Wednesday, December 21, 2005


That's a fun word, isn't it? I'm working on digesting this wiretap story, but it sounds to me like a legitimate exercise of Executive powers to me. It's not like airport screening, where everyone takes off their shoes, and then little old ladies, or wives of Navy officers get pulled aside for random screening. It sounds like the powers are being used legitamate, in my uninformed opinion. Of course, that's all anyone has had since the New York Times dropped this flaming bag of dog poo on America's front porch.

On the other hand, the New York Times has consistently been using its power as a media organization to make as much trouble for the Bush Administration as possible, which I think has become abusive. There's no sense of journalistic responsibility over there as near as I can tell. Irony is newspapermen unconcerned with the truth or proper application thereof. The so-called "Fourth Estate" has a responsibility to keep government honest while remaining honest themselves. I will continue to withhold a firm opinion on it until I can better get a grip on the story. This seems like something I should really study before deciding what I think about it. Perhaps some other people ought to do the same before they start throwing around the "I" word.

Like terrorists, it seems all the President's critics need to do is not lose. Who cares about winning?

I won't be doing that anytime soon, since I've got company this week, but here are a few interesting things:

The New York Observer has an interesting inside look at the NYT's motivation.

Power Line is all over this and assuaging my concerns somewhat. I encourage you to, yes, read everything they've written about this so far. It's riveting, reasonable and good.

A newly discovered (by me) blog, Cobb, has a terrific management analogy: Scope Creep.

Although you don't establish your innocence by establishing the guilt of others, here is some interesting reading on Echelon.

EDIT: And far be it from me to leave out Crazy Politico's Rantings: The Politics of the Domestic Spying Case



Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden bloody well said...

12 21 05

Robosquirrel, so you like your newly discovered blog eh? I like Cobb too and am sorry I didn't highlight him before! From what I am gathering, the government doesn't have to have a warrant or notification for up to 72 hours after performing survellance. I am sorry but that is wrong and anyone who voices dissent will be targetted as a seditionist. Just because we are in wartime doesn't make this assault on our liberties right! I highlighted THE FEDERALIST SOCIETY's thoughts on the Patriot Act yesterday and wonder if anyone read some of their conclusions. I feel like such governmental powers are punishments on regular people to catch a small few. I also wonder if we are going back to the days of the Salem Witch Trials, where based on someone's word one could get the death penalty. It seems as though our freedom of speech and expression is being limited at every turn. Despite whether or not you consider executive authority to be properly exercised, the fact that they have such power is unnerving to me. I might be closer to the side of anarchy in that regard but anyone can be labelled a seditionist and without due process end up in a bad way. Sorry for ranting.

21 December, 2005 14:35  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

Eh, forgot to thank you for pointing Cobb out to me, sorry!

I disagree with you. Who has been labeled a seditionist? The President is using powers granted by laws upheld by Article II to gather foriegn intelligence from foreign nationals inside the U.S. and/or U.S. citizens suspected of involvement with terror organizations.

Certain liberties being curtailed during wartime is actually the rule, not the exception. This is the lowest-impact (domestically-speaking) war I have ever heard of. Whose rights are being infringed upon? Whose freedom of speech or expression has been limited as a result of the Patriot Act? Maybe Campaign Finance Reform, but not the Patriot Act, as far as I know.

Calling people traitors and muttering about impeachment proceedings and claiming that so-and-so hates America because they believe such-and-such is so much brinksmanship that belongs on Daily Kos, not in reasonable discourse. I feel like calling everyone a Nazi just to get them to shut up (but you can't purposefully invoke Godwin). That's a joke; sarcasm translates poorly in print!.

I would like to read to Federalist Society's conclusions on the Patriot Act. Your concerns make me wonder why the Senate minority chose to filibuster the Patriot Act + more than 30 fixes to address those concerns. These are potential concerns, of course. I would also like to hear about someone whose rights have been trampled upon due to the invocation of the Patriot Act, because to date I've heard of none. I haven't read the Patriot Act, but I think I will, because it's a more important issue than this wiretap kerfuffle.

21 December, 2005 16:27  
Blogger Crazy Politico bloody well said...

Robo, the ACLU has been offering a bounty for the guy who gives them the test case. 4 years, still waiting for him.

Congressman Nunes from the 21st district in Ca. has a great breakdown of where the "onerous" powers of the Patriot Act are already in federal law!! (most have been in RICO for 3 decades!)

I remember a few short years ago when we were all wondering how the feds screwed up so bad 9/11 could happen. Now we want to force them to do it again!

Thanks for the link.

22 December, 2005 00:00  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden bloody well said...

12 21 05

Robosqirrel: I think you have misinterpreted my comment. I often speak in abstracts and what I meant was that I think that such assaults on our civil liberties lead the way to Big Brotherism. And that pretty soon, anyone who dissents will be labelled a seditionist. There isn't a specific case I can think of, it is more or less a slippery slope. When I look at the provisions of the Patriot Act it really bothers me a lot because we have no privacy if the state has a compelling interest to invade it. And it becomes more and more that way each day because we are in a war. Remember Abe Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the war and I think that is slowly happening now in various ways.

22 December, 2005 00:34  
Blogger Nunzia bloody well said...

best reference ive heard to the NYT all day... such garbage.

Merry Christmas!

22 December, 2005 10:33  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

Thanks for stopping by, Nunzia! There's more where that came from!

Mahndisa, I suppose you're right - it's just when abstract dicussions spring from real life situations, it's difficult to interpret them independently, as I'm sure you've seen in the comments on your blog. People suddenly begin imagining that thing are occurring which are not really occurring. I have the same deal going with math and physics. I can do math, but I prefer the practical application of physics.

So there ya go. Fun discussion, though!

22 December, 2005 10:47  

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