July 7, 2006This one's been bouncing around the tubes of the internets for some while now. I will link Tom Tomorrow's version of the story, as I feel like I've not given Tom much linkage lately.
Basically, the feds were contacting at least one of the Bells seven months before 9-11, asking for assistance in setting up a domestic surveillance program.
Of course, the Administration has been using 9-11 as an excuse for its spying on its own citizens. So then the President's post-9-11 mentality predates 9-11 for almost a year. Which is odd, considering the lousy job he did in preventing 9-11.
In another world, this would be big news. Nine-to-fivers would shake their heads while reading the evening paper on the commute back home, children would ask their parents, "Why is the President spying on us?" etc., etc. But in our own personal post 9-11 world, it's just one more atrocity, hard to pick out of the field of atrocities we've been pelted with, and if we say words like "fascism" or "dictatorship" then our patriotism will be questioned and our home addresses will be published by David Horowitz.
No, we just sit around and get jealous of those other constitutional democracies that are not frauds. Or, if you are a Force of Righteousness, sit around and hate the gays and the Mexicans.
Posted by mrbrent at 12:47 PM
protecting us from invisible teeth robotsYou'd think that cascading reports of busted terror plots would fill me with something other than cynicism. Not so. They are only reports of the ongoing war against Oceana -- no more than the shufflings of the papers on your desk when the boss walks in your office so you "look busy" in your little war against terror and/or accounting.
I'd have a little easier time swallowing these news items if they ever bordered on credible. The Miami Seven (thank God they have a cool nickname now) were nothing more than a buncha nerds in a treehouse with secret handshakes and sullen aspirations to "be somebody". And the most recent plot has Wile E. Coyote written all over it. As put by the A.P.:
It's unlikely that any plan to flood the financial district would work because it is above the level of the Hudson River.
In other words, the nascent threat the FBI is breaking it arm trying to pat itself on the back for preventing was about as fiendishly clever as blowing up all the bridges so Manhattan floats off into the Atlantic, or drilling a hole in Wall Street so the Island takes on water and sinks.
Hey, last night I overheard a drunked-up homeless fellow muttering that he was going to "kill 'em all." If I blow him into the Feds can I be a hero too?
Posted by mrbrent at 9:17 AM
July 5, 2006
today's forecast 07.05.06Today be on the lookout for Kenneth Lay jokes. They should be sporadic this morning, with heavier Kenneth Lay jokes peaking around drive time. Most Kenneth Lay jokes will be shrill and joyless, with localized areas of funny.
Why all the Kenneth Lay jokes? He has apparently experienced corporeal rejection of his soul.
I will refrain from the Kenneth Lay jokes. Not because I have respect for the dead -- nope, I have the same respect for the dead that I have for their previous living incarnations -- but rather because I'm-a lay off the shrill for one day.
But if you close your eyes, it is me making the Kenneth Lay jokes in your dreams.
Posted by mrbrent at 10:35 AM
July 4, 2006
service interruption explainedThis is the obligatory "I was away and did not post anything" post. I think that perhaps the one thing (besides intellectual vanity) that unites everyone that dabbles in this personal e-publishing experiment is the urge to explain/justify posting stoppages. Of course, the intrinsic value of these explanations is debatable, which leads to this public hand-wringing, which is very exciting to peruse, I'm certain.
I was in Montreal. I would therefore like to shout out to you beautiful Montrealers, who possess my new favorite North American city. When my French is passable I will return, and then know what it is you are saying. And to the people of Restaurant au Pied du Cochon, yes, we do understand the implication of the word "frog", at least, we do now. Do I love the poutine? How could I not love the poutine?
So, oui, Montreal, allez, allez, allez.
Did politics happen while I was gone? I just was in a nation that was not so embarrassed by itself. It felt funny.
Posted by mrbrent at 10:39 AM