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More FISA Follies

Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2008 3:50 AM

Elizabeth Edwards finds a note of grace on the passing of Tony Snow.

Here's a nice commentary on the compromised FISA amendments by law professor Daniel J. Solove.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but the group that surfaced on to criticize Obama's vote on above amendment, and is now on their own site/forum at Get FISA Right seems to be caught up in the gosh-a-golly glitter of the web, and has very little else going for it.

There's lots of talk about organizing and moderating, of joining Facebook and Google Groups, contributing to a Wiki ... but, I have to wonder, how are you going to compose a message that will sell to the average American, and how are you going to deliver it? I doubt Joe Sixpack gives a damn about your Facebook page. (Not to mention the irony of a group concerned about privacy choosing to organize via a social networking site.)

More telling, one member asked, 'What should we be reading?' in regards to presenting our message. I promptly recommended a half-dozen books, and added several more on Monday.

Dead silence. In fact, that topic slid down a page over the weekend. No one, apparently, has read any of the titles I suggested, or has others to add. It's a seeming vacuum, devoid of intellectual curiousity. (Yes, I am aware of the ego factor.)

I'm not saying the effort is a waste of time. But, as Sun Tzu notes in The Art of War, 'He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout its ranks.' And there's already talk of a splinter group.

A public hearing is scheduled for this evening over Chevron's proposal to replace a 70 year-old power plant on the refinery grounds with a newer one. The proposed plant would allow the company to operate the refinery independently of the PG&E grid.

Critics, however, say the plant will only open the door for the refinery to process heavier, dirtier crude oil and thus result in more pollution.

Can't win for trying, it seems. I was under the impression that one of the Big Problems was that regulations made it difficult for oil companies to modernize their plants.

Regarding the protesters on the U.C. Berkeley campus who are occupying several oak trees that the university wants to clear in order to build a new sports complex ...

1. If you're going to live in the trees, the people you are protesting against are not obligated to provide you with food and water.

2. There's an old saying, 'if you do the big stuff, don't do the small stuff.' So if you're going to trespass, which means you're going to be arrested no matter the outcome, don't get pegged for marijuana possession.

3. It's a good bet that the university and the police know who you are, so wearing a camo scarf around the lower half of your face just makes you look stupid. (And it also makes it easy to dismiss you as some kind of activist kook.)

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