Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Still up to no good

Still up to no good
Gene Lyons

Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Bad news for Republicans: The Know-Nothing faction of the party base has already forgotten the “war” on Christmas and other chimerical dangers.
As memories of 9/11 fade, they may even be losing vigilance in the “war” on terror. The latest threat to the purity of our precious bodily fluids
is brown-skinned Meskins. If we’re not vigilant, those swarthy fellows mowing your neighbor’s yard are apt to rise up and sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in Spanish. But wait. Hasn’t it been reported that President Bush campaigned with a mariachi band doing precisely that? Yes, although the White House denies that the National Anthem was performed in Spanish at Bush’s inauguration. That was “America the Beautiful,” they say. Big difference.

Polls show anger about illegal aliens running strongest where Mexican
Americans are fewest. Irrational factors are clearly at work. Basically, they’re the same parts of the South and Midwest where the 19th century Know-Nothing movement and the Ku Klux Klan flourished. Then immigrant Catholics and Jews threatened national solidarity.

Some have even persuaded themselves that the so-called Reconquista movement poses a conspiratorial threat to recapture states “stolen” from
Mexico. Frankly, I’d gladly say good riddance to Texas. In the meantime, maybe we should rename places like Las Vegas, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Colorado lest the Meskins get any ideas.

If you think I exaggerate, here’s how a columnist for recently addressed the issue: “If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn’t possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don’t speak English and are not integrated into American society.”

Lovely comparison, don’t you think?

Glenn Greenwald’s “Unclaimed Territory” blog documents a clamor on rightwing Web sites for Bush’s impeachment due to his failure “to enforce immigration law and stop the foreign invasion.” Bush’s feckless May 15 proposal to send untrained National Guardsmen to replace the Border Patrol agents he cut from the 2005 budget—The Houston Chronicle puts the number at 9, 790—seems unlikely to calm neo-nativist fears.

Since the only cost-effective way to stem the flow of illegal Latin American immigrants would be serious fines and jail time for businessmen who exploit illegal labor at taxpayer expense, we can be reasonably sure that Bush won’t act. Hence, a demographic problem for the GOP: serious desertions from its Know-Nothing base, even as law-abiding Hispanic citizens are repelled by their overt racism.

If that’s what it takes to save the country from Bush’s incompetent authoritarianism, I can live with the irony. It appears that there’s no violation of the U.S. Constitution too heavy-handed to alarm Republican partisans who’ve been hiding under their collective beds since 9/11.

In 2004, Bush assured us that the so called Patriot Act had no effect upon our Fourth Amendment privacy rights.

“Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap,” he said, “it requires—a wiretap requires—a court order.... When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so.”

After The New York Times revealed that the National Security Agency was eavesdropping upon thousands of phone calls without warrants from the secret court created to issue them by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, the White House claimed it was only after “calls from very bad people to very bad people who have a history of blowing up commuter trains, weddings and churches.”

Only last week, U. S. intelligence “czar” John Negroponte said the government was “absolutely not” monitoring domestic calls. Two days later, USA Today learned that NSA has secretly compiled databases of hundreds of millions of domestic phone calls and uses computer algorithms to scrutinize them for suspicious patterns. How do you know they’re up to no good? Because when Qwest refused to hand over customer data without a FISA court ruling, the government dropped the effort. The administration wanted not only Americans to be kept in the dark, but the U.S. government’s own secret courts. That’s probably because a 1986 federal law made it illegal for communications companies to divulge “a record or other information pertaining to a subscriber or customer... to any government entity.” (My emphasis ) ABC News has since confirmed that the FBI is scrutinizing its reporters ’ phone records as well as those of The New York Times and The Washington Post as part of a CIA “leaks” investigation. Leaks, that is, about torture, secret prisons and, yes, legally suspect domestic “intelligence” efforts—basically anything the government calls classified for reasons of political convenience. Possibly you recall the First Amendment, which reads in part, “Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
But hey, look over there: Some stocky little brown guys are digging a ditch.

Lily Tomlin said it best. "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up."


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