Archive for December, 2005



When President Bush mentioned last April that a court order was required for a wiretap, he forgot to mention that a court order cannot be obtained for domestic communications. Under President Carter, the Attorney General could approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order as long as it did not involve “the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party.” That’s important. It means that the government cannot eavesdrop on our conversations without a warrant, as long as the conversation is taking place on United States soil. Under President Clinton, the Attorney General could approve physical searches to aquire foreign intelligence information without a court order as long as they did not involve “the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person.” This is also important. It means that the government cannot search our houses, cars, records, etc…, without a warrant as long as they are on United States soil. President Bush authorized searches or surveillance of American citizens on United States soil, which is against the law. Presidents Clinton and Carter did not “do it, too”. The Drudge Report didn’t quite get it right.

Throughout this administration I’ve been wondering when all this will start catching up with the President and his boy Dick, and it’s beginning. It didn’t look good for them when there were no weapons of mass destruction. They did a pretty good job of not playing the blame game when it came to the CIA leaks. They even managed to convince people that they did not feel they were “above the law” in the torture arena. But this wire tapping thing, this is serious. But finally, a judge is so disgusted that he has quit. The new President of Bolivia called our President a terrorist. A senator is suggesting censure. I wouldn’t mind hearing calls for impeachment, but I can wait until after the holidays.


Freedom From Want

This is another one I think should be reworded. I think this should have been stated as, “freedom from need”. No one is ever free from want. There’s always something bigger or better or more beautiful, and it’s only natural to desire those things. But it’s the needs Teddy Roosevelt was trying to take care of.

He wanted us to have affordable shelter, which is steadily becoming an impossibility for landlords to provide and renters to find. He knew that healthier workers were more productive, and so he thought health care for those who couldn’t afford it was a good idea. The problem is, now most Americans can’t afford health care without some help from their employer. He thought we should be fed at least once a day if we weren’t working, and should be able to afford three squares if we were. The price of organic food is so high only a small percentage of the population can afford it. Processed and engineered food is so expensive that even soldiers and teachers are on food stamps. The air we breathe and the water we drink is polluted.

We are not and can never be free from want, and even Mr. Roosevelt was aware of that. It would be nice, though, to know that we can take care of the basic necessities of life without morgaging our futures and closing out our bank accounts.

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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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