over 'warrantless' monitoring of gamma rays coming from possible nuclear kamikazes.
The 'privacy' advocates have bitten their own tail on this one.
If you can't detect bad emanations from a piece of property, then ALL pollution laws, noise ordinances, and anti-smoking laws are down the drain. And all FCC regulations against pirate broadcasters. And the rules against using lights and sirens to impersonate police.
All of these laws deal with detecting some form of energy that enters the public sphere from a private origin.
As I mentioned before, there's nothing in the Constitution about eavesdropping or listening, and nothing about privacy. Granted, they didn't have telephones, radios or Geiger counters back then, but they did have ears, noses and eyes, and expected police to use those senses when necessary.
So, unless the 'privacy' freaks can find some 'emanation' that privileges certain segments of the electromagnetic spectrum over others, this whole idea is literally absurd.
Of course, this absurdity will never be exposed or discussed. The media will continue to privilege the emanations of the enemy, which is the sole purpose of the 'privacy' advocates. Just another name for traitors.
... when they pry my hot, crispy fingers ...
Listening to Rush grilling Larry Craig this morning. Craig shoveled out such a pile of Useful Idiocy that Rush couldn't handle all of it in the short time available.
Refreshing to hear one of those Beltway types getting heat from the Right; it's obvious that they rarely hear questions from the pro-American side. Everything they get from the 'press' is explicitly and literally pro-enemy: "Why haven't you surrendered yet? Give us a date for your surrender." So their habits of thought are naturally pulled in that direction, no matter how firm their original intentions.
Polistra is especially irritated by Craig's notion that if we haven't yet used a provision in the Patriot Act, we should get rid of it. Fantastically silly and dangerous. Craig is a big gun in NRA circles, yet he doesn't seem to understand the basic point of weapons.
Whether you're talking about guns, screwdrivers, fire extinguishers, or wiretap systems, the purpose of owning a tool is to have it AVAILABLE WHEN YOU NEED IT. If you never use it, that's fine; as long as you have it and know how to use it, the tool can save your, um, bacon.
And when you're talking about fighting a human enemy, availability and readiness can make all
the difference. The bacon won't avoid burning because I own a fire extinguisher, but an arsonist who knows that I have several extinguishers and a sprinkler system will find a building where he can achieve a more dramatic result.
An available weapon can even be better than a known and used weapon. Before Katrina, a bio-chem terrorist might have been impressed by FEMA. After Katrina, FEMA was exposed as rusty and useless. Or consider Saddam's mighty biological and nuclear arsenal. It caused us to fight far more carefully and slowly than we might have otherwise, and then it turned out to be a well-written myth.
All the more reason to keep a maximal variety of unknown but potentially useful weapons or tools, and to convince the enemy that we are willing to use any and all of these tools.
You can be sure that Zarqawi's American representatives have taken note of Useful Idiot Craig's finicky refusal to go along with our war preparations. Because UI Craig wears the 'Republican' label, his actions will serve as a nice solid wedge to weaken the mental defenses of otherwise loyal Americans.
Oh, I see.
After a couple days of yammering about NSA surveillance, the internal enemies have dropped the SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOCKED facade. Everyone who keeps up with politics and technology has known for many years that NSA listens to anything it finds interesting, so nobody in DC is truly
shocked by this. The enemy's true complaint now becomes clear. Aside from the overarching fact that they want the terrorists to win, they specifically hate to see authority in the hands of elected officials.
The key point for the enemy is that a JUDGE ought to be controlling everything. No mystery: Judges are trained in Leninist law schools and selected by Leninist Senators with no objections from chickenshit cowardass 'Republican' 'politicians'. Judges thus form the most reliable and powerful division in the anti-civilization army.
When authority leaves the hands of a judge, it falls into the hands of elected officials. And a few
elected officials (including Bush, for all his faults) are loyal Americans who want to see civilization win this war.
I notice that a FISA black-robed saboteur, Comrade Robertson, has quit in protest. Excellent development. The only good judge is a retired judge.
Jed Babbin in today's American Spectator online
lists the regulation under which NSA's eavesdropping is legal. The reg, written July 27, 1993 (and we know that Bush was not President then!) makes it wonderfully clear that obtaining a warrant from a FISA judge is NOT, REPEAT NOT, REPEAT NOT, the only way such eavesdropping may legally happen.Under Section 4 of USSID 18, communications which are known to be to or from U.S. persons can't be intentionally intercepted without: (a) the approval of the FISA court is obtained; OR (b) the approval of the Attorney General of the United States with respect to "communications to or from U.S. PERSONS outside the United States...international communications" and other categories of communications including for the purpose of collecting "significant foreign intelligence information."
USSID 18 goes on to allow NSA to gather intelligence about a U.S. person outside the United States even without Attorney General sanction in emergencies "when securing the approval of the Attorney General is not practical because...the time required to obtain such approval would result in the loss of significant foreign intelligence and would cause substantial harm to national security."
But if the intelligence involves a 'non-US-person', that is, a suspect who has no kind of resident or citizen status, then the gate is open. No approval needed.
So why in the holy hell didn't Bush just SAY THIS???????? After hearing this law, any sane listener could understand that the objections from internal enemies are false and pointless. Bush DIDN'T say this, but instead mumbled some meaningless junk about checking with legal authorities. So the enemy statements are allowed to take on the flavor of truth, which gives added momentum to enemy sympathizers. And without the text, loyal Americans are forced to argue that legality doesn't matter when millions of lives at stake. This argument is absolutely moral, valid, and true, but we wouldn't even have to make
the argument if Bush had simply quoted the law.
Expel the Senate!
Bush is finally getting tough on internal enemies, though he's still not tough enough. Talking about how the 'Senator from Las Vegas' should go home and explain his actions to his constituents is moderately tough talk, but still indirect.
I'd rather see him walk into the Senate, take the podium, and put the traitors on show. "Harry Reid, you knew about this eavesdropping and didn't object to it when you were briefed. We have video. If you know something new that causes you to be SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOCKED by it now, tell us about it or shut up."
I've hit this before, and I'll hit it again. The Constitution not only allows but REQUIRES traitors to be expelled.No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress ... who having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress ... to support the Constitution, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.
This is section 3 of the 14th amendment, obviously designed to remove Confederate sympathizers. But it hasn't been repealed, and the 'aid or comfort' provision is less strict than the definition of treason. Under this definition, nearly all the Dems plus several Repubs in the Senate, and about half of the Dems in the House, should be expelled.
Bush's speech tonight
Told us what he's been doing and why; told us what he will be doing and why; showed forward movement; and most interestingly, told us what he expects of us.
When you compare Bush's stated expectation to what Americans were expected to do in World War 2, I guess you can understand why so many Americans are discontented nowadays, having to carry this Atlas-style burden on our shoulders.
Let's compare FDR's expectations of Americans with Bush's expectations:
Well, after seeing this long list of sacrifices, you can certainly understand why so many Americans want to pull out of this awful war and let the enemy win. All this infernal patience
is just too much for them.
An American Prayer
An American Prayer, originally read by Don Ameche on Edgar Bergen's radio show, 12/24/1944. It may sound a tad corny today, but perhaps we can use a little more corn. The basic point is even more relevant today than in 1944, because we are now fighting an explicit battle between religions.O father who art in heaven, thou who hast given us birth,
Send us thy flaming sword, o Lord, to fight thy battles on earth.
As we walk through the perils of darkness lend us thy holy light
That shines in thy heavenly mansions to guide our path in the night.
And lend thy shield and thy armor to the gallant boys over there;
They are thy children, father, and this is thy country's prayer:
That soon may the forces of evil fall at last on their knees,
With the flags of thy Kingdom of Heaven flying high in the breeze.
Then sons will return to their mothers, and men to their wives,
And then this Earth will be like Heaven, peaceful and quiet.
Crappy audio here.
1. First, the notion that we are entitled to freedom from all eavesdropping is simply nonsense. Harry Blackmun's feelings
did not create a constitutional 'right to privacy', no matter how loudly his fellow black-robed saboteurs may insist on it. They didn't really mean to make an overall right anyway; they were just working to maximize the profits of Big Abortion.
The 4th Amendment, though it unfortunately contains that vague word 'reasonable', is talking specifically about searches. In modern terms, it does put limits on searching the contents of your hard disk, but it was never meant to apply to communications made through public channels. If you're using a government-owned channel like the post office, or a government-allocated channel like the radio spectrum ... or if you're talking in a place where anyone could walk in, like a church or mosque ... you have no more expectation of 'privacy' than you would when talking on a sidewalk. Court decisions are quite firm and consistent on this point.
2. Second, the government has always spied internally
on suspicious people, whether a law prohibited such activity or not. Nixon happened to get caught because he was an anti-Communist, and thus working against most of the government and media. But he was simply copying the tactics of FDR, JFK and LBJ. Clinton carried on the same tactics, but of course he's a Dem, so nobody needed to investigate or punish him.
Personal example from the Reagan years: In 1982 I was active in the Nuclear Freeze movement, participating in two different groups based in Kansas City and Lawrence. Each group had a spy, who made no particular effort at concealment. In Lawrence, a member named Mark described himself as a 'former CIA agent', and seemed to have no other job. In KC, where the group included several teachers at the DeVry school, a 30-year-old student named Cindy said she worked for the State Department, and claimed to be taking electronics courses to further her career. Fairly transparent, since she didn't live in KC to begin with, and one can assume the gov't has its own MacGyver School of Electronics for secret agents. When we joined a Nuke Freeze march in Washington, Cindy made a point of mentioning that she had 'happened' to be back in DC that day, and had 'happened' to see us marching.
Note that the post-Watergate reforms were fresh in 1982, so the law was quite clear at that time.
I can't speak for the other members, but I have mostly positive feelings about the monitoring. Chilling effect? Yes. It probably kept us from taking some drastic actions. But were there any consequences? No. None of us were arrested or hassled, and as far as I know, none of us had any career problems as a result. The monitoring forced me to realize that we were doing something genuinely wrong -- helping the Soviets, not just working for 'peace' -- and gave me a sort of kickstart on the way toward conservatism.
3. So the NYTimes revealing this particular episode of monitoring may well have a healthy chilling effect on the enemy, despite the Times's traitorous intentions.
Al-Qaeda's skill-set is more spycraft than military, thanks to intensive training by Pakistani and Iraqi intelligence, so we can assume they are already
taking all necessary precautions against wiretapping and eavesdropping, including encryption. The Times article doesn't tell them anything they don't already know; it just gives ammunition to internal enemies like McCain, Kennedy, Leahy and McDermott. (Sidenote: Ever wonder why so many internal traitors have Irish names? I truly don't know, but it's an interesting tendency!)
But independent or semi-pro sections of Allah's Army aren't so well-trained. They might now decide to change their methods, and might do it rather clumsily. The gov't can detect those changes by traffic analysis, which may provide useful info.
However, I'm making a dubious assumption here. It's true that no law will prevent a (properly) sneaky gov't agency from watching suspicious people. Like it or not, this task is sometimes necessary. But a law may prevent a gentlemanly
executive like Bush Junior from accomplishing his basic duty, which is to protect us from internal and external enemies. Since Bush Junior has declared himself to be a Conscientious Objector when it comes to using mean-spirited tactics against the enemy, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he lets the ACLU take over intelligence to satisfy the NYTimes.
12:30 PST: Bush has just now made a special speech in which he STRONGLY CRITICIZED the NYTimes (and whoever leaked to it) as damaging the war effort; and DECLARED that the internal spying WILL CONTINUE! I'm shocked in a positive way. He's finally, finally, finally starting to behave less like a Christian pacifist and more like a competent wartime President! Maybe we finally stand a real chance of winning this war. BRAVO.
Watched a Mitt Romney campaign speech on C-span last night. Overall, highly impressive; a good speaker, knows how to teach and sell, knows when to give new information. Especially impressive on health care and education, both totally broken. He seems to have listened to Newt on education. "We need to focus much more on math and science, especially on materials science".... Bingo! All my circuits lit up at that moment. Here's a man who actually understands reality!
Materials science is not a household word; it's not part of our mythology and folklore of science. On the rare occasions when we teach anything
of science, we teach Big Ideas and Big Inventions. Darwin and Edison. Materials science is certainly not taught in school, and you'll never hear a youngster say "I want to grow up to do materials science." But most of the technical development in the last century has not been from Big Ideas or Big Inventions. It has been in the realm of materials.
Consider the automobile. Gas engines, electric motors, gas-electric hybrids, front wheel drive, fuel injection, automatic transmissions. All invented and (at least nominally) commercialized by 1910.
Modern cars, light and efficient, result from long and patient development in metals, plastics, glass, and petroleum. New ways of forming, shaping and compositing those materials have made those early ideas practical.
Or the computer. Morse invented the keyboard, punched tape, and printer in the 1850's. Programming, in the sense of setting up a machine to process its inputs in a desired way, has been around since the pipe organ. Logical decisions and counting were well developed by 1890 in telegraph technology, such as annunciators and tabulators. Bring in the Fleming diode and the cathode ray tube, and all the basic inventions are present by 1910.
Modern computers, small and super-powerful, result from long and patient development in semiconductors, composite circuit boards, and magnetic and optical surface coatings. Materials again.
So I've concluded that my father-son analysis
was on the mark. Mitt's father, as president of American Motors from 1954-62, did three things: (1) Accurately understood the strong and weak points of his company. (2) Understood economic and consumer trends which blindsided other auto executives. (3) Used his understanding to bring Rambler from 12th place to 3rd in sales. Quite a trick in 6 years.
I can see similar traits in Mitt. (1) Understands America's strong and weak points accurately. (2) Tells us about those strong and weak points in a way that places the blame properly. (i.e., no new tone!) (3) Focuses on trends and offers solutions, aiming to use America's strengths where possible.
Obviously we know in hindsight that George Romney's prophecies and solutions were good in 1962; we can't determine yet whether Mitt's prophecies and solutions will be good in 2009. But I'm placing my bet right now.
The good old 'nothing to see' curtain has gone down mighty fast on this event. CNN covered it well at the start, but then ho-hummed it, after hearing a 'definitive' statement from the authorities that it was certainly an accident.
Really? They knew definitively that it was an accident 10 minutes
after the boom?
What makes me especially suspicious is that 20 tanks were burning immediately. I've lived near oil refineries in Oklahoma, and I've seen a couple of tank fires. Crude just doesn't burn violently, and it wasn't all that hard for firefighters to keep the flames contained to one tank. If all the tanks in Luton contained liquefied propane, I suppose they would be volatile enough for a chain reaction. Otherwise I'm not going to buy it.
Add in the date, and the suspicion rises significantly.
Not Santa's elves, but ELF and ALF members. Six eco-terrorists have been FINALLY arrested for a long series of sabotage incidents, starting in 1998. Millions of dollars in damage to forests, power lines and university facilities.
Is the FBI starting to get serious? Have they begun to realize that strange Christians are not the greatest threat to America? Possibly, but I'll reserve judgment. Seven years is not exactly "the swift sword of justice."
Eco-terrorists are part of Osama's army. Osama himself says so:[Americans] have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases, more than
any other nation in history. Despite this, you refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement
so that you can secure the profit of your greedy companies and industries.
.... From 'Letter to the Americans', Oct 6, 2002.
Full coverage of the arrests here.
Another local item: a nearly total smoking ban, passed by initiative in November, went into effect today in the state of Washington. Interestingly, police have made it publicly clear that they do not intend to put any effort into enforcing this law. I wonder if we're finally crossing into Prohibition territory, where nobody wants the law?
What makes the ban "nearly total" is that Indian casinos are exempted. All other restaurants, bars, public buildings are supposed to be smoke-free.
Hmmmmmmmmm.... What do you suppose the real purpose of this initiative might be? Can't begin to guess....
In general, the real
purpose of any strict law can be determined by reading the exemptions, and nowadays just about all new state laws have something to do with Indian casinos if you read closely enough.
Secret prisons in Europe...
Whether accidental or not, I think this will turn out to be a 'good leak' in the end. Even while Jimmy Bush is screeching
that we never use torture, Arabs are now inclined to believe that we have a large network of secret prisons in countries where the ACLU is not emperor.
This belief is a good thing.
It's even good to have the Euros whining about it.
An Arab who is thinking about joining the Jihad will now have to ask "Who do I believe? The anti-American European press, or Satan Bush?"
Gayor West goes down.
Last night the ballots were counted, and Spokane voted to recall Gayor West, by a margin of 65-35. Turnout was 70%, which is highly unusual for an off-year and off-date election.
This was a genuinely grass-roots effort. The professional politicos wouldn't touch it, so an ordinary citizen named Shannon Sullivan started the ball rolling, and finally some semi-pros who knew how to maneuver through the courts took over.
Seems like a lot of bad politicians are being kicked to the curb lately. Most of them are self-described 'Republicans', but we shouldn't bemoan this. Best to have a party or movement with some degree of purpose and meaning, not a club filled with pure (and rather dumb) power-seekers like Duke Cunningham, Jack Kemp and James West.
My earlier comments here
and here.Full coverage of the election here.
What do you call it?
Wilson, Hoover, Carter. All failed because they couldn't distinguish between their personal moral code and the needs of the nation. Granted, there are many other ways to lose a war: Truman and LBJ were feisty and ruthless, not restrained by any Ivy League gentlemanly honor code, yet they still lost Korea and Vietnam for a host of separate reasons. On the other hand, morality can even help. Reagan was ruled by a moral vision, but his morality was unique in that he considered American victory against Communism to be the optimal goal, worth achieving by any and all methods. Reagan's morality was thus perfectly congruent with the job of President.
But when a President declares openly that his morality prevents him from defending the nation, loss is guaranteed.
I've been trying not to put Bush Junior into the Carter category, but yesterday's speech by AG Gonzalez settled the point. Gonzalez was speaking at the CFR, and was being hit with a repeated question by enemy agents (aka "reporters") in the audience. His repeated answer was unequivocal. According to Gonzalez, Bush will not allow any part of his administration to use torture, even
in the oft-stated extreme case where only torturing a captured enemy can save the country from total destruction.
Well, what can you say after that? It's not treason, because Bush apparently doesn't intend
to be adhering to the enemy. It's not a total surrender, at least not by its explicit wording. I have to call it insubordination for lack of a better word.
The enemy now knows that Bush will defend the ACLU at all costs.
So who's supposed to defend the United States?
A hundred years ago, popular theories claimed that you could distinguish a criminal by the shape of the skull. Those theories were largely wrong, but nevertheless we are finally starting to admit [again] that moral IQ has some genetic connection. I've never understood why otherwise sensible people can acknowledge the innateness of, say, math and music abilities, while violently denying that moral ability is also partly innate. (Actually I do understand; leftist orthodoxy requires us to believe that everyone is equally redeemable if given the appropriate environment.)
These three women form an interesting case study. Left is the Belgian suicide bomber, Muriel DeGauque. Center is the Jordan hotel suicider (unsuccessful) Sajida al-Rishawi. Right is, of course, Squeaky Fromme. All three followed a murderous cult to its extreme conclusion. Their skulls may not be similar, but their faces show a kinship of emotion and soul.