Patriot Act renewed despite warnings of 'secret' law

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Patriot Act renewed despite warnings of 'secret' law

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The U.S. Congress has approved a four-year extension of the Patriot Act despite warnings from senators that the Justice Department has twisted the 2001 law into a "secret" surveillance mechanism far broader than Americans realize.

"I believe that when more of my colleagues and the American public come to understand how the Patriot Act has actually been interpreted in secret, they will insist on significant reforms too," said Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who tried to block the renewal. Sen. Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, offered a similar warning.

The cautionary note from two members of the Senate Intelligence committee -- who are briefed on classified activities and are tasked with overseeing the NSA, CIA, and the Justice Department's "intelligence activities" -- is highly unusual, and perhaps even unprecedented.



Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20067005-281.html#ixzz1NrKMv3Ao

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20067005-281.html?tag=topTechContentWrap;editorPicks

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Can't wait for this bill to

Can't wait for this bill to pass on to the executive branch. I can almost know how the big guy currently in office is going act on such a circumstance. The only question is if this will change the impression (blinded by devotion) of his current domestic supporters.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kap, he signed it on the

Kap, he signed it on the 26th.  So before this thread even started.

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Sigh...

"Change" we can believe in? How am I surprised that it's just more of the same... Sigh...


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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Kap, he signed it on the 26th.  So before this thread even started.

Like I said (without knowledge of it's passing)... I can almost know how certain people will react to a given situation.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:Can't wait for

Kapkao wrote:

Can't wait for this bill to pass on to the executive branch. I can almost know how the big guy currently in office is going act on such a circumstance. The only question is if this will change the impression (blinded by devotion) of his current domestic supporters.

I'm sure they will be extremely upset, why there will be massive protests across the country just like there are against the kinetic action in Libya - both honest democrats in the country are going to show up at the rally. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:I'm sure

Beyond Saving wrote:
I'm sure they will be extremely upset, why there will be massive protests across the country just like there are against the kinetic action in Libya - both honest democrats in the country are going to show up at the rally. 

Protests? Nah. "Speaking truth to power" doesn't apply to 'team leader'... at least for most of the public sheepherds out there.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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 Well Kap, I fully expect

 Well Kap, I fully expect that this will be yet another reason why the so called presidential approval rating is pretty much a useless number.

 

Really, the various polling organizations have that data going back about half a century or so and when looked at long term, it paints a very different picture from the occasional headline prompted by those opposed to the current chair warmer in chief.

 

Basically, that number tends to hang right around 50% give or take a small number of points. Past that, it take some large news item to push the numbers out of the 40-60% range. Usually, those numbers only last as long as the media pushes whatever the story of the moment is and then the numbers rapidly fall back to the base line.

 

Very rarely, something will come about that move the numbers to the outlier region of 30-70% but again, those are almost always short lived. For Bush 43, standing on the smoking ruin of ground zero did that. For Clinton, the impeachment was his moment. Again, those don't tend to last very long.
 

In any case, the approval number is not really a single measurement of how many people like the current CiC at that moment. The questions which are asked also provide for the degree of each respondent's opinion.

 

There are those who strongly agree or strongly disagree. Those represent the people who are the smallest number and who will not change their opinion on the president even if he was found to be an alien reptile determined to sell us all for alien food.

 

Then there is a somewhat larger group who agree or disagree to some extent. Basically, that is where all the numbers shifting from week to week come from. Pretty much I call those shallow people who will not make up their minds on pretty much anything but base their opinions on what CNN tells them their opinions ought to be.

 

Finally, we have the no opinion group. You could say that they also don't make up their minds but really what they are after is gas in the car/drive to work/cash the paycheck/pay the rent type people. If they can get about the daily grind with minimal hassles, then they would rather not be bothered who is running the show.

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 Patriot Act? Isn't that

 Patriot Act? Isn't that the law which allows Americans to murder anyone abroad who provides material support to a who they think is a terrorist? 
Dammit, I'll have to revoke that dinner with Abdul. 

 

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 Luminon, I am not sure if

 Luminon, I am not sure if that was an attempt at humor or actual confusion. Allow me to explain:

 

The patriot act is a US law that allows the government to do certain things in the name of the public safety which in normal course of business just would not be allowed. It was a poorly written law in the first place and it was passed in a panic right after 9/11 in order to give the government the power to curb terror plots. Which should not be taken as saying that we should not have some law that does some of the things that are in it. Rather, it was not even polished up enough to be worthy of consideration when the proverbial shit hit the fan but it was what Washington had at the time to consider, so it was made into a law.

 

A note here on how we make new laws seems to be in order.

 

Anyone can come up with an idea for a possible new law. All that they have to do is send a letter to a congressman and if the idea has any merit, it might get a bit of polish by some lawyers before it gets proposed properly. After that, there are several different formats where it needs to be debated and the idea can die at any of those levels. In fact, for any given idea, the chance of it dying at some point is large enough that it is rather unlikely that it will even become a law, at least as originally written.

 

Honestly though, even though I can suggest any law that I like, most of the ideas come from lawyers and they can spend months or years bouncing from one law offic to another before they clear up enough for congress to want to consider them.

 

Shortly after 9/11, some people realized that they had been working on an anti-terror idea for a couple of years and it got moved to the head of the line. Since we were in a national state of shock, we let that one through without the usual process of debate. Now we seem to be stuck with this law that was not properly thought through before it was moved too fast through the process.

 

Now, it really does not let Americans kill people for being perceived as involved in terror. Mostly, what it does is let the government investigate possible terrorist suspects in a broader manner than would have been allowed under the old rules.

 

For example, there is an old legal tradition over here that the government cannot prosecute someone for a crime if the evidence was obtained illegally. Fir the most part, that is good. It forces the police to follow a well defined set of rules for investigating someone.

 

However, in the case of a terror threat, there might not be the time to stop it if that rule is followed exactly. So should we let a bomb go off in a crowded building because of that rule? If it is to stop a bomb from going off, we can probably fast track that one.

 

The problem here is that section 215 of the patriot act pretty much opens the door to investigators taking whatever evidence they feel like on nothing more than a hunch. The specific wording is that they can sweep into any business and take “any tangible thing”. That is it. No reference to terrorism there. They can just cart off whatever they want and look it over to see what they find.

 

That is a problem because in the normal course of an investigation, they would have to go to a judge and explain where they want to go and what they want to take. They would have to tell the judge what they expect to find. Not so any longer.

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