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Administration Defiant While Most Americans Support Telephone Tracking

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According to an AFP wire story Friday evening, “The US administration defiantly insisted it was doing nothing illegal amid mounting Congress questions over a secret program to track the phone records of millions of Americans.”

That defiance, however, was not matched by support by powerful Republican Members of Congress, fearful of losing control of Congress in November. Maine Senator Susan Collins said, “The administration must be more forthright with Congress about these programs so we can exercise our oversight responsibilities. These surveillance programs should also be subject to the confines of law to ensure oversight and judicial review.”

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, chairman of the Judiciary Committee has already said that he will summon telephone company brass to determine if the Constitution has been violated. And, after meeting with Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the nominee to head the CIA, Senator Chuck Hagel, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “I think this issue needs to be clearly aired,” following a meeting with Hayden.

Late Friday afternoon, Slate Magazine wrote that the current program “goes well beyond the scope of the NSA domestic-surveillance program revealed last year.” They noted that President Bush at the time said that one end of the communication must be outside the United States. Slate commented, “That assurance turns out to have been highly deceptive, if not an outright lie.”

One of the concerns raised by the article was that the project violates the concept of checks and balances that is built into the very structure of the U.S. government. The magazine said that the executive branch simply cannot be trusted to have sole access to this amount of private information on American citizens.

“This has nothing to do with who the president is,” Slate noted. “It has everything to do with the nature of power. To dispute this fact is to dispute the need for checks and balances; it’s to dismiss the constitutional premise of the U.S. government.”

But while Beltway politicians fretted, it appears that Americans have simply given up concerns about personal privacy. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released yesterday, 63 percent of Americans supported the program to collect information on telephone calls made within the U.S. “even if it intrudes on privacy,” with 44 percent strongly supporting it. Only 35 percent objected and of that group, 24 percent strongly objected.

The telephone poll of 502 Americans was conducted on May 11th and has a margin of error of =/- 4 percent. However, the pollsters noted that conducting a poll in one evening presents challenges that could affect the results although they didn’t specify by what margin.

A Post article subhead offered an interesting explanation for the relative lack of concern among Americans: “Consumers Grow Accustomed to Surrendering Personal Data.” The article noted that every time people shop in a grocery store, buy something online, or use a credit card, they know that personal data about them is being collected.

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • http://jpsgoddamnblog.blogspot.com JP

    That survey was only a day after the revelation, which while it was all over the news, may or may not have been fully digested by the public. Still, I’m concerned also that people just don’t care about their liberties. To me it’s the principle, moreso even than whether I personally am affected.

  • http://chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Great article…I think the problem is that too many Americans have become complacent and lazy. They may think “damn this sucks”, but are too lazy to do anything about it.

  • gonzo marx

    oh Mark me boyo…ya raise some good points, but neglect ta lift the pints needed ta be figgerin’ out what’s happenin’

    the poll you cite was only 500 people less than a day after the story broke….

    give it a week , and then look at bigger sampling polls, then we will see

    what bloggles my Mind is that the REAL conservatives and libertarians amongst the GOP faithful haven’t fired up their own Revolt yet

    think about it, ya wanna distance yerself from the historically low polls for the Congress and yer Party…put some distance there….show yer against deficit spending on pork, and that ya stand WITH the Rule of Law and the Constitution and against the low poll President on the whole wiretap/database thing

    then ya might have a chance at keeping yer seat

    but if they stick with the neocon ideology, and keep going with what they are doing….their own base gets pissed….add in the still burgeoning scandals of

    Abramhoff, Libby, Duke Cunningham and now Foggo

    and the GOP is gonna wind up radioactive by November

    not that that’s a bad thing…

    but i digress

    Excelsior?

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    There was a good article in the Wash Post today about how easily Americans are allowing both gov’t and businesses to dig into our personal lives. It’s a dangerous trend & no one seems to care.

    and Gonzo, old pup, I can’t lift the pints–at least fer a while ’cause, believe it er not, I gave up the demon drink, including me beloved Jameson! (Hence, if you’ve noticed, I no longer my world-famous tag line, In Jameson Veritas.)

    But…ne’er the less, 500 is a large enough sample size, particularly given the results, to be confident that Americans are sheep in wolves clothing. True, it was only a day after, and we’ll see what happens later…but it’s the trend, lad, that’s disturbin’, the fuckin’ trend.

    In something veritas

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I haven’t given up on privacy. I want Uncle Sam out of my bedroom, off my phone line and unconnected to my email. Period.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Great article, Mark.

    Americans are not as beaten down as Israelis but it looks as if your government lies just as much as ours does. I don’t see folks in your country doing anything important about this at all, even though it is a blatant violation of the law in your country.

    Gonzo, I’m afraid that JP and Chantal accurately read the pulse of your nation.

    How the mighty are falling – and how quickly they fall…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    If I inadvertantly dial a wrong number, or one of them mistakenly dials me, I don’t want to be branded a terrorist sympathiser. On top of that known terrorists could be randomly dialing numbers all over the U.S. just to throw the NSA off their tracks with a bunch of blind alleys.

    This sound to me like it has the potential to become the McCarthy era “Are you now or have you ever been a comunist?” hearings of the 50s and it’s flat out wrong.

    Who did they poll? The US congress and all of their secretaries and drivers?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Is it POSSIBLE, just barely possible, that Americans can tell the difference between actual invasion of privacy and routine electronic data collection?

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    As I understand it Dave, no actual listening is done, HOWEVER once a known suspect is identified, his calls are tracked AND LISTENED TO as are the peoples’ that he’s called. One misdial on his part or mine brands me a terrorist sympathizer.

    Right?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I think it would take more than one misdial. And it would be a hell of a misdial if it went to the 15 digit number that just happens to reach Osama bin Laden’s cell phone.

    When dealing with legal situations that involve new technology it helps to find an equivalent in more familiar situations. Think of the tracking of phonecalls as the same as staking out a crack house. The cops watching the crack house follow the people who stop there and stop and search them – having seen them at the crack house gives them just cause for the search without requiring a warrant. What we’re talking about here is the electronic equivalent.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    As reported by ABC news last night we’re talking records of not billions, but trillions of domestically made calls within the US to other US phone numbers. That’s 10 digit numbers there Dave.

    One wrong number either by me or to me, means they have grounds to monitor/listen to my calls even if some suspect called another suspect who called me by mistake.

    Like someone going to a drug house, then coming to my apartment building and ringing my doorbell by mistake, which is hooked into a system that calls my phone. That means detectives following that suspect of a suspect has record of not only him ringing my door, but a separate agency has records of him calling my phone.

    It’s beyond comprehension that that volume of information can be sifted without mistakes-the odds are against it, and that means innocent people wrongly accused and investigated, no matter how it’s sugar-coated ro politically spun.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Dave,

    This issue is goes beyond collection of data to stop terrorism to the usurpation of power by the executive branch.

    To quote myself: “This has nothing to do with who the president is,” Slate noted. “It has everything to do with the nature of power. To dispute this fact is to dispute the need for checks and balances; it’s to dismiss the constitutional premise of the U.S. government.”

    If a select number of the Senate Intelligence Committee whatever that judicial forum is were consulted and agreed, and if the NSA proved that they were only getting phone numbers and not tracking conversations, I think there would be a lot less outrage.

    Wait a minute, there’s not very much outrage at all. Let me restate that…I think those of us who are concerned about checks and balances and the Constitution would be less concerned.

    As a conservative, you of all people should be objective to unwarranted intrustion into your personal life–especially consider your personal life. (I have videos, by the way.)

    And Ruvy, you’ve got it all wrong. Our government doen’t lie. You have to have some vague notion of what “truth” means before you can lie, LOL.

    In Decaf Coffee Veritas–sigh, it’s not the same thing.

  • Arch Conservative

    I’d just like to pose a hypothetical to everyone railing against this phone monitoring program.

    Let’s just say that somehow this program managed to identify a terrorist group that was planning an attack on American civilians and the attack was foiled.

    Let’s say 1000 Americans civilians lives were saved because of this.

    Was the program worth it? Was it justifiable?

    Let’s say the information saved your child’s life.

    Was the program worth it? Was it justifiable?

    I hear so many saying that the worst thing about this program is not the invasion of privacy but the fact that it violates the law. These people say that the strict rule of law must be adhered to regardless of the means or ends, benefit or detriment or any other considerations that are not subject to the “rule of law.” The funny thing is that I didn’t hear these people screaming about the “rule of law” when Clinton lied to congress under oath. I mean it shouldn’t have mattered what the lie was about given the current appreciation for the “rule of law” to these people. Yet they weren’t quite as vociferous at that time. Seems like partisan hypocrisy to me.

    To me the ends justify the means in this case. If this program saves the lives of innocent Americans while minorly inconvencing other AMericans than I believe it to be just. I’d galdly let the government listen in on my phone calls if it saves a class full of kindergartners in some building that terrorists are planning to attack. I have nothing to hide anyway.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Mark, I’m certianly concerned about genuine invasion of the privacy of the average citizen. I’m not so concerned about basic investigative data processing to identify criminal activity.

    You folks are looking at this issue entirely backwards. Things like analyzing phonecall patterns are NOT a way of invading your privacy. They’re away of protecting it. Every method they can use to eliminate the need to generally investigate or control the population and narrow the field down is beneficial to the general public.

    Having programs like this that identify a small group of people to investigate makes it unnecessary for the government to resort to far more draconian measures of security and population control. The alternative to a program like this would be something much worse and more invasive.

    Which would you rather have, the NSA tracking phonecalls to figure out who’s communicating with terrorists or the government just resorting to a blanket solution like requiring a security check before allowing you to make international calls?

    Dave

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Arch, sorry, but your conservative card is being rescinded by the CCMA (Conservative Card Monitors of America.) Again, it’s not the monitoring…read my post to Dave (#12), it’s the process. And your analogy to Clinton resembles, “well some people cheat on their taxes, so it’s o.k. for me.”

    Somebody great (other than me) once said, “It’s better for 100 guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be imprisoned.” Or something like that. That philosophy and the inherent risks are the heart of conservatism, the basis for the Bill of Rights, the wings beneath my feet.

    An appealing to emotionalism (what if it were your daughter) doesn’t work on two levels. First I don’t have a daughter. But our legal and governmental system is designed exactly to prevent emotionalism from interferring with rational policy setting.

    I’m a screaming, left-wing, weak-kneed, 60s liberal and I want the government out of my life! You’re an arch conservative and you’re inviting them in. There’s something very odd here.

    And Dave, I think you missed my point. It’s absuse of power, failure to adhere to the checks and balances, and not obeying the law that bothers me. Just as Bush seems incapable of working constructively in the foreign policy realm, he seems just as incompetent in working with his own government. Get the intelligence subcommittee and that judicial group to agree & I’m not happy, but I’ll go along with it.

    In Decaf Veritas (Jesus, that just doesn’t have the same ring as In Jameson Veritas…sigh.)

  • rusty

    I guess this is the smaller less intrusive form of government that conservatives always wanted. Amazed that W has ANY credibility anymore

  • Arch Conservative

    Liberals yanking my conservative membership card…

    Is there anything these smug, sob’s don’t feel their entitled to do?

    How many people have actually been wrongly imprisoned because of this program mcmoonbat?

    We can’t make policy decisions based on emotional sentiment? Someone had better tell that to all the anti

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Oh Arch, you’re losing your sense of humor. I’m neither smug nor a sob…just superior. (Hey, you forget that just yesterday, I entered a comment where I agreed with you?)

    And you’ll need to help me with mcmoonbat–what in the world is that.

    Finally, I think you got so angry, you forgot to finish your post.

  • Arch Conservative

    iberals yanking my conservative membership card…

    Is there anything these smug, sob’s don’t feel their entitled to do?

    How many people have actually been wrongly imprisoned because of this program mcmoonbat?

    We can’t make policy decisions based on emotional sentiment? Someone had better tell that to all the anti-war protestors then. I mean it’s not as if they play on people’s emotiong to gain support in the politcal arena for theri point iof view is it.

    I’m not inviting the governemnt in. I am merely saying that what they are doing monitoring calls and where they’re to and from is not a great invasion of privacy in my eyes. They’re looking for terrorists ok…they’re not listening to you talk to your burnt out useless hippy friends about the really great acid you socred the last time you were at a phish concert.

    “Just as Bush seems incapable of working constructively in the foreign policy realm”

    what you consider working constructively in the foreign policy realm i would most likely deem pacifist do nothing UN/europe ass kissing that will only lead to more terrorist attacks

    what you leftist moonbats don’t understand about conservatives and how we view the threat posed by islamic terrorism is that we realize it will be necessary to do things like this program in order to save our very lives. and this prgram as of yet hasn’t changed what america is…… the last time i checked most americans were still able to coem and go as they please where and when they wanted…call whom they wanted and talk about what they wanted…….. our lifestyles and freedoms have not been affected by this program in any significant way…..it’s just that you moonbats hate bush so you’re dreaming up all kinds of ways that this program is going to lead a 1984 type america…….

    ok so we stop the program and have another terrorist attack…who is to balme then? Bush? all you people attacking this program sure haven’t offered any ideas as to how to safeguard us from terrorism…….

    america isn’t even remotely close to anything resembling the orwellian prison being pushed by you moonbats and it won’t be beacuse of this program either so maybe you should all shut your stinking pieholes and let those in the know protect us……….

    because the bottom line when you get right down to it………when you stop talking this rule of law bullshit…….is that the most basic human instinct is self preservation….when someone has a gun to your head you don’t stop and consider the rule of law………..all bets are off….this is something even a deadbeat, burnt out, pacifist, 60’s relic like mcmoonbat can understand

    lofty ideals are worth shit to a dead man

    above all else………..self preservation

  • gonzo marx

    Bing the ArchFascist sez…
    *above all else………..self preservation*

    hey now..here’s one fer ya….ya fucking coward…

    *give me Liberty, or give me Death*

    heard that one before?

    as a Citizen as well as a veteran, i thinkm you weak kneed cowardly hypocritcal bullshit is exactly what’s wrong around here…

    you scream about Slick Willie and his perjury….yet when the Shrub LIES about “this program only deals with calls going outside out country”…you are ok with it…

    to paraphrase troll…“take your double standard police state loving bullshit off my bridge”

    you can sit next to Stalin

    Excelsior?

  • gonzo marx

    on a side note, dragging this back to the Original Topic…here’s a link to an MSNBC article containing a Newsweek poll taken since the new revelations about the whole NSA bit has seeped into the american Consciousness….and the numbers have shifted…

    57% against saying the Administration and NSA have gone “too far” versus 38% who think it’s appropriate

    and it’s only been a few days

    looks like folks are realizing the dangers to our Liberty from a single Party government

    let’s hope “checks and balances” are restored come september…

    Excelsior?

  • http://chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    That’s a good article, gonzo…..

    the problem is will people remember how they feel NOW when elections come around again??

    I’m afraid that most Americans have short attention spans .

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Arch, if Bush has stopped terrorists from attacking us since 911, what prevented them from attacking us during the Clinton presidency, and why did they have to wait until Bush took office?

    Because they believed he’d give a less effective response… which he did.

    Where’s Osama? The real culprit behind 911? Bush doesn’t know, or probably care, as long as he has an excuse to run his police state here.

    You’re just cranky because Bushy fell below 30 percent approval ratings and more then 70 out of 1100 people disagree with your rightwing platitudes.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    whoops typing error 70 out of 100

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Arch, Arch, Arch, I fear Sir Gonzo is right. You’re not a conservative, you are a fascist & a pretty angry one at that.

    when you stop talking this rule of law bullshit

    Rule of law bullshit!!!??? Despite my reputation as Curmudgeon at Large, I try to be polite and jovial on these posts, but, I gotta tell you, you are one sick mother. It’s clear that where education and knowledge should reside, all you have is emotional hysteria.

    Your hysteria distorts everything you see around you; your out-of-control anger causes you to hallucinate and create demons out of people who happen not to agree with your fascist view of America.

    Have you read anything about the foundation of America, the issues that were debated and resolved, the threats to freedom the Founding Fathers sought to protect us from? Have you even read the Constitution or the Bill of Rights? Do you even know what “checks and balances are” and why they’re integrated into the foundation of our nation?

    This is serious question and an honest one: Why are you so angry and on the attack?

    In Decaf Veritas

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    All right, that does it, someone tell me how to say “But that’s only my opinion” in latin so I can fit in with all you egg heads!!!

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    when someone has a gun to your head you don’t stop and consider the rule of law………..all bets are off

    So you’re saying that when the U.S. is under threat from an enemy, it’s okay to disregard the laws of the land?

    If anyone has ever truly said something un-American, that’s it.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Jet,

    Magnum est opinionatus mea culpa.

    Gonzo…thanks for the link. I just wrote an update article with loads of good stuff including…get this Archie…most Americans prefer Clinton to Bush in almost every category. Now I’ve got to harass the editors to get it out. (we can’t publish our own stuff.)

    In Decaf Veritas

  • gonzo marx

    ya know..i just watched an olde Spencer Tracy movie last week…all about the Nurembourg trials, with Spencer as one of the judges in the tribunal…

    at the very end, before reading the sentances…he makes an excellent statement about the Character of a people and their Nation…that it is only under duress and dire circumstances when confronted in the darkest times, when that Character truly shows…that when it’s easy to do the right thing, that counts less than doing the right thing under trying times…

    that it is ONLY when we are against that final wall that our true Character is known as a people and as a Nation…

    we are up against that “wall” kiddies…and we are failing abysmally every time we give up what makes us who we are…

    you know..silly things, like the Constitution and the Rule of Law…

    do not “go gently…”

    Excelsior?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Magnum est opinionatus mea culpa-Got it and thanks much!

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Jet, I was just kidding! that may mean “great are our opinions, I’m sorry”, but I’m not ever sure about that, LOL. Never trust a liberal. You know better than that!

    In Decaf Veritas

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    If I’m doing it right,(doubtful) I came up with (Qui solus mei opinio)?

    Or course for all I know that could mean my Uncle’s rooster is pregnant.

    alas

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Yeah, but I like the sound of it…either way, it’s a great close. Go with it. Think how I feel having to close with

    In Decaf Veritas…talk about a dorky ending.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Good comment, Gonzo. Right on, third-world soul brother. Wonder what America’s character will be if it ever gets to that?

    In Decaf Veritas…yuk.

  • Arch Conservative

    What a bunch of fucking morons.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Jet, maybe you should just close your comments with “alas”

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    You’re cute when you bitter and disillusioned Archie Conman

    Qui solus mei opinio

  • Bliffle

    Archie: “What a bunch of fucking morons.”

    I know you meant this comment to be disparaging, but I’ve actually done some moronic fucking and it aint half bad.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Archie, you’ve now gone from angry and petulant and rude to pathetic. Why not find another article if you’re not going to participate on this one at least pretending to be a human being.

    In Decaf Veritas

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.Edward R. Murrow

    Indeed, we are in a battle with the Conservative Right and this White House for the survival of America’s soul. The political dynamics around the world have made our society most vulnerable. The security advisors would have us believe that circumventing the laws with regard to monitoring private American lives is somehow patriotic. Loyal opponents are branded as traitors, treasonous and terrorist sympathizers. Lest we forget, the basic terrorist message speaks many a truth. It is in identifying those truths and fostering a real dialog that is needed. Those in the Middle East who are trudging along trying to make it day to day aren’t that different from us. By insuring their misery, their religious and political leaders have found a way to convince them that they are victims of the West. What we’ve got to do is to get people out of victim mode. Challenge the status quo from Washington to Tehran. Battle those in power from Caracas to Beijing.

    During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable, even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism.Howard Thurman

    In this “war” we lack a common goal or objective. They tell us that we are achieving regime change in Iraq and delivering the Iraqi people from the binds of Husseinian rule. Truth be told we have delivered the Iraqi people from Herod to Pilate and now the real drama begins.

    Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    Well, most of us really would like to do more for our country. The problem is that in the current Federal Governing configuration we have a system whereby the upper 5% of our society is benefiting from enormous government imposed wealth. The rest of us on the economic food chain are fed scraps. We hanging on the lower rungs of the ladder honestly believe, thanks to our patriotism, that we can climb up several rungs though they are greased with special interests and made weak by the upper 5%. Those of us bottom feeders have an opportunity to do something for our country. Fight back and take control of our destinies by taking back our government. If that means civil disobedience, so be it. It may even take a civil war.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    … but I’ve actually done some moronic fucking and it aint half bad.

    Yeah, I can attest to that! Especially since Jerry Falwell and 99% of the Conservative Christian Right would have the rest of us believe that having unconventional sexual relations is tantamount to destroying the fabric of American society.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Do you think most people said it was OK because the polling was done on the phone and new it’d get back to the government?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    and that they also knew?

  • http://disembedded.blogspot.com/2006/05/sigmund-freuds-150th-anniversary-finis.html disembedded curiosities

    Numerous commentators are bickering about either the security needs for or potential attacks upon our fundamental freedoms, which are embodied in the federal mass communications surveillance recently disclosed. It very curiously might be valuable to revisit Freud’s experiences many years ago in order to remind ourselves of an oft-forgotten historic two-word public announcement that he made at the very time that the American government was vehemently denying the danger or atrocities of the Nazi regime. The following comments review the discourse surrounding the 150th Celebration of Freud’s birth, and conclude with Freud’s memorable proclamation about the march of totalitarian brutality:

    Amidst all the public discussion and debate attending the widely noted 150th Anniversary of Freud’s birth, there was an underlying admission that Freud’s thinking has had an enormous influence upon all of us, and that it is unimaginable how there could be a return to a pre-Freudian way of thinking.

    Despite how rigorously, and regardless of the many ways, that we have throw him away, yet he continues to return. We just cannot rid ourselves of the potent, even if seldom clearly visible, fact that he enunciated deep if unprovable truths about ourselves that had never been so clearly enunciated before.

    Freud’s views were not simplistic, certainly not as simplistic as those of his critics. His view of human life was a tragic one, rather than a naively optimistic. He tried to teach us that frustration was part of the price we have to pay for the preservation of civilized life.

    From his own experiences of the Nazi brutalities as but one example of totalitarian atrocities, he knew well that it was a price well worth paying. He believed that we were but a veneer’s thickness away from barbarism — and in the light of subsequent events in the 20th century, who can say that he was not prescient?

    And just as crucially important, it is a lesson we all need to re-teach each other at this very moment that we have learned that, as Americans, we have become victimized by tools of mass surveillance capable of potentially totalitarian control and domination by the very governmental regime to whom we had entrusted the guarantee of our democratic freedoms.

    Let us remember the two words that Freud wrote in his diary when the Gestapo came to turn him out of Vienna. They have a poignant, moving and infinitely dignified greatness about them: “Finis Austriae.” Let us also hope that those two words are not returning to haunt America.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Because buying phone records is the moral equivalent of loading up 6 million Jews into boxcars and killing them off…

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Silas,

    Great comments. Too bad the neocons & Nazis won’t understand them. More important–how’d you get color into your post???

    Matt,

    See my Updated post thanks to Gonzo–a new poll not only shows the opposite but, ROFL, shows that Americans prefer Clinton to Bushie by a huge margin.

    In Decaf Veritas…sigh

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    And “disembedded,” there have been numerous psychological and neurological studies over the past decade or so making it clear that our unconscious mind is more powerful and dominant than our conscious mind. Freud may not have been completely write–but he uncovered truths that are very uncomfortable.

    And those two words are chilling.

    In Decaf Veritas…ptui.

  • http://chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Mark….I’ll join u for coffee…but I need all the caffeine I can get

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Chantal,

    Come to D.C.& I’ll buy. I don’t get to Ohio very often. (That’s in Canada, right?)

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    We ought to have a DC-area BC meeting sometime. I can probably arrange to be there as an excuse to visit my parents.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Only if they’ll be serving Canadian coffee.
    Solus mei sententia
    Jet

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Dave, excellent idea. I’ll raise it on the Yahoo board.

    Jet, we can try, but is there such thing as Canadian coffee????

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    What ever happened to good old fashioned Colombian coffee? I get so mad at the gay community for making Starbucks a trend. I hate designer coffee. That’s right, America, Starbucks and other trendy cafe outlets were made popular by the gays. I take full responsibility for the blunder.

    P.S. Let’s see if that sends Starbucks stocks tumbling.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Maybe if you can get Falwell to call a boycott, Silas.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Mark “Mark” Schannon: “is there such thing as Canadian coffee????

    Yes — it’s called Labatt Blue.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I’ll take a Molson Ice, thank you very much.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    We ought to have a DC-area BC meeting sometime. I can probably arrange to be there as an excuse…

    GREAT idea! The Billion Blogger Bitchfest. We’ll march on the Mall. We’ll spout out diverse views from both sides of the aisle. We’ll agree to disagree. Then we’ll riot on K Street and loot the lobbyist offices! Then off to Congress where we will gather them cun clave until they do something more than give us lip service.

  • gonzo marx

    i’ll stay away so yas don’t get raided…

    back to the original Topic…

    woe is U.S.

    Excelsior?

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    This thread is unraveling faster than Bush’s popularity. We should move to my update (hint, hint) which it seems not enough of you have read. Especially all the negatives about Bush and how Clinton is kicking his but in the polls.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    One cannot unravel that which no longer exists.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com mschannon

    Ah, but the Zen Master Lo Fat once said, “That which once existed continues in a plane beyond our consciousness. One need only descend into that plane to reravel that which was unraveled. Personally, I recommend Acid.”

    In Decaf Veritas

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Except on the web, of course, where that which once existed can continue in a plane known as Google’s cache or the Wayback Machine!