Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I Want Names

One of my daily blogs has been discussing an event that took place in Washington yesterday. Wisconsin Representative James Sensenbrenner, House Judiciary Committee Chairman, closed down committee debate and witness testimony covering the move to renew the Patriot Act. After he closed the hearing and walked out, some Democrats and witnesses continued to speak. This event was captured by C-SPAN 2. A couple of videos from C-SPAN appear on this website:
http://www.dembloggers.com/story/2005/6/10/54149/5115
While it is troubling enough to see debate on this issue terminated on the basis that it was critical to the Bush administration, it was equally troubling to me to hear Chairman Sensenbrenner call for a list of names of the librarians who have said they have been asked for library records by police. Although I am in no position to judge, this seems a bit (one-upon-a-time Wisconsin Senator and Commie-hunter) Joe McCarthy-ish to me. If I am not mistaken, doesn't the Patriot Act stipulate that librarians are not to disclose such requests? Is Chairman Sensenbrenner's interest in these names related to a genuine interest in finding if Patriot Act powers are being misused, or is he on a witch hunt, looking to punish librarians who have violated the code for secrecy?
Why is it so common in conservative circles to shut off critical analysis of the Bush Administration, or critical analysis of anything else that conservatives are debating, for that matter? I have heard it done on conservative talk radio for years. I have personally experienced it right here in the blogosphere. Is there something about the conservative argument that won't stand up to the light of critical analysis? Is that the problem? Is it true that the emperor has no clothes and therefore we the people are not supposed to be looking at him?

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