JOB WANTED Strong, decisive type. PsychoSociopath Go getter go get Osama someday preferred. Must not take no for an answer. Must be willing to sell people, arguments short McKrap TM 24/7. No obstacle in Constitution will stand in way of successful not so successfulbusinessman candidate businessmanwith friends for president of up and coming country company. No military service, okay. Must be willing to relocate all Constitutional power in White House. English as foreign language skill helpful. Paranoia Ability to work with others a plus. Must be willing to take entire month of August off to work long hours to achieve defined goals. Come climb the September Eleventh pile of rubble again climb the ladder of success with us.
WE ARE NOW spied on to protect "us" from "them." Welcome to the Not So Fun House where the mirrors reveal things are not as they seem.
A CASE OF NATIONAL Attention Deficit Disorder? How did we get to this point? With the rise of Bush perhaps is revealed a large case of national Attention Deficit Disorder. This ADD revealed itself first in Bush's um election when counting the actual votes just would have taken too long. We needed results as soon as possible. Look what we got. Can't wait for threats to emerge? Look what we got. That detainee might have info, let's get it however we can as quick as we can even if the results aren't quite true! Look what we got! We've got laws, but they take too long to comply with. Look what we got. What we got was screwed. We now live a mutual national delusion of one man. The number of spy agencies multiplies to keep “us” safe from “them.”
WORDS HAVE MEANING At least they used to. Those who counsel a strict construction of the constitution who now suggest Bush did not step all over the Constitution with his recent traipse over the Fourth Amendment and his trespass with the NSA spying incidents in the the domestic sphere are fooling themselves. Not to mention jumping through hoops of inconsistent logic. Or running in circles as they chase the tail or is it the the tale of the President? A certain duplicity reveals itself. What is untold when told later may tell us there is more here than what the President claims is "limited."
SAYING SOMETHING IS SO does not make it so. We live with a president who consistently believes restating his premise proves his premise. At some point people are going to have to take George Bush seriously both for what he says and what he does. That point is now. Casual asides reveal a more serious center, slightly off center. If one can say three examples prove a point, consider the famous or is it infamous citation of George Bush and his approach to his job. It would be a lot easier if this were a dictatorship, as long as he was the dictator. Said not once, but three separate times. Consider that Bush has declared he has on thirty separate times given the same order to the NSA to spy on citizens. Dictator? You decide. Some cynics would day dictator is term two syllables to long for what Bush has done here.
THOSE PESKY LAWS Orcinus considers “the problem:” These "annoying" laws exist for a reason fundamental to the very foundations of modern society: This is a nation of laws, not men. And while it's easy and convenient to discard those principles in the flimsy context of a movie, doing so in real life has profound and lasting complications. I think what you can say is that the Bush team is cynically manipulating public sentiment for the sake of pushing the limits of presidential power. It's a brilliant move, really, tapping into an aspect of the psyche that has been preconditioned by a hoary myth that has been perpetuated over the years by Hollywood: the notion that the action-driven hero's instincts for "saving lives" are superior to careful reasoning and principled restraint. But it sure is weird for a bunch of people who make a living out of deriding "Hollywood values."
THE HERETIK SUGGESTS we may end our national delusion if we stop feeding it with watching shows like 24. Can it be done? Even I confess I am sickly drawn to it. We see the fantasy. How many of us really want to live it?
WHAT'S OUT THERE BLOWING IN THE WIND? CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION Democrats and Republicans called separately yesterday for congressional investigations into President Bush's decision after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to allow domestic eavesdropping without court approval. "The president has, I think, made up a law that we never passed," said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.).
PUBLIC ENEMY? Joe Keohane offers a synopsis and review of the newly re-issued Sinclair Lewis novel It Can’t Happen Here written in the all to familiar 1930s: PICTURE THIS: A folksy, self-consciously plainspoken Southern politician rises to power during a period of profound unrest in America. The nation is facing one of the half-dozen or so of its worst existential crises to date, and the people, once sunny, confident, and striving, are now scared, angry, and disillusioned. This politician, a ''Professional Common Man,'' executes his rise by relentlessly attacking the liberal media, fancy-talking intellectuals, shiftless progressives, pinkos, promiscuity, and welfare hangers-on, all the while clamoring for a return to traditional values, to love of country, to the pie-scented days of old when things made sense and Americans were indisputably American. He speaks almost entirely in ''noble but slippery abstractions''-Liberty, Freedom, Equality-and people love him, even if they can't fully articulate why without resorting to abstractions themselves. Through a combination of factors-his easy bearing chief among them (along with massive cash donations from Big Business; disorganization in the liberal opposition; a stuffy, aloof opponent; and support from religious fanatics who feel they've been unfairly marginalized)-he wins the presidential election.
THE HERETIK HAS PREVIOUSLY stated a belief in a certain circularity to history and a skepticism of progress. We face the same monsters again and again, the problems are as old as Proteus, the enemy returns like the multiplying heads of the Hydra, the face we see against us morphs in the mirror.
MORE ON WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT NEW TECH BEHIND NSA SNOOP CASE?There's more to the NSA domestic spying case than the current storyline -- that much is clear. The idea that the Bush Administration needed to bypass the courts to get wiretaps quickly makes no sense; under the current system, you can start eavesdropping, and get a warrant later. The notion that disclosing the surveillance would somehow tip off potential terrorists is laughable, too; Al Qaeda types know they're being monitored. That's all assuming, of course, that the wiretaps in this case are the same as in any other. But maybe they're not. Maybe there's something different about this surveillance. It could be in its scope, as Laura suggests. But I'm guessing -- and this is just a guess -- that the real difference is in the technology of the wiretaps themselves.