LETTERS

Monday, July 8, 2013: Patriot Act, privacy rights and NSA

Posted July 08, 2013, at 10:33 a.m.

Create change

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and others in Congress left on yet another long break without publicly addressing the massive surveillance of millions of innocent Americans. The taking of Americans’ phone and computer records by the National Security Agency is unconstitutional, illegal and un-American. Congress needs to find out who knew about this surveillance, hold them accountable, terminate this surveillance immediately, make sure it doesn’t happen again and repeal the Patriot Act.

A well-known speaker in Portland said that there is nothing patriotic about the Patriot Act. People in Congress and in the corporate media have spent much time condemning Edward Snowden, but they have spent no time in addressing the massive surveillance that Snowden told The Guardian about. I think it’s worth asking: Who is the patriot here?

Snowden showed tremendous courage and gave Americans vital information so that we can correct our government, which I think is corrupt, and take back our democracy. Americans are not terrorists. It is the current American foreign policy that is creating more terrorists in the Middle East.

Snowden, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange are whistle-blowers and true patriots. They should be free to live their lives. The activities authorized by Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court are causing terror in America and around the world. On this anniversary of our nation’s birth we should uplift our true patriots. “Americans want peace, social justice, and a government free of outside money. We can create change.”

Brian Noyes Pulling

Cornville

 

Live within means

I realize that the governor lets his mouth get him in trouble, but stop and think, people. Haven’t we all done the same thing a few times in our lifetime? The difference is that he is in a position where many people want him to fail.

Personally, I think people should quit trying to second guess him. He is trying to run this state like a business. Trying to get us back in the black instead of always being in the red. If all the Monday morning quarterbacks think they can do a better job, then throw your hats into the ring.

Basically all we, the people of Maine, have received in years past was a bunch of lip service. Now that someone is trying to right the ship, many people don’t want to hear about it. Just keep things status quo seems to make almost everyone happy.

Wake up folks. We are broke. We have no money to spend on obsolete programs. We can’t even fix our roads. We have to learn to live within our means.

John L. Clark

Bangor

 

Surprise vote

I note a recent letter blaming the Democrats for the tax increase vote. I am a staunch Republican, but I will say that the Democrats had significant help from the GOP (RINOs) in order to override the governor’s veto. I would suggest that interested parties go to the website asmainegoes.com and scroll until you find the roll call list of the voters. You may be surprised to find out how your legislator voted.

Ivan Hanscom

Machias

 

Eye of beholder

Regarding Rep. Stacey Guerin’s July 1 BDN Oped piece, “Maine Legislature practiced ‘eternal vigilance’ over privacy rights.”

Well, sort of practiced vigilance. If you have a concealed weapons permit — your name and address were protected. That bill went through labeled “emergency” at a speed that might have made your head spin. If you register a vehicle with the DMV or deal with other state agencies, it’s anyone’s guess what they’re sharing or with whom.

LD 619, An Act to Prohibit the Sharing of Personal Information by State Agencies, was gutted at the behest of state agencies fighting the loss of revenue or who think it would be too burdensome to protect privacy. LD 619 became An Act to Prohibit the Sharing of Certain Personal Information by the Department of the Secretary of State. Email is the only information our back-slapping, bipartisan representatives could bring themselves to protect.

As the “Glenburn constituent” mentioned in the OpEd, my issue was extended factory warranty offers in our mailbox; five within two months of registering our vehicle. Nobody knew we had this specific make and model Jeep except the town of Glenburn, Concord Insurance and the DMV. I called to ask if they shared our information and both seemed appalled at the suggestion. Email reply from Garry Hinkley, Bureau of Motor Vehicles: “Bulk title and registration information is provided to entities such as R L Polk for purposes of managing vehicle safety recalls, and for other legitimate functions.”

Vigilance is in the eye of the beholder.

Laurie Walton

Glenburn

 

Concert celebration

I want to express a hearty thank you to Waterfront Concerts and Texas Roadhouse for donating a drawing for dinner and a concert to the Red Cross blood drive held at the Elks in June.

The Phish concert, was my best outdoor concert experience in decades.

The band, the promoter, the weather, the lighting engineers, the crowd, my longtime friends and even the security personnel, including Bangor’s finest, are to be celebrated.

Ed Barrood

Orrington

 

NSA scandals

The Fourth of July is marked to celebrate “independence.” Independence from whom? Independence from Edward Snowden, who the world cheers and Americans demonize? Independence from Gen. Keith Alexander and National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who have eviscerated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Independence from a so-called “free press” whose objectivity is measured by docility to this country’s one-party-line rule? Alexander and Clapper have demolished the Fourth Amendment but American news editors have demolished the First Amendment. Meanwhile, “We the people” yawn as the country drifts from constitutional law into authoritarian rule by financial and military cabals.

Snowden proved to Americans they already live in digital totalitarianism. They have exchanged privacy and free “protected” speech for corporate-government-military blanket surveillance of their lives, actions and words.

Enormous unconstitutional acts are “covered up” by President Barack Obama and Congress as American news editors divert public attention to crucifying Snowden, a truth-teller who killed no one. In today’s America, Paul Revere would be arrested, carted to Boston Common and hanged.

In ages past, the enormous NSA scandal would be dubbed “Cybergate.” Yet it might soon mushroom on American shores like it already has in most capitals of the world. This might not bring down Alexander and Clapper or tarnish American news media. But, for better or worse, it might bring down the president.

Michael T Bucci

Damariscotta

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