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The newsletter section of this website is designated for personal updates from Patriot Act researcher Paul A. Ibbetson

This newsletter will be updated at least once a month and will cover the different topics related to the Patriot Act that are of public concern at the time. Feel free you give your input on the newsletter when you sign on the guest list. Many of your ideas, arguments, and agreements will be incorporated into future news letters as well as other parts of this website.

It should be noted that the newsletter will at times have opinion articles.

Senator Lisa Murkowski R-Alaska, Senator Chuck Hagel R-Nebraska, Senator Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, Senator Ken Salazar D-Colorado, Senator Larry Craig R-Idaho, Senator Nancy Pelosi D-California, Russ Feingold D-Wisconsin--Ring leader of the "Coalition of Opposition" Lone Senator to vote against USAPA in 2001.

These Senators represent the "Coalition of Opposition" and they have changed the landscape of the Patriot Act renewal process. In my upcoming book, "Living Under the Patriot Act: Educating A Society" The facts are presented to show how one senator from Wisconsin built opposition to stop the Patriot Act from being renewed in 2005. The book also covers the rise and fall of the SAFE Act, a motivational factor in both the groundswell of opposition to the law's renewal.

For December we will look at a basic timeline on the Patriot Act

Timeline of events that lead to Patriot Act
1.09-11-01 Terrorist attack
2.09-12-01 First joint resolution condemning attacks
3. 09-13-01 proposed amendment to CJS appropriations bill (had 17 amendments including Hatch-Feinstein amendment passed the same day known as H.R. 2500)
4. 09-14-01 2nd resolution passed authorizing military force
5.09-17-01 Attorney General John Ashcroft requests that the Congress pass the Administrations yet unfinished bill by the end of the week.
6.09-19-01 Attorney general meets with both houses and presents legislative proposal
7.09-19-01Senator Leahy submits a 165 page draft entitled “Uniting & Strengthening America Act (USA ACT)
8.09-21-01 Senator Leahy gives update report ( which praises the efforts of President and Attorney General)
9.09-24-01 Attorney General gives 30 minute briefing before House Judiciary Committee and stresses urgency to pass legislation. (Democrats in House Judiciary voice complaints)
10.09-25-01 Attorney General Testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee (for 2 hrs) again stresses urgency for legislative action.
11.09-25 or 09 26-01 Vice President Dick Cheney meets with Republican members of the Senate at capital and sets deadline for passage of anti-terrorism legislation for October 5, 2001
12.09-30-01 Attorney General publicly reinforces possible terrorist threats in the United States and applies pressure to Congress to act
13.09-30-01 Republican Senator Orrin Hatch publicly endorses Vice President Dick Cheney legislative deadline
14.10-02-01 House Judicial Committee reaches agreement on language and introduces bill
15.10-02-01 Senate unable to produce its own bill yet
16.10-02-01 Attorney General John Ashcroft publicly attacks Democrats for slowness to action in creating a Senate bill.
17.10-03-01 Senator Feingold among others hold committees on civil liberties issues involving surveillance powers
18.10-04-01 Senate bill S. 1510 introduced (had 9 titles)
19.10-08-01 Attorney general gives public updates on Terrorist attack investigation (reinforces need for new legislation)
20.10-09-01 USA ACT 2001 is bypassed through the normal procedures of a mark up committee to speed it through the Senate. With objections from Senator Feingold
21.10-10-01 Senate bill debated. Senator Russ Feingold has 4 government power limiting amendments that are tabled or put down to keep the bill going forward. Managers amendment added for technical corrections
22.10-10-01 Senate passed S. 1510 in the late evening
23.10-11-01 House of Reps pass H.R. 2975
24.10-12-01 H.R, 3108 passed modeled liked the USA ACT with 5 year sunset provision (administration like the senate bill better with no sunset provisions)
25.10-12-01 H.R.2975 and H.R.3108 are put together which had large pieces taken from S. 1510.
26.Republican house leaders elect not to request a conference for merging S. 1510 and H.R. 2975/H.R. 3108
27.10-15-01 Anthrax scare to government facilities puts additional pressure on Senate
28.10-17-01 House of Reps shuts down offices to test for Anthrax
29.10-17-01 Sunset provisions for surveillance were changed from 5yrs to 4yrs (negotiations continue)
30.10-23-04 Negotiations end-Chairman House Judiciary Committee urges that the bill be passed the next day
31.10-24-01 H.R. 3162 passes house 357 to 66 ( this puts pressure on the Senate to pass bill)
32.10-25-01 Senate passes H.R. 3162 98 to 1 ( Senator Russ Feingold lone dissenter)
33.10-26-01 President George W. Bush signs H.R. 3162, also known as the USA Patriot Act, into law (Howe, 2004).


Howell, B. A. (2004). The future of internet surveillance law: A symposium to discuss internet surveillance, privacy & the USA Patriot Act: Surveillance law: Reshaping the framework: Seven weeks: The making of the USA Patriot Act. George Washington Law Review, 72, 1145-1207.
A little background on this source. During 2001, Beryl A. Howell worked as the General Counsel of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who was then the Committee's Chairman. Howell's employment status makes the possibility of a political bias highly possible. However, Howell makes his affiliations known in the beginning of his article which increases his credibility. In addition, the chronological facts within his account of the Patriot Act construction timeline have been verfified through other soucres. For a single source, The Beryl A. Howell timeline is one of the most comprehensive in the literature.
November 2005 The Sunset Sections of the Patriot Act
Section 201: expands the definitions of crimes that qualify for federal courts to allow for the wiretapping of the communications of an individual.
Section 202: expands the government’s authority to investigative powers in matters related to computer espionage, extortion, and intentionally damaging a federal computer.
Section 203b: allows federal agencies to share sensitive wiretap information with other agencies as long as the information is intelligence related.
Section 203d: allows for the disclosure of any foreign intelligence or counterintelligence information, no matter the means of collection, to other law enforcement branches unless this disclosure is in direct violation of existing law.
Section 204: lowers the standards for warrants for the purpose of collecting voice communications.
Section 206: allows for the interception of any communications made to or by an intelligence target, regardless of mode of communication, i.e., telephone line, computer or other facility to be monitored.
Section 207: expands the time limit of wiretap surveillance warrants from 90 to 120 days. Warrant extensions are expanded from 90-day increments to one-year extensions.
Section 209: lowers the standard for the seizure of voice mail messages.
(If your head is hurting, take a break here!)
However, it is important to stay focused on these sections because they the ones required by law to be reviewed by Congress!
Section 212: eliminates the civil liability for telephone, internet, and other communication providers, who divulge customer records to authorities. This collection is made legal under this section when it has been articulated that there is an immediate danger requiring such records collection.
Section 214: makes it easier for the FBI to use the secret FISA court to collect wire and pen trap warrants by eliminating the requirement that an individual under surveillance be “an agent of a foreign power” to a simpler standard of “any investigation for the purpose of collecting foreign intelligence information.”
Section 215: allows the FBI to serve warrants for any tangible item during an investigation of terrorism or an investigation for foreign intelligence. In this case the probable cause standard most typically seen for warrant requests has been removed.
Section 217: creates a new exception which allows the government to intercept the "communications of a computer trespasser" if the owner or operator of a "protected computer" gives permission. With the advent of the internet, the term “protected computer” now defines basically any computer.
Section 218: lowers the standard by which the secret FISA courts are used from the foreign intelligence being the “sole purpose” to a “significant purpose” of the investigation.
Section 220: allows nationwide warrants and court orders for electronic communications and customer records without having to apply for a warrant in the jurisdictional location where the information is stored.
Section 223: extends both civil liability and administrative discipline to federal officers and employees who unlawfully violate prohibitions against disclosure of information gathered under this act.
Section 225: provides immunity from civil lawsuits for individuals who give information to the government pursuant to a FISA wiretap order, physical search order or an emergency wiretap or search (Foerstel, 2004; EPIC, 2001).

The Patriot Act: Searching for Monsters in the Closet
By Paul A. Ibbetson
A Copy of this article was published by our good friends at Military Magazine on April 2006.

When you were young, did you have a monster in your closet? Many a child has lost sleep to the monster that must certainly reside just inside the bedroom closet. If you reflect back on your monster, he probably was the end product of late night horror movies or creative tales spun with school buddies on late night sleepovers which are all fun and games with the boys until the monster actually comes to visit the next night when all your friends are conveniently gone. Now the thing about the closet monster is that he’s crafty and clever. He won’t show himself when friends are around and never in the daytime. No, he waits until your head is turned almost always to something else or worse, when your sound asleep. The closet monster has power, a power that can make you freeze for endless moments fearing that any slight motion might be the deciding factor in whether he will burst from the closet, which can only end in your certain death, or give you one more nights reprieve. Thank goodness a magical thing happens somewhere along the life’s path, we grow up. It does not happen all at once but step by step we gain perspective about what’s real and what’s not and the monster looses some of his power.
Then on some special night this gained knowledge bolsters bravery to the point of a confrontation with the closet door and the monster is exposed for what he really is, nothing. It would be nice to say that there are no monsters in real life, but that would not be true. As a nation, America has seen many monsters in many forms. Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Tojo’s Japan are but a few examples. America though always diverse in thought and ideas came together in a united effort to defeat these monsters in a time when indecision could have cost the country. We are at that crossroads again.

While it is reasonable and logical to draw distinctions from World War II and The War on Terror, look at some of the similarities. Hitler wanted to eliminate all groups of people not fitting the mold of the master Arian race. Al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic groups believe it is their mission to exterminate Israel and its ally, America, which both fall into the category of the Zionist unbelievers. Similarities are evident when looking at the Japanese kamikazes of World War II and the terrorist mentality of today that would propel a personal to fly passenger planes into buildings, let alone strap explosives to ones own body. Yes monsters have been around in the past and walk amongst us today. Hitler’s war walked across Europe taking country after country, forging deadly alliances and double crossing all those naïve to his deadly intentions. Al-Queda, under the leadership of Osama Bin laden repeatedly attacked American interests (e.g. 1993 World Trade Bombing, 1995 U.S.S. Cole Bombing, Tanzania Embassy Bombing,) Osama Bin laden funneled money to terrorist cells around the world for the purpose of Jihad. In 1941, America was struck with a devastating surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. On 2001, America was struck with a devastating surprise attack which surpassed the number of deaths suffered at Pearl Harbor. In both cases the country faced a monster that wanted to destroy us.

Unfortunately, America is not dealing with today’s monsters the same way we have in the past. In fact, certain factions within the country would have you believe that the real monsters of today reside in the most illogical of places. Many civil rights groups portray the Patriot Act as this uncontrollable monster that roams the streets eating people’s rights. This despite the fact that after years of usage their have been no documented cases of abuse with the law. In case that slipped by I’ll repeat it NO ABUSES. The Patriot Act has been audited for abuses by many organizations including the ACLU. In fact the Patriot Act has served to move national security forward by leaps and bounds by clarifying ambiguous laws, updating outdated laws, and yes, strengthening some older laws to help in fighting a new type of war. Others have identified the President as the monster for everything from the usage of NSL’s to when the winds blows the wrong way. Any attempt to challenge these naysayers with facts is met with the usual accusations that “fruitful debate” is being quashed. Meanwhile times passes with division, indecision, and worst of all inaction.

The failure of the Patriot Act to be renewed after the creation of a compromise package bill was a glaring example of the differences in how many Democrats feel the war on terror should be prosecuted. Surpassing the issue of the Patriot Act renewal, Democrats have set a dangerous precedent in time of war by the actions of the “Coalition of Opposition”. Our enemies are coordinated and motivated. Their agenda is clear, destroy America. The impression given by Congresses’ inability to come together on legislation for fighting terrorism, and the willingness of some to kill the Patriot Act altogether to make political points with fringe liberal groups will be seen by our enemies as a sign of weakness. We know that Hitler advanced on those who appeared weak; we should expect no less from fanatical terrorist groups. Democrats have failed to learn what all children come to terms with, that is, eventually you have to deal with monsters.

The Politics of the Playground
By Paul A. Ibbetson
A Copy of this article was published by The Post Chronicle in April 2006

Currently, in the world in which we live a major focus has been centered on the subject of national security. For Americans, this subject has become a collective concern due to the events surrounding 9-11. Few argue this point; however, the particular strategies whether in the form of enhanced border security, the Patriot Act, or the War in Iraq, have been diverse and resulted in contentious reaction. As important to this ongoing debate as the physical actions taken, is the mindset of the government and the general public regarding national security during the process. It is in this highly dynamic environment that the “Politics of the Playground” is forwarded. Before this concept is advanced it should be noted that the dilemma of national security is truly complex in nature. Acknowledgment of this complexity is a salient beginning point for not only critiquing the struggles of the current administration, but also when reflecting on the actions and in-actions of previous administrations when dealing with this subject. It is with the understanding of the complexity of implementing national security that the general public can judge past, current, and future administrations fairly as well as decide where public support should be given.

A second important point that should be stressed is that giving credence to the complex nature of national security does not require eliminating the implementation of practical strategies, or the usage of common sense. It is within the arena of what is the proper “mindset” for engaging in national security activities that has become the most bitterly fought battleground to date. Conservatives have been attacked for having an overly simplistic mindset on national security. The most salient example of this belief is found in the constant liberal media attack on President Bush. President Bush has been stereotyped as not only simplistic in his actions on national security, but worse yet, dangerous to the future of the country with his straight forward approach to dealing with terrorist threats. It is interesting to note that while the President has been repeatedly lambasted as incompetent, his straight forward non-nuanced approached has been embraced by the majority of Americans during extremely tenuous times. Recently this identification with the George Bush philosophy has seen a rollercoaster ride of peaks and valleys in popular support. Many explain the current low poll numbers as the president’s strategy of avoiding an aggressive rebuttal of the liberal media’s onslaught of his character and competence on most occasions. In reality, current concerns over the President’s ability to properly prosecute national security matters reflects uncertainty within the conservative populace that encompasses a much greater proportion of the nation than is ever reported. It is in reminding conservative minded individuals why the Bush no-nonsense approach to national security rings true to the hearts of most Americans that the door is opened for the analogy of the “Politics of The Playground.” This analogy should in no way be considered a short-cut to thinking. On the contrary, in the same vein as the President has injected the usage of common sense into a difficult endeavor, the “Politics of the Playground” offers an easily identifiable concept that is applicable to the complex issues we face today.

To enter this realm, one must first take a mental journey back to the elementary school playground. This mental journey differs for every reader for many factors, but once there, we find that we all share many of the same memories that are very applicable to life today. With that image focused in your mind we dissect the impacts of the “playground” then and its modern day relevance to issues such as national security. For most, the “playground” took on an almost magical aura as a place where several hours of what might be considered compulsory study were released in a thirty-minute exultation of freedom. To the mind of the eager student, this was freedom from the rigors of class work as there were no “spelling bees” or “math quizzes” on the playground. In reality, and totally unknown to the student experiencing playground “bliss”, the recess period served as much as the testing grounds for classroom knowledge as it did a refreshing period. For our purposes, the “playground” takes on a deeper meaning in the form of transactions found in daily life. This analogy of the playground as daily life is applicable when identifying the participants at the micro-level (as individuals) or at the macro-level (as countries). For our purposes, we will use our understanding of how we as individuals acted and reacted on the playground as life to take us to the macro-level were the same analogy can be applied to the U.S. as a whole.

First, the playground is an arena of laws, contracts, and negotiations. This is seen in the selection of members for group activities such as kickball or baseball. If you recall these negotiations were often highly contentious, as everyone wanted to win the contest of the day. On the playground, laws came in the form of rules that applied for all members and everyone was obligated to follow the rules of every game. Violators of rules were seldom tolerated by team members, as it threatened the validity of the game. That is to say, high priority was given to following the laws as everyday baseball game was the World Series and every football game was the Super bowl on the playground. This mentality is reflected at the governmental level of the U.S. today. The U.S. currently enters into contracts with multiple global partners and violations of contracts are expected to bring repercussions. Recently, within the context of national security, this logical (playground) reaction has been drawn into question by liberals. One example is the 17 resolution violations by Saddam Hussein preceding the war in Iraq. Liberals have attacked the administration for enforcing the repercussions clearing stated within U.N. resolutions. Violators on the (playground) eventually found themselves out of the game. Saddam Hussein now finds himself in the same predicament.

The “Politics of the Playground” also incorporates the modern media. Today the media can be most adequately identified as the playground “tattler”. As with the media, the tattler was an endless source of information. While the class tattler disseminated information in all forums (playground, classroom, lunchroom, bathroom, etc), the playground was the most fertile ground for information collection. When reflecting back to the playground, as with today, the tattler sometimes related helpful information. Simple examples would include who was sick, who was in trouble, what was for lunch and so on. The tattler was all too eager to educate students on the events of the day. However, at times, more often than not, the tattler served as a tool of mis-information and the creator of turmoil. When dealing with destructive forces, such as the playground bully, the tattler could cause much unneeded calamity.

No analogy of the playground would be complete without examining the “bully”. Unfortunately, a recollection of the playground bully is all too easy to mentally formulate because of the negative impact this individual(s) had on the playground dynamics. First, a quick reflection on some of the characteristics of the playground bully. What is sometimes forgotten is that the playground bully was not always the physically biggest kid. However, the bully was always the most aggressive and most unpredictable. A constant element of danger fell upon everyone within grasping distance of the bully. Liberals often take the stance that the U.S. is the bully, and by default deserves the assaults that have befallen the country. This is often articulated indirectly by the stress given to trying to understand those who are attempting to destroy the country over practical survival strategies. Today, the bullies in the world playground are radical Islamic extremists. As with the playground bully, radical Islamists follow an irrational philosophy that is destructive in all forms. Another aspect of the bully is that he or she often had lackeys in tow. However, the followers of the bully never received equal status and were often punished arbitrarily along with other playground members. In short, safety was never assured in the bully’s camp, at best it was delayed. On the world playground, Spain has attempted to find grace with Islamic radicals, if not the liberal factions within its own country, by pulling out of Iraq. Israel has followed suit in its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in the hopes of finding (bully) peace. The most salient example may be that of France. France in recent days has shown itself all too willing to breach its alliances with the U.S. and coalition forces in the War on Terror. Yet, despite these actions, France finds itself battling radical Islamic upheavals within its own country. Simply put, capitulation to the bully has not excluded France from victimization. Examples throughout history are abundant of attempts to appease the bully. They equal a lengthy historical list of absolute failures. Recall the playground, how many accounts do you have of the bully making peace and playing amicably alongside everyone else? That’s right; the bully was always the bully. This point is often exacerbated by the element of the tattler (media). We see a common sense tactic of the Bush administration to often avoid the media. While this tactic can be debated, it follows a general logic incorporated by all students on the playground. On the playground, often one eye is kept on the bully while the other eye is on the tattler. Unfortunately, many times it appears that these two players appear to blur in identification.

Of course, everyone tries to avoid the bully. The question is what to do when that fails? One option to acquiring safety, and hence normality to the playground is seeking help from the “teacher/recess monitor”. This individual can be equated with the United Nations. As with the United Nations, the teachers functions on the playground, in theory, to maintain fairness and stability. While often wrapped in good intentions, everyone quickly learns that the teacher is completely ineffective in policing a bully. As soon as the caring eyes of the teacher stray, the bully strikes, and strikes again. Security in all categories of playground life as in real life which include the following comparisons: recess activities (economics), personal space (border security), personal safety (national security) come about through coalitions of allies, and inevitably through individual action.

It is truly hoped that your memory of the playground bully comes from the recollection of observer and not victim. If you saw these playground abuses from the vantage point of observer you can recall feeling lucky that the bully had not picked you as one of his or her “favorites”. If you came out unscathed, luck may have been a factor because the bully is well known for spreading misery. For the U.S. on the world playground, anonymity is not an option. In many ways, the U.S. in recent history (1990s) has taken repeated beatings despite being the largest kid on the playground. When the bully terrorizes the “big kid” at recess, it is disheartening to everyone. This was because the victim had the capacity to stop the threat but chose not to (on the playground, this is usually because of fear). For the U.S., this has comes about due to the emasculating effects of liberalism. Secondly it was disheartening because it reinforced the futility of future resistance by others. Currently, under President Bush, the country is showing an attitude of the kid who has decided enough is enough and decided to swing. It is these embedded ideals that draw people to the Bush common sense approach to national security. These ideals are unshakable to most Americans as they have been reinforced since the days of the playground. It is the brilliance and not the limitation of the conservative ideology that allows the implementation of common sense approaches as seen in the “Politics of the Playground” into the complex arena of national security. The saving grace for all of us is that the bell has not rung, school is not out and the chance for additional learning is still attainable. This is fortunate as the U.S. faces a formidable bully with more than a few lackeys in tow.

Why Democrats Fear The Patriot Act
By Paul A. Ibbetson
Published by American Daily in March 2006

Some may wonder why Democrats in the Senate filibustered the Patriot Act renewal. The mantra being forwarded by Senators like Russ Feingold is that the Patriot Act lacks the proper civil liberties safeguards and that his newly created “Coalition of Opposition” in the Senate serves to protect Americans from the tyrannical desires of the Bush administration.

Several facts challenge the civil liberties thesis forwarded by Senators such as Feingold. The most obvious is the fact that the Patriot Act in one way or another has already been endorsed by most Democrats. Here are but a few examples. Janet Reno, Bill Clinton’s Attorney General has publicly endorsed the USAPA. Bill Clinton himself used the now highly contentious section 215 of the USAPA as a centerpiece in his response to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. John Kerry is one of the contributing authors of the USAPA. The 9-11 commission stated that the Patriot Act was a valuable tool in the war on terror. Oh course it should be mentioned that there was an actual 98-1 vote in 2001 in the Senate on the USAPA in favor of the legislation. When you take these facts and add them with the plethora of other instances when Democrats have supported USAPA when it is convenient, the civil liberties reasoning for opposition starts getting very weak.

I believe that the true reason why Democrats fear, notice I did not say hate or dislike, the true reason they fear the USAPA is two fold. I subscribe to the long standing theory forwarded by many conservatives that through lack of inspiration and creativity, democrats have failed to devise alternative strategies to the Bush administration’s war on terror. This mental idleness on the part of democrats has forced them to oppose all aspects of the Bush agenda just to have some course of action to take. This thesis has been found to be viable as the actions of democrats have been so repetitious and in some cases almost mindless in opposition to anything the president forwards. However, when analyzing the actions of democrats in the Senate on the issue of the Patriot Act, this theory alone is not satisfactory. I suggest that the reason that democrats were willing to kill the Patriot Act, and the countries most substantial tool in the war on terror to date goes to the heart of the democratic psyche. Yes, that inner core of self that is one component that makes the red states red and the blue states blue.

The Patriot Act with all its safeguards in the forms of congressional oversight and sunsetting provisions represents a symbol that strikes fear into the majority of democrats. That symbol is action. The Patriot Act in its aggressive stance against terrorism which forces democrats out of the realm of theory, and into the more challenging realm of reality. This reality was brought to bear by President Bush in the form Patriot Act. The creation of the Patriot Act alone is a testament to the reality that the previous tactics in fighting terrorism were not working. The Patriot Act as a symbol can be seen as one of America’s tools to “stand” against terrorism. Oh course with any true action, it could fail, it also has ramifications in the fact that it will actually do something. It is these side effects of the Patriot Act that do not set well with Democrats. Supporting the Patriot Act does not come with an escape hatch or exit strategy for accountability. In addition, the Patriot Act is not a vague threat to terrorists shrouded in nuances, it’s not another resolution, It’s the big dog in the yard that bites. The fact that the Patriot Act has borne fruit and continues to have the majority support of the U.S. citizens is simply additional salt in the wound of an already dejected Democratic Party. Unfortunately, a one month reprieve for the Patriot Act will do nothing to change the psychological makeup for Democrats and I fear for the future of the law. It will take a groundswell of support for the USAPA from citizens across this country to re-channel Democrat’s fear of action back to where it should be, on keeping their jobs.

January-March 2006

While many had expected the new year to be a simple act of reporting the changes made to the Patriot Act that would have happened in the scheduled renewal process. This was not to be so. In fact, today the future of the Patriot Act is more clouded than ever. The renewal process was stopped by a filibuster of sorts in the Senate. That is, the compromise package created by the conference committee was not allowed to come up to an "up or down" vote in the Senate. An army (41) of democrats and FOUR Republicans in the Senate stopped the renewal in the Senate. Subsequently, a 1 month extension have kept breath in the Patriot Act untill February 3, 2005. For the January edition of the newsletter, a pictorial compilation of the "Coalition of Opposition" to the Patriot Act is forwarded.

Recommended Reading       

When I write I make no pretense to hide the fact that I am a conservative. What does that mean? Well it means many things but for certain I can say that I see life and the issues that effect American through the eyes of someone who takes pride in the traditional values that have made this country so great. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge another conservative writer that I have come to know and respect. That writer is Rob Hood. Mr. Hood was one of the first individuals that I meet as the Patriot Act Research Website was being put together. He was very helpful in giving advice in the early stages of the website. What impressed me the most was being able to become part of Mr Hood's regular news update that deal with Christian values and the current threats and challenges that traditional values face today. I highly recommend readers to become part of the news update.

"Issues That Matter News Update" To recieve the news update send a request to rob1@tds.net

I often read the insightful articles by Rob Hood and think, "I wish I had written that". I also purchased a copy of Rob Hood's thought provoking book "Issues that Matter: America's Moral Battleground". I have read the book cover to cover and was inspired Mr. Hood's analysis of the challenges that Christians face in today's world. I recommend this book and hope to read future books by this author.

Border Security Strategies from the Kitchen
By Paul A. Ibbetson
Published in May 2006 by News By Us

"Clean your plate!" Remember this parental mantra? It is likely that you, like most children, underwent this unique educational experience. For parents, using the kitchen as a classroom; that is, teaching children to “clean their plate” (eat all their food) was a lesson that goes far beyond simple grocery economics. In reality, parents teach their children the valuable ethics of responsibility - children learn that both lunch and life are full of tasks that must be completed. Furthermore, the plate cleaning process teaches children to take personal responsibility for finishing a given task. Parents teach their children to focus their attention not on the “plate cleaning” status of other siblings, but on taking ownership of the lunchtime process as a personal matter. This new reality and the impact of taking personal responsibility are driven home when the child is faced with the dreaded obstacle of an unwanted piece of cauliflower or broccoli that must be eaten. It is in these trying times that the child learns some very important lessons that will benefit him or her in adulthood. In essence, children learn that when the going gets tough, you often have to suck it up, hold your nose, and face the undesirable task.

We see many similarities in the kitchen “plate cleaning” challenge that are also present in our nation’s challenge to protect the border. Currently, the issue of border security has been pushed into the forefront of public debate. This is an issue that has been lingering on America’s plate for a long time. However, since September 11, 2001, a sense of urgency to deal with the issue of border security has been rekindled. For decades, those who have petitioned for tighter border security have cited the economic strain that illegal aliens place on domestic jobs and social services. Others point to the impact of crime that occurs when criminals from others countries are allowed to run unchecked and un-monitored amongst the U.S. populace. The current dilemma of an unprotected border now includes the terrorist agent(s) and the fear building tools of terrorism, such as (WMD) Weapons of Mass Destruction. Despite having a strong defensive strategy abroad for fighting terrorism, America’s unwillingness to secure the border leaves the country with a full plate of problems. Based from a historical lack of political will, America can be likened to a stubborn child, who by failing to cleanse his plate, must sit with his food and wait for things to get so unbearable that actions is finally taken. The very same thing that makes the stubborn child’s stand off so aggravating to the parent is the same factor that makes border security advocates angry with the government. That is, in both cases, the end goal could be achieved within a few simple steps. That is, true border security implementation, like plate cleaning, is not brain surgery; the challenge is in having the will to complete the task. As with both tasks, it is suggested that the simple but valuable logic of “A few bites and you’re done” be forwarded. That is, break the task into simple steps that linked together, achieve the desired goal.

The recipe for true border security is obvious and simple: construct permanent physical barriers across the entire border, deploy the military to the border with full detention authority, and create a strict but fair immigration program for the future. Failing to implement all of these programs will deny the country a truly secure border leaving the problem for others to deal with. It is easy to fall into the liberal trap that all issues are complex. If one falls into this mental “Bermuda triangle”, simple constructions (such as a wall) must be analyzed as to the possible “statement” someone on the opposite side of the hemisphere may associate with it. Oh course a wall does make a statement, “Don’t go past this point!” However, the failings of liberal minded deliberation on border security is that it is perceived that action cannot be taken unless it benefits border countries as much, if not more, than the U.S. This can, and usually does lead to inaction or just plan silly action.

The challenge of creating border security has now been laid upon the president’s plate. Will the president deal with the problem once and for all? Will the problem simply be swept to the side of the plate and be followed by a presidential statement of “all done”? There is no doubt that some will dispute securing the border. The current protests in many large cities mark a bizarre version of that opposition in which illegal aliens demand the rights of U.S. citizens. There is bound to be additional opposition to securing the border from the Mexican government. From our kitchen analogy, this is perfect time to avoid worrying if Mexico will clean its own plate. We know the answer to this question. Regardless of the opposition, the need for action is real, the objective is obvious, and the time is now. Mr. President, secure the border and end the decades of useless, cyclical talk about border security. Don’t pass the problem on to another administration to deal with - clean your plate!

Border Security: The Ugly Side of Compassion
By Paul A. Ibbetson
Published by Capitol Hill Coffee House in May 2006

It’s time to start showing compassion when implementing border security strategies. What did that statement mean to you? In reality, when talking about securing the border, the term compassion means different things to different people. In fact, to make the previous utterance for compassion in the public forum would most certainly create a chain reaction of both “gasps” and “sighs”. For conservatives, the knee-jerk reaction is to see the idea of compassion as a liberal inroad to avoiding border control implementation altogether. In reality, the nature of liberal compassion is a much uglier thing. Liberals have a tendency to publicly designate conservative propositions for border security as simply draconian measures that punish the poor and downtrodden foreigner who is simply looking for a better life. It is within the area of compassion that liberals claim the moral high ground and often claim an unchallenged victory by default over conservatives. I say that conservatives should step forward aggressively on this issue and challenge liberals on what they believe is their holy high ground. I will do so now.

At the foundational level, liberals and conservatives see compassion from radically different perspectives. Conservatives see compassion from the perspective of allowing people an even playing field in which those that wish to aspire to a higher level can do so with hard work. Liberals simply shake their heads at theses notions as they see individuals as perpetually helpless victims who by a terminal lack of economic mobility must rely on big government for their every need. This philosophy of helplessness shapes itself into the border issue and quickly, the ugly side of compassion starts to rear its head. First, for liberals, securing the border with compassion ultimately means to leave the border completely open. To limit anyone, including al-Qaeda from strolling into the U.S. at will is repugnant to the liberal psyche. This comes in part due to the backwards nature of liberalism itself. Within this mentality, for compassion to be effective it requires programs that force America to frequently to take it on the chin. This unpublicized belief system stems from the fact that liberals see America as the overbearing bully of the world who needs to be taken down a notch from time to time. Much of this lingering American hatred stems from a resentment that capitalism was never plucked away by the masses as prognosticated by liberal heroes such as Karl Marx. This silent self-loathing of America breaks the surface from time to time for all to see.

There is little wonder why the argument made by border security advocates of the financial drain on social services caused by illegal aliens flooding across a porous border has had no impact in the liberal sphere. By the simple socialistic nature of liberalism, the thought of reducing the flow of governmental entitlement to anyone is seen as the ultimate taboo. It would be overboard to say that liberals want the ultimate destruction of America; however, a financial drain here, a terrorist attack there, are often internalized by the liberal mind as something America should expect and take graciously and we surely have it coming. It is by understanding the liberal mind that one can begin to comprehend how the liberals’ delegate “compassion” to some and not to others. Compassion is seen as a commodity; that is something to be sold to the highest bidder. The highest bidders under this warped scheme are those that are the most helpless. Notice, I did not say the most in need nor the most worthy. That is why, once again to the liberal, living in an America that flies a flag void of the hammer and sickle is such a challenge. Thus, with the daily burden of living in an America not of their choosing, delegating compassion at the expense of the country as a whole is seen as therapeutic. Specific to the border issue, making the U.S. citizen, as well as the documented alien suffer both economically by the strain to social services, or physically by the threat of terrorism, are seen as acts of compassion because it’s just putting America in its place. This is the ugly side of liberal compassion that I say should be illuminated.

When confronted with the overwhelming challenge of legitimizing open borders with national security, national sovereignty, or domestic social services, liberals quickly retreat to their high ground; that is, their holy hill of compassion. I say that it is time they die on that hill. With careful aim, a final arrow is shot at the argument that having an open border is a true form of compassion to the illegal alien. Under the current system, the illegal alien is by default labeled as part criminal, part indentured servant and now potential terrorist as well. It is the covert nature of the illegal alien, created by an absolute lack of identification that has been the driving force behind many of these categorizations. However, this is only the tip of the deadly iceberg. To see the total lack of compassion that open borders have on illegal aliens, one has only to quickly compare the U.S. citizen with the illegal alien. In contrast to the U.S. citizen, the illegal alien works for the lowest wage with no benefits. This individual moves about the country open to all legal sanctions of U.S. law with no voice or representation regarding those laws. One could say that the illegal alien in the U.S. walks in the constant shadow of the Damocles sword. Is this the compassion that liberals tout? Having a porous border also releases the Mexican government from any responsibility to create any viable economic infrastructure domestically. Recognizing these facts is not a call for amnesty but a call for true compassion. That is, compassion that starts with America itself and then extends to its visitors. When America respects its own borders, laws, and sovereignty, its visitors will do the same. With that said, the battleground for true compassion in border security is still internal. It is a battle of conservative and liberal ideologies. Border security strategies will continue to follow the victor of this ideological struggle. For conservatives, our strategy for victory on the issue of border security should go beyond our belief that people will become frustrated with liberals using hope as a defense and apathy as a strategy for securing the border. Our strategy must also include articulating the conservative ideals within border security that by its nature creates an environment in which true compassion can flourish.

For conservatives, the final message is that the debate over border security needs to expand to encompass the more broad nature of the liberal fallacy of compassion. This has been the downfall of many conservative arguments on border security. One must not fail to articulate that truly secure borders show the world that a country respects itself and has compassion for its own people. This is the true foundation for forwarding compassion to others who come to work and live in America. Conservatives cannot be content to hold familiar grounds (national security) in this battle of ideologies. If we really want to win the debate for a secure border, we must advance forward on the issue of compassion; we must send arrows into all the enemy’s strongholds. It is here that the liberal ideology of compassion can be exposed as the ugly thing it is.

Can Global Warming Cut Your Head Off?
By Paul A. Ibbetson
Published in June 2006 by the Conservative Crusader

Can global warming cut your head off? Well can it? I know, that’s a silly question but welcome to the wacky world of crazy statements that makeup the arena of the global warming scaremongers. Currently, the mayor of crazy town is Al Gore. Al Gore has always been in search of a wedge issue to divide the American people and push additional power to the government. In today’s world, the global warming agenda has become an interesting tool for advancing socialism. First, if I can get through the underlying premise of global warming without falling out of my chair, here is what the uneducated person is supposed to take away from the global warming sales pitch.

1.)There is absolutely no doubt that global warming is happening
2.)Every person of high qualification agrees on this issue and to question the existence of global warming is to commit an act of lone stupidity
3.)You, as a member of society caused global warming by your negligence
4.)You, as the guilty party, must now make penance for your actions by following a modification program created by those smarter and obviously more humane than you (Big Government).
If you visit Al Gore’s movie promo website for his upcoming film An Inconvenient Truth they will hit you with these statements that verify my previous assertions. Here is a quote from the website: “The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence. The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable” (http://www.climatecrisis.net/thescience/).

What always follows in the guilt trip phase of the global warming sales pitch is the lengthy list of terrible catastrophes that will befall the planet, “remember this is all because of you”, in the near future without radical changes in the way people live their lives. According to Al Gore and company, the list of impending doom brought forth by global warming includes but is not limited to future deaths from global warming to reach 300,000 yearly in 25 years and the absence of a single ice cube in the Artic Ocean by the year 2050 (http://www.climatecrisis.net/thescience/). In fact, if you hunt hard enough in the global warming literature, you can see global warming as the suspected culprit for most of the problems in the world.

My complaint with the global warming community goes beyond the fact that most global warming proponents embrace Gore’s website wording that global warming is a genuinely agreed upon fact when in reality it is highly debated. The global warming school of scare tactics was born out of the failed school of global cooling that was just as vehemently preached in the 1970s. Just as sure as the global coolies were that the world was doomed to an inevitable freeze-over, the global warmest of today fails to ponder alternative theories such as the cyclic nature of weather patters and so forth. I have to admit that this is frustrating to me; however, as a compassionate conservative I restrain my wrath for extremists like Gore when his warped sense of reality starts to undermine the national security of the country. That is, when the man who almost became president of the United States says that global warming is more dangerous to the country than international terrorism, I have to stand up and say, “Wait a minute!”

I would simply forward the following questions to all those who think that Gore is still hitting on all his cylinders after he and others promote global warming over terrorism as our top threat today. Since September 11, 2001, have we had 5,042 attacks of global warming? We have from terrorism (thereligionofpeace.com). Has global warming sent any videotapes lately that speak of our ultimate destruction as a country? I am still checking the records for an official fatwa sent by global warming on the U.S. There must be one for brain children such as Al Gore to assert to the public that they should, after weighing both issues, decide that terrorism be placed on the back burner to global warming. Al Gore must be privy to some special information that is restricted from the public? I mean, this is the only conceivable answer that would allow a man who was vice-president of the United States and in the inner loop for terrorist information to perceive that the global Islamic mandate by Osama bin Laden for all Muslims to kill every American they have contact with is less pressing than issues such as the rain forest. Surely a grand Gorian movement to focus the masses on global warming would also work hand in hand with that little secondary threat of terrorism? Right? I can only assume that our future hybrid cars will give us at least some protection from a dirty bomb explosion. Possibly the newest series of windmill systems will be able to detect at least a small amount of terrorist communications? I know, this is as silly as Gore is crazy, but this is the common dialogue in crazy town where the most obvious things must be pushed directly in front of the face of the wacko environmentalists for reality to sink in. So I ask you, can global warming cut your head off? Maybe make a video of the event to send to your family? It’s time to separate the silly from the dangerous on this issue.

I am dubious of the viability of global warming in general due to a lack of substantial hard scientific evidence for its existence. I oppose the underlying socialistic agenda that is forwarded under the guise of global warming. I charge those, such as Al Gore, who would shift our focus from the defense of the nation in time of war as being dangerously misguided. The Gore philosophy of de-emphasizing the threat of terrorism helps the terrorist cause. I challenge anyone to make a cogent argument that 10 years of unbridled terrorism will have less impact on the U.S. than 10 years of Americans driving SUV’s by herds of flocculent cattle on their way to charcoal burning barbeques. America cannot afford to be lulled into a false sense of security, or dragged onto false battlegrounds. The radical Islamic terrorists of today would, if allowed, lay waste to all America in a moment. So as Al Gore seeks your signed pledge on his promo website to watch his movie, I would ask you to at least take a moment to remember the thousands of Americans who have, and continue to die in this little secondary problem the country faces called the War on Terror. That is, if it’s not too inconvenient?

The Patriot Act Research Website is proud to announce a collaboration with the Students Against Terrorism Website!

It has been my good fortune to meet Vincent M. McLeod IV who is President and Founder of SAT. The Patriot Act Research Website will be assiting with a informational page on the SAT website that will cover issues related to the Patriot Act. The Website will have Patriot Act related information that will not appear on this website and those interested in this subject should visit the website click here
Here are a few words from President and Founder Vincent M. McLeod IV to SAT viewers

Students Against Terrorism
Greetings to all,

Welcome to the Students Against Terrorism (SAT) website. I hope that you have found everything on this website to be somewhat beneficial and helpful to you. Here at SAT, we strive to make a difference! Even though we are primarily made up of students, that alone does not hinder us from completing our objectives. In a decade where the youth generation is withering away, thanks in large part to the spread of MTV, those that have not been affected must stand up and take the initiative upon ourselves. It will most certainly be the most daunting task that we may face throughout our lives, but if we do not do something to stop this current spread of terrorist ideals, then our future will be grim, far worse than anything that our parents and grandparents have seen. We (the students) are the future of America, so lets start acting like it. SAT wants students who want to make a difference in their societies. We are looking for people who are proactive, not reactive. I can promise you this, that if students alike work together under one common principle, which is to uproot these terrorists that threaten our very livelihood, then we will certainly have something to praise at the end of our lives. Let us all unite and take this problem head on. In closing, let us all remember the words that Todd Beamer said before he, and many others within United flight 93, stood up for one last stand against the terrorists who had hijacked their plane and had put them on a path to a fateful end; "Lets Roll!"


Vincent M. McLeod IV
President and Founder of SAT

Copyright ©2005-2007 Paul A. Ibbetson
Sean, your stuff here