Comments about ‘Letters: Federal Big Brother’

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Published: Tuesday, June 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Onion Daze
Payson, UT

I remember the hysteria when there was a "John Bircher" behind every tree in the 1960s, especially in Orange County. The state tax people in California, under direction of Governor Brown and Attorney General Stanley Mosk, studied the dickens out of one anti-communist organization there. That was 50 years ago Gary. Remember payola, vicuna coats, golfing and goofing, Vietnam, Watergate, presidential and vice presidential resignations, etc, etc. The Republic and its people still stand 50 years later. Matching phone numbers and some IRS harassment is not 1984. Keep the faith baby.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Where was the outrage when the Patriot Act was passed?

GK Willington
Salt Lake City, UT

re: The Real Maverick

Agreed. Not to mention the spawns of the Patriot Act.... TSA & DHS.

Sandy, UT

It's a case of too little too late, I'm afraid.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Maverick: It's been proven, the government is only evil when a democrat is in the White House. When a republican occupies 1600 Penn, then the government is wonderful and inspired and can do anything it wants.

Tooele, UT

Re: "It's been proven, the government is only evil when a democrat is in the White House."

Glad to see you're finally getting it!

Provo, UT

It must be tough for the Republican haters to live in a state like Utah where unemployment is low, crime is low, and the economy is good. Perhaps you would prefer California or New York where the reverse is true.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

to Ernest T. Bass

Like The Patriot Act or invade Iraq?

American Fork, UT

I, too, am a huge proponent of privacy. I avoid social media entirely, seldom answer the phone, etc. And I don't appreciate the government collecting my metadata. However, as maverick pointed out, people around here didn't squawk when the patriot act was passed. And what will they shout when the next attack occurs? Something like 'why didn't the government prevent this', I expect. I think the business of keeping us safe is not as pretty or cut and dried as we'd like.

Sandy, UT

GK Willinton...
"Agreed. Not to mention the spawns of the Patriot Act.... TSA & DHS"

Gk.. Neither TSA or DHS was the spawn of the Patriot Act.. they were created because of a so called "Bi-partisan" commission findings when they discovered that several us intelligence agencies were not sharing information. Which of course the "Liberals" jump on because it bashed Pres. Bush.

Maverick... If you had taken to the time to actually study the Patriot Act and what the intent of both the Democrats and the Republican members of congress wanted it to do, then you would have found out that they had put in some provisions to prevent the abuse of the current NSA administration.. But when you are not held accountable for violating laws, procedures or whatever like the Obama administration... this is what happens..

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

The sky is falling.

Grandma Char
Kaysville, UT

When the Patriot Act was quickly pushed through Congress right after 9/11, we were all pretty out of our minds afraid of what was coming next. But with that said, it was intended to track calls made outside our country. What the NSA is doing now is collecting data on all of us that could be used at anytime to blackmail, prosecute, or intimidate an individual. Look at what happened to General Petraeus. He was a victim of this system. I am not passing judgment on whether he should have been exposed or not, just that the info was readily available to the administration when they wanted Petraeus out of the CIA. There are so many laws and regulations in this country now, that we can hardly breathe without breaking one of them. If, our views are deemed a threat to a current President, whoever, it may be, average Americans could be the target of retribution. I need only point to the IRS targeting Tea Party groups. The NSA has unconstitutionally gathered our digital data, and it needs to stop. Laws that oppose the 4th amendment need to be challenged in court.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

It's up to the citizens to rein in the government. I'm fairly certain that these posts on the Deseret News are not forwarded to Congress; so, if you want to do anything more that "sputter", write your Representative and let him know how you feel.

Of our two Senators, Mike Lee already "gets it". Orrin Hatch was promoting the new "King" sized building being built in Bluffdale where the information being gathered will be stored and "mined". He's a lost cause. Everytime I write to him, I get a very polite response that is full of platitudes and no substance. Rarely do his response letters even mention the problem that I asked him to solve.

The Constitution protects the People, but as with any contract, if the People don't enforce that contract, the other party (the Government) will continue to abuse us.

Get busy. Write those letters. Be a responsible American, buy the stamps and send the letters.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I read the book 1984 and the only additional thing I would add to the recommendation is to keep in mind that it is fiction. It is not fact. It is not prophesy. It is not likely to happen.

Information about people is a commercial commodity. It is worth money. Consequently business is the greatest information gatherer because it can be used to sell products.

The LDS church has a data base about parentage. On the internet anybody can find personal information about arrest records, sex violators, I am able to see the phone statistics and information about my family group phones.

I get junk mail with my mortgage balance on it. On the telephone I got “Happy Birthday” from a businessman that I don’t do business with.

I had a disagreement for a free eye examination because I objected to putting the day of the month on the application where I has already given my age, and year of birth and the month of birth. They said “it’s for the record”.

Asking for personal privacy in the open world is like walking naked down the street and expecting people not to look.

Sandy, UT

I will not say one shouldn't be outraged but what did you think they were going to do out there when they announced they were building a NSA complex and our Congressional delegation were doing backflips in joy? Do you really think this program was a brainchild of the current administration? I also think you are bit amnestic to think that the source of problems in our free enterprise system is anything other than monopolies paying their way with boatloads of cash, ie the recent special Monsanto legislations. How does the minority leader in the Senate increase his personal wealth by 24 million in 6 years? Who is greasing palms? Where is your outrage about Congressional corruption, legal only because they say it is? Is it because you voted for participants?

David King
Layton, UT

The old excuse of "you didn't protest when your guys did it, so you have no right to complain" may score political points, but it doesn't solve the problem of what we believe our government has the authority to do. I, for one, was in Junior High when the Patriot Act was passed. I apologize that the 14 year old version of myself didn't do more to protest such invasions of our privacy, but I now stand with any Democrat, Republican, or Independent who believes that all this data mining is in direct conflict with our 4th amendment, and the protection against searches and seizures without warrants and probable cause.

I oppose these things not because they're a slippery slope, or because it means big brother is at the door, but I oppose them on their own merits. Collecting phone records of millions of Americans without probable cause is a violation of both the spirit and letter of the fourth amendment. Simple as that. I support our Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, and stand with anyone, regardless of party, who is willing to stand for civil liberties.

Salt Lake City, UT


I agree that we should communicate with our representatives. I might suggest, however, that you can do so electronically. It gets there faster, and saves the cost of a stamp.

Plus it's easier for the NSA to track and store. You know, just in case . . .

USS Enterprise, UT

Why are the liberals not decrying this? Conservatives (not necessarily Republicans) denounced the Patriot act.

What the liberals here forget is the little fact that it was their guy that not only extended some of the worst portions of the Patriot Act, but has also added to the intrusions into our privacy.

Like "Onion Daze" pointed out. With enough information you can trump up charges on anybody. In light of the recent scandals, do you liberals honestly think that the information being collected won't be used against innocent people?

Ask yourselves this, would you trust a government filled with people you hate with the information that is being collected?

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Mister J: Exactly. Iraq was such a great decision because it was Bush. Had it been Obama, Utah (which polls showed supported the war more than any other state, except when it came time to enlist, then we had the least amount of support), would have hated the war in Iraq.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Where was the outrage when BO extended the patriot act? Bet you still voted to re-elect him.

are you saying BO was a repub when he extended the patriot act?

Of course, even if you don’t use a return address on the snail mail, they can still dust the letter for prints or DNA, and still find a way to track you down.

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