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An Ode to Privacy

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Posted on Aug 7, 2007

By Eugene Robinson

WASHINGTON—Several times a month, a woman calls my office in the middle of the night and leaves long voice mail messages about how she’s the target of a vast, sinister conspiracy. I won’t give her name—obviously, she suffers from mental illness. The conspiracy she perceives involves the U.S. military, the CIA, interference with her brain waves and constant monitoring by the evil people who, for whatever reason, have decided that her thoughts somehow threaten their nefarious plans. Sometimes she disguises her voice and pretends to be a lieutenant in the heroic resistance against mind control.

    She always seems upbeat and energized, and I think I understand why: This must be a great time to be a paranoid.

    People with a tendency to imagine that they are constantly being watched now have actual evidence to support their delusions. This weekend, when Congress legalized the Bush administration’s practice of eavesdropping on citizens’ international phone calls and e-mails without first seeking court warrants, my occasional caller must have said to her imaginary lieutenant, “See, I told you so.”

    My purpose here is not to endorse paranoia, and I’m not even going to blast the White House for further eroding our traditional guarantees of privacy. Well, maybe I’ll blast the White House and Congress just a little: I’m as anxious to catch terrorists before they strike as the next guy, but what’s wrong with having at least a fig leaf of judicial oversight? Why is it so onerous to have the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court continue to rubber-stamp eavesdropping requests, even retroactively?

    Still, I’m having trouble getting as worked up over the new anything-goes snooping law as I should, because fighting for privacy as we once knew it is a lost cause. Our lives are public now.

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    What’s stunning about the National Security Agency’s surveillance of phone calls and e-mails is not just that it can now be done without a warrant, but that it can be done at all. If I were to pick up the phone and dial a terrorist suspect in, say, London, the call would have to be routed through some major telecommunications node. The NSA could somehow plug into that node and find my call amid all the countless others that happened to be passing through.

    In the process, the NSA would be able to capture an enormous amount of data about all sorts of phone calls. Most of that data might never be examined, but it would still be there if anyone cared to browse.

    Of course, we’ve known for a long time that phone records, as opposed to the actual conversations themselves, have the ability to live forever—and to tell the world more than we would like it to know. Just ask Sen. David Vitter, R-La., whose phone number showed up in the records of “D.C. Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey.

    The interesting thing is that Palfrey herself had no idea that Vitter had been one of the clients of her escort service. All she had was a set of her own phone records, listing only the phone numbers of callers. She released them on the Internet, and legions of the curious dug in to match numbers with names. Vitter was there all along, buried in the data.

    Phone calls are just a start. Everyone should know by now that e-mails are all but eternal. Even those messages that Karl Rove and the rest of the White House political staff sent and received through a parallel Republican National Committee e-mail system, and that now can’t be found, must be out there somewhere in cyberspace. But I digress. 

    The text messages we send back and forth on our cell phones are similarly long-lived. And if your mobile phone communicates with the global oositioning system, it sends information about precisely where you are. What was that again about having to work late at the office?

    Who needs GPS anyway? Think of all the security cameras that record your movements every day. Use an automated teller machine, fill the gas tank, drop into a convenience store, visit the mall or walk into the lobby of an office building, and chances are that you’ve been caught on videotape. 

    What if someone had predicted 50 years ago that someday all this once-private information would be captured and stored? Psychiatrists would have issued a quick and definitive diagnosis: paranoia.   

    Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.   

    © 2007, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Billing, October 7, 2007 at 5:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

SONG OF DEBORAH
..they chose new gods then war was in the gates.. awake awake deborah utter a song.. the Lord gave you dominion over the mighty.. curse you

bitterly the inhabitants thereof who came not to the help of justice against the mighty.. they divided the prey, to every man a damsel or two..

let all thine enemies perish o Lord and the land rest forty years..

Deborah palfrey deserves the Pemberton Award for Clean Governance.
Palfrey list is like the Black Book of 1918.
That trial of the Century is deleted from all books, cursed be reporters.
The list there had 47000 names.
The list here has 46000 phone bills.
The listed are not womenizers, machos or ordinary sinners.
They are power brokers gay lutheran shock and awe agitators of all wars and all panics.
These wretches are one dirty cover to the real pimps deep underground.
A curse on the kingpins, Justice Charles Darling then and Judge Adolph Kessler now.

Noel Pemberton-Billing
Trial of the Century 1918

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By Dan Uu Noel, August 11, 2007 at 12:04 am Link to this comment

I had no intention to writean addendum to my tangent on sorcery (#93218 on 8/08 at 4:42 pm), but here it comes. On 8/9 in the evening, I looked for and found another federal program of professional witchcraft. This one targets whistle-blowers. Like its 9/11 truth program I described on 8/8, it consists in remotely inflicting intense physical and mental discomfort, presumably until the victim makes a commitment to renounce his or her planned whistle blowing activity.
I immediately sent some healing to the individuals involved in that work. On 8/10, in the afternoon, I was “rewarded” by an attack much more intense than whatever I ever received from DoD, probably severe enough to cause a cardiac arrest in an individual without healing powers.
It is with great sadness that I offer the contention that the U.S. government will deliberately torment in a crass fashion the very people who are desperately calling for teamwork, quality, productivity and service to the public.
Love,

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By purplewolf, August 10, 2007 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

# 93476 Louise
Go search out Marvin Bush, brother to G.W.“the hiding in the bush family member” and root out what he did for a job and when he resigned his employment. He was head of security of the same towers hit on 9-11. He resigned his job the night of 9-10- just hours before they were hit. Also check out the nanny who took care of his 13 and 17 year old children and her “strange death on the home property of Marvin Bush.Hushed up. Why do children that old have a nanny anyway and why didn’t the other security agents helpsee or hear this accident.Look at the picture of where she was supposedly pinned between her car and the gaurd house entrance and tell me after being pinned by said car it mysteriously rolled across the street into the neighbors property. A car pinning someone would not later roll away.Strange or convienient?
Also why was G.w. so infatic as to not start an investigation into the 9-11, he did everything to cause delays. What was he hiding?

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By purplewolf, August 10, 2007 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

#93115 GW=McHammered
Loved your scenerio about bush+cheney needing a new emblem to represent the Great Democracy-(demo-to show something, moc(mock)-to make fun of,cracy( new way to spell crazy as Bush can’t spell). Might I suggest the instead of the picture of Bush, we all know Cheney would install himself into the new emblem, thus the new flag will have an over enlarged picture of Dicko with his famous sign language gesture of giving everyone in the whole universe the “FINGER with the saying go fuck yourself”, instead of in God we trust.The reverse side could have a picture of Cheney mooning everyone saying “kiss my ass”. And the new anthem would be the song with the same name by Van Halen.

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By Skruff, August 10, 2007 at 7:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

93649 by cyrena on 8/10 at 4:24 am

“The Brits may have had it right when they called us just plain stupid for re-electing Bush in ‘04.  Naive fits too.”

After retaining Tony the Simpleton as the longest serving prime minster in Briton’s history, the Brits should know “stupid” when they see it!

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By cyrena, August 10, 2007 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

#92826 by felicity on 8/07 at 10:02 am
(70 comments total)

Indeed, what does it take to wake up, Verne Arnold.  So many out here feel so safe because, as they say, “Well, I’m not doing anything wrong, so let them tap away.” Gitmo and Abu G. are full of people who ‘didn’t do anything wrong’ yet the import of that seems to elude this bunch.

The Brits may have had it right when they called us just plain stupid for re-electing Bush in ‘04.  Naive fits too.

=====================

Felicity,

A very large AMEN to this, and I’m not even religious. It all fits. They all say that it doesn’t matter if you’re not doing anything wrong.

That is until they find themselves for for buying garden/farm fertilizer on the same sales check as an alarm clock. And heaven forbid they should make an “unanticipated” deposit to their bank account in the same week, and especially if that deposit exceeds what they “normally” get from the recognized sources.

Next thing they know, they’re a possible terrorist. Some folks can’t connect these possibilities and outcomes with themselves until it happens, and they wind up like the detainees at Gitmo, but their right here at home, in the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Some of us simply fail to learn from the experiences of others. Unfortunately, that ends up bringing all the rest of us down with them.

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By anthony bauwens, August 10, 2007 at 4:28 am Link to this comment

Of cource it excists I know of people that work certain jobs that arent even suppose to talk about there ocupation or they can pack their bags. I seen it one time were a fellow mentioned something about his work for whom wich went further it ended the next morning.While reporting for shift he was asked to roll up his bags..some jobs need that security.

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By anthony bauwens, August 10, 2007 at 4:28 am Link to this comment

Of cource it excists I know of people that work certain jobs that arent even suppose to talk about there ocupation or they can pack their bags. I seen it one time were a fellow mentioned something about his work for whom wich went further it ended the next morning.While reporting for shift he was asked to roll up his bags..some jobs need that security.

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By Louise, August 9, 2007 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

#93218 by Dan Uu Noel on 8/08 at 4:42 pm

Forgive my ignorance sir, but are you serious?

If so, you do a disservice to those who want to see the truth laid bare behind the tragedy of 9/11. Because what happened was not a myth, guided by souls or evil spirits, or just a remarkable series of circumstances that all came together at the same second in time to make a group of incompetent Arab “pilots” [if indeed they even existed] look like the most brilliant and masterful villains of all time.

In fact, re-reading your post, I’m not even sure I understand what you’re saying!

What happened on 9/11 was no accident, no series of coincidences, nor the end result of a failsafe plan created in a cave somewhere by a man with a beard. What happened on 9/11 was murder. Cold calculated murder. Murder for hire, murder for profit, murder for all the sinister and deliberate reasons any organized crime family has ever been engaged in the act of planning, carrying out and committing murder.

Seems to me such people don’t have to count on soul control to screw up the world. They seem to be doing a marvelous job using the tried and true methods always available where money is concerned. Corrupt people, corrupt politicians, corrupt business people, and any others available for corruption. Of course they succeed primarily because honest people resist seeing corruption ... until it squats on their head!

Not in their head, on their head.

And of course if you are not serious ... I guess this must be humor.

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By Dan Uu Noel, August 8, 2007 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

The story of the paranoid woman (1st paragraph) is not far off. The Department of Defense seems to use professional sorcerers to cast spells on selected 9/11 truth-seekers.
Back on 3/13, for no apparent reason and with no warning, I suddenly felt a considerable amount of physical and mental discomfort, to the point that my wife considered driving me to the ER. Being a healer, I tried several processes to get better, without success. Finally I discovered that I was being attacked by souls, including one from a major 9/11 conspirator; I quickly had the spell cleared and the sorcerer who engineered it healed (i.e. stripped of much of his power). Later, as I attempted to communicate with the souls of the sorcerer’s clients, I learned that their bodies worked for DoD and were paid to torment 9/11 truth-seekers, possibly in an attempt to make them think that God would be punishing them.
Interestingly, this last 8/1, DoD hit my 14-year-old son in a similar way; this time, of course, I had the problem cleared much faster. In both cases, DoD attacked us hours after we got deeply involved in the work of Ray Griffin, who approaches 9/11 from the myth-making point of view.
Through these soul-to-soul dialogs, I sensed that this DoD group would be responsible for the mysterious death of Loose Change’s Dan Wallace, and maybe for his alleged occasional aggressive confrontational stances.
I could not have a meaningful dialog with the soul of the “paranoid” woman, but her voice-mails do carry a point. Why would DoD be the only agency involved in casting spells, and why would people interested in Griffin’s work be its only target?
Love,

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By Scott, August 8, 2007 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Dang, I forgot to add the /

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By Scott, August 8, 2007 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

<i>To the streets I say…Now!  Before it’s too late!<i>

Then what?

In my case the ‘street’ is an old dirt road and the nearest traffic light is an hour and a half’s drive away.

I do have a high speed DSL Internet connection though.

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By GW=MCHammered, August 8, 2007 at 9:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WANTED: NEW SYMBOLS OF AMERICANISM
by Indigent Riter
Warshington Prone staff writer
08/08/07 = 1/7?
(satire)

Now that Congress agrees with the President and the Supreme Court that the Constitution is unconstitutional, America seeks new symbols to represent its neo Bush-found übernationalism.

“Have you seen it? It’s an old piece of paper with very antiquated ideas. Time we brought America into the 14th century,” said Vice President Cheney of the forefathers-scribed Constitution. “I’m having Alberto do some work on those Ten Commandments too,” he finished with a grin.

President Bush agreed with the VP then added, “Too many people disrespect the flag. So I’m ordering ALL flags be taken down eeemmediately! Until we find a more suitable emblem of our great Democracy, every American can fly a banner of my favorite picture of me. You can order them at the White House webpage starting tomorrow. Apply for your Enron Visa card while you’re there too, heh-heh.”

At a later press conference, the President of the free world then ordered ALL coal mines closed, “Make no mistake about it, coal mines cause earthquakes,” he exclaimed. “That’s what brought down that bridge up north then flooded New Orleans, you see. Besides, we can get coal cheaper overseas. Give China all those dangerous mining jobs.”

“Communist China,” I contributed just before being bulled aside by a dark suit with AK-47.

—————————————

(advertisement)
GOT GREED?
It’s what’s for dinner.
Eat the elite.

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By Skruff, August 8, 2007 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“We can be shot down like dogs with no recourse.  Kent State times a million.  No great loss, but I don’t know how much longer I can post here…I need more than rhetoric…I’ve gotten that all of my long life and it has never been enough for me…I walk to strange music…”

Funny the things we remember. I protested all during Vietnam.  Started when I was 11,

BUT my best memories have nothing to do with the protests, the politics, or even the general life of that time.

My best times were on the Beach at Cape Cod, Palisades Park, and sitting around Joe Wilson’s filling station on hot summer nights talking about stuff teenagers discuss.

On one of those nights, Joe and his wife danced in the wash bay to Ben E King and the Drifters singing “Save the last dance ...” A time I’ll think about till the lights go out.

Sure fight the system, but take a time out to enjoy….as you say, it’s the only life we get!

Sorry about the off subject discourse.

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By Verne Arnold, August 8, 2007 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

#92815 by Louise on 8/07 at 8:39 am
(76 comments total)

#92750 by Verne Arnold on 8/07 at 4:47 am
“P.S.  Just listen to Amy Goodman’s broadcast on Democracy Now! Monday the 6th.”

And then watch today’s show. Tuesday August 7.

Thanks for the heads up…I would have listened anyway.  John Pilger is awesome.

You know, most of us posters here… I think we can’t quite get our mojo’s working, it’s like we’re trying out for a rehearsal for something.

Life, isn’t a rehearsal…it’s the real thing and it’s quickly slipping through our fingers and if we don’t get active, as in public, as in butt on the line, real fast, we’re cooked.  Once the fascist’s takeover is complete, real blood (our’s) will flow and there will be no constitution to protect us.  We can be shot down like dogs with no recourse.  Kent State times a million.  No great loss, but I don’t know how much longer I can post here…I need more than rhetoric…I’ve gotten that all of my long life and it has never been enough for me…I walk to strange music…

To the streets I say…Now!  Before it’s too late!

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By cyrena, August 7, 2007 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

#92773 by KISS on 8/07 at 6:51 am

•  Ah yes, I remember my conspiracy days and those that laughed at me. They ain’t laughin’ now! Can anyone recall the FBI’s “Enigma Machine? Where any word used on the telephone concerning drugs e.g. opium, marijuana, heroin would set off this tracker for the DEA and other gestapo agencies? Again I was the butt of many jokes. When I talked of political prisons again I was laughed at. Now no one is doing that now. “ The Land of the Brave and Free…Oh Ya?
Kiss,
Yep, I remember. Do you remember something called the co-intelpro-something or other, when the FBI and Hoover were targeting MLK and others from the Civil Rights Movement? Were their “concerns” unwarranted”? Was it just paranoia? Apparently not, since several of these targets wound up dead.

And, I’ve lived at the same brunt of jokes or even worse, when I questioned the story of 9-11, or any of the rest of the increasing nature of the U.S. as a police state. I was “paranoid”. And you’re right, nobody is laughing now, and I don’t get any pleasure from having been “vindicated”. And, the only purpose of these communications is to hope that it simply will inform more people, that that have been, (or are continuing to be) “mass manipulated”.

Eugene and others are correct about the availability of our private information. It has always been available. The difference now is that they share it with anyone, (as Skruff noted earlier) and THAT has become the huge difference. When I worked with the sensitive data of millions of people, it was a GIVEN, that the information could not, and would not, be passed along to anyone else. (law enforcement even needed at least some justification for wanting the info). None of that is the case now. We’ve got LIBRARIANS under “gag” orders, and “security letters” and threats from the government, to turn over reading lists and other such information. This of course, is just another part of what has been happening since the Mob highjacked our government, but this now gives them the legal cover, to continue doing the illegal.

So, it’s not so much that we don’t accept the need for some of this information to be shared, because we’ve all been in a number of databases for a long time. The fact that this information is now mass distributed, and available to the government to use or interpret however they like, is the end of the process that started when they took over. We are now a full-fledged police state.

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By DennisD, August 7, 2007 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

R.I.P. - the great Republic once known as America. Our elected lackeys give away our rights like free popcorn at the movies and are we upset enough to do anything other than sit meekly in front of a computer or TV screen and watch ourselves get screwed. Hell no, no out cries from the press and certainly no protest by the people.

The first revolution in this country started over far less than what’s being done to it’s people now. As our “leaders” keep pushing the envelope to see how far they can go before the people stop them there doesn’t appear to be any limit. When do we say “we’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” and get out in the streets. Illegal aliens protest more in our country than we it’s citizens do. It’s f**king pathetic. No wonder why our “representatives do nothing to stop what’s going on. They have nothing to fear from us. 

We’re way beyond thinking a vote will change what’s happening folks. This has been a bipartisan effort all the way along. The District of Corruption has been slowly unwrapping it’s present to the American people for the last 20 years.
I truly expect Bu$h to say in his next State of the Disunion Speech - “Happy Dictatorship, ya all we’ve made it” to the applause of Congress.

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By ardee, August 7, 2007 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

#92773 by KISS on 8/07 at 6:51 am
(39 comments total)

Ah yes, I remember my conspiracy days and those that laughed at me. They ain’t laughin’ now! Can anyone recall the FBI’s “Enigma Machine? Where any word used on the telephone concerning drugs e.g. opium, marijuana, heroin would set off this tracker for the DEA and other gestapo agencies? Again I was the butt of many jokes. When I talked of political prisons again I was laughed at. Now no one is doing that now. “ The Land of the Brave and Free…


Hmm, wasnt that program called ‘Carnivore’?...Enigma was the machine from World War Two used to encode German radio communications to its submarines, if memory serves…...read Cryptonomicon ( the trilogy) by Neal Stephenson for background and a terrific story.

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By Scott, August 7, 2007 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps if the people could monitor the government from the top down honesty and decency would rise like cream as opposed to scum.

The point is this idea has never been tried. The Fourth Estate may have pretended this was it’s role but it’s day has clearly come and gone.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 7, 2007 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Scott,

Like your analogy, sad but true.

“Insecurity, corruption and terror oozes like pus and dribbles down through society like wealth was supposed too, only for real.”

R.R. and the trickle down theory as it is.

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By Scott, August 7, 2007 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

Its time to turn Orwells’s telescreens the other way.

I subscribe to the view that the worst insecurity in the world stems from the incestuous machinations of wealthy powerful people that secretly stroke each other’s interests in their smoke-filled back rooms. Insecurity, corruption and terror oozes like pus and dribbles down through society like wealth was supposed too, only for real.

I bet we’d get a much bigger bang for our security dollars if we used them to monitor the government. The really good news is we should save a bundle on cameras. It stands to reason that it would be a lot cheaper for 6.5 billion human beings to monitor 160 odd governments than the other way around.

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By Scott, August 7, 2007 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

If we must have yet another revolution then lets at least have a real one this time and hard wire the next government directly to the Internet.

Total public awareness and realtime transparency of the government would probably represent humanity’s single greatest achievement and break from the past.

The means to realizing this completely new paradigm is staring you right in the face.

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By Leefeller, August 7, 2007 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

1984 is running a little late, we should not blame Congress.

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By Evan W., August 7, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Well I sure hope for the sake of the FBI that they aren’t tapping my calls:

“Hey, what’cha doin’?”
“Not much. What’re you doin’?”

I’d rather have my tax dollars go to the Irish World Toilet Summit.

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By purplewolf, August 7, 2007 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

One of my favorite movies is “Enemy of the State”. When I told my mother to watch it at first she thought the movie was good but didn’t believe all the technology spying stuff. Now she does. Shades of 1984 enhanced. Also in the 1960’s there was a movie called “The Monitors” in which every thing the people did was watched and listened to and those who stepped outside the established rules were hunted down. Sounds as if this is just around the corner, better watch out, the cameras are on.

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By david, August 7, 2007 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Embrace Facism….or else!

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, August 7, 2007 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

The water is warming slowly and steadily… and we are frogs sitting in it. Enjoy!

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By THOMAS BILLIS, August 7, 2007 at 11:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These politicians better wake up.The American public is braver than these elected wimps who are worried that if they do not take away all our rights to privacy they will be blamed for the next terrorist attack.Some of us may have to die to protect our rights just as so many brave souls have died before us in battlefields all over the world to give us these rights.Our children deserve no less sacrifice from us to be able to inherit the same country our parents gave to us.If you chose to hide under a bed and have a government that has unfettered access to every aspect of your life I feel sorry for you.I am an American.I will not fear enough to give the government complete access to every aspect of my life.I never lived through the Mccarthy era when they screamed Communism and stole peoples lives but I have read enough to know that when they are screaming the loudest it is probably not a real fear and they are playing on my basic fears to steal my rights.Well I state again I am an American and me personally I will not give into fear of the unknown.We are not a fearful people and we must elect or let our elected officials know what we are and that we will not put up with being treated like fearful little children.We are all Americans.

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By felicity, August 7, 2007 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Indeed, what does it take to wake up, Verne Arnold.  So many out here feel so safe because, as they say, “Well, I’m not doing anything wrong, so let them tap away.”  Gitmo and Abu G. are full of people who ‘didn’t do anything wrong’ yet the import of that seems to elude this bunch.

The Brits may have had it right when they called us just plain stupid for re-electing Bush in ‘04.  Naive fits too.

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By Sir Edward McArthur, August 7, 2007 at 10:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article begins by describing a paranoid woman caller as “obviously mentally ill”—the fact is she may very well be or not. The government does have the technology to mess with our brain waves and has been doing so.  People need to wake up to what is actually going on and has been going on for a long time.

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By Leefeller, August 7, 2007 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Japan before the war was controlled by the military. The people of Japan and their Congress were marginalized by threats or covert action maybe just kept in the dark. Our congress may have received threats, the way the White House operates with impunity I would not be surprised, on the other hand they seem to have their heads where the sun don’t shine. 

The give away of the Constitution is just the start, you haven’t seen anything yet. We have a right to be concerned or even feel a brush of paranoia. .

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By Louise, August 7, 2007 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

I have a friend who once had relatives behind the “Iron Curtain.” One day he used the telephone to try to locate them. A few days later, he had the FBI knocking at his door, demanding to know why he had phoned inside the “enemy” lines.

Of course his first response was, “How did you know?” Followed by, “Obviously you have my phone tapped!”

“No,” the agent responded, “we cant do that ... it’s against the law.”

“Right ... ” my friend said, and they shared a chuckle.

That little incident was followed by a series of visits by “strange” people with loose beards. Stranger people peeking in windows and trying to go unnoticed as they followed and took pictures. The incident took on the appearance of a classic Keystone Cop comedy, which ended finally when my friend snuck up behind one of “them” squatting at the basement window, camera in hand. The roar emitted by my friend when he jumped down next to the stranger caused the stranger to fall back on his haunches, drop his camera and frantically claw his way back up to the driveway. Running for his car, my friend right behind him waiving the camera ...“You forgot something!”

That was many years ago. That same country is now one of our strongest allies. And my friend has become a determined and vocal “Conspiracy Theorist.”

As have I ...

#92750 by Verne Arnold on 8/07 at 4:47 am
“P.S.  Just listen to Amy Goodman’s broadcast on Democracy Now! Monday the 6th.”

And then watch today’s show. Tuesday August 7. http://www.democracynow.org

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By Don Stivers, August 7, 2007 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

The Democratic Congress has become George Bush’s poodle.  What was once an impeachable offense is now legal. 

“Here, Democratic Congress, go after your bone.  Ha, ha, ha.  What stupid puppies.  This is cool Carl.  Shall we pull their wings off?  And then pull their legs off.  They don’t even know what we are doing.”

How did we sink so low?

From a disgusted Republican.  Where is justice?

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By nonsequitor, August 7, 2007 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

‘An Ode to Privacy’

An Ode to the dead U.S. Constitution.

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By Verne Arnold, August 7, 2007 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

P.S. Time is an illusion…it doesn’t exist…there is only now!

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By Verne Arnold, August 7, 2007 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

Hope without action is like waiting for the second coming….cattle to the slaughter, but in this case less dramatic…more like the frog in the pot of cold water as the heat gradually boils the frog.
Think about it…....or not.

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By KISS, August 7, 2007 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Ah yes, I remember my conspiracy days and those that laughed at me. They ain’t laughin’ now! Can anyone recall the FBI’s “Enigma Machine? Where any word used on the telephone concerning drugs e.g. opium, marijuana, heroin would set off this tracker for the DEA and other gestapo agencies? Again I was the butt of many jokes. When I talked of political prisons again I was laughed at. Now no one is doing that now. ” The Land of the Brave and Free…Oh Ya?

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By Chaseme, August 7, 2007 at 7:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Certainly our lives are “public now” and I agree that things will not change. It’s like watching the NBA players arguing with the referee. The referee will not change the call just because a player argues with them. But, sometimes you have to wonder when a bad call is made, was it made due to a mistake by the referee and that referee truly believes they saw something wrong or was it made because the referee had something to gain, as in the Tim Donaghy case?

Now, if the bush administration truly believed they were doing the right thing for the American people, and the American people supported their beliefs, when a mistake is made we can (majority of Americans) understand the mistake?

However, this administration has openly and publicly increased their profits by the call they have made and has dared us to argue their call. At this point, is it “paranoia” or is it that the caller knows her argument, when voiced openly, will be ignored.

Imagine if Donaghy openly publicized the fact that he was altering the NBA games by the calls he made. Sports fans across America would be outraged. In fact, some would riot and I would go as far to say that many rabid sports fans would attempt assassination; keeping in mind that in America, sports is certainly more important than our rights to Privacy.

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By farmertx, August 7, 2007 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

A lot of us cling to hope. Not that this Congress will do anything. But that we can elect folks that are as fed up with politics as usual as we are.
And that will take time. Even if we elected the very best candidates possible, who all shared a goal of bringing America back, it would be years before the excesses of the Shrub can be undone.
Not to mention all that money that has disappeared in this ego war of his, among many other black holes.

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By David Sheppard, August 7, 2007 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why does the article assume the lady mentioned in the first paragraph is crazy? Its been happening to me too, every since i sent an email to mass media and congress alleging a conspiracy about 911. Things are a changin’.

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By Verne Arnold, August 7, 2007 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

P.S.  Just listen to Amy Goodmans broadcast on Democracy Now! Monday the 6th.

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By Verne Arnold, August 7, 2007 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

An Ode to Privacy

Posted on Aug 7, 2007
By Eugene Robinson

“and I’m not even going to blast the White House for further eroding our traditional guarantees of privacy.”

Yes…there it is.  I understand.  I’m tired too.  “Our”, “Democratically (HA!)” controlled congress (HA!) just rubber stamped this through without a fight.  They (congress) act like beaten dogs cowering at their master’s feet.

For anyone who still thinks there is hope…I’m sorry for you.  You have been so sold out!  I guess it’s like an addict in denial…they just can’t see the obvious.  The worst of it is you have been sold out by your “saviors”.  Judas lives!  Et tu Brute?

What does it take to wake up?  Hearing the jailer locking the door?  Or feeling the trapdoor disappear beneath your feet?

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By Skruff, August 7, 2007 at 5:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here in Maine they have begun to REQUIRE social security numbers in order to RENEW driver’s licenses.  Because a state driver’s license is a “PRIVLEDGE” (a word Conspicuacely missing from our constitution) they can REQUIRE any test they choose in order that you QUALIFY for their privledge.

Now the State of Maine already has my social security number on file, they get it each year when I file my taxes.  BUT the taxation department is forbidden by law from passing this number on to motor vehicles.  Motor vehicles is under no such restriction.  In fact Maine regularly sells license information to anyone who will pay $.07 a name.

So now (because my social security card specifically states: “NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION’ and Franklin Roosevelt promised that Social Security numbers “...would never be used for identification purposes” I am a law breaker driving Maines highways and byways without a license (funny, the car starts without it)

Our government is heading for a confrontation with its people .... I sort-a-hope it resembles the French Revolution more than our own.

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