The Patriot Act is coming up for renewal this year. I have often heard people at cocktail parties and elsewhere criticize it as if it were the work of Torquemada’s lost brother, but when I cautiously asked them if they had read it, not once did they say that they had, although it has been readily available on line for some time. Of course, it’s a serious matter, the balancing of civil liberties vs. defense against terror deserves our close attention. Fausta of the Bad Hair Blog has been giving it such, attending a lecture by one of the act’s authors Prof. Viet Dinh. Her report is here.