Sunday, October 14, 2007

Church vs. State
What a difference half a century makes

"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute — where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote, where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

"I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish — where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source, where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all."

— John F. Kennedy
Presidential candidate
September 12, 1960

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Phony Soliders?

"I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-soaked fingers out of the business of these nations — so full of depressed, exploited people — they will arrive at a solution of their own. And if, unfortunately, their revolution must be of the violent type, because the "haves" refuse to share with the "have-nots" by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American-style, which they don't want, and above all don't want crammed down their throats by Americans."
General David M. Shoup, Commandant of the Marine Corps 1960-63, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. May 14, 1966

Friday, October 05, 2007

Now, this is more like it

We, Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, fully recognizing we live in a dangerous world but proud of, and deeply committed to, the values that have made the United States an exemplar for the world, affirm the following principles to guide consideration over the debate regarding surveillance of foreign intelligence. We hold that these principles represent the pillars by which America gives no quarter to terrorists who would do our country harm, while at the same time ensuring fidelity to the distinctively American commitment to the rule of law, the dignity of the individual, and separation of powers.

1. It should be the policy of the United States that the objective of any authorized program of foreign intelligence surveillance must be to ensure that American citizens and persons in America are secure in their persons, papers, and effects, but makes terrorists throughout the world feel insecure.

2. The best way to achieve these twin goals is to follow the rule of law. And the exclusive law to follow with respect to authorizing foreign surveillance gathering on U.S. soil is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). As initially enacted by Congress, the exclusivity of FISA was unambiguous. Legislation must reiterate current law that FISA is the exclusive means to authorize foreign surveillance gathering on U.S. soil.

3. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) should be modernized to accommodate new technologies and to make clear that foreign to foreign communications are not subject to the FISA, even though modern technology enables that communication to be routed through the United States.

4. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) is indispensable and must play a meaningful role in ensuring compliance with the law. This oversight should include, where possible, regular judicial approval and review of surveillance, of whose communications will be collected, of how it will be gathered, and of how content and other data in communications to and from the United States will be handled.

5. Congress must have regular access to information about how many U.S. communications are being collected and the authority to require court orders when it becomes clear that a certain program or surveillance of a target is scooping up communications of U.S. persons.

6. Once the government has reason to believe that a specific account, person or facility will have contact with someone in the United States, the government should be required to return to the FISC to obtain a court order for continued surveillance. Reliance on the FISC will help ensure the privacy of U.S. persons' communications.

7. Congress should not grant amnesty to any telecommunications company or to any other entity or individual for helping the NSA spy illegally on innocent Americans. The availability of amnesty will have the unintended consequence of encouraging telecommunications companies to comply with, rather than contest, illegal requests to spy on Americans.

8. Authorization to conduct foreign surveillance gathering on U.S. soil must never be made permanent. The threats to America’s security and the liberties of its people will change over time and require constant vigilance by the people’s representatives in Congress.

By-the-by, if you 'Google' Congressional Progressive Caucus, you're most likely to get the site of a dirtbag cybersquatter offering advice on coin collecting. Anyone willing to bet that site is owned by a Repugnican?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Cool News & Logos

Today Idaho Senator Larry Craig, of the wide stance Republican Party, announced that he wasn't going to resign his seat after all. For those three folks out there who don't know, Senator Craig, a noted conservative and vehement supporter of traditional marriage, recently was arrested and plead guilt to a misdemeanor charge of soliciting sex in a public men's restroom, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This should be a joke but it's not, today the Republican Party revealed its logo for its National Presidential Convention, scheduled for Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Who says the GOP doesn't know how to have a good time.

…but maybe this one would have been more honest…