Benjamin Franklin once said that those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither. I think Bush and Ashcroft could learn a lot by taking a page from Ben Franklin's book. I just can't believe that our lawmakers actually voted for it (the Patriot Act). We basically gave away all of our civil liberties.
A lot of Americans think, "I'm not Arab, so it doesn't affect me." But the Patriot Act has no color barriers. They just used part of the Patriot Act to bust a strip club owner in Las Vegas. The law is on the books, and you don't need a judge's authority to do wiretaps, and you don't have to provide a person you arrest with an attorney, and the books you check out of a library can be placed in question, and attorney-client conversations can be monitored. Ashcroft went to Capitol Hill and intimidated lawmakers into passing this by effectively saying "Blood will be on your hands if you don't pass it."
The one good thing about the Patriot Act is that it includes a sunset clause -- it's supposed to go away at the end of 2004. I don't think they'll find the support to renew it now.