House Approves Patriot Act Extension

The House has approved extensions to the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act is not one of those pieces of legislation that is just there to make Congress look like they are “earning” their pay. It is actually the most sinister act of the Bush administration. I said it. To me, this is worse than the Iraq war, worse than G.W.’s vacations, worse than his Social Security plan, worse than his “war-time” tax cuts, worse than it all.

This is arguably the largest infringement on civil liberties since the Jim Crow laws of the late 1800s. My feelings for this are too many to enumerate here, but they can be summed up quite simply and concisely.

If a piece of legislation is positive and has merit, why would we set a sunset to provisions of that legislation? This works for both sides of the argument. If the Voting Rights Act of 1965* was legitimate and indicative of how the people and the government truly felt, why did it have an expiration date? Laws are not perishable goods – well, good ones should not be. The only reason you enact something temporarily is because you do not totally agree with or like it and are pandering to some other party, or that you know it is wrong. The Voting Rights Act is in the “pandering” bucket. The Patriot Act is in the “wrong” bucket.

* Please note that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 does have certain important provisions that will need to be extended/made permanent over the next few years. However, contrary to popular opinion, even in the relatively unlikely event that those specific provisions are not extended, people will not lose their right to vote as a result. I hate when people don’t do their homework. SuperSpades cannot be ignorant.

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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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