Thursday, June 16, 2005

Oh! One More Thing...

OK, I just finished writing about how I need to get back on topic and yet I have to post a link about the House voting to limit the USA Patriot Act. As a librarian, I can't let this go by without saying YAY!!!

My dear husband showed it to me this morning. He knows how depressed I get about politics lately so he tries to show me things that will cheer me up. This one did. :-)


Blogger Atreau said...

Yay! I can't understand how giving away the last four digits of my SSN helps protect me or the government for that matter!

Sorry K, I posted it under the wrong area!

10:59 AM  
Blogger katiedid said...

Well I'll YAY to any progress on that front, not as a librarian, but as a huge fan of my library. The Mult. Co. library here in Oregon had a very contentious argument going with the feds, and it's nice to see something positive happening and the concerns of dedicated professional librarians taken seriously.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Kid Fabulous said...

Spectacular! This is really a sigh of relief. I was watching the session on CSPAN-2 yesterday, and there were many impassioned speeches by both sides of the issue.

One elderly Republican (I forget who it was) was reading a prepared speech in a normal tone, when suddenly, his voice billowed into a brash roar, as he was screaming at another representative, a Democrat, who had spoken previously, and whom he had heard on NPR two days before speaking on the very same issue. Of course, they disagreed. Jabbing his finger into the air with accusatory intensity at the Democrat, he almost broke down into tears saying how many of his friends had died in 9/11, and had there been sacrafices of the kind the Patriot Act forced US citizens to make, maybe his friends would still be alive because of information gathered. You really felt, at that moment, watching him barely able to control himself, that he would sacrafice anything - anything, including our right to privacy - to get his friends back. And part of me can understand that emotional side, yes it can. But it is far outweighed by the other, more vocal side that says the Patriot Act violates the freedoms we in this country are so proud of.

A story: it seems an FBI agent wanted library records of everyone who read the Osama bin Laden biography (in FL? - you would know more about this, Kate), and when the librarian refused, the FBI agent had to leave. A few weeks later, he came back with a court order. So, two things. One: why would people reading this person's bio be suspect terrorists automatically, and not just curious? To think they could be arrested for that is crazy. Two: there are other means in place for government to get this information, with due cause. So why the extra all-wielding-shield-of-power?

I cannot imagine the kind of horrors that could happen if the government were to actually use the section they amended yesterday. To accuse you of something for reading a book? For wanting to know about aviation and tall buildings? They would have to arrest every seventh grader out there.

So, okay. A third thing: power to that librarian. (I didn't know you were a librarian Kate! You are so cool! And.. I will pay those fines back, I swear.)

Anyway, I've totally ranted and overran what was intended to be a short post. Sorry. :P

9:45 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Hey! Dee! Good to see you here. :-)

Yeah, I hear you. It's scary stuff. I iddn't know that about the biography, but I did know that librarians have already been asked to turn over their computer data with info about who chas checked out what. In some cases FBI agents have come in and just confiscated the computers to get the data. Part of the law is that the librarians can't talk about it.

I'll try to track down more info about this and post it.

Oh, and about the fines? I'm the worst. I have a million things overdue and if it were up to me I'd eliminate fines. I just hope people read stuff and it's not just sitting on the shelves getting dusty. :-)

4:17 AM  

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