Civil Liberties

Patriot Act Extension Expected Today


Despite last week's encouraging vote, which required 2/3, failing to extend certain Patriot Act provisions, it will probably go through today on a straight majority vote. Some details from The Hill:

House Republicans are poised to pass an extension of the Patriot Act on Monday evening after a procedural snafu sent the measure down to defeat last week….A vote on the extension is expected Monday evening.

The measure was defeated last week when Republican leadership attempted to force it through on a fast-track procedure that required a two-thirds majority. Monday evening's vote will require only a simply majority and is almost certain to pass.

David Nalle of the Republican Liberty Caucus calls on citizens to ask their congressmen to vote no:

Three key sections of the PATRIOT Act are up for renewal. They provide for roving wiretaps without true search warrants, government access to private business records, searches of private property without notice and covert access to electronic data without any due process or oversight. Together they give the government unprecedented access to your private information without going through the Constitutionally mandated legal processes which are supposed to protect your privacy.

They were passed with a requirement that they be reviewed and renewed regularly because at the time the Congress realized that they were fundamental attacks on individual liberty and violations of our Constitutionally protected rights under the 4th Amendment. The mood at the time was one of fear and anger and some people felt that the threat of terrorism justified such extreme measures. Today you need to ask yourself whether this dreadful compromise of your rights on the basis of nothing but fear was justifiable….

The Bill of Rights exists for a reason and it has become clear that there is no threat to this nation from terrorism or other sources which justifies giving up the protections of the 4th Amendment. The only real target of this misguided legislation seems to be the citizens themselves, and that kind of government meddling and intrusion is unacceptable in a free society.

More on what provisions of the Act are at issue from last year when they were last up for renewal.

Sen. Rand Paul gets all historical in a great speech against the extension, and against a lot about the PATRIOT Act in general:

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  1. But won’t the extension have trouble getting through the Senate, seeing as how that chamber is controlled by the party of civil rights and stuff?

    1. The Democrats care enough about civil rights to give the Patriot Act a two year extension so that president Palin can make the law permanent in 2013.

      1. Dems are better on civil liberty.

        Every fucking Bush redneck in the South complains about the ACLU – the guardian of the Bill of Rights.

        1. Dems are better on civil liberty.


          You are such a TEAM BLUE douchebag, shriek. For some reason, you remind me of Towelie when he gets pissed off at Geraldo and calls him a “beaner towel”, except that I like Towelie.

          1. Why do conservatives hate the ACLU, asswipe?

            All your responses share a similar disorder — ALL IS FUTILE! GIVE UP!

            Seriously, this board sucks anyway and you are its main suckhole.

            1. No, you’re a towel.

              1. Watch Dave’s ‘Black Bush’ sometime!

                Loosen up Epi, baby! You’re too tight!

                1. I can’t tell you how funny it is having the originator of “christfags” telling me to lighten up. You are comically self unaware. Comically.

                  1. Its hilarious comparing a bunch of right-wing assholes who love guns and killing niggers to a supine Jesus Christ!

                    They are faggots!

                    Look at Jeff Sessions or Jim DeMint!

                    They suck His bent cock! (in a bent way)!

                    1. Just proves libs like to use the word “nigger” as much as they say non-libs use it.

                    2. Stick to the topic!

                      Why do GOP rednecks hate Jews/niggers but love the Christ?

                      Faggotry is the only answer!

                    3. I’m praying for you, shrike.

                    4. “GOP rednecks” = “anyone who is not a liberal. Trick question.

            2. “Why do conservatives hate the ACLU, asswipe?”

              Because many conservatives base their ethics on religious principles, and the ACLU’s efforts at keeping religion and state separate have been interpreted as an assault on their capacity in politics.

              Some of that is due to religious folk having gotten used to getting away with unconstitutional behavior for long enough that they think it’s their right (though they’re hardly alone in that), part of it is people exaggerating the efforts of the ACLU for sensationalism, and some of it is probably actual overreach on the part of the ACLU.

              To be honest, separation of church and state is something of a failure — consider that they could have solved most of the same problems by having separation of christianity and state, but it’s obvious that if they had done so, an Islamic caliphate under Shariah law would be constitutional; this would clearly undermine the intent of the amendment, however.

              Similarly, there are a lot of things that are not considered “religious” from the perspective of a society whose cultural religious roots are mystical and monotheistic, but which are just as threatening to freedom of conscience and just as authoritarian in terms of imposing their ethics on others. Right now, the first amendment fails at protecting us from these secular religions.

              1. “…there are a lot of things that are not considered “religious” from the perspective of a society whose cultural religious roots are mystical and monotheistic, but which are just as threatening to freedom of conscience and just as authoritarian in terms of imposing their ethics on others.”


            3. Why do conservatives hate the ACLU, asswipe?

              I don’t hate em. Overall, they are a net positive. But I don’t like how they think the second ammendment doesn’t count.

          2. I don’t get anyone ever calling the Dems better on civil liberties. History says that’s not only false, it might be even falser for them than for the friggin’ GOP. And that’s pathetic.

            1. You haven’t seen a bunch of redneck conservatives work then.

              Sorry, that is just a fucking stupid comment then.

              Go to Scopes then run to Brown and hang a right at the Bircher fuckwads that Beckerheads suckle on today.

              1. Yep, definitely too many scotches.

        2. Dems are better on civil liberties when Republicans are in power, and the Dems talk a good game about how “everything would be so much better if only we were in charge.” Of course, once they actually get elected — as in the Democratic takeover of Congress in ’06, and Obama in ’08 — everything changes.

          Of course, Republicans are whores too; many of them now talk a good game about the abomination that is the TSA, but those assholes never complained when the organization was a Bush baby, and they’ll stop complaining the second a Republican gets in the White House again.

          1. I wouldn’t mind being patted down by a bush baby.

            1. Careful you don’t pronounce it “bush, baby” (NSFW)

              1. Thank you for the link. I would have had difficulty figuring out what you meant otherwise.

              2. prolefeed, that was….unusually comprehensive. Thank you very much!

            2. I wouldn’t mind being patted down by a bush baby.


          2. Of course, once they actually get elected — as in the Democratic takeover of Congress in ’06, and Obama in ’08 — everything changes.

            I couldn’t have done it without your vote and support Jennifer! Peace Girl!

          3. >Dems are better on civil liberties when Republicans are in power

            Nope. They just make more noise about it. They still have a nasty habit of voting for atrocities like the PATRIOT act.


        3. And yet Obama will sign this once it gets to his desk.

        4. “Every fucking Bush redneck in the South complains about the ACLU – the guardian of (some portions of) the Bill of Rights.”

        5. >Dems are better on civil liberty.

          Except for, you know, actually doing a goddamned thing to roll back the constant encroachments on our civil liberties that they’ve been inflicting on us since the Roosevelt administration, you mean?


  2. Too bad Republicans think R and R Paul are both jokes with their crazy “limited” government.

    1. People must be led, because they’re too stupid to live their own lives,

      1. Shrike is a scared little sheep, who doesn’t know how he could possibly live without a shepherd.

        Problem is, he thinks nobody would know how to live without a shepherd, so he wants to force him on everyone.

        Typical braindead, statist liberal sheep hating those who know they can do just fine outside the farm, because he hates the fact that they are more independent, more intelligent, more courageous…AKA BETTER than him and his ilk.

      2. Well that translator is broke.

        Shrike is pretty much correct with that statement. Look at the last time Paul ran for President, the Rs didn’t welcome him and tried linking him to Alex Jones and crazy folk. They didn’t didn’t embrace his “limited” government ideas either. McCain isn’t a limited government R, and that who won the primary.

  3. Chait on how the Tea Party caucus is no more friendly to civil liberties than Republicans in general. None of you libertarian types bought into the tea party did you? They’re just Republicans who are more purist than even normal Republicans.

    1. Gosh… GOP, or Dems… that’s like choosing “dick slammed in hot waffle iron” and “hand jammed in running garbage disposal”.

      1. You’ve got two hands…

        1. I left out “at threat of gunshot wound to the forehead”.

          1. Not sure what you are getting at, but I meant that you have a spare hand but presumably no spare genitalia.

            1. Speaking of which, I’ve got some dickwaffles if anyone’s hungry.

              1. I offered comparisons between liberalism and social conservatism, as in “they both suck”.

    2. Weren’t they billed as more of a fiscal conservative reaction anyway?

      And the Tea Party Caucus is a group of politicians hoping to benefit from a brand name, not a hodgepodge of pissed-off anti-corporatist activists.

    3. Tony|2.14.11 @ 7:44PM|#
      “…They’re just Republicans who are more purist than even normal Republicans.”

      Well, a critique of the ‘other team’ by a brain-dead ignoramus! How surprising the claim is, well, less than supported by facts?
      Not very.

    4. Didn’t you fall for Obama’s “change” dance?

      Oh nevermind, he would have had you at “Bush hasn’t gone far enough!” As long as that D is at the end of the name, it’s dick-sucking time.

  4. after a procedural snafu sent the measure down to defeat last week

    A few Tea Party Republicans acting out of character compared to ordinary Republicans is “an encouraging sign”, not a “procedural snafu.”

  5. Just a ‘temporary’ extension to ‘temporary’ powers.

    For the duration of the ’emergency’, of course.

    1. We could maybe ask some Egyptians about that whole “emergency” thing.

    2. This is how liberty dies…to thunderous flatulence.

  6. Still, at least we got some unexpectedly principled stands out of some of the Tea Party kids. It’s sad that that’s all we can expect from supposedly “limited government” conservatives nowadays.

  7. This shit’s never gonna go away.

    Governments never relinquish powers unless forced to. Who’s gonna rise up to defend the Fourth Amendment?

    1. Who’s gonna rise up to defend the Fourth Amendment?

      Not me, man. Arcade Fire’s way better.

  8. Perhaps we could say that leftists are better on civil liberties, but not the democratic party (i.e. the party does not reflect the actual values of it’s “base”, much like republicans talk a good game about fiscal restraint, then piss all over it when in charge).

    So the real question should be, how do we hold these assholes to their rhetoric, which they all seem to abandon with alarming alacrity once elected?

    1. Vote them out. Sadly, that seems to be our best and only option.

      I personally favor making their lives as miserable as possible (in a peaceful and nonviolent way of course).

    2. So where are the leftist protests against Guantanamo, the wars, the PATRIOT Act, the TSA and all those other violations of civil rights/liberties from…oh let’s say…2008 until right this second?

      Where are the leftists saying that the likes of MSNBC are just liberal versions of FOX News?

      (One might also ask, where were the Tea Party protests before 2008?)

      About 85 to 90%, the supposed ‘base’ of both parties probably consists of cheerleaders without principles, except when “the other guy” is in office.

  9. Mr. Paul is very provocative and encouraging. I’m inclined to move to KY just so I can vote for him.

    Beats the hell out of my Senators, Levin and the ever-clueless Stabenow. God, Michigan sucks…

    1. Hah, I’ve got you beat: I’m in California.

      Granted, both states are royally screwed, but I expect social services to break down here first. LA will get a head start in the rioting contest.

    2. For those who haven’t, you really should watch that video.

      1. OK, busted for snark.
        Yes, watch the entire thing.

      2. Oh, I did watch it, Matt – hence my comment

      3. You know, it occurred to me that I was afraid to write to my Congress critters about this (or anything else). I was afraid to potentially draw attention to myself.

        Similarly, there have been several occasions where I’ve refrained from commenting here, because I was afraid some moron in some unknown letter-soup agency monitoring “fringe” groups (e.g., libertarians, bikers, Zoroastrians) wouldn’t get my joke and assume I was a real “threat” to someone or something deemed important, and I’d wind up in some tracking database – at best.

        I fucking hate feeling that paranoid. Worse, I hate feeling that it’s justified, in part, or in whole. So I went through with my pointless exercise and wrote them. “They hate us for our freedoms.” Well, good thing Bush & (bi-partisan) co. got rid of those, now the terrorists have no reason to hate us. So either bring the fucking troops home, or give us our freedoms back.

        Or both. I’m okay with both.

  10. OT, but somewhat related. (Note: This is not meant as a justification or the Patriots Act at all)
    For people that find it completely implausible that there have been attempted terrorist attacks or attempts to smuggle dangerous material in order to make an attempt:…..ded#at=125

    Sure, this particular guy may be full of shit, but I don’t get why people think that there hasn’t been a single attempt that we haven’t heard about.

    1. I don’t believe it because it’s an unfalsifiable assertion that serves the interests of those in power, that’s why. If they want extra power, or to keep justifying their actions based on emergency circumstances, they’d better provide evidence that it’s actually needed.


  12. To all you Tea Party bashers out there, let me ask you something. Would you rather live in a Tea Party Country with tax cuts, or a Progressive Country with Tax hikes?

    Check out Obama’s progressive agenda for the budget, it’s filled with tax hikes.

    New Budget, New Tax Hikes: Obama does it again.…

    1. As long as its still either or, I’ll stick to voting third party. I have a “Don’t feed the animals” policy towards politicians.

      1. And relegated to obscurity! Four more years for me bitches!

    2. I’d rather live in the country that balances the budget, regardless of the tax situation. Apparently that’s not on the menu from either side though.

      1. So, you’re good with a 100% tax rate?

        1. Because it’s easy to balance a budget in the face of a 100% tax rate, as long as there is one copper cash left in the vault.

    3. Yes, let’s vote for tax cuts…and a continuation of “strong national defense” (aka interfering in other countries, invasions and war, and generally financing the military industrial complex). Of course many in the Tea Party are suitably God-fearin’ people, which means the war on drugs will proceed, as well as the discrimination of gays who want to marry. A lot of them continue to rape your 4th amendment rights by voting to extend the PATRIOT act (like Michelle Bachman). And of course except the two Pauls, we can pretty much see how “eager” the Tea Party really is when it comes to truly cutting spending and programs.

      So “Tea Party bashers” is a pretty interesting, funny phrase coming from a “libertarian”.

      Of course someone who links to the blog Libertarians4freedom really likes the Tea Party, since Libertarians4freedom is just an anti-immigrant, conservative, nationalist blog, which i’ve already personally learned will delete comments not in line with that meme.

      You, as a “libertarian” want people to vote like libertarians? Then how about voting LP, voting for one of the Pauls (and Ron is not even really a “Tea Partier” because he actually truly *is* a constitutionalist, unlike the rest of them), or simply NOT voting at all.

      1. Shill for LP ==> stupid alert!

  13. This was right as rain. If you’re trying to convince people to get on board, this is the way to appeal. I think a large majority of Americans hate abuses and arbitrary overreaches, especially if you can attest to specific examples, and I think people would like to hear the philosophical and historical underpinnings in even more detail.

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