It's a bit tacky for me to do this, but this post is just going to be an email that I blind carbon-copied out to a group of friends and acquaintences a moment ago. I think this is important, so I'm stooping to this level.
I'm sorry for the unsolicited email. It takes me getting pretty riled up to send an unsolicited email like this, so I hope you'll forgive me.
Next week, the U.S. Senate is likely to pass a bill that will strip Americans of their 4th Amendment rights with respect to having their international telephone calls tapped without probable cause or the issuance of a warrant. For those of us who would like to see this bill stopped, we need to act quickly and get the word out to the public.
I've put together a flyer that I'm going to hand out at a parade I'm attending Friday and a festival on Saturday. The flyer is available at http://peeved.org/misc/Warrantless_Wiretap_Flyer.pdf, and I'd encourage you to have a look. I've been over the text of my flyer again and again, and I think it free of basic grammar and spelling mistakes (though it's not necessarily very pretty). If you have suggestions or criticisms, I'd love to hear them. I've tried to make something that eschews partisan rhetoric and buzzwords and cuts to the heart of the matter-- the fact that the rights of law-abiding Americans will be taken away by the passage of this bill. It might be worded a bit sensationally, but I think that getting the public fired up about this issue is important.
If you feel up to it, print some off and hand them out while you're out this Independence Day weekend. If you don't, please visit the web site on the flyer (http://tinyurl.com/6jxnsx), look up the telephone numbers of your U.S. Senators, and give them a call to let them know how you feel about this legislation. Even if you don't think of yourself as "political", please take the few minutes necessary to make this call-- it's important!
The United States is a county based on the rule of law. The law was broken, and those who broke the law need to be held accountable. This isn't a partisan issue or an issue of security-- this is an issue of the rule of law and the basic rights granted to us as Americans by the Constitution. I've heard argument for this bill articulated in a way that questions the commitment of the bill's opponents to the "war on terror" or to the safety of Americans. Those are fallacious arguments, and ignore the real issue behind the opposition to this bill-- the fact that it runs slipshod over the Constitution.
I *would* argue that opposition to this bill is an issue of patriotism. A true patriot would take a stand for the Constitution and a stand against unlawful infringements on Americans' rights. Our founding fathers could not have envisioned electronic surveillance, but I'm confident that their vision for the protection of Americans against unreasonable search and seizure would include such electronic surveillance as this bill addresses.
Thank you for your time, and my apologies if this unsolicited email was unwelcome. If you stand with me on this issue, please help in any way you can-- even forwarding this email around (distasteful as mass-forwarding of emails is) would be appreciated. We've got to get the word out before it's too late.
Like I said-- I think this is important, and I hope you do too.