THE FBI AND LIBRARIES: Here’s an actual report of FBI agents at a library — though on closer inspection it doesn’t reveal that they were actually snooping on patrons. I’m all for people having privacy in what books they check out, though I think that the relationship between the Patriot Act and libraries is, as this columnist is honest enough to note, less direct than one might think. And that underscores a problem with the arguments over this topic.

I doubt, for example, that the American Library Association, or NPR, thinks that financial privacy is as important as the privacy of library circulation records, but I’d be interested to see them make the case that one is more closely connected to preserving freedom than the other.

As a longterm critic of the Patriot Act, I’d be fairly easy to persuade on the importance of both kinds of privacy. I’d just like to see people try a bit harder, instead of taking it for granted.