And here they come, my children: The slithering tentacles of USA PATRIOT. If this article doesn’t make you physically ill and very angry, I don’t want to know you.

Time to speak bluntly. Listen up.

USA PATRIOT must be stopped; it must be rescinded; the people responsible for it must be turned out of government and quite possibly tried for treason.

John Ashcroft and his minions lied to us when they said they’d never turn this legislation against anyone but terrorists. If they believe it to be in their interests, which are not our interests, they will lie again.

They used our fear and grief in the wake of 9/11, our anguish over the fates of our friends and lovers and familes who died, to pass legislation they had repeatedly attempted to sneak into law before the fact. If they believe it to be in their interests, which are not our interests, they will exploit the dead bodies of our friends and relatives and lovers again.

In fact, based on their track record I’m hard-pressed to say what these creatures wouldn’t do. I don’t think I’m ready to find out. What I do know is this: There’s no room left to wait and see — not if your livelihood depends on the First Amendment.

As for the journalists currently threatened, my thoughts are especially with the good people of Tech TV, who have enough to worry about right now without this hanging over them. Their owner seems to be a fellow with his heart generally in the right place; whatever the reasons for their current uncertain situation, I hope very much that he stands by them now both morally and financially.

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