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Author Topic: Vermont Congressman Opposes Patriot Act  (Read 5114 times)

Racer X

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Vermont Congressman Opposes Patriot Act
« on: December 22, 2002, 12:52:33 am »

This is what the so called "socialists" in Vermont are up to.  Like I've said before, we have some common ground with these people.  We can forge alliances.  We can attract voters from all sides.  
From The Burlington Free Press, Dec 21  2002

Sanders seeks to repeal part of Patriot Act
By Adam Silverman
Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Friday that he will introduce legislation shortly after Congress reconvenes in January to repeal part of an anti-terrorism law that gives the FBI broad powers to monitor what books a person borrows from a library or buys from a store.

The USA Patriot Act lets government agents ask librarians and booksellers to turn over information about the reading habits of people with possible ties to terrorism. Agents can also ask about library patrons' computer usage.
The rules are a small portion of a lengthy law that President George W. Bush signed in October 2001.

Sanders, who spoke at a morning news conference at Fletcher Free Library in Burlington alongside two librarians and a bookstore owner, said the section of the Patriot Act that affects libraries and booksellers is an affront to people's rights to free speech and privacy.

"This is a crashing, crushing attack on basic rights in this country, and it's got to be opposed," said Sanders, an independent from Vermont. "I will do everything in my power in the Congress, working in a nonpartisan way with other concerned members, to strip this very dangerous language from the bill."

Sanders said he and his staff are drafting the legislation he plans to introduce. Although Sanders has not approached other representatives with his plans, the congressman said he expects to garner broad support.
"I think you're going to find not only progressives like myself but more conservative people," Sanders said. "The essence of what being a conservative is about, from my point of view, is get government out of the picture, don't get government involved in our lives. I cannot imagine an area where government is more involved in your life if you could be under surveillance if you walk into a bookstore or into a library."

White House spokesman Ken Lisaius defended the act as a widely supported, effective piece of legislation. The law passed the House 357-66 -- with Sanders among the no voters -- and the Senate 98-1.
"The USA Patriot Act passed the Congress with a broad bipartisan majority," Lisaius said. "It was intended to help move law enforcement forward to address new technologies."

Sanders and the librarians said they support the fight against terrorism but that laws in place before the Patriot Act allowed law enforcement to gather information from libraries in a less-invasive way.
"If you have to worry about what your reading list might look like to an FBI agent, you might decide to censor yourself and not read what you really want to read," said Trina Magi, a reference librarian at the University of Vermont and a former president of the Vermont Library Association. "And the moment you have to think about those kinds of decisions, then you are no longer truly free."
The section of the Patriot Act includes a "gag-order" provision that prohibits anyone the government asks for information from telling anyone about the inquiry. Magi said she would consider civil disobedience in that situation.
"It's a rotten position to be in," she said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., submitted in July a list of 43 questions to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft seeking information about the Patriot Act and how the government has used the law. Several questions focus on libraries, such as how limited libraries are in disclosing inquiries and how many times the FBI has sought information. The questions have gone unanswered, Leahy spokesman David Carle said.

Linda Ramsdell, who owns The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick and is president of the New England Booksellers Association, said her group supports Sanders' plan.
"We believe it is our right to sell any book to our customers, who have the right to read any book," Ramsdell said, "and we will zealously guard the privacy of this transaction

Racer X


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Re:Vermont Congressman Opposes Patriot Act
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2002, 02:12:17 pm »

I would like to clarify what I meant by the "socialists of vermont" I was referring to their fiscal, and political poitns of view, (big government programs, and high taxes) I also made a refrence to Republicans being our allies in the west in the sense that we FSP'ers are FISCAL conservatives( low taxes, small government) I have always liked Vermont's lack of gun laws and See their independent senator as a plus. My point about Vermont was simply that we should focus on lowering taxes first because it is a more quanifiable fact that is undisputable( in other words we did lower taxes, no one can say we didn't) This will attract buisnesses to our state, and improve the economy(this may bring more people :-\) which in the long run will cause more people to join us and allow us to reduce the scope of government. Keep in mind that although all those anti-vietnam "hippies" that moved to Vermont  in the 60's and 70's are pro civil rights, they are also pro big government programs and spending, unlike the majority of folks in wyoming who want to see less government programs an spending. In the long run it will be simpler and faster to cut taxes first,then take on the beuracracy of the state, then vice versa.
"To change and to change for the better are two different things."
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Re:Vermont Congressman Opposes Patriot Act
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2002, 11:49:54 pm »

Racer X, you've made the point before that Vermonters are unfairly being labelled as socialists.

I think you have it exactly backwards. It's not that Vermonters shouldn't be called socialists, it's that a whole lot of other people ought to be labelled that way as well. Anyone who thinks of himself as a "progressive" is probably a socialist. Most Democrats are probably socialist, and a pretty substantial percentage of Republicans are too.

Running away from the correct label is one of the tactics socialists have used to advance their program in this country. We need more "truth in advertising", not less.


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Re:Vermont Congressman Opposes Patriot Act
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2002, 03:36:16 pm »

Over on the "More and other criteria. . ." thread I posted the following:
In consideration of the political climate of our candidate states, we should examine what messages have appealed to voters and how much the people allow their representatives to get away with.  One measure of this is how the representatives vote, while just basing judgements on only a few votes would be quite subjective, overall trends may be useful.
Here is one installment of how U.S. representatives in our ten states voted in the last session in key decisions. 
According to FAIR (affiliated with the famously outspoken paleoconservative group, John Birch Society)
Here they are, as I broke them down according to congressional district:
ME01 . . . 5 out of 8 votes pro- constitution.
ME02 . . . 5 / 8"                                        ".
ND(1). . . 5 / 8
DE01 . . . 4 / 8
ID01. . . 4 /8
ID02 . . . 2 / 8   
AK(1) . .  3 / 8
WY(1) . .  3 / 8
MT01 . . . 3 / 8
SD(1) . . . 3 / 8
VT(1) . . .  3 / 8
NH01 . . . 2 / 8
NH02 . . . 2 / 8
Interesting to note that Bernie Sanders, the socialist sided with the constitution more than some Republicans who claim to uphold the constitution in this last round. 
Also, none of our 10 states had any of the star pro-constitution voters and our discarded Hawaii and Rhode Island fared better than most here.  But it also points out how subjective this can be on just one set of votes.
If you want to get a copy of the database I made to build this list, e-mail me.  It is in Quattro Pro (Word Perfect Office, 2001 ver.)
. . .the foundations of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue --The U.S. Senate's reply to George Washington's first inaugural address
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