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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Friday, August 10, 2007

Don't call me from the US and say "bomb"

New York Times: WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 -- President Bush signed into law on Sunday legislation that broadly expanded the government's authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.

Last week, the Democrats in the US congress caved in to the Monkey-King's President Bush's demands to allow him to wire-tap Americans' phones, without a warrant or oversight of any kind, if they're talking with someone overseas. He doesn't need so much as a justification. He can just do it.

Tap people's phones. The American government has just given itself permission to spy on Americans.

But we all must remember that America stands for, um, freedom.

Perhaps Kris Kristofferson was right that "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose", including your right not to be spied on by your own government. Or your innocent faith in the Constitution protecting you from government intrusion.

I'm not upset with the Bush administration. I expect it of them. I'm ticked as hell at a spineless Democratic congress.

Didn't we all used to demonize the Soviet Union for this kind of shit? Bad, bad Commies! Never know when the KGB might be listening in on you!

To think that, growing up, I actually believed we were fighting against that kind of regime in the name of freedom, democracy and justice.

In a completely unrelated note, I discovered the other day -- thanks to an email from my mentor, Donald Simpson -- that the village in which I live was George Orwell's boyhood home.

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Coverage from the New York Times on the law that passed. And more NYT coverage of the gutlessness of the Congress.

From US News & World Report.

From Information Week: The new law means "intelligence agents can monitor communications without a warrant, as long as one party is believed to be outside of the United States."

And from a NYT editorial:

Mr. Bush’s incessant fear-mongering — and the Democrats’ refusal to challenge him — has had one notable success. The only issue on which Americans say that they trust Republicans more than Democrats is terrorism. At least those Americans are afraid of terrorists. The Democrats who voted for this bill, and others like it over the last few years, show only fear of Republicans.


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