What do you think?

July 09, 2006

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will appear in The Herald-Mail.

Last week's poll question was: Has the federal government infringed upon U.S. citizens' privacy rights since 9/11?

As of Saturday at 7 p.m., 1,729 people (80.9 percent) said the federal government had not infringed upon citizens' privacy rights, and 407 people (19.1 percent) said the government had infringed upon privacy rights.

"I think it is safe to state that the poll results do not reflect the opinion of the public. I wonder if the newspaper is going to print the poll results with or without comments."

"We need to stop this act of infringement upon U.S. citizens. Since 9/11, hate crimes have risen on immigrants. We have no job, discrimination against us in all facets of living - such as housing, employment, schools and when we try to run for office.


"Even if we file a complaint with any government agencies, such as HUD, Civil Rights, ACLU and NAACP, our complaints will be dismissed, and our voice will be silent. We are left with no dignity, decency or respect living in the USA anymore. We have been spat on, kicked and brutally abused by the police and some corrupted elected officials. We need freedom and justice for all, not just some!"

"From what we know, the federal government has completely disregarded U.S. citizens' privacy rights. What we don't know is probably much worse than what we know. This question will demonstrate that far too many readers of this e-paper either don't know how to read or are so gullible and simple-minded that they actually believe that the federal government has not infringed on their privacy rights. The federal government has never given anyone any rights - all the government does is take away people's rights. And relatively soon, all our rights will be gone because there are too many wimps in this country. Vote all the incumbents out of office because not a single one of them care about the rest of us."

"The fact that the unthinking kind of patriotism has been co-opted by the worst tyrants in history is the best evidence that we ought to use a substitute, not a justification, for unthinking American patriotism, or worse yet, an argument that unthinking patriotism is the proper kind. The Founding Fathers understood that Americans weren't somehow a people inherently superior to the rest of humanity. They recognized that American tyrants could arise just as easily as tyrants anywhere else, but for a principled framework translated into constitutional mechanisms limiting power and guaranteeing liberty.

"In fact, the Founders would've hoped that Americans would rise up against any tyrant that ever managed to seize the White House. In other words, they'd have defined patriotism not as fealty to the man who happened to be the leader of the nation, or the actions of a particular administration, but to the founding principles."

"I can't help but remember something a very wise history professor once told me: That those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. Could this not be a repetition of history that this country is experiencing? Abuse of government power and persecution are what ticked off our founding fathers enough to revolt against England. Countries that do end-runs around the people end up at war. Look at the age-old wars in Africa. Look at the Middle East. Must we resort to protests that echo (Tiananmen) Square in the '80s to get our country back? I pray not."

"Everyone should be worried about (their) Second Amendment rights ... has anyone tried to buy a firearm lately? You should be worried about protecting your families and your right to bear arms a little more and not Big Brother listening to you talk dirty to your neighbor's wife on the phone!!! It's not the lack of rights that will bring this country down!!"

"I am more worried about the destruction of the Bill of Rights than some crank burning an American flag. The flag doesn't prevent despots from trampling on our freedoms. I like to think that the veterans of this country fought for the values that made America great, not a symbol of those rights. Worship of the government and its symbols is a philosophy that this nation has always opposed. It is called fascism, or communism, or totalitarianism, depending on its nature."

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