Anagram: Clandestinely/ Dance Silently

       Months ago, before the Fisa legislation was passed by congress, I, and a great many other people, raised a stink about domestic spying and wiretapping.  But I didn’t, when i first wrote about this in July,  think it went quite as far as it actually did.  I figured they would at least try to keep it vaguely legal, and follow some portion of the law.  You know, make it at least have to have something to do with a foreign communication in some way shape or form.  Watch a video from Countdown with Keith Olbermann, from Wednesday. 

    Now mister Tice, the man in the interview here, has in fact done interviews before, before the election, and it was whistle blowing, just like this, but here he is more specific than in the ABC interview aired in September, and is much more specific in stating the abuses of the 4th amendment rights of Americans.  

    This ladies and gentlemen, is a textbook example of the concept of “Abuse of Freedom”.  The fourth amendment states:constitution
    

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.

      Spying on anyone anywhere, regardless of guilt, which is what happened here, is a clear and specific breach of our right to be secure in our persons against unreasonable searches.

   There is a two part test, as set forth by the supreme court in the case of Katz v. United States involving wiretapping a gambler placing bets over a telephone.  The test is as follows:    

Something is a search within the meaning of the Fourth amendment if (1) the individual “has exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy,” and (2) society is prepared to recognize that this expectation is (objectively) reasonable.

       And so long as an individual can expect that a conversation on a phone would normally remain private, that conversation is protected under the 4th amendments protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

     In this particular case,  it was found that the wiretapping done to the phone booth Mr. Katz called was in fact an invasion of his right to privacy, and the information gathering here in fact constituted a “search and seizure” as it is construed in the 4th amendment. 

American Flag   So don’t we, in light of these allegations, have a case ourselves against the head of the NSA,  and quite possibly the Bush administration, for illegal search and seizure?  For every single instance of information gathering within the United States against American citizens who would have a  reasonable expectation of privacy in their phone conversations who were listened in on?

    I think we need to lobby the next Attorney general, Eric Holder one hopes, if the republicans ever get off of their asses and ask the questions they need to ask,  to go after the head of the NSA and other higher ups there,  to prosecute him for illegal search and seizure of our phone conversations.  The President we can nail with this only if it becomes obvious that there was prior knowledge on his part that there were clear illegalities. Under Oath.  I think that If you try to nail an American president, sitting or otherwise, you had better have an airtight case.  The case here looks to only point specifically at this moment at people within the Intelligence community. 

      I’ll comment more on this as this story develops. 

     A second video, a short statement, a few quotes, and I am done. 

    The second video is from a second interview done by Keith Olbermann with Mister Tice.  Now before I go, I do want to say one thing.  I do believe we as a people have the right to expect the government will do everything it can to protect us and themselves, in that order.  We NEED to make sure that as much is done to protect America from terrorism should be done.  What I rail at here is the over-zealousness of the work done, and the breadth and depth of scope involved.  Innocents should not have to concern themselves with being watched by big brother.  A quick aside: The concept that if you have done no wrong you have nothing to worry(one that has been floated a number of times by a number of idiots) about here is a ridiculous one.  I have a RIGHT to be secure from unreasonable search and seizure. Any American who takes part in a breach of the Constitution is guilty of treason. Any attempt at legitimizing this type of information gathering is legitimizing a breach of the Constitution. 

    That’s it for me.  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, Via wikiquote:   I sit on a man’s back, choking him, and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back.   Leo Tolstoy

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.   George Washington

Anagram: Night Running/Grinning Hunt

 

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       I didn’t see it, I did not see it, dammit I missed it!  I cannot believe that I missed the final press conference for President Bush this morning.  I wanted to catch it, but I just didn’t. Things were busy around the rhino hacienda this morning and kept me moving, but i have caught bits and pieces edited on the news here and there.  Here it is for ya, in it’s entirety.  All 47:04 of it.  I haven’t heard it all but I’ll be listening to it as I write this. Thanks to C-Span for this.  Enjoy!

       I, Democrat though I am, am completely surprised that I agree with President Bush’s Position on the Gaza/Israel war.  Except the part that this particular Administration has advanced the cause of peace in the region.  THAT is a laughable concept from it’s base to it’s apex and everywhere in between.

       The man though is clueless about Katrina.  And Iraq.  But we knew that going in.

      Next up: Madoff stays under house arrest.

       This is insane.  Bernie Madoff clearly broke the rules imposed by the court on his freedom of movement, by sending items to relatives and united_states_dime2c_reversefriends, in direct violation of his bond.  This man stole a vast majority of $50,000,000,000 in the biggest ponzi scheme on earth and after sending expensive items, if i remember correctly worth over a million dollars, and he still remains in house arrest in an apartment that is worth Millions of dollars in the lap of luxury.  Someone needs to fry this freak’s balls in boiling oil, for screwing people far and wide of that much money, and he’s not doing time? WTF is that about? If you or I so much as stole a twinkie and then violated any portion of a court ordered agreement, we’d be doing 30 days in the hole.  No question about that.

       So why is Bernie free? One has to (OK I have to) openly wonder whether a man as obviously corrupt as Madoff may be influencing the justices and other members of the court.  I’m sure he’s not destitute if he can afford the digs he’s in right now, and from what I hear they are still trying to figure out where all the money is.

       Missing Billions + unusual decisions by the court in Bernie’s favor may = Madoff paying someone off.

      Do I have proof? No, but I don’t need proof, I need to know that there is justice somewhere in this case, and Madoff sitting in his multi-million dollar penthouse tells me that something is fishy here.  If I were a reporter with some newspaper, I would be watching the judges and everyone else involved here.  Hell, though I am just a free citizen, I am moved to look into this myself, with mine own eyes.  Someone needs to keep an eye on these bums. And I don’t mean just Bernie.

      That’s it for the Anti-Bernie rant.  Next up,  The Illinois junior senator gets a seat.

       It’s Official, Roland Burris will be the junior senator from the great state of Illinois.  Jesse White, The Illinois Secretary of State sent a letter to the senate, affirming Sen. Burris’ stature as a legal and rightful senator from the state of Illinois, and it has been accepted by both Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Illinois senior senator Dick Durbin.

       It really is good to see that Illinois now has the full compliment of senators it is supposed to have.  It was clearly a harder row to hoe for Mister Burris than most senators go through, it must be gratifying to finally get the post that he was legally and rightfully given by the governor of his state.  Just because Blago is corrupt does not mean his pick for senate will be.  Good Luck Sen. Burris, now get to work.

      And while New York does have two for the moment, that will not be the case for long, with Sen. Clinton moving up to S.O.S.,  and I would like to hear my governor, David Patterson, make a choice for senator from the great state of New York.   Andrew Cuomo, Carolyn Kennedy,  Me,  somebody dammit!!

     And yes, that does mean that I would like Governor Patterson to think of me as a potential candidate for the post.  America NEEDS a Rhino running wild in the Senate to shake things up a bit.  :-)Run

     One personal note.  I don’t like to talk about this stuff too much anymore, but I am back running everyday again, hence the running in the title.  The reason I don’t like talking about it is simple.  Every time in the last 16 months that I have spoken about “being a runner” again, or being happy being back on the trail, something happens and I get laid up again. I’ve run as many days as i possibly could, but have yet to run more than 4 miles.  I haven’t run faster than 8:00 minute mile average, which is slow, for me, but which is about the best I can do right now, given I’m just starting out and it’s not exactly warm out there. I am doing night running now, having done it twice in the last few days after not doing it for at least 3 years.  If you want to know how my running is going, look me up on facebook, I’m posting my numbers there.  Look me up under my real name, Michael Walsh.

       I’m almost done.  A metal video, a few quotes and I am done.

       Another one of those album cover only Metal Viddy’s. Ozzy. I Don’t Know. Enjoy:

       That’s all Folks!  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, Via Newspeak:   Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error… They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only… If [free enquiry] be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged.  Thomas Jefferson

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.   William Pitt

Anagram: Reality Check/They Lack Rice

         Dream: The Big three, after watching the senate bail on the bailout, will be saved by the George Bush and the White House who will use tarp bush_economic_growth_january_24_2008funds to bail them out in the nick of time.   Reality:   Not so fast there, son…

     There is only $15,000,000,000 left in the first tarp installment, and up until now the Treasury has not wanted to use these funds for the auto industry.  Now they do.  But it will leave almost nothing in the till should another company in the financial Sector need it, which will make at the very least Mr. Kashkari (Cash Carry) less than willing to give those funds to the men and woman who work the lines in Detroit for $38 an hour.  And the conditions the President looks like he is looking at are good I guess, but i don’t know that  a) creditors will reduce the amount of debt the car companies owe enough to make a difference, and  b) the UAW would take half of the money due for a retiree health-care trust fund in stock, instead of cash or bonds.  That stock isn’t worth a plug nickel right now, why would they accept that as payment to retirees who have earned this with a lifetime of hard work?  Sure, if the big three actually make it through alright, and if  the employees wait long enough, it might turn into a sound investment, but if is not something you want to base an investment for your health care after you’ve retired.  If it was your health care on the line, would you take an if?

        And just because Henry Paulson says he will “stand ready to prevent an imminent failure until Congress reconvenes and acts to address the long-term viability of the industry.” doesn’t mean he will actually help.  Truthfully I don’t trust him, but that has been the case since day one. 

     And then there is Ben Bernanke, who said last week that the Fed would probably not lend the money the big three needed if the bailout measure did not pass.  Does that change now that the measure has actually failed?  Knowing mister Bernanke by his previous decisions, I don’t think so. 

    And what if the Auto companies actually need more than the $15,000,000,000 that is left in the tarp? It is a distinct possibility, and that might well lead to Hank Paulson asking Congress for the 2nd $350,000,000,000 from Tarp if he really is true to his commitment to the Auto industry.  And the Congress seems less than willing to do that without some guarantee of help for Financially strapped homeowners.  Which means a fight, one that the treasury could well lose. 

    The last time congress rejected tarp, the market dropped like a stone, lost over 650 points that day in late September as i remantique_cash_registerember.  How much damage would that do to the markets this time? 

   The point of the entire statement here is simple.  Just because the President says he wants to help, and Paulson says he wants to help does not mean that help is on the way.   Negotiations are underway and I for one hope the auto industry can be saved.  Any money spent on the auto companies would be a fraction of that which was spent on wall street.  With $335,000,000,000 spent using Tarp, a great many jobs have been lost in the financial markets and the like.  With an expenditure of less than 1/10th that, you can save millions of jobs.

      I’d be overjoyed if the President and Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke could save them, but I must admit I am not expecting it. 

    A Viddy, a few quotes and I am done.

     The Viddy is from the Rachel Maddow show on Hoover-ism, Republicans, and The Big Three:

   That’s It from me.  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, Via Wikiquote:   Ours is a practical people, to whom ideals furnish the theory of political action, upon which they want not only firm assurance, but also effective practice. They want programmes, but they want action to flow from them. They want constructive common sense. They want the development of the common will, not the views of a single individual. They are beginning to realize that words without action are the assassins of idealism. On the other side, they are equally disgusted with seeking for power by destructive criticism, demagoguery, specious promises and sham.   Herbert Hoover

The animals to whom nature has given the faculty we call cunning know always when to use it, and use it wisely; but when man descends to cunning, he blunders and betrays.   Thomas Paine

Anagram: The Monkees/She Not Meek

      Very short blog today, I am getting ready to leave to go to a show, which my wife got tickets to a while

Not This Monkee

not this monkee

ago.  Apparently Davy Jones, from The Monkees, is doing a show in midtown Manhattan and I and the wife are going.  It’s at the Times square arts center, and his opening act is a pretty funny comedienne named Lynne Koplitz.  I’ve seen a few of her bits on youtube and she’s not too bad. 

    I’m just looking to be entertained, and I’m more interested, to be honest, with the opening act. We’ll see.

    A few news blurbs a video and a few quotes and I am done.

     Citigroup got $306,000,000,000 in government aid, and an additional $20,000,000,000 in tarp funds to shore them up. The stock went up 58% today on this news.  Nice.  Hope we get some of that money back.

    The market went up almost 400 points today.  This, along with Friday’s 494 point uptick made for the biggest 2 day upswing in the market in 21 years. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 each went up over 6 percent, the S&P Gain was a record.

united_states_dime2c_reverse     A former aide to Joe Biden, Ted Kaufmann, has been named to fill Joe Biden’s seat in the Senate once he officially resigns from his senate seat.  He was Joe’s Chief of Staff for nearly 20 years and began serving with him in 1973. He will serve for two years, and then there will be a special election for his seat, and according to Chris Cillizza, the man who will run for the seat will be Joe’s son Beau, who turned down the seat in the first place so he could serve with the J.A.G. In Iraq.

     Time for a viddy.

   President Bush, with Henry Paulson, talking about The Citigroup rescue, from MSNBC.

    That’s it for me.  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, Via Wikiquote:   Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.   Samuel Johnson

The administration of government lies in getting proper men. Such men are to be got by means of the ruler’s own character. That character is to be cultivated by his treading in the ways of duty. And the treading those ways of duty is to be cultivated by the cherishing of benevolence.   Confucius

Anagram: The American Dream/Edit Her, Cameraman

       One Hundred twenty Million, Three hundred and two thousand, eight hundred and sixty five.  That’s howAmerican Flag many people voted for the major party candidates yesterday, according to CNN.  I still cannot find a compiled number of votes for the third party candidates.  53% of those voters voted for Barack Obama, over 63,000,000 Americans said that Barack Obama was the right choice for America.

    But there are those who feel differently.  I just answered a comment in my last post, and I want to talk about it at greater length here.  Here’s the comment:    

How did the liberal base in this country convince enough unregistered democrats to vote for a socialist who hates America???

       Call this An Open letter to those who feel the same as the person who wrote this comment.

       First things first. It was not just about the “Liberal base”.  It was moderates and independents who at one point were Republicans, who gave up on the party because the party left them.  Do you think it a coincidence that the ranks of independents swelled while Republican numbers dwindled?  It is NOT a coincidence.  Iraq, Fumbling the economy, The Patriot act, Gonzalez and the attempted destruction of the rule of law, Cheney, the shadow of Rove and Rumsfeld, all of these things alienated a great many Americans, and pushed them away from The Republicans.  And when they left the Repubs, they looked for a leader, someone to guide them.  The choice, the realistic choices were McCain or Obama.  And they Chose Obama.

   I won’t touch the unregistered democrat vote.  There is nothing but stupid there. 

    What I will attack is the “socialist who hates America” comment.  What the F*ck are you talking about?  Still with the talking points?  The election is over, stop that. Just because President-Elect Obama wants to tax the upper class at a rate which existed several years ago does not make him a socialist.  Read a  dictionary…even better, I’ll throw the definition of socialism out here for you to read so you can know what a socialist is, courtesy of Dictionary.com :
   

a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

      Now how is taxation to even the playing field in America socialist?  The charge doesn’t stick.  For a few reasons.  The last few years have seen the rich get more and

press the button, you know you want to....

press the button, you know you want to....

more tax breaks, and pay less and less as time has gone by.  They are not paying their fair share for this massive government.  What we need to do is shrink the government where possible and even the playing field.  There is no attempt at vesting ownership and control of business in the government in anything President-Elect Obama says or has intimated he would do. 

      And if you DO still make the argument, you have to, to my mind at least, make it against ALL government.  Every government takes money in the form of taxes and work for the public good with those funds, would that then not be a form of socialism?  George Bush would then qualify as the biggest socialist in American History with all he has done with government spending by that standard. 

    Those who complain about democrats being socialists are themselves nothing more than unwitting whole hearted backers of oligarchic Plutocracy…. Here’s a link to Dictionary.com…look the big words up for yourself, i did it once, I won’t do it twice.

     As for hating America, I just don’t see how you can say that.  The man worked hard for America (and himself, no doubt about that)  for the last 20 months on the campaign trail, and as a senator, and state senator, pushing through legislation to help ALL Americans, regardless of their political stripe on every level on the political ladder he has been on.

    What have you done lately?

    Thought so.   He loves America.  Just like you and me.  Leave it alone, you can’t win that argument.

    Let’s just be Americans and fight for the American dream instead of fighting each other. We’ll go further that way.

     A Viddy, a few quotes and I am done. 

     Tonight’s video,  Keith Olbermann’s final campaign comment of the 08 campaign:

     That’s it for me.  Later!

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson

     Today’s Nuggets, by Andrew Jackson, Via Wikiquote:  It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society — the farmers, mechanics, and laborers — who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.

As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of persons and of property, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be worth defending.