Friday, July 21, 2006

White House not out of the woods on NSA just yet

I'm glad to see this. Spector's Senate NSA surveillance bill faces a fight from some Dems and other critics. Thank G-d somebody is willing to say the stupid bill is a disaster.
Specter's proposal would, among other things, allow the transfer of all pending lawsuits to a secret FISA appeals court that could throw the cases out for "any reason." The bill would also allow -- but not require -- the administration to seek legal approval for the NSA program from another secret court that administers FISA.

The legislation also would lengthen the amount of time the government could spy on alleged terrorism suspects before receiving warrants, and would explicitly affirm the president's "constitutional authority" to conduct spying programs on his own.
In other words, it's a simple rubberstamp for the administration's trampling of the law and the only oversight written into it would be dependent on Bush keeping his word to voluntarily subject his habitual malfeasance to review. As if we can depend on that.
The alternative bills don't appear to be a whole lot better but at least it keeps the debate alive and one can only hope some few courageous legislators will emerge to finally hold the White House accountable for this gross violation of established law.
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Anonymous lester said...

are you jewish?

7:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Great White Snark said...

are you jewish?

Just for clarification, since I thought it was an odd question until after a beat I got where it was coming from (and it made perfect sense because I had wondered the same thing):

I, too, have noticed your use of "G-d" to signify the divine, especially recently.

7:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

I'm not sure if I'm Jewish. Certainly I don't practice any particular faith. I'm kind of a pantheist. I believe a little in everything. But my aunt claims my great grandma was Jewish but left the faith during the war. I was certainly raised as Protestant.

I started using the G-d thing because I've seen it on other blogs. I wasn't sure what the significance is, but I'm thinking it's offensive to somebody to see the word God spelled out and I try not to offend, though some may find that hard to believe. Is there some Jewish connotation to that spelling?

10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Great White Snark said...

Is there some Jewish
connotation to that spelling?

As I understand it (and I'm not Jewish either, so take it for what it's worth), it is a practice that has its roots in the belief that uttering the name of God is itself blasphemous. In Hebrew, there are two words for God, "Jehovah" and "Yahweh". The former is more colloquial; the latter is believed to be the true name of God and no human is worthy to utter it. Somehow, the practice developed into the English written form you have used.

I don't know how much this is done for the benefit of the reader/listener, but it seems to be primarily to show the appropriate level of respect on the part of the writer.

12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

Who knew? Thanks for the info. Guess I'm doing it for the right reasons. I'm all about showing respect for other's beliefs.

12:20:00 PM  

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