Monday, October 15, 2007

    Sharks And The Patriot Act

    Linda Whitehurst survived her attacker - a white pointer shark - near Byron Bach Australia. Over on the Sunshine Coast of Australia they boast of no shark attacks for more than four decades - but the people know they are there - lurking.
    Eighty-seven of the silent predators were caught off our beaches last year, including great whites, tiger sharks and bronze whalers. … "Great Whites prefer the cooler water and once it reaches around 22 or 23 degrees, it is very rare to come across them."
    Officials charged with the protection of the citizens are aware of the dangers and how to identify impending attacks. They have strong profiles of all types of sharks, and what they have in common is: they are all sharks of one type or another. They know where and when they are most likely to swim, which pose the greatest threat, which are likely to be alone and which in groups. The profile the sharks.

    The common factor: they are all sharks. They don't spend their resources watching out for sea turtles, bass, goatfish, mados, smelt, archerfish, etc. The greatest threat is from sharks - not from other sea life.

    The alleged purpose of the Patriot Act was to strengthen the ability of the USA to protect the citizens. At first, I was all in favor of this legislation. It sounded good - catch the enemy communicating their next attack plans and stop them in their tracks. Both Democrats and Republicans enacted this and both a handful of Democrats and Republicans opposed it. The concept was limited to domestic - foreign communications.

    When Democrats got control of congress and passed more intrusive government legislation that included solely domestic eavesdropping I began to be suspicious. I had to take several steps back to grasp the big picture - why was big government getting even bigger in the domestic snooping arena?

    Is the Patriot Act really needed?

    What does the Patriot Act really do?

    Have Americans been blind-sided? Deceived?

    How does the Patriot Act parallel watching for sharks - or does it?

    Answers tomorrow.

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