Council Passes Anti-PATRIOT Bill

At last night’s City Council meeting, Council passed the proposed anti-PATRIOT Act resolution, by 4-1, with slight modifications, after dozens of people spoke unanimously in support of the resolution. Despite the complete support from a broad cross-section of Charlottesville residents, lone Republican Councilor Rob Schilling refused to support the bill, telling opponents that they should contact their federal representatives instead. Elizabeth Nelson has the story in today’s Progress.

Obligatory disclaimer: I spoke in support of the resolution.

63 Responses to “Council Passes Anti-PATRIOT Bill”


  • Rob’s got it right. if you don’t like it, take it up with the federal government. city council is making it illegal to obey the law. i for one think that if you’re not a criminal, you’ve got nothing to worry about. i really wish city council would stop meddling in federal affairs, and start figuring out a way to lower my fawking water bill!

  • I wonder when enough is enough. If the president declared martial law (which is a very real possibility in the case of another terrorist attack) and maintained complete control over the government for a period of months, would it then be OK for Council to pass a resolution opposing this act? What about if Bush declared himself president-for-life, seized control of the military, and declared the nation his collective slaves? Or should we all just write polite letters to Bush asking him to please stop?

    I’m providing insane examples (OK, the former one isn’t so insane) just to find out: For those who believe that this act was out of the scope of Council’s duties, when is it appropriate for them to support the collective wish of the citizenry and pass such a resolution?

  • Absolutely right. City governments have no jurisdiction here, and passing idiocy like this just enhances the idea that Charlottesville is a radical liberal hotbed. If you want the federal government to change, lobby on a federal level–to your congressman, to your senator, to the president. Despite "widespread support" from people who don’t understand law, Schilling’s is the proper decision.

  • anyone have fulltext?

  • The support for this resolution was simply overwhelming at last night’s meeting. Of those opposed to this resolution, why weren’t you at the meeting? Did you write City Council and express your opposition? If not, why not?

  • Because it simply doesn’t matter what Charlottesville City Council declares on the matter. Because it’s not worth explaining the legal issues involved to the people who are so blind with their radicalism to look at the real issue, which has nothing to do with the Patriot Act. Because the individuals on this message board, who I believe are indicative of the "overwhelming" support at the meeting, have shown me to be completely devoid of understanding on legal issues. That reason enough?

  • The fact that you think martial law is a possibility should indicate to you that perhaps you are delusional on the matter.

  • Ah, it was hidden in that daily progress article…

  • Delusional? Is it so far-fetched to imagine that there could be another terrorist attack, maybe involving weapons of mass destruction, maybe involving multiple U.S. cities? In such circumstances, might it not be prudent for the president to declare martial law?

    Lincoln declared martial law during the Civil War. Don’t think it couldn’t happen again.

  • You can put lipstick on a pig and that doesn’t make the pig a beauty queen.

    You can pass repressive legislation and label it the "Patriot Act" and that doesn’t make it an act of patriotism.

    How about a truth-in-labeling law for legislation?

  • If there’s a biological, chemical or nuclear attack on a US city, my concerns aren’t with whether the government can get my library records. Let’s be realistic here.

  • Not true at all. The possibility of martial law under such circumstances exists. The very fact that you refuse to consider the possibility indicates that you are in denial. I bet you never would have thought that anything as bizarre and unreal as planes crashing into the tallest buildings in New York was possible. That would have been crazy talk. But that’s not the point.

    The point is that by denying the validity of the question instead of playing along you tell everyone that you are incapable of preparing for what-ifs, and refuse to consider that they can happen.

  • That’s wonderful, and your post has absolutely nothing to do with the effects of Charlottesville passing this resolution. Complain all you want about the Patriot Act, but do it to your congressman and senators, because they are the only ones who have any authority in the matter.

    Do you assume that I’m pro-Patriot Act?

  • I don’t understand – is it your contention that the very possibility of martial law being declared is preposterous and not to be considerd (and that anyone who thinks otherwise is "delusional")? Or is it your position that martial law is a possibility (given certain emergency circumstances) and you think it’s a reasonable action?

  • Yes, I’m completely incapable of preparing for "what-ifs". I don’t know why I even bother…

    The possibility of Bush declaring martial law is extremely, EXTREMELY minute. More minute than terrorist attacks in every city, coordinated. More minute than the US losing the war in Iraq. Ridiculously, insanely minute.

    And if it does happen, in that extremely rare circumstance, I am worried about other things (the stability of our government, for example? or our currency? the entire world’s financial system?) than I am about the Patriot Act. And the fact that you are so paranoid about Bush randomly deciding that he’ll be President Bush forever shows how little you know about politics.

  • But if there are all those stupid people right there in one place, isn’t that a great opportunity to tell them all how stupid and delusional they are? They need to be told. Come on, it would have taken you half an hour total.

  • Your heart’s in the right place, but you don’t seem to understand that city governments declaring stuff like this just don’t matter at all. Schilling didn’t say he supported the Patriot Act, he said exactly what is right, legally–that a city government opposing a federal law is ‘dicey’ and that individual opinions should be expressed to Congress, not the Council’s.

  • My contention is that the possibility of martial law being declared is very, very unlikely, and that in the situation as described by Waldo, where more terrorist attacks occur and Bush declares martial law, the bigger concern is the safety and stability of our country and government, not the Justice Department’s requests to see our phone records. I believe that the scenario presented is so far-fetched that, if it were to occur, it would be serious enough that such an action might be reasonable. But you seem to think that Bush might willy nilly suspend the Constitution, which I find preposterous and delusional. It would take a nuclear attack, with millions killed, for such an action to take place, and the entire world would be in so much turmoil if that occurred that the Patriot Act would be somewhat of an afterthought.

  • "More minute than the US losing the war in Iraq. Ridiculously, insanely minute. "

    I’m still drunk from our victory in Afghanistan. When’s the Iraq party?

  • Are you paying attention at all? We got rid of the Baath Party in Iraq with fewer than 200 casualties. That’s a stellar performance.

  • You still haven’t answered the question.

    Imagine that An Evil Person (pick your evil person) took over the government through quasi-legal processes and did Really Bad Things. (Think 1933 Germany.) Then would it be appropriate for Council to pass a resolution? Or would we just write letters saying "please stop burning the Jews"?

  • It won’t do sh*t. We all get that. But it can’t *hurt*. It’s got more to do with joining other municipalities around the country in sending a message than over-riding the feds. Which btw I didn’t really get when the same thing was being done against war in Iraq. All I could think was, what the hell is the point of this? This won’t *do* anything. Then it hit me, and I said "Oh, that makes sense." It’s not like when Ashcroft comes knocking on my door to take me away for owning cats that I expect I can say "Wait! Patriot Act doesn’t fly here!" that they’ll just remove the handcuffs and say sorry, we had no idea.

  • First of all, that’s a bad analogy. Show me the concentration camps for suspected terrorists.

    Secondly, it’s inappropriate now for a city council to pass a resolution, yes. Schilling is absolutely right. And you shouldn’t write letters saying "please repeal the Patriot Act", you should use the lobbying power you’re wasting on city council (just because they are easy votes) and direct them towards your congressman and senators, who actually have a mandate.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve answered the question.

  • I’m sorry, who’s shooting soldiers again? And why was Rumsfeld so worried last week about Baath anniversaries in Iraq? Even the administration isn’t being so foolish as to say that we’ve "gotten rid" of the Baathists. Where do you get your information?

  • I think it’s patently obvious that a city could never have a law like this have actual teeth. But that’s not the point.

    The point is that simply declaring that a city doesn’t like a law is not only pointless, but it undermines the democratic process. If you as an individual don’t like a law, there’s an established way for trying to get it changed–lobby the legislative body that enacted it. Create a PAC for people against the Patriot Act. Go grassroots, and lobby the hell out of your congressmen. But don’t have some toothless, unimportant city simply declare that they don’t like it, because that goes against modern federalism.

  • From CNN. The Baath party is no longer in power. It is no longer oppressing the Iraqi people. It no longer controls Iraqi foreign policy, nor the majority of its army or weapons cache. The Baaths are resigned to guerrilla warfare because they are old news. If you don’t think we won that war, you’re ridiculous.

  • Show me the concentration camps for suspected terrorists.

    I don’t know if this is a joke, but I can only assume that you’re as familiar with the Guantanamo death camp as I am.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve answered the question.

    No, you have most plainly not answered the question. Again: How tyrannical must the federal government become before you would support a simple City Council resolution opposing said government’s actions? If not the USA PATRIOT Act, a Nazi police state? A Liberian-style government? How far must a people be pushed before their local elected bodies take a stand?

  • I don’t know if this is a joke, but I can only assume that you’re as familiar with the Guantanamo death camp as I am.

    You’re probably right, because the only information detailing that suspected terrorists are systematically killed and burned comes from radical nuts that only you would listen to. You have got to be freaking kidding me when you equate Auschwitz with Guantanamo. I’m offended by that assertion.

    No, you have most plainly not answered the question. Again: How tyrannical must the federal government become before you would support a simple City Council resolution opposing said government’s actions? If not the USA PATRIOT Act, a Nazi police state? A Liberian-style government? How far must a people be pushed before their local elected bodies take a stand?

    I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I believe strongly in our system of government, which dictates that local governments pretty much have no authority whatsoever. I don’t care if Bush declares himself Supreme Leader, I do not support a pointless city council declaring that a federal law “sucks”. Your enthusiasm is substantially misdirected, and it is people like you who allow laws like this to be passed in the first place, because you whine and complain about it but you don’t go to the source, Congress.

    You jump so quickly from the USA PATRIOT Act to the Nazi government of the late 1930s, so much so that I think you need to brush up on your history. I don’t see Bush declaring himself fuhrer yet. And rest assured, if he loses the 2004 election (hahahaha) or, when his term ends in 2008, he won’t be president anymore.

  • [The Baath party] no longer controls Iraqi foreign policy, nor the majority of its army or weapons cache.

    Isn’t that a little presumptuous? Since nobody seems to know precisely where that weapons cache is, it’s seeming increasingly likely that somebody at least associated with the Baath party is in control of it, unless it no longer exists.

  • We could ask Uday and Qusay–oh, that’s right, they’re dead.

    I was refuting the argument that somehow we didn’t win the war in Iraq. I think that’s pretty good evidence.

  • But it can’t *hurt*.

    I was thinking pretty much the same thing. I was of the opinion that this resolution is mostly pointless, but also harmless. And besides, I agreed with the sentiment.

    But something dzawitz said got me to thinking. What if it’s not harmless? What if a bunch of people get together and spend a lot of time and energy drafting this resolution, drumming up support for it, and getting the city council to pass it? What if those people then think “We did a good job,” and go home? Instead of putting that time and energy into organizing people to contact their federal representatives?

    I’d say that did some harm.

    Unless the city council is planning on providing some legal representation to anyone prosecuted for violating the PATRIOT act, it really might be doing more harm than good.

  • Martial law aside, I think that the simple fact that the Patriot Act gives the government the right to view your library, bank and school records, what you buy at the grocery store (those little cards ain’t just saving you money), or imprison you indefinitely with no counsel all with no just cause is enough to condemn the Patriot Act. Whether or not these powers are used or not (and they have been used and abused) is not the point. They are a violation of essential American beliefs. From a legal standpoint, the Patriot Act flagrantly violates the 4th and 8th amendments and likely violates the 1st, 5th and 6th amendments. That alone should result in the law being condemned, of course it’s hard to contest a law when your stuck in Guantanamo Bay.

    Of course, let’s forget all of that right now. The strongest reason, I believe, to condemn the Patriot Act is the abuses of civil liberties that have taken place under the Patriot Act. The fact that so-called enemy combatants are being held under questionable human rights conditions in Cuba is deplorable. The fact that children are being held also in Cuba is deplorable. The fact that a young man, a United States Citizen, from Chicago can be arrested and held without access to counsel or due process is deplorable. The fact that the US Inspector General has confirmed that that Arab and Muslim detainees have been beaten while in custody is a definite human rights violation and a war crime.

    Imagine, the government could take you from your home or office, declare you an enemy combatant and throw you in a military jail cell. They can deny you access to an attorney. They can hold you indefinitely without a trial. It doesn’t matter if you really took arms, or even considered taking arms, against the government. It’s their word against yours, and nobody’s gonna hear yours.

    Isn’t that enough to fear the Patriot Act?

  • I agree, energy should also be directed at the federal government, and it is. I don’t see anything wrong with covering all bases.

  • "Are you paying attention at all? We got rid of the Baath Party in Iraq with fewer than 200 casualties. That’s a stellar performance."

    And how many Iraqi civilians died?

  • You’re probably right, because the only information detailing that suspected terrorists are systematically killed and burned comes from radical nuts that only you would listen to. You have got to be freaking kidding me when you equate Auschwitz with Guantanamo. I’m offended by that assertion.

    You know what offends me? Holding 600 foreign nationals in 1.8m x 2.4m outdoor cages for a year and a half without charging them, denying them due legal process, where they are beaten and will ultimately be put to death. That’s really a problem for me, and a comparison that I think stands up well.

    Or maybe Fox news is too liberal of a source for you?

    I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I believe strongly in our system of government, which dictates that local governments pretty much have no authority whatsoever. I don’t care if Bush declares himself Supreme Leader

    I see. So you’re not in favor of the American Revolution of 1776?

    I do not support a pointless city council declaring that a federal law “sucks”.

    Me neither. Thankfully, you made that up, since it declares no such thing.

    Your enthusiasm is substantially misdirected, and it is people like you who allow laws like this to be passed in the first place, because you whine and complain about it but you don’t go to the source, Congress.

    Golly, I distinctly remember writing a series of letters and making several phone calls. But apparently, you know me and my kind better than I do.

    You jump so quickly from the USA PATRIOT Act to the Nazi government of the late 1930s, so much so that I think you need to brush up on your history.

    Gee, I distinctly remember saying that I was providing “insane examples”.

    But I guess we’ve settled this. You’re basically in favor of whatever form of government that a leader declares a nation to have, and believe that the people should simply write letters and hope that maybe it will stop, and consequently believe that the American colonists’ complaints were “substantially misdirected,” because it was “people like [them] who allowed laws like [that] to be passed in the first place.”

    Silly founding fathers!

  • You don’t understand modern American political process at all. You think you do, but you don’t.

    The most obvious ‘misunderstanding’ is that the Patriot Acts have nothing to do with democracy. There was no referendum on such a wide-sweeping and impacting ‘legislation’, but a dictate devised, established and connivingly processed by a radical group who have taken control of U.S. institutions, namely the Presidency and Congress. The same observation can be said for the illicit war on Iraq. Congress abdicated its primary responsibilities in giving complete autarkical control over foreign and a large portion of domestic affairs.

    The political system is broken. There’s a silent majority of Americans that know this instinctively as is obvious by the chronically low elections turnouts. Folks cannot and should not abide by a canned set of rules that can only function for those that control them. I don’t think we’ll see the rise of a militia to counter this insidious takeover from within, but we should. And I for one support Charlottesville Council for starting somewhere, anywhere to speak out.

  • You have a point; however, I don’t think that’s what will happen. Some here are trying to spread FUD.

    What did Bush say, who controls Congress, yes? concerning the hundreds of thousands of anti-war protesters in the beginning of the year? HE WILL NOT RULE BY PUBLIC POLLS. Our representatives in DC, an overwhelming majority at least, are spineless and a disgrace to the very principles on which our nation was founded.

  • and it is people like you who allow laws like this to be passed in the first place, because you whine and complain about it but you don’t go to the source, Congress.

    Actually, there is nothing anyone could have done to stop the passage of this law. The law itself was classified, and congress was threatened that if they did not pass it, they would be labeled as enemy combatants (communists?). All this without even being able to read it! Its not safe for our SENATORS to read a BILL?

    If CONGRESS wasn’t allowed to read it, do you think we were?

    The federal government has been hijacked. The patriot act was written long before 9/11 happened (based on its enormous length and the speed with which it was introduced). This is all going as planned. The constitution has been shredded to bits. Congratulations, your government was stolen right out from under you. You didn’t even notice.

  • <i>You know what offends me? Holding 600 foreign nationals in 1.8m x 2.4m outdoor cages for a year and a half without charging them, denying them due legal process, where they are beaten and will ultimately be put to death. That’s really a problem for me, and a comparison that I think stands up well.

    Or maybe Fox news is too liberal of a source for you?</i>

    I’m surprised that someone as radical as you wouldn’t see how patently offensive your statements are to anyone whose ancestors survived or were killed in the Holocaust. The situation you describe involves individuals who are suspected of committing acts against the United States, and are enemy combatants. They are detained because of suspicion of their <b>actions</b>, not their ethnicity, faith or other characteristics of their person.

    Frankly, sir, I find your statement thoroughly anti-semetic. The only comparison to the Holocaust for any American act since that holds ANY water is the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during that same war, and while terrible, at least they weren’t summarily executed.

    You compare actions taken by my government, fully complying with international law, to a genocide. Shame on you, Waldo.

  • You know what offends me? Holding 600 foreign nationals in 1.8m x 2.4m outdoor cages for a year and a half without charging them, denying them due legal process, where they are beaten and will ultimately be put to death. That’s really a problem for me, and a comparison that I think stands up well.

    Or maybe Fox news is too liberal of a source for you?

    I’m surprised that someone as radical as you wouldn’t see how patently offensive your statements are to anyone whose ancestors survived or were killed in the Holocaust. The situation you describe involves individuals who are suspected of committing acts against the United States, and are enemy combatants. They are detained because of suspicion of their actions, not their ethnicity, faith or other characteristics of their person.

    Frankly, sir, I find your statement thoroughly anti-semetic. The only comparison to the Holocaust for any American act since that holds ANY water is the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during that same war, and while terrible, at least they weren’t summarily executed.

    You compare actions taken by my government, fully complying with international law, to a genocide. Shame on you, Waldo.

  • Now that I’ve calmed down a bit from your insensitive comments…

    I would have fully supported the American Revolution of 1776, because I believe in our democratic republic system of government. I don’t think that someone in power should necessarily stay in power–if I did, why would I support the war in Iraq? If your argument is that the Founding Fathers wanted local governments to have supreme autonomy, with no strong federal government, perhaps you’re reading the Articles of Confederation instead of the Constitution.

    How is declaring a meaningless city’s opposition to a federal law, which it can’t do anything about, different than passing "Patriot Act Sucks" instead?

    Wow, letters and phone calls?! You seem to feel so strongly about this that you show up to pointless city council meetings to debate about it, but you only go there because everyone agrees with you anyway. Maybe you should think bigger?

    It’s really shocking how many of my points you’ve managed to look right past. Actually, since you’re so resigned to an absolutely vapid cause, maybe it’s not so shocking.

  • Not the 500,000 that the leftist news media would have you believe. Or Al-Jazeera, a very unbiased party…right.

  • Maybe when you assume, you make an ass out of you and….well just you.

    I’m against the act. I think it’s unconstitutional. And I’d love to see Herr Ashcroft actually try to arrest an American citizen under the act so it can get struck down like it should. But come on, who gives a damn about Charlottesville City Council? What does it prove? And don’t I pay local taxes? Why are they wasting my money on this crap? Maybe they could use it for city improvements…or a water price reduction?

  • Trying to spread FUD? Hello pot, I’m kettle, you’re black.

    Let’s paraphrase the sum of your posts on the subject:

    – Bush is a dictator

    – He controls Congress

    – He’s planning to remain in control of the country forever

    – A conspiracy has taken place to take over institutions of American government

    – The CIA put a chip in your brain.

    You’re no better than the guy who stands on the corner and tells us that we’re all heathens.

  • Because this isn’t a base at all. There’s no way, under American jurisprudence and the Constitution, for the city of Charlottesville to be able to prevent the federal government from enforcing this law. The state is a different matter, although not much.

  • "And I’d love to see Herr Ashcroft actually try to arrest an American citizen under the act so it can get struck down like it should. "

    They have been. Yai, Hawash, members of the Buffalo 5, and others who aren’t so high profile. Oh wait. Perhaps you mean US citizens that are not immigrants? There are those, too. The most high profile have been lawyers because they know how to defend themselves.

  • Trying to spread FUD? Hello pot, I’m kettle, you’re black.

    Let’s paraphrase the sum of your posts on the subject:

    – Bush is a dictator

    – He controls Congress

    – He’s planning to remain in control of the country forever

    – A conspiracy has taken place to take over institutions of American government

    – The CIA put a chip in your brain.

    You’re no better than the guy who stands on the corner and tells us that we’re all heathens.

    If that’s the sum-total of your comprehension capabilities, then your score is 2.5 out of 5, which in my book makes you a half-brain.

    Let’s see:

    – Bush is a dictator …YES

    – He controls Congress …YES

    – He’s planning to remain in control of the country forever …I DON’T THINK HE PLANNING THAT, HE’S NOT THAT BRIGHT

    – A conspiracy has taken place to take over institutions of American government …A NON-FORMALLY PLANNED TAKEOVER HAS ALREADY OCCURRED

    – The CIA put a chip in your brain. …NOW THAT’S JUST PLAIN SILLY …I’VE GOT A FIREWALL, HA HA!

    The “the guy who stands on the corner and tells us that we’re all heathens” has more guts and convictions than you do, so I’m not disparaged by the comparison.

  • ANSWER THE QUESTION. Not by denigrating the political group you detest. How many Iraqis, in your book, have been killed?

    Don’t tell us how many you think would have been killed under Hussein, but how many were killed due directly to the war?

    And you answer is…

    Now, do these people count as human beings in your book, or are they just unfortunate casualities? You seem to have very little empathy for anyone other than yourself. Care to take a guess at what that disorder is called?

  • Dude, you’re a nutbar. Just like the apocalypse guy on the corner.

  • Virtually every one of your statements are just plain false. Your say, for instance:

    You compare actions taken by my government, fully complying with international law, to a genocide

    It is widely believed within the international community that U.S.-led war is illegal. The U.S. has not been issued a mandate by the U.N or any other internationally recognized organization. In fact, the international community strongly condemns the invasion.

    American soldiers and people are dying daily in Iraq because of people like yourself, refusing to admit the most obvious mistakes. There’s nothing pathetic about a city council proclaming its opposition to its own government. In fact, I’m proud of cville for taking this stance. And in fact, there’s nothing more noble than taking a stand, however symbolic only, to oppose tyranny.

  • The ceasefire from the 1991 Gulf War required Iraq to comply with the UN Security Council. Compliance was clearly not achieved. Therefore, the action of 2003 is an extension of the 1991 war, which arose when Saddam’s tanks rolled into Kuwait.

    Do you really think that what we’ve done can be equated to the wholesale murder of 12 million people? That’s my point.

  • How many times r u going to rehash the same tired false excuses? The U.S. was not given any international mandate, in 2003, to invade Iraq. Would it be okay to invade Germany because of unfinished business in 1945? The Gulf war, as you state, was in 1991. That’s 12 years ago!!!

    By the same inane logic, should we prosecute American officials for helping to put Hussein in power 3 decades ago? After all, Hussein may not have been President of Iraq without U.S. assistance.

    It starts somewhere, somehow when people are denied their rights. The Nazis didn’t just start mass-murdering Jews, Gypsies and other targeted populations. As you may know, in the beginning (1933 to 1939), rights were initially merely trampled on, then people were rounded up into urban camps, then finally deported to concentration camps. U.S. controlled Guantanamo Bay camps are a disgrace to everything the U.S. used to stand for. If you cannot see this, then you are the enemy [within]. It takes courage to see grave problems in one’s own government. It’s cowardice to comply with authority when things are just so wrong.

  • I never said to blindly comply with authority. You are so blinded by radicalism that you have no idea what I believe. This has gotten onto an Iraq debate when the original issue is City Council’s resolution. Let’s focus.

    It’s not cowardice to oppose a meaningless city’s resolution. It’s cowardice to not go all the way when you believe in something, just because it’s easy to find people who agree with you downtown. If you’re so up in arms about this, why aren’t you lobbying congressmen? Why aren’t you starting a PAC? Fundraising, gathering people who agree with you, to change things where they actually matter, in the legislature?

    I never defended the practice of holding "enemy combatants" without calling them POWs. As a Jew, I was offended by Waldo’s comparison to Nazi death camps, and rightly so. Or is an arab terrorist’s life worth more to you than an innocent German Jewish child? Because it certainly seems so.

    You don’t know much about international law on ceasefire, because when a ceasefire is violated, the original conflict ensues. The only reason it happened 12 years later is because the Clinton Administration didn’t have enough teeth to enforce the ceasefire when Iraq began breaking it in 1994.

  • Balohney from A to Z.

    If you’re so up in arms about this, why aren’t you lobbying congressmen? Why aren’t you starting a PAC? Fundraising, gathering people who agree with you, to change things where they actually matter, in the legislature?

    Did I mention the system is broken? Hey, why don’t you come by and mow my lawn. I promise you it’ll be more productive than contacting my Congressman, Attorney General or even go to court over [things I’ve done more times than I wish to even admit; of course, the requisite spineless form letters and such are the result]. *You* are in denial. I, like many but not yet the majority of my fellow Americans, are waiting for the big blow up. Unless I choose to put my family in jeopardy or even harms way, that’s all [we] can do. That, and protest loudly in public forums.

    You are defending the immoral detention camps Ashcroft, Bush and co. have established. By your vehement defense of the system, you are in fact helping the cause of those who are destroying the dream that is America: a free nation of free and equal peoples.

    The Clinton Administration respected international law and its own institutions.

    I sense you are a demagogue of the worst kind: you ferociously let your views be known and when there’s resistance to you and your views, as is the case in this forum, I sense you are toning it down. Now, you are playing simpatico with past wronged people, in this case, Jews. You don’t fool me.

  • Of course the city can’t "force" the feds to do or not do anything. That’s obvious. But when Charlottesville joins with cities across the country to take a stand, the feds have to at least take notice.

  • Maybe I’m just nitpicking, but I’ve twice seen you use the phrase "meaningless city’s opposition," and I am beginning to think that phrasing is intentional. By referring to a meaningless city, and not, say, "city’s meaningless opposition," you are implying that Charlottesville is itself meaningless.

    If that’s the case, then why do you care at all what Charlottesville does?

  • <i>and congress was threatened that if they did not pass it, they would be labeled as enemy combatants</i><br><br>

    Where did you get this info? Thanks.

  • The CIA put a chip in your brain.

    Now thats just silly, those CIA brain chips are EXPENSIVE. They dont put thim in just anyones head. You have to be an important patsy or assasin to get that kind of treatment. Duh!

  • And I’d love to see Herr Ashcroft actually try to arrest an American citizen under the act so it can get struck down like it should.

    Since you say you rely on CNN for your news, here ya go.

  • Sadly, I cant point you at a link, I saw it on the news. However, I can sum it up for you.

    It all started when democrats started questioning what the president knew before 9/11. He responded by saying he would not put up with any questioning and would label anyone who continued to ask as "giving comfort and aid to the enemy" which according to the patriot act II makes you a terrorist, and subject to all its harshness.

    When the patriot act was introduced to congress, they were told to pass it, or they would be labeled as unpatriotic, and as "giving comfort and aid to the enemy". They were NOT allowed to read the 700 page classified document, and instead were given a 3 page synopsis prepared by the white house.

    Believe what you want to believe, at the very least they were threatened with public ridicule and not allowed to read the law they were passing.

    You see, the white house doesn’t issue a press release every time they shake down congress. You have to hunt this type of information down for yourself. Do a google search, you’ll find many news sources that corroborate my assertions.

  • I dunno with computer prices going down these last few years, I think the CIA could afford mind controling chips.

  • You wrote,

    "Or is an arab terrorist’s life worth more to you than an innocent German Jewish child?"

    Your bias is showing. The people being detained at Guantanamo are suspected of terrorism. You elide that extremely important distinction when you call them "arab terrorists" as if they had indeed been tried and found guilty. That’s disgusting.

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