Gettin’ Up A Petition

July 9th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

We cannot imagine a scenario where law enforcement would express interest in our book purchases (we can’t even get the husband to look up when we bring home a particularly fetching novel). Then again, in the name of reearch (some would also call it good old fashioned curiosity) we’ve been known to pick up soem pretty strange things. We’ve also visited a lot of very bizarre websites (the husband suggested, perhaps, we might want to cover our tracks a bit more after we spent an afternoon learning how to blow up cars; he’ll probably suggest we explain this foray into bombmaking as well. No sense of humor.).

We probably should declare today “Political Day” because all of this is leading to our disappointment over the House of Representatives’ failure to scale back on certain provisions of the Patriot Act. We have a healthy respect for law enforcement and we are certainly law abiding (except for the speeding thing, but surely that doesn’t count). We are very uncomfortable with the fact that reading choices may be used as evidence against people (even, possibly, us, given what we have on our shelves for all to see). We’re bothered by the fact that gag orders are placed on booksellers and librarians — while we want to believe these powers will never be abused, what happens if they are? What fate awaits a whistleblower librarian? We’re concerned, even, by the arm twisting done in Congress. We’d like to see our elected officials vote their conscience, not party lines (this holds true for all party lines).

We often talk about getting up a petition, but are inherently lazy, and can never quite decide how one goes about it (though if someone know the process for the State of California, we’re particularly interested in abolishing the time change that makes us lose a precious hour of sleep). We are, however, regular correspondents with our elected representatives; we believe the word for folks like us is “crackpot.” Others have more gumption, energy, and savvy than we do, and have actually put together a campaign to repeal Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We ask, if you feel strongly on this issue, that you make your voice heard.

Update: The ink is barely dry on our post when we discover others out there are thinking outside the box. Stephany at (we really should make it a practice to visit earlier in the day) suggests a grassroots movement: check out objectionable materials. Lots of them. Flaunt them (okay, she doesn’t actually say that).

File Under: Square Pegs