"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

Thomas Jefferson
Sept. 23, 1800

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Patriot Act Problems

The USA Patriot Act has been used in North Carolina to hold a 16 year-old boy in federal prison without legal representation or habeus corpus. From WRAL News:

Sixteen-year-old Ashton Lundeby's bedroom in his mother's Granville County home is nothing, if not patriotic. Images of American flags are everywhere – on the bed, on the floor, on the wall.

But according to the United States government, the tenth-grade home-schooler is being held on a criminal complaint that he made a bomb threat from his home on the night of Feb. 15.

Around 10 p.m. on March 5, Lundeby said, armed FBI agents along with three local law enforcement officers stormed her home looking for her son. They handcuffed him and presented her with a search warrant.

Ashton now sits in a juvenile facility in South Bend, Ind. His mother has had little access to him since his arrest. She has gone to her state representatives as well as attorneys, seeking assistance, but, she said, there is nothing she can do.

No one should be surprised that it has come to this. When a government is given power over individuals, it uses it. Always. The Patriot Act was passed in the days after the 9/11 terror attacks and very little heed was given to the damage it did to our Constitutional rights.

I found the saddest part of this story to be this comment from Mrs. Lundeby:

"Never in my worst nightmare did I ever think that it would be my own government that I would have to protect my children from," Lundeby said. "This is the United States, and I feel like I live in a third world country now."

Mrs. Lundeby, all governments are necessary evils, even our own. You should have been taught this in school, but your government runs those. Sorry you had to find this out in such a hard way, but maybe your story will awaken some more people. Let's hope.

This not the first time Americans have faced these problems, and our forefathers told us how to fix them:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

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