November 11, 2007 archive

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Intel official: Expect less privacy

By PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer

1 hour, 40 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – As Congress debates new rules for government eavesdropping, a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people’s private communications and financial information.

Kerr’s comments come as Congress is taking a second look at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.



We have all heard the arguments on impeachment, pro and con.  We have all heard about whether or not we “have the votes.”  Whether or not this will ruin our chances in 2008 for a Democratic victory.  We have all discussed every possible permutation, and we have no consensus.  Ok.  I accept that.  My decision is to support anyone who is for impeachment, and that includes Kucinich, who I think is doing a great job getting this issue in the spotlight.

This diary isn’t just about impeachment.  It’s also about what can happen if we don’t impeach this crew, and asks the question of what we will do if any of these things come to pass.  As much as I’m pro-impeachment, if it doesn’t happen I’m not going to lay down and die — I want to know the consequences and take action.

One of the consequences has to do with the 2008 Presidential election.

None of this may come to pass, and I hope that is the case.  I am claiming no precognitive abilities here.

But I do think Naomi Wolf has some interesting things to say as far as these consequences, in her post over at Firedoglake, A “Presidential Coup,” The Continuity of Government, And Blackwater Watching Midtown Manhattan

I have argued that in the closing stages of a `fascist shift’, events cascade. I am hearing about them, even across the globe. Here in Australia I hear from the nation’s best-know feminist activist, and former adviser to Paul Keating, Anne Summers, who was also at the time this took place Chair of the Board of Greenpeace International. Summers was detained by armed agents for FIVE HOURS each way in LAX on her way to and from the annual meeting of the board of Greenpeace International in Mexico, and her green card was taken away from her. `I want to call a lawyer’, she told TSA agents. `Ma’am, you do not have a right to call an attorney,’ they replied. `You have not entered the United States.’

Increasingly, reputable figures are starting to talk about `a coup.’ Jim Hightower notes in an important essay, “Is a Presidential Coup Under Way?,” that a coup is defined in the dictionary as a sudden forced change in the form of government. (He also spells out the basis for a rigorously modeled impeachment and criminal prosecution.) Daniel Ellsberg’s much-emailed speech on recent events notes that, in his view, a `coup’ has already taken place. Ron Rosenbaum speculates in an essay on Slate about the reasons the Bush administration is withholding even from members of Congress its plans for Continuity of Government in an emergency – noting that those worrying about a coup are no longer so marginal. Frank Rich notes the parallels between ourselves and the Good Germans. And Congress belatedly realizes as if waking from a drugged sleep that it might not be okay for the Attorney General to say the President need not obey the law. Congress may realize why Mukasey CAN’T say that `waterboarding is torture’ – the minute he does so he has laid the grounds for Bush, Cheney and any number of CIA and Blackwater interrogators to be tried and convicted for war crimes. They are so keenly aware that what they have been doing is criminal that laws such as the Military Commissions Act of 2006 have been drafted specifically to protect them and the torturers and murderers they have directed from criminal prosecution. That is why insisting that Mukasey say that waterboarding is torture is, in spite of the alarming apparent defection of Feinstein and Schumer, an important tactic and even the perfect opening for the impeachment bid that Kucinich is bringing on November 6th to be followed by Congressional investigations into possible criminality.

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Harry Chapin


Encrusted User Status

As you can see from the post on new Soapblox features on the Recommened List, we now have a Hidden Comments page and soon frequent users will have the ability to Hide Comments.

Even though we really don’t need it!

After some fireworks at the very beginning of the launch, Docudharma has been amazingly disruption free. Heck perhaps even TOO much, since people do seem to like the firefights and flamewars that go along with blogging. We have very little of that here, if any! Iow….you people are all WAY too nice to be bloggers!

I have actually considered launching  a series of ad hominem attacks on CAPS LOCK ON, 73rd Virgin, and a certain luminescent gherkin just to spice things up!

“To speak about God, and remain silent on Vietnam, is blasphemous.”

These are the words of the great rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

And it is these words, and this man, that have inspired rabbi Dennis Shulman (D) to challenge conservative extremist Scott Garrett (R) in NJ-5 this 2008.

Like his spiritual forefather, Shulman has concluded that he can no longer speak about God and remain silent on Iraq, as well as many of the other pressing and important issues of our times.

To learn more about Dr. Shulman, who is also a practicing psychologist, check out this recent New York Sun profile: Shulman Aims To Be First Blind Rabbi in Congress

TheManWithNoPoint is Dead…Long Live TheManWithAPoint…

Hello World, TheManWithAPoint here, formerly known as  TheManWithNoPoint.

I’ve changed a few things in the few days of my absence from the progressive blogs, and I’ll just explain a few things here, I’m still not mentally ready to return, but why not explain a few things before I do?

1. The Great Canadian Take-Down – As many of you know, the progressive blogosphere got together last week and put the beat-down on The Toronto Sun and its putrid resident Ann Coulterite Rachel Marsden…well, they canned her within a couple of days, and she gave TheManWithNoPoint all the credit for it…I’ll take it, Rachel, and thank you very much for making me bigger than I ever could have dreamt of being (end snark)


White Trash: A Family Story

My mother’s family were Okies although they all hate that name.  “We’re Not Okies, we’re from Kansas!” (Yeah–25 miles from the border).  My grandfather was a sharecropper, they didn’t have much, but they liked what they had.  Then the Dust Bowl hit southern Kansas.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My grandfather took the trunk lid off of his 1932 Plymouth and built a doghouse sticking out the back.   He piled his wife and five daughters into the car.  With their belongings–what little they could could take with them–strapped to the top of the car and a trailer filled with household goods, with the bedding on top, they set off West, looking for work along the way.


Blog Voices This Week 11/11/07

I don’t think that I’ll usually have a theme for this weekly essay. But I recently saw a video in my travels around the net that inspired one for this edition. The video was made by Sudy at A Womyn’s Ecdysis:

There is a movement underway on these blogs. And today, I’d like to give you just a small taste of some of its power.

Sending Ben Franklin to Guantanamo

The government has decided to change the definition of privacy.

The American people should only expect government and business to “safeguard” their communications, while having complete access to them.

This means that pesky Constitution and Bill of Rights can finally be burned and the Archives converted into something useful, like an OpCenter for the Global War on Individual Rights.

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective


The Times They are a A-changing

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective


The Times They are a A-changing

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