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658 comments

Scumbags (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21024689)

Attention to those who shared our data illegally: Legal immunity doesn't mean you're not scumbags. That is all.

This is great news! I support the White House! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21024691)

(In case anyone is watching)

Re:This is great news! I support the White House! (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025467)

They forgot to mention the name of the new government department this establishes.. Introducing - Minitrue!

Hooray! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21024703)

So we're officially a Fascist state now right? Is this the last nail in the coffin?

Renew Your Citizenship Here: ( +1, PatRIOTic ) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21024745)


U.S.A People's Party FP!

Remember: F The President [whitehouse.org].

Cheers,
Kilgore Trout, ACTIVIST

Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (4, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024771)

So is it fair to say that when Bush "wins", that's a loss for the Bill of Rights?

I'm not sure how immunity can be granted when it clearly go against the US Constitution, given that the president takes an oath "to uphold the United States Constitution", doesn't this mean he's in breach and therefore liable of contempt?

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (1)

SomeGuyTyping (751195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024817)

I didn't see anything about phone lines in the Bill of Rights. Did I miss something?

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (5, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024875)

I didn't see anything about phone lines in the Bill of Rights. Did I miss something?

Yeah, I didn't see anything in there about phone lines either. Did find this though:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.
If it's not in the Constitution, the federal government's not allowed to do it, fancy that.

You mean like Social Security? (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025547)

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. wouldn't be allowed if we followed your interpretation. And I agree with your interpretation.

This is why the New Deal was ruled unconstitutional until FDR tried to pack the court.

People, for the most part, don't want to follow the Constitution. We would have to become libertarians (for the most part) and stop voting ourselves money out of the treasury.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (3, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024931)

Yup. The Fourth Amendment.

I suppose you could argue that a person's phone calls aren't included in the "persons, houses, papers, and effects" that the government isn't allowed to search or seize without a warrant, but I can't imagine any sane person really believing that and arguing it as anything but an intellectual exercise.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024987)

Considering that we live in a country where electronic records are considered "documents," I don't think anyone can actually claim that internet communications are not protected by the 4th amendment. Alas, it falls on deaf ears.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025283)

> Considering that we live in a country where electronic records are considered "documents," I don't think anyone can actually claim that internet communications are not protected by the 4th amendment. Alas, it falls on deaf ears.

Alas, if only that were so.

In Sov^H^H^HPost-9/11 America, it falls on listening ears.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (4, Insightful)

djasbestos (1035410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025139)

It's the principle of the matter...one day they're allowed to listen in on your innocuous phone calls, the next they are dragging you out of bed and summarily executing you in the street for "conspiracy to undermine American/family values" (whatever those are...). It's a slippery slope, and in my lifetime, politicians have only gotten scummier with time. I'm loathe to trust them with more power than they already wield / have given themselves. A free society does not find genesis in a blackbox, black op, surveillance culture.

It's like UF said about "Microsoft Genuine Advantage"..."we never said it was an advantage to the customer..."

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21025479)

International phone calls are not houses, papers, persons, or effects.

I like how the international part is always left out.

Because it makes plain who the liars and traitors are.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025543)

Actually people are provided privacy by the constitution in any situation where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. For instance, if I close the door on a pay telephone booth, I have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This was ruled by the supreme court because the constitution is meant to protect privacy of people, not specific places and channels. So if I have a reasonable expectation of privacy, any information gathered while I have said expectation is unconstitutional. Let me see if I can find the case law on that.. been forever since civil liberties class.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (1)

jay-be-em (664602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025407)

You remind me of ridiculous patents of the form

Doing X ... on a PHONE
Doing Y ... on the INTERNET

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (4, Insightful)

varmittang (849469) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024829)

Yeah, but as far as I know its congress that has to hold him accountable. And by the looks of this, they just don't care. All the people can do is vote at elections, which makes us powerless when the people we voted for wont do anything.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21025311)

All the people can do is vote at elections, which makes us powerless when the people we voted for wont do anything.

This is blatantly untrue and a really dangerous misconception about democracy. Democracy does not begin and end at the voting booth. As the quote goes:

"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo . Please use in that order."

-- Ed Howdershelt

Saying "but I voted!" is nothing more than an excuse at this point.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (4, Insightful)

courtarro (786894) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025451)

The most confusing part about all this is that any members of Congress continue to support the president on these matters. The broad wiretapping program is part of a serious (and so far successful) campaign by Cheney and his compatriots to expand the powers of the executive branch. While Congress continues to have their efficacy whittled away by the administration, they sit back and let him do it!

Why?

Do they need to align themselves with the president to enhance their image to the public? He's certainly not winning popular approval right now.

Do they need the approval and agreement of the president to achieve useful goals? He has yet to approve anything that doesn't fall into his specific ideology.

Do they expect the president to return the favor and compromise on other matters? He certainly hasn't so far.

So what's left? Why is Congress bowing down to this monster at their own expense? I can't understand why the Republicans in Congress support such an unpopular tyrant, much less the Democrats. Congress looks like a bunch of whipped dogs. Do none of them have the balls to start giving our government some semblance of repair and restoration?

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21025475)

....and, that there is a strong likely-hood that they'll get re-elected as well, considering most people aren't properly informed of what is ACTUALLY happening in Washington. Sorry, but with the amount of spin EVERY major news outlet puts on things, its a wonder that people aren't wandering around saying these have been the BEST years that they can remember. People will vote incumbent, just so they can feel good about putting trust in someone they previously voted for, issues be damned.....

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025493)

Actually, I think congress is allowed to, but it's the people's job to keep their government accountable.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (5, Insightful)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024859)

The Dems control congress so SOME dems had to vote for this bill to get it passed. It is simple math.

How they did it (3, Informative)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025499)

You're right - some Dems did vote along with the immunity-carrying version. And I'm afraid that the ultimate story of what happened on this bill makes the GOP look like childish assholes, and the Dems look like brainless, spineless pansies.

So far, the best collection of linkage and summary I've seen on this has been at The Mahablog [mahablog.com] (Warning: liberal. Like me, so, deal.)

This quote: (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024893)

"There is absolutely no reason our intelligence officials should have to consult government lawyers before listening into terrorist communications with the likes of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and other foreign terror groups," said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).

Of course not. That would be stupid.

That's why you're allowed up to 72 hours AFTER to file the correct paperwork with the FISA court.

It's called "checks and balances". It was a key point in the founding of our government. It WAS a key point. And it was agreed to by people who had put their own lives on the line when they signed our Declaration of Independence.

There's more risk of corrupt officials using this to further their own agendas than there is that it will stop any terrorist.

Re:This quote: (0)

huckamania (533052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025275)

"72 hours"

Unfortunately, it probably takes a lot longer then 72 hours for any intelligence gathered to reach a person who can actually use the intelligence. 72 hours is 3x too long for a television show and probably 1/10th of the time needed for the intelligence bureaucracy to do anything with it.

"corrupt officials using this"

Not sure how any official can use calls to countries and places of interest to further their own agenda. Sounds a little far fetched and even so, it's in the stung by a bee range of worries. It's also fixable, thru civil courts, whistle blower and witness protection programs. If a corrupt official uses the information in an illegal way, they should go to PMITA prison.

The right to make international calls is not protected by anything in the bill of rights, except maybe a thin line to freedom of speech. I would be appalled to find out that the government wasn't looking at these calls to places of interest, at least at some level.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21024897)

No It is called treason. And the President will be pardoned by whomever is the next president.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (1, Informative)

l2718 (514756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024899)

If Bush failed to uphold the Constitution, he can be impeached (that is, tried) by Congress. I doubt that this will happen. In this case though it's not Bush but rather Congress that is enacting inappropriately. The solution here is to vote them out in the upcoming election. The constitution prohibits "ex post facto" laws, but this clearly refers to laws which criminalize what was not criminal at the time, not laws which de-criminalize what was criminal at the time. This "immunity" law enhanced the provincial atmosphere of the US congress, where individual bills are rampant and particular interests trump national issues. The US excepted I haven't encountered countries where laws are commonly passed which, on their terms, apply to only one person or only one company.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (2, Interesting)

huckamania (533052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025551)

"not laws which de-criminalize what was criminal at the time"

According to FISA, they have 72 hours after tapping a thing, to get a warrant. The phone companies, for FISA to work, must allow the NSA to tap the lines 72 hours in advance of a warrant. The phone companies, have done nothing wrong. The NSA, in this instance, has done nothing wrong. It is only after 72 hours of tapping something that the NSA could have possibly done something wrong. The NSA cannot be expected to also provide the phone company with a warrant that says 'gee, we tapped this line on this date for this guy and these two numbers, but don't tell no one else'.

The phone companies can not compel the NSA to provide the warrant after the 72 hours and even if they did, it wouldn't change the fact that they can't travel back in time 72 hours to not provide them with the information. In short, the phone companies should not be prosecuted because some bureaucratic cya attitude by some namby-pamby pencil pushers get cold feet when their daddy-complex superior had to get his colon scoped and didn't sign the extension for the 72 hours their boss was in the hospital.

Fixed my Ubuntu display finally. It was the video card. Linux rocks.

Re:Bush Win = Constitutional Loss (4, Insightful)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025299)

given that the president takes an oath "to uphold the United States Constitution", doesn't this mean he's in breach and therefore liable of contempt?

Yes and the same can be said of the Democrats who went along with this travesty...

ex post facto (4, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024793)

1) Congress does not have the power to grant pardons
2) The US constitution forbids ex-post-facto laws [wikipedia.org]

This is above-and-beyond the obvious fact that it is perhaps the most illegal and immoral thing I've ever heard of congress doing.

Re:ex post facto (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024913)

2) The US constitution forbids ex-post-facto laws

They've (all of the bastards, not just the blatant fascists) already shit on the Constitution, what the fuck does it matter now? And what are we going to do about it? Nothing. We did what we thought we could and put the opposite party in power to try and keep the dirty fuckers in check but for some reason the spineless little shits have done exactly the opposite of what we expected them to.

The only other option is to demonstrate, riot, and eventually overthrow the entire government and rollback all of Bush's "policies" to those that were in existence in 2000. But that won't work either because then he'll just declare yet another state of emergency and stay in office forever fulfilling my expectation that he will attempt to become Freedom Fighter (aka Dicktator -- yes, spelled corrected) for Life.

Re:ex post facto (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025061)

I do wonder about this. What is the threshold where people should start to take-up arms? It seems we are really close to the threshold here:

1. Companies collude with the executive branch to perform illegal and unconstitutional activities
2. Government passes law giving themselves the power to do this
3. Government passes law giving immunity to anyone who helps

I can actually FORGIVE #1, as sad as that is. But only because I trust the courts and congress to hold them accountable. But then when congress passes an immunity law, then what the heck???? That's about one step short of just granting themselves the power to do whatever they want. "You mean it's illegal to burst into your house and steal your possessions and rape your family? Oh, well, then we'll just fix that tomorrow in the next session..."

Now everybody will jump on my and say how they aren't really busting into American's houses. But that misses the point. The exact same tactic used to bust into American's phone lines is what would be required to bust into American homes. It's the same laws, same tactics. Frankly, I don't care if they listen in on suspected terrorist phone conversations .0001% as much as I care about the fact that they are trying to pass laws to make it legal after the fact.

So where do I recruit an army? ...NO CARRIER

Re:ex post facto (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025505)

What is the threshold where people should start to take-up arms?

At no point will the vast majority of people be interested in taking up arms. Fuck, over half the population doesn't even vote and 50% of those that do voted for the fascists. Another 35% of the 50% that voted for him think that what he's doing is completely and utterly correct in every single way mostly because they agree with his "morals".

When the government shuts off TV and they can't watch Wayne Newton dance like a robot and sing like a drunken karaoke participant three times a week will they finally decide it might be time to pay attention to something other than what is force fed to them alongside advertisements for more products that's only purpose is to keep them further in debt to those that the government has colluded with.

So where do I recruit an army?

At this point, armed militias are worthless against the power of the US Army and its remaining allies. They have weapons that we may acquire, regardless of the numbers of individuals we have on our side, will be of no match to the powerful arsenal that the government has.

Re:ex post facto (4, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025077)

"The US constitution forbids ex-post-facto laws" - the generally accepted interpretation of the prohibition on ex-post facto laws is that Congress may not make something illegal after-the-fact; this does not, however, prevent them from retroactively making it legal.

amnesty (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025211)

I think that every Republican who worked toward this should be tarred and feathered in their districts. Especially after they whine and bitch and holler about how bad it would be giving "amnesty" to all those illegal immigrants who have been actively supporting their agricultural state economies for years. This wiretap immunity is corporate amnesty.

Re:ex post facto (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025213)

This is above-and-beyond the obvious fact that it is perhaps the most illegal and immoral thing I've ever heard of congress doing.

Apart from failing in their duty to remove an unethical President from office?

Re:ex post facto (2, Interesting)

courtarro (786894) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025239)

I recommend watching Frontline: Cheney's Law [pbs.org], which aired on Tuesday (the 16th). It's an eye-opening look at the broad expansion of powers that has taken place under Cheney's guidance. This issue of Frontline discusses the wiretap program as well as torture. What surprised me most is that it makes John Ashcroft look like the voice of reason during his years in the administration.

Re:ex post facto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21025249)

As my grandfather used to say "Absolutum quid pro cautela nocet emptor"

And when you see something like this, his words really make you think

Maybe he was on to something

Democrats (5, Insightful)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024801)

Senate Republicans have outmaneuvered Democrats


Translation: In a Democrat controlled congress the Democrats could not convince their own people to reject this bill. Thus the bill passed with the help of some Democrats voting for this bill.

Re:Democrats (2, Informative)

imadork (226897) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025047)

Not necessarily. The funny thing about the US Senate is that there are plenty of "parliamentary maneuvers" which require 60 votes to overcome. But the Democrats only have a slim 51-49 majority, and that's just because there are two independants that caucus with them. As the Majority party, they have a majority in all the committees and can basically control what gets to the floor in the first place. But once something is on the floor for the full Senate to consider, there's all sorts of mischief that can occur.

Re:Democrats (2, Insightful)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025121)

Yes, but not getting your own legislation forward, as a majority, does not mean that the minority gets to pass whatever legislation they want. Here you have the democrats rolling over, again, acting as though they're compelled to pass the legislation that the minority wants.

If the MINORITY has so much power to pass legislation, why doesn't the MAJORITY? [Answer: empty excuses]

Slight correction: (3, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025049)

Translation: In a Democrat controlled congress the Democrats could not convince their own people to reject this bill. Thus the bill passed with the help of some Democrats voting for this bill.

In a Democrat controlled Congress, the Republicans can still use "soft of terrorism" to get certain Democrats to vote however they want them to.

http://picayune.uclick.com/comics/trall/2007/trall071001.gif [uclick.com]
and
http://www.workingforchange.com/webgraphics/WFC/TMW08-15-07Large.jpeg [workingforchange.com]

So you're saying the Democrats are cowards? (3, Insightful)

SIIHP (1128921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025161)

"In a Democrat controlled Congress, the Republicans can still use "soft of terrorism" to get certain Democrats to vote however they want them to."

So the Democrats who voted for this bill are too cowardly to vote for what's right instead of what's politically convenient.

Yeah, I'd say you're exactly right about that.

Re:Democrats (1)

lithium bandit (654379) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025109)

All this means is that the Democrats rely on campaign contributions from the giant telecom companies too. To vote to indict them without Republican support would result in them losing millions for the next election.

Re:Democrats (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025227)

Translation: In a Democrat controlled congress the Democrats could not convince their own people to reject this bill. Thus the bill passed with the help of some Democrats voting for this bill.

Re-translation: When Congress has little internal oversight, it's easy for the telecom companies to buy votes.

Re:Democrats (1)

Dolly_Llama (267016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025421)

In a Democrat controlled congress

Democrat is a noun, Democratic is an adjective, despite what Rush tells you.

Go Ron Paul! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21024827)

It seems more and more clear that he is the only one of either party worth voting for.

The Dems have shown themselves less than capable of standing against the neocon madness.

Their arguments about needing more numbers may be partially true, but they clearly switched their focus to 2008 the second they got into power. They are too scared to do anything that might get in the way of the 2008 sale.

We need principled leaders to do the right things that might offend large numbers of people, not more reeds that bend in the wind. That's how we ended up in this mess.

 

Manuvers? What? (5, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024833)

Disclosure of the deal followed a decision by House Democratic leaders to pull a competing version of the measure from the floor because they lacked the votes to prevail over Republican opponents and GOP parliamentary maneuvers.
Oh please. -1 Flamebait. Democrats have a majority vote. Maybe not enough to counter a veto but certainly enough to pass the hockey puck up to the Prez. Implying it was "GOP parliamentary maneuvers" is kinda like saying I don't have the money to buy a stick of gum because they moved the shelf.

The Dems caved. I'm not sure why though. The people have spoken and put them in trusted seats of power and they CAVED. I'm sure there are lot of home teams cheering from the stands only to have the players go, "ah, well, it's a lot of work to play the game. Let's concede."

I'm disappointed.

Re:Manuvers? What? (1)

debilo (612116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024955)

The Dems caved. I'm not sure why though.
Because in a couple of months there will probably be a Democrat Administration that can thoroughly enjoy all the new uncontrolled powers that have been passed into law or simply seized during the past few years, while at the same time being able to pin the blame on the Republicans by saying "It wasn't us, it was them."

Re:Manuvers? What? (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025163)

Actually they caved for a number of different reasons:
1) Progressive Democrats didn't like the bill because it wasn't strict enough.
2) Conservative Democrats didn't like the bill because it was too strict.
3) Republicans didn't like the bill because they could end up in jail.

In the end, spite didn't win out, and a couple of the conservative Dems were convinced that it could hinder the performance of the foreign espionage and, more importantly, their personal re-election campaigns.

Re:Manuvers? What? (1)

pzs (857406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025039)

Why are they caving quite so much? I genuinely don't understand it. Politicians are most concerned about re-election and appearing weak in front of the electorate but by capitulating over and over again, they must know that they are making things worse for themselves.

What I also don't quite understand is how much of the country is now spitting nails about just how clueless these dipshits are and yet there is absolutely no movement or change whatever. What do people have to do - march on Capitol hill?

Is this actually going to get any better when (note I don't even bother with "if") there is a Democratic president? You're still going to have an utterly inept congress who take 17 photo-calls with cute children before failing to achieve anything useful.

Utterly, utterly bonkers.

Re:Manuvers? What? (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025097)

Blue dog dems are voting more like republicans right now. They recognize that they're weak for their reelection bids, and don't want to piss off their constituents. Never mind the fact that with the way things are shaping up right now, it looks like the next election cycle is going to be a "vote out the incumbents" type of event.

Re:Manuvers? What? (1)

pi_rules (123171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025169)

Oh please. -1 Flamebait. Democrats have a majority vote. Maybe not enough to counter a veto but certainly enough to pass the hockey puck up to the Prez.


No, they can't get something to the president alone. You need 60 people to call for cloture in the senate before a vote can be taken.

Yes, I'm one of the 8 people in America that watches CSPAN.

Re:Manuvers? What? (1)

parcel (145162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025519)

It's a little scary that people don't understand that. Especially after all the Republican hubbub about removing filibuster power a couple years back.

Majority? Not So Much... (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025533)

You can't possibly call what the Democrats have a working majority.

To make matters more complex, historically, coordinating the democratic party faithful is the equivalent of herding cats. Unfortunately, it is the nature of the Democratic party, unlike the Republicans who coordinate much more effectively because they tended to operate as a minority for so long.

For every single post that is angry in some way shape or form about this kind of legislation, what are you going to do about it? The Republic needs you to do something right NOW.

I know it's not cool to have a political agenda and see it through, but dammit that's how this Republic gets back on track.

Why Dems Caved (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025577)

The Dems caved. I'm not sure why though.
Election coming up.

If a terrorist attack happens between now and 11/2008, Democrats are going to have a hard time explaining why they voted against wiretapping the terrorists.

You know and I know that wiretapping terrorists always has been and always will be legal. No one is against wiretapping terrorists. But so far, nobody has managed to explain that in a way that the majority of the general public gets it.

For all their anti-USAPATRIOT Act talk, how many Democrats actually voted against it? And its renewal?

I'm disappointed.
Me too. I wish I knew who I could trust to protect my Constitutional Rights.

outmaneuvered (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21024839)

Outmaneuvered again! That seems to happen every day to these brave Democrats we elected; despite their sincere wishes to do the right thing, they just get outmaneuvered every time and have to surrender rather than risk... well, I'm not sure what, exactly, but it must be something.

It's like the burglar who smashed my window the other day. I politely asked him to leave, yet he refused. I threatened to call the police, but he said that I shouldn't. Well, you can't argue with that! He outwitted me fully and truly!

I let the burglar ransack my house because, let's face it, I had no choice. Sure, I had a gun and a cell phone, and he was unarmed, but he kept outmaneuvering me at every turn. I said I would shoot if he raped my wife, but he preempted me! Before I knew it, he was raping my wife, and it was just too darned late to stop him, so I put down my gun and wrote a press release (which I intend to publish EVERYWHERE to let the world know how this burglar has wronged me).

Fiction! (1)

isotope23 (210590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024993)

This is obviously fiction!

Everyone knows someone on /. could NEVER have one of those WIFE thingies!

In Red-state Amerika, the Gub'ment watches You...

Overreactions incoming, ...2....1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21024851)

Sound the alarms!

11% approval rating for Congress (3, Insightful)

timon (46050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024879)

Any wonder why they have such low approval numbers, even lower than Bush? Do you think stuff like this just might be why? Do they ever think this might be why?

Re:11% approval rating for Congress (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025065)

The approval rating for Congress as a whole doesn't mean dick. Most of the individual members have pretty good numbers among their constituents (otherwise, they wouldn't have gotten elected in the first place).

its just a godamn piece of paper (2)

bad_bwoy (919423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024891)

its not like it makes millions of dollars for the government or aides them in anyway, why should they give a shit about it?

Save your selves? (5, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024947)

Because of this, no further investigation can be done on who and what and why and those were most likely the same people who did not want an investigation in the first place.

As a non-American I think Americans have serious issues. To lie about a blowjob: BAD! To lie to go to war and rape your rights: let's re-elect him.

Mmm. TV might have to do something with it. See a nipple or say fuck, scream. See people killed, daytime TV.

And you still think that terrorirst want to desroy your way of living? I would say it is bad that you don'[t want to destroy it yourself.

They definately do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21025349)

Saying terrorists don't want to destroy the American way of life is completely asinine. *They* *are* saying it.

The problem is, they've already won. This isn't the US I grew up in, and I doubt it'll ever again be the US I grew up in. Very rarely does power seized ever get released. And the power grabbing of the Federal government has been going on since before our civil war.

That's all well and good. There are plenty of downsides to a strong Federal government; there are also upsides. The US wouldn't be the power it was and still is without a strong central government. (The rest of the world of course might consider that a *good* thing - hah.) This country would be very different, and probably worse off, if state government was the real power.

So yay Federal government - or yay, back when we actually had a Constitution to protect us from the ridiculous excess that comes with it. But now it's merely 'a damned piece of paper'. :p

A Good Thing (tm) (3, Insightful)

Jennifer York (1021509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024975)

It is not new, and not ever going to change: The government agencies responsible for knowing what people are planning to do domestically and abroad must be able to gather information. Where is the info? How is it transmitted? Who owns the network?

They will do it anyway they can, and have been doing it for over 60 years. It's just now, when we are so digitally integrated, that is has become so much easier for them.

You either trust your government or you dont. If you dont trust the current admin, elect a new one.

I recommend reading "A Man Called Intrepid [amazon.com]". It details the beginning of the spy game, and how it dramatically turned the second world war around. The burden on our intelligence forces is great. The responsibility even greater. Have you elected the government you trust to use this intelligence infrastructure properly? Don't blame the telcos, blame those who are abusing the info.

Re:A Good Thing (tm) (3, Insightful)

visualight (468005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025403)

You either trust your government or you dont. If you dont trust the current admin, elect a new one.

What? No, these options are unacceptable. I choose to not trust any administration and insist that the power to break the law and then provide yourself with retroactive immunity should not be granted to government.

Re:A Good Thing (tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21025485)

If you dont trust the current admin, elect a new one.

We tried.

I was depressed about this... (5, Funny)

Xochi77 (629021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21024997)

but then I remembered I'm not American! Seriously, I'm over the whole horror of your brutal invasion of Iraq, trampling of civil rights, endorsements of torture. I'm now just watching news about american politics like its an episode of 24. Try it sometime, its actually pretty enjoyable. You had the regular spies, corrupt politician etc. But now you have mercenaries with cool names like Blackwater, unnamed gov. agencies tracking every piece of digital data, hidden detention centers... I'm waiting for the nex big twist. Maybe, it comes out that the drug war was a move by the CIA to push up drug prices, so the gov could make more money to fund their secret mercenary wars by smuggling in drugs, while at the same time filling up the prisons with second class citizens unable to vote, but conscriptable! hmmmm, I can't even tink up insane conspircy theories that aren't plausable anymore... cool!

Saving lives (-1, Flamebait)

ee_moss (635165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025011)

This is going to save lives, no doubt. Quantifying how many lives it saves is another matter. Anybody against this bill - democrat or republican - is ignorant of the times, and perhaps needs to adjust the order of their personal agenda's priorities.

Re:Saving lives (1)

murderlegendre (776042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025129)

Excuse me. I think we can manage to keep ourselves "safe" without sanctioning a big business / government conspiracy that systematically deprives us of our 4th amendment rights.

Re:Saving lives (1)

jay-be-em (664602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025355)

I'll tell you what. Compare the probability of being killed by a terrorist attack to the probability of being killed by second hand smoke. I think you'll find there are more effective ways of reducing innocent deaths via legislation, in particular ones that don't require our government to take a dump on the bill of rights.

Re:Saving lives (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21025445)

You're saying in order to save lives we should give up the same freedoms our forefathers gave their lives to get us? If this is really the sentiment of America, we have officially come full circle and are once again living under "King George".

If we let the army patrol the streets and ground all flights indefinitely, think of how many lives we can save!

When 11% is "good enough" (2, Insightful)

murderlegendre (776042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025027)

Well, here's why their approval rating is flat on its back at 11%.. cozying up to big telecom, while the people scream for their 4th amendment rights. Take that, rule of law. What's an industry-wide get out of jail free card cost these days, anyway?

Now that this is over, they can go back to offending Turkey and China.

wha wha wha (1, Flamebait)

moseman (190361) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025041)

Good. Fuck the terrorists and those who fight against US from within (read Democrats here please). All this public infighting only helps our enemies. The Dems know this - give aid and comfort. The enemy (al queda) of my enemy (Bush) is my friend.

Mail your congress person, then post here. (2, Interesting)

olddotter (638430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025057)

I did.

You have to be vocal. "./" the congressional in boxes!!

Contact your representative, THEN post to Slashdot (5, Informative)

swatter (105610) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025133)

Please contact your representative FIRST, then post to Slashdot(*). Otherwise, save your (metaphorical) breath...

It's easy. If you don't know who to contact or how to phrase your objection use this link:
https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=727&page=UserAction [aclu.org]

Note that you can modify the letter template before you hit send if you don't agree with all of the text or wish to add points of your own.

There is another informational article on Salon [salon.com].

(*) Does not apply to non-US citizens. (Although nothing actually stops you from mailing them anyway.)

Re:Contact your representative, THEN post to Slash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21025285)

Of course, in the past, when snail-mailing my congressmen, I received no response and saw no change in voting stance.
When e-mailing, occasionally I get an auto-response that may or may not pertain to the issue I originally e-mailed about.

"Contact your Congressman" is a joke. They don't read it, they don't care.

Republican = Suck (2, Insightful)

cc_pirate (82470) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025223)

And just six short years ago I used to be a republican... Never voted for GWB though. I could see his fascism coming with his campaign speeches "There ought to be limits to freedom" - GWB.

Well, he sure made that one a reality.

Re:Republican = Suck (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025287)

Yes. Because it's the Republicans' fault that a Democratic controlled Senate failed to pass a bill. You should get a radio show on Air America.

Re:Republican = Suck (1)

parcel (145162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025381)

Yes. Because it's the Republicans' fault that a Democratic controlled Senate failed to pass a bill.
yup. [wikipedia.org] How hypocritical. [findlaw.com]

Re:Republican = Suck (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025483)

You can use these "links" and quote these "sources" all day long. Truth doesn't come from sources and books, it comes from the gut. And my gut tells me that you're a communist.

Republican = Democrat = Suck (1)

fredrated (639554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025501)

Where do we go from here? Surely not keep voting for the 'lesser of two evils' since the 'lesser' is not by much.

Worthless Gutless Democrats. (1, Flamebait)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025243)

When I lived in the States, I was a registered Democrat.

Bush and his fascist cronies disgusted me, and when an opportunity came up for me to leave, I left. But I left hoping the Dems would grow a spine and fight for What's Right, or even something resembling it.

They are worthless jellyfish. They could stop the war tomorrow (simply not fund it), but they don't.

They don't have to vote FOR this fascist nonsense, but they DO.

Pelosi and Ried are DISASTERS - every bit as criminally culpable as Bush, because he couldn't do it without their complicity. They have rolled over and over and over on every major vote. They have proven themselves unworthy of governance, and the Republicans are, sadly, even worse.

I'm afraid the experiment of American Democracy is over. People talk about 2008 being the most important election. I disagree. I think it's over. It doesn't matter who wins the White House: the military/industrial party will continue its endless reign of terror.

The election of 2008 may be momentous, it could be equal to Germany in 1932, or the USA in 1860. Either way, I do believe that the USA is in line for some serious turbulence, and I have serious doubts that it will survive as a democratic republic.

If the Republicans DO win in 08, either prepare yourself for some desperate fighting (which the USA/gov will lose), or do what I did: Leave. ASAP. If the Dems win, and get a super majority in the Senate/House, then prepare for a rollercoaster ride, as the Fascist News Channel (Fox et al) whips the witless masses into a froth.

RS

Time For... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21025279)

...all the constitutional lawyers on slashdot to start pontificating.

What? There are none? Could have fooled me.

No more Democrats (1)

dlthomas (762960) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025303)

If they can't stop this kind of thing after we give them a majority in both houses, what bloody good are they? Throw the bums out! They're not getting a vote or dime of mine until they show some sort of interest in protecting our freedom.

Re:No more Democrats (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025539)

They've never had an interest in "protecting freedom". Right now, the only reason they even bring up the Constitution (which most of them seem to think is an outdated piece of paper requiring an updated "living" approach) is to try and make Bush look bad, which is kinda like shooting out street lamps to make the sun go down at night.

congress needs some help (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21025369)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I
had to take a piss. As I entered the john a big beautiful all-American
football hero type, about twenty-five, came out of one of the booths.
I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he
washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and
married - and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with
him.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated,
hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still
warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the
shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left
behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It
apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat,
stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd
- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist.

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and
wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd
always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little
clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass
and not an end in itself. Of course I'd had jerk-off fantasies of
devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't), but I had never done
it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound
turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy
and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's
handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both
hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled
like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the
consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit
without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it
smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into
my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock,
beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and
bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet
flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had
chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed
I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I
soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd
passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily,
sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My
only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down
with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the
cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more
delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with
the rich bitterness of shit.

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But
then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There
was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished
them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my
briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the
shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever
unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an
unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using
them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my
mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit
trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six
orgasms in the process.

I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out
of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could,
and at least once did, bring to a grateful shiteater.

Telco immunity gives *Bush* immunity (5, Insightful)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025373)

BushCo don't really give a rat's ass about Congress, except when they've been tied up and begging for abuse a little too long and someone from the Administration has to go to the Hill and spit on them.

The courts, however, especially at the level of the Circuit Courts, are a different story.

The telco immunity provisions in this legislation are to keep the White House from being found (as part of some telco trial) to have broken the law. It's got little to do with protecting the telcos other than as a way to sell it to the public.

Glenn Greenwald over at Salon had a good interview with the EFF's lead counsel in the ATT/NSA/let's-just-snoop-the-whole-backbone trial [salon.com] that explains this quite well.

This is all about closing off the courts to examination of Executive Branch violations of the Constitution. Which is why it's actually a much, much bigger deal than most people seem to understand.

Ever wonder who they spied on? (1)

murderlegendre (776042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025441)

Do you think it might have included members of congress?

Historically, this is one corrupt group of people. Has Bush got the drop on enough key players, that he can win the push-and-shove when he needs to?

I saw this in Berlin recently. (2, Insightful)

speedlaw (878924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21025525)

OK, we have a Dem Majority in Both Houses. Elected mostly as a rebuke to Bush/Fortune 500 company polices for the last 8 or so years. They have done NOTHING on Iraq. They give in to spying, give a free pass to companies who have grossly violated rights without any shred of probable cause or, god forbid, a Judges' Order. There is, in Berlin, the site of the old Gestapo headquarters. There, the history of Nazi Germany is told. The second and third parts of the display concern the Holocaust, and the usual graphic disgusting pictures. It's not the scary part. The first part of the display, word for word, and law for law, discusses how the "rule of law" society that was pre war Germany was dismantled. Preventative Detention was how all those "undesirables" were kept in Prison Camps. Judges were selected who were "loyal" (Bush v. Gore anyone ?) Many small words and paragraphs were modified or changed to allow unfettered executive power. No, Bush is NOT a Nazi, but to ignore the historical parallels is to be blind. There is now officially NO opposition party. We're screwed. Steal a song, huge damages with no real burden of proof. Monitor every comm going through a switch, and we'll pour you another drink while we word the amnesty provisions.
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