Thursday, December 15, 2005

Stuff and Mishmash

Sorry for the lack of news lately, kids.  It’s final exam time, and my co-editor has been, as we’ve mentioned, up to his tuchas in trial stuff.  Since I’m about to head South on my vacation (and could you think of a better day to do so?), here’s a few brief things for your attention.

Y’know, we’ve often talked about having a regular “douchebag of the week” feature here.  We haven’t gotten around to it yet, but if we had, Congressman John Barrow (R-Athens) would definitely win the honors this week for voting to extend the Patriot Act.  Barrow was one of 44 Democrats who, in our humble opinion, went the wrong way on this one.  Apparently, they don’t teach the U.S. Constitution up at Hah-vahd Law School.  

Now before everybody and their conservative mothers jump our shit about this (and at least one of us won’t be around to defend ourselves anyway), we’re not talking about the Patriot Act en toto, as much as we’re talking about a well-reasoned opposition to the parts that – oh gosh, we don’t know – violate the Constitution of the United States!  (And make our civil liberties just a little bit less important every passing day.)

By the way, we understand that John Barrow feels a need (spurious in our opinion) to vote conservative for the folks in Jenkins County, but the controversial (to put it politely) provisions of the Patriot Act should be, and are, anathema to anyone who cares about civil rights.  Don’t believe us?  Ask Bob Barr, because we’re in the trenches together on this one.

Speaking of Barrow…
He was also the not-so-proud recipient of two petitions from his constituents in Athens and Savannah with respect to his support of the war in Iraq.  (ABH talks about it here.)  Ok, we can’t criticize him as much on this one, actually.  We think he’s wrong, but as the local paper points out, JB has been consistent on this one.

While We’re Out
Here’s the more or less final list of what you’re going to be hearing about from our cavalcade of guest bloggers.
  • Some good stuff from the O.C.  (Hmm…we hear a rumor that some dude named Jim Ivey might be in a little trouble for something or other.)

  • An anonymous friend is going to talk a little about the ins and outs of running for office in ACC.

  • We’re going to talk about the hotel-motel tax.

  • An opponent of La Puerta del Sol will make his case.

  • Andy Rusk will talk about his campaign for mayor, and probably hit you up to attend his kickoff party on January 6th at Tasty World (be there!  Federline, yo.)

  • Adrian from AthensWorld will weigh in about some stuff.
We’d like to thank JMac for keeping everything firing on all cylinders in our absence as well.  He’s a class act.


Jmac said...

Aw shucks. Just trying to do my part to make sure this little corner of the blogosphere keeps truckin' along.

Fishplate said...

OK, I'll bite...

I have not read the Patriot Act. Exactly which provisions (citations, please) violate the Constitution?

gap said...

A couple of controversial provisions of the patriot act that are dubious when it comes to adhering to the constitution.

Section 213 "sneek and Peek Warrants". This allows law enforcement to search someones home or business while they are not there and notify them of the search after the fact.

Section 215 - Allows the Govt. to seek a court order to obtain personal records, like library, financial, phone, travel, and medical records through a third party without notifying the person being investigated.

Section 505- "National Security Letters" Allows Govt. to go after personal records under an administrative subpoena with no judicial approval. Basically they write their own warrants to get what they want without consulting the courts. This was ruled to be illegal in Federal Court but is currently in the appeal process.

The spirit of the patriot act is to protect the nation from terrorists. However, all of the provisions above have been used in investigations that have nothing to do with terrorism.

The act also does not define domestic terrorism and the potential for abuse by government is a certainty