Several things have raised my ire today, so - of course - I'm going to rant about them here.
First off, Senators Clinton, Liebermann and Bayh have proposed legislation to stop the sales of violent video games to minors. Now, besides the fact that most retailers won't sell anything rated M or AO to people under 18, besides the fact that the average age of gamers is 29, besides the fact that a recent study showed there was no link between videogames and violence... geh... Parents, read the rating on the box. If it says "M for Mature" don't buy it for little Billy. There, that solves everything. And the ESRB ratings are actually very good, and like the MIAA does for the Movie industry, the Video Game industry can self-police itself without government intervention.
The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.
The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.
"I tell my students to go to the direct source, and so he asked for the official Peking version of the book," Professor Pontbriand said. "Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring inter-library loans, because that's what triggered the visit, as I understand it."
This blatant violation of a person's privacy did no help for freedom, or protecting the country. In fact, all it did was state that our government is opposed to people understanding the viewpoints of others. This Orwellian policing of thought is EXACTLY why we can't afford to renew the USA PATRIOT ACT.