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They didn’t know they were saying it. But if you take the numbers given, 50 million daily users… Total of 1 billion registered….

50 million divided by 7 billion (earth’s population) means 0.7% of the worlds population used MegaUpLoad on a daily basis. This population total includes those with no computer access, such as the rural Chinese, Indonesian peasants, and unknown Indians in the Amazon Rain Forest….

7 out of every 1000 people on this planet who used MegaUpLoad on a daily basis, is a rather large number if you think of it…

Estimates from major servers put around 500 million the number of computers on this planet… that means there were twice more users signed up at MegaUpLoad than there are computers active on the planet. 50 million daily users means one in ten computers on the planet, were involved with the server MegaUpLoad…..

Federal Prosecutors have said they are done with the data they needed. They have turned over the property rights of the items on the servers to those servers contracted to MegaUpLoad to store the information. Since MegaUpLoad’s assets are frozen, the servers will begin deleting the information on Groundhog Day, February 2nd.

Within that deletion will be 0.00002% of those files that may be pirated. Also deleted, will be files by small businesses, job related data people stored at work, digital family pictures stored for safe keeping…

You see, when you have a server with free storage, a lot of people who access the Internet only through the means of a shared computer, … have a need for it.

If piracy is such a “huge” issue, then one would think more than 10 people or 0.00002% of its users, would be arrested… Those 10 who have charges filed against them, and who no doubt will be found innocent when given the chance to a trial before an impartial jury…., aren’t really much of a threat at all.

The 99.99998% of the rest of its users, who are about to have their life’s history erased , deserve to be a little miffed..

Unfortunately, to completely put this into proper perspective … out of the 100% of those who crashed the world’s economy back in 2008…. the heads of Goldman-Sachs, J.P. Morgan, AIG, Bank of America, and other players on Wall Street … 0% have been arrested and charged…

Apparently, destroying the world’s pension funds, bankrupting whole countries, dissolving entire banking empires, all on false information which you knew beforehand to be untrue, is far less a crime than not paying .89 cents for a song you got off of YouTube for free….

The world is a little topsy-turvey, don’t you think?

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Chris Dodd…

I used to admire him. I used to defend him… When Republicans lashed out at his Wall Street reform bill, I was right there, finger on the trigger, mowing them down……

But, the dude has since had a stroke and has sold out… In fact, quite a few Democrats have sold out…

In case you did not hear, Chris Dodd, who incidentally is now head of the most corrupt institution in America, the MPAA (Movie Pictures Association of America)…. went on Fox News…
(Fox News? ) to blast his fellow Democrats…….

“Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,”

(Dude, Fox News just owned you; do you not know how often Republicans will play that very indicting clip IN EVERY DISTRICT this upcoming election cycle?)

Couple that with the threat made on Wednesday , that if Obama did not throw his full support behind the existing SOPA or PIPA bills currently up for vote, then Hollywood was withholding all their donations this time around…….. we begin to see the big picture…..

Washington is just stupid.

Allow me to qualify that…

Since the “boiling over” of frustration from August’s flub of a standard debt ceiling passage, the overload that gave the Occupy Movement immense credibility and resonance when it began it’s long drawn-out protest, normal everyday Americans are waking up to the notion that their government is totally corrupt, completely bought out, and not one damn bit interested in what they are experiencing or have to say……..

Then, on a day when their most trusted sources of knowledge (Internet) go black, Chris Dodd makes a blundering threat that confirms and amplifies EXACTLY about what Americans are concerned….

Their politicians are bought, sold, and paid for…….

SOPA And PIPA are symbols of a greater evil: The horrific evil that BIG BUSINESS is taking over the world… (That is an exaggeration, but then again, symbols always are) …

If Dodd truly, as he expressed in the NY Times Opinion Piece, wanted to turn things around and come to a more reasonable result, the approach he took is exactly how NOT to do it.

When people are concerned that the laws hurting them, are passed out of intimidation over campaign funding, to threaten politicians publicly with intimidation, is exactly how NOT to go……

So….

If Washington is broken, how do we fight back?

By boycotting Hollywood…. (Forget the distraction of the puppets; aim the snout of your rifle upwards at the hidden puppeteer.)

How is that possible?

Do not pay for movies.
Do not pay for television.
Do not pay for anything but independent artists.

Independent artists…btw, are really cool…..


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

January 20th, Inauguration Day 2009.. Wow, it’s been two years…..

So…. what did he accomplish? And what did the Republicans accomplish by Inauguration Day 2002? At the same point in their tenure?

The answers are damning for Republicans, that’s for sure…

First of all, we must all remember. One president walked into a budget surplus, full employment, a roaring economy, and took over the nation that was the most respected in the world. ( That of course would be the Republican, because he had the good fortune to come in after 8 years of solid Democratic leadership ) The other president, took office that was deeply in debt, the economy was in a massive free-fall, we were losing two wars simultaneously, GM and Chrysler were belly-up, all our banks had collapsed, people could not keep up on their mortgages, and health care was out of control with insurance dropping paid-up people off their roles, simply because they got sick………..

One president had the world handed to him; the other came in owing the world….

At the end of his midterm, George W. Bush was rated by historians as the worst ever… Among some of their reasons… were:

the doctrine of pre-emptive war, crony capitalism/being “completely in bed with certain corporate interests,” bankruptcy/fiscal irresponsibility, military adventurism, trampling of civil liberties, and anti-environmental policies.

On the contrary, the Obama administration drove and got passed, the Recovery Act, which is the largest infrastructure investment since Eisenhower, the largest educational investment since Johnson, and the largest clean energy bill, since….. George Washington.

Similarly, with the help of Delaware’s Ted Kaufman, the Obama administration enacted Wall Street Reform, which empowered both investors and consumers, stopped predatory lending practices, brought trades into light, and…. ended tax payer funded bailouts…

The Recovery Act also reduced taxes for 95 per cent of working families. Very necessary unemployment benefits were extended for those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Credit Card Reform banned retroactive rate hikes, implemented new protections for young people who were enticed to spend more than they could afford, and required credit card companies to explain their terms in plain language. It also stopped banks from manipulating your balance to trick you into going over your limit, then socking you with excessive amounts of late charge fees.

New clean emissions standards and new mileage requirements rejuvenated the auto industry, causing it to undergo rapid development and growth in that sector, making America’s cars the envy of the world again. America’s auto industry was on it’s deathbed when Obama took over. Now, that sector is doing well, even better than Toyota.

At the midpoint of his first term, …George W. Bush, had at this time, ……….

Presided over the loss of approximately three million American jobs in his first two years in office, the worst record since Herbert Hoover.

Overseen an economy in which the stock market suffered its worst decline in the first two years of any administration since Hoover’s.

Transformed almost universal respect for the United States into worldwide condemnation. (One historian made this point particularly well: “After inadvertently gaining the sympathies of the world ‘s citizens when terrorists attacked New York and Washington, Bush has deliberately turned the country into the most hated in the world by a policy of breaking all major international agreements, declaring it our right to invade any country that we wish, proving that he’ll manipulate facts to justify anything he wishes to do, and bull-headedly charging into a quagmire.”)

Misled the American public about weapons of mass destruction and supposed ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Failed to follow through in Afghanistan, a military situation where we won, then abandoned that area allowing the opposition to regroup and become more powerful than ever. We are in Afghanistan today, solely because we did not finish what we started.

Insulted and ridiculed other nations and international organizations and now has to go, hat in hand, to those nations and organizations begging for their assistance.

Completely miscalculated or failed to plan for the personnel and monetary needs in Iraq after the war, so that he sought and obtained an $87 billion appropriation for Iraq, a sizable chunk of which is going, without competitive bidding to Haliburton, the company formerly headed by his vice president.

Inherited an annual federal budget surplus of $230 billion and transformed it into a $500+ billion deficit in less than three years. This negative turnaround of three-quarters of a trillion dollars is totally without precedent in our history.

Cut taxes three times, sharply reducing the burden on the rich, reclassified money obtained through stock ownership as more deserving than money earned through work. The idea that dividend income should not be taxed—what might accurately be termed the unearned income tax credit—can be stated succinctly: “If you had to work for your money, we’ll tax it; if you didn’t have to work for it, you can keep it all.”

Severely curtailed the very American freedoms that our military people are supposed to be fighting to defend. (“The Patriot Act,” one of the historians noted, “is the worst since the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams.”)

Called upon American armed service people, including Reserve forces, to sacrifice for ever-lengthening tours of duty in a hostile and dangerous environment while he rewards the rich at home with lower taxes and legislative giveaways and gives lucrative no-bid contracts to American corporations linked with the administration.

Proclaimed himself to be a conservative while maintaining that big government should be able to run roughshod over the Bill of Rights, and that the government must have all sorts of secrets from the people, but the people can be allowed no privacy from the government.

Against that negative backdrop, in two years Obama has done what progressives since Roosevelt have wished for: Health Insurance Reform, a simple law that returns decency and forces humanity back into the insurance industry. It returns things like they used to be.

It used to be.. if you got sick, your insurance would cover you. Thanks to Obama’s Health Insurance Reform, it is that way again. It used to be… that insurance would cover your check ups to keep you from getting sick. Thanks to Obama’s Health Insurance Reform, it is that way again. It used to be, that one’s children in school, were covered under their parents insurance… Thanks to Obama’s Health Insurance Reform, it is that way again. Since Obama’s Health Insurance Reform brings back the benefits of the Health Care we had growing up,… it is truly, the true conservative Health Care bill.

SCHIP was increased to cover 4 million more American children. Healthier children, lower medical expenses for all of us… in the future.

As for national security? Whereas Bush led us into fighting two wars, one completely unnecessary as well as a complete failure, since we didn’t get any legal oil from out that country, ( it still goes to Europe and China), under Obama, we have removed 100,000 troops from Iraq, and are currently reinserting ourselves into Afghanistan, to undo the damage that Republican president created.

In education, Obama saved American taxpayers 68 billion on student loans, over the next ten years, by making student loans more affordable and less profitable for banks. Under Bush, banks were pocketing most of the Federal guarantee money covering very high interest rates.

Whereas under Bush, we had “no child left behind” which meant that “no child ever moved forward”, under Obama, we have initiatives like “Race to the Top”, “Educate to Innovate”, which have a better chance at giving our nation’s students a competitive edge against the Chinese.

Like Harry Truman, the new GI Bill makes education more affordable for our veterans. Whereas “W” Bush sought to cut veteran’s benefits, as every veteran can attest from their real life history, Obama has tried to improve the lot of America’s finest…

Likewise, Obama ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, provided law enforcement new tools to deal with hate crimes, and made it easier for women to challenge unequal pay practices.

And to do all that? Obama in the worst of times, has added $201 billion to our deficit. The policies of Bush “W”, are responsible for the other $1.862 Trillion spending spree towards of this nations deficit, half of which is owned by our good friends, the Chinese. Thank you China for saving our ass from what the Republicans did to our nation…….

In just these two years, it’s obvious that we have a really great man… versus the Republicans abysmal failure…

Truth talks.

(Plus I just invested a big chunk into Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Depends, because obviously, … a lot of republicans are going to be needing them……… )

Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…

Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..

Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….

That said..

Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.

First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Investment Homes lead forclosures not inner city Residences

Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
The Housing Bubble Starts to Dive in 2005
Courtesy of NYT

Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Freddie and Fannie on the lowest line
Courtesy of NYT

Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Private, not Public Insurers Caused the Crash
Courtesy of NYT

Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”

Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well. 🙂

“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”

De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.

Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.

The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.

So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.

You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.

Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.

Whoever wins the White House will need bipartisanship to move Congress off its ass.  Like it or not, someone playing the center against the two parties benefits America better than a very strong political profile, where everyone is in lockstep, and a single agenda is pursued.

How do I know this?

Because the latter is what we have had the last 8 years, whereas the former, is what we had during the last six years of the previous administration.  America has tumbled downhill during the last eight years, and has done so from from its peak which was achieved during the previous six…

So how does one find bipartisanship?  One looks for one who works with the other side, (sort of the opposite of what McCain says he would do with Syria and Iran if elected)…  In this capacity Biden brings tremendous resources to the table….

In a report by David Broder, mentioned on a lot of blogs recently,  we see how Biden and Senator Lugar (a Republican), have kept a Senatorial committee running smoothly, irregardless of who is in charge, based on the composition of the Senate at a certain point in time.

These two professionals work together and their inter meshing has created a haven from the rife partisanship that often interrupts committee proceedings and makes a fool of our legislative branch. Consequently the entire committee has taken on the professional decorum exhibited by its two leaders, each of different parties.

Wise choices, but possible long shots for positions within the inner sanctum, both may not be in their spots next year.. Luger could be Secretary of State, for McCain or Obama, a man Luger recruited for foreign relations and a vocal admirer. Biden could be VP, based on rumblings still going on in Iowa’s aftermath…….. Both have run for the highest office, both work well together….

It is in this spirit of bipartisanship that Obama surprised progressives when he made his controversial decision to weigh in on the compromise hammered within the House which destroys our freedom of unreasonable search and seizure. Hat’s off to Delaware Dem for taking the issue dead on. Although initially disappointed, after reflection, I think this decision proves that Obama truly is the real thing. It has been several years since we have actually had a thinker in the White House. Obama sent a signal that he will approach every idea with an open mind.

His decision surprised me. Honestly, I didn’t think he would chose that route.. But with both the FISA bill and his recent choice to refuse public funding, Obama has made two correct decisions required for achieving his vision of long term benefits to this nation, and he has calmed the center and right at the same time. Even though it must have rankled every grain of his fiber, when his “Lawrence of Arabia” moment arrived and he was forced to make a decision between his personal attachment, and what was best to keep the country together, he chose the latter and pulled the trugger.

I know from experience ….that is very hard to do… But Obama did it, and my estimation of him just jumped off the scale… even though as a progressive I am opposed to what he did…vehemently. This guy’s got guts in the right places..

Totally unlike the current administration, who measures guts by holding on to an untenable position against 70, then 80, then 90, then 99 percent of the voting population, this guy measures guts by meeting with the other side, moving both sides to the center, finally hammering out an agreement, and then moving forward. Instead of repeated stalemates with which we have grown so accustomed, we get movement. And just by knowing that our country is headed by a rational and pragmatic individual, I feel safer that my basic rights will be protected in the future, despite the FISA decision, than I did when all security positions were hired, vetted, and staffed by kooks and partisan yokels….

It is in no way a perfect arrangement. I preferred that the telecoms squeal on the deal Cheney forced upon them and illuminate the criminal activities when and where they occurred, That won’t happen, and Obama is the reason it won’t.

A presidential candidate this shrewd will require a second in command solid and able enough to garnish considerable respect from the Senate floor. Biden and Dodd are two Democrats that meet that criteria. Lugar, Hagel are two from the other side who do as well. Instead of a party hack, (as one could certainly consider Cheney), Obama, by picking someone who embodies Democratic values, but respects the opinions of the other side, will be invaluable when the time comes to make the change forward that all America so desperately wants.

A year ago the idea of a Obama/Biden ticket would be preposterous. For those still embittered by conflict politics, it may still seem so.

But, Obama has shown us that even Progressives are just another scion of the political spectrum…..Tangible results are what matter. This country could use a few good men like these In fact the entire world would benefit from the spirit of bipartisanship exemplified by these few men. For each time America is unhealthy, so goes the world……

Because that……. is what we do.

At 4:01 Wednesday afternoon on this day of February 13th, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to table legislation that would extend the Protect America Act for twenty one days. On Friday February 15th, at midnight, the Protect America Act, a bill forced by the administration upon Congress last August, a bill that was unread by Congress before being voted on, will expire. Yippie.  In lieu of that bill, all surveillance falls back to the original FISA bill (1979) that requires court oversight over any listening of American citizens. The original bill was passed as America  came to discover to their horror, the machinatioby the FBI against those opposing the Vietnam War.

This is a good thing. The FISA bill at least has someone looking over this administration’s shoulder. Of course this administration completly disregarded the legality of this bill from the minute it came into office, so little will prevent it from doing so today.

However, public awareness that each of their calls are monitored, each of their emails are premanently recorded, has disgusted most Americans. After all, our ancestors did not fight and die, so that policies used by our enemies, could be used by our own government against us.

The stumbling block is giving immunity to telecoms.

Just as it would be stupid to grant immunity to the trigger man of a mob killing without a D/A’s deal trading time for information, it would be equally detrimental to grant immunity to telecoms for assisting in an obviously illegal act.

Just a reminder of what Tom Carper, (D) Delaware voted against, and Biden for:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Those of us who study history are often amazed how little things taking place miles away will ultimately cast a huge impact over all.

Imagine living in Georgia, waking up on April 19, 1775 working the farm, eating and going to bed without even remotely having a clue that over a thousand miles away, a shot fired would be heard around the world.

Honey, did you hear ‘dat noise?
“Yep, somebody must be out catchin’ ’em some food.”

And now some two hundred and thirty-three years later, after fighting first for this country, then against this country, then against opponents of that country, then against a country of opponents, and finally Georgia is where it is today.

And it all originated on a Green in the center of Lexington, Massachusetts . There, blood was spilled in defense of the truly original American notion that: I’m fed up and I’m not going to take it anymore.

Tomorrow an event of much greater magnitude will take place and probably will go unnoticed by even WDEL. Before I go on, can anyone guess what it will be?

I refer to the revised FISA bill that goes up before a Senate vote tomorrow, February 12th, 2008. Those of you who do not follow Constitutional politics may be scratching your head, wondering why this would even be considered on the scale of the Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775.

First: some background.

FISA was originally passed after Nixon had confused the concept of National Security with that of “Nixon’s security”. Thereby assuming both were synonymous, it was morally perfectly acceptable to bug the Democratic headquarters thereby enabling Nixon to stay in power by knowing in advance where Democratic “punches” would land.

FISA didn’t change much. It just said that someone else needed to look over the Executive Branch’s shoulder, and approve and insure that American values were protected. After 9/11 Cheney used the hysteria to say that no one should be looking over their shoulder. Having someone do so would endanger our safety. Although it made little sense, many went along and allowed it to happen.

To everyones surprise but mine, these new powers were not focused on terrorists. They were used predominantly on government employees, to vet out those within the State, Energy, and Defense Departments who might latter oppose ridiculous policies when they came forth. Fortunately the legislators put an end date, thereby killing this policy on a certain date. December 31, 2005.

In a hasty move, an extension was rushed through before the Congressional August holiday, extending the powers until two Friday’s ago. ( If your computer and internet connection seems to responding better today, you now know why. )

Tomorrow a vote takes place on a replacement FISA bill. Included in this bill is a blanket protection of immunity of all telephonic companies who complied with illegal searches of citizens records: searches that had no bearing on National Security. The telephone companies answer is, as expected: “Cheney made us do it.”

In a usual courtroom case of first degree murder, twelve members of the jury usually do not acquit a murderer of a spouse and innocent children, simply because he was told by someone else to do it. However it is certainly possible, that the trigger person could deal with the D/A and get a much reduced sentence by explaining the truth as it REALLY happened. There is a benefit to society in doing so. Currently there are at least seven lawsuits against these telephony companies who broke several basic privacy laws that have stood for centuries. By granting immunity to these companies there will be no way of getting them to testify, thereby enabling the American public to determine once and for all, that no wrongdoing was evident.

Since the sweat beading on the brow of this administration and the foreheads of all the telephon execs is telling, their innocence appears doubtful.

Therefore this ploy of granting immunity can be seen as an attempt to protect the “evil doers”, those very same who wish to undermine all American values.

The House has voted “No” shutting out any immunity for the telecoms. The only hope left to Cheney is for the Senate to vote Yes and then in secret negotiations with the House, re-add these immunity parts to this bill.

In the Senate, a yes vote looks likely, partly in thanks to Tom Carper. Hence, those few Senators still not compromised by Cheney, nor bought out by the telephony corporations, will attempt a last stand by use of a filibuster on the Senate floor. Chris Dodd leads the charge beginning with the procedural statement, ( Mr. President, I refuse to yield.) He will be joined by Russ Feingold, Ted Kennedy, and now, Patrick Leahy, each who will jump in with a question to the Senator long enough to insure that no puddles stain the Congressional carpet. These precious few will attempt to hold the floor until enough heat is put on the administration and Harry Ried by you, the public, forcing them to fold their hand.

So why is this important?

Great question. Up until this point the United States has been a nation created for the people, of the people, and by the people. If this bill goes forward, we will have switched our interpretation of the Constitution and become a nation for the corporation, of the corporation, and by the corporation. In other words, the needs of the corporation will from this point hence, take precedence over the needs of the citizen.

Some of us think that is just wrong. Corporations can’t vote. But with enough money and creative advertising, they can steer us to vote for who they want. But didn’t our ancestors fight so that we could be free and independent, and not beholden to some corporation?

Of course in a sense we are beholden to corporations most of our lives. Does one own your house? Your car? Does one cover your automobile accidents, your heath cost overruns? Does one supply your power, your fuel, our your paycheck? Stop and think for a moment just how much of your personal income is turned over to our corporations. Most if not all?

Now I don’t mine being beholden to a corporation if I am getting something that I want: a house, a car, a flat screen TV, especially if I couldn’t have any of those things without their help. But to have no recourse, and be forced to vote their way on issues, only because they know secrets of my past known to no one else, sends our country down the path to more corporatedom, than is good for the people. Essentially this bill will change Bedford Falls into Pottersville.

This bill tomorrow will help determine whether we hasten down the dark path of corporate domination, or whether we have tools at our disposal to check them and balance things when they step out of line. Will we be in charge, or will they?

This bill decides.

Right now, those corporations who chose to spy for the Bush administration are desperately trying to escape criminal prosecution. But if this precedent is allowed, any future corporations whether seeking past due amounts, or fishing to break your lease or steal your property, will always refer back to this bill to justify their further encroachment of our rights.

Little know fact: In Delaware three years ago, one jury actually took a stand, declaring by their verdict that even in the most justifiable of circumstances, even when used against the most odious, sickening elements of humanity, privacy issues were sacred and could not be touched.

There is precedent here. A jury of twelve random people has forced upon a court the decision that neither private individuals, nor corporations have any right whatsoever to release another’s private history. Tomorrow it is time our government itself become subject to the same laws as its citizens.

So while you go about your daily duties, somewhere far away, a handful of very motivated and angry Senators, are fighting for your’s and your grand children’s right to privacy. Whether they succeed or fail, their ripple in time will be felt perhaps as long as the next two hundred and thirty three years….

Delawareans need to hold their elected representatives accountable.

Breaking news:

The Patriot Act just had two parts deemed unconstitutional……

What should be on the mind of every Delawarean today, is this question:  HOW COULD OUR REPRESENTATIVES BE DUPED INTO VOTING FOR SOMETHING THAT WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL?

The second question is this:  IF THEY WERE DUPED ONCE, HAVE THEY LEARNED THEIR LESSON.

The lesson Delaware expects from all reasonable men is this.  If it comes from Bush, vote no………..

Is it too much to expect that Delaware’s lone congressmen, since he represents the whole state, and not one district of it, to have a higher sense of purpose  down in Washington than playing follow the leader?