What's this Blog About?

Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Friday, December 21, 2007

More Backbone! Living Up to the T-Shirts...

When Russ ran for Senate in 2004, one of the hottest commodities in Wisconsin was a Russ for Senate t-shirt with literally a skelatal spine running down the back of it. It was cool and to this day I am sad to say, I did not get one as they were is hot demand...

Our awesome Senator Russ Feingold did something on Monday that made every door I knocked for him worthwhile...

He, along with Dodd and a few others, stood up to the President and effectively mustered a filibuster in the Senate to protect our privacy against a horrible FISA bill that gave immunity to the telecom companies for breaking the law and spying on us. Not some of us, not some identified real threats, but ALL of us.

My hat is tipped to these courageous Americans who dropped everything and stood their ground to uphold the Constitution of the United States as they swore to do when they took office.

Thank you for the New Year's present Senators! This was much appreciated and you will go down in history for your dedication to this country.


patrick said...

I'm not sure why you are so excited about this. While I'm not happy about increased scrutiny of the citizenry, I think we have to realize that we are in a period where increased security measures are necessary. I know many on the left don't want to accept this, but as long as the crazy terrorists keep saying they're going to kill us, I think we need to listen. Before I call this a great victory, I'd like to know who was damaged by collaboration of the telecom companies in government surveilance operations. We have to realize that the nature of the "listening" here was feather-light, and since the government and the telecoms had specific and valid targets and interests in mind where is the threat to privacy? What does that even mean?

(and I already know the quote about sacraficing freedom for security--written long before the age of the dirty bomb)

But there is another aspect here you ought to consider before lighting another candle at the shrine of Russ. Over the past three years, the left has won a long series of such victories through the courts or through leaks. Consider the options left open to a democratic president--you fancy Obama, if I remember, right?--who may one day identify further threats. However, since the left has been so successful at undermining what it considers to be the Bush police state, the government may at that point be unable to track communications or money or immigrants or purcheases or anything else. What proactive tools will be left to president Obama to prevent an attack before it happens? None.

Since our ability to spy on our enemies both foriegn and domestic is greatly diminished, our only response will be reactive and punative in nature. War. No democratic president in the face of some 911 style attack will seriously consider any other response.

My question is: why are you so happy to limit the powers of government to prevent these attacks when it is so likely that the next president will be someone more in line with your own moral compass? Because after the next attack people will sure as hell be asking: How did we let this happen?

Georgia said...

Paranoia: {in} the president has created a tough seven years for all of us. And there's still a year to go. Patrick exhibits classic signs of paranoia..... he must be a cabinet member!

The repugnants say...
We should all jump and cower and worry about the enemys (they- the Bu(ll)sh(it)crew) have created.
Yes - the enemys are real.
Yes - there is the possibility that those very bad realtionships forged by the Bushies will come around to bite us all in the ass. The possibility exsists that the foes of our 'freedom fighters' are indeed as irrational as the Bushies.

At least Russ is saying - STOP spying on US citizens... STOP granting immunity to folks (and businesses) who IGNORED the Constitution. The telecom businesses that just gave up our records should be out of business.
Either we follow the Constitution - all of us - not just those of us who believe it works just fine - or move the heck outta the USA!!!

The president should be impeached for screwing ALL OF OUR CIVIL RIGHTS.

Seems to me most repugnants felt it was a great idea to impeach Clinton for a lying (about a mutually agreed upon blow job). Following that logic (or lack thereof) it seems THEY should all go to jail for (in essence) RAPING us - that's what it's called rape - right - when someone screws you without your permission...??? Did you give your permission to be spied upon by our own government???

It makes me SICK that the President of the United States feels he himself is ABOVE following the constitution. (I think he;s more of a 'pirates code' kind of president - no?)
Bush and Cheney ought to be in Iraq ... Their leadership style is much more closely akin to that of Iraq.... both pre and post US invassion. ie: ignore all rules - play however you want - install all of your toadies in key posts so everyone is on your page - ,ake sure that when a 'falp' ensues EVERYONE SAYS EXACTLY THE SAME THING - yap about anyone who disagrees with you (calling those who disagree with Bu[ll]sh[it] policy UNAMERICAN)- keep following the same path and expecting different results - profess deep committment to "christian principles" but never attend any church (temple, mosque, synagog)

Oh yeah - make sure to profess deep committment to STATES RIGHTS but jump on California for passing tougher emmission standards..... (that could hurt your oil business buddies if you were a former oilman)

Russ is wonderful... makes me proud to be from Wisconsin.

AND - Patrick you're okay with "feather light" spying. SO - it's okay for anyone to look at your financials - or hear your private conversations? I suppose you also feel it wasn't TREASON when Cheney and his ilk outted an undercover CIA spook.

Sorry for the rant....

patrick said...


First, I'm not paraniod. That word better descibes those who believe that black helicopters filled with Bush minions are monitoring their every move--as if they're so important. I'm pretty sure you don't know the classic signs of paranoia, but like the rest of the left, you're prone to rudeness and personal attack.

Perhaps, Gerogia, you might want to spend a little more time with your history books; you'd find both that during all past American wars the government has seen the need to take measres which seemed to infringe on privacy rights to secure our safety; and, secondly, the framers of our constitution did not intend the consitution to be a suicide pact. Do you really believe Jefferson would have had his undies in a bunch about they type of eavesdropping the Govt has conducted in an era when the potential for massive loss of life has been so great?

Near the end of your self described rant you ask a few good questions. First, it is not okay for "anyone" to look at my financials, but I am fine with the idea of the government doing so. I send them a tax return every year. More than this, I engage in numerous transactions as a consumer which give people access to my financials. As far as I can see, no damage has come to me from it, and I don't see how I would be harmed if the government checked to see if I had bought two tons of amonium nitrate. Secondly, you worry that they might overhear my private conversations. Don't. They're quite boring. But isn't it interesting that you begin by calling me paranoid, then imply that the government would listen to my conversations. Interesting. But if they did, and they did so in the name of saving all our butts, and if no other action occured, how would I have been harmed?

Finally, I don't think Cheney and his ilk should be impeached for treason over V. Plaime's dim- witted husband. I might support an investigation into Fred Armitage--the democrat at the state department who really did our Mr. Wilson. Why arn't you mad at him? And by the way, Clinton didn't get impeached. Impeachment hearings were held because he lied under oath, not because he indulged himself in the oval office, but the articles of impeachment were never passed.

Sometimes, Gerogia, its nice to argue based on the facts and not because you happen to, as you say, FEEL sick.

I hope you're feeling better now. Since I've answered your questions, why not go ahead and answer mine.

Crawford's Take said...


Please read this and tell me if any of it sounds familiar.


See if #4 on the list rings a bell. In fact, you should read the entire book.

You seem too smart to be so naive... I have much more to say and will if I get the time in the next few days, but just know first, I don't care WHO is president, I don't want them to have dictatorship powers and second, Jefferson would have been outraged! The entire reason Tom became president was because John Adams paranoia about the power of Franklin and Jefferson's Poor Richard's Almanac in opposition to his policies led him to pass the Alien and Sedition laws. Jefferson and Franklin were on the wrong side of Adams and he tried to use the government to surpress their printing press and their ideas as traitors... He set up internal surveillance systems run by the government to keep track of their activities, who they spoke to, what they were doing, etc...

Luckily it didn't work, because the Bill of Rights was clear. NO unwarranted surveillance allowed!!!

J & F continued to publish but did so on full attack of Adams and it was a simple thing for them to win the presidency away from Adams making him the first incumbant president to lose a bid for reelection in the new United States of America.

Yes, Jefferson is rolling over in his grave right now and as someone who seems to know something about history, you need to brush up on early American politics...

As for the telecom companies, if they didn't break the law, then why do they so badly want immunity? They did break the law and the passage of this bill would have meant that all of your questions ("Before I call this a great victory, I'd like to know who was damaged by collaboration of the telecom companies in government surveilance operations. We have to realize that the nature of the "listening" here was feather-light, and since the government and the telecoms had specific and valid targets and interests in mind where is the threat to privacy? What does that even mean?") Would NEVER have been answered! The lawsuits with guilt and damages need to be proven in a court of law! If they are, and they did break the law, let the courts decide. We are a nation of laws, good or bad, the government and private companies cannot decide which of them they will follow and which they don't feel like following. I want NO president regardless of who it is to have those powers and will not support them regardless of who's in power. One of the things I like about Obama is that he's vowed to roll back many of the outrageous laws and signing statements of this president and restore the rule of law and checks and balances in the presidency and the government.

I'll take the threats of terrorism. I will not be bullied by the terrorists or the government who is so afraid of them that I will give up my constitution for incompetencies.

I am an American dammit growing up that meant that I was a free and equal member of this great nation, and that I personally have a constitution and bill of rights that protects me from not only external threats, but specifically protects me personally from the threat of my own government infringing on my personal liberty.

I say:
Give me Liberty or Give me death! (a famous Patrick said that...)

Crawford's Take said...

For you history reading pleasure:


I know wiki is wiki, but if you want more, good Alien and Sedition laws. The first 3 were the first anti immigration laws and were passed to surpress the votes of the many new French immigrants who soundly supported Jefferson as an attempt for Adams to maintain his already seriously threatened reelection. The last was to shut down the opposition's voices. Jefferson found them all unconstitutional (he should know he wrote the constitution...) and pardoned all those convicted under the laws. The PEOPLE of the United States openly rebelled against their president at the ballot box for these indiscretions which is why Adams only served 1 term.

Crawford's Take said...

This is the other reason the new FISA bill upsets me... READ this!

The bill by my count violates the 4th, 5th, 9th and 10th amendments in the BOR. If I really think about it, it may also violate the 3rd amendment because it places a government representative through the use of techonlogy in every household in America. They may not be there physically, but they are in your home none-the-less... Its really hard to violate that one, but it seems they could have managed that as well!

Bill of Rights
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

patrick said...

Ms. Crawford-

Thanks for the reply. I have to admit that your post demonstrates a real command of early American history. It sounds interesting too. It is a reminder to me that democracy takes practice; we, as a people, are becomming better at it all the time. But I'm not sure that the rules that were necessary to secure the rights of the people in the 1780's and 90's are the same as those which are needed today. I guess all either of us can really do is speculate about what Jefferson or any of the others would have thought in a world of dirty bombs and suicide bombers. These are things they were fortunate enough not to have to contend with--but we do. Clearly, you have the moral high ground here (but pasting the entire BOR might have been a little condescending). Decisions and legislation don't occur in a vacuum, however. I believe the terrorist threats are real because the terrorists tell us over and over again about the destruction they want to visit upon us, and I worry that fighting terrorism is rather a war for bad guys than the heroes of old. Your prohibitions and rejection of any type of spying might not be so strong after the next attack. After all, the first right government has to secure is the right to life.

Corporations want immunity promised in the FISA bill to protect them from the costs associated with legal defense, not necessarily because they have done wrong. That's just good business.

Russ should have let the bill come to a vote. He was standing in the way of the democratic process based on a technecality.

As far as what Obama might repeal in the White House. I'll wait and see. I bet that the security situation as well as the merits of various security bills look different once you're in the oval office

Crawford's Eye said...

Sorry, condescension was not my purpose. I often am surprised though how many people have not read the BOR, and I SO LOVE that document that I post it probably too regularly as you have pointed out. It just seems to me the most brilliant attempt to regulate government for the benefit of the people ever attempted in the history of civilization...

As for the terrorists, of course they exist. They have ALWAYS existed though. The McVeigh's, the unibombers, the abortion clinic bombers, the KKK, the Black Panthers, the Christian extremeists that burned witches, hell the Spanish had the Inquisition and I could go on and on! The point is that my freedoms are tooooo precious to give them up because the new terrorists have fancier weapons. I appreciate your fear and suffered from it myself for a few months after 9-11, but then I woke up and realized what we were losing and decided that I just refuse to be afraid in the greatest nation in the world.

I also appreciate your posts! Good conversation makes posting my opinions out here all that much more fun!