Civil rights on today's agenda. First, the renewal of the Patriot Act has been blocked in the Senate today. Russell Feingold, D-Wisconsin, who was the only guy to vote against the act in the days after 9/11, made like the Henry Fonda character in 12 Angry Men and got 46 senators on board, which seems like enough to block the bill with a filibuster. Feingold was greatly helped in his efforts by revelations that Bush had the National Security Agency eavesdropping without warrants on people inside the United States. The Patriot was a bill, passed with the two towers still burning, that granted all kinds of new powers to the Feds. These Feds have done all they can to convince me that they shouldn't be trusted with any more power.
The important thing to know is that for all the talk of US soldiers "defending freedom" against the terrorists, terrorists will never take our freedom. Only we can do that. Unlike say Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, Osama will never be a threat to take over our government or conquer our nation. All he and his kind can do is set off a bomb. The loss of freedom, the loss of rights comes from our own fears. Terrorists are only a threat to our lives. It is our own government that is a threat to our freedom.