Thursday, July 04, 2013

3747 Water, fair, NSA

Thursday, July 4, 2013

"It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them."
-- Pierre Beaumarchais --


Went to the country house last Saturday, stayed until Tuesday.  It finally occurred to me that it was safe to turn the water back on (duh!) since there will be no freezing, so now I no longer have to carry water for flushing and washing.  It takes one to two gallons of water just to flush a toilet, so that's a significant help.  I'm still carrying water for drinking, because the well water is pretty hard and silty, because it's not being run enough.

Having already had a house flood because of a leak in a pipe, I turn it off again when I leave.  No chances.


I guess I really am an old-fashioned country girl.  In my mind, a state fair (or county fair) is about the agricultural and animal husbandry bounty of the area, and is held after the harvest.  It's a celebration at the end of a season of hard work.

So, um, a "state fair" held in early July is nothing more than a big carnival.  Harumph!  And here I thought New Jersey, the "garden state", was big on agriculture. I snort at next week's "state fair".  Blah.


[sacasm alert]  I love the way certain groups are blaming the Obama administration for the "misbehavior" of the NSA.  Short memories must be nice.  It keeps one from confusing emotion with fact, which makes life and selectively spouting vitriol a lot easier.

This snooping of communications has been going on a long time.  It's an outcome of the "patriotic" fervor after 9/11, when the Patriot Act swept constitutional protections out the door.  I don't understand why so many people are surprised now.  Am I the only person who heard all the arguments for and against it back then?  Cheney was having wet dreams over it all.  Worst than J. Edgar Hoover.  Remember when we were told that if we had nothing to hide, we had nothing to fear?  When the government could do no wrong where our protection was concerned, and if you dared to question anything, you were accused of being unpatriotic? Do you remember when being accused of lack of patriotism could lose you your job, and get your house vandalized?  Like, shades of McCarthy?

So, Obama inherited it.  He didn't start it.  And in inheriting it, he found himself holding a tiger by the tail -- you know, where you have to hold on because it you let go, the tiger will turn and bite you?  If he stopped all that data collection and there was an attack, he'd be accused of hampering the ability to detect and stop it, if not of downright inviting it.  So, the snooping had to continue.

One thing the Obama administration could do was at least try to put the constitutional protection back in.  They required that the NSA be under judicial review.  Prior to Obama, the NSA had no oversight and no restraint where domestic snooping was concerned.

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