it turns out that i had the flu for the past several days and didn't even know it. i've never had the flu so i thought it was the usual congestion/cold bout i experience generally once a year.
i should call all the "ladies" i've "been with" over the past six days and advise them to get vaccinated but "unfortunately" my cell contact list was purged due to the wash/rinse/repeat cycle.
i am feeling better though. also since i worked on monday i'm going to have friday off. i may pretend that new year's eve is this weekend and celebrate appropriately. but meh, what does it matter. i need no occasion to imbibe.
the president is saying the illegal wire-tapping he's been authorizing -- i don't think he actually qualified it as "illegal" himself, but it is -- is warranted to ensure our security, but it's a completely moot rationale for eavesdropping. there are legal measures by which such spying can be conducted, with approval of the FISA (foreign intelligence surveillance act) court. so if legal means were and are readily available and completely viable for the purposes the president cited, why do it in the clandestine manner he did?
listening in on 500 people a day (according to the new york times) amounts to tens of thousands a year. plus this has been occurring since early 2002. with that volume of calls being intercepted how feasible is it, especially taking into account this administration's track record of rancor for the bill of rights, that they're only monitoring international calls with al quaeda suspects?
here's the rub i find in all of this: the president and his parrots claim that we were attacked because certain people "hated our freedom". and, if i understand correctly, his plan to thwart future attacks is to whittle away at those freedoms? isn't that tantamount to preventing someone from killing you by committing suicide?
it's all about (or SHOULD be about) finding a balance between civil rights and security. frankly though that isn't even the issue here since this wire-tapping fiasco probably has very little to do with collecting data about actual al-quaeda operatives. and even if it were, there are legal measures in place for them to be conducted.
is the FISA court a big hinderance to the data mining? the bush administration submitted 1,758 applications to the FISA court in 2004 of which NONE were rejectd. his explanation that they had to be conducted in a timely manner doesn't hold water either, because FISA court aapproval can be obtained posthumously after the eavesdropping takes place, within 72 hours.
so i don't see any way in which this spying is defensible. of course they'll employ the usual false narratives and argue that it was necessary to protect the american people blah blah blah i-ran-into-a-tree-again NINE-ELEVEN, but i'll bet my right bloated testicle that the bulk of those intercepts were not of international terror suspects.
benjamin franklin said "those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither".
i'll also throw out a relevant hellen keller quote: "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all."