Thursday, May 26, 2011

Patriot Act Provisions Renewed: Finally

I think - and hope - that there are quite a few members of Congress who read the news daily; and who have more on their mind than getting reelected chasing that sexy new intern.

I'd prefer to believe that many of this nation's leaders realize that their constituents are in more danger from Al Qaeda, than from the FBI - and that the CIA is not the single greatest threat to freedom in the world. Although I'll grant that the following statement reflects my own opinions. After all, maybe the world really is ruled by space-alien, shape-shifting lizard men. And that's another topic.

America's Freedoms Threatened - or, Not

What set me off this evening was news that the House finally got around to giving the okay to a four-year extension of the Patriot Act. That's a set of rules set up during the previous administration, that lets Federal officials search records and do wiretaps in a way that's appropriate to the Information Age.

The idea was that:
  • Terrorists might want to kill more Americans
  • They should be prevented from doing so
    • If possible
  • The old-fashioned process for approving searches and wiretaps needed an overhaul
I think extending the Patriot Act is a good idea: but that's not a universally-held opinion.

I've harangued on the Patriot Act, FISA, and related ideas before.

Bottom line? I think stopping terrorists before they kill people is a good idea. I also think that checks and balances is a good idea. I even think having two sets of elected officials vote on things like the Patriot Act is a good idea. And that's yet another topic.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.