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S. 1959 and the Great Social Divide

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Subject: Re: here's another holiday gift idea

dear Kathryn,
so nice to hear from you.

we have received a number of alarmed messages about this. but we are troubled as much as anything by the dangerous weakness of the arguments being made against it. and we should emphasize we have read the actual bill, word for word, and according to its plain language.

1) it expressly provides a safe harbor for the "constitutional rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents".

2) and it is pretty clearly limited to addressing, for example "use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs"

are you asking us to DEFEND the use of political force or violence? not only would we not do any such thing, if we ever receive a communication even suggesting any such thing that is a zero tolerance ground for immediate and permanent removal from our alert list. we categorically repudiate anything but peaceful democratic change. period.

now some have argued that if the bill is passed that the commission created will grossly abuse the plain language of its mandate, which after all is nothing more than to render suggestions in 18 months. if those recommendations are creepy, or if they start going off the deep in hearings, we will holler louder than anyone. but at this juncture, we need a strong argument than, for example (one we've heard), that people will get sent to concentration camps for sending faxes, as if that fell within the four corners of the definition for "force".

other than that it seems to us an appropriate target of interest might be abortion clinic bombers and the like. and why should we object to that?

if someone would like to suggest some amendment of the bill that would build in necessary protections not already there, we'll take up the fight. but we have heard no such suggestion. and in fact the exact language that we WOULD demand is already in there, see 1) above.

in the meantime we are looking at a 404-6 vote in the House to try to turn around, and we are not going to do it without some much stronger arguments which we are still waiting to hear.

thank you for your participation.



See what I mean about the Great Divide of neighbor amongst neighbor? And how even our liberal compatriots could mistake us, ourselves, for violence-supporting “terrorists”?

Here’s the hope:

A) We have the power to alert others to the reality of the division already created by this bill

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This quote summarizes the nature of my concerns and the content of personal experiences which stir my activism: "Necessity is the plea for every infringement on human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves". --Paul (more...)

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