DownsizeDC.org
December 4, 2008
While our attention is elsewhere . . .
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: "A people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left." -- William O. Douglas, (1898-1980), U. S. Supreme Court Justice, Source: New York Times, 20 January 1980

Subject: While our attention is elsewhere, the sins of the past become entrenched

Can you remember when our biggest concerns were . . .

  • The war in Iraq and the threat of war with Iran
  • The Patriot Act
  • Torture
  • Habeas corpus
  • Warrantless spying
  • The REAL ID Act

It was just a few months ago.

Do we still care about these things? We should. These issues are now more dangerous than ever, because . . .

When our attention is diverted elsewhere, the sins of the past become entrenched.

The media and the politicians have set a new agenda -- the economy. We must follow their lead to a certain extent, to monitor where they're making mischief now. But we must not be led by the nose. We must not abandon old goals, or we will never . . .

  • Obtain the security that only a humble foreign policy can provide
  • Repeal the Patriot Act, warrantless spying, legalized torture, illegal detention, or the REAL ID Act

Politicians exploit the crises they create to make us forget about their past transgressions. To win in the long term we must think strategically, and resolve to remove this particular sleight-of-hand from the politicians' bag of tricks. We do this by . . .

  • Not getting completely diverted by the "crisis" of the moment
  • Never relenting in our efforts to roll back past transgressions

Now is the time to remind Congress that we have not been diverted, that we have not forgotten, and that we will never relent.

Given that bailouts and "stimulus" packages are the issues of the moment, it would be helpful to hit on several of the old issues, all at once, because we may not be able to come back to them as often as we would like. Also . . .

Periodic spikes of constituent contacts on related issues may better serve to get the attention of Congressional staffs. Toward that end, could you please use our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System to contact your elected representatives about three separate campaigns . . .

The REAL ID Act aims to create a uniform national identity card coupled to centralized databases. You will need these cards to drive a car, board a plane, or hold a job. Despite what bureaucrats might promise, the REAL ID databases will be vulnerable to hacking and identity theft. Please ask Congress once again to repeal the REAL ID Act.

Ron Paul's "American Freedom Agenda Act" would (among other things) restore habeas corpus, end legally sanctioned torture, and end warrantless spying on American citizens. Please tell your representatives to co-sponsor the "American Freedom Agenda Act."

Finally, after the recent terrorist attack in India, some American politicians have started making fear-mongering noises again. We need to remind the politicians that we have already won our personal wars on terror by simply not being afraid. Tell Congress that you are not afraid of terrorism, and that they should stop being afraid on your behalf.

Also, learn how you can get an "I Am Not Afraid" t-shirt here.

Thank you for being a member of the growing Downsize DC Army.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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