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Pride & Prejudice

Friday, May 19, 2006 2:13 AM

The Senate voted Thursday to establish English as the national language of the United States, declaring that no one has a right to federal communications or services in a language other than English except for those already guaranteed by law.

Folks, if you are fluent in another language, now is the time to call your elected representative and complain. Write a letter in French. Call the White House and speak Spanish.

I can't wait until the terrorists start sending us warnings in Farsi.

Which means, of course, that the Senate is likely to follow through with declaring that the Star-Spangled Banner has to be sung in English.

But in a disgusting display of American "patriotism," San Jose Sharks fans chose to boo the Canadian national anthem.

When such behavior is evident, no one can hold their head up proudly.

The Senate also further advanced the idea of a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages.

Hey, let's bring back miscegenation laws, too! That'll nail two birds with one stone, defend traditional marriage and solve the too-few-white-babies problem.

General Michael Hayden continues to spout the same excuses about the NSA spying program. Warrants were not sought, he claims, because the process is too slow, and they had only minutes to obtain one.

FISA allows for retroactive filing. It was designed to support those exact instances, where time was of the essence.

Hayden contradicted himself as well, stating that the program used probable cause � when earlier stories about the program clearly pointed out the reduced standard of reasonable belief.

And Hayden again speculated that, had the same program been in place prior to 9/11, two of the hijackers would have been detected.

So, in other words, the alleged power of the president to conduct domestic surveillance in a time of war not being relevant, why, exactly, would we be conducting such surveillance? (And, Article II of the Constitution neither addresses the incidence of war nor surveillance, only establishes the president as command-in-chief of the armed forces, which has been rather generously interpreted as granting more power than Richlieu's carte blanche to Milady DeWinter.)

And while the phrase, 'speak truth to power' may be in vogue in Washington, the most recent instance was Senator Dianne Feinstein's comment from the day before. Yet, in Hayden's testimony, he assured the committee that he would 'speak truth to power.'

Spitting back the exact phrase is a linguistic cue that someone is lying.

The honesty of the Bush Administration took another hit as James Tobin, a senior official in his re-election campaign was sentenced to 10 months in prison for jamming Democratic 'get-out-the-vote' hot lines in New Hampshire during the 2004 election.

So, how about those Diebold machines?

Lastly, Pat Robertson says God has told him that storms will lay the smackdown on America's coastline this year, including a possible tsunami in the Northwest.

Considering that we haven't finished cleaning up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, this isn't an incredible display of foresight. And the Discovery Channel recently ran a documentary on the potential for a tsunami in the Northwest, which makes me wonder if ol' Pat fell asleep in front of the television again and mistook the idiot box for the Voice of God.

Of course, I'm still trying to figure out why intelligent design advocates constantly point to the complexity of the human organism and say that it's proof of God ... but when global warming types point to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the complexity and long odds are random chance.

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