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Dems Cowardly Surrender 4th Amendment

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Greetings, gentle Readers…

Here in the U.S. we have had a good run. A country founded on the rule of Law, not men, protected freedoms and liberties, checks and balances holding it all together.

Not any more.

This weekend, the Democrats of both the House and Senate showed the huge yellow streak on their backs (and shorts) by caving in to the Administration when it comes to protecting citizen’s Rights for having a member of the Judicial Branch perform oversight and review when it comes to certain types of warrants.

Some may not see this as any big deal, others think it’s fine because the Administration claims it’s only about foreign terror suspects, and yet another faction says that if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.

Your humble Commentator calls …bullshit.

Let’s recap, shall we?

Our Constitution says – The extraordinary government power to curb civil rights and liberties during crisis periods, such as times of war, lies with Congress and not the President. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress, and not the President, with the power to suspend the right of habeas corpus during a period of rebellion or invasion.”

This is important because of the case history involving Jose Padilla who was held for about 3 years, without being charged, and without trial or even appearance before a court, about 2 years of which was spent in solitary confinement. Held because the Administration classified this American Citizen as an “enemy combatant”. This was never proven, nor established by any member of the Judicial branch, but a proclamation by the Administration alone.

So, yes Virginia…the government can now lock you up with no recourse, merely by saying you are an “enemy combatant” and never have to prove a thing against you.

This was the first step in destroying the Rights of Citizens to be protected against our government.

The next step has been the circumventing of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) passed in 1978. This set of laws and regulation was created in the aftermath of some scandals involving the government wiretapping folks without a warrant, and was meant to provide rules, guidelines and oversight for the interception of foreign communications in the name of National Security.

A fine idea by all accounts, and it has been revised and updated over 50 times since it’s inception in order to cover all the bases and keep things above board and under the scrutiny of checks and balances.

Until this Administration decided it could monitor anything it wanted to without bothering with those pesky warrants. Congress took a pitiful stab at getting answers from the Attorney General about it all, to no avail, getting stonewalled at every turn…and possibly lied to by the nation’s highest Law Enforcement Officer as touched upon in this article.

Now comes the part that should scare the shit out of every Citizen in our Nation.

This weekend, the Democrats cravenly caved in to the Bush machine’s pressure to let them have their way when it comes to digging up anything they want to without any kind of warrant, just on 2 Administration appointees say so.

Not wanting to engage in serious debate or investigation, not wanting to look “weak on terror”, and wanting nothing more than to go on their vacation…each and every Senator and Congressman who voted for this Bill, as well as those who wrote it, and the man who signed it into Law are traitors to the Republic.

They’ll hem and haw and make excuses like “it’s only for six months”! Yeah, like Padilla’s sitting in solitary confinement for about 2 years was also a temporary inconvenience.

Don’t be fooled, don’t listen to anyone else (including me). Take a look at it all for yourselves, read up, think about it.

One would think real Conservatives would be pissed at the erosion of their basic Rights, one would think real Liberals would be pissed at the destruction of the checks and balances that are supposed to protect Individuals from the government.

Perhaps, but it looks like both sides of the aisle could give an aerial fornication bisecting a rotating pastry about U.S., they just wanted to go on vacation rather than do their jobs fulfilling their Oaths to preserve, uphold and protect the Constitution.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – attributed to Ben Franklin

So here we have it, our government can now tap all your communications without a warrant, because two Administration appointed officials say they can, and then if they want to declare you an “enemy combatant” they can toss you in jail, with NO charges brought against you, for as long as they want with no ability to appeal.

All of that without ANY judicial review…you know, those pesky checks and balances.

Looks like in the new Big Brother 21st century, Uncle Sam ain’t no nice guy, after all.

For those quick to defend all of this, remember there’s a damn good possibility that all of this power and potential for abuse will be in the hands of a Democrat (maybe even Hillary) come November ’08.

For those who think the Democrats will defend them and make it all right in the end, remember those spineless shitweasels just let this happen so they could go on vacation and to try and dodge a fight over a real issue. All because they were afraid of W and his cronies and just wanted to go on vacation.

For those who still support this Administration, this is the Law they wanted, that they wrote, and that they put their pressure on to have passed…and this was the watered down version.

Look it all up, think it over, decide for yourselves after checking multiple sources.

Me? I just smashed my cell phone, and am pondering a crew cut, an NRA membership and getting “born again” just to keep Big Brother from my door for a while longer.

your mileage may vary…

Excelsior?

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About gonzo marx

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    It should be noted here that most Democrats in the Congress voted against this, but that a handful of guys like Joe Lieberman sided with the Republicans, who voted overwhelmingly for it. That said, I am every bit as horrified as the writer here as our constitution continues to be shredded to bits by the band of theives currently running the show.

    Impeach them all!

    -Glen

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    well Glen, thanks for stopping by…as for the totals of House and Senate on the vote…

    the House of Representatives voted for the bill, 227-183, a day after it won Senate approval, 60-28

    the politics of this one are slimy in the extreme all the way around…but i give credit to those who voted against this piece of shit legislation…and nothing but derision to those who voted for it, wrote it, or signed it into Law…

    a good start, but it might be past time to run them all out of town an rails…save the tar and feathers for the worst offenders…

    well, i can Dream…can’t i?

    Excelsior?

  • Doug Hunter

    Glad as always to read a bit from the mind of GM. Regardless of your position you always seem to take a logical and conciliatory tone while bridging the gap between sides. I find that rather refreshing.

    As to the thrust of your article, yes this is government taking liberties and overstepping it’s bounds, but what else is new? In the grand scheme of things the government listening in on phone calls to Torra Borra is far down on the list of its depraved functions.

    I see a clear danger from the Padilla precedent, but is there some serious threat to society I’m missing with the overseas-domestic wiretap protocol?

    Even with the previous arrangement the public was only offered slightly better protection. There’s certainly more independence with a judge backing the decision but it still only required a limited number of people (2) to abridge ones rights. I don’t have any more expectation of professionalism, conduct, or protection from judge as I do from legislators or executives.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Gonzo,

    Nice to read your pearl shaped tones again. Just a thought or two. An acquaintance of mine, a convert originally raised within the ruling Protestant establishment that runs your country behind the scenes, a fellow very familiar with its mentality, gave 50-50 odds that your government would move from the sham democracy it is now to an open dictatorship. Given the behavior of the Congress concerning your rapidly diminishing constitutionally protected rights, they might not have to do such a thing at all…

    Stay safe, my friend.

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    I guess the Conservative Champions of Liberty would rather we surrender our freedom to them than to those islamo-fascist-commie AQ folks. Oh well, it’ll make it easier for them to collect taxes from the few remaining taxpayers when the bill comes due for Bushes extravagances.

  • Doug Hunter

    “gave 50-50 odds that your government would move from the sham democracy it is now to an open dictatorship”

    That’s funny. My contact, a recent convert to nihilism who was raised an orthodox Jew within the Jewish power elite who control the protestant figureheads that run the sham democracy, says there’s a 100% chance you’re experiencing paranoid delusions as a result of your childish apocolypse fantasy blurring the line between reality and fiction.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    for Doug – glad i can provide a moments Thought and Reflection…as for why i think it’s beyond dangerous…

    it’s the *we don’t know* factor, the lack of oversight..the fact that even with a cursory examination of the TSP previously, the FBI found over 200 cases of purely domestic wiretapping (that they could find, and would admit to)… with no Judicial review, and sketchy Congressional oversight (long after the fact, and completely dependent on the folks doing the tapping to tell the Truth..NO WAY to check up on them)…

    as i stated, all the Administration has to do is point their finger and say “enemy combatant”..and just about ALL your Rights and Protections are gone…you know what an *unperson* is, yes?

    go ahead and google “carnivore” and “echelon”

    Ruvy – i’ll take the bet…imo, far too many cranky Individualists to let it go too far, for too long…but i do admit the slow erosion if far worse than any attempted coup

    bliffle – don’t i Wish that was all we had to worry about…tax collectors are the least of it, imo

    well..this is how my mad peckings come out when i type all normal like…not as much Fun as my usual Stylings..but it fulfills an olde bet with Mark about me being able to do 2 *straight* articles

    pay up Schannon……

    heh

    Excelsior?

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

    The surprise for me is the wide margin it won by in the Senate. That took more than a few democrats.

    Dave

  • Dr Dreadful

    So Lumpy, what do you think?

    …Lumpy?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    hence the title of the Article

    piss poor “leadership” in both House and Senate, this was a completely blown call made by the DLC types and their strategists…

    when will these shitweasels we elect realize that we elect them usually to fix something the guy before them fucked up?

    i mean, come the fuck on, when you win both House and Senate, you should know you won to reverse some directions…or at least alter course…

    to me, everything can be summed up with the phrase *checks and balances*…and the Ds have been woefully incompetent so far…

    but all that aside…as i said, it’s what we don’t know that causes the most concern, and sets off the alarms…

    and there may indeed be no abuses….yet

    but that doesn’t change the fact that what makes the American Experiment unique has suffered a possibly fatal Affliction…only Time will tell if “We the People” can correct it, or become the sheeple that some think of U.S.

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    geez…O dreadful Phd!!

    thas it? one crossthreaded Jest…no Critique…not even poking Fun at my poor English?

    /disappointed

    heh

    Excelsior?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Your English is fine, mate. I’m just waiting to hear from the Lumpenator is all.

    Frankly this is all too sickening. In some ways I’m glad I’m not a US citizen so I don’t have to take personal responsibility for the clueless shits in Washington. But on the other hand, I live here. I feel the distress a parent feels towards a wayward child. I also know that even if I move away, whatever the US does is going to affect me wherever in the world I park my bum. It’s just so sad and depre

    …You see, that could have been Georgie Boy or one of his cronies deciding I’m an enemy combatant and whisking me away from my keyboard in mid-rant at dead of night, never to be seen again.

    I suppose one may hope for poetic justice, however, namely that Hillary, once elected Prez, decides GW is an enemy combatant and whisks him off never to be seen again.

    Feh.

  • Dr Dreadful

    …And it’s MD, gonzo. I didn’t spend six years at Dreadful Medical School to be called PhD, thank you very much.

    Riiiight

  • STM

    Times change. Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures. That doesn’t mean you have to have all your rights taken from you, however. But haven’t US governments enacted this legislation before, though? Like in WWII?

    My understanding also is that US citizens are still entitled to the protections of the criminal justice system, even under this legislation, while non-citizens aren’t.

    If it’s any consolation, those of us living in other countries that also value personal freedoms and liberties are going through a similar thing.

    You can now be held almost indefinitely in Australia provided a magistrate or judge agrees to regular reviews of your detention and the police can present a reasonable case for keeping you. Some courts won’t, as was the case recently with Mohamed Haneef, the Indian doctor working on the Gold Coast who had alleged links to the would-be UK terror bombers (you know, the one that just happened).

    He was held for nearly a month, and eventually the courts let him go after agreeing on three occasions to his continued detention under anti-terror legislation. There is, however, a suggestion that he may actually know more than he is letting on – and lo and behold, now he is gone.

    Like I say, we are living in extraordinary times, and extraordinary measures may be required for the time being.

    And I would have thought the people who’d be really pissed off at losing their rights would be the 3000 killed on 9/11, the victims of the London bus and underground bombings, and the Bali victims.

    Perhaps if some of this type of legislation had been in force at the time, they might still be alive.

    I reckon my right to go to work without being blown up negates the rights of any terror suspect just now.

    It’s also worth noting that these western governmenst whose people have fallen victim to these idiots may be in receipt of information right now that the rest of us aren’t party to.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    for #8…here’s the breakdown of the Senate vote

    YEAs —60
    Allard (R-CO)
    Barrasso (R-WY)
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Bennett (R-UT)
    Bond (R-MO)
    Brownback (R-KS)
    Burr (R-NC)
    Carper (D-DE)
    Casey (D-PA)
    Chambliss (R-GA)
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Coleman (R-MN)
    Collins (R-ME)
    Conrad (D-ND)
    Corker (R-TN)
    Cornyn (R-TX)
    Craig (R-ID)
    Crapo (R-ID)
    DeMint (R-SC)
    Dole (R-NC)
    Domenici (R-NM)
    Ensign (R-NV)
    Enzi (R-WY)
    Feinstein (D-CA)
    Graham (R-SC)
    Grassley (R-IA)
    Hagel (R-NE)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Hutchison (R-TX)
    Inhofe (R-OK)
    Inouye (D-HI)
    Isakson (R-GA)
    Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Kyl (R-AZ)
    Landrieu (D-LA)
    Lieberman (ID-CT)
    Lincoln (D-AR)
    Martinez (R-FL)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Mikulski (D-MD)
    Murkowski (R-AK)
    Nelson (D-FL)
    Nelson (D-NE)
    Pryor (D-AR)
    Roberts (R-KS)
    Salazar (D-CO)
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Smith (R-OR)
    Snowe (R-ME)
    Specter (R-PA)
    Stevens (R-AK)
    Sununu (R-NH)
    Thune (R-SD)
    Vitter (R-LA)
    Voinovich (R-OH)
    Warner (R-VA)
    Webb (D-VA)

    NAYs —28
    Akaka (D-HI)
    Baucus (D-MT)
    Biden (D-DE)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Brown (D-OH)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Cantwell (D-WA)
    Cardin (D-MD)
    Clinton (D-NY)
    Dodd (D-CT)
    Durbin (D-IL)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Kohl (D-WI)
    Lautenberg (D-NJ)
    Leahy (D-VT)
    Levin (D-MI)
    Menendez (D-NJ)
    Obama (D-IL)
    Reed (D-RI)
    Reid (D-NV)
    Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Schumer (D-NY)
    Stabenow (D-MI)
    Tester (D-MT)
    Whitehouse (D-RI)
    Wyden (D-OR)

    Not Voting – 12
    Alexander (R-TN)
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Bunning (R-KY)
    Dorgan (D-ND)
    Gregg (R-NH)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Johnson (D-SD)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Lott (R-MS)
    Lugar (R-IN)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    Murray (D-WA)

    and there’s the list…interesting that the D presidential contenders voted against this piece of shit legislation…and McCain not voting on it

    but the Record stands for itself, i guess

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    for Doc D – well then , excuUUUuuuUuuuuse me!

    but you do get high marx for the Dr. Evil clip…

    Stan the Man – see the (alleged) Ben Franklin quote in the Article…

    nuff said

    Excelsior?

  • STM

    Geez, I dunno Gonz.

    Normally, I’d find it difficult to argue with any sentiment proferred by one Benjamin Franklin, and in this case, I like the sentiment – but there are some REALLY bad bastards out there just now.

    They didn’t have suitcase nukes in 1776. The worst that could happen was having the Royal Navy send a few shells over (OK, then, a lot of shells).

    Still, this is very different, IMO

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    dead is dead…where’s the difference?

    there’s ALWAYS some really bad bastards *out there*, no excuse for relinquishing an iota of our Rights…

    all i’m Asking is get a fucking warrant, provide oversight for what ANY Administration and it’s appointees do…that’s the problem here, it’s all in the hands of the Executive, the Judicial is bypassed, and any Legislative oversight is subject to the whims of the Administration telling them about everything…you know..the *honor* system

    checks and balances, all three branches need to be in on this kind of shit, otherwise it’s an Abuse by definition

    it’s really that basic at it’s core, imo

    Excelsior?

  • STM

    Like I say, it’s happening here too. I must say, when the Feds couldn’t find anything to pin on Haneef other than suspicion of supporting a terror act by providing a SIM card to the bungling Glasgow/London bombers, I was extremely dubious.

    So, anyhow, eventually the public, the Opposition, the media and the judiciary – one judge said even he’d fail the federal government’s “character test” for cancellation of a visa because he’d been associated with criminals all his life – all kicked up a stink about holding him, and they let him go.

    But now it turns out that there might be more to it than meets the eye – although “might” is still the operative word. I still think safe is better than sorry.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    so you say it’s better to hold folks until you are certain…one way or another…just to be safe, you know?

    that works for you?

    i like due process, what’s the charges? and take it to the Judge approach

    Excelsior?

  • STM

    Yes, by all means take it to the judge, observe due process, and stick with Habeus Corpus, which must always remain the cornerstone of our justice systems. We won’t at any stage in societies like ours be talking about holding people for years (the Guantanamo nonsense being the exception) but just a matter of weeks, or months at the most. And in these uncertain times, I say balance the ledger sheet a bit give investigators a bit of time as well and then allow a judge to say yay or nay in regard to whether the detention without charge can continue.

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

    What’s significantly absent in this article is a link to the acutal legislation in question. It’s short, why not let people read it?

    The changes it makes to FISA could easily be written off as pretty minor – after all, it’s FISA which violates our rights, and once you’ve accepted it, what difference does changing a few nuances as this law does really make?

    What’s most significant here is the partisanship this article brings to the forefront, with its ‘republicans are evil’ mentality, and playing up this modification to a policy which originated in the Carter administration as if the changes were the problem rather than the original law itself.

    Another manufactured crisis from the culture of perpetual outrage.

    Dave

  • STM

    That seems like a dud link Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “That’s funny. My contact, a recent convert to nihilism who was raised an orthodox Jew within the Jewish power elite who control the protestant figureheads that run….blah blah blah, bullshit bullshit bullshit…

    Doug,

    Elsewhere I told zing,

    “And when I say these things, I do not prattle emptily. I have to live – or die – by the consequences of what I say.”

    Gonzo, the author of this piece, also knows that a true man lives or dies by the consequences of what he says.

    But what I say is wasted on the likes of you. A pity…

  • Doug Hunter

    “as i stated, all the Administration has to do is point their finger and say ‘enemy combatant'”

    True. That’s an awesomely dangerous power and one which might be exploitable on a limited scale in today’s climate. The public won’t stand for a wholesale version, but you might be able to fuck a few who fit the stereotype.

    Also, I didn’t see a link to the new law, does it perhaps modify or influence the ability to declare a citizen an enemy combatant? As I understood it is a seperate issue from the phone tapping. (and one which I will more heartily agree with the danger of)

  • troll

    …hmmm – not even a veiled reference to the Option – ?

    so what are you going to do about it…vote them out by voting more of them in – ?

    Stan – it’s positivist nalleisms like: *We won’t at any stage in societies like ours be talking about holding people for years (the Guantanamo nonsense being the exception) but just a matter of weeks, or months at the most* that make me question your sanity

    we’re working without a net here – there’s no guaranty that our fascist State will maintain its present ‘soft’ form

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

    Don’t put that one on me, troll. A hypothetical ‘nallism’ would NOT include endorsing Guantanamo-style detention for US citizens under any circumstances. As I wrote early last year in Free the GITMO 500, I’m not even in favor of holding actual enemy combatants indefinitely.

    And I do think that the point made earlier is a very good one. The minor abuses and power grabs of the current administration are indeed most dangerous because they will ultimately add power to a possible democrat administration, and while Republicans sometimes have the potential to be overenthusiastic in national defense and security, the democrats have the potential for genuine, full-on dictatoriship in the misguided interest of doing “the right thing” whether the people want it or not.

    Oh, and the link to the FISA revision is now fixed.

    Dave

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

    all i’m Asking is get a fucking warrant, provide oversight for what ANY Administration and it’s appointees do…that’s the problem here

    And yet, despite seeing the problem, you still choose to take the partisan route and go after the pointless amendment rather than the democrat-authored law which is the actual source of the problem.

    Dave

  • Silver Surfer

    Perhaps I’m viewing from the Australian point of view troll, where the restriction of our rights seems every bit as draconian in this regard – except, that for the police to keep holding you, a judge or magistrate has to keep approving it.

    As has been shown here recently, a month is about the most that the public, the media and an independent judiciary will put up with before someone is set free unless charges are laid – despte the fact that the legislation is worded so that you could be held for a bloody long time..

    They do use a thing called a control order, however, which restricts your movements but nominally allows a suspect some freedom. Another little trick to keep tabs on suspected terrorists.

    Sometimes I wonder if comparing what goes on here compared to the US in terms of rights and liberties is badly flawed – and seemingly often weighted in our favour, to my surprise, despite most of the protections being at common law rather than under a constitution.

    Perhaps in view of that I shouldn’t even comment, as I don’t really fear most of what our government does even when I don’t like its political persuasion … because I know, ultimately, people won’t put up with it.

    I may not like a lot of what they do, but I do see a healthy disrespect and a flouting of it all as being the saving grace – a nice two-fingered salute in their direction.

    It’s also what I’d always felt about America, and I’d like to think that’s still true.

    Don’t disillusion me.

  • troll

    sorry Dave…I wasn’t referring to the ‘meat’ of Stan’s comment but rather the rosy ‘motion’ similar to many of your arguments

  • Silver Surfer

    Troll: “we’re working without a net here – there’s no guaranty that our fascist State will maintain its present ‘soft’ form”

    You don’t live in a fascist state troll. It’s still a democracy (OK, then let’s split hairs – a representative republic).

    And if you’d only vote, and encourage others to vote, you could change a hell of a lot that you don’t like.

  • troll

    Stan – we’re using ‘fascist’ in different ways…as I see it there is no contradiction in a representative republic being fascist State

    what matters is the amount of power vested in that State to control the behavior of its owner and worker bees

    vote – ?

    the only honest and meaningful vote I can cast is no vote

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    troll, Stan,

    There is a reason I eschew labels to the degree I do. Whether the United States is a fascist country or not is irrelevant to the fact that American civil liberties are rapidly eroding away. The United States of America is sliding into a dictatorship – partly (but not entirely) because Americans are too damned apathetic to vote. The slide into dictatorship has been long and slow, and in many ways imperceptible to even the intelligent eye. Since most eyes are not necessarily intelligent, and since the corporate culture of the United States is devoted to dulling intelligence in favor of mindless consumption, most Americans do not perceive this slide, and will not until it is too late.

    Stick to straight description for accurate portrayal.

  • troll

    Ruvy – actually…the fact that US government has the power to erode those liberties ‘legally’ is relevant and voting only serves to legitimize this status quo…some people even believe that the State has the power to tell them who to kill

    …and I’ll agree to stop using adjectives when you do

  • Lumpy

    Here’s the question. Does congress passing this bill give Bush a free pass on his past misuse of the FISA system?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    STM in #21 – fair dinkum, cobber…due process is all i’m asking for, eh?

    @ #22 – here’s the PDF to the final bill as was signed into Law.

    “What’s most significant here is the partisanship this article brings to the forefront, with its ‘republicans are evil’ mentality, and playing up this modification to a policy which originated in the Carter administration as if the changes were the problem rather than the original law itself.”

    did someone miss the title of the Article? or where i excoriated ANYONE that voted FOR this piece of shit, going so far as to list them?

    a lot of my problem here is the shifting from having a Court approve a procedure beforehand, or within 72 hours of placing the tap, and this new set of provisions that set it at 120 days AFTER the tap…here’s the opening bits of the legislation, spot the Clues…

    ” `Sec. 105B. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General, may for periods of up to one year authorize the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States if the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General determine, based on the information provided to them, that–

    `(1) there are reasonable procedures in place for determining that the acquisition of foreign intelligence information under this section concerns persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States, and such procedures will be subject to review of the Court pursuant to section 105C of this Act;

    `(2) the acquisition does not constitute electronic surveillance;

    `(3) the acquisition involves obtaining the foreign intelligence information from or with the assistance of a communications service provider, custodian, or other person (including any officer, employee, agent, or other specified person of such service provider, custodian, or other person) who has access to communications, either as they are transmitted or while they are stored, or equipment that is being or may be used to transmit or store such communications;

    `(4) a significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information; and

    `(5) the minimization procedures to be used with respect to such acquisition activity meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 101(h).

    `This determination shall be in the form of a written certification, under oath, supported as appropriate by affidavit of appropriate officials in the national security field occupying positions appointed by the President, by and with the consent of the Senate, or the Head of any Agency of the Intelligence Community, unless immediate action by the Government is required and time does not permit the preparation of a certification. In such a case, the determination of the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General shall be reduced to a certification as soon as possible but in no event more than 72 hours after the determination is made.”

    did you catch how it’s NOT up to a Judge any longer, but “certification under oath” by the AG and head of NSA…BOTH Administration employees, and thus members of the Executive

    it may be a bit complicated for some, but my Objection is about ALL of this Power being placed solely into the Executive…read the rest of the Law, and compare it to FISA which is linked in the Article…

    FISA had provisions of checks and balances, this new piece of shit has it so the Executive can report what they like…with NO chance to really check facts, just go by the AG and NSA say so

    welcome to the American KGB, kiddies…

    Doug in #25 – nope, nothing about determining an Enemy Combatant…still solely at the discretion of the Executive….see the Pattern here?

    #26 for troll – i left out Jefferson’s exhortation this time, but do note i blame ALL those who voted for this, and listed them….this was to demonstrate just how fucked our system is at this time…do i have a good Answer?

    not yet, but neither political Gang are the solution, both have proven inept and cowardly as well as not concerned with protecting or upholding the Constitution…there ARE exceptions, but as a Rule..the Parties are straight fucked

    not voting is not the Answer, imo..that merely allows them to do as they please…a “none of the above” movement for federal elections could go far…but DC needs a concrete enema, imo

    @ # 27 which says – “The minor abuses and power grabs of the current administration are indeed most dangerous because they will ultimately add power to a possible democrat administration, and while Republicans sometimes have the potential to be overenthusiastic in national defense and security, the democrats have the potential for genuine, full-on dictatoriship in the misguided interest of doing “the right thing” whether the people want it or not.”

    now THAT is pure partisan spew…do note, gentle Readers, the difference between such as this example and what i typed…

    @ #28 – “And yet, despite seeing the problem, you still choose to take the partisan route and go after the pointless amendment rather than the democrat-authored law which is the actual source of the problem.”

    you missed the part where Mitch McConnell is the fucking AUTHOR of the Bill, didn’t you? Sen Bond (MO) was the co-sponsor…they are GOP< are they not? try getting the facts correct...rather than attempted spin

    #29, the Surfer - hail Norrin Radd, my problem is that we are NOT standing up to all of this with the olde two fingered salute (or the American one finger "bird")...this is just slipping past most folks, and those we Elected to keep an eye on shit like this are being complicit in the very acts that should be shouted down completely, imo
    as for voting, we DID vote, against all of this, but the people we voted in are failing miserably...more Parties are needed, perhaps...folks who will stand up rather than rush off to vacation

    Lumpy in #35 - trying to figure that exact Question out...the original language did have built in pardons for past actions by everybody and removed the liability of the telecoms as well...still going over the language (i ain't a lawyer)...but it does look as if this temporary 6 month fix avoided any permanent exonerations...so far at least...

    a hearty "thank you" to everyone for taking their time to stop by, and read...and comment...

    don’t get fooled again …

    Excelsior?

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    STM: “…And in these uncertain times, I say balance the ledger sheet a bit give investigators a bit …”

    Balancing the ledger would require going the other way, for example, revoking the underlying FISA law which has resulted in the admin keeping Padilla, a US citizen, jailed for 3 years. Oh, pardon me, Padilla, being a brown person is only sort of a provisional citizen, a status created for the ethical convenience of Recovering Racists.

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

    a lot of my problem here is the shifting from having a Court approve a procedure beforehand, or within 72 hours of placing the tap, and this new set of provisions that set it at 120 days AFTER the tap…here’s the opening bits of the legislation, spot the Clues…

    So violating our rights is fine with you so long as it’s done quickly enough? Give me a break.

    you missed the part where Mitch McConnell is the fucking AUTHOR of the Bill, didn’t you? Sen Bond (MO) was the co-sponsor…they are GOP< are they not? try getting the facts correct...rather than attempted spin

    And you miss the point that this bill is merely a modification of FISA and the rights violations which you’re screaming about originate in FISA.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    This bill expires in six months, and Pelosi has promised to revisit it even earlier than that. We’ll see.

    As the NY Times pointed out this morning, it’s one thing to be afraid of terrorism, but the Dems voting for this terrible bill were mostly demonstrating their fear of Republicans…fear that a vote against it would enable the GOP to paint them once again as soft on terrorism [aka The Big Lie].

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    @ #38 – which quotes me and says –
    ” ‘a lot of my problem here is the shifting from having a Court approve a procedure beforehand, or within 72 hours of placing the tap, and this new set of provisions that set it at 120 days AFTER the tap…here’s the opening bits of the legislation, spot the Clues…’

    So violating our rights is fine with you so long as it’s done quickly enough? Give me a break.

    it’s having a Judge see it, it’s about having Records of everything that are generated and looked at by the other two branches of Government…NOT just the Exectutive

    try this link for a good overview of what’s gone on…and why, as well as some of the concerns and ramification from this Law passing…CNET is the source…and something everyone should look over, follow the interior links…

    and make up their own Minds

    but i’ll stick with what i’ve said …ANYONE involved in the writing, passing or signing of this atrocity into Law are traitors to their Oaths of Office

    my one sixth billionths of the World’s opinion

    Excelsior?

  • Iron Duke

    People like to be safe. And the congress is right when it assumes that most Americans don’t care what is done to terrorists or even suspected terrorists. Like a lot of the things which people object to about the current administration, this is something which most people are confident will never apply to them. They’re not calling people in Saudi Arabia and those who are don’t make up a big enough voting block to get the attention of anyone in congress.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    as the Record has proven, it’s NOT just the folks calling overseas that have to be concerned…THAT is a big part of the Problem, imo

    but Iron Duke correctly points out that since most folks don’t think this applies to them, or are too busy with their lives to notice what has been done to our Republic…the Outrage and Concern are not manifest

    it’ll wait till somewhere down the road, somebody will expose the warts…THEN folks will be upset, some will even remember J. Edgar Hoover…who is smiling with glee from hell in his best dress

    Excelsior?

  • Iron Duke

    Did you not read the stuff you youself quoted? How many times does it clearly say “foreign intelligence” in this bill which is only about a page long? It may not limit surveillance to overseas calls, but it obviously doesn’t apply to phonecalls between regular citizens doing regular stuff. People are probably right not to be concerned and the congress and senate are making a safe bet by voting for it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Iron Duke – did you not read the links in the article itself? one of which shows well over 200 cases under the old TSP, that the FBI found of tapping purely domestic calls?

    i make a point of it in the article as well, this is the crux of the Concern, if it were only foreign instances, it wouldn’t be as big a deal..Citizens rights would be protected, and our treaties and such with other nations, as well as our own laws concerning Intelligence gathering provide oversight and guidelines

    blurring those lines, as this legislation does…as well as removing independent oversight in many cases, IS the concern

    Excelsior?

  • Iron Duke

    200 cases in 30 years and out of almost 20,000? Again, why is John Q. Public concerned?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    that’s over 200 admitted cases in the last 3 years

    and any ONE of them a clear violation of our Constitution

    you choice to be concerned or not, i’ve always said make up your own mind

    i think it’s an Issue that merits the most grave concern possible

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior?

  • Iron Duke

    And who was harmed and how in these 200 cases? Has anyone sued? I’d think they have cause. But what would the damages be? That’s the catch. What harm was done?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    we don’t know, since the Administration does not release the details..those folks whose Rights were violated don’t even know they were…

    and the Administration’s version of the Bill had liability removed for all the telecoms that participated in all of this…if no worries as to liability, why remove possible legal recourse?

    more valid Concerns on the topic, which were indeed touched upon in the Article, thanks for4 bringing them up on their own

    Excelsior?

  • Iron Duke

    So these people don’t even know that their rights have been violated? Guess their suffering is pretty hard to measure then.

    I know there’s a protection in the Constitution for free speech. Where does it cover private speech?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    “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.”

    there’s the text, you can read it for yourself and make up your own mind as to how Important all this is to you…

    for me, ANY violation of our Rights, much less a systemic gnawing away at them by our government, is cause for Concern

    even if i am the only one standing up to say so (i don’t think i am), it’s my Right to do so, and i’ll take the Responsibility for whatever i say/type

    enjoy your day

    Excelsior?

  • Lumpy

    I think I must be ADD because I keep reading that quote from the constitution and missing the part about having a right not to have computers scan conversations over the publicly owned wires and airwaves.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    check the “enjoy your day” link there Lumpy…you will see how the SCOTUS has indeed ruled time and again that you phone calls are indeed covered…

    hence the need for a warrant in order to wiretap

    here i would have thought good conservatives would have not only been aware of such, but active supporters of the broadest possible interpretation of privacy in the realm of government involvement and violations

    Excelsior?

  • STM

    Ruvy wrote: “The United States of America is sliding into a dictatorship – partly (but not entirely) because Americans are too damned apathetic to vote.”

    Simple answer, introduce compulsory voting. You can still cast an informal voteb that way, but at least it gets people to the polls to have their names ticked off the list.

    At the last State election here, I was going to cast an informal vote but when I got there, I thought – that’s just wasting my democratic voice, and I voted how I normally would despite not liking the State govt much.

    Just getting people to the booths is important, and the reason I favour compulsory voting?

    Because in a democracy (OK then, I’ll split hairs: a representative republic or representative parliamentary constistutional monarchy), we should never forget that the right to vote is more than just a right – it’s also a privelege afforded us by all those who’ve gone before.

    Voting therefore is also our duty and a nation’s way of expressing its thanks to the people who gave us this way of life.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    well Stan…i tend to Agree with your thought there…

    however, it’s also someone’s Right to chose NOT to vote/participate if they desire

    i’m a fan for “none of the above”, if *none* wins, ya gotta throw out all the listed candidates and start over…

    THAT one would get panties in a twist pretty quickly, and would give those disillusioned an effective way to register their Protest

    any other takers for “none of the above”?, aka NotA..

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    “here i would have thought good conservatives would have not only been aware of such, but active supporters of the broadest possible interpretation of privacy in the realm of government involvement and violations”

    This one is.

    To the extent that the penalty for any government employee (including the small “p” president, who is after all, a civil servant, and OUR employee) caught eavesdropping on citizens without having obtained permission from the courts by due process should be tried (not “impeached,” which is nothing more than the equivalent of a country club ostracism), and if convicted, sentenced to not less than life imprisonment without parole.

    That would stop it pretty effing quick.

  • STM

    Goz: “however, it’s also someone’s Right to chose NOT to vote/participate if they desire”

    In that case, no one has any cause for complaining about outcomes.

    I agree it’s someone’s right to choose. You can choose here to pay a $75 fine or go along to the polling booth and do your civic dury. Duty, remember. You guys go at some of this stuff the wrong way, and then spend the next however long whingeing about the results.

    IMO, being forced to vote is the lesser of two evils. It’s all very well carrying on about your right to choose (how come that doesn’t apply to tax??), but the truth is, in the US the political process has been well and truly taken out of the hands of the people and now rests firmly with lobby groups, big business and those with millions of dollars to spend propping up the party of their choice. You are no longer a) a genuine democracy, or b) even a truly representative republic.

    Compulsory voting and caps on campaign spending put the result of an election back squarely in the hands of the people – all of ’em.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    why settle for a lesser Evil?
    heh

    like i said, i understand your very valid points, but must disagree…the freedom to be apathetic is inherent, imo

    hence my thoughts about “none of the above”…i think it would increase voter turn out, and as i had said, give an effective means of protest voting

    part of the Problem revolves around there being only 2 viable Parties in the U.S.

    campaign spending…i’m open to the Idea of public financed elections, give them free air time (part of licensing out the public airwaves should be a certain amount of public service time for elections..spread equally among candidates)…but i also Understand why some would oppose such measures…

    a difficult decision..unfortunately, with the way our System is operating right now, NO ONE is talking about it, and nothing will be done about it short of open Revolt

    i’d like to see them pass it where cops, congressmen, senators and all federal employees had to wear cameras/microphones when they were at work, with the upload to a public website (after security screening, of course)…but that’s a Dream…public officials on the record talking with Lobbyists? actual footage of cops at work?

    ah well…

    Excelsior?

  • STM

    Gonz: “part of the Problem revolves around there being only 2 viable Parties in the U.S.”

    That’s pretty much the same with most western democracies, including us.

    However, compulsory voting does one great thing: it also gives rise to viable minor parties with reasonable platforms (who must have a certain number of genuine members before they can be registered as a party).

    In our case, some will hold the balance of power in the Senate and the State upper houses – and often they are elected on a platform of non-partisan, keep-the-bastards-honest promises. They don’t wield a huge amount of power, but they can swing votes either way.

    That can only be a good thing in a representative political system.

    The party I’d like to join in Australia is the Party, Party, Party Party, which actually exists but I can’t find the number.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Stan,

    While I agree with your solution of introducing compulsory voting, that solution is far too little, far too late, just as a thorough housecleaning of all the rats in the Knesset, High Court, IDF, etc. is far too little, far too late.

    Matters have progressed so far in the American republic the there is a culture of apathy and ignorance feeding on entertainment (consider what kind of site THIS is), and that entertainment gets sicker and sicker by the decade…

    The time to deal with these problems was about fifty years ago – before corporate America was able to impose its culture of stupidity on Americans.

    I also hate to say this, but ideology does play a significant role in all of this, and the ability of the corporate moguls in the States to manipulate an ideology built on self-sufficiency and independence to create a culture built on dependence on sick entertainment and idle consumption has played a big role in the downfall of the American republic…

    The two are closely related, and the pattern has been imitated here, with modifications made as necessary.

  • STM

    Ruve: Yep, I’d agree with most of that – except that it’s never too late.

    There’s still time to act. Now, that would be …

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    gotta share some agreement with you both…

    it IS *sick*…and i do think it can be helped

    i don’t think i’m the only one who thinks that way, the Question is what can one do?

    i’m starting by bitching about some of what i see, that i don’t think is covered enough, if at all…

    now what…a few dozen folks might read it if i’m lucky…but it’s a start

    i’ve looked up some of what it would take to actually establish a new Party..takes organization and money, buckets of money…

    the Quixote Party?…slogan – “don’t tread on me, i’m fucking with windmills” ??

    much to think about, eh? i’m taking suggestions

    Excelsior?

  • STM

    I have a mate who was elected to the New South Wales State Parliament as a member of The Outdoor Recreation Party thanks to a bizarre voting-paper loophole that saw him in a favourable Upper House grouping that dished out voters’ preferences his way. Even he was surprised to be elected.

    Once there, he embarked on a lot of “field” study trips.

    I am thinking of resurrecting the Frankie Avalon style to start up a modern-day version of The Beach Party.

    Would need to do a fair bit of study at taxpayers’ expense, too.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    i’ve looked up some of what it would take to actually establish a new Party..takes organization and money, buckets of money…

    In my considered opinion, Gonzo, the last bus for peaceful change in America pulled out for the coast when Martin Luther King’s birthday was recognized as a federal holiday and the groundwork for the “malling of America” was laid by the establishment of a series of three day weekends through the year. It was this “malling of America” that has worked the final permutation of American culture from what it had been to what it is now.

    Party?

    No, my liberty loving friend. That final Option laid out in the Declaration of Independence must be pursued. You are long past the option of “political factions.” So are we here. You may not be convinced of this; your words indicate that you are not. But I suggest to you that you will not have time to find out otherwise – and if you pursue that option, when you do find out otherwise, the cost may be higher than you are prepared for.

    In this you and I are in the same boat, whether we wish to recognize it or not.

    For example, I do support Moshe Feiglin who seeks to oust Netanyahu from the leadership of the Likud. I will vote accordingly next Tuesday, when the Likud leadership vote is held.

    But I do not think Feiglin will succeed. I do think that sufficient support on Tuesday next will establish Feiglin as the heir-apparent to the Zionist regime when it finally collapses of its own corruption and incompetence under military attack in the not too distant future. Even then, I am not sure that he will last as a leader. I do not think that he is mentally prepared for the kind of fight he will have on his hands. I pray that I am wrong, of course.

    Hence the tone of my recent analysis of events going on here.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Stan,

    It is my impression that democracy is not quite on the deathbed in Oz that it is in the United States. Please correct me if that is an incorrect impression.

    If I’m right, it may be that when democracy expires in the USA, it will have to be re-imported to America from Australia, that fair land where the water goes down the drain the wrong way. It may be that Americans will need you much as the Brits needed America in the nigh hopeless days of 1940-41.

    Fact is stranger than fiction and the facts of history may prove very strange in the next few years…

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    gonzo – I was working down in Charleston when they first bought Padilla there. You wanna talk about solitary…they expanded the fences around the brig about 50 ft so people couldn’t even get near the regular fences. Blocked off roads on two sides of the brig. They put up 50 ft towers on all four corners of the brig yard. They really believed something bad was gonna happen down there!

    I thought we already decided to do away with all the spineless shitweasels…now all we need is a plan…

  • troll

    compulsory voting and nota are both good ideas if your goal is to perpetuate that ol’ status quo…which in the US has never been other than the rule of moneyed interests – there were no ‘good old days’ of some now lost representative populist democracy

    electoral politics is the chore of forming and controlling public opinion through the design and use of palatable propaganda…(and when has it been otherwise)…to convince people to accept the forced choices of this top down improperly self-described ‘rule of law’ as legitimate

    it’s a system that will not be ‘fixed’ from within…boycott federal elections

  • Clavos

    They tried boycotting elections in Venezuela recently…and all it got them was the strengthening and further consolidation of Chavez’ power.

    I understand your point, but I think it’s too passive a form of resistance to accomplish change.

  • troll

    now now Clavos – advocating the overthrow of the federal government by force is illegal…one can’t even propose an organized tax revolt legally

    we wouldn’t want to go and be criminals or any such now would we

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    troll,

    advocating the overthrow of the federal government by force is illegal…one can’t even propose an organized tax revolt legally

    You begin to understand the problems here, then…

  • Clavos

    troll, careful you don’t bite down while your tongue is still in your cheek.

  • troll

    btw – the argument that not voting ‘allows Them to do what They want’ misses the point – They’re going to do what They want in any case…of course They would prefer to operate as if at the request of we the people

    a visible organized legal boycott could threaten this myth of legitimacy

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

    So you would argue to rape victims that they’re going to get raped anyway, might as well lie back and enjoy it?

    Dave

  • troll

    actually as I understand it the best chance that one has to avoid/survive a rape is to defend oneself physically to the best of one’s abilities – not take a vote on it

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

    Your vote is the only means of self-defense you have, aside from exercising a lot of free speech, troll.

    Dave

  • troll

    …and thus one should not throw away that vote legitimizing the rule of another bunch of representatives for $

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    troll – I was always taught that if you don’t vote you can’t bitch…so, does that mean we’ll have no more bitching if no one votes anymore? If that’s the case…I’m all for it!

  • troll

    ah yes Andy – the universal blissful state that would be achieved as fat cats attain enlightenment in response to the boycott would put an end to all of the inequities of irrational capitalist practice…and the bitching as well

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Wow! That was a mouthful!!!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    well i am forced to disagree with troll that “none of the above” would perpetuate the status quo more than not voting at all since if the plurality went to nota, they would need to toss out all the candidates and try again with different ones

    if disgust with both Parties are rampant, this can go on until a viable third Party candidate wins, or someone who is not tied to either machine takes the vote

    i think that voting policy, combined with the public financing of election could go a long way to ousting the corrupting influence of lobbyist cash..and perhaps get us some Representatives who will actually represent U.S. rather than the special Interests…

    could just be me

    Excelsior?

  • troll

    in the spirit of ‘hands across America’ – while I doubt that nota would lead to representation for the working class and the surplus labor population it’s certainly worth a try and could be forwarded as the organizing principle and goal of a dramatic ’08 boycott

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

    Both parties are offering candidates in the primary who can be considered antiestablishment candidates full of integrity and deserving of your vote. If you want to make a mark, go vote for Paul or Gravel in the primary of your choice. That’s a protest vote that certainly has more value than just not voting.

    Then in the general election you can vote libertarian or socialist or for whatever loony party most closely represents your beliefs. If enough people do it someone may pay attention.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    @ #81 – decent points…

    but i still think the *none of the above* option would help make not only those fringe candidates more viable, but help clean out the flotsam in both Parties

    if they can’t foist the same olde shit on U.S. they would be forced to allow those with Ideas rather than perfect hair/smiles to rise to the top instead of the constant appeals to the least common denominator that our elections have devolved into since the advent of television

    Excelsior?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    that is a nice idea…but those third party groups are always so out there! They seem to fit what I might like, but then there’s always some out of left field idea that just throws a wrench in everything!

    Or they’re some crazy little fucker with charts and graphs and a weasely little voice…smart as hell, but something about a guy like that just scares you…

    …or some Howdy Doodie lookin’ fucker…that seems to know money like the back of his hand…but…he looks like Howdy Doodie for christs’ sake! I know…the hair and smile thing…but come on!!! Why can’t we seem to find one intelligent, normal looking, honest person to run our govt?

    Probably because they’re to smart to run for president. I think in this day and age, you really do have to be crazy to want your life turned upside down like they do for people running for office.

    All those decaying skeletons in the closet make for some nasty odors! Your closet…not mine…you just stay out of there!

  • troll

    #81 – bah humbug…there are no anti-establishment candidates for president or any other office running nor will there be any until elites loose their power through mass revolt that disrupts the normal functioning of institutions – preferably ‘non violent’ as in strikes and boycotts

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Brother Gonzo, you know I love you – but aren’t you just a wee tad bit hysterical here? our government can now tap all your communications without a warrant

    No, I don’t think that’s quite what it said. I stand to be corrected, but I thought the main point of this recent legislation was clarifying the process of tapping the phones of foreign terrorists – especially in situations where they are calling someone in the US. I remain a little skeptical, but there seems to be at least somewhere halfway toward making a legitimate distinction between domestic criminal law vs military powers which are necessarily broader. Or do you propose that American soldiers get warrants from American courts before searching a terrorist lair in Afghanistan?

    I appreciate your skepticism, but maybe you could break out the exact statutory language that has you going so gonzo. How big was this bill, how many words or pages?

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

    Wasn’t it you who said earlier that ‘none of the above’ just kept the establishment in power, gonzo?

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dave, that was troll at comment #66.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    heyas big Al! thanks for dropping by…

    oh here’s the Law, again, in pdf format for your download or perusal…

    Al…read the damn thing…section 105b is just chock full of possible abuse, and the language of 105b and 105c are such that they are not only paying telecoms for the info “at the standard rate”..but the telecom can’t even say no to the AG et al and get a proper ruling due to the secrecy provisions..even hesitating and the AG can automatically slap the offender with contempt

    there’s more..it’s a fucking brilliant bit of Evil, not only can’t you check up on anything after the fact, but you don’t even have checks and balances as to who can actually serve the orders to a telecom/ip provider for the data (any data, ALL data as long as the AG and NSI director say that somewhere along the line a bad guy could “reasonably” see/hear it, again based on their say so…

    plenty more, it is a short document, for a Bill…butthe twists and turns are there…up in the Article is the FISA law itself…this was an addendum to that Law…

    take both in, and it’s easy to see that now the Administration, on it’s say so with NO checks and balances (those are considered provided by the AG and NSI director) to tap any phone line (grabbed as data it could be “reasonably” considered to be possibly going overseas, by the definitions in the Law)or data mine ALL internet traffic

    the link in comment #40 has a great tech geek kind of overview and FAQ..i highly recommend it, and reading FISA as well as this new addendum yourself.

    what does YOUR hillbilly self tell you on this one, Al?

    even better, let me pose this one to you and all those who think this is “just fine”

    how about after Jan ’09 with Hillary/Obama in office…Janet Reno back as AG and ohhh…Wes Clarke as the NSI director…

    will you care then who is tapping your phone/e-mail/net habits?

    Excelsior?

  • STM

    I honestly don’t understand why compulsory voting should be regarded as an infringement of rights, especially if the punishment meted out is a measly $70 fine. Also, you don’t actually have to vote after having your name ticked off if you really don’t too – it’s a secret ballot so just register an informal. It’s bollocks believing that it somehow cuts into your “rights” (possibly the most OVERUSED word in the US).

    You get fined for jaywalking or parking in no-standing zones, for God’s sake, and you must obey the laws of the state/country. In short, there are already a raft of laws that no one thinks are that bad (except the parking ones and taxation).

    Really, what’s the fu.king difference. And it really does give you a voice because you know that 99 per cent of voters have turned out at the polls to make their feelings plain, and aren’t just influenced by a big-spening campaign or pitches at groups like right-wing evangelicals.

    It tends also to keep the politicians honest – they tend not to have to invent issues, because they know people will vote on issues falling into that old but important grey area – the regular, day-to-day stuff that so impinges (or not, as the case may be) on our workaday lives.

    I reckon if the US doesn’t introduce it soon, you will all be really buggered, rather just buggered.

    You’ll all be rooned.

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

    I think the objection is to the idea that the state can say ‘you must be in this place at this time and engage in this activity’. That kind of infringes on the right to be somewhere else doing something else instead.

    Dave

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Stan, in Bill Bryson’s excellent book about Australia, which I’ve nearly finished, he says that the people in the Northern Territories are required to vote in all your Aussie elections but don’t have any political representation. What’s that about?

  • STM

    Rosey: The Northern Territory isn’t a State. Originally (from 1922), it had only one member of Parliament with limited voting rights on bills etc, and actually used the US model current at the time for representation in Washington for the Alaskan and Hawaiian territories.

    However, Bryson is wrong … they do have representation in Canberra in the House of Representatives, but I believe have only one Senator. Territorians also voted against their own statehood a few years ago, which would have given them a second Senator (the NT has a very small population). Prior to 1978, when they became self-governing and were considered a state by Canberra just in terms of how the Commonwealth dishes out the states’ share of the nation’s finances, its state-type affairs were run by the Commonwealth, and much earlier by South Australia.

    The two territories (the NT and the Australian Capital Territory) each have a senator and must have at least one Member of the House of Representatives … although the latter changes with population, so you could have one, two or three etc. Currently, I believe, the NT has two.

    The NT Government is now essentially a State Government in everything but name, and has its own Legislative Assembly – as does the ACT.

    Therefore Bryson is wrong if your claim is correct (I haven’t read the book). You could argue that they are underepresented, federally at least just because of the size of the place, but the population argument is most compelling. The NT only has 200,000 people in that vast expanse of nothingness, most of them in Darwin and the smaller town of Katherine.

    Thus, democracy IS most certainly at work here.

  • Silver Surfer

    Dave: “I think the objection is to the idea that the state can say ‘you must be in this place at this time and engage in this activity’ … ”

    But why’s it such an issue, Dave? That’s a nonsense. At the last election here, which was a State election, I drove up the road on my way to work on the Saturday, parked my car outside the school/polling statiom, walked in and got my name ticked off the list, was handed a ballot paper, cast my (secret) ballot in a booth, put it in the box supervised by an election scutineer, walked out and and drove to the office. The whole thing took 10 lousy minutes.

    Kids are made to go to school, when there’s a war on you have to turn up at a certain time for national service medicals, if you want to travel you need to make an appointment at the passport office, if you take action in a court or are sued, for instance, you have to go at a certain time …

    Mate, it doesn’t make sense to me that the US government – and more to the point, the people of the US, which is meant to BE the government – has allowed this situation to develop and that poll turnouts are so low.

    The situation, of course, being the hijacking of power from you, the people, into the hands of big business, lobby groups, and what have you – in short, those with enough bucks to sway votes and opinions.

    The answers: Cap election campaign spending, put an electronic media blackout in force a week out from the poll, and make people vote.

    Soon, they regard it as a civic duty and come to enjoy voting out bastards – or voting them in, if that’s your preference :)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    well now..as i said, you are not going to see compulsory voting in the U.S….for a few reasons

    1 – those in charge sure as hell don’t want it, it would fuck up their system of lobbyist money and the like…so they won’t pass it as Law, not even bring it up for debate

    2 – many citizens would have a knee jerk reaction against it exactly as #90 states

    3 – the special Interests sure as hell don’t want it, it would mess up their influence peddling, and they would pay to keep it from happening and leverage their investments in current political representatives to keep it from even coming up for debate

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    we appear to have drifted off…and still NO ONE has tried to Answer this simple Question i posed earlier…

    “what does YOUR hillbilly self tell you on this one, Al?

    even better, let me pose this one to you and all those who think this is “just fine”

    how about after Jan ’09 with Hillary/Obama in office…Janet Reno back as AG and ohhh…Wes Clarke as the NSI director…

    will you care then who is tapping your phone/e-mail/net habits?”

    anyone from the R side of the aisle care to take a stab? any defenders of this legislation want to share how they are going to feel if/when it ain’t their Party calling the shots on this new J Edgarism?

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    just as an Update from today’s news cycle…

    Congress still seeking surveillance documents

    from the Article – “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on Wednesday set an Aug. 20 deadline for administration officials already subpoenaed to provide documents and testimony about the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping program.

    In a letter to White House Counsel Fred Fielding, Leahy noted that he granted the White House’s request to postpone the subpoenas’ original July 18 deadline. Leahy, D-Vt., said Wednesday he’d wait no more.

    “You have rejected every proposal, produced none of the responsive documents, provided no basis for any claim of privilege and no accompanying log of withheld documents,” Leahy wrote to Fielding.

    The committee on June 27 subpoenaed the Justice Department, National Security Council and the offices of the president and vice president for documents relating to the National Security Agency’s legal justification for the wiretapping program.”

    the tip of the iceberg, as it were…even under the previous statues, the Administration has avoided congressional oversight….with this new Law…there is even less ability to try and get documentation or perform ANY kind of oversight by either Legislative of Judicial branches…

    and so it goes…

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    well now..it appears as if yer gonzo was ahead of the MSM curve once again with this Article…

    starting to see them catching up

    Reason Magazine has a very good article on the topic…this little bit shows some of why this is a BIG concern…or should be…
    “The bill the president signed Sunday, however, goes far beyond the limited reform that all sides had agreed were urgently needed. Because so much of the world’s telecommunication infrastructure is located in the United States, even e-mails and phone calls between parties who are both overseas routinely pass through giant “switches” here. The rejected compromise bill would have clarified that interception of such traffic would count as unrestricted foreign surveillance, even if it were conducted domestically with a narrowly-tailored provision:

    [A] court order is not required for the acquisition of the contents of any communication between persons that are not located within the United States for the purpose of collecting foreign intelligence information, without respect to whether the communication passes through the United States or the surveillance device is located within the United States.

    The parallel language of the final bill is notably broader:

    Nothing in the definition of electronic surveillance under section 101(f) shall be construed to encompass surveillance directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States.

    The crucial difference is in the treatment of surveillance “directed at” an overseas party when one end of the conversation is, or may be, located in the United States. The original compromise bill would have licensed broad warrants for such surveillance, requiring only that intelligence specify a “foreign power” as the target of an investigation, without naming the particular people, places, or devices to be monitored. But it would at least have required a warrant, approved in advance by a FISA judge, and established oversight in the form of regular audits by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General.”

    here’s a bunch of links to various news sources on the topic…

    as i’ve always said…check out the information, try multiple sources, then decide for yourself…

    Excelsior?

  • Lumpy

    It’s simple, gonzo. They can and will get away with this because no one can step forward and prove thwy’ve been harmed, at least up to the point where Hillary starts using it to spy on her loooong political enemies list.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    for Lumpy – no one can step forward to prove they were harmed because no one has been informed that their Rights have been violated by those who did the violation…

    hence the root of the problem, the ONLY ones able to investigate/prosecute any abuses are the abusers themselves…

    checks and balances are in the system to prevent exactly this kind of shit from happening

    but not anymore…THAT is my problem here, and i woudl think most sane people would think in a similar fashion on the topic…

    was good for me to read the Reason article linked above…you might want to look at the whole thing as well

    Excelsior?

  • Lumpy

    If you can’t even tell you’ve been “harmed” have you actually been harmed? Where is Sartre when we need him?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    yes Lumpy….you have

    that pesky 4th Amendment again….you might want to look into it sometime, and why it’s Important

    Excelsior?

  • troll

    gonzo – welcome to the dark side of the rule of law…developed just like the Books and used to control/manipulate/exploit just like the Books

    no less a rule of men than the religions…

    that aside – if compulsory voting will not happen here because it is not in the interest of elected officials and special interests what chance does nota have

    got any practical ideas for giving a nota movement legs – ?

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

    I disagree, troll. I think compulsory voting is very much in the interests of the establishment, because those forced to vote will be even less informed than those who vote now, and they will just vote straight party ticket or based on name recognition which gives incumbents an inherent advantage.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    All this is academic anyway. Do any of you seriously think even ONE of those maggots in congress is ever going to support amending election laws so that “none of the above” wins? Or so that 3rd party candidates are encouraged to run – let alone elected? You forget, every single one of those fuckers is a member of the Ruling Junta by virtue of their position. Even the newbies are ‘in’, because it’s in the interests of the Elite to bring them aboard & make them One Of Us so they, too, can be controlled.

    I’m sorry now that the flight that crashed in PA didn’t make it to the White House or Capitol, whichever was its goal. At the least it would have taken out a few of the cancer cells of our current, very un-democratic, un-representative government of the rich, by the rich & for the rich.

  • Nancy

    I also have to say I caught the Dem debate last night. What a bunch of slimey, pandering professional whoremongering maggots! Jesus! They’re just as evil, just as corrupt, just as stupid, just as venal, just as rotten as their GOP collegues; every one of them kissing ass & trying to say nothing & commit to nothing while promising everything if only we’ll vote for them. I spent a good deal of it wishing I were able to push a button & every one of them would find themselves in Hell where they belong. Along with the rest of congress, all lobbyists, most of the Pentagon, a majority of federal “consultants”, and every last member of this vile administration, including their spouses, kids, grandkids, & pets.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    But Nancy, the candidates in 1948, 1968, 1988 were mostly as bland and uncontroversial as this lot. [Maybe Truman and RFK stand out…or maybe their hindsight reputations are undeserved.] They’re just more cautious than ever in the age of YouTube, about saying anything that will soundbite them in the ass the next day. [It still happens regularly anyway of course.]

    At least a Democratic president won’t appoint horrible conservative judges who will continue to ruin the country for decades. An HR Clinton administration and a Giuliani administration would not be identical, no matter how much fun you have hurling equally fiery insults at both of them.

    I don’t know whether you mean everything you write literally, but if you’re that unhappy, maybe just move somewhere else. The middle of the road is where politics almost always land in this country…and always have.

  • Nancy

    I don’t mind middle of the road. What I don’t like & despise is cynical, insincere pandering by assholes who have NO intention of doing anything for anybody that they promise. Like Pelosi. As for moving, why? I was born here, I live here, it’s my country as much as theirs. It needs to be cleaned up; not to have all the honest people driven out.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Of course you shouldn’t move. But take a breath before damning people as utterly different as Barack Obama and Sam Brownback, or John Edwards and John McCain, with the same excoriating language: “whoremongering maggots,” “evil…corrupt…stupid…rotten” etc. They’re not the same, and taking the conversation down to that low level may help you vent some steam, but accomplishes little else, eh?

  • troll

    Dave – #103 begs the question: what chance does a proposal such as ‘nota’ have if it is not in the interest of the established elite

    …and your *those forced to vote will be even less informed than those who vote now* is something of an aristocratic assumption don’cha know – ties right in with your rabble theory of democracy I guess

  • STM

    Dave: “I think compulsory voting is very much in the interests of the establishment, because those forced to vote will be even less informed than those who vote now.”

    You are wrong Dave, that is NOT our experience – and it’s been going here an awful long time.

  • STM

    And I’ll leave it to Chris Fryer to explain why, as his points are valid – and just how we find it.

    His major point is how well the elections are run. It takes 10 minutes to vote, with hardly any queues, unlike the US where it can take hours.

  • http://abject.vox.com Nym Nadal

    God this is completely off topic but, I uh… I just did a search for my old AOL Screen Name and saw you responding to tink with “Do you know Nym Nadal”…

    Hee hee, and now I HAVE to know… Who ‘were’ you?

    ::grins:: visit me blog and send me a message!!!