On NPR news last night I heard a chilling report. One of the aspects
of the Patriot Act is to prevent money-laundering schemes from
helping terrorists, and as purveyors of small, valuable, portable
anonymous objects, jewelers are considered a target for regulation.
Companies may have to set up schemes and appoint officers in charge
of PA regulations. It’s not clear whether single-person operators
will be required to do the whole smorgasbord, but imagine what a
dust-up this could be. It’s like a whole new set of medical or
pension regulations is in the offing.
Maybe I should forget about trying to get that website published.
Don’t get my wrong, I share your concern, but for me, the Patriot
Act’s impact on the jewelry industry is far less important than it’s
impact on freedom of association, freedom of speech, posse
commitatus, due process, habeas corpus, privacy rights, etc. The
Patriot act is antithetical to the principals upon which this
country was founded, and it should be opposed, regardless of it’s
impact on the jewelry industry.
You may also have heard in that report that Walmart is going to be
exempt because they only buy from wholesalers and sell retail. The
problem, it seems, is when jewelers buy from the public or privately
and sell or resell the items privately. I am waiting, as we all
should, for details. But no need to get in a tizzy right now.
Myself, I wouldn’t buy a tanzanite or loose diamond from a guy off
the street if I didn’t know this person or it seemed even remotely
shady. Of course, I’m not knowledgeable about all the ways that a
person could use the jewelry business to launder dirty money, but it
is a reality we may have to deal with.
Contact Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America or the
Jewelers Vigilance Committee for more on this topic. Both groups are
well aware of the implications of the Patriot Act, and have been
working to make sure the federal government is aware of the concerns
I believe AJM magazine is planning an article next year covering the
Patriot Act and its implications for the jewelry industry. MJSA is
also offering a seminar at Expo New York on the topic, in conjunction
with Cecelia Gardener of JVC.
For more on the Patriot Act and its impact on jewelers, visit MJSA’s
Website www.mjsainc.com, and look under “Government Affairs”, then
"MJSA Legislative Activities."
The Patriot act is antithetical to the principals upon which this
country was founded, and it should be opposed
I really don’t remember when unilaterally attacking and deposing a
legally recognized government was exactly considered reasonable, or
ethical for that matter. Profitable for some, but never lawful nor
reasonable. Perhaps we need to oppose that as well. Any body here
remember the 1960s and early 70s.
How odd it is that some are looking for a universal symbol for love
and religion, I think the perfect symbol was done by the Celts it’s
called a Triquetra. It stands up in Christianity, Wicca, Pagan,
Gnostic, Judaic, not sure about Hindi or Muslim and Buddhist,
I’ve been heartened to read the responses on this list to the
discussion of the so-called Patriot Act and its impact on jewelers.
In addition to Suzanne’s excellent recommendation to contact MJSA and
JVC to support their efforts, I would urge you all to please get
personally involved and contact your OWN congressional officials –
representatives and senators. Let them hear your own voice, in
addition to the voice of the professional lobbyist. Help them
realize that this legislation, passed in the heat of the emotional
aftermath of 9-11-01 with little consideration of long-term impact,
will radically and permanently change the nature of American society
in ways we are only beginning to understand.
I shudder when I hear the impact statement that “every local
jeweler, even the mom-and-pop operation, will have to have a
"compliance officer” and be subject to governmental oversight."
(Sound like the Soviet Union in the KGB days?) It scares me on a
business and personal level to realize that the new rules of evidence
and investigation in the Act, as well as those extensions in the
proposed (Act II) mean that there is no longer a principle of
"unreasonable search and seizure." It frightens me to realize that
if one of my customers is involved – completely without my knowledge
– in something that the government may be interested in for any
reason, MY entire business and personal life could be secretly
surveilled including wiretapping… and that I could be prosecuted
for anything found in that surveillance even if it had nothing to
do with the original investigation.
There is a frightening point at which our personal and societal
safety has to be balanced against the principles of freedom and
self-determination that this country was founded upon. The
terrorists who attacked us on Sept. 11th made us all aware of that
point, but we stand to let them win when we allow the balance-point
to be set for us in a reactionary and inappropriate place.
Every day, I run into too many people who don’t know what the
Patriot Act is and who don’t understand its implications in their
daily lives. Please, for those of you who live in the U.S. – GET
EDUCATED ABOUT IT. Read, research, and discuss it to fully understand
the radical new powers it gives the government. Protect yourself as
a businessperson and as an individual by knowing what it can and
cannot do, and advocate strongly for the position that you ultimately
feel is right based on that education.
We cannot as a society allow this type of change to happen at the
urging of a few in a climate of apathy, and then later complain about
our lack of civil rights and liberties.
Thank you for listening. This is obviously something about which I
am passionate, and it affects all of us.
Please, for those of you who live in the U.S. -- GET EDUCATED ABOUT
IT. Read, research, and discuss it to fully understand the radical
new powers it gives the government.
Karen - Do you know of a website where the provisions of the act are
summarized in unemotional, simple language, so we know what we’re
really up against?
For 30 years I’ve been digging my heels in over such invasions of
privacy as everyone and their brother demanding a social security
number for everything from check cashing to utilities accounts. I
refused to give my SSN 20 years ago in AL when it was mandatory for
a driver’s license (notice how it’s now become a concern?). I
always said, What if Joe McCarthy had had computers??? People
laughed at me then, said, “What are you afraid of?” Now they know.
Well. Enough of the rant. I knew Orchidians would be interested in
For those who are interested, here are a couple of good sites. EPIC
(Electronic Privacy Information Center) and EFF (Electronic Freedom
Foundation) have both been at the forefront of identifying impacts
and educating lawmakers and the public on the Patriot Act. EPIC
tends not to go into unwarranted histrionics, and provides online
access to the full text of the Patriot Act in all its glory so you
can read it yourself.
Moveon.org is an interesting political advocacy grassroots movement
that has had a unique impact for such a young organization. It could
be a good way for some of you who are interested to get involved in
communication and direct action, if you find that the direction of
your motivation goes in their direction.
There are three great websites (listed below) that review the issues
surrounding the patriot act. It is imperative that people become
familiar with these issue and how our civil liberties are jeopardy.
For instance did you know that the government can:
1) Collect about what books you read, what you study, your
purchases, your medical history and your personal finances.
2) Search your home and not even tell you.
3) Label you a "terrorist" if you belong to an activist group.
4) Take away your property without a hearing.
5) Spy on innocent Americans.
6) Put immigrants in jail indefinitely.
7) Wiretap you under a warrant that doesn't even have your name on it.
Become involved in helping to restore and protect our civil
liberties. Go to these websites and see how you can become involved.
I have every reason to be affected by the Patriot Act.
I have purchased anarchist recordings in a very transparent way,
from the lead singer of one of my favorite music groups. I still own,
and sometimes listen to, said recordings. One of my associations,
from a long time back, was in a very radical, direct-action animal
I’m still passionately devoted to a shrinking of functions of the US
Fed Gov’t, back to the original Constitutional duties set forth at
the first convention. Were our borders better protected, and our
intelligence capabilities not gutted in the 90’s, I don’t think 9-11
would have happened. Charity is a private, local matter. Education,
the same. Health, the same again.
Am I a threat? You betcha!! My vote cannot be bought with
prescription drugs, retirement benefits, or charitable gestures. It’s
my body, my life, let me be.