How the PATRIOT Act Affects Me

by Tom Hamilton

The so-called Patriot Act, among other things, creates a data base into which all airlines are tied. They are to use this to sort all potential passengers into three colors--green (let them fly after a modest search), yellow (give them a really rough time, and then probably tell them to take a walk), red (call out the jack-booted thugs).

I am almost certain, due to my family background, to be no better than coded yellow. Why? Well, let's look first at my mother's family. They are mostly from Austria, where one family member was executed by firing squad for organizing an underground against French occupation troops (footnote A). As if that weren't bad enough, on my father's side, a family member (footnote B) provided transportation (footnote C) to a notorious radical (footnote D) who then travelled around the Boston area warning people that the Governor had sent out troops to seize illegal weapons. And his father (footnote E) actually had the nerve to fire on some of those troops when they cut across his property (footnote F).

Maybe you think this is enough to make me a suspicious character, and Ashcroft's idiocy is entirely appropriate. Thanks a lot.

A major mystery, at least to me, is why during much of the past century or so, every time the United States faces a major enemy, it begins to model itself after that enemy in order to fight it. For example, during the Cold War, the USA adopted many collectivist and socialist practices. Now that we face a religious enemy, the USA starts to impose religious fundamentalism on its people. And since our enemies invariably hate the freedoms America offers, the government, instead of fostering, furthering, and strengthening these freedoms, in order to make the maximum contrast with our enemies, instead does all it can with things such as the Patriot Act, to limit and restrict our freedoms. It is my considered opinion that John Ashcroft is a conscious, dedicated agent of a movement to subvert and destroy the Constitution of the United States.

Incidentally, since you obviously cannot dismiss me as a disgruntled Democrat, I might add that I am distantly related to the Bush family. Feh!

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(A) Napoleon's troops shot Andreas Hofherr near Innsbruck. Hofherr was my mother's 3X great grandfather.

(B) Rev. John Larkin, a Congregationalist minister, was my 6X great grandfather.

(C) Larkin's second best horse. The British captured it.

(D) Paul Revere. He got away.

(E) Ebenezer Larkin.

(F) April 1775. They were marching towards Bunker Hill.



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