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How to Do Your Last Final Bit to Oppose the Patriot Act

The Republicans are overwhelmingly against you. A shocking number of Democratic Party politicians are ignoring you. But are you really going to shut up and go away just because they want you to?

I hope not. Look: the U.S. Congress is going to start casting votes today to reauthorize the vast unconstitutional surveillance powers of the USA Patriot Act, effective for the next four years. That sounds grim, and it is.

Ultimately, you alone can’t control what 535 elected Representatives do in Washington, DC. Neither can I. We’re just little people, you and me.

The thing is, you and I are not alone. Somewhere out there, someone else is picking up the phone and calling the Congressional switchboard right now at (202) 224-3121 to complain about the Patriot Act. Chances are, this person has read the Constitution and knows that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t permit searches, seizures and surveillance without a warrant issued by a judge on the basis of probable cause. They’re sticking their necks out, voicing their dissent, hoping that someone else will too. Be the other person. Stop sipping your coffee for a second and call Congress at (202) 224-3121. Ask for the phone numbers of your two Senators and your one House Representative. Then make your call and tell your representatives that you want to them to vote NO on Patriot Act reauthorization without reforms. It’s that simple, and it’s not too late. I know: if you make the call, and I make the call, and other people make the call, maybe even then we can’t stop the Patriot Act from being re-upped. But I also know that if we don’t make our calls, there’s no way we’re going to make a difference.

Yeah, that sounds like a classic NPR pledge drive. But I’m not asking for your money. All I’m asking is you to get off your pudgy ass and make a phone call. Can you do that?

Sorry about the “pudgy ass” comment there. You may be quite slim. The Homeland Security surveillance state, on the other hand, has a rather wide bottom and wants to sit in your chair. It’s gonna hurt. So call (202) 224-3121. Pick up the phone.

4 thoughts on “How to Do Your Last Final Bit to Oppose the Patriot Act”

  1. J. Clifford says:

    My ass, pudgy or not, is getting off the chair… at 9:00 eastern time.

    Until then, I’ll be spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter.

  2. BobSK says:

    Done. As always, different phone-answering methods. Price’s clerk wanted my full name and e-mail address, Hagan had an answering machine, and Burr’s clerk just said “okay” without even asking who or where I was (I hope they’re verifying NC residence with phone caller ID).

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Thanks, Bob. Burr’s pretty much a lost cause there; do you think that’s why?

      When I made my calls last week, none of the offices I called asked for my phone number. The aides for Senator Collins, Senator Snowe and Rep. Pingree all just said they’d pass word along.

      1. BobSK says:

        Ya, good question. I contact both senator’s offices often, and usually Burr is a lost cause; still, I can’t help it. I like to make the more hopeful assumption that there’s caller ID. Next time I’ll actually ask.

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