Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tuesday Thoughts

A rare Tuesday entry. Mostly because Tuesday's are spent running errands and going to appointments, but the latter were postponed this week. So after reading the newspapers, perusing the news Websites, listening to NPR Morning Edition, I found some interesting stuff. Ok, interesting to me anyway. And, hey, it's my new and opinion blog, so I can voice away, even if the surveillence agency think this stuff or me are interesting. Or likely not.

And the photo? It's Paradise in Mt. Rainier NP at 8:00 am today. Not bad, 19+ feet of snow on the ground with a month or so to go before snowmelt normally starts and often lasts through Memorial day, and in some years to Independence Day. Really. We've had a colder than normal spring some years which slows the snowmelt where you encounter snow on the trails at 5-6,000 feet into July. And in years with colder summers, it's not uncommon for snow to last into August in sheltered areas at mid-elevations.

Ok, the news.

Just can't get away from the Bush administration. Awhile ago I mentioned they plan to allow developers to build in wetlands on the promise of building wetlands elsewhere. Well, the EPA and Corps of Engineers approved the final plan to this outrage or injustice - or whatever else you want to call the attack on wetlands, which allows developers to "bank" wetlands, meaning they can build on them now if they invest in them elsewhere, but that's only an investment with intentions, and not actual new or renovated wetlands.

Why the outrage? Wetlands are the primary temporary and food source for migrating birds. Without them, the birds have to use other lands, like farms, parks, etc., and we all know how well that goes over with people. Wetlands provide so much good for the environment and wildlife we should be protecting what we have and trying to develop more. It's about the health of this planet, and one day we'll realize the stupidity of these decisions to allow their destruction.

Onward with Bush bashing. Gotta love Bush for bashing. Or at least I do.

Did you know the President's daily briefing report now has more information gleened from the Internet than from traditional data and information techniques, like spying and surveillence? All the federal agencies now have branches dedicated to Internet watching and intelligence gathering. You can do the same if you know all those languages.

There's an interesting blog at Connecting the Dots. Not sure what he saying except noting the contradictions in things, events, views and even truth and reality. He has an interesting column in today's Wall Street Journal which noted the failures in our intelligence services.

But as many other have noted in the past, our intelligence services have long missed the boat on many issues, events and things, not just 9/11, Iraq's WMD's, and so on. Those very services seem to be more about the political spin on the intelligence at the behest of Presidents than anything, and much of the reality and truth are left in the wastebaskets of those who really do know but told not to write or say.

For something different, Washington Post article on Campaign financing through the Internet and Websites, click and support your candidates, post pro/con blogs or videos, and so on. The campaign now is shifting to cyberspace than real space, or at least sharing the media.

I don't know what to make of this one, yet anyway. While Bush as ranted at the Democrats about the now-expired surveillence law, wanting a more free-for-all legal spying and with immunity to the telcom companies (postumately too), he's had his staffers and Republicans work with the Democrats for a compromise.

What George, wanting it both ways? Or is he just stalling to blame the Democrats when things don't go the way he wants. But I'll say the same thing I've said to the Democrats, Stand your ground for the American people. We want what works but more importantly restores civil rights and protections against invastion of our privacy. The intelligences services have shown a history of violating that, so we want them corraled into being lawful.

We don't want the telcom companies getting immunity for their illegal acts on the public, the very customers who trusted them. And we don't want the intelligence and surveillence agences to get carte blanche access to our privacy without establishing their need and the evidence we're worth the warrant. American citizens aren't the enemy. And George must be held accountable.

Our government has shown it's not about fighting terrorism they're after, but surveillence on citizens. They aren't concerned as much about terrorist than wanting unrestricted access to everyone and everyone's records in the name of power and control, and eventually arresting and prosecuting people for simply thinking and speaking. We want our freedom. Let's not forget it's the Constitution we're protecting and defending against government's intrusions.

Ok, I've ranted enough for today. I'm reading David McClullough's book "1776" and it reminds me what they fought for. Let's not forget what they sacrificed for what we have now. And buy the book to learn some real history.

No comments: