Thursday, December 22, 2005

Who Needs Conspiracy Theories When You've Got George Bush?

An administration like the current one could put paranoiacs and whacko conspiracy theorists straight out of business by leaving them nothing to make up. The only theories they could invent that weren't actually true would have to involve space aliens and other science fiction. The Bush administration has all the rest covered. The government can spy on you without a warrant. The government is spying on anti-war and peace groups. The government will retaliate against you if you say something they don't like. And my favorite is the secret court where the government can secure secret warrants, retroactively if they want, to spy on American citizens. My favorite part of that one is, it wasn't good enough for the Bush administration. They had to bypass the secret court because it didn't give them enough secrecy.

You see I wasn't feeling too cozy about the idea of a court that met in secret with the FBI, NSA or CIA that could issue warrants even 72 hours after the fact if the government felt it would slow them down too much to actually wait for a warrant. But I could reasonably see where some secrecy and speed might be necessary in seeking warrants for intelligence activities. It's just that, though I'm not an intelligence expert, I gotta think that making the conversations, documents and warrants involving the case secret until they yield some results, would be secrecy enough. Is a spy court really necessary?

But Bush and the gang made that point completely moot by bypassing the court completely. In a simple and bold move they made us feel lucky we had a secret court. At least there was some kind of check and balance. But the thing that amazes me most with what is happening these days is the shortness of our, meaning the American public's memory. Does anyone remember COINTELPRO? When the FBI was conducting counterintelligence on people and groups who just happened to have ideas that were left of center or not in the mainstream. Where they infiltrated, disrupted and played dirty tricks on groups like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Students for a Democratic Society. Where they spied on people like Dr. Martin Luther King and Abbie Hoffman. Do you see how this kind of thing can get out of hand and why we need checks and balances?

The Bush administration uses as their argument that these extreme measures are necessary because of the extreme threats we face, but I think that argument is completely false and the leaders of a so-called democratic nation should know they are. Times when our nation is threatened by the dangerous and global enemy of terrorism cannot be used as an excuse to lessen the protections our civil liberties afford, but is a time when they need most to be protected. You see the founding fathers may have wanted us to have leaders we can trust, but they were wise enough to know that we cannot always trust our leaders. In fact they'd created a revolution over the point, so they were quite clear on it. That is why they built checks and balances into our constitution to keep our leaders from overstepping their authority.

They also must have realized that it is not at times when we are at peace or threat that those liberties are most likely to be threatened. But at times when we legitimately fear a real enemy during war that an unscrupulous or overzealous leader can take advantage of our fear and usurp our liberties. When we are faced with the circumstances we find ourselves in today, we must be more vigilant of our liberties. Not less.

And finally, does no one see the irony here? As we fight for so-called democracy in a foreign land, we are having our civil liberties weakened and unprotected in our own. It can only make us look like hypocrites to the world for which we seek to be an example.
New Blogs I Dig.

Two blogs that were recommended by a friend some time ago, but I just got around to really checking out:

I Blame the Patriarchy
The Quintessential Negro

Though the Quintessential brother be kinda tardy on da updates. But he's a writer for a weekly paper. So I suppose after writing all day for a living, writing for his blog is not something he wants to do in his spare time. But what he has posted is cool.
The Toy Will Bring You Joy This Holiday Season.

Warning: This post may not be suitable for younger or more sensitive readers. Reader discretion is advised.

Actually it might be perfect for more sensitive readers. Depends upon how you use the word sensitive. The story is from Wired News and it is about a high tech gadget do I put this delicately, to give women pleasure. It can be operated remotely by a Bluetooth device, ideally a phone. It is a natural progression because high tech gadgetry has always been mental masturbation for men. Actual masturbation if you count internet porn. Personally I think it is technology gone too far. I am a staunch advocate of natural and manual methods. But I'm a man and this device is for women.
Revolutionary QOTD:

"The revolution will not be televised." -Gil Scott Heron.
From This Modern World: An equation for our time.
As usual Tom Tomorrow nails it with what he calls, "An equation for our time." It is available on bumper stickers, "as well as the usual selection of other crap," in Tom's store. His blog is at and don't forget to check out the cartoon at Working for Change. Nothing less than political comic genius.