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Saturday, December 17, 2005 

Eavesdropping

I don't even know how to begin to describe how angry this domestic eavesdropping story makes me. What can one say, really, no matter where on the political spectrum you fall? This is illegal, this is stupid, this is scary, and it's just wrong.

The Constitution, and all the laws that Congress has ever passed, are just ideas and pieces of paper. They only work because we believe in them. When the President of the United States tells us that he not only personally ordered others to violate the law, but he did it repeatedly and he doesn't regret it, we should be really, really scared. This is the same man who commands the United States military, the most powerful fighting force in the history of the world. This is the guy who has the power to launch our nuclear (noo-kle-ear, not nook-yuh-lur) weapons - he is, quite literally, a man who has the fate of the world in his hands, every minute of every day. And here he is, not only publicly, proudly admitting that he's a law-breaker, but he's criticizing the Times for having revealed the government violating the law. This is about as scary a thing as I can imagine the President doing; it really is the first step towards a police state. Nothing holds the President back from doing anything other than the idea of the law.

A lot of people, when they see things like this, say, "Oh, it doesn't matter, it won't affect me; I don't do anything wrong." What are you doing right now? You're sitting at a computer somewhere, reading a lefty blog. If people are being flagged in libraries for reading the Communist Manifesto, it's not too much of a leap to imagine that they'll start spying on readers of left-wing blogs next. Do you really want the government to be in this business? Think about your life; are you sure that there's nothing in it that you don't want the government to know?

Pretty often these days we hear the word "anti-American" tossed around at people who support the separation of church and state or who oppose the war in Iraq. Those two things aren't anti-American, not at all. What is true anti-Americanism, then? It's when you oppose the most basic ideas that this great country is founded upon. If you and I disagree about, say, abortion, or gay marriage, or affirmative action, we can agree to disagree about it, and I'm not going to call you a traitor. But if you're opposed to the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the right to privacy, you're against America, because these ideas are America.

The only thing between George W. Bush, POTUS and George W. Bush, Dictator of the United States, like all presidents, is the Constitution. When you show a willingness to blatantly scoff at the law, you're moving a little closer to the latter than the former. God help us all.

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