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The End of Privacy

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Posted on Jan 24, 2008

By Elliot D. Cohen

Amid the controversy brewing in the Senate over Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reform, the Bush administration appears to have changed its strategy and is devising a bold new plan that would strip away FISA protections in favor of a system of wholesale government monitoring of every American’s Internet activities. Now the national director of intelligence is predicting a disastrous cyber-terrorist attack on the U.S. if this scheme isn’t instituted.

It is no secret that the Bush administration has already been spying on the e-mail, voice-over-IP, and other Internet exchanges between American citizens since as early as and possibly earlier than Sept. 11, 2001. The National Security Agency has set up shop in the hubs of major telecom corporations, notably AT&T, installing equipment that makes copies of the contents of all Internet traffic, routing it to a government database and then using natural language parsing technology to sift through and analyze the data using undisclosed search criteria. It has done this without judicial oversight and obviously without the consent of the millions of Americans under surveillance. Given any rational interpretation of the Fourth Amendment, its mass spying operation is illegal and unconstitutional. 

But now the administration wants to make these illegal activities legal. And why is that? According to National Director of Intelligence Mike McConnell, who is now drafting the proposal, an attack on a single U.S. bank by the 9/11 terrorists would have had a far more serious impact on the U.S. economy than the destruction of the Twin Towers. “My prediction is that we’re going to screw around with this until something horrendous happens,” said McConnell. So the way to prevent this from happening, he claims, is to give the government the power to spy at will on the content of all e-mails, file transfers and Web searches.

McConnell’s prediction of something “horrendous” happening unless we grant government this authority has a tone similar to that of the fear-mongering call to arms against terrorism that President Bush sounded before taking us to war in Iraq. Now, Americans are about to be asked to surrender their Fourth Amendment rights because of a vague and unsupported prediction of the dangers and costs of cyber-terrorism.

The analogy with the campaign to frighten us into war with Iraq gets even stronger when it becomes evident that along with the establishing of American forces in Iraq, the cyber-security McConnell is calling for was, all along, part of the strategic plan, devised by Dick Cheney and several other present and former high-level Bush administration officials, to establish America as the world’s supreme superpower. This plan, known as the Project for the New American Century, unequivocally recognized “an imperative” for government to not only secure the Internet against cyber-attacks but also to control and use it offensively against its adversaries. The Project for the New American Century also maintained that “the process of transformation” it envisioned (which included the militarization and control of the Internet) was “likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.” All that appears to be lacking to make the analogy complete is the “horrendous” cyber-attack—the chilling analog of the 9/11 attacks—that McConnell now predicts.

Apparently, the Bush administration had hoped to continue its mass surveillance program in secret, but as many as 40 civil suits were filed against AT&T and other telecoms, threatening to blow the government’s illegal spying activities wide open. Unable to have these cases dismissed in appellate court by once again playing the national-security card, the administration drafted and tried to push through Congress a version of the FISA Amendments Act of 2007 that gave retroactive immunity to telecom corporations for their assistance in helping the government spy en mass on Americans without a court warrant. The administration’s plan was to use Congress’ passage of this provision of immunity to nullify any cause of civil action against the telecoms, thereby pre-empting the exposure of the administration’s own illegal activities. 

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Two versions of the FISA bill emerged, one from the Senate Intelligence Committee drafted largely by Cheney himself, which contained the immunity provision, and another from the Senate Judiciary Committee that did not contain the provision. Although Senate Majority leader Harry Reid inauspiciously chose the former to bring to the Senate floor, the bill was surrounded by much controversy. There had been well organized grass-roots pressure to stop it from passing, and the House had already passed a version that did not include the retroactive immunity provision. Thus, in the face of a filibuster threat by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Reid postponed the discussion until the January 2008 session.

Now Reid has tried to put off the FISA Amendments Act once again by asking Republicans to extend, for one more month, the Protect America Act of 2007, an interim FISA reform act that is due to sunset in February. However, Cheney has urged Congress  to pass his version of the FISA Amendments Act now. “We can always revisit a law that’s on the books. That’s part of the job of the elected branches of government,” Cheney said. “But there is no sound reason to pass critical legislation ... and slap an expiration date on it.”

Cheney’s point about the possibility of later revisiting the FISA Amendments Act after it becomes law may foreshadow replacing it in the coming months with a law based on McConnell’s plan, which is due to emerge in February. This would mark a gradual descent into divesting Americans entirely of their Fourth Amendment right to privacy—first by blocking their ability to sue the telecoms for violating their privacy and then by giving the government the same legal protection. After all, the FISA Amendments Act still requires the government to get warrants for spying on American citizens even if it does not afford adequate judicial oversight in enforcing this mandate. McConnell’s proposal, on the other hand, would make no bones about spying on Americans without warrants, thereby contradicting any meaningful FISA reform.

President Bush has already made clear he would veto any FISA bill that did not give retroactive immunity to the telecoms. However, if McConnell’s soon to be unveiled spy-at-will plan is turned into law, a separate law giving retroactive immunity to the telecoms would be unnecessary. All Bush and Cheney would need to do to protect themselves from criminal liability would be to make the new spy-at-will law retroactive in effect from the inception of the illegal NSA surveillance program. This would also be sufficient to deflate the civil suits filed against the telecoms because the past illegal spying activities that these companies conducted on behalf of the government would then become “legal.” Indeed, the Bush administration has already done this sort of legal retro-dating and nullifying of civil rights and gotten it through Congress. For example, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 conveniently gave Bush the power to decide whether someone—including himself—is guilty of torture, irrespective of the Geneva Conventions, and it made this authority retroactive to Nov. 26, 1997. 

Whatever the final disposition of FISA in the coming weeks or months, the administration is now bracing to take a much more aggressive posture that would seek abridgement of civil liberties in its usual fashion: by fear-mongering and warnings that our homeland will be attacked by terrorists (this time of the menacing hacker variety) unless we the people surrender our Fourth Amendment right to privacy and give government the authority to inspect even our most personal and intimate messages.

It would be a mistake to underestimate the resolve of the Bush administration. But it would be a bigger mistake for Americans not to stand united against this familiar pattern of government scare tactics and manipulation. There are grave dangers to the survival of democracy posed by allowing any present or future government unfettered access to all of our private electronic communications. These dangers must be carefully weighed against the dubious and unproven benefits that granting such an awesome power to government might have on fending off cyber-attacks. 

Elliot D. Cohen, PhD, is a media ethicist and critic. His most recent book is “The Last Days of Democracy: How Big Media and Power-Hungry Government Are Turning America Into a Dictatorship.” He is a first-prize winner of the 2007 Project Censored Award.


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By Conservative Yankee, January 30, 2008 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“But, in the hands of the public relations wizards, ‘the magicians of sound and vision’ it was, nevertheless, this psychological twist of the ‘bj’ knife, that successfully magnified the lie all out of proportion.”

If you see the misuse of paid public time as miniscule, and a Bj as a magnifying glass, so be it.  I saw a public employee at a high level get away with an action that would have a local city employee fired.

I saw a “fuck you” attitude from the Clintons which rivals the same attitude from the Bush family. 

Nero would have loved these guys (and gal)

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By amunaor, January 30, 2008 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

By Conservative Yankee <Additionally Clinton (as I pointed out above) was NOT impeached for a BJ he was impeached for lying under oath.>

But, in the hands of the public relations wizards, ‘the magicians of sound and vision’ it was, nevertheless, this psychological twist of the ‘bj’ knife, that successfully magnified the lie all out of proportion.

In this case, I suppose, the self-rightiouness of a vile and deceitful murderer is the better choice for the throne!

good luck

good luck

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By abraham, January 29, 2008 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why is it even necessary to explain why allowing congress to give away our 4th amendment rights is bad?

That’s like saying you will allow congress to take away your right to breath.  To do so would bring you harm.  The right to privacy is INALIENABLE.

I never gave any politician my permission to sign away my rights.

Get armed, People.  Get armed.

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By PatrickHenry, January 29, 2008 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Great post.

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By rowman, January 29, 2008 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

IMHO this article is nothing more than Rhetoric vs. Rhetoric

There is a better take on this issue here: http://www.schneier.com/blog/

It is written by Bruce Schneier, an American cryptographer who has developed several algorithms used to protect ones privacy. Short, simple and to the point.

For those worried about their “privacy” here are a couple encryption products written by another cryptographer who is also a privacy advocate.

Email? use PGP. http://www.philzimmermann.com/EN/background/index.html
Phone calls? use Zfone http://zfoneproject.com/

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By Carl McCoy, January 29, 2008 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why do we never hear from columnists the fact that no Act of Congress that is anathema to the Constitution and Bill of Rights reaches the fifty sovereign states of the union and their citizens?  Congress and the President just cannot nullify the law of the land with their legislation - period.  If anyone, especially you lawyers, want to argue that they can please do.  Your arguments will be nothing but hogwash.  The Supreme Court has already ruled numberous times on this fact.

Furthermore, expo facto laws are not allowed by the Constitution.  In other words, the President and Congress cannot immunize themselves from breaking their oaths of office by passing a retroactive law.  Any American harmed by a Constitution tort can still sue the member of the executive branch responsible for the harm. Again, please do not start contradicting these statements of fact.  Apologist lawyers in the Justice Department have attempted to shred the only law that counts - the Constitution for the united States of America, all to no avail.  All it takes is one honest court with one honest judge, and the government tyranny will be exposed for what it is. 

The consequence of all the above, is that any American harmed by assaults on their Constitutionally-secured rights can still sue for redress.  No Act of Congress can change the Constitution - period.  All of our rights are still secure.  We just have to exercise those rights.

Once again, when will all you columnists educate yourselves to the real law and Constitutioannly limited power of the Executive and Legislative branches of our republic?

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By amunaor, January 29, 2008 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Conservative Yankee, Bush is the Neo-Roman Crusader, therefore, in the eyes of those ‘selectively prosecuting’ the king can do not harm, regardless of the massive of amount of carnage in flesh that has piled up to the sky, left in his wake.

Blow-jobs are simply offensive to this mindset, on the job or off! This psychology was then sucessfully deployed by the public relations firms; the results are history.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Conservative Yankee, January 29, 2008 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
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By zeitgeist, January 29 at 2:15 pm #

“Blow-jobs are simply offensive to this mindset, on the job or off!”

You think?  Let me ask you if your boss found you in a compromising position while you were supposed to be doing his work would he “simply” say “that is offensive to my mindset” and let it go at that?

Additionally Clinton (as I pointed out above) was NOT impeached for a BJ he was impeached for lying under oath.

“Peace, Best Wishes and Hope”

Peace I’ll find in the grave, and I don’t need wishes and hope, I work!

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By amunaor, January 29, 2008 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Conservative Yankee, Bush is the Neo-Roman Crusader, therefore, in the eyes of those ‘selectively prosecuting’ the king can do not harm, regardless of the massive of amount of carnage in flesh that has piled up to the sky, left in his wake.

Blow-jobs are simply offensive to this mindset, on the job or off!

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, January 29, 2008 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Prabhata, one must also bare in mind the ‘evolving’ technology at their disposal; in the hands of a tyrant, the potential for nefarious exploitation becomes quite shuddering.

Another reason the internet should be kept out of the hands of these ‘control freaks’.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, January 29, 2008 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

After viewing the above series of videos, I’ll venture to bet, you may wish to change your concluding remark to something other than - ‘So What’

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, January 29, 2008 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

It was those very same surveillance powers that allowed blowing the USSR ‘myth’ out of proportion; as psychological tools of ‘fear’ this myth was then utilized to promote the need for vast military expenditures.

Please watch the following series of videos:

Essential BBC documentaries not shown on US TV

The Power of Nightmares

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/12/22/212041/57/454/425671

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Conservative Yankee, January 29, 2008 at 6:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Prabhata, January 28 at 10:32 pm #


“Clinton’s bj is a perfect example of how useless information can be used to destroy a politician.”

This is the dictionary definition of spin.. Not one scintilla of this sentence is truthful

Clinton was not “destroyed” The bj was not the reason for impeachment. AND what our employees do ON COMPANY TIME is useful information.

Personally I do n’t give a damn what type of pig WJC is when he is on vacation, or retired, but when he is doing other things during office hours… IN THE OFFICE, I would like some corrective action taken.

BTW Lying, under oath, to congress is a crime covered by the impeachment statute… My only gripe is that Reagan (omission is defined as a lie, when testifying)Bush I, LBJ and Nixon were not impeached. The longer we wait to prosecute crimes (like lying) the more is is seen as “selective prosecution….

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By Prabhata, January 28, 2008 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why? Because those in the intelligence section of the government want it.  Why would they want it? Because information on anyone is power.  Information that at first might seem unimportant can be used improperly.  Clinton’s bj is a perfect example of how useless information can be used to destroy a politician.

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By 911truthdotorg, January 28, 2008 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

If Bush Is Leaving Office In Less Than A Year, Why Are They Still Intent On Destroying Our Privacy?

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_william__080128_if_bush_is_leaving_o.htm

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By PatrickHenry, January 28, 2008 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

Great! Just what we need, another layer of internal security, more government workers or outsource it to Israel.

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By Conservative Yankee, January 28, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Actually it is Billions (like 3 Billion)who have to die, not 100’s of Millions.  AND this is not a enduring fix, because for capitalism to survive, those people must be replaced, then eliminated again in an endless procession.

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By amunaor, January 28, 2008 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

Power in the hands of tyranny; takes by force and rules by force. Since tyranny can not survive the scrutiny of light of day, it seeks to consolidate its power through deceptive means. Any barbs of criticism are deflected by invoking nationalistic pride and patriotism as it secretly plots to tighten its grip on power; for it is in constant fear and suspicion of loosing it.

Like the dog chasing its own tail, power, living in this bubble of suspicion, ends up breeding fear itself.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, January 28, 2008 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

<There are only two ways to solve the global problem that faces the entire world: 1. hundreds of millions of people have to die, or 2. capitalism has to die.  I am confident that Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and several thousand PRIVILEGED AND POWERFUL MALES in contemporary society who are extremely wealthy and rely on capitalism to maintain their massive fortunes would prefer the first option and would likely prefer, with little or no confrontation to their conscience, that hundreds of millions of people die.>

Wanda, perhaps your intuitive suspicions bare great weight if couched within Bush’s response to a news reporter’s inquiry; asking Bush to consider how he thought history would treat his presidency. Framed within his, typical, empty expression, without giving the question much thought, Bush responds with, “what history? We’ll all be dead.”

What a Blind and egotistical, empty carcass!

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Chris Herz, January 28, 2008 at 8:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Certainly government cannot fail to have noticed that I have been a dissident since coming of age back at Vietnam time.  Nothing I’ve seen since persuades me that ours is only another wicked empire to which we owe no allegiance at all.  I have never been shy about sharing this opinion and I never will be.

All the surveillance powers in the world did not help the USSR overcome the foolishness of its leaders.  Nor will it help the leaders of this empire.

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By Michael Shaw, January 28, 2008 at 5:07 am Link to this comment

Socialized Democracy….fettered capitalism…. you may have something there. The New Deal was in fact a glimpse of that and most certainly once the full impact of “Bush’s” economic travesty is realized, adaptations of the New Deal(and perhaps then some) may be(will be) needed to circumvent socio-economic disaster.

As for socialism failing in the Soviet Union, I think that question is still up in the air and not yet conclusive. After getting a taste of western capitalism, it seems the majority of Russians still prefer the old system to what they’ve got now. Western containment for thirty years is what put it down. Aristocratic indifference to the needs of the many is what led to it in the first place and Aristocratic fears are what caused its fall/containment, using the money of the working class (as they always do) against itself.

“The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favours, that there will be no opposition from that class… The great body of the people, mentally incapable of comprehending, will bear its burden without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical (contrary) to their interests.” The Rothschild’s of London

Of course there was opposition and comprehension….

Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal—that there is no human relation between master and slave.” - Leo Tolstoy

and long before him…..

“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance.” - President James Madison

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” - Thomas Jefferson.

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation then by deflation, the banks and the corporations will grow up around them, will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” -Thomas Jefferson

We have spent over 20 trillion dollars on the military since 1940. Money that could have been used to end poverty on the entire planet and develop a Utopian society. But the kings of industry will never allow it…...as Rothschild put it…..it is inimical to their own best interests.

This would lead one toward your conclusion that hundreds of millions of people must die before we ever see an end to it. It could also be argued that hundreds of millions have already died because of it. However, there are always more than two ways. Naomi Kline’s third way for example. Of course the dilemma there is the willingness of unfettered capitalism to oblige. It is paramount that they do, especially in a world where the next all out war could very likely lead to extinction.

I appreciate your comments. Particularly concerning the environment, potable water etc. We are coming to a point where selfish interests must be curtailed before it’s too late. The scariest part of it all….perhaps it already is.

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By Professor Irwin Corey, PhD, January 28, 2008 at 12:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wanda Woodward, M.S.
You might be thinking of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who murdered a few thousand young Argentine sailors for no reason, other than her own mental illness.

Or maybe this female worthy:
“Always a ruthless and calculating woman, Leona Helmsley became impossibly cruel to employees and family.”  -from crimelibrary.com


“After discovering Messalina’s Crimes, Claudius told his soldiers to kill him if he was such a fool as to marry again, but he did anyhow. This time, it seemed he had found the one woman in Rome worse than Messalina, his niece Agrippina.
<cut>
“Agrippina persuaded Claudius to adopt Nero as his son and to arrange a marriage between marry his daughter Octavia and Nero. She prepared to make him, not Claudius’ son Britannicus, the heir to the throne. She also guarded her own position by having murdered women whose beauty Claudius had praised. Officials whose loyalty was to Claudius were replaced by her own men. When she decided it was time to remove Claudius, poison was her chosen method. She gave Claudius a particularly choice mushroom from a dish she was eating: it was the only poisoned one.”

The above content from:
http://www.mabelyn.com/infamous_women/agrippina.htm

Now put on something pretty and get me a cold beer.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 27, 2008 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

MOVIES, CHIPS, ETC….I SPY - By purplewolf, January 27: “Manni… chipping animals, yes it has been done for years… these chips may not be as harmless as the government tries to tell us…”

My original link re their use in humans was http://81.144.183.95/channel/health/mg19426044.400-plan-to-chip-alzheimers-patients-causes-protest.html but I haven’t been able to get onto Newscientist.com tonight. Still, there is this story:-

U.S. approves implanted chip for patients - “An implantable device that gets under the skin and allow doctors to access a patient’s medical history….. The Food and Drug Administration approved the “VeriChip” for medical purposes…” http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2004/10/13/chip_implant041013.html

“We’re really on the verge of creating a surveillance society in America, where every movement, every action — some would even claim, our very thoughts — will be tracked, monitored, recorded and correlated,” says Barry Steinhardt, director of the Technology and Liberty Program at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C….” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19904543/wid/11915829?GT1=10240

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By P. T., January 27, 2008 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

If you criticize him, he wants to know who you are.  Same way with Cheney.

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By purplewolf, January 27, 2008 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

Manni, the movies you mentioned are some of my favorites. As for chipping animals, yes it has been done for years, but the animal shelters rarely, if at all ever check incoming animals for these chips. There was a big incident in my county shelter about that this week and their excuse was we do check the animals, so why bother. There was also a news article about the chipped animals developing tumors at a higher rate than non-chipped. I will look up the link for you, as these chips may not be as harmless as the government tries to tell us. Like we can trust anything they tell us anyway.

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By republicanSScareme, January 27, 2008 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mike McConnell. Is he head of the SS or the SA? I forget.

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By Wanda Woodward, M.S., January 27, 2008 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All things evolve.  That is an immutable law and only fools ignore it.  The reason that the powerful elite are moving toward fascist policies and actions is because the wealthy elite are frightened that capitalism has reached its end of effectiveness which, in turn, threatens their power and wealth.  Capitalism replaced mercantilism and socialized democracy will replace capitalism.  It is part of the evolution of economic systems.  Marx was correct when he said that the seeds of destruction were built into capitalism because he knew that either greed or limited resources would eventually cause its demise.  Socialism failed in the Soviet Union for the simple, but tragic fact that its leaders were fascists who were only interested in feathering their own beds and cared not a whit about the GOOD FOR THE ALL.  They were sociopaths and psychopaths and, thus, fell somewhere on the spectrum of masculine pathology.  Masculine Pathology is the mind which is obsessed with control, power, exploitation, domination, and destruction of “other.”  It is the mind which has the incapacity to think in terms of equal and benevolent power.  MAN NEVER GROWS UP.  He limits himself and the rest of the world by his INABILITY TO MATURE PSYCHOLOGICALLY.  Capitalism is predicated upon the theory of “unlimited growth.”  The concept of unlimited growth is a euphemism for unbridled greed stemming from unfettered consumerism.  Unlimited consumerism, to be successful, is based upon a world in which there are unlimited natural and mineral resources.  And so here we find the end of capitalism.  We live in a world in which there are currently 6 billion people.  Most of the world lives in poverty.  With 6 billion people, we have decimated large swathes of forest, fished out 90% of the large fish in our oceans, poisoned massive amounts of soil from toxins in landfills and from agricultural run-off, polluted our oceans with waste and toxins which has resulted in the killing of significant marine life, heated the oceans from the rise in carbon dioxide emitted from overuse of fossil fuels and forest decimation, and placed at risk significant amounts of potable water such that many people will not have access to drinkable water within the next several decades.  Again, this is with 6 billion people.  It is projected that there will be 8 billion people living on this planet by 2050.  Capitalism and overpopulation are mutually exclusive no matter which way you view this picture and it does not require the intellect of Albert Einstein to comprehend this.  There are only two ways to solve the global problem that faces the entire world: 1. hundreds of millions of people have to die, or 2. capitalism has to die.  I am confident that Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and several thousand PRIVILEGED AND POWERFUL MALES in contemporary society who are extremely wealthy and rely on capitalism to maintain their massive fortunes would prefer the first option and would likely prefer, with little or no confrontation to their conscience, that hundreds of millions of people die.  Ebeneezer Scrooge’s comment in A Christmas Carol about being rid of the “excess population” most closely depicts these evil men who rule much of our world.  However, 99% of the rest of the world’s population would prefer that capitalism die its natural death.  I suspect that the handful of evil MALES who have a stranglehold on power and ruling this planet know that more and more people are coming to understand this truth.  And as a result of knowing this truth, more people are going to revolt against the powers of corruption, deception, exploitation, domination, and destruction so that we can forge a new stage in the evolution of economic systems and, thus, a new stage in the evolution of human consciousness.  A consciousness which seeks to share power, empower others, and to collaborate toward a common GOOD FOR THE ALL instead of excess for a few versus exploitation and poverty for the rest of the world.

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By Maani, January 27, 2008 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

Purplewolf:

People have been implanting RFID chips in their pets for over a decade (for tracking if lost).  And many people ARE implanting RFID chips in infants and toddlers (in case of abduction, or loss in a large crowd).  So this is not really new.  And there are already adults who are PROUDLY having themselves implanted with RFID chips, in the name of (you guessed it) “safety and security.”

Sadly, this is probably an easier sell to the public than people such as us would like.

As an aside, two movies that are more prescient in this regard than many people think are Enemy of the State and The Net.  Might want to watch those again soon.  Might also want to add The Siege, since that is the next step…

Peace.  (Or some facsimile thereof…)

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By beccajo, January 27, 2008 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

My comment is simply this: this bill runs out next week.  Let it run out…then Congress can come up with a law in their own good time.  They have been pushed and prodded to extend Bush’s bill.  Let it go!  Americans do not want to be spied on, and our constitution precludes this.  Let this law go, let it run out, and then calmly address this problem and do something about it.  There is no hurry.  Congress does not need to hurry this up.  They had better think about what their constituents want, and not keep catering to the president.  We’re tired of it.

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By purplewolf, January 27, 2008 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

It seems that the world has gone microchip crazy. Check out the following:Microchips in Everything: A Future Vision.

http://www.apnews.myway.com//articles/2008126/D8UDMN980.html

And it’s not about making sure the buying public purchased fresh food. Also, Kraft company has already put microchip on the packaging of the Philadelphia brand cream cheese the sell. If I continue to purchase this product, the box it comes in will never leave the store. This is too much loss of privacy. It is way past 1984’s Big Brother.

I just wonder when, if they haven’t already chipped all newborn and other people as they have medical procedures done to them. It would be very easy to do this unknown to the population.

It may sound like shades of the X Files, but much of what was written in that series has now been accepted as having been done already. Like Google Earth, I have pictures of my house framed from 2200 miles in space but you can still make out people, cars, animals etc. To close for comfort.I joke about the Christmas tree houses at the end of the street-one all Kelly green-roof too, the other one medium red and matching roof-side by side, thus earning it the name thanks to modern spying technology. Now thats just too much invasion of privacy.

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By THE YOUNG ARE HERE, January 27, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Why is every one surprised?  We have already lost all our rights.  We live in a police state today !!!

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By ARTIST GENERAL, January 27, 2008 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

KEEPIN’ IT REEL
for Major-League BIGtime ASSclown “Capitalism”

Re: Debilitary Windustrial Conplex

THE SECOND SUCCUMBING

–Apologies to W.B. Yeats / The Second Coming

Turning and Spinning in the Widening Mire
The Congress cannot hear the Precedent;

Things fall apart; the Party cannot hold;
Sheer Conarchy is loosed upon Democracy,

The freedom-gouging tide is loosed, and everywhere
The Standing of America is downed;
The best convictions are too polite, while the worst
Are full of obtuse intensity.

Surely some Reason is at hand;
Yet there instead, the Patriot “Act”!

The “Patriot” Act!
Hardly are those words out
When an Orwelled image out of Posse Comitatus
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the martial curfews of this seminal Treachery
A shape with oz-lion body and the head of a borne-again fool:

An ‘Aye’ blank and clueless as the GOP itself

Is moving its leaky Trojan Agenda, but who knew? while overhearing guffaws & careless cheering
from the belly of the beast, that all about it now should
gather threats of patriotic fillibuster, lighting & passing torchfire,

…wounded cowardice drops again; but indignant courage
finds unexpected stride, in the edifying irony
that a Sitting President
was on his Game afterall, as if afloat, fishing! entirely untorn,
glued from National Nightmare
to “My Pet Goat”

And what Hellbent Vision Thing,
its Truthless Power come round at last,
$louches towards Liberty
to be Borne?

CODE BLUE: HOMELAND DEMOCRACY SECURITY BREACH

–ON SCREEN:

http://www.sfbg.com/blogs/politics/2007/08/political_art_of_the_week.html

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By msgmi, January 27, 2008 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I thought Joseph Goebbels was dead.

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By Michael Shaw, January 27, 2008 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Hey Paolo, I thought you might find this article I’ve written interesting

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_michael__080126_under_a_trestle.htm

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By FrostedFlakes, January 27, 2008 at 10:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not only will it not be long from now, but people like you and I will be the most victimized. Before they are completed with their Orweillian plots, Gitmo will not be large enough to accomodate everyone detained. The orange jumpsuit business is about to go into the black.

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By Conservative Yankee, January 27, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

US voters do not often elect sitting Senators to the office of president. they did it only once in the 20th century.

I doubt seriously the D’s will have “one of their own” in the white house any time soon!

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By Ohioan4truth, January 27, 2008 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

Loyalty oaths, citizen papers, watching everything we do (at work, home, recreational activities, etc.)will bring about the kind of society that will live in fear of being turned into the “authorities” for even thinking, let alone acting on, whatever the Police State deems treasonous. Political prisons will abound. Indoctrination will be paramount. The flow of goods and services will be meeted out to those whom the State deemed loyal, goose-stepping members. Money will no longer be used as a transactable commodity. Either you posess documentation to purchase or you go without. Of course, there are those that think there will always be an “underground” of rebellion. Populated by those who do not wish to conform or adapt to this societal change on the horizon. But there will be no place to hide! At least not on this hemisphere. Pockets of humankind will gravitate to areas of the planet that still allow some sort of relief from the prying eyes of Big Brother. Cutting to the chase here, I have just one question to ask Mankind, “How long do you think it’s going to take before world dominance (New World Order?) by one Supreme Government is achieved?”.

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By troublesum, January 27, 2008 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

democrats in congress are wringing their hands as they prepare to let Bush have his way on this one.
they will love the imperial presidency with one of their own in office next year.

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By bogi666, January 27, 2008 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
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To borrow a refrain from the Cheap Trick song, The Dream Police. The thought police come to me in my bed, the thought police get inside of my head, the thought police, police, police, the thought police, police, police.Full spectrum dominance includes the US population, not just the rest of the world, We are the rest of the world.McConnell is a former military intelligence officer, I think. So he’s a militarist and he would apply the same rules that govern the military to the civilian population. He’s trouble.

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By Conservative Yankee, January 27, 2008 at 8:08 am Link to this comment
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Maani

“As well, undocumented (NOT “illegal”) immigrants will have the hardest time of all, and many will simply give up and become part of a permanent “underclass” of people.”

Your attempt at distinction between “undocumented” and “illegal” immigrants is a canard.  All legal immigrants to the USA have “documentation” enough to work and get a license.  All new citizens have all the documentation they need to vote.

Naturalization papers substitute for birth certificates for those not born in the USA. Only those with out proper documentation of citizenship are out-in-the-cold…. as they should be.

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By Paolo, January 27, 2008 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

The Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

How can our Washington masters go through every email, and argue “probable cause”? How can our tyrants claim they are “particularly describing the place to be searched,” when they comb through every email?

Answer: by making the Constitution a “living” (that is, “dead”) document. We’ll just pick and choose the parts we want to follow. Liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, are equally guilty of this perverse thinking. Now you see the results. But don’t worry—the end of privacy is just the beginning. Just wait until they start arresting people for expressing “anti-American” (that is, anti-government) thoughts.

It won’t be long, now.

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By ocjim, January 26, 2008 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

Not just NO, but HELL NO.

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By David's back, January 26, 2008 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

The USA makes claims to be the worlds oldest democracy, now it can claim to be the worlds newest dictatorship.
Maybe it’s about time that the ancient American art of Presidential assasination was revived. And when the VP takes over, top that piece of C too.

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By amunaor, January 26, 2008 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

cyrena, superficially none of this makes any sense. But if you look at the musical chairs played by the shadowy figures that move around in the background, the unelected bureaucracy, you see the same figures prowling throughout the many changes in administrations. This unelected bureaucracy is what makes ‘change’ near to impossible, despite the number of repetitive cycles in election; there always remains this static ‘mindset’ lurking in the background, incrementally moving their agenda forward.

As Louise so succinctly demonstrates in the following paragraph:

**Rep. Jane Harmon (D-CA), chair of Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee, twin Sponsor of HR 1955 has relationship with the RAND Corporation, a California based think-tank with close ties to the military-industrial-intelligence complex. RAND Corporation was set up in 1946 by Army Air Force General Henry “Hap” Arnold as “Project RAND” sponsored by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Donald Rumsfeld was its chairman from 1981 to 1986 and Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Condoleezza Rice were trustees.**

The oligarchs put their money on all the viable (pliable) horses out from the chute. Those they can’t control or bend, are quickly eliminated through their vast network of public relations firms, tied to the media. We’ve witnessed this blizzard ourselves knock the good guys off their feet, taking them out of the race immediately. The finale two choices the public is left with will have been the result of a media frenzied focus.

The question to ask is: what is makeup of the psychological component that lingers on throughout consecutive iterations of presidents? What continues to drive and garner ‘public’ support for the xenophobic and divisive fear machine in pursuing their, so called, ‘war on terror’ ?

Let me give you a hint.

Bill Clinton’s weakness was a simple failure in human nature; easily forgivable; certainly not worth the mountain of fiery vilification this shadowy mindset was capable of raging against him. On the other hand, Neo-Roman Crusader Bush has the capacity to maintain a xenophobic driven war on terror, leaving a wake strewn with millions of dead bodies, millions more forced to leave villages and homes to seek refuge elsewhere, with the great possibility of millions more, without a single charge?!!? What is the subliminal psychodrama being played out here, if not the myth of Constantine; Sol In Victus?

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By DennisD, January 26, 2008 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
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Just another piece of the complete dictatorship puzzle about to fall in place. This bill will probably pass both outhouses of Congress nearly unanimously. A true bi-partisan effort to screw the people even further.

I hope the American people are beginning to wake up. Nah, forget I wrote that, it’s not going to happen.

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By weather, January 26, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
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Now here’s an interesting little man.

Al was the media goto for all those liberal Democratic annoyances like 1st,2nd & 3rd. Amendment rights - well he really supports his own dark gag rule because not once has he screamed or whined about this.

No little Al just wants to be on the winning team, even if taking the fee for the OJ circus wasn’t good for his standing, the money was green afterall.

Dershowitz could have evolved into something cool like a marsupial, but for little Alan he’ll remain a weasel.

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By purplewolf, January 26, 2008 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

nrobi:

Even my mother, who is getting a little out-of-it has commented that the days of America are over in the sense that we knew them and it is all downhill now. I just hope my daughter never have children who will be the victims of this disgrace that has happened all in the name of false safety, loss of human rights(which we ironically fight for in other countries)yet take from our own people, power and greed. Welcome to the biggest 3RD WORLD COUNTRY, the former United States of America.

Cyrena: On Countdown last night, Keith Olbermann revealed that 1 of 2 pictures that adorn the walls of Muckmans(Muckasey) walls in his office is of Eric Arthur Blair, otherwise known as George Orwell as in 1984. Telling, isn"t it? The shape of things that have and will come!

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By nrobi, January 26, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

The fact that we are “talking” about this, rendering the Constitution, abating the privacy and freedoms of all that have gone before us, can give rise to hope. Yet there are now, even more so, these amazing people who think that everything is okeedokee and hunkydory.  These people are known as “Middle Class Republicans.” As far as I know there is no such animal and we are living in an age when class warfare, will become the norm and there will be people other than uber-rich and ultra-poor. Amerikka, is becoming a third world country and the electorate of this obscenity will not be able to stem the tide of those who by dent of economic and racial prejudice, come to this country for “freedom” only to find that they are in fact slaves to those who will not help them become citizens. Can Amerikka, as a country last much longer? Undoubtedly Not! We are the last generation of true Americans and our children will no longer have the same standard of living and freedom to think that we have had in the past.

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By Louise, January 26, 2008 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

I’ve been told when King writes a novel, his life becomes hell till it’s finished.

Dark thoughts rolling about in the head can indeed screw up the mind. Which I think is one reason why any and all so-called conspiracy theories should be closely examined from all angles, lest we believe this nut or that nut, this official or that official and allow their narrow view to frieghten us into submission. Or ignoring reality.

Submission can make us crazy. Ignoring reality can make us crazy. And focusing on dark thoughts can make us crazy.

But informing ourselves, discovering the truth when possible, can liberate us from being driven crazy.

Perhaps elected officials in their determination to keep everybody happy straddle the line somewhere between examining, submitting and ignoring, resulting in a low-level crazyness.

So much for my phylosophy of the day. smile

By the way, is it just me, or is anyone else finding it particularly slow trying to access this article and the comment section?

Maybe Tom, Dick and Harry really are watching!

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By amunaor, January 26, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Grampa, here a short clip of the xenophobic, roman crusader with the crown of Constantine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk1vEuhBuEU

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Jaxon, January 26, 2008 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
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I’m having trouble squaring your comment about Eisenhower with these points:  He was a moderate Republican associated with the Rockefeller-Javits-Case Eastern Establishment, the bane of the Goldwater-Taft rightwinger crowd; He was an opponent of the right-winger demagogue Senator Joseph R, McCarthy (who recently was praised by no less than Ann Coulter, the sweetheart of today’s ultra-right lunatic fringe); and in his famous farewell speech to the Nation warned us all about the military-industrial complex (which was renewed by the overrated doofus Ronnie Reagan, the first of the modern puppets, which is very much alive and well today).  Eisenhower’s words coming from him, a General and former Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, could not be ignored, and even now millions of us remember them. 

As things turned out, his phrase should be amended as follows: Military-Industrial-Mainline Media Complex.  Unfortunately, modern republicans and their
views have been banished, especially by the Cheney-Bush White House Gang and their neofascistic supporters.

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By cyrena, January 26, 2008 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

Well, speaking of secrecy…here’s Mukasey…back in the news on destroyed tapes, FISA, and the waterboarding he won’t talk about.

He’s supposed to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee again next week, so they can question him about this stuff. I don’t think they’re gonna get anything from him…but it should be interesting to watch…


CIA Case Special Prosecutor Nixed


http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1706956,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

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By Conservative Yankee, January 26, 2008 at 6:30 am Link to this comment
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I made a wonderful discovery when confronted with a similar incident to Michael’s above….

My car starts and runs even though I have no license.

You are correct about the national database, it was completed in 1986 (many states were involved before that date) under the guise of finding deadbeats who failed to pay child support…

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By Bert, January 26, 2008 at 4:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All our online activity? What kind of entrapment stuff will they do next? And, let’s be honest:
They were talking about this kind of stuff THIRTY YEARS AGO with the phone company, and if you REALLY want to crank up the way-back machine, there was good ol’ J. Edgar, Jumpin’ Joe McCarthy, and that whole routine. Don’t you kind of think it’s a fair bet they’ve already been doing whatever in the hell it is they’re threatening to do for a while, now? I think it’s like this, they’re rewriting the ‘laws’ to line up with current practices. And, since ‘they’ will be reading this, what better place to say, “Hey, Dick! Hey, Bush! There’s no big secret, people see what you’re doing, because it’s in the NEWS every day! You don’t need a secret microphone anymore, maybe what you need to do is learn to USE A COMPUTER! And, it sure explains why they’re incorporating convicted felons and probably processing people right out of the prisons and into government jobs or into uniforms, because if you’re going to be breaking the law, you should hire the best and the brightest, even if they DO wear prison stripes! Ethics are flexible when you’ve already basically used OUR Constitution for toilet paper, lots of money on that table! Lots of money on that table! How’s everybody down at First Federal Fraud And Larceny? Dick? Bush? Are you still there? Did they hang up? Would we know if they did?” Well, that’s wordy, but it’s kind of my opinion on the whole thing, and it goes a LONG way toward explaining why the whole country is in hock to the tune of over 9 trillion dollars, why there’s no REAL space station, why our schools are shit, why there’s all this racketeering around getting an aspirin, and why the economy is most likely just going to TANK. We was robbed, by guys in suits and ties, saying ‘trust me, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help’.
Side note: I’m over 40, and probably physically unfit for military service anymore, and STILL some guy just tried to get me to enlist in the military.
Simply amazing. What a fraudulent, larcenous, fundamentally corrupt institution we have anymore.
Oh, and Dick? Since you’re reading this, I hope you fall off your camel right in front of Prince Texaco over there, and it turns around and bites you in the butt. Good riddance.

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By RHONDA, January 26, 2008 at 1:05 am Link to this comment
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Just the Administration´s way of crying wolf and trying to scare responsible citizens…..It´s the unrestrained government I fear.  Our privacy seems lost already no matter what we object to.  This need to read every bit of info on the net is just a shortcut to providing immunization to the telecom companies.  We are really in trouble People, no matter what laws are passed or not passed.  BIG BROTHER, ORWELL STYLE, IS HERE.  I resent being considered a criminal just because I make honest objections to Administration policies, but my anger won´t keep me from becoming an enemy combatant.  And if I´m sent to the Gulag, no one will know where it is or where I am.  Think about it People; it can happen.

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By cyrena, January 26, 2008 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

Louise,

Thanks for your links as well. They’re helpful.

I’ve been ‘pondering’ this thing for a while, about the drugged and/or dumbed-down condition of the Congress, and I just don’t know. I hate admitting that they actually ARE doing their jobs as ‘representatives’ of ‘we the people’ in the most tortured sense. Because, are they any more dumbed-down or stupid than the majority of ‘we the people’?
I guess I mean to say that if the majority of US weren’t so ‘dumbed-down’ and cowardly, (whether we realize it or not, and that’s pretty much the whole point – people DON’T realize it, any more than mentally ill people generally comprehend that they are mentally ill) we wouldn’t have put them in office to begin with.

Now that’s ‘generally speaking’ of course, since it doesn’t speak to ALL of us, and I’m not suggesting that. BUT, it DOES suggest what has become of the ‘majority’, and so I’m thinking the more accurate explanation has been prompted by zeitgeist, in post #129075, and the Power of Nightmares.

In what I think is the reality, (and I realize there are many alternatives now) we’re just in the midst of the on-going coup that is converting this ‘experiment in democracy’ to the standard totalitarian existence that has been around, on and off, from the beginning of time, at/in various times and geographic spaces. And, the more I study and learn of those other regimes, the more comparisons I can make. And yep, they are serious NIGHTMARES.

So, the drug is the ideology, like the one that spawned Nazism, or any other one. It still comes down to the same. So now, it’s an epidemic here among us. The secrecy, the manufactured fear, are all weapons of terror. And, the terror is necessary to maintain the chaos and the instability. Regimes like these RELY on chaos and instability to reach their goals. So the ‘classes’ must be turned into masses, and we must all be totally confused, and left in the dark, to the extent that nobody knows anything.

This means changing the ‘rules’ as they go along, and eventually, it destroys any semblance of what may have been a ‘democracy’. Those of us who might still be seeing that old thing called democracy, simply haven’t been in receipt of the ‘drug’ yet, or it hasn’t had the desired effect. (some folks are more ‘resistant’ to the strain than others).

So, I don’t know about the rest of ya’ll, but I’m starting to feel like I’m in a Stephen King novel.

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By cyrena, January 26, 2008 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

Mary,

You’re probably right…about the marching at least. I’m still not opposed to starting several riots though…at least enough of them simultaneously, to outnumber the police.

And, there’s more than enough to do…such as the kicking of Dick Cheney in the balls. I’d help you with that. (if only he would present himself for such an opportunity…sigh).

So, I don’t know. Remember that old song from back in the day…“The Revolution Will NOT Be Televised?”

Maybe we should just take it to the streets, (while they’re reading our email, and listening to our telephone communications) and leave the kid in Pasadena to mind the computers, and a few more of them, (those little geniuses) to mind the rest of cyberspace, and we old folks can just do a little ‘off-line’ democracy in action. Like, just SHUT IT ALL DOWN!!

If that happens, it’ll be meaningful enough, and a bit difficult to keep ‘out of sight’.

Now that might work. Sort of like a computer restart. We shut it all down…OK, now that we have your attention…and then we can reload what’s left that might be worth saving, and the rest of them (the entire administration and the Congress, etc, etc) can just stay in the recyle bin until we get around to putting them through the heavy duty shredder.

Basically, that means just building a new ship from the scraps, because I don’t see anyway to actually ‘right’ it myself. We just have to start from scratch.

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By Michael Shaw, January 26, 2008 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

Maani, they already have that data base. The link up happened several years ago. The reason I know this is because my driver’s license was pulled because of a person with the same name who lived in Florida. The infraction, a dui took place in Mississippi and I live in California. Never been to Old Miss though my father was stationed there years ago while in the army.

What a mess that was! Spending hundreds of dollars in phone calls talking to those twits in the southland. Eventually I ended up speaking with the guy who was in charge of the DMV for the entire state. A Major somebody! Then and only then did I receive the proper credentials to get out of that mess, though I had to wait two weeks until it finally arrived in the mail. This was pre-9/11. Though the National ID plan is even further reaching and even more sinister. Thanks for pointing this out!

As for Portugal, and don’t get me wrong! I once dated a beautiful Portuguese woman. But the fact is Portugal is controlled by a military dictatorship and its capital, Lisbon has one of the largest populations of heroin addicts per capita in Europe. Also the Azores, which I’m told are very beautiful, is a meeting place for Bush and all our bigwigs when they meet Europe’s bigwigs. Going to Portugal won’t get you away from these folks. You’re liable to bump into them on a beach.

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By cyrena, January 25, 2008 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment

Zeitgeist,

Thanks for posting this link. I saw this documentary about 2 years ago, when it was obtained for a special showing here in my community. I’ve been looking for it ever since, with the hope of making it available again.

Thanks again, for the excellent resource digging….

(and your always excellent and informative posts)

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By amunaor, January 25, 2008 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment

Louise, it’s absolutely amazing to watch these folks fall on their knees in the presence of the neocon fear-machine.

I watched Chris Dowd on CSPAN vehemently rail against this terrible usurpation of power. I’ve never heard or seen anyone, articulate with such passion, the dangers lurking within this provision.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, January 25, 2008 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

The goal of any tyranny is to consolidate power through deceptive means. By psychologically raising up the specter of unknown demons in the public mind, generating the necessary fear, it then becomes easy to issue new laws that will supposedly resolve the perceived problem or threat. But, unbeknownst to the public the new laws will certainly never be favorable to the citizen, only to power. In this atmosphere of chaos and fear, dissenting voices become a political threat; enemies of the state.

One other person in recent history also used, so called “necessary and lawful means” to completely insulate his actions from the public, to the point where he later became, by law, completely untouchable. If the public were to know what its government does in secret, there would be many raised eyebrows. If anyone needs to be wiretapped, it’s the government, not the public. Every move the government makes must be scrutinized by the public, not the other way around. It’s the ultimate form of checks and balances. It keeps egotistical tyrants and squirrelly thinkers at bay; from promulgating dark and evil adventure in the name of the public.

I say to them; go away you fear mongering war-whores. Pack your bags and build a tall wall around your xenophobic hatred filled rhetoric. Someone needs to disarm these folks. I thought that it was illegal, in this country for the criminally insane to posses weapons.

Essential BBC documentaries not shown on US TV
The Power of Nightmares:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/12/22/212041/57/454/425671

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By MAR, January 25, 2008 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

Better the end of George W. Bush and his puppeteers (should have read)

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By MAR, January 25, 2008 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

Better the of George Bush and his puppeteers

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By Grampa, January 25, 2008 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If as he claims that he is a born again christian and frequently have some quality time with God(crying on his shoulders and all),i strongly advice mr A$$hole in chief Bush not to watch any of my online activities..‘ahem’..my nocturnal activities are mostly camming..‘ahem’..he might not like what he sees as God might give him an earful for watching acts of sins…or he can, if he decides to go back to not being a ‘born again’..and become a normal a$$hole again…

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By Louise, January 25, 2008 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

Perfect five word description of the current administration.

[are you paying attention Tom, Dick and Harry?]

Thanks maani, for reminding us.

http://www.democracynow.org/2007/11/20/homegrown_terrorism_prevention_act_raises_fears

“It was actually passed under what is called the “Suspension of the Rules”, which is a provision the House uses to pass bills very quickly and these are usually bills deemed uncontroversial and do not need more debate. So we saw a quick vote. Six people voted against. One was presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. He was unavailable for comment unfortunately. So what we’re seeing not only the Republican congress giving the Bush administration swath of powers to confront the war on terrorism, but we are also seeing the democratically-led congress also extending these powers.”

http://ccrjustice.org/learn-more/faqs/factsheet:-violent-radicalization-and-homegrown-terrorism-prevention-act-2007

“The act sets up a Commission for a study that will “examine and report upon the facts and causes” of so called violent radicalism and extremist ideology then make legislative recommendations on combating it.”

” ... the greater fear should be the possible future outcomes of any report, which will focus on penalties criminalizing dissent and protest. With more surveillance and punishment for thoughts rather than actions.” 

“SEC. 899B. (3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.”

“The focus on the internet is crucial, it can set up far more intrusive surveillance techniques, without warrants, and the potential to criminalize ideas and not actions can mean penalties for your stance rather than any criminal act.”

Center For Constitutional Rights http://www.ccrjustice.org

It’s possible the bill will be referred out of Committee next Wednesday and brought to the Senate floor.

***

Rep. Jane Harmon (D-CA), chair of Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee, twin Sponsor of HR 1955 has relationship with the RAND Corporation, a California based think-tank with close ties to the military-industrial-intelligence complex. RAND Corporation was set up in 1946 by Army Air Force General Henry “Hap” Arnold as “Project RAND” sponsored by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Donald Rumsfeld was its chairman from 1981 to 1986 and Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Condoleezza Rice were trustees.

Brian Michael Jenkins, terrorism expert testified in favor of HR 1955, Senior Advisor to the President of RAND Corporation. Has served as a member of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, 1996-97 and as an advisor to the National Commission on Terrorism, 2000.
[For all the good that did.]

Harman has called herself “the best Republican in the Democratic Party.” Her voting record is even more rubber-stamp Bush, than Joe Lieberman’s!

She’s a hawk on Iraq and supports Bush on the occupation. Almost every one of her big campaign contributors are arms merchants.

Co-sponsor David Reichart (R-WA) Relative newcomer, made the mistake of allowing himself to be guided through the process by Cheney. I think his sponsorship was under the misguided notion that this would make him look good with the military folks in his district. Given his voting record more recently, I think it hasn’t.

[Cant say what the excuse is for the others. Cowards maybe? Or too busy to pay attention]

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By Louise, January 25, 2008 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

jackpine savage

Thanks for the link re: FISA

You know what amazes me? That these horrible bits of legislation make it out of a democrat controlled committee in the first place! Obviously there aren’t very many left in the party who understand what the Constitution of the United States is. Prefering apparently to believe Bush is more important!

How do the candidates feel about the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act? Anybody know? Has anybody asked?

Someone in an earlier post somewhere, said maybe congress is sick. I wonder if maybe they’re all drugged. Maybe corporate America is providing Capital Hill with free drinking water. Maybe it’s laced with “dumb-down doo-doo.” Either that or they really are just dumb! Maybe that’s the new qualification for seeking office. Or maybe we the people think it is.

[talk atcha later Tom, Dick and Harry. smile ]

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By Maani, January 25, 2008 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

Michael/Jackpine:

Re Michael’s comment, yes, the Real ID Act not only will disenfranchise poor voters, but will create a permanent underclass.  Consider: in order to GET the Real ID, you have to present CERTIFIED (not just photocopy) copies of your birth certificate, social security #, etc.  How many people do YOU know - NOT poor people, but “regular” people - who actually have these things?  Do you have any idea of how long it takes to get them, and what a bureaucratic nightmare it is?  Can you imagine how this will affect the elderly, disabled, etc.?  And as you note, poor people will have an even more difficult time obtaining these things - and they will have to take valuable time off from work to do so.  As well, undocumented (NOT “illegal”) immigrants will have the hardest time of all, and many will simply give up and become part of a permanent “underclass” of people.

The other danger is that the Real ID Act calls for a NATIONWIDE DATABASE.  Currently, if you get a license in, say, NYS, the info on that license is in a NYS database.  In order for someone in, say, Iowa to get it, they have to contact NYS.  A nationwide database would allow ANYONE in ANY STATE access to your info.  And that info will NOT be encrypted in any particular way.  Not only would this allow any unsavory individual with access to any state computer to access your info, it would make identity theft EASIER, since a hacker would now have to get into only ONE system.  And the government is pushing this as, among other things, “safer” re identity theft!

Re jackpine’s comment about the puzzle coming together.  Even setting aside the Patriot Act and FISA, the centralization of power in the executive branch is almost complete.  A sitting president can already unilaterally accuse anyone - including an American citizen - of being an “enemy combatant,” subject to up to three years of incarceration without trial, and without access to lawyers or family.  Bush undermined the Posse Comitatus Act, making it possible (for the first time in history) for a sitting president to declare martial law unilaterally, WITHOUT the consent of Congress; this is an end-run around the Constitution.  (And our friends at Blackwater have a contract with the U.s. government to serve as a paramilitary “National Guard” if martial law is declared…)  As well, the president has already undermined habeus corpus to a dangerous degree.  With VRHTA, even your non-violent-type comments about removing the government in power could become “treasonous.”  And the REAL ID Act could create a situation where any law enforcement officer could request to see “your papers” (i.e., your Real ID Card).

The puzzle is already near completion toward turning our country into a proto-totalitarian quasi-police state.

Portugal is sounding better and better these days…

Peace.

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By jackpine savage, January 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Maani,

I couldn’t agree more about VRHTA; it is an evil, Stalinist measure.  And so far it is moving through the halls of power rather quietly.

All of these bills: PATRIOT I & II, FISA, VRHTA, et al. form a not so pretty picture when you put the pieces together.  There is a reason why they are being pushed in small pieces.  Once the puzzle comes together, the picture will appear, and it will be too late.

Also, there has been an update on FISA.  The debate and voting will happen again on Monday.  Through no will of their own, the two major candidates for the Democratic nomination will actually be in Washington that day for the State of the Union address.  That is, they can’t avoid it this time. 

Glenn Greenwald is doing constant updates at Salon.  And OpenLeft has a good piece about how the procedural shenanigans will play out here:

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3410

By the way, nice comment thread today folks…don’t forget to call/mail/fax/email your Senators and presidential candidates.  Credo crashed the Obama site for a while.  Oddly enough, my “thank you for your comment” form letters from the Clinton and Obama campaigns got routed into my junkmail, whereas those from Feingold and Dodd landed in the inbox.  Who says the universe isn’t keeping score?

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By Michael Shaw, January 25, 2008 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Maani and how right you are! I believe in one state, legislators are giving their citizens the option as to having the national ID or not. If they refuse it, they are then not permitted to visit any state or national park in their borders. That might be in Arizona. Thankfully some states have opted out but like bad weather the legislation will return again and again, just like the privatization of social security.

Also as you know, the real ID act disenfranchises poor voters by making them pay for this abomination just to have the right to vote. Of course here in California we already have a form of it and have for quite a while now. To drive in this state, your photo and fingerprints are mandatory and any agency with a computer anywhere in the nation can access this information. Let’s not forget either that the program opens all of our vital information to tens of thousands of DMV employees across the country and in some cases even overseas. Seems a funny way to stop identity theft if you ask me.

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By Michael Shaw, January 25, 2008 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Don’t forget we’ll need to be master debaters too! I think Douglas hit the nail in his mentioning Asia, particularly the Chinese. I once asked a young Chinese woman in a blog what she thought of Chaing Ki-Shek. First she said she’d never heard of him. When I started to explain who he was, she politely asked if we could speak about something else.

Thanks to the Internet(and a booming Chinese economy)the Chinese have never had such an open forum in their lives or the ability to see worldwide views. This of course is for them a very positive thing. But they are more than aware big brother is watching. Ironic too that Rupert Murdoch plays a role along with other western telecommunication corporations in actually helping the big brother process!

I think the Internet will go on as always, just like it will there and big brother will always be there too. It will be regressive but it will never stop us from having the ability to incriminate ourselves. So much for the 5th! Thanks to big brother, they won’t even have to cite the Miranda. Just by being here we have already given up the right to remain silent. All that’s left is that anything you say can and will be held against us, in a court of law or not.

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By Maani, January 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

All:

While the FISA stuff is certainly worrisome, there is no question that the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act is THE single most dangerous piece of legislation to be considered since the Patriot Act.  As well, there is the Real ID Act coming down the pike, which would establish a national ID card, setting us on course for a “Your Papers, Please” society.

The VRHTA has perhaps the single most insidious provision I have seen since the Patriot Act.  It would make certain speech “treasonous,” including speech suggesting an overthrow of the government, WHETHER BY VIOLENCE OR NOT.  This is in DIRECT contravention of the Declaration of Independence: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

The above passage would be all but nullifed by the VRHTA.  And that is only one of many provisions that will further erode our freedoms, civil liberties and privacy.  Note that the VRHTA passed the House by 404 to 6 - so there is PLENTY of blame to go around.  And it is now in Senate Committee, expected to come up for vote before November.

As for the Real ID Act, this was already passed (2005).  However, it allows states to “opt out” if they wish.  Thus far, a few have done so, including some fairly conservative states.  In fact, opposition to the Real ID Act has brought together among the strangest bedfellows in political history: the ACLU and the NRA; American Atheists and the Evangelical Union; conservative, liberal and independent governors, senators, congresspersons.

The following is a link to the NYCLU (New York Civil Liberties Union) that has some really good info on the Real ID Act, including what it is, what it may be used for, which states have opted out, which have not, talking points for getting people to oppose it, etc. (Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see info links to your left.)  I urge all of you to work to make sure that your state opts out of this nefarious program.

Peace.

http://www.nyclu.org/realid

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By Louise, January 25, 2008 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Good point!

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By Louise, January 25, 2008 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

... gives new meaning to the practice of recycling leftovers ... smile

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By purplewolf, January 25, 2008 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

So now they are predicting a disastrous cyber-terrorist attack on the U.S. is this is not instituted?

Everyone in most the world already knows who the REAL TERRORISTS are that are attacking the U.S.Are they bing spied upon also? Well, they should be, nothing like starting at the top. It is the whole rotten Bush Bunch. There is no need to spy on everyone when it is much more efficient to go after the real known terrorists. G.W., Dicko, Condi Rice cake, Wolfnowitz, Muckman, and company.

If these paranoid mentally unstable freaks want to spy on everyone, let them pay all my phone, Internet service and any other source they gleam information from me expenses. If they want to know ask me. I would charge them much less for the correct answers than they cost the taxpayers now to find out “iffy information” which is probably so far from what a person would interpret, it as the difference would be light night and day.

Why anyone would want to move to this country to live is becoming harder for me to believe all the time. America can never say we are,“The land of the Free,” as we once did. Makes you proud doesn’t it? And this is what our soldiers are dying for, the right no have no rights anymore. Thanks alot G.W. and Dicko. Mission Accomplished.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 25, 2008 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Arms control role for Wolfowitz

By Jane O’Brien
BBC, Washington DC

Mr Wolfowitz will deal with issues such as Iran’s nuclear programme
Former World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz has been appointed head of an influential panel advising the US government on arms control.

Mr Wolfowitz was ousted from the Bank last year over a scandal involving payments to his girlfriend, who was also a bank employee at the time.

He has long been a controversial figure in US and international politics.

As the Pentagon’s number two after Donald Rumsfeld, he was one of the leading architects of the war in Iraq.

Sensitive issues

Mr Wolfowitz’s insider status at the White House made him many enemies at home and abroad.

After a stormy two-year tenure at the World Bank, he was forced to leave because he authorised a large compensation package for his girlfriend.

His departure was further clouded by claims that he had tarnished the bank’s reputation and strained relations with other countries - particularly in Europe.

His return to government comes at a time when many key figures of the Bush administration are leaving.

The State Department has confirmed his appointment as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board which provides the department with independent advice on arms control and disarmament.

Mr Wolfowitz will report on a number of current sensitive issues such as nuclear deals with India and North Korea, and Iran’s contentious nuclear programme.

He is currently a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute - a conservative think-tank in Washington DC.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7208286.stm

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By Michael Shaw, January 25, 2008 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

They do good work and we certainly do need them. I think we should also boycott AT&T;, Verizon and the other com corps who are doing this. Don’t use their long distance, don’t use their cellular, don’t use their Internet service and don’t buy any of their products. If enough Americans did that, they’d be screaming at the white house just like the rest of us.

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By Michael Shaw, January 25, 2008 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

It could be a thirteen year old kid in Pasadena…..or a French stock broker. The funniest thing about all of this is the excuse a terrorist might ruin our economy. The Bushco deslexicon have already done that.

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By Michael Shaw, January 25, 2008 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

I would say so. Even free thought is governed from the day we’re born till the day we die. They care very much how we think and have been telling us how to for a long time. The results are a consumer nation that has the “freedom” to buy everything, regardless of necessity and regardless of the consequences. We are bombarded constantly to buy, buy, buy! Hell, when we asked Bush what we could do after 9/11, he said, “Go shopping!” It works too! Many people have spend most of their free time in shopping malls, where everything is provided, including food, entertainment and even trees and gardens with fountains! Who cares if the planet is dying from the filth and destruction, there’s always the mall. They might as well implant a flashing billboard sign in every fetus. Perhaps that’s next!

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By Louise, January 25, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

“The administration knows that these actions are their Achilles heel, legally speaking.  This is the kind of thing that they could be impeached for (much more easily than lying to start a war) and even go to jail for.  This is less about expanding the wiretapping abilities of the government - after all, they weren’t concerned about legality when they did it - than it is about making sure that no member of the administration can be tried in a court of law.”

***

Im with you jackpine savage, but Impeachment is “off the table” What about tar and feathers. Is that off the table too?

From the article:

***

“It is no secret that the Bush administration has already been spying on the e-mail, voice-over-IP, and other Internet exchanges between American citizens since as early as and possibly earlier than Sept. 11, 2001. The National Security Agency has set up shop in the hubs of major telecom corporations, notably AT&T;, installing equipment that makes copies of the contents of all Internet traffic, routing it to a government database and then using natural language parsing technology to sift through and analyze the data using undisclosed search criteria. It has done this without judicial oversight and obviously without the consent of the millions of Americans under surveillance. Given any rational interpretation of the Fourth Amendment, its mass spying operation is illegal and unconstitutional.”

**** 

And truly mind boggling!

They must be having fits with OUR emails.
We Google a lot!

Which is after all the same source most spies use to get their info!

Regarding that “horrendous” cyber-attack.”

That could happen tomorrow, and it wouldn’t have to be one of B&D;‘s boogey men. It could be a thirteen year old kid in Pasadena, who’s smarter than all the homelandsecurity hollow-heads and the bushes and the politicians put together. And just did it ‘cause he wanted to see if he could.

Great article!
Great comments one and all!
Have a nice day!

And you too Tom, Dick and Harry, or whatever you spy’s are calling yourselves today. wink

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By Michael Shaw, January 25, 2008 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

More then likely people will be using it to pay their heating bills, or pay down their credit card debt. 12 dollars a week for a year will do nothing to ease this crisis we’re in. It won’t stop millions of people from defaulting on their mortgages either. And the really poor get nothing, not extended unemployment benefits or food stamp increases.

We need real and long term action, we need good jobs and livable wages and we need compassion for those who are being hit the hardest, the very things we’ll never get from this administration. You are right though! It is a circus!

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By Michael Shaw, January 25, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

The fact Eisenhower warned us after he created it is like Pilot washing his hand of Christ’s fate. Eisenhower was Nazi-minded. So were the people who surrounded him. He was the first president to use the CIA to overthrow governments and his actions enabled the Nazism we live under today.

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By Jaman Jman, January 25, 2008 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

The most cost effective way to fight this is by supporting the Electronic Freedom Foundation,
http://www.eff.org/

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By jackpine savage, January 25, 2008 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Not if this FISA bill passes…

I agree with Expat, i’d be more than happy to help.

And you’re right about the marching too; the only way i see that having any effect is if it was a general strike.  But the government is avoiding any chance of that by handing out money this summer.  Instead of restive masses, everyone will be out buying that new TV they’ve been salivating over.

Bread and Circuses…long live the Empire!

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By Jaxon, January 25, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

No one has asked the ultra-Right beauties trying to get into the White House to continue the current chaos here and around the World specifically how each feels about FISA and why or why not it ought to be reformed. This question just won’t be posed by the lapdog, grovelling press which serves the best interests of the Plutocracy.  Yes, the military-industrial-media complex lives!

Eisenhower must be spinning in his grave as a result of the unprecedented failure of this Administration, surely he worst in our history, in charge of the most unqualifed, incompetent character ever to occupy the White House. Hurry, November!

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By jackpine savage, January 25, 2008 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

First, we all know that this is terrible legislation designed to remove whatever remaining liberty we have.

But there’s more to it.  A court of law has already found that members of the administration and the telecoms acted illegally.  Hence the need for retroactive immunity.  There is also a provision in the bill which clearly states (ok, clear in terms of government obfuscation) that members of the administration that participated in illegal wiretapping, asked for wire taps, etc. will be immune from prosecution.

The administration knows that these actions are their achilles heel, legally speaking.  This is the kind of thing that they could be impeached for (much more easily than lying to start a war) and even go to jail for.  This is less about expanding the wiretapping abilities of the government - after all, they weren’t concerned about legality when they did it - than it is about making sure that no member of the administration can be tried in a court of law.

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By Michael Shaw, January 25, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

They already have! The only thing missing is the coronation ceremony.

Where did the Internet come from in the first place? Military Intelligence! The fact it went public doesn’t mean it’s safe or was ever meant to be. It was an end to a means not only in establishing a new hi tech industry or making it easier for companies to advertise and sell their wares, it was also the method in getting everyone hooked up to it, making it far easier to see what everybody’s business is. We must always remember, knowledge is power, especially to the already powerful. For all we know this spying has been going on since day one. It probably has.

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By GW=MCHammered, January 25, 2008 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

MARY FOR PRESIDENT!

Now that’s American Spirit!!!

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By Expat, January 25, 2008 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

Yes, we are indeed the delusional ones.  Have been for some time, as you already know.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 25, 2008 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

We believe Cohen.  We believed Kucinich.  If what the two of them and so many others say about our democracy is true then we would expect things to change, right?

But they don’t change, except maybe get worse, from our point of view.

Doesn’t it follow then, that we’re the delusional ones, we free thinkers, and that the majority in the US and in congress think we’re dead wrong, think they’re right, and therefore, the democracy is up, running, and perfectly healthy?

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By Jim Yell, January 25, 2008 at 7:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“this is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper”

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By nrobi, January 25, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

Are we to believe that right around the corner are the worst and most heinous people in the world trying to kill all Americans? If you believe Darth Vader and Duhhhhhbya, then yes you do, but if not then how are we to act in the face of such bald-faced lying? The American people must wake up and decide for themselves that enough is enough. If we are to make a difference in the running of this country, then we must stand up and elect someone of character and integrity, someone who will stand against the military-industrial complex and not let this become Amerikka. I, cannot tell you who this candidate is, for each of the viable candidates that stood for integrity and the rule of law, has now dropped out of the race and are fighting for their very political lives in the face of those who would kow-tow to the interests of those who are the elite and powerful of the world. America, wake up and smell the manure of those who are trying to render the Constitution of the US null and void by their surrendering to the military-industrial complex of the world and not heeding and protecting the Constitution of the US as they promise to do when they swear the oath of office.

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By carlito paquito, January 25, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NSA, CIA, FBI, Gov’t I can accept for the greater good.  I personally know it’s happening at your local job, internally, by a bunch of self elected IT police used for far more personal, sinister purposes which I found out the hard way. Promotion? Fair compensation? these are things that actually affect our daily lives which should concern you so zip it, lock it and put it in your pocket don’t express a single word on IM, phone or email about your politics, lame management, NOTHING less you want to remain the lowest paid employee with ten years of service. p.s. even if you’re checking your emails on Yahoo once you’re on their server it’s open line.

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By Expat, January 25, 2008 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

Mary, thank you, you gave me my best laugh of the evening, to wit;

“As for Cheney, that slime ball is more than welcome to knock on my door as I will gladly give up my life and freedom just to get a whack at his balls!”

I would pay a lot to see that, and, I would be willing to help: But I think you could probably handle it yourself.  4 cheers!

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By mary, January 25, 2008 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

I swear if the Democratic Congress lets this one thru, I’m out of here!  This nightmare has got to end soon.  One thing I’m sure of, we are already being watched and controlled, all you have to do is turn on your computer to find how many have access to your e-mail address.  This government doesn’t have to secretly spy on my e-mail or internet action, just call me, I’m more than happy to let you know exactly what I think.  As for Cheney, that slime ball is more than welcome to knock on my door as I will gladly give up my life and freedom just to get a whack at his balls!

I’m staring to think the person who thought the best way to rid our country of the stink and decay is to make rich people poor by taxing them out of all their money is a great idea since it’s the rich who seem to push for all this crap.  I would rather have less material objects if I were truly free of the always obscene rich.

Cyrena, It’s already too late to march, they don’t even see us.  The MSM doesn’t report any real protesting unless it’s the crazy anti-obortion idiots, and Bush has successfully allowed the police to keep any meaningful protests out of sight.  Now how’s that for Democracy.  It’s going to take a very long time, longer than I’ve got, to right this sinking ship….....

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By Jaded Prole, January 25, 2008 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

I agree, Douglas and I do say what needs to be said but it is important to know the risks as well and to face them soberly.

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By FATMAN, January 25, 2008 at 6:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Linux Operating System

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 25, 2008 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

By Jaded Prole, January 25: ”...we will have to be cunning linguists to stay ahead of the hunters…”

Blogging in Asian countries, I have had that experience, Jaded Prole. There are things you can say, things you can’t and things you must be polite or circumspect about.

But they are usually trying to be progressive. If it happens in the USA (and its puppet states), it will be regressive by nature. Best to say as much as you can now so as to make what positive change you can.

If you fear now, it will soon be too late!

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By Jaded Prole, January 25, 2008 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

If only there were an opposition party! We can count on the Dims to “swallow” this too, after all, it’s what they do best.

Confucius said that when the government becomes oppressive the People become cunning. Linguists have found that the development of language was an adaptation of being the prey. Once again, we will have to be cunning linguists to stay ahead of the hunters.

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By Expat, January 25, 2008 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

Just what are the limits of privacy?  Is it being video’d taking a particularly rewarding morning bowel movement?  Or watching bad sex/good sex?  How about your kids playing doctor in their exploration of their human sexuality?  How about the old saw; what have you got to hide?  If you’re an honest law abiding citizen, what’s the problem.  Now that’s a really good one.  The answer to all of these questions is easily found in George Orwell’s 1984.  Read it!

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 25, 2008 at 3:01 am Link to this comment

The CIA has a “back door” into every Microsoft Windows operating system. It was proven some years back! Privacy??? What privacy???

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