Thursday, May 11, 2006

:: Laundry List: Privacy, Spying, & Missing the Wege ::

Q red splat.jpgCrap.

I am already having WEGE withdrawals. I guess I will just have to suffer for the cause. Have fun, and good luck Mark.

Do we have ANY privacy left?

Those government listening posts must be having a great time listening to phone sex. Frankly, I do not understand why absolutely nothing has happened occurred to these shits shut down this illegal spying in our country by our own government.

USA Today reports today that the National Security Agency has a database of phone calls made by 200,000,000 people:

WaPo just came out with another article about the NSA Spying Program:

Fresh disclosures yesterday in USA Today about the scale of domestic surveillance -- the most extensive yet known involving ordinary citizens and residents -- touched off a bipartisan uproar against a politically weakened President Bush. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) vowed to haul telephone companies before his committee under oath to ferret out details the Bush administration refuses to supply, and more than 50 Democrats signed a letter demanding a criminal investigation by a special counsel.

Bush made an unscheduled appearance before White House reporters and sought to shape perceptions about the surveillance while declining to acknowledge that it is taking place. He said that "the intelligence activities I authorized are lawful," but specified no source of statutory or constitutional authority.

I feel absolutely nothing but pure unmitigated disdain for these power-mongering morons.

Raising fuel economy standards is absolutely necessary. But, it certainly is not the only solution to our use of oil and fossil fuels. I actually heard on the radio today, some guy stating that China was using up all the oil. Interesting that the U.S. is the largest guzzler at 25% of all oil produced. I am not going to complain about the price of oil, other than to say the oil companies are raking in a mint. However, the higher oil, the more people bitch, the better solutions come from it all and people start paying attention. And, more importantly, change their behaviors.

Bush is attempting to appoint four more seriously conservative judges with lifetime appointments:

Brett M. Kavanaugh, currently Bush's staff secretary, just had his recommendation from the American Bar Association downgraded. One judge who reviewed his nomination called the nominee "less than adequate" and said he had been "sanctimonious." Yet, Mr. Kavanaugh has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is widely viewed as a stepping stone to the Supreme Court.

William G. Myers III has been nominated to the 9th Circuit, even though his nomination was successfully filibustered in July of 2004. The Judiciary Committee reported his nomination to the Senate floor in March of last year despite vocal opposition from more than 180 environmental, Native American, labor, civil rights, disability rights, women's rights and other organizations who signed a letter opposing Myers' confirmation.

William J. Haynes II has been nominated to the 4th Circuit. He has spent the bulk of his legal career as a lawyer in the Department of Defense and, most recently, as the department's principal author and defender of the administration's plan for military tribunals, its denial of Geneva Convention protections to persons captured on the battlefield, and its indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without access to counsel or the ability to challenge their detention.

Finally, Terrence W. Boyle is waiting for confirmation to the 4th Circuit as well. Judge Terrence Boyle is currently a U.S. District Judge in North Carolina. His judgments are frequently reversed, and he has a record of hostility toward individual rights claims by African Americans, people with disabilities and others seeking justice in his courtroom.

Peter Beinert says liberals are too nice....

Woodward describes how senior Clintonites began holding meetings in the White House solarium to prevent uninvited staffers from attending. The ex-Bush official was appalled. Had anyone dared show up uninvited to a meeting in the Bush White House, he explained, he would have been physically ejected from the room, if not the building. Why can't liberals do that? How can we convince the American people we can stand up to criminals and dictators if we can't even stand up to the odd bloviating wonk?

One of the best all-around articles I have read fairly describing Stephen Colbert's monologue at the White House Press Dinner - wow, someone else who "gets" irony.

Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006: Opportunity for whom you may ask? Why, for the large communications industries, ofcourse. Not foe us, that's for sure. Now, they are even threatening other industries that use the internet:

The pipe companies are busily trying to persuade big content providers that it’s in their interest to pay for faster and more reliable Internet deliveries. Verizon’s chief Washington lobbyist recently warned the financial services industry that if it supports net neutrality, it won’t get the sophisticated data links it will need in the future. The pipes are also quietly reassuring the big content providers that they can pass along the fees to their customers.

massacrelist darfur.jpgDarfur....calling Genocide, Genocide... and doing something about it. TNR has just devoted their entire issue to Darfur. Check it out. [Plus Images]

In Darfur, we are witnessing a genocide again, and again we are witnessing ourselves witnessing it and doing nothing to stop it. Even people who wish to know about the problem do not wish to know about the solution. They prefer the raising of consciousness to the raising of troops. Just as Rwanda made a bleak mockery of the lessons of Bosnia, Darfur is making a bleak mockery of the lessons of Rwanda. Some lessons, it seems, are gladly and regularly unlearned. Except, of course, by the perpetrators of this evil, who learn the only really enduring lessons about genocide in our time: that the Western response to it is late in coming, or is not coming at all.

Bush's poll numbers? Bush now has 29% approval rating. And, for those who are math illiterate, that means 71% of the public thinks he sucks. I have to say, I love it when the ultra-conservative media go after their god for the past 5.5 years. One wonders if they will ever admit they were wrong about this guy.

You know hell has frozen over when George Will goes after the Republican's "Republican" icon: John McCain

[crossposted at Sine.Qua.Non's Journal]


At May 12, 2006 9:35 AM , Blogger Norwegianity said...

You're not the only one in withdrawal. It's been a long time since I've been paid to keep my mouth shut!

But I do believe in this candidate, and refocusing my energies on putting out a positive message instead of snark is something I need to do, however much I miss the snark.

At May 16, 2006 2:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At May 16, 2006 2:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At May 17, 2006 12:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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