here is the deal as i see it....first, i don't get to wigged about the patriot act. i have actually read it, and it's tweaks. it still gets tweaked as it get challenged. the provisions in the patriot act extend the tools that the DEA has had for years, to the FBI, etc. am i happy to see government intruding into peoples lives? no. however, we let that horse out of the barn when we allowed the feds to regulate machine guns, drugs, education, contribute to welfare, health care, and social security. none of these things should ever have been touched by the feds, but here we are.....
england has a few problems that we really do need to be careful to avoid. it is a social welfare state and tony blair is the no. 1 socialist. a lot of americans like him because he is our buddy on international stuff, but he's as far left as al gore or edwards on domestic issues. england also has been very, very, lax on immigration. residents of former colonies come and go as they please and collect welfare. almost anyone who claims oppression in their homeland stays...no questions asked...and collects welfare. in their effort to be kind to all, they have allowed hate speech, incitement to riot, incitement to murder, and terrorist cells, to exist without question...until they blow something up.
now they, and other EU countries have a big mess to clean up. they have huge disenfranchised welfare populations who are being recruited and radicalized by imams allowed to say and do whatever they want. these are people sent in to teach in mosques for the express purpose of recruiting terrorists.
if there is a problem that england has, and we need to avoid, this is it. unfortunately, that may mean that we use the technology at hand to catch these people....while we keep an eye on our government to make sure they do not creep out of bounds.
so far we seem to be doing a reasonably good job on both fronts.