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The PATRIOT Act, like many other Bush Administration initiatives, is notorious in Europe. Yesterday, Europe strove for a little notoriety of its own:

The European Parliament on Wednesday passed an anti-terror law requiring Internet service providers and telephone companies in the 25-nation European Union to keep phone and Web site records on their customers for as long as two years.

By a vote of 378 to 197, with 30 abstentions, European lawmakers meeting in Strasbourg passed what one privacy advocate opposed to the plan called "one of the most restrictive surveillance laws in the world," exceeding the level of communications monitoring allowed in United States.

"The EU plans to fingerprint all of its citizens, monitor all communications transactions and surveil all movement and travel," said Gus Hosein, a senior fellow at Privacy International, a London-based watchdog, and a visiting lecturer at the London School of Economics. "All these policies have been rejected by the U.S., but are now law in Europe."

Story here.

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  1. “All these policies have been rejected by the U.S., but are now law in Europe.”

    And most US lawmakers are getting jealous.

  2. Well, when we accept the mark of the “Beast” on our right hand or forehead, then the end times that GW and his cronies are hoping for will be right around the corner.

  3. “All these policies have been rejected by the U.S., but are now law in Europe.”

    Well we’d better hurry up, or else we won’t be able to keep up with the Joneses!

  4. http://www.bushisantichrist.com/

    (turn down your volume – cheesy MIDI alert)

  5. That is doubleplusungood.

  6. But, but, Europe is supposed to be enlightened and civilized and so much more sophisticated than Amerikkka! I blame bu$hitler, he must have planted moles in the EU Parliament.

    With any luck, Congress’s simmering distaste for Europe will trump their desire to rule us all with an iron fist.

  7. You know, I hear conservatives telling me that liberals love European politics all the time. I never hear actual liberals say anything to suggest such a thing.

    I guess it’s sort of like chimp references and “Bushitler.”

  8. How did this get through? Did the opposition not us enough anti-American references? or is that just to get pols elected over there.

  9. joe, apparently appreciation and/or admiration for a location’s art, history, architecture, cuisine, literature and perhaps even daily pace of life means supporting the location’s politics.

    Guy 1: “is this supermodel hot or what?”
    Guy 2: “hell no, she’s way too (fill in political persuasion of distaste here)”

  10. Why worry about terrorists?
    With laws like that we could finally combat chat room harrassment of children by being able to identify and prosecute violators to the fullest.
    It would send the message to teenagers that it is unacceptable to let your hormones reign freely and proposition perceived females wherever you can find them.

    It would also free up much-needed law enforcement capacity by allowing chat room trolling cops to be reassigned to the war on drugs bringing us one step closer towards the Endsieg.

  11. I am reminded of Tom Wolfe’s old adage that “fascism is always descending in America but it only actually lands in Europe.”

  12. Why worry about terrorists?
    With laws like that we could finally combat chat room harrassment of children by being able to identify and prosecute violators to the fullest.
    It would send the message to teenagers that it is unacceptable to let your hormones reign freely and proposition perceived females wherever you can find them.

    It would also free up much-needed law enforcement capacity by allowing chat room trolling cops to be reassigned to the war on drugs bringing us one step closer towards the Endsieg.

  13. You know, I hear conservatives telling me that liberals love European politics all the time.

    Good point, joe.

    I suspect the conservatives are assuming that because many Western European nations have adopted the kinds of policies, foreign and domestic, favored by liberals (opposition to US intervention in the Mideast, worker protection laws, universal healthcare, etc.) then the liberals must approve of European politics. I don’t see the connection, myself.

  14. Sorry about the double post.
    The first one resulted in a “server closed connection” error, reloading h+r actually showed 0 posts.

  15. Well RC, as a liberal, I know I get really jazzed up by Germany’s immigration laws, Ireland’s abortion laws, and the widespread existence of national religions.

    How sad that your response to “such and such a country’s handling of such and such an issue is better than the American system” is to accuse the observer of being a French lover.

  16. “You know, I hear conservatives telling me that liberals love European politics all the time. I never hear actual liberals say anything to suggest such a thing. I guess it’s sort of , like chimp references and “Bushitler.””

    Well, for Christ sake joe, you need to quit slumming it on H&R and make some conversation with my friends at TalkLeft.

  17. I guess it’s sort of like chimp references and “Bushitler.”

    Joe must not read dKos.

  18. Never been to TalkLeft.

    Read Atrios and Daily Kos all the time.

    No particular boosting of Europe in either place, and chimp/Hitler reference few and far between.

  19. “You know, I hear conservatives telling me that liberals love European politics all the time. I never hear actual liberals say anything to suggest such a thing.”

    You’re kidding, right? Have you ever talked to any American liberal ever about the European model of state run health care?

  20. For serious; how many liberals talked about how they were going to move out of America when Bush was elected?

    Where were we supposed to think they meant to suggest was a superior option with statements like that? Botswana?

  21. “You know, I hear conservatives telling me that liberals love European politics all the time. I never hear actual liberals say anything to suggest such a thing.”

    I’ll just add my voice to the chorus – what?

  22. Hmmm … Kos had around 20K references to chimp in the last three months alone. How did you miss those?

    Anyway, over at TalkLeft (my favorite site next to H&R) the most favored petard in the liberal embarrassment over the Stanley Williams execution was the European press? response. How barbaric we look to the civilized European countries.

  23. wellfellow,

    What is “the European model of state-run health care?” England? France? Switzerland? Do you know anything about the differences?

    But to answer your question, yes, most of the liberals I’ve spoken to prefer a model of universal health care over ours, and often point to this or that model in Europe as an example. None of this has anything to do with the sentiment that “Europe is supposed to be enlightened and civilized and so much more sophisticated than Amerikkka,” but with a policy preference.

    Maybe a little more with considering ideas on their merits, and less with labelling ideas based on where they come from?

  24. pigwiggle,

    “Hmmm … Kos had around 20K references to chimp in the last three months alone. How did you miss those?”

    How far up your ass did you have to reach to get that number?

  25. All right, let me clear this up: I agree that liberals often identify policies they like in European countries. But the statement I was objecting to, “But, but, Europe is supposed to be enlightened and civilized and so much more sophisticated than Amerikkka!” goes beyond noting this, and attributes a phony identification and admiration of “sophisticated Europeans” that, while often postulated by the right, I really haven’t seen among liberals.

    I can see how my choice of the word “politics” blurred the distinction.

  26. ?How far up your ass did you have to reach to get that number??

    I used google to grep all non-stale references to ?chimp? at the Kos domain for the last three months. The page count exceeded 20,000. It includes comments, posts, journal entries, links to sites with ?chimp? in the URL, and so forth. The search does exclude common variation, i.e. chimpy. Kos is literally marinating in chimp ad homonym. On the other hand Bushitler had a trivial page count; twenty or so.

  27. “You know, I hear conservatives telling me that liberals love European politics all the time. I never hear actual liberals say anything to suggest such a thing.”

    hehe ever hear of krugman of the NYT. but yeah joe you keep up the cognitive disodance it works for ya.

  28. “All these policies have been rejected by the U.S., but are now law in Europe.”

    Well we’d better hurry up, or else we won’t be able to keep up with the Joneses!

    Where do you think the wish-list that became PATRIOT came from? 🙂

  29. Attn: Thoreau and others.

    I used google to grep all non-stale references to “chimp” at the Kos domain for the last three months.

    For “chimpy”, you can use this search string: site:dailykos.com chimpy. This actually turns up a startling array of duplicate links to one post with the “chimpy” tag, which site:dailykos.com chimpy -inurl:”tag/chimpy” will filter out – leaving quite a few results.

    “Chimpler” turns up fewer results, but some.

  30. Actually, you do see “chimp” and the like somewhat more than “Bushitler” and the like.

    And “comments, posts, journal entries, links to sites with ?chimp? in the URL, and so forth” is casting the net pretty wide.

  31. But, but, Europe is supposed to be enlightened and civilized and so much more sophisticated than Amerikkka! I blame bu$hitler, he must have planted moles in the EU Parliament.

    You forget that the Smirking Chimp is a mere pawn of Helliburton.

  32. “is casting the net pretty wide.”

    No. Kos is more than just the posts, it?s the comments on the posts, the journals folks construct there, it?s essentially everything deposited on http://dailykos.com . It?s a liberal site made up of content created by liberal folks, period. An illustrative google trick is to parse the domain for mentions of other folks to see the relative frequency of mentions. For example; as before chimp 20K, Kerry 129K, Clinton 139K, Bush 408K, Sheehan 51K, Dean 125K (no telling how many of those were purchased though), Katrina 108K. Far from rigorous, but it gives you a reasonable idea of what?s going on over there.

  33. By the way, why does the European Parliament hate Europe?

  34. Two points:

    1. The EU parliament can pass anything it wants, but nothing takes effect until adoption by the individual member states. Given the anti-EU backlash in Europe over the past few years, I’ll remain skeptical. So leave off the schadenfreude, at least until this really becomes law. Anti-european prattling may be fashionable, but it isn’t productive, or even particularly intelligent.

    2. As near as I can tell, this law pertains only to phone and server logs, not to communications content. I believe the US already allows these records to be subpoenaed; certainly this is true for cell phone calls. I’m not sure why the article quoted the privacy advocate who warned about the tracking of travel &cet., since nothing else in the legislation concerns that.

    And the House just voted to extend the PATRIOT Act , so I’m not sure we have a great deal to be cheerful about, either. Come on, Senate!
    D.

  35. joe,

    I never hear actual liberals say anything to suggest such a thing.

    M1EK has heaped praise on Europe quite a bit and so have you.

    …and attributes a phony identification and admiration of “sophisticated Europeans” that, while often postulated by the right, I really haven’t seen among liberals.

    Then you clearly aren’t paying attention.

    JDM,

    Ha ha ha.

  36. And the House just voted to extend the PATRIOT Act

    Fuck.

  37. To join the joe pile-on: When we see the complaints “The US is the only advanced/industrialized/first-world/whatever nation that still has the death penalty!”, what are we supposed to think the speaker is referring to? Canada, Australia, and New Zealand alone? (Anyone who says that is wrong, BTW: Japan has the death penalty.)

    “The US is the only whatever country without a universal health care system! The US is the only whatever country without reasonable gun laws!” etc. Those come up fairly often. I think it’s highly disingenuous to claim that none of those are references to Europe. To paraphrase someone else, if you think that’s about Botswana, you’re just being coy.

    And the recent flap about Supreme Court justices citing the laws of other countries? European laws, not African, Asian, etc.

  38. Let’s just stipulate that liberty is an endangered species whereever and whenever it pops it little head above ground.

  39. Joshua Corning, you win the first annual “French Stewart on SNL Celebrity Jeopardy” for the word “disodance”, which seems to be a combination between “dissonance” and either “dissidents” or “dissidence”.

  40. If the Europeans are so enlightened about everything, why doesn’t America follow it’s lead in de-escalating the War on some Drugs?

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