May 19, 2003
Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins
Our government seems bent on destroying those values in which we take the most pride. Perhaps
the worst example of how badly we are out-of-control is the so-called ‘patriot II’ proposal.
The first patriot act was ill-considered and simply rehashed old, discredited security measures.
The act enhanced the control of those in power, not the safety of the people. The proposed
extension should give anybody nightmares.
The measure of free people is not as much what they will give up in times of crisis as what they
will NOT give up in the interests of some problematic security. In the trashing of the
constitution, we abandon the very values that separate us from the rest of the world – the
values we supposedly fight for. I do not plan to hide under my bed and willingly hand over my
right to self-determination to those who will apparently use a crisis to enhance their own
political power. No, I will get out and work.
Your long-time support of ham radio is one key to self-protection without giving up freedoms
which can never be recovered. That is what I will be doing – self protection through
communication and preparedness.
Ed Gernin, a veteran TV producer who worked with CBS, was fired after he compared state of US
affairs today with that of Nazi Germany. While plugging the CBS miniseries Hitler, Gernin
described the series like this: “It basically boils down to an entire nation gripped by fear who
ultimately choose to give up their civil rights and plunge the whole nation into war. I can’t
think of a better time to examine this history than now.”
I have read history, too, and also the rhetoric of John Ashcroft. That is not how I want to view
my country. I would rather see us as a nation working to protect ourselves and our children and
our basic liberties than as a nation so hysterical it cannot examine itself against the backdrop
of history. Please oppose any extension of government powers and fight to reduce those
meaningless intrusions already in place.
When the witch hunts of McCarthyism were the national
disgrace, it was a senator from Maine who stepped forward. When the coup d’etat was attempted
against Clinton, you were there. Please be there now. Never has moderation been more needed.