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Patriot Act represents Bush administration's intent to dismantle America's Bill of Rights

| December 22, 2005 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

While I no longer have respect for the Republican or Democrat parties, I agree with the reasons that Democrats and Republicans in Congress are upset over the discovery that President George W. Bush secretly authorized domestic eavesdropping without court approval. Senators Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) and Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) said they intend to hold hearings on the matter.

I think that we owe Sen. Feingold a debt of appreciation for standing against an attack on our Bill of Rights in the form of the Patriot Act (Patriot Act? Talk about an oxymoron). Renewal of this act was passed by the House of Representatives. The Patriot Act was (and still is) heavily lobbied for by the White House. Feingold's resistance to the Patriot Act received support last week. Senators from both parties joined him in adequate numbers to support his filibuster and stopped the Patriot Act (for the moment) dead in its tracks.

Commenting on President Bush's decision to issue domestic eavesdropping orders, Feingold said, "The president has made up a law that we never passed." Sen. Specter said, "They talk about constitutional authority. There are limits as to what the president can do."

Other senators of both parties also commented on the subject. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, "President Bush needs to explain why he chose to ignore the law that requires approval of a special court for domestic wiretaps."

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called for an investigation. He said, "The president can't pass the buck on this one. He's commander in chief. But the commander in chief can not trump the Bill of Rights."

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) was even more direct. He said, "Where does President Bush find in the Constitution the authority to tap the wires and the phones of American citizens without any court oversight?"

Feingold added, "He [Bush] is the president, not a king."

While it is true that many of the senators quoted above have often committed violations of the Constitution (the McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform bill being a prime example), in this case, they are right! President Bush has no authority to order domestic spying without court oversight. Zip! None!

It appears that, in the name of "fighting terrorism," the Bush administration is intent on dismantling America's Bill of Rights. What's worse is there seems to be a sizeable number in our country that are fine with it.

Several friends that I have discussed this with, this week have said to me, "I would gladly surrender my constitutional liberties in the Bill of Rights in order for my government to keep me safe."

Many dictators in history have taken control of people by promising peace and security. No tyrant tells his people, "I'm going to enslave you and subject you to acts of terror." They acquired control and power by assurances of prosperity, safety and often peace.

We should face reality. It appears that the Bush administration is assuming king-like authority, violated the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and has broken the law! Unless we, the American people, want to trash the Constitution and turn our country over to some kind of monarchy, no leader, not even the president of the United States can be above the law! Surely the administration will find precedent for this unconstitutional activity. I say that we, the people, should not be impressed with other violations of our Constitution and Bill of Rights and say "Oh well, it has happened before".

Please remember that President Bush took an oath to support, protect, and defend the U.S. Constitution. The deliberate violation of that oath, even if done with good intentions, must never be tolerated. He has violated our trust.

Therefore, every American should insist that both the U.S. Senate and House of Representative conduct investigations into the conduct of President Bush. Only Congress has the authority to hold the executive branch of government accountable to the American people and to the Constitution. Without the checks and balances of the Constitution, without allegiance to the powers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, America could become no better than the terrorist nations our president says he is trying to protect us from!

Russell Brown

Family Chihuahua stolen while couple away from home Dec. 10

To the Editor:

On Dec. 10, while my husband and I were out of town, one of our little Chihuahuas was stolen from our fenced yard. We have a doggy door so our babies can get in and out of the house. When we came home the morning of the 11th we found one of our dogs missing.

There were no signs of any wild animals having been in the yard so we believe it was a person. We don't know why he was taken; if someone thought he looked cute and would make a great Christmas present or just wanted to take him home and keep him.

My husband and I are very upset. We love our dogs very much and hope that whoever took Spot will understand what an emotional trauma this is for us. We are afraid that whoever took him may have abandoned him somewhere. It is very cold out and our dog is not suited to be outside in the winter for longer than a few minutes.

Our Chihuahua Spot is cream and white, 18-years-old, and has health problems. He is not just a pet, but a much loved member of our family. Needless to say, our Christmas just won't feel right without him. Please, if you took our dog, please return him to his yard. We don't care about anything but getting him back and will not prosecute or give the person any trouble. All we want is our beloved dog.

If anyone has found a lost dog matching Spot's description, please call. If you have any information about his disappearance or current whereabouts please give us a call.

Praying for a Christmas miracle.

Donna and Ken Boyd

If "God" is forbidden then why don't feds work holidays?To the Editor:

So if the U.S. government determines that it is against the law for the words "under God" to be on our money, then, so be it.

And if that same government decides that the "Ten Commandments" are not to be used in or on a government installation, then, so be it.

I say "so be it" because I would like to be a law-abiding U.S. citizen.

I say "so be it" because I would like to think that smarter people than I are in positions to make good decisions.

I would like to think that these people have the American public's best interests at heart.

But, you know what else I'd like?

Since we can't pray to God, can't trust in God and cannot post His commandments in government buildings, I don't believe the government and its employees should participate in the Easter and Christmas celebrations, which honor the God that our government is eliminating from many facets of American life.

I'd like my mail delivered on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving and Easter. After all, it's just another day. I'd like the U.S. Supreme Court to be in session on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving and Easter as well as Sundays. After all, it's just another day. I'd like the Senate and the House of Representatives to not have to worry about getting home for the "Christmas break." After all it's just another day.

I'm thinking that a lot of my taxpayer dollars could be saved, if all government offices and services would work on Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. It shouldn't cost any overtime since those would be just like any other day of the week to a government that is trying to be "politically correct."

In fact, I think that our government should work on Sundays (initially set aside for worshipping God) because after all, our government says that it should be just another day.

Please dear Lord, give us the help needed to keep you in our country!

I have never really believed in Darwin's Theory. But because of the decisions that the government and federal courts are handing down, I may rethink my position. Merry Christmas.

Marv Moe