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Happy Solstice, Jill!

Jill, I know we've had our differences in the past, but in the true spirit of this holiday season (ecumenical, of course) I'd like to offer this video clip as a gift from me to you.

Perhaps you'll find it useful in lampooning those ignorant, red state hicks you so disdain. And maybe, if you're feeling especially creative, you can take this snippet of one blubbering, moronic, redneck wrestling fan and extrapolate it to draw broad, sweeping generalizations about all 62 million Americans who voted for George W. Bush last year, thus impugning them all by proxy.

Peace. And happy.... whatever it is.


Barry, you Christofascist Zombie!

LOL :-)

Many of the 62 million who voted for Bush would not anymore, and you know it. It is hard for me to understand how intelligent people like you can support that guy.

I can understand people being conservative or neoconservative or whatever. But Bush is an embarassment to the country and the world. Especially you, that you have a scientific background, should know better. Beyond the mess in Iraq, he has been destructive and disastrous for science, research and anything good. It does not take to be a genius to see it. It is more than obvious.

> Beyond the mess in Iraq, he has been destructive and disastrous for science, research and anything good.

Dude, I've gotta hand it to ya! You got it in just under the wire, but that one sentence just may be one of my favorite quotes of the year. It was that "anything good" bit that put you over the top. ;-)

PS -- You've also earned a place on my blogroll.

Thanks for including me in your blogroll. Now that I am looking again what I wrote, you are right. This "anything good" is really cool.

Look, you're just going to have to deal with the fact that some people WOULD vote for him again(even scientifical people!), despite ruining everything. And despite ruining Iraq Bush and Cheney say they would STILL do it again if they could rewind life. We're all batshit crazy and it feels great.

Barry, you are such a giver;-}

BTW, I noticed you have Andrew Sullivan under Hysterical Drama Queens. I'm not sure what prompted this but here are a few conservative bloggers who happen to be gay....I'll let you decide whether they are drama queens or not:


I don't want your readers thinking all gay bloggers are hysterical drama queens...and they're not all moonbats either.


Bnewell, good point. I often read some of these and others (Boi from Troy, for example) and I should go ahead and add them to my blogroll.

For a long time, Andy Sullivan occupied the top spot in my blogroll, and he had to work damn hard to get where he is today. ;-)

How do you know this guy voted for Bush? I doubt he voted at all.

Too busy organizing his pron collection, I bet...

...or he could have been organizing his porn collection...

Good point, Bob. But remember that "pr0n" is an acceptable spelling on the internet. ;-)

Hahahahahaha! RAONTFLMAO!
Can you imagine the good fortune of someone catching that on video? Good one!

P.S. Did anyone else look up "scientifical?" ;-)

"Good point, Bob. But remember that "pr0n" is an acceptable spelling on the internet. ;-)"

I'm really glad to hear that...

Becuase it's really hard to type when you're going blind and have hairy knuckles.

"Becuase" is acceptable too, right?

Bush does a fine job of impugning the intelligence of the 62 million who are alleged to have voted for him all by himself.

Will you write about Bush admitting to violating the Constitution with illegal wiretapping? Pretty much everyone with any impartiality or integrity is saying that is a crime and impeachable. You should post a position on that one, Barry. I respect your views, so I am interested in seeing what you think of that.

DBK, my views on the NSA eavesdropping were posted here days ago, although Bush did not "admit" to "violating the Constitution" as you tendentiously imply. Now read this blog more thoroughly before you question its silence on something, and quit asking me leading questions, or Cynical Santa may skip Frogsdong's stocking altogether this year. ;-)

You get me wrong. Sorry I missed your posting on the subject, but I wasn't questioning your perceived silence, but interested in your views.

Anyway, I scrolled down and found the posting (you posted on the Times piece, not Bush's admission). Interesting. I kind of stand with the numerous people who find it apalling and criminal. But I don't want to hijack your thread here for my own soapbox.

I probably do need to update the subject, since my first post was immediately after the story broke and there were few details available.

In fact, I'd still want to see more details before I made a definitive pronouncement on its Constitutionality, but I do believe there is ample room for concern here, and the legality of the entire operation seems dubious at best. I suspect it will end up before the Supreme Court.

On the other side of the coin, I'd recommend reading Dick Morris's column today. He makes some interesting points.

There probably should be some third party judicial oversight and the information gleaned from such means should, as stated by the NSA, only be used in legitimate terrorism investigations (except for evidence of child porn/pedophilia, as that can be classified as "terrorism too), BUT and this is vital, despite the fact that there are some 5+ million Muslim and Arabic American citizens, there IS NO expectation of privacy when making an international call to a terrorist hot spot.

My brother's company does a lot of international electronic work and they've known for years (before 9/11/01 and before Clinton, even) that such international calls can and often are monitored. Like most businesses, their primary concern is that their confidential business communiques not be made public.

Any American citizen, even one unwittingly placing a call to a suspected "terrorist front" organization (like the now defunct Global Relief Fund, etc) can have no legitimate expectation of privacy when making such a call, even if its made for inocuous purposes.

At any rate, this has been going on a very long time. Clinton purportedly used the NSA for domestic "economic espionage."

Was that right?

Probably not.


Mmmmmm, I don't quite think so. It's more a matter of "boys will be boys." Now if some Liberal Dem (and Clinton was no Liberal, so he was OK on that score in my book) sought to use such information for nefarious purposes, say to engage in international transactions that might hurt American owned businesses and help international ones, YES, that would be criminal and grounds for charges of treason, in my view.

The NSA's Project Echelon eavesdropped on U.S. calls throughout the 1990s and that was not technically Unconstitutional either.

[b]Clinton NSA Eavesdropped on U.S. Calls[/b]

Sunday, Dec. 18, 2005 10:10 p.m. EST

[i]During the 1990's under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries under a super secret program code-named Echelon.

On Friday, the New York Times suggested that the Bush administration has instituted "a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices" when it "secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without [obtaining] court-approved warrants."

But in fact, the NSA had been monitoring private domestic telephone conversations on a much larger scale throughout the 1990s - all of it done without a court order, let alone a catalyst like the 9/11 attacks.

In February 2000, for instance, CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft introduced a report on the Clinton-era spy program by noting:

"If you made a phone call today or sent an e-mail to a friend, there's a good chance what you said or wrote was captured and screened by the country's largest intelligence agency. The top-secret Global Surveillance Network is called Echelon, and it's run by the National Security Agency."

NSA computers, said Kroft, "capture virtually every electronic conversation around the world."

Echelon expert Mike Frost, who spent 20 years as a spy for the Canadian equivalent of the National Security Agency, told "60 Minutes" that the agency was monitoring "everything from data transfers to cell phones to portable phones to baby monitors to ATMs."

Mr. Frost detailed activities at one unidentified NSA installation, telling "60 Minutes" that agency operators "can listen in to just about anything" - while Echelon computers screen phone calls for key words that might indicate a terrorist threat.

The "60 Minutes" report also spotlighted Echelon critic, then-Rep. Bob Barr, who complained that the project as it was being implemented under Clinton "engages in the interception of literally millions of communications involving United States citizens."

One Echelon operator working in Britain told "60 Minutes" that the NSA had even monitored and tape recorded the conversations of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond.

Still, the Times repeatedly insisted on Friday that NSA surveillance under Bush had been unprecedented, at one point citing anonymously an alleged former national security official who claimed: "This is really a sea change. It's almost a mainstay of this country that the NSA only does foreign searches."[/i]
[b]Clinton Used NSA for Economic Espionage[/b]

Monday, Dec. 19, 2005 11:45 a.m. EST


[i]During the 1990s, President Bill Clinton ordered the National Security Agency to use its super-secret Echelon surveillance program to monitor the personal telephone calls and private email of employees who worked for foreign companies in a bid to boost U.S. trade, NewsMax.com has learned.

In 2000, former Clinton CIA director James Woolsey set off a firestorm of protest in Europe when he told the French newspaper Le Figaro that he was ordered by Clinton in 1993 to transform Echelon into a tool for gathering economic intelligence.

"We have a triple and limited objective," the former intelligence chief told the French paper. "To look out for companies which are breaking US or UN sanctions; to trace 'dual' technologies, i.e., for civil and military use, and to track corruption in international business."

As NewsMax reported exclusively on Sunday, Echelon has been used by the Clinton administration to monitor millions of personal phone calls, private emails and even ATM transactions inside the U.S. - all without a court order.
The massive invasion of privacy was justified by Echelon's defenders as an indispensable national security tool in the war on terror.

But Clinton officials also utilized the program in ways that had nothing to do with national security - such as conducting economic espionage against foreign businesses.

In his comments to Le Figaro, Woolsey defended the program, declaring flatly: "Spying on Europe is justified."

"I can tell you that five years ago, several European countries were giving substantial bribes to export business more easily. I hope that's no longer the case."

During hearings in 2000 on the surveillance flap, Woolsey told Congress that in 1993 alone, U.S. firms obtained contracts worth $6.5 billion with the help of timely intelligence information.

"We collect intelligence on those efforts to bribe foreign companies and foreign governments into awarding an airport contract to a European firm rather than an American firm," Woolsey said in a 1994 speech, in quotes picked up by the New York Post.

Predictably, European officials were outraged by what they regarded as a massive abuse of the NSA's spying capacity.

"[This is] an intolerable attack against individual liberties, competition, and the security of states," complained Martin Bangemann, then-European commissioner for industry.

But the complaints went unheeded in Washington.
In 1996, President Clinton signed the Economic Espionage Act, which, according to the Christian Science Monitor, authorized intelligence gathering on foreign businesses.

"The Clinton administration has attached especial importance to economic intelligence, setting up the National Economic Council [NEC] in parallel to the National Security Council," the Monitor reported in 1999.

"The NEC routinely seeks information from the NSA and the CIA," the paper continued, citing anonymous officials. "And the NSA, as the biggest and wealthiest communications interception agency in the world, is best placed to trawl electronic communications and use what comes up for US commercial advantage."[/i]
[b]Harry Reid: I Was Briefed on Spy Program[/b]

Sunday, Dec. 18, 2005 11:04 a.m. EST

[i]An uncomfortable Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid admitted on Sunday that he was briefed on the Bush administration's decision to have the NSA monitor domestic communications in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, as reported in the New York Times on Friday.

"I was briefed a couple of months ago," the testy-sounding Democrat told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, after complaining: "Listen - the program has been in effect - it's been in effect for four years now."

Reid's admission came only after Wallace pressed him twice about President Bush's claim yesterday that congressional leaders had been briefed on the program.

Asked the first time Reid dodged the question, saying: "[The president] can't pass the buck on this one. This was his program. He's commander in chief. But the commander in chief does not, I think, trump the Bill of Rights."

After Reid finally admitted that he knew about the domestic surveillance program, he again tried to shift blame to the White House, saying: "This is something that's [the responsibility of] the president and the vice president and there's no way he can pass the buck."

The top Democrat declined to explain why he didn't raise objections when he was first briefed on the spy program that suddenly has Democrats and the media up in arms.[/i]

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