Oldfart, You know, it's ironic. I had just, about 45 minutes ago since the thread became disrupted, PM'ed Lone and was expressing some views that I haven't expressed here, or at least to the degree. The irony is that much of what I typed to Lone was, to the point, of what you just posted. I am not as pro Patriot Act as I let on. What I am is, pro "anti terrorist." I am pro "non FUBAR America." I am pro "don't want to see another 9-11 or worse." I am pro "anti-Islamic Jihad." I very much realize the possibility of the slippery slope and, I don't want to slide, at all. What I have is a personal dilemma, I'll admit it. One I am sure a lot of folks have and probably a lot of folks on this board have as well even if they won't say so. I want my cake and eat it too. Sorry, but I'm selfish that way when it comes to this nation. I want it to bow to no other nation or entity. I want it to be free from harm, destruction, threats, terror, etc. I want the best for this country. I also want our rights protected, our freedoms protected and our liberties protected. A dirty bomb threatens all of the above. If we have a nuke go off in this country, it's my belief we'll see more freedoms and liberties go by the wayside than we have ever imagined to date. I see that as a great threat and one that needs to be prevented for our freedoms and liberties and our citizenries safety, of course. However, I don't know how to do both perfectly. So, I become an optimist that say's, "OK, I'll give a smidgen, not be selfish, be realistic and let the Govt have the ability to fight a defensive war with a little more offense." I know, there's a risk, no doubt. There's a risk if I don't as well. Half of what I debate here is half of what I think. I could debate the other side as well and feel as justified in my take on it. Seriously. The whole reason I started debating this was because of Lone's "Fred Voted for the Patriot Act" business. My point in all of this was, I don't see that as making Fred, or any other candidate that voted for it after 9-11, a bad choice for President of the USA. I can certainly understand why all but one Senator voted for the act. I do not see it as a negative against their record, elephant or donkey. Am I for it? Yes and No. Yes for what it helps, no for the slope it creates. As you say, there's not much it has done, in itself, to harm us or threaten us or our liberties. So yes, I have a dilemma. But I do not have a dilemma in standing behind a Senator running for President that voted for it. And that is how this all started. Anyway, we're closer in out thinking than you know. But since you've made the climb over the fence and I have not fully done so, we're still a somewhat apart. I appreciate your post.