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Fascism For Dummies / Summer Movies

Saturday, May. 13, 2006 12:52 AM

Conventional wisdom at the Ministry is that there's no faster or surer way of losing your rights than to concede them to people like President Bush and General Michael Hayden.

Now, the telephone companies who collaborated with the NSA on the illegal domestic wiretapping program are singing the same song as Hayden, that it was all legal.

What's that smell? Oh, that's right. It's bullshit. Eau de White House. Parfum de AT&T.

Even for the simple expedient of recording call numbers, there are legal standards which must be met. When the Executive chooses to wilfully ignore both federal statute and Constitutional protections, I seriously doubt they suddenly paid due observance to the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act.

The Clueless Twit of the Week Award goes to the woman cited in the article, who says she doesn't see a problem with the government reviewing call logs. "I really don't think it matters. I bet every credit card company already has them."

So that makes either instance okay? Hey, lady, give me your credit card number; the hackers already have them, so what's the big deal?

And a word of advice for our legislators: when you ask telephone company executives to come testify, swear them in.

The big prediction is that President Bush, in a nationally-televised speech slated for Monday, will include a National Guard deployment as part of his proposals for immigration reform.

Hillary wants a wall. George wants troops.

Who sees the irony of the former bastion of freedom building a wall to keep out foreigners?

And the fight is getting uglier still. Members of the Minuteman Project and other groups tangled with Immigration Rights protesters in Washington D.C.

"They should be rounded up and deported, every single one of them," says one man from the American Immigration Control Foundation. "Leave them here and in 10 years this will not be the United States of America."

Why, are the immigrants planning to stage a coup? Run for public office and capture the Senate?

Is there an ideal population level that will make healthcare and education more efficient? Lower costs of housing, food, and other services?

There's a difference between seeing a system that needs reform so that laws are effective, observable, and enforceable, and mistaking people as the bulwark of a non-existant foreign invasion.

The summer blockbuster movie scorecard so far:

Mission: Impossible: III

A decidely lackluster offering of action scenes with the barest thread of plot to tie it all together. Two hours of Tom Cruise looking intense, which happens to be the same expression as Tom Cruise looking upset, tired, thoughtful, and emotionally distraught.


A decidedly lackluster offering of action scenes with the barest thread of plot to tie it all together. Less than two hours of people looking intense, upset, tired, thoughtful, and emotionally distraught.

As I left the theater, I remarked to the usher, "I liked the original better."

"What original?" he asked.

How the hell can you work in a theater, know that a film called Poseidon is coming out, and be unaware that it's a re-make based on Irwin Allen's The Poseidon Adventure? (Incidentally, the film has nothing to do with the original, other than being set on a ship named Poseidon that gets capsized by a giant wave.)

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