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.


60 Responses to “Dazed…”

  1. 1 Underground Logician
    December 22, 2005 at 6:02 pm


    I’m surprised you didn’t get this accurately. Actually, this is for foreign intel, not the casual search and seisure of citizens property and activity. President Clinton did sign an executive order for obtaining information without court order through executive order 12949. Here’s the URL for the actual executive order fo your reading pleasure 😉


    Byron York also alludes to a Washington Post article back on June 15, 1994, on page A-19 headlined: “Administration Backing No-Warrant Spy Searches.” For more info. I’ve included York’s article below:

    I tried several times to access this from the Washington Post, but with no results. Also, you have to pay a fee to retrieve it from their archives.

    I’m certain that the liberal pols assume the American people have poor memories, and certainly the print media isn’t going to remind us.

    I think it’s important for us to be more tenacious in finding the truth about things, rather than swallowing everything what these “drones” are trying to feed us. Take no one’s word for it. If there are primary sources available, let’s find them.

    As to Bush spying, it was within foreign intel, which is well within the President’s powers, as executed by previous presidents.

  2. 2 BarbaraFromCalifornia
    December 22, 2005 at 7:35 pm

    You know, this is one of my favorite of all Bush fopas. He is in deep do do over this wiretapping issue. I have blogged about it, and memembers of his own party are calling for an investigation.

  3. 3 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    December 22, 2005 at 11:45 pm


    Freedom at it’s best.

  4. 4 Underground Logician
    December 23, 2005 at 12:01 am


    Sounds like nihilism, everyman for himself…a terrible freedom.

  5. 5 United We Lay
    December 23, 2005 at 4:26 pm

    I revised to clarify. Bush got intelligence by illegal means from American citizens. It’s an unavoidable fact.

  6. 6 exMI
    December 23, 2005 at 4:39 pm

    In this case I tend to agree with PC. While there appears to be technical legal loophole that Bush exploited, various lawyers and administrators for the CIA and other agencies have always reccomended agaisnt using it because they suspected the Supreme Court would slap them down if they tried it.
    So while there may be a legal technicality that allows it, I feel it is unconstitutional and hope that the SC will close the hole.

    I personally have enough faith in the capabilities of your Intel services to think they can get what they need in the way they have been doing it for years. And surrendering our Constitutional Liberties is flat out surrenedering and losing.

  7. 7 Underground Logician
    December 23, 2005 at 7:05 pm

    As to Bush being a terrorist, what a difference four years make! And to think, that Saddam Hussein is using the same argument as liberal democrats do in attacking Bush is quite telling. Thanks to Ramsey Clark, he gave Saddam the Democratic talking points. Frankly, I’m leaning more and more to the soundness of Michael Savage’s argument that post-modern liberalism is a mental disorder.

    When 2006 elections come round, I will be asking this question, “What does the liberal Democratic Party have to offer us substantially as a solution to the threat of terrorism?”

    I wonder if they would act quite similarly to Bush in the war on terror? If so, they are hypocrites. I also wonder if they will apologize to the world for America becoming rich at the expense of others, and being the chief cause for terrorists to hate us. If so, then, they are quintessential cowards.

    I find the doctrine and methods of post-modern liberalism utterly and completely detestable. There is no human way to detest something more than my detestation of liberalism.

    The only cure I know for the darkness we are enduring is the message of a man, who born in a manger some 2000 years ago, came to give mankind the chance to true life and real love. Without him, we are doomed.

  8. 8 Tabasamu
    December 23, 2005 at 8:37 pm

    I’m a little confused. I don’t understand if Polanco and Exmi have refuted Underground Logician’s first post or not(?) And I don’t understand about the loophole Exmi mentions. Can someone clarify this a little better for me?

  9. 9 Saur♥Kraut
    December 23, 2005 at 9:50 pm

    I’m with TC. I have the same questions.

  10. 10 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    December 23, 2005 at 9:52 pm

    Underground Logician:

    I’m taking the piss out of Bush and his gaff in relation to intruding upon civil rights of his citizens.

    The freedom I talk of is the freedom he wants you to have.

  11. 11 daveawayfromhome
    December 24, 2005 at 12:51 am

    What exactly is “post-modern liberalism”? When did we leave the modern age (something Conservatives seem to want). If you are refering to the clusterfuck that is the Democratic party, then say “Democrats”, but I dont think I’m a post-modern liberal, I would even quible sometimes with the “liberal” part.

    The only cure I know for the darkness we are enduring is the message of a man, who born in a manger some 2000 years ago, came to give mankind the chance to true life and real love. Without him, we are doomed.

    I know what this means to me, I’m curious what this means to you. From Conservatives in America, I see little or no sign of compassion, which is the lesson I took from Jesus. Did I miss something?

  12. 12 United We Lay
    December 24, 2005 at 2:10 am

    Saur, TC,
    The articles clarify Underground’s statements. Bush expolited a loophole, but he went further than the loophole allowed, thereby breaking the law. Big time. Basically, Bush not only broke the law, he lied about it.

    I have supreme faith in our intelligence people and KNOW they can get what they need without breaking the law. They chose not to on occasion and that is where the shit hits the fan. If we have the money and the power and still can’t be rightous, what hope does the rest of the world have?

    Four years can make all the difference. A terrorist who has the power of a nation behind him is a very dangerous man.

    Lables are also dangerous, even when they are positive, like “liberal”. Lables encourage us to look at one topic or to assume that people see things in a certian way. Lables lead to stereotypes, bias, ultimately close our minds to the diversity of the poeple around us. When you lable someone, you are saying “this is who you are” instead of asking, “who are you”.

    The Democratic party is not the leftist party. It’s not even that liberal. And no one has anything to offer on the subject of terrorism. You cannot combat terrorists with guns or governments or money. You combat terrorism with books, and if people are too educated, politicians are out of a job. No one will stop terrorism. No one will make us safer. They’ll just make us think we are until the next subway bomb or hijacking. This is the true reality. So let’s forget all this shit about trying to avoid death and focus on how to live a better life.

    I think there would be some differences and some similarities in the way things were handled. I also think the outcome would have been different if McCain had been in office. I would have respected him. I may have even followed him. But really, can you honestly tell me Bush was the best the party had to offer? Really???

    As for the cure, that man had a lot of things right. So did Socrates and Plato and Shakespeare. And Muhammed and Buddha and Martin Luther King Jr. We can learn from them all. Let’s not limit ourselves.

  13. 13 United We Lay
    December 24, 2005 at 2:14 am

    In Underground’s defense, he was referring to himself, not all conservatives. I think we all forget what we’ve been taught on occasion. I know I’m not always perfect. I think some of the problem comes from how people are taught the message of Christ. Judgement is played up way too much and compassion is left on the sidelines when it comes to the homos and the teenage pregant girls. They know the words, they just haven’t been taught critical thinking skills. We need more money for education.

  14. 14 daveawayfromhome
    December 24, 2005 at 3:12 am

    Okay, I’ll buy that, and I got no beef with Jesus, just the current brand of Conservative Thinking that has put Robin Hood back in the “villain” column.

    But I still dont know what “post-modern” liberalism is.

  15. 15 Jessica
    December 24, 2005 at 4:41 am

    What is most disturbing to me is that most cogent critics aren’t calling for outright amnesty of U.S. citizens, they’re just asking for federal oversight–the checks and balances between branches, not among a president and his Cheneys, I mean, cronies.

    As for the “terrorist” comment, that word is becoming more and more meaningless the longer it is used.

  16. 16 Underground Logician
    December 24, 2005 at 6:21 am

    Daniel HG: You’re not aware what Bush is actually doing. You are taking your cues from initially the NYTimes, who wrongfully accuse Bush of spying on innocent citizens. That is not the case and there’s no argument here. If people want to talk to international contacts who are connected to terrorist organizations, consider yourself warned.

    Daveawayfromhome: Postmodern liberalism: is a term that is being batted about more and more these days that describes an ideology specific to our times. The postmodern era began in the 1960’s with Deconstructionism of Jacque Derrida. It’s too involved for this space, but bottom line, he posited that language as symbols do not and cannot transmit objective meaning. Consequently, a radical subjectivism and ecclecticism arose within everything, art, history, architecture, religion and philosophy. The Classical Liberalism, which formed the ideas in our Constitution, became radicalized philosophically, with a relativism and hedonism that spurns the rules and methodologies even of modern times. This radical subjectivism is what I’m referring to in my previous comments. Jacque Derrida opened a Pandora’s Box in our culture that let out any and every kind of evil.

    As to your equating conservatives with Christians: don’t do that. Christians may be social conservatives, but not all social conservatives are Christian. And certainly, all who profess themselves to be Christian doesn’t make themselves Christian. A Christian is one who is like Christ, and is NOT subject to interpretation. It is a tall order to be Christian and not to be a casual thing. May God have mercy on us all.

    PC: Of course the Democratic party is liberal. I would even say with it’s stance on big government that it is entering marxist-socialism. Republicans are really classic liberals.

    I have an idea. Go to Wikipedia and look up Classic Liberalism, and you’ll find that what is called conservatism in this country is really classical liberalism, with the emphasis on private property, limited government to allow self-autonomy with minimal government intrusion, and free markets. Conservatives might be shocked, but it’s true. What is liberalism in these post modern times is really an aberration of classic liberalism that is really a radical subjectivism and moral relativism, and economically rejects free markets, wants to abolisj national boundaries with a preference to globalism. Nationalism and ethnocentrism gives way to multiculturalism and diversity. Oh yes, democrats are very liberal.

    Now, if you think liberal is bad, and you don’t want me to label liberals as such, what would you prefer? Are you a moral relativist as opposed to a moral absolutist? Do you believe that truth is objective or subjective? Does reality exist outside of your perceptions or do your perceptions create reality? How you answer these questions will determine if you are a liberal or not.

    I mean no offense to call you liberal, I just think postmodern liberalism as sited above is philosophical gobbledeegook and a danger to our entire human civilization.

  17. 17 United We Lay
    December 24, 2005 at 12:57 pm

    Daniel takes his cues from a lot of things and I thought we were trying not to assume things about people. It’s true, our conversations here could be used under the law, but only the ones directly referring to someone from overseas. We should all be warned.

    You mentioned to Dave that he should refrain from labling Christians as conservatives, but it seems to me you’ve fallen into the trap of labling anyone not republican as a liberal. The Democratic party is centrist. They are more conservative than you think, and their ideas do not line up with those of real “liberals”. And something else disturbed me. You asked what the Democratic party would have done. Why not ask about the Jeffersonian party, the Green party, or the Independant party would have done?

    I’m not offended, I’m just trying to get away from Labling PEOPLE as opposed to ideas.

  18. 18 United We Lay
    December 24, 2005 at 1:01 pm

    “Are you a moral relativist as opposed to a moral absolutist? Do you believe that truth is objective or subjective? Does reality exist outside of your perceptions or do your perceptions create reality?”

    Morals cannot be absolute. This takes a lot of explinations, and I’ll get into that at another time, but nothing is black and white. Truth is objective. What people lable as truth is subjective and isn’t always actual truth. Of course reality exists outside of my percerption. Isn’t it a little arrogant to believe that you create reality? Your perceptions color your reality, but reality cannot be changed.

  19. 19 peter the patriot warrior
    December 24, 2005 at 3:34 pm


    it truly is a pleasure to read your words. unlike some people who base their opinions on explosive feelings rather than educated and rational facts and history, i find that, indeed, you add an air of enlightment and in no way should anyone feel demeaned by your insights.

    even if there is disagreement, readers should embrace the education you bring to this blog.

    i for one thank you and…

    … wish you a very merry christmas!

  20. 20 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    December 24, 2005 at 6:51 pm

    UL: is humourless and hiding behind puesdo science. I don’t read the NY times, your judgement exposes your cruel ignorance. Stop defending a monkey.


  21. 21 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    December 24, 2005 at 6:53 pm

    It all makes sense, UL links to Ann Coulter.

    HA HA HA!

  22. 22 peter the patriot warrior
    December 24, 2005 at 7:35 pm


    can’t you lay off the derogatory comments for a couple of days?

    merry christmas

  23. 23 Underground Logician
    December 24, 2005 at 7:59 pm


    Uh-oh! Now you dunnit! You went on my blogsite! It’s just a matter time, Daniel, and you’ll be thinking on your own!

    Merry Christmas, and may reason enlighten you in upcoming year!

  24. 24 daveawayfromhome
    December 24, 2005 at 9:51 pm

    I’m not going to argue with the idea that there is no absolute truth. My objection to the idea of absolute truth has more to do with who identifies it. This seems to me to be the other side of Jacque Derrida, not that there is no absolute truth, but that we have no way of knowing what it is, and the best we can do is reach a consensus, then try to figure out a level of tolerance for any deviance from that consensus.
    As usual though, some people just took the easy way out, and declared there to be no truth. Those people are either vocal enough, or a large enough group to make liberals look bad, but I dont think you’ll find that most liberals think there is no truth, just that they dont know what it is (but that it probably isnt what the Fundies say it is).

    The idea that being like Christ is not up to interpretation is ridiculous. WHAT was Christ like? Do I accept your interpretation, or that of Pat Robertson, or that of the pastor at my wife’s Unitarian church?

  25. 25 exMI
    December 24, 2005 at 10:46 pm

    Allow me to clarify in that when I say I agree with PC it is as to the inpropriety of the domestic survelience. I do not believe that Bush is a terrorist.
    As to the legal loopholes, I am not sure exactly what they work out to, I was commneting after hearing a story on NPR where they were discussing it with various lawyers etc.

    Merry Christmas to all who believe in it and to those that don’t, Have a great weekend!

  26. 26 Saur♥Kraut
    December 25, 2005 at 3:12 pm

    As to your equating conservatives with Christians: don’t do that. Christians may be social conservatives, but not all social conservatives are Christian. And certainly, all who profess themselves to be Christian doesn’t make themselves Christian.

    Excellent point, UL.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

  27. 27 Underground Logician
    December 25, 2005 at 10:50 pm


    As to who should you turn to know WHAT Jesus was like: the teachings of The Catholic Church would be a great place to start!

    As to the other side of J. Derrida, if there is no way of knowing what is absolutely true, isn’t that making a truth statement concerning the epistemic reality of knowing truth? The statement refutes itself.

    For there to be any discussion about whether something is true or not, three primary truths must be accepted:

    1. The first fact that “I exist.”
    2. The first principle of non-contradiction: something cannot both be and not-be at the same time in the same respect. For instance, “Sam is a man and not a man” is a contradictory statement and cannot be true.
    3. The first condition: Our minds have the capacity to know the truth.

    There is no way to demonstrate the above statements to be true or not. They are to be accepted by all if there is to be any discussion about knowledge and truth.

    What becomes nonsensical is when people deny the above truths yet assume them to be true in their arguments. If there is to be any dialogue, we must begin here.

  28. 28 Underground Logician
    December 25, 2005 at 11:06 pm


    Thank you for the kind compliment. I’m glad you see that just because I disagree with someone doesn’t mean I’m being disrespectful. I’m glad you got that.

    If someone finds something wrong in what I say, I’m the better for it! My being wrong doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.

    Merry Christmas to you! I wanted to see if you have a blogsite, but I can’t find you. Do you have one?

  29. 29 Underground Logician
    December 25, 2005 at 11:16 pm


    You said:

    “Morals cannot be absolute. This takes a lot of explinations, and I’ll get into that at another time, but nothing is black and white. Truth is objective. What people lable as truth is subjective and isn’t always actual truth. Of course reality exists outside of my percerption. Isn’t it a little arrogant to believe that you create reality? Your perceptions color your reality, but reality cannot be changed.”

    I’m not sure I understand you. At first you sound like a relativist and say nothing is black and white, then you say truth is objective. So which is it?

    As to perceptions, I agree with you that our perceptions can alter how we see reality. As to our knowledge creating reality, I don’t believe this. There are those who believe this to be true. They hold that there is no objective reality outside our perceptions. Our perceptions are the only things that are real. There are too many things wrong with this view for me to cover here.

    So, could you clarify what you mean? Thanks.

  30. 30 Davo
    December 25, 2005 at 11:41 pm

    “They chose not to on occasion and that is where the shit hits the fan. If we have the money and the power and still can’t be rightous, what hope does the rest of the world have?”


  31. 31 daveawayfromhome
    December 26, 2005 at 1:27 am

    @UL: I’m not trying to say that something is true and not-true at the same time. I’m trying to say that I dont know what the truth is, and while I have a pretty good idea, I’m reluctant to shove my Brand of Truth down the throats of others.
    “Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose”. Substitute truth for fist and you’ve got a better idea of where I’m coming from.
    I’ll admit at this point, though, that even if you agree with me about defining truth, discussion then begins on where exactly this metaphorical “tip of my nose” is.

    @Davo: “If we have the money and the power and still can’t be rightous, what hope does the rest of the world have?”

    Is this an endorsement of Might-Makes-Right? Because that’s what it sounds like.

  32. 32 Underground Logician
    December 26, 2005 at 2:10 am


    Knowing the truth doesn’t imply shoving it into others’ mouths. One can know it and talk to others about it in reasonable fashion.

    Also, though you are trying to remain subjectivistic with your claims about truth, your definition is objective for the both of us. How is it that you know my truth ends where your nose begin? Do you know something objectively about my truth that you’re not telling me about? And, by your definition, I can reject your definition of my truth, right? You don’t want to shove your version of my truth down my throat, do you?

    Finally, if you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine. There are others who will talk with me.

  33. 33 United We Lay
    December 26, 2005 at 2:49 am

    Don’t think just because we almost always agree that I’m going to let you get away with talking to people that way, especially when I just chastised others. Sarcasm and cynicism are never a problem, but let’s try not to make our discussions personal. Turn the other cheek, if you will. I’m trying to promote a better atmosphere, and I’d appriciate your help!

  34. 34 United We Lay
    December 26, 2005 at 2:53 am

    I can handle classroom management all by myself, thanks.

    Take this as a final warning that I will be deleting comments containing name-calling or personal attacks, effective immediately. I cannot be help responsible for whatever brilliant ideas are in those comments. I have been clear about how I want people treated here. You can tell someone they’re wrong without calling them a poopyhead.

  35. 35 United We Lay
    December 26, 2005 at 3:12 am

    Why do you think the Catholic Church is better place than any other? They’ve had the mos time to twist and edit the original account. I think soemthing you believe to be objective can be entirely subjective in my eyes. Why? Perception. Our perception changes whether we see the reality as well as how we see it.

  36. 36 United We Lay
    December 26, 2005 at 3:15 am

    Davo was actually taking that from me. You need to read the rest of the comment to get it in context.

  37. 37 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    December 26, 2005 at 2:38 pm

    Sorry PC, I was drawn into discussion with a someone who links to Ann Coulter and that’s always bad.

  38. 38 United We Lay
    December 26, 2005 at 3:40 pm

    No problem. Let’s just try to work things out like adults. We all get angry soemtimes. I know you’ve all seen me get really annoyed, but many of us have been together a year now, and it’s time we start treating each other more like family anfd less like enemies.

    I’m not a fan of Ann Coulter. I feel her writing is a blight on my maiden name. When people ask if we’re related, I’m always incredible emphatic. Still, you link to me, which may make some people feel the same way. I really have to work on getting a column. Maybe we should pitch a show to CNN – Coulter vs. Coulter.

  39. 39 Underground Logician
    December 26, 2005 at 5:44 pm


    The Catholic Church is a great place to start for it holds the teachings of Christ since the ancient early Church. I also believe that Christ, being resurrected and all, fulfills his promise of leading his Church in the truth. Whether church leaders individually follow it is another matter and does not fall into Christ’s guarantee. If you have evidence that the church altered the gospel story, share it. Let it come under scrutiny.

    That said, you take a rather cynical position of the Church having the money and time to alter and twist the original account. If you have the original account, I’d like to see it to know how you can compare it with Catholicism.

    As to your statements of perception, I too know that someone may consider something to be objective while to others it is subjective. But to do that, one must see objectively in order to make an objective statement about the other’s subjective perception.

    The point I am trying to make with Daveaway, and now with you, is that a relativism that holds to reality as subjectivistic is nonsensical, it requires an objectivistic view of reality in order to make the subjectivistic definition work. It refutes itself. The first principle of non-contradiction applies here.

  40. 40 peter the patriot warrior
    December 26, 2005 at 10:27 pm


    thank you for your interest. yes, i have a blog over at:


    unfortunately i’ve been engaged in a silly war with cranky yankee who, as i suspected, is full more of angry anti-sentiment hatred and hot wind which is evident of his own self-hatred than anything even remotely resembling truth!

    hope to see you over there!

  41. 41 daveawayfromhome
    December 27, 2005 at 12:51 am

    This thread is probably played out, but I have a pathalogical need to answer anyway…

    1. The first fact that “I exist.” I have never ben in doubt of this.

    2. The first principle of non-contradiction: something cannot both be and not-be at the same time in the same respect. For instance, “Sam is a man and not a man” is a contradictory statement and cannot be true.

    Okay, but what I’m saying is “Sam is a man, but no matter how long I study Sam, I may never get to know Sam completely, he will throw me for a loop when I least expect it. And if by chance I do get to understand Sam so completely that I know every move he will make, then how complex is Sam, really, and isnt Reality far more complex?

    3. The first condition: Our minds have the capacity to know the truth. I will agree that I can know some of the truth, but not all.

  42. 42 Underground Logician
    December 27, 2005 at 5:52 am

    Well, good, you hold to the 3 primary truths:

    The fact that I exist.

    The principle of non-contradiction.

    The condition that we can have knowledge of the truth.

    As to you complex statements of knowing Sam or knowing ALL the truth, no biggie. You have the makings of a philosopical realist. Aren’t you glad?

  43. 43 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    December 27, 2005 at 1:13 pm

    Can someone do something about the puesdo-Socrates and his world of Catholic logic please?

    Things move on…

  44. 44 United We Lay
    December 27, 2005 at 3:07 pm

    Ever heard of Pope Joan? I take a cynical position of all churches, but I know about the Catholics because I was raised one. I’m still learning all I can about its origins, and… I think this may surprise you and not surprise you at the same time, I’ve decided to get my literature masters in religious literature. My doctorial thesis (in several years) will surely be something we argue about.

    As for the logic point, I’m starting to understand a little more.

    It may be a pain to follow sometimes, but I think a lot of us are learning something from the exercises in logic, so I’ll keep them around.

  45. 45 Underground Logician
    December 28, 2005 at 2:02 am

    Yes, I’ve heard of Pope Joan. A wonderful work of fiction. I hope you don’t put stock in it as real history.


    Funny, you are reacting pretty much like those in Socrates’ day. The people didn’t know what to do with him, since his questioning drove people into a rage at times.

    I’m not going away anytime soon unless the Lord takes me, or someone forces me to drink hemlock. Oh, and for the record, there is no such thing as Catholic logic. Logic is just logic, and it never goes away. I would venture that those who hate logic end up using it in some form or another anyway. Logic is the common master; it never goes away.

  46. 46 United We Lay
    December 29, 2005 at 4:28 pm

    I wasn’t talking about the book. The Catholic chuch has been changing the rules since the game began. When you give any group of people the equivilant of all of the power int he world, they WILL be corrupted. There are some things that can be prove, and others that can’t, but I think it’s pretty evident that the history we have is not the one that directly correlates with what actually happened.

  47. 47 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    December 29, 2005 at 5:14 pm

    I can’t believe UL just compared himself to Socrates.


    You are not Socrates and as I said, things move on. It’s not the questioning I have the problem with but the pompous and condescending tone.

  48. 48 Underground Logician
    December 30, 2005 at 8:29 am


    You’ve only restated the opinion that you said before.


    Socrates questioned those who thought they were wise to see if they were really wise using his “Socratic method.” I use a similar method. So if that makes me like Socrates, okay, but I’m no Socrates. He’s the master. The question I have for you is, why would you want to act like a Sophist, a “wise one?”

    As to a pompous tone, are you hearing voices?

  49. 49 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    December 30, 2005 at 2:50 pm

    Tell me where I said I was wise?

    It’s all in the tone UL and the digs.

    Why just come somewhere to try and belittle everyone else?

  50. 50 Underground Logician
    December 30, 2005 at 3:03 pm

    I didn’t mention you said you were wise. You act as you as if you are wise. I ask questions that challenge the authenticity of the statements made on this blog, and you take it personally. You twist the discussion to making me the one who belittles others. Nice try, but it is you that uses the ad hominem fallacy. You are doing precisely what you condemn in me. This is how the Sophists behaved, as those who are not to be challenged. So my question to you again is, what is the advantage of you acting like a Sophist?

  51. 51 Anonymous
    December 30, 2005 at 4:00 pm


    Daniel is right…you DO sometimes come off as a pedant, rather than an active listener and participant. Doesn’t bother me, but clearly it bothers some others, so perhaps you and I both have some “toning down” to do here.

    Oh, and remember that the gerund takes a possessive (i.e. “…what is the advantage of YOUR acting like a Sophist?”)

    I am sure that PC will rightfully slap my hand for my ironic/sarcastic comment, but it is all in fun. Besides, as a teacher, I am sure that PC appreciates the use of correct grammar when one is making a post.

    Happy New Year to the Christian and secular folk out there!


    P.S. Daniel, I like the new photo

  52. 52 Underground Logician
    December 30, 2005 at 5:09 pm


    Okay, so others take me to be ostentacious. I’ll be careful to watch for this attitude in me. I can see how this would grate on people.

    Yet, I want others to consider something as well. If I ask questions about a persons statements, or challenge them on the authenticity of the information they pass on to us, doesn’t mean I’m belittling them, or trying to “be Socrates.” If people want their declarative statements to be unchallenged, and dislike my questioning, that’s their problem. If they have no desire to discuss it, they need to just say so. I will cease any more questioning.

    If they do want discussion or counter with ad hominem, that’s another thing. If they want to interpret my comments negatively, that is their choice. However, the result is that they dig themselves into a hole.

    I will take your corrective to heart, Salamis. Thank you.

  53. 53 Anonymous
    December 30, 2005 at 6:21 pm


    As always, a mature and rational response. I appreciate that.

    PC has pointed this out, and you and I recognize it from textual analysis, but text can lose a lot of its meaning without voice. Text and language are very different and sometimes, people are offended by one or both.

    I think that blogs such as this one are a very good study of people and language. How people react to what somebody across the world or across the desk writes to them is interesting.

    Many of us come in with our own insecurties, arrogance, expectations, etc., and we are frustrated when we find those challenged or pointed out.

    If you are insecure about your feet, and somebody says that you have nice shoes, you might take it wrong. A facile attempt at a witty comparison, I know, but I think you get the point.

    I think that I can safely say that a number of people are simply not interested in the forensic logic you discuss and are eager to deal with topics directly. This is a very personal and political blog and the focus is very current. Many contributors simply would like to offer their opinion, discuss the opinion of others, or counter an opinion, and the meta-narrative is of little interest to them. That is understandable.

    What is more important, I think, is that some do not understand your discussions and, rather than see them as another way of exploring arguments and meaning, see them as oblique attacks on their postings.

    Look again at your first post on this string. You are very much on topic, and your questioning of sources is right on target. You remain in the realm of “physical”, so to speak. You deal with text and assertion, rather than meaning, and that makes your argument more tangible. When discussing the search for “truth” you keep the lowercase letters and then move on to discuss the search for primary sources.

    I am certain that nobody here begrudges your arguments and discussions, I simply think that perhaps this blog and yours are directed at slight different aims. Or, perhaps, the same aim but different means.

    The bottom line is simply that you should continue writing as you write. Many here don’t find it offensive and we enjoy the quick give-and-take. Looking at your text, however, one can see where some miscommunication might arise.

    For a perfect example of this, look at how your statement about “post-modern liberalism” was interpreted. Most did not see it as a description of a school of though; rather, many took it as a bash of liberals. I think that is where you need to be careful. While you have a depth and breadth of knowledge in a certain area, you have to realize that not everybody will have that same background.

    Again, your points are always well made and I find it a challenge to dance with you on the blogging stage. Keep up the good work, just remember your audience.

    And now, I am off to finish my work, open up a bottle of delicious Laphroiag, and toast the completion of my 28th calendar year on this planet. Good luck to all!

  54. 54 United We Lay
    December 31, 2005 at 4:06 pm

    Alright boys, this is totally the control-freak in me, but I want it to be clear that the only person who will correct ANYONE on this blog is ME. I get to decide what type of behavior I find acceptable, not you, Salamis. Like I said before, I appriciate the help, but I can handle it. And ALWAYS SIGN YOUR WORK!!! If I have to, I will disable anonymous comments again. If you’re going to say something, be man (or woman) enough to own up to it. I know that sounds silly as we can’t know that we all are who we say we are, but it’s the principal of the thing. Our ability to become anonymous is a rather large problem in our society because no one is required to own up to what they have done, said, etc…

  55. 55 Anonymous
    December 31, 2005 at 6:48 pm

    Yeah, I keep forgetting. Sorry.

    Man, you really are a control freak. Correcting someone’s poor grammar was merely a tongue-in-cheek attempt at humor.

    You really don’t get the idea of free expression do you?

    Good luck with the blog.


  56. 56 United We Lay
    January 1, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    I want everyone to have a name so that I can refer to them individually and go back and read past comments they’ve made to explain something if necessary. I try to taylor comments and explinations to the personality of ther person I;m speaking to. It also helps me make sure I’m not directly offending anyone. There is a reason for my freakiness. The comment you made to UL, though well written, stepped over my rather invisible line of authority. When I have someone else fighting my battles for me it undermines my own comments and posts. I was annoyed because I had already asked you to stop correcting people on my blog.

    Yopu said good luck. Does that mean you’ll no longer be joining us? That’s a good bottle of wine. I hope you didn’t have to drink it all by yourself.

  57. 57 Anonymous
    January 2, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Thanks, PC.

    No, no…its actually a decilicous bottle of Scotch, and I could never have more than two glasses…it’s too tasty.

    I was not savoring it alone…as the Germans say, “nur ein Schwein trinkt allein”…

    I think I am done blogging…I realize I am unwilling to hand out the information required over the internet, and my time would probably be better spent working, picking up a good book, or discussing with friends, rather than the blog. As I said, good luck–this was a fun experiment for me!

  58. 58 Cranky Yankee
    January 2, 2006 at 1:02 pm

    UL, I know this is an old thread, but if you go back and read the EO’s of both Carter and Clinton they are both instructions to the Justice Department to use the FISA court procedures. FISA itself requires such an order before it can be used in order to provide accountability and prior concurrence with the act.

    (from your link)
    Section 1. Pursuant to section 302(a)(1) of the Act, the
    Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a
    court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of
    up to one year, if the Attorney General makes the certifications
    required by that section.

    Sec. 2. Pursuant to section 302(b) of the Act, the Attorney
    General is authorized to approve applications to the Foreign
    Intelligence Surveillance Court under section 303 of the Act to obtain
    orders for physical searches for the purpose of collecting foreign
    intelligence information.

    This is the exact part that shrubco neglected to follow and what is at the crux of the controversy. They, at any time during their illegal snooping, could have made them legal by applying to the FISA court retroactively to obtain the required judicial approval. There has never been a case of the Court rejecting an after the fact warrant.

    As far as the target of the wiretapping being foreign, that is a lark. If a phone call comes into or leaves from the U.S. and is to or from a private individual it is not permissible to tap it without a warrant or following the certification procedures outlines in the FISA.

    Citing Byron York does not providing evidence for your case it is nothing more than an attempt to garner support from a like minded apologist. One might as well quote an Ann Coulter screed. It would be more intellectually honest, with all due respect…

  59. 59 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    January 2, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    There UL goes again, comparing himself to Socrates again…

  60. 60 United We Lay
    January 2, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    Should have read, “That’s a good bottle of wine?” Sorry about the period. Good luck to you as well.

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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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