BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Citizen Gore

(Please read the Yesterday's post on "Adam Gadahn" if ya haven't already. Thanks.)

Happy Martin Luther King Day.

"WE'RE FROM THE TOWN WITH THE GREAT FOOTBALL TEAM -- "

Lord --

"WE CHEER THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS -- "

God --

"LA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA -- "

There's some important stuff going on -- "

"GO OUT AND GET THEM STEELERS!"

Lord!

"DID YOU SEE THAT KICK? NO DIVINE INTERVENTION NEEDED! TOTAL CHOKE JOB, NEXT STOP...COL-O-RA-DEE! WAHOOO!!!"

Moving on...to Citizen Gore...and excerpts from today's speech re: MLK and the Bushies' assault on the Constitution.
"It is imperative that respect for the rule of law be restored.

So, many of us have come here to Constitution Hall to sound an alarm and call upon our fellow citizens to put aside partisan differences and join with us in demanding that our Constitution be defended and preserved.

It is appropriate that we make this appeal on the day our nation has set aside to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who challenged America to breathe new life into our oldest values by extending its promise to all our people.

On this particular Martin Luther King Day, it is especially important to recall that for the last several years of his life, Dr. King was illegally wiretapped-one of hundreds of thousands of Americans whose private communications were intercepted by the U.S. government during this period.

The FBI privately called King the "most dangerous and effective negro leader in the country" and vowed to "take him off his pedestal."

The government even attempted to destroy his marriage and blackmail him into committing suicide.

This campaign continued until Dr. King's murder.

The discovery that the FBI conducted a long-running and extensive campaign of secret electronic surveillance designed to infiltrate the inner workings of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and to learn the most intimate details of Dr. King's life, helped to convince Congress to enact restrictions on wiretapping.

The result was the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA), which was enacted expressly to ensure that foreign intelligence surveillance would be presented to an impartial judge to verify that there is a sufficient cause for the surveillance.

I voted for that law during my first term in Congress and for almost thirty years the system has proven a workable and valued means of according a level of protection for private citizens, while permitting foreign surveillance to continue.

Yet, just one month ago, Americans awoke to the shocking news that in spite of this long settled law, the Executive Branch has been secretly spying on large numbers of Americans for the last four years and eavesdropping on "large volumes of telephone calls, e-mail messages, and other Internet traffic inside the United States."

The New York Times reported that the President decided to launch this massive eavesdropping program "without search warrants or any new laws that would permit such domestic intelligence collection."

During the period when this eavesdropping was still secret, the President went out of his way to reassure the American people on more than one occasion that, of course, judicial permission is required for any government spying on American citizens and that, of course, these constitutional safeguards were still in place.

But surprisingly, the President's soothing statements turned out to be false.
"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." - Our Kid, December 18, 2000
A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government.

Our Founding Fathers were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not men. Indeed, they recognized that the structure of government they had enshrined in our Constitution - our system of checks and balances - was designed with a central purpose of ensuring that it would govern through the rule of law.

As John Adams said: "The executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them, to the end that it may be a government of laws and not of men."
"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it." - July 31, 2001
An executive who arrogates to himself the power to ignore the legitimate legislative directives of the Congress or to act free of the check of the judiciary becomes the central threat that the Founders sought to nullify in the Constitution - an all-powerful executive too reminiscent of the King from whom they had broken free.

In the words of James Madison, "the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
"You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier." - 7/1998 re: his gig as Texas Gov.
A commitment to openness, truthfulness and accountability also helps our country avoid many serious mistakes.

Recently, for example, we learned from recently classified declassified documents that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which authorized the tragic Vietnam war, was actually based on false information. We now know that the decision by Congress to authorize the Iraq War, 38 years later, was also based on false information.

America would have been better off knowing the truth and avoiding both of these colossal mistakes in our history. Following the rule of law makes us safer, not more vulnerable.
Wink wink, nudge nuge, eh eh eh?
Once violated, the rule of law is in danger.

Unless stopped, lawlessness grows. The greater the power of the executive grows, the more difficult it becomes for the other branches to perform their constitutional roles. As the executive acts outside its constitutionally prescribed role and is able to control access to information that would expose its actions, it becomes increasingly difficult for the other branches to police it.

Once that ability is lost, democracy itself is threatened and we become a government of men and not laws.
Final words:
I mentioned that along with cause for concern, there is reason for hope. As I stand here today, I am filled with optimism that America is on the eve of a golden age in which the vitality of our democracy will be re-established and will flourish more vibrantly than ever. Indeed I can feel it in this hall.

As Dr. King once said, "Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us."
'Nuff said.

Now...

Here comes Pickles to the rescue:

Laura Bush Backs Domestic Spying Program

Cute!
ACCRA, Ghana - First lady Laura Bush said Sunday that the U.S. government is right to eavesdrop on Americans with suspected ties to terrorists, but a top Senate Republican joined a chorus of lawmakers who think domestic spying is on shaky legal ground.

"I think the American people expect the United States government and the president to do what they can to make sure there's not an attack by foreign terrorists," Mrs. Bush said just before landing here to begin a four-day stay in West Africa.

President Bush is concerned that media disclosure of the program will cripple work to foil terrorists, she said.

"I think he was worried that it would undermine our efforts by alerting terrorists to what our efforts are," Mrs. Bush said.
Hold on a second. Wait...

What terrorist doesn't know what our efforts are?!

I think they (whoever "they" are) have always known that they're being...freakin' monitored: That's like...day one, "Terrorism 101" shit.

"Rule #1: Assume you're being monitored and spied on, and speak in Navajo or Gaelic or pig-latin or something."

Right?

"All I know is...you're looking in the one place where my boy AIN'T!"
In a 12-minute exchange with reporters on the plane --
Twelve grueling minutes --
Mrs. Bush rebuffed criticism that too much of U.S. assistance for battling AIDS in Africa is focused on abstinence programs.

She said abstinence, the use of condoms and being faithful to one's sexual partner are all important in curbing the spread of disease.
One out of three ain't bad.
"I'm always a little bit irritated when I hear the criticism of abstinence, because abstinence is absolutely 100 percent effective in eradicating a sexually transmitted disease," she said.

In countries where girls feel obligated to comply with the wishes of men, girls need to know that abstinence is a choice.

"When girls are not empowered, when girls are vulnerable ... their chances of being able to negotiate their sexual life with their partners and to encourage or make their partners use a condom are very low," she said. "So it's really important for all three to be part of a successful eradication of AIDS, and that is ... abstinence, be faithful to your partner, and then use condoms, correctly and consistently."
Well, at least she's throwing a pack of condoms in the mix.

US teens aren't always so lucky.

(Some Abstinence Programs Mislead Teens, Report Says)

Big thanks to "Headfirst" at Herfers Pardise for giving Brandoland a plug in the HP polical chat forum.

"STEELERS 24, BRONCOS 13!"

The Lord has called his shot.

"DITKA CALLED 'EM 'A TEAM OF DESTINY.' ME LIKEY!"

More later...

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