"Why hasn't the unpatriotic, unconstitutional 'anti-terrorism' bill, the Senate's 'USA' bill, S. 1510 and the House PATRIOT bill which was subsequently converted into almost exactly the same wording as the Senate bill, been destroyed by an overwhelming negative vote yet? I think part of the reason is that this internet community of left-wing activists, Democrats and non-Democrats alike, is not activist enough. Do not wait, do not sit back. This may well be the end of the internet as we know it, and the end of our ability to make conversation and even argument of this nature. Call you Senators. Call your Representatives." So writes Mark Hull-Richter.
Stop the Anti-American 'Anti-Terrorism' Bill - Call Your Representatives Now!
We all have this nice cushy feeling, sitting here behind our fancy computer monitors, typing on our fancy computer keyboards about this injustice and that worthwhile cause. We weep and moan (or complain and groan) about this rotten thing the Bush administration has done, or that travesty committed by the Republicans. And we pass these articles around and around, as if that it actually going to accomplish something other than give us a nice sense of catharsis from having vented on that particular subject.
This is not enough.
One of our local Democratic Party leaders has pointed out that he believes that this is all we in the discussion groups do - we sit around and read articles, forward the ones we like and dispose of the ones we don't dislike enough to be worthy of a response. We talk a lot of theory about what we ought to do, but when it comes right down to action, the perception is that we don't do it.
He also thinks that the reason our Senators don't vote against these bills is that they have been very carefully entitled by the other side such that a vote against them can easily be labeled unpatriotic, even treasonous (look at Ann Coulter's wacko writings, and she's even farther to the right than these people to whom I am referring). The Senators, Democrats in particular, want to look supportive and bipartisan, so a vote against the "anti-terrorism" bill would be bad.
It is also one of the reasons the party people don't join our groups.
Now I know we can be a potent power when the cause is right. Dianne Feinstein, who was planning to vote in favor of John Ashcroft for Attorney General during the confirmation process, did not. Why? Because, partly as a result of our efforts, she received some 65,000 pieces of mail, email, faxes and phone calls against him.
So we do have some power, and we can use it.
Thus comes the question: why hasn't the unpatriotic, unconstitutional "anti-terrorism" bill, the Senate's "USA" bill, S. 1510 and the House PATRIOT bill which was subsequently converted into almost exactly the same wording as the Senate bill, been destroyed by an overwhelming negative vote yet?
The ACLU, PFAW and a host of other liberal organizations, as well as even the NRA, have all come out against it. (Please go to http://www.aclu.org/safeandfree/ to see a thorough analysis of the bill and all of its provisions. Remember, the conference committee's version of the bill contains the banking sections that the House didn't like and the sunset provisions that the Senate didn't want, but there is more in the works that, if I include here, I'll never finish. Just keep up on what's happening in this area.)
I think part of the reason is that this internet community of left-wing activists, Democrats and non-Democrats alike (because this article is headed for some groups that are more Green and Socialist as well as the "pure" Democrat groups), is not activist enough.
It is also important that, when we call, fax, etc., we explain why we are opposed to this bill (and any others like it): they are not what they claim to be or are labeled to be. This so-called anti-terrorism bill is, in truth, a blatant violation of numerous clauses in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the plain common sense nature of what this country is supposed to be about: freedom, rights, the pursuit of happiness, etc. The bill is anti-freedom, anti-rights, in short, anti-democracy, and that makes it also anti-Republican as well as anti-Democrat, anti-Green, anti-Peace-And-Freedom, etc. It is also antisocial and downright coddling to true criminals, who will largely ignore it.
It is also totally unproven, as anti-terrorist and as protective of our rights and the citizenry of this country. In short, it is a massive fraud perpetrated by the "Justice" department which has been foaming at the mouth to get these powers without any genuine or legitimate justification. Ever.
The line has to be drawn here and now, as it has been every other time this set of overbearing, overdrawn and overreaching extensions to the powers of the government over our privacy and general rights has come up. The ONLY difference is that this time it is wrapped in the U.S. Flag, the smoke and bent steel of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon's twisted walls, and the furor of "anti-terrorism," our new holy war. It is also couched in terms of "bipartisanship," which, as we are all aware, means we bend over and let the right wing stick it to us yet again where and how they want and we don't.
Do not wait, do not sit back. This may well be the end of the internet as we know it, and the end of our ability to make conversation and even argument of this nature.
Call you Senators. Call your Representatives. Send them faxes, send them letters. If you just CAN'T bring yourselves to do anything more, send them email (and realize that that particular effort is probably futile anyway).
Tell them to stop trampling our rights and our privileges as citizens of this great country.
Remind them of their oath of office: to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, against ALL enemies, both foreign AND DOMESTIC. Remind them to fulfill that oath.
Because a vote for this terrorist law will make the U.S. Government into a terrorist organization bent on destroying its own citizenry as well as the hospitality that has made this country the haven for the rest of the world, the model under which most of humanity still wants to live.
A vote for this law is a blow to the Constitution that will destroy this nation as surely as the terrorists from without would like to do.
A vote for this law is a violation of the sworn oaths of office of every public official in the United State government.
Speak out. Make yourself heard.
This could genuinely be your last chance to do so without risking arrest or classification as a member of a terrorist organization.
When the government becomes the terrorist, any action, for or against it, also becomes terrorist in nature.
1984 is here as of next week. The time to halt that step is now.
Mark Hull-Richter moderates the Democrats.com group in California, as well as the Orange and Los Angeles County groups.