something like that.

    True 200+ years ago.

    Even truer today.

  •  Question Rep. Conyers (none)
    What can we do if we live in a very blue state?  Both my Senators are dems, Sarbanes and Milkulski.  

    It's true this needs to be talked about in the MSM, but they first MUST find the missing Aruba girl.  And Chris Matthews is too busy rebroadcasting SNL episodes that feature himself to worry about civil liberties being abolished.  

    Also, read your piece on the Patriot Act on your website.  With what you said and how the FBI is identifying terrorist within our own country, does this mean Bill O'Reilly will now be considered a terrorist?  I hope so.  He scares the begeebees out of me.  I mean calling for Al Quada to bomb one of our great cities?  If that isn't a threat I don't know what is.  

    I will write letters to the editor as you asked and hope some of the republicans come to their senses.  Wishful thinking, I think.

    •  I have to agree with you (none)
      on points of principle. If we extend limitations of freedom of expression to those  who think they are absolved from it, then bye-bye o'reilly, drudge, limbaugh and your friend and mine, neil bortz (sp?). Yes I indicate them in lower case because I do not respect them, even if I must acknowlege them as a function of the free media machine. By free I indicate not that they are without influence of Corporate America and political bias, but that they are free from State censorship or tyranny (unlike the Pentagon Press).

      While I don't support these pundits or their platitudes, I respect their privilege to exist as long as a free market will support them. They, however won't adress the fact that this very market is being threatened by the support that they extend to the hyperbulated, fear-mongering language that makes up the fable we call the Patriot Act.

      BTW, o'reilly is getting a lot of heat about his comments, as he should. I, however, don't really think this identifies him as being anything more than the fool he is. He doesn't scare me. He simply publicized very loudly that he is an idiot of hyperbole with hysteria as his platform.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." ~George Orwell

      by txdem21 on Tue Nov 15, 2005 at 12:22:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why do I always have to poke (none)
    my rep in congress to do somthing as simple as protect my rights as an American.

    EULA:the reader of this tag, by reading this tag, agrees to compensate the author of this tag with an amount yet to be determined.

    by Fernando Poo on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 06:55:30 PM PST

  •  It is done. I wrote my letter. (none)
    And thank you for continuing to prod us on.  
  •  But the Patriot Act IS useful ... (none)
    As I recall, there was one successful prosecution under the act ... something to do with a minor criminal case in NV, I think.  Nothing to do with terrorism.

    The prosecutor was asked about invoking the Patriot Act in a criminal case.  I cannot quote the response, but it was to the effect, 'If you give us a law, we will use it,'.

    I applaud Rep Conyers effort to limit 'adding murder to mayhem'.  In the long run, though, the solution is repeal of the act in its entirety and starting over, this time with REAL public debate and honest, open deliberation in both houses of the Congress.

  •  We should be so grateful (none)
    to have Rep. Conyers as a constant contributor  to this site.

    You are a true statesman for the issues most important to the the American citizens, even those of us who are not in your district (and therefore don't benefit you directly). Even we who care deeply about the politcal events on the Hill can not keep up with them all, so I, for one, am grateful to have a frequent voice keeping me abreast of the goings on.

    Thanks again for all your contributions!

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." ~George Orwell

    by txdem21 on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 10:55:52 PM PST

  •  i feel like such a broken record (none)
    but i just can't get any more pithy than "you, sir, are the man!"  the value of your tireless contributions is simply ineffable.

    but i'm happy to report that where words fail me, "copy and paste" still serves me well.  i have posted about this at my blog as well as and booman tribune.  I have also posted the "just the facts" version at my community action alert blogsite.

    a thousand thank yous, Rep. Conyer.  a million.  do i dare say a "brazillion?"

Leslie in CA, Malacandra, selise, Alumbrados, MichaelPH, KeithH, pb, Paleo, James Benjamin, taylormattd, raincat100, ben masel, Kelk, Rayne, hyperbolic pants explosion, ali in nyc, lipris, tikkun, mickT, Dump Terry McAuliffe, ubikkibu, Pen, dcdanny, demnomore, Pandora, Unstable Isotope, Powered Grace, saraswati, Mr Murder, jaysea, Lahdee, Sprinkles, lebowski, donna in evanston, fink, shumard, democat, Doppy, OLinda, Dan Hrkman, ignatz, MarkosNYC, x, enthusiast, caliberal, ilona, Muboshgu, wild salmon, exNYinTX, Cache, binFranklin, silence, HariSeldon, td, JLFinch, busternjake, mlafleur, kwinz, think2004, bronte17, RichardG, Nathaniel Ament Stone, Athenian, macdust, daisy democrat, sissy, Welshman, maxschell, weirdscenes, digital drano, Nihilvor, scamp, luna, boilerman10, Patricia Taylor, astraea, vmibran, Transmission, khloemi, threecents, Prove Our Democracy with Paper Ballots, michelle, Ignacio Magaloni, peraspera, oslo, sgilman, LondonYank, nargel, Fe, luddite, Spindizzy, hiley, Nate Roberts, marysz, Gonzophile, arkdem, Cedwyn, UniC, Alna Dem, emmeke, Georgia Logothetis, SensibleShoes, Eddie C, wader, nio, edrie, kredwyn, Moody Loner, Revel, rhapsaria, NewDirection, SlowToAnger, NYC Sophia, Miss Jones, bogdanmi, Chamonix, StuartZ, DianeL, kdrivel, kenjib, SeattleLiberal, Red State Refugee, baxxor, smash, kathika, GN1927, joan reports, Oy the Billybumbler, lizah, Magorn, The Zipper, Civil Defense, btyarbro, lawstudent922, Mrcia, RebeccaG, Timbuk3, Eddie Haskell, sommervr, 2dot, inclusiveheart, barbwires, outragedinSF, KateCrashes, eleanora, retired, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, Marianne Benz, mosesfreeman, HK, tv123, rickeagle, kd texan, Timroff, Shapeshifter, mm201, guyermo, Tirge Caps, libnewsie, rapala, SteveK, vcmvo2, Skennet Boch, danz, Fabian, Bluesee, farleftcoast, deano, PAbluestater, supak, bellevie, Elise, m16eib, aitoaster, hiredman, LarisaW, Pandemoniac, Alice Marshall, pursewarden, wizardkitten, Alien Abductee, Webster, clammyc, ZappoDave, station wagon, Darth Codis, Jason Soup, juliesie, mlsa70, Ranting Roland, txdem21, Dellamere, Simpletonian, NeuvoLiberal, btrflisoul, Melodybe, Fred Fnord, concerned, periphrastik, jorndorff, John DE, GreyHawk, Overseas, Skid, the white trash poet, Tool, spunhard, Savvy813, Cannabis, deacon, pmob5977, laughing gas, DFJtoo, Cory Bantic, Spathiphyllum, SuthernAhia, John West, JPete, melvin, Paper Cup, TimeTogether, Nessa, LeftOverAmerica, redcedar, SoniaS, PoppyRocks, TsisaGeya, Compound F, midvalley, Petrasays, RMorse, rmwarnick, blackthorn, Ellicatt, InsultComicDog, buhdydharma, colorado bound

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