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~ we woke in new hampshire to the news that president bush’s approval rating has dropped to 29%. traveling to philadelphia, we listened to the news regarding usa today’s revelation that the NSA has been taking notes on every phone call made by americans – whom they talk to, when and for how long they call, where they are when they do so. as we waited for months to see bush’s rating drop into the twenties, we were, aside from our outrage at being spied upon, bemused that his rating should now lose the remaining 29 points in a matter of hours; it must become zero percent, for where would they find an american citizen who approved of having the gov’t monitor their conversations?

however, we were surprised, which itself is surprising, given the mental lethargy of our neighbors, when npr gleefully reported that over 2/3 of americans said that spying on them is acceptable. One can almost hear the self-righteous thugs proclaim, ‘if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide’ (if that principle were true, then the bush administration would not have killed the justice department investigation into the laws violated by the nsa’s original wiretapping), or the information is ‘just digits’. The purpose for warrants is not to impede the cops or to give comfort to terrorists; it is to put the burden upon the gov’t to prove that, when weighed against a potential crime, it is worth violating the rights of a particular suspect. the notion that every call made in america needs to be monitored by the gov’t – with or without a warrant, and in this case, without – demands that every call is suspicious and, by extension – no pun intended – every american is a suspect.

a dot

~ trent lott, referring to those of us who insist that our privacy, not to mention the constitution, be respected spouts, “Do we want security … or do we want to get in a twit about our civil libertarian rights?” By portraying us as a bunch of whiners, reducing our concerns about constitutional violations to being something silly like a ‘twit’, Lott is trying to embarrass us or make put us on the defensive, when, if anyone should feel like coward it is Lott – and anyone else who is frightened into allowing any restraint on our rights or invasion into privacy by the gov’t. If Patrick Henry had been half the pussy that Trent Lott is, we would still be drinking tea and/or chicory. Fact.

a dot

also the aforementioned ‘fact’ that a majority of americans agree that gov’t monitoring of their lives is ‘okay’ seems to be exaggerated:

‘A majority of Americans disapprove of a massive pentagon database containing the records of billions of phone calls made by ordinary citizens” –usa today

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'j' responds:

a majority of americans think chicory tastes like burnt sauerkraut.

give me liberty and coffee!

'Gray' responds:

what would thomas paine be drinking?

'j' responds:

tory blood?!

'am' responds:

tpaine was english, so if he were alive today, he would drink instant coffee and would therefore be banned from cafe tableaux.

'j' responds:

would he also eat cornish pasties?

i guess you dont have to care much about security and safety when you are trent lott and the president of the united states sees it as a top priority to rebuild your house first after it is destroyed by a hurricane. he probably has a few other houses all stocked with cellars full of blue mountain or yergecheffe.

'am' responds:

ethiopean vs. jamaica! is it that difficult to get yirgacheffe in decatur? i can send you a pound if you wish.

'jt' responds:

i have never had blue mountain actually, and they arent selling it in these parts after the catastrophic storm season last year, but i can get yergecheffe if i please.

public response: